Oct 16, 2007

Ali Eteraz: Islamists Vs Muslim Left.

Ali Eteraz (other articles), American raised muslim attorney, brilliantly gives a call to muslim to shun the Islamists and create a movement of muslim left.

He writes in Guardian that he went to a government school in the American south where he had constant interaction with religious supremacists. Such people believe that their moral mandate must be given preference, if not outright dominance. In the south, these people were Christian.Their imperative was to acquire converts who would eventually help make their political programme the law of the land.

After a couple of years, a number of Muslim students enrolled at the school. They were also upset with the endless Christian proselytising. Since many of them were family friends, they took me aside and urged me to help them set up an Islamic society. Its primary purpose would be to hold Quran study circles, correct anti-Muslim propaganda in textbooks, and - "just like the Christians do" - invite students to learn about their religion.

The Muslim right is an ideological movement. Why not? When rationalism is rampant and clerics can't bind Muslims together, ideology is the best thing to obtain mass obedience.

The Muslim right is international. It played off the Cold War and in a Machiavellian stroke made the US its benefactor. It ended up creating a decentralised international network. Jamat-e-Islami in Pakistan consulted with Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; the Brotherhood then, with "tacit support" from their self-professed enemies, created Hamas. Then the Sunni Islamists went and assisted Khomeini, pragmatically putting aside their doctrinal disagreement with the Shia for the sake of shared ideology.

He further adds, "So the dilemma for 21st century Islam is that there is a group of Muslims who with "activists" instead of "clerics" have reined in Muslim individualism, organised it into a system, injected it with illiberal values, and then invoked non-violence and freedom of speech as a shield to hide behind. If I had not seen Karl Rove do it with American Christianity I could have never realised how the Muslim right does it with Islam.

He gives a call for the formation of "Muslim Left" to challenge the "Islamist" and give an alternative to moderate muslim. full article

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