Challenge of post-ISIL Islamic movements and strategies to overcome them
TEHRAN (IQNA) – International relations expert Ali Akbar Ziaee provided an analysis of the challenges of Islamic movements and political Islam after following the emergence of Daesh (ISIL or ISIS).
In the 20th century, Islamic movements at the national and international levels began their activities to change political structures, and these activities generally faced the challenges of autocratic governments. Changing authoritarian regimes in Islamic countries could also endanger the interests of Western countries. The danger of influence by Islamic movements at different levels of government has prompted political leaders in these countries to look to regional cooperation regarding the exchange of security information and the establishment of think tanks to deal with Islam. Politics.
Meanwhile, Western allies of these political systems have also attempted to confront political Islam and Islamic movements through media attacks and by declaring war on religious fundamentalism. Many Islamic figures who sought to move the community towards religious values were either imprisoned or sentenced to death by military tribunals. Meanwhile, the motivation of Muslim thinkers to bring about these changes in the political system has remained shrouded in ambiguity; the field of exchanges of opinions and scientific debates was completely lost.
Some of these Islamic movements have turned to the use of violence and the formation of jihadist camps to achieve their goals and realize themselves by making these fundamental changes in political systems. Meanwhile, elite engineers and merchants emerged with little religious knowledge and with a strong grudge against the West, which believed in no scientific rule or democratic method to create reforms in Islamic societies, and they believed that the only way to save the Islamic nation from tyrannical governments was to use weapons and carry out terrorist activities, and this is how al-Qaeda, ISIS, jihadist groups, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and Abu Sayyaf formed, and the heartbreaking events in today’s world were formed by these terrorist groups, and the western media attributed all these crimes to political Islam, and the trend of Islamophobia formed in the world.
After the suppression of reform movements and political Islam and prisons and the execution of many peace-loving thinkers in the Islamic world, and the defeat of ISIS and al-Qaeda on the battlefield, he Now is the time to make a careful assessment of the separation between Islamic political movements and terrorist groups. If we want to question the motivations of Islamic movements to turn to political Islam, we can briefly mention the following two cases:
– Many Islamic countries are dominated by authoritarian governments, and many elites in these countries turned to political liberation movements in the 20th century with the expansion of libertarian and independence thinking from Western-dominated countries. One group looked at communist and socialist movements, and one group saw religious revival as the only way to save Muslims.
With the defeat of communism in the Soviet Union, the hope of the first group turned to despair, and the second group began its activities with greater force. Therefore, the primary motive behind the establishment of communist liberation movements and Islamic movements was to get rid of the yoke of Western colonialism and gain political independence.
– The second motivation of the Islamic movements or political Islam was the revival of Islam based on the Islamic Sharia. In many Islamic countries, religion was prevalent in society as a formal matter, and various social corruptions were prevalent among Muslims under the modern approach. And Muslims’ only reference to Sharia was limited to marriage and reading the call to prayer in the baby’s ears and reading the Koran during mourning ceremonies, using certain religious terms in everyday conversations , and people performed prayer, fasting, Hajj and Zakat, but enjoining good and forbidding evil and Jihad in the way of God had no place among them.
In these traditional Muslim communities, Islamic laws were twisted in a way that served the interests of powerful rulers, for example, during Friday prayers Muslims were expected to pray for the continuation of autocratic rule and refrain from expressing political speeches, and zakat assets were also tracked. Ordering good and forbidding evil was only permitted within a limited framework, and a Muslim citizen was never allowed to order political leaders to do good and forbid evil. Any criticism of the ruling party or the sultan faces a strong backlash, and sometimes the critic is imprisoned or tortured and executed.
The authoritarian rulers of Islamic countries were very afraid to read the verses of Jihad and related traditions, and instead they considered seeking knowledge like Jihad in the way of God, and they encouraged Muslim women to to take care of domestic affairs and husbandry, saying that the Jihad of women is to take care of the affairs of the husband and the house, or they said that the most important jihad or Jihad Akbar is the fight against oneself (jihad nafs), and all Muslims know that Muslims who seek knowledge and take care of their wives and children by women and fight against themselves are examples of Jihad, but Islamic Jihad also has other dimensions such as the fight against the corrupt rulers of Islamic society. However, instead of solving the problems of Islamic society, authoritarian governments have resorted to force, imprisonment and media pressure to maintain their autocratic governments.
Many Western liberal governments supported them to protect their interests in the Middle East and North Africa. The Western media has also gone to great lengths to raise awareness about political Islam and portray it as the equivalent of terrorism and religious violence. According to Western media, political Islam includes the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Tablet and Da’wah movement, as well as Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Abu Sayyaf group and Islamic Jihad. The lack of separation between religious reformist groups in Islamic countries caused some young Muslims from non-jihadist groups to turn to jihadist groups, and today’s world faced great danger under religious extremism. Political Islam became a victim of the ignorance of the politicians of the time, and a gloomy atmosphere formed for the reform of Islamic societies.
But the solution to get out of this politico-religious crisis can be summed up in the following cases:
– Make fundamental changes in the structure of authoritarian governments and transform them into Islamic democratic systems based on the votes of people of all faiths and religions.
– Open the political space for Islamic movements so that they can play a role in the political structure of governments, obviously the suppression of Islamic movements leads them to turn to hidden and underground activities, and in this case, the possibility of violence and uncontrollable activities by these currents is increasing.
– To conduct free intellectual, religious and political debates with the leaders of political Islam at the national and international level and in the mass media so that they can defend their political and religious opinions and that critics can also criticize their points of view. seen.
– Non-interference of Western countries in the dialogue between the leaders of political Islam and the government in place; because experience has shown that Western countries pursue their economic and political interests under the pretext of defending democracy, and their involvement in the political affairs of Islamic countries increases the motivation of jihadist groups to fight against Western influence.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of IQNA.