Friday, January 06, 2006

A more measured assessment of Islam

[This started off as a reply to comments on this post, particularly this one by Tiny Judas. It is then amalgamated with a draft post (you'll spot the shift).]

I guess that the problem with the Islamic radicals that we are talking about is two-fold. The first is that, whilst Western nations, mainly through technology and market-liberalisation, have moved on from the crusades, in an awful lot of ways, places, such as (rural) Pakistan, are, effectively, still living in the dark ages. They live by traditions and edicts that we, as libertarians, find despicable.

The second problem is that Islam can be easily interpreted to fit these principles or, indeed, to actually encourage them. Because strict Islam sees no difference between church and state (see Iran, Taliban-Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.), where we in the West do, the unpleasant aspects of that religion can have a greater impact.

Christianity is, fundamentally, a submissive religion: not submissive to the will of God, as Islam is, but submissive to the culture that surrounds it. Christianity was founded and grew up in conquered countries: the evangelical Christianity, i.e. the New Testament, taught passivity and tolerance as a necessity. There was no such brake on the word of Mohammad. Thus, Christianity is able to live harmoniously with the secularly tolerant society in which the majority of us in the West exist. plus, of course, we Europeans made sure that all the religious oddballs and nutjobs buggered off to colonise America...

Islam, in its strictest form, is still a hegemonising religion. Whilst many Muslims who have been brought up in tolerant Western societies find a way of reconciling their religion with these societies (as do most Christians), those who have come straight from those more primitive societies have not; and, unfortunately, they bring those values here. These societies almost universally promote the superiority of the male over the female, and the complete dominance of a father over his daughter, as this lady ably illustrates.

Much of the time then, defending these attitudes becomes not simply a matter of dogma, but of protection of power, and of privilege. The privilege, for instance, to ensure that your betrothed is a virgin; to ensure that your wife has children at your desiring, whilst you need not look after them; to ensure that she is always home to cook your damn dinner*; to ensure her faithfulness by locking her in the house, etc. etc. It is a power thing, and also a disgusting piece of hypocrisy; for Muslim males are perfectly free to have as many partners as they like and, indeed, some view it as a right.

The Koran and the hadiths support and justify this behaviour. They also justify the killing of infidels and to uphold honour. The point is that, should you wish to maintain this power and privilege, should you wish to find any kind of justification for an action—no matter how violent and unpleasant (apart from homosexuality of course)—then you can find a justification in the teachings, even the supposedly innocuous ones—of Islam; in fact, many of the interpretations of the words of the Prophet can actually insist that these mores are duties.

And these duties are not merely espoused by the loony fringes, as we can see from the supposed spokesman for the moderate Muslim community.
The Muslim Council of Britain, the country's main Muslim organisation, has decided to maintain its boycott of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The MCB's policy is not to take part in the UK's commemorations of the mass murder of Jews because it does not mention non-Jewish victims of genocide.

Now, things like this do not particularly annoy me. I don't intend to commemorate Holocaust Day, so what do I care whether the MCB do? Furthermore, I couldn't give two shits about gay rights: as far as I am concerned, everyone is equal so there are no "gay" rights. However, were one to be extremely keen on these rights, it is difficult how one could possibly support that view and Master Sacranie's simultaneously.
A British Muslim leader has told the BBC he believes homosexuality is "not acceptable" and denounced new same-sex civil partnerships as "harmful".

Head of the Muslim Council of Britain Sir Iqbal Sacranie said introducing the partnerships did "not augur well" for building the foundations of society.

Sir Iqbal said of civil partnerships: "This is harmful.

"It does not augur well in building the very foundations of society - stability, family relationships. And it is something we would certainly not, in any form, encourage the community to be involved in."

I don't understand how you can believe in equal rights for homosexuals or, indeed, women and still support the Muslim community: this man is their spokesman, not some random radical nut plucked from an Afghan training camp, or some idiot pulled off the street.

Of course, it's a bit of a head-popping moment for some people, isn't it? Look at how Tatchell reacts:
Peter Tatchell of gay rights group OutRage! said: "It is tragic for one minority to attack another minority."

Tatchell assumes that, because both Muslims and homosexuals are minorities (in this country), that they must both have the same goals and broad views. They do not. And, yes, I am aware that there are Christians who hold the same views. Fine. A plague on both their houses.

At the core of Islam is a hegemonising religion, that does not believe in the separation of the state from the church. The law is the sharia, sharia dictates the laws. I would venture a guess that the majority of the 1.4 billion Muslims around the world really do believe in the Muslim state, and in the sharia. I would also bet that the majority of these are in poor countries—or countries in which the people masses are kept poor.

To my mind, this makes it imperative that we really do try to bring wealth to the rest of the world. With wealth comes, generally, a certain amount of tolerance, and a definite lack of resentment. This can only help to combat the terrorism against which we are currently struggling.

Furthermore, with the Developing World becoming richer, we will see wage rises in those countries. Their prices will rise, hopefully ameliorating the problems of both offshoring and onshore-offshoring.

Which brings me very neatly to the largest single organisation that is stopping the spread of wealth: the EU. And, as we all know, Unio Europaea delenda est...


Anonymous said...

Frankly, I was amazed by Tatchell's naivete when I saw this. What did he expect? (Rhetorical question).

Martin said...


What you say is absolutely correct- however, Islam specifically proscribes those cultural factors critical for the creation of wealth.

We are rich and they are poor for a reason. We have free speech, free enquiry, liberal capitalism and the rule of law - they don't, and the reason they don't is largely down to Islam.

Our culture has enabled these factors to blossom to create the world we live in, a marvellous, almost fabulous place.

Theirs can't - Allah wouldn't have it.

Anonymous said...

Islam is the most liberal tolearant and peaceful religion. You people know jack about Islam. If the 1.4 bil muslims actually followed the Islamic prinicipals of brotherhood, they wouldn't be so intolerant, poor, and stupid today. What dictates success in this world is tolerance, freedom, liberty, and justice. These prinicpals are at the core of Islamic preaching, which made a black slave equal to his Arab master. As we see today the West progressing because they uphold these humane principles, and the mideast degressing because they do not uphold these principals.

Martin said...


But he was still a slave.

That sort of makes the point by itself.

Anonymous said...

Er, as I understand it, Sharia prohibits the earning and paying of interest - something essential for wealth creation.

Anonymous said...

But he was still a slave.

That sort of makes the point by itself.


Anonymous said...


Happy new year. That was a nice post there. Religion, Tolerance, Racism, Terrorism, war on terror etc. leave very strong feelings.

Your blog made me think of the Indian context and "..Gudia, a Muslim girl and Shri Ramdev ji, a Hindu male...".

I feel Terrorism need not be overt. It could be covert too. . My blog below is on how the society defines the "weak" and who becomes the underdog !

more at


Devil's Kitchen said...

Cheers, Anonymous. You have made up my mind: I am going to post every single article about Islamic "tolerance" that I can find...


chris said...

But he was still a slave

More than that he is still a slave today, the last places on earth to abolish slavery where all Muslim. The places where it still carries without regard to what the law says on are generally Muslim. As for Islam being a:

liberal tolearant and peaceful religion

you have got to be joking.

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