Mehdi Hassan has fallen into the trap of the apologists narritive for the Salafi/Wahabi and Takfiri Deobandis. A confused narrative about Islam as a religion versus oppressive regressive Islamic Caliphates of the middle and dark ages is being propagated. While it is true that some oppressive cold blooded killers (aka Caliphs) were patrons of arts and sciences, this does not mean they were not cold blooded killers and savage and ruthless dictators. Muslims take false pride in their Caliphates, if empires and conquest were something to be proud of then Ghengis Khan should be adored by the Muslims. It seems keenly studied by Zbigniew Brzezinski:
“To find a somewhat closer analogy to today’s definition of a global power, we must turn to the remarkable phenomenon of the Mongol Empire. Its emergence was achieved through an intense struggle with majorand well-organized opponents. Among those defeated were the kingdoms of Poland and Hungary, the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, several Russian and Rus’ principalities, the Caliphate of Baghdad, and later, even the Sung dynasty of China.
Genghis Khan and his successors, by defeating their regional rivals, established centralized control over the territory that latterday scholars of geopolitics have identified as the global heartland, or the pivot for world power. Their Eurasian continental empire ranged from the shores of the China Sea to Anatolia in Asia Minor and to Central Europe. It was not until the heyday of the Stalinist Sino-Soviet bloc that the Mongol Empire on the Eurasian continent was finally matched, insofar as the scope of centralized control over contiguous territory is concerned.
The Roman, Chinese, and Mongol empires were regional precursors of subsequent aspi1rants to global power. In the case of Rome and China, as already noted, their imperial structures were highly developed, both politically and economically, while the widespread acceptance of the cultural superiority of the center exercised an important cementing role. In contrast, the Mongol Empire sustained political control by relying more directly on military conquest followed by adaptation (and even assimilation) to local conditions.
Mongol imperial power was largely based on military domination. Achieved through the brilliant and ruthless application of superior military tactics that combined a remarkable capacity for rapid movement of forces with their timely concentration, Mongol rule entailed no organized economic or financial system, nor was Mongol authority derived from any assertive
sense of cultural superiority. The Mongol rulers were too thin numerically to represent a self-regenerating ruling class, and in any case, the absence of a defined and self-conscious sense of cultural or even ethnic superiority deprived the imperial elite of the needed subjective confidence.
In fact, the Mongol rulers proved quite susceptible to gradual assimilation by the often culturally more advanced peoples they had conquered. Thus, one of the grandsons of Genghis Khan, who had become the emperor of the Chinese part of the great Khan’s realm, became a fervent propagator of Confucianism; another became a devout Muslim in his capacity as the sultan of Persia; and a third became the culturally Persian ruler of Central Asia. It was that factor—assimilation of the rulers by the
ruled because of the absence of a dominant political culture—as well as unresolved problems of succession to the great Khan who had founded the empire, that caused the empire’s eventual demise. The Mongol realm had become too big to be governed from a single center, but the solution attempted—dividing the empire into several self-contained parts— prompted still more rapid local assimilation and accelerated the imperial disintegration. After lasting two centuries, from 1206 to 1405, the world’s largest land-based empire disappeared without a trace.” —
Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, pgs. 15-17
We can see the difference between Islam the religion and Islamic Caliphate from this excerpt by Bernard Lewis:
“It is difficult to generalize about Islam. To begin with, the word itself is commonly used with two related but distinct meanings, as the equivalents both of Christianity, and Christendom. In the one sense, it denotes a religion, as system of beliefs and worship; in the other, the civilization that grew up and flourished under the aegis of that religion. The word Islam thus denotes more than fourteen centuries of history, a billion and a third people, and a religious and cultural tradition of enormous diversity.” — Bernard Lewis, Crisis of Islam – Holy War and Unholy Terror.
At the end of the last Islamic Ottoman Caliphate of Turkey was replaced by the Saudi family (the original Taliban). The Saudis achieved this with British support through superior weaponry and intelligence. The rest of the Muslim world sparked reactionary movements to address this void of Islamic Caliphate. This never really needed to be addressed if Islam the religion was viewed as separate from Islam the Caliphate. However, as Caliphs had always hijacked the Quran and the religion of Islam to justify their oppression, it became part and parcel of Caliphate and Islam. Strong objection should be taken when people like Mehdi Hassan or other Salafi/Wahhabi/Deobandi apologists for mixing the two. This is necessary because it masks within the religion of Islam the agents of restoration of Islamic Caliphate which are the Reactionary movements of Wahhibism, Salfism and Deobandism. While slightly different strains of these movements may have existed in the more distant past, historically they were never taken seriously.
So why have they now grown to be so powerful and vocal? If we look at the tiles used by the Rulers of Saudi Arabia it may shed some light.
King Khalid in 1975 was the first Saudi King to start using the title Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Thereby claiming the Caliphate and developing the narrative that whomsoever held the two Holy Mosques of Muslims was the Caliph. The Saudi Royals had called themselves Kings prior to 1975 because their assault on the Holy Mosques was well known in the minds of the Muslims. With the new found oil money they were now able to buy pulpits of the reactionary movements of Salfism Deobandism and Wahhabism all over the world. They now had the resources to propagate the ideology of their Caliphate and buy the legitimacy of their Kingdom.
These reactionaries of Wahhabism Deobandism and Salfism are the foot soldiers of the Caliphate of House of Saud. Saudis like almost all Muslim Calaphates before them hijack Islam and Quran by buying the pulpits. Only ten percent of the world’s Muslims understand Arabic, Quranic Arabic is understood by a very small fraction of Arabic speakers so they ignorant masses are read a verse from the Quran but fed the King’s narrative since he pays for the pulpit. The propagate hate for the west and create a crop of hateful followers. This is the raw material for hate and terror. The more emotional and dedicated.
This narrative is so full of the traditional Caliphate hate which historically prepared armies to fight Christians, a fruit of this hate crop has the potential to be a Woolwich Be-header. The more passionate followers often do.
Brzezinski or the United States brain trust think it would be good idea to use these Taliban against their arch foe Iran. Once enough damage is done by the Wahhbis Salafis and Deobandis, drone and control them just like Afghanistan. The facts show this evil can only be confronted intellectually and not by drones and armies, as evidenced by the results of Afghanistan. Meanwhile the Caliphate will grow stronger and their foot soldiers will bring more and more domestic terrorism to the West. Many terrorists like the Woolwich Be-header maybe be converted Muslims. This will increase exponentially and bring economic devastation to the West, wars in Middle East and another Waziristan (Sryia) on the doorstep of Europe will have terrible consequences.