Saturday, March 14, 2015

Abdulazziz Al-Qattan: Islamic State is No Aberration

Abdulazziz Al-Qattan
Memri TV Video Clip 4821

In the wake of the IS ship of state's atrocities, liberal, educated Muslims in the Arab world are speaking out against Islam's own traditions, as Memri Clip No. 4821 (March 5, 2015) reveals in its report, "Kuwaiti Researcher Abdulazziz Al-Qattan: ISIS [i.e., the Islamic State,] Is the Product of [Our] Islamic Heritage." Here are some excerpts:
ISIS did not come out of nowhere. It's not an aberration. By no means. ISIS adopts the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology of Al-Qaeda. If you look at Durur Al-Saniyah by Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, you will see that ISIS is implementing the ideas of that book to the letter. They are doing it step by step, word by word . . . . The problem of us Arabs is that we are not being honest with ourselves. We do not acknowledge our mistakes. We refuse to break away from that heritage. Our Islamic heritage is a minefield of these deviant ideas. Unfortunately, even some contemporary muftis, sheiks, and Islamic scholars subscribe to this reactionary ideology [of Salafism] and to this backwardness. To this day, some [Salafis] . . . consider photography . . . prohibited polytheism, and view statues as idols that are worshipped instead of Allah, . . . . [though even] in the days of the Islamic conquests, 'Amr Ibn Al-'As did not destroy the Sphinx and did not shatter statues in Egypt. I cannot imagine . . . any civilization, without art. I cannot imagine . . . beauty . . . without art. Art is sublime. Art means progress. Art means civilization. Can you possibly imagine humanity without art? Inconceivable! Inconceivable! . . . . [Even] before ISIS and Al-Qaeda emerged, [the Islamic State's ideology existed,] but we turned a blind eye, and some Arab governments still prefer not to face the plain truth. All the books of Islamic heritage, without exception - from all Islamic sects and denominations - have enough ISIS ideology to turn your hair white . . . . [What] we need to do is sift through [our] Islamic heritage. We must go back to the book of Allah, [the Qur'an,] for it gives guidance to humanity. Islam does not, under any circumstances, run counter to human nature. Allah created Man free and gave him freedom of thought, but the problem is that the Muslims have begun to worship people. We have begun to worship our heritage. We have begun to worship books . . . . "Islamic heritage" . . . [is what I say,] but that is not what it [truly] is. It is the heritage of the jurisprudents, not of the Prophet Muhammad. The books of [our] Islamic heritage - Al-Bukhari and Muslim hadith collections, and the other canonical hadith books, as well as the Kitab Al-Kafi and all the other books of the Shiites [- each of] these books need[s] to be sifted through by real institutions. These stories should be sifted through in order to filter out all their blemishes. Politics played a role in the [development] of this heritage. The Islamic scholars of the Sultan's court played a role in this. The hadith narrators were not infallible. Some of them were liars, cheats, and so on.
I think that Mr. Abdulazziz Al-Qattan has got things right. Muslims must unburden themselves of the entire jurisprudent tradition. The brutality of many hadith cannot be moderated but only rejected before Islam can be reformed.

Only in that way can Islamism be finally defeated . . .

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