Jineev: Zensunni growth

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The Spread of Zensunnism

Disclaimer: This is a fictional description of a aspect of a fictional religion. See the Jineev Jihad page for more details.

Reasons for Adoption

Now Maud'Dib has become Emperor, his Fremen jihadis and missionaries are spreading the Zensunni faith across the galaxy. It is being taken up by many peoples on many worlds, sometimes enthusiastically, sometimes not. Many nobles of the Houses Major and Minor are professing Zensunnism as a way of ingratiating themselves into the new power structures and therefore securing their supply of melange.

More significantly, many of the proletarian citizens are also converting to Zensunnism as it offers them a way out of their oppressive lives. Most societies are extremely stratified, with a large, poor proletariat, a small (almost non-existant) middle class, and a small but extremely rich and powerful nobility. Social mobility is almost non-existent. The Zensunni faith, which emphasises a personal relationship to God, coupled with its Fremen heritage of co-operation being required for survival, is far more egalitarian. It offers a way for members of the proletariat to achieve their ambitions and rise in status.

Threats to the old order

A large populace held in check by a small but powerful force is quite a common situation in our universe. And we know the major conditions wherein this large population may turn upon its leaders --

One: When they find a leader. This is the most volatile threat to the powerful; they must retain control of leaders.
Two: When the populace recogizes its chains. Keep the populace blind and unquestioning.
Three: When the populace perceives a hope of escape from bondage. They must never even believe that escape is possible!
From the Bene Gesserit Codex (CoD, p. 104)

Maud'Dib was disinherited and he spoke for the disinherited of all time. He cried out against that profound injustice which alienates the individual from that which he was taught to believe, from that which semed to come to him as a right.

From an analysis of Maud'Dib's teachings (CoD p. 344)

Given the renewal of the Zensunni faith under Maud'Dib, it is now the duty of all good Zensunni to spread the message across the Imperium and to convert all the people to Zensunnism.

This conversion is sometimes made problematic by the propaganda spread by the aristocrats, which can induce jahiliyya, false consciousness, in the populations they rule so that the proletariat believes that they are best served by the Houses. Overturning jahilayya is a key objective of the Zensunni proselytisers.

The social upheavals that follow the adoption of Zensunnism are profoundly destabilising. This is why the Zensunni proselytizers are routinely discredited and oppressed by the ruling aristocrats. This oppression normally takes the form of increased attention and harassment from House intelligence services and secret police, but it often escalates into more direct forms of propaganda, physical abuse, torture and death. It is to protect both the converts and missionaries that the jihadis are initially dispatched. If the situation continues to deteriorate, open warfare is the ultimate outcome.

The expansion of the Qizarate and Maud'dib's empire is sanctioned by the idea of the revolutionary imperative. This basically states that the social and religious advances in a population that come from conversion to Zensunnism and the adoption of sharia law remain vulnerable to the old, feudal structures so long as the Houses remain able to influence the converted. While the aristocratic regimes may attempt to reform their societies, they are ideologically incapable of going far enough in their reforms to achieve complete egalitarianism, as to do so would destroy their own class existence. Therefore, true reform can only take place by overthrowing the Houses. Similarly, the noble Houses can control great resources, at least in the short term, so they therefore threaten the advances made by the Qizarate and must be eliminated.