Islam in chaos

Ludwig von Gress

That is, more so than normally. As its window of opportunity is slowly closing, the disunity of its adherents is becoming apparent even to the Westerners, though it is sometimes hard to follow which moderate Muslims killed which moderate Muslims.

According to the Traditions, Muhammad predicted that his followers would become divided into seventy-three sects, every one of whom would go to hell, except one sect, the religion professed by himself and his companions.  However the number of Islamic sects, now over 150, has far exceeded Muhammad’s prediction.” /The Sects of Islam/

According to our media, islamophobia, especially in Europe, is rampant – Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim murdered:

muslim.killedNo, not all Muslims are same. Roger L. Simon in PJmedia -

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made an extraordinary speech on New Year’s Day to Cairo’s Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry calling for a long overdue virtual ecclesiastical revolution in Islam.  This is something no Western leader has the had the courage to do, certainly not Barack Obama, despite his Muslim education. …”

If true, it is strangely ignored by the Left media, and I have not seen any endorsement of al-Sisi’s sentiments by the so called moderate Muslims.

Here are the key parts as translated on Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before.  It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

All this of course could be yet another episode in a skilful disinformation campaign. The elections in Egypt are to be held before the end of March, and the Government needs foreign money to feed the population. If al-Sisi really mean what he says, may the real Allah protect him from his coreligionists.

And from Stratfor Geopolitical Diary, George ‘softly softly’ Friedman (comments in italics are mine):

Paris Attack Underscores a Deeper Malaise – Wednesday’s deadly attack against a French satirical publication has the potential to upset relations between European states and their Muslim citizenries.

Hmm, states as oh-so-politically correct governments, or non-Muslim citizens of Europe?

The strategic intent behind such attacks is precisely to sow this kind of crisis, as well as to influence French policy and recruit more jihadists. Even though Islamist extremism is, at its core, an intra-Muslim conflict, such incidents will draw in non-Muslims, exacerbating matters.

So non-Muslim victims are just a collateral damage, Mr Friedman?

Three suspected Islamist militants attacked the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with high-powered assault rifles, killing 12 people. Among the dead are the editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, who was on a hit list appearing in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Inspire magazine for “insulting the Prophet Mohammed.” Eyewitness said they heard the attackers shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed,” and chanting, “God is Great” in Arabic. This is the third such attack in a Western country in less than three months. The Paris incident involves perpetrators who displayed sophisticated small arms and small unit training.

I would say just a basic training, but the standards may be slipping.

Whether or not these attacks are the handiwork of self-motivated grassroots jihadists and cells or of individuals tied to international jihadist entities, such incidents aggravate tense relations between the Western and Muslim worlds. This is all the more significant in Europe, where states are experiencing the rise of right-wing nationalism and Muslim communities have long experienced disaffection.

The rise of nationalism is the reaction; so far extremely modest.

The jihadist objective is to get the states to crack down harder on Muslim communities in order to further their narrative that the West is waging war on Islam and Muslims.

While Western states go to great lengths to demonstrate that no such clash of civilizations is occurring, right-wing forces engage in rhetoric that reinforces these fears among many common Muslims across the world.

Similarly, the people warning of the danger of National Socialism thus reinforced the fears of peaceful Nazis and made them to join SA.

More important, there is a longstanding conflict of values — particularly freedom of expression, which is cherished in the West but seen by many Muslims as a license for sacrilege. Though the vast majority of Muslims will not engage in violence in response to speech deemed as blasphemous, there are many who will.

Many may not “engage in violence” but overtly or covertly approve of it.

In Pakistan, the blasphemy law has been a subject of huge controversy. Many Pakistani citizens have been murdered by their fellow countrymen for speech or behavior deemed objectionable. At the root of this problem is the extreme discomfort many Muslims have with free expression, although this attitude is not universal. The person of the Prophet Mohammed is all the more sensitive because the traditional view is that he cannot be depicted pictorially, let alone in a satirical manner.

The tradition it certainly is, but is it good? Is Hindu ‘suttee’ a good tradition?

Ultimately, this is an intra-Muslim struggle for power and control wrapped in a debate over what it means to be a Muslim in today’s world and what the boundaries of justifiable action are. Defining those factors is one tool that can be used to gain power; attacks against the West and its interests, meant to force Westerners to pull out of Muslim lands or to attack Muslims and enforce the jihadist narrative, are another. This issue undermines efforts by moderate and progressive Muslims to advance the notion of freedoms based on an Islamic ethos.

Those efforts seems to be so invisible that only an expert can see them. I, the proud non-expert,  can not find any “notion of freedoms based on an Islamic ethos” in Koran.

The ongoing intra-Muslim debate gives extremists ample ideological and, by extension, geopolitical space to exploit. The jihadist enterprise deliberately targets non-Muslims, in particular the West, in part as a means to gain ground within the Muslim milieu. This strategy also sucks the Western world into what is essentially a Muslim civil war in order to tackle the security threats posed by Islamist militant actors.

However, Western involvement in this internal debate will not help defeat extremism or ease relations between Muslims and the West. The end of jihadism will come only when Muslims defeat their own deviants on the ideological battleground.

An astonishing insight, and if I wanted to be nasty I would write that Friedman is angling to became Obama’s adviser. Muslims have been fighting each other “on the ideological battleground” since 632 A.D.

cross.swords
The Strafor article republished by permission. Read more:
Paris Attack Underscores a Deeper Malaise | Stratfor

About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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3 Responses to Islam in chaos

  1. M. says:

    Unless Islam is reformed it will be a major impediment to progress and civilization. The only contribution of Islam to modern civilization is the long lines at the security check points at airports. Can anyone name other? Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is on the right track and needs to be suported.

  2. Pierre F. says:

    Yes, but we do not know if he means it. This could be another trick – Egypt is an economical ruin.

  3. Said Port says:

    Nothing is changing in Egypt : Cairo (AFP) – An Egyptian court has sentenced a student to three years in jail for announcing on Facebook that he is an atheist and for insulting Islam, his lawyer said Sunday. Karim al-Banna, a 21-year-old whose own father testified against him, was jailed by a court in the Nile Delta province of Baheira on Saturday, lawyer Ahmed Abdel Nabi told AFP.

    “He was handed down a three-year prison sentence, and if he pays a bail of 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 140 or 117 euros) the sentence can be suspended until a verdict is issued by an appeals court,” Abdel Nabi said, adding that an appeal was to be heard on March 9. Abdel Nabi said his client’s father had testified against his son, charging that he “was embracing extremist ideas against Islam”.

    Crack down on those extremists, the way to go!

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