Otherwise, rather than leading the Arab thought, as we have done in modern times, we will lag behind them, and get dragged into the modern dark ages. The side effect of this darkness is the proliferation of bottom feeders. In addition to the 11th hour nationalists, the Janissaries, the “true nationalists”, and the presidential candidates, we have to contend with an important category; the True Believers.
Before you jump and add me to the Anti-Hezb club, please do it for the right reasons; I may not necessarily opposed to them, I am, as a matter of principle, opposed to any anti-secular party. And this means any sectarian, totalitarian group. My position has to do with consistency in belief.
Note the irony here; what had started as an anti-political slogan, "Hezb fagat Hezb'allah" or "no party but the party of God", has now become an eminently political party... An "institutional revolution" of sorts.
Mixing Faith and Politics
Since I cannot impose my beliefs on others, and since I consider myself a “believer”, how can I agree with those who claim an exclusive right to divine revelation?
Those who consider themselves secular and open minded cannot help but become, at the very least, uneasy with those who mix faith and politics. Or with the hypocrisy of “interfaith” dialogue. In an ideal world, and without going to extremes, one would like to have the concept of faith-based laws banned.
There is something about the fuzziness of the faith concept, a subjective one at best.
There is also something about giving “unto Caesar” his share, no more, no less (unless you can get away with it). We Lebanese produce a few of them, and I have cautioned against a few particularly nasty varieties in the past.
Not that anyone listens, but heck…
How could those who follow Hezb place more importance on their relation with
To a secular mind, the question is puzzling. One side effect is the proclivity of those true believers who praise
Yet the question hints to its answer, and it is now becoming apparent in Hezb’s latest moves. In analyzing Hezb’s latest moves, Abu Kais rightly states that this “is an existential battle for” them. However, while I agree that their tactical needs are merely “an attempt to adapt an entire country to fit their needs, in the most selfish and destructive way possible”, their strategic aims may well be far less “rational”.
First, take a look at Al-Qaeda for a minute; while Bin-Laden’s followers are interested in heavenly rewards on a personal level, the group’s ultimate motivation is very much down-to-earth, in that they want to re-establish the Caliphate. This is still rather “worldly”; even dhimmis have some hope of life. It’s not much of a life, but still…
Now, take a look at the new Iranian/Mullah trend; in its constitution, it is clearly stated that all “worldly” governments are temporary, since “during the occultation of the Wali al-3asr (may God hasten his reappearance), the leadership of the Ummah devolve upon the just and pious person” (Article 5).
From there, one only needs a simple logical step; to believe that the return of the “Wali al-3asr”, or “Mahdi”, is on hand. All we need is a few more battles, kill a few more infidels and the Golden Age can be upon us. Ahmadinejad appears to have made that logical move. To the dismay of the Mullahs who would rather use this tale as a lever of their power, “a new word has entered the political vocabulary: mahdaviat”…
He is not alone, and many more believers are making the same logical step; now that the concept is “official” government belief, many of the troops have espoused it with passion, and went beyond their (already crazy) leaders. And it now appears that Hezb has done just this.
They may have given up the dream of setting up an Islamic Republic in
This goes to the basic premise behind all missionary religions; to convert others to your faith. Even the most pacific of religious followers have to basically consider that your beliefs are beneath their own.
One option is to spend valuable time and resources converting infidels, doing good deeds and creating much sophistry in the process. However, the risk remains that those recent converts can "turn around" in the most inconvenient of times.
For this reason, a more cost-effective option is to subjugate or eliminate the competition. The methods followed by armed religious/nationalistic groups are less “risky”, and more “practical”; they prefer to reinforce their customers’ indoctrination and root out the competition. Those types abound around here; we have religious groups such as Hezb, Ahbash, Hamas, or nationalistic nasties such as “Kahane Hai”, “Grey Wolves”… but they are not limited to the Middle East; the United States has a scary proclivity to produce many of the nastiest groupings, such as the followers of the late Jerry Falwell, famous for is many pronouncements. His actions remained within the system, but he was a step removed from bombers and cargo cults…
In that sense, politically active religious groups are anathema to pluralism. Sure, they do a few good deeds and do a valuable social service, but those are merely means to a higher end. And when the cash dries up because of mismanagement, they go on a “begging spree”; their sense of entitlement is such tat they have no qualms to address grievances to the same people whose investments their actions have destroyed.
The Cost to
So, in general, when a secular democracy abdicates and leaves the social field for “faith-based” groups, it is making a Faustian bargain. The true costs of such a bargain are soon revealed, as those groups become politically active; after all, if you want to mend the souls, why not the entire society?
After all, if you're the "Party of God", it stands to reason that all others are his opponents, and hence "Partisans of the Devil"...