Reza Varjavand Asks: "Is Fear of Islam unfounded?"
Saint Xavier University
The Muslim commentator Reza Varjavand, associate professor of economics and finance in the Graham School of Management at Saint Xavier University (Chicago), asks a provocative question presumably related to the "Islamophobia" epithet used in silencing criticism of Islam: "Is Fear of Islam unfounded?" (Iran.com). Since his remarks are quite brief, I'm posting them in their entirety here:
Once again, a violent attack by Muslim extremists astounded the world, they murdered a number of innocent students in Nigeria just because they were attending school and learning what their attackers called Western education! Is this the religion whose prophet allegedly said "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave"? I think the world have seen enough images of atrocities committed under the name of Islam: Blown-up buildings, burning cars, beheading, flogging, arresting innocent people for no reason, butchering of a British soldier in a street of London, Boston bombing, Train bombing in Madrid, fatal shooting of 13 people by army major Nidal Hassan, public executions in street, death threat against, or assassination of, writers or those who express their opinions just to name a few.Professor Varjavand's query about fear of Islam goes a step beyond what one might expect, for his remarks imply that such fear is rational, different from the supposedly irrational fear of Islam implied by the term "Islamophobia," a sort of pop-psychology term intended to simultaneously label critics of Islam mentally deranged and morally evil.
Sometimes I ask myself is this what Islam is all about?
In light of all of these, we, Muslims, keep telling others how peaceful our religion is which reminds me of that famed Wendy's "where is the beef" commercial. Aren't Muslim influential leaders guilty of implicit complacency by remaining silent and not publically condemning such atrocious acts or taking a firm position against them?
We may not be able to change this madness; at least we can say something about it.
Professor Varjavand reminds me of Dr. Khaled Hroub, whom I posted upon two days ago. Perhaps these two Muslims speaking out are indications of a growing chorus of Muslim voices raised in criticism of Islam? Or should I say, of Islamism? Varjavand and Hroub don't. They say "Islam."
Professor Varjavand himself even sounds like a skeptic in stressing that Islam's prophet allegedly said, "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave." Varjavand must have considerable doubts about the hadith, the record of sayings and actions attributed to Muhammad.
Such skepticism opens a door to reform of Islam because the hadith allegedly record Islam's prophet advocating expansionist jihad, brutal criminal law, murder of political opponents, death to infidels, death to apostates, death to critics of Islam . . .
That last one, however, tends to suppress dissent about Islam, thereby clarifying why we still find so few Muslim critics like Varjavand.