“People who are convinced that they know more than anyone else about Islam, and yet are full of hatred towards any of God’s creatures who do not travel the same path as they; and those who claim to be in possession of the absolute truth, and for that reason entitled to act as God’s vice-regents on earth (caliphs) and to dictate how everyone else must live—clearly, their words and behavior will not lead us into the presence of God. Their dream of an Islamic state is merely an illusion, for the true islamic state is not to be found in the structure of any government, but rather, in hearts which are open to God and all His creatures.”
~ Former Indonesian President Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid, from his introduction
The Indonesian Edition was published in 2009 while the English Edition was published in May 2011.
This book details, how Indonesia was able to fight back the encroachment of extremists comprising of Muslim Brotherhood, Salafism and Wahhabis through the democratic process. The solution did not require military response but confronting the extremist ideology through the democratic process.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world with a majority Muslim population. Most of the population is Sunni Islam with the Javanese people the largest ethnic group.
The book points out the methods employed by the extremist groups are learnt from Mussolini’s fascists. They use cells, they are secretive, and they get financing from outside Indonesia primarily from Saudi Arabia. The methods employed to slowly take over mosques, to infiltrate the universities, business and the government are detailed.
The book also points out collectivist approach of the communists, socialists and fascists employed by these groups with the façade of Islam. Details about the origins of Muslim Brotherhood, Wahabism and Salafism are well presented.
Unfortunately, the Quran as the only source of law or the only acceptable Shariah is alien to most in Indonesia as well as writers of this book.
LibForAll Foundation was set up. Bret Stephens of the wall Street Journal wrote, “In its brief life, LibForAll has helped turn back an attempted Islamist takeover of the country’s second‐largest Muslim social organization (with 30 million members), translated anti‐Wahhabist books into Indonesian, sponsored a recent multidenominational conference to denounce Holocaust‐denial, brought Mr. Dhani to Colorado to speak to U.S. military brass, and launched a well‐researched ‘extremist exposé’ in order, Mr. Taylor says, ‘to get Indonesian society to consciously acknowledge that there is an infiltration occurring of radical ideology, financed by Arab petrodollars, that is intent on destroying Indonesian Islam.’
The following are quotes from the book:
No specific form of government, nor the formalization of religion, are needed to create a good muslim. All that is actually required is self – transcendent spiritual awareness, so that one may constantly feel the presence of God (ihsân).
What halts this process dead in its tracks , and poses a threat to oneself and others , is when people feel that their knowledge is already perfect , and consider themselves to be in possession of the absolute Truth , and thus no longer in need of learning , or seeking the truth . Perhaps all would agree that ignorance is highly dangerous. Yet not everyone is aware of the hidden dangers of ignorance, which dwell within.
…for all these indications of success , it is critical to note that The Illusion of an Islamic State represents merely a single battle on a single front in what is actually a global conflict , whose outcome will profoundly influence the future not only of Muslim – majority nations , but the entire world .
Chairman of Pakistan’s armed forces — who is part of LibForAll’s counter – extremist rahmatan lil – ‘ âlamîn network — dispatched a similar message to us : “ This is a great achievement , and I wish you all success as you move on in this direction . ”
In other words, they are dishonest in the practice of politics. In theory, democracy is haram, or forbidden; yet in practice, it is useful and exploited as a means to achieve extremist goals.
…they are in fact struggling for a specific political agenda, and employing Islam as a lethal weapon to advance their worldly ambitions. This strategy is highly effective, since anyone opposing them can be accused of being an enemy of Islam itself, even when such statements are blatantly false.
…at first, a group of youths come and voluntarily clean the mosque, not just once but many times. Attracted by their apparent religious sincerity, the mosque board gives them an opportunity to issue the call to prayer, and eventually involves them as members of the board itself. These new members cleverly and conscientiously discharge their responsibilities, because in reality they’re extremist agents tasked with the job of seizing control of the mosque. As their position becomes increasingly powerful , they begin to invite other friends to join the board , and eventually control who may or may not serve as imam , deliver the Friday sermon , or provide religious education to attendees at the mosque . Slowly but surely, the mosque falls into the hands of…
…backed by immense funding, and operating in a systematic manner, as transnational Islamist movements and their local accomplices work nonstop to undermine and ultimately seize control of our nation. The research contained in this book demonstrates that the groups most often…
Extremist success in either or both of these endeavors will place the Indonesian nation and its people beneath the thumb of the global Wahhabi / Muslim Brotherhood ideological network. And what is most disturbing about their activities, is the fact that radical movements have already succeeded in infiltrating to the heart of government institutions and are using these to accomplish their goals.
Wahhabi fundamentalism transformed Holy Scripture into a closed corpus, by forbidding any forms of interpretation other than the literalistic one favored by Ibn ‘Abdul Wahab.
One possessed of mature religious faith, and humility, is never disturbed by the fact that others hold different beliefs. Indeed, such people are prepared to exchange views with others in an open – minded way, in the search for ultimate truth.
Muslims living in the holy cities of Islam have had no choice but to embrace Wahhabism, remain silent, or face imprisonment, torture and possible death. The Wahhabis do not permit criticism of their beliefs, despite the fact that they are extremely vocal in directing criticism towards others. Open repudiation of Wahhabi ideology can thus occur only in regions free of Wahhabi control. Another, more contemporary example of the repudiation of Wahhabism occurred among Bosnian Muslims several years ago.
…post colonialism reverses the decline of Islamic civilization, and to bring Muslims back to what he considered to be the pure teachings of Islam. Unfortunately , al – Banna and his followers apparently believed that the ideology and organizational structure / tactics employed by Mussolini’s fascism and Soviet communism would be more useful in helping to achieve these goals than classical liberalism , which allows every individual to search for the truth , and to practice his or her religion freely . Besides his European influences, al – Banna was also familiar with Wahhabi ideology, and from the very beginning the Muslim Brotherhood’s organizational DNA contained the centralistic and totalitarian thought patterns of fascist, communist and Wahhabi ideology.
From Mussolini’s fascism, the Muslim Brotherhood adopted a centralistic and totalitarian ideology, but rejected nationalism. From Soviet Communism, the Brotherhood adopted totalitarianism, systems for infiltrating the institutions of civil society and government; a cell system for recruiting new members; movement strategy and internationalism but rejected the atheism characteristic of Marxism / Leninism.
The son – in – law of Hasan al – Banna , Said Ramadan later moved to Geneva to spearhead the Muslim Brotherhood’s penetration of Europe , with Wahhabi financial support , and execute a long – term strategy of converting European Muslims to Wahhabi / Muslim Brotherhood ideology . Tariq Ramadan — Said’s son , and thus the grandson of Hasan al – Banna on his mother’s side — has since become the most famous Muslim intellectual in Europe , where he enjoys immense popularity for his deft melding of Islamist and anti – capitalist / anti – globalization ideologies , in one of the most visible expressions of the common cause which unites many contemporary European leftists and Islamists .
Disappointed with the Muslim Brotherhood, which he accused of being too moderate and accommodative of the West, Taqiuddin al – Nabhani founded Hizb ut – Tahrir in 1953 in Jerusalem, which at the time was occupied by Jordan.
… Hizb ut – Tahrir is banned in most Muslim nations, and the movement’s headquarters is now located in Great Britain.
This claim cannot be divorced from the contemporary situation in the Middle East when Hizb ut – Tahrir was formed, and its total rejection of anything that originates from, or is in any way tied to, the West. And yet Ed Husain ( a former Hizb ut – Tahrir leader from the UK ) states that in addition to being influenced by the 11th century Muslim jurist al – Mawardi , al – Nabhani’s thoughts were clearly influenced by Hegel , Rousseau and other European figures . In fact, al – Nabhani’s political thought — and thus Hizb ut – Tahrir’s as well — is completely derivative from earlier European political philosophy. Al – Nabhani simply replaced Western terms with Arabic ones, in order to convey an Islamic flavor. 81 Hizb ut – Tahrir leaders
…Muslim societies, and is delaying the use of military action or violence until its leadership is certain that their infiltration has reached a critical mass and they will be successful in seizing power and establishing their caliphate.
At present , Hizb ut – Tahrir agents are active in over 40 countries , including Indonesia , where in August of 2007 they managed to pack over 80,000 people into Jakarta’s Bung Karno Stadium , to call for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and the abolition of Indonesia’s state ideology ( Pancasila ) ,
Proclaiming the formalization of religion as the “solution” to the world’s problems is in fact a thinly veiled excuse to achieve political power, rather than eliminate social problems. For the real problem we face is not the absence of formal religion, but rather, the deformed character of religious adherents, who fail to implement the sublime values of their own religious pluralism, which extremist groups nevertheless refuse to accept.
Guardianship of an Islamic Jurist) in Iran since 1979, has led millions of Shi’ites Muslims to despise and reject Islam, disgusted by the hypocrisy of their ulama. Far from becoming a social and spiritual paradise, Iran is plagued by one of the highest rates of drug addiction seen anywhere
A similar phenomenon may be witnessed in Palestine, where the Muslim Brotherhood – affiliated Hamas organization exploited democracy to acquire political power, but once entrenched in Gaza, proceeded to destroy rival Muslim groups (viz., Fatah) . In short, extremist groups may exploit democracy to achieve undemocratic purposes.