Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Moderate Islamists and Evolving Revolutions

For those who've wondered over the years why I have sometimes said that the ideological neo-purists are more dangerous than the militant fanatics because they provide the intellectual, ideological and social cover for the latter, here's a news item from today's (Nov. 27, 2012) Jang:
Usama's Intention was Okay; he's a Martyr (Shaheed). Suicide Attacks against the Enemies of Allah are Jihad (Just War)—Qazi Hussain [Ahmad]  
Lahore [Jang News]: Former Ameer (Leader/President) of the Jamat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed has said that killing the Enemies of Allah by suicide attack is a form of Jihad. Those who blow up bazaars and buses with bombs are not Mujahideen (holy warriors of a jihad) but agens of America and Israel. Usama bin Laden's intentions were correct and for that reason I call him a martyr (a shaheed)...

[Translation my own.
Source: http://jang.com.pk/jang/nov2012-daily/27-11-2012/main.htm
Specifically: http://jang.com.pk/jang/nov2012-daily/27-11-2012/topst/main5.gif]

The reason I bring this up is that the phrase "moderate Islamist" keeps coming up and I have talked about it before (for example here and here). And with the events in Egypt this month, with President Morsi making a power play, a New Republic writer has written an article saying "Shame on Anyone Who Ever Thought Mohammad Morsi Was a Moderate". But of course, there's more "bughz-e-Muawiya" in there than "hubb-e-Ali", as we say in the Muslim world. Or Bugz-e-Hussein.

So one thing I think is clear. When Pakistanis like me wondered after the January 25 Revolution whether Egypt was 40 years ahead of us or behind us, we were not wrong. The Egyptian struggle for good, accountable governance of the type they aspire for is just beginning, as Kareem Malak says on Open Democracy today.

PS: As for Revolution in Pakistan, check out old posts on this blog. And we can talk about when this train gets to the Hejaz later.
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