Is Muslim fundamentalism good or bad
What is Islamism?
"Whether we like it or not, the greatest challenge facing western politics in the next ten to 20 years will be the Arab-Islamic world. Obviously, politics and society cannot do without enemy images, especially in times of war, including anti-terrorism. In large parts of the public perception in the West, Islam is what communism used to be: a dangerous, unpredictable enemy aiming at world domination, "said Michael Lüders, a scholar of Islam and Arabia.
"One thing is certain: Not all Muslims are terrorists. One thing is also certain: Almost all terrorists are Muslims." This quote, published in "Stern" in 2004, comes from Abdel Rahman al-Rashid, director of the Al Arabiya television station. The quote vividly describes the picture of a new reality with which the western world is currently confronted. It is important to distinguish precisely between Islam and Islamism.
Islam is a revealed religion that is 1400 years old. Islamism, on the other hand, is a political ideology, a political and radical narrowing of Islam. The followers of this ideology, Islamic fundamentalists, disregard fundamental and human rights and freedom of religion. You are against a separation of state and religion and see yourself as opponents of democracy.
The Islamists secure their power by invoking the inviolability of the Koran, but by this they mean the inviolability of their own interpretation of the Koran. Because Islamic fundamentalists see any deviation from their own interpretation of the Koran as a departure from the correct belief, the positions of Islamism can no longer be questioned.
Anyone who speaks against the opinion of Islamic fundamentalists is not considered a critic, but an unbeliever, an enemy who betrays Allah. Critics often live dangerously, are intimidated and threatened. The brutal murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November 2004 is a prominent example that Islamic extremism has long since become part of the political reality in Europe.
What does Islamism want?
"Islamists, or in other words: Islamic fundamentalists, want to rearrange the world by first 'de-westernizing' it; they are striving to reverse Western-European globalization.
This not only means to replace the hegemony (predominance) of the West with a predominance of Islam, but also and above all to replace Western norms and values with Islamic ones. So: no pluralism. Islamists want - as stated in the 'Bulletin of Diaspora Islamists' in London - to establish 'global rule of Islam', "said the renowned professor of international relations, Bassam Tibi.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution formulates the goals of the radical movements of Islamic fundamentalism as follows: "The Islamists, referring to the original Islam of the 7th century, demand the 'restoration' of an 'Islamic order' as what they understand to be the only legitimate form of state and society, all of them should replace differently shaped systems of order.
In this 'Islamic order', all areas of life should be designed as it is bindingly prescribed by God through the Koran and the example of the prophet and the early community (Sunna).
Militant Islamists believe they are legitimized to enforce the 'Islamic order' by force. They refer to the call to 'Jihad' (actually: effort, internal struggle, also: 'holy war') contained in the Koran, which they - unlike other Muslims - as a holy duty to incessant war against all 'enemies' of the See Islam in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. "
Clash of civilizations?
The term "clash of civilizations" comes from the book "The Clash of Civilizations" by the American political scientist Samuel Huntington. Huntington advocates the thesis that in the 21st century nations and states no longer appear as political actors, but differently shaped cultural areas.
As early as 1998, Huntington's disease predicted violent clashes between Muslims and non-Muslims around the world as part of globalization. In fact, in the West, as in the Islamic-Arab region, there is mutual rejection and persistence in prejudices before the counterpart who is perceived as hostile. Western society is afraid of a retrograde worldview caused by a medieval Islam.
Individual determination of life, high level of education, emancipation of women, sexual freedom, secularization (separation of state and religion), legal security through parliamentary democracy and belief in progress are Western values, hard-won through eras such as the Enlightenment and modernity.
To many Muslims, on the other hand, the western world appears either as a long-awaited, inaccessible world of ideas and consumption, or they perceive the ideological freedom of movement of the West as a threat that calls into question the foundations of their beliefs.
They criticize the decadence of the occidental world, condemn materialism and consumerism, loneliness and turmoil in people, lack of cohesion in the family and other social networks, excessive individualism, deprived, atheistic and even cynical way of life.
The Middle East expert Michael Lüders warns against an overly careless use of the "clash of civilizations" template. Rather, Lüders sees fundamentalists in both political and cultural camps: "The conflict between modernists and fundamentalists is therefore a conflict about ideals of lifestyle and principles of social order.
Although there are also Jewish and Christian fundamentalists, for example in the ranks of the Israeli settler movement or the Protestant free churches in the USA, fundamentalism in the western world is, in our perception, as a rule a purely Islamic phenomenon. It also fits into the picture: Islam equals terror.
Interestingly, only the Islamic fundamentalists and the supporters of Samuel Huntington's thesis of a 'clash of civilizations' claim that Islamism is identical to Islam, and consequently that there is no difference between the Koran and holy war. "
Why is Islamism booming?
The increasing loss of values in western societies creates a value vacuum. The Muslims looking for orientation want to counter this Western loss of values with their own traditions. This is why the restrictive interpretation of religion is now booming even among secular Muslims influenced by the West.
Many Muslim groups longingly look back at the epoch between the 7th and 17th centuries, when the Islamic cultural area possessed hegemonic power and influenced the West.
A deep rift of uncertainty runs through the Islamic-Arab societies. The current epoch of Islamic civilization is perceived as backward, chaotic and inferior to the cultural pull of the West:
"The feeling of political powerlessness and one's own lack of prospects, coupled with the accusation of lying and hypocrisy addressed to the West: this is the breeding ground on which Islamic fundamentalism and jihad terror thrive", analyzes Michael Lüders.
"Arabs and Muslims often see themselves as victims of globalization and the West, as a plaything of developments that they can neither control nor consider right. The great past when the Arabs founded a world empire and set standards in science, art and culture, is irrevocably over. [...] The feeling of belonging to the losers of history as well as of globalization strengthens the tendency among many Arabs and Muslims to regret themselves as a victim persecuted by their fate and from this the justification for a limitless, to derive absolute, including terrorist, resistance. "
This uncertainty, which is often encountered in Islamic societies, takes advantage of the Islamist worldview and propagates the following theses:
1. Essential inability to self-criticize
In the Islamist version, the West is evil personified, the sole cause of the Arab-Islamic problems and only interested in the weakening and destruction of Islamic culture. Israel is seen as the thorn in the flesh, as evidence of the wickedness and danger that threatens from the West.
2. Refuge in history
Epochs are evoked when the Arab culture was superior to the western one.
3. Fallacy of backwardness
Why are Islamic societies doing badly? Because they have fallen out of favor with Allah. What can you do about it? Strive for absolute reconciliation with Allah through unconditional, uncritical submission (Islam) to his will and the commandments of the Koran (which in its direct reading, however, is addressed to a Bedouin society from 1400 years ago).
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