UI – Part 603 – Peace within Islam Impossible (1 of 2)
Islam, the variety of Imams, Ayatollah’s, scholars (ulema) and teachers proclaim the ideology of Islam is a religion, even a religion of peace. Well, I have my doubts.
The history of Islam about which much is written on this blog suggests otherwise. The aggressive nature of Islam from inception cannot be denied. In this compilation you will see too that within Islam, the many tribes, sects, factions, schools of Islam and scholarly interpretations of the Quran and associated documents, to include the Hadiths, define Islam, the practice of Islam as a religion (falsely) and the constraints to be imposed on the pious, differ. The definition of ‘True Islam’ is not singular. As a result the claim of superiority of the Muslim over persons with non-Muslim ideologies and religions, as well as heretics, those proclaiming the same Shahada, are enemies. Muslims do not make friends with enemies. Against the enemy they are to fight, to commit jihad, until the world is all for Allah. But which Allah is it? Until they all agree, which from history is not possible, there will never be peace in Islam.
From the Beginning
From its’ beginning Islam has never been successful as a unified ideology. The tribal mentality of the Arab world lives in Islam. Sunni vs Shia, Saudi vs Iran, more than one Caliph proclaiming a Caliphate, et al, the schisms exist as bacterium always present in the body politic of Muslims. “True Islam” never universally defined, always questioned, the bitter differences constantly in play. Greed and lust are never far from the mind of the scholars and autocrats. In a room of only Muslims, having said the Shahada, ever believers in Allah as their god, their fate in his hands, there are heretics. But many of the heretics are hypocrites, each claiming they are not the doubter. It is the other. Finger pointing is as a circular firing squad, rifles loaded, at shoulder height and aimed at each other. That is the picture of Islam. I am just waiting for them to all pull the trigger simultaneously.
In the earliest most aggressive stages of Islam, during the taking of North Africa and Spain, the Umayyad Caliphate formed. The third Caliph and Abu Sufyan, 3rd and 6th Caliphs, of the Umayya Clan, formed this autocracy. Abu Sufyan, it is interesting, was the leader of the Meccan non-Muslims who converted when Muhammad, with 10,000 strong, enacted his revenge on his hometown for rejecting him. He then became one of the leaders of Muhammad’s expanded tribe.
There was a 1st Caliphate, that of the successors after murdering Muhammad, Abu Bakr and Umar, Caliphs 1 & 2. Leaders chosen by the community, as ‘rightly guided.’ They became the kings. Uthman and Ali, 3rd and 4th, are included, while Uthman, was transitioning as a member of the Umayyad Clan. Here is when divisions began. Ali, the 4th, having married Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, was considered in the bloodline, and was for many the 1st Caliph of the Shia’s. The others of the Sunni. A civil war, no peace, resulted. Ali was killed. Members from Uthman’s clan became the successors, descendants of his Meccan Clan.
The common element of the Caliphates and the activities of the Caliphs were continued conquests, new and more territory for Allah, but really for them, it was the treasure and the slaves that could be exploited. The Arabs were basically non-productive people living off the gains of others as well as taxes, jizya, obtained from protected (pay to be protected) non-converts.
A competing Meccan tribe (call it dynasty) came on the scene – the Abbasids. They were based in Baghdad. The Umayyads were in Spain. The subjects of Umayyads were largely non-Muslims, living in fear and paying jizya (taxes) to live. Most Umayyad Muslims were non-Arab. The Abbasids were mostly Arab. They took great pride in their heritage. Spoils were at times shared, the conquests in Spain, north Africa and Persia distributed, along with decapitated heads of conquered elements. The Abbasids were a purer strain of Islam, Muhammad’s great-great grandfather (Hashim, their connection, and an uncle, Abbas.)
The Abbasid’s fought Umayyad’s to control the whole of the Islamic conquests, with one king, or Caliph. The war or revolution lasted 4 years, 746-750. However remnants of the Umayyad dynasty continued for centuries in Andalus (Iberia). And until the Ottoman Caliphate emerged (1330) the Abbasid name continued with many sub-groups, from west to east and within the Caliphate. They battled among themselves. External taking of treasure and slaves continued.
Whether strong or weak the kingdoms embracing Islam, their own form of Islam, maintained the jihad imperative – a policy of ongoing imperialism and expansion.
During the Abbasid reign came the Turks. They, like the Berbers, were militant invaders seeking to exploit the wealth of others, taking treasure and slaves. They entered territory occupied by Islamists. That is when they discovered Islam. The liked more the style of fear and violence that preceded their invasions, as well as the incentive of a god on their side to suggest in death salvation in a paradise resulted if their cause was for Allah. Alive in victory was its own reward. They were non-productive tribes stealing from others, their constant habit, as war games, but for real, not as a Sega computer console escape game. The Abbasids and Turks agreed in some ways, not in others. An internal strife caused the King of the order to vacillate. At times there was more than one Caliph, depending on region, but not a universal Caliphate.
During the Christian Crusades there were Islamist factions exploitation’s continuing in Spain, Portugal, India, Egypt, Syria, and remnants of Byzantium. Unity of purpose, peace among tribes, was non-existent. Greed over who deserves the most of treasure taken, the greatest number of slaves, the largest harems, and the taxes derived from jizya from protected Christians, Jews and other idolaters, infidels, was never ending.
Mamluks took Egypt during the Crusades, taking over the reins of the Islamists, determined to humiliate Christians and other dhimmies (non-Muslims) more than they had been.
From the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, begun in 1299, Muslim Turks fought other Muslim Turks, the Osmons versus the Seljiks. There was the competing Mamluk Empire in Egypt. No peace, war between Islamists The Ottomans emerging victorious in 1517. The Ottomans even took to the sea, the Mediterranean, where the Berber Jihadists ruled. They were competing to be the meanest, richest, most aggressive and ambitious against, primarily, Christians. The Ottoman Empire became the Caliphate to the extent of their reach from their base in Turkey. The center of Byzantium, Constantinople, taken in 1454. They set sights on Europe from the East, while maintaining their share of revenue sources from jizya and selling slaves to support their administration and growing army.
The Ottomans declared the Shia as non-Muslims, so they could then attack them, as the Quran forbade attacking other Muslims. In 1514 the Ottomans thus defeated the Shiites, “and drove them from the eastern regions of Asia Minor” (The History of Jihad, R. Spencer, pg. 220).
…to be continued (two days). The struggle within Islam is constant. Our claim, No Peace in Islam, will conclude in part 2.
Grace and Peace