The United States of Islam
By Alexander Maistrovoy,
Journalist with the Russian-language Israeli newspaper Novosty Nedely
March 8, 2012
“A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of Communism.” These were the first words of Karl Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto”. More than a century later a different specter has appeared on the threshold of the Old World - the Specter of Caliphate.
A year ago Muhammad Badie – the General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood - stated:
“improvement and change that the Muslim nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death, just as the enemies pursue life”.
According to Badie, the ultimate purpose of Arabs is to restore the true face of the Muslim world, which is the State of the Caliphate with Sharia Laws - the sacred and the highest form of human civilization.
A veteran member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Ahmad Gad called “honorable Al-Azhar to rally the Islamic streams in order to unite the Muslim world and effort, restore the Caliphate… 'O Allah, guide us, open our hearts to faith, and restore this nation to its previous self – one united nation worshiping You and You alone.”'
Dr. Kamal Al-Helbawy, former Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in the West named this future Caliphate – “the United States of Islam”. He implied that Arabs want to erase borders that were drawn up by imperialist nations and build global Islamic State.
This is how another Egyptian Islamic Scholar Ibrahim Al-Khouli has formulated the concept of the Muslim Brotherhood:
"Forget about Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. That’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about Jihad which is led by the Islamic scholars … I am talking about the Jihad of the entire nation. We must conduct jihad against the West, who are aggressors against the Land of Islam.”
One can talk about the democratization of the Arab world, the “Arab Spring”, and liberalization of the Arab society. However, this observation is only external -- from another Time and another World - from the West of the XXI century. An internal perspective is completely different. It’s derived from depths of centuries, and it is reflected in the lexis of Badie and Gad, Al-Helbawy and Al-Khouli, Sheikh Yousef Qaradawi (“Constantinople was conquered in 1453 by a 23-year-old Ottoman named Muhammad ibn Murad, whom we call Muhammad the Conqueror. Now what remains is to conquer Rome ”) and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein who said:
“The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. … Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e. Jews) is a war of religion and faith”.
Lastly, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani declared that no efforts will be spared to spread Wahhabi Islam across the world, encouraging Jihad while investing €50 million in restoring Sharia in the French suburbs where hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants reside.
Al-Thani is considered a moderate pro-western ruler. A year ago this type of discourse would have been considered unthinkable. Nowadays these words are not only uttered, but are also validated by donations and financial support. Why one may ask? It is because al-Thani wants to be on the “right side of history”?
The time has come. All the obstacles, such as corrupt authoritarian regimes, towards the cherished dream have been scattered like sand dunes with the draft of khamsin.
Just like the Jews are coveting to return to Jerusalem and the Christians are longing for the Second Coming of Christ, so the Arabs have been yearning to restore Caliphate for centuries. Caliphate - a theocratic state - was the first and only authentic state in the Arab history, believed to be the embodiment of the Divine will.
Sharia Laws determine the internal structure of this state, Jihad – its foreign policy. Recently only starry-eyed professors, charmed by the Sufi spiritual practices, have been talking about Jihad as a self-improvement. Jihad, however is not a spiritual improvement, it is the fulfillment of the Divine will, and whatever is not a part of the “The House of Islam” (Dar al-Islam) is actually the “The House of War” (Dar al-Harb).
There hasn't been any dispute about the supremacy of Sharia Laws and the divine destiny of the Caliphate. Dividing Islam into “moderate” and “radical” is the flight of imagination of Western intellectuals who confuse, primarily, themselves. Islam (like two other Abrahamic religions) is a fundamentalist one, i.e., literally interprets holy scripture.
In the XVII-XVIII centuries, Christianity (influenced by the Enlightenment) moved toward liberalism and began treating the Bible in allegorical terms. But God is not an impersonal substance of Deists and harmonious deity of Neo-Platonists. He establishes the laws and obliges obeying them.
Muslim theologians' standpoint has its own logic. Why would the Arabs adopt social systems alien to them and imposed on them less than a century ago - whether it is democracy, market economy or socialism? Moreover, they are familiar with the consequences of political experimentation in the recent past.
Liberal democracy? What is the practical meaning of it? The absence of Divine Basis, Shape, Content? Desecration of God and His order? Refusal of values as the supreme value? Rejecting roots as a sacred principle? Desperate loneliness: “We are left alone, without excuse”?[Jean-Paul Sartre] The triumph of “the substantial emptiness”? [Ulrich Beck] Sexual laxity and perversions as an example to follow?
In order to understand someone you need to see the world through his or her eyes. The liberal freedoms are a blessing for the West and a mockery of the will of the Creator for Muslims. The Islamists' victory in last elections in Egypt wasn’t the result of brainwashing, but of a deep inner conviction.
The Arab world is ready for the State of Caliphate. It will resemble the theocracy in Saudi Arabia and Iran: the rough laws of “dhimmi” for the non-Muslims (who will survive the slaughter), the submission of women, stoning for adultery, prohibition of usury and homosexuality.
Creating a Caliphate will, obviously, take time. Primarily, it's necessary to neutralize the resistance of the military junta in Egypt, to eliminate the anarchy in Libya, to sweep away the regime in Syria, to crush the Hashemite monarchy and overthrow the rotten Palestinian leadership, suppress ethnic riots and stop the advancement of the Shiites in Iraq and Lebanon. Secondly, it is essential to affirm the principles of Sharia Laws in the minds of people, since these still exist in the collective consciousness as vague ideas. Finally, only then the scattered islands will be united into a single religious and cultural realm with the main goal – the beginning of Jihad.
Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis are not in a hurry. Sheikh Ahmad Gad said:
“There is no hope for reform without a return to divine rule, which the Creator chose for man...There is no other way but gradual action, preparing the souls and setting an example, so that faith will enter their hearts...”
Unlike the European people, the Arabs can wait, but they also know how to mobilize their forces. “Be patient if you are an anvil. Be swift if you are a hammer” - says Arabic wisdom. It took Prophet Muhammad two decades to create Islamic Caliphate in the Arabian Peninsula, and it took his followers less than a decade to conquer Persia, Egypt, and to corner the mighty Byzantine Empire.
“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come” - Victor Hugo wrote.
If you want liberal democracy for Arabs, you will get State of the Caliphate in your own house. “A specter is haunting the Middle East ... the specter of Caliphate...”
Posted with permission
Alexander Maistrovoy’s bio: "I was born in Moscow in 1960. In the 80s I began working in journalism and my work was published in various Moscow newspapers. I immigrated to Israel in 1988 where I work for the Russian-language Israeli press. For about fifteen years I’ve been a political analyst and journalist at the newspaper Novosty Nedely (“News of the Week”). I live in Jerusalem, write about politics, social life and religion. A number of English Internet editions and websites have published my work."
Mr. Maistrovoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous articles by Alexander Maistrovoy:
The Upturned World
One Country and Three Civilizations
Jews in Holy Land? What Jews?
Israel's "Samson Option": Choice in the Absence of Choice?
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