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Table of Contents

Introduction to Extremism................................................................................................................... 2 Extremism in Religion (Shiite on Day of Ashura, 10th of Muharram) ........................................ 3 Extremism in Ideology (Totalitarianism) ....................................................................................... 4 Extremism in Politics ........................................................................................................................ 4

Causes of Extremism ............................................................................................................................ 5 Excessive in Prohibition ................................................................................................................... 5 Islam is not the societal common practice ...................................................................................... 7

Remedies for Extremism ...................................................................................................................... 8 Role of the Society ............................................................................................................................. 8 Expose the Truth ............................................................................................................................... 8 Well-established Knowledge ............................................................................................................ 9 Get to know the Preachers and Scholars. ..................................................................................... 10 Avoid self-explanatory of the Quran............................................................................................ 10

Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................... 11

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Introduction to Extremism
What is extremism? In one sense, it is a belief that is extreme, but then, what is extreme? How should we define extreme? Dialectician argues that we, without any clear conception of a topic; shouldnt be pleased to condemn it, because it is unknown, and undefined. How could we be arguing with thing that is unclear? Thus, we need to define and determine what extreme really mean in this discussion. The definition of extreme would perhaps imply extremism since definition is one of the fundamental block in acquiring an insight into the topic we are going to discuss right now, on its causes and remedies. There have been many attempts on defining Extreme, but none would fit in universal context, because one might define it the way that is refuted by others. One thing that is extreme to a party doesnt mean that it is extreme to the other parties, but we will try our best to find a definition that fits our discussion. In defining extreme, we really like to define it and address it with respect to the way how a Muslim would regard it. Yusuf al-Qaradhawi in his book, Islamic Awakening between Rejection and Extremism wrote that Literally, extremism means being situated at the farthest possible point from the center. Figuratively, it indicates a similar remoteness in religion and thought, as well as behavior1. Religion, in Islam is called ad-deen, and it doesnt bounded to divine ritual-related acts, but it actually means the way of life. Hence, extremism in Islam doesnt limited under the context of only Islam as a religion, but politics, economics, ideologies and other beliefs as well. One reason why we choose to present this topic is due to how we regard it as one of the most important things to address. Knowledge is widespread, and because the clash between good and evil is quite often in occurrence, we believe that misunderstanding of the knowledge is equally widespread as well. B. Aisha Lemu was once strucked by the high level

Yusuf Qaradhawi. Islamic Awakening Between Rejection and Extremism (P.O. Box 669, Herndon, VA 20172, st USA: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1 Edition, 2010) p.8

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of tolerance on the part of Muslim which was due to lack of awareness and simplicity. Islam was meant on how to perform prayers and the rule of fasting. After a decade, the situation changed, Muslim gets to learn Islam from variety of sources -- books, magazines, articles, radio and television. Lectures are given by young Muslims, everyone could stand up, even those with limited knowledge in Islam. It is good that they realised Islam as not being a religion of only pray and fast, but most of us are now confused and divided due to the misunderstanding we made between ourselves, all these are due to the varieties of sources from which we took the information about our religion which results in some of the poor and not so well-grounded learner to be led by those who take up the positions of extremism and intolerance.2 Extremism in Religion (Shiite on Day of Ashura, 10th of Muharram) Most of the teachings in Shiites are totally different from the Sunni even though both of them considered themselves Islam and they believe in Allah. Sometimes their actions are weird and very extreme that cannot be follow by the normal people. For example, they did not fast during Ramadhan but Shiite fast during first then days of the month of Muharram. This period is known as Ashura. Some of them wear black as an expression of grief over the death of al-Husayn. However, the majority of Shiite fast for three days and then abstain from meat for another thirty days. In the tenth day, the rich usually prepare food for the poor and community. The lamentation over the death of al-Husayn culminates on the tenth day of Muharram, or the day of Ashura, when Shabak men, woman and children assemble in the village square or in one of their holy shrines, weeping and beating their breast3. This action will hurt themselves. Therefore, we can see that the Shiites are extreme in their action.

http://www.islamunveiled.org/eng/uploads/files/Laxity,_Moderation_and_Exteremism_in_Islam.doc, 25/11/2013. pp.3-4 3 Matti Moosa. Extremist Shiites: The Ghulat Sects (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse university Press, 1st ed, 1987) p.125

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Extremism in Ideology (Totalitarianism) Totalitarianism is a political ideology that a country is governed and the people will be controlled even to an extent that their eating and clothing styles will be determined by the government. Everything will have its own political significance. It means total control of the society. Since 9/11, people had been asking whether Islamism and Islam is the same, the answer is not, Islamism is a political movement while Islam isnt. When Islamism comes together with Totalitarianism, it turns into something extreme anything other than the teaching of Islam is totally rejected. In case of misconduct, if the leader misunderstood the teaching of Islam, it is possible that difference in furu or in fiqh will also bring the people to clash between them or between them and the government. To quote from Moses Maimonides, In the year 4902, the armies of Ibn Tamurt made their appearance. A proclamation was issued that anyone who refuse to adopt Islam would be put to death, and his property would be confiscated.4 Extremism in Politics Political extremism is refer to a person or a group that holds a set of belief that diverge from societys norm to a great degree. Extremist will use drastic measures to gain attention and support their various pursuits, including violence. Group that are commonly labelled as extremist including Neo Nazis and white supremacy5. They hold the system of autocracy. Autocracy is a system of government in which a supreme power is concentrated in the head of one person.

Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon. Moreh Nevukhim, The Guide for the Perplexed, translated from original Arabic nd nd text by M. Friedlander, Ph.D. (1904) (31 east 2 Street, Mineola, N.Y. 11501: Dover Publications Inc., 2 Edition Revised Throughout, 1956) p.xvii 5 Anti-Defamation League. Extremism in Florida: The Dark Side of Sunshine State (605 Third Avenue New York, rd NY 10158-3560: Anti-Defamation League, 3 Edition, 2011) p.3

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Causes of Extremism
Extremism can be viewed in many aspects. Even tiniest thought sometimes can be labeled as extremism. This is all depends on how the person interpret the problem and how to resolve it. But the main question is what causes such extreme thought to bloom in the soul itself. This question can be answered by two factors, which are factor from the exterior or surrounding and interior or likely the soul itself. As the factor from the exterior, it can either cause the blooming of extremism thought in single person or a population. One of the causes is the injustice and unfairness treatments of certain political groups. For example, this is what happened to Palestinian people when against the Israelis. Whereby, the Israelis are supported by the United Nations (UN).This give rise to the extremism thought to the people who have been oppressed to the extent of destruction of economy and bombing everywhere just so they can gain justice back. Other cause is due to some egoistic policies. One of such egoistic policies is the supremacy of the white races against the black. This has been adopted by certain countries. Even the ex-president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela also affected whereby he got prisoned due to against the APARTHEID policies which is unfair and clearly can been seen as an egoistic policies. It is a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. The apartheid policy was highly effective of achieving its goal of preferential treatment for white. One of the quote of Nelson Mandela is In my country we go to prison first and then become President.6 Excessive in Prohibition On the other hand, this extreme thought also born from the interior factor. In our life, there are things that we can do and what we cant. Its determined by our worldview. As for

http://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/galleries/g/14428171/mandelas-greatest-quotes/14428193/

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all the believer, their guidelines are determined by their religion. In Islam, this concept is about the halal and haram. What Islam has prohibited, its haram for us Muslims to do it. But sometimes, there are followers that took this matter to extreme whereby without a clear picture of the warning about some actions, they simply declare that action as haram. That is all comes from the lack of knowledge of the person himself. Even the prophets companion dont simply regards things which they dont have clear knowledge as haram. They just avoid or recommend to against it. Not only that, it goes to an extent of when there are two opinions about an acts, one is makruh and other is haram, without argumentative thinking, they straightly choose the latter. This has been illustrated by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in his book7, where he witnessed an extremist gave his thought to a man that drank while standing. The extremist said that there is a hadith which forbid it, and require whoever does so to induce vomiting. Without concerned other thought thats clearly more authentic which it its alright to drink while standing, the extremist takes the harsher thought. This is what happened when people dont have enough knowledge and not asking the one who wiser. 'Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people turn to the ignorant as their leaders; then they are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray.8

http://www.scribd.com/doc/135788151/Islamic-Awakening-Between-Rejection-and-Extremism-Yusuf-AlQaradawi, 27th of November 2013, p.15 8 Sahih Muslim, Book 34, Hadith 6462

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Islam is not the societal common practice At the early age of Islam, Islam was seen as a weird practice in Mecca. Islam was hardly accepted at first because the people of Mecca was accustomed to the teaching of their ancestors which was also based on Abrahamic teaching, but then deviated. It is narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Umar ('Abdullah b. 'Umar) that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) observed, Verily Islam started as something strange and it would again revert (to its old position) of being strange just as it started, and it would recede between the two mosques just as the serpent crawls back into its hole. 9 Islamic teaching has lost its orthodoxy. What we could consider as the orthodox Islam now is something that is weird to the eyes, especially in a place where Islam isnt a common practice. In a place where the people, especially the young; isnt exposed enough to the true teaching of Islam, they are, without any doubt; exposed to a greater threat misconception. They might think that Islam should be like any other religion such that it should be something thats mere submissive, ritualistic or unworldly as in Hinduism and Buddhism. The outcome is, sooner or later, they will be exposed to a more ideological or radical Islam. We afraid that once the misunderstood is consensually established, it will be considered as the true teaching of Islam. Why? Because that was how their father, and their grandfather was doing. It is right to kill the non-believer even though they bring no harm to us? Spend our life in the Masjid, and avoid worldly activities? Is it really the true teaching of Islam? Perhaps the most alarming and unbearable factor for any ardent, committed Muslim, especially the young is the lack of adherence to the teachings of Islam in Muslim countries where perversion, corruption, and falsehood are rampant.10

Sahih Muslim, Book 1, Hadith 271 Yusuf Qaradhawi. Islamic Awakening Between Rejection and Extremism (P.O. Box 669, Herndon, VA 20172, USA: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1st Edition, 2010) p.72
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Remedies for Extremism


There always be solutions for any occuring problem. In this case of extremism, Islam provide a solution that will not only cure the problem from its symptom but it attack the situation and cure starting from its root. Muslims society must play a positive role in the remedies for extremism. Role of the Society The prophet (SAW) said : All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care11. Thus, it is obviously stated that the responsible is in fact are mutual, and each partly played an important roles in the society. Therefore as a muslim, the initial step is to acknowledge and confirms its genuine commitment to Islam. This step cannot be achieved through a verbal declaration or expression, or through a set of slogans, but the true step is only through adherence to the teaching of islam. Muslims society must be willing to apply Allahs injuctions and the sunnah of his Prophet (SAW) on all the affairs and aspect of life that includes social, economic, political or intelectual. By the true servants of Allah, it enable muslims life on the right path and protecting himself from pitfalls or from straying. Thus, any claim or attempt to go astray or become extremism are absolutely close. Expose the Truth Nowdays, many extremism hide under the name of islam. They always come with the ideas that are absolutely misguided from the islamic worldview. Therefore,the important steps to face with this group is expose their camouflage and their true identity. In addition, giving them a prove that their ideologies are wrong and misguided. War against this group are war that shaped ilmiyah, and should includes precautions, which prevents them from leading positions that allows them to move freely and speak out in the name of islam. They should be prevented from boarding the pulpils that are available to spread the truth of islam
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Sahih al-bukhari vol 7, book 62, hadith 128

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and its teachings are far from extremism elements. Therefore, it is clearly seen that the role to be played by the preachers and scholars; who are the front line defense. If they fall, the road is wide open for extremism to achieve their goals. Preachers must be equipped with the thoughful arguments and documents for stating the fact of the extremism to the public. Thus, mastery in the wide of knowledge in preparation preacher is emphasized here. Well-established Knowledge Knowledge also plays an important role in the remedies of extremism. It is common knowledge that can be classified into two categories that are fardh kifayah (collective obligation); that is has to be performed by some of the man in particular area and its entails no punishment on those who have not participate in it if some or another group have done it, and fardh ayn (indvidual obligation); that is must be done by the individual or each muslim in their life12. The true belief and strong foundation of knowledge about the religion, someone can protect himself from involve or deviate from islam proper. This environment had a negative impact on the world of islam adherent of a string of ideology. If not addressed from the beginning, it may be more severe and will make the world of islam is in the chaos state and continuously will be collapse of the region of islam itself. This matter should be taken seriously by the muslims society because it is an ideology that is still in use at this time and has brought a lot of damage and destruction of the environment as a series of bombings in hostile countries such as United States ang Gulf countries. Without the foundation of knowledge, any confusion regarding status, variations or similarities concerning the juristic value of action cannot be further prevents. In addition, knowledge regarding the shariah also cannot be complete. This is due to the lack of considering all aspects that are in relation to the general contents of the entire truth of islam itself.

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http://www.scribd.com/doc/135788151/Islamic-Awakening-Between-Rejection-and-Extremism-Yusuf-AlQaradawi, 27th of November 2013, p.27

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Get to know the Preachers and Scholars. The next solution is the extremist should be close with preachers and scholars. This will encourage them to understand more about islam. Allah said in surah An Nahl verse 43 which means, And before thee also the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message13. This verse tell us to find the preachers and the scholars if we are lack of knowledge. The knowledge include all aspect in daily life Avoid self-explanatory of the Quran Many had themselves astrayed due to misinterpretation of certain verses in the Quran. They are those people who self-explain the Quran without referring to the opinion of sound ulema like the classical ulema Ibn Kathir, and the contemporary ulema Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradhawi. The danger comes when people of very few knowledge tries to understand the Quran according to his view with respect to the modern world. Unlike the ulema, they intrepret the Quran without referring the Hadith, and their objective of intrepretation is often individualistic.

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Al-Quran An-Nahl 16:43 Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

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Conclusion How should we conclude this discussion? Is there any better way than giving at least an advice. In a nutshell, the cause for extremism is due to ethical egoism, ethical egoism is a condition when a people acts, and its bad and good is determined by how he thought that the action benefits him in a short or long term, which means that good and bad of an action is humanly determined. Ethical egoism comes from within those who are striving for perfection, but unfortunately; they misinterpret the meaning of perfection. We need to realise that we could never, by any mean; attain perfection, but near perfection. Allah, he is alone perfect, and none resembles his attribute. We could only attain near perfection by fulfilling rights. Rights of our parents, rights of our friends, rights of our own body, rights of our spouse, and any other rights that we are responsible for. One thing that people often misunderstood is on the concept of ibadah. Whats good in suicide bombing? Killing innocent people, is this Jihad? How frustrating, ibadah is now becoming a tool of fulfilment of ones desire. Allah swt, he likes those who perform their ibadah regularly eventhough it is not as much as 1000 rakaah of prayers a day. It isnt about doing the rakaah, but its about doing the ibadah. The quality of ibadah is the thing thats counted, the rakaah doesnt guarantee its quality, but knowledge does.

He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving;-14

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Al-Quran, Surah al-Mulk 67:2. Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali

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