Since 9/11, when Islamic terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people, Muslim advocacy groups in the United States have had considerable success promoting the notion that Islam is a religion of peace.
Al-Qaida, ISIS and other such violent groups have nothing to do with Islam, goes the narrative.
But Hamed Abdel-Samad, an Egyptian-born political scientist and author who emigrated to Germany, insists otherwise, arguing one need only examine the sacred texts and the founder of Islam.
“ISIS is doing nothing different than Muhammad and his successors, at the time,” Abdel-Samad said in a talk show on the Austrian ServusTV channel. “They brought an ideology into the world, using weapons and the subjugation of peoples.
He said that as an Egyptian, he “would never have been born a Muslim if Muhammad’s successors had not behaved like ISIS does.”
“The same holds true for Morocco, Iran, and, in fact, anywhere Islam spread. The entire history of Islam is a history of conquest,” he said.
He addressed the contention that “Islamophobia” is the cause of terrorism.
“Many Muslims from every Muslim country joined ISIS,” he pointed out. “The first group came from Saudi Arabia. I don’t think Islamophobia exists there. The second group came from the middle class of Tunisia. There is not much Islamophobia there either.
“There is not a single Islamic country that is devoid of terrorism and of increasing radicalization,” he said. “Saying that the main and only reason (for terrorism), in your view, is that these young people face Islamophobia is not the way to solve the problem.”
Abdel-Samad said to solve the problem, teaching in mosques that encourages violent jihad must be curbed.
Many who fought for ISIS are returning to their home countries in Europe, he noted.
“And then we wake up and learn that one of them drove a truck into a crowd,” he said.
Such violent offenders, he suggested, should be put “before an international tribunal, and [society should] inflict harsh punishment on them.”
Abdel-Samad warned that violence is embedded deeply in Muslim culture, and it all comes from its founder.
“I am criticizing a man who has been dead for 1,400 years. He was married to 13 women. He waged 80 wars in the last eight years of his life. He took women as prisoners of war. Why should an enlightened person in the 21st century not criticize this man?” he said.