With the increasing resolve on the part of the US to not allow Muslims to follow Islam in their collective (political) life, the future of Islam in politics has become a hot topic for discussion.
Some believe that the emergence of groups trying to resolve the issues with the power of a gun undermine the legitimacy of Islamic movements in the Muslim World. Others argue that the increasing helplessness among Muslims and aggression on the Part of the US and its allies enhance their appeal.
Some of the US-supported “moderates” believe that groups such as the Jamaat-e-Islami and Ikhwan al-Muslimeen will slowly lose ground and instead of further “radicalization” Islamic movements would “democratize.”
Those who do not agree with the “moderates” still believe that this will happen to some extent given the state of mind of Muslim masses which has been thoroughly brain washed with centuries of colonial justifications and tactics aimed at dilution of their faith. Furthermore, they think that the general lack of interest among Muslims to live by Islam and the US showering dollars and bombs will add legitimacy to the American version of Islam. Thus Islamic movements would have to go through a very tough time even if they have to succeed.
The self-proclaimed moderates’ assume that “radicalization” or “democratization” are the only two alternatives; reflecting an absolutist mindset and sheer arrogance of those who think in these terms. This absolutism and propagation of the fear of “radicalization” have actually paved the way for the ongoing occupations and for further aggression.
The aggressors in turn exaggerate this fear and without presenting any evidence in support of their aggression go for their bloody adventures. After years of mayhem and exposed lies, the mouth pieces of the radical administration, such as The New York Times, make the world believe that they need to win the war in the heart of Islam to secure the United States (Friedman: Calm Before the Storm, April 13, 2005).
The way the fear of the assumed “radicalization” is exploited is evident from the way victims of the US concentration camps are being treated. Their public humiliation is so widespread a fashion that one can hardly imagine. The lack of any convictions indicates that the actual radicals in the US administration and policy making circles wish to send a message to the Muslims that they should not expect mercy if they dare to oppose US designs. The gratuitous employment of unsuppressed torture further demonstrates and emphasizes this point.
No inhumane treatment can ever stand a chance of preventing the so-presented “spectre of political Islam” arising. The source of “political Islam” is not Al-Qaeda, which has been made a justification for the invasions, occupations and concentration camps, Many analysts, who have clearly no association with the so-considered conspiracy theorists, have begun to conclude that Al-Qaeda does NOT exist nor has ever existed.
Such a group was needed to demonstrate that a force inimical to its interests existed and to prove charges of conspiracy in the US courts of laws. Osama played in the hands of the aggressors: thanks to his inflammatory fatwas to consolidate these myths. His last minute denials of no involvement in the terror attacks fell on deaf ears.
Even if Al-Qaeda did exist in the form and shape described by the “mainstream” media, it was not a mass movement. It was a reactionary force wanting to throw out the occupiers the way they were trained and groomed for years.
Actually, there are two sources of “political Islam”: a) material and political and b) ideological. These will determine its future.
So long as Muslims find themselves living under extended colonial and externally imposed and externally protected regimes; in environments that lack opportunity and that do not provide a sense of justice and security; Islam will find itself sought out as a cure in the social, political and economic realm.
As the GDP of the Muslim nations continue to remain stagnant due to economic exploitation by global monetary institutions, while still struggling to pay off their debts and having to cater for the needs of their rising populations, concerned individuals will continue to question the double standards they face. For example, they see reparations to Kuwait for its 6 month occupation run into billions, whereas others couldn’t get a dime for reeling under many decades of colonial and other occupations.
Just like the present US approach to keep Muslims away from Islam, former colonialist also did the same to make their adventure look benign and war off any resistance to the injustice and double standards they perpetrated at that time.
That’s why due to weak roots in faith, the subsequent Muslim generation sought answers in nationalism and socialism. While it is expected that some form of socialism will return to combat the unrestrained capitalism that is devouring the globe, Islam itself is right now sought out to at least provide answers, if not relief.
If the material conditions in Muslim societies improve, so it is posited, it is unfortunate, but expected, that their desires for a worldly Islamic salvation will proportionally decrease. For the casual onlooker, the cure appears to be jobs and security.
At the ideological level, however, the situation is rather different. Regardless of the material conditions of their particular societies, there are those individuals who do regard Islam as it is: a complete code of life, a Deen, not just a religion, or a set of rituals. This belief has nothing to do with inciting violence, overthrowing Western governments or engaging in terrorist activities. Others are completely irrelevant as long as others do not interfere in Muslims’ internal affairs.
Presently, most of the groups which believe in the totality of Islam are unable to offer a consistent and comprehensive plan of action. In fact, many like the Jamaat-e-Islami and Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen are a spent force. Their raison d’etre has been thoroughly compromised in every arena – they have failed in their primary mission. Now they are content to effect charitable actions and mere jockeying for minor positions on the political periphery.
“Moderate” movements will come and go in a similar fashion as tastes change. Democracy (for which instead read capitalism) will be tried in the Muslim world to satisfy the interests of the extremists abroad and it will prove just as ruinous as the ideologies of socialism, Ba’athism, nationalism etc that preceded it.
Those who remain steadfast in their belief and stick to Islam according to its core sources, the Qur’an and Sunnah, will eventually shine through without resorting to killing innocent civilians. Those who have a thorough understanding and comprehensively sound agenda will manage to effect the change in the Ummah required to re-establish the required Islamic polity.