“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.“ – Chinese Proverb
So let’s begin this with the understanding Muslim refers to people and Islam refers to a precept which muslims refer to as a religion.
That said, I put forth the definition that Islam is by definition a Fascist form of political governance.
My definition is based on internet search through encyclopedias and dictionaries whose information is generally accepted, historical and defining information in particular. I am sure someone somewhere will have plenty of objections but so be it.
First, take the definition the word, Fascism, which did not itself appear until the 20th century in France and Italy. Many other words like democracy, republic, liberalism, socialism, and communism also became greatly changed and defined during the 20th century. Fascism appears to have been the only one derived from an object not a political concept in Rome or Greece during 50 BC through 450 AD. The object was a “fasce” which was a bundle of wooden rods with an axe hanging out one end. Certain soldiers presented this to a magistrate as a symbol of unity and power. The French and online dictionaries have established Fascism to mean a government ruled by a dictator who controls the lives of the people harshly and with ultimate authority while allowing no one to disagree or in any way change the rules, law, or his words. No property, money, or goods are allowed by individuals in this form of theology like communism except through or by the doctrine.
BUT you say muslims firmly believe Islam is a religion. That is true, however, like a fascist regime not one iota of this one man’s handbook of religious work and laws allows for validation, understanding, interpretation, sentence structure alterations, or dissent. Each carries severe penalties and clear instructions if changed. We perceive a dictator to be a living entity but it does not have to be so to be true though in this instance his ministers serve as a living entity in his name. Yet, again they would be harshly punished if they did not follow his text word for word.
Now on to why I define Islam as a political organization rather than religion. Very briefly let’s look at its earliest known beginnings. Mohammed is believed to have been born in Mecca in 632 AD or 570 CE. He had a religious vision during that time and began his Islamic theology then. However, those in Mecca did not like or accept his words so he fled to Medina where he began to put his thoughts into action. He arrived in time and with enough belief in his vision to band entire nomadic groups into a unified state where inter-tribal wars were common. To this he brought order and set up a political state of great power called Islam/Ummah using his handbook of rules and punishments to form a political powerhouse which warring tribes accepted or they were eliminated. By the time of his death most of the Arabian peninsula had become a Ummah nation or community.
The phrase ummat al-Islamiyah became a recognition for The Islamic Nation referring to a single group that shares religious beliefs and are the objects of a divine plan of salvation which can also be defined as a Commonwealth of Believers. A Constitution of Medina was written establishing the laws of the unified tribes. It included specific reference to Jews and non-muslims as members of the Ummah with protection and rights including division by faith, their own governance and only in case of war would they pool assets and funds for the good of the Ummah. Its purpose was to regulate social and political life in Medina including all the aspects of governance. It even went so far as to acknowledge Jerusalem as the important seat of religious power and establish a contract or reasonable dimmal with non-Muslims.
From that point, life in Medina began to change. Mohammed gathered a group together and went to Mecca where conquest of the city took place. If you consider the wording of that first contract with non-Muslim you can imagine what probably occurred. By the time of his death, Mohammed the conqueror in fact had enlarged his Ummah to include much if not most of the Arabian Peninsula.
Ummah is mentioned in the Quran 62 times according to the information I read. In the beginning its meaning was similar to “qawm” which loosely means tribe. However, power and wealth corrupt like most attempts to set up a colony. The final passage of the Quran refers to Muslims as the best community leading to Ummah and was generally considered as an exclusive reference to Islam. The dimmah between Jews, Muslims, and other non-Muslims were then rewritten. Muslims considered those contracts as fulfilled and rewrote them so that either joining Islam or paying a price for safety and continued existence were exacted.
The state of Islam continued to grow and gain strength while Roman civilization crumbled. From what I gather, the Eastern Roman empire fell to the Ottoman Turks around 1453. The official religion was Islam, laws Shari’ah, and like most nations it had a flag and coat of arms. In fact The Ottoman Empire reigned in those areas until 1923. After their defeat in World War I, the empire was very harshly dealt with, lands taken and wealth removed by France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom in the Treaty of Sevres. Then in the Treaty of Lausanne 1923, Turkey added Republic to its name and was given greatly reduced borders while other parts were split off becoming Saudi Arabia and a few smaller countries. The United States and Russia were not involved in the treaties that my sources noted.
From my research I was able to follow a man who sought a way of life, moved into power and established a political entity based on his rules and visions of life. He banded many tribes together to form a powerful group for protection, set up laws, formed alliances, made and broke treaties, and established public and private rules for his citizens. Then like any other conquerer throughout history spread out in a quest for supremacy. The difference being those who came after his death have elevated him to a seat beside God and follow, even up until today, his handbook and laws to the letter unlike other empires whose time came to an end with their deaths or contact with other civilizations. I understood from those references that Islam is not a country but is to encompass every land and must have Islam of Mohammed’s vision and his Shari’ah laws governing all. I clearly noted that the dimmah with Jews and non-Muslims was considered fulfilled and a new dimmah created which totally annihilates any who do not accept the church-state known as Islam except as they pay for the protection. If it looks like a government complete with flag, coat of arms and motto, has laws like a government, enters into contracts like a government, gathers funds to run the government, and expects unconditional loyalty to its creed regardless of boundaries. Then It is a government regardless of name morphing to fit better into the world.
SO IN CONCLUSION, Islam is a political state of religion and by definition is a Fascist form of government. Those who are Muslims have at their base not religion formed for the elevation of their soul or understanding of life after this one ends but one man’s vision of one man’s need to conquer nearly 1,500 years ago and fanatically followed word for word even today. Even Rome and Hitler had no such faithful followers. I would say The Ottoman Empire never really ended but like the Weathermen and countless other groups went underground until signs from around them and liberal ideas made an opening for them like cicada to rise again.
So what do you, our readers, think?