Without fail, hardly a week goes by when news from the Islamic World does not embarrass ordinary Muslims worldwide.
Either we are each other's throats, or are hunting to eliminate the 'kuffar,' be they Christian, Hindu, Jew or the agnostic and atheist, unless of course, they adhere to the guilt-ridden 'Cancel Culture.'
And if at all a Braveheart among the 'infidels' murmurs a protest, trust us to invoke 'Islamophobia,' the ever-present Sword of Damocles that hangs over the head of whosoever dare protest. For we are unique — demanding both supremacy as well as victimhood.
The late Iranian scholar Ali Dashti concluded that Muslim follies have little to do with Islam, but everything to do with early Islamic conflicts where "ambition for the leadership replaced zeal for the religion as a pivotal motive."
In the book Twenty-Three Years that got him tortured by the Khomeini regime, Dashti wrote: "The study of the history of Islam shows it to be a sequence of struggles for power in which the contestants treated the religion (Islam) as the means, not as an end. ... The further the Prophet's death receded in the past, the greater became the tendency to use it (Islam) as an instrument of seizure of the leadership and the rulership."
It is just such power-hungry men who have today cloaked themselves under the cover of Islam to bring turmoil in a world already shaken up by a pandemic and an economic catastrophe rivaling the 1930s depression.
In Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, the Islamist leader of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has by decree converted the majestic Hagia Sophia Cathedral built in 573 CE, into a mosque.
The tragedy of Hagia Sophia began in 1453 CE at a time when the Arab World and its caliphate was about to fall in Baghdad and the vacuum was being filled by Turkic warlords. Among them was Sultan Mehmet II (Muhammad) who invaded Constantinople and erased all signs of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, converting the jewel of the city, the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, into a mosque.
Elsewhere during the medieval period, another Turkic plunderer, Babur the Mogul, invaded India in 1528 and destroyed Hinduism's most sacred place, the birthplace of Lord Rama. To add insult to injury, he built the infamous Babri Mosque, an act that became a source of conflict and recrimination for 500 years until in 2019 when the Indian Supreme Court, thanks to a Muslim archeologist, determined the Babri Mosque was built over the 'Ram Janambhumi' (where Lord Rama manifested himself in human form).
Just as Turkey was erasing the Christian character of the 1,000-year-old cathedral, Pakistani mullahs and radical jihadis tore down the foundation of a Hindu Temple in Islamabad, claiming there was no room for temples or churches in a city named after Islam and a country created to spread Islam.
The fact that some interpretations of Islam prohibit the destruction or occupation of non-Muslim houses of worship must matter. Hatred of the Hindu, Christian and Jew remains paramount in contemporary Islamic discourse. It should not.
Prophet Muhammad himself is quoted as saying, "Whoever usurps the land of somebody unjustly, his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths (on the Day of Resurrection)."
The Australian Islamic cleric Mohammed Tawhidi quotes the 11th century Persian Islamic philosopher Al Ghazali from his book, Revival of Religion's Sciences (Ihya Ulum ad-din): "In regard to the Mosque, if it is constructed in an illegally usurped land, or with wood that is illegally usurped from another mosque or property, it is impermissible to enter it, even to offer Friday prayer."
We Muslims face a choice between 'Allah's Islam' and 'Mullah's Islam.' We owe it to Canada and our children to make the choice Martin Luther made in the 15th century.
Tarek Fatah, a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress and columnist at the Toronto Sun, is a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum.