re posted from Voltaire Network
A wind of secularism blows over the Muslim world
Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), the thinker of political Islam
Donald Trump’s speech in Riyadhh has sparked a wave of declarations against terrorism and against political Islam. The Arab world is expressing its thirst for secularism at the very moment that it is being misrepresented in Europe and used against religions. Faced with this breath of liberty, the British are organising the camp of political Islam around Qatar, Iran, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Political consultant, President-founder of the Réseau Voltaire (Voltaire Network). Latest work in French – Sous nos Yeux. Du 11-Septembre à Donald Trump (Right Before our Eyes. From 9/11 to Donald Trump).
During colonisation and throughout the Cold War, the imperialist powers used religions in order to gag all protest against their domination. So, France, which in 1905 adopted an important law about the secularism of its institutions, immediately decided not to apply them in the colonised territories.
We know today that the « Arab Springs » were a British initiative aimed at putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power and thus reinforcing Anglo-Saxon domination over the « Greater Middle East ».
For 16 years, the Western powers have been rightfully accusing the Muslims of not cleaning up their own house, and of tolerating terrorists. However, it is clear today that these terrorists are supported by the same Western powers in order to enslave Muslims by means of « political Islam ». London, Washington and Paris have no problems with terrorism until it spills over from the « Greater Middle East », and they never criticise « political Islam », at least as far as the Sunnis are concerned.
By giving his speech in Riyadhh, on 21 May 2017, President Trump intended to put an end to the terrorism which is consuming the region, and is now spreading to the West. The words he spoke did indeed act as an electroshock. His speech was interpreted as an authorisation to finish with the system.
What had seemed unthinkable over the last few centuries suddenly took shape. Saudi Arabia agreed to cut off all contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, and raged against those who continue to pursue their collaboration with the British, and particularly against Qatar. Riyadh gave the signal for a cleansing which will sweep much frustration along with it. In a spirit of Bedouin vengeance, diplomatic relations have been interrupted, and an economic blockade was organised against the Qatari population – while in the Emirates, a sentence of 15 years of imprisonment was established by law for any individual who showed as much as a little compassion for the inhabitants of accursed Qatar.
A gigantic displacement of forces and alliances has begun. If this movement is to continue, the region will organise itself around a new fissure. The question of the struggle against imperialism will wither and give way to the struggle against clericalism.
The Europeans lived with this cleavage for four hundred years, from the 16th to the 19th centuries, but not the United States, because their country was founded by the Puritan cult who were fleeing from this cleavage. The struggle against political Christianity was first of all a combat against the pretensions of the clergy of the Catholic church, who sought to govern their faithful all the way into their bedrooms. This only ceased with Paul VI, who abandoned the pontifical tiara. This triple crown was supposed to symbolise that the Pope was a higher authority than kings and emperors.
Like original Christianity, which had no ministers (these only arrived in the 3rd century), original Islam and current Sunnism have none. Only Chiism has been structured like Catholicism and Orthodoxy. As a result, political Islam today is incarnated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the government of Sheikh Rohani (the title of Shiekh indicates that President Rohani is a member of the Chiite clergy).
Currently, a clerical alliance is in the process of formation, with the help of the United Kingdom. It could constitute a block including Iran, Qatar, Turkey, Idleb to the North-West of Syria, and Gaza. This group would become the protector of the Muslim Brotherhood, and consequently the defender of the use of terrorism.
In two weeks, the Arab Press, which until now had viewed the Muslim Brotherhood in a favourable light, as a powerful secret organisation, and jihadism as a legitimate engagement, has suddenly made an about-turn. Everywhere, everyone is publishing denunciations of the pretension of the Muslim Brotherhood who want to regulate people’s lives, and the cruel folly of jihadism.
This flood of commentaries, the centuries of frustration that they express, coupled with their violence, makes any back-pedalling impossible – which does not, however, mean that the alliance Iran-Qatar-Turkey-Hamas will go all the way. This revolutionary tsunami is happening in the middle of the month of Ramadan. Meetings between friends and families, which should be consensual celebrations, sometimes turn into arguments about what until now had been perceived as the basic truths of Islam.
In case the cleavage for or against clericalism should continue, we will be seeing a general recomposition of the political landscape. For example, the Revolutionary Guard, which was created to stand against Anglo-Saxon imperialism, has accumulated resentment against the Iranian clergy. Many of them remember that during the war forced on them by Iraq, the mullahs and the ayatollahs manipulated ways of hiding their children, while the Guard was dying on the battle-field. But, weakened during the first Rohani mandate, it is unlikely that they would dare to rise against the civil-religious power. On the contrary, the Lebanese Hezbollah is commanded by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah (here the title of Sayyed indicates that he is a direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad), a personality who promotes the separation of the public and private spheres. Although he has a religious function and another, political, function, he has always been opposed to blending them both, while accepting the Platonic principle of Velayat-e faqih (that is – goverment by a wise man). It is therefore unlikely that Hezbollah will follow the Rohani government.
Meanwhile, the whole region is buzzing – in Libya, the Muslim Brotherhood have left Tripoli, leaving a militia to liberate Saif el-Islam Kadhafi, and General Haftar to expand his influence. In Egypt, the General-President al-Sissi has asked his opposite numbers in the Gulf to draw up a list of terrorists. In Palestine, the political directors of Hamas have fled to Iran. In Syria, the jihadists have stopped fighting against the Republic and are awaiting orders. In Iraq, the army has redoubled its efforts against the Muslim Brotherhood and the Order of the Naqshbandis. In Saudi Arabia, the Muslim World League has excluded from its administrative council the Brotherhood’s star preacher, Sheikh Qaradawi. And Turkey and Pakistan have begun the transfer of tens of thousands of soldiers towards Qatar -which can now only feed itself with the help of Iran.
A new dawn seems to be rising over the region.