enables the average believer to put his words into action. And action is, as all wisdom unanimously teaches, more salutary than mere idle hopes and wishes felt in some fugitive mood at the close of the day. It is true that such action may be, on occasion, wrongly motivated or have disastrous consequences. But inaction never fails in either respect. We, as ordinary men and women, need realistic ideals, enjoying appropriate action, to exhaust allegiance; we are not in need of impossible ideals that are merely an embarrassing reminder of our own imperfections - especially imperfections of which we are only too aware and indeed all the more aware for failing to eliminate.
The only genuine alternative to power is political daydreaming. There are in the word today, as critic's of Islam's militancy well know, many familiar varieties of unwarrantable cheerfulness fed on a diet of supposed personal salvation, a private rescue from public distress. Such private solace fosters a facility which always serves to carry its possessors very lightly through the indifference and cruelty of the real world. Indeed it dulls the pain that men of goodwill necessarily feel when contemplating the vast panorama of contemporary evil follies, perverse fanaticisms, and military oppositions to the good and the just. But the liabilities of private salvation are fully displayed in the hour of practical action. To perfect oneself, to secure one's own salvation and that of one's own little club is only to cut the first sod. There is still the vast and untended field of duties to the world and to the larger communities of man.
-The Final Imperative: An Islamic Theology of Liberation, pg. 58