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Reply to Infidel 15/08

Reader comment on item: "At War with Islamic Fascists"
in response to reader comment: Islam Is As Islam Was

Submitted by Terry Brodsky (Israel), Aug 15, 2006 at 22:07

I dont disagree that many of the more extreme Islamic clerics would like to duplicate what they think was the Islam of the 7th century. Ben Laden models himself on Mohamed & certainly Sharia law itself is based on the mores & customs of pre-Islamic Arabia as well as on the Koran. Since in Islam, there is no separation of religion & state & Mohamed was both prophet & head of state, the ideal Muslim government is a theocracy, this being the Caliphate.

This is not totalitarianism in the modern sense since liberal democracy and the idea of individual freedoms are recent developments . There was not much freedom anywhere in the world until the 19th century.

Also, since most of the world was rural, illiterate, & governed by tradition, you could say that people were not free but this is also not modern totalitarianism. Modern political ideas are essentially a Western import, such as those of the founders of the Muslim brotherhood & very much rooted in ideas of nationalism common in Europe, extreme versions of which gave rise to European fascism. This gave rise to secular Arab nationalism (not particularly democratic) and it's variant, Islamic nationalism. Secular Arab states have been rather abysmal failures & so their appeal is wanning. We are left with Islamic nationalism (or fascism, if you like) which is also pretty much of a failure (Taliban, Iran, Sudan) but has the "prestige" of at least being "Islamic". But the elites in most Muslim countries are not 100% practicing Muslims. Western education has made its mark. Young people from elite families watch American movies, wear designer jeans & Nike shoes, use the internet, want to have sex, date, drink alcohol, etc. all very un-Islamic .

Yet, the most fanatical Islamic fascists come from this group. The more traditional masses in say Pakistan, Afghanistan, or even in Saudi Arabia are perhaps as you say, striving to recreate the 7th century - in life-style & mentality, they are not far from the 7th century anyway. But the "brains of the operation" as they say in crime movies, are far closer to ideas of European fascism by which I really mean Nazism albeit disguised in Islamic dress. But no matter how you analyse it or trace it's origins, Islam is a dangerous ideology & while we all would like to believe in religious freedom, perhaps we no longer have that luxury with an ideology that is both political, religious, & hostile.


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