Fareed Zakaria: Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now


O ye who believe! why do you say what you do not do? Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do. (Al Quran 61:3-4)

fareed zakaria

When television host Bill Maher declares on his weekly show that “the Muslim world . . . has too much in common with ISIS ” and guest Sam Harris says that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas,” I understand why people are upset. Maher and Harris, an author, made crude simplifications and exaggerations. And yet, they were also talking about something real.

I know the arguments against speaking of Islam as violent and reactionary. It has a following of 1.6 billion people. Places such as Indonesia and India have hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t fit these caricatures. That’s why Maher and Harris are guilty of gross generalizations. But let’s be honest. Islam has a problem today. The places that have trouble accommodating themselves to the modern world are disproportionately Muslim.


Additional Reading

Book Review: EXTREMIST: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere

Bill Maher Isn’t the Only One Who Misunderstands Religion: Reza Aslan

Book Review: Islam Without Extremes by Mustafa Akyol

Solomonic wisdom needed to establish Separation of Mosque-Church-Synagogue and State

5 replies

  1. When going to the root of the problem, we may find that Christians are as bad as Muslims. That is going away from the real teachings of the prophets.
    But Christians (public) have rule of law and they are peaceful. Some fanatic Muslims believe in killing in the name of God. The majority (?) Muslims either support the fanatics or just keep quiet about the activity of the fanatics.
    So there is a problem at hand for wrong interpretation/ practice of Islam.
    TV anchors also aid and abet the fanatic Muslims as if they are the real heroes of Islam. TV anchors should not show one side of the story. They should educate themselves about the real Islam too and mention that Islam does not support hostility/ belligerence/killing.

  2. Mr Zakria I agree with you. Islam does have a problem. And the problem is Islam does not have effective PR. By PR I don’t mean propaganda I mean communicating facts to the public. The facts of the declaration by the Christian clergy that the Blacks people of Africa are sub humans, elimination of Red Indians by the Christians, slave trade by the US, Racism in the Christian/White world, in the US and South Africa No Dogs and Blacks Allowed, Christian wars, called World Wars, Vietnam, Iraq. The list is un ending.

    The facts are that problems are created for Islam by the enemies of Islam. There is no nation on earth, perhaps even no family on earth that does not have differences within itself. The problem is the enemies of Islam can and do buy people to set one group up against the other using their control, direct and indirect, over the wealth and resources of the whole world.

    If a few hundred out of 1.6 billion so called Muslims commit some atrocity 1.6 billion Muslims are held responsible for that whereas when the world is pushed into World Wars by Christians and no body blames the Christians or Christianity.

    With regard to Hindustan I differ with you again. Hindustani Muslims are not a “PROBLEM” because they are massacred frequently and they are unable to react appropriately and so they are not a “PROBLEM”.

    Mr Zakria you also seem to have forgotten to include Burmese Muslims who are not a “PROBLEM MUSLIMS”

  3. And the two comments above are prime examples of the “problem”. That is to say, rather than addressing it, they respond with “yes, but what about the Christians?”. Acceptance of the problem is the first step folks.

  4. I agree with you AL. Defending the current abhorrent crimes being committed by Islamists by saying that other religions have committed crimes in the past is an extremely poor defence. Crimes committed in the name of religion in the past were indefensible, crimes committed today in the name of religion are indefensible. In modern times it has become normal for Christians to criticize Christianity, both its past history and present. It has led to some important changes in the various Christian churches over the years and Christianity has become a more tolerant and self questioning religion. This does not tend to happen in Islam where to question the religion or its tenets could be hazardous to your health. Islam will never change for the better while intelligent people keep apologizing for the crimes carried out in its name. Recent events such as ISIL’s reign of terror in Iraq and Syria and Al-Qaeda’s mass slaughter of innocent school children in Pakistan where mostly fellow Muslims have been murdered may be the wake up call the Muslim world needs. One can only hope.

  5. i think islam does not have a problem,islam is a peaceful religion ,bad apples exist everywhere ,in every religion every community.unfortunately in present days the true followers of religion are lesser in number than the fake one thats why it gives a bad reputation to islam.

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