IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST MERCIFUL, MOST BENEFICENT
MY Dear Richard,
A true Muslim believes in freedom of Choice and also believes in encouraging self-discipline through education and healthy diet (doctors often prescribe medication for those who lack concentration for self-discipline). (Do you know that some people actually suffer from being too well or healthy, both mentally and physically, and in this case they too may be viewed as fundamentalists because they apply the fundamental aspects of healthy living upon themselves and often this produces positive results upon the immediate people in close proximity to the accused fundamentalist(s). Though the result is positive the reaction is often negative (or repellant) because the ordinary person suddenly feels threatened (in a job or work relation setting or in a family setting or in an international setting) by the strict discipline of the healthier person and not because of any real threat but because of a feeling of inadequacy in the ordinary person and not because the ordinary person dose not wish to be more healthy by being more fundamental in his or here own life (without imposing on others in any way) but because of the scenes of urgency created in a setting where time and economics may not permit the betterment of the person who wishes to become a member of the healthier group who may be mislabeled as “FUNDAMENTALISTS!” as a misinterpretation of the meaning of the real word. (Therefore: If you or I were to perform a task in society (duties at work or behave well at home or work) it is just as likely to be repulsed by others who can not withstand the tense atmosphere (Atmosphere defined here as the invisible need(s), by the less disciplined person, to be on an equal footing with the more disciplined person for reason(s) of not seeming insufficient or inadequate for the task or social setting in question). This is neither a fault of the more disciplined person or the less disciplined person but it is a fault of society at large for permitting such inequalities to exist. You may ask how can we solve this problem because we have tried every method available to us to correct this imbalance; we have tried Communism; we have tried Fascism; we have tried Religions of every kind and etc. and etc.! The answer is that every individual reaches there own peak level of resurrection/awakening at a different time because we are all born in different time lines of our earth’s history. Acceptance of another persons inferiority or superiority is the key to the solution. Learning from a more developed person is always advisable because we all share the same potential of becoming better with the exception of the physically or mentally handicapped individuals who contribute to society in a different but equally valuable way through their experiences and their productivity or lack thereof through a connection which we call charity and compassion which is afforded to all who participate or are permitted to participate in through voluntary measures and not through forced measures. Misfortunes of others often sadden our hearts and minds but this sadness is also a blessing and a measure by which our temperaments are formed and tempered and sealed in a conviction/belief that differs in every individual.
I would like to rephrase the word “fundamentalist” which is often used for those who commit acts of terror in the name of a particular religion. The word fundamental is scientific and without the fundamental aspects of science, scientists will have no foundation upon which to place their facts. If any religion was truly operated on a fundamental level then it should scientifically work perfectly. The problem comes when the fundamental aspects of a belief are unequally balanced: i.e. they have too much Ying or too much Yang. Let us, for the sake of argument, describe Ying as the Carnal side and Yang the spiritual side.
a) The Taliban and the Alkaida network operate mostly on the Ying side because they use physical forces to alter the immediate future.
b) The Tibetan Monks operate on the Yang side because they use spiritual concepts (notice I did not mention spiritual forces because this is a different phenomena to a concept or ideology) to alter their immediate future.
The correct balance can be to choose an equal portion of both Ying & Yang. This often occurs under a clean form of Democracy. (Democracy is also capable of producing too much Ying or too much Yang. One good example is clearly visible in the system of education in a democratic country. The Ying lacks self-discipline in this case and the Yang is virtually nonexistent. This causes strife within family settings and a corrupted sense of values in the society.
The other correct balance is to accept both Ying and Yang for what they are – separate from humanity - and draw from them the necessary proportion(s) to enhance the effectiveness of good policies for the development of the social behavior of the public at large.
So to blame the fundamental aspect of any faith or religion is to entirely dismiss that faith or religion. The correct analysis would be to assess the individual or group who perpetrate acts of violence or misconduct and apply correct proportion of the Ying or the Yang part of the fundamental guidelines of the particular doctrine to the subject or group. For example: If a miscreant is a miscreant because of medical reasons then the fundamental thing to do is to prescribe a medication that will correct the problem and if the medical reason is physical then surgery may be necessary. If another miscreant is suffering neither from a physical or medical deficiency and the problem is found to be Sociological or Psychological then the fundamental step to take will be to prescribe a Spiritual and/or Sociological and Psychological solution for the problem. This often can be achieved through Philosophical and/or Psychological exercises and the reading of positively good self-discipline books and a great deal of attention and care to be directed to the patient or miscreant in question.
This is my own analysis. I hope that it helps us understand one another better.
With Much Love and Understanding