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  Political Islam or Islamists

Ismail Mollagil
2017 09 30

In order to understand this topic better, let us first clarify such terms as Islam, Muslim and Islamist. Islam is a religion that promises people happiness in this world and in the afterlife. As a belief system, it accepts Allah as One and Only God and Muhammad as a prophet and servant of Allah. In addition, Islam also accepts Jesus as a prophet, as well as Moses and other biblical prophets. Islam describes itself as the last religion of the entire religious chain / history. From the point of view of people’s behaviour / moral values, it orders / recommends such values as love, respect, honesty and industriousness. It orders to help relatives and all people in general, forbids killing, stealing, telling lies, all kinds of vicious practices, etc. These are common universal values. If you look at what is said in the Holy Quran, you can see that approximately 90-95% of it refers to education, upbringing, culture and service / praying to God. All of this aims at upbringing a more virtuous and worthy person, family and society. At the same time, only 5-10% of the Holy Quran refers to the politics and the state as an instrument.

Those who believe in these things are called Muslims. An Islamist is the person who accepts all Islamic values, but ‘in some situations’ can do absolutely the opposite. This is a person / group who/which is interested in the above-mentioned 5-10 percent of Islam, who/which uses Islam for some private benefits, including self-profit. They deceive Muslims using Islam; try to hide their sins using Islamic terminology and demagogy. These people are called Islamists and their ideology is called political Islam.

Political Islam is an ideology developed by some intellectuals who sought some way out, based on the assumption that the Muslim world is losing to the West. Such thinkers as Cemaleddin Efgani, Muhammed Abduh and Fazlur Rahman can be considered the founders of this ideology. Such political movements as An-Nahda in Tunisia, FIS in Algeria, Hezb-e-Islami in Pakistan, Milli Görüş (National vision) and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) (Erdogan’s party) in Turkey can be considered the representatives of the political Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt is also considered to be the political Islam, although it has some signs of "social Islam". They can be called the representatives of the political Islam because the purpose of these movements is the governing of the state / government.

Islamist movements and their leaders became influential in the 20th century. In the 21st century, traditional / Sufi Muslim movements took back seat, while political movements and their leaders became better known and people started waiting from them solutions for many problems.

Quite a large part of the Muslim society around the world started to believe that if the representatives of political Islam, namely the Islamists, come to power in their countries, then social, economic and political problems will be resolved. It was supposed that Muslims would get rid of such problems as corruption, bribery, problems with education, immoral way of life, social and family problems, etc.

When the Islamist movements represented the opposition, people had high hopes for them, and when they came to power, they disappointed everyone. That means that the hope of many Muslim communities that lasted for almost one century began to fade.

This is also true for Iran, where political Islam has existed since 1979 (from a moment of the political coup) and is carried out by religious aristocrats who have great influence over the state. However, everyone knows that in the everyday life the rules of Islam are practiced in the Islamic Republic of Iran much less than in secular countries. It is easy to prove that in spite of using the powerful state apparatus, the Iranian regime in 38 years of its existence did not manage to create a highly moral society based on Islamic values. How is it possible in the society where "takiye" is viewed as one of the main rules in the value system. Takiye is a permission to lie, if it is required by the "circumstances". And this is despite of the fact that Prophet Muhammad said that "faith and lies cannot exist in one heart at the same time."

During the short period during which Morsi’s government supported by the Muslim Brotherhood was in power in Egypt, there appeared the signs of authoritarianism, the determination not to see / ignore other political actors and Sisi’s coup in the aftermath raised great doubts about the ability of this group to rule. Morsi / Muslim Brotherhood’s government came to power due to the support of liberals and other political groups. Without taking into account the peculiarities of the country, the democracy demands from other political forces, those who came to power immediately started building the "Islamic state". The leaders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey actively supported and encouraged them. The Muslim Brotherhood’s accession to power did not do any good. They did not solve a single problem, on the contrary, the society split into parts, a military coup took place and the country met with many misfortunes.

In Turkey, Erdogan’s / AKP party that initially called itself "conservative democrats" and then returned to its Islamist roots, achieved certain success in the sphere of economy and democratization. AKP began to be cited as a model of "moderate Islam". Due to these characteristics, this party was supported by liberals, democrats and even the supporters of Hizmet movement (it is considered that the spiritual leader of this movement is Fethullah Gülen, who is now demonized with reference to the failed coup).

During the third term of its rule, AKP abandoned the values due to which it was supported by the above-mentioned forces. Especially after the corruption scandal that happened on December 17, 2014, AKP party, in order to close its back, started restricting the use of the Internet, putting pressure on judges, discriminating, inciting social discord, etc. During the rule of AKP (over the last 15 years), Muslims have not become more morally worthy or more spiritual, on the contrary, the level of crime and moral degradation has increased. For example, the use of drugs and alcohol has dramatically increased, and the age of consumers has fallen to the level of seventh-eighth graders (according to some statistics, alcohol consumption has increased up to 400%). During these 15 years, the power-happy Islamists started quickly deviating from Islamic / universal values and turned into an immoral crowd. The old generation of Turks complains about their bohemian lifestyle and does not understand how it is possible. However, the "Islamists" via "ideology" manage to find explanations for corruption, murders, stealing, bribery, adultery, etc. at least valid for themselves. They have their own ideologists who always "find" explanations for all constitutional errors or Quranic sins.

If you look at the events that have taken place in Turkey during the past two years, you can see all the sins that are banned by Islam. All this evil is shown every day in the world media, published in the reports of such international institutions as OSCE and criticized by different European authorities.

Here are some examples:

1. The biggest corruption scandal in the whole history of the Republic of Turkey, which occurred on December 17-25, 2014, refers to the sum that is about 200 billion dollars.

2. "Controlled military coup" on July 15, 2016, where 240 people died in the streets, 560 people died in prisons and 600 soldiers and police officers died in the terrorist acts.

3. The declared military regime in the republic, where half of the country has been proclaimed to be enemies and has lost such basic rights as the right to live, right to property, freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom to study, to work, etc.

4. Referendum held on April 18, 2017, where the people's will was distorted. International observers, OSCE, Turkish opposition parties did not recognize the results.

Moreover, they feel pride about all these things, find some religious explanations for them and so manage to get support among the people.

AKP party has already reached the point from which there is no way back. If it loses power, it will lose everything ... including their freedom. For fear of losing the power, AKP members violate laws again and again...

So far, the Islamist movements and governments in different countries have not shown any good results in solving social, economic, cultural and educational problems. All these governments are similar: using the state power, they try to impose the Islamic way of life, but people, and especially young people, move away from the essence of Islam. These leaders outwardly promulgate Islam and its way of life, but live a bohemian life from the inside. This kind of regime gives birth to people who only outwardly "seem" to be Muslims, hypocrites or "munafiks" as they are called in the Holy Quran.

It can be affirmed that this ideology has already died, but it is a pity that it has cost too much to the Muslim societies. It has brought a lot of grief. It continues and will continue to be a trouble for people until it is finally buried. More radical forms of the same ideology such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram still continue to be a source of major concern for people.

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