I have read many articles from outsiders reporting on the Muslim faith. But I have never read an article more incorrect and damaging than the piece done by Robert Holstrom “Muslims or Demons”. Robert Holstroms’ article details the belittlement and atrocities afflicted towards Islamic women by Muslims. Mr. Holstroms’ presents followers of the Islamic religion as militant drug dealers and mercenaries, which perpetrate their ideas while using false Islam, foreign money, and opium to get their way.
Sure, I have been to Forty-second Street in Manhattan and have seen and heard pseudo Muslims screaming at the top of their lungs hate against whites and women. I do not even have to visit New York to view such displays. I have listened to countless arguments between these same so called Muslims at the square in downtown Stamford. I am fortunate enough to know that these views are not taught from the Koran or are they teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
The article is actually speaking of a small band of pseudo Muslims called the Taliban. The story of the Taliban is complicated, and just like every other story, there are two sides to it. When the members of the Taliban first revealed themselves, they gave the world the impression that they had come to rid Afghanistan of its problems. At first, even the government of today, recognized the Taliban as a legitimate Afghan force that wanted to rid corruption and disorder. However, as time passed, the true nature of the Taliban was revealed. Soon the Taliban became known as a militia that used a mixture of Kalashnikovs, false Islam, foreign money, and opium to get its way.
Members of the Taliban claim that they are students of Islam, and that all they want to do is to bring Afghanistan under Islamic rule. They claim that their movement began in September of 1994, in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. At the time, they say Kandahar was plagued by groups that robbed, killed, and raped the populace and Mullah Mohammad Omar wanted to end these reprehensible acts, and so he started this reform movement.
The reality of it all is Taliban is a military and political force trained and built by Pakistan. While it is true that the Taliban foot soldiers are young Afghans who studied in religious schools in Pakistan during the Soviet war, the higher officials of the Taliban are made up of former communist government officials and puppets controlled by Saudia Arabia and Pakistan.
Pakistan created the Taliban, for the purpose of having indirect control over the policies made in Afghanistan. If Pakistan successfully installs a puppet regime in Afghanistan, they will benefit economically, the Durand treaty will be extended, and Afghanistan will continue to live occupied and in the dark ages.
The sentencing of two British nurses accused of murder to corporal punishments in Saudi Arabia, and the slaughter of eleven schoolmistresses in Algeria send the wrong messages about Islam to the world.
These two examples show Muslims – and by implication their religion – to be intolerant, harsh and bloodthirsty. Unfortunately, these actions speak louder than the words of God set down in the Koran 14 centuries ago, louder than the just pronouncements of the Prophet Muhammad. These examples are not mainstream Muslim behavior, expressive of the spirit of Islam or indicative of the teachings of the Prophet. These are examples drawn from behavior patterns of tribesmen come to town. Behavior patterns, which are pre-Islamic and have little to do with the code of conduct laid down in the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet.
The Taliban treatment of women and their attitude towards civilization have nothing to do with the Koran or the practice of the Prophet. The Koran commands women to “be modest” and “to draw their veils over their bosoms” (Surah XXIV, verse 31) not to envelop themselves in the sort of chador worn by Afghan women which leaves only a square net open for the eyes. The Prophet was an innovator who gave women legal status, property and inheritance rights. He was a man whose closest confidantes were women, whose first convert was his wife, Khadija, an independent businesswoman. The canonical punishments of beheading and flogging as practiced in Saudi Arabia are also tribal, relics of the pre-Islamic past when nomadic tribesmen maintained order by lopping off the hands of thieves and the heads of murderers.
So what I am emphatically trying to get across is even though the Taliban movement is gaining strength in the United States this is not a true reflection of the Islamic religion. Just as skinheads, the KKK and the Neo-Nazi occasionally make the evening news for their views I do not consider their views the views of all Anglo-Saxon Americans I come in contact with. And I would never consider generalizing an entire religion because of the actions of a select few. In Afghanistan, Taliban followers are convinced that women should be kept inside the house, quiet, and away from any position of responsibility. If we look at the progress women have made today we could never conceive the type of regression as detailed by the Talibans’. The type of submissive women suggested in your article equates to nothing more than domestic violence, which is as common in America as it is in Afgahnistan, so can we blame Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism for these acts of violence towards women. Sure the Talibanns’ take their beliefs to the extreme but as I mentioned before they are in no way connected to the true Islamic faith. I feel that if weed out the negative aspects attributed to any religion and focus on the positive each person would realize the end result is a closer relationship with God. If I were to go through time and bring about the negative history of Christianity what purpose would it serve? I feel that focusing our attentions on loving one another instead of providing misleading information will help to create an environment of harmony between each culture or religious background.