A Rage Against History

Turkish_troops_storming_Fort_Shefketil_(cropped)This article is by Clive Kessler, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of New South Wales. It’s very good, as it goes into some of the motivations of why we are seeing Islamic radical violence. I would recommend you get your coffee refilled as it’s also fairly long. Enjoy.

The Ottawa parliament, Café Lindt, Charlie Hebdo and so many others too: these are all separate incidents.  But they are all part of the same global phenomenon.

They are all expressions of a rage against history that lurks within modern Islam and animates Muslim militants worldwide today.

It is a rage that has its source within the wounded soul of contemporary Islamic civilisation, of the modern Muslim world generally.

The Islamic religion and its social world are an intensely political tradition.

It has always been so, going back to Muhammad’s dual role as both prophet and political leader in the original Islamic community in Madinah from 622 to 632 CE.

More, within a century of Muhammad’s death his small desert oasis polity had become a vast transcontinental empire.

And, in a succession of different forms or political frameworks (“caliphates”), the community of Muhammad’s faithful continued to live in the world on its own founding assumptions.

For a thousand years it was largely a continuing success story. Islamic civilisation, as it evolved upon its foundational political template provided by Muhammad, was able to live in the world on its own terms.

The central Islamic societies in which Islamic civilisation evolved were able to write and then “live out” the script of their own history.

Not only did Islam, and the Muslims of Islamic civilisation, live in the world on their own preferred terms, according to their own faith-based socio-political and legal blueprint.  They were able to set those terms to others who came within their orbit, under their influence and control. It was to be accepted by all, lovingly or in obligatory submission, induced or imposed.

How has the world of Islam always explained and justified this to itself?

Religiously, Islam sees itself as the successor to and the completion of the Abrahamic faith tradition of ethical and prophetic monotheism. To Judaism and then Christianity.

It sees itself as completing those two earlier faith communities: those of the “peoples of the book” or genuine scripture. Completing, but also repairing and then superseding, those earlier revelations, making good their limitations and deficiencies.

What deficiencies? First, those earlier revelations, so mainstream Islam holds, were incomplete, only partial. And second, in their human transmission, what God had revealed through them had been distorted and corrupted by its learned custodians, the rabbis and priests.

Islam sees itself as complete because it sees itself (or so its scholarly traditions assert), unlike Judaism and Christianity, as equipped with a fully developed social and political “blueprint”, a divinely prescribed plan for the organisation and political management of society.

For this reason, its mainstream scholars have long held, Islam incorporates and carries forward all that is right and good in Judaism and Christianity. And what is not good or authentic Islam rejects —— and what it has rejected is simply wrong.

So Islam supersedes, and in a sense also negates, its two predecessor Abrahamic faiths. They, or the best in them, live on in Islam. Once Islam succeeded and incorporated them in this fashion, Judaism and Christianity became, in effect, obsolete and irrelevant. Religiously superseded, they lived on in world history merely as relics from an earlier, pre-Islamic era of human spiritual and social evolution. This was not just religious doctrine; these ideas informed and even defined the historical civilisation founded upon that religious faith.

This attitude could continue, this faith-based civilisational outlook or worldview, could continue undisturbed so long as it was not evidently counterfactual. So long, that is, as Islam continued to live in the world on its own terms. So long as the worldly career of Islamic civilisation remained a success story.

It was, for a thousand years. Islam survived the challenge of its great trans-Mediterranean civilisational rival, the world of Christendom, withstanding even the era of the Crusades. But eventually it succumbed to what we might call “post-Christian Christendom”, or Europe and the Western world.

The long crisis that the Islamic world, in the form of the Ottoman Empire or Caliphate, entered was dramatically signalled and symbolised at the end of the eighteenth century by Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt.

Over the following century, the world of Islam was overwhelmed.

A rage against history.

Of course the classical Christian response to the claim that Islam is the completion of the Abrahamic religions is that it is simply another heretical schismatic cult. And it follows that current western governments have major problems dealing with it, simply because they believe in nothing (except self-enrichment, perhaps). And we all know that nothing cannot stand against anything, no matter how ill-conceived.

Hat tip to CPS

Barbarians in the City

pic_giant2_011115_SM_Paris-JihadistKevin D. Williamson over at National Review has an excellent article up on the mess in Paris. he reminds us that the terrorists are not animals, simply because they are much worse. I doubt any of us have any sympathy for these spawn of the devil but, what they did is something only humans would do, kill for an idea (however evil or misguided it might be.

Animals are animals, they do what they do. When a dog urinates on a fire plug, it doesn’t mean he disrespects the fire department, he’s simply being a dog.

Here’s a bit of it:

[…]They have no philosophy or ideology beyond that of Ted Hughes’s “Hawk, Roosting”:

I kill where I please because it is all mine.

There is no sophistry in my body:

My manners are tearing off heads —

. . . No arguments assert my right.

But still, the Parisian jihadists were described as: “murderous animals,” “Muslim terrorist animals,” “animals who want to kill,” etc. The sentiment is understandable: that these sorts represent a danger, a mindless threat that must be dealt with lethally and pitilessly.

Even a rabid dog inspires a little sympathy — who blames the dog? But killing the brothers Kouachi pitilessly is not enough. We cannot kill them, and those like them, indifferently. We kill them with purpose — with judgment. We do not kill them because they are animals; we kill them because they are human beings.

and

The Ron Pauls of the world and most progressives believe that if we would just mind our own business and see to our own affairs, then we could more or less horse-trade our way to a peaceful modus vivendi – the Iranians, the takfiri, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Paris-born jihadists all must want something, if only we could figure out how to satisfy them. But there is no satisfying them – not in a world where a Jew lives, a Christian walks free, or a Hindu is his own master. Not while Oprah Winfrey is still awaiting her stoning and Neil Patrick Harris his public immolation.

Being Human | National Review Online.

Needless to say, I agree with him completely, I wish we could find that word as well.

Bravery and Cowardice; France and the World

150107223804-31-paris-reax-0107-large-169I was going to write this post about the despicable act yesterday in Paris but, I decided it wasn’t really an article in it. Why? Because it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Yes, those cartoonists were very brave men. But they shouldn’t have had to be. If Europe really believed in free speech those cartoons would have been published in every major paper, not in one brave lonely paper. I carry no brief for their cartoons, most of their work I’ve seen, I find disgusting. Free speech is like that. As I said yesterday, “Free speech is inherently the right to offend, otherwise it has no purpose.” So I didn’t follow their work, but I supported their right to publish it, just as Voltaire said.

And so right now Europe, and especially France, is all fired up about the Islamic threat, or at least its terrorist component. Even enough in a few cases to overcome its PC scruples. That’s good, if Europe is to survive, it needs to. But how long will it last? A week, a month, a year? I’m not optimistic. We (and the Anglosphere) have been actively engaged for more than fourteen years. Where are the French, the Spaniards, to a point the Germans, and the Italians?

Waiting, I guess for John Bull, and Uncle Sugar to save their rights (that we provided them, in the first place) once again. Well, if we learned (relearned, really) nothing else in Afghanistan, it’s that we can’t make people free, they have to do it themselves.

And that’s the one thing Europe can’t seem to do. It can’t seem to care about anything or anyone enough to guarantee anything, especially long-term.

There was an interesting article in Commentary magazine last week. It started with noting that Europe was having trouble deciding what to do with abandoned churches.

This lack of religious belief may well also be related to why Europeans are choosing to have so few children. According to the CIA world factbook EU countries have an average birth rate of just 1.55 children per woman, and in countries such as Italy, Germany, Greece, and Austria that goes down to about 1.42 births per woman. And these are figures which are undoubtedly inflated by the higher birth rate of immigrant groups; among native Europeans the numbers are still lower.

For Europeans, it seems the absence of belief extends beyond religion into the realms of other traditional identities. As Annika Hernroth-Rothstein explains in a recent piece for Israel Hayom, Europeans have been increasingly choosing against national identities in general. Rothstein writes of how in Europe in the wake of the Holocaust: “nation-states and national identity have been deemed the culprit and the key to the dark European history that brought on such unparalleled suffering. The old was replaced with the new; a cultural relativism where no tradition, belief or state should stake a claim on any moral high ground. All ideas and cultures became equally unimportant compared to the globalist, multicultural ideal.”

And that is pretty much a cultural suicide note.

In this Europe where there is nothing worth believing in, nothing worth dying for—and perhaps nothing worth living for, given the birth rate—it is little wonder that Europeans now take the view on foreign policy that they do.

Europe Is Losing Its Soul – Commentary Magazine Commentary Magazine.

Oh, you needn’t expect to be troubled by these cartoons–our so-called free press which endlessly brags about how brave they are, is too terrorized to show them to you. I’d laugh at them but I’m too busy crying at their perfidy.

It’s a pretty sad epitaph, isn’t it? Died of apathy. But for today, we can truly say, perhaps for the last time, in sympathy, “We are all French!” (Thanks to Sarah Churchwell for the reminder.)

 

The way to defeat jihadis is to offer something better

Daniel Hannan has an outstanding article up on the Telegraph yesterday. He is talking about how to defeat the young Brits that wish to be jihadis. The thing is, you never defeat something with nothing, he’s right.

British history, like its niece American history, is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to individual liberty. In great measure, it is a story that is one of the most attractive in the world. But we have allowed it to be corrupted, by those who use it for  political ends, who have convinced many that Britain, and America, are evil incarnate.  We, like the Brits, have allowed this to creep in, unnoticed, over the years until this evil nonsense is what is being taught to our children as our history.

There are things in our histories that are cringeworthy, but that is true of everyone’s history. There is also the fact that of all the peoples in the world, the Anglo-Americans have done more for the individual, than anybody else.

And in a related matter, our young people are looking for something when they join the jihad, or even when they convert to Islam. I think they look for certainty, a system that knows right from wrong, good from evil. Islam is a system that is flawed of course, It reflects the flawed nature of its founder, and is easily corrupted to evil, if it is not evil in itself.

But, one knows that there is another system in the world that does the same thing, it offers a choice, and a stark one, between good and evil, but unlike Islam, it while rooted in antiquity, has grown. The wisest men of the last 2000 years have contributed to it, and enriched it.

But it, like Anglo-American history, has been greatly maligned and diluted, both from within and without. But also like our history, the record is still there, and accessible, we merely need to read, learn and share it.

A Polish friend, an MEP of my sort of age, was telling me the other day about how his life changed when Pope John Paul II toured his home country. The papal visit set in train the events that led to the Gdansk protests and, in due course, the unravelling of the tyranny. But my friend added a detail that I had never before appreciated. “The Holy Father never directly condemned the Communist authorities,” he said. “He didn’t need to. He was offering something better”.

When you put it like that, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Offer something better. It worked during the recent Scottish referendum. For months, Unionists had warned of the horrors that would follow from separation: companies leaving, markets collapsing, Scotland left without a currency. The more frenetically they warned, the further they fell behind in the polls. Only in the closing days did the “No” campaign make the positive argument it should have made all along: the UK was doing pretty darned well, Scots were prospering within it, and it was silly to discard a precious thing. That was when the polls turned.

Continue reading  The way to defeat British jihadis is to offer something better

And that is the thing that I find so frustrating, Anglo-American history is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to freedom, and its sharing all over the world. It is one of the most remarkable and uplifting stories ever writing, and written in blood by the common man.

And the other story that I referred to above is even greater, although the two are intimately entwined. Because the story of Christianity is also a story of free will, and enlightenment. It has justly been called The Greatest Story Ever Told, and it is. It the story of man’s civilization, from a violent past. Only Christianity has developed, and lived by a ‘Just War Theory’ . The rest still live by the rule of the most powerful, while we live by the ‘Rule under and through the law’ and apply y it not only to ourselves but even to those who presume to rule us.

That is what President Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Pope (St.) John Paul II used to defeat the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

It is a wonderful uplifting story. Because something always defeats nothing, and humanism, and Islam, are nothing, Simply the rule of the powerful.

Be For Something, Something Good

Plain Words; Well Spoken

In some ways, I’m cleaning out my files today but, you’ll find these are connected. In each case they involve the author telling the plain unvarnished truth as they see it. I find it very refreshing. You may or you may not agree with everything each author says, as it happens, I mostly agree with them. But then, I make no claim to be completely objective. I think you can learn from each of them.

Churchill’s Words on Obama, Congress, World.

Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)

His scorn was withering. . .He had described his foes in Parliament as “good, honest men who are ready to die for their opinions, if only they knew what their opinions are.” Of Baldwin’s government, he said: “So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift…all powerful to be impotent.”
– Leo Rosten, on Winston Churchill**

Well, I read that last night and thought, were Churchill around here, he might rerun those sentiments about Obama and the Congress. He might also note with great sadness that upon the world political stage, there is currently no great leader, no one person capable — when the world is crying out for focus, as it is, today — of stirring a people to greatness by exchanging partisan postures for a larger, sharable vision and for decisiveness.

We are pursuing ISIS with the heart of Bartleby-the-Scrivener, who would prefer not to. Even as evidence mounts that they are here, and likely on every continent.

Churchill’s Words on Obama, Congress, World.

 

SHOCK! A Catholic bishop who speaks like – *gulp* – a Catholic bishop!

Father Z.

As you know, not to long ago Bp. Howard Hubbard was retired from his looooong tenure as Bishop of Albany.  He was succeeded by Bp. Edward Scharfenberger.

Recently Bp. Scharfenbeger gave a speech to an interfaith group in Albany.   At least one Protestant didn’t like what he had to say.

From the Times Union of Albany, NY.

Rev. Sam Trumbore
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany[Unitarian Universalist… what is that, I wonder.]

Bishop Scharfenberger’s after dinner speech last night at the Capital Region Theological Center Fall fundraising dinner seriously missed his audience and likely ruffled a few feathers in the interfaith, largely Protestant audience of about 230 community leaders.

Many of us in attendance were very interested to hear the recent replacement for long serving Bishop Hubbard, to hear what his message to the interfaith community might be. The Capital Region Theological Center is a wonderful ecumenical organization founded by the collaboration of the founding partners: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Reformed Church of America, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ. […] Their values welcoming and supporting all faith communities seeking peace, justice and a more sustainable planet and a spirit of collaboration, discussion over judgment, and diversity rather than uniformityline up well with the values of my Unitarian Universalist congregation.

SHOCK! A Catholic bishop who speaks like – *gulp* – a Catholic bishop! | Fr. Z’s BlogFr. Z’s Blog.

 

Speaking Truth To Wussies.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD

Great Satan’s avuncular Veep spoke truth and really p.o.’d some of our valuable fickle on again off again ‘Allies” and have hurt their feelings LOL

“What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

“Now you think I’m exaggerating? “Take a look! Where did all of this go?”

“All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because [of] this outfit called ISIL [or ISIS], which was Al Qaeda in Iraq,” said Biden. He sketched the organization’s history: it was “essentially thrown out of Iraq” but “found open space in territory in eastern Syria,” then it worked with the al Qaeda subsidiary al Nusra, which the United States “declared a terrorist group early on.” And, still, according to Biden, “we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden — I don’t want to be too facetious — but they have seen the Lord, [and] the President’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be seen as the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Speaking Truth To Wussies.

What Islam Is and What To Do about It

Enza Ferreri

The following only reflects my position and not necessarily that of my party Liberty GB.

Islam has been distorted by Western politicians and media to such an extreme point that this doctrine is almost completely the opposite of what is being described as.

It is not a “religion of peace”: it is a non-religion of war.

It is not a religion in the sense that we in the West understand, through the experience of our own religion: Christianity. It doesn’t make human beings better, but worse.

Whereas Christianity establishes a separation of powers between church and state, Islam is a political ideology. Men’s laws are imperfect and should be rejected. Only God-given law, Sharia, should rule the state. Notice that “law” here doesn’t mean “moral law”, but the country’s legislation. Sharia has to be enforced with all available means, peaceful or violent, democratic or totalitarian.

Islam’s holy scriptures say – and real Muslims believe – that the world will be a much better place for human beings to live in if Islam and its law govern the whole planet. Under Islam’s domination, there will be justice, equality and all the good things that communists have also promised humanity. And in both cases (Islam and communism), followers are prepared to cause mayhem and slaughter to attain this utopian “paradise on earth”.

Read more: http://enzaferreri.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-islam-is-and-what-to-do-about-it.html#ixzz3FgWE81we

So there you are, around the world in about a thousand words, telling the truth, as the authors see it.

A Beheading in Oklahoma

From Bill Whittle

 

Moral cowardice that keeps us from speaking our minds is as dangerous to this country as irresponsible talk.

Margaret Chase Smith

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