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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

An Observation on the Ummah and Western Muslims

An Observation on the Ummah and Western Muslims

From: "An arrow to the heart of policy"

Finally, global jihadism is not a byproduct of modernization and globalization. Rather, it is just one militant voice complaining about the current plight of Muslims. The jihadis equally blame the West and extant dictatorial regimes for the backwardness of their polities. Yet they erroneously claim that the solution to their problems rests in going back to the ways of the 7th century. In this sense the jihadis' methods are wrong-headed, but their questions about the gross backwardness of their polities receive a very large sympathetic audience in the world of Islam.

Muslims at large reject the murderous ways of jihadis. But they don't question the legitimacy of such questions as to why aren't Muslim states at the top of the hierarchy of power.
Jihadis may not be best at articulating these aspects of Muslim frustrations. They are only repeating simple religious phraseologies such as "Islam is the solution".

It is possible that at least the political discourse started by the jihadis will be taken over by Muslims residing in the West, under the general rubric of ijtihad (renewal). The Muslim world is currently abuzz with suggestions for the necessity for and, indeed, imminence of the renewal of Islam.

What is not clear is who (that is, which group) will gain an upper hand in such debates. If the proponents of ijtihad were to succeed in not only leading the debate over ijtihad but also in focusing on the right set of issues, the political dynamics of the Middle East and, indeed, of the whole world of Islam would begin to change perceptibly.


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