The world is going through a fast change, especially after the disenchantment of human society with the spiritual void that occurred with secularism’s universal proclamation. The all-green idea of modernity, which promises material development, is being vehemently challenged, and people’s enthusiasm to find the meaning of their life is giving way to the active involvement of religion in private and public.
The ill-conceived imposition of secularism in irrelevant systems has created a bifurcated society. Systematically, there is one minority that is irreligious and is dominating the country’s political and economic life. On the other hand, it is the humongous majority that is profoundly religious and sticks to its traditions and values. Though claiming to be democratic, the minority acts contrary to the idea of popular sovereignty and democracy. It restricts the exercise of choice by the majority by limiting the choice only to non-religious values.
Furthermore, there is a deep divide and inherent contradiction between the two, making their reconciliation almost impossible. A Turkish series titled ‘Ethos’ perfectly captures the profound differences. In this wake, there are constant misnomers of fundamentalism and Islamists going on in media, implying the word ‘Islamist’ on Muslims.
Being very direct, differentiating between Muslims and Islamists is a façade imposed by the Islamodiacs (Haters of Islam) on the Muslim community. I do not think there is any Muslim who does not believe in the divinity and eternal nature of the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet, which consequently means that he accepts every part of the Qur’an and Sunnah: political, social, economical, along with the divine legal injunctions in the Qur’an named as Shariat. That is what every Muslim believes in, with no exceptions. If someone who claims to be a Muslim rejects the authenticity of even a verse or Sunnah, he is automatically out of the fold of Islam. That is Islamic exceptionalism. That is something which Ummah has an Ijma.
Muslim community comes from Islam, and the followers of Islam are called Muslims. Saying that one can be a Muslim atheist or can be a Muslim after cherry-picking the parts is similar to saying that ‘that there can be a triangle without three sides,’ which is logically absurd. Anyone who rejects even one ‘nukta’ of the Qur’an and Sunnah is not a Muslim. One might not follow Islam even after accepting it; that is a different matter altogether. That amounts to sin, and nothing authentic can be formed upon it. Alternatively, the scholars can differ on the interpretation, but there are some fundamental tenets even then.
One needs to master many sciences to interpret the Qur’an and become a Mujtahid. Calling a Muslim who believes in Islam as the source of morality and the fundamental source of values an Islamist is just another colonial imposition on Muslims who follow their religion and do not follow the Kemalist idea. Any person thinking that he can differentiate between Muslims and Islam is similar to a claim that he can separate Whiteness and Milk.
Food for thought, no Muslim can be secular because that simply results in hypocrisy. Asking any Muslim not to practice his/her religion in public institutions is basically ask him/her not to be religious or hold the non-relevance of Islam in the public field, which is not precisely atheism but very similar to be an atheist in public and a Muslim in private. Do you see the irony? That is not Islam; that is munafiqat (hypocrite).
This inherent contradiction of difference between Muslim and Islamists started after Ataturk imposed Anglo-Saxon and Latin laws(Christian codes) in a Muslim society. Prior to these event, no similar precedent can be traced in history. A Muslim was one who followed Islam in his every day life, including Legal, Political, Social, Economical aspects. Very surprisingly, not even a century has passed since the Islamic Dawlah collapsed, and the Muslims who believe in it are now being labelled as Islamist. Can there be anything worse to the legacies of Khilafatists like Maulana Jauhar, Mehmood Hasan, Abul Kalam Azad and Gandhi? That is gross propaganda and the misappropriation of concepts.
Lastly, there has been no Islamic Dawlah (State) after the Ottoman empire collapsed, as some people presume to equate some modern nation states as. In one way or another, every Muslim country has accepted anti-Islamic traditions, and one elementary example is the International Banking System. Although Iran can be taken as one example of an Islamic country (which some ill-conceived people declare as theocratic), it is a very peculiar experiment in itself. However, the point is that people need to understand that using words like Islamist, fundamentalists have no acceptance in the modern dictionary except if one wants to use the language of the colonizer.