The so-called moderate leaders in the Islamic States of the Abode of
Peace with secular tendencies usually control the military, under the
watchful eyes of the Conservative Power Challengers (CPC) and religious
leaders. Though moderate, they are devout Muslims. They hold the country
together by force of arms. CPC and spiritual leaders control religion.
This leads to the formation of two opposing groups: the so-called
moderate “secular” that runs the country and has the government reins in
its hands, and the CPC “sectarian” that acts as a watchdog against the
government’s un-Islamic future trends and deviation from (Al-Sirat Al-Mostaqeem)
the straight path of Islam.
The secular front calls for constitutional reforms based on democratic
principles. The sectarian front opposes secular reforms and advocates
the Koran and the Hadeeth as the basis for constitutional reform.
Neither faction gives way. It eventually ends up in a deadlock and open
confrontation. The secular faction of the government resorts to force of
arms; CPC dares them with fatwas (religious edicts), accusing their
leaders of apostasy and condemning them to death.
For a while, the country whirls in a cycle of plots, coups, counter
coups, assassinations, violence, imprisonment, more killings and
issuance of more (fatwas) by the clerics to justify their militant
actions. The end result is ruin of their country and setback to the
economy and social life. The conflict continues. Like a ruinous cyclone,
it triggers another vicious cycle of destruction, plunging the country
into economic crisis and retrogression. The present situation in Iran
and Afghanistan are two vivid examples (Hiro, 1989: pp 57, 61, 74, 79;
Pryce-Jones, 1989: pp 330, 348; Polk, 1991: p 44). Somalia and Algeria
are headed in the same direction.
Religious authority in an Islamic country, under the leadership of the
clergy, is similar in context to any other such Islamic authority. Yet,
it widely differs from country to country and sect in its interpretation
and application of the law through the Koran and Hadeeth. Like for
instance in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran, Islam does not have a
centralized body to canonize the laws. Imams issue (fatwas) edicts
according to their diligence (ijtihad) from Mecca, Al-Azhar, Qom, etc.
Hiro states that in 1802:
“Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz, grandson of the founder of the Saudi
dynasty, invaded Karbala [city in southern Iraq, predominantly
She’ah] and destroyed the shrine of Imam Hussein, robbing it of all
finery, he ordered the killing of all the Karbala residents since,
according to him, they were apostate.” (Hiro, 1989: p 42).
Such actions cause wide schism to the point of perpetual enmity and
irreconcilability. If Muslim leaders could by religious (fatwa) edict do
that to their own people, they could easily do the same to others, such
as the indigenous people living under their direct rule in the Abode of
Peace. They can always come up with a (fatwa) to justify their cruel
action of elimination (Hiro, 1989: pp 42, 143; Polk, 1991: p 303;
Aburish, 1995: pp 23-24).