First published on Khawer’s blog
Here are some important events that we need to use to understand Hamidism. This is a work in progress. Im sharing it for feedback.
1903: “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a known forgery, is published in Russia. Alleges that Jews want to take over the world. This work is based on satirical work that no one took seriously.
1917: Russian Revolution.
1917-1923: Russian Civil war between “Red” and “White” factions. “Whites” accuse “Reds” of being Jewish proxies.
After and during the Civil War the “Whites” find refuge (among other places) in Germany. They translate the “protocols” as a propaganda tactic to discredit the “Reds”
1917-1920: “First Red Scare” in America in the context of a declining economy. American copies of the “Protocols” replace the word “Jew” with “Bolshevik”
1918: Ottoman Caliphate abolished. Right Wing political activists invent the “Islamist” narrative that articulates Islam as a “political and economic system” that stands opposed to both Capitalism and Communism. As such, Islamism is a modern phenomena.
Notable Islamists that shape the narrative include: Abul Ala Maududi (India) , Syed Qutb (Egypt) and Taqi-ud-din Nabhani (Palestine).
Maududi is the most moderate of the three, not explicitly denouncing democracy but displaying opportunism and an unprincipled approach towards questions of democracy and dictatorship.
Qutb is radicalized by torture at the hands of the Egyptian state and understands those Muslims working with the “System of Disbelief” to have become Kafirs. (See: Takfir / Takfiri)
Nabhani revises the concepts of the Khaliphate introducing such modern notions as ‘statehood’, ‘constitution’ and ‘separation of powers’. Despite the innovations he gives most importance to the concept of an Islamic “system” that is intransigent and opposed to both Capitalism and Communism. Nabhani rejects concepts such as the “Dajjal” and the “return of Jesus” as external influences.
1930s: The rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler in Germany. The “Protocols” are used as a propaganda tool against both the Jews and the Communist Party of Germany.
Holocaust: The events of the Holocaust make anti-semitism unfashionable in the West. Protocols find favor in the Arab and Muslim world. Used extensively by Islamist scholars.
1940s-1990: Cold War replaces the anti-Semitic narrative with a cosmic battle even greater than the battle even greater than “God and Evil”, “Jew and Goy”…namely it is now a battle over the concept of private property.
Some still hold on to the notion that both “Communism and Capitalism” are Jewish inventions of control. This view is re-articulated by people such as Zaid Hamid and Ali Azmat today, but first found mass currency under Hitler.
1980: Islamist militants wage the American Jihad against communism. Fighters include those inspired by Qutb (Azzam / Al-Zawari/ Bin Ladin), those influenced by Maududi (Zaid Hamid, a former JI student activist, among them) and local Afghans. Both Americans and Islamists claim credit for the destruction of the Soviet Union. Azzam hopes for political revolutions, but after his assassination and as these revolutions fail to materialize, a more strongly Qutbist (and hence Takfiri) movement begins to replace it in the 1990s.
1991: The First Gulf War sends shock-waves across the world. Final nail in coffin of the age of Two Superpowers in which most movements were alined with either one or the other “big other”. As a new unipolar world order sets the old narrative collapses. The naked chaos and anarchy of the global system lays apparent for those that want to see it, other continue to search for a new narrative of a cosmic battle.
Early 1990s: An audio “documentary” known as “From the Shadows” is released by former members of Hizb-ut-Tharir (founded by Taqi-ud-din Nabhani). While they promote an intransigent Islamist system, the documentary replaces the narrative of Islam as an economic system distinct form “Capitalism and Communism” with a post-cold war narrative of a class of the “Islamic System” with the “System of Dajjal”. The “Freemasons” are identified as the “forerunners” of the Dajjal (straying from Nabhanism). This new “big other”, namely the Freemasons and Dajjal, are viewed as anthropomorphisms of the object of oppression. The documentry has many factual errors, including insisting that the French Revolution took place BEFORE the American Revolution. This is done to prove that FreeMasons the real and only agents behind both.
Mid to Late 1990s: Taliban take over Afghanistan and establish a premodern state. Bin Ladin takes over Azzam’s group and declares Jihad on America. The group is initially a lose gathering of people, but after the first WTC bombings it is increasingly known as “Al Queda”.
9/11: WTC and Pentagon attacked with hijacked airliners. Bin Ladin eventually accepts responsibility. Surveys of Muslim opinion show that even today most Muslims believe it was an “inside job”. George Bush launches the “Global War on Terror” (GWOT)
2003: The Bush administration extends GWOT to Iraq alleging it has nukes. The nukes are never found. This gives increased currency to conspiracy theories that 9/11 was an inside job based on lies.
2008: “The Arrivals”, an internet documentary based on “From the Shadows” is released. This documentary conflates “Freemasons” and “Dajjal” with “Zionism”.
Zaid Hamid hits the Pakistani airwaves. He re-spins the narratives of the “Protocols”, “Islamic system”, “Freemasons”, “Dajjal” into one cohesive narrative. He claims that “Freemasons” are secretly “Jewish Zionists”. Zaid Hamid’s narrative pits the “Islamic System” and Muslims on the one hand, against the “System of Disbelief” and Christian Zionists, Jewish Zionists and “Hindu Zionists” on the other.
Months after the Neo-Cons are swept from power, Hamid contiunes to conflate the terms “Neo-con” with “Zionists” and ultimately Jews. The ultimate source of Evil in Hamid’s narrative.