Every time the ISIS, Boko Haram, Iran, or any terrorist group in the
Muslim world is discussed, many people tend to hold the West responsible
for the devastation and murders they commit. Nothing could be farther
from the truth. Blaming the failures in the Muslim world on Western
nations is simply bigotry and an attempt to shift the blame and to
prevent us from understanding the real root cause of the problem.
When these Islamic terrorist groups abduct women to sell them as
sex-slaves or "wives;" conduct mass crucifixions and forced conversions;
behead innocent people en masse; try to extinguish religious minorities
and demolish irreplaceable archeological sites, the idea that this is
the fault of the West is ludicrous, offensive and wrong.
Western states, like many other states, try to protect the security
of their citizens. What they essentially need, therefore, are peaceful
states as partners with which they can have economic, commercial and
diplomatic relations. They do not need genocidal terrorist groups that
destroy life, peace and stability in huge swaths across the Muslim
Western states also have democratic and humanitarian values, which
Islamic states do not. The religious and historical experiences of the
Western world and the Islamic world are so enormously different that
they ended up having completely
different cultures and values.
The West, established on Jewish, Christian and secular values, has
created a far more humanitarian, free and democratic culture. Sadly,
much of the Muslim world, under Islamic sharia law, has created a
misogynistic, violent and totalitarian culture.
This does not mean that the West has been perfect and sinless. The
West still commits some appalling crimes: Europe is guilty of paving the
way for the slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust, and for still
not protecting its Jewish communities. Even today, many European states
contort logic to recognize Hamas, which openly states that it aims to
commit genocide against Jewish people.
The West, however, accepts responsibility for the failures in its own
territories: for instance, not being able to protect European women
from Muslim rapists. These men have moved to Europe to benefit from the
opportunities and privileges there, but instead of showing gratitude to
European people and government, they have raped the women there, and
tried to impose Islamic sharia law.
If we want to criticize the West for what is going on in the Muslim
world, we should criticize it for not doing more to stop these
The West, and particularly the U.S., should use all of its power to
stop them -- especially the genocides committed against Jews, Christians
and other non-Muslims in the Muslim world.
We should also criticize the West -- and others, such as the United
Nations and its distorted Gaza War report -- for supporting those who
proudly commit terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, and we
should criticize the West for not siding with the state of Israel in the
face of genocidal Jew-hatred.
We should criticize the West for letting Islamic anti-Semitism grow in Europe, making lives unbearable for Jews day by day.
We should criticize the West for having accepted without a murmur the
Turkish occupation of Northern Cyprus for more than 40 years.
We should also criticize the West for leaving the fate of Kurds, a
persecuted and stateless people, to the tender mercies of Turkey, Iran,
Iraq and Syria -- and now the Islamic State (ISIS). On June 25, ISIS
carried out yet another deadly attack
, killing and wounding dozens of people in the Kurdish border town of Kobani, in Syrian Kurdistan.
And we should criticize especially the current U.S. government for
not being willing to take serious action to stop ISIS, Boko Haram and
other extremist Islamic groups.
The list could go on and on. Moreover, it would not be realistic to
claim that these groups or regimes all misunderstand the teachings of
their religion in exactly the same way.
It would also not be realistic to claim that the West has created all
these hundreds of Islamic terror groups across the Muslim world.
The question, then, is: Who or what does create all these terrorist groups and regimes?
In almost all parts of the Muslim world, systematic discrimination,
and even murder, are rampant -- especially of women and non-Muslims.
Extremist Islamic organizations, however, are not the only offenders.
Many Muslim civilians who have no ties with any Islamist group also
commit these offenses daily. Jihad (war in the service of Islam) and the
subjugation of non-Muslims are deeply rooted in the scriptures and
history of Islam.
Ever since the seventh century, Muslim armies have invaded and
captured Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Zoroastrian lands; for
more than 1400 years since, they have continued their jihad, or Islamic
raids, against other religions.
Many people seem to be justifiably shocked by the barbarism of ISIS,
but Islamic jihad does not belong just to ISIS. Violent jihad is a
centuries-long tradition of Islamic ideology. ISIS is just one jihadist
army of Islam. There are many.
All of this is an Islamic issue. The free West has absolutely nothing
to do with the creation and preservation of this un-free culture.
The West has, on the contrary, been the victim of Islamic military
campaigns and imperialistic pursuits: Christian peoples of Europe have
been exposed to Ottoman invasions and subjugation for centuries. The
fall of Byzantine Empire marked the peak of Islamic Jihad in Christian
lands. Many places in Europe -- including Greece, Bulgaria, Albania,
Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Cyprus, among others -- were all
invaded and occupied by the Ottoman armies. Other targets, including
Venice, Austria, and Poland, had to fight fierce defensive wars to
protect their territories.
The historical and current troubles in the Muslim world are not,
therefore, problems "imported" from an outside source; they are internal
cultural and political problems, which Muslim regimes and peoples have
reproduced for centuries.
Some of the things that women in Saudi Arabia may not do
were listed in The Week
magazine: Saudi women are not allowed to "go anywhere without a male
chaperone, open a bank account without their husband's permission, drive
a car, vote in elections, go for a swim, compete freely in sports, try
on clothes when shopping, enter a cemetery, read an uncensored fashion
magazine and buy a Barbie and so on."
Of course, there is nothing specific in Islamic scriptures about
cars, fashion magazines or Barbie Dolls. But there is enough there that
indicates why all of these abuses, and more, are widespread across the
Islamic world, and why the clerics, imams and muftis approve them.
The central issue is to see how the lines that the Islamic theology
draws seed the soil in which this kind of discrimination systematically
buds, why it is extolled and how it is advocated.
Saudi Arabia is not the only Muslim country where women are
dehumanized. Throughout almost the almost the entire Muslim world --
including Turkey, considered one of the most "liberal" Muslim countries
-- women are continually abused or killed by their husbands,
ex-husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers or other males. 
Is it America that tells these men to treat their wives or sisters as less than fully human?
Is the West really what stops them from respecting human rights or
resolving their political matters through diplomatic and peaceful ways?
Are Muslims too stupid to make wise decisions, and act responsibly? Why
should Americans or Europeans have evil wishes for the rest of the
Demonizing Western nations -- even after all of their cultural, scientific and rational progress -- is simply pure racism.
"The belief that the West is always guilty is among the dozen bad ideas for the 21st century," wrote
the Australian pastor, Dr. Mark Durie. "This irrational and unhelpful
idea is taught in many schools today and has become embedded in the
world views of many. It is essentially a silencing strategy, sabotaging
Another term that prevents one from understanding the root causes of
the conflicts in the Muslim world is "moral relativism" -- a politically
correct term that really means moral cowardice.
Defending "moral relativism" and saying that "all cultures are equal"
really means saying a culture that encourages child marriages, beating
women and selling girls on slave markets has a value equal to a culture
that respects women and recognizes their rights, and which renounces
Another popular target of blame for the failures in the Muslim world is historical British colonialism.
If colonialism were the main problem, however, Muslims, too, were,
and still are, colonizers -- and not particularly "humanitarian" ones,
at that. The Muslim colonizers do not even seem to have contributed much
to the culture of the places they invaded and colonized. In fact, they
have actually delayed the progress of the areas they colonized. The
printing press, for instance, came to the Ottoman territories almost 200
years later than to Europe.
"Books... undermine the power of those who control oral knowledge,
since they make that knowledge readily available to anyone who can
master literacy," wrote Professor Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.
This threatened to undermine the existing status quo, where knowledge
was controlled by elites. The Ottoman sultans and religious
establishment feared the creative destruction that would result. Their
solution was to forbid printing." 
"European Empires -- the British, French and Italians -- had a
short-lived presence in North Africa and the Middle East compared with
the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over that region for more than 500
the historian Niall Ferguson.
"The culture that exists in the greater Middle East and
North Africa today bears very, very few resemblances to the culture that
Europeans tried to implement there, beginning in the late 19th century
and carrying on through to the mid-20th century.
"You can't say it is the fault of imperialism and leave out the
longest living empire in the Middle East, which was the Ottoman Empire, a
Muslim Empire, which went back much farther than any of the European
Empires mentioned in that piece."
Muslim states continue to occupy and colonize various territories --
including Kurdistan, Baluchistan and the northern part of Cyprus, an EU
"One of the most tragic consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion," according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of Cyprus, "and the subsequent illegal occupation of
36.2% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, is the violent and
systematic destruction of the cultural and religious heritage in the
"Hundreds of historic and religious monuments in various regions of
the occupied areas have been destroyed, looted and vandalized. Illegal
'excavations' have been carried out and cultural treasures have been
stolen from museums and private collections and were sold abroad."
Muslim groups and regimes continue to persecute indigenous peoples
such as Assyrians, Chaldeans, Mandaeans, Shabaks, Copts, Yezidis, and
Bedoon, among many others.
"A substantial segment of the Bedoon population lives with the constant threat of deportation hanging over it," according to the analyst Ben Cohen
. "Around 120,000 Bedoon live without nationality and with none of the rights that flow from citizenship."
"Its members cannot obtain birth or marriage
certificates, or identity cards, or driving licenses. They are banned
from access to public health and education services. Their second-class
status means they have no access to the law courts in order to pursue
their well-documented claims of discrimination. And on those rare
occasions that they summon the will to protest publicly—as they did in
2011, when demonstrators held signs bearing slogans like, 'I Have a
Dream'—the security forces respond with extraordinary brutality, using
such weapons as water cannons, concussion grenades, and tear gas with
It is not the West or Israel committing these crimes against the
Bedoon community; it is Kuwait, a wealthy Islamic state, which treats
defenseless people as if they are slaves.
In Qatar, another wealthy Islamic state, Nepalese migrants building
a football stadium, "[h]ave died at a rate of one every two days...
This figure does not include the deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and
Bangladeshi workers.... The Nepalese foreign employment promotion board
said that 157 of its workers in Qatar had died between January and
mid-November" last year. In 2013, the figure for that period was 168."
family of a Nepalese migrant worker, who died in Qatar, prepares to
bury him. Nepalese laborers in Qatar are forced to work in dangerous
conditions, and die at the rate of one every two days. (Image source: Guardian video screenshot)
"In Libya, naturalisation is only open to a man if he is of Arab descent," reported
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "And many
Akhdam in Yemen, a small ethnic minority who may be descendants of
African slaves, are reportedly unable to obtain citizenship."
Is that not apartheid?
In Kuwait, only Muslim applicants may seek naturalization, while
Libya's nationality law allows for the withdrawal of nationality on the
grounds of conversion from Islam to another religion."
Is that not apartheid? Apartheid laws seem to reign over many places in the Muslim world.
Trying to whitewash the damage the Islamic ideology has done to the
Muslim world, while putting the blame of Islamic atrocities on the West,
will never help Muslims face their own failures and come up with
progressive ways to resolve them.
"All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity
College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though," wrote
the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on Twitter, after which other Twitter users piled on to criticize him.
It seems that having oil reserves, per capita, that dwarf anything
available to Western countries does not create leading scientific
What holds Muslims back when they have unmatched advantages of
underground treasures? Why did the scientific revolution not happen in
the Muslim world? Why has much of Islamic history been marked by
Islamic jihad and Islamic violence; the sanctioning of sex slavery;
dehumanization of women; hatred and persecution of non-Muslims and
homosexuals; suppression of free speech; and forced conversions have
been commonplace in the Islamic world ever since the inception of the
Many teachings in the Islamic scriptures, as well as the biographies
of the founder of the religion, set up the parameters where these abuses
not only occur but remain protected on a gigantic scale. These are the
teachings that have become the culture of the Muslim world.
Sadly, most Muslims have wasted much time, energy and resources on
killing and destruction, but -- with the exception of some
civilization's most dazzling artistic splendors -- not on scientific and
Recently, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar, said
that claims that Qatar paid bribes to win the hosting rights of the
2022 World Cup were "not fair" and stemmed from the West's Islamophobia
and racism towards Arabs.
Recent events indicate that he was, at best, "misinformed."
Deny everything and blame "the infidel" for your shortcomings.
Nothing is more important than your honor, and nothing worse than your
If Muslims wish to create a brighter future, nothing is stopping us
but ourselves. We should learn to analyze critically our present and our
Human rights activists and academics in the West are lying to Muslims
about their culture, and bashing and threatening America, Europe or
"Zionism" for the problems of Muslims; this can never lead to any
positive developments in the Muslim world. It is the Islamic culture and
religious ideology that are responsible for these problems
If there is ever going to be an enlightenment, reform or renaissance
in the Muslim world, only a hard look and hard questioning can be its
Uzay Bulut, born and raised a Muslim, is a Turkish journalist based in Ankara.
Also the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Republic of Iran, al-Qaeda,
Al-Badr, al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Islamic Jihad, al-Nusra Front,
Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Al Ghurabaa, Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, Al-Mourabitoun,
Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, Jamaat
Ul-Furquan, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, Jamiat
al-Islah al-Idzhtimai, Great Eastern Islamic Raiders' Front, Al-Shabaab,
Abu Sayyaf, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Supreme Military
Majlis ul-Shura of the United Mujahideen Forces of Caucasus, to name
just a few.
See: "Gender Equality Gap Greatest in Islamic Countries, Survey Shows
", by Patrick Goodenough, October 29, 2014; "The Treatment of Women In Islam
," by Rachel Molschky, October 7, 2013; "Women Suffer at the Hands of Radical Islam
", by Raymond Ibrahim, January 9, 2014; "As Muslim women suffer, feminists avert their gaze
", by Robert Fulford, National Post
; Ayse Onal, a leading Turkish journalist, says in her book, Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed
, that in Turkey alone honour killings average about one a day -- 1,806 were reported in the period between 2000 and 2005.
Daron, Acemoglu & Robinson, James (2012), Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
, Crown Publishing Group.