Mr. Xosh 7al
(from Kurdistan Bloggers union) wrote a very interesting personal post about an argument he had with another young Iraqi about religion and the removal of Saddam. (Please read it then come back to me).
In the comments section Thinker poses a very smart question that immediately grabbed my attention.
‘Can you folks explain to me why so many of these kids who grew up in the West are getting so radical?’
Naturally this got me thinking and I remembered all the British Muslims that I had come across during my university years here in the UK. As most of you know, Britain has one of the largest Pakistani, Indian and Arab Muslim communities in the whole of Europe. Most of the youngsters here are second or third generation born and to all sense and purposes have very little in common with the people of their original root homelands.
But the strangest thing is that it is these same youngsters that seem to be the most zealous about identifying themselves with the religions and cultures of their father's or grandfather's homelands. Even though they don’t speak the language or know the history of these ‘homelands’. (Why is that?).
I’m sure most of you remember those world wide demonstration that were organised against the war just prior to it. Well in London that was a big deal.
I remember getting dozens of phone calls from fellow university Muslim who were going to attend the demonstrations and they wanted me to join them. The funny thing was that I didn’t even know most of these guyz, It was just that they had found out that I was a muslim Iraqi and so they naturally assumed that I would be up for it. I tried my best to change these guys minds.
I was really against those demonstration (the majority of Iraqis were) However, whenever I tried to explain that the war might be a good thing and we will finally get rid of Saddam I got a very negatice backlash from these guys. They immidiately accused me of being a bad muslim and that i am a coward for supporting the Americans against another Muslim country. How can I support Bush against Saddam who was a Muslim hero and a patriot (yeh,, go figure).
For them the whole demonstration was like some kind of picnic. they were all gonna get together and reaffirm their membership cards. they must be seen to belong even though they didn't know what they were signing up for. whats important is that they are gonna be together on the streets when they shout from the top of their voices (sarcasim on
) No to war, No to freedom, and No to democracy. Muslims don't need your charity. (Sarcasim off)
the fact that they live in a democratic country where they are free to say these things goes way over their marble heads. (the idiots refuse to see the hypocracy of it all).
Anyway you get the idea. These guyz have no idea and when you try to explain to them the intricate facts about political realities in the middle east and the muslim world, they just don’t want to hear it. Its like you are somehow attacking their own being; their sense of self and identity.
This is what I want to get to. Many of these youngster don’t really know anything about the details of Islam or the political back rounds surround the religion. Most of them have never read the Qur’an or been outside of Britain other than a trip to the beech in Marbella\Spain. For them Islam is an Identity. Growing up in a foreign society where they are considered a minority and facing certain racist vibes from the indigenous population, they are inevitably drawn to religion as an Identity. The details and facts of the religion are not important. What’s important is that they are all members of the gang called 'Muslims', and together they are strong.
I think that this applies to most countries where muslims are in a minority, this is true in Britain, France, Holland, Germany, etc. etc… And you will find that it is the young generation that had grown up primaraly in these western countries that are the most zealous about it all. The older generation and those that had lived in the ‘homelands’ know what’s what and are much more sensible about it all.