Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials - The Economist, UK

Economist may be regarded as a more sober, mature and academic than other Western propagandist media. However, the following article, though forcefully putting out Western views, is too confused to be branded either propaganda or serious academic exercise to draw practical conclusions to address Muslim grievances. Its focus is more on wrongs 'committed' by Muslims and Islam, rather than the West and Zionists.

1. The long headline --- Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials --  appears to counter the argument more vehemently advanced by Jewish propagandists that it is Islam by its very nature and essentials, that is violent and destructive. Economist proposes to focus on the current world movements to explain why Jihadists have sprung up. (The Neocon's New World Order that unleashes the idea of clash of civilisation to justify war on Islam as a potential global adversary and Muslims as new targets, now that Communist Russia has been effectively decimated.) Economist writer has tried to open a new line of investigation, as according to Economist, possibly taking on Islam as a religion will be too stupendous a job without any measurable immediate results.)
2. Economist warns Western media and policymakers, not to call for any reform in Islam, or they will end up bringing most stringent Salafi Islam into the play. Any idea to bring forth an Islam in tune with West's own interest, will find an ongoing and ever intensive reaction that probably will sap West's own energies.

3. Economist acknowledges that Islam does not allow for separation of religion and state; however it is strange that in addressing Islam and Muslim World, West persist in fashioning its own response to Muslim world mingling religion with state policies. The religion of Islam is the main target by Jewish and Zionist warmongers and it is the Zionists that keep manipulating western policymakers and media propagandist to attack both the religion of Islam and Muslim world. Their notion of survival extends to destruction of entire world.
4. Economist seems to agree to Muslims trying to work out their own formula, adjusting modern parameters to Islamic fundamentals. It therefore is against West trying to force any such changes in the process, that may rebound in problems for the West, without any productive results. The element of hate and phobia has to be exposed and condemned.
5. Economist compares Shia and Sunni hierarchy that ends up a grudging endorsement of a Church like authority that characterizes Shia strain exemplified by Iran, while Sunni religious Ulama without any such authority have been sidelined by 'despots' who virtually separated Islam from the state, (under Left liberal influences?). It mentions Salafis as working towards such a central authority and one of their contribution, according to Economist is, the formulation of 'Jihad' as a violent struggle to confront the rest of the world as well as those that do not follow their strict version of Islam, thus legitimizing 'apostasy' killings and increasing stress to punish the wrongs.
6.Economist persists in branding 9/11 as a Muslim attack, that provoked US attack on Iraq and Afghanistan. The world does not believe that propaganda and both Iraq and Afghanistan had been a disaster with long term consequences for the Western armed invasions. The worst part is that each and every anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic move is couched in religious terms to hide and camouflage West's capitalist exploitation of Muslim resources. Jewish media has been very successful in covering up the truth and propagating the untruth.
7. Economist laments that lack of central authority in Islamic world, effectively appointed INTERNET as the source of formulating a global consensus of Jihadist to confront the West as well as their own kind.
8. Economist opines that factors behind Jihadism will only abate when region's Muslim majority societies become prosperous and politically and socially free. Economist does not assign any active role for the western states to work against that eventualities.
9. This Economist article is directly in response to Charlie Hebdo attacks. Economist being very much aligned to Jewish interests has no word in the article making out that provocation to Muslims need to be condemned to buy peace. A spate of articles both in US and EU and Australia are trying to divide 'radicals' and 'mainstream' Muslims as favour to the overwhelming majority that is not involved in any violence. However, that is more in the manner of divide and rule policy, as long as West itself is not ready to any self-analysis and self-correction.
Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai


The roots of jihadism

A struggle that shames[?]

Islamist violence stems much more from recent history than from the faith’s essentials

Jan 17th 2015 | CAIRO | From the print edition
  • Timekeeper

MANY in the West take the Paris attacks as evidence that Islam needs reform, or indeed a full-on Reformation. They should be careful what they wish for. The reforming of religions is a messy business, and does not necessarily make them gentler or more biddable. Indeed the jihadists from whom the Paris murderers took their lead see themselves as reformers, tasked with a mission to strip their faith of centuries of arcane jurisprudence and non-Islamic practice and bring it back to its fiercer, truer original form.

Their goal is nothing like the tempering outcome hoped for by those calling for a Reformation along the line of Europe’s five centuries ago, but the process has at least one similarity. As in the religious wars that followed on from Europe’s Reformation, the worst of the violence perpetrated by jihadists has been felt by their co-religionists. Most of the victims of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism have been Muslims.

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Islam has never acknowledged a separation of religion from the state: from the time of the Prophet both developed together. The challenge of reconciling this with the workings of the post-colonial states set up in the Middle East during the 20th century has proved a difficult one. It is made more so when those modern states fall into a despotism which combines political repression with economic stagnation. Such stagnation is particularly hard on the young people who make up most of the population in most Arab countries. It leaves them without the money to start a family and deprived of a sense that their life has much meaning outside religion.
To the religious, Islam cannot be blamed for these miserable conditions. Hence the argument that, rather than mimic the modernised West, and rather than allow it to intervene in their affairs, as it has done through much of recent history, Muslims should create new forms of politics and government proper to their faith. The Islamists who hold such ideas take their faith as providing ultimate guidance not just in the personal realm but in the social and political realms, too.

For those in the Shia branch of Islam, the high-water mark of such feelings was the Iranian revolution of 1979, which turned a somewhat repressive modernising monarchy into a thoroughly repressive theocracy. Political Islamists of the Sunni strain, frequently marginalised, oppressed or manipulated by authoritarian rulers, do not yet have any comparable landmark.

Salafis, Sunnis who take their name and inspiration from the salaf, the Prophet’s original followers, have played on these grievances. Decades ago some of them reformulated jihad—a term which means struggle of various sorts—as a justification of political violence. Combined with the view that apostasy merits death the idea of jihad has been used to justify everything from the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Egypt’s president, in 1981 to the slaughter of Syrian and Iraqi Muslims who neglect to pray five times a day, or smoke, or disagree with any other part of the perverse interpretation of Islam favoured by the so-called Islamic State (IS).

From Peshawar to Paris

The first great growth opportunity for modern jihadism came with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. After fighters backed by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and America expelled the enemy they found new targets, with those who created al-Qaeda taking a new interest in the “far enemy”: America and the rest of the West.

In attacking America in 2001, and thus provoking a new invasion of Afghanistan and, later, Iraq, al-Qaeda created an environment where the sort of jihadism it inspired could spread much further than before. Fed by ideology, opportunity and the ready availability of frustrated young men holding their lives cheap the conflagration shows no signs of abating or lessening in its depravity. From Nigeria (see article) to Pakistan, the month that saw 17 slain in Paris saw hundreds more killed elsewhere (see chart).

In many minds IS has now overtaken al-Qaeda as the most notorious current exponents of jihadism. Although IS shares much of its forerunner’s ideology, it is far less discriminating about whom it kills; even al-Qaeda’s leaders have criticised its brutality. And although its leaders call for killing in the West, their main aim is ruling the territory of a new caliphate.

The ability of Sunni Islamists to pick and choose religious concepts and take them out of context is partly down to the absence of respected religious authority in Sunni Islam. Nearly every Shia bows to one of a handful of Grand Ayatollahs, but Sunni institutions such as Cairo’s al-Azhar have limited authority. And the internet allows the masses of alienated youth to listen to the most radical preachers rather than the imam at their local mosque. State attempts to control preachers only increase mistrust of them. Scholars trying to set Islamic teachings in their historical or cultural context, whose work might inspire ways of better accommodating political Islam to the contemporary world, find themselves drowned out.

The relative prosperity, peace and democracy of Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia show that today’s Islam can be tolerant. And there may be positive signs amid the bloodshed in the Arab world—from the popular distrust signalled by Egypt’s rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group that briefly ruled after the 2011 revolution, to the way that Ennahda, Tunisia’s Islamist party, relinquished power after recent elections. But most scholars reckon that the factors behind jihadism will only abate when the region’s Muslim-majority societies become prosperous and politically and socially free. None of the Arab world’s leaders are making much progress towards that.

From the print edition: Briefing

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