~ WHILST PERUSING the online RIS-8 Conference material, I was struck by how much of it sounded like old-style triumphalist Marxist boilerplate.
Making a new world.. overcoming social divisions and injustice.. a new vision for youth.. the answer for life’s problems.. reviving the Islamic Jihad spirit.. Workers of the world, Unite! Islam is the answer!.. now– what was the question?
It’s a theory which, like Marxism, fails in the reality. Almost 1400 years of Muhammed’s ideas put into effect over a swathe of the world should theoretically– according to enthusiastic RIS prescriptions for Canada and the West– have led to a peaceful, harmonious, just, and prosperous paradise on earth.
The reality of warring caliphates, blood and murder, plunder and rapine, then the Turks uber alles of the Byzantine Ottoman Empire, and even today the poverty, low literacy, lack of political and intellectual freedom, third-class status for women and fourth-class status for non-Muslims; a lack of scientific and high culture; inward-looking societies of self-defeat and excuses; and a lot of neo-Hitlerian anti-semitism and anti-Christian prejudice?
Is that all there is? Is this paradise? Was it paradise under the sultans? Or even under Muhammed himself? Blaming the perfidious Jews or the colonial empires only gets you so far– at some point you have to get on with things.
This is where the similarity between Marxist utopianism and Jihadist rhetoric is clearest– the insistence that despite the ugly reality, the dream is still beautiful, and worth living and dying for– the lie that an earthly paradise or utopia is possible.
Books At Bedtime
Former Marxist David Horowitz got my mind humming along these lines last night via his must-read semi-autobiographical 1998 book The POLITICS OF BAD FAITH: The Radical Assault on America’s Future. Bad ideas such as Marxism don’t just fade away, because they are a source of false hope in a faithless and self-destructive age, despite the evidence of every failed and repressive totalitarian regime created to bring about said utopia, and every crushed freedom and murdered life left behind.
Islam is first and foremost an absolutist political ideology, founded on one man’s claim to be the sole and individual prophetic spokesman for his God. It’s no surprise then that in its polished 21st century pitch– particularly to idealistic Canadian Muslim High School and University kids, pre-steeped in the self-loathing Marxism and political correctness of modern academia– that the RIS Conference should use utopian & Marxist notions alongside radicalized Islamist claims that Muslim world supremacy is the only possible cure-all for the ills of humanity. The one-stop fixit. And this in the face of the real misery, backwardness, dictatorships and many other embarrassing sorrows of actual Muslim experience & history.
Seaside Beach Estates, Inc.
There’s a reason why the now-bankrupting Dubai had to hire foreign experts using Western technology and modern engineering to build their sand-castle fantasy world of Islands and super-skyscrapers on the Persian Gulf.. all funded by other people’s oil-money, using Western-invented and manufactured drilling and pipelines and transportation, all to feed prosperous Western societies.
As It Was In The Beginning…
Setting aside the usual claims to have invented everything ever out of nothing, Islam has too often proven itself to be a stagnating, uninventive, parasitic creed which grew by stealing other people’s gold and cities and empires, opportunistically incorporating previously invented philosophy, technology, arts and sciences as created by other people’s experts.
A partial list.. The Dome of the Rock in AD691? A Byzantine Christian architect & artisans did that one.. plus, it’s copied from the shape of a Byzantine martyrium, part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, just across the Valley in Jerusalem. The big cannons used to conquer Constantinople in AD1453? Another Christian guy figured those out. The Pakistani “Islamic nukes of the 1970s? Stolen Euro-technology & Canadian reactors. And Russia is supplying Iran with atomic technology which the Russians, in turn, stole from the West during WW2 and the Cold War.
When the jihading Ottomans failed to steal the Mediterranean in the late 1500s, and Austria in the late 1600s, just like the late Soviet Union, the illusion began to collapse in on itself. As with Marxist utopianism, so imperial Islam– the longed-for Caliphate so dear to modern Islamists– was not truly self-sustaining or original, but a nightmare road to nowhere.
So the Toronto Islamist Snake Oil Conference has wrapped up, and 17000 Canadians– many of them impressionable and idealistic youth looking for a creed and a paradise, something to hope for, believe in, and work towards– head home to their schools and homes all fired up by Jihadist rhetoric and fairy-tales.
Like blindly ungrateful little utopian Marxists everywhere, while enjoying the benefits of living in freest, richest, safest, healthiest, most privileged and advanced society in the history of planet earth, the little Muslims are told to dream of and work for the exact opposite, so the whole world can be one big medieval Crapistan just like their parents or grandparents gladly escaped.
The Big Question
However, the basic question remains unanswered and unanswerable, whether you’re a Marxist utopian of whatever stripe, or a soft or hard Jihadist: Is This True? That is, how has it really worked in the real world with real people? Has it served to improve or dehumanize people? Does it promote the true, the good, and the beautiful? The dreams of Marx or Muhammed may be intoxicating and popular, but were they proved right, or not?
Otherwise, we are made mere slaves to a wrong-headed theory, and become human pretzels to be bent and twisted into the proper shape by our absolute masters, no matter the cost or consequence.
Why not ask the young protesters dying on the streets of Tehran right now how that whole ‘Islamo-paradise-on-earth’ thing is working out for them. ~