Liberalism v Islamism

By Melanie Phillips

First of all, let me define my terms and say what I mean by Islamism and liberalism. Islamism is the politicised version of Islam which mandates jihad, or holy war against the infidel and conquest of the non-Islamic world for Islam. I�m well aware of the argument that there�s no difference between Islamism and Islam: that�s a theological argument for others to have.

By liberalism I mean the commitment to a free society, founded above all on the separation of secular government from religious worship � from which follow the concepts of equal respect for all people, freedom of conscience, tolerance and the rule of law.

These two concepts, Islamism and liberalism, are currently engaged in a fight to the death. My argument is that liberalism is in danger of losing this fight because it has so badly undermined itself and departed from its own core concepts that it is now paralysed by moral and intellectual muddle.

The Big and Little Satans themselves, America and Israel, are proxies for liberalism and modernity. That�s why Islamism says they must be destroyed. Qutb famously went to America and concluded from seeing men and women dancing at a church hop that America was one giant brothel. And much of the bitter hostility to the Jews who started returning to Palestine in the 1920s was because the women wore shorts and were sexually free.

The Islamist goal is to destroy the virus of freedom and modernity before it infects the Islamic world, and to replace it with Islam. That is the core of the profound threat it poses to the west, a threat mounted through the pincer movement of both terrorism and cultural takeover.

This cultural takeover, or the aim to Islamise the west, was explicitly laid out in a programme of subversion for Europe by the Wahabbi Muslim Brotherhood almost 30 years ago. In 1978, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference sponsored a seminar in London which said Muslim communities in western countries must establish autonomous institutions with help from Muslim states, and lobby the host country to grant Muslims recognition as a separate religious community as a step towards eventual political domination. CONTINUE
Liberalism is the creed of modernity. The driving force behind the Islamic jihad is the fight against liberalism and modernity. All the iconic conflicts � Iraq, Israel, Kashmir, Chechnya, Sudan �are secondary to the fundamental aim of the jihad to prevent liberalism and modernity from destroying Islam.

The founding ideologue of modern Islamism, Syed Qutb, made clear in his writings that at the core of the salafi interpretation of Islam was opposition to the separation of religion and temporal power that resulted in liberalism and democracy. His governing impulse was the fear that the instinct for liberty was so powerful it would spread to and infiltrate the Muslim mind unless it was checked by the most repressive possible form of Islam.

May 18, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. ….I would add that because they feel powerless to stop globalization, nations seek to be the controlling force behind it in order to mold it to their liking. That goes for Islam, the US, UK, EU, Russia, China, and everybody else and their mother. This underlies world tensions today.

  2. Now that Greenberg has made a point about representatives of Islam, I add one about liberals — that is, they are not liberal in the true sense of the word but control and manipulation freeks.

    Still, Melanie makes a point and touches upon something that I have been pondering — Is terrorism and the radicalization of Islam an effect of globalization?

    I do not say that globalization is the cause of Islamic radicalization, I belief the inherent nature of Islam is violent and oppressive. However, as Melanie points out, I believe Islamic terrorism and violence are a reaction based upon fear.

    As the world makes transition into becoming more of a globalized society, closed societies feel threatened with the loss of control.

    There is a love/hate relationship with globalization because it brings more wealth and prosperity which also helps to feed people and keep them content. However, at the same time, dictators, authoritarian regimes, and political religionist fear this moderization because it breaks their control, as well as the dependency of their subjects upon them.

    As I stated, Islam has a violent nature, but, for hundreds of years that nature has been in more of dormant state than it has been since globalization became such an obvious trend — And while Russia, China, Venezuela, and others opened to global markets and profits, they are having a recoil attempting to balance free markets with controlled societies so that they can have both.

    I would argue that you cannot have both but on the short term for the two are incompatible.

    As the conflict between the West and Islam over culture intensifies, in time, there also could be another clash of civilizations between those whose ideologies have Marxists underpinnings and those who hold inalienable individual rights higher than a an arbitrary ruling authority.

    Could the same fear of change which has awoken Islamic hatreds in Middle-Eastern countries also explain the motives of those countries that are providing international shelter and supplying with arms Islamic nations?

  3. First of all, let me define my terms and say what I mean by Islamism and liberalism. Islamism is the politicised version of Islam which mandates jihad, or holy war against the infidel and conquest of the non-Islamic world for Islam. I’m well aware of the argument that there’s no difference between Islamism and Islam: that’s a theological argument for others to have.

    Well, no, not really. One can’t well fight an enemy without understanding what it is. Indefinite violent jihad against unbelievers is explicitly Qur’anic (e.g. 9:29), and for that matter not believed by Muslims to be abrogated by another Qur’anic passage. Hence the enemy is Islam in its historical, traditional, authentic form. Any person who believes himself a Muslim despite rejection of violent jihad is not to be discouraged, of course, but hardly can be taken as a real representative.

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