Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Muslims In Turmoil"

(All emphases in this long read are by Always On Watch)

So reads the teaser on the cover of the April 16, 2007 edition of U.S. News & World Report. The article itself is entitled "Fighting for the Soul of Islam." The article begins by emphasizing that the West has yet to recognize the significance of the struggle in which the world is presently engaged:
Americans have heard it repeatedly since September 11: The acts of terrorism inflicted on our shore were the murderous consequences of an ongoing struggle within Islam. At its most dramatic extremes, that conflict pits radical jihadists against moderate Muslims. But a quieter front in the struggle is probably of greater import. It involves the millions of Muslims who are being wooed by the proselytizers of a puritanical, and often highly politicized, strain of the faith. This volatile blend of Saudi Wahhabi Islam and political Islam-dubbed Islamism by one of its early-20th-century founders-is the assembly line of future jihadists, some experts hold, and its agents are busy indoctrinating young Muslims from Lahore to Los Angeles.

The outcome of this clash will bear directly on the course of the war on terrorism by answering the most fundamental question: Is mainstream Islam compatible with democracy and basic rights and freedoms established by international law?

While the stakes of this struggle are enormously high, American and European efforts to make sense of it have so far proved to be inadequate....
The article also contains a section for CAIR to whine about:
At least as significant as the meetings themselves [referring to the Secular Islam Summit and CAIR's conference — both meetings having been recently held on the same weekend in Florida], however, were the denunciations hurled back and forth by attendees of the separate events. Repeatedly, speakers in St. Petersburg denounced CAIR as typifying fellow-traveling Islamism. Absorbed with grievance-group politics and hypersensitive to any criticism of Muslims, it receives, various speakers noted, generous funding from Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. More disturbingly, as many in St. Petersburg pointed out, some CAIR officials have refused to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, while others have been too quick to declare who is, or who is not, a true Muslim.

Playing to type, the executive director of the Tampa chapter of CAIR, Ahmed Bedier, dismissed the St. Petersburg crowd as a bunch of "atheists and non-Muslims" with no standing in the Muslim community....
Although the last portion of the article degenerates to Kumbaya Syndrome and tries to make the case for including Islamists as part of the solution to the clash of two antithetical ideologies, the middle section contains two portions which bear serious consideration. First, this:
[W]hat does this majority want? Well, for one,...the implementation of Islamic sharia law as the law of the land for Muslim countries and even the restricted use of sharia within some western countries....Muslims living in the West are unlikely to be fully integrated into their societies, while nations in the Muslim world are likely to be "much more Islamic than western."
This portion also cites Wafa Sultan, although with the caveat that her words play into the hands of CAIR:
[T]here is no difference between "radical Islam and regular Islam"...
Immediately following the above, the article contains a debunking of the hope that Islam can be reformed, although the article waffles later on and mentions Tariq Ramadan in a positive light. Still, the following excerpt should give every lover of Western civilization pause:
Take the seemingly simple matter of reform and reformation. Repeatedly called for by westerners, a reformation is precisely what Islam has been undergoing since the late 19th century, largely in response to the perceived causes and consequences of western domination of Islamic lands.

While this reformation has had many tendencies and fathers, the most militant of the reformers hope to reassert a dominant role for Islam in all areas of life and society, particularly the political. (This is one reason that liberal and secular Muslims say Islam needs an Enlightenment, not another Reformation.) Rejecting secularists like Turkey's Kemal Atatûrk and harking back to the age of the first caliphates, ideologues like India-born Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, Egypt's Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood), and fellow Egyptian Sayyid Qutb laid out the main lines of modern Islamist thought and action. Borrowing elements of European fascist ideology, they backed extensive social welfare programs while tirelessly promoting the idea of an Islamic state governed by Islamic sharia law. For some, the ultimate goal is the creation of a transnational community of believers, or umma, united under a new caliph. In addition to spawning organizations such as the Palestinians' Hamas and Jordan's Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood has seen the emergence of rival groups boasting more militant, if not quite violent, programs. Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), nearly banned in Britain after the London subway bombing, is now active in more than 40 countries and openly boasts of its ambition. "The winner of this battle [the ideological struggle] will decide whether the future belongs to Islam or western secular liberalism," declares one official on the Australian HT website.

But the rise of Islamism is only part of what Columbia University historian Richard Bulliet calls, in a Wilson Quarterly article, "a crisis of authority that has been building within Islam for a century." The crisis, which grows out of the religion's decentralized and relatively weak authority structures, has undermined the power of the traditional ulema (the leading Muslim scholars), who once were able "to disqualify or overrule a man who does not speak-or act-for Islam."
The last page of the article provides an inset of definitions which every Westerner must know in order to understand what's happening in the world today:

Wahhabism: A puritanical strain of Islam set forth in the 18th century, now being spread by Saudi wealth.

Islamism: A variety of modern reform Islam that aims to "restore" the religion to political power.

Caliph: A successor to the Prophet Muhammad. Kemal Atatûrk abolished the Ottoman caliphate in 1924. Some Islamists hope to create a new, transnational caliphate.

Sharia: Islamic law. Understood by moderates as broad ethical principles; by puritans, as a set of narrow prohibitions and punishments.
Note that Saudi Arabia, now being hailed in some sectors as the new peace broker in the Middle East, doesn't get a pass in that first definition.

Overall, the article in U.S. News & World Report is worth reading in its entirety. I wish that such an article had been available when I first embarked on my quest to find out why were attacked on 9/11.

Yesterday, via a link at Right Truth, I found this posting. Lengthy excerpt:
Have you noticed that all the muslim marches and demonstrations have stopped? Hate rhetoric out of Iran has stilled since the 15 hostages were released. The Palestinian attacks on Israelis have stopped. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other Arab nations are quiet. Little news is coming out of Afghanistan or Pakistan. Only in Iraq do we still get headlines of bombs and body counts.

All the “Islam will dominate” and “Israel must be destroyed” screaming has gone silent. France’s muslims are quiescent along with the rest of Europes muslims. What’s going on?

The Saudis, who have historically taken the lead in Arab diplomacy, have changed course away from outwardly supporting the United States and the West in general, and are now bending all efforts toward uniting the Arab world against the West.
Remember that Saudi Arabia is the heart of the most virulent form of Fundamentalist Islam, Wahabbism, which preaches death to all but “true believers”. The Saudis have in fact always been utterly against the West. In fact, most of the Jihadists infiltrating into Iraq were Saudi nationals.

Yet here we have King Abdullah being touted in the worlds presses, including the Arab press, as a “pro-active force for peace” and “a last best hope for the US as well as the Saudis” and the new Nassar. Does it seem to anyone besides me that the Islamists are now trying to appease us?

All this sudden muslim quietude may be just providential. Or it may be consensual. Which is most likely?

That King Abdullah has influence is undeniable, and some of this lull in activity is no doubt due to his efforts, which are aimed at keeping Iran from attack. Even though Iran is a threat to Saudi Arabia, an attack on them would open up a wider war and threaten the Ummah, or global muslim domination, that the Saudis have planned for decades. So the Saudis attack us in Iraq and supply the world with terror groups like Al Queda on the one hand while preaching peace and harmony on the other, all designed to ultimately spread the worst form of despotic cancer ever devised over us all.

This is the cause of part of the current relative peace. The Saudis fund nearly all the muslim movements worldwide. They pay for building the mosques in the West, pay for lawyers, pay student tuitions and so on. Thus they have a lot of clout and when they say “Shhhhh”, people shut up.

That’s only part of the reason, however. The fact remains that the various muslim sects hate each other and enjoy torturing and killing each other. The muslims greatest enemies are themselves. Their behavior has disgusted Western civilization and the backlash is growing. European anti-immigrant feeling is steadily increasing. In France, anti-immigrant Sarkozy looks to be the likely presidential election winner over the liberal opposition, for example. The muslims are losing their lawsuits for more special treatment. Anti-Islamic statements are becoming more common among government officials and the media.

Muslim causes have been losing on many fronts and they may simply be tiring.
That they’re re-grouping is definite.
There’s no chance at all that they’ve given up....
They're not giving up, although hudna has often been invoked. The West needs to understand that, since the very inception of Islam, Muslims longing for the caliphate have never given up. After all, they're convinced that they're doing Allah's will.

[Hat-tip to Debbie and to Islamanazi for some of the above material]

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by Always On Watch @ 4/15/2007 08:18:00 AM