Posted on June 14, 2017 9:55 pm

Extreme Naiveté and the "Tiny Minority"

“The point is you began by saying we have 5-6 million Muslims in France, you then proceeded to talk about a very small minority who take on board the ideas of the political Islamists, the Salafists, and a very tiny minority of that minority who actually consider or engage in violence. And to conflate that with the fact you’ve got 5-6 million Muslims in your country is to do something both misleading and possibly very dangerous.”

-Stephen Sackur on BBC’s HardTalk April 18, 2017 with Pascal Bruckner

Stephen Sackur’s response to Pascal Bruckner is the typical response to most any such criticism of the Muslim community. This is what makes the desperately needed reflection so very difficult, if not impossible.

To use the word “conflate” gives power to this false idea that Islamic extremists come from outer space or some other community outside of Islam. The story might sound as such: there’s a violent, “tiny minority” misrepresenting the grand “majority” of Muslims freely choosing their interpretation of the divine. In fact, they’re not free to question, much less choose, anything. Indoctrination into this way of life is required to pass the faith on to the next generation. With the absence of freedom of thought, there is no creative adaptation. There is only reaction, violence, and rationalization.

Islamic extremists did not come from another planet. They came from the Muslim community where women are chattel, children are property, and the indoctrination of the tenets of the faith is mandatory. These are all seeds of terror, and to avoid confronting and dealing with this fact is naïve, dangerous.

There are too many Muslim parents willing to brutalize their children in the process of forcing them to memorize the Quran and practice the rituals, same as adults, at a very young age. This kind of terror thrives in the extended families and huge communities that make up the world’s Muslim population, so it is no wonder that, around the world, we see the same kind of terror practiced in the name of Islam once they are grown.

Within the Muslim community, the “tiny minority” of violent activists are not referred to as terrorists or extremists, they are not seen as outsiders; they are part of a larger community and exist as a natural evolution of fundamentalist ideology which propagates the idea that all the suffering in the world is the result of the world’s population not having converted to Islam. Violent activism is nearly as easy to justify as the practice of “honor killing” which has been legal in Muslim countries for centuries.

In my book I reflect on what it is most Muslims across the board are doing to contribute to what appears are the actions of a “tiny minority.” www.aftertheclearsigns.com