Which Islam?

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Western media are aghast: why can’t “Islam” condemn the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and expel it from “Islam.” For Western media, Islam is an office with fancy headquarters where bureaucrats produce fatwas around the clock. In the wake of September 11, Senator Dianne Feinstein used to tour the TV news shows and wonder in anger: why can’t Islam issue a fatwa to end all terrorism? If only things were that easy.

There is now a debate over which is the true Islam. American Zionists, like Senator Kerry and other officials, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Saudi Wahhabi officials and declare to the world that the Islam of ISIS is not “the true Islam.” They think that they are putting a good show of cultural sensitivity. Saudi officials join in and they too declare that “this is not the true Islam.” But what is the true Islam?

Islam is not a sect or a schism and it is also not a religion with a well-defined hierarchy and priesthood. There is no religious capacity performed by the so-called clerics and Muftis in the Muslim world which can’t be performed by lay people. The Qur’an does not speak about a clerical establishment: that came much later and purely for political purposes in order to justify decisions and rule by caliphs (whose connections to Islam and its teachings varied widely from one person to another). Islam may not be as categorically judgmental as the Catholic faith or some Protestant sects.

The notion that Muslims – not God – should stand in judgment of one another has been frowned upon in Islamic theological debates. One theological school, called al-Murj`iah (literally those who postpone or who defer [judgment]) refused to even condemn the violation of all violations of the faith by anyone who simply and only believes in the oneness of God (they relied on the Qur’anic verse, “And [there are yet] others-[people whose cases are] deferred until God wills to judge them: He will either chastise them or turn again unto them in His mercy-for God is all-knowing, wise.” (9:106) They maintained that only God should exercise that powerful judgment of behavior or religious conduct. The Murj`iah school disagreed with both Kharijites and Sunnah but their influence was felt throughout. Even the mainstream Sunni schools took a centrist position on the matter although they feared that the Murj`iah school may encourage violations of religious teachings.

In the West, many in the governments and media (and some even in academia) stand in admiration of the Azhar religious establishment or even of the corrupt Wahhabi fatwa-producing industry in Riyadh. In reality, both institutions are regarded with great suspicion and regarded (rightly) as mere tools of political authority and religious authority. Both answer to oil dynasties and don’t exercise independent political and religious judgment. As such, it is possible for a Muslims (or a groups of Muslims) to develop a set of teachings – as deviant and as aberrant and as abhorrent as they may be – and declare them as “the true Islam.” It is to Islam’s credit (and to its weakness) that there is no central authority in Islam to decide questions that are settled in rabbinical courts about “who is a Jew?” It is this flexible quality in Islam that allowed the faith to travel far and wide and adjust and adapt to different cultural environments. The “Islam” that arrived in India decided that the practitioners of Indian religions can’t be declared as infidels (how would Islam rule there with such a declaration?) and that they should be, analogously-speaking, regarded as People of the Book, just like Jews and Christians.

Islam, as a religion, is far more democratic than is often assumed; it is up to Muslims to decide by consensus what is the true Islam and what is not, provided one adheres to the known tenants or pillars of the faith, and provided one follow one of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence (or the Shi`ite Ja`farite school), not to mention countless of other sects and schisms in Islam. Wahhabiyyah, however, stands outside of those set norms and parameters: Wahhabiyyah is the antithesis of the aforementioned school of Murji`ah.

What Mohammed Ibn `Abdul-Wahab insisted upon – and what is followers today insist upon – is that men with the sword judge on behalf of God here on earth, and on all matters, small and big. This is where the Saudi Kingdom and ISIS fit. They are outside the boundaries of mainstream Islam in that they refuse to even concede that they speak as representatives of a sect. Wahhabis (of all stripes) protest to even the name of Wahhabis: we are only Muslims, they assert; i.e. they alone are Muslim and everyone else is a kafir who should be fought as ancient pagans at the time of Mohammad. Wahhabis claim that they represent the “true Islam” when the strength of Islam throughout the ages is that there is no such thing as “the true Islam.” There were at one point in Islamic history (during the Fatimid caliphate) three caliphs competing for the title of supreme caliph, so to say, and all spoke on behalf of “true Islam.”

In conclusion, neither ISIS, nor John Kerry nor al-Azhar and certainly not the Saudi ruling dynasty speak on behalf of “the true Islam.” The believers will settle this matter on their own, but without NATO military intervention, despite the recent perception that NATO is now part of the Islamic ummah.

Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil is a Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, a lecturer and the author of The Angry Arab News Service. He tweets @asadabukhalil.

Comments

Professor As'ad AbuKhalil : I draw your attention to ...

THE DEBATE - DUBIOUS MISSIONS (20.9.2014)
Ken O'Keefe vs Bob Ayers :
PRESS TV - host: Marzieh Hashemi.

Does this come within your requests of / for media attention, sir ?

In reading these comments, I just realized that this site is a magnet for the truly, truly mentally ill.
R Davis, please up your meds immediately. Your father was way too hard on you, dude. Jews had nothing to do with it.

Barry the Zionist i.e. colonizers of Palestinian land could not be as mentally disturbed as R Davis, but he sure cannot read. R. Davis mentioned "Jews" exactly once - as "A Zionist is a Jewish nationalist supporting the creation of a/the Jewish homeland Israel."
I suppose Barry the Zionist i.e. colonizers of Palestinian land just has a knee-jerk reaction on ANY comment he sees as not pro-Zionist enough LOL

Hi Lidia- Obvisously you did not read his other comments. They are clearly deranged. He mentions Zionists because most Jew haters have personal issues that translate into hatred of a particular group that they use to explain short comings and disappointments in their lives.
Tolstoy said that Jew hatred was a disease that affects its victims in every facet of their lives. They overlook the obvious to blame things on Jews, using real or perceived Jewish misdeeds as excuses for everything.
Point proven.

the owners of no 29 sited - racial discrimination as the reasons for our not wanting their development to go ahead.
they are Turkish & Muslim
the fact that the development is high density & not in keeping with the street scape is not relevant
the fact that the 30 year that they have lived here you never knew if your car would still be there in the morning
that you lawn mower would still be there on Sat.
& when Jack wanted to build a modest second story on his house they were beside themselves siteing that it would prevent to air from getting to their house.
the fact that Jack sold up & move his family away in fear of them
that the next owner sold up & at a loss & less than 12 months after purchase in fear of them

recently:
I found an anonymous note written on a piece of a used envelope - commanding me to remove the morning glory growing over my back fence or else the council will be notified & they will make me remove it.
( who is this ? - no 29 who want to build 3/2 story units & we all rejected their plan - the new residents at no 35 - who must suffer form the God complex ?)
I rang the council immediately -
Someone let down my car tyre X 2 -
I called the police -
IT complained anonymously to the council -
The council sent someone around to inspect & sent me a get rid of the vines or else letter -
I rang the council & asked "why did I ring you in the first place & you may be aiding & abetting a stalker?"

POLICE & THE JUSTICE SYSTEM & CUSTODIAL SENTENCES ARE A MUST IN ANY SOCIETY & NOT THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE.

I still don't what nasty little creep did this but one more flat tyre & the police will seek the assistance of the council to try & discover their I.D.

1) World Zionist Organization:
A Zionist is a Jewish nationalist supporting the creation of a/the Jewish homeland Israel. Since the creation of modern Israel the role of the movement has declined & it is now a peripheral factor in Israeli politics.
( peripheral - incidental / minor / superficial )
American Zionists like Senator Kerry = peripheral - plays a superficial role - a ham rolled out for the camera when the need arises.

2) Religions far more democratic than is often assumed.
Branch Davidians - David Koresh
The Mason Family - Charles Manson
Heaven's Gate - Marshall Applewhite
& Bonnie Nettles
Peoples Temple - Jim Jones
Scientology - L. Ron Hubbard
Unification Church - Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Bagwan Shee Rajneesh
Children of God - David "Moses" Berg
Fundamentalist Church of the Latter-Day Saints
- Warren Jeffs
Twelve Tribes - Elbert Spriggs
In all good conscience I can't let you guys have this one on your own - we in the West are also good for it.

"the believers will settle the question of the TRUE ISLAM on their own" you say.

The concept religion:-
Merlin possessed somewhat ill-defined but reputedly powerful magical abilities when wearing the magic cloak. He was shown able to produce virtually any effect that could be conceived. He could battle gods single-handedly, instantaneously teleport anywhere in the world, or summon mythological creatures to do his bidding. He also possessed astral projection, telekinesis, reality manipulation, & the ability to bring anyone back to life. Ofter, he could use his magic by speaking backwards.

In R.C. religion I can see many familiarities.

"the believers will settle the question of the True Islam on their own" you say.
Yes indeed the will.
It is a bun fight Professor........

Western Media:
when you are on a retainer you don't quibble about the brand of the butter on your slice of bread, you are just glad of it being there

I began to read.....
ah, the magic words.....
Western Media
& I wonder why you care so much for them ?
Who or what is WESTERN MEDIA ?
the public servant incognito - il est vraiment trop, trop, excitant, vous ne pensez pas !
sustained by funds from the public purse
& protected by governmental legislation
masquerading as a public corporation
I give you an excellent example
Australia Media in total
one gutless cocky
However you know best who you are & what is true & correct & what you are about, sir...
& I will now read on.
I will say this though
"they may not be what you think they are & reality may dash your belief system, some what"

re: "(or the Shi`ite Ja`farite school)" -- why is Shi'ism rendered a parenthetic afterthought?

By the way, a very informative article. I suppose were I not an Atheist, I could become a Muslim.

When I am iller than just ill, I begin to think about heaven - what if they send me to Muslim Heaven by mistake & I am transformed into a beautiful virgin.

yigal the Zionist talks about "hate" - I wonder, how many Palestinian children he murdered, how many Palestinians robbed and tortured? Only Jews who at least partially are against Zionist colonization do not serve in Zionist occupation army, so yigal, being a male sure has his hands red to his elbows at least.
Also yigal the Zionist has a gall to taught As'ad how to love Lebanon, Zionist colonizers sure love Lebanon enough to bomb, invade, occupy and mass-murder the Lebanese. I suppose yigal the Zionist is ready to help one more time, or has yigal the Zionist meant NATO bombings?

Good article for the most part. That Is until the blinded by hate author says "The believers will settle this matter on their own".I ,In my nai'ivity ,thought AbuKhalil loved Lebanon.

What does this article have to do with loving Lebanon?

This article has much to do with Lebanon.The author warns against any non Muslim Intervention In Muslim vs Muslim wars. Lebanon Is weeks away from becoming a battle ground for DA.Lebanon will need and want ALL the outside Intervention It can muster.Saying otherwise Is plain arrogance and false bravado.So go on High five AbuKhalil for demanding this coming catastrophe be dealt only by Muslims. The loudest and the most obnoxious posters here, are the same ones that will cry that the "world" Is deaf to the Muslims and Arab populations sufferings by Daesh. As usual, It will be up to the "west" and NATO to clean up the mess.
L, I don't care what religion you follow or don't. You can worship goats for all I care.You are already a Pavlovian lab lab.

yigal the Zionist aka colonizer of Palestinian and Lebanese land is angry that As'ad has not welcome Zionists to decide what is "right" Islam. I suppose yigal the Zionist aka colonizer would be happy with me (an anti-Zionist) telling him what is the "right" Zionism LOL
Islam is a religion, and as ANY religion it is up to Muslims to decide what it true and what is not. Esp. if USA and Zionist colony on Palestinian and others' land would stop support for Saudi royals and their Wahhabi propaganda.
Of course, IS and other Wahhabi fanatics are made by the same Saudi royals with "west" using them as a force against secularists (like in Afghanistan, Libya and so on) and other anti-imperialists like Iran and Hezballah
In short, it is "west" which started the "mess" (crimes) and go on with the crimes - Afghanistan had been a victim since 1979 as Brzezinski bragged in 1996. Lebanon is a victim of the same Saudi-"western" Wahhabis, with Zionists openly saying that they prefer them to the resistance. Nothing odd there - Wahhabi had not fight Zionism, unlike Hizballa

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