Saturday, 18 September 2010

Tactical Theology 101 (or Guide to Islamic Hanky-Panky)

I agree that Pamela Geller is a right-wing crackpot. However that does not entitle you to assume that whoever she attacks (in this case Islam) must therefore be a paragon of virtue. You seem to be applying the rule of thumb “My enemy’s enemy is my friend”. And I, for one, do not regard Islam as a friend, but as a foe.

I minored in Islamic Studies. I read about Islam, traveled through Moslem countries and associated with Moslems for over 16 years. I speak and read Arabic and some Turkish. I am well acquainted with much of Islam’s history and theology.

I gradually grew to detest Islam and now avoid it like the plague, for the same reason I avoid prisons -- they impinge on my freedom. I still enjoy the company of people from countries where Moslems predominate. I have no personal animosity toward them. Just as long as they don't get preachy.

My attitude toward Islam resembles my attitude toward Communism. It has its good points – many of them accidental -- but on balance it SUCKS BIG TIME. I traveled to many Communist countries, by the way, and am an expert on Marxism.

Like Communism, Islam was designed largely as an instrument of world domination. Certain fanatical Moslem elites still conceive of Islam as a device for conquering the planet. Enough of them think thus, that a general attitude of cautious skepticism toward unfamiliar Moslems is advisable.

Islam’s founder was a wily politician who felt entitled to command others and by hook and by crook became supreme ruler over many thousands of people, but only after climbing over piles of corpses. Mohammed’s morals were fairly mainstream for his time, the 7th century of our era. In other words Mohammed’s methods closely resembled those of Heinrich Himmler, Lazar Kaganovich, Attila the Hun and bloodthirsty hyenas of that ilk.

Mohammed designed Islam as a makeshift ideology that would ensure his followers’ loyalty and cement the cohesion of his sect, while constantly making tactical theological shifts in response to the political challenges of the moment. For example he once adjusted his doctrine to enable recruitment of additional deities, as a condition of an alliance with a certain tribe in Mecca. So for a number of years Allah had to share the limelight with three fat tribal goddesses. Eventually there was a falling out and monotheism again emerged triumphant. This Islamic hanky-panky was rendered plausible by proclaiming -- no doubt with wrinkled brow – that the angelic revelations vouchsafed to Mohammed that had enthroned the three obese goddesses were found to have been deceitfully planted by Satan. Since then those passages of the Koran have been known as the Satanic Verses. But they were not deleted.

Consequently, the Koran consists largely of expedients and subterfuges, thoughts pragmatically designed for purely practical purposes, one-shot deals. It lacks overriding, transcendent themes and moral maxims. It has no philosophy and no ethics.

Islam is the Cult of the Opportune.

What I find especially reprehensible about the Koran is its manipulative, instrumental nature, as an aggregate of ideas conceived piecemeal and predominantly as tools for achieving practical ends. The Bible too contains a lot of propaganda from antediluvian political struggles, but the Bible has the saving grace of having been composed over millennia by people who did not know each other and consequently were unable to conspire and agree on a common story.

The contrast to the Koran is flagrant. The Koran was cooked up by just one biped, allegedly with the complicity of an Archangel (I didn't check to see if Archangels are bipeds too).

The Koran is the script of the aspiring dictator and then the successful one.
Seen from this perspective, suddenly I understand Geert´s likening the Koran to Mein Kampf. However Mein Kampf is programmatic, whereas the Koran is a chronology of the doctrine’s historical evolution.

Islam's doctrinal development was largely dictated by political gambits, slander, gossip and shady deals with obdurate nomads, all of them designed on the spur of the moment under a hot desert sun. Accordingly, Islam can legitimately be conceived of as a radorg, i.e. an organization driven by a R.A.D., or Randomly Assembled Doctrine. The term radorg was recently introduced in the field of stochastic quantum ethics by the noted paleontocrat Akira Curaçao.

I wonder if it is possible to make any a priori predictions concerning the nature, traits and behavior characterizing organizations driven by randomly assembled doctrines. It might become necessary to distinguish among various types and parameters of randomness.

To put it bluntly, the trouble with Islam is that it simply does not pass the laugh test. It's a blatant pastiche of prefabricated ideological contraptions and tall tales crudely welded together more or less at random for obviously political and personal motives by a Prophet whose day job was plundering caravans and beheading infidels, and had scant patience for eschatological niceties.

It's not a particularly well-arranged assortment of ideological hardware. It's full of contradictions. However the contradictions merely reflect the Koran’s jerry-built opportunistic character. Since it was established neither according to plan nor as an intentional extrapolation of pre-existing traditions, the Koran’s contradictions are merely an optical illusion elicited by the reader’s fatuous quest for consistency. The moment one abandons the quest for consistency, the contradictions disappear. The Koran is a toolkit, a bag of tricks. Consistency would be a severe drawback to the Koran’s usefulness.

The Koran serves as a high-power buzz, a vertiginous maelstrom of pedestrian commonplaces repeated obsessively for centuries. All of this wouldn't be a big deal if they at least knew how to behave. But the egregious attitudes and conceits invoked by the bandit cult are usually radically anti-social in nature. I wouldn't mind them if they weren’t so menacing.

But as things stand, i.e. large chunks of Moslemhood obsessed with an imaginary persecution of Islam by Westerners and possessed of a generally truculent approach inculcated by the martial traditions of Islam, on the one hand, and on the other hand no explanation or logical justification of their feeble-minded persecution yarns, nor any inkling of how important it is to try to discover the truth instead of merely rediscovering one's own prior conclusions.

I'm not denying that some countries exploit and threaten others. and often enough – but not always -- the aggressor is Western and the victim Mohammedan. But that does not warrant a procedure whereby all attacks from W to M are lumped together as part of the same process. This is an explosive mixture. The irrational component of Islam has in part triumphed. The faithful run amuck. They cannot be brought to reason.

I wager that on a map comprising various countries on which each country is randomly assigned a single color and there are 5 colors for countries, it is possible to use the same arguments that the Islamists apply to demonstrate the alleged worldwide assault on Islam, to demonstrate that orange countries are systematic aggressors of blue countries or some such nonsense.

I don't feel inclined to play along with this farce, which has been going on for far too long and recently became exceedingly popular, whose story line is that Islam is somehow a respectable body of ideas that deserves to be defended against its critics. I can't begrudge Moslems their freedom to entertain their peculiar ideas and celebrate their rites, as long as no mayhem is involved. However I do not recognize those ideas as constituting anything worthy of reverence or respect, nor any kind of model worthy of imitation.

On the contrary I find them a fairly random haul of miscellaneous cultural flotsam and jetsam, marked by a heavy sadistic streak, that constitutes a colossal fraud and deception and the cloak under whose concealment countless Moslems and non-Moslems are cruelly exploited and oppressed. And ridiculous on their face to boot. [1]

Whatever tolerance I extend to Islam is the same I show to madmen and infants.


[1] Note on countervailing trends in Islam
The reader may well object to my line of reasoning by stating that I am disregarding aspects of moslem culture that operate in the contrary direction, and are thus countervailing forces worthy of mention. . To this I reply that I am skeptical about the existence of an Islamic civilization as such. I'm not necessarily disputing that Moslems are largely civilized, merely stating that some ethnic and cultural traits of Moslem countries create contrasts among Moslem countries that are as strongly marked as those that exist among countries of differing faiths. Accordingly I don't consider all thought expressed by Moslems “islamic thought”. A certain cultural artifact may occur in a moslem country but nonetheless be autochthonous and antecedent to Islam’s arrival. Thus for any given countervailing cultural artifact, it must first be determined whether the item really is Islamic in character, and not stem from some ethnic or other source. This approach is especially important in view of Islam’s innate tendency to conflate issues of nationality, ethnicity and language with religious issues, as in the mythical ’Umma.

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