Hirsi Ali en Huntington over Islam en Reformatie

Voor degenen die het interview van Jon Stewart met Ayaan Hirsi Ali over Islam en Reformatie hebben bekeken, er staat een interessante passage in Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations (1996) over precies dit thema. Ben er nog niet helemaal over uit hoe ik de twee (allebei neocons die de islam zien als vijandige beschaving) in verhouding tot elkaar moet plaatsen, behalve dat Ayaan Hirsi Ali een veel statischer conceptie heeft van de islam dan Huntington. Hirsi Ali heeft de (fundamentalistische) modernisering van de islam tot nog toe altijd gepresenteerd als de eeuwige, onveranderlijke kern van de religie, een letterlijke terugkeer naar de bron. Het blijft een wat vreemde zet, om te pleiten voor een Reformatie binnen de islam als zovelen – dus ook op rechts – juist wijzen op de Reformatie binnen de islam als oorzaak van het fundamentalisme. Fundamentalisme dat Ayaan Hirsi Ali dus zegt te willen bestrijden met een Reformatie. Maar goed, de een zijn Reformatie is de ander zijn fundamentalisme. Hier Huntington:

The Islamic Resurgence

While Asians became increasingly assertive as a result of economic development, Muslims in massive numbers were simultaneously turning toward Islam as a source of identity, meaning, stability, legitimacy, development, power, and hope, hope epitomized in the slogan “Islam is the solution.” This Islamic Resurgence in its extent and profundity is the latest phase in the adjustment of Islamic civilization to the West, an effort to find the “solution” not in Western ideologies but in Islam. It embodies acceptance of modernity, rejection of Western culture, and recommitment to Islam as the guide to life in the modern world. As a top Saudi official explained in 1994, “ ‘Foreign imports’ are nice as shiny or high-tech ‘things.’ But intangible social and political institutions imported from elsewhere can be deadly—ask the Shah of Iran. . . . Islam for us is not just a religion but a way of life. We Saudis want to modernize, but not necessarily Westernize.”[17]

The Islamic Resurgence is the effort by Muslims to achieve this goal. It is a broad intellectual, cultural, social, and political movement prevalent throughout the Islamic world. Islamic “fundamentalism,” commonly conceived as political Islam, is only one component in the much more extensive revival of Islamic ideas, practices, and rhetoric and the rededication to Islam by Muslim populations. The Resurgence is mainstream not extremist, pervasive not isolated.

The Resurgence has affected Muslims in every country and most aspects of society and politics in most Muslim countries. “The indices of an Islamic awakening in personal life,” John L. Esposito has written, “are many: increased attention to religious observances (mosque attendance, prayer, fasting), proliferation of religious programming and publications, more emphasis on Islamic dress and values, the revitalization of Sufism (mysticism). This broader-based renewal has also been accompanied by Islam’s reassertion in public life: an increase in Islamically oriented governments, organizations, laws, banks, social welfare services, and educational institutions. Both governments and opposition movements have turned to Islam to enhance their authority and muster popular support. . . . Most rulers and governments, including more secular states such as Turkey and Tunisia, becoming aware of the potential strength of Islam, have shown increased sensitivity to and anxiety about Islamic issues.”

In similar terms, another distinguished scholar of Islam, Ali E. Hillal Dessouki, sees the Resurgence as involving efforts to reinstitute Islamic law in place of Western law, the increased use of religious language and symbolism, expansion of Islamic education (manifested in the multiplication of Islamic schools and Islamization of the curricula in regular state schools), increased adherence to Islamic codes of social behavior (e.g., female covering, abstinence from alcohol), and increased participation in religious observances, domination of the opposition to secular governments in Muslim societies by Islamic groups, and expanding efforts to develop international solidarity among Islamic states and societies.[18] La revanche de Dieu is a global phenomenon, but God, or rather Allah, has made His revenge most pervasive and fulfilling in the ummah, the community of Islam.

In its political manifestations, the Islamic Resurgence bears some resemblance to Marxism, with scriptural texts, a vision of the perfect society, commitment to fundamental change, rejection of the powers that be and the nation state, and doctrinal diversity ranging from moderate reformist to violent revolutionary. A more useful analogy, however, is the Protestant Reformation. Both are reactions to the stagnation and corruption of existing institutions; advocate a return to a purer and more demanding form of their religion; preach work, order, and discipline; and appeal to emerging, dynamic, middle-class people. Both are also complex movements, with diverse strands, but two major ones, Lutheranism and Calvinism, Shi’ite and Sunni fundamentalism, and even parallels between John Calvin and the Ayatollah Khomeini and the monastic discipline they tried to impose on their societies. The central spirit of both the Reformation and the Resurgence is fundamental reform. “Reformation must be universal,” one Puritan minister declared, “. . . reform all places, all persons and callings; reform the benches of judgment, the inferior magistrates. . . . Reform the universities, reform the cities, reform the countries, reform inferior schools of learning, reform the Sabbath, reform the ordinances, the worship of God.” In similar terms, al-Turabi asserts, “this awakening is comprehensive—it is not just about individual piety; it is not just intellectual and cultural, nor is it just political. It is all of these, a comprehensive reconstruction of society from top to bottom.”[19] To ignore the impact of the Islamic Resurgence on Eastern Hemisphere politics in the late twentieth century is equivalent to ignoring the impact of the Protestant Reformation on European politics in the late sixteenth century.

The Resurgence differs from the Reformation in one key aspect. The latter’s impact was largely limited to northern Europe; it made little progress in Spain, Italy, eastern Europe, and the Hapsburg lands generally. The Resurgence, in contrast, has touched almost every Muslim society. Beginning in the 1970s, Islamic symbols, beliefs, practices, institutions, policies, and organizations won increasing commitment and support throughout the world of 1 billion Muslims stretching from Morocco to Indonesia and from Nigeria to Kazakhstan. Islamization tended to occur first in the cultural realm and then to move on to the social and political spheres. Intellectual and political leaders, whether they favored it or not, could neither ignore it nor avoid adapting to it in one way or another. Sweeping generalizations are always dangerous and often wrong. One, however, does seem justified. In 1995 every country with a predominantly Muslim population, except Iran, was more Islamic and Islamist culturally, socially, and politically than it was fifteen years earlier.[20]

In most countries a central element of Islamization was the development of Islamic social organizations and the capture of previously existing organizations by Islamic groups. Islamists paid particular attention both to establishing Islamic schools and to expanding Islamic influence in state schools. In effect Islamic groups brought into existence in Islamic “civil society” which paralleled, surpassed, and often supplanted in scope and activity the frequently frail institutions of secular civil society. In Egypt by the early 1990s Islamic organizations had developed an extensive network of organizations which, filling a vacuum left by the government, provided health, welfare, educational, and other services to a large number of Egypt’s poor. After the 1992 earthquake in Cairo, these organizations “were on the streets within hours, handing out food and blankets while the Government’s relief efforts lagged.” In Jordan the Muslim Brotherhood consciously pursued a policy of developing the social and cultural “infrastructure of an Islamic republic” and by the early 1990s, in this small country of 4 million people, was operating a large hospital, twenty clinics, forty Islamic schools, and 120 Koranic study centers. Next door in the West Bank and Gaza, Islamic organizations established and operated “student unions, youth organizations, and religious, social, and educational associations,” including schools ranging from kindergartens to an Islamic university, clinics, orphanages, a retirement home, and a system of Islamic judges and arbitrators. Islamic organizations spread throughout Indonesia in the 1970s and 1980s. By the early 1980s, the largest, the Muhhammadijah,had 6 million members, constituted a “religious-welfare-state-within-the-secular-state,” and provided “cradle-to-grave” services for the entire country through an elaborate network of schools, clinics, hospitals, and university-level institutions. In these and other Muslim societies, Islamist organizations, banned from political activity, were providing social services comparable to those of the political machines in the United States in the early twentieth century.[21]

The political manifestations of the Resurgence have been less pervasive than its social and cultural manifestations, but they still are the single most important political development in Muslim societies in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The extent and makeup of the political support for Islamist movements has varied from country to country. Yet certain broad tendencies exist. By and large those movements do not get much support from rural elites, peasants, and the elderly. Like fundamentalists in other religions, Islamists are overwhelmingly participants in and products of the processes of modernization. They are mobile and modern-oriented younger people drawn in large part from three groups.

As with most revolutionary movements, the core element has consisted of students and intellectuals. In most countries fundamentalists winning control of student unions and similar organizations was the first phase in the process of political Islamization, with the Islamist “breakthrough” in universities occurring in the 1970s in Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and then moving on to other Muslim countries. The Islamist appeal was particularly strong among students in technical institutes, engineering faculties, and scientific departments. In the 1990s, in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and elsewhere, “second generation indigenization” was manifesting itself with increasing proportions of university students being educated in their home languages and hence increasingly exposed to Islamist influences.[22] Islamists also often developed a substantial appeal to women, and Turkey witnessed a clear demarcation between the older generation of secularist women and their Islamist-oriented daughters and granddaughters.[23] One study of the militant leaders of Egyptian Islamist groups found they had five major characteristics, which appear to be typical of Islamists in other countries. They were young, overwhelmingly in their twenties and thirties. Eighty percent were university students or university graduates. Over half came from elite colleges or from the intellectually most demanding fields of technical specialization such as medicine and engineering. Over 70 percent were from lower middle-class, “modest, but not poor backgrounds,” and were the first generation in their family to get higher education. They spent their childhoods in small towns or rural areas but had become residents of large cities.[24]

While students and intellectuals formed the militant cadres and shock troops of Islamist movements, urban middle-class people made up the bulk of the active membership. In some degree these came from what are often termed “traditional” middle-class groups: merchants, traders, small business proprietors, bazaaris. These played a crucial role in the Iranian Revolution and provided significant support to fundamentalist movements in Algeria, Turkey, and Indonesia. To an even greater extent, however, fundamentalists belonged to the more “modern” sectors of the middle class. Islamist activists “probably include a disproportionately large number of the best-educated and most intelligent young people in their respective populations,” including doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, teachers, civil servants.[25]
The third key element in the Islamist constituency was recent migrants to the cities. Throughout the Islamic world in the 1970s and 1980s urban populations grew at dramatic rates. Crowded into decaying and often primitive slum areas, the urban migrants needed and were the beneficiaries of the social services provided by Islamist organizations. In addition, Ernest Gellner points out, Islam offered “a dignified identity” to these “newly uprooted masses.” In Istanbul and Ankara, Cairo and Asyut, Algiers and Fes, and on the Gaza strip, Islamist parties successfully organized and appealed to “the downtrodden and dispossessed.” “The mass of revolutionary Islam,” Oliver Roy said, is “a product of modern society . . . the new urban arrivals, the millions of peasants who have tripled the populations of the great Muslim metropolises.”[26]

By the mid-1990s explicitly Islamist governments had come to power only in Iran and Sudan. A small number of Muslim countries, such as Turkey and Pakistan, had regimes with some claim to democratic legitimacy. The governments in the two score other Muslim countries were overwhelmingly nondemocratic: monarchies, one-party systems, military regimes, personal dictatorships, or some combination of these, usually resting on a limited family, clan, or tribal base and in some cases highly dependent on foreign support. Two regimes, in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, attempted to invoke some form of Islamic legitimacy. Most of these governments, however, lacked any basis for justifying their rule in terms of Islamic, democratic, or nationalist values. They were “bunker regimes,” to use Clement Henry Moore’s phrase, repressive, corrupt, divorced from the needs and aspirations of their societies. Such regimes may sustain themselves for long periods of time; they need not fail. In the modern world, however, the probability that they will change or collapse is high. In the mid-1990s, consequently, a central issue concerned the likely alternatives: Who or what would be their successors? In almost every country in the mid-1990s the most likely successor regime was an Islamist one.