The role of the hegemony of the western civilization in creating extremist Islamists

 The role of the hegemony of the western civilization in creating extremist Islamists

By: Morteza Agha Mohammadi [1]

No religion resisted against the extensive hegemony of the modern culture as Islam did. In other words, Islam is the only religion that didn’t melt into the modern culture. Other religions like Christianity reacted against the modern culture and civilization, but soon they gave it up and came to recognize it. The internal structure of Islam is in a way that calls its followers to a permanent struggle against anything strange other than itself. this is a religious obligation that one’s success in this world and hid salvation in the next world is bound to this. If Muslims give up this duty for a while it isn’t going to cease forever. From the time that the third world came to know the modern civilization a process began to grow; the enlightened class of these societies were influenced by the new civilization and it went on to the level of being bewitched and crazy with it. They rejected their ethnic and local cultures in all aspects. There was an unquestionable sovereignty for the modern civilization and its values in the decisions made for these societies. On the other side there was an implicit confession from the lay people who in spite of living in their traditional atmosphere, submitted the priority of the modern culture or at least didn’t express their disagreement.

Economic and industrial transformations, being subject to different philosophical and scientific movements, provoked anger of seeing their religion, heritage and culture humiliated and disrespected, growth of education, class differences, people’s immigration to the big cities caused a new era from the advent of 50s. it was looking for self-recognition and made the west-oriented enlightened class to lose its previous status. This process of the third world’s getting introduced to the modern civilization continued to 60s and 70s. then another era that was at least different in the cultural and political sense emerged. The youth who rejected the modern civilization were in charge of changes and the lay people were out of the commune they lived in at the time the enlightened class was in charge of issues.   

Throughout its long life. Islam was never under pressure to behave conservatively and leave the dynamic social, political and cultural arena. But such a pressure was there in the modern time. The pressure was new and was in contrast with the essence of Islam. the analyzers at that time were wrong for considering the resistance of Muslims during the previous century to be merely a matter of blind religious bios and extremism, that would be gone as time passes.  They were ignorant about the nature of this religion.

The new civilization wasn’t about to reform or purify other cultures and religions from added and extra man-made traditions and deviations but it demanded all to retreat before it and let all their non-individualistic commands and recommendations to go away. It wanted all others to bow down to it in all its aspects. It didn’t recognize any other religion or culture. Thus bearing in mind the essential characteristics of Islam, instead of asking why Islam didn’t surrender and is active today, it should be asked that why it left the battlefield for a while?

Islamic movements of the recent decades are manifestations of this religion’s resistance against the universalism of the modern civilization. In other religions man’s happiness and salvation is bound to performing some individual deeds and duties but in Islam the ultimate salvation is by performing series of social conducts and behaviors. Today’s Christianity isn’t able to recruit all potentialities of its followers to do sacrifices a Muslim may do. When step by step a religion retreats from its ideals and gives up to the demands and pressures put by others, then it loses the attractiveness needed to make others to do sacrifices for it. the weak image depicted out of this religion kills the desire to protect it by its believers. That’s why church cannot recruit crusaders anymore. The time that church was strict then it was taken seriously.  It doesn’t mean that whatever church wanted people to do was right, but the point is that when you lose one battlefield after the other then no one likes to sacrifice his life for your sake. The demands of the modern time make the church to even recognize homosexuality. They do so to please people and guarantee their being loyal to the church, while in fact it lets the faithfulness of the members to vanish. But Islamic tradition is based on the text and the text doesn’t accept any interpretation other than its apparent meaning. So if the test suggests that homosexuality is forbidden, then it is out of question. If Muslims keep silent for a while. It cannot be forever. If a group of scholars interpret the text against its apparent meaning, it is not going to be accepted by others. Being loyal to the holy text is the way they can reach to salvation without being worried about the consequences. Thus the enlightened class who forced Muslim societies to step back from their Islamic values they didn’t know that by doing so they were enriching hatred and anger in the hearts of grass rout and when it reached to its climax, the world saw the explosion.   

[1] - P.H.D in Islamic studies, P.H.D in Shi’a studies, researcher in the institute for strategic studies of contemporary Islam (MARAM)