Pan-Islamism

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Pan-Islamism (Arabic : الوحدة الإسلامية) is a political ideology advocating the unity of Muslims under one Islamic country or state – often a caliphate [1] – or an international organization with Islamic principles. As a form of internationalism and anti-nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by seeing the ummah (Muslim community) as the focus of allegiance and mobilization, excluding ethnicity and race as primary unifying factors. It portrays Islam as being anti-racist and against anything that divides the human race based on ethnicity.

Caliphate Islamic form of government

A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a political-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah (community). Historically, the caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661), the Umayyad Caliphate (661–750) and the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258). In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states, almost all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.

International organization Organization with an international membership, scope, or presence

An international organization is an organization with an international membership, scope, or presence. There are two main types:

Internationalism (politics) movement which advocates a greater economic and political cooperation among nations

Internationalism is a political principle which transcends nationalism and advocates a greater political or economic cooperation among nations and people.

Contents

History

Pan-Islamism aims takes early years of Islam – the reign of Muhammad and the early caliphate – as its model, as it is commonly held that during these years the Muslim world was strong, unified, and free from corruption.

Muhammad Founder of Islam

Muhammad was the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet, sent to present and confirm the monotheistic teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets. He is viewed as the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam, though some modern denominations diverge from this belief. Muhammad united Arabia into a single Muslim polity, with the Quran as well as his teachings and practices forming the basis of Islamic religious belief.

Rashidun Caliphate first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad

The Rashidun Caliphate was the first of the four major caliphates established after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was ruled by the first four successive caliphs (successors) of Muhammad after his death in 632 CE. These caliphs are collectively known in Sunni Islam as the Rashidun, or "Rightly Guided" caliphs. This term is not used in Shia Islam as Shia Muslims do not consider the rule of the first three caliphs as legitimate.

Muslim world Muslim-majority countries, states, districts, or towns

The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the Islamic community (Ummah), consisting of all those who adhere to the religion of Islam, or to societies where Islam is practiced. In a modern geopolitical sense, these terms refer to countries where Islam is widespread, although there are no agreed criteria for inclusion. The term Muslim-majority countries is an alternative often used for the latter sense.

In the modern era, Pan-Islamism was championed by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani who sought unity among Muslims to resist colonial occupation of Muslim lands. Afghani feared that nationalism would divide the Muslim world and believed that Muslim unity was more important than ethnic identity. [2] Although sometimes described as "liberal", [3] al-Afghani did not advocate constitutional government but simply envisioned “the overthrow of individual rulers who were lax or subservient to foreigners, and their replacement by strong and patriotic men.” [4] In a review of the theoretical articles of his Paris-based newspaper there was nothing "favoring political democracy or parliamentarianism,” according to his biographer. [4]

Pan-Islamism in the post-colonial world was strongly associated with Islamism. Leading Islamists such as Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi, and Ayatollah Khomeini all stressed their belief that a return to traditional Sharia law would make Islam united and strong again. Extremism within Islam goes back to the 7th century to the Kharijites.[ better source needed ] From their essentially political position, they developed extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shiʿa Muslims. The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to Takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death. [5] [6] [7]

Islamism set of ideologies holding that Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life

Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles or more specifically to movements which call for full implementation of sharia. It is commonly used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism. In academic usage, the term Islamism does not specify what vision of "Islamic order" or sharia are being advocated, or how their advocates intend to bring them about. In Western mass media it tends to refer to groups whose aim is to establish a sharia-based Islamic state, often with implication of violent tactics and human rights violations, and has acquired connotations of political extremism. In the Muslim world, the term has positive connotations among its proponents.

Sayyid Qutb Egyptian author, educator, Islamic theorist, poet, and politician

Sayyid Qutb Ibrahim Husayn Shadhili was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamic theorist, poet, and a leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1966, he was convicted of plotting the assassination of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and was executed by hanging.

Sharia, Islamic law or Sharia law is a religious law forming part of the Islamic tradition. It is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. In Arabic, the term sharīʿah refers to God's immutable divine law and is contrasted with fiqh, which refers to its human scholarly interpretations. The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim fundamentalists and modernists.

In the period of decolonialism following World War II, Arab nationalism overshadowed Islamism which denounced nationalism as un-Islamic. In the Arab world secular pan-Arab parties – Baath and Nasserist parties – had offshoots in almost every Arab country, and took power in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Islamists suffered severe repression; its major thinker Sayyid Qutb, was imprisoned, underwent torture and was later executed. [8] Egyptian president Nasser saw the idea of Muslim unity as a threat to Arab nationalism. [9]

Arab nationalism Political ideology

Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology that asserts the Arabs are a nation and promotes the unity of Arab people, celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world. Its central premise is that the peoples of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, constitute one nation bound together by common ethnicity, language, culture, history, identity, geography and politics. One of the primary goals of Arab nationalism is the end of Western influence in the Arab world, seen as a "nemesis" of Arab strength, and the removal of those Arab governments considered to be dependent upon Western power. It rose to prominence with the weakening and defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century and declined after the defeat of the Arab armies in the Six-Day War.

Baath Party political party

The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party was a political party founded in Syria by Michel Aflaq, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, and associates of Zaki al-Arsuzi. The party espoused Ba'athism, which is an ideology mixing Arab nationalist, pan-Arabism, Arab socialist, and anti-imperialist interests. Ba'athism calls for unification of the Arab world into a single state. Its motto, "Unity, Liberty, Socialism", refers to Arab unity, and freedom from non-Arab control and interference.

Nasserism Arab socialist and nationalist political ideology

Nasserism is a socialist Arab nationalist political ideology based on the thinking of Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the two principal leaders of the Egyptian revolution of 1952 and Egypt's second President. Spanning the domestic and international spheres, it combines elements of Arab socialism, republicanism, nationalism, anti-imperialism, developing world solidarity and international non-alignment. In the 1950s and 1960s, Nasserism was amongst the most potent political ideologies in the Arab world. This was especially true following the Suez Crisis of 1956, the political outcome of which was seen as a validation of Nasserism and a tremendous defeat for Western imperial powers. During the Cold War, its influence was also felt in other parts of Africa and the developing world, particularly with regard to anti-imperialism and non-alignment.

In the 1950s, Pakistan's government aggressively campaigned to encourage unity amongst Muslims and cooperation between Muslim states. But the response of most Muslim countries to these Pakistani endeavors were not encouraging. Pakistani leaders, experienced in the intensity of Hindu-Muslim conflict in South Asia during the Pakistan Movement, had believed in the righteousness of their cause and while enthusiastically projecting Islam into foreign policy they failed to understand that Islam did not play the same role in the nationalist programs of most Middle Eastern states. Many Muslim countries suspected that Pakistan was aspiring to leadership of the Muslim world. [10]

Pakistan Movement

The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan was a religious political movement in the 1940s that aimed for and succeeded in the creation of Pakistan from the Muslim-majority areas of the British Indian Empire.

Following the defeat of Arab armies in the Six-Day War, Islamism and Pan-Islam began to reverse their relative position of popularity with nationalism and pan-Arabism. Political events in the Muslim world in the late 1960s convinced many Muslim states to shift their earlier ideas and respond favourably to Pakistan's goal of Muslim unity. Nasser abandoned his opposition to a pan-Islamic platform and such developments facilitated the first summit conference of Muslim heads of state in Rabat in 1969. This conference was eventually transformed into a permanent body called Organisation of Islamic Conference. [11]

In 1979 the Iranian Revolution ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from power, and ten years later the Afghan Muslim mujahideen, with major support from the United States, successfully forced the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. Pan-Islamic Sunni Muslims such as Maududi and the Muslim Brotherhood, embraced the creation of a new caliphate, at least as a long-term project. [12] Shia leader Ruhollah Khomeini [Note 1] also embraced a united Islamic supra-state [Note 2] but saw it led by a (Shia) religious scholar of fiqh (a faqih). [17]

These events galvanised Islamists the world over and heightened their popularity with the Muslim public. Throughout the Middle-East, and in particular Egypt, the various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood have significantly challenged the secular nationalist or monarchical Muslim governments.

In Pakistan the Jamaat-e-Islami enjoyed popular support especially since the formation of the MMA, and in Algeria the FIS was expected to win the cancelled elections in 1992. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Hizb-ut-Tahrir has emerged as a Pan-Islamist force in Central Asia and in the last five years has developed some support from the Arab world. [18]

A recent advocate for Pan-Islamism was late Turkish prime minister and founder of Millî Görüş movement Necmettin Erbakan, who championed the Pan-Islamic Union (İslam Birliği) idea and took steps in his government toward that goal by establishing the Developing 8 Countries (or D8, as opposed to G8) in 1996 with Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Bangladesh. His vision was gradual unity of Muslim nations through economic and technologic collaboration similar to the EU with a single monetary unit (İslam Dinarı), [19] joint aerospace and defense projects, petrochemical technology development, regional civil aviation network and a gradual agreement to democratic values. Although the organization met at presidential and cabinet levels and moderate collaboration projects continue to date, the momentum was instantly lost when the so-called Post-Modern Coup of February 28, 1997, eventually took down Erbakan's government. [20]

See also

International organisations:

History:

Related Research Articles

War against Islam is a conspiracy theory narrative in Islamist discourse to describe an alleged conspiracy to harm, weaken or annihilate the societal system of Islam, using military, economic, social and cultural means. The perpetrators of the conspiracy are alleged to be non-Muslims, particularly the Western world, White people and "false Muslims", allegedly in collusion with political actors in the Western world. While the contemporary conspiracy theory narrative of the "War against Islam" mostly covers general issues of societal transformations in modernization and secularization as well as general issues of international power politics among modern states, the crusades are often narrated as its alleged starting point.

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Zaidiyyah branch of Shia Islam

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Hizb ut-Tahrir Pan-Islamist and fundamentalist organization

Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international, pan-Islamist political organisation, which describes its ideology as Islam, and its aim as the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) to resume the Islamic way of life in the Muslim world. The caliphate would unite the Muslim community (Ummah) upon their Islamic creed and implement the Shariah, so as to then carry the proselytising of Islam to the rest of the world.

Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī Political activist and Islamic ideologist

Sayyid Jamāl al-Dīn al-Afghānī, also known as Sayyid Jamāl ad-Dīn Asadābādī and commonly known as Al-Afghani, was a political activist and Islamic ideologist who traveled throughout the Muslim world during the late 19th century. He is one of the founders of Islamic Modernism as well as an advocate of Pan-Islamic unity in Europe and Hindu-Muslim unity in India, he has been described as being less interested in minor differences in Islamic jurisprudence than he was in organizing a united response to Western pressure.

Takfir or takfeer is a controversial concept in Islamist discourse, denoting excommunication, as one Muslim declaring another Muslim as a non-believer (kafir). The act which precipitates takfir is termed mukaffir. Contemporary formulation and usage of the term have their roots in the 20th-century Islamist theorist Sayyid Qutb's advocacy of takfirism against the state or society deemed jahiliyah. According to Qutb, violence is required to be sanctioned against corrupt state leaders, on the premise that quietism is not the Islamic prescription against those deemed apostates. This position is widely held and applied by jihadist organizations to varying degrees. At the same time, the concept is opposed by religious establishment as an ostensible reason for violence. They hold that excommunication against those who profess their Islamic faith is not sanctioned by Islam, or an ill-founded takfir accusation is a major forbidden act (haram).

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References

Notes

  1. Khomeini stated that Muslims should be "united and stand firmly against Western and arrogant powers." [13] "Establishing the Islamic state world-wide belong to the great goals of the revolution." [14] He declared the birth week of Muhammad (the week between 12th to 17th of Rabi' al-awwal) as the Unity week. Then he declared the last Friday of Ramadan as International Day of Quds in 1981. [15]
  2. " ... the imperialist at the end of World War I divided the Ottoman State, creating in its territories about ten or fifteen petty states. Then each of these was entrusted to one of their servants or a group .... In order to assure the unity of the Islamic ummah, ... it is imperative that we establish a government ... The formation of such a government will serve to preserve the disciplined unity of the Muslims .... " [16]

Citations

  1. Bissenove (February 2004). "Ottomanism, Pan-Islamism, and the Caliphate; Discourse at the Turn of the 20th Century" (PDF). BARQIYYA. 9 (1). American University in Cairo: The Middle East Studies Program. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 23, 2015. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  2. World Book Encyclopedia, 2018 ed., s.v. "Muslims"
  3. such as by a contemporary English admirer, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, (see: Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Secret History of the English Occupation of Egypt (London: Unwin, 1907), p. 100.)
  4. 1 2 Nikki R. Keddie, Sayyid Jamal ad-Din “al-Afghani”: A Political Biography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 225–226.
  5. "Another battle with Islam's 'true believers'". The Globe and Mail.
  6. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-02. Retrieved 2013-08-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. Jebara, Mohamad Jebara More Mohamad. "Imam Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism". Ottawa Citizen.
  8. "Nationalism vs Islam". Al Jazeera. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  9. H. Rizvi (15 January 1993). Pakistan and the Geostrategic Environment: A Study of Foreign Policy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 72–. ISBN   978-0-230-37984-8.
  10. H. Rizvi (15 January 1993). Pakistan and the Geostrategic Environment: A Study of Foreign Policy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 71–. ISBN   978-0-230-37984-8.
  11. H. Rizvi (15 January 1993). Pakistan and the Geostrategic Environment: A Study of Foreign Policy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 73–. ISBN   978-0-230-37984-8.
  12. Farmer, Brian R. (2007). Understanding Radical Islam: Medieval Ideology in the Twenty-first Century. Peter Lang. p. 83. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  13. "Imam Emphasized Unity Between Shia and Sunni: Ayatollah Mousawi Jazayeri". Imam Khomeini. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  14. (Resalat, 25 March 1988) (quoted on p.69, The Constitution of Iran by Asghar Schirazi, Tauris, 1997
  15. "Iran's unfinished crisis Nazenin Ansari, 16–09–2009". Opendemocracy.net. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2010.
  16. Khomeini, Ruhollah (c. 1980). Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist. Alhoda UK. p. 29. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  17. Khomeini, Ruhollah, Islam and Revolution, Mizan Press, p.59
  18. Hizb-ut-Tahrir's Growing Appeal in the Arab World Archived 2007-07-03 at the Wayback Machine Jamestown Foundation
  19. Erbakan currency
  20. D8 History

Further reading