Editor’s note: The Blaze is featuring some guest posts to help our readers gain a deeper understanding of the situation in Egypt. Joel Richardson is the author of The Islamic Antichrist a comparison of Biblical and Islamic Eschatology and is the co-author of God’s War on Terror. His blog can be found here.
In the first portion of this article, we reviewed a basic historical overview of the Caliphate as well as the various historical and psychological reasons that so many Muslims today yearn for its return. In this article, we continue the discussion.
In order to begin understanding the collective psycological wound that the abolition of the Caliphate has had on the Muslim world, imagine if the office of Pope was forcefully abolished by anti-Catholic forces and remained unfilled for nearly a hundred years. The theological and psychological impact this would have on Catholics globally would be profound. Likewise, without a Caliph, many Muslims feel as though the universe itself has been completely out of order for the past eighty plus years. This worldview was nowhere better summarized than in a promotional video for Hizb-ut-Tahrir—an Islamic group whose goal is to restore the Caliphate:
The 3rd of March, 1924—the world was plunged into darkness. The Khilafah—His light, spread from East to West for over a thousand years—was brought to an end. The consequences were unimaginable: death, destruction, chaos, exploitation. After 80 years of the absence of the Khilafah, the Muslim world has awakened from its slumber, and the Ummah [the community of all the world's Muslims] is ready to resume its political destiny. From the darkness will emerge a new light.
To the pro-Caliphate Muslims, the present global reality must be corrected. These Muslims are not a small minority. In fact, there is now a global worldwide revival of numerous Islamic groups whose goal it is to revive the Caliphate. In Indonesia, a Hizb Ut-Tahrir rally was able to gather together well over 100,000 Muslims. Each year in London, nearly 10,000 gather to discuss reviving the Caliphate.
Yet despite the global revival of pro-Caliphate sentiment among Muslims, Glenn Beck’s efforts to call attention to this extremely dangerous reality has brought much scoffing by media naysayers on both the left and right.
But is Beck truly a loopy conspiracy theorist?
Consider a report issued by the National Intelligence Council in 2005. The report, entitled, "Mapping the Global Future: Project 2020" predicted that within the next several years, we may expect to see the emergence of a revived Islamic Caliphate. For those unfamiliar with the NIC, below is a self-description from its website:
The NIC is a center of strategic thinking within the U.S. Government, reporting to the Director of National Intelligence and providing the president and senior policymakers with analyses of foreign-policy issues that have been reviewed and coordinated throughout the Intelligence Community. Our work ranges from brief analyses of current issues to "over the horizon" estimates of broader trends at work in the world.
So as the mockers throw stones at Glenn Beck for his suggestion that the Muslim world is moving toward a Caliphate, this exact prediction was made over six years ago by the United States government’s most significant strategic forecasting think-tank. If anything, Beck is behind the curve.
But there is a significant element of the NIC's "over the horizon" assessment that we should pay attention to. According to the report, the coming Caliphate would not be built on acts of terrorism, or overt violence, but instead would be established through peaceful means. By claiming to provide the Middle East with stability, peace and security, the emergence of the coming caliphate will be viewed positively by much of the world. After observing many American commentators whitewash the dark history and the ehh emmm… vitriolic rhetoric of various spokesmen for the Muslim Brotherhood, I am convinced that we are really that gullible.
Not surprisingly then, as one monitors the angle taken by some of the most popular pro-Caliphate Muslim leaders, their words are often extremely innocuous. Consider the glowing description of the Caliphate, as articulated by Turkish Muslim author Adnan Oktar (who writes under the pseudonym of Harun Yahya), the world’s most widely published Muslim author. Oktar does not use the term Caliphate, but instead refers to his Neo-Ottoman vision as “The Turkish-Islamic Union”:
The Turkish Islamic Union will be the salvation of everyone, of people of all faiths, all nations and all opinions, not just of the Islamic world. This union will bring love, brotherhood, friendship, plenty and abundance to the world. The Turkish-Islamic Union…will be instrumental in the world attaining an entirely new beauty, in a huge rise in plenty and abundance, in major progress in art and science, and in the construction of a powerful and deep-rooted civilization...
Adnan Oktar's vision of a Turkish-led Islamic Union
But despite any veneer of moderation that any Caliphate or Islamic Union might seem to possess, the conclusion of the 2020 report is entirely correct when it states that even a limited Caliphate initially consisting of several Islamic nations would present enormous problems for the United States and its global interests. The potential of any such entity becoming a reality is not something that Americans should take lightly.
How then is a Caliphate most likely to emerge? Will Hib Ut-Tahrir or al-Qaeda eventually be successful? This is highly unlikely. In part III, we will discuss the one entity that will most likely achieve the global Islamic yearning for a revived Caliphate.