The latest developments on Osama bin Laden’s death have ignited a great debate whether or not the war on terrorism is finally over. This has many top-ranking officials and policymakers vehemently objecting. Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security, said to the Washington Times “We killed the man but not the ideology.” Is it back to square one for the Pentagon? The latest battle has emerged against Islamism. What is Islamism? What is the difference between Islam and this Islamism?
Islamism is political Islam and Islamists are those who work towards applying political Islam as a comprehensive system including the economic, social, and other aspects of Islam in today’s time. The Western foreign policy advisors view Islamism as the ideological battle between Islam versus the other western ideologies. A World Almanac of Islamism has been created as a new initiative by the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington. According to their website, “the Almanac is a comprehensive resource designed to track the rise or decline of radical Islam on a national, regional, and global level.” Islam, if researched, results in numerous terms ranging from radical, fanatic, fundamental, militant to Islamist. Islamism is the latest “it” word to describe a certain form of Islam.
The battle is against the ideology of Islam and the race to squash its rapid political spread across the world particularly MENA (Middle East & North Africa) and south Central Asia. The West has evidently trampled over their basic creed trying to extinguish the call for Islamism. Going as far as ignoring or sidestepping the very foundation their creed was built upon. This indeed is a more dangerous and elusive war waged against Islam; far more obscure than the wars waged by the Crusades because those wars were tangible and the enemy was a clear target to the Europeans. On the contrary, the Crusades have yet to cease their battle against Islam. The occupations and killings of Muslim lands are a modern day extension of the Crusades.
Tom Ridge, previously holding a key position in high-ranking government, spoke with carefully chosen words to describe the current situation with precision, “This is the battleground on which the current war of ideas is being fought.” They know that this battle needs to be fought with counter-ideas yet they fail miserably when challenging the ideas of Islam against their own ideas. Therefore relying on tanks and guns to try to win this battle only to be defeated.
The West desires for Muslims to shed their Islamic identity to permanently erase their core culture but to their dismay, Islam is inherent of their very identity making it difficult if not impossible to detach Islam from the Muslim. So this translates into centuries of foreign culture, missionaries, and trillions of dollars wasted by Western efforts. Muslims will never be defeated because the West cannot understand the intrinsic source of their strength. Islam’s ideology is not a man-made ideology but from the Creator so the power possessed by the people comes from within this source. Therefore it is neither capitalism nor democracy that Muslims seek.
When will Muslims recognize that the reality of democracy and liberties contradict Islam? Ridge further states, “Individual liberty, freedom of thought and faith, respect for women, democratic government and capitalism are fundamental to contemporary western life but abhorrent to the Islamist creed… Islamism and the American way of life cannot peaceably coexist.” If a Western policymaker fully understands the tenets of Islam and therefore Western so-called liberties violate the Islamic ideology, then Muslims must stop calling for these false principles since they are un-Islamic and part of Western values. It would be naive to think that Muslims alongside non-Muslims can bridge together religious and cultural differences in order to make the world a better and more peaceful place to live. Or that only a handful of people are prejudiced towards Muslims when in fact it is western ideology and their policymakers that rival Muslims along with their ideology.
وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ
“They wish you would have hardship. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater.” [al-Imran: 118]
The West is truly in a whirlwind trying to employ various tactics against the Muslim ideology. Tom Ridge stated “….there is a lot of work to do.” This is a clear and decisive declaration that the West is never going to surrender until they are defeated. Manifesting into increased occupation of Muslim lands and the continued killing of Muslims. They will do whatever it takes to control the people in their own lands. They will take all preventive measures to ensure that Islamism will not prevail once again.
Yes indeed the US is revealing their apprehension of political Islam which they refer to as Islamism as demonstrated by various policy think tanks. Seeing and feeling the Muslims’ growing eagerness for Islam to be applied upon them as the only comprehensive way to lead their lives. All throughout the Muslim lands they see the mass prayers, the thousands that demand the end of their current agent-regime, the open effort exhibited in trying to gain the nusrah from the people of power and rank. Indeed it paints a grim picture for the West; Muslims worldwide have finally realized that capitalism and democracy have only brought disastrous consequences to all of humankind. Rather they want Shariah law implemented.
All the maneuvers employed by the West are only stalling the emergence of Islam as its nearness is within arms reach. The fact that the West is arrogantly stubborn in realizing that Islam comes from the Creator, unlike their man-made system, poses a great problem for them. This places major obstacles for them in trying to defeat the undefeatable system. No longer fighting against other people, this will essentially lead them towards their destruction. There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.