Thursday, January 03, 2008

A radical islamic (?) look at Kenya and Pakistan 

Meanwhile in apart of the blogosphere, LibDem voices are perhaps less likely to explore, the Kenyan situation is analysed on the website of Hizb ut-Tahir Britain.

Apparently the problem is that ‘secular democracy’ intensifies Kenya’s sectarian divide in the same manner as it does (as they see it) in Pakistan.

(Democratic) systems, rather than diminishing the ugly consequences of sectarianism, have only intensified them by actually re-enforcing sectarian grievances. Nation building necessitates the development of a bond among the indigenous peoples of a state that unifies them such that all feel they share the fruits of progress…. Some would say that the inability to remove sectarian tensions and develop a progressive national consensus is a deeper flaw in the secular democratic system, which not only manifests itself in fledgling democracies but also in mature democracies as the growing momentum for devolution in Britain illustrates.

Islam, unlike secular democracy, condemns the causes of sectarian tensions by emphasising the bond of Islamic brotherhood between the Muslims and the bond of humanity between Muslim and non-Muslim - and the common relationship as citizens with both and the government.

And it goes on to praise the Caliphate for what it claims to be a historically uniquely harmonious multicultural society.

I suspect that some version of this argument is common, and non-Muslims need to respond to it. The comment on UK devolution, for example, suggest that there may be some interesting cross-currents in soem vews of internal UK politics.

Part of my response would be to ask interested historians with a Moslem background to analyse some periods of UK history - for example the time when Cromwell tried to operate a theologically grounded rule of 'the Saints' as the glue to hold together society. This may help to understand why British responses to the idea of a 'theocratic unity' are so deep seated.

Meanwhile it is interesting to see what lines H-ul-T are promoting. Hope we don’t get into terrorist tracking logs if we look at these pages ….

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The same argument could of course be used for any single unifying feature imposed on peoples. 18th/19th Century France used language - obliterate division by suppressing Occitan, Breton etc. Modern Turkey uses language but primarily nationalism. Bolshevism used class identity and Mao took it to the extreme of dress sense. As an aside islamic unity does not seem to be doing much for Darfur or Iraq. But then HiT would argue that everyone should have exactly the same brand of Islam and be completely subordinate to centralised power or be killed instantly. Yes that would be much better than tribalism.
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