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Allow me to make a prophesy about the Islamic caliphates

Reader comment on item: What Do Jihadis Want? The Caliphate

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Mar 18, 2017 at 23:36

Dear Dr Pipes, I think the thought of Caliphates and Caliphs are an Islamic day dream. Common Muslim people who are entertaining the idea of a caliphate do not know what it means. Consider the example of the Istanbul tailor that you quoted in the above article. I will reproduce the quote from your article:

"I won't live to see it, and my children won't, but one day maybe my children's children will see someone declare himself the caliph, like the pope, and have an impact."

This tailor thinks that the caliph will be like the pope. If such is the case, Muslims can make the caliphate today. What can be wrong with having a religious leaders who is elected by the other clergies, exerts no political power and mostly talks of good and moral things?

Unfortunately, the idea of a Caliphate proposed by the likes of bin Laden, Zawahiri and, possibly, by the original Islamic doctrine is not so benign. In this version of the Caliphate Muslims rule the land and "let the non-Muslims live in the land in peace". This version of Caliphate is a no-no by almost any standard of modern and/or moral living that one can think of.

But the title of my message is about making a prophesy. So let me keep my promise. My prophesy is: if an Islamic Caliphate ever comes to be its first Caliph will either be murdered or his death will lead to a blood bath.

I am not wishing anything bad to any one. I honestly am not. My prophesy is a self-evident truth with ample historical evidence. Didn't the early Islamic caliphates created after Muhammad's death exhibit the exact behavior stated in my prophesy? As you correctly pointed out the Shia and Sunni divisions (and the centuries long fight between the two divisions) is based precisely on the question of succession. What was historically true in the past will, unfortunately, remain true in the future.

And I do not need to depend on historical evidence to make my prophesy. You see, the Islamic doctrine do not precisely define how caliphs will be elected and replaced. It seems that any one who can claim the throne can become the Caliph (the current ISIS chief is an example). And once some one becomes a Caliph, the Islamic doctrine does not specify how the transition of power from one Caliph to the next will occur (so much so that even Muhammad forgot to appoint a successor to himself). So the only way to replace a Caliph will be either by murder or natural death and a subsequent usurpation of power. Both of these methods entail violence.

So my prophesy is almost certain to come true. The only way to make it false is to think democracy. A democratic Caliphate may be peaceful. But, then, it wont be an Islamic! It will need to separate church and state. It will need to allow free thought and free expression of ideas. It will need to allow as many rights to apostates and Kafirs as to the believers. It will be like the US democracy and will be a CINO (Caliphate In Name Only). Therefore, no matter how we proceed, the path to Islamic Caliphate is doomed. My prophesy is a very bad news for the current chief of ISIS. But what can I do. I am helpless.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (20) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1about Atatürk's approach regarding the Caliphate issue, and the naivety of some US Islamologists: [205 words]Tarık GunerselMar 25, 2017 03:16237884
2Very short introduction to the history of the modern copy of the Qur'an [576 words]dhimmi no moreMar 26, 2017 09:46237884
2Thanking Tarık Gunersel [97 words]PrashantApr 1, 2017 18:40237884
3ISIS VICTORY: Islamist Colonization of the West [332 words]RobertMar 20, 2017 14:13237787
1Punish these seditious traitors. [105 words]KenekMar 19, 2017 16:43237740
modern crusades [51 words]Rick KaminerMar 19, 2017 06:19237718
They Want Us Dead [279 words]David RyanMar 19, 2017 04:22237717
Geographical areas of Challenge [101 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Peter Baum ( Board of Deputies British Jews and Board Member Fair Reporting )Mar 19, 2017 03:35237716
2Allow me to make a prophesy about the Islamic caliphates [564 words]PrashantMar 18, 2017 23:36237709
Choosing and Electing the Caliph [199 words]Mike RamirezMar 20, 2017 08:33237709
OK, how does that jive with Erdoğan plans? [154 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
DrRJPMar 27, 2017 12:55237709
1The Caliphate's "Islamic Constitution" [296 words]Mike RamirezMar 18, 2017 22:26237708
Caliphate [85 words]Jargon KingMar 18, 2017 21:06237705
1Something that isn't fake [744 words]Michael SMar 18, 2017 18:35237703
What Jihad Hides Versus What the Holy Bible Reveals [361 words]M ToveyMar 22, 2017 13:35237703
2My greatest fear [78 words]Arni FurmanMar 18, 2017 13:44237702
It is always money and ego. [57 words]Donnie MarxMar 18, 2017 13:08237700
Previous Comment [1 words]Martin SchaffelMar 18, 2017 12:40237699
Education [36 words]Martin SchaffelMar 18, 2017 12:38237698
Indian riots following Versailles Treaty [26 words]Dick LindzenMar 18, 2017 12:24237697

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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