Religious Fundamentalism, Revisited
Prof. As’ad Abdul Rahman
The monotheistic message has produced, at least, three spiritual/anti-materialistic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The very fundamental purpose of any spiritual message is to guide human souls on a path to follow in order to attain ascendancy from this mundane world to the higher one of ‘everlasting life’. Here comes the paradox, where material human brains can only deal with worldly selfish thinking that only seek to take and the spiritual message whose nature is anti-materialistic that can only be comprehended and heeded by noble selfless thinking solely inclined to give. Therefore, it is either human minds accept willingly to be transformed from their materialistic nature into a spiritual mode augmenting the gift of giving, or that the spiritual message is altered by materialistic minds and narrow aims into a self-serving not God-serving direction that solely benefits the interests of the group that fabricates it.
Self-concocted creeds are most of the time, if not always, controlled by self-serving fundamentalists who declare themselves “the true guardians” of “the true faith”, while blaspheming all others who differ with their beliefs. Their followers blindly observe the dictates of such self-appointed fundamentalist leaders because they gave up their free will and ability to think independently thus, they became imprisoned within a ’herd mentality’. Religious fundamentalism is the very root cause of the ‘takfiri’ (those who accuse others of apostasy) militant doctrine that seeks to eradicate any other beliefs that stand in its way.
Now and again, Jewish self-created religious fundamentalism is trying to bring into being a material “Jewish state” in Palestine contrary to the spiritual message of the Torah which defines “the state of Israel” as the spiritual state of the Prophet Israel who used to be known as Jacob. The first four letters, i.e. ‘Isra’, means in Hebrew and Arabic “walking in the night of this world”, while the ‘el’ remaining letters mean “the Lord”. In other words, it is a spiritual mental migration to a higher spiritual state of mind and definitely not to Palestine. So, are we witnessing a Zionist project trying to repeat the catastrophe of 70 A.D. with a policy to attain the full Judaization of all historical Palestine?
Christian fundamentalists brought forth the Crusades “to liberate the Holy Land from Muslim infidels” and the first thing they did on their way to Jerusalem was the pillage of the “Jewel of Christendom, Constantinople”, robbing and depriving it of its wealth and treasures which were shipped to Europe. During the so-called liberation of Jerusalem, a commander asked a priest what to do to avoid killing Christians whose attire was exactly like that of the Muslims? The priest replied with what became a famous quote: “Kill them all, God will sort His own.” Another similar brand of the fundamentalists established in the past the “Courts of Inquisition” which sentenced thousands upon thousands of Christians to be burned alive “in the Name of God”.
The holy Qur’an addressed Prophet Mohammad, with the words: “You are not to be a priest”, for no Muslim in Islam has the religious authority to judge the faith of another human being because such a judgment in Islam belongs exclusively to God, the Most High, who alone shall judge all on the “Day of Judgment”. The sole right in Islam to judge whether a person is faithful or a blasphemer belongs to God only and whoever claims religious authority blaspheming others will fall in the trap of “Shirk” (to have a partner with God) by making himself equal with God.
The first ‘takfiri’ group in early Islam was known as the outsiders or ‘Al-khawarej’. They sowed inner conflicts among Muslims and shed much blood, also, in “the Name of God”. According to Sahih Bukhari, Prophet Mohammad sayings and teachings collection book, the Prophet of Islam (PBH) had predicted the advent of the ‘takfiris’ in this quote: “There would arise people, who would recite the Qur’an, but it would not go beyond their throat, they would kill without any mercy the followers of Islam.”
Using military means only to eradicate the toxic waste of the so-called Islamic State or ‘Da’esh’ and its mother group Al-Qaeda will not do the job. Other means should be employed (that will be tackled in a coming article) to augment the military campaigns, while working to establish political reforms and bring about cultural and socio-economic changes to eliminate their poisonous threat to the Arab societies.