chapter  6
Liberation theodicy
Pages 38

My examination of Ta’ziyeh as the mimetic template of a mode of libera-

tion theology that ultimately does not degenerate into an absolutism of

convictions and allows for the shades and shadows of its own doubts and

uncertainties brings us down to the most fundamental failure of militant Islamism over the last two centuries. In combative conversation with ‘‘the

West’’ (the code-name for European colonialism that culminated in Amer-

ican imperialism), ‘‘Islam’’ was systematically mutated (more than by anyone

else by Muslims themselves) into a singular site of ideological resistance to

foreign domination in Muslim lands. The militant Islamism that ensued was

obviously not the only mode of ideological resistance to attempts at global

domination. Anti-colonial nationalism and revolutionary socialism (of pre-

Soviet, Soviet, and post-Soviet sorts) were equally instrumental in mobilizing people against the barefaced robbery of their homeland and dignity. Constitu-

tional to both sides of this binary – bothEuropean colonialism/US imperialism

and the varied forms of ideological resistances to them-was ametanarrative of

absolutist certainty that in the case ofmilitant Islamismmeant a constitutional

intolerance for opposing or alternative points of view sharing the very same

struggle. The wholesale robbery of the Iranian revolution of 1979 by the Isla-

mist faction is perhaps themost blatant example of amilitant Islamism that for

200 years had been a legitimate and integral component of anti-colonial mobilization, and yet upon the moment of its political victory it viciously

eliminated all its ideological rivals and established a horrid theocracy. That

theocracy notwithstanding, we cannot altogether ignore or dismiss the positive

role ofmilitant Islamismas a cogent andperfectly legitimatemodeof resistance

to global domination by Western Europeans and North Americans just over

the last 200 years alone. That theocracy, however, that Islamic Republic, is the

nightmare at the heart of militant Islamism, which was historically exorcised

and thus categorically concluded amode of revolutionary opposition to global domination that had systematically createdmanners of resistance to it identical

in their proclivity for metanarrative absolutism. With ‘‘the West’’ having now

finally exhausted its historical calamities and conceptually imploded, andwith

the rise of a mode of globalized empire with no particular center to any pre-

sumed periphery, the emerging cartography of global resistance to US-led military adventurism, and the calamities that it causes, requires a radically dif-

ferent mode of participation by Muslims in planetary resistance to this pre-

datory empire.My reflections on amodeof liberation theodicy that accounts for

the success and failures of militant Islamism over the last 200 years, and thinks

through the possibility of amode of resistance that itself does not degenerate into

an absolutist term of metaphysical propositions, is geared towards this end.