Why do some Muslim countries support terrorism

The islam

Salwa Bakr

To person

Born in Egypt in 1949; Writer in Cairo.

Basem Ezbidi

To person

Born in Palestine in 1960; Professor of Political Science at An-Najah National University in Nablus / Palestinian Territories.

Dato 'Mohammed Jawhar Hassan

Dato 'Mohammed Jawhar Hassan

To person

Born in Malaysia in 1944; Director of the Institute of Strategy and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

Fikret Karcic

To person

Born in 1955 in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo and at the Faculty of Law at the University of Sarajevo.

Hanan Kassab-Hassan

To person

Born in Syria in 1952; Consultant and coordinator for cultural events at the French Cultural Center in Syria.

Mazhar Zaidi

To person

Born 1973 in Pakistan; Journalist and filmmaker, currently with BBC London.

Islam's expectations of the West are presented from the perspective of authors from six Muslim countries. What is remarkable about the statements is that, regardless of different historical backgrounds, they came to largely consistent results.


This report [1] comes at a time when another series of tragic events is taking place in the history of relations between the Muslim world and the West. The attacks of September 11, 2001 not only traumatized the United States, but also marked the beginning of a new era. This was followed by the campaign against international terrorism, the attack on Afghanistan, the war against Iraq and its occupation, and finally the US threats against Syria and Iran.

Although not a single one of these events was officially the responsibility of "Islam" or the "West" per se, but rather from very specific actors from the Muslim and Western world, they nevertheless contributed to widening the existing rift between the two sides. The current unstable situation dramatically demonstrates the need for both Muslim and Western societies to understand the issues that divide them and the factors that create misunderstandings, tensions and conflicts.

What makes this publication stand out to others is that it presents a Muslim perspective on the relationship between the Muslim world and the West. It embodies the work of six intellectuals - three from the Middle East, one from Europe, two from South and Southeast Asia. These women and men come from very different historical, cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. They also represent completely different disciplines. While working together on this report, it was surprising to all of them to find that they share a remarkable similarity in their views on fundamental issues that characterize relations between the Muslim world and the West.

Fair, balanced interaction between two sides can give impetus to mutual understanding and strengthen it, it can facilitate peace and cooperation. In order for such a dialogue to achieve the intended goals, however, it must start from the premise that neither side is forced to give up their thinking or behavior from the outset. Both must be mutually accepted as generally useful and legitimate, also from the point of view of the other side. The question then no longer arises as to who is better or more superior, but rather: Who recognizes and accepts the other in his endeavor to present and express himself? Such dialogue behavior would enrich and strengthen the other way of thinking and behavior. Under such conditions, the dialogue would hopefully be able to break down negative perceptions and stereotypes, to replace hostility and negative attitudes with understanding and cooperation. This report is our contribution to stimulating such a dialogue.