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How to Characterize Islam

Reader comment on item: A French lesson for Tom Harkin

Submitted by Allen Weingarten (United States), Jan 9, 2004 at 08:53

Some claim that we should rejoice when Muslims practice their faith, and should appreciate all civilizations and religions. Since this is a live issue, where President Bush has repeatedly declared Islam as a religion of peace, it is worth addressing.

Let us characterize the fundamentals of civilization. I define "civilization" as "the organization of society around an ideal to uplift man while restraining barbarism"; here "culture" is the means for uplifting man, while "government" is the mechanism for restraining barbarism. Now Islam does not organize society around an ideal, but around a passion of domination, where force is the means to subordinate the enemy to Allah. Its culture depresses man, curtailing his creativity, while its government unleashes all forms of aggression and barbarism. Consequently, Islam is not a civilization, but an anti-civilization.

Let us characterize religion. It is what man does with his highest and purest faculties, an infatuation with the inner man. Yet Islam subordinates the inner man to external control, and therefore constitutes an anti-religion.

Now if an aberration of religion engaged in crusades and inquisitions, it would have to be restrained, but the situation is not a deviation to be rectified. The Koran divides the world into Dar al Islam, the "house of Islam" and Dar al Harb, the "house of war", which is the home of infidels who must be converted or killed. It is this commitment that constitutes a state of war. It is true that when victory is not feasible Islamists behave cordially, calling for amicable relations, negotiations, and peace. However, given a critical mass, with opportunity for success, hostilities will ensue. In any nation with over 20% Muslims there is political and ideological insurgency (and incidentally, intimidation of editorial writers). Once a Muslim state is formed there is no longer a drive for civil rights or negotiations, but only submission or death. (Islam continues the Zoroastrian doctrine of overcoming evil by cutting off its head, i.e., destroying one's opponents.) No Muslim country is a Republic, and no group of Muslims are organized to make it one. Moreover, even when countries are Muslim, there is no peace among them, since each of several sects views the others as "false Muslims". Islam means permanent war, not only against nations and civilization, but against religion itself.

Let me add that throughout the Holocaust, and throughout the bloody purges in the USSR, there was no public rejoicing at the atrocities committed in the camps. In public, people pretended that they did not know such horrors occurred. It is only under Islam that murder and torture are publicly celebrated. This is neither a religion nor a civilization, but an anti-religion and anti-civilization, deserving no more accommodation than fascism or communism.
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