Remember when Shi'ism was The Answer, the Way Forward to the New Day Dawning in Iraq? (For a trip down repressed-memory lane, if you think you can take it, scroll to the end of this post.) Now, in Afghanistan, there is a new It-Islam: Sufi'ism. Islam-clueless Douglas Feith has explained why in the New York Times this week, having seized on the recent obliteration by the Taliban of a shrine to a Sufi poet named Rahman Baba in Pakistan. Feith wrote:
The bombers took aim at the poet’s shrine because it represented Sufism, the mystical form of Islam that has long been predominant in India and Pakistan. The Sufism of Rahman Baba generally stresses a believer’s personal relationship with God and de-emphasizes the importance of the mosque. It refrains from exalting violence and war and praises such virtues as tolerance, devotion and love. Its practice relies extensively on dance, music and poetry. Some of Sufism’s most esteemed poets and scholars are women.
We've heard this about Sufi Islam before, of course, although I am guessing it's all new to Islam-come-lately Feith, who continued:
Though the Sufi tradition has been widely followed for centuries in South Asia, its hold is weakening as the extremists flex their muscles. Pakistan’s inability to enforce its laws in the border region with Afghanistan has allowed extremists to threaten dominance in northwestern Pakistan.
The United States may be able to help Pakistan prevent this, however, by supporting Pashtun opposition to the extremists.
Uh-oh, here we go again. The war in "Af-Pak," as we are ominously beginning to hear it called, is clearly going to be sold as Dance, Music and Poetry Islam vs. what Feith is calling "Islamist extremists." (This, obviously, leaves him a way to take up with "Islamist moderates" if necessary....)
Just for the sake of the record, just for the sake of sanity, please take the time to go through Andrew Bostom's 2005 report on Sufism through the ages. Besides dance, music and poetry, there is intolerance of non-Muslims, sharia and jihad--all the stuff the rose-colored glasses of our elites filter out.
Here, as promised at the top of this post, is a nostalgic look back at Shi'ism-is-the-answer:
One of the greatest hits was Reuel Marc Gerecht's utterly baseless apologia, "Don't Fear the Shiites: The Traditional Muslims Who Will Run Iraq Have Developed an Appreciation for Democracy," which appeared in AEI's magazine in 2005. (I found it here.)
Warming up, Gerecht wrote:
"Sistani and those who follow him are gradually but firmly leading the Shiite faithful toward a sensible and peaceful democratic understanding of Muslim mores ..."
Huh???? Like what? Sistani's "sensible and peaceful democratic understanding of Muslim mores" such as najis, or forbidden things? (See Sistani.org's list here.) (You, kafir, are on it.) Or his "sensible and peaceful democratic understanding" of homosexuality? ("Sodomites should be killed in the worst manner possible," Sistani declared, among other things, as Andrew Bostom reported here.)
Gerecht's old line gets much, much...much worse. He wrote: "Sistani has done what Iran's pro-democracy dissident clerics have dreamed of doing: He has taken the critical moral imperative in Islamic history--"commanding right and forbidding wrong"--and detached it from the state. While by no means liberals, Sistani and the traditional clergy allied with him are inverting this doctrine into a defense of political liberty. They are laying the pillars of a new, clerically protected democratic order....."
"The critical moral imperative in Islamic history--`commanding right and forbidding wrong'?" The statement is Duranty-esque, a shameful blight on the memory of millions of victims of Islamic jihad and Islamic dhimmitude across continents and through time. Such is the delusional thinking that propelled five, six years of occupation in Iraq. Has anyone learned from such fallacies? No. They have not been exposed as fallacies, dooming us to repeat both similar and no doubt other catastrophic mistakes.