Deathless Jihad

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Arabs of the Persian gulf are enjoying their oil riches; which has been the world’s major commercial energy source for many decades, its income has given them a prestigious status among the nations, and their stringent Bedouin culture and lifestyle has blossomed among the Arabs.

Feeling blessed with a divine gift, they interpreted the bonanza as a signe of god’s approbation and endorsement of their Wahhabi traditions and doctrines. As time goes by, they have grown confident of their “righteousness” and conscious of their political potentialities.

In order to keep the “godly” cash flowing, they felt duty-bound to follow in the prophet’s tracks by spreading the message of Islam; assuming that their puritan Salafi sect is the sole legitimate path to god, and deeming other sects of Islam (such as Sufism) heretical.

They started (in alliance with Muslim Brotherhood group; which was at the beginning of its foundation in 1928 a civil association advocating religious morality with no interest in politics, according to the memoirs of its founder Hassan Elbanna) exerting influence on their then more modernized and secular counterparts of the north, who had long considered them nomadic tribes of little esteem— Draping their kaba annualy with a kisswah (black pall that covers the Kaaba) was a hard task that cost them an arm and a leg.

As the early Arabs who emerged from Arabia in the 7th century C.E. to conquer the world, and swiftly put an end to two enduring empires of Late Antiquity; they emerged again in modern times from the ruins of history and the dunes of oblivion.

However, their weapons weren’t shamshirs and Khanjars like their ancestors, but rather windfalls of petrodollars and barrels of black gold, while their focus wasn’t on booty and slaves, but in shaping politics, empowering Islamic intelligentsia, launching ideological charm offensives, bribing intellectuals from different shades, and eventually bringing about the radical uncompromising  Arab societies of today— with Islamism as the main product and the jewel in the phenomenon’s crown.

The main ideologues and theorists who are regarded as the “prophets” of modern Muslims, those who layed the foundation of Islamism (some of whom were influenced by the contours of Marxist internationalism in a sense that all Muslims should gather under the banner of a single global “Ummah” rather than separate national states) and wrote their books with an eloquent and attractive literary style, (like “Signposts on the Road,” 1964, “Our Struggle against the Jews”, written in 1950 and considered a central part of today’s Islamists anti-Semitism, or “In the Shade of the Quran”. 1954, all by Sayyid Qutb, a staunch anti-Semitic, literary critic and the spiritus rector of Islamists worldwide, including Khomeini, Bin laden, and Turkish president Erdogan; or the books and lectures of other prominent Muslim clerics like the Indian ideologue Abul A’la Maududi the founder of Jamat-Islami of Pakistan, and the one who coined the term “Islamic economy”, and The Godfather of the Islamism in the Indian subcontinent, or the Egyptians Mitwalli Alsharawi, (once considered Billy Graham of the Middle East and was the minister of endowments in sadaat era) Mohammed Alghazali and the Qatari-based Youssef Alqaradawi, or the notorious preacher and orator of the ‘80s Abdal-Hamid Kishk (whose cassettes; which promote hatred and anti-Semitism were circulating around the Arab world and abroad, from the streets of the old neighborhood of Gamaliya in Cairo, to a cassette player of a taxi driver in Casablanca, to the booths of popular souks of the Algerian community of marseille) all of them had strong ties to the Gulf sheiks who funded their work, and printed their books, and most of them had resided and taught in their colleges and universities.

Islamism with its grand narrative and prejudices has established itself as the mainstream spiritual, political and cultural commitment held by the majority of the Arabs from all classes and backgrounds including the diaspora— and hands-down not exclusive to devoted Islamic circles, as Islamists have become a sort of string-pullers charged with propaganda activities and mobilizing mobs.

The only way to thrive in that system of coercion and collective subjugation is to stick to the Islamist meta-narrative, show total submission to the ideology and doctrines, enthusiastic aspiration to the utopian Islamic life under the Caliphate, and declare revulsion and animosity to Jews and western values. Otherwise, one can only find himself in rather absolute isolation if not in a state of “nonexistent”, either physically (by executing or assassinating) or socially (by avoiding and smearing).

Thus the Arabs, in the course of time, became fanatically consumed by the concept of martyrdom (Shahada) and holy wars (jihad), and politically championing the establishment of Nizam islami which implements shariah law that includes amputation of hands and feet, death by stoning and lashing for moral “crimes,” (adultery, abortions, hugs and cuddles in public spaces…) or mental “crimes” ( heresy, apostasy…).

That’s why violence and militarism is extremely appealing to a huge chunk of Arabs and Muslims in general as their collective cultural imagery have more or less the characteristics of a slaughterhouse.

A “Marchreturnist” committing suicide proudly along the Gaza borders, or a fighter in the ranks of Hezbollah waving an Ak-47 and killing the enemies of Allah is a role model to be admired and imitated; a Celestial Mujahid; a real MAN who struggles to build Islamic society and to bring back the glorious days of Islam. Not for the sake of liberalism, democracy, freedom, individuality, human rights or any other “demonic” earthly concepts.

Hence, the patrons of Islamism find it rather easy to recruit and engage generations of young Arabs and Muslims from all over the world in barbaric wars and conflicts; an army of young Mujahedeen(ISIS) sprang from nowhere at the drop of a hat should tell us a lot about the spirit of the Middle East’s current fashion and fashionistas.

Therefore, if Israel agrees on the two-state solution or decides to withdraw from the West Bank and the Golan Heights, it’s not only going to be met by blatant ingratitude and its initiative will be understood as signe of weakness and precariousness; but it will rather induce the vanguards of the holy war to conduct more suicide attacks and perpetrate more hostilities against its citizens.

An enduring and permanent stability needs, after all, a totally convinced minds of the value of making peace, and the harm of waging wars; a spirit of enlightenment and progressiveness; an iron will to build bridges between nations and cultures, and a strong belief in a common future based on trust and good intentions, otherwise, call it a day.

About the Author
Taha Lemkhir is a Moroccan writer and photographer. Degree in Arabic literature and Islamic studies. Critic of Islamism. languages: Arabic, English and Spanish. He Lived part of his life as an Islamist— until enlightenment flashed through his heart.
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