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Radical Islamism and Jihad (29 Sep 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Fundamentalism Has Transported Religion Out of Its Spiritual Realm

By Adil Rasheed

28 September 2018

It might seem ironic but religious fundamentalism is quite a modern, sui generis phenomenon. As its quest for truth is driven more by casuistry than spirituality, it strives to confute the orthodox and traditional practices of various faiths, polities and cultures.

Thus, fundamentalism is modern not merely because of its emergence in relatively recent times, but because it attempts to impose a systematic structure to dogma and is generally averse towards religion’s essentially metaphysical and esoteric dimensions.

By discarding the intricacies of the metaphorical, fundamentalism clings to a literalist defence of scripture that invariably gives its arguments a reductionist, absolutist and intolerant streak.

In its pursuance of minimalism to ostensibly achieve pristine purity of faith, it sets itself up against intellectualism, aestheticism and mysticism, and so it finds few scholars, thinkers or artists among its obscurantist following.

Metastasizing Menace

The term fundamentalism originated in late 19th century when it referred to the extremist beliefs of certain Protestant sects in Britain and the US, which insisted on the literal inerrancy of the Bible.

However, this mimetic threat soon spread to other religions including some segments of Islam, even though this trend has arguably shown signs of general regress in recent times.

Although simplistic in its vehement adherence to “the inviolable basic principles”, fundamentalism in our times is remarkably innovative in that it has transported religion out of its spiritual realm and brought its distorted version into the socio-cultural, political and even economic domains.

Surprisingly like neo-liberalism, fundamentalism rejects tradition and “cultural specificity in favor of abstract universalism”. Thus, Muslim fundamentalist movements generally reject all the orthodox schools of religious jurisprudence or doctrines. In this, they are remarkably anarchist, even post-modern.

Post-Modern Moorings

In an article titled “Post-Modern Jihad”, published in The Weekly Standard soon after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Waller Newell (Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Carleton University) wrote “the ideology by which al-Qaeda justifies its acts of terror owes as much to baleful trends in Western thoughts as it does to a perversion of religious beliefs. Osama’s doctrine of terror is partly a Western export.”

In the article, the scholar traces the influences of Nazi philosopher Heidegger and post-modern ideologues like Foucault on the Iranian Revolution and al-Qaeda.

He writes: “The relationship between postmodernist European leftism and Islamist radicalism is a two-way street: Not only have Islamists drawn on the legacy of European left, but European Marxists have taken heart from Islamist terrorists who seemed close to achieving the longed for revolution against American hegemony.”

According to noted expert on Islamist terrorism Olivier Roy, “In the 1960s, in Western Europe we had a tradition of youth radicalization from the Marxist revolution. Suddenly around the 1990s, the dream of the Marxist revolution disappeared and al-Qaeda and ISIS filled the vacuum”.

Similarly Ofri Ilani writes: “Individualism, hatred of the establishment and a cult of emotion activate the jihadists, just as they activated the anarchist assassins in the 19th century or the Red Brigades in the 1970s”.

The Loss of Meaning

Since ancient times, religion instituted meaning in human consciousness through its spiritual injunctions, ethical distinction of right from wrong as well as restrictions on the bestial and carnal instincts. With the coming of European enlightenment, rationalism and science set new standards of personal, societal and universal values.

However, with the rise of post-modern philosophies, certitude in established institutions of faith, ethics and even reason started to crumble and thereby the very construct of meaning began to blur. A similar trend is perceptible in the descent of militant fundamentalism from its avowed pursuance of essential religious truths to a near complete breakdown of any ethical construct it claimed to cling to.

Like post-modern Marxist revolutionaries, the bestial has gained pre-eminence over both the spiritual and the rational, leading to a near collapse of faith and any semblance of good sense. Borrowing ideas from their post-modern ideological mentors, groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS have violated the very basic injunctions of their avowed faith.

As Newell puts it: “For Foucault as for Fanon, Hezbollah, and the rest down to Osama, the purpose of violence is not to relieve poverty or adjust borders. Violence is an end in itself … That is how al Qaeda can ignore mainstream Islam, which prohibits the deliberate killing of non-combatants, and slaughter innocents in the name of creating a new world, the latest in a long line of grimly punitive collectivist utopias.”

One could definitely add the name of ISIS on the list of these post-modern, neo-fundamentalist purveyors of violence. Not surprisingly, militant fundamentalism strives in places of utter chaos and confusion.

The remedy to clearly lies in restoring religion to its rightful and exclusive preserve of spiritualism, while leaving socio-political issues to institutions of national and international polity. There can be no space for religion in the political domain.

Dr. Adil Rasheed is Research Fellow at the Institute for Defense and Strategic Analyses (IDSA) based in New Delhi since August 2016. For over 20 years, he has been a journalist, researcher, political commentator for various international think tanks and media organizations, both in the United Arab Emirates and India. He was Senior Research Fellow at the United Services Institution of India (USI) for two years from 2014 to 2016, where he still holds the honorary title of Distinguished Fellow. He has also worked at the Abu Dhabi-based think tank The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) for eight years (2006-14).

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2018/09/28/Why-militant-fundamentalism-is-post-modern-not-orthodox.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/adil-rasheed/fundamentalism-has-transported-religion-out-of-its-spiritual-realm/d/116517


  • I have to again explain to the thick-skulled moron that  even if the wife of a man with the husband’s consent has sex with another man in pagan societies it is still adultery. But that does not tell us what the laws were. The only reference to the laws is in the quotation that I posted half a dozen times. Absence of vignettes in Islam does not prove anything. Mullahs have been charging sizeable fees to carry out halala, which is, strictly speaking not even legal in Islam. 

    The moron does not produce any evidence to support his assertions but keeps on asking others for more and more evidence.

    By the way, this debate is not going anywhere. How about closing it?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/13/2018 11:49:52 PM

  • What I said was very clear but beyond the understanding of the old fool. The difference between the meaning of adultery in Islam and in Pagan societies, is that even if the wife of a man with the husband’s consent has sex with another man, it is adultery in Islam. In Pagan society however, it is not. This is because the wife is treated as property of the husband which he may let out at his will. Only if the wife (property) is taken without his permission, that it constitutes a violation of his rights and a crime. In this, it is no different from property rights and nowhere what adultery means in Islam. Adultery as a concept, therefore does not even exist in Pagan society. Therefore, to say that the law for adultery in Islam is 7th century law of the pagan Arabs, is the height of ignorance.


    The old fool however continues to argue on the subject without a basis and without evidence


    He says: “Trying to guess from the vignettes of Arabian society what their laws and punishments for adultery were is simply stupid.”


    Is it not for this idiot to provide evidence for his claim that the Quranic law on adultery is the same as the 7th century pagan Arab law? Has he done that?


    If the Quranic law on adultery is the same as 7th century pagan Arab law, then should we not expect to find the same vignettes from Muslim society as found in 7th century Arab society ? Why do we not find it if the law has remained unchanged?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/13/2018 11:04:57 PM

  • The reason I gave the dictionary definition of "adultery" was that Naseer sb, the self-deluded moron, was trying to deceptively confuse the issue by suggesting that if adultery is considered to be a violation of  "property rights" then it is not adultery! Does that make sense to anyone? So who has lost all his marbles?

    He asks, "What is pre-Islamic?" in response to the paragraph that I had quoted. That paragraph starts with the sentence, "Determining whether stoning for adultery and hand-amputation for theft were practiced in pre-Islamic Arabia represents the first phase in exploring the origins and evolution of these penalties in Islamic law."

    Thus the study was clearly about pre-Islamic Saudi Arabia.

    The rest of Naseer sb.'s diatribe rests on Muslim claims rather than on objective facts. Only a self-deluded moron would make such an argument because there is no moron like a self-deluded moron. And Naseer sb. forgets that he has provided us only with some vignettes of pagan Arabic life. Trying to guess from that what their laws and punishments for adultery were is simply stupid.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/13/2018 1:13:02 PM

  • The day is not complete for Hats Off until he has said something bad about the Prophet! And he has to say it on a self-proclaimed progressive Muslim website!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/13/2018 12:22:45 PM

  • "The fact that there is a parallel to every belief and practice of the religion of Muhammad (pbuh) in every civilization is proof that Allah has indeed sent 124000 prophets over a period of 70,000 years to preach the very same religion, and that this religion is from Allah." - mr. naseer ahmed.

    this is not fact. it is mr. naseer ahmed's belief. AND the belief of his cohorts as well.

    two thirds of the world (who are NOT mr. naseer ahmed's cohorts) do not accept this "fact" - or "factoid".

    By hats off! - 11/13/2018 5:19:08 AM

  • The fact that there is a parallel to every belief and practice of the religion of Muhammad (pbuh) in every civilization is proof that Allah has indeed sent 124000 prophets over a period of 70,000 years to preach the very same religion, and that this religion is from Allah.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/13/2018 12:58:45 AM

  • GM: Adultery is defined as, "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his married spouse". Only a retard would not understand that.



    Nobody said adultery is rape! Poor GM Sb, he has lost all his marbles and cannot now even distinguish between rape and adultery!


    He keeps quoting repeatedly Remarkably, not only stoning and hand-amputation, but nearly the entire range of Islamic adultery and theft legislation have pre-Islamic parallels."


    What is pre-Islamic? According to the scholars, Judaism and Christianity are also pre-Islamic. According to the Quran, all the prophets sent to every nation and region were Muslim and Islam is as old as Adam.


    41:43. Nothing is said to you that was not said to the apostles before you.

    10:37 “This Qur´an is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.” (10:37)

    41:53. Soon will We show them our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own being, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord does witness all things?


    What are the signs that Allah will show in the furthest regions of the earth except that His religion is the same and has reached every people? There is absolutely no claim that what Muhammad (pbuh) brought was anything new but only a confirmation of what had been sent to every nation in the past. So, when Allah himself says that you will find the same Signs of Allah in the furthest regions of the earth why is it surprising that there are parallels for every belief and practice? Why am I saying all this to another Muslim who I presume does not need to be informed about the position the Quran takes and although what I have said above is straight from my article which he has read? Because GM sb is an old fool and there is no fool like an old fool!



    The question that we are dealing with is “what were pagan Arab practices and what did they consider as adultery and the punishment for it?” Does anybody find an answer to that in what he keeps quoting? I have quoted numerous authors about pagan Arab social life from which we know that the practices that are considered adultery in Islam were socially acceptable in the pagan Arab society. Indeed, in this matter, all pagan societies are alike. So, what is the parallel between Islam and pagan Arab society as it concerns adultery?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/13/2018 12:47:34 AM

  • "In islam adultery is forbidden sex and has nothing to do with consent" mr. naseer ahmed.

    consent as a concept is unknown to islam. it's methods are more to do with imposition.

    the prophet could never understand the concept of consent. and hence the ummah has grown up without it.

    his marriage with saffiyah is a case in point. he thought that a woman in that situation could actually "consent". apparently they did not have vishkha guidelines in those days.

    By hats off! - 11/12/2018 4:58:28 PM

  • The self-deluding idiot says that I have no proof of the punishment in pre-Islamic Arab society for adultery although I have quoted the following paragraph several times: "An extensive survey of pre-Islamic, Near Eastern legal materials in search of parallel penalties has thus been attempted in this thesis. Remarkably, not only stoning and hand-amputation, but nearly the entire range of Islamic adultery and theft legislation have pre-Islamic parallels."

    Why does he lie so much?

    He accuses me of not distinguishing between property rights and adultery. All the instances that I had cited from Wikipedia are subsumed under the heading of "Adultery". Adultery is defined as, "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his married spouse". Only a retard would not understand that. 

    Naseer sb., being the idiot that he is, thinks that by keeping this dialogue going with totally inane and invalid points he will "win"! Well, he is wrong!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/12/2018 1:59:34 PM

  • Naseer sb. says, "What is common to all ancient criminal codes of every society is corporal punishment. In that sense the punishment under hudud laws is comparable with other societies."

    Thanks for saying that. The corollary is that hudud laws are of human origin.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/12/2018 1:39:23 PM

  • What is common to all ancient criminal codes of every society is corporal punishment. In that sense the punishment under hudud laws is comparable with other societies. Is corporal punishment barbaric? That I guess is GM sbs main contention and not so much the law of adultery and punishment for it in different societies. Imprisonment involves taking away a person’s freedom, confinement, chaining, sexual assault by jailers and other prisoners which is far more barbaric, but we do not get to see it as it is behind walls. Imprisonment has not proved to be a corrective nor a deterrent. Flogging with witnesses is both a deterrent and a corrective.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/12/2018 10:07:20 AM

  • Lage raho windbag Ghulam Uncle Sam, lage raho even though you yourself say that you have no proof of the punishment in pre-Islamic Arab society for adultery.

    You can be clinically certified a complete idiot for not being able to distinguish between property rights and adultery and for keeping on arguing even after being informed of the difference.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/12/2018 2:17:30 AM

  • The idiot will continue to make idiotic comments because he just does not have the capacity to correct himself.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/12/2018 12:31:06 AM

  • A windbag can say anything without any evidence or basis which is why I call you a windbag!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 11/12/2018 12:22:30 AM

  • Adultery may be defined differently in different cultures but the discussion is about the nature of punishment for adultery. I maintain that harsh punishments such as 100 lashes are a continuation of pre-Islamic Arabic practices. As I have said several times already I cannot imagine the Almighty, the Mreciful, the Beneficient God prescribing 100 lashes for the adulterers.

    Naseer sb. has the habit of finding some semantic or technical detail just when he is losing an argument and then in order to buttress his argument he gets into the gutter and uses his abusive jargon without any consideration of how that makes him look.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 11/12/2018 12:15:12 AM

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