From Issue: 934 [Read full issue]

Revolution and Religion

Every true revolution is a member of faith, exaltation, justice, longing, sacrifice, and death — the feelings which are beyond interest and existence. Everybody who took part in a revolution or followed its development from close by could affirm the presence of those ethical features. They saw it as an epic poem and not just a mechanical overthrow or a simple change of the ruling machinery. This might explain the inability of the workers in today's capitalist countries to revolt and, on the other hand, the enthusiasm of poets, artists, and other religious people for a revolution which can be atheistic in its declarations. Considered from the inside, not as a process but as a part of life, revolution appears as a drama which affects men as only religions do.

A community affected by the feelings of solidarity, sacrifice, and a common destiny is in a "state of religion." This is the atmosphere of "increased temperature," which appears in emergencies and at fests, when people feel like brothers and friends.

A society incapable of religion is also incapable of revolution. The countries in revolutionary fervour are the countries of living religious feelings as well. The feeling of brotherhood, solidarity, and justice — religious in their very essence — are in revolution turned to this world's justice, to this world's paradise.

Both religion and revolution are born in pain and suffering and die in well-being and comfort. Their true life is as long as their struggle to be realized. Their realization is their death. Both religion and revolution, in their stage of becoming real, produce institutions and structures which eventually suffocate them. The official institutions are neither revolutionary nor religious.

If a revolution had its adversaries in religion, it had them in the official religion only, in the church and hierarchy — the institutional, false religion. Conversely, the pseudo-revolution — revolution converted into structure, bureaucracy always had its ally in the religion converted into structure, into bureaucracy. Having begun to lie and betray itself, the revolution could go along with the false religion.

Compiled From:
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, pp. 59, 60