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Islamists and Zionists


Islam Karimov claims that rebels of Andizhan are Islamists. This statement was caught up by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the mass media. Everything fits. Yes, it is bad to kill fellow citizens. But Islamists that is a totally different question.

Islamism is a convenient word. It is a scary word that is associated with terms like fanaticism, jihad, terrorist attacks No sentimentalizing. A good Islamist is a dead Islamist. At the same time, Islamist is a term that can be applied to nearly every Moslem. Likewise in the late Soviet time another scary word was used: Zionism.

The Soviet powers wanted to make use of anti-Semitism without talking about a battle against Jews, so instead they talked about Zionism like now, when people do not talk about a battle against Moslems, but use the euphemism Islamism. Zionism that is the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. It is hard to find Jews who are against the idea of Israel. Nearly all Jews are Zionists and for all of them you can use the scary word, of the same origin as the Zionist sages and their proceedings. Islamism that is the attempt to put the norms of Islam into practice. It is likewise difficult, however, to find a Moslem who would say that the norms of Islam should not be put into practice. So the scary word Islamist can be just as easily used for Moslems as the word Zionist for Jews.

There is another similarity in the use of these words. Zionism, the support of Israel, is a very broad term: it can be understood to describe how the support should be put into effect and also what kind of state Israel should be. There are Zionist terrorists and Zionist supporters of non-violence, Zionist admirers of Lenin and Zionist admirers of Mussolini. That is why you can say whatever you want about Zionists. The assertion of Soviet propaganda that the Zionists contacted the German secret service in the Middle East was a lie in one way it lacked the word some. A psychological chain reaction arose: we do not admit Jews to institutes of higher education, because practically all of them are Zionists, and the Zionists admire Mussolini, organize terrorist attacks and contact the German secret service. The same thing works for Islam. The idea of putting the norms of Islam into practice in society is extremely vague. The methods and norms themselves can be understood in an enormous variety of ways. The Turkish government leading Turkey into the EU is Islamist and Al-Qaeda is Islamist. It is an incontestable fact that Islamists organized the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Just the word some is lacking. And again the psychological chain reaction: In Uzbekistan students who regularly go to the mosque can be expelled from college the Islamists destroyed the Twin Towers.

The word Islamism enables Karimov to suppress the protests of the international community against the harsh treatment of his opponents. Astonishing things are going on. Karimov branded all his critics, who appeal to the norms of Islam, as Islamists who are connected with international terrorism. A diligent follower of Moslem rituals could be questioned by the police, yet Karimovs official representative said: In Uzbekistan there will be the kind of Islam that the president needs. After this, Islamism, which in Turkey complements with heading for the EU and whose representatives in Tajikistan formerly participating in war - peacefully take part in political life, in Uzbekistan just had to take extremist forms. What began as a propagandist lie becomes the truth. The Soviet accusations of the Zionists (or Jews) were all lies. Yet some Zionists who were driven to despair decided to hijack a plane.

The term Islamism should not be used as a synonym for horror or a justification for any cruelties. If Islam exists as a religion, there has to be Islamism, the attempt to put its norms into practice. Likewise, if there are Jews, there has to be Zionism, the nationalism of the Jewish people. If the Zionists in the USSR had been given the right to practice their religion and freely move to Israel, and despite this had tried to hijack a plane, then it would have been right to put them in prison or a mental institution. And if the Moslems have the right to promote their views, but nonetheless turn to violence, they become criminals. First of all, however, you have to give them that right.

Dmitriy Furman, Doctor of History, main researcher of the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Science

[03.06.2005]

Source: izvestiya.ru

1993-2003
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