The culture giving birth to ISIL and the logic using it - YASIN AKTAY

The culture giving birth to ISIL and the logic using it

First, we have to admit that the phenomenon emerging in the name of ISIL is not a simple case that we can decide with a few simple words of hate or condemnation or appeal to attributions such as "real, moderate, authentic" Islam. The situation is much more complicated than it is thought.

Certainly, its ideological framework feeds on a kind of extremism that can invariably appear in the Islamic world. Even at the time of Prophet Muhammad, there were people who were not satisfied with the perfect example of the messenger and considering the extremity was to be correct. There are traditions, which relate that during the battle of Badr under the hard conditions of the war, when the prophet recommended his companions to break their fasting during Ramadan, some people were resisting in the name of piety.

There were also those among the companions of the prophet who misinterpreted that fasting every day while living in complete celibacy would be more pious. However, the prophet warned them about respecting human nature, the desires of the body.

In the Islamic world, the Khawarej tendency has always been a potential problem. They ostensibly move from very simple facts and block the ground of any argument through their absolutist conclusions. When they raised their voice that "the authority belongs to God", they were vandalizing and assaulting the value of Ali bin Abu Talib, the leader of the Muslims back then, even though he was almost a walking Quran. Ali bin Abu Talib interpreted their motive as "they said the right thing but they removed the truth from its position".

It"s about "saying the right thing but referring to the wrong" or rendering the truth an impossible thing to argue or think or speak of. We observe that alkhawareej represents this vandalistic approach throughout the history of Islam, which objects to thinking and politics.

At first glance, it demands more than a political stance, a more tight and radical one. However, this radicalism that stands against human nature disconnects people from the religious life style, desecrates its ground, ruins its meaning and paralyzes its free-will.

The worst part of this is that such radicalism finds a massive appeal. Today through the means of mass communication, where every message is extremely copied including its effect in the same level, the word and the message have no meaning. Think about the concepts such as "Islam" or "Islamic state" or "Allah akbar" or "Messenger of God", or "salaf" or "jihad" and the associated death and violence eulogism effect. What ISIL actually wants to destroy is nothing but the whole set of Islamic politics and the political legitimacy of it.

Each of these symbols, which have turned into pop culture objects, can find a serious demand in the global market. When a demand is created in the market, it does not even need a good presentation; the customer finds what he wants. There is no doubt that the administration of the market, which helps structures such as ISI shine like companies running in this field, is partly and intimately related to the observed western policies in the Middle East.

Concerning this point, after the 9/11 attacks, we may not forget the question of George W. Bush which was considered to be so naive "why do they hate us?"

In the underlying meaning of this question, the US was making so many great sacrifices for the development of the Middle East in a highly detailed consideration. Among these details, there was no implication regarding the unconditional support of the US for supporting the long-term Middle East dictators who since the beginning of the cold war crammed their nations, nor the stabbing presence of Israel in the region. There was no reference to Israel committing crimes. Despite all this, there was no implication for the USA"s support for Israel and rather an infinite compassion and tolerance.

Today, even if we disregard the probability that ISIL and Al-Qaeda"s activities are unified, no one can actually deny that the constantly nurtured violence in the Middle East is the outcome of the hate. In fact, what is astounding was that he really believed in his question rather than the reply to the question. Even so, it was impossible to believe that Bush was really wondering about the answer to this question, because it is impossible not to see that with the current regimes in the Middle East and its relationship with Israel, the US produces nothing other than hate.

It is quite normal that when the political ground, as an expression of the struggles of people and the means to better their life standards, is paralyzed, reactions containing cynicism, radicalism and violence become the determining standpoints. Politics in such mediums, where these standpoints are determiners, can be suspended for some justifications, and extra-ordinary situations occur more frequently.

The structures such as ISIL definitely have their sides, which can be seen as wrong feeding from the Islamic culture, but its emergence today in this format has an excessive dimension aside from its actual pathological performance. How much is ISIL the product of this culture and how much is it the outcome of an instrumentalized reasoning? We have to focus on this question with great care.


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