Monday, August 3, 2009

Islam: How Scared Should We Be?

This is my second article examining the ideas of blogger Conservative Swede, who has written prolifically about the relationship between faith and culture. For my first article, click here.

In his June 2007 piece, Islam—Perverted Parasitical Psychopathy, Con Swede writes provocatively about the dangers that Islam brings to the West …For Con Swede, those dangers are produced by the religion itself, not by the religion's misinterpretation by crazy fanatics…those crazy fanatics are the true Muslims, and therein lies the danger.

“What is Islam? Islam is all about Muhammad. Muhammad is like the evil scientist who understood well the deepest secrets and inner functions of the human nature, and used this knowledge to dehumanize his followers, and create the most perverted, parasitical and destructive movement, maximally possible.”

“Muhammad understood that sex and fear are the keys to total mind control of a human society. He combines them skillfully. Below follows a description of one of the many formulas carefully tailored, using these elements, by the skillful psychopathic mind of Muhammad. But there are many more. Everything is perverted in Islam, down to the smallest aspects of every-day life. All meticulously regulated in the Hadiths.

While the Muslim society is deprived of any hopes for natural human inclinations regarding sex and sensualism, Islamic warfare is full of promises and guarantees for Muslim men. Driven by pent-up sexual lust and fear of hell, the Muslim warriors fight till they die, or till they win. If they die, they are guaranteed a place in Islamic heaven, where 72 voluptuous virgins are waiting for them in an eternity of lustful sex. And there is wine too. There are also ‘pearly boys’ for those who are such inclined (Muhammad thought of everything). If they win, they are free to take as many ‘right hand possessions’ as they like. "Right hand possessions" is Islamic lingo for female sex slaves (conquered by the sword). Apart from the four wives, a Muslim may have as many female sex slaves as he wants.

So engaging in Jihad is a win-win situation for the sexual lust of frustrated Muslim men. Regardless of the outcome, warfare will provide them with an abundance of casual sex. Sex without emotional ties, with women (many women!) who never say no, whom they can do anything they like with, including raping them. Islam is a religion with the spirituality of a porno movie. And quite as a porno movie, the religious message of Islam will play in the minds of the Muslim men, motivating them to engage in warfare, motivating them while waging war. The other motivating force is the fear of hell. And with an unintelligible god as Allah, there is no way to know for sure otherwise how to avoid hell. The only ones that are guaranteed a place in heaven are the warriors that die in battle. So even after plenty of lustful sex, raping their conquered female sex slaves, there is still a motivation for Jihad warriors to go back to battle. Muhammad thought of everything. Islam reduces Muslim men to penises, and these penises forever point in the direction of holy war.

It is important to understand that for Muslims, heaven and hell are very real places, taken fully literally. Hell is a place where molten lead will be poured over their faces, so that their bellies and skin will be melted. They will be tormented forever with fire, wearing garments of fire, And when their skin is burned off, a fresh skin will be provided, and he torment starts anew. Muslims are paralyzed with fear of Islamic hell. Both heaven and hell a places more real to a Muslim than the earthly life.

“I will have reason to come back to the pivotal position of sexual perversion in Islam. Its way of explicitly encouraging things as pedophilia or cutting the clitorises off the women. How the Hadiths regulate things as the shaving of Muslima pussies. That it's OK to sodomize an infant, and to mix animal excrements in food. There are many of these 'more complex truths' in Islam for Jim Kalb to ponder upon.

Islam is tailored to bring out the worst animally savage side out of male sexuality, likewise with criminal psychopathic blood-thirsty behavior against non-Muslims. While women are reduced to cattle, without human value, whose only purpose is to serve the animally savage sex lust of the men and, more importantly, as breeding machines.”

Based on what Con Swede has written, it is reasonable to say that Islam is the nastiest and most illogical of the Abrahamic faiths. However, I’m not quite ready to join Con Swede in describing Islam as “Arabic Nazism.” Why? Well, like John Derbyshire, I know the Bible has its fair share of nasty and illogical passages, and yet, even so, most Christians remain well-behaved and suitable for Western civilization.

To quote Derbyshire...

“If the bloodthirsty historical and prophetic dramas of Exodus and Revelation can inform the faith of one’s Jewish and Christian friends, civilized and gentle people all, perhaps the more alarming passages of the Koran should not dominate our thinking about that other branch of the Abrahamic tree.”

In his July 2002 column, Don’t Blame Islam, Derbyshire asks…

“Do we, the United States, the West, have an argument with Islam? We surely have an argument with a lot of Muslims. A gang of Muslim fanatics murdered three thousand of us last September. The media in Muslim countries are full of anti-Americanism. Furthermore, most Muslim countries practice forms of government completely at odds with the political ideas cherished by Americans. They are despotic, intolerant and obscurantist. Even the folkways of Muslim countries look to be unpleasant: they seem to conform to the pattern of so-called 'shame' cultures, in which the rightness and wrongness of deeds are judged not by some inner moral compass, but by the reactions of onlookers.

“And then there is the dreadful antisemitism with which Islam seems to be riddled. From professors of theology at Saudi universities to New York City cab drivers, it seems you only have to scratch a Muslim to find an antisemite of the vicious, irrational kind that disappeared from the Christian world half a century ago.


“Texts are never as important as the attitudes people bring to them. It is a commonplace of political science — I think Aristotle noticed it — that a state may have a very democratic constitution, and yet be a tyranny, or vice versa. (Mainland China is, if you judge only by her constitution, a perfect democracy, with a full range of civil liberties. Britain, on the same grounds, is an absolute monarchy.) There are lots of passages in the Bible I politely ignore — that stuff in Leviticus about the proper way to acquire slaves, for example.

“What is really important in determining the destinies and character of peoples is culture, tradition, ingrained folkways. Most of the time, religion does not so much mould those things as wrap itself around them. The fondness of the Germanic peoples for moots, parliaments, althings, debates and elections seems to pre-date Christianity; the feistiness and confidence of Jewish women can be spotted far back in the Old Testament, in the stories of Sarah and Deborah, way before Judaism achieved a settled form. I don’t know, but I’m willing to bet, that Arabs were excluding their women from public affairs long before Mohammed came along. I wouldn’t be very surprised to learnt that they were being beastly to Jews, too.

“In our current conflict, our enemies are all Muslims. I don’t believe that our enemy is Islam, though. Islam came up in a primitive, tribal society that has never since enjoyed any real political progress. The Arabs are still primitive and tribal today; but their failure to create modern nation-states arises from their ancient habits of thought, behavior and social exchange, and from geographical constraints, not from anything in Islam.”

Instead of mocking or dismissing Islam, we should appeal to believers to look to the nobler and more generous texts in their scriptures, the texts that emphasize a common humanity. We have nothing to gain from alienating honest Muslims, any more than they have anything to gain by being enemies of the West. If we can remember the first, and persuade them of the second, there might be some prospect of cutting off significant support to the legions of glittering-eyed Koran-waving murderers the world is currently infested with.”

I share Derbyshire's opinion that culture - not religion - is the at the root of the Muslim menace. To quote Derbyshire again...

“A lot of Arabs, and a few Muslims elsewhere, are mad as hell at the failure of their civilization, and have taken to religion as a way to vent their anger. It’s the failure that’s the issue, not the religion.”

I don’t mean to excuse Islam, which strikes me as the perhaps the least appealing religion on the planet, but in the interest of being factual and constructive, it does strike me that commentators like Con Swede do themselves a disservice by bashing Islam as a religion, when they could be critiquing Islamic culture (which is separate from – although related to – Islam the religion).

Since Europe has chosen to import tens of millions of Muslim immigrants to their shores, the assimilation of those Muslims will be one of the major civilizational issues of our future. It is critical that Europeans address this issue smartly. And it is equally critical that Muslims join Western civilization, instead of undermining it from within.

Can they do that? Should we optimistic? Ha!

The fact that a small – yet critical mass – of Muslims are using religion to justify and carry out terrorism will likely continue to divide society – both in Europe and the United States. The consequences of such a major religious clash are almost too scary to think about. Sadly, I actually agree with this prediction made by Con Swede in a different blog post

“We are headed for the moment when the perception of the idyllic order will break apart in Europe…It will start with street wars, then civil wars in one or two European countries—maybe in England and Holland, where we have already seen unrest caused by “white hooligans”. It will spread like wildfire over most of Western Europe. Next we will see extensive migrations within Europe. White people will flee to countries such as Poland, while the Muslims will escape to countries such as France. Mid 21st century, Europe will look like a chess board, now in a situation of more conventional warfare. We will see Europeans building city walls around their traditional cities, but for the first time in history to protect the country side from the cities.”

Yikes! What a dour prediction! It's a good thing I don’t make predictions.


**UPDATE, AUG. 4, 2009**

In light of yesterday’s article about the relationship between religion, culture, and terrorism in the Islamic World, I was reminded of Fareed Zakaria’s excellent article, The Politics of Rage, which appeared in Newsweek a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks.

Zakaria, a Muslim who grew up in India, and now the editor of Newsweek International, is well-qualified to speak about this topic.

"Nothing will be solved by searching for 'true Islam' or quoting the Quran. The Quran is a vast, vague book, filled with poetry and contradictions (much like the Bible).

"You can find in it condemnations of war and incitements to struggle, beautiful expressions of tolerance and stern strictures against unbelievers. Quotations from it usually tell us more about the person who selected the passages than about Islam. Every religion is compatible with the best and the worst of humankind. Through its long history, Christianity has supported inquisitions and anti-Semitism, but also human rights and social welfare.

"Searching the history books is also of limited value…Until the 1950s, for example, Jews and Christians lived peaceably under Muslim rule. In fact, Bernard Lewis, the pre-eminent historian of Islam, has argued that for much of history religious minorities did better under Muslim rulers than they did under Christian ones.

All that has changed in the past few decades. So surely the relevant question we must ask is, Why are we in a particularly difficult phase right now?"

"Let us first peer inside that vast Islamic world. Many of the largest Muslim countries in the world show little of this anti-American rage…Only when you get to the Middle East do you see in lurid colors all the dysfunctions that people conjure up when they think of Islam today. In Iran, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, the occupied territories and the Persian Gulf, the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism is virulent, and a raw anti-Americanism seems to be everywhere. This is the land of suicide bombers, flag-burners and fiery mullahs."

"But even the Arab rage at America is relatively recent. In the 1950s and 1960s it seemed unimaginable that the United States and the Arab world would end up locked in a cultural clash…To understand the roots of anti-American rage in the Middle East, we need to plumb not the past 300 years of history but the past 30."

"The Middle East desperately wanted to become modern. It failed…Socialism produced bureaucracy and stagnation. Rather than adjusting to the failures of central planning, the economies never really moved on. The republics calcified into dictatorships…Worst of all, Israel humiliated the Arabs in the wars of 1967 and 1973."

"By the late 1980s, while the rest of the world was watching old regimes from Moscow to Prague to Seoul to Johannesburg crack, the Arabs were stuck with their aging dictators and corrupt kings."

"The new age of globalization has hit the Arab world in a very strange way. Its societies are open enough to be disrupted by modernity, but not so open that they can ride the wave. They see the television shows, the fast foods and the fizzy drinks. But they don't see genuine liberalization in the society, with increased opportunities and greater openness."

"America stands at the center of this world of globalization...Americans are so comfortable with global capitalism and consumer culture that we cannot fathom just how revolutionary these forces are.

"Disoriented young men, with one foot in the old world and another in the new, now look for a purer, simpler alternative."

"Globalization has caught it at a bad demographic moment. Arab societies are going through a massive youth bulge, with more than half of most countries' populations under the age of 25…A huge influx of restless young men in any country is bad news. When accompanied by even small economic and social change, it usually produces a new politics of protest…In the case of the Arab world, this revolution has taken the form of an Islamic resurgence."

"Fundamentalism gave Arabs who were dissatisfied with their lot a powerful language of opposition."

"Islamic fundamentalism got a tremendous boost in 1979 when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini toppled the Shah of Iran."

"For too long regimes like Saudi Arabia's have engaged in a deadly dance with religious extremism. Even Egypt, which has always denounced fundamentalism, allows its controlled media to rant crazily about America and Israel. (That way they don't rant about the dictatorship they live under.) But more broadly, we must persuade Arab moderates to make the case to their people that Islam is compatible with modern society."

"If the West can help Islam enter modernity in dignity and peace, it will have done more than achieved security. It will have changed the world."

Almost 8 years later, those words still ring true - even if, in many ways - we're further than ever from reaching that goal.


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