Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Political Islam

1 December 2016


On 10 August 2016, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the newly appointed National Security Advisor of Donald Trump, stated during a Dallas speech: “Islam is a political ideology. It is a political ideology. It definitely hides behind this notion of it being a religion.” In this rather simple view, Christianity is also a political ideology, if only because of the Crusades (1096-1487).

Essentially, Islam “is the world’s second-largest religion and the fastest-growing major religion in the world, with over 1.7 billion followers or 23% of the global population, known as Muslims”. However, Michael Flynn is correct when it comes to the “Political Islam”, which is indeed an ideology hiding behind the notion of it being a religion.

Politics and Religion are 2 out of the 3 dimensions in the Power domain of my concept of the 7 Belief systems. The combination of Money (3rd) and Politics is the most common one as separation between Religion and State has historically been successful.

The Political Islam requires finding a delicate balance between Politics and Religion. Typically Religion has the overhand in Islam. In Turkey, Politics appear dominant over Religion. This may still relate to the Ottoman Empire, which used to have “a flexible and strong economy, society, and military” (Wiki).

Michael Flynn’s warnings about Islam do not apply to the Turkish government. Just before the election, Flynn wrote in the Washington newspaper The Hill that “our ally Turkey” needs support rather than a “shady Islamic mullah residing in Pennsylvania” and that “we should not provide him safe haven” in the U.S. (eg, Fortune, the Hill).

The Western view on Fethullah Gülen has changed a lot since the 17 October 2016 article in The New Yorker by Dexter Filkins. Perhaps Frans Timmermans, 1st Vice President of the European Commission, was even referring to that American source in his recent Knack interview: “Based on American research, there are more and more indications that the Gülen movement did play a role in the failed coup attempt in Turkey this summer.”

The export of the Political Islam to non-Islamic countries in which many Muslims reside (eg, German Turkish population), is increasingly causing frictions in Europe. The 20 November 2016 Backlight episode focused on the situation in The Netherlands. Muslims are torn apart between their fatherland (residency) and their motherland (birthplace or cultural roots). 

Any criticism towards the Political Islam is deemed to be anti-semitic (in its true meaning) rather than political. Lack of post-coup support following a religious conflict between two rivalling Islamic movements (ie, AKP vs Gülen), is suddenly viewed as lack of political support rather than non-interference in a religious conflict. 

This reminds me of the saying: “If you can’t convince them, confuse them”.

Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now (1972) – artist, FB, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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