THE THREE FACES OF ISLAM

There are three faces of Islam.

I have been living in a peaceful Moslem country for 5 years now (not Saudi Arabia). Most of the Moslems I have met are kind, honest, sincere, thoughtful and loving. They have very strong family values. Many have opened their homes to us, shared their meals with us and invited us to share tea or coffee with them and their friends. It is ingrained in the culture here. Unfortunately the young are forgetting many of these positive qualities as they ‘Westernize’.

I don’t agree with some of their values when it comes to women. I was discussing this with two Muslim friends in their thirties as I sat with them and my wife for coffee. Women wearing the veil over the head they felt, was important for Islam. Covering the face was a choice of the family (sometimes the husband, more often the matriarchs). The young are dropping traditions more and more. They often wear their abayas (traditional female black robe) open, so when they walk they will reveal the jeans or dresses underneath. This also depends on what country you are in. In Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt there are many Muslim women that either dress Western, or wear colorful veils while dressing conservatively. In the Albanian or Slavic countries some women will wear bright colored dresses and tops with their unique veils. They dress very attractively. So it’s not one size fits all as many in the West believe.

But when we discuss ‘radical Islam’, it is a whole nother beast. I have already written about how there are three distinct groups of Muslims. The first are the extremist radicals that will kill Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Atheist, or anyone else that gets in their way. This is the group we refer to as ‘extremists’. They practice an extreme form of the religion that goes back to just after Mohammad’s death, when his followers became divided under the new leadership. These followers, very much in existence today, are the violent Muslims you hear about such as Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and Daesh (ISIS). They are extremely dangerous and they exist in countries throughout Indonesia, Africa, the Middle East, the Baltic/Slavic countries and in pockets of isolationist segregationists in Europe and the USA. Do not ever underestimate their global infiltration or power. Although not all of them are homicidal, they can and do incite others to violence. This is the same ultra conservative philosophic religious movement that in the 60’s and 70’s converted Afghanistan, Egypt and other countries in the area from thriving Westernized economies to much darker and stricter forms of Theocracy.

The second group of Islam, believe in the words of the Koran when it comes to the more extreme beliefs and actions about women and children. One part of this group believes it word for word. These are the Muslims you find sometimes committing honor killings, beating their wives or committing perversions with very young children. The other segment of this second group believe in the Koran, but they do not take any of the violence or perversity literally. They have common sense and generally live a pious life and have strong family values.

The third group of Islam are what I call the ‘mainstream Muslims’. They have common sense, are intelligent and savvy. Some of them still practice the traditional beliefs, such as wearing traditional garments and the strict prayer regimens. Others wear will Western clothes, are active in Western activities, and are still devout Muslims to their religion, but they may not be as strict on the daily schedules. They are Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, Scientists, researchers, sports stars, celebrities, or just hard working citizens of whatever country they live in. Many are good Americans. I do not include CAIR in this, nor do I include Muslims that have isolated themselves in the segregated Islamic communities throughout America. Many of these have extremist Imams at their Mosques or practice hateful secularism toward other Americans. Of which unfortunately, there are quite a few of these individuals throughout America, Europe and the world.

I have written before about how the Saudi Wahhabis planted their extreme form of Wahhabi Islam in Chicago in the late 60’s with the help of the Nation of Islam. They backed a financial spread of Mosques throughout the United States that is now a reality. Many of the worst come from some of these more extremist Mosques. Malcolm X returned from a trip to Mecca and realized there were many white, blond haired, blue eyed Muslims that were also Arabs. He rejected the extremism of Louis Farrakhan and the Wahhabis and lost his life for it. Reportedly at the hands of Farrakhan himself.

We do not know precisely know who started the killing in Mohammed’s time, whether it was the Jews or the Muslims. What we do know as a historical fact, is that after this, Muslims went on a violent worldwide rampage to convert at the edge of the sword. That part of the 1400 year history is true. Whether Muslims, Jews or Christians have killed more people for their religions, we can not honestly say. Christians not only killed during the time of the Crusaders and the Spanish Inquisition, they also slaughtered many at the hands of the Popes and Bishops even before the Crusades. They also slaughtered throughout the New World, including indigenous peoples as well as other Europeans. All the while carrying the cross and claiming it all to be in the name of the Christian God and Christ. The Jews also did their fair share of slaughter even before the Christians came along.

So a mistrust of Iran and the Caliphate is not only justified, it is imperative. The ignorance and lack of education of so many people about the extensive violent history and intentions of radical Islamists is dangerous for all of us. It should be taken as a warning, that if not heeded, will only result in more hatred, death and destruction. We must strive for love and peace. But we must never forget that evil, will not bow down to either. Ever. And it is just as real today as the ground under your feet, or the sky above.

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Author, poet, filmmaker, storyteller, reader and listener.

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Fernando Llorente

Fernando Llorente

Author, poet, filmmaker, storyteller, reader and listener.

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