Islamic Studies Scholar Talks about Al-Qaida and Islamophobia


10 years after the attacks of 9/11, süddeutsche online interviewed Lamya Kaddor, a scholar of Islamic studies of Syrian origins and actively involved in introducing Islamic education in German public schools. Kaddor talked about her fear of Al Qaida, Islamophobia, and what Muslims could contribute to improve inter-faith dialogue. In light of the many questions about Islam, Al Qaida, and terrorism that currently dominate many of her conversations, Kaddor stresses that Islam itself does not justify the acts of religious terrorists and that she, as a Muslim, is as afraid of terrorist acts as anyone else. Kaddor also notes that the events of 9/11 have significantly contributed to feelings of Islamophobia, which now reaches all levels of German (and European) society. It is this general sense of prejudice against Muslims that allows people such as Thilo Sarrazin (with his controversial book published in the fall of 2010 (as reported)) to construct Muslims more generally as scapegoats for current social circumstances. She then criticizes that, since 9/11, many Muslims are simply reduced to their religion and not recognised for who they actually are. According to Kaddor, it is now important to address these issues and fears and improve inter-faith interaction and dialogue. To achieve this, it is vital for Muslims to openly condemn acts of terror in their communities, as remaining silent can be misunderstood.