Defining The Enemy…….

Professor R.Rummel, blogging at the Democratic Peace, ponders the different Islamic camps tugging for the heart of the Muslim world, under the title of “Is Islam the enemy”. Professor Rummel (Professor Emeritus of Political Science) provides an excellent analysis of these differing Muslim camps, and divides them into the following seperate categories:

1.) Traditionalists, “that culturally still live in the Islamic middle ages. These comprise a large number of today’s Muslims, and the most visible and active ones. Islam is their life, their center, and in this, they clash with modernism, secularism, and today’s moderate Christianity.”

2.) Islamofascists, “They are fighting for political, not a religious, power. They have hijacked Islam to their fight, since it provides a justification for their terrorism and aims. They have been much influenced by Marx-Leninism, as well as fascism, and their goal is a totalitarian world in which they rule and control all—society, economics, Islamic culture, and the minutest family matters.”

3.) Dictatorships, “Muslim regimes ruled by corrupt and often tyrannical dictators—Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and so on. Decades ago they were moving toward modernization and reform, but with the Iranian revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini, they became besieged by Islamofascists who aimed at a totalitarian, Leninist revolution. These regimes fought back with the counter-ideology of nationalism, and a savage terrorism of their own that preserved the political power of the dictatorship and the elite who benefited from it.”

4.) Modernists, “The most important group of Muslims. These are those some call the moderate, liberal, or nonradical Muslims. I will call them modernists. These are the critics of the traditionalists, Islamofascists, and dictators. They favor modernization and acceptance of the best of Western culture. Most expressly believe in human rights and democracy, and most appear to reside in Western countries, such as France, Britain, and the United States. Because of the danger of being so outspoken in dominantly Muslim countries, few living there are willing to do so, except in ways seeming to support the regime and traditionalism.”

Rummel describes the ”four way struggle” that exists between these four camps:

“that of the traditionalists to maintain their cultural-religious values and beliefs against a modernizing regime and “imperialist”America; that of the Muslim dictatorships to hold on to power and their benefits; that of modernists aiming to bring Muslim countries and Islam into the modern age; and that of Islamofascists to conquer all and achieve absolute world power. It is not Islam, therefore, that is our enemy. It is not the traditionalists, who mainly want to be left alone to follow their Allah. It is not the Muslim ruling dictatorships, since they see the West as providing them support against those Islamofascists that would overthrow them, or win a democratic election never to be held again. And, it is not the modernists, who generally support the democracies.”

I believe that professor Rummel has hit on a very sound and practical strategy that Western governments should take into consideration, when formulating their policies towards the threat and challenges the Islamic world presents during this troubled period. Focusing our efforts towards defeating Islamofacism needs to be at the forefront of any western policy in the misnamed *War On Terror*. The Islamic world is in the throes of change, having by-passed the industrial revolution, they missed out the changes that brought the West into the modernized world. How the West understood and reacted to these present changes, will be felt by future generations to come. KGS

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