Friday, August 05, 2005

Political Islam

In reading Wikipedia tonight I found myself learning about the difference between Islamist and Islamic. Basically the former is a political movement holding that Islam is not just the ideal religion but also the ideal political system for governing the state. Most Muslims are NOT Islamist, but Islamic.

Having said that, there is also an interesting online website called NO to Political Islam Petition, which attracts signatures as a way of showing disagreement with the Islamist principles. If you are Muslim then I invite you to do so, if not, then you might want to visit them and see what they are about anyway.

For some reason the world seems a brighter place for knowing this - although I feel foolish for not having done the research myself after 9/11.

UPDATE: The International Crisis Group has an interesting article called Islamism, Violence and Reform that points out that Islamism is not a unified movement, especially amongst Sunni supporters of it. Again, worthwhile reading.


  1. Excellent post, Angus! It's very important for Christians, especially English-speaking Christians, to remember the distinctions you bring up.

  2. Charles,

    Thanks for the encouragement! I think that part of the aim of movements like Al-Qaeda is to encourage division between muslims/moslems (sp?) and other religious groups such as Christians, Hindus, Buddhists etc.

    In that sense, reminding ourselves that our muslim neighbours (which in my case there are a LOT of) are not necessarily pushing Islamist ideals can help us rebuild the bridge of trust that is so necessary for the healthy functioning of our society.

  3. So you use Wikipedia as your authoritative source do you? The page you read was written by secularists like yourself. You're essentially just reading what you like to hear.

    If you were really open-minded, you would consider the "Islamist" point of view, rather than just taking in the propaganda you read from places where you know you'll hear what you want to know?

    I am an "Islamist". I believe that Islamic legal law, if implemented properly in an environment where leaders are held to account and free speech is guaranteed, is the best way to run a government. I also think that not ruling by Islam, or supporting rule by any law other than Islam, is a breach of contract against the creator and ruler of all existence, God or Allah.

    However I believe that I can prove myself right. Why would I want to kill those who disagree with me if I can simply prove myself right with science and logic?

    With all due respect, by blending all Muslims into the same pot as Al-Qaeda is simply an attempt to convince yourself you know better, and is a trick used by all closed minded people who use pride to justify their beliefs instead of logic and reason.

  4. Asfand,

    Thanks for putting up your point of view. I do not think Wikipedia is authoritative, but it's as close to an objective viewpoint on most issues as you are likely to find online.

    As a product of Western society I am a secularist, that is I believe it is useful to separate governmental matters from religious ones. To do otherwise in a country such as Australia is to invite war between religious groups. Christianity has a bad track record when implemented by governments rather than individuals, and I think in practice Islam's record is even worse (although I admire some of the philosophy behind it - brotherhood of man etc).

    In any case my point was that Muslims come in many groups, and so lumping them together is both unhelpful and unfair. You are obviously of the opinion that being Islamist does not require you to promote it violently. Good for you. I cwertainly did not link it to Al-Qaeda, you did that yourself. I mentioned 9/11 only because it was when I became aware that I needed to know more about my Muslim neighbours.

    However, you need to be aware that the idea that Islam's laws should be adopted worldwide is not an attractive one to most non-Muslims (and indeed to many Muslims). Some people will see this as explicitly an agenda of Al-Qaeda and wonder whether people such as yourself are potential converts to their cause. How you handle that is up to you.

    I don't know if you live in Australia, but if you do then what do you think of Salaam Cafe?