Populists and Islamism
Populists, whether left or right, elite or common, ride on people’s fears, ignorance, unwillingness and inability to understand non-secular expressions. 250 years of community development toward humanism and democracy in the West have made us perplexed to handle the opposite.
Populations of Western democracies are simply unaware of what the Professor of Islamic Law at Qatar University, Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari says:
“They [the secular West] do not understand the belief in religious and spiritual motives. They adhere to materialistic standards… They do not understand why people become suicide bombers. They mistakenly believe that it is due to economic reasons… Terrorism is rooted in ideology. It requires an ideological mixture which you plant in [a] mind and which takes over [the] soul. The extremists always portray us as targets, as if their enemies are lying in wait for us. This rhetoric about a nation constantly under attack is how hatred begins. This is how you plant hatred in the soul of a child, who later becomes an extremist. We must let go of the culture of denial, and stop saying: ‘This is not something a Muslim would do.’… The first step is to acknowledge that something is wrong in our cultural order… our own children are doing this… We did not know how to raise them and educate them properly. We need to pinpoint what instils hatred, extremism and takfir (infidelity), and then remove these things from the curricula, the mosques, and the media. Why can’t we be like other nations? How come they educate their children properly, and discover and invent new things? How come it is only our children who turn to destruction instead of construction?” (June 3, 2016, Rotana Khalijiyya TV).
Populists like Trump and Le Pen exploit a gap in people´s minds and are successful thanks to rhetorical talents and the ability to dupe ordinary people. The problem becomes even greater when the ‘elite’ in the form of influential opinion leaders and political leaders do not dare to name things by their right names. Political extremism and incitement to hatred and murder must be fought with a plain, understandable language. Then the populist platform will be shaken and populists and their compatibles will plunge into a political swamp of curious expressions of inferior human behavior.