Fjordman: Iran’s Final Solution for Israel

Fjordman has published a review of Andrew Bostom’s new book at American Thinker. Some excerpts are below:

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of such seminal works as The Legacy Of Jihad: Islamic Holy War And The Fate Of Non-Muslims and Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism. In March 2014 he published his latest book, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran.

Bostom worries about what he terms the Trusting Khomeini Syndrome. Just days after the Islamic leader Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran in 1979, Richard Falk, an International Law Professor at Princeton University, reassured the world in a New York Times op-ed entitled “Trusting Khomeini” that “the depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false.”

Richard Falk was very wrong back then. Khomeini and his hard-line mullahs succeeded in deceiving quite a few Iranians and even more naïve Western observers about their true intentions. Have Western leaders and policy makers learned anything in the decades that have passed since then? Bostom fears that this is not the case.

Khomeini faced a weak US President back in the late 1970s in Jimmy Carter. His successors face an equally weak US President in Barack Hussein Obama today, plus many appeasing European powers, too. The difference is that this time, the Islamic regime in Iran has a substantial nuclear program as well. Bostom doesn’t criticize merely the Obama Administration, but also the Bush Administration, for failing to deal properly with the Iranian threat. The mullahs of Iran arguably constitute a greater threat than the cruel but largely secular dictator Saddam Hussein in Iraq ever did.

Andrew Bostom laments the fact that even allegedly conservative observers in the West hailed Grand Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri as a supposed “moderate” when he died in December 2009. This despite the fact that Montazeri in his writings maintained a perfectly traditional view of offensive Jihad as an open-ended obligation on Muslims to establish global Islamic supremacy. Montazeri further held traditional sharia-based views on the inferiority and subjugation of non-Muslims (dhimmis), as well as on the obligation to kill blasphemers.

Generally speaking, the Koran and other Islamic texts encourage hatred of non-Muslims (infidels) worldwide. However, Jews seem to be singled out for even more hatred than do other non-Muslims.

Bostom clearly shows in this book and in his previous works that Islamic culture has never been “tolerant” in any meaningful sense of the word. This is a modern myth. Constant humiliations and occasional outbursts of deadly violence against non-Muslims have been a continuous feature of Islamic life for centuries, encouraged by Islamic religious scriptures. This is not a recent phenomenon, and it goes for both major branches of Islam.

There are theological differences between Shias and Sunnis, but while these matter to Muslims themselves, they are of secondary importance to non-Muslims. Both Shia Islam and Sunni Islam encourage Jihad expansion, doctrines of Islamic supremacy and violent hatred of non-Muslims. As Bostom states on page 28 of Iran’s Final Solution for Israel:

“Sharia supremacism — in its Twelver Shiite guise — was the fervent motivation for the Shiite theocracy established.00.0 by Iran’s first Safavid Shah Ismail I, at the outset of the 16th century. This belief system — which was always redolent with Islamic Jew-hatred in Safavid Iran, and across a 500-year continuum, ever since remains the guiding ideology in the Khomeini revival (and post-Khomeini) era, at present. Intentionally obfuscating apologetics, aside, Sharia, Islamic law, whether Sunni or Shiite, is not merely holistic, in the general sense of all-encompassing, but totalitarian, regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion, to personal hygiene, to the governance of a Muslim minority community, Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order. Clearly, this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent of more familiar modern totalitarian systems. Specifically, Sharia’s liberty-crushing and dehumanizing political aspects feature: openended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties — including freedom of conscience and speech — enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption.”

Moreover, during interactions with non-Muslims, Shiites add strict doctrinal adherence to the odious concept of najis. This entails the physical as well spiritual impurity of infidels, which results in a series of dehumanizing practices directed toward non-Muslims.

In Bostom’s view, Iran’s revolution in 1978-1979 simply returned Iranian society to its longstanding status as a Shiite theocracy. This followed a relatively brief flirtation with Westernization and secularization under the rule of the shahs of the Pahlavi dynasty, from 1925 to 1979. Already during the reign of the first Safavid Shah, Ismail I (1502-1524), European visitors to Persia commented on the harsh treatment of non-Muslims in the region. That very much included Jews, despite recently promoted myths that Jews enjoyed “tolerance” in Islamic-ruled societies.

Read the rest at American Thinker.

For a complete archive of Fjordman’s writings, see the multi-index listing in the Fjordman Files.

9 thoughts on “Fjordman: Iran’s Final Solution for Israel

  1. “In Bostom’s view, Iran’s revolution in 1978-1979 simply returned Iranian society to its longstanding status as a Shiite theocracy. This followed a relatively brief flirtation with Westernization and secularization …”

    Does this not support the point that Islam must be treated as a generational totalitarian constant that can never be moderated even in the West.

  2. I remember Khomeini declared Jihad upon the West in 1979 or 1980. I noticed although quite young back then few seemed to notice this, but it really scared me !
    Iran also believes the world must be in utter turmoil before their ” Messiah” the Mahdi returns.
    ” Armajihad” believed he was a chosen one to accomplish this. A self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. ( something ironically Jews and especially Christians have always been accused of due to support of the modern state of Israel)

    Their obsessive fanaticism with their mahdi and allah is extremely dangerous as fired by a delusional psychopathic mentality most of the Western world cannot even vaguely fathom.

    • What I remember is the media playing it like he was some kind of harmless hippie Guru returning home after a trip to Paris.

      When the moon is in the seventh house and jupiter aligns with mars … , and all that!

  3. Let’s not forget that Iran was a secular parliamentary government when the CIA engineered a coup and “popular” revolt in 1953, resulting in the ascension of the Pahlavi dynasty. Would Iran have continued as a secular, though possibly socialist government? Who know? Unfortunately, it seems the US as example is incredibly inspirational, but as an international busybody, is incredibly harmful.

  4. The Iranian regime immediately reminded us that the Administration is pursuing a fool’s errand, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promising that these negotiations ‘will not lead anywhere,’ and that Iran is unwilling to disassemble any nuclear facilities. The Obama administration must avoid making the same mistake it made in November, when it peddled away our leverage in the form of much-needed sanctions relief to Iran’s collapsing economy in exchange for only minor cosmetic concessions on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The White House should only accept an agreement that verifiably dismantles Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program. Anything short virtually ensures that the best we can do is contain, not prevent, Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

  5. I like Bostom, but my criticism is that while he correctly identifies Islam as a largely unchanged doctrine, it sounds like (I have not read his books) he may not credit historical variations in the levels of societal tolerance throughout Muslim history adequately.
    For example, in twelfth century Egypt, Maimonides was Saladin’s physician. At that time, Saladin was battling the Crusaders; he had 21 physicians: 8 Muslims, 8 Jews and 5 Christians. Despite waging fierce battles against the despised Crusaders, he retained his Christian physicians, and widespread vengeance was not wreaked on indigenous Christians or their churches (at least as per Joel Kraemer’s meticulous biography of Maimonides). Also, Jewish and Muslim scholars had close friendships and collaborated in many areas.
    This is not to deny that Jews and Christians were dhimmis, or that there were no persecutions; Maimonides had fled the fanatical Almohads in Spain and after the Sunni Abuyids took over from the Fatimids in Cairo, bands of Shiite “assassins” led suicide raids against Sunnis.
    Overall, however, Islamic society was much more tolerant and balanced than today as between its primitive and urbane elements.
    I think that indeed scripture be very problematic, but there is also a tendency for social attitudes to be rationalized by scripture: when times are tolerant, tolerant verses are used, just as intolerant verses can be used to rationalize intolerant attitudes. The messages in the scripture helps determine the nature and extent of the intolerance, which is why Christian society tends towards antiSemitism during intolerant periods.
    Islamic scripture lends itself easily to violent and intolerant interpretation, but history shows that people are capable of transcending it. The recent upheaval in Egypt against Morsi and the MB shows a trend in the right direction.

    • (I have not read his books)

      Then you are not in a position to criticize his ideas on a comment thread devoted to one of those books. That’s common sense.

      I hadn’t ever heard this phrase you used until they lined up to say the same regarding Diana West’s books but then took her apart for the Gipper.I was gob-smacked then, and I am still amazed that anyone would preface his remarks with such an admission.

      You make many assertions in this comment- I won’t begin to address them all – but you provide just one secondary source for your ‘facts’. When you assert Overall, however, Islamic society was much more tolerant and balanced than today as between its primitive and urbane elements you appear to be a dilettante at best. Tell the remaining Buddhists and Hindus on the Indian continent about this balanced tolerance…sheesh.

      Buy one of Dr. Bostom’s books. Just read the bibliography and you’ll be well ahead of where you are now.
      Congratulations: you’ve instituted a new rule re courtesy in Gates of Vienna’s comment section. To wit –

      anyone who has not read a book we feature is not competent by virtue of that omission to offer a critique of the author in the comment thread devoted to that book. I would have thought normal decency or pride would prevent someone from publicly admitting they hadn’t read what they were about to find fault with. But if you must let fly, do it in the News Feed, which is where Off Topic replies are left.

      • Okay, I don’t claim to be competent re criticizing Bostom’s books. I have, however, read many of his articles as well as many reviews of his works.
        My impression of the “counter-jihad” is that in general they make some errors: they tend to extrapolate from current conditions in Islamic society to the past and assume that it was always as intolerant as today; they make the opposite mistake with Christian culture and tend to minimize past Christian intolerance and its roots in Christian scripture.

        • Reading articles and reviews isn’t going to forward your knowledge of Islam.

          Your impression of the “counterjihad” is that in general they make some errors… and these impressions come from where, precisely? From your reading of the history of the last 1400 years??

          Islam’s desert tribes’ incursions into other territories decimated those places. We’re talking about a tribal takeover that managed to uninvent the wheel. Using their triumphalist aggression, the invaders simply took the carts they found. But they were desert nomads convinced of their own superiority and abhorring manual labor. They learned nothing. So when the carts fell apart, they were abandoned and the indigenous populations- knowing that anything they made would be confiscated – didn’t bother building more. The knowledge of the craft of carters and wheelwrights simply disappeared over a few generations.

          Egypt was once the breadbasket of the Mediterranean, supplying the wheat for everyone else. Their cheap papyrus allowed widespread literacy. This wasn’t a rarefied intellectual pursuit- there was a need for literacy and numeracy since those prosperous areas did a lot of trading. North Africa’s signature red clay pottery was widely used. Christian and Jewish merchants did a brisk trade. Until…

          The desert goat herders allowed their flocks to destroy Egypt’s intricate agricultural infrastructure. Dhimmis weren’t permitted to complain as the animals chewed up everything in sight. The Nile floods were no longer harnessed and reverted to damaging the flood plains once again. Egypt’s history and productivity were simply lost.

          That scenario was repeated everywhere the Arabs went. The ‘smart’ captives converted to Islam and were welcomed in to help haul off the slaves and goods. The desert tribes changed the nature of war with their total destruction. Previously, territories were periodically invaded and then left till the next incursion. The tribal pirates took *everything* until the coasts of the southern Med were gradually deserted as people fled to higher, safer ground. And thus began the Dark Ages.

          Read Emmet Scott’s book “Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited” for a look at the myth of Al-Andalusia. As he shows, there is absolutely no archeological evidence to back up the claims of an Islamic golden age. None. While they’re still coming up with archeological finds of Roman architecture and feats of engineering in, say, England, the only thing Spain has is a strong remnant of anti-semitism. In fact. the virulence of modern anti-semitism would not have been possible without Islam’s invasions.

          The horrors visited on the Indian subcontinent by the invaders have been well-established. Hindus and Buddhists were decimated and countless temples destroyed. The slaughter there is literally incalculable since so much was not merely destroyed but annihilated.

          As for the minimization of Christian intolerance, I’ve done a lot of reading and haven’t seen that to be a feature of modern historiography. Maybe we read different books?? What books have you read which attempt to shove under the rug the Christian treatment of, say, Jews?

          Islam today is more tolerant of the West than it ever was, but only because it’s not in power. If it were to gain that power again, things would revert to their normal barbarity. Look at civilized Saudi Arabia: do you have a general impression that you’d want to live there? Oh wait- a “jewboy” can’t even visit our Saudi friends, much less live there.

          For the life of me I cannot understand why someone calling himself “jewboy” is determined to live with an impressionistic kind of “Islam wasn’t that bad” point of view. I guess you must be one of those for whom the term ‘jewicidal’ was coined?

          Become informed. Read the original sources – the Koran and the hadith – note the numbers of times Muslims are ordered to kill Jews. Read the history books, not the reviews. In other words, perform due diligence where the history of Islam is concerned.

          Your shrug and willingness to give Islam a pass is based on your impressions. Our decision to devote our remaining time on this earth to preserving the remnants of Western culture was not made using your method. Obviously, the barbaric destruction of the World Trade Center towers by educated Muslims – Mohammad Atta was an engineer – wasn’t enough to get your attention but it certainly grabbed ours.

          Our culture, flawed as it is, is far superior to what else is on offer. This construct we call “The West” has three foundational blocks: the moral basis of the Hebrew scripture, the philosophy and science of the Greeks, and the administrative genius of the Romans. Sadly, despite its braggadocio, Islam has contributed nothing. And please don’t tell me about al-gebra. Islam took the Indian genius for mathematics and claimed it as their own.

          The “current conditions” in all Islamic countries is dismally unfree and uncreative. Tell me just one of them in which you’d feel at home.

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