Islam and Communism

Topics: Islam, Communism, Muhammad Pages: 7 (2365 words) Published: December 12, 2010
Fidan Karimli

Islam and Communism
The communist ideology is in direct opposition with any religion as it clearly opposes the practice of religion and the existence of God. Nevertheless, neither of those practiced religions has resisted communism more than the Islamic states have at the time when communism was flourishing in different countries around the world. The fact that most states with a majority of Muslim population (even though some may be declared as secular states) attach great significance to the Islamic-inspired law (sheriah) explains why Islamic states always combated communist regimes particularly because living by the sheriah means living by religion. Denying the existence of God to a people who use God’s evaluation of right and wrong to lead their lives is equivalent to depriving them from any reason to live for. One Islamic argumentation about why certain things should be done is simply the fear of God. Hence, it cannot function if every spiritual explanation of human life is denied. From an Islamic point of view communism reduces the importance of humans to their physical capability for labor which is in opposition with the Islamic concentration on the spiritual life. A potential explanation about how Islamic teachings denounce the importance of human physicality is the requirement that women cover their body completely and men do so partially. By covering up one’s physique, the emphasis on the importance of the spiritual is enhanced. That is also applicable as a metaphor to explain the prominence of the afterlife over the present life. Therefore, it is absurd to change the Islamic ideology where one would claim that the materialistic values are all that matter, particularly since Islamic dogmas and practices are difficult to bend. The sheriah is conservative and absolute and there can be no negotiations, hence communism could have never succeeded to overthrow it. Islamic principles may well protect it from communist rule, however when it comes to totalitarian regimes it is more vulnerable to fall in. Totalitarian rulers can easily succeed in the Islamic world justifying their rule with the duty to protect Islam. Emphasizing the importance of sheriah and jihad and especially interpreting them in own ways can allow totalitarian regimes in the Muslim world to take the toll. Such is the example of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Initially, they were the romantic fighters who had the mission to drive the communists away. Later they came into power attempting to control every aspect of human life always “in the name of Islam.” A couple of years later the United States together with its allies attempt to install democracy in Afghanistan and are still over-watching it.). People were happy to see these regimes go away, simply because they [regimes] did not provide the basic needs of the citizens which had nothing to do with religion. However, the Islamic states of the Middle East were not so thrilled to see democracy come through the door, either. Some democratic principles – better said, Western understanding and values of democracy -- that are imposed on them seem to contradict with the traditional, familiar and preferred way of functioning as a state. For instance, as we observe in news, the Afghan parliament attempts to interfere in the daily lives of its citizens. A ridiculous policy (from a Western perspective) says that husbands are allowed to require intercourse with their wives every forth day, unless medical issues prevent the wife from engaging into it. It is important to mention that the policy was passed in democratic means. Hence, it is evident that the understanding and application of democracy in the Islamic World differs from that of the West. Yet, some of them are learning the western notion of democracy as well. The day after the policy was passed a few women had the courage to protest in the streets of Kabul. However, they were soon attacked by other women who called them immoral and...

Cited: West, Charles “Communism and the Theologians” 1958
Tibi, Bassam “Islam between Culture and Politics” 2001
Manji, Irshad “The trouble with Islam” 2003
Armstrong O.K. and Armstrong Marjorie “Religion can conquer communism” 1972
Hakim, Salman “Religion of Islam (History)” 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2010.
Pandey, Kundan “History of Communism” 1 May. 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2010.
Britannica Online Encyclopedia “History and Society” Web. 21 Nov. 2010.
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