Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Prayer for a Butchered Poet

        I remember my amazement at my enormity of my ignorance of Islam when I started to read on the subject after 9/11. Not only did I know nothing but as the new ideas about the world I live in started to get molded in my head I realized the absolute silliness of my previous world-view, the bizarre cacoon of nonsense that I believe was the true reflection of the Maker’s design of the universe.  The feeling of utter dismay at one’s own the pathetic grasp of issues and one’s  own set of beliefs in the light of new discoveries, I am told is a sign of intellectual agility. I am happy to report that I have marvelled at my own ignorance ever since I can remember.

          The first book I picked up after the architectural decapitation of Manhattan was Dilip Hiro’s Holy Wars: the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.  Very useful book in its own right but at the time it had the added wow effect of a guide in a new grasp of things.  Among the things which sort of left an indelible mark on me was an anecdote from the Salman Rushdie debates in the Muslim world. It appears that the al-Azhar scholars initially denounced Khomeini’s fatwa on the author of Satanic Verses as un-Islamic. He shut them up with a single reference to an incident in the Sirah, the biography of the Prophet that most Muslims consider sacred.  Khomeini silenced his critics with a simple proposition: if Muhammad himself sent his followers to kill the poet who mocked the Messenger of God who are you to tell me I am not the follower of his teachings. There were no further protests from the scholars in Cairo.

           Here is an abridged version of the killing of Kaab bin al-Ashraf as recounted in the Muslim holy book. 

   After being sent on their way by the Prophet with the words ‘Go in God’s name: O God help them!’, the assassins joined Kaab in his house:  …’then Abu Naila said, ‘would you like to walk with us to Shi’b al-‘Ajuz, so that we can talk for the rest of the night ?’. ‘If you like’, [Kaab]  answered, so they went off walking together; and after a time Abu Naila ran his hand through his hair. Then he smelt his hand and said, ‘I have never smelt a scent finer than this’. They walked on farther and he did the same so that Kaab suspected no evil (!). Then after a space, he did the third time, and cried: ‘Smite the enemy of God !’.  So they smote him, and their swords clashed over him with no effect. ..Maslama said ‘I remembered my dagger when I saw that our swords were useless, and I seized it.  Meanwhile the enemy of God had made such a noise that every fort around us was showing a light. I thrust it into the lower part of his body, then I bore down on it until I reached his genitals, and the enemy of God fell to the ground…..We…brought him to the apostle at the end of the night. We saluted him as he stood praying, and he came to us, and we told him that we killed the enemy of God. He spat upon our comrade’s wounds and he and we returned to our families. Our attack upon God’s enemy cast terror among the Jews, and there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life.

            Terry Glavin (Ottawa Citizen, Moral Illiterates weigh in on Woolwich, May 24, 2013) is evidently not in the habit of marvelling at his own ignorance. It looks more like he prefers to bask in his moral superiority over people whose world-view is even more abysmally ignorant than his own.  He sizes Woolwich butchers the type ‘of a lunatic who thinks he is a Muslim’, and opines that the view that terrorism is a payback for the West’s perceived misdeeds in places like Iraq and Afghanistan is not the view of the mosques but ‘rubbish coming from the mouths of moral illiterates’.

           Glavin’s view, insofar as it even qualifies as opinion and not familiar posing, has all the marks of popular idiocies supplied by the chattering classes who have little grasp of world history and cultures.  As a rule, they replace an intelligent, balanced view of the society which nurtured them with a mushy feel-good happy-go-lucky Babylon that would be the best of possible worlds but for a few  misguided fools and reactionary miscreants.  This is the halothane view of multiculturalism as featured in Little Mosque on the Prarie where all conflicts stem from misunderstandings, and all misunderstandings are ours of them.  Plots are simple and solutions to them obvious.  In this world view there is no open hostility to democracy and advocacy of sharia, no no-go ghettos in London, Luton or the West Midlands, or Malmo, where this ‘future’ blueprint for world-wide Khalifah is being prototyped today. There is no denial of legal equality of women with men. In this Weltanschauung there are at the worst ‘some imams in some dinghy mosques’ but no Saudi-trained clerics in hundreds of Saudi built, hyper-modern opulent mosques in America and Europe arguing only about the tactics in defeating the great Satan. In this world view there may be ‘dingbat backstreet ayatollahs’ but no real ayatollahs busy building nuclear weapons.   There are moral defectives spouting ‘co-called West fighting the so-called Muslim World’ trying the make an issue of ‘deranged losers’ in Boston and ‘cretins with Sarf London accents’ in Woolwich.   But assuredly there is no disembowelled Jewish poet in the biography of their prophet which gives their homicidial manias sanction and the assurance that they are fighting the enemies of God.

             Glavin, is evidently not living in the invader's territory where you can be beaten up for smoking during Ramadan or maimed simply because you are a gay in a pub. The social realities of London's Tower Hamlets are strangely at odds with his fantasy of the Muslim ‘mainstream’. Perhaps he does not even realize that projecting a mainstream into the Muslim social reality of ummah, is as silly as believing that Lenin’s policy of democratic centralism was a pledge to democracy.  The parallel is very apropos given the scorn of both the bolsheviks and  Islamist theocrats have for the views of common people. Mainstream can only function in a political culture that respects and cherishes human commonality and values its corrective function. Sure, Islam in the past had enlightened rulers. But there was never in the ‘so-called Muslim world’ anything even remotely aniticipating democracy of the ‘so-called West’.  This is what fundamentally separates us.  (If you want a shining example of the difference in mentality consider the Sunni legal maxim that sixty years of tyranny are better than one day of anarchy, across Jefferson’s view that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.)

      Of course it makes no sense to lay siege to random mosques seeking condemnation and pledges of civic  loyalty from “whichever hapless imam happens to answer to doorbell”.  But notice the poverty of options in the supposition.  It is as if British intelligence did not know who the preachers of hatred in the Muslim communities are. But they do know. So does Terry Glavin. The babble about Muslim mainstream is just a spiel he and the other lefty media twits deploy to divert attention from a growing social problem which does not fit their narrative and they think will go away if you only stick your head into sand a little deeper.
       No-one wants to harass ‘harmlessly devout’ Muslims who came to the West to better themselves, and to give their children the chance to live in a saner society. No-one except unmedicated psychos.  It is not Muslims who accept the basic structure of  Western society (and are prepared to tolerate its faults) that the common folk is leery about.  Everyone who listens to ordinary Brits in pubs knows that.  Evidently it would not be the elitist narcissists with their heavily censored view of Islamic realities. 

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