The Era of Imam Mahdi The New Global
The Era of Imam Mahdi The New Global
In The Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Most Compassionate.
As the collapse of the cold war, we have seen that a new world order has unfolded in the eyes of the West, however, as this world ored unfolds, the West has been in a dilemma on how to define the parameters of this order.
Indeed, numerous theories and political analysis has been proposed by the so called "enlightened scholars " of the West. But the Question now arises: how does Islam and us, the global Ummah look at this world aroder and how do we also define our parameters today? An How do we, believers and adherents of Hazrat Baqiyatullah (May Allah hasten his return) prepare in this context?
We as members of the Global Muslim Ummah, may have to look at different angles as well as from different perspectives if we may arrive at a conclusion. This may not be conclusive for all times, it is our humble effort, so that we may be able to move forward in todays age and leave a legacy for other Muslims to come.
As one looks at the different theories expressed and espoused today, I cannot but help but remember the ideals left by those who have come before us, like Hazrat Imam Khomeini (rahmatullahi alayhi) when he wrote the then president Mikhail Gorbachev and predicted the demise of the Soviet Union, saying; that the lac of a spiritual and moral ascendancy of socialism,
being materialistic in nature will ultimately lead to the collapse of the socialist world order. And as one American Scholar has said, as the current trend of Modernization proceeds, the fundamental human value from the worship of God and the virtues of Tqwa, Imaan and Ihsan are replaced by values like vice, vanity,
personal interests over the others, self over others, there appears a ever and more stronger need for us Muslims to propose the need also for the West to study the high, lofty and ethical values of Islam.
In the traditions of the late Ali Shariati's Ruhshanfekr being today's enlightened individuals , we will attempt to dissect the theories of the new global world order proposed by the West and their worldview and how we must propose to interact with the world in a move to propose also our own concept of a just and humane society baed on Tawheed and Adalah.
In a way, as we, the adherents of our beloved prophet Muhammad (SAWA) anxiously await his honored desecendant, how do we view the global events and act towards preparation of a state of Imam Mahdi's (ATFS) return to us.
After the demise of the Soviet Union as predicted by Hazrat Imam (rahmatullahi alyh), the West has seen that the eternal archenemy of Capitalism and Democracy, i.e. Socialism as represented by the Soviet Union has collapsed; corollary to this the collapse of the Iron Curtain in Germany, the concept of collectivism and state owned enterprises as espoused by communism has eventually became a thing of the past, and even the Sleeping Giant China, has awakened from its slumber to partake in the eventual Capitalization of the world.
As there appeared a clear and present need to define a new global order, a prominent think tank from the West, Samuel Huntington in a response to this need defined a new context, civilizational fault lines... in short, where cultures clash, civilizations and nations would clash. This was the eventual definition of this paper, "clash of civilizations and the rise of a new order".However, another known Western scholar Edward Said views that the presentation of Huntington preposterous in the sense paranoic.
This is the ineventual problem of the causality of Huntingtons concepts..... from a clash of civilizations, it is surmised that such a clash occurs whenever ignorance takes place. instead of understanding what causes cultures and civilizations to clash, why not also try to look at the parallel sum of things like universal human values that are treasured in every culture and civilization.
The same can be said of looking the the paralellism of anarchistic and terrrorist groups lingering in the different cultures like the Branch dravidian, Aum Shinyo or the Baader Meinhof gangs that are much alike the terrroristic manifestations of al-Qaeda or other groups like the Tamil Tigers and the Sin Fein in Ireland.
And as Said says, "But we are all swimming in those waters, Westerners and Muslims and others alike. And since the waters are part of the ocean of history, trying to plow or divide them with barriers is futile. These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis.
"The Clash of Civilizations" thesis is a gimmick like "The War of the Worlds," better for reinforcing defensive self-pride than for critical understanding of the bewildering interdependence of our time. "
What is needed for civilizations to understand each other is dialogue, pluralist persepective and an openness to the other. As the West aims also in defining order, it also aims to define states that in its opinion are threats to the stability of the new global order, unconsciously defining these states as "rogue states" at the root of this definition is "viciousness,lack of principle and propensity to engage in unilateral action (Herman, 2006).
it is clear that within that context, it is apparent that those that apparently falls out of context of the Western definition of universal Human values appears to be part of the target of Western Imperialist Hegemony. it then appears that even states that are merely guarding their legitimate interests and protecting their citizens is seen as rogue and therefore in the eyes of the West are viewed as axis of evil.
As the West aims also in defining order, it also aims to define states that in its opinion are threats to the stability of the new global order, unconsciously defining these states as "rogue states" at the root of this definition is "viciousness,lack of principle and propensity to engage in unilateral action (Herman, 2006).
it is clear that within that context, it is apparent that those that apparently falls out of context of the Western definition of universal Human values appears to be part of the target of Western Imperialist Hegemony. it then appears that even states that are merely guarding their legitimate interests and protecting their citizens is seen as rogue and therefore in the eyes of the West are viewed as axis of evil.
What pushes the West to aggressively pursue this Global World Order at the expense of other smaller sovereign states? The answer lies in the fact that Neoliberalism and Globalization also has played a significant role in the pursuance and aggressive implementation of this policy.
In the total sum of things, the world new order that the west (in the view that is pushed by the United states) proposes is the Globalization of Markets, where nations are forced to co-opt their national soveriegnity in the face of tariffs and trade quotas always in the name of the Balance of Trade (BOT), however, this Balance of Trade always shifts in favor of first world countries,
Transnational Corporations (TNC) that operate their businesses internationally and exploit the cheap labor cost , cheap mineral resources in the Third world at a tremendous profit with no moral conscience of returning even a small portion of their accumulated wealth, taking it abroad.
In short this is best manifested bydecreasing of government subsidies and privatization of government and owned and controlled corporations, free unrestricted trade by the lifting of tarriffs and barriers (giving rise to the entry of Multinational and transnational corporations ), and the non-intervention of Government in many policies to allow MNC and TNC's to operate as they wish. Neoliberalism also influences first world countries to focus on absolute gains over other nation states.
This puts minor states like for example the Philippines, Sierra Leonne, Tunisia or even Egypt at a major trade disadvantage with Trade relations with the West. This normally would put out Muslims states who are currently at Economic hardships at the mercy of the West. This is coupled by Globalization which is the international economic manifestation of neoliberalism.
This in a nutshell, causes First world countries dominance over us Muslims, thereby using all available political, diplomatic tools available to them to achieve their pursuit.
What then happens if this fails to materialize or they see a potential area to extend their influence? Perhaps recent events in the Muslim world from Afhanistan, to Iraq, to Sudan are enough evidence to prove that good intentions are clearly driven by the need to fuel their capitalist econmies.
We have been always been reminding our brethren to hold to the rope of Allah and to unite to strengthen the Ummah again in the face of adversity.
Now however, despite this behemeoth order that the West Wishes to impose upon us, it itself is in the brink of decay as it is largely dependednt as in the words of Norman Angel another Neocon proponent, saying: "We cannot ensure the stability of the present system by the political or military preponderance of our nation or alliance by imposing its will on a rival.
( Norman Angell, The Great Illusion, (1909) cited from 1933 ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons),p. 137.)It only goes to say that in order for their global world order to survive, Global Bullying has become legitimized in the guide of protecting a nations vested interest. Never the less, Muslim states also possess the right to protect their collective interests as part of the Global Ummah as well as humanity.
At the head of this Global Order, is the United States, being today ruled by the NeoConservatives, this ideology has its ramifications to both US domestic and Foreign policies.
What appears here is a complex web of complex concepts intertwined with each other which we may call the Four microcosms of the west.The current Global World Order as seen by the west is best dissected by what we can say as the Four Microcosms of the West. these are the ideological tools that they use to look at the world and interact with it.
After seeing that a new world order has arisen, the west as a policy has adopted what we may call as a POST WAR HEGEMONY STRATEGY in dealing with the world. within this context they have underlined a four--set in which they deal with the world which is as follows:
1. They define who are and can be their allies
2. They identify potential threats and enemies and define them as rogue states
3. they apply sanctions to countries which refuse to be bullied under their new world order
1. creation of economic sanctions by:
1. primary boycott of countries allied to the West of any economic transactions with the Country targetted
2. secondary boycotts by threathening Multinational corporations/Transnatrional Companies from transacting business with so-called Rogue States.
2. application of Political Sanctions by outmaneuvering international organizations like the United Nations Security Council
3. pressuring states allied with the West to apply pressure or expelling diplomats from rogue states.
4. they create scenarios of which they seek to manipulate the events to their own benefits
1. Political scenarios wherein they aim to create political tumoil by fermenting dissension in rogue states
2. International Diplomatic isolation by trying to either neutralize or pressure diplomats from the so-called rogue states for participating in international diplomatic and political actions by either exclusion/expulsion from membership or pressuring other states to actively support actions against these states.
By looking at this unipolar behemoth movement, we can ascertain that we can apply a new and novel appraoch of countering this unipolar hegemony. This we may now call a multi-polar approach.
As we all know that the New global world order as espoused in the West and articulated by the United states is that it is to globalized, consumer oriented and prone to machinations of the West who may attempt to influence smaller countries and economies through coercion and pressure .
We must understand that indeed in order to usher in a new global order of Peace, unity, development, social justice....INDEED IT IS INDEED HAZRAT MUNTAZAR must come, but how can we push over an era wherein the appearance of Imam Zaman (ATFS) would come to pass.
Indeed we know that hazrat Al-Qaim (ATFS) shall come back as our Hazrat Maasomin (AS) has narrated in their hadiths.
For such a circumstance to take place we as well must also take part in awakening the global Ummah as well as the non-Muslim world towards the accomplishment of these goals.
We as a natural result, will also apply a series of steps aimed to push for the following:
1. Creation and strengthening of a new non-aligned movement which will advocate the interests of smaller states.this may also lead the way for the strengthening of pre-existing regional forums where focus will be aimed at strengthening of local regions and states as well as political and economic cooperation among them.
2. Creation of "Centres of Dialogue and Understanding" that aims to popularize the dialogue of civilizations as a response to the Theory of "clash of civilizations".These centres of dialogues may be schools, academic organizations Non-government organizations shall be distributed regionally among strategic areas. they shall also be tasked to undertake researches and conferences in the aim of further propagating these concepts. special focus and emphasis shall be given to East-East and East-West Dialogue of civilizations.
3. Creation of fora that aims to include other non-aligned states on a regional basis paving the way for the creation multipolar spheres of influences as well as alignments to ensure that smaller states be not coerced by the west into concessions and that these regional states interests be pursued and protected.
4. Commissioning of regional researches involving an exhaustive study on Islamic pluralism and concepts of dialogue from a localized persepective that may equip Muslim scholars and laymen with the proper knowledge, tools and methodology of dialogue and proper interaction with other cultures.
5. Open an International Research Organization for the studyon how the Concept of Mahdiism can fully assist in the development of both the Global Muslim Ummah and the whole world in general.
No plan is perfect except with the Guidance of Allah, and insha Allah,. with proper guidance and leadership of the warasatul al-anbiya'a. mwe shall be successful in the implementation of these projects.
o Imam Khomeini's (Quddisah Sirruh) letter to President Gorbachev.
o Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org
o Beyond American Hegemony . By Michael Lind, New America Foundation The National Interest | May/June 2007
o The clash of Civilizations. by Samuel P. Huntington .Foreign Affairs Summer 1993
o The Clash of Ignorance. By Edward Said.,The Nation, October 2001 issue
o U.S. Policy on Rogue States :The concept "rogue state" is highly nuanced. The U.S. does not fall into the category despite its terrorist attacks against Cuba for close to 40 years.
o Neocon 101. The Christian Science Monitor (source: http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/neocon101.html)
o Beyond American Hegemony .By Michael Lind, New America Foundation .The National Interest | May/June 2007
o AL-IMAM AL-MAHDI:THE JUST LEADER OF HUMANITY.By:Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini.Translated by.Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina
o Discussions Concerning al-Mahdi (May Allah hasten his return)by Ayatullah al-Uzma al-Hajj ash-Shaykh Lutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani Translated by Sayyid Sulayman Ali Hasan First Edition 2000.Published by:Islamic Humanitarian Service/Fath al-Mubin Publications.153 Frederick Street, Suite101
o The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam(A Historical Background) by Jassim M. Hussain Published by: The Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain & Northern Ireland In co-operation with The Zahra Trust, P.O Box 29926 San Antonio TX 78229 USA
Islam - with its own concrete culture and reality - can no longer be disregarded. It does represent a pivotal moment. No doubt, it is a key-factor on the stage of history. The sentence "the world is a global village" is a well-known cliché. But this global village is pluralistic in a religious and cultural sense as well, and within this global village Islamic civilisation has forged its own order and dimension.
Islamic reformism was a modern movement, which came into being in the wake of European supremacy and expansion. It first emerged in the nineteenth century, and gave life to various schools of thought and religious thinking. Neo-reformism is emerging at the dawn of this present new age, the response to foreign challenges, to the integration of the Islamic order into the Western secular/economic system.
Without going into the details of another long, thorny topic, in the following discourse I purposefully leave aside both the political-strategic dimension and ensuing military-security issues on the one hand, and inter-religious dialogue on the other. In these respects there are more appropriate and authoritative forums.
Conversely, I wish to focus my attention on some realities within the Muslim world, its beneficial experience on other peoples' civilisation (with whom it has come into contact), and its own highly significant cultural heritage and legacy within the world order which is nowadays dawning: the Doctrine of Mahdism and Expectation.
Obviously, these notes are the reflection of my academic life and personal experience. Both as a Catholic and as a human being, I have spent many years in the Islamic world, sharing with my Muslim friends sorrow and grief, joyful days and merry events: mutually beneficial relationships, which have largely contributed to shaping some of my worldviews.
The Doctrine of Mahdism has always been at the core of Muslim thinkers and philosophers. In other Religions too, the ideal and doctrine of a Saviour, who will come back one day to judge and reform the situation of the world, represents a focal point, is very deep in thoughts and forges Men's life, attitudes and behaviours.
The concept of 'Expectation' is a culture. It can give reasonable answers to some essential questions. It can also provide a valuable contribution to certain strategic and anthropological domains and lead to piety, understanding, mutual friendship, hope, felicity, reformation.
Within its broader framework, the Mahdism Doctrine can have an anthropological and social impact before and after the age of appearance.
A closer look reveals that one of the major threats for political and civil society undoubtedly derives from new inequalities: the new rich and the new poor, the educated and the ignorant, the powerful and those who - although having riches - have no access to power.
The Mahdism Doctrine can provide us with the hope of a pathway out of conflict and clashes. It is a pathway that, drawing from Tradition and traditional thinking, steps towards Modernity without losing its roots. No human being is despised for his colour, race, language, social status, geographical borders.
Piety and friendship nullify distinctions such as wealth, beauty, social rank and position, and replace them with spiritual qualities. Hence, the Doctrine of Mahdism can involve society in its entirety, amalgamating it, creating new links between civil society and political society, and, through an accurate balance between technological development and the preservation of ancient traditions, it can make possible spiritual piety, social and economic justice.
This is the social impact of the Doctrine of Mahdism before the age of appearance. In this period, people have experienced different pathways, which they felt could bring them tranquillity, peace, coexistence, justice and freedom. However, they could not delete disturbances, environmental crises, global disturbance, suffering from injustice and exploitations of all kinds and various nature, bringing to relativism, instability in faith and religious beliefs,
and a positive proliferation of doctrines and dogmas. This is a reality, which certifies that the contemporary Man will never manage to overcome his own barriers if he ignores his divine identity. Within this framework, and with particular regard to Modern-Contemporary times, Man's demand for Mahdism and the heavenly Saviour can provide a concrete pathway do deliver himself from this conditions. Modernism, Post-Modernism, New-Realism are at the core of present-day debates.
The relationship between Man and rationality, between the new-Man and the metaphysical notions through spirituality and worldly morality are amongst the most popular means to release himself from psychic illusions and surmount the anxieties of modernity, technology, material concerns and find Man's lost identity.
But this pathways can also induce a number of neo-thinkers to prefer the impending process of Modernity to Religion. Religion is studied through the lens of social and humanitarian ethics, pre-posing material/rational interpretation to religious notions. On the other side, a number of traditional researchers state that time and space are not genuine, they have no consistency. So, instead of modernity, they focus on the eternal realities of religion, which enjoy internal, intrinsic unity and are beyond times and all spatial boundaries.
These issues are largely discussed and heard of also in the traditional culture of the ordinary people, and lead us to re-think our own speculative parameters, traditional paradigms and models of society and power, mankind and statehood. In the eyes of this new intellectual trend, through studying traditional sources, it appears that we have not lost (or eliminated) our spirituality and spiritual values, merging all forms in the material and economic dimension of life.
Within this global, traditional insight, today the anthropological impact has a role to play.
Following the science reasoning, and the ancestors' experience, the main principles of Religion never allow us to desist from, or ignore, the religious thinking and sincerity. In religious thought, one has to conform the religious precepts of rationality, human affairs, economics and business, technology, science/sciences and learning, and other subjects, not at the cost of fencing the religious beliefs.
The peaceful coexistence and the growth of Man's knowledge are here, amongst and with us. Undoubtedly, to day we are facing a sharp confrontation between tradition and modernity. I have just very briefly mentioned some pathways to overcome this contradiction. However, any consistent pathway cannot disregard religious tenets.
This is the social impact of the Doctrine of Mahdism after the age of appearance. The study of traditions testifies the need of essential reforms in such fields as social management, economics, business, social and human affairs, experimental sciences and some specific cultural fields.
Some Man's innate needs are common to all peoples, beyond the colour of the skin, beyond race and language, social status, etc. And religions cannot treat them with indifference. However, disregarding utopian solutions, and on a reduced scale, we must admit that, notwithstanding various schools of thought in both time and space, there are some ideals which are common to all human beings.
Hence, we are facing a global, anthropological approach, a domain without geographical borders, language, race, tribe and other conventions among nations, which can allow us to speculate about solutions for social and individual problems, representing a positive pathway out of conflict, towards social justice and peaceful coexistence.
God is at the centre of the virtuous society, and only His righteous judgement and His norms can revive what has been sunk into oblivion.
This anthropological impact of the "Doctrine of Mahdism" after appearance, poses some common views, some common concepts such as deliverance, salvation, reformation, Divine dominion and perfection: a universal community, which goes beyond the narrow enclave of boundaries, race, colour and language. We are confronted with a comprehensive order where common sense, pragmatic choices, religious feeling, higher idealism and altruistic concern for humanity's well-being constantly act and interact.
Within this dimension, there are some major features, such as Man's relationship with God, Man's relationship with his self, Man's relationship with society, Man's relationship with nature.
2. Viewed through an anthropological aspect and within this dimension, Man's relationship with Nature has a fundamental role to play.
Beyond the new technological and economic dimension, Man and the spiritual dimension of human existence are a critical factor that cannot be disregarded. Modernisation, progress, efficiency, growth, production do not clash with principles such as social justice and economic progress, or with Man's inherent need to transcend and reach out to the Creator.
The global trend of the resurgence of Islam, observable all over the world, does not mean either an unhappy existence or militancy, which must renounce hope of peaceful process of coexistence. It is a orderly and harmonious universe in its nature and direction, regulated by one single Law which binds all its parts in harmonious and orderly sequence.
The task of human beings is to receive, to respond to, to adapt and apply the immutable characteristics of Divine rules. The human intellect - although refined, ambitious, scientific, educated, learned - well, the human intellect has always to swim in the sea of the unknown. Nevertheless, these human activities do not conflict with development and technology; they constitute progress and result in gradual improvement, within the harmony of the cosmic order.
They must take place within pre-determined perimeters and on the basis of a fixed axis. Man religious instinct is a reflection of the organic structure of the cosmos and its interrelated components.
Nature surrounds us. Knowledge and the vision of the world and its order and perfection are translated into a Messianic philosophy of the Divine, a culture which becomes history, order and law. Rationality, historicity of scientific knowledge, nature and experience, nature and human ratio, science and ethics, science and its language, dialogue and mutual understanding, coexistence and love.
As a global insight and from this perspective, Nature and Landscapes are perceived by modern / contemporary Humanity with formal, stylistic and technical characteristics which strongly reflect the teachings of the Divine prophets and their efforts to direct Man to the right way and settle his life and affairs according to Divine laws and within Divine dominion.
Nature and Landscapes, the Environment in its entirety, pertain to the Divine dominion and its Divine Laws.
To study this issue, one must deal with the impact with a world which lives its life in close, intimate contact with nature, a world and a culture which observe nature and the cosmos and perceive them in every detail over the slow march of days and nights, the rhythmical march of the seasons and the lunar cycles.
And when human beings perceive Nature, Landscapes and the Environment as a science, they use knowledge - or the human ratio - through which Man comes nearer to God and to that infinite, spherical and perfect universe which He created, and of which Man feels himself to be an intimate harmonious part.
However, nowadays, we are confronted with a world and a humanity often at odds with nature for their very survival, or for their personal delight and satisfaction. We are confronted with a humanity whose ultimate goal is to reach the maximum control over nature and environment. We are confronted with a world which conditions, manipulates nature and its laws.
And nature takes its own revenges conditioning Man and mankind in its turn. We are confronted with an environment often perceived in its tension with uncertainty and the blind recklessness of modern-contemporary times. It is a culture which - in the struggle to know, to understand the celestial cosmos and its rules, to grasp the secrets of the whole universe - grapples with this universe for its own life and survival in peace and at war.
Thus, this culture disregards Divine laws and order, and provokes environmental catastrophes which arise from ignorance and lead to dramatic ecological crises and environmental disasters.
Hence, the preservation of environment becomes one of the main human objectives in order to preserve homeland and environment beyond geographical boundaries and physiographic frontiers.
Superficiality has often brought to misunderstandings, which prevent us from the attainment of some ideals such as justice, freedom, human rights. This objective must go beyond and behind the present shortcomings of a modernity linked to one country and one society. This objective must be attained in a cosmic order after the age of appearance, with the growth of Man's knowledge, and within a new World and Order.
Then a bright future can spring out, without allowing us to desist from the religious teachings and principles, surmounting all contradictions between tradition and modernity.
Likewise, environmental and ecological catastrophes can give way to a scientific, religious perception of Nature, which uses knowledge emerging from religious tenets, through which Man comes nearer to God and to that infinite, spherical and perfect universe which He created, and of which Man feels himself to be intrinsic and harmonious part.
Represented by literally hundreds of small denominations and churches today, particularly in America, evangelical Christian Zionist messianism is today a formidable force and a major actor in global politics. It exercises an enormous clout in the current Bush administration in America.
George Bush, too, himself can be characterized as an arch upholder of this ideology, and his policies in the Middle East and elsewhere clearly reflect or tally with the Christian Zionist messianic agenda. Firmly supportive of Zionism, Israel and Israeli expansionism, Christian Zionist messianism is today one of the principal fountainheads of Islamophobia on the global scene.
This paper provides a general overview of the ideology of Christian Zionist messianism, focusing, in particular, on the way Islam and Muslims are depicted as an integral part-in the role of the antagonistic 'Other-of this ideology. It shows how Christian Zionist messianic expectations generate enormously destructive imperialistic and militaristic tendencies that threaten to drown the world in an unprecedented global war, with Muslims being projected as the principal 'enemy'.
The implications of this dangerous ideology, a combination of centuries of white racism and Islamophobia, Zionist claims to supremacy and aims at global domination and the machinations of the present global capitalistic order, for Muslims,
and for the world at large, are then sought to be outlined. This it does by looking specifically at the writings and activities of one of the leading American Christian Zionist ideologues of today, John Hagee, senior pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonia in Texas, in America's notorious 'Bible-belt', which is also the bastion of white racism and supremacy in America.
Approximately a tenth of the American population is today a devoted member of the cult of Christian Zionist messianism, writes the noted scholar-activist Dan Cohn-Sherbook, himself a Jew and Profesor of Judaism at the University of Wales in a recently published book, The Politics of Apocalypse-The History and Influence of Christian Zionism. 'It is the fastest growing religious movement in Christianity today', he writes. Many followers of the cult are from the middle and upper-middle classes, followers of televangelists who wield enormous political and economic clout.
Christian Zionist messianists are impelled by an imperialistic vision, of Jesus' impending arrival on earth as the Messiah, when he shall, so they believe, wipe out all his enemies (all non-Christians, presumably) and establish his global dominion, with his capital at Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Christian Zionists believe that they, as allegedly God's chosen people, will be spared the horrors of the global war that shall precede Jesus' advent, and will be miraculously wafted up to heaven, where they shall watch the final destruction of the world.
Christian Zionists believe that Jesus can only return the world once the Jews colonise Palestine. This belief is based on the contentious claim that God had granted this land to the progeny of Abraham, through Isaac, that is the Jews, for eternity. This land is not restricted to the present borders of the state of Israel.
Instead, Zionists, both Jewish and Christian, believe that a vast swathe of land, stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates, today inhabited by millions of Arab Muslims and Christians, belongs rightfully to the Jews, and so must be ethnically 'cleansed' of non-Jewish presence. Hence the justification they offer for their genocidal project aimed at the Arabs.
Hence, too, their consistent backing to Israel, their generous funding of Jewish settlements in Palestine, and their enormous pressure on successive American governments to adopt rigorously pro-Israel and anti Palestinian policies.
Cohn-Sherbook traces the origins of Christian Zionism to the changing attitude of Christian groups towards the Jews following the Protestant Revolution. The early Catholic Church justified the witch-hunt of the Jews, labeling them as alleged Christ-killers. However, numerous Protestant sects, while equally vehemently anti-Jewish, believed that the Jews needed to colonise Palestine before Jesus would re-appear in the world to save it. This was, and still is, by no means a generous acceptance of the Jews.
Rather, they believed, as Christian Zionists today do, that only those Jews who accepted Jesus as the Messiah would be saved. The rest would ally themselves with the Anti-Christ and would be defeated by Jesus and his forces and, consequently, would be sent off to eternal damnation in the fires of hell.
From the seventeenth century onwards, Cohn-Sherbook shows, numerous European, and, later American, Protestant churches began evolving schemes to settle the Jews in Palestine. This was also seen as a convenient way of getting rid of the Jewish presence in Europe. They petitioned various European powers to back this scheme. By the early nineteenth century, numerous British administrators had been won round to this idea, impelled, no doubt, also by a motive to undermine the Ottoman Empire, which at that time controlled Palestine, and by a deep-rooted aversion to Islam.
Increasingly, Christian Zionists began to join hands with secular Jewish Zionists, whose plans to settling Jews in Israel had nothing to do with any messianic hopes, but, rather, arose as a response to the centuries'-old persecution of Jews by European Christians. (In contrast, Cohn-Sherbook rightly notes, 'In Arab lands, Jews had flourished for centuries […] [while] in European countries Jewry had been subject to oppression and persecution.'
Ties between secular Jewish Zionists and Christian Zionists to pursue the common project of Jewish colonization of Palestine were strengthened by the support given to Theodore Herzl (b.1860), the Hungarian Jew who is regarded as the father of modern-day Zionism.
Cohn-Sherbook traces in considerable detail the course of this close collaboration down to the present-day, describing the strong political and financial links between Christian and Israeli/Jewish Zionists and also the enormous clout of the Zionist lobby in American political circles.
Christian Zionism, based on a virulently anti-Islamic agenda, is a major hurdle to peace not just in West Asia but globally, too. Indeed, some Christian Zionists even ardently wish (and work for) a final global war or Armageddon, in the belief that this would accelerate their hoped-for wafting up to heaven and the subsequent arrival of Jesus. Christian Zionist messianism is a call for global war.
The belief that Christianity is the sole truth, that all other faiths are 'Satanic' or 'false', that the Jews must all gather in Palestine to fulfill so-called Biblical prophecies, and that a grand global war will soon erupt leading to the massacre of hundreds of millions and heralding the 'second coming' of Jesus, who will establish his Christian kingdom extending till the four corners of the world, clearly indicate the hate-driven, global expansionist project of Christian Zionism.
In his remarkable book, The Cross and the Crescent: The Rise of American Evangelism and the Future of Muslims, Muhammad Arif Zakaullah brings out in considerable detail how Christian Zionist messianists have specifically framed and targeted Muslims as allegedly being in league with the Anti-Christ and against whom Jesus and the Christians must fight in a bloody war of unprecedented dimensions in the last days.
This explains, Zakaullah writes, their unstinting support to Israel and its brutal suppression of the Palestinians, and their fervent backing of America's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and its so-called 'war on terror'. Zakaullah quotes several leading American Christian messianic evangelists as describing Islam and Muslims in lurid colours and branding it as irredeemably 'anti-Christian'.
Not surprisingly, he writes, they have been among the most fierce backers of America's imperialist misadventures that many Muslims see as directed against them. American imperialism is thus sought to be given a suitable 'Christian' sanction, and is presented as working to usher in Jesus' triumphant return to the world. War and bloodshed on an unimaginable scale, mainly against Muslims, and not peace and reconciliation, American Christian fundamentalists seem to believe, will herald the eventual establishment of the Kingdom of God, the rule of supposedly pious Christians all over the globe.
John Hagee: Ideologue of Christian Zionist Messianic Imperialism and Advocate Of Cosmic War Against Islam and Muslims
John Hagee is today recognized the world over as one of the leading ideologues of contemporary Christian Zionist messianism. He is the founder and pastor of the Cornerstone Church, in Texas, USA, which claims some 18,000 active members. As with numerous other similar American Christian fundamentalist preachers, his church is richly endowed and media savvy. Hagee is the president of the 'Global Evangelism' media company that broadcasts his daily programmes on television and radio throughout the USA and around the world. He is the author of numerous books on Christian Zionism, some of which have been reprinted by Christian fundamentalist publishers abroad as well.
Final Dawn Over Jerusalem is one of Hagee's major writings on Christian Zionism that well exemplifies the imperialist agenda that lies at its very core. The aim of the book is to defend the Israeli occupation of Palestine, to denounce those who seek to protest Israeli atrocities, and to advocate the cause of 'Greater Israel', all this in the name of Christianity and premised on the notion of the Jews as being allegedly God's 'Chosen People'.
Racism is integral to the Christian Zionist message, as Hagee makes amply clear. The Bible, Hagee, says, describes the Jews as 'the apple of God's eye' [Zech 2:8]. He quotes the Bible as addressing the Jews and declaring, 'For you are a holy people to the LORD your God' and 'the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth' [Deut.14:2].
This means, so Hagee argues, that those who harm the Jews or the state of Israel or stand in the way of the design of 'Greater Israel' will 'experience the instant wrath of God'. To those who dare to challenge the oppressive Zionist state, Hagee announces, 'The man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God'. Such people will, Hagee insists, be 'cursed' by God.
Hagee's notion of God thus appears to be that of a tribal Jewish deity, who functions as a willing tool in the pursuit of Jewish expansionism. The Bible was written by Jewish hands, and given that, as many liberal Christians would themselves concede, much of it is a human product, numerous Biblical verses were written in order to legitimise the interests of the community from which its writers were drawn. This would seem obvious to any discerning layman, but Biblical literalists like Hagee vehemently disagree.
For them every word of the Bible is sacrosanct and divine. Biblical literalism is pressed into the service of the Christian Zionist messianic imperialist and racist agenda. Drawing upon numerous verses of the Bible, Hagee argues, 'God watches over Israel as a protective parent hovers over an only child'. 'The nation of Israel', he makes so bold as to declare, 'was created by a sovereign act of God.
All other nations were created by an act of war or a declaration of men, but Israel was intentionally created by God so that He would have a physical place of inheritance on the earth'.
Accordingly, Hagee would have us believe that for this god, who is seen as in need of a 'physical place' for himself, non-Jews or Gentiles, are second-rate human beings or less, and so can easily be dispensed with if they are seen as coming in the way of Jewish imperialism.
The tribal Jewish version of God that Hagee presents appears entirely unjust and arbitrary, far from being impartial in the way he deals with His creation. Given the fact that the God of the Biblical literalist imagination is a Jewish deity, and not the universal God who looks upon His entire creation impartially, he is seen as blessing Jewish conquests of territories of their enemies.
Thus, quoting the Bible, Hagee writes that God gave the land of 'Greater Israel', a vast swathe of land stretching from Egypt all the way till Iraq, to the Jews, descendants of Isaac, forever.
That being the case, Hagee suggests that people living in those territories, millions of Arabs, both Muslims and Christians, have no right to live there or else must accept to live under Jewish rule. Although Hagee does not say this explicitly, what this means is that those who refuse to accept Jewish rule must, therefore, be either killed or expelled.
The god of Hagee's imagination appears as an entirely whimsical real estate agent. 'God established Israel's national geographic boundaries', Hagee writes. 'The exact borders of Israel are detailed in Scripture just as our heavenly Father dictated them', he goes on, adding, 'The divine Surveyor drove the original stakes into Judean soil and decreed that no one should ever change these property lines. The real estate contract and lands covenants were signed in blood and stand to this very hour'.
Hence, he argues, 'Jews have the absolute right as mandated by God to the land of Israel and, more specifically, to the city of Jerusalem'. Hence, he suggests, Palestinians have no claim to their own historical land, and must make way for Jewish occupiers.
Hagee's defence of Zionist imperialism goes to ridiculous lengths. Laughable as this may sound, he argues, 'Israel has a Spy in the sky'-God Himself. God, he claims, provides Israel, the Jewish people and the state of Israel, with special protection. 'No nation in the world can match the defensive force guarding the State of Israel.
The archangel Michael has a special assignment to guard Israel'. And those who, for any reason oppose Israel, and this includes Palestinians fighting Israeli occupation and oppression, are said to incur God's wrath. 'The Lord stands watch in the darkest night with an eye trained on the nation of Israel and, more specifically, Jerusalem. Those who fight with Israel fight with Him', Hagee asserts.
So central is Israel to Hagee's tribalistic version of God that he goes to the extent of arguing that the fate of each and every person on the face of the planet depends essentially on his or her attitude to the Jews. 'Prosperity or punishment depends on how we treat Israel', he alleges, because, he claims, the Jews, as descendants of Abraham 'enjoy heavenly favour'.
To back his claim he quotes the Bible as saying that when God entered into a covenant with Abraham, He gave him an 'awesome promise', saying, 'I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed' [Gen. 12:3]. Hence, Hagee insists, the United States,
and, indeed, anyone else who wishes to please God, must consistently engage in 'compassionate support of the State of Israel', adding that, 'The quickest and most effective way to be on God's side is to stand with the State of Israel and the Jewish people in their hour of need'. By doing this, he claims, one can win God's favour, because, 'God blesses the man or nation that blesses Israel or the Jewish people'.
At no time before, Hagee firmly believes, has support for Israel and Zionist imperialism, been more crucial than today. This is because, he claims, Jesus is returning to the world soon, and Israel must be protected in order to welcome the Messiah. Hagee's image of Jesus in his 'second coming' bears no resemblance to the familiar notion of the suffering, loving Christ.
Rather, in his description Jesus appears as a fierce warrior, rallying Christians to arms and heralding the final, global war, ironically in the name of the 'Prince of Peace'. In the doomsday scenario that Hagee outlines, what he calls 'fanatical attacks' by Arabs on Israel, particularly Jerusalem, would mount. In response, Christians the world over, he says, must rally behind Israel. At this hour, he insists, 'we must let the world know that if a line has to be drawn, it will be drawn around Christians as well as Jews. We are united and indivisible'.
The city of Jersualem, Hagee believes, is the crux of the final battle before Jesus' 'second coming'. This city, considered sacred by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, has been ordained, so Hagee argues, by God to be 'under the exclusive control of the Jewish people' until Jesus arrives again. The final battle of Armageddon will, he writes, be centred on this city, with Arabs or Muslims seeking to wrest control of it from the Jews.
In this regard, Hagee says, Christians, for their part, must staunchly defend Israel and must refuse any peace offers, such as allowing for a shared Jerusalem or joint control of the town by Jews and Arabs. In particular, he appeals to the United States to do everything in its power to back Israel and to crush its opponents, claiming this is the only way to win God's favour. If America fails to do this, so he warns, it would be crushed by God Himself!
Quoting various verses of the Bible, Hagee describes what he sees as the unfolding of events of cosmic proportions, ushering in a global war the like of which has never been witnessed hitherto and heralding the 'second coming of Jesus'. In this global war, he says, Muslims, whom he regards as followers of a 'false' religion, would ally with the Russians to fight against Israel. This would lead to a global nuclear war, with hundreds of millions being killed.
At this point, the 'Anti-Christ' will appear, attack Jerusalem and will take over the reigns of the world, falsely claiming to usher in peace. But, this grand deception will not last long, and, instead, will only lead to even more devastating wars. At this time, Hagee says, Christians must defend, by every means possible, the Jews and Israel, and wage war against the armies of those opposed to God's 'Chosen Race', the Jews. Only then can they be saved, he insists.
After years of global war and terrible destruction, Hagee writes, Jesus will be sent by God to deliver the world. Mounted on a white horse, he will arrive at the battlefield at Armageddon. Defeating the 'Anti-Christ' and his army, he will establish his global kingdom with his capital in Jerusalem, there to 'rule and reign forever'.
Hagee's description of Jesus' future global kingdom offers little cause to cheer for non-Christians, including, ironically, even the Jews whom he so ardently defends. It would, as he himself makes clear, be nothing short of a global Christian empire, and an antiquated one at that, with kings and queens and presidents still in place! How they would continue to be around when Jesus rules the whole world is a mystery that Hagee leaves unsolved.
Ruled by Jesus, Hagee writes, 'Jerusalem, the apple of God's eye, will become the joy of the world. The city will become the international worship center, and people from all over the world will make pilgrimages to worship in the holy temple. Kings, queens, princes and presidents shall come to the Holy City' to adore Jesus. Presumably, these all will be Christians themselves, for Hagee quotes the Bible as predicting that 'at the name of Jesus every knee should bow […] and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father'.
In a more recent book on the same subject, titled Jerusalem Countdown: A Prelude to War, Hagee further elaborates on the theme of a global war against Islam and Muslims that he appeals to Christians and Jews to jointly launch, arguing that this is precisely what Jesus wants to happen before his Second Coming. Not surprisingly, and like other Christian Zionist messianic evangelists, Hagee is convinced that there can be absolutely no room for dialogue with Muslims, principally because, so he argues, Christians and Jews, on the one hand, and Muslims, on the other, do not worship the same God.
In fact, he goes so far as to claim that the God of the Jews and the Christians is the diametrical opposite of the Muslim God. Accordingly, he presents Islam in the most lurid colours. He claims that Islam aims at nothing short of exterminating all non-Muslims and establishing a one-world Islamic government. Islam, he argues, is 'a doctrine of death' which promotes 'terrorism' , He approvingly quotes George Bush as having declared that America 'is at war with Islamic fascists' and insists that 'This is a religious war' and that 'there is no room for compromise'.
Hagee writes that America, and 'Christendom' more generally, along with the Jews, are now deeply involved in the final war that will supposedly herald the return of Jesus as messiah, a war in which Christians and Jews are pitted against Muslims. All Christians (and Jews), he asserts, must participate whole-heartedly in this cosmic war because, he says, if America loses the war,
'[T]he Law of Shariah, the Islamic law, will rule America and the Western world. Christian churches and synagogues will be burned to the ground. Every Christian who refuses to denounce Jesus to accept Allah will be decapitated […] Radical Islam does not want us to be quiet-they want us to be dead.'
Hagee, like many of his fellow Christian fundamentalists, fervently exhorts America to take the lead in bloody attacks against Muslim states that are opposed to Israeli brutalities, because he sees these as fundamentally 'anti-Christian'.
In this regard, he singles out Iran, one of the most militarily powerful Muslim countries in the world and certainly the most vocally opposed to American imperialism, for particular attack. He claims that Iran is rapidly building up a nuclear stockpile, which it intends, so he says, to use to bomb and destroy Israel and perhaps America.
Before that can happen, he insists, America must take the initiative and invade and destroy Iran, particularly targeting its nuclear facilities. This step, he argues, would actually be 'part of God's plan for the future of Israel and the entire world', in that it would drive the world to the global disaster of Armageddon, 'the countdown that will usher in the end of the world'.
This will be, so he claims, followed by the rise of the Anti-Christ, and then, finally, the Second Coming of Jesus, when all non-Christians, including Muslims, will be slain. In short, a global war against Islam and Muslims is precisely what Hagee, like many others of his ilk, want to see unleashed in the hope that their wild messianic expectations will thereby be fulfilled.
Based on a fundamental hatred for Islam and Muslims, a legacy of many centuries, Christian Zionist messianism has emerged as one of the most pressing and disastrous threats and challenges of our times. With the massive financial and political clout that it wields, particularly in America, it is the new face of Western imperialism, one that is inherently and fiercely opposed to people of other faiths and even to Christians who do not subscribe to its bloody doctrines.
Islam and Muslims have a special place in the ideology of Christian Zionist messianic fascism: as alleged 'enemies' of God. Based on this bizarre belief, theological sanction is sought for bloody wars against Muslims the world over.
This ideology has instigated and is being used to justify American (and Israeli) imperialist aggression in many Muslim countries today, and possibly against Iran in the near future. Clearly, Muslims need to be aware of this dangerous project and take appropriate measures. So, also, do other non-Christians, who, like Muslims, are seen as doomed to hell by Christian fundamentalists.
And so, too, do other Christians, who relate to their religious traditions in different ways and who firmly believe that the Christian Zionist messianic project represents a fundamental betrayal of the message of Jesus Christ, ironically a betrayal being so aggressively perpetrated in his name.
The modern world we live in today is changing is many ways. One of the areas in academia that has been constantly evolving is the area of governance, beginning with the thinking of Plato and Aristotle to contemporary approaches to political theory. Humankind has been in search of a perfect system of governance that will address the needs of the peoples governed in a perfect way.
The contemporary approaches to governance primarily seek to balance the interests of those governed with those governing. The interest of those governed is the satisfaction of their basic human needs and further to that, the fulfillment of their intellectual and spiritual needs. The interests of those governing should be to serve those governed and assist them achieving what is good for them.
The question that needs to be asked here is, "Are the needs of the governed met by those who govern? And if not, then what system of governance will meet the needs of those governed?" To analyse this statement, we will InshaAllah look at contemporary models of governance, analyse their shortcomings and compare them to the ideal mode of governance of the 12th Imam (AS).
The most advanced model of governance since the beginning of modern political theory is democracy . A democracy is both a form of government and a political philosophy. A common feature of democracy is competitive elections. The prerequisites of competitive elections are usually freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and some degree of rule of law. Civilian control of the military is often seen as necessary to prevent military dictatorship and interference with political affairs.
"Majority rule" is a major principle of democracy, though many democratic systems do not adhere to this strictly - representative democracy is more common than direct democracy, and minority rights are often protected from what is sometimes called "the tyranny of the majority".
No universally accepted definition of 'democracy' exists, especially with regard to the elements in a society which are required for it. Many people use the term "democracy" as shorthand for liberal democracy, which may include additional elements such as political pluralism, equality before the law, the right to petition elected officials for redress of grievances, due process, civil liberties, human rights, and elements of civil society outside the government.
Another form of government that exists in the world today is dictatorship. A dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state.
For some scholars, like Joseph C.W. Chan from the University of Hong Kong, dictatorship is a form of government that has the power to govern without consent of those being governed, while totalitarianism describes a state that regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behaviour of the people. In other words, dictatorship concerns the source of the governing power (where the power comes from) and totalitarianism concerns the scope of the governing power (what the government regulates).
In this sense, dictatorship (government without people's consent) is a contrast to democracy (government whose power comes from people) and totalitarianism (government controls every aspect of people's life) corresponds to liberalism (government emphasizes individual right and liberty).
The problem with these theories and the application of these models of governance is that the practice of it is far removed from its principles and secondly, in the case of a democracy, the majority rule does not necessarily conform to what is of real benefit to society.
This means that the governed are devoid of intellectual and spiritual benefit, in most parts of the world, for humankind cannot on their own accord gravitate towards the absolute good, "the (human soul is) certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy."
On the other hand, we have a desperate situation in the third world where those governed do not have access to basic human needs. This is evident from the United Nations Human Development Index compiled annually since 1990 .
For example, the 2006 Human Development Report studies the underlying causes and consequences of a crisis that leaves 1.2 billion people without access to safe water and 2.6 billion without access to sanitation . Such a situation in the 21st century obviously leads us to the conclusion that mankind has not shown the ability yet of governing themselves in accordance to the Divine Will.
In fact, regardless of which form of governance we analyse, we see that the interest of those governed has not been achieved. Those in positions of leadership have time and time again overstepped the boundaries of their responsibilities by only satiating their selfish desires. This would explain the countless wars, indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, voracious exploitation of the resources of others, amassing and hoarding wealth, and oppressive control over people that the world is witnessing today.
So the question that begs an answer is what system will bring pure justice and fairness and serve the interests of those governed. The answer lies in the belief of the followers of the Ahlul Bayt (AS).
This is the belief in the appearance of a divinely appointed leader commissioned to establish the law of the Creator on earth. This is the true form of government, the complete and most perfect, as it is designed by the Creator for the created and administered by an appointee of the Creator Himself.
Abu Na'eem has narrated from the book Sefat-ul-Mahdi from Abu Sa'eed Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: "I give you glad-tidings about Mahdi (AS). He will emerge amongst my nation at the time when they will be in discord and war with each other. Then, he (AS) will fill the earth with equity and justice just as it was fraught with tyranny and oppression. The Mahdi (AS) will fill the hearts of Muhammad's (SAW) nation with riches and make them free from want. His justice would embrace all of them.
This Hadith alludes to one important point - that the leadership of the Ummah, and mankind can only be successfully carried out by the 12th Imam (AS). The fact that the 12th Imam (AS) will fill earth with equity and justice after it has been filled with tyranny and oppression indicates to us that the models of governance concocted by man, however 'advanced' and with whatever terminology they are called will amount to nothing but tyranny and oppression.
We do not have to go far to prove this in the current political environment. Sufficed to say, that the Security Council of the United Nations is made up of a selected few and only imposes their will regardless of how their will adversely affect other peoples. If this is not the highest form of formalized oppression, then what is?
In the seventh chapter of the book Eqdud-Durar, the author narrates from Amir-ul-Mumineen Ali (AS) that the, "Mahdi (AS) will dispatch his chiefs to various cities for establishing justice amongst the people. The wolves and sheep shall graze together. The children will play with the snakes and scorpions without being harmed the least.
Evil will vanish and goodness will remain. People will cultivate about 750 grams and will receive in return about 525 kilograms just as the same has been mentioned in the Holy Quran. Adultery, wine-drinking and usury will be uprooted. People will have a relish for worship, divine laws and faith and a desire for mixing in the society.
Life of man will lengthen, properties held in trust would be returned back, trees will bear fruits, blessings will double, the wicked will be destroyed, the virtuous ones will remain and those having grudge against the Ahlul Bayt (AS) will cease to exist."
Imam Ali (AS) has eloquently described the model and characteristics of the government of the 12th Imam (AS). Firstly 12th Imam (AS) will dispatch chiefs to establish justice under his command, and who can be a more just leader than one who is divinely appointed. The justice will be divine and as a natural consequence peace, tranquility and stability will be established.
We pray that InshaAllah we can live to experience such earthly bliss. The blessing in the crop is the direct result of the leadership of the 12th Imam (AS) - Allah's (SWT) chosen representative.
This is in stark contrast to the real or artificial food shortage that exists in the world today, and that is the cause of the rise in world food prices. If as a global community we practice and "advanced" model of governance, then why are there shortages of basic needs suc
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