A short comment on Blair’s speech last week at Bloomberg’s London office. The full text of the speech can be viewed here: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/04/full-text-tony-blairs-speech-on-why-the-middle-east-matters/
He was absolutely correct to assert that the defining conflict of this century will be between the West (specifically the Western governments) and the protagonists of “political Islam”. The advocates of a global caliphate governed under Shariah law can never be reconciled with the proponents of the secular democratic nation-state coloured by post-enlightenment notions of pluralism and personal freedoms. The two are as immiscible as oil and water and the clash between them is not only inevitable but, from an Islamic viewpoint, also to be welcomed. Sitting on my side of the divide the path has already been delineated by the divine texts and from it I refuse to veer even the breadth of a handspan; anfractuous as it may be it is the path that leads to a brighter future for the whole of humanity, even for those who refuse to embrace the Islamic aqeedah. Following in the footsteps of the Messenger (saw) and his companions (raa) who refused to compromise their demand for complete submission to Tauheed and the divine laws, the call of the Da’ee and the Mujahid is lucid, pristine and revivifying.
But to return to the speech of Blair: though he is an inveterate liar he spoke the truth regarding the Manichean nature of this conflict and how it cannot be ignored by any of the world powers – both those in the East and the West. Far from being scorned and derided he should be applauded for his prescience in this respect as he correctly recognised that should the war with political Islam end in defeat the fate of the Eastern and Western superpowers will be the same as their 7th century counterparts.
The conundrum for the advocates of liberalism is this: leave the peoples of the Middle East and wider Muslim world to their own devices and inevitably they will gravitate towards “Islamism”. The call for any form of Islamic influence in the public sphere soon effloresces into an outright demand for state imposition of the Shariah legal system which in turn leads inexorably to the demand for an Islamic Caliphate. A caliphate with global territorial ambitions, respecting neither the constraints of international law nor national sovereignty. Intervening by military means (or otherwise) in order to support dictatorial pro-Western secular regimes (or in some cases regimes that maintain a facade of Islamic rule) as a bulwark against the threat of an “Islamist” takeover violates the very principles the West seeks to impart to the Muslim masses – a hypocrisy not lost on them these past 90 years – which in turn fuels further support for the “Islamists”.
The message I derived from Blair’s speech – and his answer to the above conundrum – is that the West must do everything in its power to support and progess the cause of Islamic theological reform in order to propel it to the same point as post-enlightenment Christianity. Only once the Muslim world has undergone such an ideological transformation can it’s people be entrusted with the right to determine their leaders and destiny. Until such time, however, they must remain subjugated either through direct interventions e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan or indirectly via military, political and economic support for pro-Western proxies e.g. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi etc. That this strategy entails a temporary derogation from the principles of liberalism and democratic governance is for Blair justified as a necessary evil to ensure the greater (and ultimate) good. The ends absolutely justify the means in Tony Blair’s political philosophy.
Needless to say such a strategy is a recipe for disaster and will likely result in a catastrophic level of bloodshed – mostly Muslim blood admittedly. Furthermore it can only postpone, not abort, the rebirth of the Caliphate and so ultimately will prove futile. In the process, however, it has the propensity to destabilise several European nations, notably those with significant Muslim populations as well as those in proximity to the north African littoral.
The Muslim ummah will never reject Islam – the Islam of the Prophet (saw) and his companions (raa) – en masse and to suppose or even wish otherwise is folly of the highest order. That the resurrection of the Islamic state is an inevitably should be clear to the astute observer and European politicians would be better advised to begin formulating policies on how to regulate relations with such a polity, especially in light of their own burgeoning Muslim population.
May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon our master, Muhammad – the seal of the Anbiyah and our intercessor on the Day of Judgement.