Frederick P. Isaac

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Articles and book information on Assyrian issues including contemporary history, experiences under Islamic rule, leadership and Assyrian aspirations to nationhood.


Indigenous Peoples

Under the Rule of Islam

 

by Frederick P. Isaac

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PART III
 

UNCOMPROMISING
 

Conservative Power Challengers
 

 

A great divide separates two opposing power challengers in the world of Islam: (1), the progressive secular group, known as the pro-secular and holder of the Imperial Sceptre like Turkey, the reformist, and (2), the conservative hardliners? bearers of the Sword of Allah, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, The Sudan and Libya.

In the world of Islam, the above two opposing groups are in constant challenge of each other. Except for Secular Turkey, most of the Islamic states are established on this duel-type system. Such a system results in a series of constant clashes between the two opposing groups: group of the secular state laws and that of the sectarian religious laws. Since Islamic countries establish their governing system on the teachings of the Koran and the Hadeeth, the two courts become obligingly entwined.

On occasions, they run in confluence with each other, and on others, they clash with each other, causing suffering to the person caught up in such judiciary decisions. The person involved becomes a victim of an ambiguous judicial system. This might sound bizarre, but it is a fact. This has been the case since the inception of Islam.

Muslim progressive leaders with true liberal trends in the Abode of Peace often meet with a violent end. Conservative Power Challengers (CPC), carrying the sword in the name of religion, cut the liberals down, disallowing them to introduce constitutional reforms to democratise their countries on secular lines. CPC are the ardent Muslims and religious leaders, advocates of sectarianism. They allegedly hold jurisdiction over the lifestyle of their subjects and their daily activities. They are upholders and guardians of the Islamic law. They monitor the conduct of their subjects, making sure that they do not stray from (Al-Sirat Al-Mustaqeem) the straight path of the faith. Activities are watched, especially in matters of religion, association and morality. Engagement in sports, public entertainment and all forms of athletics, is practised under the strict guidelines of the Islamic (shari’ah) law.

Islamic Conservative Power Challengers (CPC) act as guardians on the morality of Islam. They machinate the elimination of elements that advocate and indulge in secular activities that disagree with the Islamic tradition. CPC accuse Muslim liberal-minded leaders of secularism and apostasy. They issue religious edicts (fatwa) against them, condemning them to death. The attempt on the life of Riyadh Al-Solh, the Prime Minister of Lebanon in the early 1950s was followed by the assassination of King Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in July 1951. The current Iraqi Regime of the Ba’ath Party ambushed General Abdul Karim Qassim in Baghdad in 1963. He was killed in cold blood. The dethronement and fleeing of Muhammad Reza Shah from Iran in 1979 ending his kingship, and the assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt in October 1981, by members of an Islamic Organisation named Al-Jihad, are just a few examples of the violent methods Islamic Conservative Power Challengers adopt in terminating liberal leaders.

CPC, hoisting the banner of Islam, resort to violence. In a show of force, they challenge liberal leaders that have social and progressive trends. Liberal leaders that lean towards Western culture or enhance the Western parliamentary system are targeted for total elimination.

Muslim leaders with liberal tendencies raise doubt in the minds of Islamic Conservative Power Challengers about their sincerity to Islamic traditions. CPC accuse such liberal-minded leaders of secularism, of treachery, of abandoning the Islamic values and of collusion against Muslim states of the Abode of Peace.

CPC are a combination of self-seeking ambitious collaborators, not necessarily clerics, comprising of ardent Muslims and religious leaders. They form an opposing front in an attempt to eliminate secular leaders. CPC use the teachings of the Koran and the Hadeeth (sayings and deeds of the prophet) to justify their actions.

Liberal-minded leaders suspend secular reforms for fear of being branded deviant and un-Islamic. The risk of being branded apostate for introducing democratic reforms becomes real. According to the Islamic Shari’ah Law, their elimination becomes lawful, after pronouncing a fatwa verdict against them. (Pryce-Jones, 1989: pp 112-113, 251, 323, 358; Hiro, 1989: pp 15, 29, 80). In Surat al-Imran 3:118, the Koran instructs Muslims not to befriend non-Muslims: “Believers, do not make friends with any men other than your own people”.

In the eyes of Islam, Westernisation is secularisation; hence self-indulgence. No matter how liberal, strong or despotic Muslim secular leaders may be, they are prisoners of the CPC. With the backing of the radical Islamic spiritual leaders, CPC factions pressure Islamic secular leaders to revert to the rule of the Islamic shari’ah law, according to the demands of the Koran and the Hadeeth, and the hidden agenda of Dar Al-Silm and Dar Al-Harb. Saudi Arabia and Iran have already taken the lead, followed by the Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Indonesia seems to want to follow suit.

Leaders who advocate secular ideals face growing opposition. The religious authority, in collaboration with CPC, want the secular leaders to project themselves as advocates of the Islamic doctrine and work towards redemption of Islam, rather than sway towards secularism.

To be confirmed and remain in office and hold on to power, a secular leader needs to swear allegiance to uphold the Islamic doctrine, adopt the Islamic Shari’ah Law and reform his country in the interest of the Abode of Peace and Islamic (umma) nation, over and above all other secular interests. The slightest deviation from (Al-Sirat Al-Mostaqeem) the straight path of the Islamic faith will immediately attract Conservative Power Challengers to counter him. They lie in wait to topple him. CPC seek the support of the religious authority to gain a religious edict (fatwa) to justify his elimination, violently if need be. It is an entrapment. By law, a Muslim person, whether male of female, cannot opt out of his/her religion, how much more a Muslim leader. By introducing secular reforms, he is allowing himself to be branded an apostate, hence liable to elimination. According to Islamic (shari’ah) law, a fatwa against him becomes warrantable and his elimination lawful (halal). (Hiro, 1989: p19; Polk, 1991: p491; Aburish, 1995: p117.

Conservative Power Challengers view the secular leaders as their opponent and deviant. In their view, reprehensible Muslims are those that pose questions, are soft on Western ideals, befriend the natives, express their own personal views or enhance secularisation. Regardless of status, Muslims who break the Islamic Shari’ah Law or dare debate religion or criticise the ruling system openly, expose themselves to unnecessary risk. CPC accuse such persons of heterodoxy. They describe them as disbelievers and slanderers.

Unless secular leaders repent and return to the fold of Islam and abandon secular reforms, their elimination becomes justifiable. King Abdullah, Abdul Nasser, Assad and Sadat - all four Arab leaders had been accused, at one time or another, of apostasy for their rapprochement to the West. Their attempt to introduce constitutional reforms was described by their CPC opponents as intolerable heresy. They were issued with discreet religious (fatwa) edict for their elimination.

King Abdullah was assassinated. Although Nasser died of a heart attack as a result of his failure to winning the war against Israel, a fatwa issued against him earlier was another cause that had added to his depression and sudden death. Sadat was Kalashnikov and (Alawi) Hafidh Al-Assad, after quelling his religious CPC Sunni opponents, returned to the fold of Islam and followed the straight path of observing its rituals. He put the secular reforms on hold, in the hope that they would be implemented by his succeeding son, Bashar (Pryce-Jones; 1989: pp 251-252).

For a leader of an Islamic regime, the way to survive, is to go like Qathafi; wrap himself in traditional attire and alternatively live the nomadic life of an Arab Bedouin, in an oasis, in proximity to his hometown, on the out-skirts of the desert. And praised be Allah’s name.

 

 

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Long-Term Objective of Islam 

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Conquered Land, its Loss and Retrieval

 

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