AN INQUIRY INTO A WESTERN FEAR

Dan Jahn

If one can point to an overarching characteristic of our time, concern with justice would surely be
near the top of the list. Never in the history of man has there been such a quest for justice, a quest
pursued by both individuals and groups in all walks of life and around the world. In this quest,
religions have played a vital role, while at the same time, religious movements are continually misunderstood
and mis-characterized by opposing groups. The Muslim movements which the Western
media refer to as representative of a dangerous Islamic fundamentalism with militant overtones
is one example where a misunderstanding has resulted in widespread fear and prohibited
what could potentially be a useful partnership. It is not an exaggeration to say that upon hearing
the words ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, many otherwise educated Westerners tend to think only of a
terrorist organization, and it is not inconceivable to think that some Muslims may in fact look at
the World Council of Churches as yet another example of Western imperialism. The truth is that
although Islamic fundamentalism or perhaps more appropriately ‘revivalism’ does have its extremists,
a major focal point of some Muslim movements is an attempt to balance the scales of
social justice in much the same way that the Christians of the West–through the World Council of
Churches–are attempting to rectify situations of poverty, abuse of human rights and other social
issues. This is not to dismiss the violence inherent in some Islamic fundamentalist movements,
merely to show that the terrorist like activities of these movements are emphatically not the
movements’ main program of action, and are, for instance in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood,
more a reaction to events of the time that many organizations, including the Brotherhood,
responded to in a violent manner.

Filed Under: EgyptFeaturedJordanJordanian MBMuslim BrotherhoodStudies & ResearchesSyriaSyrian MB

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