Connect with us

Uncategorized

The RAND Report & My RANDom Thoughts…

Published

rand.JPGDrum-roll please… the new RAND Report is out… they love publicity, and we the Muslims have to unfortunately keep giving… we cannot put blinders on and ignore brother RAND. So, I have a few RANDom thoughts…

  1. I didn’t read all of it, in fact I didn’t read most of it. I skimmed through it. Part of the reason I did so was that the summaries out there were quite good. And most of why I did so was that it is really the same report as RAND-1.
  2. It seemed to be like a bad attempt on putting together a sequel. Like Jungle Book 2, the sequel to, you guessed it, Jungle Book 1 (its a cartoon movie folks, completely halal :) ). Basically, RAND thought they had come up with something exceptionally smart the first time with their four types of Muslim theory, so why not drag that out a bit, add some Cold War dynamics, touch it up with some long-shot similarities and serve with some brashness on top.
  3. So, here’s the gist for you, the time-constrained folks, your very own 2-minute summary:
    a) There are essentially four types of Muslims (phew… we thought we had 73): fundamentalists = bad, traditionalists = ok, modernists = better, secularists = best.
    b) So, what do you do with these four groups… you see it is like the Terror-Alert traffic light system that DHS has put in… you can see on the top of this post.

Interestingly, I had a several more paragraphs that completely disappeared in thin air after I finished posting… seems like RANDom bugs have hit this endeavor. Well, I’ll consider adding more later as time permits, and will have a UPDATE sign in the title. Until then, enjoy Umm Zaid’s thoughts here, and Jinnzaman’s intellectual response, snippets of which I have pasted below:

—————————–

RAND, “Reform,” and Revolution

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

 

“Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.” (Surat al-Anfal- 30)

Introduction


The RAND corporation, author of the infamous “Civil Democratic Islam” paper that essentially laid forth a “divide and conquer” strategy to subdue the Muslim world from resisting American hegemony, recently released a follow up report entitled “Building Moderate Muslim Networks” to effectuate the policy objectives that were previously discussed in their other papers. The report comes in the wake of a recent summit by “secular” Muslims in St. Petersburg, Florida where they issued a proclamation declaring support for secularism, “human rights”, along with condemnation of orthodoxy, the Shari’ah with particular focus on the hadd punishments against apostasy, zina, Islamic governance, not to mention practices that have no place in Islam such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage. Unsurprisingly, the doctrine such “secular” Muslims espouse and the method they utilize to propagate their ideas coincides exactly with the doctrine and methods espoused in the “Building Moderate Muslim Networks” paper. Some may describe the secular Muslim summit and the publication of the RAND report as a fortuitous coincidence, while others may describe them as merely the convergence of plans that were long in the making.

Summary


The underlying argument of this paper is that the United States is currently embroiled in what is described as a civil war within Islam whose outcome is on par with the titanic struggle that occurred during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Just like the US utilized both covert and overt tactics to contest the expansion of communism, it must utilize both covert and overt tactics to subdue “radical” Islam. The paper specifically focuses on the concept of developing “moderate” networks to contest the authority of America‘s opponents both at home and abroad. [MORE]

Criticisms

The paper is wracked with ambiguous definitions, weak inferences, and downright ignorance of the subtleties of the region as a whole. Although I am not quite certain how the paper has been received by strategists within the government, if this paper is the primary source of covert policy in subduing “radical” Islam, then the US is in for a world of trouble because such a program is bound to fail. In addition to the general problems of the normative and descriptive value of the paper, I have five specific criticisms of the article. [MORE]

Challenging the Hegemonic Discourse on Islamism

What the RAND paper has made clear, along with other papers on Islam, is that Western countries do not seek to eliminate those Muslims who utilize violence against innocent civilians, but those Muslims who seek to challenge Western hegemony as well, regardless if they use entirely peaceful and legal means to fulfill these objectives. If this is true, than the “War on Terrorism” must be changed to the “War on Islam Itself.” Some Muslims may contest such a claim. Some Muslims, wasting away in luxury and conceit, ignorant of Islamic traditions and history, naïve of global politics, go so far as to deny that the West is an existential threat to Islam. What these ignoramuses fail to realize is that war is already upon the Muslim Ummah. The threat of bombs falling on our cities, our women being raped, our men being shipped off to prisons for no crimes and being tortured in inhumane ways, is not merely a potential future outcome, it is already here. The future is now. [MORE]

Intellectual Revolution: The Only Solution

Upon reading about such plans and plots, the average Muslim asks him or her self “What can be done? What can I do to participate in this war of ideas?” The answer is simple: intellectual revolution. What is intellectual revolution? [MORE]

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. ِAbu Bakr

    March 31, 2007 at 12:56 AM

    Just a random tidbit concerning the RAND corporation. This donkey *ahem*… i mean, lady:

    http://www.bookbrowse.com/biographies/index.cfm?author_number=585

    is the wife of zalmay khalilzad (whom we all know). She is the author of various papers and books, including one called The Hadith Wars. She is also a consultant to the rand corporation.

    In her paper, The Hadith Wars, she quoted the following:

    Mabrook Ismaeel (2003) remarks,

    ((Let us look at the parameters of Al Bukhari’s claim. If we allow one single hour to process each hadith he would have had to work non-stop for about seventy years. Each hadith would have had to be traced back to the Prophet through a long transmission chain each link of which had to be closely examined, with each chain consisting of six or seven individuals of successive generations, all but one of whom were dead. Yet he is said to have completed this work in sixteen years. Was it physically possible for Al-Bukhari to have examined that many hadith? The answer is no.))

    Btw, for those who missed it, refuting that piece of utter rubbish was how i got my intro to the blogging world (http://islamicsciences.wordpress.com/2006/08/03/a-false-non-muslim-accusation-against-imam-al-bukhari/)

  2. jinnzaman

    March 31, 2007 at 1:40 AM

    haha, awesome job bro. i loved the graphic. i should really do a mox news article on this, but I’m too lazy.

  3. Manas Shaikh

    March 31, 2007 at 6:31 AM

    Aziz made the points quite clear.
    http://cityofbrass.blogspot.com/2007/03/st-petersburg-declaration-text-and.html

    The only ‘Muslims’ the Far Right in US likes are the once-Muslims. Other Muslims are crappy Muslims!

  4. Ibrahim

    March 31, 2007 at 12:03 PM

    Great post. Jazak Allah khair. The graphic was funny…

  5. Mujahideen Ryder

    March 31, 2007 at 11:37 PM

    LOL that was a great graphic bro! mashaAllah

    PS – i dont like this new web theme :(

  6. Abdu

    April 1, 2007 at 1:47 PM

    salaam,

    “PS – i dont like this new web theme”

    I agree.

  7. Lilia

    April 1, 2007 at 4:04 PM

    LOL Mujahideen. I agree with Mujahideen and Abdu :)

  8. Amad

    April 1, 2007 at 6:42 PM

    Ok… what about now? The header image still needs to be fixed, but besides that.

  9. mirajmom

    April 1, 2007 at 6:49 PM

    Salam,

    I read every word. And I went to the Berkley paper. I read every word. It is good to have intellectual others to speak to. My concern is the lack of knowledge the average Muslim has. We need to let the word out to the Average Amhad…why because the insidious message will be picked up by the media and our children will suffer. We need an Averag Amhad newsopaper.

  10. tahsinthree

    April 3, 2007 at 11:20 AM

    Excellent graphics, I want to print it out as a poster !

  11. Musa Maguire

    April 3, 2007 at 5:30 PM

    I want to address an issue that always comes up around these Rand reports. RAND makes favorable mention of Sufis as a counterweight to fundamentalism. It is a logical error to say that Sufis are therefore serving US policy. This is a common charge leveld against some of our famous Sufi brothers, mostly due to their quietist (and I believe correct) issue on many contemporary political crises.

    Those debates aside, it is worth remembering that the United States underwrote the jihad in Afghanistan during the 1980s, and was happy to characterize Salafi groups and others as ‘freedom fighters” during that era. Polemical Sufis are always eager to point this out. The same logical error applies.

    We should understand these reports for what they are, and not use them as ammunition in our sectarian rivalries.

  12. abdulHaq

    April 5, 2007 at 10:51 AM

    Latest RAND Study on Islam Calls for Further Extremism!

    http://www.salafimanhaj.com/pdf/SalafiManhaj_RAND.pdf

  13. potential ally

    April 19, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    ” … a recent summit by “secular” Muslims in St. Petersburg, Florida where they issued a proclamation declaring support for secularism, “human rights”, along with condemnation of orthodoxy, the Shari’ah with particular focus on the hadd punishments against apostasy, zina, Islamic governance, not to mention practices that have no place in Islam such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage. Unsurprisingly, the doctrine such “secular” Muslims espouse and the method they utilize to propagate their ideas coincides exactly with the doctrine and methods espoused in the “Building Moderate Muslim Networks” paper. ”

    As a non-Muslim I find this sort of thinking very reassuring. After reading accounts in the popular press of Pakistanis punishing rape victims and Iran’s blood money and vigilante laws, and the testimony of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other apostates, I have been forming the opinion that your religion favors draconian enforcement of ancient laws which deny the modern conception of individual rights, freedom of conscience, the equality of women, and so forth.

    I was surprised at the list of practices that have no place in Islam, as they appear to be widespread and accepted, at least to the casual observer from a distance.

    It appears that there is a range of opinion in the Muslim world, and that violent antiquarian extremists have done a better job of expressing their vision than enlightened moderates. Why is this, I wonder? Fear of reprisal? Self doubt? Marginal status within the mainstream community?

  14. AnonyMouse

    April 19, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    Potential ally:

    “I was surprised at the list of practices that have no place in Islam, as they appear to be widespread and accepted, at least to the casual observer from a distance.”

    All those practices – forced marriages, FGM, etc. – are purely cultural and have nothing to do with Islam. Nor are they as widespread as they may seem; it is simply that the media sensationalizes it to the point that the average layperson, with little to no knowledge of the society and cultures in question, ends up thinking that these are common everyday occurrences

    “Why is this, I wonder?”
    It is my firm belief that those who cling to cultural practices that have nothing to do with Islam – and this is from an Islamic POV, not from a non-Muslim one which judges a great deal of authentic Islamic Law to be ‘draconian’ and ‘antiquarian’ – do so due to a lack of knowledge about Islam.

    Such incorrect practices are kept alive only because of ignorance and lack of implementation of true Islamic practices. God willing, this will change, and things improve for the better.

    As for labelling Islamic Law as backwards, draconian, and so on, I urge you to please learn more about the wisdoms behind those laws before making such sweeping and incorrect judgements. One cannot base their opinions on an entire system – not simply of law, but a way of life – by the actions of a people; for a system may be as close to perfect as possible in theory, yet put into practice undoubtedly things will go wrong. One need look no further than our very own countries here in the West to see that the legal system, the so-called justice system which lets rapists, murderers, and other psycho- and sociopaths loose, is certainly not perfect.
    Once more, I urge you to please do a great deal more research into the subject of Islam to see that there’s a lot more to it than chopping off people’s hands and stoning them to death.

    May God grant us all guidance, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

    -Mouse

  15. Amad

    April 19, 2007 at 3:46 PM

    Potential Ally: If I were in your position, sitting in a Western country, esp. America with its corporate-sensationalist media, then I could understand how you would come up with your conclusions.

    But you see, we need to above that. We need to be above just letting media and the internet tell us how it is. Because if we don’t, then what is the difference between us and an average person in the Muslim world whose entire concept of America is limited to sex, drugs, and killings… because that is what usually also makes news in those countries. Of course, we all know that even though America has some of those elements, it is nevertheless a country that has much more good than evil in it, esp. the compassion of the average American.

    So, next time you think about Muslim lands and its inhabitants, think ABOVE the fray, learn more about the religion and then make your judgments. Do you think it is just a mere coincidence that Islam is growing so fast, even in Western countries? That despite all the negative rhetoric and vitriolic portrayal of Islam, it CONTINUES to attract converts everyday? Well, let me be the first, but not the last probably, to tell you that it is NOT a co-incidence. And perhaps you should look into why. I hope you do. And as always, MuslimMatters can help you with any questions.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » The RAND Plan in the Works

  17. Pingback: muslimmatters.org » Homegrown … On the NYPD “Intelligence” Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Trending