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Now may be a good time to get to core of Islam

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks as US President Donald Trump, right, listens during a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House (Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

British Prime Minister Theresa May made a very tactful speech to the GOP last Thursday. In some ways I considered her speech as instructive and aimed at President Donald Trump’s global positions. She spoke about Isis and radical Islamic extremism. She made the distinction between, as she put it, the peaceful beliefs as observed by millions in Islam including, those in her country, and the ideology of the radical Islamic extremist.

Key to her comments was the point raised when she said we can kill or eliminate all of the actors in the radical Islamic camps, but until the ideology is addressed, the threat will remain. Said more directly, the real battle is to remove or combat the ideology of radical Islam, which as she says, is being promulgated online through social media and cybertechnology.

Undeniably, war and armaments at times are absolutely necessary when the peace and tranquility of ordinary citizens is threatened by military force. However, when that tyranny is executed by those who have a belief that what they are doing is right, or holy actions, it becomes more important to debunk that belief. This argument belongs more so to the Muslim community and indeed is perhaps the most significant jihad the world of Muslims will face for the next few generations.

May was counteracting Trump’s modus operandi when he says he will “bomb the s**t out of them” in his current haste to, as he puts it, eradicate them from the face of the Earth. This situation is not necessarily a bad time for Islam; in fact, it may be a very good time to get to the core of it — to recover the true way of the patriarch Abraham, who was essential to Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

The core ideology is the belief in one God, one humanity that can be summarised by the words of Jesus when he was asked about the law. He answered: “To love God with all your heart, with all your souls and all your mind, and the second law is like unto it, to love your fellow as you would want to be loved yourself. Upon these two laws hang all the laws of the prophets.”

The essence of Islam when deduced is a method to stay attuned to the Creator and the method to treat or behave towards each other, including the environment, to attain peace.

This seemingly religious conflict has evolved in reality as a cultural war between what is a Middle Eastern traditional life and what is Western. Much of what is promulgated as Islam is Arab culture promoted in a religious context.

However, the spiritual truths that are innate in all religions also transcend all cultures.

Islam is no different in that regard. This sectarian rift that exists in the Muslim world needs to be resolved ideologically through reasoning, but has the potential of conflict.

If the true and patient spirit of mutual consultation to establish truth is adopted, as advised by the Koran, this ideological challenge will instead become a well spring of intellectual and spiritual growth that will make a better world, rather than spew continuous war and conflict.