Do not pray for Paris, get involved in the battle of ideas!

What has Islam got to do with it? Are western countries responsible for the rise of Islamic terror? And how do we fight Islamic terrorism?

If islamists kill Jews, western infidels and also kill each other, all with references to islamic theology and in the name of God, has it still not to do with the religion of islam?

Throughout my childhood and youth I have heard of, believed in and also fought for peace and democracy in the Middle East, but for each year the world and I have to come to terms with the fact that we were moving further away from peace and democracy.  The past five years has made it clear that we’ve never been further from peace and democracy in that region.

Why am I talking about the Middle East when terrorism hits Paris?

What we are witnessing in Paris, is a direct result of 40-50 years of radicalization of Muslims everywhere. Radicalization of muslims but not islam.

Mainstream islam as we ought to know it has not changed and the many different schools in islam have not changed it. Mainstream islam is the literal understandings of islamic texts, be it the quran or ahadeeth.

All over the world Muslims have been exposed to and have met an theological and  totalitarian ideology that is mainstream islam, it uses violence, terror and war to suppress people, spread fear and gain power.

What we thought was the Israel problem was really the islam problem.

For the peoples of the Middle East they are in the midst of the Third World War, a sunni-shia war a holy war. Either they are experiencing it, or they fear that it will spread and spill into their countries as well. The situation is bad, war destroys people and building an alternative to the political and religious madness going on, on all sides, seems absolutely impossible from within.

The sunni-shia war started in Syria, spread to Iraq and also Yemen. Iran and Saudi Arabia have big roles to play in these wars, and many other countries in the region are also effected and influenced by this secterian conflict.

And it’s not even just in the sunni-shia war, where muslims have turned against Muslims, with reference to Islamic theology. Muslims are killing muslisms in so many countries; Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kurdish areas, Egypt, Tunisia, Somalia, Lebanon, Turkey and in many others.

Of course on one hand it is not fair to say that muslims are killing muslims, when it is somewhat imprecise, since not all muslims are islamists or jihadis, yet on the other hand its aptly, because all islamists and jihadists are muslims.

All jihadists regardless of whether they are on one side or the other, or a third, they are muslims for whom their god is great. It applies to Hezbollah, as it applies to ISIS. They use the saying “God is great” in arabic “Allahu Akbar” in their terror attacks and before their killings.

So if islamists kill jews, western infidels and also kill each other, even with references to islam and islamic theology, has it still not to do with the religion of Islam and Islamic theology?

And if not, then does this expanding and rampant sectarian war of terror have to do with the western racism and imperialist war?

Actually, racism and imperialist wars are relevant concepts to discuss when it comes to the islamic expanding wars and terror, because they are integrated in the ideology on both sides of the sectarian sunni-shia war.

The islamist racism and imperialism that prevails on both sides of these wars, and which also effects Europe and the west by the everyday terror and the new normal that islamic terror has caused, is what we need to identify, analyze and fight against.

As the former leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz said about the deadliest attack on Paris, since the second world war; “We must stop blaming the West and realize that there is something wrong with our own values” (loosely quoted from the live coverage on the night of the terror-attack).

Not only ISIS and Al Qaeda threatens world peace

My own father fled from an islamic revolution in Iran in the early eighties, rather, a revolution that was terrorized and then stolen by the shiite islamists, all because the secular liberals and other more modern forces in Iran ignored the political side of islam.

Today I therefore live in Europe and I’m now European, and as a European I have had to fear the regime in Iran, in Europe. Iran is far from only my problem, do I have to remind you about the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, or the many killings of Iranian dissidents in exile? The bombing of Israeli embassies? What about the time Iran bombed a jewish cultural center in Argentina and killed 85 and injured hundreds?

And not only does the Islamic Republic of Iran represent one of the world’s most repressive regimes, they have great diplomatic and military skills too, and they manage to expand their regional power, through their holy warriors in the revolutionary guard, Hezbollah and other militias.

If it was not for Iran, Assad would not be in power in Syria, and if it was not for Iran the sunnies would not have been marginalized in Iraq since 2003. And if it was not for Iran the houthies would not be in power in Yemen.

Today Iran plays a central role as an ally to the west in the wars against ISIS, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and other salafistis on that side.

But Iran is fighting a sectarian holy war.

We in the west have to understand the role of religion in these wars. It is necessary to understand the role of religion in the holy wars and in the terror attacks, if we want to battle the ideas of homegrown terrorists in Paris and other western countries.

We in the West must understand jihad and the religion, the politics, the ideology, the racism and sectarianism behind these jihadists on all sides. Because Muslim Brotherhood is not the solution either as many western leaders tend to think, they also both believe in and practice holy war and sharialaw.

Today it is very unrealistic in the Middle East, to initiate or mobilize a counter-movement against islamism with a theological criticism of mainstream islam, which is absolutely necessary in the long run. The battle of ideas can and will take place in the west, at least when it comes to the criticism of the religion.

Our police and militaries are not going to win this fight alone, it is never going to happen, and we therefore need to fight the very idea of islamism (mainstream islam).

Whether it will happen through a political counter-movement that upholds democracy and its values, or a cultural counter-movement that upholds modernity and freedom, or a religious and theological counter-movement that will reinterpret, and in popular terms reform islam, I can not say for sure. But criticism of mainstream islam is much needed.

We probably will se a mixture of all three movements in the fight against our times greatest fascist threat to democracy, peace and coexistence, the battle of ideas must be won with humanism, secularism and democracy.

Everyone can and should make a difference for democracy, peace and coexistence.

They kill in Paris and they kill everywhere. They kill innocent and peaceful young people, they terrorize us and give us nightmares, but they should know that they can not kill our values ​​and our humanity.

We will not be intimidated by, nor ignore terror, and we will not stop defending our freedom, values and our way of life. So we should stop pretending that the terror is fought with prayers, thoughts, flowers and candles, and instead get involved in the battle of ideas.