Radical Islam in the West is a book written by Brian Farmer expressing the Islam ideology and conflicting theories, values and cultures with the western world. The central issue in the book concerns Jihad which is basically the struggles made by Muslim in the way of God. The book touches on conflicting areas of the true Muslim fraternity with the infidels and the Western world. The major emphasis is on the western Islamic change; the authoritarian personality; the influence Islam has on the western democracies; areas of conflicts with the western world; the western approaches of challenging Islam; Islam and the Internet and the unbounded hope in the future and evolution of Islam.
Jihad is usually a duty executed by a religious leader and comprises not of a war between states, but instead a war of struggle that exists between Muslims and the non-believers of Islam as described by Farmer (pp.4-16). The struggle existing between Islam and the western world is taking place in various aspects as aforementioned above. The book highlights how the western world is bombarded by the Muslim world with information and ideologies protesting against America and the western world. More often than not, the scenes presented in the book are representative of denouncement of the West and non-believers by the Muslim world. The west has been denounced in the book for violating the Laws of Islam in various ways. These are the bones of contention between the Islam world and the western cultural values and practices which the author of the book focuses on.
The content in the book revolves around the oppressors of Islam who mainly are identified as Israel together with the West. The United States of America in particular is the popular target of the Islam world in this radical Islam in the west. This is based on the fact that the United States vehemently supports Israel as the most dominant killer of the Muslims and as the most terrible infidel occupier of the lands belonging to the Muslims. Farmer (pp. 10-24) asserts that Jihad is still on and Muslims are not limited by anything and are making every effort to see an end to the violation of the Islam laws and oppression to their culture and values. The author presents Islam’s radical stand that it is to last for ages and no amount of westernization can thwart its development. Farmer tells of the commitment made by the Muslim world in seeing the establishing and thriving of Islam amidst mixed cultures and western values.
The importance and vitality of the Islamic faith when being transplanted in democracies of the western is obvious to the Muslim world and there is every bit of effort put by the radical Islamists to put an end to it. Colonialism and humiliation is another key point that Islam is protesting against. Qutb Islamists have been identified as the biggest opposers of the western values and state their opinion that the western values amongst them should be destroyed. Meanwhile, another group of Islamists as explained by Farmer want the western societies reformed to conform to Islam culture and values. The inability of the Islam to express its values and cultures in the west is indeed a humiliating affair. The author stresses these factors as of great concern to the Muslim world.
Idea of the Muslims living in Diaspora
The call made by Islam as described by the author is to ensure that the Muslims living in Diaspora keep contact and uphold the Islam values amidst the western culture. Farmer also tackles on the subject of dominion theology as it is applicable to the Islam world. There is a perception as presented in the book that rising radical stands by the Islamists is fueled by dominion theology. The thought presented in the book warns the west concerning the possibility of rising Islam protests at a time when Islam is under oppression by both Christianity and the secular far Left. Well, Farmer needs to have stayed a step ahead of the curve because this has got a lot of influence in the perception of the reader of this book. A representation of facts rather than stating opinions as though they were facts would have worked well in presenting the issues surrounding Islam.
Controvery between Islam and the west
One thing which can be learnt from the book concerning politics is that the action of politics on one of the sides of the spectrum of politics yields a counter-reaction from the other side in a very short time. The reason for this as seen with the Islam world is that any system of politics has failed as a result of depravity of the west on Islam as thought. Islam disregards the philosophies of the west since they are considered depravity. The attack scenes of 9/11 on the United States have been used in the book together with many other terrorists’ attacks to define Islam. The global perception held on Islam is of a kind that depicts a bunch of violent zealots of religion bent on destroying the fall of civilization from the West at all costs. Different people see the same subject different and therefore its should not be felt as disrespect or a dishonor if somebody else sees the same subject differently. Literature work and what the media focuses on have a lot of contribution in the perception of the audience of the literary information. Well, the radical Islam in the west may not have really faced the challenges as highlighted by farmer. It is true that sub-cultures have emerged out of Islam and this has been a source of controversy between Islam and the west. Such groups include the Al Qaeda sect that has been alleged to be facilitated by Osama Bin Laden.
Well, all through the book, we may really want to know whether this radical position is the true nature of Islam or is it a misguided thought of the conflict of Islam and the Western world. Many would jump into conclusions that would only serve to incite more violence. Just like the Christian identity movement constitutes many tremendously conventional Christian churches as well as religious organizations, tremendous right wing groups of politics and survival groups, the Wahhabi Islamists stress that there is divine place of Arabs in the way things are ordered by God. All these perceptions are presented by Farmer and can be considered a good introduction for people who would want to learn about Jihad and the struggles of Islam against their oppressors.
Comparing of Islam with other religions
Farmer compares Islam with other religions of the world and mostly the Christians. The religion of Islam is perceived to have similar links to the content of Christianity. Islam in its two major divisions; Twahid and Sharia describing what men should believe and what man should do respectively are presented as the battle fields for Islamists and the non-believers. The west is being accused by the Islam community of going against Twahid and Sharia in their culture and practices. The western is too dynamic in its way of doing things and establishment. We are made to think that Islamists do not like the dynamism in the western culture like internet use. It was as though the internet has cause harm than benefit to Islam community. Again, the true Islam teachings advocate non-violent and peaceful values which Muslims are expected to live by. The teachings of Islam as presented in the book pursue justice, doing good by making a struggle against any form of oppression and the fact that men are a creation from God with scared lives and therefore are equal. These are the kind of things Farmer is highlighting and showing that the Islam community is not going to relent in its radical stand.
With such beliefs, Islamists protests are focused towards influencing western democracies. The advocacy of the Muslims organizations as described in the book is avoiding special privileges of ethnicity, tribal affiliation or race. Hizb ut-Tahrir is presented as being on the fore front seeking to unify all Muslim countries as states of Islam and following the Islamic law which the western world is apparently washing away through its practices. The Muslim world generally is heavily referenced in the book based on Jihad theory and which has drawn a lot of hatred from the Western world. However, we must understand that Jihad is not a guarantor of killing Westerners but the Islam considers it an approach of mitigating oppression from the Westerners. It is presented as a way of struggle in the way of God in this book which actually is what is contained in Islamic teachings.
A general summary of the conflicting issues basically addressed by the book are based on the theory of Jihad where Muslims are expected to maintain calmness and peace except on the following conditions: when they are oppressed and put under subjugation; when they are not permitted to freely practice their beliefs and faith or at an instance when their faith is threatened-this has majorly been a contributing factor to their radical stands against the western world and lastly; when the land belonging to the people is take away from them forcibly. Islam teachings as reinforced through the book advocate forgiveness or taking a forceful response. The influence in western democracies is founded on the fact that Islam would play a significant role is they were able to mobilize fellow Muslims just like their Christian counterparts. The Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights as seen opposing the actions of Saudi is also identified by the author as a method through which the Islam community is beefing up efforts to silence the western world on them. Such other units include the Union Islamic organization of France which is thought to propagate radical stands of the Islamists.
In conclusion, Farmer, the author of the “Radical Islam in the West” has presented mixed feelings and perceptions of the Western world towards the Islam community in a way that the reader can understand. However, some points would require a careful study as stated in this review for a robust argument to be found. Well the book covers a deep analysis of Jihad theory as practiced by the Muslims and the bones of contention with the western world. This is a great book for any person who wants to get an introduction to the real nature of Islam.