Cleric links radical Islamists with violence and segregation

Cleric links radical Islamists with violence and segregation

Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam, a top Muslim cleric in Indonesia has said.

According to this Time report, Yahya Cholil Staquf, 51, above, said:

There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

He was speaking in an interview first published last month in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The cleric, described as being “among Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders” said:

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to ‘Islamophobia’. Or do people want to accuse me – an Islamic scholar – of being an Islamophobe too?

Asked what basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic, Staquf replied:

The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable.

To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

Told that a Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what he just said, he replied:

I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam – which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims – is an important factor.

Asked whether calls by radicals – including by ISIS – to establish a caliphate, is un-Islamic, he replied:

No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence … Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah.

This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

He went on to say that over the past 50 years, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have spent massively to promote their ultra-conservative version of Islam worldwide.

After allowing this to go unchallenged for so many decades, the West must finally exert decisive pressure upon the Saudis to cease this behavior … I admire Western, especially European, politicians. Their thoughts are so wonderfully humanitarian. But we live in a time when you have to think and act realistically.

The last time I was in Brussels I witnessed some Arab, perhaps North African, youth insult and harass a group of policemen. My Belgian friends remarked that such behavior has become an almost everyday occurrence in their country. Why do you allow such behavior? What kind if impression does that make? Europe, and Germany in particular, are accepting massive numbers of refugees.

Don’t misunderstand me: of course you cannot close your eyes to those in need. But the fact remains that you’re taking in millions of refugees about whom you know virtually nothing, except that they come from extremely problematic regions of the world.

9 responses to “Cleric links radical Islamists with violence and segregation”

  1. 1859 says:

    I hope this guy has not just painted a large target on his forehead. What he says – for an islamic scholar – feels like a breath of fresh, rational air. Long may it last. He often says, however, that parts of the violent madness that characterises islamic fundamentalists, are ‘within the orthodox islamic tradition’. So it’s hard for me, an atheist, to see how these fixed ‘traditions’ are ever going to change – especially from within islam. Because if they are seen as the immutable, fixed words of some untouchable deity, then there is realistically no fucking chance they will ever be reformed or made compatible with the 21st Century.

  2. Stephen Mynett says:

    Unfortunately I think you are correct about making himself a target 1859, truth is not something religionists like, especially the mass of Islamic fundamentalists.

    They will never be able to move away from their fixed traditions, apostasy is the only answer but Christianity is not a lot different. They may not be anywhere near as violent but I often think there are quite a few evangelicals secretly quite envious of the jihadis. If you look at Christianity now the watered down CofE type is dying and all the Christian noise is coming from the evangelical, anti-gay, anti-science and anti-practically anything nice brigade. Put simply, Religion is not nice, it never has been and I do not think it ever can be.

  3. RussellW says:

    1859 & Steven Mynett

    Agreed, Staquf had better watch his back. Often heretics are far more despised by the faithful than infidels. The fact is that ISIS and other so-called Islamists are pious followers of their prophet who was a violent desert bandit.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Yes, the religious are always far more fanatical about purging their own ranks than attacking outsiders, whom they often consider a lost cause anyway and deserving of “god’s wrath”. Maybe the cleric could have a word with these idiots in Australia, but I doubt that he’d have any effect on them:

    I know it’s the Mail, but just take a look at the video!

  5. Broga says:

    “Yes, the religious are always far more fanatical about purging their own ranks than attacking outsiders”. I had a religious colleague – Church of God or somesuch – who was a fundamentalist. He said he preferred my atheist opinions to those of RCs because, “They have known about Jesus and failed in their faith; you don’t even know about him.”

  6. Wally says:

    He is TOAST. As gangsters rub out witnesses, as Putin bumps off those who speak against him, so this guy will be assassinated by one of the thousands of “in range” fundie loons willing to do the dirty work of the imams who will declare Staquf a blasphemous apostate. He won’t get to 52. That’s how Islam works … the casual use of extreme violence against anyone who steps out of line.

  7. Broga says:

    How many of the moderate Muslims we hear about will speak out to support him now?

  8. RussellW says:


    Yes. all those millions of “moderate Muslims”, so silent and so hard to find. If the majority of Muslims were indeed moderate, majority~Muslim countries wouldn’t be the intolerant crap holes that they are.

  9. L.Long says:

    As said..don’t give shit what this ahole says…their source of morality is a book o’BS full of bigotry and hate, until they rewrite it, there are two types of religious aholes…violent followers of the text, and hypocrites never to be trusted in a groups larger then 1 and breeding the first type!