Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Islam, now and then

David Forte asks some very good questions of Islam. How did such a noble start come a cropper? "How did tolerance become intolerance? How did protection become persecution? How did the dignity of women turn into indignity? How did limited war become massacre? It is not enough of an answer to say that there have always been bad Muslims and bad Christians and bad Jews. For the problem in Islam is that intolerance and indignity and the murder of a person because of his changed religious belief have gained authoritative sanction from some quarters.

Three institutions have deflected the trajectory of Mohammed’s original message: the law, the empire, and the tribe." Read the whole thing.  

Discussions - 23 Comments

This can be watched on RealPlayer, or heard, as well, as an MP3
either in streaming audio, or as a download. That is what I did while cleaning my recently-departed-to-college son’s filthy bedroom, which made it much more interesting job than it would otherwise have been. David Forte is an excellent speaker, and it was a pleasure to hear him, even in that environment.

Thank you, again, for something that was informative, timely and sustaining. I had been curious about all of those questions.

A great book on this is Sea of Faith; it’s a history of the interaction between Muslims and Christians in the Mediterranean world. The author of the link is pretty convincing, but I still find it hard to swallow the argument that Islam is a religion of peace when its founder, the Prophet, established it through conquest. Still, he does persuade that the current state of Islam is a corrupted form of the original.

Kate, I posted this link before. I had you in mind when I posted it. If you saw it then, forgive the redundancy.

The articles cited in the MEMRI link indicate that there is a very tiny but very real effort afoot to reform Islam. But how does one reform the Koran? That was a question I always asked myself when reading the articles cited in the MEMRI link. David Forte clearly points out that perhaps, at least in part, it is not the Koran that needs to be reformed, but it is over a thousand years worth of misinterpretations of the Koran, by law makers, that must be re-interpreted.

Andrew, I have not yet read Andrew Bostom’s book on the history of Islam, but I intend to do so. I will get Sea of Faith and read the two books in tandem. The contrasts should be interesting.

The assumption is profoundly flawed. There wasn’t any noble start, rather there was a religion created to justify piratical raiding. If a pirate or a corsair were to create a religion to justify his actions, retroactively and prospectively, he could’ve done better than islam. Islam is an heretical mishmash of Judaism with Eastern heresies. It was devised as a platform for arab supremacism. And its hostility to the Jewish people was present ab initio. Why are we still indulging this religious fiction about islam. One of the greatest Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, who knew more about religion than all of us combined, did not consider islam a religion at all, but rather a political creed. Which it was, which it is. Shariaa, jihad CANNOT be severed from islam. Because it’s a thing that was devised as JUSTIFICATION for raiding, hostage taking, rape and conquest.

What is the big mystery here?

Is it because there are seemingly many muslims who don’t behave like their forefathers, who don’t behave like conquering corsairs? It’s because of the Natural Law, which despite 1,300 plus years of heresy and error, cannot be effaced from the human soul. That’s why there are muslims who appear benign. There actions are despite muslim, NOT BECAUSE OF IT.

Those that are peaceful, those that are "moderate" are not so because of islam, but despite the doctrines thereof, despite the tenets of jihad, despite the model and example of the prophet, despite the main religious schools which extol and obligate jihad, and lastly, despite the heavy hand of 1,300 hundred plus years of history of jihad. The more one examines islam, the more disgusted one becomes, and one wishes that we could have made good on the admonition of the Father of our Country, that islam must be forced to a reconciliation with civilization, or simply wiped out. The exact phrase of General Washington is more precise, but the message is crystal clear. I prefer the clarity of Aquinas, Jefferson, Adams and Washington, over the nonsensical pusillanimity inherent in the praises of this "faith," which is predicated upon a threefold inequity.

I’m right there with you Anon, BUT that doesn’t change the dilemma we find ourselves in. Either we must resign ourselves to a war to destroy all traces of Islam (which will never happen), dhimmitude (which will never happen, at least not in the U.S.), reformation of Islam forced upon the Muslims by us (which will never happen)or reformation of Islam from within.

The very suggestion that modern islam represents some warping of Mohammad’s original founding makes about as much sense as the suggestion that Stalin was an aberration from the original benign intentions of Lenin. It’s an insult to one’s intelligence, and an insult to the memory of the Polish lancers who drove back muslims from the gates of Europe itself. If you choose to spit on the grave of men like El Cid, Don Juan of Austria, Pan Sobieski, you may do so, but it isn’t a very seemly or honourable thing to do. Literally within decades of the death of Mohammad, islam was beating at the door of ordinary Europeans, breaking in, plundering, raping, killing and dragging off for slavery. Within a hundred years, the Spaniards were on the verge of being overrun. And they would spend centuries driving back the muslim horde bent upon conquest and domination. Who the hell are we kidding with this crap about the tolerance of the original founding. The very suggestion makes me want to vomit.

The more I ponder this inane suggestion, the more riled I’m becoming. It’s an insult to history, and an insult to the brave dead who gave their lives preserving a shred of hope for Europe and for Christendom itself.

Good grief, is this Forte actually discussing islam, or the founding of the United States? This could be one of the most ahistorical commentaries I’ve read of late. And I hope I never come across such rank nonsense again.

We simply need to impose our will, just as we imposed our will upon the Japanese and the Boche.

It needn’t be a war to eradicate all traces of islam, but it must be a war that will make it painfully clear to all muslims, that jihad is over, done, finis. That the civilized peoples of the earth will not tolerate jihad anymore. Either jihad is jettisoned, or there will be a war made upon them where not a stone will be left upon another. Either they come to the clarity of thought where they understand that God exists, but he doesn’t want shariaa rammed down people’s throats by jihad, either they realize jihad is sin and blasphemy, and they forever repudiate it, or they will reap a whirlwind of fire and destruction. The choice is theirs.

I like this anon guy. He saved me the time from comming up with a similar rant. I felt pumped up to read someone who is as angry about the constant pandering to Islam as I am.

Uncle Guido, No, I am not sure I saw that link before, but it is now bookmarked. Thank you.

I have heard David Forte speak on originalism and the Constitution, and this was similar method, applied to the Koran. I thought it was an interesting apology, though with not a snowball’s chance in hell of changing anything. It is not that I have any real argument with Anon, either, except to point out that there are so very, very many Muslims in the world. Imposing our will on them all seems a monstrously big job. Especially when we are not exactly united in the national will department. Truly, all sympathy, Anon, and John Lewis, but I do not see America, nor the other civilized peoples of the earth, having the will to do the job. But maybe I am wrong, which would be very good.

We need to remember THEY started this thing, and they started it 1,300 hundred plus years ago, when they began conquering Alexandria, Jerusalem, Damascus and much later, Constantinople. The only thing that slowed jihad down was Western military preeminence. That’s it. They didn’t tire of it, they didn’t weary of jihad, nor did they weary of enslaving Caucasian women. The only thing that stopped them was Polish courage, Spanish grit. And later, the pride and professionalism of the Royal Navy, seconded by our squadrons, led by men like Stephen Decatur.

We depart from the distilled wisdom of the generations only at our own peril. Islam is not a blank slate, it’s not without it’s track record.

We know exactly, exactly what islam is, and our forefathers knew well what it was to resist jihad.

So what’s the big deal? Let’s get about doing what our fathers did, bring death and destruction to our enemies, the very same enemies of civilization, progress and moral improvement.

And Kate, the will to polish our enemies within islam will come, when the horror comes. And it will come. There is a trajectory of violence and atrocity to be perceived in the actions of our muslim enemies. They can no more stop themselves from going on to the next atrocity, the next gang rape, the next act of destruction, than the sea could stop beating upon our shoreline.

Every day that transpires, the numbers of those sick to death with islam, jihad and muslims increases. And the forces of political correctness are already engaging in some foolhardy rear-guard action to preserve their tattered sheds of credibility. Paradoxically, the liberals who opened the floodgates for a muslim demographic tsunami have erected the very attitudes that will spell an end to jihadism.

Whether islam shall exist after jihad I don’t presume to know, but jihad is on the way to extinction, forced to be sure, but extinction nonetheless. The numbers of muslims foolish enough to go down with jihad, I don’t presume to know, though there numbers will finally register into the millions, but jihad is going to be violently thrown up on the ash heap of history.

And it should be recalled, the Japanese people, and religion, had a belief system that said that the Japanese people would rule the earth. It wasn’t just some creation of their general staff, it lied at the heart of shintoism. But it doesn’t exist there now, does it?

War has often served as the exterminating factor for various religions. Cortez obliterated the cult of death in Mexico, and the pyramids of bodies and hearts exists no more. Rome defeated not just Carthage, but the religion of Carthage, which practiced child sacrifice. Baal met his demise in the final defeat of Carthage. The muslims battered Eastern Christian heresies into the dust with the hoofs of their endlessly rampaging cavalry. And the religion of Japan underwent significant alteration by our own victorious forces.

So why are we worrying overmuch about what we have to do to jihad? Why are we deluding ourselves that we can escape the hard demands of history? Why do we think that we are somehow so refined that we can escape the occasional battering of an enemy into the dust, and humiliation? What’s with this self-delusion? Let’s just cut the crap, and get about it.

If Anon’s attitude were shared by many Americans, the enemy would not be trifling with us. They would perceive that, understand that it meant death for them and defeat of their agenda, and they would probably have left us alone. We weren’t eager for any reckoning with the forces of islam. Nor do I recall Bush campaigning in 1999 and 2000 urging Americans to take up the sword against foreign foes. Remember Reagan’s infrequent quips about WWIII, or nuclear exchanges. We thought them inadvertant. But I wonder if his comments were meant to reinforce a perception of him as a Cowboy. I wonder.

On 13, Anon, I expect you are right about the horror and Western will. I do not like to think about what a world it will be we live in, when we get there. Because, still, about the numbers: I am poking around the Internet to find proper information and so far have this
and this, so far, but perhaps someone else has something better. At least Japan was one country, whose capital you could conquer and whose army you could destroy. All of these instances from history that you guys refer to were like that. What you guys are talking about is destroying something that is uncontained. How does your proposal apply to that?

Look at this map of mosques in the US alone. And deciding who dies and who lives; please. This is huge. "Getting about it" seems to be what we are doing, but getting it done, as you propose it? Oh my.

As much as I may share Anon’s fury (and agree that if we’d "get our minds right" we’d be left alone), it’s useless from a policy point of view. It’s important to keep in mind that Islam was only able to conquer chunks of Christendom when it was led by a Caliph (whether an Arab or Turk). Throughout much of their history their own internal power struggles have neutered them. This is what Osama’s so PO’ed about...we "nation-stated" his folk, thereby weakening them. Lessons for today?

All the "crusade against this and that" is a waste of time and dangerous to boot. Millions of stupid Americans and Europeans will never allow the contest to be framed in those terms, and all it will do is to united Islam. Second, instead of a "global war on terrorism," we need to couch this in regional terms. Partition Iraq immediately...weaken them. The smaller Arab nations become, the safer we will be (it creates plural power factions, which we can play off against one another...exactly what the British Empire did). Then you really can treat terrorism as a police matter.

Once partitioned, the Kurds will be our buddies, Turkey is too interested in joining the EU to protest too much, and the Sunnis will come under the sway of the Saudi king. What’s left is ShiaLand...and we watch that like a hawk. Iran is the true danger in this region.

Anon says jihad is intrinsic to Islam and its scriptures, but then he claims, as if "jihad" were some extricable doctrine, or some nation with borders, that b/c of the horrors it will commit, the world will "extinguish" it in some great war of the future. Anon says this war will not be one to destroy Islam per se, but he at one point wonders if there will be any significant number of Muslims who will be willing to depart with jihad, or whether an enraged world really will have to kill ’em all. But again, he’s making some THING called jihad the focus of his analysis. But it isn’t a thing, it’s a doctrine integral to a scriptural religion, and short of that religion fading away on its own, or some political entity killing every Muslim and burning every Koran, it is a doctrine that will continue to be believed in and acted upon.

Thus, while agreeing with the comments about the need for an aggressive and illusion-free defensive stance against Islamism, I must again voice my deep dismay at the suggestion, even if it is little more than a fantasy-thought-experimient, that we vanquish Islam by military means.

Anon presents himself as a hard-headed fellow, but in fact he has the technocrat’s childish belief that given enough gunpowder and willpower, we can mold a religion in the manner we please. (And the equally naive belief that future horrors, say, several incinerated cities, will sustain a united coalition of major non-Islamic nations, or even of American politicians, long enough to wage a war/occupation sufficient to shake Islam to its roots.) The dark truth that genuine realists must admit is that the world will probably have to live with Islam and with containing its jihad ’til the end of time. The comfort of such a grim thought is that it keeps you from seriously entertaining Anon’s grandiose war-fantasies, which have more than a bit of the Napoleonic and, yes, Hitler-esque flavor to them.

Carl, I think you’re blending altering a religion, with utterly vanquishing it.

The United States did alter shintoism, which held that the Japanese people were destined to rule the earth. At the heart of the Japanese culture existed a supremacist fantasy. But that’s gone now.

You say that jihad is a doctrine "integral" to a scriptural religion. There were other doctrines that existed in many religions that don’t obtain anymore. Within the Catholic Church for instance, the old line "that outside the Church there is no salvation" has taken on a new and expansive understanding. Why are you suggesting that only for muslims doctrines that have existed for centuries, will continue to exist for centuries more. Once again, we see evidence of what I’ve called the islamic dispensation, the islamic exemption. What obtains for other peoples and other religions, we can’t expect to obtain for muslims.

But this is really all irrelevant to a certain extent.

I don’t think any of us know whether jihad can be severed from islam. If we knew the answer to that question, and we knew it for sure, one way or another, it would make the formulation of foreign policy much easier.

And as for the fury towards islam, I’m like most people, it comes and goes. Which of us were not disgusted after Beslan? Which of us didn’t perceive something perverted within the Palestinian people when they were celebrating after 9/11? And celebrating they were! Which of us isn’t sickened by stats that demonstrate the name Osama has become the most popular within islam? These little details, anecdotes, are beginning to form a theme, and when we expand our view to encompass the full history of islam, conclusions begin to form.

Kate, what happened to all the minor fascist states in South America after we decisively destroyed Hitler Germany? Muslims want to side with the winner, and are eager to avoid going down with the loser. The whole history of islam demonstrates that.

Lastly, I think all of us, especially Carl, are overlooking the caged prison aspect of islam. Apostasy from islam is forbidden, upon pain of death. Why? If it’s so attractive, if it’s strictures are so enjoyable, the spiritual inducements so profound, why the need to maintain the death penalty for abandonment of the faith? Could it be because if given the chance, there might be millions eager to jump ship. I think it’s difficult for any of us to fully grasp the structure of social control that exists over there.

And Carl, the last bit was a bit over-the-top, don’t ya think? Hitlerite? When Churchill proposed a global war to resist Hitler, was that proposal Hitlerlite? When FDR proposed unconditional surrender of all the major fascist powers, of all the belligerent states, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Italy, Japan and Germany, was that too, a Hitlerite or Hitler-esque sentiment? If I were proposing changing every culture and people, such as those in India, Africa, South America, as well as those throughout islam, then you’re imputation would be called for. But when I’m calling for a response to endless attacks upon Western Civilization, the only civilization that has markedly improved the ordinary lot of ordinary people, there isn’t anything Hitler-esque about that. Hitler was a German supremacist, to be more precise, an Aryan supremacist. We are at war with muslim supremacists, but the answer to their challenge isn’t American supremacism, nor even Western supremacism. But the answer does involve the imposition of Western will.

And Carl, one thing more, war is more than the indulgence of a technocrat. It’s easy for us who grew up children of the modern and post-modern age, it’s easy for us to overlook the dramatic finality of war. War is a verdict, not just upon the war making abilities of a people, nor upon their will power. But also upon their God. When Rome destroyed Carthage, the God of Carthage was destroyed as well. When we destroyed the Japanese, Hirohito was no longer a descendant of God. Our war effort in World War II wasn’t simply meant to defeat the armed forces of our enemies, but was also designed to destroy the temptation for war within them. That’s what Dresden was all about, likewise Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin. FDR and Churchill deliberately set out to forever change the Germanic peoples. That’s what the saturation bombing raids were all about. And that was the greatest generation.

There exists within you’re rebuke of me, something of a rebuke of them, the greatest generation. We’re their actions immoral? Do their actions stand condemned before the bar of history?

My contractions were used wrongly. But you guys the gist of the point I was trying to make.

I don’t think you should use the example of Rome destroying Carthage along with American vs. Japan. The destruction of Carthage was definitely immoral.

That’s a good point. But for the Romans, they wouldn’t have seen it so. Carthage was built around a cult of child sacrifice. Check out Chesterton’s THE EVERLASTING MAN, which relates the spiritual aspects of the life and death struggle between Rome and Carthage. It’s very good, and it’s some of Chesterton’s best writing. We have to remember that between Rome and Carthage, it became to the death. The victors would define the future, the losers would become slaves, many of their children thrown into the open mawl of the great God who devoured children. As a prayer of gratitude for granting Carthage victory. Both sides knew it. Chesterton explains it well. And INTERESTED, he too addresses that point about the immorality of what Rome did to Carthage. Check it out.

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