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Weeping Mohammed


Here is a moral conundrum from the early history of Islam:

You are a seventh-century Muslim, a follower of the prophet. You have just captured some polytheist women and you plan to sell them to their families for ransom. Personal enrichment is an important prerogative of a Muslim holy warrior.

On the other hand, you haven’t, while off fighting on this long jihad, seen any of your wives for many months, and you therefore would like to rape one of the women. Is it morally acceptable to rape her and then sell her to her family, who would obviously prefer that she not be defiled?

You wonder whether that would be consistent with the divine purposes that inspire your jihad. You put the question to Mohammed, your leader and the founder of a great monotheistic religion, who concludes that, under these trying conditions, a sexually aroused jihadist is entitled to rape his prisoner and then sell her to her family. You have your moral imprimatur (cf. Koran 4.24).

A further question arises, since you are a morally scrupulous jihadist. When you rape your prisoner, should you ejaculate inside her, or should you practice coitus interruptus, out of deference to her family and to avoid the risk of impregnation? When you put the question to Mohammed, the model of a sinless man that all true believers should emulate, he concludes that coitus interruptus is unnecessary and inadvisable, elucidating in the process an important theological principle: “there is no soul which Allah has ordained to come into existence but will be created.” If a soul is divinely predestined to exist, it will eventually be embodied; conception is ultimately the result of Allah’s divine choice, not human agency. The historical substratum of this refined theological speculation was Mohammed’s authoritative declaration, as recorded in Muslim historical documents, that one of his followers could rape a captive infidel, ejaculate inside her, and then sell her to her parents.

Here is another moral conundrum from the early history of Islam, one of the many puzzling problems which recur in the record of Mohammed’s life:

Mohammed asks for a volunteer to assassinate a non-Muslim, the poet Ka’ab ibn al-Ashraf, who has insulted the prophet. Would Allah approve? Mohammed knows that Allah would indeed approve. Assassinating a non-Muslim who insults Mohammed is a religious obligation, a gesture of piety which some French Muslims, taking time off from their task of culturally enriching France, recently performed in Paris. One of their spiritual ancestors dutifully answers Mohammed’s call for a killer.

Yet again a further moral question arises. Since Ka’ab, knowing the anger he has aroused among the Muslims, is likely to run away when his would-be killer approaches, the volunteer assassin wonders whether it would be morally acceptable to pretend to be his friend and pretend to be hostile to the prophet. That way the assassin can get close to his victim and kill him when he is unprepared. He’ll think that his assassin dislikes Mohammed just as much as he does. He won’t suspect his intentions. Is such deceit morally acceptable in the all-seeing eyes of Allah the Merciful, the source and final arbiter of the moral order? Yes, Mohammed concludes, it is, so the assassin heads off, accompanied by several accomplices, one of them Ka’ab’s foster brother, to befriend his victim. After a series of skillful deceptions, the last of which bizarrely involves complimenting him on his perfumed hair, he assassinates the infidel who had mocked the prophet. Mohammed receives his head as a trophy. Soon after he would remark that Ka’ab had “offended me by his seditious speeches and his evil poetry,” and he sternly warned that his sword would again be unsheathed and others would pay the same penalty if they committed the same offenses.

The early history of Islam is filled with similar conundrums, the ethical dilemmas that perplex a rampaging horde of literal cutthroats inspired by an imaginary divine mission. These dilemmas are often resolved by choosing the option of maximum violence. Is, for example, beheading your prisoners morally better than selling them for ransom? If you cut off the heads of the non-Muslims you capture, you cannot then sell the headless corpses to their families; or, if you try, you’ll get less from them in ransom than you would if your captives had not been executed. Self-interest and the need to finance Mohammed’s ongoing jihad might suggest that mercy is the best policy, mercy in this case being a willingness to sell captives back to their families instead of beheading them. But Allah, speaking through the angel Gabriel and Mohammed, thinks differently and quickly resolves the dilemma: “It is not for any prophet to have prisoners [for ransom] until he make wide slaughter in the land” (Koran 8.67).

In other words, a prophet, specifically the world’s last and greatest prophet, must first kill large numbers of his enemies and devastate their land; only then can he show mercy to the survivors. This strategy is, in purely practical terms, likely a good system to use if you are trying to subdue stubborn opponents; it is a bad system if you are the founder of a great monotheism whose example, many centuries later, will be held up as a model for well over a billion Muslims to emulate (Koran 33.21). As William Muir, the nineteenth-century biographer of Mohammed, observed: “Converts were gained to the faith of Jesus by witnessing the constancy with which its confessors suffered death; they were gained to Islam by the spectacle of the readiness with which its adherents inflicted death.”

HebdoMohammed1Back in 2006 an issue of Charlie Hebdo put a distraught Mohammed on the cover. The prophet, the cartoonist suggested, was troubled by his modern followers. “It’s hard being loved by idiots,” he complains. The idea was that Mohammed would be disturbed by the violence too often committed in his name and by the intolerance that motivated it; his true message of peace and benevolence had been “overwhelmed by fundamentalists.”

The recent Charlie cover, created in the wake of the massacre, repeats the idea. A weeping Mohammed professes solidarity with the victims of Muslim violence in Paris, dismay at the crimes of their killers. He holds a sign saying “Je suis Charlie.” A founder of a great monotheism must have been humane and peaceful, just like Jesus, so of course he would, had it been possible, have put himself last week among the crowds in Paris expressing their horror and sorrow at the bloodshed wrongly committed in his name and in the name of the peaceful religion he founded.

We can call this a bold political correctness, at once daring and timid. Cartoons of this sort were certainly bold enough to get their brave creators murdered, but they are insufficiently bold to be even remotely convincing. We can state with great confidence that the historical Mohammed would have no objection whatever to the crimes of the Kouachi brothers. He would applaud them, and he would ask, along with Amedy Coulibaly, why more of the “vigorous young Muslims” of France have not also taken up arms. Mohammed, who once declared that the head of an enemy was “more acceptable to me than the choicest camel in all Arabia,” would not have been among the crowds across the West decrying Islamic terror.

Since we Occidentals are, tragically, often fearful and suspicious of any generalization that works to the detriment of non-Whites, I will add the obligatory qualifications. There were, no doubt, some gentle features of Mohammed’s temperament, and there are some morally uplifting teachings in his Koran. There are also, no doubt, many accomplishments of Islamic civilization that we should sincerely admire. The Arabian Nights is, for example, a priceless treasure of world literature; the West owes an important intellectual debt to medieval Muslim scholarship; Avicenna was a towering genius; and so forth. Muslims, moreover, do not form a monolith. Not all of them want to kill us. Many are offended by the terrorism of their co-religionists.

But the Islam of the Koran and the Islam of Mohammed’s life form, nevertheless, a coherent religion with definite features. One of them is hostility toward non-Muslims. Another is the obligation to punish all those who mock Islam’s prophet. Another still is the obligation to wage jihad against non-Muslims until the world becomes Islamic. There are over a hundred Koranic verses that urge Muslims to wage war against non-Muslims. That not every Muslim accepts the obligation to make the world Islamic or to murder defamers of the prophet does not alter the Koran or the sanguinary life of its author. The text of the Koran remains the same. Mohammed’s teachings remain the same. They are available to any Muslim who chooses to follow them. The religion that Mohammed founded was shaped amidst war and the hatreds that accompany war. Disbeliever and enemy were nearly identical in his mind, as they will inevitably be in the mind of anyone who faithfully seeks to emulate him.

A final scene from the prophet’s biography: a frightened father awaiting beheading begs for his life and wonders who will care for his children after his death; Mohammed tells him that “hell-fire” will be their new home and orders his execution. Here Mohammed is surely brutal by any standard. To the certainty of an enemy’s death in this world Mohammed, as a spokesman for Allah, adds the certainty of hell-fire for his enemy’s children in the next, while predicting their rapid exit from the ranks of the living.

Mohammed’s violence was, notwithstanding the claims of Muslim apologists today, striking even for a violent era and a violent place. A convert to Islam would later say that the poet Ka’ab ibn al-Ashraf had been murdered through “guile and perfidy.” We are not therefore importing back into seventh-century Arabia the standards of our own time, for a sympathetic contemporary could also be troubled by the violence of nascent Islam. But even if we pretend that Mohammed was no more violent than his enemies, the fact remains that his enemies are nameless to most of us. They did not found religions. Their beliefs are not now the beliefs of millions. Their lives are not patterns of the perfect man. They have no living adherents to murder cartoonists who might chance to insult their memory.

It is, as UKIP’s Lord Monckton said recently, “blindingly obvious” that Islamic terrorism is an expression of authentic Islamic teachings. Those who, like George Bush and Alain de Benoist, deny the blindingly obvious do so in opposition to the content and history of the religion they are trying to exculpate. They are also diverting attention, in many cases knowingly, from the gigantic demographic catastrophe afflicting our civilization: the presence of millions of Muslims in the West, their numbers growing daily. Not even deluges of skillful propaganda will enable Western multiculturalists to convince the majority of those Muslims that their Koran does not actually mean what Allah explicitly pronounced, or to convince them that Mohammed was a Christ-like altruist endowed with fine moral sensibilities. The jihadists living among us, imported into the West through deranged immigration policies, have the real message of the Koran and the facts of history on their side. We can therefore expect, to state another blindingly obvious truth, more violence from the Mohammedan religion of peace, until people of European descent finally recognize its incompatibility with our civilization.


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  1. Sandy
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    The reasoning there was as convoluted as the Popes and the Protestant leaders getting round the First Commandment when insisting that the pagan gods are equal with God. As numerous financial commentators are prone to say these days, “This ain’t going to end well.”

  2. James O'Meara
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Although I’m all for “Islam Raus!” I must say I cannot agree with your rather Protestant assumption that what Allah “meant to say” is “blindingly obvious” to anyone who merely reads the text, and anyone who disagrees has some hidden agenda. Religious scriptures just don’t work that way, as a glance at the history of Protestantism itself shows. (And where did those heretics Mohammed was beheading come from?)

    Saying “The Koran teaches terrorism and anyone who says otherwise is lying” is rather like saying “The New Testament teaches papal infallibility and anyone who says otherwise is lying.” Interpretations can be stupid, or boring, or (if you’re a believer) demonically inspired, but its just unfruitful to assume anyone who interprets a passage, or a whole book, differently must “really” see the truth and is just lying.

    Mohammed the peaceful? Sure, why not; just because no one clever enough to spin the tale has shown up yet doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Just look at how the Christians twisted the warrior Messiah into gentle, dead Jesus, and even find “evidence” all through the Hebrew books. And if it really is too implausible, then just cut whatever you need (ask Luther about James or Revelation; or Rosenberg and his Aryan Christ). Or fake a new book (impudent forgery being another Semitic specialty). Need a warrior again to fool the Germans? Voila, The Heliand!

    It seems to me that it’s a lot simpler to just point out that Musselmen contribute nothing to our society (hence the fallback position of “diversity as such” being a value, as in the Swedish import of Africans) and hence have no real reason to be here at all, however “peaceful” they may be.

  3. Greg Johnson
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    One meme circulating around is that the Charlie Hebdo killers were not good Muslims because they were into rap and smoked pot. I am not sure if pot is “haraam” in Islam or not, but the more I read about the Prophet, the more he sounds like a “gangsta” and a “pimp.” So why can’t good Muslims be into the rap lifestyle?

    • James O'Meara
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. The same was said about the 9/11 guys, supposedly into strip clubs and vodka. Of course, this is easily explained, as they were no doubt members of the Assassins, and used various ordinarily haram means, such as alcohol, as part of their antinomian path. See, anything can be explained as “somehow” orthodox, or in this case, orthodoxly heterodox. “You see, there are exception….”

      I have read that the “heretical” ceremonies of the Templars — treading on the cross, etc. — were “actually” training to enable them to pretend to convert, or to withstand religious torture, just as today US guards set fire to Korans. Same with the Spanish “converso” Judaics.

  4. Kristian
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
    • Ea
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      No-wiki is ever truly with a ‘neutral point of view’

      Islam is a deep and complex religion, specially in the judicial sense. The same happends with judaism, in fact, the discussion in the talmud is very similar to the discussion and commentary among imams regarding the law.

      But lets talk about the article and the site you sent us to.

      The article in the historial is heavily edited by “Sahab”, among others.

      Who’s “Sahab”? From his wiki profile page.

      “Sahab is a former Sunni Muslim now agnostic from South Asia who joined the wiki in April 2009 and became an administrator in 2011. Although not a Christian himself, his “positive experiences with them have left a lasting impression” and he considers Jesus Christ to be “the height of moral excellence.” Politically he is “left-leaning” and responsible for the site’s coverage of LGBT issues. He edited heavily for 5 years (from April 2009 to April 2014), accumulating over 47,000 edits (50% of all edits) that touched almost every page on the site. He created several hundred original articles, various original media files and templates and many original series that span several hundred more pages. As an administrator, he quality-controlled most of the site’s edits (copy-editing, correcting and expanding as necessary), helped with decision-making, guiding newer editors and dealt with many other day-to-day duties. He helped to formulate and write the majority of the site’s policies and guidelines, created its easy-to-navigate structure (site map, links, hub/core pages, layered categories, etc.) and helped shape its general direction. Offsite, he helped promote the wiki and networked with others to import several hundred more pages worth of articles (most of these were also copy-edited, corrected and/or expanded by him). In short, he is the most significant contributor to the site as of August 2014 and basically made WikiIslam into what it is today.”

      Do I have to say more?

      • Kristian
        Posted January 17, 2015 at 2:27 am | Permalink

        I didnt link to wiki because this Sahab is a person of interest to me, but because it quickly describes what is consistant with mainstream interpretations of 4:24, regardsless of who wrote it.

        • Ezra Pound's Ghost
          Posted January 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Thanks everybody for those links, and looking at them it does seem that the general context involves what would typically be considered battlefield/military occupation rape. It appears to be one of the bona fide universal human phenomena except in unique circumstances of chivalry, which may be limited to certain superior types.

  5. Ea
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Well you have to read the hole as-sura to understand it but lets go straight to the point, at least, on the first quote. Koran 4,24 adds to the list of forbidden womens for man, and talks about the captives/slaves, they’re ‘allowed’ if there’s a marriage intention. Otherwise it could be heavily punished. Sharia law is harsh against non-marital sex and prostitution and abuse. Even on infidels.

    The quotes in general are totally out of context. I’m against all abrahamic religion, I dislike islam as much I dislike jews and christians. They were and are the cancer of the indoeuropean peoples.

    We dont need to make up stuff or to be a sensasionalist to win the fight. We must understand and reject them for what they are, and its plenty of material.

    The article is interesting. Makes some valid arguments. But still, any amateur academic without using any political rethoric would prove him wrong, he just chopped the Koran to make his point, sadly is way more complicated than that.

    The problem is multiculturalism (in the melting pot sense), cultural marxists, classic liberals, and the race issue. Each race and subrace has his own ‘islam’.

    Like in Kyrgystan where the Imam celebrates the wedding of a kidpanned girl by drinking vodka.

    I’m a true etnonacionalist I’ve found out this a marvelous prove of diversity that we must respect and protect from liberalism. And its a tradition that’s deeply rooted in their mythos.

    Before all the moralfags say something about this ‘way of marriage’, they should check out at least the article in wikipedia

    The most troubling thing that Irvin Vinson said in this article is that Jesus is not like Muhammad. On the contrary. That’s the issue. Muhammad is like Jesus, and that’s where we’re fucked up. A single crucified jew -or galilean according to Chamberlain- slowly poisoned allmost all races for the past 2000 years.

    Always remember that. If you’re not sure about it, check out Greg Johnson Articles on Jan Assmann “Moises the egyptian” or his essays regarding “cultural memory”.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted January 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Just remember, if white people had countries of our own, we wouldn’t need to have these conversations.

      Any religion in which the rape of captive women is still a lively topic of theological debate should be completely excluded from white countries.

  6. PeriodicReader
    Posted January 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think you grasped what the “right hands possess” means. Those are slaves. So the details in your quotes are actually for how to treat non-slaves and not slaves. In Islam, slaves are property that you should treat nicely but you can have sex with them. There are sayings that sex with slaves is natural because the slave also has a natural desire for sex that should be satisfied. All this type of info is online and debated.

  7. Posted January 17, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Ezra Pound’s Ghost wrote:

    Am I just crazy, or does this say the exact opposite of what the author claims it says?

    I was a bit worried about including the reference there, and I see now that I should not have, since the verse is not entirely clear unless you are familiar with the material. But (as others here have already mentioned) having a woman “in your right hand,” or various similar expressions, means her owner can rape her. “Right-hand possessions” = slaves or captives. The idea is also mentioned at 33.50. That Mohammed felt the need to declare a right to rape implies that raping prisoners was at least slightly problematic, which I suppose may say something good about early Islam. On the other hand, the right to rape is indeed enshrined in the Koran, and as a matter of fact Mohammed had no objection to his followers raping captive women; he only disapproved, for theological reasons, of their ejaculating on them at the conclusion of a rape. Modern apologists for Islam sometimes claim that the captives somehow, perhaps by virtue of being raped, magically became wives and therefore not victims of a crime; but that is nonsense, needless to say.

    There are, I believe, still two attractive young Italian women held by Isis, and if they are still imprisoned, there is a good chance they are suffering the consequences of Islam’s teachings on this subject. We know already that the treatment of the male hostages, prior to their executions, was horrific. The (nominally) British Muslims were the most savage in their mistreatment of the prisoners, which of course tells us something about the success of British multicultural policies.

    I will take this opportunity to recommend Diana West’s forceful response to the Charlie massacres:

    Enough is Enough

    — Irmin

  8. Posted January 17, 2015 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    James O’Meara wrote:

    I cannot agree with your rather Protestant assumption that what Allah “meant to say” is “blindingly obvious” to anyone who merely reads the text

    The Koran says that jihadists should behead captives and Mohammed himself often personally beheaded captives; Muslim terrorists today behead captives. I conclude that all these facts are related. You and Benoist, at the risk of sounding impolite, have difficulty grasping the connection. I think the connection is blindingly obvious, so I agree with Lord Monckton.

    Mohammed believed that anyone who insults a prophet should be killed, and he ordered on more than one occasion, not only the case I described, that those who insulted him, the last prophet, be killed. Modern Muslims in France, announcing their purposes, murdered cartoonists in Paris who had insulted the prophet. Again I think it is blindingly obvious that these facts are connected, and I am genuinely mystified (really and truly) that anyone on the Far Right would have a reflexive reluctance to notice the connection. The Kouchi brothers were faithfully performing their religious duties. They took Islam seriously. The apologists for Islam who allege that radicals are distorting a thoroughly peaceful faith are wrong; the jihadists are right. It is, after all, their religion, not ours, and they know it well. They may not be rocket scientists, but they can read what their Koran tells them and they know and revere Mohammed’s personal example.

    Here is a more interesting connection. Amedy Coulibaly, in his martyrdom video, complained that the vigorous young Muslims of France should also perform their religious duties, just as he had already done and was going to do again. This is likely an oblique reference to a minor moral issue in early Islam: Is _everyone_ obliged to wage jihad against infidels? Koranic verses expressed that obligation clearly, until a blind Muslim asked whether he, too, was obliged to slay and be slain in the name of Allah. He would like to head off on jihad, he said, but his blindness made it difficult. Did that make him a second-class Muslim, one who merely sat at home? The Angel Gabriel quickly furnished Allah’s answer. One of the verses of the sword that mandate the killing of infidels was therefore revised to include an escape clause for the disabled (Koran 4.95), a clause (“unless they have an injury”) which makes the obligation to kill infidels even stronger if you happen to be able-bodied. If you are a young and vigorous Muslim living in France, without any physical impairment, then you really should kill French cartoonists who defame the prophet. You don’t have any excuse. Amedy Coulibaly was right about that. He was a monster, but he was also a principled Muslim.

    Are a million Muslims in France, or a million Muslims in the United States, likely to take up arms in the near future? Probably not. But as we know from Fort Hood, a single killer who hates infidels can kill quite a few. If Major Hasan could have pressed a button and wiped out, say, Pittsburgh, I have no doubt he would have done it.

    Leaving aside the blindingly obvious, which really shouldn’t (pace George & Alain) be a subject for debate, I would argue that a Muslim woman who belligerently demands that she be photographed for her driver’s licence photo with a burqa or a veil covering her face exists on a continuum with Major Hasan, the Paris terrorists, and all the other terrorists who make their feelings about us clear. Muslims are telling us, with regularity, that they don’t belong in our nations, and since I don’t believe they should live among us, I’m willing to listen.

    Muslim woman cannot wear veil in driver’s license photo

    • Ea
      Posted January 17, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      You’re really well versed. The ‘true believers thesis’ that you describe is an ‘universal mold’ that could be said about any religious group.
      If a buddhist monk steals from an old in his deathbed, did he do wrong? Well, at first, depends on who’s the one to judge ‘right or wrong’, from a buddhist pov that’s complicated for non-buddhists to grasp. Since there’s no right or wrong, the’re are just things that gets us further -or not- in the path of liberation. So, for a mahayana boddhisatva bikkhu doing that is against his vows, so the quick answer would be no. But, what about a vajrayana buddhist? Well, if his Guru told him to do so, and he did, he did right. I’m skipping a lot of info to just make a point.
      I understand what you said, and a few years ago I would be probably right by your side. But I’ve found out that standing where you are now is flawed. Why? We must not understand religion as a whole. Even if we criticize and refute point by point each as-sura of the Quran, each muslim group will argue with different sources. The Quran is the word of God, but for the Shia, the revelation is still open, and there’s a constant re-interpretation of the word. What am I trying to say is that there’s no “ONE islam” or “ONE muslim type”. There so many. And that’s what’s destroying islam, the more islam expanded the more was divided. His own history is about internal warfare. Muhammad fought to forge a tribal union, they were divided and fighting among each other why the great empires of the east and the west used them as cannon fodder.
      ‘Islam’ is not the problem, certain type of islam and non-european people are the problem for europe and plenty of other ‘white countries’. I will repeat it over and over again, I dislike islam and the quran as much as the old textament and the new with their respective religion groups and subgroups.
      We must once and for all become anti-abrahamic.

      Thank you for taking your time for replies.

      • Jaego
        Posted January 17, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        Have you read Khomeni’s little Green Book? It is easily the equal of Chairman Mao’s little Red, but more versatile. For example, the meat from a sodomized animal is impure and must not be eaten. The animal must be taken outside the city and killed and the owner paid. Isn’t that good to know? Might come in handy in case one succumbs to the urge.

        This is the kind of Islam that you say is not a problem for Europe, but perhaps even a great good.

        • Ea
          Posted January 18, 2015 at 12:20 am | Permalink

          I’m going to read the whole green book. There’s a long and depth history of shia philosphy and theology and schools of law. The current situation in Iran is one thing. The historical background of shiism is interesting and its the most *indoeuropeized* islam.

          Talking about shiism and all its branches requires more than this text box to reply. Sorry for being short.

  9. Leon
    Posted January 17, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    “Muslims, moreover, do not form a monolith.” That I think needs to be said. Attributing Persian works and achievements to ‘Muslims’ is like attributing the Scientific Revolution to ‘Christians’. Arabian Nights was actually mostly a collection of stories of Iranian, and possibly Indian origin. As for ‘Muslim medieval scholarship’, the only ‘intellectual debt’ the West owes Arabs is the fact that they chose to preserve, instead of burning, the wealth of Greek and Latin knowledge left behind in the part of the Graeco-Roman world that they so savagely tore away from the West. Let’s not talk like the so-called ‘World historians’. Arabs have never been one of the more intelligent races of mankind. If they had, they wouldn’t be pouring into Western countries to escape the poverty and violence of their own societies.

  10. Posted January 17, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Ea wrote:

    Even if we criticize and refute point by point each as-sura of the Quran, each muslim group will argue with different sources. The Quran is the word of God, but for the Shia, the revelation is still open, and there’s a constant re-interpretation of the word. What am I trying to say is that there’s no “ONE islam” or “ONE muslim type”.

    But we don’t _care_ what each Muslim group argues. We’re not Muslims. We have our own perspective. Our civilization exists (or should exist) apart from theirs. And there is no reason why we should be hesitant to generalize about Islam as a whole. Generalizing is an important part of thinking, and we are entitled to our own perspective.

    We have reliable English translations of the Koran. If some Muslim from an obscure sect, or even from a large sect, tells me that a text from the Koran doesn’t mean what it explicitly states, I will tell him that he is wrong. I can read. And I can point confidently to the fact that Muslim behavior is often consistent with Muslim teaching. It is appalling that Muslim terrorists are attempting through violence to enforce Muslim blasphemy laws in the West, but it should not be surprising. That is one of the many reasons why they should not be living among us.

    Moreover, young Muslims in the West are less likely to identify with the traditions of their home nations than their parents were. They identify instead with a generic Islam based on the Koran and on the life of the prophet. They are less concerned about how the cultural traditions in Tunisia differ from the cultural traditions in Somalia, and much more concerned about what the prophet said and did during the course of his violent life and about the instructions that Allah imparted in his infallible holy book. They want an identity they can all coalesce around, not an identity that leaves them compartmentalized as Chechen Muslims or Yemeni Muslims. That identity is, of course, formed in opposition to us and our cultural traditions, among them the right to draw cartoons caricaturing Islam’s founder.

    — Irmin

    • Jaego
      Posted January 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes, excellent points. Political Correctness denies us the right to our own perspective – thus the word Oriental was excluded from our lexicon and consciousness. And yes, Islam is coalescing in the West so correct generalizations such as yours are becoming more true. Most intellectuals need to make a living and that means standing out from other intellectuals and appealing to the reader by ever more brilliant, bizarre, and amusing ideas – just one of the incredible weaknesses of Capitalist societies. If we continue with this model under Islam, it may well prove fatal. We need to see the Truth, hold onto it, and promulgate it. In other words, serve not compete or profit.

  11. Posted January 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Leon wrote:

    Arabian Nights was actually mostly a collection of stories of Iranian, and possibly Indian origin.

    We can legitimately claim that some of the stories in the Arabian Nights have an Indo-European pedigree. But stories migrated from culture to culture and sometimes back again as a matter of course. The Grimm Brothers estimated that eight of their stories derived, in some way, from the Nights, and the number may be higher. The core of the Nights is, however, Middle Eastern in origin and most of the stories are enmeshed in the daily life of Islamic societies.

    As an aside, some the best-known stories, including the most famous (“Aladdin”), may actually have been written by Antoine Galland himself. He likely wrote “Aladdin” and then presented it to his audience as a translation from Arabic into French, thus a real Oriental tale. A Muslim from the Middle East then translated Galland’s story into Arabic, presenting and selling his translation as the real Arabic “Aladdin,” and in the nineteenth-century a German scholar prepared a scholarly edition of the Arabic text, which may have been a waste of his time, since the chances are good that the story emerged in the early 1700s from the imaginative mind of a gifted French translator.

    Since the Nights were not highly regarded in the Muslim world and owe almost all of their popularity to various translations into European languages, the case is sometimes made that the collection is a de facto Western text. Still, I’m grateful to the Muslims who invented or adapted most of the stories.

    I agree, for the most part, with the rest of your comment.

    — Irmin

    • Leon
      Posted January 18, 2015 at 4:23 am | Permalink

      As you said, the Arabian Nights were as much a product of European Orientalism as it was of Arab writers re-interpreting Persian works. On closer inspection, we tend to find that most of the so-called ‘contributions’ of ‘Islamic civilization’ are in reality instances of Arabic-language writers translating and passing information from the more creative societies around, such as the so-called ‘Arabic numeral system’ from India, or the much-lauded ‘medieval Muslim manuscripts’ copied from earlier Greek works they found in the libraries they pillaged. This has led to the false image of the medieval ‘Muslim’ (read Arab) world as a great and productive civilization, when most of their ‘achievements’ derive from other peoples, be they Europeans/Byzantines, Iranians or Berbers. Personally I don’t think that Arab invasions have improved any part of the world.

  12. Ulf Larsen
    Posted January 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I am thrilled to see Irmin back in business. His Archives were of immense value to me when I read up on nationalist philosophy in the formative years of my political awareness, and I still direct people to them when I am consulted for advice on reading.

    Let’s hope this is the first of many appearances on C-C!

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