Earlier this month, Counter-Currents published an interview in which Greg Johnson made some negative comments regarding Islam. He described Islam as an “inherently political” religion and a “memetic virus” which cannot be permitted in white societies since it will “destroy white societies and create societies that are foreign to, and unpleasant for, white people.”
In response, Alexander Wolfheze offered a qualified defense of Islam in which he concedes that “what many Westerners have experienced as ‘Islam’ is negative.” However, he blames this on the “reverse colonization” on the part of “the globalist hostile elite.” He also points out that “True Islam” has been “smothered by decades of extremist rhetoric and media distortion,” and is “one of the world’s great religious Traditions.” Wolfheze goes on to state that “no True Muslim will hold his religion to be other than relatively superior, i.e. in the entirely private sphere – for himself alone.”
Johnson gets to the heart of the matter by offering observations on Islam outside of context. For example, if all non-Muslim whites and all Muslims were transported to another planet and placed on the same continent without a “globalist hostile elite” pulling the strings, then, according to Johnson, the whites would still encounter problems with Islam. These problems result from the inherent nature of Islam, not from devious third parties pushing for an anti-white globalist agenda.
Indeed, Johnson is correct when describes Islam as inherently political and on a “collision course” with any white society it occupies. If anything, he’s being too nice. Islam, it can easily be argued, is inherently expansionistic and warlike. History and current events offer many examples. According to TheReligionofPeace, as of June 2019 there have been 35,318 deadly Islamic terror attacks since 9/11. From 2001 to 2018 (by my own reckoning based on TheReligionofPeace’s archives), Islamic terrorism has been responsible for nearly 236,000 dead and nearly 316,000 injured. In 2014, Islamic terrorists killed more people than they injured (32,000 to 27,500). In June 2019 alone, 138 Islamic terror attacks resulted in 1,131 deaths and 638 injuries. And this says nothing of the grooming gangs and sexual slavery that is rampant among Muslims in the West.
How does this relate to Islam as a religion? Quite directly, according to many sources, including the Qur’an. There is no shortage of information on the Internet regarding inflammatory Qur’an quotes which encourage the subjugation of non-believers. Here are a few from TheReligionofPeace:
Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority.”
Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”
Quran (4:101) – “And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten your Salat (prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you, verily, the disbelievers are ever unto you open enemies.”
Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”
Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
As for the supposedly peaceful and tolerant quotes from the Qur’an, TheReligionofPeace attempts a debunking here.
From the very beginning, Islam was a totalitarian pocket in a multicultural and tolerant part of the world. According to Peter McLoughlin in his book Easy Meat (emphasis mine):
What multiculturalists do not seem to understand is that pre-Islamic Arabia was a multicultural society: the pagan Meccans permitted Mohammed to preach this new religion, which denigrated the prevailing religion. After 13 years of listening to Mohammed criticize and denigrate their religion, the Meccan pagans finally drove him out. Mohammed went to Medina, a Jewish and pagan settlement, and the multiculturalist Jews and pagans of Medina permitted Mohammed to preach his new religion there. But since these cities fell to Muslim domination, Jews and pagans were not even allowed to set foot in either Mecca or Medina, let alone pray, proselytize or denigrate the religion of Muslims. Mohammed and his army of Muslims used assassination, mass murder, rape, and slavery to destroy any set of values other than Islam.
McLoughlin reminds us that the source for this information is Ibn Ishaq’s Life of Muhammad, which he describes as “the most authoritative biography of Mohammed, a biography written by a devout Muslim.” Ibn Ishaq lived about a century after Mohammed.
Two books I would recommend which chronicle the expansionistic and totalitarian aspects of Islam throughout history are Robert Davis’ Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters and M. A. Khan’s Islamic Jihad. There are many more, of course.
Given Islam’s blood-soaked history and how this directly relates to its own scripture and the behavior of its prophet, Johnson’s treatment of Islam seems correct. It’s also moral. He’s not looking to push back against the Muslim world. He simply wishes to keep it out of the white one. The fact that Islamists feel stymied by this serves only to support his assertion that Islam is inherently political, and my assertion that Islam is inherently totalitarian and expansionistic.
Wolfheze uses two tacks to rebut Johnson. The first deflects much of Johnson’s anti-Islamic sentiment away from Islam and towards what Wolfheze calls the “globalist hostile elite” (henceforth GHE). Typically, such a reference would refer mostly to Jews – given that Kevin MacDonald popularized the term “hostile elite” in reference to Jews. Wolfheze does not make this explicit, however. Therefore, at least for the time being, we’ll keep the JQ out of the IQ, as it were.
According to Wolfheze, the GHE has embarked on an “unjustifiable ethnic replacement program” against white people. It has imported millions of Third World Muslims into America and Europe, and then uses the inevitable Islamophobic backlash as cover for its nefarious plan. As long as unsuspecting whites limit their animus to Muslims, the GHE is safe and the replacement program can continue, so the argument goes. This, to me, seems completely unobjectionable and perfectly in line with mainstream White Nationalist and identitarian thought. We all know that the GHE comprised much of the driving force behind disastrous, anti-white measures throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from Brown v. Board of Education, to the 1965 immigration bill, to the fall of Apartheid, to the current migrant crisis in Europe. This is why many White Nationalists and identitarians maintain at least some skepticism of those who speak out against Islam while remaining quiet on the GHE. Tommy Robinson and Robert Spencer are two prominent examples among whites, while Daniel Greenfield and Pamela Gellar stand out among Jews. This, I believe, is an extremely important point, and represents a kind of red-pill milestone for anyone new to Dissident Right politics.
What’s interesting, however, is that Wolfheze seems to be opposing Johnson’s position with an argument with which Johnson most likely already agrees. To demonize Islam while deliberately not condemning the role of the GHE would be silly, and is something that Counter-Currents doesn’t do. Individual Counter-Currents articles may exclusively address Islam as they would any other topic; but in the aggregate, the GHE gets no love here. Counter-Currents has written critically of Tommy Robinson several times, while I myself have taken both Pamela Gellar and Daniel Greenfield to task. This basically means that Wolfheze’s point, while correct, is not relevant to the argument he wishes to make. Proving that the GHE distorts Islam and deflects blame and hatred onto Muslims does not disprove Johnson’s statements about the anti-white nature of Islam. It is possible that both can be correct simultaneously – in my opinion, a point that must be understood if we wish to proceed with this issue.
Wolfheze’s second tack, however, directly challenges Johnson’s point. As such, only one man can be correct here. For Wolfheze, “True Islam” – as opposed to the corrupted version that has been foisted on the West – is not anti-white, not inherently political, and not necessarily on a collision course with white societies, as Johnson claims. While admitting that Islam in the West is practiced on a primitive level and has inflicted what he calls “atavist existential realities” upon indigenous whites, Wolfheze describes the inherent value of Islam as being one of the world’s great religious traditions. In his words:
The fact is that, compared to postmodern pseudo-Christianity and materialist secularism, Islam is relatively superior in terms of current viability: by holding on to an unshakable transcendental reference point, Islam provides a strong existential framework in all spheres of life. This relative superiority derives not from the strength of Islam (all authentic Traditions are potentially equally strong), but from the weakness of Western Christianity, which is currently abolishing itself.
While in the final analysis, I believe that Johnson’s position is much closer to the Truth than Wolfheze’s, I have nothing to object to in the above paragraph. Islam does have many admirable qualities; qualities that have helped it survive, and in many places thrive, throughout the centuries. Its “unshakable transcendental reference point” and “strong existential framework in all spheres of life” in particular are quite enviable from a white identitarian standpoint. If whites could only view their own race and civilization with the same existential ardor in which Muslims hold Allah and Muhammad, then many of our troubles would vanish.
Wolfheze’s second tack, however, fails for three reasons. One, as with his first tack, it is possible for his position and Johnson’s to coexist. Just because Islam has positive attributes does not mean it isn’t inimical to white civilization. Wolfheze does not disprove Johnson when he trumpets Islam. To do so, he would have to show that Islam by its very nature is conducive to Western values; for example, freedom of speech, representative government, checks and balances, tolerance of religion, et cetera. He may say or imply that Islam appreciates these things, but he doesn’t show it. He doesn’t offer an example of a free and enlightened Muslim civilization that embraces Western ways. The closest he comes is to recommend the writings of the Persian scholar Elahi Qomshe’i and a video presentation of his entitled “Religion of Love” – hardly something to disturb the inertia of one’s skepticism.
The second reason has to do with the soft proselytizing Wolfheze does in his article. He makes it clear that “Westerners” (I assume by this he means whites) need not convert to Islam, and “may wish to rediscover their own Christian roots.” Thankfully, he is quite respectful when it comes to ethnic and religious traditions and is sensitive to how these may play into any ethnonationalist designs whites should have in the future. However, he implies that if Westerners wish to convert to Islam, they would find it to be a good fit. Wolfheze:
The fact that, throughout the last century, many significant Western thinkers have converted to Islam merely proves that any authentic House of Being – privately or collectively – requires a religious and spiritual roof. The dramatic collapse of Notre Dame’s roof illustrates the point: There can be no House of God without God, and there can be no House of Being without a spiritual shield for any Being-in-the-World. There is nothing inauthentic in seeking refuge in a standing house after running from a collapsing house. That said, it is true that no “true Westerner” would give up his own Tradition: the true Westerner will reincorporate and relive it [in] his new House. This is relatively easy in True Islam, because True Islam has already incorporated and relived Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity; in its perfect manifestations, it accepts and fulfills all of them.
So basically, he’s saying that Westerners fleeing the crumbling house of Christianity for the sturdier one of Islam will “reincorporate and relive” his traditions in Islam, thanks to Islam’s historical and theological relationship to other great Middle Eastern religions. Even if Wolfheze’s interpretation of these relationships is correct, there are two things obviously wrong with his assertion. First, Islam “incorporated and relived Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity” around fourteen hundred years ago, so it is unclear how it would cater to Westerners today, who revere more secular traditions established in 1776 rather than 776. And second, “Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity” are not Western religions. How can a “true Westerner,” as Wolfheze puts it, find himself in inherently alien systems? Yes, it can be argued that Europe made Christianity its own, but this was still a work in progress when Muhammad’s armies were killing, raping, and enslaving their way through Arabia in the seventh century. Christians today owe as much to the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and the Treaty of Westphalia as they do to the Edict of Milan or the First Ecumenical Council. To claim that former Christians will reincorporate their traditions through Islam simply because early Muslims found aspects of early Christianity kosher is little more than rhetorical theater.
The third reason for the failure of Wolfheze’s second tack should be obvious to anyone who has studied logic. By repeatedly using the term “True Islam,” Wolfheze is resorting to the “True Scotsman” fallacy, which sadly makes his argumentation close to useless. There is no act of barbarism barbaric enough to prevent him from rescuing Islam by conveniently putting the word “True” in front of it. Therefore, we can look past the slavery, imperialism, terrorism, and repression that has been rampant in the Muslim world since its inception and trust Wolfheze when he implies that a true Muslim would do none of these things. (Just like True Communists would never let millions of people starve to death under their watch.) We also have to take Wolfheze at his word when he claims he knows what “True Islam” is. What if someone else defines it differently? Was a London Muslim named Sunny Islam acting as a true Muslim when he raped four women at knifepoint in 2012 because they were out at night and dressed inappropriately? According to the Qur’an, Surah 33, Verse 59, he may have been.
Is there an objective measure to determine which Islam is true and which isn’t? Could, say, the Prophet himself provide an objective measure? Wolfheze claims that True Muslims do not hold their religion superior to other religions except in the private sphere. Was this the case with Muhammad? History tells us no, so does that make Muhammad not a True Muslim? Muhammad also supported rape and torture. Does that also prevent him from being a practitioner of True Islam, according to Wolfheze? I’d like to answer yes to these last two questions – then again, I’d hate to claim that an apologist for Islam wishes to renounce that religion’s very founder. So I really don’t know what to think – except that Alexander Woflheze’s arguments about Islam, while well-meaning, are not terribly convincing.
Spencer J. Quinn is a frequent contributor to Counter-Currents and the author of the novel White Like You.