In this essay, we identify the primary, endogenous causes of the Muslim world’s crisis, and of its historical and geographical Arab-Muslim center in particular.
In my book Occident et Islam – Sources et genèse messianiques du sionisme (2015), I expose, among other things, the exogenous causes of the Arab-Muslim world’s collapse. In my second book, Les mythes fondateurs du Choc des civilisations  (2016), I devote a chapter to the endogenous causes of the political and religious crisis plaguing this civilization (the latter having caused the former), by diagnosing the historical consequences of such movements as Islamic reformism, Wahhabism and Arab nationalism, whose origins I outline in Occident and Islam.
The Muslim world does not fully grasp these historical paths nor their roots, which now drive modern ideologies.
Thinkers from the Muslim world do not seem to not want to study or question modern ideologies; and this reluctance is devastating because it prevents us from curing the cancer that is driving the Muslim world towards collapse.
I will attempt here to provide an explanation and historical interpretation based on my own research.
Religion and Civilization
As the anthropologist and psycho-sociologist Gustave Le Bon so aptly explains:
“General beliefs are the indispensable pillars of civilisations; they determine the trend of ideas. They alone can inspire faith and create a sense of duty. Nations have always been conscious of the utility of acquiring general beliefs, and have instinctively understood that their disappearance would be the signal for their own decline…” 
The Muslim world is no exception to this rule …
Before the advent of Islam, the Arabs were not in any real sense a nation; they were divided into multiple warring tribes living according to “savage” customs, as Ibn Khaldûn (1332-1406), the father of sociology and a great historian, explains:
The Arabs are a savage nation, fully accustomed to savagery and the things that cause it. Savagery has become their character and nature. They enjoy it, because it means freedom from authority and no subservience to leadership. Such a natural disposition is the negation and antithesis of civilization … because of their savagery, the Arabs are the least willing of nations to subordinate themselves to each other, as they are rude, proud, ambitious, and eager to be the leader. Their individual aspirations rarely coincide … A nation dominated by the Arabs is in a state no different from anarchy, where everybody is set against the others. Such a civilization cannot last and goes quickly to ruins, as would be the case in a state of anarchy…. But when there is religion (among them) through prophecy or sainthood, then they have some restraining influence in themselves. The qualities of haughtiness and jealousy leave them 
Both the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslim religion put an end to this tribal anarchy by unifying nomadic and sedentary Arabs – Arabs from the north and south – around the concept of divine uniqueness (tawhid).
Yet, old tribal rivalries resurfaced in the years after the Prophet’s death, which fueled religious schisms, and consequently, political conflicts, spanning from Spain  to Iraq, through Arabia and Syria [ 5].
The deeply tribal culture of the Arabs had relatively undermined the Muslim world. But the Islamic civilization and its strong, converted, ancient peoples – notably Persians (in the east) and Imazighen (Berbers, in the west) – tempered Arab tribalism by turning to urbanism and seditentarization, which transformed living conditions in general .
Arab Nationalism, i.e., Manipulating Arab Tribalism
Arab tribalism is one of the Muslim world’s hereditary weaknesses; Arab pride is another. Imperialists tried to use both as leverage against the Ottoman Empire, and against the Arabs themselves (which they failed to comprehend).
General Napoleon Bonaparte tried to apply this strategy during his military campaign in Egypt (1798-1801), by calling for more Arab patriotism from Egyptians, but to no avail because Egyptians did not understand this modern Western concept. .
One reason for this misunderstanding is that the Arabs, as a nation (rather than as a “race”), historically belong to the Islamic nation, which allowed Arab peoples to mingle with other peoples by providing a spiritual and political community: the Ummah. As Ibn Khaldûn once explained, there can be no Arab unity without this religious nation.
In hindsight, history and the present situation both prove that this great visionary was correct.
The First Breakdown of the Middle East
During the nineteenth century, and before the emergence of Arab nationalism, Britain, France, Germany and Russia all destabilized the Middle East to gain control of the region by pitting communities against each other in an external conflict conducted by proxy.
Each foreign power based its influence on a community living in the Ottoman Empire and used that community as a strategic and geopolitical tool .
On the eve of, and during, WW1, the Brits supported Arab autonomists (Syrians in Egypt: The Ottoman Administrative Decentralization Party) against the Ottoman Empire, while Zionists were negotiating an alliance with those same Arabs in order to expel the Turks from Palestine and to create the Jewish state .
By encouraging autonomism and Arab independence, which would later turn into Pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism, the Brits and Zionists pitted not only the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire, but also the different Arab communities against each other.
For example, Zionists isolated Palestinians by promoting dialogue with Arabs living outside of Palestinian territory; and this policy remains firmly in place today .
Zionists sought to push Arabs, including Syrian residents of Egypt, to revolt against the Ottoman Empire; they wanted to instill in Arabs the desire to expel the Ottoman Empire from Palestine, without the consent of Palestinians. In other words, they applied the age-old divide and conquer tactic.
In 1913-14, Britain encouraged the creation of a new secret society – founded by Aziz Ali al-Misri – which recruited Arab officers from the Ottoman army  to destroy the Empire from within.
In turning autonomism into Pan-Arab nationalism, the Brits aroused, and widely used, a nascent Arab nationalism to dismantle the Ottoman Empire. They managed to do so by promising Arabs the chimera of a large and independent Arab state. The British made this unfulfilled promise to mobilize naive Arabs against the Ottomans.
We should not forget that, in 1917, the British General Allenby took Jerusalem with the help of Arab troops , Zionism’s useful idiots, whose contemporary heirs happen to be the soldiers of Syrian and Iraqi terrorist groups working to build a Greater Israel.
Abolishing the Caliphate: A Strategic Act
This historical sequence ended in 1924 after Mustafa Kemal (whose family was Jewish and from Salonika, which, according to the investigator Ömer Kazim, is a Sabbatian stronghold ) abolished the Caliphate. Kemal, a member of the Young Turks sect, came from the Dönmeh (descendants of those disciples of Kabbalist rabbi Sabbatai Zevi who falsely converted to Islam in order to destroy it from within ). The Young Turks seized power due to the support of European Masonic lodges established in Turkey .
The abolition of the Caliphate did not just mark the destruction of a religious institution to bring the Muslim world into the Messianic Age; it was also a highly strategic act.
After the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, the division of the Middle East (due to the 1916 Sykes-Picot secret agreement), and the reactivation of Arab tribalism, the abolition of the Caliphate ensured the Muslim world remained perpetually divided. It also removed any prospect of rebuilding a united Muslim peoples (especially in the Middle East) around the only institution capable of politically unifying these ethnically diverse populations. At the same time, nationalism, as well as modern ideologies such as socialism and liberalism, “dialectically divided” Western and Eastern societies alike.
In direct consequence of the Caliphate’s abolition, Islamic reformism – which, in reality, is a Masonic form of Islam  – gave rise to political Islam (from which originated the Muslim Brotherhood).
Political Islam works symbiotically with Arab nationalism beyond all appearances, for both movements are historically and organically linked .
It is important to understand that, at the outset, Arab nationalism – albeit its short-lived victories against imperialism, which, by the way, were made possible only through the Soviet Union’s support, i.e., through the support of a geopolitical counterweight to the US – Arab nationalism was the result of foreign powers (mainly the Brits) reactivating Arab tribalism on a larger scale, thereby pitting Arabs against each other, playing with their short-term national interests, and leading them, step by step, to the Arab world’s current situation.
Over a hundred years ago, Arabs fell into the gigantic yet subtle trap of autonomism, which eventually chopped the Middle East into Arab nations.
Therefore, ontologically-speaking, Arab nationalism is the fruit of division, which Arab leaders were never able to overcome, and for which people today are paying a high price.
Whoever disagrees with my diagnosis of Arab nationalism should remember that “we judge a policy by its results”, just as we judge a tree by its fruits.
And as a result of this strategy implemented by Zionists, Brits, and then Americans, the Arab world was neutralized throughout the course of the 20th century.
There are plenty of examples to back this idea: in 1947, Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion concluded a secret agreement with the King of Jordan, Abdallah, to share Palestine ; in 1973, the President of Egypt, Anwar al-Sadat, abandoned Syria during the war against Israel for the benefit of the Jewish state; and in 1980, Saddam Hussein started a useless war against Iran for Israel and America (though Israel and America had fueled it).
Arab nationalism has made it impossible for Arab nations to form any real global, long-term strategic alliances. This fundamental division greatly facilitates the task of foreign powers, especially Israel, which explains why the Arab world is the helpless witness of its decay in favor of the Israeli plan.
That said, Syria would have collapsed were it not for Russia’s intervention in October 2015.
The Abolition of the Caliphate and the Birth of Political Islam
The abolition of the Caliphate in the aftermath of WW1, which precipitated the breakdown of the Muslim world, had already been prepared from within by reformist movements .
After the abolition of the traditional Islamic regime (i.e., the Caliphate), modernist reformist intellectuals worked together with political reformers and other revolutionaries, some of whom were Young Turks, to back the destruction of the main Islamic institution inherited from the Prophet.
Reformers had to use high-level sophistries to justify an act considered to be high treason, and thus deceived Muslims of the time as well as present-day Muslims.
The Turkish Grand National Assembly, which the Young Turks founded in 1920, commissioned a book called The Manifesto of Ankara. This manifesto was written by secular Turkish scholars and was translated into Arabic in 1924. It aimed to first strip the caliph of all temporal powers to leave him only a symbolic and spiritual character, before abolishing the Caliphate altogether.
The main argument advanced by the authors is that the Caliphate is the product of a set of conceptions derived from human reason and constructed from sacred texts; therefore, according to them, Muslims need an institution that allows power to rest with the people.
Immediately after this manifesto was published in Arabic, there emerged an Egyptian reformist theologian who endorsed the abolition of the Caliphate by borrowing the arguments of secular Turks and orienting them to extreme ends. This reformist, who went by the name of Ali Abderraziq (1888-1966), was a scholar at the University of Al-Azhar as well as a judge …
To grasp the underlying reasons and motivations behind his position, we must consider his family background as well as the ideological current to which he belonged.
Ali Abderraziq came from a wealthy family known for its commitment to the liberal current in Egypt. His father, Hassan Pasha Abderraziq, who co-founded the Al-Umma party and then became one of the historic leaders of the Liberal-Constitutional party, was close to two famous reformist figures: Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905) and Lotfi Al-Sayyid (1872-1963).
Ali’s elder brother, a philosopher called Mustafa Abderraziq, was part of the intellectual elite of the day that favored total openness to the West and the abandonment of the tradition of the dignitaries of Al-Azhar.
Meanwhile, Ali was the worthy heir and disciple of his father’s friend, Muhammad Abduh. In Occident et Islam – Sources et genèse messianiques du sionisme, I highlight Abduh and his reformist movement’s place in history; despite the fact that he had the backing of Egypt’s enemy (Britain), Abduh played an important role in reforming the University of Al-Azhar – namely, the organization and methodology applied by doctors at the university  – when he was Grand Mufti of Egypt.
Abduh’s attempts at reform gave rise to the opposition between traditionalists on the one hand, and partisans of a modernist renewal, represented by Abduh and backed by the Abderraziq brothers, on the other . Moreover, Ali Abderraziq would carry on Abduh’s Al-Azhar reforms with a group of young students related to him .
Ali Abderraziq was largely influenced by modern Western thought – after all, his purpose in attacking the Caliphate was to push Muslim countries to embrace modern Western ideologies and political regimes – and he was especially influenced by those Western Orientalists he met during his studies at an Egyptian university, and perhaps even more so after spending nearly two years in England to pursue secular studies.
In 1925, one year after the abolition of the Caliphate, Ali Abderraziq published his book Islam and the Foundations of Power, in which he went so far as to question the religious legitimacy of the Caliphate.
His stance caused a great deal of controversy, but was not foreign to the Egyptian political situation, because, after all, he was trying to discredit the caliphal institution on theological grounds in favor of the Egyptian Liberal Constitution, for which his family had militated . It is safe to say here that we are not dealing with a disinterested intellectual approach devoid of ideological intention.
To this day, modernist reformists, such as Tariq Ramadan , advance Abderraziq’s arguments and theses to finish diluting Islam with modernity, all the while trying to demonstrate Islam’s compatibility with modern ideologies and the political regimes emerging from them.
That’s where political Islam comes in …
Abdou Filali-Ansary aptly sums up this historical sequence and the political consequences of the Caliphate’s abolition:
Many authors note the concomitance between the caliphate’s burial and the emergence of contemporary fundamentalist currents. Two dates are often highlighted: 1925, the year Islam and the Foundations of Power was published, and 1928, the year Hassan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood, which would trigger a new dynamic in Islamic societies around the idea of a return to the early model. The appearance of the “Islamic State” slogan, which in turn became a doctrine, is thus directly linked to the removal of any hope of resuscitating the caliphate, and thus to Ali Abderraziq’s work of undermining the caliphate. “The caliphate is dead, long live the Islamic State!” This idea summarizes very schematically what was at play at the time.
Such a coincidence is indeed remarkable. His interpretation is not as simple as it seems. Should it be understood in a strictly causal sense, wherein the excess of Ali Abderraziq, the vigor of his office against an institution that symbolized the continuity of the Islamic entity for centuries, provoked an opposite reaction: namely, that of a reformulation of the Islamic community’s ideal, both in more rigorous terms, and in a form and vocabulary more in line with the times? .
Hamid Enayat is a specialist on modern Islamic political thought. He affirms without hesitation:
The caliphate crisis had a subsidiary doctrinal result: it introduced the idea of the Islamic State as an alternative to the caliphate, which was now declared to be impossible to resurrect by Turkish secularists and such Muslims figures as Ali Abderraziq, Rachid Ridha and the ‘Al-Azhar ulama’, be it implicitly or explicitly .
Indeed, the disappearance of the Caliphate left fallow the religious terrain that so-called fundamentalist movements of political Islam immediately came to occupy – nature abhors the void – starting with the Muslim Brotherhood, which manipulated Islam for political gains.
Contrary to what Abdou Filali-Ansary assumes in an interrogative form, the abolition of the Caliphate and the emergence of the idea of Islamic State as a substitute for the traditional institution could not only be matter of causality, because, as I have made clear , the Reformers systematically endorsed political maneuvers to subvert Islam led by the revolutionaries, of which the most striking example was when modernist reformists let Young Turks abolish the Caliphate.
This historical sequence confirms my thesis on the historical dialectic of the destruction of Islam, whose two main drivers are Islamic reformism and Wahhabism, and of which the Muslim Brotherhood organization is the synthesis .
Ultimately, every reformist idea that favors the abolition of the Caliphate and political movements – e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood and other Wahabi groups that introduced the idea of Islamic State as an alternative to the Caliphate –introduces novelties, reprehensible innovations (bid’ah) to Islam.
Prophet Muhammad echoes this idea:
There will come in the last days some impostors and liars who will bring narrations never heard by you and your forefathers, so beware of them lest they misguide you and afflict you with tribulation. 
The abolition of the Caliphate was a political and symbolic earthquake from which the Muslim world never recovered, and from which it continues to suffer today. This causal link – between the Caliphate’s abolition on the one hand, and decadence on the other – is widely overlooked.
The Caliphate is much more than a mere institution: it embodies a one and indivisible sovereignty, which directly relates to the idea of political unity under a single authority; but this idea disappeared, so division replaced it. The discord exacerbated by jealous Arab tribalism has turned into a nationalism of rivalry and opposition.
To march forward, the Israeli project must depend precisely on this division.
The Second Division of the Arab World and the Israeli Strategy
Since 2011, the Arab world is in the final phase of a reorganization plan that rests on destruction.
In the same perspective, after WW1, Israel updated its strategy vis-à-vis the Muslim world.
In 1982, a strategist under the pseudonym Oded Yinon wrote a strategic plan for the Israeli Foreign Ministry titled A Strategy for Israel in the Eighties .
The text contained therein does not merely provide a strategy that consists of pitting communities against each other to expand Israel’s borders after the Muslim world is destroyed (starting with its close neighbors); it also offers, in the introduction, a realistic, profound and complete analysis of history, modern ideologies and economics, before addressing more geopolitical concerns.
Thinkers and strategists from Europe and the Muslim world lack such a long-term vision; and this idea explains why the Jewish messianic project, which gave rise to Zionism, took so long to implement.
After delivering this analysis, Oded Yinon wrote 35 years ago:
In the long run, this world will be unable to exist within its present framework in the areas around us without having to go through genuine revolutionary changes.
The Moslem Arab World is built like a temporary house of cards put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the Nineteen Twenties), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into 19 states, all made of combinations of minorities and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging.
Apart from Egypt, all the Maghreb states are made up of a mixture of Arabs and non-Arab Berbers. In Algeria there is already a civil war raging in the Kabyle mountains between the two nations in the country. Morocco and Algeria are at war with each other over Spanish Sahara, in addition to the internal struggle in each of them.
He then recommends triggering conflicts between minorities of the Muslim world so as to destroy all states, from Morocco to Pakistan, including Saudi Arabia.
The Zionist agent Bernard-Henri Levy has been calling for an Algerian Spring since 2012…
Two Maghreb countries – Morocco and Algeria – have adopted different paths and strategies to weather the storm caused by the Arab Spring; and obviously those two countries are still on the list…
We should remember that Levy publicly declared in 2011: “The Arab Spring is good for Israel!” He also said before a Jewish assembly: “What I did in Libya, I did as a Jew “.
The Arab Spring and successive terrorist attempts have failed to destabilize Algeria; there is one last card to be played before a potential NATO bombing – a perilous bombing against a very well-equipped Algerian army, especially in Russian armament – and that is the artificial independentism of the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia (MAK), whose president is a close friend of BHL’s. It aims, in accordance with the Oded Yinon plan, to attack the territorial integrity of Algeria via Kabylia. But this strategy cannot possibly succeed because Kabyle independence does not have a popular base .
From all the above, it can be seen that some forces clearly want to take advantage of the socio-economic crisis in the Moroccan Rif; they want to bring Morocco down by adding identity and secessionist claims to social demands – perfectly legitimate demands. To do so, they seek to provoke an identity conflict between Arabs and Imazighen (Berbers), as Oded Yinon suggested.
According to sources close to the plight of activists of the Haraka movement, the movement’s leader, Nasser Zefzafi, has been under enormous pressure to turn the demonstrations into a pro-independence movement. The same sources claim that foreign-based circles offered him large sums to abandon social demands in favor of separatist slogans; something which Zefzafi refused to do .
To avoid falling (again) into the (same) trap requires having perfect knowledge of the enemy’s strategic plans…
Youssef Hindi is a writer and historian of messianic eschatology. Born in Morocco, he emigrated to France at a very young age, and followed a path that led him to develop a reflection on the necessary reconciliation of the North and the South shores of the Mediterranean. Two worlds whose destinies have always been intimately intertwined. Here’s his Twitter account: https://twitter.com/youssef_hindi?lang=en
This essay was originally published in French here on June 24, 2017.
 Published in 2016 by éditions Sigest
 Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
 Ibn Khaldûn, A discourse on the Universal History (al-Muqaddimah)
 For more on tribal conflicts in Muslim Spain: Pierre Guichard, Al Andalus, Hachette Littérature, 2001
 See: Robert Mantran, L’Expansion musulmane, VIIe-XIe siècle, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1969, nouvelle édition, 1991, collection « Nouvelle Clio ».
 Robert Mantran, op. cit.
 Henry Laurens, L’Orient arabe, arabisme et islamisme, de 1798 à 1945, Armand Collin, 1993, p. 44.
 Henry Laurens, op. cit.
 Neil Caplan, Futile Diplomacy, vol. I, Early Arab Zionist Negociation Attempts 1913-1931 Londres, Frank Cass, 1983, p. 24. Henry Laurens, op. cit. pp. 146-147.
 See: Youssef Hindi, Occident et Islam – Sources et genèse messianiques du sionisme, chapitre III : Le sionisme aux XIXe et XXesiècles, 2015, Sigest.
 Henry Laurens, op. cit. p. 134.
 Youssef Hindi, op. cit. chapitre II : Origines, rôle historique et eschatologique du wahhabisme et du réformisme islamique
 On the Jewish and Sabbatean origins of Mustafa Kemal, read: Ömer Kâzim, L’aventure kemaliste, 1921, Sigest, 2014, p. 27.
 Youssef Hindi, op. cit.
 Youssef Hindi, op. Cit.
 Youssef Hindi, op. cit. chapitre II.
 Youssef Hindi, op. cit. chapitre III.
 Stephen Walt and John Maersheimer, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. La Découverte, 2006, p. 107.
 See my detailed study on this historical period: Youssef Hindi, op. cit., chapitres II-III.
 On Muhammad Abduh and reformism: Youssef Hindi, op. cit., chap. II.
See also Abdou Filali-Ansary’s introduction to Ali Abderraziq’s book: L’islam et les fondements du pouvoir, éd. La Découverte, 2015, p. 10.
 Abdou Filali-Ansary, op. cit., p. 10.
 See: Présentation du livre d’Ali Abderraziq par Soad Ali-Abderraziq : L’islam et les fondements du pouvoir, p. 44.
 Abdou Filali-Ansary, op. cit., p. 35.
 Hamid Enayat, Modern Islamic Political Thought, Macmillan Press, London, 1982, p. 69.
 In Occident et Islam and Les mythes fondateurs du Choc des civilisations.
 Thesis of chapter 2 of Occident et Islam – tome I.
 Rapporté par Muslim.
 Oded Yinon’s « A strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties », Published by the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc., Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982, Special Document N° 1 (ISBN 0-937694-56-8).