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Reader comment on item: America's Crash Course on Islam

Submitted by Jascha Kessler (United States), Sep 11, 2007 at 16:29

After nearly 60 years of toiling in the Groves of Academe, and trying to teach students how to read, the most difficult art there is, to my mind, and a discipline that began with Socrates, who did not write, but did teach about words and ideas, I would say that this effort to begin to begin to think [not THINK] about the dialectics of Western culture, while it may be an interesting sign, may take decades to develop into some clarity of surmise.

Western culture is history, and that history is one of slow steps and swift retreats into barbarism...usually imported from the East of Europe [not China!] and the Middle East, and latterly sub-Saharan Africa. But the problem remains: the sloppiness of arguments almost all based on terms and names, Islam, Islamist, Terrorist, liberal, moderate, Right or Left or whatever, is usually a game of shuffling the face cards and redealing and trying to read the patterns, Tarot-wise.

What is missing — because so much is mass-media delivered to a massified, undereducated Mass Public, which may be obliterated by mass weapons too — is analysis that attempts to reveal the structure that underlies all the talk about what is, and what is not Islam or Democracy.

The Reform rabbi's remark made a point that Canada's Trudeau made decades ago when the Left in that nation was preparing a sort of putsch attempt. He employed sheer force, suspending the sort of nonsense promulgated by the US ACLU position on "human rights," and there was an outcry. He explained to the liberal sociologists on the Left, almost 99% of Academe, that a democracy has the right, absolute right, to defend itself. The structure of Islam, and Islamism, the ideologies of Islamists, is not different from intrinsic structure of every tyranny known since Plato's time. Greek Democracy, the city states, lasted about 40 years in Athens.

The underlying nature of Islamic societies is inherently tyrannical, and one has to see that even the many family clans, for instance, in Arabic societies, are authoritarian. Sheikhs are not elected. They are mini-kings, if you like, even if but an extended village of families. Kings are not philosophers, and philosophers as kings meet the fate that Plato met when tried his thought-experiment in Syracuse. The cavern used there as a prison may still be visited. When I saw it in 1964, there were a few peasants in it, and they were spinning...ROPE! And though ropes may be plastic today, like handcuffs, they symbolize what is inherent in the darkness of the caves of tyrants...and terrorists.

Americans have learned about freedom of worship after centuries of slaughter, from which they released themselves. Drive into any American town of say 25,000, and the first thing one sees outside the limits is a post with signs announcing usually 12 to 20 different sects and churches, as well as a half dozen fraternal societies, Elks, Masons, Shriners, whatever.... That is an example of a "structure" underlying a peaceable society, or culture. It will not be found wherever Islam's legal system obtains, which is the structure underlying the notion of an absolute Caliphate. These are simple matters, when reducted to structural analysis. The bones, as it were, around which the whole living body is built. The things and what they do; not the words about them, which are, as Hamlet remarked when the old advisor asked him what he was reading, "Words, words, words." Hamlet said that because he knew actions were his problem and his cause, which was to destroy a tyrant. It wasn't easy. Hamlet died trying, alas.

One can argue till the crowds go home; but the elemental structures of what underlies them is obvious. As me, and I will tell a little story that a lot of folks wont like. But for me it remains paradigmatic on this issue of what Samuel Huntington of Harvard termed a "clash of civilizations," got mocked by almost everyone else at Harvard a couple of years ago, not to mention the Human Rights folks of great Left, which is what it was from the middle of the 19th Century in Europe. Anything but democratic, but full of the aspirations of Robespierre and Company

Jascha Kessler


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