Although succeeded at present by a cadre of pseudo-academic pipsqueaks, UCLA’s Near Eastern Center still bears the name of its founder, historian G.E. von Grunebaum.
Just over 50-years ago, von Grunebaum contributed an essay entitled “Problems of Muslim Nationalism,” (published in Islam and the West, Edited by Richard Frye, The Hague, 1957), which includes these timeless insights on the inherently political nature of Islam, sans any meaningless references to “Political Islam,” or “Islamism,” on p. 10:
The Muslim theologian was not weighted down by that typically Christian feeling that power is sinful in itself and that its exercise calls for an explanation, not only, but an apology. On the contrary, the community and their spokesmen realized from the very beginning that Islam could not be perfected unless within an Islamic political organization whose maintenance and advancement were, to say the least, a prerequisite to the service of God, if they did not in themselves constitute such a service…in our own time Muhammad Rashid Rida (d. 1935) has reaffirmed the inseparability of Islam as a religion and Islam as a political entity by stating that Islam is not fully in being as long as there does not exist a strong and independent Muslim state that is able to put into operation the laws of Islam.
My Passover thoughts on a holiday which celebrates freedom, including Israel’s liberation from 13 centuries of jihad-imposed dhimmitude.