Saturday, October 07, 2006


Berikut kata-kata, analisa, yang dibuat oleh Chris Harman, seorang pemikir sosialis tentang gerakan Islam dalam analisa kelasnya:

But no set of ideas can have such an appeal to different classes, especially when society is shaken by social convulsions, unless it is full of ambiguities.

It has to be open to differing interpretations, even if these set its adherents at each other’s throats.

This has been true of Islam virtually from its inception.

Apakah anda boleh bersetuju dengannya dalam makalahnya 'The prophet and the proletariat' (1994)?

Harman kemudiannya dalam bab 'The class base of Islamism' membahagikan gerakan Islam dan penggeraknya kepada empat kelompok manusia:

The Islamic revival gets sustenance from four different social groupings – each of which interprets Islam in its own way:

i. The Islamism of the old exploiters: First there are those members of the traditional privileged classes who fear losing out in the capitalist modernisation of society – particularly landowners (including clergy dependent on incomes from land belonging to religious foundations), traditional merchant capitalists, the owners of the mass of small shops and workshops.

Such groups have often been the traditional sources of finance for the mosques and see Islam as a way of defending their established way of life and of making those who oversee change listen to their voices. Thus in Iran and Algeria it was this group which provided the resources to the clergy to oppose the state’s land reform programme in the 1960s and 1970s.

ii. The Islamism of the new exploiters: Second, often emerging from among this first group, are some of the capitalists who have enjoyed success despite hostility from those groups linked to the state. In Egypt, for instance, the present day Muslim Brotherhood “wormed their way into the economic fabric of Sadat’s Egypt at a time when whole sections of it had been turned over to unregulated capitalism. Uthman Ahmad Uthman, the Egyptian Rockefeller, made no secret of this sympathy for the Brethren”.

In Turkey the Welfare Party, which is led by a former member of the main conservative party, enjoys the support of much of middle sized capital. In Iran among the bazaaris who gave support to Khomeini against the Shah were substantial capitalists resentful at the way economic policies favoured those close to the crown.

iii. The Islamism of the poor: The third group are the rural poor who have suffered under the advance of capitalist farming and who have been forced into the cities as they desperately look for work. Thus in Algeria out of a total rural population of 8.2 million only 2 million gained anything from the land reform. The other 6 million were faced with the choice between increased poverty in the countryside and going to the cities to seek work.

But in the cities: “The lowest group are the hard core jobless made up of displaced former peasants who have flooded the cities in search of work and social opportunity ... detached from rural society without being truly integrated into urban society”.

They lost the certainties associated with an old way of life – certainties which they identify with traditional Muslim culture – without gaining a secure material existence or a stable way of life: "Clear guidelines for behaviour and belief no longer exist for millions of Algerians caught between a tradition that no longer commands their total loyalty and a modernism that cannot satisfy the psychological and spiritual needs of young people in particular”.


iv. The Islamism of the new middle class: However, neither the “traditional” exploiting classes nor the impoverished masses provide the vital element which sustains revivalist, political Islam – the cadre of activists who propagate its doctrines and risk injury, imprisonment and death in confrontation with their enemies.

The traditional exploiting classes are by their very nature conservative. They are prepared to donate money so that others can fight – especially in defence of their material interests. They did so when faced with the land reform in Algeria in the early 1970s; when the Baathist regime in Syria encroached upon the interests of the urban merchants and traders in the spring of 1980s; and when the merchants and small businessmen of the Iranian bazaars felt themselves under attack from the Shah in 1976-78 and threatened by the left in 1979-81.

But they are wary of putting their own businesses, let alone their own lives, at risk. And so they can hardly be the force that has torn societies like Algeria and Egypt apart, caused a whole town, Hama, to rise in revolt in Syria, used suicide bombs against the Americans and Israelis in Lebanon – and which caused the Iranian Revolution to take a turn much more radical than any section of the Iranian bourgeoisie expected.

This force, in fact, comes from a fourth, very different stratum – from a section of the new middle class that has arisen as a result of capitalist modernisation right across the Third World.

Saya sedar aktivis gerakan Islam, ustaz (kalaupun bukan ulama) atau pendakwah berasa kekok atau marah dengan analisa (dan jenis perkataan) yang disampaikan oleh Harman, atau penulis-penulis lain seumpamanya.

Tetapi bolehkah kita nafikan manusia Islam itu tanpa apa-apa kepentingan sekali pun?

No comments: