Every one of those cases, and thousands of similar ones, are immediately followed by weeks, months and even years of controversy across the globe in which there is one central question: did Islam and its fundamental text, The Quran, sanction those deeds?
Debate and dispute over texts is as old as civilization itself.
In fact, it is possible to argue that polemics is as old as the art of writing itself. Once noted down, whether on a clay tablet, as was the case in ancient Sumer, or on Egyptian papyrus or, these days, the web pages of the cyber-space, a thought becomes a challenge and an invitation. It challenges the unwritten versions of itself while inviting other thoughts to measure themselves against it.
However, a text could be truncated, twisted, turned upside down- in short, quoted out of context or misquoted. In such cases, it becomes a weapon in what we have learned to call "a clash of civilizations."
Some of us might not think so, but the Islamic scholar Sayyed Zahoor Ahmad believes that we are experiencing such a clash. "There is, indeed, a clash of civilizations and cultures going on," he says.
However, Ahmad makes it clear that this "clash" is multi-dimensional: it is not limited to one between Islam and non-Islam, so to speak.
In many cases, it is also taking place within Islam itself.
Source: Asharq Alawsat