Article analysis on “Right Islam vs. wrong Islam”by Abdurrahman Wahid

Analysis of argumentation


This work involves an analysis of the article “Right Islam vs. wrong Islam” which was written by Abdurrahman Wahid, who is a former president of Indonesia as well as the chairman of the National Awakening Party. This particular article was selected for two key reasons. First, the article was globally renowned: made available in the Wall Street Journal and also posted in The second reason is that, Wahid, the writer of the article, is a well-known for his contentious arguments as well as movements. What he speaks about is normally treated as hot discussion topics which draw the attention of many people to comment and interpret.

Summery of the argument

According to the article “Right Islam vs. wrong Islam” Bin laden received from a mistakenly oriented Saudi spiritual guy an edit that authorized him to make use of the nuclear weapon against the U.S and the infliction of mass fatalities (Wahid Para 1). Image the great impact a single nuclear bomb would have on cities such as New York, London, Paris, Sydney or Los Angeles, what about two or more nuclear bombs! Contemporary society rest upon economic as well as technical bases terrorists wish to wipe out (Wahid Para 2). Two nuclear bombs wiped out the tourism dealing of Bali in the year 2002. Thus, what could be the impact of a much more distressing attack be like? It’s time to identify the risks that are threatening; a threat posed whose sources are Wahhabism together with Salafism(Wahid Para 5).

Islam is recognized as a tolerant religious group which some extremists try to turn into a hateful religion. Unluckily, Muslims together with other believers have not been successful in discrediting these extremists (Wahid Para 6). The most effective way of combating them is through explaining what Islam really represents for Muslims and those that are non-Muslims. It may not be easy since it’s about a well financed ideology that is supported by an outstanding organization (Wahid Para 8). The Sunni fundamentalist beliefs comprises, generally, the reinstatement of ideal Islam of olden times, the imposition of an explanation of the Islamic law, the alteration of Islam into a global political scheme and the founding of a caliphate that extends from Morocco to the Philippines as well as Indonesia (Wahid Para 10). For the development of this scheme, they rely on financial support, structures, charitable organizations as well as vicars cultured in Saudi Arabia. To fight all these, a global campaign is required that is able to unit the Muslims and the non-Muslims. Individuals should put forward their principles and fight an ideological fight. A world organization is need, and Muslims should promote the “Right Islam”. (Wahid Para 16).

A critique of the argument using elements of argumentation 

In paragraph one of the article, “Right Islam vs. wrong Islam”, by beginning with “News organizations report that”, the writer tried to give the readers a surety that the wrongfully validation of the utilization of the nuclear weapons had been well recognized in public. As expected, he did not point out plainly the name of his source as if the news had been valid. This sort of argument considered a strategic approach of assuring in which the writer expressed his argument by quoting, “New organizations”. Then the writer refined his argument by declining the later declaration about “the potential ramifications of this fact” with the declaration “Yet can anyone doubt that” (Wahid Para 1). For discounting, the phrase “Yet” is employed to reject the earlier statement as well as back up an opening question which has one assuring remark as well as one evaluative expressive. By saying “can anyone doubt that”, the writer wanted to convince the readers to support his argument. By utilizing a sad idiom of evaluative expressive, “joyfully incinerate”, the writer significantly revealed that any kind of terrorist’s assault in reality is always brutal and risky.

His article, Wahid has also used metaphoric device in form of personification as well as irony. This is evident where the writer states “like so many fishing huts in the wake of a tsunami” (Wahid Para 2) for the purpose of personifying a dreadful, worrying impacts of terrorist nuclear attacks to the current developments. The writer also uses the phrase “to fill their empty bellies” (Wahid Para 3), to show his ironical perspective of the Balinese citizen’s status after the Bali explosion. The people of Bali were initially very prosperous in the tourism industry before the terrorism attack in the year 2002, but presently a majority of them have gone back to doing farming and fishing in order to survive. In paragraph five of the article, the writer offered his value verdict concerning the few Muslims who were involved in terrorism. He used the evaluative communicative phrase “extreme and perverse” (Wahid Para 5), to put more emphasis on how hazardous the fundamentalists’ beliefs is.  The writer uses the expression “fanatics” to talk about individuals who are somehow support the beliefs. The declaration gets more argumentative when the writer rhetorically claims that the monetary source of the brutal movement originated from the wealthy oil business people of the Middle East (Häyry, 53). This is in accordance with the declaration “fueled by petrodollars”. This metaphoric device is also used in paragraph thirteen where the writer uses the phrase “a well-oiled “machine” established to translate” (Wahid Para 5). After using the discounting word “yet”, the writer again demonstrated his emotional view that the fundamentalists’ belief was similar with “religious extremism”. The evaluative communicative idiom that refers to the fundamentalisms above is used in several paragraphs of the article.

In paragraph 6 of the article, the writer citied a stanza from the Holy Qur’an as an assuring element. The writer used this verse for the purpose of clarifying that forbearance is part of the Islamic teaching. This expression is necessary for the purpose of preventing the western people stereotyping that normally disgraces the Islam. This explains the reason why the writer stresses on it in paragraphs 15 as well as 16 of the article by mentioning “a peaceful and tolerant Islam”. With reference to the sub-clause “pervert Islam into a dogma of intolerance, hatred and bloodshed” together with the use of the word “Brutality” The writer was judging the lessons of the fundamentalist’ beliefs as extremely awful. Definitely, this is contradicting with the belief of the fundamentalist’ supporters who consider their spiritual rites, which includes what is known as jihad, are righteous and worth sacrifice. This kind of a personal viewpoint that may bring about contradiction or debate is a very common application of slanting (Perry & Howard 115).

Dissimilar from the other paragraphs, in paragraphs 11 and 12, the writer expresses his appreciation of the fundamentalists’ approach and divinity by using positive phrases such as “simple as well as brilliant”. This is a strategic device used for the purpose of balancing his argumentation relating to the two diverse sides of view. Additionally, the writer uses the term “thus” as a justifying connective to indicate a close of the initial comment “to drape themselves in the mantle of Islam”. The afterward comment includes a rhetorical element for the reason that it is a metaphor that demonstrates how imperceptible the fundamentalism got into the Islamic life. Likewise, the metaphoric phrase of “the tip of the iceberg” is employed to estimate how huge and broad warfare supporters of the fundamentalism are. In paragraph 17, the writer uses the term “radicalized” which is an evaluative communicative expression, which can be replaced with a more appropriate phrase such as influenced. The writer’s real argument, though, lies on the data “strong numeric advantage: 85% to 90% of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims” (Perry & Howard 116). This is an instance of assuring through the citation of a statistical source that the writer considers to be precise. This kind of argumentation is common and broadly utilized by experts in numerous articles, particularly the ones that are associated with quantitative data. In the meantime, paragraph 17 includes a guarding phrase “most”. It is a unique approach of defending grounds from other individual’s opposing thoughts. In this case, the writer decreased his assert to something that is not very strong. As a result, instead of saying all of these advantages, the writer uses “most of these advantages” (Perry & Howard 116).

In the last paragraph of the article, the writer puts the phrase “right” in quotation marks which is a common device normally used to convey a metaphoric idea. The appropriateness of the Islamic religion at this instant is based on the writer’s own understanding that will never be similar with that of the fundamentalists. All together, the phrase “right” also elucidates that there is a wicked belief in Islam known as the Islamic extremism that is not supposed to be held. Apart from using the term “thereby” as an ending remark, the writer utilized another evaluative communicative element “compelling” to illustrate that there is a better insight of Islamic taking the place of “the fanatical ideology of hatred to darkness” which is actually the wicked Islamic fundamentalism (Perry & Howard 116).

To summarize this, it can be justified that Wahid utilized several of the argumentative elements variously to express his arguments. In his article, the most commonly used argumentative element is the evaluative communicative phrases.  This is for the reason that the writer was intending to show his value verdicts directly, either positively or negatively, to comment or respond to the current issues that are discussed. This kind of an emotional tendency is from the writer’s own perspective that is based on things that are ultimate for him, and not an objective evaluation that is made by other individuals (Barton, 32). Argument is considered as a form of persuasion by which a person evaluates grounds given by others and convinces them to support his/her own ideas. As a normal character of individuals lives, individuals are normally involved in arguments concerning things they believe (Sinnott-Armstrong & Robert, 12).













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Perry, Marvin, and Howard E. Negrin. The Theory and Practice of Islamic Terrorism: An Anthology. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. Internet resource.

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Wahid, Abdurrahman. Right Islam vs Wrong Islam. 2005. Available at