“The “virus” of Saudi-financed Wahhabi radicalism has “destroyed every chance” for the development of European Islam, according to a leading Muslim theologian from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Professor Resid Hafizovic of the Sarajevo Faculty of Islamic Studies, in an interview with the Bosnian secularist daily Oslobodjenje (Liberation), condemns Wahhabism as “a new plague,” promoted by “Muslim puritans and perpetual world fixers.”
He chastises the radicals as “unschooled, uneducated, confused people, who forbid their own children, for example, to study biology in school.” He describes the followers of the Saudi state sect as “a movement unsatisfied with and intolerant of everything which does not fit its ideological views, and which therefore is often predisposed to the methods of murderous ideologies that use any means to achieve their goals.”
In a broad critical assessment of European Islam, Hafizovic, an expert in traditional Islamic texts, assails the adoption by Muslim women of the burqa and face veil (niqab) as a recent affectation in which “faith and religious belief” are the least element. “Some Muslims,” he says, “are unable to comprehend that a billion more important issues than this exist.” He describes the world’s Muslims as capable only of presenting themselves as a large part of the world’s population, but lacking “vital influence in the global market of ideas and related achievements.” He continues, “I would be happier to see in tomorrow’s Bosnia as many of the best trained Muslim women university professors as possible, with a strong consciousness of their own religious identity and values, whether they wear a headscarf or not, than to see a crowd of women trapped in the burqa and face veil, cut off from the world and life“.
Regarding the 2009 Swiss vote to ban minarets from mosques, Hafizovic says, “Muslims in Europe and in the West often bear responsibility for such a climate. Inept in their own intellectual tradition and infected by the virus of Muslim puritanism, they are unable to establish communication even between Muslims, and even less communication with their environment.”
Ranging yet more widely, the Bosnian professor cites an obscure American Jewish writer, Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf, author of an 1887 volume published in Kansas City, Jews and Moors in Spain, in describing the state of Arab Islam after the Muslims lost their connection with Western Europe: “a deep, much too deep darkness reigns now on the Arabian peninsula.” Hafizovic summarizes: “In line with that, when the Muslims, especially those in the West, change their attitude toward their own tradition of thinking and believing, they will also change their present situation, as well as their relationship with their neighbors.”