Glenn Beck and the Coming Caliphate

Glenn Beck has been talking about something called a caliphate.  I talked about this for the entirety of my radio show on Monday.  Listen to it HERE.  I said some stuff about the Glenn Beck controversy on a blog (not this one).  Here’s what I wrote:

Maybe Glenn Beck is doing some kind of Joaquin Phoenix thing were he acts all weird and then reveals that he’s making a documentary that’s really a satire about society. Or something like that. Sometimes Beck makes sense. Other times I think he needs to stop.

I actually think he’s somewhat right about some connections between the far far far far far far far left and radical Islam. But that’s not even a large enough group of people to merit talking about it for two weeks straight.

Until he can prove that George Soros and Osama bin Laden are in fact the same person, he needs to go back to being Sean Hannity with a sense of humor.

After thinking about it, I want to walk back those comments a little bit.  After reviewing the evidence, I am convinced that Glenn Beck is not completely crazy and he ought to be talking about caliphates and the very far left’s connections to and sympathy for radical Islam.  But he needs to make it clear that he is not implicating all liberals.  Only the very far left.

As far as a caliphate, goes, nothing that he says is completely crazy.  If Glenn Beck made it clearer that this is a worst casr scenario, and not a definite thing, maybe people wouldn’t be freaking out.  I don’t know.  Anyway, Scott Baker of The Blaze explained what a caliphate is:

Simply, a caliphate is a form of government.  More precisely, it is an Islamic state that draws its authority from, and is based upon, Sharia law. Get used to hearing the word; it is the form of government advocated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

What exactly a caliphate looks like depends on whether you are a Sunni or a Shia Muslim.  Sunnis believe a caliphate should be a constitutional republic, whose leaders are elected by Muslims.  Shias believe the head of state is divinely chosen via a lineage of religious clerics called Imams.  Within Egypt, Sunnis outnumber Shias.

Those who dismiss the idea of a caliphate in Egypt are discounting the country’s history.  Egypt is hardly a stranger to such a form of government; it was part of the Ottoman Empire from the early 16th century until in the late 19th century.  The Ottoman Empire was the last great caliphate. It didn’t transition to a secular government model until 1924.

With almost four hundred years of history as a caliphate, it’s not surprising then that Egypt’s penal code is written and based upon Islamic law.  Perhaps this is to be expected in a country where an estimated 90% of the people are Muslim.  What is surprising is that Egypt’s government is, or at least has been, a secular model.   But will it remain so?

Given the country’s history and the religion of the overwhelming majority of its people, the stage may be set for the return of a caliphate, rising out of the present turmoil.  And what that means to you probably depends on who you are.  A caliphate may sound fine if you are Muslim.  It might chaff a little if you’re not.  Christians and Jews were treated as second-class citizens under the Ottoman Empire. Certainly to the American mind, raised to believe in the “wall of separation between church and state” as articulated by Thomas Jefferson, a caliphate is an anathema.

If the possibility of a caliphate in Egypt sounds improbable, consider these facts:  Egypt’s current government is in collapse, the largest and most organized opposition, the Muslim Brotherhood, champions Islamic law and Egypt was once part of a caliphate.

It never works out well to ignore history or facts.  The dramatic changes in Egypt cannot be denied nor can the implications for the entire region.  An improbable word has made a comeback. The government it represents might not be so far behind.

I am not trying to scare you.  Nor am I saying that Glenn Beck is completely right about it.  But he is talking about something that could happen.  Maybe he needs to be more responsible for how he presents this stuff, and maybe he needs to be more clear about what his overall point is, but I take back what I’ve said about Glenn Beck being like Joaquin Phoenix.  He shouldn’t stop talking about this, but he needs to clarify things a bit.

As for going back to being Sean Hannity with a sense of humor, I stand by those remarks.  A few years ago, Glenn was much more fun to listen to.

 

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12 Comments

Filed under Politics, The Media

12 responses to “Glenn Beck and the Coming Caliphate

  1. laura l

    It’s sorta like how the Left used to try and attach Christian Conservatives, and by extension all conservatives, to this idea of enslaving women through their reproductive functions. Think ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. Or just think that I’m crazy. Your choice.

  2. You are exactly right. If Beck was more clear about what he’s saying, and didn’t act all mysterious, maybe he wouldn’t have caused such an uproar. His accusations that seem to tie in the entire left serve to diminish the legitimate points that he’s raising. Which is a shame.

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  4. laura l

    You’re so right about the ‘sense of humor’. Nobody wants to listen to a downer for an hour. At least when he was funny, it didn’t seem as though he took it quite as seriously. You can get away with a lot more that way.

  5. laura l

    You’ve probably already posted and commented on this, but I found it interesting that CM is comparing Beck with the Birch-guy. Yeah, MSNBC needs to be something other than the ‘Fox Response Network’, but Beck is kinda headed down the worm-hole.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/another-day-another-beck-caliphate-theory-another-matthews-blast-at-beck/

  6. laura l

    Me again. The thing with Beck is that he used to discuss things where you might be able to have some influence on the outcome. I do not care what he says about Egypt, even if I believe him, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. I’m not gonna call my Congressman and…what? It’s an important story, but enough already.

  7. laura l

    Beck on TV is a Believer. An evangelist, as some have said. Believers are only of interest to other Believers. One day a week for this stuff, or a segment per show. That’s it. Otherwise he goes the way of KO, but in less time.

  8. laura l

    Now he’s saying that Rumsfeld and Feinstein are also talking about a Caliphate. Um, ok, but are they trying to draw the Left into it? Seriously, I’m only half paying attention, which is usually the case, but Beck isn’t just talking about a Caliphate. He’s creating a net-like structure of blackboards around the Left, and by extension the President. I’m thinking that that may be as much the issue as discussion of a ‘Caliphate’, though I could be wrong.

    • I don’t think he was implicating the President or most on the left. But turning the Egypt thing into a bludgeon to attack the far left is a crass move, in my view. It gives people good reason to stop listening to what you have to say.

  9. laura l

    Well, he’s associating it with people who, in the past, he has drawn around the Prez. Maybe that’s just a connection that I’m making, as far as the reaction to it is concerned.