The reckless rhetoric of western Muslim clerics

The reckless rhetoric of western Muslim clerics
3 min read

Nasser al-Sahli

06 March, 2015
Comment: Sheikhs in the West who incite anti-western rhetoric and actions are endangering Muslims living there.
Mullah Krekar one of the founders of Ansar al-Islam [AFP]
A few days ago, thousands of Scandinavians tuned in to watch an interview on Norwegian state television with Nijm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, better known as Mullah Krekar, one of the founders of a radical Iraqi Kurdish group Ansar al-Islam in northern Iraq.

Krekar said he enjoyed watching videos of the attacks on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. It is possible to argue that this is just one man's opinion and he is free to express himself as he pleases, but what consequences will his words have on the thousands of Muslims living in Scandinavian countries?

Krekar does not seem to care about this as he raises his fists to prove his sincerity saying: "Our limits are blood and explosions." He then praised what he called the "mujahedeen heroes", referring to the perpetrators of the attacks in France.

Krekar was forcibly relocated to a village in the far north of Norway after he spent over two years in prison. He was imprisoned for making death threats against Kurdish politicians and Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg.
     What consequences will his words have on the thousands of Muslims living in Scandinavian countries?

The Mullah made many threats in the interview and wished that bombs would land on Barack Obama. However, he is not alone as there are many other sheikhs that appear on western media saying similar things.

Dressed in their religious garb, these sheikhs appear on television and insist on speaking in Arabic, and dishing out Quranic rulings that not a single Scandinavian viewer understands, not even Muslim viewers. A large number of these sheikhs insist on tarnishing Islam without giving a thought to the repercussions. How will Norwegians look at their Muslim colleagues after all these violent backward statements?

These sheikhs fail to engage in real political dialogue, and stare into the camera forgetting the interests of millions of people in the West. Although they appear on TV and in newspapers condemning westerners as infidels they hold on to their residencies in these "infidel" countries.

Such interviews lead to viewers doubting the citizenship of Muslims because Krekar and others like him are presented as immigrants who have come to settle a score with the West. Viewers are not interested in drawing logical parallels between the sheikhs and Anders Breivik, the far-right extremist that killed 74 young people at a summer camp on the Norweigian island of Utoya.

Neither do they care about the lack of any logical and meaningful discussion on limitations to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is sacred and extremely important in the West primarily because of a long history of oppression, absolute power and the church's control over peoples' lives.

These angry illogical sheikhs however take the opportunity to point out the racism in the West and make threats and verbal attacks.

They are shooting themselves in the foot, and are shooting the feet of thousands of young Arabs and Muslims in the West. This may all seem like a coincidence but those who know about the nature of the western media and its orientalist packaging of Muslims, will know there is no coincidence about what is broadcast and the influence it has on viewers' minds.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.