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Islam in Europe Destroyed by Radicalism?
by Stephen Schwartz
The "virus" of Saudi-financed Wahhabi radicalism has "destroyed every chance" for the development of European Islam, according to a leading Muslim theologian from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Professor Resid Hafizovic of the Sarajevo Faculty of Islamic Studies, in an interview with the Bosnian secularist daily Oslobodjenje (Liberation), condemns Wahhabism as "a new plague," promoted by "Muslim puritans and perpetual world fixers." He chastises the radicals as "unschooled, uneducated, confused people, who forbid their own children, for example, to study biology in school." He describes the followers of the Saudi state sect as "a movement unsatisfied with and intolerant of everything which does not fit its ideological views, and which therefore is often predisposed to the methods of murderous ideologies that use any means to achieve their goals."
In a broad critical assessment of European Islam, Hafizovic, an expert in traditional Islamic texts, assails the adoption by Muslim women of the burqa and face veil (niqab) as a recent affectation in which "faith and religious belief" are the least element. "Some Muslims," he says, "are unable to comprehend that a billion more important issues than this exist." He describes the world's Muslims as capable only of presenting themselves as a large part of the world's population, but lacking "vital influence in the global market of ideas and related achievements." He continues, "I would be happier to see in tomorrow's Bosnia as many of the best trained Muslim women university professors as possible, with a strong consciousness of their own religious identity and values, whether they wear a headscarf or not, than to see a crowd of women trapped in the burqa and face veil, cut off from the world and life."
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