Khadduri is, in Bush’s words, explaining a doctrine that uses “religion as a path to power and a means of domination.” Was Khadduri an “Islamophobe”? A “propangandist”? A practitioner of “selection bias”? A diabolical character misrepresenting the testimony of the texts? Did he ignore Islam’s peacefulness and moderation? Those who level such charges at those who discuss the jihad ideology of Islamic supremacism today should kindly explain how it is that a scholar like Khadduri (and there are others like him, which I will discuss at another time) could have come to the same conclusions as the “venomous Orientalists” of the 1950s and the “Islamophobic propagandists” of today.
Fair-minded observers, however, should take Khadduri’s scholarship as confirming the findings of those who say today that elements of Islam are giving rise to violence and terrorism today, and that that must be addressed by both Muslims and non-Muslims if there is ever going to be an end to it.
Not that Khadduri saw it coming, at least in 1955. In the same book, he wrote that the jihad ideology had largely fallen into desuetude:
The Muslim states, however, are quite aware that at the present it is not possible to revive the traditional religious approach to foreign affairs, nor is it in their interests to do so, as the circumstances permitting the association of religion in the relations among nations have radically changed....the jihad [has] become an obsolete weapon...Islam has at last accepted, after a long period of tension and friction with Christendom, its integration into a world order which, although originating in western Europe, now tends to encompass the entire world. (Pages 295-296)
Those assertions were much truer in 1955 than they are in 2007. Today we are dealing with a global movement that is doing all it can “to revive the traditional religious approach to foreign affairs,” and who vehemently reject the idea that “the jihad [has] become an obsolete weapon.” They are explicit opponents of the “world order” which originated in western Europe, and posit Sharia as an alternative to it. Note that Khadduri doesn’t say that Islamic sects and schools have rejected jihad and reformed the doctrines that mandated Islamic supremacism. Rather, he says that these doctrines were set aside in practice. And now they are being taken up again, fifty years after Khadduri was ready to pronounce them dead -- and now many Western analysts, ignorant of history, think that only we introduce Western ideas into the Islamic world, they will be widely adopted.
In fact, those ideas have long been present, and today’s global jihad represents a rejection of them, not a manifestation of ignorance of them. Hugh Fitzgerald has frequently pointed out at Jihad Watch that Saudi oil money, massive Muslim immigration into the West, and the revolution in communications technology have made this reassertion possible. I would also add that the Khomeini revolution in Iran has encouraged jihadists in numerous ways, not least by demonstrating that they can capture a state and hold power.
But Bush’s address is just the latest example of the fact that Western leaders are largely ignoring all this, and continuing to make policy based on fictions. Karen Hughes is reading John Esposito and Reza Aslan instead of Majid Khadduri and those who confirm his analysis. The negative consequences of this will only grow more obvious as time goes on.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
In Frontpage.com, Spencer recommends the President read Majid Khadduri before saying anything more about Islam: