Tuesday, January 04, 2011

What a Muslim liberal sounds like

See this interview with Tarek Fatah. He is either speaking the truth, or else confirming all my prejudices :) -- or both!  (Compare and contrast with Imam Faisal Rauf of Ground-Zero Mosque fame; IMO, Rauf is not a liberal, at a minimum Rauf belongs to the class of people Fatah mentions here (emphasis added):
"In the ten years that I spent researching the subject and the 45 years I have spent fighting the forces of medieval darkness that wish to drag the world’s Muslims into the past as a path to the future, it dawned on me that even those who knew the truth about the fraudulent nature of the Islamic State, were not prepared to say so, guilt-ridden in their minds, thinking this would be an act of betrayal of the Muslim community."

To pick a passage:
In the book I make the distinction between three sets of comparisons:

1. Islam vs. Islamism
2. Muslim vs. Islamist, and
3. Islamic State vs. State of Islam

In brief, whereas Islam is a religion based on the five pillars of our faith, Islamism (al-Islamiyah as the Ikhwan claims) is the use of the religion of Islam as a political tool and doctrine, whose logical end is Islamofascism (or Islamoanarchism in the words of Tariq Ali).

The difference between a Muslim and an Islamist is along the same lines. Whereas a Muslim follows Islam, an Islamist sticks to the political doctrine of Islamism. This makes it possible for even non-Muslims and atheists to be Islamists. For example, George Galloway is an Islamist as is Ken Livingstone (former mayor of London) and even Noam Chomsky who I am told addressed a large gathering of the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba in Punjab University.

Lastly, while the Islamic State is the political entity and state where Islamists would exercise their authoritarian and fascist rule over the population (as in Gaza and Iran) the State of Islam is the condition every Muslim must aspire to live in where he and she can embrace the ethics of Prophet Muhammad and live by the principle of the Quran as an individual.