In the process, they brought the Persian Empire to its knees, amputated the Byzantine Empire and erased the Visigothic kingdoms. Seldom in our entire human history has anyone seen a single people, the Arabs, conduct such a hostile conquest and thus claim such immense territories. The power of Islam accounts for this victory, especially when considering the fact that the vanquished nations often converted to the Muslim religion. In the eyes of all fundamentalist Muslims, this historic episode is a foundational miracle which has but one significance: that Allah is the one true God who grants his believers supremacy.
Later on, things were to become complicated, with the emergence of schisms and power rivalries within this all-conquering Islam. Over the centuries, periods of conquest and domination, stretching the Muslim rule all the way to Asia through highly brutal and glorious means, gave way to humiliating setbacks. The European colonialism that characterised the 19th and 20th centuries was to have the worst impact of all, far more so, in fact, than the Crusades themselves, not to mention the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire and, at a later point, the creation of the State of Israel.
However, already in the 1920s, Islam was plotting its revenge and retaliation with the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Oil revenue, demographic growth, the birth of the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran and the Muslim migration with its flooding of Europe would come together to mix the necessary ingredients for an overwhelming renewal of the age-old Islamic aggression. The complexity in which this recommencement is shrouded should not be allowed to conceal the truth: that of an ongoing Muslim offensive.
What we are witnessing is the opening of a new chapter in the novel of human history, a chapter once thought to have ended with the Spanish Reconquista, European colonialism, the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the gradual domination of the West under American guardianship. Islam, once believed to be dead and buried, has resuscitated, its archaic power still intact. There are several new developments nowadays: the Muslims’ return to their roots (Islamism), their demographic dynamism and the powerlessness of European leaders in the face of immigration, all placing Islam at the core of history. The latter, it seems, is more cyclical than linear…
The Oracle Muhammad and His Uniqueness
Islam was born during the 7th century among the Arab Bedouin tribes, thanks to a warlord named Mohammed, a man of ingenuity or, at the very least, one whose personality was superior to that of others. He claimed to be a prophet, a messenger of God. In truth, it would be more becoming to speak of the oracle Mohammed, since he never actually ‘prophesied’ anything, restricting his role to the transmission of God’s words and laws (or so he claimed). All of this is reminiscent of the Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, who conveyed Apollo’s wishes and predictions to the people. Many see in Mohammed an affinity with Jesus Christ, who declared himself to be the actual Son of God, the Messiah whose advent had been foretold by Jewish prophecies and who had been sent to Earth by God himself, partaking in the Trinitarian Godhead and embodying God Himself in a man born of a virgin.
Never have Judaism and Islam dared venture that far. Just like the oracle Muhammad, all the Jewish prophets since the days of Moses have always presented themselves as mere mortals whose inspiration comes from God. Jesus, on the other hand, is consubstantialis patri (consubstantial with God the Father) and immortal, having risen from the dead after his crucifixion.1 The Jewish religion, however, does not acknowledge him to be the true Messiah mentioned in its prophecies. In any case, the three monotheistic religions born out of the Middle East apparently follow the same pattern: God elects a representative, a man who leads humans towards the Truth, regardless of whether he is an inspired prophet or seer, a messiah (an emissary) who happens to be the Son of God and therefore God himself, or an oracle, namely Mohammed, chosen by God among everyone else in an Arab tribe.
Obviously, when looking at things from a pagan point of view (that of the polytheism that typified Antiquity in ancient Rome, Greece and the East, or that of the modern form of Hindu polytheism) and an agnostic standpoint (Aristotelianism and all hermeneutical philosophies), one cannot help being critical and feeling concerned that men would declare themselves to be chosen and claim to reveal God’s truth and will. The three revealed monotheistic religions are thus all tarred with the same brush and subject to the same rejection of dangerous dogmatism. Nevertheless, as we shall soon see, the differences between the first two monotheistic religions (i.e. Judaism and its self-declared successor, Christianity) and Islam are huge.
Admittedly, unlike pagan polytheism (a system devoid of Revelation, based on mythology and particularly dependent on ritualised superstitions), the above-mentioned monotheistic religions are all rooted in sacred scriptures which establish fixed dogmatic rules that appeal to people’s faith and require a mental engagement that is totally alien to both paganism and philosophical agnosticism. However, this is where their similarity ends. For the particularity of the Islamic religion, whose tenets were officially inscribed in the Koran through Muhammad the oracle, is that it separates itself radically from the Judeo-Christian doublet through its extraordinary rigidity, a rigidity that is absent among Jews and Christians. Indeed, Islam has adopted several misdirected imitations of various Judeo-Christian elements, including them in its Koran, watering them down and transforming their very meaning. Unlike Jewish and Christian texts, which require interpretation, the Koran is seen as the direct word of God (Allah), whispered in the ear of Muhammad the oracle. The incontestability and immutability of the text are therefore absolute. One may well object that in the New Testament, the words of Jesus (who is considered the Son of God and God Himself) establish absolutes that are just as rigid as those revealed by Allah to the oracle Muhammad. True enough, but there is a difference: Christ speaks in parables, which are always open to interpretation and discourse, whereas the Koran is a series of statements and rules, supposedly of divine origin, that are incontrovertible and authoritarian, tolerating neither objection nor criticism. And therein lie Islam’s totalitarian roots.
Resultantly, the power of Islam is due to its dogmatic simplicity. The oracle Muhammad has spoken, so there is nothing more to think about nor comment on: one is simply required to obey. The power of Islam is indisputable, yet it lacks any philosophical ingenuity whatsoever. Islam targets simple-minded people while simultaneously simplifying their spirits further, at the risk of rendering them childlike and flushing out every trace of critical spirit. Moreover, unlike the message of Christ, who preached harmony, the commandments of Allah reported by his oracle and organised into Suras contain an implied intolerance, fraught with numerous appeals to murder and constant references to punishment should one fail to submit. Hence a fact that we will return to later, namely that Islam is, by nature, fundamentally anti-Jewish and anti-Christian (in its sacred texts), but equally ruthless towards anything and everything that conflicts with it. By contrast, Judaism and Christianity are not anti-Muslim in any way, and neither are the other faiths or philosophies embraced by the rest of mankind.
It should also be noted that, as a result of the absoluteness of Muhammad’s decrees, both traditional Muslim countries and those conquered by Islam experience less wellbeing, prosperity and peace than anyone else, a fact that applies as much today as it did in the past. They wallow in disorder, poverty and war (the only exception being the oil monarchies of the Gulf, which act as temporary bunkers). In anticipation of Allah’s post mortem Paradise, the general rule is that all zones which fall under Muslim dominion are plagued by internal chaos or permanent tensions and that Islam is in itself a source of threats and confrontation, wherever it becomes established. Why is that, I wonder…
Muhammad?—?a Manipulative and Ingenious Dictator?
Unlike ordinary people who display sufficient common sense to view Islam as an aggressive, conquering and intolerant religion, the European elites regurgitate, for reasons of hypocritical political calculation, that Islam is a peaceful religion resembling Christianity. They know very little about the subject. Christianity itself has not always been a religion of peace, far from it actually, but Islam is even less so.2 For if the internal and external wars waged in the name of Christianity were conducted in spite of Christ’s words, the wars and acts of violence carried out in the name of Islam have been in agreement with the words and deeds of the oracle Muhammad.
The founder of Islam, Muhammad, was by no means a bleeding heart. This young, illiterate camel driver from Mecca married his mistress, Khadija, a rich merchant who was fifteen years his senior. This situation of economic comfort allowed him to meditate in the desert, where he claimed to have met the Archangel Djibril (Gabriel), the one who transmitted the word of God (i.e. the Koran / Koran) directly to him. At this point already, there are several strange things to be noted. First of all, this constitutes a deviation from strict monotheism (whose only examples are the solar forms of paganism), since this archangel is indeed a supernatural being, a demigod as pagans say. What an embarrassing contradiction. On the other hand, the Archangel Gabriel, a being inspired directly from the Jewish Bible (and, in all likelihood, from pre-Islamic Arab polytheism as well), is the very same one who, in the Christian narrative, announces to the Virgin Mary that she will conceive the child Jesus. This explains the fact that the Muslim tradition claims to be the successor of Judaism and Christianity, one that amends them both. For Muslim theologians, Christianity was mistaken in its belief that the Archangel Gabriel had announced the birth of the Son of God, when, in actual fact, he had merely proclaimed the coming of a prophet, Christ, whose role was as temporary as that of all Judaic prophets and whose words were to be replaced by the teachings of the ultimate true prophet (or oracle), namely Muhammad.
As the sole authentic custodian of the divine word through the intercession of the Archangel, Muhammad begins to preach a new religion. This is ‘Islam’, meaning submission (to God, of course, but also to Muhammad himself, who claims to be God’s messenger and spokesman). His orations achieve some success among the poor and destitute, but are rejected by Arab dignitaries as cock-and-bull stories. When Khadija dies, he is expelled from Mecca and departs in order to take refuge in Medina, accompanied by his followers. This marks the beginning of the Hegira, i.e. the start of the Muslim calendar count. In Medina, Muhammad sets out to conspire between rival clans, imposing himself first as an intermediary and referee and then as a leader thanks to his powerful personality and charisma. He becomes the ringleader of a gang that indulges in raids and the looting of caravans, while still continuing to preach. He murders his opponents, those who criticise him openly and the ones that are too moderate, using ruse (taqiya, a fundamental notion that is revered and considered positive in Islam) and breaching every single truce he signs.
Furthermore, he does not hesitate to award himself several women (including Aisha, then 6 years old and deflowered at the age of 9), in addition to concubines and slaves. He justifies his outrageous behaviour through various verses of the Koran that he recites continually and in a most timely manner, verses that represent the indisputable words of God revealed exclusively to him by the Archangel during his stay in the desert. Muhammad then attempts to rally neighbouring Jewish tribes behind his politico-religious cause. All in vain: they refuse. He therefore proceeds to exterminate them. Then, after successfully conquering Mecca (where he was once persecuted) and exhorting his faithful fanatics to attack surrounding nations and the rest of the world, he dies unexpectedly, without having appointed a successor (i.e. a new politico-religious war chief). A political crisis thus erupts between two factions: the Sunnis (the companions of Muhammad, claiming to have the right to succeed him) and the Shiites (those who sided with his cousin and son-in-law Ali and supported him). A deadly conflict ensues. Despite these hostilities, a common foundation subsists: the Koran. That is to say, the teachings and divine directives supposedly received by Muhammad, whose sacred authority neither of the two hostile camps questions.
One thus sees that since the very beginning, Muhammad’s behaviour, which is set as an example for all Muslims to follow, has had no peaceful aspect whatsoever and has been the complete opposite of the ‘righteousness’ that characterises the values of Greco-Roman philosophy and European Christianity. Unlike Jesus Christ who, declaring himself Theou uios soter (Son of God and Saviour), never strived to interfere in politics or war, rejected any and all personal benefits, did not plot to have anyone assassinated, preached love and forgiveness and confined himself to the spiritual sphere, Muhammad, the founder of Islam, sets a completely different example with his conduct. He is a religious preacher, God’s sole spokesman, a political conspirator, a brutal warrior and a monocratic leader whose actions are not be restricted in any way, all in one person. It is Muhammad’s personality that was to have a profound impact on Islam, a religion that adopted him as its supreme model. It also accounts for two further facts: firstly, the complete fusion of religion and politics (as well as the merger of faith and law), and secondly, the justification of a cynical and uncompromising morality in the expansion of Islam, with the prevalence of a dictatorial leader legitimised by a rigid ideology and surrounded by a caste of willing accomplices.
Therein lies the very root of Islamic politico-religious totalitarianism. In addition, by practicing treachery as an example to follow (‘the end justifies the means’), Muhammad has instilled into Islam a power rooted in justified lies, a legitimated double discourse and the breaking of promises. But what he has also endowed it with is an extraordinary strength, a strong-willed, conquering and aggressive power that the Bedouin tribes of Arabia had lacked thus far. Does the doctrine of Mohammed express the deepest Arab mentality, a mentality that represents its infrastructure? Or is it the case, quite to the contrary, that the doctrine professed by the ingenious Muhammad has failed to influence the mentality of the Arabs and that of all the other peoples who converted to Islam? Let anthropologists decide on the answer to these questions.
Defying all those pseudo-secular Islamophiles terrorised by Islam, I would dare to argue that Muhammad is either an impostor or a mystic who convinced himself of his own miraculous encounter with the archangel Gabriel. Or, indeed, perhaps both. The Koran, the divine word that he supposedly heard and passed on, was nothing short of pure invention on his part (one that was later improved upon by his successors) in order to establish and consolidate his own power in accordance with his own interests and exalted desire for conquest. I personally favour the hypothesis that Mohammed was either an absolute atheist or a pretentious man who ended up believing in his own delusions. He invented his own god, a schizophrenic projection of himself. And it worked.
The Koran’s Inconsistencies?—?a Locked Religion
Upon the prophet’s?—?or rather the oracle’s?—?death in 632, the Koran was but a rough version of what it is today, differing greatly from the latter. Since Muhammad himself was illiterate, it merely comprised a set of texts collected haphazardly by his literate followers or learned by heart through oral tradition, including his extolled sermons, orations and conversations, gathered in a rather disorderly fashion. This, however, was of no importance?—?for the Koran is the word of God, or rather that of Allah, to use the right terminology, this overhanging deity whose existence, by the way, predated Islam among henotheistic Bedouin tribes.3
The idea that this initial Koran is a sacred and timeless text (the direct word of God) surfaces: it is recited in the form of chanted verses. In an effort to avoid even the slightest alteration, Uthman, the third caliph, has this oral tradition set down in a single written version, or second Koran, which is pretty much the one that we are familiar with today, but the result is a highly contradictory and disorderly compilation. It is as if Allah was unable to collect his thoughts.
Indeed, the Suras (or chapters) contradict each other. Some are peaceful and spiritual, while others belligerent and intolerant. The former date back to the period when Muhammad was in Mecca, the latter to the time when he led a rebellion in Medina. In short, there is a noticeable inconsistency between the Suras. The explanation for this is that Muhammad delivered his sermons according to changes in the political situation through plain calculating behaviour, in an attempt to reinforce his power over his accomplices. Some Suras call for murder and intolerance, others for peace. The content is marked by rational inconsistency, for the concept of reason, in the Greek, Roman and European sense of the word (logos, ratio), remains completely incomprehensible to the Islamic worldview.
The notion of ‘abrogating’ and ‘abrogated’ Suras was therefore coined in order to resolve the Koran’s mystifying contradictions. Depending on the circumstances, some Suras apply whereas others do not, a fact that is completely incompatible with the supposed divine and absolute nature of the Koran. The verses that were written at a chronologically later time annul and abrogate (mansukh) previous verses. In this manner, more than 100 peaceful verses are abrogated by the sole content of a single verse, namely the ‘verse of the sword’ (IX, 5), whose substance is truly hostile.4
Nevertheless, the fact remains that, overall, the Koran, which targets uneducated and semi-educated populations (possibly even some fascinated intellectuals), has great appeal. It provides solutions to everything and prevents people from thinking for themselves. The power of the Koran lies indisputably its poetic, compelling and haunting character. It is written in a beautiful form of classical Arabic, which makes it one of the literary monuments of humanity alongside the works of Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the Christian gospels and the Bhagavad-Gita. Its weakness is that it is mere dogma that crushes any individual freedom of thought, a theocratic and ideological manual advocating totalitarianism.
The very nature of the Koran, considered to be the unabridged ‘word of God’ ever since the days of Muhammad, does not stand up to rational analysis, since it has constantly been rewritten and manipulated to suit the circumstances. But what is shocking today is that those who question the divine origin of this text and denounce it as ideologically dangerous and intellectually stultifying are threatened (and sometimes murdered), even in a ‘secular’ country that proclaims its attachment to freedom of expression such as France, especially if they are Muslims by birth and thus considered apostates and traitors. By contrast, one luckily runs no risk when disputing the divine nature of Christ and blaspheming against all other religions. All of this is meant not to offend and ‘stigmatise’ Muslims, who everyone is basically afraid of. Are we to revert to the same situation with regard to Islam as the one that prevailed during the 18th century when Catholicism was the state religion and one was forbidden to challenge its veracity or ridicule it? Talk about mental regression…
People’s ignorance of the true nature of Islam, their underestimation of its dangers and the idea that it is comparable to Christianity and Judaism stem, at least in part, from the fact that Western leaders and intellectuals have not read the Koran nor the Hadiths (i.e. the accounts of Muhammad’s deeds and words), which every Muslim is required to abide by and follow. In addition, translations are deliberately altered and softened so as to disguise the Koran’s true content. Under normal circumstances, it is in classical Arabic, the language of Allah in the eyes of all Muslims, that it should be read.
As for ‘Islamic science’, it focuses on understanding and learning to interpret the Koran and the Hadiths, which is in itself a very poor endeavour when compared to the Jewish and Christian theologies, which have a large variety of texts at their disposal. This allows the latter to enjoy a flexibility that secures them against fundamentalists. However, in Islam, the quantitative poverty of the texts and their rigid nature prohibit any form of adaptation and legitimise fundamentalism as being the only acceptable attitude. Contrary to Christian theology, which is not solely based on the Old and New Testaments but relies on a considerable number of other canonical texts and writings set down by the Church Fathers, ‘Islamic theology’ rests exclusively upon the monolithic block of the Koran and the Hadiths (a collection of stories and statements about Muhammad). In the words of François-Xavier Robert5, Islam is a ‘locked’ religion. It is to supersede Judaism and Christianity, both considered flawed, and there can be no further Revelation after it. For Muslims, Muhammad is the ‘seal’ of all prophets, meaning the last one. Jews and Christians are seen as having altered and falsified the divine message. Islam is thus convinced of its profound truthfulness and nurtures an absolute absence of scepticism regarding its precepts. Cartesian doubt is entirely foreign to it, as is any critical mindset, which sets it apart from most other religions and philosophies. This mental inclination not only prevents any and all possible adaptation, but legitimises doctrinal rigidity and grants its adepts the right to consider every moderator or ‘moderniser’ of Islam, as well as anyone who strives to relegate this religion to the level of personal spirituality (the Sufis), to be a deviant and a schismatic traitor.
Account taken of the fact that the Koran is the very word of the sole omniscient God, one cannot remove a single word from it nor add one, which is in blatant contradiction with the concept of abrogated and abrogating verses. But never mind … What matters is that this mixture of doctrinal rigidity and opportunism epitomises the power of Islam. Being the word of God, the Koran is eternal and timeless and true Islam is consubstantial with it. Neither one can therefore be adapted to our era nor ‘modernised’, notions that are looked upon as absurd by all true Muslims, who remain essentialists and reject any concept of evolution. Those who dream of an ‘Islam of Enlightenment’, one that would embrace secularism, are either Westerners who do not understand this religion or utopian Muslims who, while deserving our utmost respect, face a great deal of difficulty these days. Within the genuine Muslim doctrine, any interpretation of the Koran is currently impossible, all prospects of evolution denied and every commentary prohibited. According to ‘scholars’ (i.e. Muslim theologians), all reflections and commentaries on the sacred texts at the hands the Ulama, muftis and jurists have been brought to a halt: the ‘Gates of Ijtihad’ (meaning those of independent reasoning) were closed once and for all during the 10th century.
The Sunnis and the Shiites?—?Enemy Brothers
In the Yemen, Iraq and Syria, the religious war between the Sunnis and the Shiites, which has lasted for over a thousand years, has resumed once again. The Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh) are the most barbarous and the most savage. They have already conquered much of Iraq and Syria and infiltrated Libya. They view the Shiite Iraqi government (a government that has taken over from Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein) as well as Iran, of course, as their enemies. In the Yemen, the same intra-religious war has been raging, with the Sunnis benefiting from the help of Saudi Arabia. Historically speaking, it should however be noted that it was paradoxically Shiite Iran, under the leadership of Khomeini, that revived Islam’s great global offensive in 1979. Just like its fellow Gulf monarchies and other Muslim autocracies or kingdoms, the rulers of Saudi Arabia only combat Islamic fundamentalism so as to preserve their own power. They still practice a rigorous but cunning form of Islam, one that is meant to respect the sensitivities of their Western clients.
A schizophrenic syndrome thus often surfaces: on the one hand, certain regimes fund Islamism (and thus participate in jihad) while, on the other, fighting it solely on their own soil so as not to be overthrown.
The Sunnis, who are greater in number, claim to be the representatives of true Islam and consider the Shiites to be schismatic and semi-profane. Of the two, the former are the most violent. They say that they embody the true tradition (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad which, according to them, was preserved in the successive caliphates of Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo and Istanbul. The Shiites form the ‘faction’ (Shi’a) of Ali, Muhammad’s adopted son, who managed to become the fourth caliph. However, his authority was immediately challenged by the governor of Damascus, Muawiya, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty. In 680, caliph Yazid I, whose father was none other than Muawiya himself, slew Ali’s son (Hussein) during the battle of Karbala, making the latter the holiest of places in the eyes of all Shiites.
It can therefore be seen that Islam, which is a product of the Arab ethnosphere, quickly found itself enmeshed in a contradiction involving its defence of a unifying doctrine and of the notion of a strong community held together by a common faith and struggle, and a simultaneous addiction to internecine feuds and power struggles. This situation has not yet changed, as Islam’s cultural and anthropological base has remained the same throughout the centuries.
The Sunnis only revere the Prophet Muhammad and his teachings, whereas the Shiites venerate their ‘twelve imams’ in addition to the prophet himself. Moreover, Sunni Muslims adhere to a strict reading of the Koran, unlike the Shiites, who have encouraged various interpretations and schools of thought and have their own clergy, which is not the case of the Sunnites. It is hardly a matter of surprise that Shi’ism has been adopted by the Iranians, as this attests to their Persian mentality, a mentality that is more flexible than that of the Arabs. One might thus be inclined to think that Sunni Islam, which is of purely Arab origin, differs from the Shiite form, which, owing to its Iranian-Persian influence, remains more open. It was during the early 16th century, in fact, that Persia renounced Sunnism in favour of Shi’ism, in an attempt to evade Ottoman rule. Moreover, unlike Christianity with its Byzantine Orthodoxy and the Protestant Reformation, the main schism that has been tearing Islam asunder has had relatively little theological and intellectual motivation. Instead, it is founded upon underlying rivalries, war conflicts and ethnic enmity and deeply rooted in power struggles.
The sanguinary conflict between the Sunnis and the Shiites has been rekindled because of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq and the overthrowing of Saddam Hussein’s regime, a situation that has resulted in utter chaos. Another crucial point should be made here if one is to understand the predominantly Sunnite Muslim-Arab mentality, a mentality characterised by a propensity for turnabouts, changes of allegiance, extremism and shifts from apparent moderation to fanaticism: some of the soldiers and officers belonging to the Sunni Islamic State (Daesh), whose actions mirror the peak of obscurantism and barbarism, were at one point members of Saddam Hussein’s army and self-declared ‘secular’ regime (Baath), which protected the Christian population! It thus becomes clear that the potential for a radical return to the sources could very well be lurking behind the apparently moderate discourse of numerous Muslims, a radicalism that may awaken at any given moment.
The rebirth of the Sunni-Shiite war of religion dates back to the attack against the Golden Mosque (a Shiite sacred sanctuary) in Samarra, Iraq, perpetrated by a Sunni commando affiliated with al-Qaida on the 22nd of February 2006. Since then, sanguinary attacks against Shiite mosques and markets have been on the increase throughout the Middle East. The Shiites (who represent 55% of the Iraqi population) are currently backed by Iran, while Saudi Arabia supports the Sunnis (25%) and engages in double-dealing with regard to the Islamic state. In this reawakened intra-Muslim war, it is the Sunnis who display the greater fanaticism. A general hostility towards the ‘West’ has been cropping up as well, as the war metastasises into further Muslim countries: Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, the Yemen and Pakistan.
Indeed, it is Sunnism that is spearheading this global offensive and radicalisation of Islam. Sunni jihadists have been recruiting their fighters among the immigrant populations of Europe. In their eyes, Shiites are apostates that must be executed, similarly to Christians. Unless something is done, this blood-thirsty jihad, led by Sunnis who consider themselves the very sword of Allah and currently ravaging numerous countries from Nigeria to Pakistan, will soon flood our European lands, even if it does lack the centralised consistency that typified the totalitarianism of the former communist bloc. Instead, it feeds on local and regional conflicts and relies on mob-like tribal strategies. However, beyond this apparent disorder and religious war against the Shiites, it is the rising power of a radical Sunni Islam that has come to the forefront, a power that seeks a return to Islam’s age-old totalitarian roots and whose objectives are to be applied on a worldwide scale. This issue will be covered at a later point.
The Close-Mindedness of Islam
Whether in Africa, the Middle East or the Indian subcontinent, the populations that have been raised within a Christian (or different) culture are not just remarkably more efficient than the Muslims, but also less aggressive and more open-minded in their everyday behaviour and worldview. Travellers who visit India, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa can easily notice that the populations that have resisted Islamisation have thereby evaded Islam’s inherent close-mindedness. What accounts for this fact is the dogmatic nature of Islamic education in the madrasas (Islamic schools). Their teachings lead both to intolerant brutality and the replacement of personal thought patterns with dogma, which is synonymous with the decline of intelligence and creativity.
In fact, such teachings rely on the ingurgitation of dogmas, rules, rigid prohibitions and mental associations that extirpate every principle of free inquiry (when Suras are learned by heart, for example) and permeate the mind with the idea that Islam is a revealed and indisputable truth that must be embraced by all of mankind and whose destiny is to dominate the planet, becoming the sole source of thought and doctrine. Paradoxically, this close-mindedness draws upon cunning and concealment, which are recommended whenever the balance of power is not in the Muslims’ favour. Strangely, this psychological rigidity and mental flexibility coexist within the Muslim mentality.
The notion of revealed truth, which Christianity and Judaism also embrace, takes on an absolute scale in Islam. Nothing is further from the Greek philosophical concept of free thought and its critical relativism than the simplistic dogma of Islam. What Hannah Arendt has not mentioned in her decryption of the secular totalitarianisms of the 20th century is that Islam offers a perfect model of totalitarian thinking in its teachings, profound doctrine and political practices. Its totalitarian thinking is much more dangerous than any other kind since it claims to be illuminated by divine light and not by the inconsistent Hegelian historical reason that inspired communist totalitarianism and failed in the long run.
This Muslim close-mindedness is also evident in Islam’s attitude of disembodiment (the rejection of images and a schizophrenic attitude toward sensuality), its rigidity and hypocrisy. In Islam, the use of Arabic writing, especially calligraphy, plays a pivotal role. The beauty of the written word in Arabic is consubstantial to the message, endowing it with power. Hence the rejection of images, colours and the representations of nature. In accordance with the truth of Islam, the flag of the Islamic State (Daesh) bears no colours nor illustrated symbols, merely carrying the brutal profession of core faith with which the Koran opens and that Allah has decreed, calligraphed in white Arabian letters on a black background in the form of a slogan. One can only wonder at the paradox of Islam, an ideological and political religion which intellectualises its symbolism by textualising it, while simultaneously epitomising an intransigent message that erodes every ounce of intelligence.
Formalism, hypocrisy and violence coexist in perfect harmony and balance within the constraints of the Islamic straitjacket, leaving no room for reflection. This mechanical rigidity applies to any and every act, whether eating, bathing, defecating, praying or anything else. Everything is classified into fixed categories: it is either obligatory, recommended and permitted (halal), or inadvisable and forbidden (haram, impure). Intentions are of little significance: only the form matters. One is thus under the impression that the requirements of Islam are intended for simple minds, those unable to assess expediency and incapable of analysis and self-discipline, people who are only prone to obeying a monolithic code. Obviously, this simplistic formalism does not encourage any kind of creativity or adaptation within the Muslim umma…
But apart from this, what Islam promotes and legalises is hypocrisy, especially in the shape of double-talk, lies and sophistry. When in a position of inferiority or weakness, Muslims are to resort to cunning and concealment strategies, similarly to the Prophet Muhammad himself, in order to safeguard the interests of Islam and pave the way for a future offensive. Sophistry (reversing the meaning of words through false demonstrations) and bad faith are equally recommended. For example, since Islam literally means ‘submission’ and advocates the jihad, the holy war, will it not bring an end to all conflicts once it has achieved final victory and imposed global submission, thus leading to peace? Therefore …. Islam means peace! It is to this very sophistry for useful idiots that Jack Lang and Laurent Fabius have succumbed when claiming that Islam is ‘a religion of peace’.
Islam Versus Chrisitianity and Judaism
Of course, both medieval Christianity and the Catholicism of the Counter-Reformation were essentially intolerant. This, on the one hand, often conflicted with the teachings of Christ, which, unlike those of Muhammad, were neither authoritarian nor threatening. Furthermore, Christianity had to come to terms with the European spirit, inspired by the rediscovery of Antiquity during the Renaissance period. The cult of the saints and of the Virgin Mary (considered by Islam to be the equivalent of idolatrous polytheism) has mingled with the concept of Redemption and prevented Christianity from sinking into totalitarianism despite its desire to be the sole true universal religion. As for Judaism, it has kept totalitarianism at bay despite the strict requirements of its foundational texts, because it has always been meant to be the ethnic religion of a single people, a people chosen by God, never striving to impose the Jewish faith or doctrine upon others.
As highlighted by historian Alain Besançon, member of the Institute and author of Contemporary Religious Problems (Fallois Editions), Islam is neither compatible with the notion of a secular republic and democracy, nor with Christianity and Judaism. Its worldview differs from the latter’s, as does its God. The three central principles of Christianity, meaning the precepts of the Trinity, Incarnation and Redemption, are utterly rejected by Islam. The ‘Jesus’ mentioned in the Koran is a simple, secondary preacher who had no divine nature whatsoever, was not God incarnate and never died on the Cross. This factitious Islamic Jesus bears no connection to the Christian Redeemer. Nevertheless, this has not stopped Christian intellectuals and ignorant prelates, who have all already submitted, from rejoicing at the fact that the Koran mentions Him.
There is of course a kind of continuity between Judaism and Christianity, a kinship, thanks to the connection that exists between the Old and New Testaments and the account of the Messiah. The actual rupture between Christianity and Judaism is due to the fact that the Jews do not believe in the reality of Christ as the Messiah whose coming had been announced by the prophets, regarding him instead as an impostor or, more precisely, a schismatic. But this has never led the Jews to hate Christians or to persecute the Jewish apostates who have converted to Christianity.
Christians, especially Catholics, ‘respect’ the Muslim religion nowadays, although this attitude is not mutual (since Christians face persecution in almost all Islamic countries). Islam has always considered Christianity and Judaism to be fraught with lies and errors, which is its right. That the Church should ever praise and respect Islam is a sign of submission, resignation and surrender. This frightful tolerance displayed by Christians towards Islam began with the Second Vatican Council, when the Nostra Aetate declaration expressed a preference for Islam in comparison with non-Christian religions, agnosticism and paganism, whereas Islam has always condemned and rejected Christianity and abhorred Judaism, as confirmed by several Koranic Suras.
Islam is presented as being the successor of Judaism and Christianity with regard to Revelation. It is supposed to be the third and final pillar of the so-called Abrahamic religions, the first two being the Jewish and Christian religious systems, of course, which would make it the ‘last of the revealed religions’, meaning those that acknowledge that Jews, Christians and Muslims are all the sons of Abraham. This statement is however a fallacy, because the Abraham that the Koran refers to bears no resemblance to the one that the Bible speaks of. Similarly, there is little distinction in the former between Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the sister of Aaron and Moses. In fact, Muhammad never stated that he intended to pick up where Judaism and Christianity had left off and thus embrace their legacy. His intention was to replace and abolish them through authoritarian means, despite drawing inspiration from them in a highly disorderly manner.
Having been allegedly instructed to do so by God, Mohammed wanted to restore the Adamic religion (and not the ‘Abrahamic’ one), which dates back to the creation of mankind, before history itself began. Islam rejects the Jewish and Christian Scriptures (the Old and New Testaments) as ‘falsifications’. What is more, the Judeo-Christian Bible is banned in most Muslim countries. The religion of Mohammed does not think of itself as a continuation of Judeo-Christianity or an improvement upon it, but rather as a new, unique and a-historical foundation, one that is not subject to discussion and whose application is as final as it is eternal. It abrogates all the past errors and lies that every other monotheistic or polytheistic religion is guilty of and establishes, in the sole language of God himself, i.e. Arabic, a single religion for all humanity to follow until the end of time: Islam.
It is from this idea that the naturally totalitarian imperative of Muslim faith springs, a faith which, logically speaking, could never tolerate anything other than itself, whether in the field of beliefs (faith) or that of socio-political organisation (law). Relentless and simplistic, this mental mechanism erects itself in the shape of irrefutable dogma and is extremely effective. No dogmatism has ever been this powerful, despite the schisms that divide Islam.
As I have previously explained in The New Jewish Question (Du Lore Editions), Islam’s unfailing anti-Jewish attitude cannot be explained on the basis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What accounts for it is a specific historical factor: the rivalry between Mohammedan and Jewish tribes. The founder of Islam never shrunk from slaughtering his enemies. Moreover, Islam draws heavily on Judaism in its religious foundations and often modifies them, which generates rivalry and a kind of jealousy. And then there is the Israeli-Palestinian question, of course, which began in 1948 and has exacerbated matters further. Its impact is however not decisive. What is significant is that Islam condemns the Jews in its foundational decrees, as seen in numerous Koranic verses.
Unlike the Church, which was once similarly involved in a problematic schism from the common Judaic matrix and accused the Jewish people of deicide for having crucified Jesus, Islam has not renounced its anti-Jewish stances. Christianity did remain anti-Jewish for several centuries (without being anti-Semitic in the ethnic sense), but relinquished this inclination in the end. Islam, by contrast, has stuck to it and kept it intact. This accounts for much of the constantly increasing hatred and violence against Jews among the immigrant Muslim populations of Europe, whose radicalisation is on the rise
Of the three major monotheistic religions, meaning Judaism, Christianity and Islam, only the latter has led to totalitarianism. How is one to explain this? Doesn’t monotheism bear within itself an element of totalitarianism as a result of its imperative of uniqueness? Despite its desire to profess a singular, divine and universal truth, Judaism has always been, paradoxically, the religion of a single people, chosen by God himself, and has thus been preserved from the temptation of imposing a single system upon the entire world. Instead of being required to convert all of humanity to their religion, the Jews are expected to teach mankind a certain morale. As for Christianity, a religion which has repeatedly come close to succumbing to totalistic intolerance (a fact that did not escape Voltaire’s attention), there are two reasons that have allowed it to evade totalitarianism in the end: the first is its spiritual complexity and the overhanging Messianic figure that advocates both sacrifice and love as supreme virtues, while the second is rooted in the Marian cult, the cult of the saints (who intercede with God) and the integration of the Greek concept of logos, which tempers faith through reason. And beyond a few exceptional cases, Catholicism has yet to engage in forced conversions, even though it shares Islam’s aim to convert all of humanity to its belief.
Such an attitude is out of the question in Islam, since the latter is supposed to remain inflexible and espouse its own totalitarianism, meaning the founding of a universal, unified and unique humanity under a single totalising law: the law of the Koran, forcibly imposed of course. Muslim theologians also argue that Christianity is not a genuine form of monotheism and that its God is neither theirs (Allah) nor the true one, a fact supported by Islam’s criticism of the Trinitarian dogma (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the cult of the Virgin Mary and that of the saints.
An Aggressive and Obscurantist Form of Collectivism
Muslim prayer is a ritual act devoid of freedom. It is restricted to a repetition of various Koranic verses while remaining in a prescribed posture and kneeling in submission, the head pressed against the ground and facing Mecca. It is not a matter of personal dialogue with a protective God, but a mere recitation of certain phrases one learns by heart, an act that is to be performed at fixed times. This rigid rite eradicates subjectivity and replaces it. In its mental conformism, not only does Islam represent an obstacle to freedom of thought and therefore to creativity already at a very young age, but it even prohibits personal spiritual quests. It is a superstitious and aggressive type of collectivism.
Muslims have no personal and unrestricted relationship with their God, as Allah is an uncompromising and unforgiving master that is deaf to his worshipers’ pleas. It is obvious that such a religion / ideology, one that is based on the central concept of submission (the submission of all disbelievers to the umma as well as the latter’s submission to Allah) can only lead to the abolition of both individual freedom and collective inventiveness. Islam is a source of mental impoverishment and a decivilising factor, because it grants the notion of order a dimension of absoluteness (a concept that is otherwise positive when applied wisely) at the expense of freedom (even if liberty does lead towards anarchic permissiveness when implemented with excess) while ignoring the Aristotelian conception of Mesotes, i.e that of balance and equilibrium.
Apart from its marginal components such as Sufism, Islam is equally averse to mysticism, metaphysics and philosophy. It revolves around two axioms: ideology and ritual, two interpenetrating concepts. Islam is not focused on a personal relationship between man and his God, but on a collective relationship between the umma (the Muslim community) and a single overhanging, intolerant, impalpable, threatening and authoritarian deity: Allah. One should note that Allah borrows some of his features from the Mosaic Yahweh, including his severity and a leniency conditioned to absolute obedience, retaining a decidedly warlike aspect. Since its very inception, not only has Islam drawn theological inspiration from Judaism, but it has also adopted some of its ritualism (circumcision, dietary prohibitions, etc). This kinship has thus resulted in a constant animosity against Jews, greatly surpassing Islam’s hostility towards Christianity, with which it has fewer common aspects.
However, the Jewish Yahweh only concerns the Hebrews and, despite his severity, advocates neither acts of aggression against non-Jews nor forced conversions. The Jews thus keep to themselves. In Islam, on the other hand, all of mankind is targeted either by conversion or by submission through violence, which makes the Muslim religion similar to Marxist Communism. And this is always done in the name of some greater ‘Good’. Due to their fantasy of unifying humanity under a single law and system, Islam and Marxism follow the same collectivist logic.
But while Marxism and its socialist substitute are egalitarian and, for reasons of cynicism or ideological stupidity, result in various caste privileges, Islam, by contrast, remains much more consistent. Indeed, its divine law, the Sharia, consecrates inequality among humans under the pretext of apparent common sense. However, one quickly realises that this inegalitarianism is not one that is founded upon the acknowledgement of people’s different capacities, but upon the affirmation of unequal rights and status through discrimination, exclusion and oppression. Muslims and unbelievers (or other ‘infidels’), freemen and slaves (the enslavement of non-Muslims persists in Islam, and not just in the Arabian Peninsula, where such practice is carried out with a certain degree of covertness, but also in Iraq and Syria, where slavery is openly practiced by the Daesh), men and women are all subject to differences of treatment, with the former considered eminently superior to the latter.
Islam’s discriminatory inegalitarianism is completely counter-productive for the Muslims themselves, since it is non-selective: it undervalues humans and deprives itself of elites, not because of some humans’ lower capacity, but due to stupid, dogmatic exclusions that relate to religious or sexual imperatives. This obscurantism impedes the very expansion of Islam, since it antagonises people and constantly triggers revolts against the type of callous, brutal society that the Muslims attempt to impose.
Among Islam’s other requirements, the following are noteworthy: the legitimisation of violence (whenever necessary) in order to enforce Islam, as well as the lawful robbing of infidels (Kuffar, from the singular kafir) in accordance with what Muhammad himself practiced in his raids. This fact explains why, in European societies, young Muslim immigrants often justify their crimes in the following manner once they have undergone basic Koranic education: the taking of ‘spoils’ from an infidel is not a vile act of thievery, but a levy authorised by God and therefore legitimate. In addition, one must not forget to mention the mandatory death penalty for all apostates and homosexuals, which is still in vigour and widely taught, even in Europe. Numerous acts of delinquency and crimes are committed in the name of the conquering and vengeful religion called Islam. Anti-Christian persecutions are justified in the exact same way.
Islam and Totalitarianism
To begin with, the word totalitarianism (and we all know that words tend to stretch beyond the things they refer to) was coined by Italian fascists to describe, in a positive sense, a regime in which State and society form one whole, a regime that is centred around the same ideology, free of any and all partisan conflicts and dedicated to the service of a common will. This was the doctrine of the Single Party State with its unique ideology and one-dimensional type of man who gave his duties to the public sphere priority over his own privacy. Hence the etymology of the term fascist: the people and the State are one, striving towards the same goal and fuelled by the same doctrine, just like the fascio (bundle) of the Roman lictors.
Hannah Arendt, who, similarly to many philosophers, chose to ignore history and rely on the abstraction of her own ideas without taking anything but the present into account, made one grave mistake: she believed that totalitarianism was a modern concept that only applied to fascist regimes, National Socialism and Communism. She assumed that totalitarianism was a phenomenon limited to the 20th century, thus confusing the word with what it designates.
Since its birth, however, Islam has displayed all the characteristics of totalitarianism, a fact that anyone can determine by checking the Koran (a book that everyone talks about without having actually read it):
- A mandatory, unique religion imposed upon a given territory (in Communism, Nazism and Fascism, it is a single ideology that is taught everywhere, paired with a ban on all conflicting creeds or opinions);
- The merger of Faith and Law within the Sharia (i.e. the Muslim religious law), making the latter the sole applicable legislation (which is equivalent to the politicisation of laws and the criminalisation of any behaviour and remarks that contradict the official ideology);
- The criminalisation / undervaluation of infidels, meaning that of all those non-Muslims who resist conversion (the social classes, political groups, dissenting opinions and populations that are targeted as a result of their origin face the same adversity);
- An intention to convert and/or dominate all of mankind through jihad, i.e. forced universalism (Communism, especially in its Trotskyist variation, aimed to impose its system upon the whole world, while National Socialism aspired to Germanic world domination);
- A social life fully innervated by the official religion and its compulsory rites (akin to having many youth movements and associations affiliated with the Single Party, under a practically absolute obligation to adhere to it);
- The prohibition of all remarks, written discourse and research at variance with the Koranic truth (Lysenkoism immediately springs to mind. Additionally, the three types of totalitarianism mentioned above abolished people’s freedom of speech and introduced various forms of punishment should anyone dare criticise the regime);
- A will to homogenise all of society through authoritarian means, stemming from a State that remains fully obedient to unelected religious authorities (which mirrors the existence of a single, unelected party that holds sway over the State and homogenises society);
- The presence of a Chief or a Caliph who monopolises both political and religious power following the example set by Muhammad (similarly, a Supreme Leader is the Head of State that holds all the reins of power);
- The idealisation and sanctification of the official dogma contained in the Koran (which parallels the sanctification of the official ideology through an entire arsenal of rites and ceremonies in political totalitarian systems);
- The presence of a holy Book, used as an absolute reference (likewise, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Marx’s Capital?—?along with several works written by Lenin?—?, Mao’s Little Red Book, etc.);
- An aggressive rhetoric calling for the extermination of both external and internal opponents or enemies, and never for debate. Physical conflict and warmongering are resorted to in the end if necessary.
However, the difference between Islamic totalitarianism and the other three systems is that the former, as I have explained elsewhere, embodies a rule of law, since it abides strictly by the Law of God, a Law enshrined in the Koran and the Hadiths. Conversely, Communism, whether Stalinist, Chinese or any other, does not respect its own constitution, since the ruling Party and its leader act in accordance with their own pragmatic judgment, violating various laws or interpreting them at will. In Fascism and Nazism, the dictator rules through decrees, without any constitutional or legislative concerns: constitutional law is not even abolished, but simply ignored.
Islamic totalitarianism is much stronger, much more sustainable and far more fanaticising than the political totalitarianisms that emerged during the 20th century, because it is based on a theocracy cemented by faith and not on a religion with secular ideals. If one considers the classification that stems from Georges Dumézil’s trifunctional hypothesis (the function of religion and sovereignty, the military function, and the economic function of productivity), the Communist and Nazi totalitarianisms were based respectively on the third (economic) function and on the second (the military one). Islam, by contrast, is rooted in the first (theocratic) function. This is why it is so long-lasting and durable historically speaking, having seen the light of day long before political totalitarianisms ever surfaced, yet outlasting them by far. Islam enjoys the strength of archaism, whereas Communism, Nazism and Fascism only bore the weakness of modernity. It thus becomes obvious why both Trotskyites (i.e. ‘Islamo-leftists’) and the nostalgic intellectuals who embrace National Socialism find Islamic totalitarianism so appealing. It suits their palates. Some of them, in fact, are hardly willing to restrain their admiration for the Iran of the mullahs and its official anti-Semitism. In recompense, the latter may well end up granting them its financial support.
Indeed, the Iranian regime, created by Imam Khomeini, is a good showcase of what comprehensive Islam has to offer (albeit in its less radical, Shiite version) when applied to politics: totalitarianism, of course. This regime, strengthened after the June 2009 coup that followed Ahmadinejad’s rigged election and the subsequent bloody repression, is a good example of what a political system governed entirely by Koranic prescriptions embodies. The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban movements set an even more fanatical and radical example, similarly to their Da’esh counterpart. Meanwhile, those who stand behind the naive official discourse of the West, which asserts that it is all just a disfigured version of Islam, i.e. a pseudo-Islam, are making a fatal mistake because, if this were the case, there would be no links, no crossing points nor switchovers between moderate and totalitarian Islam.
Islam bears a striking resemblance to communist totalitarianism. Every communist regime referred to itself as a ‘People’s Democracy’, whereas Islamic Iran is an ‘Islamic Republic’. However, the terms ‘democracy’, ‘people’ and ‘republic’ are completely at odds with the reality of these regimes, which represent a dictatorial oligarchy that relies on an atheistic or transcendent ideology / religion in order to enforce its absolute power, betraying the very principle of ‘serving the people’ which it so heartily proclaims. This is the technique of semantic, Orwellian lies, a directional reversal.
Such a regime places great emphasis on ‘virtue’, but its ruling caste practices corruption, bribery and wide scale monopolisation. Its characteristics are repressive violence, arbitrary detention, the forced rule of an armed minority over an unarmed majority, oppression against women, the suppression of any and all freedom of expression, widespread obscurantism, economic mismanagement (Iran’s Western ‘friends’, whose own countries are funded by the totalitarian regime of the Islamic republic, blame the poverty that afflicts the Iranian people on the weak ‘sanctions’ and blockades decided by the UN, an assertion that has yet to be proven true.), etc, all of which is carried out in the name of the greater metaphysical and sacral legitimacy that Islam represents.
It is of course the case that fanatics, who sincerely believe in this higher and transcendent Islamic truth that legitimises the vilest actions, and cynics, who pretend to believe so as to take advantage of the totalitarian regime, do coexist in Islam. The same principle can be applied to communist regimes, where one distinguished the sincere (and less intelligent) supporters of ‘dialectical materialism’ from the apparatchiki, i.e. the sceptical ones actively involved in the system. In Iran, a country bruised by the totalitarianism of radical Islam, the mechanisms of social and mental oppression are very similar to those of Communism and Nazism. The logic of history is relentless in this respect: it will all lead to war, mater populorum fati.
Islam and Communism
The resemblance between Islamism and Marxism / Communism is remarkable, as they originate from the same mentality, which explains the sympathies between leftists / collectivists and Islamists. Islam and Marxist Communism share the absolute certainty of holding the Truth, being right on all levels, possessing the only correct solutions in every field and following the path of Good and Righteousness (for even when they are guilty of every possible abuse, they view their owns deeds as being just). They never tolerate any opposition or dissidence (except on a temporary basis, when they are still a minority), nor do they ever practice persuasion the moment the scales of power tilt in their favour, for their understanding of power is restricted to its undivided form, without any separations or counter-balance. In Communism, the Single Party and the State are indistinguishable, similarly to any Islamic state, where the prescriptive religious authority of the Sharia is consubstantial with the State. Hence the very meaning of the word ‘caliphate’.
Let’s take things further, shall we? Within Marxist Communism, ‘dialectical materialism’ (Diamat) was a kind of pseudo-scientific catechism cobbled together from the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin. It played the role of central dogma and was taught everywhere. The parallel with the Koran is dumbfounding. The only (admittedly huge) difference that explains the collapse of Communism (even in China, where it is no more than the banal nationalistic, capitalist and imperial dictatorship of the State) and that also accounts for the age-old sustainability of Islam is that dialectical materialism was a mere joke whose ‘absolute’ scientific nature has not withstood any reality checks. On the other hand, the Koran is presented as the direct, divine word, whose refutability is as impossible as it is unthinkable. In accordance with the categories of Karl Popper, the ‘Diamat’ is refutable and has been discredited by the facts (evidence and events), since it had the imprudence of making socio-economic predictions that never came true. In contrast to this, the Koran is indisputable (just like any other religious dogma), because it is exempt from the necessity to provide evidence that supports its claims and does not belong to the domain of reason, but that of faith.
However, both in the case of the ephemeral dialectical materialism and that of the age-old Koran, the overhanging dogma prevents any expression of individuality and subjectivity. Both systems smother every possible creative impulse, initiative, debate, controversy and critical thought. Their collective imperative supersedes personal reflection. Furthermore, their prohibitions, norms and crushing constraints incapacitate the societies that submit to Islam or Communism. This is what encourages transgressions and causes endemic social unrest, through continuous repression and corruption. When one compares Marxist Communism with Islam, a parallel between the concepts of masses and umma comes to light. The ‘masses’ comprise undifferentiated proletarians, an aggregation of various peoples that disregards any notion of nationality and identity. Similarly, the community of believers or umma manifests internationalism.
In Marxist Communism and Islam alike, the same twofold abolition of individual identity and national identity reigns supreme. In comparison to this, all traditions of European origin since the birth of Greek thought have been based on a philosophy of subjectivity, whether that of individuals, nations, peoples or cities, in the face of a global, homogenising System. All specific traditions are doomed to vanish in Islam and Communism, much more so than in westernised market societies, simply because it is clearly stated in their foundational texts and written in the form of commandments.
You must not be yourselves nor belong to your nation, family and class, or embrace your identity and traditions. Instead, you are to join the rites and accommodate the ‘values’ of our ideology / religion. As subjects, you are no longer entitled to your freedom. You are, in fact, objects that serve the interests of our dogma. Islam and Communist / Marxist totalitarianism are related to each other through kinship. The only difference is that the former has outlived the latter because its speech invokes sacred principles and not profane ones.
Although Undemocratic, Islam is in Favour of the Rule of Law
Due to their ignorance or cynicism, European leaders and intellectuals imagine that Islam is perfectly compatible with our republics and democracy (even if the latter is hardly exemplary in Europe and North America), both of which drift towards oligocracy, plutocracy and technocracy. It is however necessary to admit that, in its fundamental principles, Islam is absolutely irreconcilable with all European philosophical and democratic traditions.
No elected parliament nor human assembly can therefore contest, modify, alter, amend, adapt or contradict the Sharia, the divine law of the Koran. In the eyes of Islam, the concept of democracy is an absurdity. Political authority can only rest in the hands of a caliph, a leader who applies the religious law passed down by Muhammad, word for word. No human assembly has the right to bring in, on a whim, new laws that would replace Allah’s divine omniscience.
This is the reason why all the ‘democracies’ introduced into Muslim countries as a mockery of Western institutions are predestined to malfunction and drift towards dictatorship, a fact that naive Western leaders have failed to comprehend. Alternatively, if they are truly intent on playing the game of democracy in harmony with the European tradition, they will be targeted by Islamists as enemies to slaughter, just like in Tunisia. One does not easily change the cultural substratum of a people. The tragic and ridiculous example of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ events, which have all gone wrong, demonstrates this. The natural tendency of the Muslim mentality is drawn towards a single and essentially totalitarian power that applies the law (i.e. the ideology) of Allah. Saudi Arabia and the monarchies of the Persian Gulf exemplify this perfectly. Meanwhile, displaying ironclad hypocrisy, our leaders get on amazingly well with these regimes (it is a question of oil and money and of obedience to the USA), while loathing Putin’s Russia, which has an authoritarian but nonetheless democratic (populistic) power approved by the majority of the electorate.
Of course, there are some Muslim regimes that have formally adopted a representative and elective form of democracy, but they are rare and constantly threatened from within, such as Tunisia. Such governments fall between two stools, torn between the terrible rigidity of their simplistic religious ideology and their fascination for the West.
On the basis of a completely erroneous conception of political science, one often assumes that the ‘rule of law’ is synonymous with freedom and democracy. Islam sets an example that proves otherwise. The rule of law is not necessarily defined by the prevalence of freedom, equality and democracy, but by an absence of the arbitrary, where the legalised rules of the game are known to all and one is punished for breaking them. And these rules can indeed be completely oppressive. Islamic law, the Sharia, advocates the practice of jihad against all infidels (whether those located on the same soil or abroad), the implementation of legal inequalities between the sexes as well as between good Muslims and others (apostates, schismatics, moderate Muslims or non-Muslims), the application of harsh repressive rules upon all deviants and absolute obedience to the authority of an unelected Caliph who conveys the divine word. In this respect, the Islamic State?—?Daesh?—?does embody a certain Rule of Law, one that implements Islamic law in accordance with the initial foundations of Islam and not the arbitrary decisions or the whim of a monarch. Even the acts of looting committed during jihad are legal.
So there may be constitutional states that advocate peace, freedom and equality in their laws, and others that preach submission, war, inequality and ruthless theocracy instead. Carl Schmitt demonstrated that the very concept of Rule of Law is strictly legal and normative, and therefore neutral and not moral in the sense of a universal ethic.
The antithesis of the Rule of Law is anarchy, the arbitrariness of a monarch or a plutocracy ruled by extralegal implicit conventions. However, as proven by the regimes led by all those Arab autocrats who were eventually overthrown (or restored, like in Egypt), autocratic, authoritarian regimes are infinitely more positive and peaceful from the people’s perspective than the fanatical Islamic State of Law. The latter ends up missing its mark, since it leads to anarchy. Compared to the conditions established by the Islamic fanatics of Daesh, Libya, Syria and Iraq seem infinitely preferable when ruled by whimsical and corrupt tyrants.
One would be entitled to say that Islam pushes its demand for a rigid State of Law (which centres around the uncompromising requirements of the Sharia) so far that it results in the destruction of that very same Rule of Law wherever applied (or almost), especially since it causes permanent war and breeds revolt as a result of its intolerance and intrinsic extremism. Furthermore, this is where the greatest weakness of Islam and its Sharia lies, hidden under a varnish of uncompromising strength: the Rule of Law that they advocate, destined to extend to all corners of the globe in application of Allah’s commandments, is so blunt and oppressive that it leads to widespread civil war, tribal anarchy, disorder and chaos, persecution, exactions and therefore revolts. The Islamic, Marxist and Nazi systems, which all claim to be the expressions of an absolute rule legitimated by a higher principle, are undermined (and illegitimated) by the chaotic virus that they spawn, a fact that Carl Schmitt understood when highlighting the recurrent conflict between legality and legitimacy: an oppressive legality (like the Sharia) can be perceived as illegitimate, especially since the very legality of Islam, which intertwines faith and law, relies heavily on the concept of divine ‘revelation’. It is both very strong through its spiritual dimension and tainted with fragility as a consequence of its lack of popular approval and its indomitable need to resort to permanent repression so as to generate obedience. Civil war is an intrinsic part of Islam because it is inherent to its doctrine and history.
Islam, Marxist Communism and Nazism: Differences and Kinship
Whereas Islam’s purpose is the Rule of Law, Nazism and Communism washed their hands of it because they found it more convenient to follow arbitrary procedures, which they considered to be more flexible and adaptable to the circumstances, thus freeing themselves from the entrapping restrictions of a legal system. The Soviet constitution has never been respected and the Third Reich never bothered to adopt a binding constitutional or criminal legislation apart from the Nuremberg race laws. Not only were the deportations and exterminations decreed without any legal framework, but also without falling into the spectrum of illegality, as they were neither legal nor illegal. They were simply lawless. However, all acts of persecution, dispossession and exclusion committed upon infidels are perfectly legal in the Islamic State because they comply with Koranic law.
The kinship between Marxism and Islam is obvious: they both represent unifying teachings for all mankind to abide by. On the other hand, Nazi totalitarianism was different since its basis was racial, meaning that it only concerned a certain part of mankind. Marxism-Communism and Islam are devoid of a racist dimension, seeking universality instead. Though practically speaking, Islam does display an obvious anti-white racism, especially in Europe nowadays (we shall return to this very ambiguous question later on). Nevertheless, there truly is a similarity between these three siblings, a similarity that lies in the fusion (or confusion) between the individual sphere and the collective sphere, as well as between the private and public domains, which are encompassed in a single doctrine. This kinship also relates to the fact that Doctrine?—?or dogma?—?holds sway over the notion of social contract and free democratic inquiry. In this regard, Islam, Nazism and communist (or socialist) Marxism radically defy the European traditions inherited from ancient Greece and Rome and contradict Slavic and Scandinavian Germanic customs, as well as those of the Enlightenment, which all originate in the principial assumption of the superiority of both public debate and majority opinions over any doctrine whatsoever.
Marxist-communist totalitarianism collapsed because it had no spiritual or superstitious aspects at all and was limited to an economic and materialistic dimension. Its policies thus failed miserably. Nazi totalitarianism fell apart because it attempted to wage war upon the world and was vanquished. However, Islam and Nazism did collaborate at one point, when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem made a pact with Hitler. There were two reasons behind this collaboration: first of all, Islam and Nazism were both anti-Jewish and, secondly, they advocated the same type of totalitarian society and State. This complicity between neo-Nazis and Islamists has endured, as confirmed by the recent controversies surrounding comedian Dieudonné (meaning ‘Godgiven’, a performer with close ties to Islamism and with anti-Semitic stances) and publicist Alain Soral, a man who happens to be a former Marxist and who defines himself nowadays as ‘National Socialist’ (and therefore presumably neo-Nazi), his eyes always aglow with fascination for young Muslims. Soral is thus the perfect embodiment of the Marxist-neo-Nazi-Islamic triangulation.
Massacres and attacks are said to be committed ‘in the name of Islam’, as if such acts were foreign to the latter and Islam were a mere victim of adverse possession and usurpation. Forget it. These violent acts are committed by Islam, in accordance with its own doctrine, similarly to the mass crimes perpetrated by Stalinist Marxism and Nazism, which were not committed by some irresponsible extremists ‘in the name’ of Communist Marxism and Hitlerian Nazism, but specifically by the two systems themselves.
These mass crimes are a common feature of Islam, Communism and Nazism, although the three are not, of course, vested with a monopoly on such acts. Throughout history, the exterminations of entire populations have been legion, including the slaughter of whole tribes in Belgic Gaul (Gallia Belgica) who, having broken the truce, were put to the sword by order of Julius Caesar, the extermination of pagan Saxon villagers at the hands of Charlemagne, the atrocities of the Thirty Years’ War, the massacres perpetrated during the inter-Christian religious wars, etc. However, the scope of these actions was limited.
Suffice to say that genocidal mass murders, meaning those committed in the name of ethnic, religious or social belonging in motu proprio, have been perpetrated by the three totalitarian siblings (Islam, Marxist communism and Nazism) since the beginning of the 20th century. The Stalinist and Cambodian mass crimes, those of the Chinese Communist Party under Mao, the Holocaust of the Jews and the massacres committed by forces declaring their allegiance to Islam (ranging from the Armenian Genocide to the current barbarism of the Islamic State or Daesh that is stretching out its tentacles in all directions) are unmatched among the other religious or ideological systems of the 20th and 21st centuries. Perhaps with one exception: the tribal and ethnic exterminations that regularly drown black Africa in a tide of blood, of which the Rwandan genocide is an illustrative example. It should also be noted that the slaughter of the Vendee during the Revolution (as a result of their ‘Catholic and Royal’ rebellion) was a kind of rehearsal for Marxist communist abuses, albeit on a smaller scale. Marx himself, in fact, acknowledged the most extreme currents of both the French Revolution and the Paris Commune as his ideological predecessors.
Islam and its Murderous Violence
For decades on end, Islam has been involved, on a worldwide scale, in the vast majority of all acts of terrorism, persecution and oppression, in addition to being responsible for most civil wars, executions, deportations and massacres, all committed in the name of the religion of Allah and its various tendencies. All these attacks have been conducted against populations deemed ‘infidel’. According to the US State Department, more than 10,000 terrorist attacks perpetrated all over the world in 2014 have been tied to Islam, attacks that left 30,000 fatal casualties and 30,000 wounded victims in their wake. This represents a massive increase of 81% compared to 2013. Over 60% of these attacks took place in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria. In the latter country, the jihadists of Boko Haram (who are affiliated to the Islamic State or IS) have already killed 6,644 Christians. As for the IS, it has already been credited with murdering 6286 civilians. Since 1990 and the bombing of the Saint Michel metro, 100% of all terrorist bombings and shootings in France (whose numbers are always on the rise) have been committed by Muslims in the name of jihad. The same goes for the attacks that have been foiled. The Islamic terrorist threat has become a global menace. Should we then not draw the conclusion that violence and chaos have (once again) become the hallmark of Islam, contradicting its publicly declared desire to establish stability and order? Herein lies, in fact, the common trait of all secular or religious totalitarianisms, one that would have them pretend to establish an unalterable Order in the name of a specific vision of a greater Good and Justice only to end up generating, instead, nothing but disorder, chaos and injustice. Unlike Christianity, Islam’s invasive and conquering power is not based on persuasion and voluntary conversion, but on violence and coercion. Similarly, becoming a member of the Single Party and learning its ideology were both, at the very least, recommended if not required in the communist and Nazi systems. Having said that, one must concede that Christianity has not always been free of such violence (Charlemagne against the Saxons, the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants, etc.), but still much less so than Islam and in blatant contradiction to its own Gospel texts, which advocate conversion through persuasion. In The Black Book of Islam (Tatamis Editions), Jean Robin has put together an impressive list of crimes and abuses committed ‘in the name of Islam’, or rather by Islam itself, which is a tragedy for those peaceful Muslims who somehow remain trapped within their own religion, a religion whose precepts they are unfamiliar with. For just like Marxism and Nazism, Islam, too, has many skeletons in its closet.
The Metaphysics of Subjectivity Versus Totalitarianism
The obsessive enemy of all those intellectuals with simultaneous ties to Marxism, Islamism and closet Nazism lies in the ‘metaphysics of subjectivity’ (to use their jargon), meaning in the very essence of the European tradition: individual freedom, one’s adherence to a given nation or a particular city-state and the rejection of homogenisation and massification. Totalitarian lines of thought abhor individualism, i.e. the subjectivity of citizens and small business owners and therefore that of a sovereign homeland and nation. Both Islam and the secular forms of totalitarianism interpret such subjectivity as selfishness or, in a typically puritan reflex, as vulgar consumerism, a sign of the ‘commodification’ of the world, which is but a hollow concept in itself.6 By contrast, they prefer the regimentation of individuals within a homogeneous and binding system where all thoughts abide by the same totalising rule, just like the State itself.
This metaphysics of subjectivity, a pompous term that bears no relevance to actual ‘metaphysics’ and that should simply be replaced with ‘subjectivism’, characterises the worldview of our European civilisation (a civilisation that all totalitarianisms, whether secular or Islamic, are rising up against) and defines individual liberty, freedom of thought and the independence of the city-state as its supreme values. Subjectivism contrasts with collectivism, a common characteristic of Marxism, Islamic fundamentalism and other kinds of totalitarianism. Collectivism has always fascinated secular and religious intellectuals, who always hunger for globalising yet unrealistic thought systems. Their criticism of ‘individualism’ is as abstract as it is observation deficient and devoid of pragmatism, since they claim that individualism is an egotistical attitude that rules out every possible prospect of solidarity, which is an absolute fallacy.
Collectivism (which, paradoxically, has never led to solidarity but resulted in oppression instead) detests the very notion of free subjects and aims to transform individuals into docile subordinates, all to the great benefit of a tyrannical caste that dictates what is right or wrong, what is lawful or prohibited and who the wicked and the virtuous are. The subjectivism of individuals, city-states and free nations is the cultural and philosophical foundation of our civilisation. Provided that certain conditions are met, it never leads to disorder, anarchy or decadence. Aristotle specified those conditions:
- Laws should express the general will of the majority, and never represent a doctrine, ideology or religion, nor even the views of government officials. Simultaneously, the State must guarantee their absolute implementation while assuming all its sovereign functions of justice and order.
- Individual freedom ceases as soon as it infringes upon the freedom and rights of other citizens.
- The city-state or nation should remain ethnically and culturally homogeneous if civil war is to be avoided.
Does Islam Have a Civilising Aspect?
The historic power of Islam is ambiguous in its results. The dreadful devastation wrought upon the treasures of the Persian and Roman Empires by the jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the devastation of the Buddhas of Bamiyan at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan reflect the propensity of Islamic fundamentalism to abolish everything that precedes it (meaning anything ‘pre-Islamic’) and to practice iconoclasm, i.e. the abolition of images. This conquering power of Islam has hardly been synonymous with civilisation and creation. On the contrary, destruction has been its most noticeable trait. Ever since its birth in the 7th century CE, Islam has spread its sphere of influence into different parts of the world and established its dominion, yet produced a remarkably low number of artistic, literary, philosophical, synthetic and scientific creations when compared to other civilisations, a fact that contradicts the rehashed claims of modern propaganda.
The question thus arises as to whether or not Islam is in fact decivilising in its impact, meaning restricted to its brute force and its purely expansionistic and quantitative power, a power that is both digital (demographic) and belligerent and always imposed through violent jihad and deception. Cunning is an atavistic feature that Islam has inherited from the Bedouin culture and whose living source was clearly identified and clarified by René R. Khawam in The Book of Deceit (Phaébus Editions). The myth of a supposedly civilising and creative ‘Andalusian Islam’ is an unavoidable gimmick used by the dominant ideology and does not correspond to historical reality since, contrary to what is claimed, the Muslim rule in Andalusia was fraught with destruction. The literary, artistic and scientific productivity of Islamised peoples is quite minimal in comparison to that of other nations, perhaps even insignificant. The wealth and power of the Arabian peninsula and of many other Muslim countries is due to their oil and gas revenues, whose technological source is of strictly Western origin. The Muslim sphere has always advanced through what it has borrowed from others, as well as through its practice of raiding, looting, slavery and piracy. Creativity, imagination and mental freedom are all incompatible with the very roots of Islam. This results in a great deal of suffering for many so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims, who have schizophrenic issues with their own identity. Although it smothers any and all mental and intellectual liberty, Islam somehow still manages to seduce some psycho-rigid Europeans, be it those that adhere to Marxist totalitarianism or the ones that identify with extreme-right traditionalism, as they mistakenly believe Islam to be acting in defence of a universal and eternal ‘tradition’, when all its actions are actually intended to further its own expansion, similarly to cancer metastases that only breed misery and pain. This explains why ‘humanistic’ islamophiles are ignorant of both Islam and humanism. As for the Muslims who have genuinely embraced an anti-Islamist stance, they may well have understood humanism, but have failed to grasp their own religion. Islamists, on the other hand, understand humanism and Islam perfectly well and reject the former.
1 According to tradition, the inscription INRI, imposed by both the Roman imperial authorities and the Great Sanhedrin, was nailed to the top of Christ’s Cross. It stood for the Latin acronym Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum, meaning ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’. The aim was to state, sarcastically and controversially, that Christ was a politico-religious agitator who, far from being the Son of God, wanted to rebuild Solomon’s kingdom by triggering a schism in his own favour. This disorder displeased both Tiberius’ Roman and pagan Empire and the Jewish authorities. Consequently, Christians responded by adopting the schematised fish symbol known in Greek as Ichthys (and not the Cross, which was used later on). Ichthys stands for Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter or ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God and Saviour’.
2 In his famous essay entitled Treatise on Tolerance (1763) and focusing on the Calas affair (1762), Voltaire remarked that Jews and Christians enjoyed better treatment in the (Muslim) Ottoman Empire than the Protestants ever did at the hands of the French Catholic monarchy during the 18th century. Historians had better verify this statement.
3 Henotheism is a religion with a central creator Deity and several secondary ones, a sort of compromise between strict monotheism and polytheism. It differs from pagan polytheism, where the central God is not the creator of the world.
4 The Verse of the Sword (IX 5) namely states: ‘Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters (unbelievers) wherever ye find them. Capture them, plague them and lay every possible ambush for them to fall in’. The following passages can also found in further abrogating verses: ‘Slay them wherever ye encounter them and expel them from all places whence they drove you out […] Such is the reward for disbelievers.’(II. 191) and ‘Fight them until all rebellion has ceased and all worship is directed to Allah and none other.’ (II. 193). Terroristic and jihadist notions are expressed throughout these verses, which advocate the use of any means necessary to establish the absolute exclusivity of Islam.
5 As stated by François-Xavier Robert in his article entitled Dar Al-Islam or Dar Al-Harb?, published by European Renaissance, the Belgian philosophical journal, issue number 103 (April–May–June 2015).
6 This intellectualist idea regarding an actual ‘commodification of the world’ is based on a brief economic analysis, as human societies have been commercial since the Age of Antiquity. France, on the other hand, is more collectivist and less mercantile than ever before, with 57.2% of its GDP monopolised by public expenditure.
7 Mohamed Sifaoui is the author of several books, including As France Succumbs To The Islamist Disease (Cherche Midi Editions).
The above text is an excerpt from Guillaume Faye’s Understanding Islam (Arktos, 2016). If you liked this selection, be sure to check out the whole book.
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