“Radical Islam Is the True Islam, Moderate Islam is Pseudo-Islam”
“Radical Islam Is the True Islam, Moderate Islam is Pseudo-Islam”
الراديكاليون”، دعوة إلى الإسلام الحق وزيف الإسلام المعتدل”
By Jacob Thomas
When anyone in the West unveils the true nature of Islam, he or she, is dubbed as an “Islamophobe.” The politically correct view is that Islam is a peaceful religion; but it has been highjacked by extremists. However, what do the guardians of political correctness say to Arab intellectuals who disagree with their thesis? Being versed in the history of Islam and its sacred texts (Qur’an, Hadith, and Sirat,) they posit well-documented arguments affirming that Moderate Islam is spurious, and that Radical Islam is the real and genuine Islam.
On Friday, 21 March, 2014, Al-Awan online journal posted an essay with this title: “Radical Islam is the True Islam, whereas ‘Moderate’ Islam is Pseudo-Islam?!” The following is a summary of the salient points of this work.
“Modern radical movements began in the early years of the past century; with certain Islamist theorists claiming to be reformists, but were in fact Salafists. For example, they didn’t hesitate to call for the punishment of Muslims who neglected to attend the regular Salaat (Worship) at the mosque! They went further in their views, by claiming that to engage in the arts, such as sculpture and music, would distract the believers from the worship of Allah.
“It is important to realize that the extremism of radical Muslims is not a new phenomenon; rather it is quite similar to the Islam in its golden age. The dream of the radicals is to bring back Islamic societies to the beliefs and practices of the ‘Righteous Salaf’ (Ancestors).
“Now the attempt of ‘Moderate’ Islam to offer a positive view of the faith to the civilized world has been a failure. For example, how can they ignore such a Qur’anic text that affirms: “the only true religion approved by Allah, is Islam. Qur’an 4:19 [the following is my transliteration of the Arabic text: “Inna’l deena ‘inda’l Allah al-Islam.” *
“Ibn Athir, 1160-1233, a well-known Muslim theologian-jurist, gave the following exposition of the Ayah:
“When Allah said: ‘The Religion before Allah is Islam,’ He must have meant that no other religion is valid; and that Muhammad was the Seal (final) of the prophets. This is in conformity with Qur’an 3:85:
“If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah, never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter, he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
“Ibn Athir continued:
“Whoever seeks a Religion other than Islam, (which is the standard Religion conveyed by all the Prophets during history, and is based on complete submission to God,) it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers.”
“As we engage in a serious study of the history of Islam, we find the moderates’ claim that it was the radicals who have done harm to Islam’s reputation, cannot be sustained. While it’s true that Surah 2, Ayah 256 does advocate tolerance:
‘Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.” 2:56
“Unfortunately, several other Surahs teach the very opposite, such as:
“Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind: ‘Ye shall be summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then shall ye fight, or they shall submit. Then if ye show obedience, Allah will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did before, He will punish you with a grievous Penalty.’” 48:16
“O Prophet! Strive hard against the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed).” 66:9
“O ye who believe! Fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” 9:123
“Any Muslim, whether moderate or radical, cannot escape the fact that the verses quoted above, leave no room for tolerance toward the other faiths. The conclusion is inescapable that the adage “No Compulsion in religion” (La Ikraha fi’l Deen) has been abrogated by the above Ayahs!
“When it comes to democracy and the rights of all people living in Muslim-majority realms, moderate Muslims would like us to believe that democracy and Shura (consultation among leaders) are of the essence of Islam. However history, ancient and modern, disproves that claim. The Caliphate from its earliest days (632) to the end of the Abbasid Caliphate (mid-13th century) exhibited no democratic features, and lacked a well-defined system for an orderly change of succession and governance. This continued under the Ottoman Caliphate and in the successor states in the modern times.
“For example, the first caliph, Abu Bakr waged war on several Arabian tribes that went back on Islam, after the death of Muhammad in 632. He forced them to re-embrace the faith. [Abu Bakr’s campaigns are known as ‘Huroob al-Radda,’ i.e. the wars against the apostates. That set the precedence for the Law of Apostasy stipulating that a Murtad (apostate) must either return to Islam, or face the death penalty.
“In the final analysis, a serious and objective study of Islamic history refutes the claims of moderate Muslims who insist that Islam is a peaceful religion. This is not to deny the genuineness of their desire to look for the rise of an Islam that is tolerant and willing to coexist with the other civilizations in our globalized world. The moderates may play a role in strengthening the idea of moderation that exists among large sections of Islamic societies; however they will never be able to convince the Salafists-Islamists whose beliefs and convictions are rooted in the clear teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith. Unfortunately history is not on their side, real Islam is the one advocated by the extremists, while moderate Islam remains an unrealized dream!”
Thus far are my excerpts from Al-Awan’s essay.
In the remaining part of my article, I refer to the modern history of Turkey as an illustration of the fact that a forced departure from the tenets of Islam that took place under Kemal Ataturk during his rule of modern Turkey (1918-1938), did not succeed in keeping large sections of Turkish society, especially those from Anatolia (Eastern Turkey), from remaining faithful to Islam. Ataturk did his utmost to secularize Turkey and de-couple it from Islam. For some time it looked as if he had succeeded, unfortunately, that success was both partial and temporary.
I’ll never forget an experience I had, while traveling in 1949 from Beirut to Tripoli, Lebanon. The bus stopped at a large roof-less garage on the main highway. Decades before, the “garage” might have been a resting place for camel caravans. While I was waiting for the bus to resume its journey northward, I noticed two large buses that arrived. The passengers were Turkish pilgrims on their way home after performing the Haj in Mecca. I noticed some of them looking perplexed as they attempted to communicate with a Lebanese worker. Evidently, he didn’t know Turkish, so he couldn’t understand what they wanted. I approached one of the Hajjis (pilgrims) and inquired about their need. He said, since it was the time for the late afternoon prayer, they wanted to know the direction to Mecca, in order to perform their salat. I pointed to the proper direction, for which they were thankful.
That incident indicated that eleven years after the death of the secularist Ataturk, all his attempts to discourage the practice of the faith had begun to fade. Anatolian Turks were glad to have fulfilled one of the pillars of their faith; in spite of the long and arduous journey that had taken them from their homes across Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
That happened decades ago; now things have progressed further in the return to Islam. The Islamic government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan[i] has managed to keep its grip on power, notwithstanding the riots in Istanbul, Ankara, and other major cities last summer. The results of the municipal elections that were held on Sunday, 30 March, 2014, showed that the electorate had stuck with the Prime Minister, and all forecasts for Erdogan’s loss of power were wishful thinking!
In closing, I quote from an analysis of Turkey’s return to Islam, by Dr. Andrew G. Bostom. Here are excerpts from his article in the 4 October, 2005, issue of The American Thinker, entitled: “Turkey: Back to the Future?”
“Erdogan’s efforts to further re-Islamize Turkey are entirely consistent with a return to Turkey’s Ottoman past as the heartland of an Empire established by jihad, and governed by the Shari’a. Indeed, both the current Erdogan administration, and the regime headed by the overtly pious Muslim Erbakan, a decade ago, reflect the advanced state of Islam’s “sociopolitical reawakening” in Turkey since 1950-1960, when the Menderes government–pandering to Muslim religious sentiments for electoral support–re-established the dervish orders, and undertook an extensive campaign of mosque construction.”
*All the quotations from the Qur’an are from Yusuf Ali’s translation.
To read further on this subject, please read the following articles:
“Anyone Who Claims that Jihad Does Not Originate from Islam Is Lying”
“Moderate Muslims & Moderate Islam”
[i] Recep Erdogan’s attachment to Islam may be noted in the name “Bilal” he gave to his son. The historic “Bilal” was the first Muezzin in Medina’s mosque; his task was to call the Faithful to engage in ritual prayers, five times a day.