Thursday, February 05, 2015

What it takes for Islam to be “moderate” in Jordan

On his flight back home from his visit with President Obama, Jordan’s King Abdullah ordered the hanging of two of Jordan's Muslim ISIS prisoners in retribution for the Muslim ISIS burning of one of Jordan’s captured pilots.  Jordan also upped its aerial bombing campaign against ISIS targets in Syria and possibly also in Iraq.

Jordan is predominantly Sunni Muslim, as is Syria.  ISIS is said to be a radicalized version of Wahhabism, itself a reform movement of Sunni Islam. It can also be said that ISIS is a purer form of Islam than that which is allowed to be practiced in Jordan.

The idea of Jordan bombing fellow Sunni Muslims in Syria, as well as a chunk of Jordan’s population being Palestinian who hold a grudge against Jordan for being too “pro-West”, caused me to wonder about Jordan’s future.

How does Jordan control its Muslim population?  How does Jordan prevent the “radicalization” – or, more accurately, the pure Islamification - of its Muslim population?

The answer:  By means similar to the way the Nazi’s controlled Christianity in Germany:  By buying off and controlling its clergy.

THIS ARTICLE in the Washington Post describes the types of rules Jordan’s government imposes on Muslim clerics.  The clerics are urged (required) to “preach moderate Islam” (what is that, really?) or else “you will not be let back in” [to the clergy].  Jordan prosecutes Islamic State recruiters and cracks down on anyone waving an Islamic State banner.

Jordan also has 60 monitors of its 5,500 mosques that hold Friday sermons.  Officials say they need 400 to do the job adequately.   From the article:

Specifically, Jordan is demanding that preachers refrain from any speech against King Abdullah II and the royal family, slander against leaders of neighboring Arab states, incitement against the United States and Europe, and sectarianism and support for jihad and extremist thought.

The reward for Muslims adhering to the new guidelines are:

  • government salaries of about $600 a month,
  • religious workshops,
  • travel assistance for pilgrimages to Mecca, and
  • weekly guidance.

This is great for the United States, and of course the US applauds this approach to maintain a moderate, if not false, Islam in Jordan.

More to the point, the aura of a “moderate Islam” can only be maintained through coercive state control.  Orthodox Islam does not like to be controlled and told how long its sermons should be or what its followers should think, say or do.

I will not be surprised if Jordan’s attempts to maintain a false “moderate Islam” fail by being overthrown by the orthodox wishes of its Sunni Muslim population – even within the year.  And I would not be surprised if in the background, the Obama administration facilitates that outcome as it has done in other Muslim countries where pure Islam was held in check.

Noteworthy is the fact that Christianized nations do not have to control Christians from being “radicalized” because radicalized Christianity is the polar opposite of a radicalized Islam.  Radical Christianity would promote a life of prayer, tolerance, forgiveness, peace, and giving of self for others.  Radical Muslims pray, true, but are intolerant, unforgiving, terrorists, and give of themselves by being human bombs to kill on behalf of an intolerant god.

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