Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Winds of War: Do We Need a Caliph?

From The Gathering Storm

The Muslim world demands an apology form the Pope. And who in the Muslim world can he apologize to? The USA Today’s opinion is:

“There's no substitute for a good pope. What other religious leader can start a global argument about theology? The Dalai Lama? Perhaps. The archbishop of Canterbury? Doubtful. Pat Robertson? Please. Notice how the pope doesn't have a Muslim counterpart to "dialogue" with. It's the pope vs. 10,000 imams, scholars and other self-anointed spokesmen for Islam. It's a bit like Gulliver vs. the Lilliputians. So, where is the Muslim pope?

I wrote back in June of this year that in my opinion, the non-Muslim world should hope for, even encourage, the return of the Caliph that way Islam has a face and though Muslims may not, in the words of UNC-Chapel Hill sociologist, Charles Kurzman, “universally accept the caliph's judgment, … the office of the caliphate [would] provide the Islamic world with a symbol of unified leadership.”

Now it seems that USA Today agrees. Islam needs a central authority — such as a pontiff.

Back to Kurzman who wrote, “If you want the Catholic position on terrorism, ask the Vatican. If you want the Southern Baptist position, refer to the Executive Committee and the resolutions of the annual convention. There may be dissent, as in all faiths. But these offices have the authority to speak on behalf of their religion. Islam has no organized church to speak with such authority. As the world confronts terrorism, no single Muslim or Islamic organization can tell us definitively what Islam says on the subject.”

This is not only a problem for Muslims – who hear a plethora of competing preachings and fatwas - but this confusion of multiple voices aids the Islamists in their strategy of disinformation that causes confusion for non-Muslims as to what Islam is really about and its stand on the war against Islamic terrorism.

The confusion leads – intentionally or unintentionally – to a division of opinion, even strategies and tactics, on how to confront Islamo-terrorism. Let’s face it, 99% of all terrorist acts are done in the name of Islam whether Muslims like or not. This confusion of who speaks for Islam and what Islam is suppose to be in practice, leads silly debates of which Muslim, muftis, imans, clerics and self proclaimed street preachers should be tolerated in a free society and which should not.

We should encourage the re-establishment of the Caliphate. Once that is done, the non-Muslim world could point to that unified symbol of leadership and the words it emanates to dispel the confusion Islam softening-up tactic of the Islamists – disinformation.


Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting suggestion for selecting an 'Islamic Pope'


truepeers said...

But is there really a serious theological debate in Islam, on which a "pope" could pass judgment? Or are the sectarian divisions within Islam mostly about power?

And if there were a Caliph, without political power, would anyone take him seriously - I don't think so, since Islam is all about linking religion and political power.

Thus, a call for a Caliphate is, unless simply naive, a call for a renewed center of Islamic worldly political power. And isn't the rest of the world much better off with multiple centres of political power among which we can ally, divide, and conquer?