This is a serialization of the book titled ‘Crisis in Islam’.
The full book and its endnotes may be accessed at:
What is Political Islam Today?
I do not aim in what I write to re-write history, because history is mostly not what actually happened, but what people believe to have happened. In other words, it is the sum of convictions and not necessarily of facts. That does not mean that all of those convictions are wrong, but it could equally mean that some are false or imaginary or wishful thinking! My objective in writing this is to understand the cause of what is happening now in the Arab world in particular and the Islamic world in general, because it is inconceivable that people from all corners of the earth gather to ruin a country that is not related to them, and some do not even know where it is and why they are in it, just because men that claim to represent religion have poisoned their minds with hatred for the people of Syria or Iraq’s Shi’a. Understanding the causes of what is happening may help us to stop it or prevent its recurrence, enabling us to get out of the dark tunnel where the world finds Muslims today.
Imagine that a group of people from outer space, who have never heard of any of our religions, were to land on Earth tomorrow. And imagine that among the matters, they would get exposed to, are a few of the religions on our planet. They would hear the Pope, for example, talking of the Merciful Lord who sent his only son to sacrifice himself to redeem us. They would hear the Dalai Lama speaking of the great sin in killing any soul. Then they would hear the Muslim cleric Al-Qaradhāwi  encouraging his Muslim followers to kill other Muslims on the ground that his Lord had ordered it. Would any of those aliens take on Islam as their religion?
I know that there will be many murmurs and hums spinning around the argument that what Al-Qaradhāwi says, does not represent true Islam. But it is not sufficient to claim that such statements are not in accordance with true Islam without someone telling us first what True Islam is.
It is not enough for some Muslim clerics to stand up and tell the world that what is happening is not the real Islam. If this is not Islam at all, where did it come from and why all those who are killing and destroying and spreading havoc in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Tunisia and Egypt are Muslims, and how did they gather and assemble, and who gathered and assembled them? Such events do not happen by accident. If terrorism is not integral to Islam as is said, Muslim clerics and leaders of sects today should come out with a plan to stop terrorism, starting with the distorted and disastrous education in mosques, which offers Imperialism a free service which its fleets and aircraft have failed to achieve. But the truth is that the clergy even today offer nothing more than empty and regurgitated talk, which scratches the ears about how ‘true religion’ is against terrorism and against murder… and against … But at the same time, those same clergy today glorify all that the Muslim Caliphs did in the past millennium. This claim of rejecting terrorism does not correspond with the content and glorification of the policies of the early Caliphs.
I plan to carry out a rational investigation of the history of Islam in an effort to find out, whenever possible, what really happened and how it was written in order to understand how it reached us, and where we are today. Maybe such realization will enable us to put an end to the crimes of today committed in the name of Islam.
Muslims today live in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious world precisely as Allah wanted to have it when he made it: “…..We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (Al-Hujuraat 49:13) and “And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.” (Ar-Room 30:22) These realties should, for the Muslim, mean that Allah has willed that the world has neither had nor will it ever have one language or become one nation. It follows that a Muslim could not overcome this pre-ordained reality by claiming that he has a mission to convert the world into Islam because the Qur’an states the impossibility of that. The recognition of such fact leads to the acceptance that the world in which we live expects us to offer a plausible explanation for our behavior, whether it is regarding what we do to each other as Muslims, or in our dealings with others, be those adherents to other religions or not. To argue that we Muslims are acting in accordance with a Divine scheme is not an argument in our favour but rather one against us if we cannot be rational in its interpretation and justification.
How could a Muslim explain to a non-Muslim the cause of what is happening today in the world at large and especially in the Muslim World in the form of the killing and destruction at the hands of Muslims? This, of course, assumes that he is not required to explain the matter to other Muslims first, some of whom are equally bewildered.
How could a Muslim explain to others what brings a Chechen, an Afghani, a Yemeni or even a British to Aleppo or Raqqa of Syria, for example, to kill people whom he had never known or who had never caused him any ill or harm?
How could a Muslim explain to others the secret of this hidden rancour – that could not even be described as monstrous because no such monster exists – the rancour that would push a man to disembowel another human while at the same time claiming to pray five times a day to the same God who told him of the loss of the son of Adam when he failed to bury his slain brother?
How could a Muslim explain to the others why so many millions of people follow the orders of men who urge them to kill, rape, and slit the throats of children claiming that Allah had ordained such acts?
How could a Muslim explain to non-Muslims who this Lord is, who created people and dispersed them, then ordered them to kill each other? Wouldn’t such a Lord be dallying, if that were truly His Will?
How could a Muslim explain to non-Muslims why thousands of Muslims would send money to people they have never met in order for those to kill other people whom those senders have never met, instead of sending some of that money to the millions of the hungry and needy Muslims of the world? Hundreds of useless millionaires in Arabia and the Gulf have been doing just that since the formation of Al-Qaeda and its activities in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
How could any Muslim explain the cause of this grotesque backwardness in the Muslim world, where a billion of whom produce little, while five million Finns have succeeded in giving them sophisticated products like the Nokia mobile phone, with which they waste their time in frivolous chats, considering that Finland was not even an independent state until WWI, while the Muslims keep talking about their great Empires that spanned most of the world some thousand years ago?
How could a Muslim explain to any human being why the Muslim world is the only place on the Planet today where despots rule by the principle of Divine Right, which has been rejected by the rest of humanity, such that a few Bedouin (Sa’udis) control the money, freedoms and souls of millions of hapless others?
How could a Muslim explain the reason why their women are being treated like an imprisoned commodity when they were granted economic independence by Islam 14 centuries ago through the right of inheritance? What happened to the women of Iraq, who enjoyed almost equality during the Ba’ath rule, after the installation of ‘US democracy’ following the invasion, which put them back in the Stone Age, is a testimony to that fate.
How could any Muslim explain to a non-Muslim the reason why the US Chief of Staff can visit any Muslim state (except two today) without an official invitation or pre-arranged agreement, contrary to all norms of international protocol and etiquette, and then go and meet, on his demand, any leader, be that King ‘Abdullāh of Arabia or President Sulaymān of Lebanon or Sheikh Hamad of Qatar?  No Muslim Chief of Staff would be able to visit the US without proper official invitation, and even then he would not be received by anybody higher than a General in the US army. And if there is a large military deal to be signed, he may be given a courteous audience with the Secretary of State for Defence.
How could a Muslim explain to himself why the US Ambassador to Lebanon is capable of meeting any politician from the President to the head of a local municipality whenever she demands? Why is she able to meet the Speaker of Parliament and then stand outside the building to make derogatory statements about some Lebanese parties and members of that same Parliament? Has anyone heard that a Muslim Ambassador in London had ever visited the British Parliament officially and met its speaker? If we hypothetically assume such a meeting ever took place, would that Muslim Ambassador be able to stand outside the House of Parliament and meddle in internal British politics or make derogatory statements about any specific political party? Would he not be declared persona non grata and asked to leave within twenty-four hours and his story would soon become the talk of London’s swinging nights?
How then after all this ignominy could a Muslim be able to turn to his son and tell him that we Muslims are the ones addressed by Allah when he said: “You are the best nation [Umma] produced for mankind.” (Aal-Imran 3:110)
How could a Muslim turn to his children and declare that the Muslims are the faithful who have been promised by Allah to inherit Paradise, when he is not able to explain to them the meaning of the verse “Allah will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection, and never will Allah give the disbelievers over the believers a way [to overcome them]” (An-Nisaa 4:141), having seen that Allah has enabled a handful of infidels, as described in Qur’an, to have their way with the Muslims? How would the Almighty, who had made a covenant not to allow the infidels to have the upper hand over those whom He has bestowed his name, ‘Mu’min’, allow that?
How and How? So many relevant questions beg to be answered. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.
It is time for enlightened Muslims to make a sincere and frank stand with themselves and review history in order to find out why they are where they are today. What is happening today and the servile state in which millions and millions of Muslims find themselves could not be solely blamed on the attack of Jews and Christians, as some Muslim clerics keep telling us. Part of its cause is as old as Islam’s history, having been handed over from generation to generation through teaching at home, school, and mosque in accepting events as having been in conformity with Islam and in glorifying aggression in the name of religion.
Slitting peoples’ throats is not a completely new phenomenon to Muslims. Historically some Muslim leaders, whose actions were later glorified by Muslims, practiced such atrocities and similar ones at some stages in the history of Islam, yet the are still called the ‘righteous predecessors’ whose practices are considered to be in line with Islam and should be followed according to most Muslim clerics today.
Some Muslims have overlooked these crimes contrary to Allah’s will in His saying: “…We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely”. (Al-Maaida 5:32) Muslim fuqahā (jurists)  seem ready to find an excuse for many un-Islamic acts. When confronted with the crimes against Muslims by some people of Mecca who later adopted Islam, they came up with a fabricated Hadith “Islam effaces previous misdeeds”, which is untrue both logically and in its contradiction to the Qur’an, in order to exonerate these Meccans who went on to assume positions of authority. Later some of those fuqahā tried to justify crimes committed by some Muslim leaders in disguising them as acts in defence of Islam overlooking the Lord’s dictum in saying: “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.” (Al-Baqara 2:190)