|Updated: 6/04/2009 9:11 am
||Published: 6/03/2009 5:12 pm
Prosecutors say the man accused of shooting two soldiers outside a military recruitment center this week told them his religion made him do it. But practicing Muslims say that's not what their religion is all about. We wanted to know why there is so much confusion about the Islamic faith. So we took those questions to a UALR philosophy professor.
“Democracy does not seem to fit within the scope of Muslim interpretation as to how we ought to live," UALR Philosophy instructor Clarence Guy said.
That's one reason police say 24-year-old Abdulhakim Muhammad shot two soldiers in Little Rock.
"You can use religion to mask the hatred you have against the U.S. Government," Guy says. Guy also says despite Muhammad’s connection with Islam, these types of violent acts are considered extremist.
"That is not something they teach or advocate."
Many Muslims, he says, use writing and academia as methods of spreading their religion. The extremists resort to violence. "They are trying to further the religion and most of all defend it from those that they see as attacking it."
So why do some of these extremists carry out their cause knowing they themselves can die in the process? "You can ask the same question about gang bangers who seem to have made that same determination that they don't care to live, 21 or not. Many don't expect to live that old and to die early is heroic."
And perhaps, like many other religions teach, dying for a greater reward in the end. "It is not just a belief system. It is a way of life,"
That's something the instructor made very clear. Many people who practice a particular faith base their actions on the premise that they are following their god's law. Guy also says he's associated with many Muslims here in central Arkansas and that the extremist manner of Islam is in fact the minority.