Ayn Rand, Altruism, and Jihad


Intro to ‘Ayn Rand, Altruism, and Jihad

John R. Houk, Editor

Posted 5/15/17

 

Eine Schrecklich Terroristische Familie = A Terrible Terrorist Family 

Merkel’s translation: “Our kind called DAESH

 

The key to understand Eileen Toplansky’s article below is to understand the essence of what Ayn Rand stands for. Just as an alert, I am certainly no expert on Ayn Rand. And yet, Rand was a very large influence from my transition of being a dedicated Dem toward Christian Conservative.

 

If anyone knows even a smidgen about Ayn Rand, they would have realize being a Christian does not really connect with Randian Objectivist Philosophywhich is atheistic.

 

This article’s understanding about Rand’s Objectivist atheism hits the nail on the head of my experience. The article is an Acton Institute source. Acton is noted for Free Market economics, hence is very Capitalism friendly. The Acton Institute promotes Christianity (See Also Lord Acton’sThe History of Freedom in Christianity”) in its Conservative economics known as Austrian Economics. Austrian Economics embraces much of Objectivism minus the atheism:

 

There once was a time when I was enamored by the philosophy of Ayn Rand. An émigré from the Soviet Union, the influential novelist and founder of Objectivism had an enthusiasm for market capitalism and a hatred of communism that I found entrancing. I discovered her two major philosophical novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, in my early years in college as I was beginning to wake from my enchantment with liberalism. I was instantly hooked.

 

Rand’s ideas were intriguing, yet she harbored sentiments that made it difficult for a young Christian to accept. She was an atheist who despised altruism and preached the “virtue of selfishness.” She believed that rational self-interest was the greatest good and sang the praises of egoism.

 

In retrospect, it appears obvious that any attempt to reconcile these ideas with my orthodox evangelicalism was destined to fail. Still, I thought there might be something to the philosophy and was particularly intrigued by her defense of capitalism. My understanding of our economic system was a rather immature, though, and I failed to recognize that Rand had an almost complete misunderstanding of capitalism. She confused self-interest with selfishness.

 

 

On this point Rand is quite mistaken. Reason, applied consistently, doesn’t lead us down a straight path to egoism, much less to capitalism. Examined closely, we would find that her entire Objectivist philosophy is founded on this simple question begging premise. Rand, of course, would claim that it was a self-evident truth. But this requires us to believe that no one who ever came to a different conclusion was following reason where it leads. She might have no problem accepting such a conclusion—Rand was never one to tolerate dissent—but we don’t have sufficient justification for doing so.

 

This veneration of egoism also lead her to consider altruism to be a form of evil. As she explains in The Virtue of Selfishness:

 

Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value–and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.

 

Those who fail to notice the way that Rand defines altruism often mistake her critique as an argument against Christian morality. This isn’t surprising when we consider that Rand herself seems to make the same error. But the Christian view of altruism is not predicated on an obligation to love others more than we love ourselves. While there may be instances where such self-sacrificial love is appropriate, it is not an absolute duty. What we are commanded to do is love others just as we love ourselves. We are to love other humans in the same way, taking into account their interests and needs. We are not to treat them, as Comte would have us, in a disinterested manner.

 

Fully considered, it becomes obvious that Rand’s views congeal into a fatally flawed philosophy. Even when stripped of its atheistic elements, Objectivism’s focus on radical individualism cuts it off from reality and causes it to wither under scrutiny. And as much as we might admire Rand’s deep-rooted hatred of collectivism, her philosophy is READ THE REST (Ayn Rand Didn’t Understand Capitalism. Or Altruism. Or Christianity. Or Reality. By JOE CARTER; Acton Institute; 11/15/13)

 

I am still enamored with Rand’s Objectivism, but the monkey wrench of atheism crops up I thank God for the promoters of Austrian Economics.

 

The author Toplansky uses Rand’s concept of criticizing altruism as being a Leftist disease infecting self-interest profitability by associating it with Europe’s current Multiculturalist culture-destroying disease allowing Islam to supplant a Western heritage.

 

JRH 5/15/17 (Hat Tip: Ted Belman of Israpundit)

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Ayn Rand, Altruism, and Jihad

 

By Eileen F. Toplansky

May 14, 2017

American Thinker

 

In fathoming the failure of Europeans to protect their own interests against the onslaught of Islamic jihadism, one is reminded of Ayn Rand’s quotation that “[r]eason is not automatic.  Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it.  Do not count on them[.]”

 

Bruce Bawer, an astute observer of the European scene, wonders how “Marine Le Pen lost in a landslide” given all the jihadist assaults against the French people and the very culture of France.  Bawer offers three possibilities that include:

 

  • European guilt about past imperial histories and a “need to atone.”

 

  • the postmodern belief that “no culture is better than any other – and it’s racist to say otherwise.”

 

  • the influence of the mainstream media, which routinely “soft pedals the Islamic roots of terror”

 

  • the fact that “some people don’t want to learn the truth”

 

In the Autumn 2004 issue of the Wilson Quarterly, Christopher Clausen writes that “for many Europeans in the past 20 years, now-distant memories of both world wars have hardened into a self-righteous conviction that peace outweighs any value that might conflict with it, almost regardless of the threat or provocation.”

 

Consequently, there is an exquisite disregard in deliberately ignoring the “grim possibility that their children and grandchildren might end up by living under shariah law, if, in fact, they are allowed to live at all.”  Consider that London presently has 100 sharia courts that are “based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.”  Moreover, “a third of UK Muslims do not feel ‘part of British culture.'”

 

As further evidence of the ultimate intent of Islamists, Saudi religious scholars include the following in the nine-volume English translation of the Quran.

 

[D]iscard (all) the obligations (covenants, etc.) … to fight against all the Mushrikun as well as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizya (a tax levied on the non-Muslims who do not embrace Islam and are under the protection of an Islamic government) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.

 

As Nonie Darwish has pointed out, 64% of the Quran is devoted to denigrating commentary about kafirs, or non-Muslims.

 

And yet, while the above quoted words of the Quran should “forever silence any fantasies regarding Islam’s peaceful disposition toward the non-Muslim,” the West continues to avoid the obvious.  But as Ayn Rand has noted, “[y]ou can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”

 

Hence, France continues to decompose in front of our eyes.  Yves Mamou writes that “everything that represents state institutions … is now subjected to violence based on essentially sectarian and sometimes ethnic excesses, fueled by an incredible hatred of our country[.]” Ultimately, France “and all of European society must assimilate Islamic social norms, not the other way around.”

 

Newly elected President Macron symbolizes the multicultural manifesto when he maintains that “French culture doesn’t exist in and of itself; there is no such thing as a single French culture.  There is culture in France and it is diverse and multiple.”  Is it then inevitable that “France is going to have to live with terrorism,” as former prime minister Manuel Valls proclaimed?

 

Coupled with the ongoing Islamic push is the leftist destructive bent.  Thus, “Belgium is unique” in that it is the “first nation blending appeasement to Islam and a suicidal form of nihilism[.]” It is not coincidental that in Belgium, “euthanasia is out of control.”  With a record number of people killed by lethal injection, it is equally disturbing that “Belgium is the country with the highest per capita number of volunteers for the Caliphate.”

 

Judith Friedman Rosen reminds us that against the backdrop of Normandy, where tourists “pay tribute to those who died pursuing liberty,” there is a pervasive fear as the “French open door policy to Muslim immigrants, who reject Western values and liberty” has given way to “terror, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian murders.”  The “clash of culture and civilization” continues, and “unlike the Asian and Indian immigrants … many of the Muslims are not willing to integrate into the society – and are trying to force their values such as Halal, [and] the prohibition of pork … onto the French populace.”  What will be the future of France when “30% of French Muslims want Sharia law and less than 25% identify as French citizens”?

 

The Jihad Files by N.M. Guariglia document the results of jihad throughout the world so that Paris is now “one of the most dangerous capitals on Earth.” A “Toronto imam has sworn that all Muslims will eventually kill all Jews.” And in the name of religion, Pakistani three-year-olds are being married off while Nigerian three-year-olds are having heavy stones dropped on their heads. Not to be outdone, “[i]n Iraq, ISIS continues to commit unimaginable crimes.  Approximately 200 Iraqis have been kidnapped to be used as human shields against U.S. air strikes. Homosexuals continue to get murdered in large quantities and for public display. Mentally handicapped Iraqis are being rounded up by ISIS and used against their will as suicide bombers. And mass executions against civilians accused of ‘blasphemy’ continue unabated.”

 

The incursions continue as the “Saudis plan on building 560 mosques across the South Asian nation of Bangladesh.”  Is it not surprising, then, that “minority communities across Bangladesh are once again facing violence and persecution by the Sunni Muslim majority”?  Mohshin Habib describes how “many Hindu areas experience attacks of … religious oppression.  Muslim fundamentalists vandalized idols, set fire to Hindu temples and … looted valuables from temples.”

 

Bruce Thornton asks, “[H]ow much worse will the destruction and death have to be to wake us up?”  These “indulgences of naive idealism,” dangerous delusions, and jihad denial still paralyze the West.  Ayn Rand reminds us that “there are two sides to every issue.  One side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”

 

Until we can incorporate the idea that “nothing is creepier than Islam” and begin to “challenge Islamic racism, misogyny, genocide,” as Edward Cline exhorts, how can decent people not fall prey to Linda Sarsour’s “stealth jihad in a hijab”?

 

Amazingly, the more obvious the facts, “the more fiercely do people resist them.”  Bawer explains that “as skilled propagandists [continue to] represent Muslims as the mother of all victim groups, many Westerners [are] quick to buy into it all.”  This is aided by the “media’s cheery ignorance about Islam’s hostile ideology,” as revealed by A.Z. Mohamed.

 

This is the most puzzling aspect of the media’s capitulation.  After all, Islam brooks no dissent, and freedom of press and speech is eventually obliterated.  But Ayn Rand explains that “to act rationally means to act in accordance with the acts of reality.  Emotions are not tools of cognition.  What you feel tells you nothing about the facts; it merely tells you something about your estimate of the facts[.]”

 

Even the Church, which is “the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith,” has abrogated its role.  Instead of fighting to save the lives of Christians who are unwilling to renounce Christ, too many churches are deafeningly silent on terrorism.  Denis MacEoin describes how the United Church of Christ (UCC) cultivates dealings with Islamic groups “despite the fact that Muslims across the Middle East have been killing, expelling, and humiliating Christians for a very long time, but especially in recent decades.”  Why hasn’t the UCC noted the mass exodus of Christians precipitated by extremist Muslims and the Palestinian authorities?

 

But what might be a motivating factor for this ostensible ignorance and indifference?  I turn again to Ayn Rand.  For most people, the term “altruism” has a positive connotation.  But Rand “rejects this perception of altruism[.] She argues that the ultimate moral value, for each human individual, is his or her own well-being.”  Thus, Rand believes that selfishness is a virtue because “it secures and protects one’s rational values – ultimately, one’s life and happiness. Since a concern with one’s own interests is a character trait that, when translated into action, enables one to achieve and guard one’s own well-being, it follows that selfishness is a virtue. One must manifest a serious concern for one’s own interests if one is to lead a healthy, purposeful, fulfilling life.”

 

Rand maintains that “[t]he injunction ‘don’t judge’ is the ultimate climax of the altruist morality which, today, can be seen in its naked essence. When men plead for forgiveness, for the nameless, cosmic forgiveness of an unconfessed evil, when they react with instantaneous compassion to any guilt, to the perpetrators of any atrocity, while turning away indifferently from the bleeding bodies of the victims and the innocent—one may see the actual purpose, motive and psychological appeal of the altruist code. When these same compassionate men turn with snarling hatred upon anyone who pronounces moral judgments, when they scream that the only evil is the determination to fight against evil—one may see the kind of moral blank check that the altruist morality hands out.”

 

Edward Cline has asked if Europe is in the terminal state of a death wish.  He asserts that Europe’s “foundational driver is altruism” – a kind of “moral blank check.”  The West appears to have lost the desire “to value [itself] which means to fight for [its] happiness.”

 

Since “Allah demands that humans not love him, but submit to him, as slaves submit to their masters, and to sacrifice their lives for him,” we should absolutely refuse to accept this frame of reference and all that it entails.  Instead, we need to realize that “if any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism [or self-destructive generosity] that men have to reject.”

___________________

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

 

© American Thinker 2017

 

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VIDEO of My AFA Speech, “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘Lewis Doctrine’”


Islam- Sword not Pacifism

Andrew Bostom is one of my favorite Counterjihad authors. So when I discovered from the Counter Jihad Report that a Bostom speech was posted on his website a few days ago I was quite pleased to watch it. Below is the entire post from Bostom’s blog which includes the text of the speech.

Bostom talks of the failure of the Bush Administration’s concept of bringing Western democratic principles to overthrown dictatorships and hostile Muslim leadership. In hindsight, Bostom is correct to criticize this Bush Agenda; however, the concept was correct. History has shown that bringing democracy to repressive regimes (e.g. conquered Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan at the end of WWII) was and is highly successful. Not only have the citizens flourished when despotism was removed but once repressive regimes have chosen a path of peaceful dialogue and trade with their conquerors. UNFORTUNATELY, the nation-building paradigm does not work in a culture under the domination of a millennia of Islamic cultural brainwashing.

 

JRH 9/1/16

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VIDEO of My AFA Speech, “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘Lewis Doctrine’”

By Andrew Bostom

August 28, 2016 1:46 PM

Uncreated, Uncreative Words

Many thanks to Scott Jacobs for uploading the video of my speech last Sunday 8/21/16 at the American Freedom Alliance conference in Los Angeles entitled,Islam and Western Civilization: Can They Co-Exist?”

The text in its entirety was posted at PJ Media last Monday 8/22/16, with the title, “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘Lewis Doctrine’.” I was able to present about ~70% of the full text provided below the embedded video.

VIDEO: Andrew Bostom at the AFA Conference: “Islam, Mindslaughter, & the Catastrophic “Lewis Doctrine'”

Posted by Democracy Broadcasting

Published on Aug 28, 2016

http://DemocracyBroadcasting.com Dr. Andrew Bostom at the AFA Conference: “Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic ‘The Lewis Doctrine’.” Dr. Andrew Bostom examines Dr. Bernard Lewis’ legacy at American Freedom Alliance’s “Islam and Western Civilization Conference” in Los Angeles, 8/21/16.
See: https://pjmedia.com/blog/islam-mindslaughter-and-the-catastrophic-lewis-doctrine/

Islam, Mindslaughter, and the Catastrophic “Lewis Doctrine”

Andrew Bostom

Text of a speech delivered Sunday, August 21, 2016 at the American Freedom Alliance conference in Los Angeles entitled, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can They Co-Exist?”

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Col. Douglas MacGregor is a respected military strategist, who was a heroic tank commander during the 1991 Iraq war. As the Gen McChrystal scandal broke in 2010, Col MacGregor, who attended West Point with McChrystal, and was angered by the US military’s disastrous Iraq and Afghanistan “nation building” efforts, commented accurately,

The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense

Successful lobbying for that miserably failed utopianism was accomplished by bowdlerizing Islam—indeed mindslaughtering it, a powerful term I will introduce. My discussion will identify the ultimate source of “gravitas” for that bowdlerization process, and key elements of the Islam—not “Islamism,” or “radical Islam”—bowdlerized.

**

Tuesday August 2nd, (2016) Khizr Khan, who achieved notoriety for his condemnation of Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention, had the temerity to tell Anderson Cooper “I do not stand for any Sharia Law because there is no such thing.” Except when he, Khan, notes it does exist, as in his 1983 essay published in the Houston Journal of International Law, “JURISTIC CLASSIFICATION OF ISLAMIC LAW”, which used the word “Sharia” 8X, including this usage:

“All other juridical works which have been written during more than thirteen centuries are very rich and indispensable, but they must always be subordinated to the Shari’ah…”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper did not even challenge Khan’s mendacious, self-contradictory assertion let alone follow-up on Khan’s effusive written praise of two prominent, modern global Sharia promoting ideologues, Said Ramadan, and A.K. Brohi, making plain Khan’s support for so-called “Sharia-based human rights.” The Khan-Cooper exchange illustrates, starkly, the contemporary equivalent of what the great chronicler of Soviet Communist mass murder, Robert Conquest, appositely characterized as MINDSLAUGHTER—a brilliantly evocative term for delusive Western apologetics regarding the ideology of Communism, and the tangible horrors its Communist votaries inflicted. Conquest decried those numerous “Western intellectuals or near intellectuals” of the 1930s through the 1950s whose willful delusions about the Soviet Union, “will be incredible to later students of mental aberration.” He observed,

“One role of the democratic media is, of course, to criticize their own govern­ments, and draw attention to the faults and failings of their own country. But when this results in a transfer of loyalties to a far worse and thoroughly inim­ical culture, or at least to a largely uncritical favoring of such a culture, it becomes a morbid affliction—involving, often enough, the uncritical accep­tance of that culture’s own standards”

His critique of Western media highlights a cultural self-loathing tendency which has persisted and intensified over the intervening decades, and is now manifest in the bowdlerized public discussion of Islam. Tragically, such MINDSLAUGHTERED Islamic discourse extends to an iconic figure in conservative punditry on Islam, while the impact of this doyen’s policymaking advice has been disastrous.

Samuel Huntington acknowledged his indebtedness to Bernard Lewis’s 1990 essay, “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” for Huntington’s book title, “The Clash of Civilizations.” Lewis, as Huntington notes (on p. 213), in 1990, had pronounced,

This is no less than a clash of civilizations—that perhaps irrational, but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both.

 Oracle-like font of Islamic wisdom to a large swath of conservative policymaking elites, Bernard Lewis added this caveat:

 It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.

Despite his own morally equivocating advice, Lewis himself convinced the Bush 2 administration to pursue what became known, aptly, as “The Lewis Doctrine,” which was not only an irrational, but a catastrophic response to the eminently rational Islamic doctrine of jihad.

 Peter Waldman’s methodical, well-sourced Feb 3, 2004 WSJ investigative report (“A Historian’s Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight  Bernard Lewis’s Blueprint—Sowing Arab Democracy—Is Facing a Test in Iraq”) stands as important confirmation of the overarching ideology which spurred the March, 2003 Iraq invasion. Waldman meticulously documented how Lewis exerted profound influence in shaping the Bush II administration’s “Islamic democracy agenda”—invading Iraq being the sine qua non manifestation of this “Lewis Doctrine.” Lewis, as Waldman notes, began evangelizing his “Doctrine” to the highest level Bush II administration officials just over a week after 9/11, accompanied, significantly, by the late Ahmad Chalabi, a likely “vector” of Iranian influence.

Eight days after the Sept. 11 [2001] attacks, with the Pentagon still smoldering, Mr. Lewis addressed the U.S. Defense Policy Board. Mr. Lewis and a friend, Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi –now [circa 2/2004] a member of the interim Iraqi Governing Council—argued for a military takeover of Iraq to avert still-worse terrorism in the future

Call it the Lewis Doctrine.  ..Mr. Lewis’s diagnosis of the Muslim world’s malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast… As mentor and informal adviser to some top U.S. officials, Mr. Lewis has helped coax the White House to shed decades of thinking about Arab regimes and the use of military power. Gone is the notion that U.S. policy in the oil-rich region should promote stability above all, even if it means taking tyrants as friends. Also gone is the corollary notion that fostering democratic values in these lands risks destabilizing them. Instead, the Lewis Doctrine says fostering Mideast democracy is not only wise but imperative.

Waldman also demonstrated how Lewis successfully indoctrinated the ultimate Bush II administration leadership to pursue his utopian design: President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and most likely, National Security adviser (and later Secretary of State), Condoleezza Rice, as well.

I contend, after careful review, that the miserably failed “Lewis Doctrine” was a sham castle of dangerous, MINDSLAUGHTERED misrepresentations built upon four pillars: dhimmitude denial; Islamic Jew-hatred denial; Sharia obfuscation; and Lewis’s own inexplicable volte face on his gimlet-eyed 1950s assessments of Islamic totalitarianism, and “hurriyya,” the Islamic antithesis of Western freedom.

Regarding the imposition of the dhimma, Islam’s humiliating pact of submission for non-Muslims, per Koran 9:29, and the alleged absence of theological Jew-hatred in Islam, Lewis made these oracular, if vacuous and counterfactual, summary pronouncements, across three decades:

[1974] The dhimma on the whole worked well. The non-Muslims managed to thrive under Muslim rule, and even to make significant contributions to Islamic civilization. The restrictions were not onerous, and were usually less severe in practice than in theory. As long as the non-Muslim communities accepted and conformed to the status of tolerated subordination assigned to them, they were not troubled.

[1984] In Islamic society hostility to the Jew is non-theological. It is not related to any specific Islamic doctrine, nor to any specific circumstance in Islamic history. For Muslims it is not part of the birth-pangs of their religion, as it is for Christians.

[2006] “dhimmi”-tude [derisively hyphenated] subservience and persecution and ill treatment of Jews… [is a] myth.

Shlomo Dov [S. D.] Goitein (d. 1985), unlike Lewis, was a historian, who specialized in the study of Muslim, non-Muslim relations. Goitein, whose seminal research findings were widely published, most notably in the monumental five-volume work A Mediterranean Society: The Jewish Communities of the Arab World as Portrayed in the Documents of the Cairo Geniza (1967–1993), was Professor Emeritus of the Hebrew University, and a Lewis colleague while at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The New York Times obituary for Professor Goitein (published on February 10, 1985) noted, correctly, that his prolific writings on Islamic culture, and Muslim-non-Muslim relations, were “standard works for scholars in both fields.” Contra Lewis’s uninformed, whitewashed drivel, here is what Goitein wrote on the subject of non-Muslim dhimmis under Muslim rule, that is, “the dhimma covenant,” circa 1970:

[T]he Muslim state was quite the opposite of the ideals propagated by…the principles embedded in the constitution of the United States. An Islamic state was part of or coincided with dar al-Islam, the House of Islam. Its trea­sury was mal al-muslumin, the money of the Muslims. Christians and Jews were not citizens of the state, not even second class citizens. They were outsiders under the protection of the Muslim state, a status characterized by the term dhimma, for which protection they had to pay a poll tax specific to them. They were also exposed to a great number of discriminatory and humiliating laws. . . . As it lies in the very nature of such restrictions, soon additional humiliations were added, and before the second century of Islam was out, a complete body of legislation in this matter was in existence. . . . In times and places in which they became too oppressive they lead to the dwindling or even complete extinction of the minorities

“The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism,” my own exhaustive treatise, included voluminous materials Lewis never bothered to compile, let alone analyze with comparable intellectual honesty. My careful analyses demonstrated, irrefragably, that the Koran, its classical and modern exegeses by Islam’s greatest commentators, and the traditions of Muhammad, and the nascent Muslim community, are rife with virulent, conspiratorial Jew-hating motifs that have been acted upon by Muslims, vis-à-vis Jews, across space and time, from the advent of Islam, till now.

The Koran’s overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process. Presently, Al Azhar Koranic litanies of 20 to 25 verses describing fixed negative traits of the Jews are popular, widely disseminated, and endorsed in the writings and public statements of this Vatican of Sunni Islam’s last two Papal equivalents, the late Grand Imam Tantawi, and current Grand Imam al-Tayeb. Such Jew-hating Koranic “highlights” include: Jews as prophet killers, updated in the hadith to include Muhammad himself—allegedly poisoned to death by a Jewess, in a Jewish conspiracy, while the Shiite hadith further hold the Jews responsible for the deaths of Ali, and his son Hussein—meriting permanent debasement and humiliation (Koran 2:61/3:112); Jews as apes, or apes and pigs (Koran 2:65; 5:60, 7:166)—a Koranic epithet Muhammad personally directed at the Jews according to the sira before the Muslims subdued, and he personally slaughtered, by beheading, all the post-pubescent males, some 700-900, of the Jewish tribe Banu Qurayza; Jews as inveterate conspirators against Islam (the ancient Koranic antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Koran 5:64), who harbor the greatest enmity towards the Muslim creed (Koran 5:82). The Jews’ ultimate sin and punishment are made clear in the Koran: they are the devil’s minions (4:51/60) cursed by Allah, their faces will be obliterated (4:47), and if they do not accept the true faith of Islam—the Jews who understand their faith become Muslims (3:113)—they will be made into apes (2:65/ 7:166), or apes and pigs (5:60), and burn in the Hellfires (4:55, 5:29, 98:6, and 58:14-19).

A brilliant, scrupulously documented 72pp/202 ref 1937 essay in French by rabbi, and Islamic scholar Georges Vajda on the hadith (which Lewis never analyzed, but I felt privileged to have fully translated into English for the first time, and included in The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism), demonstrated that stubborn malevolence is the Jews defining worldly characteristic in these traditions. Rejecting Muhammad and refusing to convert to Islam out of jealousy, envy and even selfish personal interest, lead them to acts of treachery, in keeping with their inveterate nature: “…sorcery, poisoning, assassination held no scruples for them.” These archetypes sanction Muslim hatred towards the Jews, and the admonition to at best, “subject [the Jews] to Muslim domination,” as dhimmis, treated “with contempt,” under certain “humiliating arrangements.” Vajda’s research on the hadith further illustrates how Sunni Muslim eschatology emphasizes the Jews supreme hostility toward Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl—the Muslim equivalent of the Antichrist— and, per other traditions, the Dajjâl is in fact Jewish. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered—everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree. Thus, according to several canonical hadith, Muhammad himself reportedly declared if a Jew seeks refuge under a tree or a stone, these objects will be able to speak to tell a Muslim: “There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him!” Vajda also emphasizes how the notion of jihad war “ransom” extends even into Islamic eschatology:

Not only are the Jews vanquished in the eschatological war, but they will serve as ransom for the Muslims in the fires of hell. The sins of certain Muslims will weigh on them like mountains, but on the day of resurrection, these sins will be lifted and laid upon the Jews.

Lastly, a profound anti-Jewish, and racist motif, put forth in early Muslim Sunni historiography, as well as the Shiite hadith literature, is most assuredly, contra Lewis, a part of “the birth pangs” of Islam: the story of Abd Allah b. Saba, an alleged renegade Yemenite Jew, and, per Sunnis founder of the heterodox Shi’ite sect. Sunnis held him responsible—identified as a black (i.e., a racist motif, as well!) Jew—for promoting the Shi’ite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam’s “political innocence”, culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian strife. Authoritative Shiite authors claimed this identifiably black Jew was guilty of perverting and warping the message of Caliph Ali’s true (Shiite) followers. Mainstream Shiites thus designated Abdullah Ibn Saba an avatar of extreme, heretical beliefs, for which Caliph Ali purportedly had Ibn Saba burned alive, as described in Shiite hadith.

The entirety of this ugly Islamic doctrine—shared, with minimal variation, by Sunni and Shiite Islam alike—begot chronic, grinding oppression, interspersed with paroxysms of violence, including sporadic, mass murderous pogroms, which affected Jewish communities in Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and even mythically tolerant Muslim Spain, to the west, as well as Turkey, to the north, and Iraq and Iran, to the east. Modern Zionism, culminating in the re-establishment of Israel, governed by Jews fully liberated from 13 centuries of jihad-imposed dhimmitude in their ancestral homeland, has re-invigorated Islam’s annihilationist strains of Jew-hatred.

During a Pew Forum interview April 27, 2006 Bernard Lewis opined rather defensively about Islam’s religio-political “law,” the Sharia:

“[W]hen we talk of Muslim law, I would remind you that we are talking about law. Sharia is a system of law and adjudication, not of lynching and terror. It is a law that lays down rules, rules for evidence, for indictment, for defense and the rest of it, quite a different matter from what has been happening recently.”

But Lewis doesn’t elaborate on those “rules,” or any of the elements of Sharia which make it so noxious! I will. Briefly.

The Sharia, Islam’s canon law is traceable to Koranic verses and edicts (45:18, 42:13, 42:21, 5:48; 4:34, 5:33-34, 5:38, 8:12-14; 9:5, 9:29, 24:2-4), as further elaborated in the “hadith,” or traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad and the earliest Muslim community, and codified into formal “legal” rulings by Islam’s greatest classical legists. Sharia is a retrogressive development compared with the evolution of clear distinctions between “ritual, the law, moral doctrine, good customs in society, etc.,” within Western European Christendom, and it is utterly incompatible with the conceptions of human rights enshrined in the US Bill of Rights. Liberty-crushing, and dehumanizing, Sharia sanctions: open-ended 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 to death for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption. Compounding these fundamental freedom and dignity-abrogating iniquities, “matters of procedure” under Islamic law are antithetical to Western conceptions of the rule of law: “evidentiary proof,” is non-existent by Western legal standards, and the Sharia doctrine of siyasa (“government” or “administration”), grants wide latitude to the ruling elites, rendering permissible arbitrary threats, beatings, and imprisonments of defendants to extract “confessions,” particularly from “dubious” suspects. Clearly, Sharia “standards,” which do not even seek evidentiary legal truth, and allow threats, imprisonment, and beatings of defendants to obtain “confessions,” while sanctioning explicit, blatant legal discrimination against women and non-Muslims, are intellectually and morally inferior to the antithetical concepts which underpin Western law.

In light of the still raging 2006 Danish cartoons controversy, regarding the “crime” of blaspheming Islam’s prophet, specifically, thus spake Lewis, the Islamic Yoda of our generation, circa April, 2006:

“The jurists on the whole tend to take a rather mild view of this offense.”

Really? Carl Brockelmann (d.1956), the renowned scholar of Semitic languages, and arguably the foremost Orientalist of his generation, made these candid observations in 1939 about the Sharia’s injunctions pertaining to penal law in general, and so-called “blasphemy and apostasy,” specifically—Islamic Law being “valid” eternally, and all too widely applied in Brockelmann’s era, through the present.

“The penal code of Islam has remained on a rather primitive level…Blasphemy with respect to Allah, the Prophet, and his predecessors is punished by death, as is defection from Islam, if the culprit persists in his disbelief.”

Consider the modern views on blasphemy articulated by the late Ayatollah Montazeri (d. Dec 2009), gushingly championed by fervent Lewis acolytes Michael Ledeen and Reuel Gerecht, and deemed the enlightened spiritual godfather of the so-called Iranian Green Movement. The good Ayatollah adhered rigorously to the traditionalist Shiite dogma on “sabb,” or blasphemy, i.e., instant, lethal punishment of the offender, declaring,

“In cases of sabb al-Nabi [blasphemy against a prophet, in particular, Muhammad]if the witness does not have fear of his or her life it is obligatory for him or her to kill the insulter.”

“Rising Restrictions on Religion,” a report by the Pew Research Center issued August 9, 2011, examined the issue of “defamation” of religion, tracking countries where various penalties are enforced for apostasy, blasphemy or criticism of religions. “While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice they often serve to punish religious minorities whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical,” the report noted. The Pew report, consistent with Brockelmann’s assessment from 1939, found that application of the Sharia at present resulted in a disproportionate number of Muslim countries, 21—Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Western Sahara and Yemen—registering the highest (i.e., worst) persecution scores on their scale. Furthermore, the Pew investigators observed,

Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region. These penalties are enforced in 60% of the countries in the region.

As a predictable consequence of this Sharia-based application of apostasy and blasphemy laws by Islamic governments, the Pew report also documented that,

…the share of national governments that showed hostility toward minority religions involving physical violence was much higher in countries where laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion are actively enforced

Bernard Lewis’s April 2006 apologetic on the Sharia was complemented by the stunning claim he made during a lecture delivered July 16, 2006 about the transferability of Western democracy to despotic Muslim societies, such as Iraq. He concluded with the statement, “Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us,” which was published as, “Bring Them Freedom Or They Destroy Us,” and disseminated widely. Yet Lewis never elucidated the yawning gap between Western and Islamic conceptions of freedom—hurriyya in Arabic. This omission was striking given his contribution to the official Encyclopedia of Islam entry on hurriyya. Lewis egregiously omitted not only his earlier writings on hurriyya but what he had also termed the “authoritarian or even totalitarian” essence of Islamic societies.

Hurriyya, “freedom,” is—as Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) the lionized “Greatest Sufi Master,” expressed it  “perfect slavery,” and following Islamic law slavishly throughout one’s life was paramount to hurriyya. Bernard Lewis, in his Encyclopedia of Islam analysis of hurriyya, discusses this concept in the latter phases of the Ottoman Empire, through the contemporary era. Lewis maintained,

…there is still no idea that the subjects have any right to share in the formation or conduct of government-to political freedom, or citizenship, in the sense which underlies the development of political thought in the West.

Lewis also makes the important point that Western colonialism transiently ameliorated this chronic situation:

During the period of British and French domination, individual freedom was never much of an issueThough often limited and sometimes suspended, it was on the whole more extensive and better protected than either before or after.

And Lewis concludes his entry by observing that Islamic societies forsook even their inchoate democratic experiments,

In the final revulsion against the West, Western democracy too was rejected as a fraud and a delusion, of no value to Muslims.

Lewis, viewed the immediate post-World War II era of democratic experimentation by Muslim societies as an objective failure , rooted in Islamic totalitarianism, which he compared directly to Communist totalitarianism, in his 1954 essay, “Communism and Islam,” noting their “uncomfortable resemblances” with some apprehension. Lewis characterized the political history of Islam,” as “one of almost unrelieved autocracy.” He added,

“[I]t was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical. There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind…in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law”

Directly comparing Islam and Communism, Lewis observed:

“Both offer an exhilarating feeling of mission, of purpose, of being engaged in a collective adventure to accelerate the historically inevitable victory of the true faith over the infidel evil-doers. The traditional Islamic division of the world into the House of Islam and the House of War, two necessarily opposed groups, of which-the first has the collective obligation of perpetual struggle against the second, also has obvious parallels in the Communist view of world affairs. There again, the content of belief is utterly different, but the aggressive fanaticism of the believer is the same…The call to a Communist Jihad, a Holy War for the faith-a new faith, but against the self-same Western Christian enemy — might well strike a responsive note.”

Consistent with Bernard Lewis’s admonition, “Bring Them Freedom Or They Destroy Us,” the US military, at an enormous cost of blood and treasure, liberated Afghanistan and Iraq from despotic regimes. However, as facilitated by the Sharia-based Afghan and Iraqi constitutions the US military occupation helped midwife—which formally negated freedom of conscience, and promoted the persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities—they,” i.e., the Muslim denizens of Afghanistan and Iraq have chosen to reject the opportunity for Western freedom we provided them, and transmogrified it into “hurriyya.” With sad predictability, Lewis, in an April 2, 2011 Wall Street Journal interview, managed to reject his own 1950s characterizations of Islam as authoritarian, even totalitarian, while burbling his subsequent oft repeated pieties about the putative tolerant, anti-authoritarian “tradition” of Islam, to cast a hopeful light on the Arab Spring:

The whole Islamic tradition is very clearly against autocratic and irresponsible rule.. We have a much better chance of establishing…some sort of open, tolerant society, if it’s done within their systems, according to their traditions.

Finally, in May, 2012, George W. Bush appeared to have learned nothing from the Iraq democratization debacle, and how it repudiated his blind adherence to the “Lewis Doctrine.” Mr. Bush hectored critics who did not share his ebullient cognitive dissonance about the then unfolding so-called Arab Spring phenomenon, declaring

Some look at the risks inherent in democratic change, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and find the dangers too great. America, they argue, should be content with supporting the flawed leaders they know, in the name of stability.

Bush II even made the outrageous claim that the, de facto Springtime for Sharia in Araby was tantamount to “the broadest challenge to authoritarian rule since the collapse of Soviet Communism.”

Far more important than mere hypocrisy—a ubiquitous human trait—is the catastrophic legacy of his own Islamic negationism Bernard Lewis has bequeathed to Western policymaking elites.

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Andrew Bostom About / Contact

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism ” (Prometheus, November, 2008)

You can contact Dr. Bostom at info@andrewbostom.org

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