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Inviato: Dom Lug 12, 2020 5:03 am    Oggetto: Ads

Sufi Aqa
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MessaggioInviato: Gio Feb 03, 2011 7:12 pm    Oggetto: La Necessità di un'Insorgenza contro l'Occidentalizzazione Rispondi citando

Tunisia: A Call For True Revolution

The Need for an Intellectual Insurgency against Westernization and Liberalism’s Ideological Hegemony

from islampolicy website

The taghi Bin Ali has fell, but the ideological hegemony of westernization has not. His secret police no longer roam Tunisia’s roads but the mental bondage and amnesia of intellectuals and mass psychology from the fallout of colonialism still pervades. Leaving one to ask, how liberating was this revolution? Our answer lays on top of the mass amount of literature published shortly after the fall of the regime calling the Jasmine Revolution a victory for democracy and the beginning of a road towards it. But is democracy our only alternative? Or does the fact that it sets itself up as the only option and alternative to authoritarianism represent the westernization of Arab and Muslim intellectuals and Liberalisms ideological hegemony originating in its colonial legacy?

In reaction to the colonization several movements emerged. Mainly, the anti-colonial nationalist movements and the Modernist-Progressive movements. An interesting paradox emerges upon examining the tenants of both these movements even if one were to have a rudimentary or superficial knowledge of their platform and beliefs. They sought military independence, but worked off of and within the colonial nation-state template and framework. The result was military independence, but mental and intellectual colonization. Islamists were not the only ones to come to this realization but even the likes of Frantz Fanon a psychiatrist who worked for Algerian independence. He notes that despite the military emancipation, full emancipation was "undermined by its 'imperial genealogy'" (Burnell 2007: 36). Secular, and non-Secular scholars alike have pointed towards the colonizing of the mind from India (Partha Chatterjee and Ramachandra Guha) to Kenyan writers (Ngug wa Thiong'o). Even history was defined by a 'metahistory' that created an overarching explanation and view of history that although was European in origin and nature, defined the means of attaining modernity for all the colonial subjects. Post-Colonial states were marked and shaped by the colonial legacy and its institutions. If one wanted to trace the lineage of most post-colonial states it would be traced more to the colonial predecessors as the ideological, institutional, and various other subtle methods had a more immediate influence than the states pre-colonial history. Increasingly, colonies became "underfunded and overextended laboratories of modernity" (Prakash 1999: 13) that became an interface for imported ideologies such as nationalism, socialism, liberalism, etc (Burnell 2007: 43).

Military independence was not granted until our apparent narrative or future (a shining road towards a democratic secular state) was firmly understood by the intelligentsia in the Muslim world. Our trajectory, and where we ought to head became part of a normative fact. Democracy is then seen as an inevitable successor to authoritarianism, an organic step which seems to be imprinted into our primordial disposition. As our history began with independence from colonial military rule, thus it is defined by a colonial legacy. The modernity project seemingly becomes more clearly a form of westernization.

It is one thing to hear the overtly secular intelligentsia speaking in a distinctly Liberal discourse, which has “already acquired hegemonic status” but it is another to hear it from “Islamist”. The “political liberalization” and concessions to a Liberal discourse by many Islamist movements, namely an-Nahda party (an fact evident, no clearer then in Rashid Ghannoushi’s rhetoric). Despite the contestation of Liberal theory as a political doctrine, the numerous reassessment to its normative and conceptual assumptions by Liberals in an attempt to mend its immutable philosophical faults - our ideologically regressing movements cannot be appeal to it. Often scrambling to show the conformity of Islam to many Liberal values, ignoring the incommensurable and insurmountable foundational assumptions of Liberalism, which define its essence and core.

Re-capturing the Islamic paradigm and constructing our own discourse based purely on the tawhidic worldview would show the foundational presence of concepts such as freedom and human rights. Saba Mahmood asks “It is striking that the normative claims of liberal conceptions such as tolerance are taken at face value, and no attention is paid to the contradictions, struggles, and problems that these ideals actually embody. As scholars of liberalism have shown, the historical trajectory of a concept like tolerance encompasses violent struggles that dispossessed peoples have had to wage to be considered legitimate members of liberal societies”. And goes on to point out “Islam, might have their own resources for imagining such an “ethic that respects dissent and honors the right to adhere to different religious or non-religious convictions?” ”. She then highlights some historical examples from the Ottoman era. In fact, Chatterjee in speaking of India points towards the “transformations [were] brought about in the doctrines and practices of Hinduism and Islam so as to facilitate liberal political rule”

Instead of accepting the normative claims made by Liberal Democracy on its commitment to justice, equality, and freedom it would have been more suitable to ask what metaphysical grounding they have to make such claims? And what is the source of such values? Classical observers such as Tocqueville, and more contemporary writers such as Hurd point towards the religious roots of these foundational values which Liberal Democracy holds dear and defines its very ontology. The truth is, secularist cannot do otherwise. Values such as equality have no legitimacy if one were to base morality on “public reason” or a “scientific worldview”. Hence, the sly resort to religion. Instead of pointing out this absurd inconsistency, most Muslim and Christian “Modernist” succumb to secularisms claims to be the exclusive upholders of these values. That is why we hear statements like “I support freedom of opinion and equality, because I am a Liberal Muslim” instead of “I support freedom of opinion and equality because Islam teaches me to do so” or “I support women’s rights, well, because I am a Muslim Feminist” instead of “I support women‘s rights because Islam was the first movement to liberate women on all levels, to an extent no secular ideology has done“. Is it not time we take Secularism off its self-constructed pedestal? It is ironic that Islamic movements have to appeal to, and associate with secular ideologies for values which secularism, as even the “freeloading” neo-Liberal Atheist Richard Rorty admitted, inherited from religion.

Many may contend that democracy and Liberal theory is universal despite its western origins. Arguing that it appeals to a human nature which yearns for the essential elements found in the Liberal doctrine. The point of this paper however is not to prove otherwise, but to point out the overt paradox of supporters of diversity and pluralisms inability to consider other traditions and doctrines as alternatives to authoritarianism - immediately after the fall of Bin ‘Ali as though their resort to Liberal doctrine was reflexive.

A true revolution would come with intellectual liberty and our ability to transcend the hegemonic and ideological discourses imposed on us through colonial legacy and harbored by our amnesia, inferiority, and fixation within the disillusioned binaries that create a false reality; its democracy, or another dictator. In doing so, we can ask real and more legitimate questions such as whether or not the system is legitimate as opposed to those who hold key positions in the already Jahili regime. To many, this would be deemed radical, in that it does not conform to the mainstream. But when the mainsteam is defined by a colonizing enemy proclaiming a “civilizing crusade“, the radical doesn’t seem so bad. Key and practical steps towards this must begin with the Islamist who must adopt a genuine Islamic discourse and expound a purely tawhidic worldview. Consequently, their political platforms must follow. Social and economic policies are context-sensitive. How these values and principles are disseminated to the public depends largely on the social dynamics of the Tunisian society and not the topic of this paper. What is obvious though, and not contingent to any political or social context is the need for Islamist movements to reform their methodologies.

Obedience and good words. And when the matter [of fighting] was determined, if they had been true to Allah , it would have been better for them. [Muhammad: 21]

No doubt, much of what has been said is indeed drastic. But Islam has never been a religion to accommodate a status-quo or succumb to “the reality of things”,. Nor a stagnant set of metaphysical doctrines and social conventions. It is a religion which defines reality. The recent turn of events point towards the inevitability of a return to Islam as a manifest way of life and that the future will be for this deen as history testifies to the utter failure of secular doctrines such as Liberal Democracy and Arab Nationalism.


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