Islamists hold the keys to a peaceful future!
Fareed Zakaria would like nothing better than for the average (ignorant of Islam) reader of that magazine to believe, that “Bin-Ladenism” -al-Qaida’s quest for a global caliphate and the subjugation of the non-Muslim world- is an unique interpretation of Islam. The only thing needed is for cooler heads to take a step back and reassess the situation in light of the successes in Iraq, where US led Coalition forces took note of the reality of Islam, and with grudging approval, interacted with traditionalist Muslim leaders, not the secularists, to bring calm to their areas.
This formula, is supposed to be the winning formula in how to reign in the global jihadists, by allowing Muslims to practice their moderate versions of Islamic law, as a means to wean radicals from pursuing the global jihad. Zakaria sets the stage:
It is not just in the Swat valley that Islamists are on the rise. In Afghanistan the Taliban have been gaining ground for the past two years as well. In Somalia last week, Al-Shabab, a local group of Islamic militants, captured yet another town from government forces. Reports from Nigeria to Bosnia to Indonesia show that Islamic fundamentalists are finding support within their communities for their agenda, which usually involves the introduction of some form of Sharia—Islamic law—reflecting a puritanical interpretation of Islam. No music, no liquor, no smoking, no female emancipation. The groups that advocate these policies are ugly, reactionary forces that will stunt their countries and bring dishonor to their religion.
Zakaria’s muddled thinking
So in areas the just mentioned where supposedly moderate Islam/sharia once ruled, Zakaria admits that support for fundamental Islam is on the rise, which then follows with the implementation of full sharia. But he also states that in doing so, it will bring dishonor on to Islam. But wait a minute, Islam/sharia embodies all that he mentioned, so how could following those traditional precepts bring dishonor to Islam, if it were not dishonorable already? He continues.
But not all these Islamists advocate global jihad, host terrorists or launch operations against the outside world—in fact, most do not. Consider, for example, the most difficult example, the Taliban. The Taliban have done all kinds of terrible things in Afghanistan. But so far, no Afghan Taliban has participated at any significant level in a global terrorist attack over the past 10 years—including 9/11. There are certainly elements of the Taliban that are closely associated with Al Qaeda. But the Taliban is large, and many factions have little connection to Osama bin Laden. Most Taliban want Islamic rule locally, not violent jihad globally.
Amazing. The only area in which al-Qaida could set up shop, was in a state which was ruled by devout Muslims. Period. So what that the average Afghan hasn’t involved himself in the global jihad, all it took was for a devout Muslim leadership to open the doors to those other devout Muslims who had the money and the sophistication to launch it. It’s totally irrelevant that any majority is non-violent, all it takes is for the leadership to open the doors to a smaller committed group of devout Muslim believers, and there you have it.
Fareed Zakaria would have you believe differently, that somehow, this “bin-Ladensim”, just sprang from the oasis of a few minds, and not from the core of Islam itself. Pure taqiyya being employed here, or willful ignorance. One of the main reasons why the average Afghani has not waged jihad against the West outside their borders, is because they have been too busy killing themselves for centuries, and are currently waging jihad against Western forces within their borders. I don’t think that the Afghan jihad is sophisticated enough to be able to war on dual fronts. Not all Afghanis want sharia, but Zakaria would have you to believe that its wiser to place them all under it, because “moderate” sharia is enough to keep the folks at home.
But there’s more!
How would you describe Faisal Ahmad Shinwari, a judge in Afghanistan? He has banned women from singing on television and called for an end to cable television altogether. He has spoken out against women and men being educated in the same schools at any age. He has upheld the death penalty for two journalists who were convicted of blasphemy. (Their crime: writing that Afghanistan’s turn toward Islam was “reactionary.”) Shinwari sounds like an Islamic militant, right? Actually, he was appointed chief justice of the Afghan Supreme Court after the American invasion, administered Hamid Karzai’s oath of office and remained in his position until three years ago.
Were he to hold Western, liberal views, Shinwari would have little credibility within his country. The reality—for the worse, in my view—is that radical Islam has gained a powerful foothold in the Muslim imagination. It has done so for a variety of complex reasons that I have written about before. But the chief reason is the failure of Muslim countries to develop, politically or economically.
I would describe him as a pious/devout Muslim, following the creed of Islam, nothing more nothing less. That region of the world has been following the same precepts long before Shinwari took to administering Islamic law, sharia, and it has nothing to do with “radical Islam”, but with Islam itself. Period, full stop. The only reason why Muslim countries have been stunted politically and economically, is due to Islam, they will remain in that retarded, dysfunctional state until they jettison very large portions from their backward religion.
It won’t be easy, and I’d say, next to impossible to do. Look what happened to the late Shah of Iran, who put a full lock down on the cult of Mo and dragged their people kicking and screaming into the 20th century. Yes he had a brutal regime, but it was far less brutal than the one currently in power. Even Turkey, for all that’s said in its favor, is still hanging on to its secularism by a thread. If not for the military keeping close tabs on the secular nature of the state, (the EU is demanding it to refrain from doing so) it would have completely turned its back on secularism, the majority which lives in the countryside, side with the Islamic fundamentalist government.
In the Bush administration’s original view, all Islamist groups were one and the same; any distinctions or nuances were regarded as a form of appeasement. If they weren’t terrorists themselves, they were probably harboring terrorists. But how to understand Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the countries “harbor” terrorists but are not themselves terrorist states?
Bush’s view then, comes close to the best understanding of Islam to date. Anywhere fundamentalist Islam raises its head, there will be jihadis waiting in the wings to seek cover there, it’s not a question of if, it’s only a matter of opportunity and timing. In Somalia, where the people are shooting in every which direction, it’s next to impossible for the global jihadis to form an alliance with the multi layered clan system and build a terrorist base to plan the next move in the global jihad.
Clue for Zakaria, Afghanistan is no longer a terrorist state because the US removed the Taliban from power seven years ago. Pakistan however, is indeed a state with a majoity that votes for secularism, but since Islamization is a long term project, the only logical course that Pakistan’s development can follow, minus military intrusion, is the path to becoming a full Islamic state. The majority of Iranians had not an Islamic state in mind when they overthrew the Shah, but that’s what they got. So here’s another clue, all it takes is a dedicated minority to assume total power, and in an Islamic majority country, there is no lack of dedicated devout Muslims.
So this is the new direction the Obama administration will be embarking on, with Obama’s foreign policy adviser, Fareed Zakaria leading the way, the US will now seek to empower Muslim communities abroad before the global jihads “radicals” get to them first. Never mind that they are two sides to the same coin, Zakaria has words of comfort for us: “The veil is not the same as the suicide belt”. Now we can all sleep better tonight knowing that Obama has his best advisers working out the details. KGS
Via Sheik Yer Mami