Sola Koranica: 1
Intercepted by the Pakistan military during the slaughter of 132 children in a Peshawar school last December, this cold-blooded exchange between one of the nine Taliban perpetrators and his commander captures the infernal anti-spirit of Islam being played out worldwide, against Muslims and Christians alike.
In this particular massacre, the children were "singled out, one by one, and shot in the head." Teachers were executed trying to protect their pupils. A total of 148 people died during eight hours of carnage. When the army arrived, the terrorists duly obeyed orders, retreating to an administrative building before exploding their suicide belts.
Even a country inured to such unspeakable atrocities was shaken to its core. Funeral processions clogged the streets. The Times reported that Pakistan "seemed to be trapped between grief, anger and frustration, for once overcoming their divisions to unite in pain."
Sola scriptura creeds
"Division," of course, is the irresolvable essence of every creed of sola scriptura stripe (i.e., every religion except Catholicism). It was Luther's DIY religion that ignited waves of chaos and revolutionary violence across Europe. Eschewing the authoritative teaching and guidance that Christ vested in His Catholic Magisterium, myriad Protestant sects "arrogated to themselves the power of the sword that rightly belonged to magistrates. They used religious enthusiasm to spread sedition and revolution wherever they gained a foothold." Unleashed from humble obedience and submission to the Teaching Church, these sola scriptura jihadis included among their number Catholic priests "infected with messianic politics through exposure to the Old Testament". Or, more precisely, exposed to it in isolation: as if Christ had never come; never revoked the Old Law; never established a Catholic interpreter to speak for Him in perpetuity.
Naturally, these sects (bristling with heretical factions, ever mutating and splintering) hated each other. Henry VIII burned a dozen Anabaptists at the stake in England. Luther detested the Anabaptists and urged the German princes to follow Henry’s example. And so it went, as the Protestants tore to shreds "over a thousand years of patiently erected social order."
Blind to this history and theologically illiterate, media pundits churn out idiotic commentaries in pandering to 'moderate' Muslim claims that jihadist violence is a perversion of 'true Islam'. "Perhaps an Islamic Reformation is required, but who'll be their Martin Luther?" one recently pondered — oblivious to having just rocketed Islam 'out of the frying pan into the fire' of even greater bedlam!
In the long term, the teachings of Christ had their mollifying effect on Luther's sola scriptura progeny, even as the splintering, incoherence, and anti-Catholic animus continued on. Which is to say that self-exploding, head-severing Protestant jihadis are hard to find. (Unless, of course, we accept at face value the Domestic Extremist Lexicon issued by the US Department of Homeland Security in 2009, and the warnings in its accompanying report, Rightwing Extremism. Therein, pro-lifers, gun owners, and opponents of same sex 'marriage', the Obama administration, mass immigration, big government, the UN, et.al., are hate-oriented, non-Islamic extremist threats to the United States!)
All that said, it follows that without the sublime example, teaching and authority of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, non-Christian religions are liable to suffer the dire effects of private interpretation to a heightened degree. In holding to mere human assertions of divine inspiration, devoid of miraculous proof, beliefs quickly harden into ideology as religion, with totalising ramifications. Islam is merely a prime example of that brutal trajectory.
In Salt of the Earth (1996), Cardinal Ratzinger explained that “The Koran is a total religious law, which regulates the whole of political and social life and insists that the whole order of life be Islamic. Sharia shapes society from beginning to end...." Asked to comment on this passage during a 20 September 2006 interview on Australian radio, Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, explained that "...he [Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI] recognises that the Koran first of all is presented as the unmediated and uncreated word of God which cannot be changed, for which there’s no magisterium to interpret it, and that therefore if you try and see what society will be, if it’s going to be consistent with the Koran, then you end up with this principle of political life."
Moreover, arbitrary interpretations are hardly discouraged by the scriptural pastiche once described by Father John Hardon:
Only the most uncritical Moslem holds that the Koran is wholly original. Mohammed wove into his discourse large quantities of tribal tradition, popular sayings, legends beloved by the people, and much that he had gathered from his contact with the Jews and Christians, although the latter was mainly apocryphal, and the Jewish was more rabbinical interpretation than Old Testament content. ["Islam," chapter 14 in Religions of the World, The Newman Press, 1963), pp. 339-381]
Not the most convincing foundation on which to build and sustain unity in purported truth. Nor do counterbalancing attempts to rein in private interpretation of this patchwork of cribbed ideas prevent chronic fragmentation, as the late Jesuit scholar further explains:
While the Koran itself is central, three other sources of Islamic doctrine and practice are recognized by orthodox Moslems: tradition or Qunnah, community agreement or igmah, and the principle of analogy called gijas.
Tradition as a source of revelation is co-equal with the Koran in binding power and authority. It consists of all the sayings, explicit or implicit, of Mohammed, which he did not personally set down in the Koran.
Consensus of believers is more difficult to define and has occasioned endless dispute and schism. But in theory it means that whenever a sizeable portion of the Moslem faithful agrees on some cardinal issue of doctrine or ritual, this becomes part of the creedal structure of Islam.
The method of analogy finds special application in the field of morals and conduct, where a new situation is evaluated by comparison with a similar one in the past. Understandably the principle of gijas lends itself to arbitrary interpretation and, in fact, has been the cause of grave tension and conflict in Moslem jurisprudence.
Superficially, these multiple sources of Islamic authority appear to undermine the notion of sola Koranica. Yet from the outset, Islam fractured and splintered just like Protestantism and Judaism. "In the absence of ecclesiastical authority or infallible doctrine," Fr Hardon duly notes, "dissident factions in Islam were inevitable, and began within a few years of Mohammed's death." While "three principal heterodox movements may be clearly distinguished... the number and variety of Moslem sectarians are beyond calculation."
In April 2011, while pandering to members of an Islamic institute in Melbourne during an address titled "Muslims and Misinformation," even secular journalist Barney Zwartz could not avoid the elephant in the room, telling his Muslim audience:
This illustrates a serious a serious problem for Australian media. How can we know who speaks for Muslims when so many claim to do so? Nahid Kabir wrote a paper in 2006 about the representation of Muslims in the Australian media, in which she complained that pictures of Palestinian Muslims celebrating 9/11 were not placed in their “correct context”, encouraging readers to draw “their own mistaken conclusions”. It may be obvious to Nahid what the correct context is, but it is not to me, let alone utterly secular news editors making decisions about what to put in the paper. Similarly she blames Western media for insisting on promoting the myth that female circumcision is an Islamic ritual. But while many imams deny that it is a religious duty, others say it is. Yes, it predates Islam, but has been adopted by parts of Islam. How is a reporter to know, when Muslims themselves are undecided, and both sides say ‘listen to me, not them’?
The overwhelming majority of Australian Muslims see no conflict between their faith and their society, but Muslims are very much a minority here. Is their openness the real Islam? Is there such a thing as the real Islam? If so, is it the violent persecution of Copts in Egypt, the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, or the rigid orthodoxy and intolerance in Shia Iran or Sunni Saudi Arabia? Or is the more gentle and friendly religion of most Indonesians or Turks the real Islam? What will be the influence on the Ummah [i.e., Islamic world] of the large proportion of Muslims who live as minorities? These are ongoing debates within Islam. If Muslims don’t know, how can the secular media? I do not ask these pointed questions to cause offence, but to show that – given the contrary claims - mainstream Muslims must speak up.
Predictably, having opened a rare door to real dialogue about essentials, Mr Zwartz promptly slams it shut. "Mind you," he perversely concludes, "this confusion should not cause consternation"! In our relativistic culture of religious equivalence, you see, we're all confused. "Muslims are not alone," he assures his audience. "The Pope does not even speak for all the world’s Catholics, let alone the billion Orthodox and Protestant Christians." Truly, has the cast-iron case for the Catholic Magisterium ever been made more clearly in more blissful ignorance?
Islamic scholar Michael McClain is hostage to similar wishful-thinking. In a recent lengthy letter to Culture Wars [February 2015], he seeks to counter anti-Islamic sentiment spouted by the Enlightened Western establishment ("the divide-and-conquer strategy of the secularists and the anti-Muslim campaign of neocons and Zionists"). Since recent trillion dollar wars and deadly economic sanctions contrived and imposed by that mendacious, venal, unaccountable pseudo-elite have cost untold innocent Muslim lives, who could blame him? Or deny that entertainment-media conglomerates dominated by the secular Jewish/Zionist establishment have a vested interest in demonising Islam (even if Muslims do make it exceedingly easy for them)?
In the process of addressing CW's Catholic audience, however, McClain first insists that what separates Catholicism and Islam is less important than their similar commitment to the supernatural fight against secularism and atheism. Sounds fair and clear. It always does. But the reality is often murkier. Despite their huge numbers and large families, Muslims, with notable exceptions, are thin on the pro-life battleground. One young Muslim, who attended the massive 2013/14 pro-family demonstrations in Paris, complained of being unable to rouse any interest among French mosques and imams. As for "the supernatural fight," the mantra 'what unites us is more important than what divides us' always kicks Absolute Truth (read Christ and His Church) into the long grass.
In order to construct an authoritative voice with which to converse with magisterially coherent Catholicism, McClain then seeks to deconstruct the Islamic Tower of Babel, putting the fragmentation down to quasi-Protestant aberrations (— as if 'sola scriptura' and 'aberration' were mutually exclusive!). He writes:
When I speak of Islam, I exclude those who may be called “the Puritans of Islam, i.e., Wahhabis, Taliban, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIL or ISIS, etc. These are the Puritans of Islam in a more literal way than may at first be evident. Abdul Wahhab, founder of Wahhabism, worked for the British at a time when England was dominated by Puritanism. As R.H. Tawney noted in Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, the Puritans were not really Christians at all, they only appropriated the name, in order to deceive those who take no note of meaning and substance. Just so, the Puritans of Islam are not Muslims at all, though they appropriated the name; their real prophet is not Muhammad, but John Calvin. The so called “caliphate” of the ISIL or ISIS is a reincarnation of Cromwell’s Commonwealth.
Mohammed vs. Christ: Koranic chaos vs. Catholic order
Humanly speaking, this Islamic self-delusion is to be expected. For his private part, Mr McClain insists: "My status as an Islamic scholar is very high." He could hardly be expected to endanger that status by presenting Calvin and Mohammed as violent soulmates, and their respective creeds as joined at the sola scriptura hip!
While at the corporate level, of course, Muslims are not about to deny the veracity of their own scriptures. Never mind that they were channelled to their forebears via a man whose assurance of divine inspiration (by an implacable entity called Allah) they foolishly accepted at face value.
And so the sixty-four thousand dollar question: why did they not demand Christ-like bona fides for his stupendous claim?
The Angelic Doctor responds with angelic simplicity: "He gave free rein to carnal pleasure and was believed by carnal men." — The nub of the whole shebang.
Any truths Mohammed taught, adds Aquinas in his Summa Contra Gentiles, were "mingled with many fables and doctrines of the greatest falsity. ... As can be seen by anyone who examines his law." No wise people believed in him, and "those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly."
The self-professed prophet's only proof, confirms Aquinas, was force of arms by which he violently coerced others to follow him. His Luther-like slashing of difficult Catholic teachings from his new creed in order to rationalise carnal pleasure, sweetened the deal, so to speak. Clearly a winning formula, this two-pronged strategy of coercion and temptation — pleasure and pain — was also a recipe for chaos. Just as Luther's sola scriptura revolution unleashed acrimony and cruelty across Europe, so Islamic tribes and factions (principally Sunnis and Shias) have endlessly interpreted, argued and fought over Mohammed's legacy ever since.
Appeals to this or that school, movement, or particular scholar as sources of unity are patently perverse. For like all man-made religions, Islam is inherently centrifugal; forever acting, moving or tending away from a centre of unity. Original Sin guarantees it! Without its divinely-protected Magisterium [Jn 15:26], the Holy Catholic Church would be in similar disarray; at the mercy of Kasper-like factions seeking to pervert the sublime doctrine and morals revealed by Jesus. Unfortunately for the neo-Modernists, however, before returning to His Father in heaven, Christ not only duly delegated His magisterial authority to His apostles and their successors, he vested supreme power in the papacy, without which visible centre of unity and final court of appeal we would revert to our own chaotic creed. As the First Vatican Council taught:
Hence we teach and declare that by the appointment of our Lord the Roman Church possesses a sovereignty of ordinary power over all other Churches, and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff, which is truly episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatsoever rite and dignity, are bound, by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit, not only in matters which belong to faith and morals, but also in those that appertain to the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world; so that the Church of Christ may be one flock under one supreme pastor, through the preservation of unity, both of communion and of profession of the same faith, with the Roman pontiff. This is the teaching of Catholic truth, from which no one can deviate without loss of faith and salvation.
Thus, the simple, irrefutable Catholic replies to all journalistic ignorance and tilting at ecumenical windmills, are:
1. "Jesus Christ" (see our elementary "Jesus v. Mohammed" ready reckoner, April 2012, pp. 37-38; or email me for a pdf version - firstname.lastname@example.org); and
2. "Magisterium" ("All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, ..." - Matt 28:18; "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." - Lk 10:16; "And I tell you: you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." - Matt 16:18)
In his sermon "Christus unus omnium magister", Saint Bonaventure hammers home this divine source of Catholic authority — which non-Catholics and non-Christians ever discount for fear of having to account for it:
“Only one is your teacher, the Messiah.” (Mt 23,10)… For Christ is “the reflection of the Father’s glory, the exact representation of the Father’s being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.” (Heb 1,3) He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for he is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn 14,6)… As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge according to faith… That is why Peter teaches in his second letter: “We possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable. Keep your attention closely fixed on it, as you would on a lamp shining in a dark place.” (1,19)… For through his coming in the spirit, Christ is the origin of all revelation, and through his coming in the flesh, he is the strengthening of all authority. ... No one can come to the certainty of revealed faith except through Christ’s coming in the spirit and the flesh.
So that's us saved from all doctrinal and moral uncertainty. But who is there to untangle the tangled mess of the Koran for Muslims (or the Talmud for the Jews)? Forever mired in disputes and speculation, they are left at the mercy of whichever interpretative school of whichever imam is mixing and matching Koranic passages to fit his ideology.
If we cannot expect rationalising scholar McClain and Muslims generally to accept the Catholic exposition above, at least journalist Zwartz, despite his woeful understanding of Catholicism
Trapped within this maelstrom — where ideology conflates into theology; human pride into honour — Muslims cannot escape the violence that forever swirls about them, turning erstwhile peaceful souls from moderate, loving families into angry zealots with unnerving ease. Recently, in commenting on the latest Christian families captured by the IS in Syria on 24 February and taken to the Arab Sunni village of Um Al-Masamier, Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana spoke to this Jekyll and Hyde gene in the Muslim DNA. "Um Al-Masamier is another Syrian example of what we witnessed in Iraq," he told Aid to the Church in Need, "on how the Arab Sunni joining and supporting IS to attack their long years Christian and Yezedian neighbours" [sic]. Catholic Lebanese in Australia have related similar betrayals: informing the present writer of how quickly and brutally decades of peaceful co-existence soured, when less humane imams arrived to teach the not-so-peaceful side of the Koran which their Muslim friends and neighbours had hitherto overlooked or ignored.
In this sobering and scary light, the incomprehension of parents of seemingly well-adjusted children who suddenly fall for ultra-violent jihadi propaganda and run off to join mass murderers, is difficult to fathom. If not inevitable, it is hardly surprising.
Fifty-seven-year old Ahmed Muthana has lived in Britain for forty years. A resident of Cardiff and devoted father of four sons, he is now trying to fathom why two of them, Nasser, 20, and Aseel, 17, abandoned their promising futures to run away to Syria to join the Islamic State last June. "We raised our sons to be a mixture of British and Yemeni," he told the Daily Mail (28/6/14):
They attended a Roman Catholic primary school, they ate Yemeni food and roast beef on Sundays, and they would dress in Yemeni style for special occasions, but wear Western clothes in the week. We woud play reggae and rock as well as traditional Yemeni music. I took them to the mosque and they learned Arabic. But we wanted them to have a Welsh education and British standards — to be reliable and polite, like doctors, lawyers and barristers — and treat people properly.
Mr Muthana's sons were academically gifted. As the Mail noted, "These boys were not the archetypically alienated, under-achieving nihilists, who gravitate to towards extremism; and nor are the others [who] have been spirited away by ISIS. ... they are mainly well-educated products of the British-Asian middle class and ought to have been in the vanguard of their community."
Yet all it took to seduce them into the IS and its enforcement of Koranic verses of choice, was for "the men with long beards," as Mr Muthana calls them, to materialise uninvited each Friday outside one of Cardiff's twelve mosques, and hand them leaflets inviting them to a lecture, with the enticement of free food.
The grooming proceeds from there, "with stories about injustice to the Sunni Muslim sect to which they belong — whether by the Shias, the West, or the Assad regime in Syria." And there is no shortage of boys to radicalise. The Muslim population of Cardiff has more than doubled in the last ten years to at least 25,000.
Though inconsolable over the loss of their beloved sons to the IS, Mr and Mrs Muthana might find some answers in The Islamist . Therein, Ed Husain explains how, at sixteen, he became an "Islamic fundamentalist" in East London. Again, despite a loving home and pious parents who themselves practiced a peaceful Sufi brand of Islam, he rapidly became a disciple of Islamic ideologue Abdul Ala Mawdudi, the founder of Jamat-e-Islami.
In keeping with his terrorist ilk, Mawdudi frankly states that "Islam is a revolutionary doctrine and system that overthrows governments. It seeks to overturn the whole universal social order." Husain's parents abhorred and repeatedly warned him against such extremists. "I knew my father would not tolerate Mawdudi's books under his roof, so I put paper covers on them, blacked out the author's name, and secretly read as much as possible."
In no time he had brought Mawdudi's line that "true" and "superior" Muslims were those who actually read the Koran:
"Men who call themselves Muslim but whose knowledge and actions are the same as those of Kafirs [derogatory term for non-Muslims], are guilty of blatant hypocrisy," explained Mawdudi. "Kafirs do not read the Koran and do not know what is written in it. If so-called Muslims are equally ignorant, why should they be called Muslims?"
It's hard to fault the sola Koranica logic. But it logically extends to those who do read and do know the Koran. Since neither Husain nor his parents had a divinely-delegated Magisterium and papal arbiter to guide them, why would they not part theological ways? Private interpretation rules. Thus, Husain turned away from the mystical Islam of his parents to embrace Mawdudi's more literal Islam: a Koranic interpretation he was soon preaching in Tower Hamlets College as a member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir:
All this, we were convinced, was based on the sira, or the life of the Prophet Mohammed. He had bequeathed a political system for us to implement, a total ideology for global domination: Islam. This ideology would be carried to other parts of the world by means of jihad, which was the raison d'être of the army of the future Islamic state. More precisely, our foreign policy was to conquer and convert. If countries refused to convert, then they would pay the Islamic state a tax, known as jizyah, to ensure their safety and protection by the Islamic army.
Seven years before the IS, he recalled this period of his life on campus during the 1990s:
We were single-minded in our pursuit of establishing a distinct Islamic state, for in the obtaining of political power lay all the answers to the problems of the Muslim nation. Our arguments were powerful and, at first, undefeatable. 'If we had the Islamic state, then the caliph would send the Islamic army to slaughter the Serbs,' was our answer to the Balkan conflict. ... Bosnia acted as a catalyst for extremism among large numbers of young Muslims in Britain. It was a serious political wake-up call for hundreds of us, semi-radicalised by the emotional Islamism of Jamat-e-Islami but given a clear, radical outlook on life by Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
True to sola Koranica anarchy, Husain's group had running arguments with other Muslim sects. "At college, the Wahabbis had been bashing us in the YMO for our lack of scriptural evidence for our Mawdudian da'wah [proselytism]. Hizb-ut-Tahrir, through Nabhani's literature, provided me with ample evidence to counter such arguments." I'm sure the 30,000+ Protestant ecclesiastical communities and sects would empathise!
Unlike Protestantism, however, intra-Islamic conflict is not confined to intellectual argy-bargy. While homicidal Hindu nationalism and genocidal ultra-Orthodox Judaism (see Alison Weir herein) largely target Christians and Palestinians respectively, Peshawar's recent flood of grief reminds us of the far greater toll Islam takes of its own.
In a 2006 commentary castigating mainstream Muslim silence and hypocrisy before Islamic terror, author Frederick Forsythe wrote: "In Algeria, over 10 years, an estimated 100,000 fellahin (peasant farmers) have been butchered by the Armed Islamic Group for not being devout enough. In the planting of bombs, 9/11 notwithstanding, 50 Muslims have died for every infidel. In Darfur — two million exiles, 300,000 slaughtered in deliberate genocide. Deliberately inflicted by the Muslim Sudanese government on fellow Muslims."
Meanwhile, those who interpret the Koran symbolically rather than literally, like the Ahmadiyya sect, are persecuted as a matter of course. In 1974, the Mecca-based Muslim World League published a fatwa ruling that the Ahmadi was a "subversive movement against Islam." The ruling ostracised members of the sect from every facet of Muslim life, even declaring that they couldn't marry Muslims or be buried in Muslim cemeteries. Typically, in late May 2014, an Ahmadi cardiologist, an America citizen doing charity hospital work in Punjab province, was shot dead in front of his wife and young son by two gunmen on a motorbike as they left a cemetery. Earlier the same month, an Ahmadi accused of blasphemy against Islam was also shot dead by a gunman who walked into the police station where he was being held.
And so it goes. There is no need to labour the point underlined every other day in shocking reports. So much hatred and blood spewing forth within Islam itself. True, the bald statistic of greater Muslim-on-Muslim killings is no comfort to Westerners similarly butchered, including those just before and after Peshawar (in Toronto, Sydney, Paris, and Copenhagen). Nor is there much consolation in statistical comparisons revealing significant non-Muslim terrorist killings. Nonetheless, since the horror of Paris and subsequent Belgian police raids have concentrated minds on murderous Muslims on the rampage, it is only fair that we recognise what Arab-American writer Dean Obeidallah wrote post-Paris: that to say "not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim" is incorrect.
Obeidallah points to an FBI study showing that, from 1980 to 2005, 94 percent of terror acts were committed by non-Muslims, with 42 percent conducted by Latino-related groups and 24 percent by left-wing organizations. He also refers to a 2014 study by the University of North Carolina showing that since the 9/11 attacks killed more than 3,000 people, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of only (!) 37 Americans.
He further notes that in Europe "less than 2 percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years. Only two of them were 'religiously motivated,' while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs."
Furthermore, extremist Buddhists have killed many Muslim civilians in Myanmar, while recently in Sri Lanka Buddhists burned down Muslim homes, killing four people.
"Or what about the (dare I mention them) Jewish terrorists?" Obeidallah goes on. "Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as 'price tag' attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them, and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches."
These valid points notwithstanding, Obdeidallah's shifting/spreading of blame is a typically defensive Muslim reaction to Islamic genocide and mass murder — of non-Muslims. He dare not tackle the intra-Islamic strife since that would only highlight the aggravating cultural aspect of private interpretation, namely: Islam as Koranic chaos wrapped in a burkha. For, ultimately, it is the Islamic "tribe", each with its particular credal emphasis and associated medieval customs, that takes precedence. It was to this constituency that Islam was originally tailored and pitched.
The cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed who ruled over the Islamic Caliphate from 656 to 661, Ali ibn Abi Talib was intimately acquainted with the intended meaning and purpose of his cousin's scriptural stream of consciousness, waxing lyrical about the carnage it unleashed:
Our flowers are the sword and the dagger;
As Serge Trifkovic explains in The Sword and the Prophet , Talib was merely evoking the mentality and life of the tribe:
Muhammed described the three most important works a man could perform as faith, war in the path of Allah, and a blameless pilgrimage. Muhammed's successor's did not need convincing; they were prone to war by custom and required no excuses to wage it. They were simple fighting men, accustomed to living by pillage and the exploitation of settled populations, and heaping loot and jizya was the only means of making a living known to them. Theirs was an "expansion denuded of any concrete objective, brutal, and born of a necessity of its past" [Ibn Warraq, 1995, p.219].
If the creed of Islam is a bewildering "glomeration of sects and traditions," Islamic nations are often little more than seething tribal-masses barely controlled by their dictators. Though a committed Zionist, renowned author Leon Uris was also a forensic researcher who knew the Arab component of the "glomeration" first-hand. "Before I was nine," says Ishmael, the narrator of his novel The Haj, "I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel." The novel's Muslim protagonist, Haj Ibrahim, comments to his Palestinian Jewish neighbour and best friend Gideon Asch: "No dispute is ever really settled in our world."
You might say! The Islamic world is effectively defined by the never-ending "dispute" between the overwhelming Sunni majority, and the Shia. Their mutual loathing might even surpass their hatred of Christians and Jews! During a London lecture in July 2014, Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, and MI6, quoted Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador in Washington at the time of 9/11 and later head of Saudi intelligence, as saying to him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunni have simply had enough of them."
Geopolitically, this vengeful voice explains a lot. As Rev. Peter Mullen recently put it, "The Syrian civil war is but part of a conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims which has gone on for the best part of a thousand years. This sectarian strife is by no means confined to Syria, but is being waged all across North Africa and the Middle East." ("Cohesion and Disintegration", Aug-Sept 2014, explains how this tribal hatred bolsters the IS.)
At the same time, it helps account for the barbaric violence enacted or supported by Muslims, East and West, who respond to the siren song of the tribe; glorifying suicide and hellish homicides. This herd mentality, which excited Ed Husain, is regularly reflected in polls: such as the post-9/11 survey by a Muslim radio station, in which 48 per cent of young Muslims in London under the age of 45 said they would take up arms for Bin Laden. Some did. While a good number, including the Muthana brothers, have since done likewise for IS.
The bloodmongers are a minority, to be sure. Yet relative to more than a billion Muslims worldwide, one that still constitutes tens of millions at very best, and more likely hundreds of millions. A massive 'minority' killing machine by any reckoning! One that rules the Islamic roost in the manner of the early Nazis and Bolsheviks; tiny 'minorities' who also used propaganda and terror to dictate terms to the silent majority with devastating national and international effect.
Brigitte Gabriel, founder and leader of the largest grassroots citizen action network in the US, spoke to this point during a Q&A conference held long before IS spewed forth from the bowels of Hell. Responding to a young American Muslim woman who typically sought to avoid central issues by resorting to victimhood ("we portray Islam and all Muslims as bad"), Gabriel said:
There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course, not all of them are radical. The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15 to 25 percent according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75 percent of them peaceful people. But when you look at 15 to 25 percent of the world Muslim population, you’re looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilisation. That is as big as the United States. So why should we worry about the radical 15 to 25 percent? Because it is the radicals that kill. Because it is the radicals that behead and massacre. [Full conference on YouTube]
Unlike the utopian media, forever spinning the 'moderate vs radical' canard, Ms Gabriel is a reliable witness. Raised in the Middle East, she is fully conversant with the culture, and able "to read the Koran in Arabic, the language in which it was written, and recite it in Arabic as much as Osama Bin Laden." On one occasion, exasperated with a liberal interviewer who painted her plain-speaking as the problem, she pleaded with him to listen to Muslim leaders and imams themselves, and stop "trying to translate and reflect our Western values and standards on their words." Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, for one, she said, is "telling you there is no radical Islam or moderate Islam, there is only one Islam. Believe what your enemies, at least the radicals, are saying, because it is the radicals right now that matter. They are not lying [and do not have] a hidden agenda. They’re being very clear in their messaging."
Meanwhile, as our Christian brethren abroad suffer and die at the hands of marauding Muslims who personify the original tribesman who took up arms with Mohammed, we find tribal depredations on our own doorsteps. Quite apart from sporadic mass killings and hostage-taking that grab the headlines, multi-cultural ideology has introduced new levels of violence to Western neighbourhoods. Variously ignored or excused, it has taken root and flourished thanks to the Orwellian imposition and enforcement of politically correct thought by the liberal-left (according to whom all cultures must be 'respected' come what may, the Christian variety excepted).
Britain typically suffers in this regard from many unspeakable tribal-religious 'customs' imported with Muslim immigrants. Oxymoronic 'honour killings' constitute but one. These take place in Hindu and Sikh families as well, but Muslim writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says the dozen or so cases acknowledged each year by police represent only "a tiny minority of the most extreme [Muslim] cases. Hospital casualty wards hide many more unseen victims of this disgraceful cultural practice."
Among other similar barbarisms is the serial sexual abuse of young white girls by gangs of Muslims up and down the country. Notably in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham, where senior police officers and senior council officers knew of the abuse for decades yet chose to "disbelieve, suppress or ignore" evidence of multiple crimes out of politically correct fear. A revelatory tale of our times, Rotherham speaks to the grotesque posturing of duplicitous world "leaders" after the Charlie Hebdo murders; revealing as much about the dissolute post-Christian West as it does about the perils of Islamification.
We will examine and tie it all together next month.