The war of fundamentalisms

Soumayya Ghannoushi“Perhaps the one thing al-Qaida militants have proven good at, apart from the shedding of innocent blood, is fanning the flames of hostility to Islam and Muslims. From the darkness of their caves and hiding places, these self-appointed spokesmen for one and a half billion Muslims worldwide have excelled in stirring latent negative images of Islam within the western psyche. Through their senseless crimes, Islam, in the minds of most, has become a euphemism for mass slaughter and destruction. Thanks to them, racism, bigotry and Islamophobia could rear its ugly head unashamedly in broad daylight.

“The terrible irony is that Muslims find themselves helplessly trapped between two fundamentalisms, between Bush’s hammer and Bin Laden’s anvil, hostages to an extreme rightwing American administration, aggressively seeking to impose its expansionist and hegemonic will over the region at gunpoint, and to a cluster of violent, wild fringe groups, lacking in political experience or sound religious understanding. Although the two claim to be combating each other, the reality is that they are working in unison; one providing the justifications the other desperately needs for its fanaticism, ferocity and savagery.”

Soumaya Ghannoushi at Comment is Free, 21 August 2006