Thursday, 25 August 2016

Islam in Australia: myths and common media positions: Part 3

Anthony Cox

The media and the police commonly describes Muslim perpetrators of violence as disturbed or otherwise mentally unsound. This is done to prevent a connection with Islam, to expedite the myth that Islam is a peaceful religion and, as I described in part 2, to prevent any backlash against Muslims.

But is Muslim violence/terrorism a product of insanity or a fundamental ideological difference between the West and Islam?

Islamic advocates claim to love death more than non-Muslims love life but eschatological ideologies have existed before. And many ideologies have sacrifice at their centre. These characteristics therefore do mean the Muslim killer is mad even if they kill themselves.

In Islam, it is not how one lives one’s life that guarantees spiritual salvation, but how one dies. It is
here a contradiction emerges. The Koran forbids suicide. But the concept of martyrdom avoids this edict because in Islam the suicide bomber is a holy warrior and therefore not dead. Neat eh?

However, does this neat bit of sophistry mean a suicide bomber is rational by Western standards so as to satisfy the criteria for being charged and convicted of murder. To be charged with murder one must have a mens rea and be able to tell right from wrong (The M’Naghten Rule).

The Muslim suicide bomber obviously has a mens rea but can they tell right from wrong. Just because what is wrong under Western values is different from what is right under Islamic values does not mean the suicide bomber cannot understand what he is doing is wrong by Western standards. In fact, this is the very point of Islamic violence: to defeat a set of values which is anathema to Islam and which Muslims are instructed must be defeated.

This then is the context in which the Muslim killer must be charged. Their actions are sanctioned at the highest level of their ideology and since that ideology is in effect at war with the West that war standard applies. To kill or terrorise your enemy is a rational act and Muslims who kill, regardless of whether they also kill themselves, are prima facie sane.

In the latest incident of Muslim violence, a Muslim has shouted Allahu Akbar while killing one and wounding others.

Already the press and police are suggesting mental unsoundness may have been present. (See No evidence suggests extremism) Even if they are, it does not mean that Islamic fundamentalism is not the cause.
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All items in this series:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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