The constant failure of western secular ideologies to have a resolve for the problems facing humanity has given birth to the political side of Islam. Since its inception in to the world, western principles have done nothing but abuse and brutalize Islamic doctrines, traditions, values, and culture. To add more insult to injury, western ideologies have implanted a fake sound of progress to Islam in its failure to uplift the economic conditions of Islamic societies and nations. Given the extra-religious motivations, political Islam or more ideally known as Islamic fundamentalism is fueled by a multitude of concerns that pollute Islam in numerous ways possible.
In order to expound the symptoms that lead to the foundations of Islamic political thought, John Esposito lists down and discusses varying frameworks for such phenomenon. He first explains the failure brought about by the secular philosophies justifies Islam’s legitimacy as an alternative form of ideology in governments and societies. Esposito simply suggests that the Muslims cannot be blamed if ever they result to allegedly unorthodox ways to subsidize because the only choice left for them is to look for another non-corruptive option to uplift their worsening economic, cultural, and moral breakdown (Eposito, 2000).
Esposito also contends that the role of armed forces such as the Taliban in Afghanistan have made a vital role in setting the course for Islamic fundamentalism’s resurgence (Eposito, 2000). The resurfacing of Islam in a more extreme manner has its root cause in other angles apart from the contributions of various militia forces. Primarily, the rise and dominance of Judeo-Christian traditions in various sects around the world is a plausible angle, this is because Judaism and Christianity have particular doctrines which are at odds with Islam. Though they do not attack places of worship, Muslims still violate Christian and Jewish laws through their radical behavior.
John Esposito (2000) implies that Islam or Islamic Fundamentalism for that matter is a case of civilization collision between two different civilizations. He furthers that the rising influence of religion in international affairs contributes to the conflicts of civilizations. In this particular argument, Esposito attempts to generalize the role of religion in other endeavors, but religion has its own interests to pursue. In Islam’s case, how can its adherents postulate a world order if the doctrines that highly influence their ways of life are incoherent?
The clash of civilizations theory is just as the same as clash of interests. If a person does not concur with the concept of a particular ideology; it is his or her prerogative to disagree and not conform to it. Esposito’s framework in this sense is as simple as the United States refusal to embrace the concept of communism and the Soviet cause during the 1950s. Osama bin Laden for instance, expresses a great deal of resentment over the United States and its ideologies, that’s how he justifies his acts of terrorism in various cities and countries, but if he wants to claim Islam as the world order, he is then misguided by his alleged advocacies that would save the world.
Democracy’s main concept is freedom; democracy refuses to be shackled by laws that hinder progress. Religion meanwhile has its own foundations based on what is morally right and morally wrong. It is quite considerable how Esposito gives a non-biased discussion of whether there is conflict of interest between Islam and democracy. He concludes that politics is more influential here and not religion, and that failure to support civil society as well as failure to participate in political affairs strengthens religious and secular authoritarianism (Esposito 2000).
It is plausible to think that there can be a mediating factor between Islam and democracy; this is due to the fact that both ideologies have a similar cause, which is to pursue the best interests of the people. It is quite true that Islam and its conformists are on the receiving end of western immoralities; however, it is a person’s own will whether to conform to what certain aspects of western ideologies imply. Furthermore, although Islam and democracy may have some overlapping and conflicting principles, a certain application of mutual respect is possible to satisfy all angles in conflict.
In Light of John Esposito’s article regarding the resurrection of the Islamic resentment over western secular ideologies, a number of questions are raised to address the matter:
• How is terrorism justified as a counter-measure against the perceived immoral and corruptive nature of western thought?
• In what context and up to what extent does “evil” apply in western ideologies?
• If Mohammed were alive today, would he be having a similar response to the nature of western views as modern political Islam conformists do?
• Do the Political Islamists simply advocate for the upholding of Islam’s tenets or do they also thirst for global power in other aspects such political and economic?
• If Islam in itself postulates a diversity of beliefs, how can Islamic fundamentalists constitute their very core ideas in to the world?