Dr. Andrew Bostom

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West: See-No-Islam Basis of 13 Yrs Nation-Building Failure in Iraq & Afghanistan Under Sorry Banner of COIN

September 29th, 2014 (7 minutes ago) · Essays

My friend and colleague, Diana West, just gave the following address earlier today (~ 2 PM, Monday, 9/29/14) at The National Security II Conference sponsored by The Center For Security Policy.

The extracted video of her comments are embedded below, followed by the text she prepared, and kindly shared with me.

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For anyone still puzzled as how it could be that our leaders and pundits keep hammering home the big lie that Islam has nothing to do with jihad, that the religion of conquest is a “religion of peace,” it’s important to know that such widespread brainwashing is nothing new.

Just as today’s opinion-makers seek to divorce Islam from its impact — brutal conquest, forced conversion, religiously sanctioned sex slavery, beheadings — past opinion-makers worked equally hard to divorce communism from its impact — brutal conquest, forced collectivization, concentration camps (Gulags), mass murder.

It worked. Unlike Nazism, communism has never been judged guilty or even held responsible for the carnage and suffering it has caused. On the contrary, it remains a source of “liberal” statist ideas such as Obamacare. My recent book “American Betrayal”delves deeply into this dangerous double standard. In short, this double standard not only enables collectivist policies to strangle our remnant republic, but also explains why American students can find a drink called Leninade, emblazoned with a hammer and sickle, for sale up the road at University of Maryland. It’s also why silkscreens of Warhol’s Chairman Mao, history’s top mass murderer, are sought-after items for the homes of the wealthy.

There are no such trendy portraits of Hitler, and who would want them? Who would want to swig a bottle of Hitlerpop, decorated with a swastika? So, why Leninade? Not only does the stench of death not follow the Communist murder-cult, the brand lives.

Barring a tsunami of common sense, I predict that Islam, the brand, will remain separate in the public mind from the violence and repression it causes and has caused for more than a millennium. That’s certainly the direction leaders from both political parties have been relentlessly herding us in for over a decade, insisting against all reason — against all sacred Islamic texts — that “Islam is peace.”

Thus, while contending with this cycle of expansionist jihad — a recurrence that should be familiar from Islamic history were it, too, not subject to whitewash — we must simultaneously withstand a campaign of lies designed to subvert our understanding of how Islam, in fact, has everything to do with beheadings and other violence both in the Islamic world and now in the West – and, why more than a decade of “nation-building” “counterinsurgencies” in Afghanistan and Iraq were doomed from the start.

And yes, such whitewashing has happened before. Seventy years ago, Americans and British and other allies fought against a cruel Nazi totalitarian dictatorship in alliance with an equally cruel Communist totalitarian dictatorship. As far as body counts go, our great Soviet ally had already piled up more bodies than Hitler would. To sell this to We, the people, Americans were introduced to “Uncle Joe” Stalin. We were told that Communism had changed; that Moscow wanted only secure borders. We were told, you might say, “Communism is peace.” Anti-communist books went of style; investigations into Communist penetration went into mothballs. At the end of WWWII, yes, Hitler’s 12-year Reich was destroyed, but Stalin’s evil empire had engorged fully half of Europe. Communism-is-peace-brainwashed people were stunned. But Americans were told they had won the “good war” for liberty over tyranny, and we have celebrated ever since.

Whitewashing follows whitewashing, so, also obscured was the transformation Communism wrought here at home, where agents of influence, fellow travelers, and dupes worked to advance Moscow’s will just as Soviet tanks (and agents, too) imposed it abroad. The conventional wisdom, however, remains suspended in the amber of the “Red Scare,” the 1950s period during which anti-Communist “witch-hunters” searched for “Reds under the bed” — all allegedly in vain. Never mind that many hundreds of confirmed American traitors, loyal to the Kremlin, had infiltrated the federal government and other institutions in previous decades. The important thing, says the conventional wisdom to this day, is not to connect the dots and examine whether these proxies for Stalin influenced the “American Century.”

But the facts indicate they did. Just to mention examples rarely taught in school, agents of Stalin’s influence inside the Roosevelt administration helped subvert and topple such anti-Communist leaders in Europe as Draza Mihailovic in the Balkans, and the free Polish government in exile, clearing the way for Communist regimes. They helped destroy the anti-Communist leader Chiang Kai-shek in China, thus aiding the rise of Mao – who, a la “Uncle Joe,” was presented to the American public as an “agrarian reformer.” Mao would kill at least 60 million people and set in motion events that would draw Americans into two disastrous wars in Korea and Vietnam, killings tens of thousands of young American men.

I could go on, about how at the end of World War II, Soviet plans for Germany and slave labor reparations were put over, how the UN was fostered by a Soviet agent named Alger Hiss, how the IMF was fostered by another Soviet agent name Harry Dexter White. Much of this still-hidden history at least makes it clear why our traditions are today a shambles, where cultural relativism comes from, why it’s unlikely Congress will ever repeal Obamacare, why our college campuses are outposts of Marx. Society, however, seems to prefer silence. It prefers to burnish the gilded reputation of Franklin Roosevelt, for example, rather than reckon with the fact he presided over the biggest national security disaster in U.S. history — the massive infiltration of the U.S. government by agents of a foreign power.

And today? Islam’s prophet Mohammed is exempt from criticism – a key point of Islamic law — just as Joseph Stalin used to be – a rule of the Communist police state. Islam’s history of repression, too, is off limits to strategic planners just as Communism’s once was as well. “Mustn’t offend the Russians,” went the WWII-era mantra against “red-baiting.” “Mustn’t offend Muslims” is the mantra against “Islamophobia” today. In this way, these belief systems, both hostile to our constitutional liberties, remain protected by silence.

This silence has already cost thousands of American lives in our time.

It started right after 9/11, as soon as President Bush declared Islam was a religion of peace, officially delinking Islam from specifically Islamic jihad. Official policy to this day absolves Islam of jihad, and, most recently, absolves Islam of the jihadists known as the Islamic State.

This see-no-Islam policy has also been deeply flawed basis of 13 years of nation-building failure in Iraq and Afghanistan under the sorry banner of couninteriinsugency, or COIN, doctrine. Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor sums the problem up this way: “The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people. The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.”

I maintain It would have been widely seen as utter nonsense had Islam and its law, Islam and jihad, Islam and dhimmitude, been under open consideration rather than tightly under wraps. Instead, the last two presidents sent Americans to die for nations whose constitutions, written with American support, enshrine sharia – Islamic law.

And what does that mean? Quite simply, sharia outlaws the liberties we in the West hold sacred: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, equal rights before the law, and more.

Such prohibitions themselves are sacred to Islam. Indeed, Islamic “liberty,” or “hurriyya,” couldn’t be more different from our own. It is defined by a slavish devotion to sharia. This tells us — or should have – that infidel armies, infidel governments, were never going to win “hearts and minds,” or “trust,” of Islamic peoples – the linchpin of the COIN theory — no matter how much our people bribed, bled or died.

This deduction is confirmed by the most recent polling data compiled by Pew. These data tell us that 91 percent of Iraqis believe sharia should be “the law of the land.” That percentage is exceeded by only one country: Afghanistan, where fully 99 percent agree sharia should be “the law of the land.”

What does a US lawmaker, a COIN strategist, do with data like this? If that lawmaker, that strategist wants to be a mover and shaker in Washington, DC, he forgets about them. Whatever he does, he doesn’t connect any dots. History shows our leaders rarely do. And somehow, they still end up on pedestals.


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Like OK Beheader, Mainstream Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America Condones Stoning Adulterers, and Sharia Supremacism

September 27th, 2014 · Essays

Oklahoma beheading suspect, and Muslim convert Alton Nolen, aka “Jah’Keem Yisrael,” per a local newspaper account in the McCurtain Gazette (reproduced by Caleb Howe of Truth Revolt),

…was telling coworkers Thursday (9/25/14) of an Islamic teaching that said women should be stoned for an offense, and that an argument followed the remark. Nolen was later fired and returned later Thursday, when he beheaded Colleen Hufford.

The Islamic law, i.e., Sharia-based “offense,” and its requisite punishment by stoning to death, which Jah’Keem Yisrael alluded to Thursday, was certainly adultery.

Reuters reported today, Saturday 9/27/14, from Somalia, a graphic, real time illustration of this living, sacralized Islamic barbarity. The stoning to death yesterday (Friday 9/26/14), of a 33 year-old Somali, as described by Reuters, comported with the Sharia-complaint worldview of the Oklahoma beheading suspect Nolen/ Jah’Keem Yisrael:

Hundreds gathered to watch the killing of Safia Ahmed Jimale in an open field. The 33-year old mother was buried up to her shoulders and pelted with stones by masked al Shabaab fighters and local men…The killing was witnessed by the al Shabaab governor for the region. Her body was then dug out of the ground and carried away for funeral prayers, said resident Ahmed Abdullahi, who was in the crowd. A man who presented himself as an al Shabaab judge said Jimale had confessed to having three husbands. He said the three men were not aware they were married to the same woman and had testified against her.

The Hedayah (translated by Charles Hamilton) of classical jurist Sheikh Burhanuddin Ali (1135-1183), is one of the most important Sunni texts of Islamic Law used throughout the Indian subcontinent to this day. An extract from pp. 178-79 of this authoritative text demonstrates the traditionalist Sharia rationale for the draconian punishment of stoning adulterers:

A married person convicted of whoredom is to be stoned—When a person is fully convicted of whoredom; if he be married, let him undergo the punishment of Rajim, that is, lapidation, or stoning to death, because the Prophet condemned Maaz to be thus stoned to death, who was married; and he has also declared, It is unlawful to spill the blood of a Muslim, excepting only for three causes, namely apostasy, whoredom after marriage, and murder”—and in this all the companions likewise unite….Mode of executing lapidation.—“It is necessary, when a whoremonger is to be stoned to death, that he should be carried to some barren place, void of houses or cultivation; and it is requisite that the stoning be executed—first by witnesses, and after them by the Imam or Qadi, and after those the rest of the by-standers, because it is so recorded from Ali…An unmarried free person is to be scourged with one hundred stripes—If the person convicted of whoredom be free, but unmarried, the punishment with respect to him is one hundred stripes, according to what is said in the Koran [Koran 24:2], “The whore and the whoremonger shall ye scourge with one hundred stripes;”—for although this text is cancelled with respect to all other than those who are married (NOTE: i.e., married persons are stoned to death] the law must be executed in conformity to it.…The punishment of whoredom is the same with respect to both sexes, as all the texts which occur in the sacred writings upon this subject extend equally to both…”

Contemporary validation of the ongoing Sharia mandate to stone adulterers to death was provided March 31, 2005, via “question and answer” format at Islam Online (now On Islam), didactic website of the esteemed cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, whose regular Al-Jazeera program on Sharia is wildly popular, and in whose name the government of Qatar recently created the Al-Qaradawi Centre for Islamic Moderation.

Under the heading, “Stoning: Does It Have Any Basis in Shari`ah?,” the following exchange was posted:

Question: “Dear scholars, as-Salamu `alaykum. I have heard that the punishment specified for the person who commits adultery is 80 lashes. I would like to ask, from where did you get the punishment of stoning to death. Moreover, if you say that it is based on the Sunnah, I can say that how to depend on Sunnah in this regard. Isn’t it a fact that the Qur’an is the source of legislation for all Muslims? Jazakum Allah khayran.”

Answer: “Coming to the issue of stoning to death as a punishment for married adulterer and adulteress, the statement that there is no verse stipulating that punishment is not correct. It is to be made crystal clear that the punishment is explicitly sanctioned by both the Qur’an and the Prophetic Tradition.” “…we would like to note that there are many incidents in the Sunnah and the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in which the Prophet stoned the married adulterer and adulteress to death. This happened in the case of Ma`iz and the Ghamidi woman. All this makes it clear that the punishment is proven and authentic and is not debatable.”

In the Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence, we read the following:

Ibn Qudamah wrote: “Muslim jurists are unanimous on the fact stoning to death is a specified punishment for married adulterer and adulteress. The punishment is recorded in number of traditions and the practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stands as an authentic source supporting it. This is the view held by all Companions, Successors and other Muslim scholars with the exception of Kharijites.”

Al-Bahuty said: “The authentic practice of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) supports stoning to death as a punishment specified for adultery. In addition, the verse commanding this punishment was revealed in the Qur’an. Later, it was verbally abrogated but its ruling is still binding. `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Almighty Allah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) with the truth and revealed unto Him the Qur’an. Among the revelation (brought by him) was the verse stipulating that married adulterer and adulteress should be stoned to death. We read, comprehended and understood it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) acted in accordance with that and so did all of us. I fear, by the passage of time, that some people will say: ‘We do not find this verse in the Qur’an’, and thus they go astray abandoning an obligation given to them by Allah. Stoning to death is a Divine obligation and punishment specified for any married adulterer or adulteress once there is four witnesses or the confession of the accused.”

In another narration, `Umar added: “By the One in Whose hands is my soul, had it not been that people would say: ‘`Umar added to the Book of Allah, I would have reinserted it. It (the verse) read: “A married man and woman, if they commit adultery, stone them to death. This is a punishment from Allah. Allah is Almighty and Wise.”

Finally, we would like to note that there are many incidents in the Sunnah and the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in which the Prophet stoned the married adulterer and adulteress to death. This happened in the case of Ma`iz and the Ghamidi woman. All this makes it clear that the punishment is proven and authentic and is not debatable.

A concluding—and very chilling—example validating the application of stoning to death for adultery, perhaps most relevant to Nolen/ Jah’Keem Yisrael’s Islamic views, has an active American source: the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA). The mission statement  of AMJA maintains the organization was,

…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…

With regard to the Sharia, specifically, AMJA’s stated purpose is to “clarify the rulings of the sharia which are relevant for those who live in America.” AMJA is well-accepted by the mainstream American Muslim community.  The Islamic scholars affiliated with this group maintain influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States. Notwithstanding this mainstream acceptance, including uncritical endorsement of its annual American conferences to train American imams, AMJA openly sanctions the stoning to death of adulterers, albeit with the “caveat” that the adultery involves intercourse.

AMJA has also issued rulings which sanction the killing of apostates (here), “blasphemers” (including non-Muslims guilty of this “crime”; here), and condone marital rape. Even more ominously, another Arabic-language fatwa from AMJA’s Dr. Salah Al-Sawy leaves open the possibility for offensive jihad against America and the West, as soon as Muslims are strong enough to do so. When asked whether “the Islamic missionary effort in the West … [was] to the point where it could take advantage of offensive jihad,” Al-Sawy ruled:

The Islamic community does not possess the strength to engage in offensive jihad at this time. With our current capabilities, we are aspiring toward defensive jihad, and to improve our position with regards to jurisprudence at this stage. But there is a different discussion for each situation. Allah Almighty knows best.

It is also of grave concern that AMJA, as an American organization, offers only grudging and conditional support to the fundamental notions of acquiring citizenship in, and swearing allegiance to, the U.S. and our Sharia-antithetical governing legal system. Responding to the query: “Is acquiring an American citizenship lawful or prohibited?” AMJA issued fatwa #77223:

As for optionally obtaining citizenship of a non-Muslim country it is definitely prohibited without a doubt, moreover it could be a form of apostasy or main means leading to apostasy because willingly accepting the laws of disbelievers and obeying it without any valid excuse or enforcement, or ignorance is considered a nullifier to Tawheed and Islam, as long as the proof has been established upon this person and the matter and its consequences are as I clarified. As for obtaining citizenships in light of circumstances of Muslims today who are residing outside the lands of Islam — on the condition that they do not accept indefinitely the law and legislation of that country and being indefinite belonging to the nation of the non-Muslim country so that they become loyal to all their allies and an enemy to all their enemies — and obtaining the citizenship is considered a required means in order to organize the affairs of Muslims who already live there while ensuring fulfilling vows and agreements between them and host countries, and exists due to urgent necessities and needs and this Muslim kept his loyalty to Allaah and His Messenger, then it would not be farfetched to say that it would be permissible.

Moreover, what one might wish to deem as circumscribed, “purely Islamic” rulings, fit within a larger disturbing—and entirely unacceptable—seditious context. AMJA’s own words make plain the organization’s long term commitment to superseding the US legal code with its antithesis, a Sharia-based system.

Nolen/ Jah’Keem Yisrael’s Facebook page stated this shared Islamic “vision” more bluntly:

Sharia Law is Coming!


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Jacob Burckhardt: How Muhammad’s “Victory of Fanaticism and Triviality” Engendered Islam’s “Despotism” and “Periodical Renewal of the Holy War (Jihad)”

September 21st, 2014 · Essays

An iconic figure in the annals of Western historiography, Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) was a pioneering scholar of “cultural history.” Burckhardt, whose best known work is The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860), believed it was the solemn duty of Western civilization’s heirs to study and acknowledge their own unique cultural inheritance—starting with the culture and heritage of classical Athens. Burckhardt emphasized how the Western conception of freedom was engendered in Athens, where its flowering was accompa­nied by the production of some of history’s most sublime literary and artistic works. Moreover, while Burckhardt affirmed the irreducible nature of freedom, and upheld equality before the law, he decried the notion—a pervasive, rigidly enforced dogma at present—that all ways of life, opinions, and beliefs were of equal value. Burckhardt argued that this conceptual reductio ad absurdum would destroy Western culture, heralding a return to barbarism. Burckhardt’s lecture notes for his history courses at the University of Basel during the period from 1865 to 1885 include Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen, published in English as Force and Freedom, 1964, and in 1979 as Reflections on History, by the Liberty Fund.

Extracts from these two collections, below, illustrate Burckhardt’s pellucid, frank understanding of the yawning cultural chasm—moral, philosophical, and educational—between Islam, and Western civilization. With unapologetic insight Burckhardt hones in on how Muhammad, Islam’s “radical simplifier,” engendered Islamic “despotism”—in modern parlance “totalitarianism”—and the creed’s eternal impetus for “periodical renewal of the Holy War (i.e., Jihad),” to achieve “world empire,” as “a simple corollary.”

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With his Muhammad scanty preaching alone he would have achieved only a modest and temporary success; but from the hegira [migration to Medina, ~ 622 C.E.] on, he constantly procured new goals for his adherents: in addition to Mecca, which he promised them, the robbing of caravans and the conquests in Arabia together with the resulting booty. To this there immediately attaches as something natural the holy war against the outside as well. World empire is a simple corollary.

Muhammad is personally very fanatical; that is his basic strength. His fanaticism is that of a radical simplifier and to that extent is quite genuine. It is of the toughest variety, namely, doctrinaire passion, and his victory is one of the greatest victories of fanaticism and triviality. All idolatry, everything mythical, everything free in religion, all the multifarious ramifications of the hitherto existing faith, transport him into a real rage, and he hits upon a moment when large strata of his nation were evidently highly receptive to an extreme simplification of the religious; his genius lies in his divining this. And the peoples who were now attacked may also have been somewhat tired of their existing theology and mythology. From his youth on, Muhammad, with the aid of at least ten people, looks over the faiths of the Jews, Christians, and Parsis [Zoroastrians], and steals from them any scraps that he can use, shaping these elements according to his imagination. Thus everyone found in Muhammad’s sermons some echo of his accustomed faith. The very extraordinary thing is that with all this Muhammad achieved not merely lifetime success, the homage of Arabia, but founded a world religion that is viable to this day and has a tremendously high opinion of itself.

…The absolute decree; fatalism (Muhammad himself calls it “submission”) which had a highly tonic effect on aspiring forces.

All religions are exclusive, but Islam is quite notably so, and immediately it developed into a state which seemed to be all of a piece with the religion. The Koran is its spiritual and secular book of law. Its statutes embrace all areas of life…and remain set and rigid; the very narrow Arab mind imposes this nature on many nationalities and thus remolds them for all time (a profound, extensive spiritual bondage!) This is the power of Islam in itself. At the same time, the form of the world empire as well as of the states gradually detaching themselves from it cannot be anything but a despotic monarchy. The very reason and excuse for existence, the holy war, and the possible world conquest, do not brook any other form.

The strongest proof of real, extremely despotic power in Islam is the fact that it has been able to invalidate, in such large measure, the entire history (customs, religion, previous way of looking at things, earlier imagination) of the peoples converted to it. It accomplished this only by instilling into them a new religious arrogance which was stronger than everything and induced them to be ashamed [emphasis in original] of their past.

Islam proselytized either not at all or only at times and in places. As long as it could, it spread not by mission, but by conquest. It even welcomed the presence in its midst of infidel tax payers, though killing them by means of contempt and ill-treatment, or even massacring them in outbursts of fury

In Islam, where this fusion [between State and Church] took place, the whole culture was dominated, shaped and colored by it. Islam has only one form of polity, of necessity despotic, the consummation of power, secular, priestly and theocratic, which was transferred from the Caliphate to all dynasties. Thus all its parts were mere replicas of the world empire on a small scale, hence Arabized and despotic.

This aridity, this dreary uniformity of Islam, which is so terribly limited on the religious side, probably did more harm than good to Culture, if only because it rendered the peoples affected by it incapable of going over to another culture. Its simplicity much facilitated its expansion, but was marked by that extreme exclusiveness which is a feature of all rigid monotheism, while the wretched Koran stood, and still stands, in the way of any political and legal growth. Law remained half priestly. The best that might be said of the cultural influence of the Koran is that it does not prohibit activity as such, fosters mobility (by travel)—hence the unity of this culture from the Ganges to the Senegal…

Yet Christian contemplation even at its gloomiest was less pernicious culturally than Islam, as will at once appear from the following consideration. Quite apart from the general servitude imposed by despotism and its police, from the lack of any sense of honor in anyone connected with power, for which the absence of a nobility and clergy offers no compensation, a diabolical pride is engendered towards non-Islamic populations and countries, involving a periodical renewal of the Holy War [Jihad], and that pride cuts it off from what is, after all, far and away the greater part of the world and from any comprehension of it.

The sole ideals of life are the two poles—the monarch and cynically ascetic dervish-sufi…

In Islamic education, we are struck by the predominance of linguistics and grammar over substance, by the sophistical nature of philosophy, of which only the heretical side is free and significant, further, by the poor quality of historical learning—poor because everything outside of Islam is indifferent and everything within Islam a prey to parties and sects—and by a scientific teaching the defects of which immediately become apparent when it is compared with free and unrestricted empiricism. Men were not able to investigate and discover nearly as much as they might have done in freedom. What was lacking was a general impulse to fathom the world and its laws.

Islamic poetry is mainly characterized by its repugnance to the epic, born of the fear that the souls of the several peoples might continue to live in it; Firdausi only exists as contraband. It has, further, a didactic bias which is mortal to the epic, and a tendency to value narrative only as the shell of a general thought, as a parable. For the rest, poetry took refuse in the tale, thronged with figures, but devoid of characters. Further, there was no drama. Fatalism makes it impossible to show fate as born of the interplay of passion and justification—indeed, it may be that despotism of its very nature checks the objective poetic expression of anything at all. And no comedy could come into being, if only because all comic feeling was consumed by the joke, the lampoon, the parable, the juggler, etc.

In the visual arts, architecture alone developed, firstly through Persian builders and subsequently with the help of Byzantine and any other styles which lay to hand. Sculpture and painting were practically non-existent, because the decree of the Koran was not only observed but carried far beyond its letter. What the intellect forfeited in these circumstances may be left to the imagination.

And now we must again turn back to Islam, with its stranglehold on national feeling and its miserable constitutional and legal system grafted on to religion, beyond which its peoples never advanced. The State, as a political picture, is here extremely uninteresting; in the Caliphate, practically from its outset, a despotism without responsibility to heaven or earth was taken for granted, and even, by a highly illogical twist, by its renegades. What is supremely interesting is how this organization came into being and could not but come into being, given the nature of Islam and of its rule over Giaours [Infidels]. There lies the explanation of the great similarity of Islamic States from the Tagus [a river in the Iberian peninsula] to the Ganges, the only difference being the former with less steadfastness and talent. A kind of division of power can be dimly descried only among the Seljuk nobility.

It would seem that the belief in a future life was never of great consequence among the Muslims from the beginning. No interdict in the Western sense had any power, no moral qualms could afflict the potentate, and it was easy for him to remain orthodox or adhere to whichever of the sects happened to predominate. (But is sometimes happened that a fanatic gathered zealots under some standard or other, e.g. the Wahabis, whose doctrine is a hotch-potch utterly unintelligible to us.) It is true that, from time to time, benevolent despots were regarded with great affection, but even their sphere of influence was restricted to their immediate entourage. Now the question may arise how far Islam (like the more ancient Parsee [Zoroastrian] religion and Byzantium) represented a State in any sense whatever. Its pride was simply that it was Islam, nor could this simplest of all religions be attacked through its own devotees. Sacraments could not be withheld from the evildoer, whose fatalism made him impervious to many things, while every one of its members was familiar with violence and corruption. Whoever was unable or unwilling to exterminate the Muslims found it best to leave them in peace. Their empty, arid and treeless lands might perhaps be taken from them, but obedience to a non-Koranic dispensation could never be enforced. Their equanimity gave them a high degree of individual independence; their slave system and their subjection of the Giaours [Infidels] inspired them with contempt of all labor, except agriculture, which is the basis of their communal feeling.

…Any importation from Western culture…seems to be detrimental to the Muslims, from loans and national debts onwards

 


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