The caliphate fire is still burning

Caliphate is a jurisdiction where Muslims aspire to have a unified population of adherents to Islamic faith. It is headed by a Caliph, who through succession is a replacement for Muhammad. After the death of Muhammad in 632x, the caliphate that started in a small area in Saudi Arabia expanded far and wide to Africa, Asia and Europe until it finally collapsed in 1924x. That is just my very brief summary of the story, but my main focus here is to let people know that the desire to revive caliphate is still burning in the minds of most Muslims because they see it as an ideal place where they could strictly practice Islamic way of life, which encompasses religion, governance, Wahhabism, and other harsh Islamic doctrines.

As it is right now, Islamic products that seem more original –read literal– are much more in demand than interpretations whose messages differ from the Sunnah (Shahhosseini, 2014x). It is important to know that the desire for a caliphate is not confined to everyday enthusiasts alone; it also exists in states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran—their desire to be seen as ‘pure Islamic states’ arises from the same aspiration (Anonymous, 2017x).

A map of the Abbasid Caliphate in 755 after the Abbasid Revolution and the escape of Abd al Rahman I to al Andalus where he established an Umayyad state in 755 By Khateeb88

The burning desire to revive the caliphate was one main issue that brought ISIS to the limelight more than a decade ago. Its members decided to form a military front that will ultimately triumph over Jerusalem and Rome (Habeck, Carafano, Donnelly, & Kagan, 2015x). They also decided to purify Islam, which means the eradication of Shiites, whom they regard as ‘innovators’ that is, those who dare deny the perfection of the Quran by interpreting it (Lister, 2015x). They planned to use terrorism and da’wa, or proselytism, to push their agendas, until a number of Islamic emirates and eventually the caliphate are founded (Habeck, Carafano, Donnelly, & Kagan, 2015x).

As ISIS was busy expanding its territories in Iraq and Syria, the lack of reverence for the rule of law, mistreatment of women, and the rampant killings that were associated with ISIS’ mode of operation, made the United States to identify it in 2014x as a serious political and security threat, and therefore, initiated an international campaign to stop ISIS’ nefarious activities in the Middle East (ITIC, 2014x). ISIS responded through a media campaign in an attempt to intimidate American citizens so as to prevent the United States from intervening in Iraq.   

On August 19, 2014x, ISIS publicly beheaded Western captives abducted in Syria, and exposed the executions through the media (ITIC, 2014x). What ISIS didn’t realize was that non-state actors are less likely to achieve their demands when they employ terrorism, because it is a political behavior that is inherently uncivil (Abrahms, 2014x). Voters do not become more tender in the face of terrorism. Rather, they tend to gravitate toward more hawkish, right-wing leaders who would crush terrorists (Abrahms, 2014x). The beheadings demonized ISIS, shocked the world and contributed to America’s change in tactics from pinpoint aerial attacks to a comprehensive campaign (ITIC, 2014x). As ISIS was feeling the pain, it explicitly called on Muslims around the globe to physically attack Westerners in a variety of ways (ITIC, 2014x).

In May 2014x, Mehdi Nemmouche opened fire at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, killing four people. He was believed to have spent over a year in Syria with radical Islamists (Bajekal, 2014x). September 2014x, Alton Nolen, who had recently converted to Islam, beheaded a female co-worker after being fired from his job (Bajekal, 2014x). On June 12, 2016x, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, born in New York, killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in a terrorist attack inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando, Florida (Alvarez, & Pérez-Peña, 2016x).

These ‘lone wolves’ are hard to monitor because they’re acting alone. Terrorists have become so savvy in using social media and the Internet to spread their beliefs and incite violent attacks. Even when law enforcement checks the Internet and is able to detect legitimate threats before an attack, their effort is often hampered by free speech (Dickson, 2016x). It is noted that, while much electronic communication can be tracked, controversies could impede the collection of data. A good illustration was the conflict between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding the San Bernardino shootings (Dickson, 2016x). Unfortunately, each homegrown case amplifies ISIS’ image and support, thereby money keeps flowing into its coffer (Cronin, 2012x).

We have to work hard to change the minds of these ardent Muslims. The government should enlist some of them to speak the truth to contradict the rosy picture of a caliphate. There should be a safeguard for Muslims who want to speak out against caliphate and strict Islamic doctrines. At times like this, the government should have the option to encroach on civil liberties if it has to; otherwise, a lone wolf could have the free pass to harm many innocent people. Our Muslim brothers and sisters need to be able to see cogent reasons why many people object to their aspiration for a caliphate. Oh, that might be difficult to push forward because these Muslims mostly want to imitate what they see going on in other parts of the world. I guess, the rest of the world has to show a good example and abandon their similar beliefs and aspirations. For once, let us be evenhanded in trying to solve the problems in Muslims regions.

For many Muslims, it is all about the all-powerful Allah who will fight their righteous battle for them. So, when they get defeated militarily in a battle, they don’t often come up with silly excuses as you observe in other religions. They face the reality that Allah has nothing to do with their man-made ideas, and then abandon religion in droves. What might be of concern to them at this point is whether the world would protect them from angry Muslims who consider them apostates, and whether Christians would stop annoying them with their respective false beliefs. The world should fully embrace them into commonsense society without any religion. If they confront prejudice of any kind, society should swiftly address it justly on the face value of the incident. Change people’s minds by showing good examples, and using logic to prove them wrong. If you have similar desires or beliefs, you have to recant them first or convince them why it is necessary you retain your beliefs before you can tell them to discard their beliefs.

One thing that shouldn’t be tried is an attempt to replace one religion with another. It is so perplexing to hear Christians say the only solution to stopping Muslims’ aspiration for a caliphate is by them (Christians) sharing the gospel of Jesus to the Muslims. It seems Christians are the only ones who deliberately decide to undermine the coherent reasons why many Muslims and the rest of the world see Christianity as much of a hyperbole as Islam or even worse. How are you going to believe in crap but feel so self-righteous, and work fervently to eradicate the crappy beliefs of other people and then replace them with your garbage? There is no assurance of salvation in Christianity or any other religion.

As for the Muslims who desire to return to the era where the purest form of Islam was practiced—an era when women and minority were subjugated—they need to give logical reasons why they think they are right and freethinkers who objected to that kind of way are wrong. The funny thing is that people who like to isolate themselves often come to regret their myopic view of existence. When some people feel disenfranchised for whatever reason, even if the reason is not judicious as it is in many cases, even if it is purely motivated by self-righteousness, selfishness, or the hate they harbor toward other people, they often yearn to separate themselves from rest society and form their utopian culture. As soon as they get what they want, predictably, they are swamped with internal and external problems and realize things are not as rosy as they anticipated. Eventually, some of their members will soon feel disenfranchised and disgruntled to the point of wanting a cessation so as to form their perfect society. As you can see, such an ill-advised inclination will trickle down until every man becomes the only citizen of his nation. Nobody in such a society would have the moral right to stop the truncation from happening because if a person contradicts his core ideology, what would he call himself? A hypocrite?

Brutality is another option for people who have narrow-minded views of humanity. From day one, imprisonment or assassination of those who raise (valid) objections will be the law of the land. Mistrust and paranoia will creep in; evidence will be manufactured to squash anyone who tries to lead people to the commonsense way; he will be labeled a traitor. The role of foreign enemies, that like to disorganize the pious way of life of the holy people, will become the only talk in town. Now the survival of the ruling class, who are selflessly fighting for the people, will become paramount.  Even if you are starving to death, you must smile and praise the virtuous leaders or else….

Many people who see power and prominence in being among a huge number, would never advocate for tunnel-views regarding the best way human beings should relate to one another; for that reason, the idea of caliphate or secession should be a nonstarter. If discrepancies or unequal treatments arise, deal with them open-mindedly, realistically without tit-for-tat history, and with brotherly love. Everybody wants the same basic things as you want. The bottom line is, if our minds work well, that is, if we finally save ourselves from religion and other antiquated views, and if consideration for others becomes our guiding light, all these manufactured problems will fritter away. We will be able to have a perfect or near perfect humane society where there would be no first-class or second-class citizens, and everybody would enjoy the same rights, freedom, and aspirations together in peace and oneness. Everybody would likewise pay attention to make sure that public property is not siphoned, misappropriated, misused, or abused. One world for one human race in harmony with itself; however, we cannot achieve such a lofty domain if we believe a word of any religion.

As I have alluded, deep down in the mind of every Muslim male is the desire to revive the caliphate, and various governments in Muslim region have this yearning too. Acrimonious relationship with the Muslim world will not solve the problem, in fact, it will exacerbate it. The best way is to show a good example, and let them realize that God has nothing to do with any religion. The basic human rights of every woman and man cannot be infringed upon –that is the fundamental obligation we owe to one another in modern society.

Nosa A.

Modern Age Movement (MAM)

      –Universal Cordial Beliefs (UCB)


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