Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Children in an Adult's World

Western Cultural Imperialism At Its Most Dangerous

The debate about liberty, free-speech and the stance of Islam rolls on.  The West's position is, shall we say, conflicted.  The Western Commentariat has been playing a divide-and-rule strategy.  It presupposes that Islam is a broad-church religion, with a wide range of variants, denominations, sects and opinions about Islam.

Simply put, the Commentariat assumes that Islam is just like modern Judaism and modern Christianity--both alike are festooned with multi-form denominations, traditions, beliefs, and expressions--yet these days they all tend to get along in an irenical co-existence.  In Christianity, for example, one has every kind of manifestation imaginable, from those that deny the existence of Jesus Christ right through to those who worship Him as Lord of heaven and earth.  But in both Judaism and Christianity alike there are, from time-to-time, extremist elements that have no legitimate claim to their respective religions.  Some Jews have  become militant zionists who murder innocent Palestinians.  Some Christians have engaged in a fratricidal war in Northern Ireland in recent history.  These extremist elements do not represent either Judaism or Christianity respectively.  Or so the narrative rolls.

The Commentariat believes Islam is just the same.  The terrorists, the suicide bombers are the extremists: the vast majority of Islamic believers are tolerant, peaceful, law-abiding citizens.  The strategic objective is to "reach out" to the mainstream, and isolate the extremists. Ben Shapiro provides us a recitation of with how the Obama administration has systematically and consistently played out this strategy. 

Is this view of the Western Commentariat a gratuitous, fabricated assumption, or is it based in reality?  The answer to the question is to apply a straightforward sociological test.  Mainstream Islam--by definition--can be seen in those countries which are Muslim countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Sudan--and so forth.  In these countries, Islam has become institutionalised.  Its influences can be observed.  Its culture can be studied.  These countries represent mainstream Islam. 

When we apply this canon, it immediately becomes clear that the Western Commentariat is simply engaged in wishful thinking.  Worse, it is engaged in a perverse form of Western cultural imperialism.  The Commentariat is assuming and operating as if the entire world were an extension of Western liberal values and secular mores.  It assumes the whole world is really a Western secularist world. 

We will cite one example, just to make the point--although it is so obvious, only the most wilfully blinded will not grant it.
Amnesty International is calling on Saudi Arabia’s authorities to quash the outrageous sentencing today of Raif Badawi in connection with an online forum for public debate he set up and accusations that he insulted Islam.  Raif Badawi, co-founder of the “Saudi Arabian Liberals” website, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a fine of 1 million Saudi riyals (about US$266,631) by Jeddah’s Criminal Court.
This kind of thing is found repeatedly in mainstream Islam. It is a praxis buttressed by teaching, law codes, tradition, and popular support.  Thus, we are on solid ground when we say that those Islamic folk in the West who are tolerant, peace-loving, gracious, respectful of the opinions of others, and who believe in free-speech are at the extreme end of the Islamic spectrum.  They are definitely not mainstream.  Today's tolerant Muslim is the extremist Muslim, when considered on a sociological spectrum.
Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires.

USA Today carried a piece by an Islamic cleric,  Anjem Choudary, whom the Commentariat calls an extremist and a hate preacher. He is also a highly educated man--which elicits more than a few genteel coughs amongst the Chattering Classes.  Our point is simple: Choudary is not an extreme Muslim; he is a mainstream Muslim.  It is only the Commentariat's cultural hegemony and imperialism which prevents it seeing what is blindingly obvious to anyone except the self-duped.  

Here is Choudary's apologia for Islam's intolerance.  We defy anyone to prove that it is not the mainstream Islamic position, using the straightforward sociological test we have proposed above.  
Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires.

Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, "Whoever insults a Prophet kill him."

However, because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see.  Within liberal democracies, freedom of expression has curtailments, such as laws against incitement and hatred.

The truth is that Western governments are content to sacrifice liberties and freedoms when being complicit to torture and rendition — or when restricting the freedom of movement of Muslims, under the guise of protecting national security.  So why in this case did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the sanctity of its citizens at risk?

It is time that the sanctity of a Prophet revered by up to one-quarter of the world's population was protected.

Anjem Choudary is a radical Muslim cleric in London and a lecturer in sharia.
Anjem Choudary lives in the mainstream real Islamic world.  The Western Commentariat lives in a make-believe world.  Over the next fifty years, as the real, mainstream Islamic world confronts the West's make-believe, mirage world which do you believe will win? 

We expect it is the world which is self-aware and not living in a childish saccharine, make-believe fantasy world that will make huge strides.  Islam is speaking and living the truth about itself; the West is in hopeless denial, both about itself and about mainstream Islam. 



Anonymous said...

I think that classing a wide range of sects as Christian is misleading. That they may call themselves such is of no benefit to them as Christianity requires some beliefs in a few basics. Without those basics I would argue that you are not Christian irrespective of how you might label yourself. Many liberal "Christians" would fall into this group as they treat Christ as just another guru, perverting clear teachings, ignoring repentance, denying his divinity and so on. Having listened to the radio defending Islam as peaceful a couple of days ago I vented my spleen on a couple of Jehovah Witnesses who walked up my drive (again) to interrupt my gardening and claimed to be Christian.

Islam has similar issues and I agree with the post as to how a Muslim that takes the teachings seriously should believe - the teachings are crude and violent and I would argue that moderate Muslims are not really connected with Islam at all. They are like Christians on the fringes keeping up appearances.


John Tertullian and Contra Celsum said...

Thanks for your interaction.

You are, of course, correct. The secular West's view of Christianity and what constitutes a Christian believer is totally unreliable and discreditable. Our piece was attempting to portray the West's view of the "broad church of Christianity" and point out that it applies the same kind of ignorant "broad church" view to Islam.

The Western Commentariat, in our view, is in general profoundly ignorant of theological and doctrinal issues, due to it never having undertaken any serious study or analysis of the historical Christian religion, let alone modern cults. (As an evidence supporting our opinion, one just has to consider the syllabi of government and secular schools, where the historical Christian and orthodox faith--in contrast to unorthodox cults--features not at all.) Your (and our) "view" of the Christian faith would no doubt be regarded by the secularists as fundamentalist and extremist. We have learned that when a modern secularist calls us fundamentalists, he or she is actually confirming that we are faithful, orthodox Christians.

With respect to what constitutes a "moderate" Muslim, our post was endeavouring to point out that "moderate" is, therefore, a compromised concept, insofar as "moderate" depends upon where you are standing. To Lenin, Trotsky was an extremist; Lenin was the moderate.

Moderate Muslims in Islamic countries believe overwhelmingly in the death penalty if a Muslim becomes a Christian (according to Pew research. What the West regards as "extreme" Islam most Muslims in the world regard as "moderate" and normal.

It may be more helpful, we think, to use the terms "mainstream" versus "fringe". Mainstream Islam is found where Islam is the mainstream controlling religion as a nation. Fringe Islam is found throughout the West. Consequently, the West's moderate Muslim is actually a fringe Muslim, not part of the Islamic mainstream.