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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Struggle and Diligence  

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Tailored System of Government

 

 

Power Struggle
 

 

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).

 

 

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Struggle and Diligence  

Table of Contents

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Tailored System of Government

 

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