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.