The dangers of Bowdlerized Islam according to Andrew Bostom

Good talk of Bostom’s posted at PJMedia.  Here’s an excerpt:

“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.

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9 Responses to The dangers of Bowdlerized Islam according to Andrew Bostom

  1. EPMS says:

    Communists? Is it not apparent that “modern Communism” is a spent force? Those who made a career of rabid anti-Communism are unemployed. Are they looking for a new global menace? Apparently yes.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: Communists? Is it not apparent that “modern Communism” is a spent force?

      No, not at all. One need only look at (1) countries such as the Peoples’ Republic of China and Vietnam, whose Communist Parties still rule them with iron fists even though implementing some capitalist reforms in economic policy, and (2) North Korea, where strict communism still prevails and the oppressed have no chance whatsoever to break its shackles.

      But having said that, Socialism is a very close cousin of Communism that has gained considerable influence in western civilization, and it is just as oppressive and just as devastating economically. When taxes become so onerous that people see no opportunity for economic advancement through the middle class to wealth, economic growth comes to a grinding halt — and we are now seeing the consequences of such policies in Europe and in the United States. In this regard, the reelection of Barak Obama as President of the United States does not bode well at all. The imminent expiration of the tax cuts advocated by President Bush and the new taxes in the so-called “Affordable Health Care Act” popularly dubbed “Obamacare”, which is anything but affordable, foretell another round of massive layoffs and further economic contraction that will diminish both federal and state tax revenues, exacerbabing the deficit and the national debt, and this administration shows no willingness whatsoever to change course.

      You wrote: Those who made a career of rabid anti-Communism are unemployed. Are they looking for a new global menace? Apparently yes.

      I don’t know of anybody who wants to see a new global menace, but the Islamic Fundamentalists of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their many affiliates throughout the world have stated many times that their objective is to establish a global caliphate that would govern by their interpretation of Sharia — and the period of Taliban rule in Afghanistan in the 1990’s gives us a pretty clear picture what their version of Sharia would entail, and the Taliban’s recent attempt to assassinate an Afghan school girl, who is now recovering in Britain, merely for advocating education of women in that country is pretty clear evidence that they have not changed their policies even one iota. Denial and inaction will only allow them to continue to gain strength and to seize control of more and more countries in the same way that denial allowed the Axis powers, led by Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco, to seize control of most of Europe in the 1930’s.

      But actually, there’s also a link between the Communism of the Soviet Union and modern Islamic Fundamentalism of which you might not be aware. The Soviet KGB actually organized the Moslem Brotherhood, which is the “first parent” from which nearly all of the other Islamic Fundamentalist organizations descended, back in the 1930’s. So in some sense, they really constitute the same threst — that of oppressive totalitarian rule. We need to finish the job of eraticating it, and further delay will only make that eradication much more difficult.

      Norm.

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  3. EPMS says:

    I think that it would be a huge mistake for Christians to jump on any virulently anti-Islamic bandwagon. It is only a short step in the popular imagination from demonising a religion to demonising all religion. Blaming the specific doctrines of Islam for the violence and other excesses we see round the world is like saying that the Irish “Toubles” stemmed from disagreements over Marian doctrines and the meaning of the Real Presence. Clearly religion was only a screen for a conflict over economic resources. I think this is pretty much a universal human reality.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I think that it would be a huge mistake for Christians to jump on any virulently anti-Islamic bandwagon. It is only a short step in the popular imagination from demonising a religion to demonising all religion. Blaming the specific doctrines of Islam for the violence and other excesses we see round the world is like saying that the Irish “Toubles” stemmed from disagreements over Marian doctrines and the meaning of the Real Presence. Clearly religion was only a screen for a conflict over economic resources. I think this is pretty much a universal human reality.

      You’ll notice that I was very careful to distinguish between Islamic Fundamentalists, whose stated goal is the totalitarianism of Sharia law implemented by a caliphate, and true Moslems. Islamic Fundamenalists bears even less resemblance to true Moslems than Christian Fundametalists bear to true Christians.

      But backing up a step, failure to recognize that terrorism is driven by an ideology (I won’t call it a “religion”) that links many organizations with varying interrelationships ways, but all of which share a common agenda that would end western civilization rooted in respect for individual liberty.

      Norm.

    • Foolishness says:

      There is a difference between being anti-Muslim or anti-Islam and anti-Islamism or the radical political form of Islam that is a complete religious and political ideology. Sadly, the one common thread among various uprisings of Muslim population is jihad fomented by this ideology and funded by radical Islamist groups in Saudi Arabia or Iran. No, the actual adherents of jihad may not pay attention to praying five times a day or other aspects of the religion, but warring on the infidel, including crime, rape or piracy, are part of a religious/political aspiration to create a Muslim caliphate. One must find a proper balance between having one eyes open to pressure on the West to capitulate bit by bit to Shariah law (The future will not belong to those who insult the Prophet of Islam—President Obama to the UN ) and not demonizing the many moderate and law-abiding Muslims, many of whom came to North America to escape the insanity of radical Islam in their home countries.

  4. EPMS says:

    PS That would be the Irish “Troubles” in case anyone was having difficulty identifying the conflict in question.

  5. EPMS says:

    I do not think that a common “ideology” can provide anything but an overly-simplistic explanation for events in places as disparate as Libya, Indonesia, and Chechnya. This is like blaming Christian authoritarianism for Franco, the Argentinian junta, and Vladimir Putin. Not useful.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I do not think that a common “ideology” can provide anything but an overly-simplistic explanation for events in places as disparate as Libya, Indonesia, and Chechnya.

      A common ideology, by itself, would not be a big deal.

      But radical Islamist organizations do not come into being or continue to exist in a vacuum (de nihil). Rather, they have various links of funding, training, and mutual among one another and with their sponsors, some of whom, including the mullahs who now rule Iran, have very, very deep pockets. These groups do not act in isolation, even though part of their plan of coordination is to make it appear that they do. Historically, they are all branches of the same tree, one cellular organization being started by disciples of another and maintaining ties with the same sponsors who continue to provide their financial means and other resources. Note that nearly all of the IUD’s and suicide bombing vests used in terrorist attacks are manufactured by the same plants in Iran.

      Norm.

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