Author: Don Karl Juravin (HOLY LAND MAN) from JURAVIN RESEARCH
Islam is perceived by the world as a religion of jihad, or terrorism while in reality the Quran, the basis for all Islam, preaches for peace and the dignity of women, as well as men. JURAVIN RESEARCH invested 4 months and we found the reason. Now, can a good Muslim read this research and know what to do?
Imams may be the reason as they are the interpreters of the Quran in the mosque. They represent God’s wishes to ordinary believers. The Imams are highly respected, as Christians respect the Pope. The imam Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa not only “misrepresented” the Quran for his followers but also supplied a terrorist with over $1,000 in weapons. There is an imam who is responsible for a terror attack or a group of young Muslims announcing jihad. In Britain, months before a terrorist attack, Imam Mustafa Graf was recorded preaching for jihad.
But Islam is not about war and violence. Islam is a religion of peace. The imams need to reform, and the people need to be more discerning about what they believe. Imams who are in the wrong should be challenged, not blindly obeyed.
Imams are Highly Respected
The culture of Islam has been built around respect for leadership and authority. Imams and everything they stand for are highly valued in Muslim society.
Islam relies on the interpreters of the Quran to maintain peace, stability, order, and in order to better seek the perfection of the religion. Islam translates to “submission to the will of God.” The ideal of Islam is a perfect world where God and man are in harmony with one another. Imams seek to bring the reality of that ideal to the material world.
“The people in charge can explain the facts of the matter and remove any confusion or doubts a person may have,” writes Farhat Hashmi. This does not only apply to matters of religion, but also politics and news. Imams are the leaders of the community, influencing multiple facets of Muslim life.
Shi’ites believe that Imams safeguard the will of God, allowing other Muslims to draw from God’s wisdom and guidance when necessary. The imams must live without sin or fault in order to fulfill their roles as leaders and religious influences.
Exemplary imams have been at the forefront of condemning terrorism and the corruption found within some elements of modern Islam. Over 1,800 Pakistani clerics condemned terrorism in a joint statement. After the London Bridge was attacked by terrorists, 500 imams refused to perform any sort of commemorative service for the dead criminals. A majority of imams are good people who strive to serve their communities in the best ways possible.
But some imams are influencing young Muslims and misguided Muslims to take a different direction. Their preachings are too radical and too far off from the original words of the Quran, yet no one challenges them on it.
Political Influence: Imams ‘Adjusting’ Islam
In 1990, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Muslim clerics rushed to re-define the Islamic traditions so that it appeared as if Muslim tradition did not condemn the waging of war on another Islamic country. In a legal report for the Library of Congress, researcher George Sadek asserted that militant groups not affiliated with a country, such as Al-Qaeda and Isis, have their own fundamentalist interpretations of international relations that stray from years of Islamic tradition in dealing with foreign countries.
The Quran rejects dictatorships. But often imams support the dictators in their own countries. Iran is a dictatorship, run by an imam. Supposedly in Iran the imam is above the law, so the dictatorship is a very technical legality.
Theoretically, jihad is supposed to be used to throw off dictatorships and false rulers who oppress the people. It is not supposed to be used to force Islam on other people.
Imams Oppress Women
Imams have often denied women the right to leave their husbands. Some of them still teach that Islam allows men to control their wives, even though there is no Quranic basis for this. Divorce laws among Muslims vary from community to community.
In France, a Salafi imam was exiled to Algeria by the government after preaching several disturbing principles. Among those teachings were ruling that called for the oppression of women. “Women could not leave their homes without authorization,” he said.
The Telegraph tells a story of imams in mosques teaching against women, particularly white women. Because these women are not Muslims, they must be punished, according to imams, for their loose behavior, by being exploited in some fashion. These imams are divisive and bring about more misogyny in Islam.
In Cardiff, U.K., an imam harassed several young girls and assaulted them if they failed to follow his instructions. He taught in that mosque for thirty years before he was arrested and jailed for his crimes. Women in Islam are supposed to be treated with respect, not as animals. The Quran teaches that women are not supposed to be objectified. It also teaches that men are not supposed to be promiscuous.
The Quran is actually very progressive in its teachings on women.
Imams: The Real Evil
The real problem behind Islam is the manipulation of the sacred text of the Quran by the imams. In the Sunni version of Islam, imams are the leaders of sacred worship and the interpreters of the Quran.
Imams can be bearers of wisdom and, because of their positions in Muslim society, can impact their communities in a positive light. But some choose not to do so. Some imams in different countries teach children that martyrdom in Islam is more important than academic success. Often these imams are allowed to teach for several years, influencing young men to become terrorists and to radicalize others into forming terrorist groups.
An imam in the United States, Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa, supplied a terrorist with over $1,000 in weapons. Bengharsa made videos for his YouTube page, which further encouraged and instructed young converts to prepare for jihad.
Islam is a uniquely law-based religion, that relies on an interpretation of the Quran into law in order to be fully realized. In the book, Imams and Emirs: State, Religion, and Sects in Islam, Fuad I. Kuri writes that “Salvation in Islam is sought by following God’s laws and decrees.”
These laws are achieved by an ulama or an agreement that relies on the general consensus of men. Imams are the ones that arrive at this consensus.
The Quran and the spirit of the Quran are not the ones that need to change. Rather, it seems that the attitude of the religious leaders in Islam should change. Even Muslim scholars admit that Islam is an idea that is constantly sought after. Therefore, it is not the ideal that should change, but rather the composite where the ideal seeks to adapt to reality.
Imams Abuse The Trust of Their Followers
Wahhabism, a Muslim philosophy that many believe to be behind terrorist ideals, was initiated by a Muslim cleric, Muhammad bin Abd al Wahhab, and Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the first Saudi state, in the late eighteenth century. The philosophy seeks to strip Islam of it’s more conventional religious practices, such as the veneration of saints and the celebration of Muhammad’s birthday,
It politicized and polarized Islam even more. Clerics that professed Wahhabism were incorporated in the Saudi government. This inspires warriors to seize different territories, wage war, and persecute other Islamic sects, such as the Shi’ites. None of these precepts are found in the Quran.
Salafiyya is another Muslim approach to the fulfillment of Islam. Al-Qaeda is heavily influenced by this approach, which advocates for firm adherence to the Quran and the hadith, or words of Mohammed not found in the Quran. The approach is not only religious but also politically motivated: Al Qaeda calls for the overthrowing of Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia.
Politicians Are Using The Imams
The Saudi Arabian government does not distinguish a separation between religion and the state. The royal family of Saud elevated the ulama in Saudi Arabia to higher levels of power to help them maintain control in the 1980’s and 1990’s. With the rising of terrorism, the government demoted the importance of imams.
The Islamic state is a phenomenon common to the Middle East. The structure and hadiths of Islam are built into the law of a nation. Because the Caliph was the head of the communities of Islam, and the caliph was in charge of the administrative duties, and Islam law was applied in courts, the leader of the state was the leader of the religion as well.
The modern definition of the Islamic state did not come about until the 20th century.
In Turkey, imams are moving to regain the ability to be political. In 1965, Turkey banned imams from engaging in political activity. Imam politicians hope to gain more say in how the state handles Islam. Since Turkey is a unique system where the state controls Islam, imams are working to take back their power.
Imam Khomeini argued in an essay that Islam seeks to combine religious ethics and politics into one concept.
Iran has a supreme leader who is also an imam. He is above the law. However, this is outside the realm of the Quran. While defenders of this system say that the prophet Mohammed operated from this system, critics will say that no one else can claim that sort of divine leadership other than Mohammed.
In Nigeria, in the 2007 elections, imams encouraged their congregations to elect a specific politician during religious services on Fridays. One imam was assassinated after such a sermon. The 2007 elections were considered the most violent elections in Nigerian history.
Muslims Must Do More
Islam should be a religion where the imams can be questioned on teachings that do not sound right. Instead of avoid questioning the imams at all costs, Muslims must determine what they believe in and challenge the imams who teach otherwise. Fetullah Gulen, in an article written for Politico, stated that in order to solve the problem of terrorism in Muslim communities, proper education is key. He said, “The antidote is a religious education program that teaches the tradition in a holistic and contextualized way. To be able to resist the deceits of radical ideologues, young Muslims must understand the spirit of their scripture and the overarching principles of their Prophet’s life.”
To Muslims reading this, I challenge you to learn more about the Quran and about your faith from the writings of your scholars, not solely from the imams at your mosques. Don’t be afraid to question what you are told. It is not a sign of disrespect to analyze and research the things you hear.
Founded by Don Karl Juravin (HOLY LAND MAN) an American patriot from Florida who was born in the Holy Land. Juravin loves his friends of multiple cultures and has a great appreciation for Muslims, Christians and Jews as he works and interacts with them on a daily basis. Juravin FIGHTS FOR JUSTICE and the pursuit of HEALTH, HAPPINESS, LOVE & SUCCESS. He is a “straight shooter”. Though JURAVIN RESEARCH mission is to initiate debates to better our lives.