In the current era we hear of various problematic people who claim to represent Islam doing various problematic things supposedly in the name of Islam. These people and their antics have been a constant presence in the media ever since the American Neo-Conservatives and defense establishment started to aim their sights at them after the fall of Soviet Communism. Their most notorious incarnations include…
1. The Taliban an Afghan group set up against the tyranny of the warlords which adopted the socio-political views of the Wahhabis and rejected traditional south Asian Muslim ways and attitudes. Their extremely puritanical harshness, their friendship with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda and their failure to play ball with the Western oil establishment lead to their downfall in 2001.
2. Al-Qaeda a shadowy international group that developed with American assistance during the Afghan struggle against Soviet Communist invasion. Its leader the son of a rich Saudi family with close ties to the Bush family, went in the popular view from Afghan war hero to terrorist zero when he started to make threats against American people (be they soldiers or civilians) in the late 1990s. The rest is history, however the murderous al-Qaeda that developed in the subsequent ‘war on terror’ could not be farther from the original network of innocent young Muslim men from many countries who went to fight against Russian Imperialism in Afghanistan. The transformation of al-Qaeda from its original goals to international terrorist network a very dodgy affair indeed.
3. Boko Haram a quite ridiculous and unrealistic copy of al-Qaeda, the reality of which as an organization independent of certain political interests in Nigeria has often been disputed. Boko Haram being the silliest and most unrealistic of the Wahhabi terrorist organisations around. Boko Haram leave people wondering whether to laugh or cry.
4. ISIS-ISIL the bad boys of today, a murderous offshoot of al-Qaeda that is so extreme that even al-Qaeda has disowned it. Loved by Zionists with goals for a Greater Israel, this group has destroyed the highly justified Syrian Revolution against tyranny and replaced one tyranny with another just as brutal. ISIS has also taken advantage of justified Sunni revolutionary feelings in Iraq against a Shiite government that has marginalized and persecuted them to turn many Iraqi Sunnis into the cannon fodder that they need in their violent struggle. ISIS has been accused of being a creation of rogue marketers which exists simply to create hatred for the Islamic brands of ‘Islamic‘, ‘Caliphate‘, ‘Islamic State‘ and even the blessed flag of the Last Prophet.
All these groups are very far from being representative of real Islam – all are members of a particular set of heretical offshoots from the religion which have long been nurtured by forces outside the Muslim world. Many of them claim an association with the Najdi reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (d.1792). He criticized the excesses that were undertaken by the people of Arabia (some of these people were undoubtedly engaged in acts similar to idolatry) and he criticized many things that were not considered to be excesses by mainstream Sunni Muslims and was a result disowned by his scholarly family and the learned people who knew him, but he was not a terrorist nor was he like a terrorist. Indeed many of the reforms that he called for were overdue. Yet those claiming inspiration from his teachings would include a nucleus who would go on to form a terrorist seed in their harshness, brutality and ignorance of the finer points of the religion. *
The real problem, however, began during the late 19th century and early 20th century when the major ideological attack against both the Muslims and humanity as a whole began with the birth of “Muslim” Modernism. Largely founded by the Grand Orient Freemasons Jamal Udeen Afghani (a political agitator and a master over political trouble makers and assassins (d. 1897) and Muhammad Abdu (a man give high office by the British in Egypt (d. 1905) this “Muslim” Modernism was in fact the rejection of real Islam and the invention of something else and new – something based upon 19th century political and philosophical ideas. This philosophy would be used as a club for anti-Islamic rulers in Muslims countries to attack true Muslims with and its poisons would create untold harms to those who imbibed them. The ironic name that these poisoners had chosen for themselves was the ‘Salafiyyah’. In fact the Salaf were the early generations with whom the traditional Muslims had very deep connections but the Modernists had next to none.
Rashid Rida (d.1935) was a heir to the Modernist philosophy (he was another figure linked to the anti-religious Freemasonry of the continental Europeans), yet he was closer to Islam than Muhammad Abdu. He wrote against the corruption and tyranny of Muslim rulers and his works were influential but the corruption and tyranny of Muslim rulers (and non-Muslim rulers of the Muslim lands) became generally much worse in the years after him than had the ones before, some of this may be attributed to trouble caused by some of the ideas that he promoted. Rida’s magazine al-Manar became influential, but as well as Islamic notions it was also full of speculations and ideas that would confuse the Muslims. Rida became enraptured by the Saudi political adventure and adopted various Wahhabi ideas. He passed his philosophy on to various thinkers who would call themselves Salafis. They would be a mixture of Muslim “Modernist” and Wahhabi in their thoughts, yet over time they would begin to deny their links to the “Salafiyyah” movement as it became widely understood amongst the Muslims that this was an attack on real Islam.
In one case Rida’s “Muslim” Modernist Wahhabi hybrid was joined with some Sufi and traditional Islamic ideas by the well meaning Hassan al Banna (d. 1928 (ra) to form the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Banna was Rida’s former student. The Muslim Brotherhood sought to restore freedom to the Muslim lands along with an Islamic society, but the Islam it was seeking to restore was influenced by both Wahhabi and Modernist conceptions of Islam. Over they years various offshoots from the Muslim Brotherhood stem have included both problematic extremists to problematic Modernists. Writers associated to the Muslim Brotherhood, such a Syed Qutb, have been the inspiration for various trouble causers. Critics of the Muslim Brotherhood have suggested that its structure and activities owe more to non-Muslim and “Muslim” Modernist political philosophies than they do to real Islam (the same has been said of its south Asian counterpart Maulana Mawdudi’s Jamaati Islami).
In another case Rida’s magazine al-Manar became a key influence upon the largely self taught Islamic scholar Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani (d.1999). Of Albanian origins, Al-Albani was a prolific reader and spent much of his time reading Hadith books (books of the narrations of the life of the Prophet (saws). Rather than learning the commonly accepted context and meanings of these narrations at the hands of many teachers, Al Albani tended to come to his own conclusions. Al Albani became a key influence upon the Salafis of the modern era. The origins of his thoughts came from both the Freemason Modernists and the Wahhabis, yet he would become a touchstone by which many “Salafis” would assess their Islamic “orthodoxy”.
Today we have hundreds of brands of Salafis, Qutbists, Modernists and other assorted extremists of the modernist persuasion (some are violent some are not). All of them are united by their rejection of traditional mainstream Sunnism and Sufism which they attack unceasingly in one way or another. All of them are united by their association with trouble-making of various types and all of them are offshoots from rather than representatives of authentic Islam. So can traditional Muslims be blamed when they lump all these groups together as the troublesome products of anti-religious Grand Orient Freemasons against their religion.
Mainstream Orthodox Traditional Sunni Muslims are of the Maliki, Hanafi, Shafii or Hanbalee schools of practice, the Ashari the Maturidi or the true Athari (not anthropomorphist) schools of theology and they are favourable towards genuine Sufism which is the heart of the religion of Islam (they may reject the term Sufism and prefer the term Tazkiyyah). If they follow their religion they are not revisionists, fundamentalists, terrorists or any other sort of troublesome person. Their understanding of religion positively forbids the excesses for which the offshoots from classical Islam have become known. For further information on real Islam see…
“On behalf of Sunni Ulema and Sufis of mainstream Islam, we denounce the crimes of ISIS…”
(Sheikh Muhammad al Yaqoubi)