Home > Critical Thinking, Culture & Media, History, Liberalism, Middle East > A Faith, or a Retrograde Political Ideology with Religious Trappings?

A Faith, or a Retrograde Political Ideology with Religious Trappings?

A relatively recent post by that eminent anti-idiotarian Dr. Sanity brings to our attention an article written by Jonathan Kay that discusses Geert Wilders’ “problem with Islam.”  Both contain much information that explains and describes so much of the reality with which we must face that I will be quoting from them extensively in the following discussion.

First, let’s set the stage with these statements by Mr. Wilders and quoted by Mr. Kay that in many ways summarizes the situation (here and throughout this post, emphases added):

“The word ‘Islamism’ suggests that there is a moderate Islam and a non-moderate Islam,” he told me during an interview in Toronto on Sunday. “And I believe that this is a distinction that doesn’t exist. It’s like the Prime Minister of Turkey [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, said ‘There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.’ This is the Islam of the Koran.

“Now, you can certainly make a distinction among the people,” he adds. “There are moderate Muslims — who are the majority in our Western societies — and non-moderate Muslims.”

But Islam itself has only one form. The totalitarian ideology contained in the Koran has no room for moderation. If you really look at what the Koran says, in fact, you could argue that ‘moderate’ Muslims are not Muslims at all. It tells us that if you do not act on even one verse, then you are an apostate.”

At first glance, this certainly sounds like someone who has a problem, and the word “bigot” quickly comes to the mind to those given to superficial emoting rather than thinking.  It turns out there is substance to these accusations, as well as a compassion for those entangled thereby.  Prepared to meet a narrow-minded hater, instead Mr. Kay confesses that he found something considerably different when he met and interviewed Mr. Wilders:

Yet the real Geert Wilders speaks softly and thoughtfully. It turns out that he’s travelled to dozens of Muslim nations. He knows more about the Islamic faith and what it means to ordinary people than do most of Islam’s most ardent Western defenders.

Nor do I believe that Mr. Wilders is a bigot — a least, not in the sense that the word usually is understood.

I don’t hate Muslims. I hate their book and their ideology,” is what he told Britain’s Guardian newspaper in 2008. Mr. Wilders sees Islam as akin to communism or fascism, a cage that traps its suffering adherents in a hateful, phobic frame of mind.

Mr. Wilders describes Muslim as victims of bad ideas, in other words. In this way, his attitude is entirely different from classic anti-Semites and racists, who treat Jews and blacks as debased on the level of biology.

Thus, whatever you may think of him, Mr. Wilders has first hand knowledge of Islam, which is more than many of his critics and detractors.  Moreover, note that difference described in the last paragraph above.  For the neuronally challenged, what this means is that, unlike Islamic attacks on Jews, Mr. Wilders does not run around calling Muslims “pigs” or suggesting that they are sub-human beings not worthy of being treated as humans.

Of course, in the modern, politically correct Western tradition, hatred expressed toward a religion typically is held on the same level of human-rights opprobrium as hatred expressed toward a race or an ethnicity. But Islam is not really a religion at all, as Mr. Wilders sees it, but rather a retrograde political ideology with religious trappings.

He notes that while other religions draw a distinction between God and Caesar, between the secular and the spiritual, Islam demands submission in every aspect of human existence, both through the wording of the Koran itself and the Shariah law that has developed in its shadow. The faith also supplies a justification for aggressive war; vilifies non-believers; and pronounces death upon its enemies. In short, Mr. Wilders argues, it has all the ingredients of what students of 20th century history would recognize as a fully formed totalitarian ideology.

“I see Islam as 95% ideology, 5% religion — the 5% being the temples and the imams,” he tells me. “If you would strip the Koran of all the negative, hateful, anti-Semitic material, you would wind up with a tiny [booklet].

It’s easy to see why many Europeans casually jump to the conclusion that Mr. Wilders is a hatemonger. He wants to halt non-Western immigration to the Netherlands until existing immigrants can be integrated, and he wants to deport any foreigner who commits a crime — the same sort of policies as those advocated by genuine xenophobes.

But even so, his insistence on the proper distinction between faith and ideology is an idea that deserves to be taken seriously. For it invites the question: If we permit the excoriation of totalitarian cults created by modern dictators, why do we stigmatize (and even criminalize) the excoriation of arguably similar notions when they happen to be attributed to a 7th-century prophet?

This is, indeed, a critically important question that should be asked of anyone who wants to throw out the bogus label of “Islamophobe” as a means to stopping any criticism of Islam in its tracks.

And…here is a critical point for a country committed to religious freedom and confronting an ideology in religious clothing.  (Something about sheep and wolves springs to mind here.)

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Backing up for a minute, what of these alleged “moderate” Muslims?  Where are they, and why have they not been more vocal?  Here Dr. Sanity points the way in her post:

Regarding what is often referred to as the "hijacking" of Islam: Islam was not so much hijacked by extremists (the preferred Obama Administration designation of Islamist ), as it was acutely exposed to the entire world for the viciously misogynistic, anti-life, totalitarian system it evolved into when it was mated with National Socialism in the mid- 20th century and then begat an entirely new iteration of Marxism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

It has also been argued that (and I quote Juan Cole here): "Linking Islam… with a pejorative term such as fascism is extremely unfair. In fact, it is a form of racism."

But it is not at all unfair; nor is it in the least bit racist. Rather, it is a logical and very rational conclusion to make based on the empirical evidence.

Note that:  the empirical evidence makes rejection of Islam a very rational response.  More on that in a moment.  Let’s finish with alleged moderate Muslims first.  Dr. Sanity points to an explanation offered not too long ago by a Reuel Marc Gerecht that rings true:

Though Europeans often fail to see it, the secularization of the Muslims living in their midst has been, by and large, a great success. It explains why Muslim activists gain so much attention, be they arch-conservatives, like the devotees of the Tabligh movement in Britain and on the continent who espouse segregation in Europe, or "progressives," like the Switzerland-based intellectual Tariq Ramadan, who refuses forthrightly to declare the Muslim Holy Law null and void as a political testament for Muslims in a European democracy. The moderates have abandoned the field. They have become European. The militants, who perhaps should be seen as deviants from a largely successful process of secularization, are the only ones left ardently praying.

Got that?  Moderate Muslims are, by definition, those so totally assimilated into their adopted culture that they have adopted the suicidal multiculturalism of their hosts.  They are Muslim in name only, or practice such a peaceful version of Islam that it, upon complete analysis, falls outside the boundaries of traditional Islam.  These are the ones we would prefer to have as our neighbors, for they tend to be the more rational citizens.

Turning back to the question of “Islamophobia,” Dr. Sanity’s analysis is concise, clear, and too the point:

In a perverted twist of reality and with a toxic infusion of psychological projection, those in the West seeking to discuss in some detail the teachings of Islam which have inspired entire nations and literally hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Muslims to spew hatred toward other religions; kill "infidels" with the blessings of their religious leaders; oppress and kill women with impunity; and otherwise inflame believers with a virulent madness that verges on the worship of death; are instead themselves vilified and accused of racism and hate.

Christopher Hitchens noted, "The useless and meaningless term Islamophobia, now widely used as a bludgeon of moral blackmail, is testimony to its success."

But the truth is that "Islamophobia" is not a phobia at all– it is a completely rational fear of an insane and irrational force that seems to be sweeping the world. Being afraid of the so-called "religion of peace" after the innumerable acts of violence, terror and depravity committed in the name of Allah worldwide is not exaggerated; not inexplicable; and most certainly not illogical.

Being afraid of Islam as it undermines freedom of speech and thought, as well as and other critical values of Western civilization, is far from a phobia–it is a natural response to the sad reality.

And this point needs to be hammered on repeatedly.  The historical evidence of the past as well as the social evidence of the present all point to the totalitarian and barbaric nature of this alleged “religion” that seeks to enter in in sheep’s clothing but is, in reality, a wolf in the classic masquerade of a sheep.  And it should be noted that in order to get “sheep’s clothing,” a real sheep must die.

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  1. 10 Aug 2011 at 6:38 AM

    Interface, what a well written article. I am so impressed. I have to say I agree with Geert Wilders. And, I do not consider myself irrational for fearing Islam. Islam is not just a religion but a government wrapped up in a religion. Sharia law is to be feared by all rational beings. The Koran, if followed tells us what we all should know, that this is not just another religion of peace. Hardly so when Jews are pigs and Christians are infidels to be dominated and controlled within the laws of Sharia or be killed. So Islamaphobe in my opinion is just another race card that is thrown down the minute one does not embrace its’ tenets. Like the race card, it is intended to stop any discussion of Islam and what it contains so the believers can go about their business of destroying those who do not believe in their sinister and hidden ideology, but only to proclaim loudly and often they are a peaceful sect.

  2. 10 Aug 2011 at 6:40 AM

    Oh I forgot to say I love the cartoons too.

  3. 10 Aug 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Thank you, and you’re welcome. Actually, about half the article is quoting others. I just sewed them together!

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