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A Short Critique of Islamic Fundamentalism

A Short Critique of Islamic Fundamentalism

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Published by Guy leven-Torres

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Published by: Guy leven-Torres on Nov 11, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/23/2014

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A Short Critique of Islamic Fundamentalism
 
IntroductionToday we face a huge problem of Islamic extremism. Extremism isnothing new in religion but the simple scale of the problem we face fromthe above and its threat to our way of life is daunting. There is also goodreason to believe that this particular threat is bigger than Communism or  National Socialism. There are two reasons for this:1)It is a direct descendant of National Socialism and if not of Marxism,shares a similar mindset and group ethic in order to impose itself uponthe human race and collective psyche, through means of coercion andcontrol.2)Its very nature is abstract enough to make it seem difficult to recogniseas a single entity but also a real enemy, in the sense that the older Hitlerite or Soviet enemies were to the West.The second reason is the one we shall deal with first. Religion throughits very nature is personal, even if practised in the public sphere. The personal relationship enjoyed by most Moslems with their god Allahand the promise of eternal salvation, makes the religion one of themost quixotic to understand and defeat in any war being fought in itsname. Unlike a political ideology like Communism and Nazism, no political tracts exist to guide the ideologue but a book called theKoran; a series of utterances supposed to come from Allah himself viathe angel Gabriel and from the mouth of the faith’s founder,Mohammed, an illiterate living in the 7
th
Century after Christ. Suchtracts are notoriously contradictory, as is the Christian Bible and mostof either, must be taken on faith. Faith in its very nature, is therefore amatter of personal belief and interpretation, so if any ideology existsas such in any such religion, it has no fixed agenda or crystallisedversion unlike written political tracts like Mein Kampf 
1
and DasKapital
2
.The very contradiction in these religions, has therefore led to a varietyof interpretations and indeed fractures and fault lines ranging acrossthe community of believers in Islam and Christianity. The enmity andviolence that stems from these differences have caused great violenceand schism between the believers in the above to such a degree, thateven today in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, Moslem kills Moslem
1
Adolf Hitler, German leader 1933-1945.
2
Karl Marx, 19
th
Century philosopher and thinker, Father of modern Socialism and state intervention.1
 
in far greater numbers than those outside the faith. Christianity itself waged war in similar disagreements and European history is pittedwith faith wars of great cruelty and only the Age of Reason, theRenaissance and the removal of power from the clerics and secular revolution like the French in 1789, allowed Europe to establish aseries of modern nation states free of religious and monarchicalcontrol. The monarchies remain in places like Britain, Holland andSpain but these have hardly any authority in the Parliamentarydemocracies thus established and act instead, rather like the Tribunesof the People in the Roman Republic to protect the modern citizenagainst the forces of tyranny and despotism. England in particular enjoys a well-established system of constitutional titular monarchy,now under threat from the increasingly totalitarian European Union.Out of this secularity however, arose a new tyranny: one calledSocialism. This creed saw the cure for the poverty and distress in anindustrial age within Humanity itself. God ceased to be part of the plan for human salvation. This we call Atheism that is by the way, stilla religion nevertheless, simply because through it Man became hisown master through the control ‘of the means of production’ andhence societal or rather group ownership. The latter in the form of  particular groups benefited mostly, usually by being a member of theruling elite within a single Party controlled state system. Socialismwhether international or national is still a form of state sponsoredCommunism, merely being a question of scale. The results of both inthe former Soviet Union and Germany under Hitler were the same:inert wasteful economics, huge monolithic bureaucracies answerableonly to themselves, mass poverty, lack of freedom and originalthought and oppression of the human condition and worse. Today wehave the European Union that is irreligious, Communistic in style andincreasingly authoritarian, its heavy hand dampening initiative andeconomic success much to the concern of its respective populationswithin the ‘nation-states’ that make it up. These will not be ‘nation-statesmuch longer it seems if the ‘EU’ succeeds and does notcollapse under its own inert weight.In answer to the first reason stated above, the Arab followers of Mohammed saw the original Islam as a solely Arab religion. Indeedfor many years after these tribes erupted from their desert fastnesses,conversion was resisted and those that did accept Islam kept apartfrom the pure blooded families of Arab descent. The Arab conqueror  preferred instead to maintain a racial divide emphasised by his peculiar religion derived from the Prophet. The city-states they took 
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from the Byzantines remained largely in the former owners’ hands,while the Moslem elite lived off the benefits in profits, land andtaxation. Likewise, within what was once the Persian SassanianEmpire, Arab elites ruled through compliant natives rather than take adirect interest in governing as the Executive concerned with theminutiae of daily goings on.However with time as Arabs themselves became assimilated in theways of their subjects in the Near and Middle East, especially inPersia where the strong courtly tradition of poetry, music and song hadevolved a rich culture that was one day to reach the West via theCrusades, the pressure to extend the benefits enjoyed by Moslems became unbearable, especially as many in the subjected populationdeeply resented paying the religious tax or 
 jizya
to their conquerors asa mark of their dhimminitude and subjection to superior Islam andtherefore under its ‘protection’. By the standards of the time this wasnot unfair or unreasonable. The conquered were also required to wear different clothes to the Arab elite, not allowed to carry weapons andalthough permitted to follow their own faiths as ‘Peoples of the Book’,had to obtain permission to build new churches or temples and these,especially the former were not allowed to dominate the mosquesstanding nearby.However in practice things could go very differently, especiallymatters concerned with the nature and ways of existence within theArab elite itself. Arab society was based around tribe and the extendedfamily. The tribe would not only consist of family members such as brother and cousins but individuals or groups that sought protectionfrom the former, in order to survive in a hostile world. These wereclients of the tribe and were expected in exchange for tribal protection,to support the same in its struggles with its enemies. Sometimes aswas inevitable, these client followings became very large and this inturn led to factionalism as members of the inner circle of family menoccasionally fought for supremacy and sought support from the hugefollowing of clientele, so leading to further factionalism and fractureand new power blocs. The clients gained in power at the expense of the ruling family, riven by strife. These in turn demanded a greater share of power and decision making as their power increased, untildisplacing the original familial power structure and Arabist agendaoriginally followed by the first Islamic conquerors.This is a process that goes on in all empires. However it was due tothe particular structure and nature of Arab society that it made itself 
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