Below is Rembrandt Clancy’s translation of an excellent essay by Leon de Winter that was originally published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
by Rembrandt Clancy
My most salient reason for translating this piece is the author’s attempt to grapple with the problem of evil.
Leon de Winter recognises an unrelativised objective morality, absolute at least in the sense that it is necessary for life. He recognises morality (limit) as an objective and complementary opposite of instinctuality or passion; that is, if one partner in the pair is eliminated, in this case morality, then the instinctual partner finds direct expression in blood lust where violence and sexuality are inseparable. An analogous phenomenon occurs in the autonomic nervous system: if the parasympathetic system fails to impose limits on the sympathetic system, death results from high blood pressure and overexcitement. It should not surprise us to find a similar pattern of complementarity on the psychic or spiritual level, and without implying that the spiritual is an epiphenomenon of biology.
If the two complementary opponents operate in balance, a tertium non datur results, a third factor not given by either of the first two alone. And Mr. de Winter calls that third factor “civilisation”. Therefore it is not the instinctual part of our nature which is inherently evil; rather, evil results from a disturbance of the internal equilibrium caused by possession (“possessed by jihad”); that is, by identification with either “the desires of their heart” or the “law written in their hearts” (Rom. 1:24 and 2:15, Vulgate).
About the Author
Leon de Winter was born in 1954 in the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch in the southern Netherlands, the son of orthodox Jewish parents. Today he lives in Amsterdam with his wife Jessica Durlacher, who is also a writer. He has two children. He attended film school in the 1970s, but today he is admired as an author in both Germany and the Netherlands. He is known for various genres: novels, novellas, short stories, columns, theatre and film. Mr. De Winter had his breakthrough in 1981 with his novel Looking for Eileen W. His latest novel, A Good Heart, appeared in 2013 (Sources: niederlandenet and Frankfurter Allgemeine).
For years Leon de Winter has given talks and interviews and has written essays on Islam in Europe. As recently as January of 2014, an interview with Mr. de Winter appeared on Gates of Vienna. It is called “Avoiding the Unpleasant Questions”.
Note: In his remark that “in the Western world of today every form of aggression is directly sanctioned as early as kindergarten”, Leon de Winter appears to suggest that there remains only a small level of inhibition separating the West from the attraction of jihadism. This reference to the field of education is the only allusion which Mr. de Winter makes in his essay to the contribution of the Left to his discussion of Islam. In regard to the Left, on Paul Weston’s LibertyGB, there is a short piece by Enza Ferreri which is somewhat harmonious with Leon de Winter’s essay; perhaps it even complements it. It is called “What’s the Alternative to the Left’s Programme?”. Ferreri speaks of reclaiming convictions “supplanted by leftist barbarism”, an “alternative to Islam” and “an answer to sexual relativism, pansexualism and radical feminism…”
The Barbarism of the Jihadists: In the Name of the Sword
Argumentation is pointless: The jihadists of the “Islamic State” eliminate all limitations which we have internalised in the course of the civilisational process. Combat allows them to give in completely to their instincts.
by Leon de Winter
Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine
Translation: Rembrandt Clancy
20 August 2014
Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Andrei Rublev” is among the masterpieces of cinema. It tells the true life story of an inspired icon painter and priest. The film is set against the background of 15th century Russia. In one scene, Tartars raid the city of Vladimir. They slaughter whomever crosses their path: they mutilate, rape, steal. Tarkovsky shows masterfully the feeling with which these Asiatic hordes apply their procedure — they kill with great abandon.
In the close-ups of the murderers, we look in horror at the ardent excitement in their faces. These men, having discarded all civilising inhibitions, can yield to the most primitive of their urges and impulses. They have achieved the ultimate liberation. Because they are completely unfeeling and because they reduce other men to objects of lust and subjugation, they have reached the zenith of their sexual potency and are able to act quite openly like beasts.
The current television images and the jihad videos on YouTube remind me of this scene, one of the most arresting in the history of cinema. If we ask ourselves how the Bedouin of the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century or the Mongols in the thirteenth century conquered and plundered the world — the “Islamic state” (IS) shows us how they proceeded. They were driven by the wild desire to destroy and conquer everything which fell to their inclination.
The liberating Jihad
The regular armies of modern times must discipline the destructive energies of young men and direct them into organised paths. The provisions of the laws of war are to be observed; one must not engage in brutal behaviour unnecessarily, and commanders must be aware of the proportionality of means and avoid collateral damage. None of these things are of any concern to the fighters of the “Islamic State”. By committing themselves to jihad, they throw off the bonds of civilized behaviour. We facing the gratified visage of naked savagery.
Whoever is possessed by jihad has exceptional power. In an orgiastic fever he can rape, kill and plunder. Owing to the brainwashing which he encountered, he knows that this course of action is legitimised by his religion. And when he dies, he will go straight to heaven, where seventy-two virgins are waiting to attend upon him for all eternity. The IS fighters are an incarnation of everything that was channelled [kanalisiert] in the course of becoming civilised; namely, the sexual and destructive energies of young men. Jihad, as we have come to see, can turn this process around, and the energies and urges which young men must suppress in a civilised society are given a new focus.