Wednesday, 3 January 2007

1:4 The nature of the war on evil

Let us remind you of the nature of the war you have proclaimed and the fact that you are engaged in a great and glorious cause. This is especially important since you will know that the assorted enemies you have taken on try to undermine your work by issuing specific and apparently plausible demands, they attempt to make you fight on many fronts and without any coherence. This is one problem for you.

For example, the Chechens are very different from the majority population of Russia and their traditions and history lead most of them to wish to have a separate state. Other fragments of the old Soviet Union like them escaped to freedom, but through chance they did not. Their demand to be separate, they say, would not threaten Russia and indeed from time to time they have been granted near autonomy. Yet their arguments are, obviously, just a ploy.

You can deflect all criticisms of your severe treatment of these peoples by pointing out that in reality they are part of an Islamic fundamentalist conspiracy with deep links to the evil organization which keeps changing its name, but is currently called al-Qaeda. So you can easily show that they are not, and should not be, treated as nationalists, but terrorists. We should not listen to their surface requests. They are clearly part of the Axis of Evil and whatever general methods are permissible against terrorists are to be used to destroy these vermin.

Or again, some might listen to the arguments of the Palestinians for a separate State based on earlier agreements. They might feel that in the face of overwhelming military power and endless encroachments, the building of walls that cut off their farm lands, the destruction of their olives and crops, they have no way to react but to use the methods of those they consider to be the aggressors, but, as one definition of a terrorist puts it, they are fighters without air-power. Subject to assassinations, the bullet and the bomb, they act in the same way.

Yet obviously we should not listen to their whining pleas for fair-handed treatment or their harping on about U.N. resolutions requiring Israel to pull back to an agreed border and remove the settlements. We know that the Palestinian militants are really part of the same grand conspiracy, and indeed Palestine is one of the chief swamps where these vermin breed.

Even one of the great servants of Satan, Bin Laden himself, put forward requests which have deceived some. Foolish people suggest that if we had tried to deal with some of the grievances he put forward, this war might have been avoided. He says that all he wants is fair treatment for Palestine and the removal of the American troops from the most sacred holy land of Saudi Arabia (that was all I thought? Mecca lies in SA). But obviously this is just a cover, not to be listened to for a moment. We know that really he and his followers hate and envy us. They want to destroy all that we stand for. They hate consumerism, capitalism, what they call the decadence of our lives. They are Evil and we should have no truck with evil. We should shut our ears to its seductive tones and resolutely turn away from self-examination or any listening to their woes.

Of course you know all this, and you know that the situation is now particularly grave because the weapons available to those who hate us are so lethal. In our time, the weapons were equally serious – plagues, storms, locusts – but the means by which they were brought into operation were magical and mysterious. Now both the weapons and the ways to use them are easy to find.

So you are well aware of the gravity of the situation, especially after the obscenity of the bomb attack of 9/ll on the ‘Twin Towers’. That shock is particularly undermining since, while we know that it is part of the international conspiracy of Evil which links all our enemies, it has been impossible to find any connection to another major fiend, Saddam Hussein. Of course you had to cover-up this absence of any link, and to constantly imply, hint, suggest a link so that, in the end, without ever seeing any proof, people became convinced that Saddam had planned the attack. This is just the kind of deceit which is unfortunately both necessary and justified in our war, as we shall explain. We had to use deceits to trick the witches and Satan in our time, and you must do the same.


Gabriel Andrade said...

I must say I partly disagree here, or at any rate, I partially agree with XXIst Cent. Sprenger and Kramer as represented by Dr. Macfarlane. As for Russia, true, Putin has been extremely repressive, and God knows what is really going on in Chechnia (whatever journalist that attempts to tell the truth is muredered by the Russian government). True, Chechnian Muslims want an independent State, as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, etc. did, given their cultural differences from Orthodox, more Westernized Russia. The same could be said of Palestineans.
But, it would be a mistake to think that these liberation movements are throughly nationalistic. They are not; nationalism is basically a Western phenomenom, and with this Islamic renaissance going on, it is clearly secondary to religious loyalty. Let's take a look at Palestine. Arafat appealed to secular liberation movements; in the long term, they failed. Today, theocratic groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah are more attractive for Palestineans than the PLO. Chechnian and Palestinan liberation movements do not just wish autonomy; they also desire a theocratic state in the long term. It is not just liberation from Western governments, it is also Shariah. Indeed, it would be too simplistic to argue that all that Bin Laden wants is a fair treatment of Palestine and a removal of American troops from Saudi Arabia. He does want those things, but that's not the end of it. His lieutenant has clearly said that their pretensions are to recover Al-Andalus and ultimately, a universal Islamic State. In as much as it is an Axial, universalist monotheistic religion, like Christianity, Islam hopes for the converesion of the whole world. The State is just the means (something that is not so in Post-Enlightenment Christianity, aptly separating Chruch and State). Furthermore, Bin Laden and Islamists are not all that concerned about the mistreatment of Palestineans. They are concerned about confrontation with the West. Do Western Sahara refugees or Kurds get much attention? Not really, because they are Muslims who suffer at the hands of Muslims. What really matters are Muslims who suffer at the hands of Westerners.
Is Shariah and Islam "evil"? I certainly would not share Sprenger's concept of "evil", but let us look at what Islam really is. First of all, there is no true Islam without Shariah or Dar-Al-Islam. Islam has been and continues to be an all-or-nothing system. It is not just a private religious matter: to be a true Muslim, one must seek God's soverignity through the creation of an Islamic State. Muslims who live in Europe and adapt well to Western secular society have (fortunely) abandoned what Islam has been ever since the VII Cent. But, they are a minority in the Muslim World, and so-called "reformers" want to make a return to what Islam has always been: a political-religious system.
Is this system "evil"? Historically it has had great merits, but, it is clearly recationary to Enlightenment ideas that Dr Macfarlane and I share: no recognition of civil society, no tolerance of religious minorities, great judicial disadvantages for women, anti-rationalism, etc. When Macfarlane's Sprenger says that "they want to destroy all that we stand for. They hate consumerism, capitalism, what they call the decadence of our lives", I think he is right. Obviosuly the answer is not to send troops to Iraq, but it would be equally foolish to think many Muslims do not have an inner desire to destroy Western infidel civilization. Even if these Muslims may not be majority in the Muslim world, they are clearly the ones who take the lead in that region; we can not deny Bin Laden is immensely popular.
No easy answers. The alternative would be, I believe, to promote a real Reformation in the heart of Islam. The West needs mullahs and imams to teach children how to recite the Qur'an and how to pray five times a day, without having to aspire for a theocratic state. Most of the terrible institutions that characterize Sharia derive from the Qur'an, a book reverd by Muslims as eternal, non created, and therefore, a-temporal. That is a cardinal dogma of Islam. Whatever the Qu'ran says, it is so, because the Qur'an can not be contextualized in a given place or time: it is to be taken literally for all times and places, as it is as infinite and eternal as God. Jews and Christians don't see the Bible that way.
Back in the 12th Century, Mutazaliis attempted to reform Islam, precisely by teaching that the Qur'an is not eternal, and therefore, must not necesarily be taken word-by-word. They failed. The West must promote a new Mutazili movement, instead of torturing war prisoners.

Gabriel Andrade said...

I just watched on CNN a major debate regarding a US Muslim Congressman who wishes to present his oath with his hand on the Qu'ran, and not on the Bible, as it has been done traditionally. Once again, this is a difficult matter. As someone who abhors religious intolerance, I grant he should be allowed to swear in on wahetever religious books he desires. But, if this man is really a Muslim, he believes the Qur'an is the non-created, eternal, atemporal word of God (this is a central tenet for Muslims as the Trinity or the Incarnation is for Christians). Thus, it is not just a text written for VII Cent. tribal Arabia, but for all of ages. If it says "beat women", "kill infildels", "torture prisoners", it is not just understandable in its context (precisely, so the belief goes, because there is NO CONTEXT, the Qur'an has always been, it exists before time); no, it is for all to follow. The Bible also says "kill infidels", "stone adulterers", etc., but Jews and Christians believe two things, as opposed to Muslims: 1) The Bible is a collection of books whose message God has renewed over and over again, modifying many times what He previously announced, thus, 2) judicial exhortations are indeed temporal (this is even more so in Pauline Christianity, where the Law is finally superseded by faith). Christians believe the Bible is INSPIRED by God, but not God itself; Muslims believe the Qur'an, since it was not created, is God himself.
So, this Muslim Congressman will inevitably be divided. If he is a Muslim, the Qur'an, in every sense, will be given absolute priority over any other book, including the US Constitution. When it comes to religious tolerance, individual liberties, women's rights,etc., what book will he choose? Can he choose a secular text and ignore a book that he believes is non-created, eternal, the example of utter-most perfection, free of doubts?
There is no Pope in Islam, so, yes, there is little established dogma. Bin Laden interprets the Qur'an as he wishes to, this US Congressman interprets the Qur'an in his own way. But, one belief that virtually all Muslims do share is the Qur'an's eternity. And, this being so, ultimately, Bin Laden's interpretation is the orthodox one, the US Muslim Congressman is a heterodox: the Qur'an places much more emphasis on persecuting religious minorities than in respecting them, etc.
It's hard to tell what % of Muslims in the world support terrorism. It's probably very low. But, if 99% of Muslims believe the Qur'an is uncreated and divine, word-by-word, letter-by-letter, then the minority that does indeed support terrorism, are better logicians: the Uncreated Holy Book defends violence much more than it forbids it; ergo, terrorism is legitimate. It is a matter of time before the peaceful majority comes to realize what their violent God really wants. Those Muslims who claim to have no conflict with the West must not so much predicate peace, but attempt to reform the belief in the Qur'an's eternity, from which violence is derived.

Islam said...

American Chaplain discovers the truth.
What is the Bible - REALLY?