Islamism and Islam – Update

Birmingham Muslim Community Gather For Friday Prayers

BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)


Below is a  paste of an extract from an article in the Wall Street Journal ( 12 Dec 20015) written by Maajid Nawaz, a liberal Muslim, originally from Pakistan now living in the U.K.


“Islam is a religion, and like any other faith, it is internally diverse. Islamism, by contrast, is the desire to impose a single version of Islam on an entire society. Islamism is not Islam, but it is an offshoot of Islam. It is Muslim theocracy”.

In much the same way, jihad is a traditional Muslim idea connoting struggle—sometimes a personal spiritual struggle, sometimes a struggle against an external enemy. Jihadism, however, is something else entirely: It is the doctrine of using force to spread Islamism.

President Barack Obama and many liberal-minded commentators have been hesitant to call this Islamist ideology by its proper name. They seem to fear that both Muslim communities and the religiously intolerant will hear the word “Islam” and simply assume that all Muslims are being held responsible for the excesses of the jihadist few.

I call this the Voldemort effect, after the villain in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Many well-meaning people in Ms. Rowling’s fictional world are so petrified of Voldemort’s evil that they do two things: They refuse to call Voldemort by name, instead referring to “He Who Must Not Be Named,” and they deny that he exists in the first place. Such dread only increases public hysteria, thus magnifying the appeal of Voldemort’s power.

The same hysteria about Islamism is unfolding before our eyes. But no strategy intended to defeat Islamism can succeed if Islamism itself and its violent expression in jihadism are not first named, isolated and understood. It is as disingenuous to argue that Islamic State is entirely divorced from Islam as it is to assert that it is synonymous with Islam.”

This has been my contention for a very long time but I am not a PHD nor a Muslim.  I am very happy to have someone with media authority reinforce my long held view.

The greatest hurt has been done to the Muslim communities in the West. As I have written many times and supported by this quoted  article, the mysterious reticence on the past of Obama and his circle of supporters, to avoid any mention of Islam in reference to terrorism, lends itself to many conspiracy theories and suspicions that the administration has deep and devious  motives to keep the American public ignorant  of the danger. In fact it does, but  not exactly the one that is becoming more prevalent.It is the total ineptness and weakness of Obama as a person and leader. It would be foolish to assume that someone raised in the family and cultural environment experienced by Obama would not have some sympathies  toward Islam, but it is useless  to assume any more than that.  It dilutes the more damaging and provable charges of gross ineffectiveness against his administration .

I would also add to the article that there are many varieties of Muslims and to effectively begin a meaningful fight  against the Islamist we need to identify who they are. In fact they are Sunni Muslims, mostly Arab and Pakistani, with many from the Arabian peninsula, and north Africa.

These terrorists are not Alevis from  Turkey, Alawis from Syria, Ahmadiya from Pakistan nor are they mainstream Shi’a. This is not to say the Shi’a have not been capable of terrorism. Primarily however it has been state sponsored terrorism by Iran.( This is likely to grow as the Iran seeks to expand their empire but at present it is not directed against the West. It need not be since the U.S. and the West have given everything Iran’s ambitious rulers wanted without a fight, somewhat akin to the West’s handing over Czechoslovakia  to Hitler without a fight.) Moreover among the Sunni Muslim we must focus on those who originate from Islamic regions in which the militant Wahhabi brand of  Islam prevails.

It should be clear to all, that despite the more recent  Saudi fears of the ISIS, their exportation of Wahhabi preachers and purchase of segments of  the media and academia that shill for the Saudis,  they bear much of the blame  for the  fertile  soil cultivated  by the ISIS.

When the Left complains about the “Trump syndrome” and his appeal to what the Left calls the “uniformed,”  and his diatribes against Islam, the real culprit in this environment is Obama. His suspiciously effete, and grudging moves against the Islamist threat have given rise to a political environment which promotes the volatile situation in which we find ourselves. What is he hiding many ask?  Suspicions give rise to polarization not only of the American public but among the West in general. As is being experienced in Europe, the suspicions about the refugees flowing into Europe are fueling antipathy among the European states, and threatening to tear it asunder.

Obviously the West in is need of a  Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher, but alas and alack none are in view.






About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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