April 21, 2007

TOTALITARIAN, BUT MARGINAL:

A totalitarian Islam (Khaled Fouad Allam, 4/20/07, Chiesa)

The Taliban is the product of the contemporary fracture between an absolutist Islam and an open Islam.

They have found in Arab Wahhabism of the Qur’anic school of Deoband, founded in New Delhi at the end of the 1800’s, their ideological point of departure. They then made this the ideology of the Pashtun, over 12 million persons divided between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Why were the Pashtun, and not another tribe, made the bearers of Wahhabism in that area? Because they are the only tribe in that place that boasts an Arab genealogy: Wazir, one of their ancestors who gives the name to the Pakistani province of Waziristan, was from the Arabian peninsula. Wahhabism, born in the 1700’s in an Arab context, has functioned as a unifying force for many of these tribes. Al Qaeda understood well that the phenomenon of the Taliban could become a political experiment, a laboratory from which political Islam could draw, in order to bring the entire Muslim world along with it.

The battle taking place in Afghanistan is, therefore, a battle of meaning, and the fate of much of the Muslim world depends on its outcome.


Except that he's just described that it's particular to Sunni Arab tribes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2007 6:10 AM
Comments for this post are closed.