For the last three years, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has been telling Muslims all over the world: You either have to have a war within or a war with us. A call for Muslim "civil war" has become the battle cry of the neo-cons. Using these "civil wars", Muslims killing Muslims in large numbers, the neo-cons expect to accomplish three goals:
- Recreation of Muslim societies in Western image, with or without democratic institutions.
- Long-term control over oil and policies toward Israel.
- Reconstruction of Islam on a Biblical model, reformation included.
A while back, the Rand Corporation, a semi-autonomous think tank, had issued a report titled Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies authored by Cheryl Benard. The American Muslims must take note of because it is already being implemented in "letter and spirit" by various agencies and even "private" groups.
Though the author of this report claims: "The United States has three goals in regard to politicized Islam. First, it wants to prevent the spread of extremism and violence. Second, in doing so, it needs to avoid the impression that the United States is "opposed to Islam." And third, in the longer run, it must find ways to help address the deeper economic, social, and political causes feeding Islamic radicalism and to encourage a move toward development and democratization", its actual aims are discernable from its policy recommendations detailed below.
Cheryl Bernard, the author of this report, claims: "This approach seeks to strengthen and foster the development of civil, democratic Islam and of modernization and development. It provides the necessary flexibility to deal with different settings appropriately, and it reduces the danger of unintended negative effects. The following outline describes what such a strategy might look like:
- "Support the modernists first, enhancing their vision of Islam over that of the traditionalists by providing them with a broad platform to articulate and disseminate their views. They, not the traditionalists, should be cultivated and publicly presented as the face of contemporary Islam.
- "Support the secularists on a case-by-case basis.
- "Encourage secular civic and cultural institutions and programs.
- "Back the traditionalists enough to keep them viable against the fundamentalists (if and wherever those are our choices) and to prevent a closer alliance between these two groups.
- "Within the traditionalists, we should selectively encourage those who are the relatively better match for modern civil society. For example, some Islamic law schools are far more amenable to our view of justice and human rights than are others.
- "Finally, oppose the fundamentalists energetically by striking at vulnerabilities in their Islamic and ideological postures, exposing things that neither the youthful idealists in their target audience nor the pious traditionalists can approve of: their corruption, their brutality, their ignorance, the bias and manifest errors in their application of Islam, and their inability to lead and govern." (P. 47-48)
After making these recommendations the author goes on the say: "Some additional, more-direct activities will be necessary to support this overall approach, such as the following:
- "Help break the fundamentalist and traditionalist monopoly on defining, explaining, and interpreting Islam.
- "Identify appropriate modernist scholars to manage a Web site that answers questions related to daily conduct and offers modernist Islamic legal opinions.
- "Encourage modernist scholars to write textbooks and develop curricula.
- "Publish introductory books at subsidized rates to make them as available as the tractates of fundamentalist authors.
- "Use popular regional media, such as radio, to introduce the thoughts and practices of modernist Muslims to broaden the international view of what Islam means and can mean." (p. 48)
Three key factors are crystal clear about this report: 1) The author of this report seeks to redefine Islam, 2) find and promote Muslim leaders and intellectuals of their choice and 3) involve Western governments in reorganizing and transforming Islam; by persuasion when possible and by force when necessary.
The First Amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Notwithstanding the fact that this report clearly violates the First Amendment, since its publication in 2003, various groups and organizations have put Cheryl Benard's recommendations into action. A number of Muslims have been co-opted by neo-cons and by various Rand Report implementation teams.
Though it is true that people under assault can always tell the difference between a Nelson Mandela and a Chief Buthalazi, even if the powers-that-be may label Mandela as a "terrorists" and Zulu Chief Buthalazi as the "moderate", it is still useful even necessary to remain vigilant about these planted agents who are now being programmed like robots to say and to whatever these think tanks want them to say and do.
How can one recognize these Muslims Neo-Cons and these Rand Robots? Well here are a few hints:
- Their assignment is to trigger multiple civil wars. You will find them promoting conflict among Muslims, by clever means of course.
- You will find them attacking any effort or entity promoting unity, clarity of purpose, or Muslim self-empowerment. One of their main assignments is to prevent emergence of a unified American Muslim agenda.
- You will find them inventing methods to undermine and dilute Muslim identity. Their job is to prod Muslims to participate as individuals, not as a community.
- You will find them using shrewd slogans to get American Muslims to shed any and all support and affinity for issues and causes of freedom and justice in Palestine, Kashmir, and elsewhere. Their assignment is to leave the field wide open for the other side.
- You will find them exploiting every fault line within the American Muslim community. For example, deploying every conceivable stratagem to create misunderstanding and lack of amity among indigenous and immigrant Muslims.
- You will find them undermining American Muslim struggle for civil right and human liberties.
- You will find them not only not refuting the neo-cons but actually working with and for the neo-cons.
- You will find them creating confusion, hopeless, helplessness, and purposeless in the community. You will find them attacking everyone else but never taking responsibility for any cause or crisis.
- Their ultimate assignment is to undermine the American Muslim community by undermining its primary values, its main ideas, its representative institutions and its primary modes of self-empowerment and self-representation.
What these Muslim neo-cons and Rand Robots are seeking is not reform but intellectual and moral surrender. However, there is one important difference between Muslim neo-cons and Rand Robots: the Muslim neo-cons do not attack Islam or Prophet of Islam, the Rand Robots do.
Remember, in the war of wits, mind is the ultimate target but mind is also the ultimate weapon.
Jews and Gentiles, Some Teachings of the Talmud
May Allah keep you in the best of faith and Imaan, and shower you with His blessings.
Wahhabism is nothing new. It's roots lie in the Khawarij, a group from the province of Najd in Arabia, directly East of Medina. The Khawarij were a group mixture of different tribes of Arabs, such as the Banu Tamim, and Banu Asad. They started to give Khalifatur Rasool-Allah, ABU BAKR (ra), the successor to the Islamic leadership from the Holy Prophet (saws), and hte best friend of the Prophet and one his the Prophet's closest companions, had a great deal of trouble on his hands when he took succession, because a man known as Musailimah (which basically was a title given to him which means small muslim), claimed to be a Prophet after the death of Prophet Muhammad (saaw). So it is nothing new that ideologies come and go from strength, to weakness in Islamic history. Abu Bakr (ra), in order to stop the fitnah of Musailamah, send another Sahabah to lead a Muslim army to confront Musailamah and his strange ideas. This sahabah's name was KHALID bin WALEED (ra). What a great companion of the Prophet, after his victory, Musailamah gave in and accepted his error.
Anyways whatever Wahhabism may be, interruptions into our faith have been happening since thevery beginning, but it doesn't mean that because they seem to be correct, that they are. One has to have a great deal of courage to withstand a great deal of pressure from those who would wish to publicly defamate a person just because he/she wishes to seek the truth.
The sky will not fall Insha'Allah :-D. What Allah wills, it happens.
To conclude, no matter who crops up, Al-Mu'mineen always work for al-haqq and are in their nature as-siddiq, like Abu Bakr, 'The Truthful'. (ra).
Once again just wanted to end with saying jazakum'Allah khairun for your comment, stay blessed.
It is easy to read articles, know names and figures, and discuss among friends, but we must start thinking about doing something about it.
Let's start by identifying our own individual weaknesses in our faith, then our families, then our communities, then inshallah we can change the ummah.
May Allah bless the community of Muhammad (SAW)
No wonder so called "progressive muslims" are all the rage in the neocon friendly press.
I would like to suggest to the Rand Corp that it target the right wing Christians in the US in the manner they describe before attempting the "reformation" of Islam. We have seen the success of their suggestions in Iraq and other Middle Eastern areas. And lets face it, the fundamentalists, puritanicals, televangelists, abortion clinic bombers, supporters of Israel, end timers, creationists, neo cons, ditto heads and a whole host of others could use a little improvement.
Lets take one of Rand's policy recommendations and see if it fits (by changing some of the referents) "6. Finally, oppose the fundamentalists energetically by striking at vulnerabilities in their "Christian" and ideological postures, exposing things that neither the youthful idealists in their target audience nor the pious traditionalists can approve of: their corruption, their brutality, their ignorance, the bias and manifest errors in their application of Christianity, and their inability to lead and govern."
Does that fit? Hint: look in the White House. Remember Jesus's statement. "Do not ask to take the nit from your neighbor's eye till you take the log from your own."
Error is a distributed problem that is remediated by those in error correcting themselves. Not those in error corrupting those who aren't.
Here is another statement from Jesus "Judge not that you might not be judged." Why? Because if you can recognize a problem in someone else's behavior, you have the where-with-all to recognize the problem in yourself. And it is yourself you have responsibility for.
There will only be one thing they can not brainwash or rearrange thats the Quran. The word of God nor God Himself can not be brainwashed...
We muslims need to fight back, with a documentary that goes further then Fahrenheit 9-11 to expose the hundreds of pcs of evidence that will prove that the ZIONIST JEWS had at least some role in 9-11.
Excellent and timely article but sadly few Muslims have taken the time to actually read or fully study the report, Chery Barnard doesn't just call for a "reformation of islam" but a changing of Muslim "attitudes" about such issues as:
1. the role of Islam in politics
4. acceptance of a Muslim "minority" status
What the author of this article also fails to mention is who Ms. Bernard mentions as the "modernists" acceptable to RAND and the CIA (the funder of this 'study') She mentions by name:
1. Sufis/Sufism as something that should be "promoted" to "dilute the power of the arguments of 'fundamentalists'" she goes so far as to say that the U.S. should even "educate" them to counter the 'fundamentalists' argument -- (our friends at Fox News probably are eager to hear this)
2. She also mentions by name Mr. Khaled Abou el Fadl as the type of "acceptable Muslim" RAND would like to see -- enough said.
As Muslims we need to call a spade a spade and expose the falsehood, even if it means testifying against ourselves.
I must admit that I have not read the full Rand Report, but I have read bits and pieces. I think one should not only use the mind (most important tool), but there should be ikhlas (purification of intention) and ittiba' (following the unadulterated example of Mohammad (AS) ). This is vitally important to the Muslim leadership here in the US. It is imperative for us to have a clear plan/ agenda for improving our situation as a Muslim minority here in the US (e.g. civil rights, freedom of worship/ religion etc). We should know what we lack and need to reform according to the guidelines Quran and Sunnah; we do not want to have another Judaic split as in orthodox and reform Jews. Also, we should keep in mind what 'others' have planned for us and work accordingly. If 'others' are pointing out our errors so that we could reform, then we should keep in mind what Ibn Abbas says about that, "...[they speak] a truthful (haq) word intending falsehood"
Brother Tahir Ali's article is an interesting one that needs to be circulated so the discourse will begin.
This article gave an excellent analyses of the goal of the neocons, their use of Muslims against Muslims and their ultimate goal--to destroy Islam. Thank you for clarifying this for all of us.
Wa alaykum us salaam,
There is no denying that much of the problems of the community stem from a tenaceous reluctance to change or modernisation in day to day attitudes and interpretation of Traditions, Ways (Shariah) and other rituals. I believe Islam has great principoles and no one is asking to turn our backs to those.
If we continue to be "monkey see, monkey do" without understanding the principles, and without practicing the principles, we will remain lost for ever as we are now.
Options are limited.
1. We should have brought about reforms from within, ourselves - we did not. We remained tied down to traditions and to the traditionalists. Now some committed Muslims are braving the odds. Let us not call them names.
2. Outsiders will nudge us towards moderation, democracy & a general civil behavior towards every one including those who do not follow our faith. If that needs parting with 'some Tradition' - so be it.
3. Third option is not very pleasant. Moderation, democracy and universal ethics ( call it white man's morality ) being thrust down upon us. And we have to remember, we can criticise and condemn as much as we want but we have no power to resist or escape from it. This is quite clear, if recent history of Afghanistan & Iraq is any guide. Pointing to First amendment is exercise in futility. The present aggressors have no qualms in using brute force. Muslims should forget about the niceties.
May Allah show us light.