Combating Political Islam: Follow Israel’s Lead

June 5, 2013 1:28 pm 15 comments

Political Islam is the major force shaping the Middle East region today, and a dangerous one at that. The real question is if it can be tamed, and, more pointedly, what the West can do to bring about positive change during this pivotal time in history.  But first, we have to understand what we’re dealing with.

Political Islam, or “Islamism” as we call this phenomenon in the West, is an armed political ideology similar to Bolshevism and Maoism. It’s essentially religiosity cloaked as a movement which operates as a virulent ideology of warfare (jihad.) It demands radical reorientation of Muslim societies to comply with Sharia Law that repudiates modernity in all its forms and it has brought death and devastation both within the Muslim world as well as outside its borders. In some ways, Islamism is more dangerous than outright terrorism, as terrorism can be identified by violence, while Islamism is a war of ideas.

It is essential to note that historically this aberrant thinking has only been espoused by marginal groups and kept in check for centuries.  However, there was one pivotal moment in world history when they were not.  In 1926, a marginal sectarian movement inside Arabia, the Wahhabis, allied with the Saudi tribe, captured power, and established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It now serves as the bastion of Islamism, most notably spawning Osama Bin Laden and various militant youth groups that spread the ideology.

What are the defining characteristics of Islamism? It’s anti-modern, misanthropic, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, triumphalist, jihadist, terrorist, and suicidal.  Put simply, it is Islamic-flavored totalitarianism. It is based upon the intolerance of others, including Muslims, and the glorification of violence as martyrdom, to be exercised against all who disagree with the Islamist rendition of Islam.

So, where is Political Islam headed? To answer this, we must look to the Arab Spring, which has fast become the ‘winter of discontent.’

Countries that originally showed promise are now headed down a dark path. The mandate of The Muslim Brotherhood, stemming from Egypt, is taking hold, while traditional Islam is pulling back. The youthful voices of change and reason have often been stilled in harsh ways, including through sexual violence against women.

As Muslims in the West, we want to explain that the Muslim world is presently in an upheaval of historic proportions.  We have important inside knowledge regarding the extent to which Wahhabi teachings generating from Saudi Arabia and Islamism have together undermined what was once a rich and tolerant culture within Islam.

As once Christendom and Europe transitioned from the pre-modern to the modern world of liberal and secular values, the painful redefinition now begins in the East. The internal struggle among Muslims will likely continue over several generations, as the Muslim world painfully makes its transition, and begins a renaissance of its own.

The West must now use its friends, progressive Muslims and the State of Israel, to determine a clear strategy for dealing with Islamism. Progressive Muslims, like myself, have tried to inform our governments about what they are up against. After 9/11, we called for recognition of the true enemy, a violent ideology which could not be fought with weapons of mass destruction. However, multiculturalism and political correctness kept sidelining the real issues, with any critique of Islamism bringing accusations of racism and Islamophobia.

This must stop.

Multiculturalism has become a cover for Islamist penetration of the West. The foe is formidable and has already taken hold in our backyards.  Political Islam is on the rise in the U.K. and Europe, where some cities have installed “Sharia Zones.”  There are entire areas of Norway where non-Muslims are not safe.

If there is one country that truly “gets it,” it is Israel. They understand the powerful force of Political Islam, and have vast experience in determining the enemy. They are a powerful ally in understanding this volatile situation.

The weeding out of Islamism and the Islamist threat lodged inside the West is the essential prerequisite, or the first step, in defeating global Jihadi warfare of Islamists and in helping the Muslim world reconcile itself with the modern values of science, democracy and human rights.

To do this, we need to follow the lead of our Israeli allies and look with clear eyes into the nature of Political Islam and have a frank conversation without fear of political correctness.

Raheel Raza is an award winning author, journalist, and filmmaker on the topics of Jihad and Sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity. Ms. Raza will discuss “Political Islam’s Tomorrow” alongside fellow experts at the upcoming Fifth Annual Israeli Presidential Conference: Facing Tomorrow 2013 in Jerusalem later this month.

15 Comments

  • isaac brajtman

    Preaching to the converted ! How dos one get the message across to those that need to hear it ?

  • Axis History Forum • Muslim dignitaries visit Auschwitz
    forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=175173

    There is nothing wrong with Muslim clerics visiting Auschwitz and praying for the persons who died there. But it is a distortion of reality to claim … rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  • Finally an article written with sensitivity, intelligence, and understanding, explaining recent developments that contributed to the rise of political extremism in the Muslim world, and the manner in which the totalitarian position has gained ascendancy! Raheel Raza must be commended—she is not only a brilliant writer, but is clear, logical and a supporter of human rights and moderation.

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

    Thank you Ms. Raza, it is re-assuring to hear your words, the points you make for the future. We all have a long hard road to fight, if we are all united it will be easier to make progress. Thank you again.

  • If you go on the internet and type in Huffington Post/Rabbi Bernhard Rosenberg you will see my posts. The Huffington Post in fact did a story on me when I was president of Rabbis For Romney. I have not idea why I was censored since I did not use foul language; I presume someone from the Muslim Group or Claims Conference complained . Every thing I stated is fact and I am outspoken when it relates to extremist Muslims whom I believe are today’s Nazis; I will not back down. I did state I did not want the Muslims praying at Auschwitz at my relatives’ ashes. This story of Muslims going to Auschwitz is a PR stunt. There are only a handful of Muslims involved and most Muslims would like to see the destruction of Israel and a Palestinian state instead. See my comments about the local Imam who walked out on the singing of Hatikvah during the Holocaust program in Edison even though he stated he believed in the lessons of the Holocaust. I wrote the Huffington Post explaining my position and did not receive a response. I am officially banned and cannot post. RABBI DR. Bernhard Rosenberg

  • A courageous voice by one who understands the failing of her own religion’s extremists. Radical Islam is the enemy and terrorism is the weapon. Its well-publicized goal of destroying Western civilization and replacing it with a worldwide caliphate and global sharia -strict Islamic law – must be recognized and prevented before it is too late.

    Contrary to vicious propaganda, Israel is accused of being the cause of the Middle East problems. In truth, the tiny state is the only democracy in a region infested with terrorism and chaos. In 1922 the League of Nations unanimously declared that all of today’s Palestinian territory was to be the renewed Jewish homeland. For 2,000 years Jews were identified as ‘Palestinians’ until 1948 when they became Israelis. Years later, the Arabs adopted that name for political expediency. It would be disastrous for world peace to create an apartheid terrorist state of Palestine in the heart of democratic Israel.

  • “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” George Orwell – Or, in this instance a woman. Thanks for a cogent and incisive summary.

  • I continue to applaud my fellow Torontonians Raheel Raza and Tarek Fateh for fighting Political Islam and Muslim antisemetism.

    • Europe will fall and large parts of East and North Africa. America is losing right now but we don’t know how that will go. It is possible that a new president will make a positive difference. If America should fall the possibility of a new Dark Ages is Real. It will depend on the America people if they should wake up and see the danger that will make all the difference.

  • HILDA MERCADO

    Good document and I fully agree with the example of Israel, you should not be afraid to call things as they are and that political Islam or “Islamism”, as they call this phenomenon in the West, believe that be winning battles in the Middle East and in different parts of the world subjected to people with terror.

  • This is an important volley in the battle against the ideology of Political Islam/Islamic Totalitarianism. Those in the West who promote multiculturalism need to take heed of her point that “(m)ulticulturalism has become a cover for Islamist penetration of the West”, which has led to “Sharia Zones…where non-muslims are not safe”, and that the Muslim world needs the help of the West to weed out the Islamist threat.

    Bravo, Ms. Raza, for these brave words, and for your courageous stand on the front lines of this conflict.

  • E.S.Lombard

    Many states in the US are requiring teachers to take courses in multi-culturalism. After the initial point, I think it becomes problematic. Both my parents were Hispanic immigrant newcomers with little education and they saw to it that I learned not a word of Spanish although they spoke it between themselves. I was to adapt totally to US culture and was able to float through school, start major university at age 15, go on to PhD, conduct symposia for college presidents, chief psychologist, etc. Retired now, living abroad, I’m now learning about their culture and am grateful for it all.

  • Emil Schafer

    This is the basic scene at present. If not understood, fundamentalist Islam will overrun the rest of the world, ensuring a long descent into religious totalism.

  • To World Jewry:

    I hope you will consider my plea as one of the few Rabbis in Americas who speaks out for Israel, fights anti-Semitism throughout the world and one who speaks out vehemently against extremist Muslims. In addition I fight on behalf of Holocaust survivors and have been vocal regarding the Holocaust Claims Conference missing funds. I was also president of Rabbis for Romney. You are welcome to look me up on the internet.

    We are living in pre Holocaust times. European Jewry is facing major anti-Semitism and parts of Europe are Judenrein. Israel is facing a possible Holocaust from Iran and surrounding enemies. I was just banned from the Huffington Post for expressing my displeasure with Muslims praying at Auschwitz over my family ashes. Extremist Muslims want Israel and all Jews annihilated. My plea to all Jews: Speak out. Tell your Rabbis not to remain silent. We are running out of time.

    Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.