A Reactionary Time Machine

I’m shocked — shocked! — by rampant Islamophobia among German opinion writers…

Many thanks to JLH for translating this commentary by the German columnist Frank A. Meyer from the Swiss news site Blick.ch:

Totalitarian Religion

by Frank A. Meyer
August 2, 2014

How was that again — that sentence of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, which Pope Benedict XVI quoted in that ominous Regensburg speech in September, 2006?

“Just show me what Mohammed has brought that is new, and you will find only what is vile, for instance: that he has decreed that the faith he preached should be spread by the sword.”

That appearance became a PR disaster for the Pope. How do things stand now with the eight-year-old quotation of a 600-year-old statement? Is it not being proved true, day in and day out?

Islam is raging through almost all the regions it religiously controls. Massacres among Muslims, terrorizing of infidels, kidnapping of girls, humiliation of women, destruction of cultural treasures, enslavement of workers.

The list is endless. Islam persistently dominates the news, and will continue to do so.

But, Islam? Among Leftists, Greens and leftist Liberals, the official version is that those kinds of horrors reported day and night from Allah’s sovereign territories have nothing — absolutely nothing — to do with Islam. No, it’s all about Islamism, or even jihadism, which admittedly is bad — quite in contrast to peaceful and benevolent Islam. This religion, you see, is good.

Benedict’s mistake in Regensburg was that he did not hew to the line of such Newspeak. It is the mistake of Necla Kelek and Hamed Abdel-Samed and in general the mistake of all those who see in Mohammed’s proclamations the womb from which the monster crept, is creeping, and will continue to creep.

Could it be that it is as it appears? Could it be that a historically hopelessly anachronistic religion is afflicting the present with its demand that history must be wound back at least 300 years, that is, to a time before the Enlightenment?

Could it be that Islam functions as a reactionary time machine?

The Koran complex, to which sharia and the so-called traditions belong, makes an undisguised claim to power both over society and its faithful. Ergo, total power over human life — total power as no secular despotism or dictatorship has ever been capable of exerting.

But that is just how this religion with its claim to political domination functions. It seals the social prison hermetically, deep into the soul of the human being, who perceives subjugation as an act of faith. Heavily covered women, who declare that they are willingly pulling on a burka, a chador or a hijab, provide the illustration of that.

Modern civilization, on the contrary, means nothing other than the free society of the Judaeo-Christian cultural sphere. Which, in turn, means flourishing research and science and literature and philosophy and art and a general, unbounded enthusiasm for change and development.

The result is what Karl Popper — the greatest philosopher of modern democracy — called “the open society.” By that, he meant a society that develops by the principle of trial and error. In the eyes of Islamic true believers, however, this principle is of the Devil’s making.

Yet precisely this principle, practiced again and again since the early days of the Enlightenment — its assertion over the objections of the Catholic Church was not its last use — is the foundation of the mighty success of the West as well as its distancing from Islamic culture.

And so the princely crowd of Arab despots communicates via iPhone, although their own culture is capable of no comparable technological achievement. And these strutting potentates present themselves worldwide as investors, but for what is done at home, they rely on professionals from the society of infidels. With funds filled out by exploitation of fossil fuels, they buy into Western companies, but forbid their women to drive cars.

While computer-driven stock markets enable transaction of global business in nanoseconds in permanent synchronicity, Islam’s consciousness in the here-and-now lies hundreds of years in the past.

For people of this cultural sphere, deep in the well of the past, this means the blocking of intelligence, of curiosity, of ambition, of individual responsibility — of life! And indeed not just for women, whose headscarves hamper any spontaneous and curious change of sightline.

Men too, most importantly the young, are stunted in their development by the self-confidence taught in the Koran: I am a man — that is enough! The result of this pathetic machismo is the subjugation of the woman — a masculine educational right which, according to the Koran Sura 4:34, includes physical punishment.

All dogmas are still valid and indeed so applicable that the eagerly courted Arab business partners of Western enterprises, upon return from Zurich, Frankfurt or London, provide financing for jihadists. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been active for years as patrons of the murderous enemies of democracy and the constitutional state.

Now, if this had nothing to do with Islam, properly understood, as the mantra of the professional tolerators unrelentingly attempts to enlighten us, then there must, somewhere and sometime, be Muslim resistance to the abuse of their religion. Movements of thousands and tens of thousands, even millions of the faithful who no longer want to put up with the massacre and the terror — and give expression to this indignation.

Where are they? Whenever political injustice occurs in Western democracies, citizens stream into the streets and teach the elites the meaning of fear — whether it is in Washington, Berlin or Tel Aviv.

Similar mass manifestations by Muslims would herald the arrival of Islam in the 21st century.

Former German Federal President Christian Wulff has left us a noteworthy statement from his short service in that office: “Islam belongs in Germany.”

It was an answer to the wrong question. The right question is: “Does Islam belong in our time?”

20 thoughts on “A Reactionary Time Machine

  1. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the two principal patrons of islamic terrorism in the world. As Herr Meyer rightly points out, these two countries have made a disproportionate amount of money by allowing foreign companies to exploit their supply of fossil fuels while contributing absolutely nothing themselves. They simply dispense the fruits of other peoples labour. In terms of social justice, they have too much money and some thought should be given to reducing their wealth. Other sources of energy should be more actively sought and the idea of telling the Saudis to drink their oil is very appealing.

  2. Famous scholar Maududi wrote:
    “No one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private. Considered from this aspect the Islamic State bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states.”
    The Koran, at 33:36, is definitive:
    “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision.”

  3. Allowing muslims to go their way unchallenged is leading to our demise. If ever there was a case for a national emergency – this is it. Muslims are Mohammedans first. That is beyond redemption to any Christian or Jew. We re-enforce and finance the divisions already here with daily enlistment of thousands more and millions on the way. I imagine the silliest scenarios. Love and peace. Namaste.

  4. The Islamic yearning to return to the time before the Enlightenment is rooted in the believe that Muhammad’s ministry was the “Time of Perfect Things”, a kind of Eden before the fall.

    However the facts are at variance with this childish, self serving believe. During and since his ministry, if you can call it one, the ‘Ummah’ has been at its own throat and that of others. Why? That is the question to be answered.

    In my view, many tenets of Islam appeal to all that is base in humanity.

  5. “Whenever political injustice occurs in Western democracies, citizens stream into the streets and teach the elites the meaning of fear — whether it is in Washington, Berlin or Tel Aviv.”

    The socio-political control that is why so many of the Western political class both left and right want to jump into the submissive parameters of the Islamo TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) or the Reactionary Time Machine to dominate all our past, present and future.

  6. My tinfoil hat tells me that Islam is the perfect form of tyrannical control. Live in utter subjection to governing authority as an act of devotion to diety and abandonment of all hope and self determination taught as religious tenant (ishna Allah). Viola your a willing slave.

    I no longer wonder why certain royals have converted.

  7. All we can do is to try to create apostates and hope for a reformation. We can’t wage war militarily with 20% of the human race, but we can against their 1% of criminals. Our leaders should constantly be instructing them about bringing love into their philosophy, how we need their cooperation in modernity, and how much we need them to integrate. I think this web site is really valuable in doing the above and it is tremendously appreciated. What more can we do? Perhaps our living well will generate more Ataturks.

    • Those goodwill generated Ataturks may well go on to ignite tens of thousands of Smyrna atrocities across Western Europe.

  8. Great analysis.

    Islam is nothing more than a wildly successful cult.

    Don’t be confused by the eye candy of “moderate Muslims”. They are nothing more than camouflage to the bigger picture. The “moderates” are chained to a system that they cannot criticize, change or quit without worrying about being killed by one of the “more religious” Muslims.

    Islam needs to be approached from a global viewpoint. Only then can the deprograming (of the cult) proceed.

    Read – right here at GOV – how fear holds Islam together.

  9. It is no surprise to me that the majority of leftist groups have this perverted fascination with Islam, it’s all about control. Control of one;s behavior, thought, dress, and life.

  10. Islam is false religion, no doubt. But I am less convinced by the rest of the article.

    If the Western “democracy” and “open society” are so great why are we ruled by liberals today? And why does the author complain about it? Does he think that it is just another of the trials and error that we must go through before we arrive at more sane society? I don’t buy this Whig view of history. Isn’t it strange that since the fall of ancien regime the modern society produces one error after another? Count with me: nationalism, socialism, communism, fascism and liberalism. What if all that are natural consequences of ideas of Enlightenment? Classical liberalism which is what some current conservatives try to defend was just a short period in the 19th century that re-appeared here or there only to collapse into something else, mostly socialism. For me it is a sign of fundamental error in that theory and, therefore, it can’t be a solid foundation of society that lasts. That’s why I am a reactionary.

    In my view, modern society is in direct opposition to what is called Christian culture and not a continuation of it. It has started and continues as series of revolutions that try to erase everything that is distinctly Christian about our culture. The pre-Enlightenment Christian society was in many ways closer to Islam than to Modernity. At least they were on the same boat regarding authority and tradition. Questioning “pathetic machismo” seems not to be a big deal yet we ended up with militant feminism that denies every meaningful difference between sexes. One has to be careful about questioning tradition and religion. This is exactly how Christian society was destroyed.

    And last but not least, I lived under secular despotism (communism) and I don’t see how it is better than Islam. The more serious and egalitarian the despotism is the more it tries to control human lives in all their aspects. It shapes your live and mind the same but it takes away all transcendental hopes from you. At least, Islam doesn’t do this.

    • RT, there’s an old joke about the Chinese Communist leader who’s asked what he thinks were the consequences of the French Revolution. He replies, “It’s too early to tell.”

      There’s a serious point here, and not just because the said event was at least partly inspired by Enlightenment ideals before it went sour. The Enlightenment was something new and unique, and led to greater tolerance and understanding, the (partial) abolition of the slave trade, the emancipation of women and reduction of the temporal power of religious authorities.

      Authority and tradition do not merit automatic respect anyway; it should be earned, as with people.

      • It was the Dalai Lama who made that observation about the French Revolution.

      • Mark, in fact I question what you automatically consider as good. For example what is good about “reducing temporal power of religious authorities?” We can see where it leads – to secular state, religious indifference and open support of the Left to hostile religion of Islam.

        The communists sometimes say that the communism as we know it from Eastern Europe wasn’t real communism and that communism is something else that wasn’t even tried. Are they right? Is it too early to tell? Should we try it again? I don’t think so.

        Enlightenment ideas weren’t really new. They can probably be tracked down to Christian heresies of Middle Ages or even to Antiquity. What is new about them is the massive support they received in Western society which makes Modernity an era and not just outbreak of anti-establishment sentiments here and there.

        Tolerance is important but it is not a virtue in itself. For example you can’t be tolerant to evil. I really doubt that Enlightenment brought more tolerance to our society and even if this is true it seems to be sentimental or otherwise misplaced tolerance.

        Abolishment of slavery was good thing. Yet one should not forget that slavery was reintroduced to Western society by early Moderns.

        Authority and tradition do not merit automatic respect anyway; it should be earned, as with people.

        Why not? Does father have to earn respect of his son or does he have it automatically by simply being a father? Not that there is something wrong with earning respect. Fathers should seek it but it is not source of their authority. Even bad father has legitimate authority over his son and deserves his respect and obedience with the only exception of unethical behavior. Otherwise, I could change father everytime I meet someone whom I respect more. If someone is rightfully in position of authority I owe him obedience regardless of my opinion about him. Authorities should fear the wrath of God rather than wrath of mob in the streets as OP suggest because that’s an invitation to anarchy.

        • Slavery was wrong in the case of the African population not only because it stole labour from the slave, but also because it brought over other races. Incompatible peoples.

        • RT, I could repeat the tales I’ve told here previously, of my illegitimate mother’s mistreatment by my father’s devout- and hypocritical- “Christian” parents and sister. Or I might quote the famous diaries of Samuel Pepys, apparently a sincere believer, a century before the Enlightenment, recounting his infidelities to his wife, a dangerous pastime when syphilis was more prevalent, and less treatable, than AIDS is today- apart from the hazard to his immortal soul.

          I’ll just settle for the famous quote from “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”: “I’m not the Messiah, you have to work it out for yourselves”. If people of faith, Christian or otherwise, can apparently take on board that the many horrors to which humanity is subject, not all self-inflicted, must be part of God’s plan for us, unfolding over millennia, is it not possible that the Enlightenment is also part of that plan? That less than three centuries ago, our celestial parent finally decided it was time to let go of our hands, and that despite the increased uncertainty, it’s actually a privilege to be alive in such times, and to participate in such a grand new experiment? I’m not a believer, but such a cause could appeal to me, even if I continued to demand answers as to why the whole (literally) bloody thing was necessary.

  11. I am just superstitious enough to believe that resurgent Islam is God’s answer to a Western world which, after centuries of blessings poured out in the name of Jesus Christ, decided to cock the middle finger at the LORD and his anointed (Psalm 2). That may be why the West is losing so quickly to a civilization that has produced only slums surrounded by deserts.

    • The west is too tolerant of outsiders. An over reaction to WW2.

      Expect civil war in the UK soon enough.

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