These are excerpts from Joel C. Rosenberg’s book, Inside the Revolution, and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing with you his insights into Revolution 2.0, for in doing this, I’m speaking to the Freedom Fighters. The Rank-and-File, whom Joel speaks so fondly of.
You compromise the vast majority of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims. You do not run countries, individually have little or no wealth and power. But you are enormously important. You are created in God’s image. You are suffering. Many of you live in absolute poverty, and see no future for your lives. You are searching. You want a better life. You know your nations and regions are failing, and you are not sure which way to turn.
When it comes to the social, economic, and spiritual crises plaguing the Islamic world, you wonder, Who has the right diagnosis? The right prognosis? Are the Radicals right in teaching that a purer form of Islam is the answer and that violent jihad is the way? Are the Reformers right in thinking that Islam is good but that more freedom, openness, and democracy are the way forward? Or are the Revivalists right, that Islam is not the answer, that Jesus is the answer, and that only by accepting Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead can a person be forgiven and saved and filled with hope and joy here in this life and in the life to come?
The Rank-and-File represent the vast middle ground of the Muslim world. You are going about your day-to-day lives without much of a desire to be Revolutionaries of any kind. But you are the audience to which the Radicals, the Reformers, and the Revivalists are speaking. If any of these three major movements gains the majority, or even a working plurality, of the Rank-and-File, the entire world will be forever changed, for good or ill. Understanding these Revolutionary movements is of absolutely critical importance. Those who ignore their trends do so at their own peril.
The Resisters are leaders of Muslim-majority countries who show little evidence of wanting serious social change or ideological change of any kind. While Muslim themselves, they do not want the kind of fundamental, sweeping changes advocated by the Radicals, Reformers, or Revivalists. To the contrary, they resist change; generally speaking, their mission is to hold power for as long as possible. Most modern Arab regimes fall into this category. The royal family and senior leaders of Saudi Arabia are classic Resisters. As Sunni Wahhabi Muslims, some may theologically identify with the Radicals, but they part paths politically. Some of their schools certainly produce a new generation of extremists, and their oil wealth often funds groups of Radicals, but the House of Saud wants to remain in political power and wants to retain the enormous revenues that come from selling oil to the West and the East.
These include leaders of Muslim-majority countries or territories who have leanings toward one movement or another but have not fully committed. They do the two-step, dancing for a season with one partner, then shifting to another. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is, in many ways, a charter member of the Reticent. Once the number-two man next to Yasser Arafat, he wrote his doctoral dissertation denying the Holocaust. He is a Sunni Muslim but has operated historically more like a secular Arab nationalist and even like a Marxist. Since rising to power he has shown some small but noteworthy signs of shifting away from Arafat’s worldview and toward actually wanting to make peace with Israel through a two-state solution. But he is politically weak, surrounded by Radicals and Resisters. The jihadists of Hamas have seized control of Gaza and threatened to assassinate him, his family, and everyone else he knows if he makes peace with Israel or embraces true democratic reform in the West Bank. So he dances.
The Revivalists are folks like me, who want eternal life for all through Jesus Christ our Lord. We want the Freedom Fighters to resist the Resisters and the Radicals, and to form their own democracies, or Constitutional Republics. True leaders, chosen by You, the People. By the People for the People. True freedom comes through real change, and you, the Freedom Fighters of Revolution 2.0, are the change. Be the Change You Want to See in the World. I salute you for your bravery, courage, determination, and heart. You Are The World. You Are The Children. You Are The Ones Who Make A Brighter Day So Let’s Start Givin’…looking forward to your freedom. 🙂