Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Religion of Peace chimes in Again...

This via

This excuse, that Arabs are not responsible for their personal failings, has been used before, and often, by others. It's been used to explain away political chaos and genocide in Africa and Asia. It has been used to brush off the frightening lack of responsibility in many minority communities here in the United States.

People are not responsible for living in terrible squalor, poverty, crime, fear and insecurity because of the racism/colonialism/prejudice/intolerance/neglect/exploitation/mis-understanding (take your pick) of OTHER PEOPLE who are not a part of the 'rightfully-aggrieved' suicide-Jihadi cult. The Islamic world is fucked up because the West made it so, they say. It's dangerously volatile because, despite enormous economic resources, people are poor, uneducated and deprived, they say. I read the above,and thought of something I had written in what now seems another life (bolded text inserted to make my points relevant to the present issue) :

"Many Hindus are poor, deprived, illiterate, and their culture suffered under colonialism, yet they do not go on killing sprees.

Many Buddhists the world over are poor, deprived, illiterate, and their cultures suffered under colonialism, yet they do not go on killing sprees.

Many Christians the world over are poor, deprived, illiterate, and their cultures suffered under colonialism, yet they do not go on killing sprees.

If poverty, deprivation, illiteracy, and the legacy of colonialism were the main causes of terrorism, then we'd see more terrorists from Bombay, Burma, and Budapest instead of Riyadh, Lahore and Aden.

The poverty/deprivation/illiteracy/colonialism connection does not wash since there are people in non-Muslim lands who suffer under the same (or even greater) deprivation who do not vent their frustrations by hijacking airliners and slamming them into office buildings.

Speaking of the 9/11 attack, the majority of the attackers in that plot were of distinctly middle-class backgrounds, many college-educated. Those 19 men were certainly not "poor, deprived and illiterate". More like "perverse, depraved and indecent".

What DOES cause Islamic terrorism is a culture in which every aspect of human activity, from which hand one wipes one's bottom with, to whom and how many wives one should marry, in which economic, social and political activity are strictly defined and proscribed, is dictated by the words of dead lunatic who created a guide for the world as he would like to have had it, and somehow managed to convince enough people that God told him that THIS is the way life is to be lived.

The lunatic was Mohammed, and the guide is the Koran. He is, in a metaphor most westerners would understand, that guy sitting at the corner stool in the local bar who muses "Wouldn't it be great, if...?", but who then managed to actually work up the ambition to make it so. Mohammed was like Norm from "Cheers"... only with a work ethic.

The first mistake Muslims make is to believe that Islam is a religion. It is not. It is a system by which every aspect of life is systematically controlled, and given a religious patina. It is a system that totalitarian systems of the West would have recognized easily, and which the worst of them (The Nazis and the USSR) certainly wished they could emulate. It was created by a very small, and otherwise-powerless man bent on revenge for slights both real and imagined, and used to enlist people to his cause of visiting revenge upon the people who had deprived, ridiculed and insulted him.

Much like Nazism and Soviet Communism, Islam cannot abide a rival system of belief or a foreign concept of personal freedoms divorced from it's own orthodoxy. No rival to Islam can be allowed to survive. It ruthlessly seeks out and destroys any rival system that poses a threat to it. Like Nazism and Communism, it denies the existence of human nature and believes that all human activity (and it's own eventual victory) is pre-ordained. It believes that human nature, when it does rear it's ugly head, can be controlled with violence or the threat of violence. It smothers the individual on behalf of the collective, which then serves and props the system up.

It violently rejects the idea that authority can and should be challenged if the human race is to advance in any meaningful way. As a result, the Islamic world, from all intellectual, artistic, economic, political, historical, scientific and cultural standpoints, is stunted. Nothing happens in the Islamic world that is not subject to the relentless scrutiny of religious orthodoxy. No potential threat to the status quo ante (the rule of the Imam, or the select elite backed by or in league with the Imams) is allowed to survive; the full force of religion (and often religion backed by the police or military power of the state) typically being brought to bear upon it, whether it is the concept of interest-bearing loans, women's rights (or even a woman's basic humanity) , the power of the press, or Brittney Spears' belly-button on the television screen. If you doubt this, just recall that music (which leads to dancing!), television (which might actually inform the people or show them images that will lead them astray) and a free press (which might actually incite the people against the Imams) were all banned in Afghanistan. Note that most Islamic equivalents of said media in most other Arab/Islamic countries are strictly controlled and censored by religious bodies operating under government auspices. Just recall that the first printing press in the Islamic world was not sanctioned by the Ottoman Empire until 1825, and even then it was only allowed to print the Koran.

Why? Because Islam is allergic to ideas. It is especially allergic to any idea which the Koran does not specifically address. The reaction, when this eventuality occurs, is not to revise or reconcile the dogma (which is the standard Judeo-Christian practice regarding conflicts between doctrine and progress)to new circumstances, but to destroy the offending concept and make it outlaw.

If you need a graphic example of just how stunted and culturally-retarded Islamic society is, we need only look at the toolbox of the modern, Islamic terrorist; intercontinental airliners, flight schools, cell phones, the Internet, chemical explosives, international funds transfer, credit cards, the AK-47, the battlefield artillery rocket, the short-range ballistic missile, videotape, broadcast television (Al' Jazeera) and mass media, and last, but not least, the boxcutters used by the 9/11 hijackers -- are all Western inventions. These are all the result of a robust scientific, economic and cultural experimentation which was created under a system of secular rationalism.

What did the Islamic world provide? Nineteen lunatics willing to die.

So, in the end, the poverty the Islamic world struggles under is not one of financial resources; it is a poverty of the mind. The deprivation is suffers is not one of material goods and comfort; but a spiritual one. The illiteracy it contends with is not caused by a lack of books and people educated to read them; the stratification of it's political and social forms is not a legacy of colonialism; it is an inability to reconcile modernity with an outdated orthodoxy with which the underlying desert nomad culture is too frightened to deviate from.

The first step in the liberation of the Islamic world is not to tear down the West, but to break free of it's own, self-imposed, mental chains."

Perhaps if these "100 Arab Scholars" (I'll bet majority of them were educated in Europe and the United States, by the way) could convince their people to look inwards instead of searching for scapegoats, there would be no more poor, deprived, illiterate suicide bombers at all. But there I go, applying logic again.

I should know better by now...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Of Roommates and Rectal Thermometers...

For some reason this analogy just happened to enter my mind, Lord knows from where, but it sorta-kinda makes a weird sense, if you think about it. I probably should have thought it out a bit more before committing it to the blog, but sometimes the Cesspool of Consciousness demands that something be written before it haunts the inside of your skull forever.

The American Republic is like a house in which four people live. They're complete strangers to one another, but they have this arrangement between them to live together as best they can, and so long as the rent is payed, and they equitably split the chores around the house, they will try to leave each other alone. The point here is that living together is a matter of convenience.

In the medicine cabinet of this house shared by four friendly strangers is a rectal thermometer. Most homes, I assume, have one. They're rather handy, sometimes.

The first Roommate is content to leave the thermometer alone, unless he or one of his roommates is obviously ill, at which point, he'll use it if he has to. The act of using a rectal thermometer upon another is slightly gross, embarrassing, and can be construed as being an imposition without sufficient cause. He is content to leave the rectal thermometer in the medicine cabinet, unused, except in direst emergency, an emergency which he fervently prays never arrives. He'll do his part in that emergency, but he'd rather hang around his own room, doing his own thing, and have as little contact with the other Roommates as possible. Especially if it means staying away from their asses.

The second Roommate is absolutely enthralled by the rectal thermometer. She loves it because it represents something, surety, accuracy, a sense of security that if someone in the house has a fever, she will be able to use it to divine that someone does indeed have a higher-than-normal temperature, and then take all sorts of actions. She likes to take actions. All the time. She's the sort of Roommate that leaves little notes on people's pillows to remind them to pick up their socks, and draws little smiley-faces on the note. She knows that if, indeed, one of her Roommates look sick, she'll be the first to get to that rectal thermometer and use it, and prove herself to be a really useful and valuable housemate.

The third Roommate is unaware there is a rectal thermometer in the house. In fact, he doesn't even know what a rectal thermometer is, or even what it's used for. He's managed to scrape by in life without ever having to use a rectal thermometer or have one used upon him. In fact, he probably doesn't even know what a fever is, and how someone obtains one. If it were left up to him, and one of his Roommates was sick, he might watch someone else use that rectal thermometer, but only because once the concept was explained to him it sounded pretty neat. But he'd otherwise be as useful as teats on a bull during the entire process, except maybe to giggle and snigger and offer play-by-play analysis in single-syllable words. And then he'd go back to wonering about who is leaving notes with smiley faces upon his pillow.

The fourth Roommate is the one who one days asks "Excuse me; does anyone know why this thermometer tastes so funny?"

Anyways, that's the beginning of the idea. I'll elaborate on it more as I think about it. I'm sure there's some nugget of universal truth in it. Somewhere.