Why Can’t Islamists Be Happy? (1 of 5)
To Muslims in the EU, America & other Free societies. You can now find the answer.
(This lengthy article will be posted in 5 segments. After the entirety will be re-bogged)
Definitions are always helpful.
Merriam-Webster defines ISLAMISM: 1. the faith, doctrine, or cause of Islam, 2. a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam.
The Free Dictionary defines ISLAMIST: 1. (Islam) supporting or advocating Islamic fundamentalism, 2. (Islam) a supporter or advocate of Islamic fundamentalism
From the Thesaurus an Islamist is a scholar knowledgeable in Islamic studies and an orthodox Muslim. Orthodoxy is the adherence to specified norms or creeds of a religion.
Islamic Fundamentalism is often referred to as radical Islam. The real question is can there be fundamentalists as well as moderates within the framework of Islam. The concern I often have is in defining ‘True Islam.’ Leading Fundamentalists include Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966, Egyptian), Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi [1904-1979, Pakistan (Urdu)], Israr Ahmed (1932-2010, Pakistan) and Wahhabism [established in the Arabian Peninsula in the 1700’s by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792)]. All espouse a Caliphate structure and insist the strictest interpretation of the Quran and Muhammad, as the example, dictates the life of a Muslim. Any deviation is a distortion and not ‘true Islam.’ Wahhab was closely associated with the Saud family who in time became the monarchy of Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formed in 1932). Salafi is another term for Wahhabism, preferred by many. Also there is Muwahhids. All seek to restore Islam to an emphasis on Tawhid, or the Oneness of Allah (monotheism). Wahhabism is the key element in understanding the fundamentalist and those noted as leaders in the field. The foundation they have established, written extensively about, preached and trained scholars, is considered the gospel of Islam by the most ardent followers.
Political Islam is important to understand as well. Defined also as ‘Islamism’, which is interesting, it is a theocratic way of life. It seeks to establish societies under the fundamental elements of Islam, to include the leaders being Islamists guided by Imams as religious counselors. The traditions, creeds and practices of Islam become part and parcel to the law that governs society. All residents are to be adherents of Islam. There is no deviation, no desire for plurality or other forms of believing, and no allowance for proselytizing, except for Islam. Political Islam is the objective of the fundamentalist. All Muslims are called to seek to establish societies that comply fully with the principles and practices of Islamism. Called a police state, when political Islam is firmly entrenched, the cops on the beat maintain a watchful eye, with clubs ready, for those, men or women, who violate the rules. Dress codes, hair and beard styles, any form of open affection, people speaking ill against Allah or Muhammad, and so much more are monitored with immediate action taken to chastise (punish) the violators.
Bernard Lewis (1916 – ), a leading historian on Islam has written, “Among Muslim theologians there is as yet no … liberal or modernist approach to the Qur’an, and all Muslims, in their attitude to the text of the Qur’an, are in principle at least fundamentalists. Where the so-called Muslim fundamentalists differ from other Muslims … is in their scholasticism and their legalism. They base themselves not only on the Qur’an, but also on the Traditions of the Prophet, and on the corpus of transmitted theological and legal learning.” (Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton.) From the age of its foundation, the 7th century, the world has changed and attitudes and thinking have morphed to accommodate a more modern era. However that evolution is not to be applied to Islam, according to the standards of the Islamist.
Returning to the basics of Islam is the movement (7th Century thinking, but with modern weapons), the revolution as it may be viewed, being conducted in a violent fashion to restore ‘true Islam’ as defined by the fundamentalists mentioned. It is a movement intended for all Muslims. By their definition there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. All must adhere to the text of their Scripture and find in Muhammad answers on how to conduct themselves. A moderate, or modified, version of Islam is denied by a vast majority of Islamic world leaders, and contradicted by Islamic scripture. Often quoted is the President of Turkey (12th), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who made it clear, “There is no ‘moderate’ Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s that..” He likens democracy to a train or a trolley traveling through societies with Muslims aboard, the stopping off point, final destination, of which is a world All for Allah.
(This is the first of five parts in this discussion. In the next a review of various excerpts from the Quran will provide background on the battle cry of Islam)
(To be continued….)