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Islam Decline of Radical Islam Has Begun

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, May 8, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Decline of radical Islam has begun


    Chandan Mitra

    The immediate aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death may propel more jihadi violence, but robbed of its most potent symbol the romance of revivalism is set to dissipate

    I s the worldwide Islamic upsurge petering out? Is Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations heading towards decisive resolution? These may seem premature conjectures, for after all only one of the heads of the hydra-headed monster of jihadi terrorism has been chopped off. The world has, therefore, reacted cautiously about future portents with most countries emphasising that the threat of terrorism continues to loom and retaliatory attacks could well happen in a big way over the next few months. Osama bin Laden was not the operations chief of Al Qaeda, which in any case is not a brick-and-mortar organisation with defined headquarters. Caution may indeed be the most prudent course for Governments to adopt because rogue Al Qaeda elements still abound. If reports of intense power struggle having preceded Osama bin Laden’s discovery in Abbotabad are true, competitive terror attacks could be the instrument used by contenders for Al Qaeda’s top slot to press their respective claims for supremacy.

    The larger issues arising out of Osama bin Laden’s killing, however, go beyond immediate threats of resurgent terror. Islamic jihad sustained itself on subterranean support from the global Muslim community or at least a sizeable section of the ummah. Terror was viewed as a justified weapon to avenge perceived injustice to adherents of Islam by the modern West. If a sense of victimhood fuelled acts of violent retribution, the promise of building an idyllic world in which puritanical Islam reigned, lent idealism and romantic charm to the movement. Its basis lay in the strongly held belief that the modern West epitomised forces of evil while puritanical Islam, untainted by Judeo-Christian “impurities”, was divinely ordained to dominate human civilisation in the future. This was in a sense a millenarian dream, which extolled the virtues of an egalitarian social and global order that would rectify inequalities imposed by the capitalist ethos.

    The Iranian Revolution of 1979, which overthrew Washington-backed Aryamehr Reza Shah Pahlvi’s monarchial system, heralded the arrival of religion-driven politics in the post-War Muslim world. The same year, a group of Sudanese fanatics, convinced that the fabled Mahdi would shortly appear to liberate Islam from evil influences, declared the Saudi monarchy Westernised, hence corrupt, and unfit to be custodian of the holy shrines at Mecca and Medina. They barged into Ka’aba and occupied the holiest place of Islam, an occupation that could be vacated only a week later with considerable bloodshed.

    The 1973 oil crisis resulted in a sharp rise of petroleum product prices benefiting the ruling elites of most oil-rich West Asian countries. Paradoxically, however, their newfound affluence heightened income disparities in several countries, giving rise to strong moral indignation over conspicuous consumption by the idle rich. Iranian revolutionaries, particularly Sorbonne-educated leaders like first post-Revolution President Bani-Sadr, scripted the notion of Islamic socialism, although his group of modernisers was subsequently sidelined by the Qom-based religious orthodoxy. Islamic revolutionaries had no love for ‘godless’ Marxists, but they continued to subscribe to a vision of egalitarianism, which they claimed was rooted in teachings of the Prophet.

    Interestingly, the establishment of the Ayatollah Khomeini-led, clergy-dominated regime in Iran also coincided with the invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan by Soviet troops. The overthrow of King Zahir Shah by pro-Left groups organised under the Khalq and Parcham parties had given rise to creeping insurrection by unruly tribesmen disoriented by the new regime’s attempt to impose uniformity and order on largely autonomous kabilas. This resistance metamorphosed into the US-backed and Pakistan-nurtured Taliban, which successfully routed the Soviets and established an ultra-orthodox, violent administration in Kabul. Unlike Shi’a Iran, Afghanistan’s religious Right had no pretensions to democracy or ‘ethical Islam’.

    Thus 1979 marked the ascendancy of revivalist Islam in diverse hues signifying millenarian-style rebellion against Western consumerism, libertinism, women’s liberation and similar ideas despised by orthodox Islamists. The movement for Palestinian freedom, for long led by the secular, Left-leaning Yasser Arafat, was slowly hijacked by more radical forces such as the Hamas and the pathologically violent Hizbullah. Between them, the Taliban and other groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and FIS in Algeria, the Islamic world drifted steadily towards the religious Right.

    It was in this background that Osama bin Laden charted his programme of jihad, particularly targeting the US, but also including major non-Muslim states like Russia and India. The Uighur uprising in China’s Xinjiang province must also be seen as an extension of the ferment generated by Islamic revivalism. Its impact was especially noticeable among young, educated Muslims across the globe. Significantly, a majority of 9/11 attackers studied in Europe and the US. Even in India, several terror operatives have been found to be skilled IT professionals. Islamic revivalism has sustained itself all these decades not only on the cannon fodder of poverty-stricken slum dwellers but primarily on the brains trust of highly educated young professionals.

    Osama bin Laden was easily the most potent symbol and rallying point of radical Islam although the ideological impact of revivalism will certainly outlive him. At the same time, his elimination will establish the physical limits of such adventurist endeavours. Demoralisation is bound to follow the realisation that if Al Qaeda could not to save and protect its fountainhead, the dream of Islam replacing the modern West as the world’s dominant force may never be achieved.

    Closer home, India witnessed a similar upsurge among a section of Sikhs in the mid-1980s who rallied around the iconic figure of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a rustic preacher of puritanical Sikhism who mounted a feisty challenge to the Indian state through a mixture of emotion and terror. His death in Operation Blue Star in 1984 lent renewed strength to Sikh separatism. But within a few years, the movement degenerated into a morass of senseless violence, internecine conflict, the mass killing of innocents and steadily lost all ideological underpinnings. It took nearly a decade for the Indian system to reassert and eliminate the scourge of militancy from Punjab, but the writing was on the wall ever since Sikh radicalism’s most potent figure was removed from the scene.

    Islamic revivalism is far more widespread, Muslims are many more in number than the small Sikh community and states like Pakistan among others continue to provide logistical support to jihadism while pretending to be allies of the West. It would be a mistake to believe that radical Islam’s capacity to deal crippling blows to its civilisational enemies will dissipate rapidly with Osama bin Laden’s death. But historically speaking, the cycle of Islamic ascendancy has entered its downward spiral.

    Afghanistan may remain unmanageably disturbed, Iraq may take more than another decade to settle down, but destabilising forces in these countries could increasingly don autonomous, country-specific colours rather than seek inspiration from religion alone. The ferment in the Arab world, which started with Tunisia and Egypt, has shown no signs yet of leading towards religious revivalism or radicalism. The yearning for democracy and accountability in Libya, Syria, Yemen and others seems more inspired by Western values than its leaders would care to admit. It may take a long time still, but militant jihadism is indubitably on the wane. That is why civilisation as we know it is safer from Osama bin Laden’s death.

    http://www.dailypioneer.com/337053/Decline-of-radical-Islam-has-begun.html
     
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  3. Mai Harinder Kaur

    Mai Harinder Kaur
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    This is wishful thinking on his part. We are still here, waiting... animatedkhanda1
     
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  4. JimRinX

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    There are many Good Reasons to hope that spnadmin is corerect!
    For example: The conversion (ahem) of Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the founder of Hizbollah, to a more "Israel Friendly" POV; or, more appropriately, to a POV that was more Respectful of the Messengers Command to the Faithful that they make Umma Wahid (a Community of One) with each other - and the so-called 'infidels', by providing them with "Protection", as well as in alignment with the Idea that the Jews have suffered, under Islamis Khalifs, Christian Pogroms, and Hitlers Holocaust, at least as much as they ever did while under Babylonian Enslavement, and the Iranians should therefore "think like Cyrus the Great" as far as Israel is concerned.
    His embracing of Human and Womens Rights also meant a lot to me: but then I'm a partly Jewish American Liberal and, therefore, a very reluctant Zionist.
    When I hear Egyptians saying: "We want what they have in America", I say - "Oh! You mean like the Haganah (i.e.: the Israelis, pre-1948) did, in 1948? As the al Hussienis Clan wasn't about to give it to them, OR the Palastinian Arabs; not when they could set up a 'new' Ottoman-style Tax Farming 'state', and call it a khalifate, instead!!!"
    As us lefty, Humanist, way post-Enlightenment Americans don't want to kill Muslims - but we WILL defend ourselves from radicals, if necessary - I can only hope that the Muslims listen to their "Reminder", and focus on fulfilling the Prophets Noble Command to make Umma Wahid.
    I also hope that Mai Harinder Kaur, and the others like her, find it in their hearts to forgive Mother India, and the British Diplomats and Cartographers who lied to them so long ago.
    Shah Akbar the Great would Love You for it - and So Would I!!!
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Just a note. I am not the author of the starter article. The author is Chandan Mitra. Thanks.
     
  6. Auzer

    Auzer
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    Radical Islam is less than 1 % of total Islam of the globe. Islam today is the largest practiced faith on the planet (Second largest nominal faith). Terrorists are very,very few in number. Out of 1.6 billion or so Muslims of the planet , terrorists form a very minute , even neglectable ,minority. Radical Islam will decline and traditional Islam will keep on rising,Inshallah!
     
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  7. JimRinX

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    Inshallah INDEED, Auzer Ji!
    Thank You for your Comment! (Psst! I'm one of the FEW Americans who'll still 'give you a break', as I've been drowning in the Sea Of Hate that I mmyself have been being subjected to, by the Evil Ku Klux Klan, over the last eight years.)
    You miggt be happy to hear that I, apparently, forced USAG John Ashcrofts Resignation, by accussing him of helping the KKK to KILL three people; the last one, unfortunately, was a Nation Of Islam {My BUTT!}, "One Percenter" who ignored my warnings, offered me 'free drugs' (To offend me, as I LEGALLY take Narcotics for Chronic Pain - and they wanted to 'Enslave Me'. Ugly; Very, Very UGLY, eh?) and was promptly Shot To Death, in tehColdest Blood, by a Portland Oregon Cop.
    Thus, reading your Defense of the Noble Muslim Majority really makes me HAPPY!
    You make me want to keep fighting the good fight (ie: Imprisoning that White Supremacist SOB, AND his allies) - and to WIN IT!
    Inshallah!
     

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