Interview: Imran Abdullah

The book "World Sufism" was recently published in which 14 experts and researchers participated in an attempt to map the world Sufi culture in its different faces from Rumi to rap, from San Francisco to Senegal, West Africa, in order to understand the dynamics of Islamic mysticism and its transformations around the world. .

In his participation in the book, academic and researcher Osama Al-Adhami, who holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, addressed what he called Sufism, "neo-traditionalism" or "neo-traditionalism", which he considered a school of thought emerged in conjunction with the events of the Arab Spring, and supported by certain countries.

Exploitation and tyranny
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, said the British academic - who graduated from the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford - that he does not feel a contradiction between the support of the UAE currents of Sufism, and other "Enlightenment modernization", and the third Salafi input; Al-Adhami said this mysticism, which he reserved to call it political, is an exploitation of the Sufi side to mobilize people for certain political interests.

Al-Adhami believes that the Islamic tradition knew a variety of reactions to authoritarian rule, ranging from "opposition in the heart" to "armed rebellion", stressing that most of the latecomers such as al-Ghazali, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani had positions between these poles, and called for rebellion in Only certain circumstances, but at the same time advise a decisive position in the expression of tyranny.

Al-Adhami stresses that resistance to tyranny by word was at the heart of the Islamic tradition, contrary to the allegations of Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, but pointed out that the late centuries witnessed some kind of mysticism that is easy to politicize. Their use by Arab regimes such as the UAE, unlike other Sufis who faced colonialism, such as Prince Abdelkader Jazairy and the Libyan Senussi movement, as he put it.

Hamza Yusuf recently served as an adviser to a US Human Rights Committee and faced problems with his legitimacy as an advocate.

On the other hand, al-Adhami believes that secularism is compatible with democracy in the West, but in the Arab world some want to produce a secular Islam that does not engage in politics, and does not constitute opposition to regimes, and in turn limits political Islam; The German Jürgen Habermas, who reconsidered secularism in the West.

Between religion and politics
He pointed to the recent books of Sheikh Mauritanian Abdullah bin Bayah, including "scenes from the purposes" and "alert references to the rooting of jurisprudence of reality," which is rooted in what he called "the complete succumbing to the Sultan jurisprudence and fundamentalism", but refused in his dialogue with Al Jazeera Net Out of mysticism.

Osama al-Adhami: Hamza Youssef defends tyranny instead of blaming governments (Al Jazeera)

Al-Adhami explains the idea of ​​"neo-traditional" mysticism, which is not an extension of the Sufi ways and traditions that he knows through his study. By virtue of being a Bengali origin, he distinguishes between Sheikh Abdullah bin Bih and Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib who inherited Sufi methods from their parents. He calls to leave her.

According to the British academic, the Forum for the Promotion of Peace, the Council of Muslim Elders and similar institutions are an attempt to create a competitive alternative reference to other institutions within a religious polarization coinciding with the events of the Arab Spring.The UAE has used polarization in Arab society to build its soft power and network of intellectual institutions.

Al-Adhami refers to the positions of Hamza Yusuf, who blames peaceful demonstrators for causing them to provoke governments; He criticizes who defends tyranny instead of blaming governments for destructive dictatorship practices.

Non-Arab echoes
Asked about the echoes of this "new traditional" school outside the Arab world, Adhami responded that such institutions, such as the Forum for the Promotion of Peace, which is chaired by Ibn Bayah and calls around the world, are active in many events, including a conference in Malaysia, and the conference "revival of the Islamic spirit" organized by Hamza Yusuf is in Canada, and recently has a branch in Malaysia as well.

Mauritanian Sheikh Abdallah Ben Bih (Al Jazeera)

Al-Adhami adds that in the West European and American, Yusuf's ideas are "very serious," especially since they are strongly supported by countries such as the United Arab Emirates and the US administration; such as his opportunistic and negative attitude towards the Arab revolutions, stressing that these ideas strongly opposed to democracy and social contract in the West, denouncing the island Net Accept these ideas among Western intellectuals.

Al-Adhami pointed to the presence of his son and Yusuf, "the protection of religious freedoms" in New York two days ago with the participation of "Islamophobia" from the US Republican Party, and in the presence of a spokesman for the Serbian leader involved in large-scale purges against Bosnians in the Balkans Slobodan Milosevic.

Al-Adhami believes that his son, Hamza Yousef, fosters a "defeatist ideology that encourages surrender in order to extinguish the fire," and considers that this idea is rooted and established under the auspices of the UAE-sponsored network of Sufi and religious institutions in different countries.