“It cannot be denied that Communists and their sympathizers object not only to a denunciation of Communism but also to a calm and critical examination of its principles and practices. Strange as it may seem, Communists denounce those who merely cite the things of which Communists themselves openly boast in their own public statements.”
Matthews’ observations from nearly 75 years ago are apposite to the discussion today because he captures the shared reactions by both advocates of, and apologists for, two totalitarian ideological systems which are eerily similar: modern Communism and still unreformed, pre-modern Islam. Indeed, a humorist contemporary of Matthews had cogently highlighted the striking similarities between Islam and Communism, referring to the Communist creed with thisaphorism:
“There is no G-d, and Karl Marx is his prophet.”
Alas, in our present stultifying era, which increasingly demands only a hagiographic view of Islam, even such witty, illuminating aphorisms may become verboten. Witness President Obama’s stern warning during his Tuesday, September 25, 2012, speech to the UN General Assembly, when he proclaimed:
“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
The travails in Libya — and among the broader Muslim Middle Eastern participants in the Orwellian-named “Arab Spring” — demonstrate graphically how enforcing bowdlerized views of Islam, which ignore Islamic doctrine and history, engenders a policy debacle.
First I will summarize the salient features of Sharia, Islamic law, and its appeal as demonstrated by recent polling data from Libya’s North African Muslim neighbors, Morocco and Egypt. Then I will trace briefly how what my colleague Diana West has aptly termed our “Making the World Safe for Sharia” policymaking mindset operated, and continues to prevail, in Libya.
Derived from Islam’s most important canonical texts — the Koran and hadith — and their interpretation and codification by Islam’s greatest classical legists, Sharia, Islamic law, is not merely holistic in the general sense of all-encompassing, but totalitarian, regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion to personal hygiene to the governance of a Muslim minority community, an Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order. Clearly, this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent of more familiar modern totalitarian systems.