Chasing a Mirage An Islamic State or a State of Islam

Chasing a Mirage An Islamic State or a State of Islam [PDF / EPUB] Chasing a Mirage An Islamic State or a State of Islam In Chasing a Mirage Tarek Fatah Writes Islamists argue that the period following the passing away of Muhammad was Islam's golden era and that we Muslims need to re create that caliphate to emulate tha In Chasing a Mirage Tarek Fatah Writes Islamists Mirage An ePUB ✓ argue that the period following the passing away of Muhammad was Islam's golden era and that we Muslims need to re create that caliphate to emulate that political system in today's world I wish to demonstrate that when Muslims buried the Prophet they also buried with him many of the universal values of Islam that he had preached The history of Islam can be described essentially as the history of an unending power struggle where men have killed each other to claim the mantle of Muhammad This strife is a Chasing a PDF \ painful story that started within hours of the Prophet closing his eyes forever and needs to be told I firmly believe the message of the uran is strong enough to withstand the facts of history It is my conviction that Muslims are mature and secure in their identities to face the truth This is that storyAdvance Praise for Chasing a MirageTarek Fatah has written a provocative and challenging book which is a must read for anyone who cares about these issues Janice Gross SteinChasing a Mirage is an extremely valuable contributing to the fight by progressive Muslims against Islamist a Mirage An Epub Þ fascism This book should be reuired reading for the Left in the West who have mistakenly started believing that Islamists represent some sort of anti imperialism Faroo TariFatah argues passionatley for universalism instead of exclusivism integration instead of ghettoism and makes a powerful appeal for the silent majority of Muslims to speak out before it is too late This work of courage and daring needs to be read widely Pervez HoodbhoyThis fascinating work by brave and brilliant tarek Fatah is simultaneously thought provoking instructive and enlightening for laymen and scholars Muslims and non Musliman invaluable and rare addition to a Mirage An Islamic State Epub / the corpus of Islamic literature in the post world a bold step towards Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment Taj HashmiTarek Fatah's is a voice that needs to be heard Canada needs a healthy reasoned debate about the issues he is raising and indeed so does the world Bob RaeThis fascinating work by brae and brilliant Tarek Fatah is simultaneously thought provoking instructive and enlightening for laymen and scholars Muslim and non Muslim an invaluable and rare addition to the corpus of Islamic literature in the post world a bold step towards Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment Taj HashmiTarek Fatah's is a voice that needs to be heard Canada needs a healthy reasoned debate about the issues he is raising and indeed so does the world Bob Rae Member of Parliament Canada.


10 thoughts on “Chasing a Mirage An Islamic State or a State of Islam

  1. says:

    Fundamentalism scares me Like causes me to despair and lament the future of human civilization scares me Fundamentalists seem so diametrically opposed to progress freedom and education that I fear what will happen if ever they attain a critical mass of power Fundamentalism is universal in its appeal to the irrationality of our species it is not just limited to any one religion We cannot fight it by identifying a religion with its fundamentalist base and rejecting it; we cannot say Terrorists who were Muslim destroyed the Twin Towers therefore Islam is bad We're mature and nuanced than that right?I sure hope so And so does Tarek Fatah because his book Chasing a Mirage The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State is an appeal to logic and rationality Islam is in danger extremists chant and yes it is—in danger from them Chasing a Mirage is divided into three parts Fatah first uses present claimants to the title Islamic state to investigate what this term means Then he delves into the history of Islam and examines past countries that Islamists want to use a templates for a the Islamic state Finally he singles out some particular examples of how the Islamist agenda is furthered in Western countries Each of these sections alone would be worth reading Together they form a compelling argument both fascinating and bleakIn Part One The Illusion Fatah elaborates on what he means by the term Islamic state He uses three contemporary countries—Pakistan Saudi Arabia and Iran—as case studies These countries both claim to be Islamic states in one form or another and many readers including myself associate these countries with Islam Fatah also looks at Palestine which he feels is in danger of being hijacked by extremists in an ill advised attempt to turn it into an Islamic state In all of these cases Fatah highlights how attempts to transform Islam into a political system in addition to a religious one have become mired in corruption and human rights abuses His argument is simple if these are examples of Islamic states then he does not want oneCentral to the concept of Islamic state is the supremacy of Islam Simple enough there is no god but God or Allah if you prefer and we worship him based on the revelations in the uran given to us by the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him In an Islamic state Islam is than just a state religion Rather the entire political and judicial systems are codified according to Islamic practices and principles Or at least that is the theory As Fatah demonstrates in Part 2 there aren't really Islamic principles for politics However I am getting ahead of myselfIn their zeal to spread Islam proponents of the Islamic state lose sight of the little things in life like say human rights Societies like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have institutionalized a form of hierarchical racism in which Arab Muslims are at the top and non Arab Muslims are treated like second class citizens often as poorly as non Muslims At times this has resulted in genocidal or near genocidal atrocities both against non Muslims and even other Muslims Fatah spares us no detail as he recounts Pakistan's bloody history That such actions are committed in the name of Islam is a travesty for what does it say of one's religion if it condones such violence and abuses? Where in the uran does it say Arabs number 1 Arabs number 1?The fact of the matter as Fatah explains it is that the uran contains no outline for the Islamic state that Islamists want Indeed apparently even the Islamists don't have a consistent idea of what Islamic state means across the board Among Pakistan's imams and Islamic scholars no two agreed on the fundamental definition of either an 'Islamic State' or a 'Muslim' This last tactic is all too common the only beneficiaries of the Islamic State were the tyrants who ruled Muslim populations and who were able to silence opposition by getting the Ulema religious scholars to declare that opposition to their government was opposition to IslamIf someone opposes you obviously he or she is an apostate Conveniently Islamists believe the punishment for apostasy is death As a result of such an extremist view Islam has been hijackedAs horrible as the human rights abuses perpetrated in the name of Islam are I am even troubled by this subversion and rejection of democracy Democracy is a delicate flower that is beautiful when it flourishes but wilts all too easily Once in decline it is very difficult to restore Islamists have often come to power through democratic means but once in power they turn democracy into a sham if they bother keeping it around at all Iran is an example of this subversion of democracy although their president is nominally elected by the people elections in Iran are anything but free of intimidation Worse the policy implemented by the ayatollahs of Iran virtually guarantees that no matter what the people of Iran want they will not be able to dislodge the Islamic theocracy by democratic means Instead Fatah notes Not all ayatollahs in Iran agree with the current leadership It is uite likely that the changes the Iranian people desire in their country may come from within the religious establishment Despite having just spent an entire chapter discussing the problems with Iran Fatah remains optimistic about its potential for recovery as long as even a handful of such Iranian clerics speak their mind and as long as Iranian women rebel against the oppressive misogyny of the mullahs there is hope for the Iranian revolution to reach its intended potential a secular democracy where Iran can again play the historic role it once did A free and democratic Iran where ayatollahs become the people's moral compass not their executioners would trigger a renaissance in the rest of the Muslim worldElouently put and right too I am no fan of Iran However in opposing the ayatollahs it behoves one not to demonize them like they have done with the West This only engenders hatred and mistrust and that is something we can ill affordHaving looked at present day Islamic states and found them wanting Fatah decides to look to history for examples of an Islamic state worth emulating He does this not on a whim but because Islamists often speak of a golden age of Islam So Fatah looks at the period following the death of the Prophet where Muslims were ruled by the four Rightly Guided Caliphs Then he looks at three other examples of empires nominally based on Islamic principles The result is pretty much what one would expect especially after reading Part 1 In all cases these politicians use and abuse Islam to gain power and stay in power Some of these empires achieved both zeniths and nadirs of civilization There is no evidence however that any of these states witnessed a golden age And sometimes it seemed like living as a Muslim especially a non Arab Muslim in an Islamic state sucks pretty bad And if an Islamic state is a place where not even Muslims want to live well who exactly wants it?Part Two The Genesis is my least favourite section of Chasing a Mirage It is long almost too long and at times it becomes mired in details as Fatah enthusiastically accounts for every name and place and factor involved in the current episode That being said there is nothing in this section that feels superfluous I could not suggest removing anything just to make it shorter and I cannot fault it for being comprehensive All I can say is that you will probably want to take this section slowly Read it a chapter at a time while relaxing with another bookThe final section of the book Part Three The Conseuences is a nice little reward to those who persevered through Part 2 Fatah devotes a chapter each to sharia law jihad and the wearing of the hijab ultimately concluding that each of these phenomena are part of the Islamist agenda in the West This is where Fatah gets the most opinionated and the most personal since as a founding member of the Muslim Canadian Congress he was often involved in these issues On a somewhat nationalistic note I also want to add that I appreciate how when Fatah says this country he means Canada not the United States Obviously I need to read books about Canadian politicsPart 3 reminds me of Multiculturalism without Culture by Anne Phillips Like Philips Fatah is concerned that simplistic ideas of unified cultures are being used against us In Ottawa the lobbying by Islamist groups is relentless putting politicians of all stripes on the defensive as they fear they might be labelled racist or Islamophobic if they criticize Islamists Islam like every other religion is not monolithic Muslim culture like every other culture is not monolithic It behoves us to understand this and reject the attitudes of Islamists who eagerly label as apostates any Muslim who disagrees with themI was pleased to see that in addition to rejecting the Islamist reuirement that women wear the hijab Fatah supports a woman's right to wear the hijab if she chooses From his vitriolic rejection of the former I feared a rejection of the latter as well Fortunately Fatah remains consistently pro choice which is how I see the matter in both cases the government removes freedom of choice It is not enough to protest against bans of the hijab or the burka; one must also protest against the reuirement to wear such coverings It boggles my mind that some people would indoctrinate their daughters to believe that if they don't cover their hair some man will rape them and get them pregnant for one thing what does that say about men? It boggles my mind that otherwise progressive Muslims will with a straight face parrot the hypocrisy of Islamists who denounce terrorism while calling for jihad If Muslims and non Muslims alike want to rehabilitate the image of Islam in the West we must restore it to the tenets of gender euality preached in the uran and ignore those voices who call for the submission of women and the demonization of the Other We must strive to better educate ourselves about these issues lest in our ignorance we fall prey fundamentalists and extremists from whatever religion or creed they hail Multiculturalism does not mean separate rules for separate cultures It is am embrace of every culture a commitment to preserve freedom of choice I don't care if you worship Yaweh Allah the Flying Spaghetti Monster or even if you don't worship a god at all treat me like a human being and I will treat you like a human being Because that's what matters And as an added bonus I promise that even if you don't wear a hijab I will somehow manage to refrain from stoning you on suspicion of adultery Chasing a Mirage The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State is an eye opening look at the political history of Islam Tarek Fatah reaffirms Islam as a peaceful progressive religion and condemns those extremists who would reshape it into something otherwise Fatah's rejection of the Islamic state is threefold firstly Islamists' claim that Islam is in danger without an Islamic state is false; secondly the so called Islamic states of the past to which Islamists point as golden age templates are anything but golden; finally this struggle to achieve an Islamic state damages what Fatah labels the state of Islam that he believes is core to Muslim identity Further Fatah does not do what frustrates me about so much of political non fiction today; he does not say this book is merely an attempt to make you aware of the problems in order to avoid proposing solutions Chasing a Mirage is full of solutions alternatives and hope This is without a doubt one of the best books I've read all year—and I've been having a pretty good year for reading so I don't say this lightly Oh and the manufacturer's warranty included at the end is hilarious


  2. says:

    Tarek Fatah is a practicing Muslim born in Pakistan but one who is not welcome and is not allowed to enter Pakistan as of now He is one of the rare sane voices in Islam who advocates a moderate form of Islam which promotes peace and understanding amongst people of different faiths as was espoused by the Prophet Muhammad The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State is an impassioned plea from this author to his fellow Muslims not to get trapped in the past and get caught up in the web of lies and deceit that has been conjured up by the Mullahs just to keep the faith and the followers in their vice grip The book is so very well written in a language that is lucid Even though it deals with something so serious never once did it feel like a heavy read in fact I felt that it was unputdownable It is true that people with a different take on world history and the problem of Islamic extremism might not agree to all that the author has put forth but at least this book will form a starting point from which a civilized debate on the issue can be initiated Make no mistake about it how much ever the left and liberals would have us to accept an accommodative view of militant Islam it is crystal clear that this particular issue is going to affect all of us adversely in ways than one if not adeuately tackled And sadly the worst sufferers are going to be Muslims themselves Tarek Fatah says that the basic problem in the community as of now is the fact that they tend to live in the past reliving memories of the golden age of Islam before the revival of Europe in the thirteenth century Islamists eagerly want to bring back those days of yore when Islam was at its zenith during the Umayyads and the Abbasid empires It is at this juncture that the political hue of Islam gets employed firmly ensconced in the Islamic principles that were enunciated by the Prophet but which were apt for the times in which he lived Obviously trying to build a golden future just by replicating the beliefs and practices of the distant past is not going to work Fatah says that the Islamists do not believe in the principle of democracy instead they firmly believe in the kingdom of God which is governed by rules that have been set forth in the uran and by the Sharia laws However as the author points out a lot of regressive practices and beliefs that are supposed to be a part of Islam never existed at the time of the Prophet nor did he enforce it upon his followers at that point in time It was the later rulers of Islamic empires who modified and introduced regressive codes which primarily were used by them to vanuish their opponents and to ensure their vice like grip on the community Since all this was cloaked in the respectable veneer of religious sanction the vast multitudes of peace loving Islamic population could never raise their voice against it If anyone did that he was immediately branded an apostate and a blasphemer with the punishment of death to follow The author talks in detail about four countries and analyses their course in history since all of them have made Islam as the sole reason for their existence He talks of Pakistan as the “failed Islamic State” He recounts the history of the country from its birth in the year 1947 to the troubled conditions that exist there and the role of the Military in running the country It becomes amply clear in the narrative that Islamic tenets have been used basically as an excuse to capture political power by anyone who managed to be at the helm of affairs in Pakistan be it the Army or the politicians of various hues He talks of Saudi Arabia which is the main sponsor of Islamic revivalism throughout the globe They have been particularly responsible for the export of militant Islam in the form of Wahhabism Fatah rues that fact that vast multitudes of Muslims around the world fail to see through the machinations of this country The ruling family of Saudi Arabia are supposed to be the guardians of the holiest shrines of the Muslims in Mecca and Medina but unfortunately they are the ones who have done the maximum damage to historical sites of Islam in Saudi Arabia so much so that the abodes of Muhammad and his daughter Fatima have been destroyed to make way for skyscrapers Added to this fact is the all too obvious racism that exists in the faith of Islam where the Arabs consider themselves superior to Muslims in Africa South Asia and South East Asia These are aspects of Islam of today which would definitely make Muhammad turn in his grave Fatah then talks about the authoritarian regime in Iran under the Ayatollahs He traces the history of the Islamic revolution in Iran and the excesses that the regime has unleashed on its critics all couched in the platitude that all of it is being done in the defense of the faith of Islam He also talks of a future Islamic state that is likely to be established in the form of Palestine Here he rues the fact that the genuine political fight for the creation of Palestine spearheaded by the PLO under Yasser Arafat there are lot of commentators who would not agree to the view that Arafat was a paragon of virtue was eventually usurped by the militant Hamas who are the militant proxies of the clerics in Iran Fatah does make a preposterous claim here that the Hamas were tacitly egged on by Israel so that a genuine political movement could be made to look bad in the eyes of the world As far fetched as it may sound anything is possible in the world of Politics What made particularly interesting reading was the early history of Islam right from the time of Prophet Muhammad extending to the four Caliphs who succeeded him These four were known as the “Rightly guided Caliphs” That brings to an interesting observation is it an implicit submission that the rest of the rulers of Islamic Empires were far from perfect? Even the succession process amongst the first four Caliphs was far from ideal As per Fatah there was lot of intrigue and violence involved Muhammad’s own family was sidelined in the succession process so much so that the first member from his family could wear the mantle on as only the fourth in the line of succession – his son in law Ali Ibn Abu Talib History is witness to the fact that soon after the death of the Prophet there was widespread uncertainty so that Prophet’s own daughter Fatima was ignored and humiliated Fatah says that the idea of suppression of women’s rights in Islam was thereby sanctioned right after the death of the Prophet even though during his time it is believed that women enjoyed freedom and respect As far as the wearing of the hijab is concerned Fatah says that Muhammad was never the one to insist that women had to be in a veil During that period what Muhammad enjoined his followers to do was to insist on women to wear a piece of attire called the khimar which was used to cover their bosoms Apparently during the pre Islamic period the women in the Arabian Peninsula never covered their bosoms Muhammad was succeeded by his father in law Abu Bakr and later by Umar Uthman and finally by the Prophet’s son in law Ali But each of these successions that happened were not smooth and was accompanied by intrigue internecine wars and bloodshed Again as Fatah says that teachings of the Prophet were being forgotten by his followers and religion was being used as a justification to exert control over the respective Caliphates of that time The succession wars between the Caliphs make interesting reading and one really gets taken aback by the scale of loss of human life that had taken place and the thing to note here is that Muslims were killing Muslims The final culmination was the killing of the grandson of the Prophet Hassan Bin Ali which led to the historical enmity between the Shias and Sunnis which rankles the community and the Muslim world to this day Fatah then continues with his narrative on the Umayyad dynasty in Syria followed by the Abbasids in Ira He also talks of the spread of Islam into Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar with Spain being the first port of call The Andalusian Islamic empire was considered to be moderate and it is here that Islam managed to attain the peak of human achievements be it in Science Arts Music etc It is ironical that the fields in which the Muslims excelled at that point in time have all come to be considered as anathema for the puritanical brand of Islam that is being propagated today This was followed by the Crusades which was sanctioned by the Pope himself and Islam was driven out of power from Europe This coincided with the marauding rampage of the military of the Mongols on Baghdad which again caused the eclipse of the Abbasid dynasty Finally in 1857 the Mughals in India were vanuished by the British The tragedy of the whole of Islamic civilization is that the community or the so called custodians of the faith the Mullahs haven’t been able to reconcile to the fact that the glory of the past isn’t going to take the community forward The European Renaissance saw the birth of a technologically advanced world which the Islamists fail to embrace and acknowledge considering the values of Western Civilization as totally opposed to the principles of puritanical brand of Islam Hence they keep dreaming of the destruction of the World as we know it today and thereafter go back to the medieval times and establish the superiority of the Islamic faith Fatah rightly surmises that this plan is bound to fail as common sense amply implies the fact that one cannot hope to move forward to a bright and meaningful future just by dreaming about a past and basing all our actions on what has happened in the past As Fatah observes ruefully it is like trying to drive a car forward by looking at the rear view mirror This book is a wonderful treatise on Islamic History and is an eye opener on the self destructive path that the Islamists seem to have embarked upon Fatah also vehemently critiues the so called left and liberal society including politicians who for vested interests do not support the moderates within the Muslim community and end up giving tacit support to the Islamists Fatah makes it amply clear that there are a multitude of peace loving Muslims out there and his impassioned plea to them is not to get swayed by the misinformation and the extremist rhetoric of the Islamists and to try and save themselves and the world from an impending doom that we seem to be heading to


  3. says:

    First let me declare that I am not in the favor of secularism yet I believe that Islamic political thought need to be refined The amendments should be made in accordance with the modern necessities About Chasing a Mirage I would say; what an excellent work The book bearing a subtitle The Tragic illusion of an Islamic State is a critiue of political orthodoxy and provides a detailed account of what went wrong in near past ie use of the notion of Islamic state to fuel extremism and defacement of theory to cover nefarious acts of the politicians in Muslim countries An must read for Political Science students and recommended for all who are interested in Islamic political thought


  4. says:

    One of the most prevalent beliefs among muslims of today's world is that in order to live a completely Islamic life they need to live under an Islamic State ruled by a Caliph and governed by Sharia Law It is the same belief that divided the Muslims of India and led to creation of Pakistan an Islamic stateDrawing evidences from the uran and also from the writings of eminent Islamic scholars of various periods Fatah argues that Islam was not sent by God for muslims to create an Islamic State but to achieve a state of Islam which Fatah says is a spiritual state achieved by human beings through Islam as a moral compass to lead their livesThis book is Mr Tarek Fatah's attempt to wake up the Muslim community and help them to look at 1400 years of their own history in an objective manner bereft of any preconcieved notionsWhat one realizes while reading this book is that Islam as a religious system was developed and completed only after Prophet Muhammad's demise Fatah emphasises on the fact that the early Arabs like the Umayyads used Islam as a tool to conuer territories and spread their rule Since then Islam has been used as a political tool to spread Arab imperialism throughout the worldFatah urges his community especially the Non Arab muslims to not to embrace the Islamism ie Islam ebedded with Arab Imperialism and turn back to original version of Islam as taught by Prophet MuhammadInteresting read for those like me who have a fascination for studying Islamic history More books like these can help Islam to get cleansed from its extremist elements and become adaptable with 21st century values


  5. says:

    The world is witnessing incidents of jihadi violence by the hour Even though Islam is often touted as a religion of peace non Muslims and an increasing section of Muslims perceive it to be otherwise A noted feature in the discourse on terror and its religio political inspiration is the total absence of the voice of the moderates in the Muslim community Surprising it may seem to us but the extremists occupy centre stage in the debate and spread a false sense of victimhood among young Muslims The radicals want to assert that the whole Muslim community in the world is a monolithic nation called ‘Ummah’ irrespective and irrelevant of the national ethnic racial and linguistic barriers that divide them They abhor parliaments and other law making machinery offered by the Western civilization and want to go back to a presumed golden era that flourished in the seventh or eighth centuries CE when the supposedly Rightly Guided Caliphs ruled from Medina This book presents the pitfalls inherent in such a ludicrously simplistic evaluation of what ails the Muslims of today Instead of living in a state of Islam in which every Muslim is entitled to live peacefully and joyfully as per the fundamental tenets of Islam that cares about the spiritual needs of the individual Muslims are shepherded to outrageous notions of political supremacy of Islam over other religions of the world and authoritarianism of cleric politicians as enshrined in an Islamic state By looking back at the history of Islam and the status of implementation of the Islamic state in a few countries the author affirms the illusion of an Islamic state that occurred anywhere in the world in the present or in the past Tarek Fatah is a Pakistani author and journalist based in Canada He has authored many books He was an activist in Pakistan and was twice imprisoned by successive military dictatorships In the aftermath of 911 Fatah founded the Muslim Canadian Congress MCC a secular and liberal Muslim organization dedicated to the separation of religion and politics opposition to Islamism and jihadi extremismFatah begins by reuesting his Muslim readers to attempt to answer a few uestions in the privacy of their solitude when they need not be on the defensive and have no fear of being judged Presenting the difference between an Islamic state and a state of Islam he argues that the 150 million Muslims in Pakistan live in an Islamic state while an eual number of Muslims in India live in a state of Islam The author makes a clear distinction between Muslims and Islamists who work for the imposition of an Islamic state based on Sharia They have brought out Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in 1990 roughly in line with the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights in 1948 However the Cairo one envisages all rights and freedoms subject to Sharia and provides for second class citizenship to the non Muslims who have the misfortune to live in an Islamic state It legitimizes the notion of racial and religious superiority and allows for multiple levels of citizenship and widespread and systemic discrimination against racial and religious minorities living within a state’s borders p 17 The Liberal Left is now hand in glove with the Islamists under the untrue impression that they oppose the US and its hegemonic world policy However Islamists are not against the West’s imperial ambitions or capitalist greed They were the West’s handmaidens throughout the cold war and waged a jihad on America’s behalf against the Soviets in Afghanistan The Islamists take sustenance from the writings of Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi of the Jamaat Islami and Hassan al Banna and Syed utb of the Muslim Brotherhood Maudoodi had noted that the West’s ‘unfettered freedom’ and individual liberty are to be opposed This put the leftists in an awkward positionThe book then examines the blatant discrimination present in the Islamic states of Pakistan Iran Saudi Arabia and Palestine Religious minorities are not given eual status anywhere Pakistan’s constitution in its Article 412 states that only a Muslim can become its president When Justice Rana Bhagwandas a Hindu was sworn in as acting chief justice of Pakistan he had to take his oath of office with a uranic prayer “May Allah Almighty help and guide me Ameen” Imagine such a thing happening to a Muslim anywhere in the secular democracies like India or western countries Also imagine the tremendous hue and cry such an incident will cause among human rights groups But in this instance nothing happened and the seculars turned a blind eye to it The supreme leader of Iran – velayat e faih – can only be a person of Arab ancestry Imams of the superior pedigree don a black turban while others wear white headgear He advises the Palestinians to view Islamists with deep suspicion especially the ones in Marxist attire who espouse support of the Islamist Hamas while living in and unwilling to give up residence or the comforts of the US p 74Part 2 of the book that deals with the genesis of the faith and its political institutions present the true face of history the Islamists often sweep under the carpet Three out of the four Rightly Guided Caliphs had fallen victim to an assassin’s knife in an orgy of tribal and racial enmity After the Prophet’s death the claim of the uraysh tribe was proposed by Abu Bakr who became the first caliph and a member of the tribe Notions of euality were discarded at that stage itself The second caliph Omar followed a policy of sabia which determined people’s level of piety on a sliding scale of when they accepted Islam War booty was divided by Omar uneually Those who followed Muhammad to Medina were given the highest entitlement and the lowest for those who accepted Islam after the fall of Mecca In the sixth year of Omar’s reign a famine struck Arabia The relief effort was also based on the principle of graded ineuality – Meccan uraysh the most then Meccan Arabs then the Aws tribe of Medina over the Khazraj and the non Arab Muslims and slaves The non Arab Muslims were disparagingly called Mawalis and the Umayyad dynasty of caliphs 661 – 750 CE taxed Jizya from them as noted by Maudoodi Sectarian and familial jealousy overruled the early caliphate Muawiyah instituted the practice of cursing Ali the Prophet’s son in law during Friday sermons which is still followed during the Hajj pilgrimage p 159 The forward thrust of Arab culture into Europe was stopped in 732 CE when Charles Martel defeated the Berber – Arab army in Poitiers France Muslims could never cross this line again When the flow of war booty from expansion subsided dissensions broke out in the Islamic camp The Islamic states of the past failed to establish a norm for rightful succession that led to the unhappy situation in which lasting political institutions didn’t develop Fatah categorically affirms that the idea of the caliphate or Islamic state has no basis whatsoever in either the uran or the traditions of the ProphetThe third part of the book is earmarked to expose the deviant agenda of Islamists in the West and their political manifesto Their agenda is what Maudoodi declared “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere in the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam If the Muslim party commands adeuate resources it will eliminate un Islamic governments and establish the power of Islamic governments in their stead p 252 Fatah brings to light the backhand deals in Canada in which Islamists tried to sneak in Sharia for the country’s Muslim minority and the true face of Islamic banking which is another front of extremism The religious bigotry of the Islamists is nauseating They swing into action only when a Muslim country or individual is attacked In 1999 New York police intercepted a Black man named Amadou Diallo and shot him down in a case of highhandedness Civil rights groups began protests but the Islamists kept mum A few days later the man’s full name was published in the newspapers as Ahmed Ahmedou Diallo a Muslim Islamists took up protests only at that point In the Vietnam War they sided with the US government and only join the action when a Muslim state is at the receiving end of US foreign policy As I noted earlier the voice of the moderate Muslim is nowhere heard This book changes all that and Tarek Fatah’s lone voice rumbles through the debating bodies as a voice of sincerity and reason It is to be noted that he never says anything against the Prophet or the uran but attacks the false interpretation of the Islamists Readers open a rich treasure trove of new information from this book that blunts the sharpness of Wahhabi funded Islamists masuerading as free thinkers and human rights activists The book uses footnotes instead of attaching a glossary at the end A veritable collection of Notes and a long list of books for further reading make this a must have for all classes of readers A comprehensive index elevates the book to the level of a reference work When you grow old it is rare that you come across a book which gives you a flood of details you never knew existed Most books show a new sidewalk or an unexplored by lane to the city centre which you are thoroughly familiar with But this book showcases an entirely new city which justifies its Five Star rating The book is most highly recommended


  6. says:

    Getting Closer To What Went WrongThe first third of the book looks at modern Shariah based nations Pakistan Saudi Arabia and Iran The recurring theme is that Islamic States have all resulted in situations that contradict the teachings of the ProphetPakistan began with democratic aspirations but uickly reverted to uneual laws disadvantaging minority Sikhs Hindus even Ahmadiya Muslims and others including ChristiansOf Saudi Arabia the regime is scathingly castigated for their wanton destruction of historic sites such as the house of Khadija or the tomb of Fatima As such there are less than 20 remaining sites that date back to the time of the Mohammed making the Wahabists who are doctrinally opposed to turning individuals into saints and veneration of places associated with them unsuitable custodians of the cradle of Islam They have only had this role since their 1920's conuest of the Arabian peninsula The 1979 siege of the Grand Mosue in Mecca by 300 Muslims from various countries which resulted in over 1000 deaths is blamed on Israel and America; the event itself Fatah discovers does not appear in a single textbook in the Muslim world as it it never happenedUnder the Iranian constitution the Velayat e faih supreme leader must be an ethnic Arab from the Hashemite clan of the uraysh tribe a descendant of the Prophet's daughter Fatima and her husband Ali These men are known as the Syeds Only an Arab Syed of Iran can rule as it's supreme leader pp67 How the Persians ever acuiesce to this only Allah knowsHe uips that the Imans and Ayatollahs who are driving for Shariah that is nations governed by Islamic principles are attempting to navigate hell bent into the future using a rear view mirror focused on a mythical past blaming every bump and crash on Israel and the West instead of themselvesThe middle section of the book is a brilliant deconstruction of early Islamic history and by itself worth 5 and the price of the book This is a far cry from the usual hagiographic treatment given to the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs One learns a great deal about the rivalry that followed the death of Mohammed how Ali was first shut out of the leadership and how descendants of the Prophet were hunted down and murdered for fear that they or their descendants would acuire political powerThe heart of Fatah's argument is a plea for separation of Mosue and State The modern Islamists he charges are attempting to recapture something that never existed In 1450 years of Islamic history there has never been a just Islamic state to revert back to Even in the golden age of Muslim ruled Spain the concept did not work In spite of a generous outflowing of culture and learning was overshadowed by political intrigue and assassinationIn most of the book the premises arguments and conclusions are well done and one must certainly respect both his love and knowledge of history However when it comes to Mohammed or Marx well love is blindWhat keeps Fatah from being considered a complete apostate is that he still holds fast to the catchecism of Mohammed's infallibility and the perfection of his example He is unable to separate the Messenger from the Message or concede as is done in other faiths that even prophets were imperfect vesselsAs for Marx in Chapter 5 Palestine Future Islamic State? he relates how as a student he instantly bonded with the first Palestinian student that he met simply because the man was a Marxist He thrills at the audacity of Leilah Khalid the infamous female hijacker of TWA flight 840 He argues that Hamas' religious approach is counter productive because under Islamic tradition Jews have the better claim Abbas simply because he professes to be a Marxist other than by education in the USSR the claim is highly doubtful is Israel's best opportunity for peace and Hamas only grew because of Israeli support corruption in the Arafat's PA having nothing to do with it a neglect of the old Turkish saying a fish stinks from the head downThe last five chapters examine the dynamics of moderates and extremist Muslim factions in the West focusing mostly on Canada He's highly critical of Western politicians for endorsing to what he considers the radical element of his community with a tendency to identify Islam with beards and turbans To contrast he offered a number of alternative voices The treatment here was anecdotal interesting but not uite at the same level as the middle thirdThe book ends with an afterward by Hussaim Haani which I found a bit at out of place with Fatah's ideas and a very humourous EULA End User License Agreement often found in software package installs for Islam warning the end user not to accept any unauthorized upgrades and is worth passing around in one's emailHighly interesting somewhat controversial and the middle section especially worth having around for reference


  7. says:

    Tarek Fatah's book is a comprehensively detailed intellectual discourse which presents an unflattering and unbiased treatise on Islam tackling its complex history that asks and answers the difficult uestions facing the religion of Islam and its millions of followers all over the world as it uncovers the blood soaked violent history of the bastardized metamorphosis of a religion that means to surrender oneself to God into a political tool used by the mullahs and Islamic caliphates of past and present in their modern forms for the establishment of an Islamic State a goal that is ultimately of a regressive and dictatorial mindset Tarek Fatah lays bare the realitites of modern day Islamic States Pakistan Iran Saudi Arabia for what they really are the deep seated animosity of modern day mullahs towards other non islamic nations and their non liberal attitudes towards woman music science homosexuality and the total and absolute intellectual subversion under the guise of the teachings of the Holy uran and the completely insecular and unharmonious indifferent attitude towards other religions that has become a key feature of modern day islamic states Tarek Fatah's book is not just a critiue of islamic society and the many ills plaguing it today but it also holds a beacon of hope for the future and betterment of Islam and how Islam and Islamists need to give up the tragic illusion of an Islamic State and instead chase the State of Islam wherein perhaps lies the only hope for the salvation and peaceful integration of Islam and it's many followers into the greater unfolding story of mankind and the story of global progress on the rapidly unfolding pages of human history


  8. says:

    The narrative adopt by the author through out the book is of the Post Islamists ‘Chasing a Mirage” in a nutshell is a harsh criticism on Islamist narrative mainly in the context of Political Islam The book is no less than a shock for a generation that has been brought up by dogmas and myths sponsored by Islamists and which has no roots in Islam as the author claimedThe History of Islam as shown in the book is in contrast with what has been taught to students in schools colleges and universities History of Islam as the author argues is nothing but a ‘ history of unending power struggle where men have killed each other to claim the mantle of Prophet Muhammad To put it bluntly it could be depicted as the “Game of Thrones” in which Lannisters Targarians Starks etc are replace by Fatimids Abbasids Umayyads all vied for the Caliphate and had slaughtered each other in doing soProposing a way forward for the contemporary Muslims Tari Fatah is of the view that we Muslims should adopt ourselves to the Modern values of democracy liberty freedom and peace Rather than pondering and struggling for an Islamic State which according to the author is a mirage and have been used by clerics for political point scoring and personnel gains we should work on the “State of Islam” that primarily concerned with the spiritual development of a Muslim


  9. says:

    Read Fatah's book some time ago and found it an informative and interesting read Needed to reread the historical sections to follow but found it fascinating Being non Muslim this was a great Islam 101 as the author notes an Islamic state has always resulted in disastrous conseuences striving to reach a state of Islam is a totally different and desirable thing I'd recommend it


  10. says:

    This is a an amazing book with deep insights about what is ailing Islam world over Tarak Fatah has very logically based on historical facts bring about several issues which explain how an amazing religion has been exploited misinterpreted for political and personal gains over the centuries and what has led to its present state of flux


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