Ramadan terrorism refutes assertions of monolithic Islam

July 18, 2016
How, now, can anyone insist jihadi terrorism springs from a monolithic Islam committed to destruction of the non-Muslim world?

How, now, can anyone insist jihadi terrorism springs from a monolithic Islam committed to destruction of the non-Muslim world?

That simplistic view remains alive in radio talk shows. It should make oil and gas professionals cringe.

During a bloody Ramadan just ended, most of about 350 persons killed by Islamic militants were Muslim.

And most of the attacks were in Muslim countries: Turkey, Iraq, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia, where one of three bombings hit Medina, burial place of the prophet Muhammad.

Militants had been urging followers to make Islam's holy month, traditionally dedicated to reflection and peace, a time for victory in holy war.

Before Ramadan, the Associated Press reported, Islamic State (IS) leaders were calling for its supporters to attack wherever possible.

That might have influenced timing of the murders of 49 persons in Orlando by a solo gunman allegiant to IS. The atrocity occurred on June 12. Ramadan began June 5.

Why would a vicious group claiming to want to restore the Caliphate so desecrate Ramadan?

A likely explanation is the need for the IS to reassert its ferocity after territorial losses in Iraq. More than that probably is involved.

What's clear is that Muslims have an IS problem at least as dire as everyone else's.

Adherents of the view that IS bloodlust grows irresistibly out of Islam point to passages in the Koran calling for destruction of nonbelievers. Apparently, however, not all Muslims think scripture reflecting seventh century culture and habits of expression should or can be taken literally. Other religions grapple with this problem of deriving contemporary meaning from writings of antiquity.

Not IS. Its barbarism represents, foremost, a violent revolt against modernity, including modern Islam. To see it mainly as a global war against non-Muslims or the West is to ignore horrible evidence to the contrary and to incline toward dangerous responses.

Non-Muslims need to get this right. IS must be stopped. After that, Muslims and everyone else still will inhabit the same planet.

(From the subscription area of www.ogj.com, posted July 8, 2016; author's e-mail: [email protected])

About the Author

Bob Tippee | Editor

Bob Tippee has been chief editor of Oil & Gas Journal since January 1999 and a member of the Journal staff since October 1977. Before joining the magazine, he worked as a reporter at the Tulsa World and served for four years as an officer in the US Air Force. A native of St. Louis, he holds a degree in journalism from the University of Tulsa.