Sunday, November 29, 2015
Islamic History in a Nutshell (or Cookie...)
Succinctly and precisely, we may adumbrate three phases in Islamic history:
1) Waxing (first thousand years from the 7th to the 17th century);
2) Waning (from the end of the 17th century to the mid 20th century);
3) Revival (from the mid-20th century right up to now).
We may now flesh this out:
1) Imperialist expansion: Its first millennium (7th century-17th century), during which its supremacist voracity continued to expand, albeit with complex patterns of waxing and waning and plenty of internecine problems and occasional fragmentation.
2) Plateauing stagnation followed by incremental deterioration: Approximately the 15th century to the 20th century (one sees therefore an overlap with #1), during which its own internal corruption and degradation coincided with the spectacular ascendancy of the West to global geopolitical hegemony.
3) Islamic global revival: A concatenation of events and processes beginning in earnest in the 20th century, with roots going back to the 18th and 19th centuries -- some serendipitous (e.g., the geological accident of the discovery of oil in Persia and Arabia); some traumatic for the Mohammedan psyche (e.g., the dismantling of the Caliphate in 1924, the "Nakba" of the founding of Israel in 1948, etc.); and some reflecting concerted machination (e.g., the establishment and subsequent international sedition of the Muslim Brotherhood, or the assiduously industrious activities of Wahhabism) -- all revolving around the unified aim to realize Islam's perennial pan-Islamic vision in order to restore and revive the former glory of #1.
ISIS, then, represents the latest spearhead of the third phase.
An analyst of the European Counter-Jihad, Christian Zeitz, who has much of worth to say, slipped up a little recently, perhaps:
"I think it is a question here of a qualitatively new condition in the Islamic world; for ISIS really constitutes one of the most compact distillates of the Islamic Weltanschauung and religion in the history of Islam generally." [bold emphasis added by me]
I'm not sure it's helpful to emphasize what might be "new" about ISIS; particularly in our current Western context of mainstream PC MC, whereby what is old about ISIS -- its grounding in traditional mainstream Islam from the 7th century to today (both in the Koran and in the Sunna, as well as in Caliphatic history, medieval and more recent) -- is routinely obscured and obfuscated by a mélange of earnestly consternated Islamo-illiteracy and anxiously Islamo-deferential disinformation.
ISIS is in fact simply the logical culmination of the Arab Spring devolution (itself a later kinesis of the chain reaction 911 set in motion) of the geopolitical order imposed by the stupendously superior West in its reconfiguration, in the wake of its exhausting World War 2, of the world consequent upon its voluntary deconstruction of its prior Colonialist scheme. The impact which this reconfiguration has had upon the Muslim world (which had been a major part of the Western Colonialist empires) has been profound -- not in terms of the unchanging essence of Islamic supremacism, but in terms of reversing its historically temporary misfortune (see phase 2). For, in the centuries unfolding from its last major military assault upon the West near the close of the 17th century, the Muslim world had grown weaker and more and more stagnant and corrupt, breeding not only its usual and natural sociocultural malignancies, but also, like a brooding spider hunkering down in its malignant ghettos of the world, nursing resentments and dreams of renewing and reviving its former glory (among which were plans and activism of jihad and Islamic revival -- e.g., Dan Fodio in 18th century Africa, al-Wahhab of 18th century Arabia; the Sufi Sheikh Ushurma in 18th century Russia; Deobandi and Tablighi Jamaat movements in central Asia; neo-(i.e., retro-)jihadist of the pen like Maududi of Pakistan and Sayyid Qutb of Egypt both of the early to mid 20th century; and so forth).
ISIS should be seen, thus, as the latest spearhead of a millennially perennial jihad that began in the 7th century (phase 1), a phase that never ceased in intent but was only been put on pause for regrouping by mitigating circumstances beyond the control of Muslims (phase 2) -- now in our time undergoing the convulsions of a global revival (phase 3) with two advantages Muslims never enjoyed before: (a) availability of modern technology for weapons as well as transportation & communications, and (b) unprecedented access into enemy territory by an enemy (i.e., us) stupid enough to let Mohammedans in by the tens of millions and stupid enough to whitewash Islam as harmless if not wonderful.
Islam Redivivus and Western Colonialism
Western Amnesia and Islamnesia
The Good Old Days
As Good as It Gets