• Jahiliyya: The "state of ignorance of Divine guidance" -- how Muslims refer to the pre-Islamic era.

  • For years the sheiks of the Islamist movements have been promising us that "Islam is the Solution." The sad fact is that it is the sheikhs of the radical Islamist movements of the global jihad -- the Muslim Bortherhood, Al-Qaeda, Syri's al-Nusra Front, Hamas, and others -- who are dismantling the Arab-Muslim world into its ancient tribal societies.

The ministers of the Arab league called a meeting this month -- another needless, fruitless, predictable, self-congratulatory session to be held while thousands of Arabs and Muslims systematically kill one another. The food is there, but people are starving. An estimated 100,000 Syrians have been killed and well over two million displaced; the scripts for Palestine have already been played dozens of times, so the only problem left to be discussed was the guest list. The real issues, the destiny of our Islamic Ummah and Arab states, was nowhere on the agenda.

Anyone taking a good look at the tumultuous events occurring in the Arab-Muslim world can sense that a new page is being written for history books, but time, it seems, is marching backwards, not forwards.

In the 14th century the Tunisian historian Ibn Khaldun wrote a sociological tract entitled Prolegomena, in which he stated that the history of empires is cyclical, that they rise and fall, and that tribal Bedouin society contained the seeds of its own destruction.

Looking at the Arab states today, some of which are disintegrating into warring tribes, you can only ask if the Arab Spring has caused this utter chaos, manifested in part by the mass slaughter of Muslim communities in the Middle East, especially in Syria; and whether it is one of Ibn Khaldun's historical cycles. Once the Arab Spring has run its course, will Islam the Islamist leaders of the global jihad take over the world, as predicted -- and preached -- or will the Arab societies change into normative entities in line with the rest of the world?

The longer you watch the Arab world, the more convinced you become that the Arab-Muslim states are gradually and irreversibly dissolving into their component tribal parts. The tribes of the Arabian Peninsula were united by the sword of the Islam in the days of Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) into the ancient Islamic Ummah, the Islamic nation, which after his death became the Caliphate.

The breakup of the Ottoman Empire led to the artificial creation of most of today's Arab states, and now they are breaking up into their original warring tribes, the tribes of the jahiliyya from which Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) forged the Ummah. The sad fact is that it is the sheikhs of the Islamist movements of the global jihad -- the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, Syria's Al-Nusra Front. Hamas, and others -- who are dismantling the Arab-Muslim world into its ancient tribal societies.

For years the sheiks of the Islamist movements have been promising us that "Islam is the solution." Now those unsuccessful, destructive Islamist movements are worsening conditions in the countries they took over, often by force, and could bring about the failure of Islam itself. That might even lead, Allah forbid, to the weakening of the faith of despairing true believers.

The violent, terrorist activities of the extremist Islamist groups only serve to worsen the confrontation, dissension and separatism among the various ethnic and religious groups of which Arab society is composed. These regressive groups are returning us to life as it was after the death of the prophet Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him), when the entire Islamic nation foundered in war against the rebel tribes which had abandoned Islam (the so-called "Ridda" Wars). They are using the same kind of violence used at that time by the Muslims to suppress the revolt.

Today, however, in view of broad Arab public exposure to the Western media and the achievements of Western society, the radical Islamists find it hard to replicate the ancient form of oppression and to present achievements in support of their propaganda, which preaches the superiority of Islam over all other religions and its right to rule the world.

The truth is that the Arab Spring has turned into an Arab Winter Desert Storm like the one which dispersed the infidels attacking Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) in the Battle of the Trench (al-khandaq) in Al-Medina. But this time the winter storm is dispersing the Muslim nation and dismantling it into its original tribes.

The masses in the Arab countries understand that beyond incendiary slogans, the extremist Islamists have brought nothing to the world but slaughter, worse poverty and terrorism, and that both the truth and the future belong to Western society, which overflows with social achievements and inventions in every sphere of life.

The leaders of the radical Islamist movements are convinced that the role of Islam is to control the world, but they have not managed to present either ideological justification or success to support their illogical, immoral ambitions. They are trying to copy the ancient formula of using force to unite and rule the tribes today, and to turn the violence they use on one another toward external enemies, infidel Europe and the United States.

Clearly, the root of the problem is the radical Islamists' overwhelming jealousy of the achievements of the West. Comparing what the West has done to what contemporary Islam has done has thrown them into despair. The knowledge that Muslim countries will never be able to close the cultural, economic and technological gap between them and the West endangers the radical Islamist claim of the superiority of Islam and Muslims. Radical Islamist activists hate, fear and are jealous of the West because of its prosperity, success and progress.

The achievements of those referred to by the radical Islamists as infidels, when compared to the colossal failure of our Islam in every sphere of life -- and the fact that for centuries Islam has been incapable of making the smallest contribution to the world, concentrating instead on terrorism and bloodshed -- has created an unbearable contradiction. The frustration, jealousy and hatred radical Islamists have for the West is obvious in the Friday sermons in the mosques throughout Europe and the United States. The Imams incite their listeners to hatred and acts of terrorism against the West, where they are guests, mainly against America, which in fact supports every aspect of life in the backward Islamic countries. Some in the mosques even collect donations masquerading as "charity" (zakat) for the needy but which are instead used to finance terrorist activities against their hosts.

Hypocrisy is rife in the Arab-Muslim world. Everyone knows that what radical Islamists dismissively and angrily call the "Crusader West" is precisely the source of the security, economic and political aid received by Muslims in the Middle East, and the only thing standing between their societies and total collapse. The impossible contradiction is settled by means of lies spread about the "colonial, imperialistic West" which, they claim, has conquered, occupied and exploited the Arab-Muslim world.

The radicals are appointed by plutocratic, exploitive, hypocritical Arab dynasties, such as those ruling Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They pretend to collaborate with the West, but behind the scenes they work against it and do their best to undermine it. The Arab rulers, obsessed with intrigue, do nothing to establish the infrastructures of their own countries, do not help support failing Muslim peoples and do nothing to plan for the morning after, when other energy resources are developed and the bubble of Arab oil revenues bursts. The day is fast approaching when the Arabs will return to their camel-hide tents and go looking for water in the oases of the Arabian desert, having finally turned themselves and the noble communities of Islam into objects of hatred for the West.

Today the events of the Arab Winter indicate that the cycle described by Ibn Khaldun is irreversible and that radical Islamism is on a path to destruction. Many Muslims in the Arab world have been exposed to Western values and are not prepared to return to the anachronisms of the radical preachers who expound theories of regressive -- and repressive -- Islam. In addition, attempts to use hatred of the "Crusader West" and of the Jews as glue to bind the ranks of Islam together are no longer successful. Moreover, it is hard to convince the angry masses to overcome their historical desire for destruction and dissension, as well as their deep mutual hatred, now that the Arab Winter has given them justification for an orgy of killing.

The Arab masses are beginning to understand, by virtue of emigration, the media and the spread of the Internet, that the West is not "the heresy of the jahiliyya," as it has been represented by the radical Islamists. Many Muslims have begun to desire a Western life style, and the West has become not only a role model but a desirable new address. Many Muslims dream of obtaining a passport and emigrating to Europe or the United States.

This frustrating moral bankruptcy of radical Islamism is at the foundation of the armed movements which have chosen to use violence to dispel the gloom. For that reason, it is unfortunate but true, that at every event of mass carnage and slaughter throughout the world, Muslims are involved. These attacks represent a desperate, hopeless attempt to reconquer the separatist Middle Eastern tribes that are splitting into religious, ethnic and nationalist, and to reunite them by force into the ummah, using the outdated slogans and methods of ancient Islam.

Today the Arab tribes in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Syria are drowning in a sea of blood, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands have been killed, women in Egypt are raped in the town squares in the middle of the day and underage girls who escaped the genocide in Syria are sold to rich old men. The radical Islamists, euphoric after Al-Qaeda's attacks, while they assumed that Islamist terrorism would bring Islamic rule to the world, are now apprehensively watching in amazement as Islamic terrorism goes bankrupt despite being funded by such terror-sponsoring nations as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

Instead of changing, joining the modern world and condemning terrorism, the radical Islamist sheikhs, in their hypocrisy and desperation, complain about what they choose to call "Islamophobia." However, Islamophobia is not only justified, but could not have been prevented: it represents the Western world's defending itself against Islamist terrorism and violence. All one can do is quote the old Arabic saying, "First he beat me and cried, and then he preceded me and complained about me."

Trying to put together a Middle East policy, the West is confused, and in its confusion makes opportunistic, if unsuccessful, attempts to take the bull by the horns. Thus, fearing to be left with nothing, it supports the Islamist regimes which have taken over the Arab Spring, The United States, for instance, hesitates over supporting the Free Syrian Army: it realizes that instead of Bashar al-Assad, it will be faced with Al-Qaeda and the terrorist Nusrat al-Islam Front.

Apparently, the failure of radical Islamism will lead us, the Arabs, back to our ancient tribal society and the pre-Islamic jahiliyya. It is also possible that such a return will enable us to return to our roots, where we were perhaps even more advanced than the West. Not everything about the jahiliyya was bad. It had gentleness or moderation (hilm), courage, loyalty, keeping one's promises (muru'a), pluralism, knowledge and culture, the possibility of conducting disagreements and cultural debates in public, as was common in the market of U'kkaz, a popular gathering place. The jahiliyya was characterized by love of the good life, music, wine, permissiveness and songs (shi'r).

It is possible that as part of the cycle, the Arab ummah will proceed along the path to a life more like the life enjoyed in the West today. Perhaps the cycle will restore the Arabs' good ancient values, and Muslims will justify the mission imposed on them by Allah and the prophet Muhammad (May peace and the blessing of Allah be upon him) to rule the world. If the Muslim nation is rebuilt and joins reality, it will also justify Ibn Khaldun's theory of history.

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