Islam, the Exceptional Ideology
26 May, 2007
This article was an endnote that grew too long to fit as such. Initially, it was meant to be a commentary on just few Koranic verses; however, because of the absurdity of the situation we are in, the commentaries required a different approach. The absurdity is not that Islam is inexplicable, it is rather in the self-imposed handicap imposed on the potential victims of Islam. It is odd enough that this religion continues to exist, considering its intellectual and moral inadequacies. As if that were not bad enough, it is even threatening to take over the world, despite its economic, technological, cultural and military inferiorities, and it seems that most European countries are being eaten alive by Islam without being able to do anything to stop it.
Islam has nothing to offer in response to the pressing problems of the world, such as poverty, environmental degradation, overpopulation and war. Apart from environmental degradation, Islam is the major source of trouble in the world today. It is the major source of threat to the world peace. It does not even offer peace to Muslims among themselves, let alone to non-Muslims.
In addition, it is also the major source of overpopulation, as Muslims are relentlessly urged to procreate as rapidly as they can to outnumber the infidels of the world. Even in regard to environment, Islam lacks any awareness of an environment ethic. And centuries of Islamic rule in the Middle East, through either despotism or dictatorship, both of which have been proven to cause in massive environmental degradation, have surely damaged the ecosystem of the Middle East.
Yet the rest of the world is doing nothing in the way of putting up any intellectual opposition to Islam. The intellectual method is not only the effective method, but it is also the humane method of fighting Islam. This reticence by the rest of the World to tackle Islam is interpreted by Muslims not as a sign of courtesy and sensibility, but as a sign of mean-spirited unwillingness to acknowledge the greatness of Islam and the Koran, and it usually blamed on the Jews’ conspiracy. [i]
Consequently, when some European Muslim youths think that they cannot bear the depravity of the non-Muslim world any longer, they burst onto the major streets of European cities, shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ with faces twisted in rage and holding up placards saying that Islam will dominate the world.
Each time this happens, you will also see, if you watch TV, non-Muslim Europeans, completely baffled, disoriented and terrified, maneuvering their ways around the Islamic crowds, trying to escape as quickly as possible short of running away, perhaps out of fear that running away will offend the protesting Muslims, who assert forcefully that they are peaceful even when wave signs calling for beheadings.
It’s possible that some of these non-Muslim Europeans, may have already resigned themselves to Islamic domination of their land, although they may wish this domination would have waited until they had a chance to pack up and flee to the USA.
Next come the images of the local Islamic leaders, who are typically fat-faced, bearded, big-bellied, dressed in shortened-gowns-or-trousers, and usually have gross bulges under the belly.
You might wonder about the image of the local leaders. Is it just innocent oversight? Are they ignorant of European tastes or are they deliberately disregarding them?
One suggestion is that important Islamic leaders, swimming in multi-European-state-benefits, are uncontrollably eating themselves out of shape while millions of their co-religionists are sleeping hungry. Or, if this is not the case, then maybe their appearance is deliberate.
If planned, then possibly these leaders are completely geared up for holy Jihad and the image they convey of themselves is one of the weapons in their arsenal. Namely, they want to convey the reassuring message to their followers that their leader is a real alpha male with a real, underbelly bulge. It is also possible that they want to intimidate their foes like Tony Blair and George Bush.
In any case it seems we have a war of image terrorism going on here in parallel with the physical war of terrorism. If so, shouldn’t we come up with some good advice for Western leaders on how to deal with it?[ii]
However, to discuss religions, first we have to remind ourselves that scientifically, there is no evidence that there is an omnipotent and omniscient creator. Most peoples’ attachment to the concept of a God nowadays, in the developed countries at least, derives from the wishful aspiration to have a personalized entity to which they can converse, and from which to derive meaning from life, as well as a sense of coherence for the myriad disparate life events they initiate or go through, actively or passively. Historically, the concept of a creator may have been used as an explanation for what humans would understandably fail to explain on empirical bases.
However, the purported omnipotent and omniscient creator plays, not only a relatively benign - though erroneous psychologically or epistemologically -role, but, far more importantly and menacingly, a central political role. Usually, this role is not pointed out adequately by other theories. The Evolutionary Political Theory (EPT, see Knowledge Processing, Creativity and Politics, KPCP), suggests that the supposition of God is one of the schemes or fictitious authorities that are employed by one category of ideologies, namely religions, to provide a phony legitimacy for the unified set of moral rule (USMR).
USMR are necessary for the formation and maintenance of political power. In other words, religions can be seen as the ancient counterpart of modern day ideologies like fascism, racism, communism and the various kinds of nationalism (ideologies are given a different and in fact an original definition in KPCP, also see below). EPT predicts that all ideologies need violence. However, not all ideologies are equally well developed to utilize violence. Islam, though, is one of the most well developed ideologies in this sense -not in the sense of epistemology or rationality, but in the sense of containing ideas that enable it to be effective as an ideology.
Of course, Muslims do not deny that Islam is a political system as well as a religion. The trouble is that Western commentators and politicians refuse to see this fact. They view all religion from the perspective of a contemporary concept formed on the basis of the perception of the modern days Christianity: a concept that does not take into account the fact that Christianity was once as bloody as any other religion and if it has been transformed, it is only because of the subjugating effect of the nation states.
Needless to say, this attitude is both wrong epistemologically and morally: Epistemologically, because it relies on an erroneous concept of religion, removed from its historical context. Morally, because politicians, who make decisions regarding how to deal with Muslims on the basis of this understanding, will very likely leave their both liberal democratic systems and their citizens extremely vulnerable to the dangers of Islam. This proposition is both obvious and substantiated.
Here in this article, I examine some Koranic verses, to see how well of a fit they are with the common explanation of religions in terms of their psychological and epistemological roles. I will also argue that without considering Islam to be a political ideology, these quoted verses (only few among many other equally objectionable verses in the Koran) will make no sense at all. I am also going to engage in a different kind of discourse. This is a ‘what if’ debate based on the supposition that the Muslim notions of Mohammed and Allah are true. If we suppose that Allah and Mohammed are true we will need to introduce some substantial modifications to our worldview. That modification will enable us a better understanding of Allah, the merciful, and we may even be able to sympathize with Him in His predicament.
Why Should a Compassionate Allah Need to Prescribe Terror? If religions were only psychological aids, Islam should have been different. Anyway, what kind of meaning of life would you get from a verse like the following? ‘I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them’ (8:12). Looking at that verse, is it any wonder that Muslims are carrying out all these beheadings nowadays?
The God Who Does Not Trust Human Intelligence. Even if we granted, just for the sake of argument, that there is a God, why was this God not able to trust human intelligence? Human intelligence has been able to discover, through science, so many of the wonderful aspects of life and the universe, and has been invented much wonderful technology. Yet, this God trusts terror over reason.
Still worse, His enforcers were not disinterested and sophisticated people, from whom one might expect good intentions and deeds. Rather, they were desert people living at the edge of civilization, even according to standards of 1500 years ago. The fact that these ragtag warriors of God were allowed to pillage and have sex with captive women justifies the assumption that the motivations for most of these warriors were nothing more than predation and depravity:
‘Forbidden to you are your mothers and your daughters and your sisters and your paternal aunts and your maternal aunts and brothers' daughters and sisters' daughters and your mothers that have suckled you and your foster-sisters and mothers of your wives and your step-daughters who are in your guardianship, (born) of your wives to whom you have gone in, but if you have not gone in to them, there is no blame on you (in marrying them), and the wives of your sons who are of your own loins and that you should have two sisters together, except what has already passed; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And all married women except those whom your right hands possess (this is) Allah's ordinance to you, and lawful for you are (all women) besides those, provided that you seek (them) with your property, taking (them) in marriage not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed; and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise’ (4.24-25).
In fact, the so-called ‘Confederates’ in early Islamic history were known to be non-Muslims fighting along side the Muslims for a share of the booty. ‘Say to the desert Arabs who lagged behind: "Ye shall be summoned (to fight) against a people given to vehement war: then shall ye fight, or they shall submit. Then if ye show obedience, Allah will grant you a goodly reward, but if ye turn back as ye did before, He will punish you with a grievous Penalty"’ (48.16).
What kind of moral model had this Allah offered? The “otherworldly” promise include 72 virgins per Mujahid and eternal consumption of food and drink.
Women Are Equal to Men.
‘Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great’ (4.34).
‘Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad)’ (2.223).
‘Call in two male witnesses from among you, but if two men cannot be found, then one man and two women whom you judge fit to act as witnesses; so that if either of them make an error, the other will remind her’ (2.282).
‘Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice’ (4.3).
KPCP predicts that usually the internal relationship within an ideological system deteriorates, which, if was isolated, may even end up in a state of cannibalism. KPCP also predicts the progressive worsening of the treatment of women and weaker parties within the Islamic, and in general all ideological, systems. It is even possible that the inhuman treatment of women in Islamic society is even worse than what can be justified by the Koran.
The physical and, probably, emotional weaknesses for violence that disadvantage women within ideological systems, on the one hand, and the need for violence in ideological systems, on the other hand, have put women in a vulnerable position. Within ideological systems, a strategy open for men who want to make full use of their capacity for brutality, without incurring the moral objection from the rest of the society, is to portray women, and indeed, other physically weaker members of the society, as morally inferior. Pursuing this strategy is made extremely easy with the sufficient theoretical justification offered in the Koran. I alluded to only a few of them above.
Real equality comes only when we can establish a liberal democratic system that is also freed from the ideological relics of the past, and also when we suppress violent cultures and tendencies in the world.
And Allah Did Not Even Bother to Abolish Slavery: ‘And Allah hath favoured some of you above others in provision. Now those who are more favoured will by no means hand over their provision to those (slaves) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in respect thereof. Is it then the grace of Allah that they deny?’ (16.71).
Did the Allah Take Into Account the Issue of “Ends and Means”? Did not this Allah know the concept of the ends do not justify the means? One of the most noble moral principles, which humanity has realized, is that ends do not justify means. Was this issue too sophisticated for “His” desert mind to fathom? If the aims were good and noble, why were the means (through fighting) not good and noble? If the aim is good, the methods should be good and not violent. Unless Muslims consider violence as good, we cannot see how they justify their method of spreading Islam by force as they did. If there were a god, would he be so unintelligent and oppressive? What kind of ‘meaning of life’ and ‘coherence’ is such a god offering?
Why Should Belief in Mohammed’s Allah Be So Important? The Koran says: ‘Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed’ (4:48).
Saddam was also willing to pardon lots of depraved criminals, yet he would also kill thousands whom he suspect of disloyalty to him. What explains Saddam’s behavior? Saddam was mirroring Allah. What kind of an Allah is this who says that personal morality is less important matter, for him, than loyalty to Him?
If there was a great being who created the whole universe, why should “He” care, in the least, whether an intelligent being, of His creation, acknowledges Him or not? If it is psychological need that drives some humans to seek belief in God, we should expect the “God Himself” not to care. Yet, He is trying to intimidate unbelievers.
Imagine someone who does you some favour (granting just for the sake of argument that the “creator” has done us some favour) and then comes to tell you ‘unless you praise and worship me, I am going to burn you in fire!’ Would you not assume that your man must be deranged, or at the very least mean-spirited? Surely you would feel trapped and unfortunate if you could not escape this fate, and had to conform to this man’s wishes and prostrate yourself to him. Muslims perform all these signs of subjugation five times a day, at least.
Prostrating and crouching are behaviors that female and submissive male have to perform to avoid being attacked by the alpha male. So are Muslims acting like monkeys? Of course, we evolved from monkeys and some behavioral strategies of monkeys are still present in us. But why, of all the possible signs of appreciation and gratitude, would Allah chooses these? At least, Allah should not have thought like an alpha monkey. Can we explain this in any terms other than that this Allah is the creation of the uncultured mind of Mohammed?
From the Darwinian perspective we have indeed evolved from apes. What I suggest without any attention of offending, is that we should always remind ourselves of our origin, so that we avoid acting like monkeys when is possible. Muslim males are unconsciously doing the bidding of their genes: trying to propagate as fast as possible and dominate exactly the way male monkeys do, in the process they do not allow neither themselves, particularly Muslim women, nor non-Muslims any happiness. They bring children to be additional numbers to beat other number but children should mean more than that. So awareness of these issues is crucial.
Is Believing In Allah important to Humans? If So, Why?
Perhaps some might argue that some religions are peaceful and thus useful to humans, but what about Islam? Does Islam really serve any useful purpose for humanity? Are those who believe in Allah instructed to be kind and nice to people in general? No, in fact, their “Allah” tells them explicitly not to be so:
‘Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah’ (3.28).
Even Jews and Christians were denounced and earmarked for harsh treatment at the hands of Muslims:
‘Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christian for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number God does not guide the wrongdoers’ (5:51).
‘Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as belief in neither God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued’ ( 9:29).
Well, are Muslims at least nice to each other? Ask the Kurds, the Darfurians or the slaves of Mauritania about how they are treated by their Islamic brethren. Do Shiites and Sunnis treat each other nicely? Take a look at Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia and you can see the answer - they even make videos of themselves slaughtering of each other and put them up on the Internet. Nowadays, even the Sunni militants in Iraq are killing each other.
Did Islam bring about a peaceful political culture even among the Muslims? Never has Islam been able to maintain a peaceful political life. Even Mohammed’s companions killed each other. So what kind of Islamic future are Muslims hoping for, and what is their promise to the world, which they want, so passionately, to convert to Islam? Needless to say, the lack of a peaceful political culture and the internal killing are all predicted by EPT, and Islam seems to be an ideology par excellence.
Is God Even Less Intelligent Than Humans? Humans brought about a political system, namely liberal democracy, that organizes power struggle peacefully, but Allah and even the God of Christianity failed to think up this system. Is this an awkward case of the creator being less intelligent than the created? Mohammed’s Allah was supposed to have handed down the perfect religion to humanity, which should have given them their salvation from all evils.
Yet, as we would expect from the perspective of EPT, his arguments were not convincing. No doubt, had it not been for the violence that forced Islam on people, and had it not been for the prospect for pillaging and taking captive women as sex slaves, Islam would never have established itself. Even today, should Muslims stop using violence, Islam would end within no more than decades. Islam is essentially religion by violence. If you want to end it, you prevent it from using violence.
If Allah or God were true, should they not at least have been capable of brining about a system that preserves peace (at least in the struggle for political power) as liberal democracy does? From the perspective of EPT, warring among co-religionists is predicted.
What If We Believed: If we believe in Allah and believe that the Koran and the ten commandments are from “Him”, then we will also need to assume that humans can at least be more intelligent than God in political matters, and perhaps even in scientific matters too, considering all the nonsensical things in the Koran that go against empirical fact. So even if there are Gods and Allahs, one should still trust human reason better.
If the story of creation were true, and we believe that the creator is good and not a sadist who enjoys tormenting his creatures, we should also assume that although the creator was capable of creating something as amazing as the universe and life with all their complexities, "He" somehow failed to create a good framework for political organization.
One would have to assume that, poor "Him”, “He” must have lost his wit suddenly, because “He” not only gave us Islam, which sets us killing each other and disregarding the environment, but, also, out of all means of direct communication he could have established with any particular human being, and out of all people in the world, He succeeded only in establishing communication only with Mohammed. However, in return, it seems Allah paid a heavy moral price. He allowed Mohammed to marry a 9 year girl, which we find very objectionable today. He also acted as Mohammed’s valet and cleared they way for Mohammed to marry Zaid’s wife, who was supposed to be his adopted son.
‘And when you said to him to whom Allah had shown favor and to whom you had shown a favor: Keep your wife to yourself and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him. But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them; and Allah's command shall be performed’ (33.37).
It seems Allah had also to function like Mohammed’s secretary or gatekeeper:
‘O Ye who believe! Enter not the dwellings of the Prophet for a meal without waiting for the proper time, unless permission be granted you. But if ye are invited, enter, and, when your meal is ended, then disperse. Linger not for conversation. Lo! that would cause annoyance to the Prophet, and he would be shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of the truth. And when ye ask of them (the wives of the Prophet) anything, ask it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not for you to cause annoyance to the messenger of Allah, nor that ye should ever marry his wives after him. Lo! that in Allah's sight would be an enormity’ (33.53).
These are just few examples of some of the moral compromises, like taking booty and waging the war to spread the religion – that this inept Allah engaged in.
If we believe in the “Holy Scriptures”, with all their scientific shortfalls, and discount the possibility that the Creator is playing some cruel game with us, we must also assume that He must have also lost His memory about how He managed to create, and then gave us all a bunch of false information, via the Holy Scriptures, about how He created the world.
If so, we’d better rely on ourselves and not on Gods. Is it not enough that He gave us a mess like Islam? How many more times does He have to fail us? Should that not have been warning enough for us not to trust Him?
Look! Allah Orders His Creatures to Humiliate Each Other!
‘Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya [protection money] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued’ (9:29).
What Kind of Allah Is This? Is He a Monster, or Is He Helpless and Being Manipulated by Mohammed? (The stern command will say): ‘Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin’ (69:30-37).
What is the purpose of these lines? Are we supposed to be run in fear? However, it should be obvious by now that this ridiculous Allah is not a problem. The problem is those men who for their assumed selfish gains translated these teachings into reality by killing and torturing people who are often much humane than the self-righteous Muslims.
Can an Allah Enjoy Torturing People? ‘These two antagonists dispute with each other about their Lord: But those who deny (their Lord),- for them will be cut out a garment of Fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bodies, as well as (their) skins. In addition there will be maces of iron (to punish) them. Every time they wish to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be forced back therein, and (it will be said), "Taste ye the Penalty of Burning!’ (22:19-22).
The Greater Mess - Jihad and Killing Other Human Beings Is Made Compulsory: ‘Unless ye go forth, (for Jihad) He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least’ (9:39).
EPT predicts that preparing for war and killing is an essential requirement for ideologies. Followers should be primed for bloodshed and atrocities.
Allah Should be Merciful. ‘O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, an evil refuge indeed’ (9:73).
Reassuring, I assume?
Allah must have given in to the political expediencies of an ideological system, and as He did not know of liberal democracy, He agreed to the methods that suited Mohammed’s needs.
Does Mujahid or Jihadist Mean Allah’s Mercenary? Another Example of Allah’s Mental Disorder: Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur’an’ (9:111).
In this Garden, Paradise, men are promised virgins, drinks and all the best dishes. This vision is obviously addressed to the deprived and the base. Wisdom, fine art and other sublime pleasure are not on the menu here. Indeed, Mohammed was averse to all arts, including poetry. Even today, deprivation from sex in life combined with a promise of a fantasy of heavenly sex is the main recruiting pitch for the Jihadists.
But women are not fighters, so they are promised nothing: Not even one hunk per a woman is promised to the poor ladies. So will they be turned into sex slaves even up there? Perhaps, but only if they are lucky and look like voluptuous virgins:
‘Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfillment of (the heart's) desires; Gardens enclosed, and grapevines; And voluptuous women of equal age; And a cup full (to the brim). No vanity shall they hear therein, nor Untruth. Recompense from thy Lord, a gift, (amply) sufficient, (From) the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all between, (Allah) Most Gracious None shall have power to argue with Him. The Day that the Spirit and the angels will stand forth in ranks, none shall speak except any who is permitted by (Allah) Most Gracious, and He will say what is right. That Day will be the sure Reality Therefore, whoso will, let him take a (straight) return to his Lord! Verily, We have warned you of a Penalty near, the Day when man will see (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth, and the Unbeliever will say, "Woe unto me! Would that I were (metre) dust!" (78. 31-40).
Poor, abused Allah: He is even forced to procure voluptuous women for Mohammed’s men. But considering Allah poor mental state, will He be able carry this out? Or will His final miracle be yet another fiasco and produce, instead of voluptuous women, grotesque mini-monsters to await the Mujahids in Heaven? Will that be a disappointment for the Mujahids. Perhaps, they will not know the difference any way, and anything will do for them, considering what they are.
EPT expects that, owing to the fact that men have greater capacity to fight than women, they will be privileged by ideologies. Even in communism, which explicitly demanded equality, men were still privileged over women in terms of political power.
Who Is This Allah? If you assume that this Allah is omnipotent and omniscient, then isn’t it comical the way He opposes some of His own creation and plans wars against them with the help of brigands? How can we know that those who fought for Mohammed were not in it more for pillage than for faith?
Allah’s Scientific Method? How Could Some Muslims Conclude That Science Proves the Existence of Allah? Is the following one of the methods?
‘And if any believe not in Allah and His Messenger, We have prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!’ (48:13).
Why should a creator need to terrorise his creatures into believing in Him? Or maybe we are getting it wrong. After losing His wits, as we mentioned earlier, He wanted to imitate human scientists but because of His confusion, He got it wrong once again. In this confused state of mind, He might have thought that turning a human being into ashes would prove his existence? Why did He need humans to believe in Him in the first place? Does having human beings confess that He is the creator reassure Him somehow and give Him psychological comfort in His difficult times, although, let’s face it, He could be a bit nicer about how he asks for our praise. Does He need psychological aid from us?
Human Sciences and Competition Through Knowledge Claims: Fortunately, humans don’t do science the same way Allahs do. What would we have discovered if humans had been doing science the way Allahs do?
In KPCP, I argued that, considering the advantages that can be gained as a result of knowledge and even claims of knowledge, we can expect the evolution of institutions like science, liberal democracy, and ideologies. The first condition of any school of science is to subject ideas to rigorous critical assessment and if there is any a prediction to be made (hypothesis), this prediction will be run through the gauntlet of experimentation or examination of evidence and observation of results to see if the hypothesis can be shown to be true via the results of experimentation or observation .
Can the Koran survive such an assessment? The problem is that this first step of scientific work - testing the Koranic Hypothesis via experimentation or observation - is not allowed by Muslims.
As a matter of fact, my critique here is a scientific experiment in itself, involving assessing the implication of a hypothesis that Islam and Mohammed are true. I have found so far that supposing that Islam is true leads to all sorts of absurdities. At this point, the onus is on the Muslims to come forward and respond to my arguments. And, in order to conduct this experiment in the best possible way, we should invite more people to contribute their opinions.
Science can only confirm ideas tentatively; that is, only until someone proves them wrong. So scientifically, even if you really believe that a God exists, you can only suggest that God might exist tentatively, and only until someone proves He does not exist.
But whether or not to believe in Allah has implications beyond science. It also has grave moral implications. This Allah says, among other things, “Do not befriend Christians and Jews, kill for the sake of Allah and women should subordinate themselves to men“. Why should we allow anyone to apply certain laws to other human beings without at least consulting them first? When Muslims are trying to intimidate or resort to terror, they are essentially trying to implement moral rules which many of the rest of us find very objectionable. Western governments should protect their citizens from Islamic morality because most of us have not consented to it.
The Essential Nature of Ideologies: Ideologues first claim to have some knowledge, and then forbid or obstruct others from voicing opposition. In practice, this ends up being an ideologue reaping the benefits of knowledge or claims of knowledge while he denies the same benefit to others (KPCP). Of course, an ideology does not succeed simply by issuing decrees and prohibitions. Ideologies usually need violence, and violence needs warriors, but ideologies also need arguments that can impress at least some people. Unfortunately, the argumentative style utilized by ideologies tends towards a lot of unfounded claims and sophistry. However, ideologies earn political power and with political great wealth. Mohammed came from nothing to have many houses and numerous wives and slave girls. Was it bad for him to claim being the prophet of Allah? All Khalifas after him enjoyed palaces full of thousands of Harem. Muslim males enjoy great power in regard to women and wherever they are dominant they dispossess and subjugate the non-Muslims. These are all the benefit of Islam for them. Of course, other Muslims are sent to kill and be killed, but does that matter for Muslim leaders?
Short Remarks About Science, Liberal Democracy and Ideologies: Science and liberal democracy are different in nature to ideologies in that they allow free interaction of and competition between ideas. Although both of these institutions come about when there is a peaceful competition between or through claims of knowledge, they are also different. Moral claims of knowledge, if they are to be processed peacefully, need special institutions. This is because, while we humans live together for centuries even though we disagree on empirical matters, we cannot live together with people who apply moral rules that conflict with ours. If we are to live with each other peacefully, we need to have tentative agreement on a certain set of moral rules (USMR).
The Effect of Claims of Moral Knowledge: Moral values and rules are important because they organize how interacting groups and individuals will behave towards each other. Claiming that women a have moral duty to obey their men, solely by virtue of their sex, means demanding political power (or the power of a community) in support of subjugating women to men. Indeed, such power is lent to men by the state in Islamic countries, and consequently, women are forced into what they call the ‘house of obedience’.
Denouncing a particular industry on a moral basis has the potential to deprive the investors and skilled workers in that industry of their prospective benefits, while shunting those benefits to alternative industries. The point here is that moral rules and values are always against some people and in favour of others.
If each group or individual held and applied differing and conflicting moral principles, peace would not be not possible. We would also expect tension to rise in the following case: Suppose that two communities, (let us assume there is no central government), disagreed over how women should be treated. Hence, women from one community started fleeing to the other. We would expect that each community would demand that the other community conform to its principles about the treatment of women.
Such a tension might escalate into warfare if there were no liberal democracy to arbitrate their conflict, or there were a so-called a power vacuum, when no dominant power structure is available to keep parties from degenerating into overt conflict.
In this context, therefore, multiculturalism, if it means accepting that people can hold differing and conflicting moral principles, is a dangerous blunder. We cannot live together if some of us hold a moral principle that allows them to use violence as a means of dealing with critics. Dealing with critics through violence, and in the meantime promoting one’s own ideas, means benefiting from one’s own ideas, through translating them into a social organization and denying others the benefit from their ideas, ideas which threaten to change the orientation and priorities of one’s social organization.
Nor can we live together without tension if some of us consider themselves morally superior on account of their religion or race, thus discriminating against some of the people they interact with in order to disadvantage them.
People who live with each other and affect each other’s lives, as long as they perceive that that they do indeed affect each other‘s lives, need to agree on a rule set for their interaction, or their moral rules.
Some Remarks Regarding EPT and Liberal Democracy: The idea here is that, in a liberal democracy, electing officials who represent certain ideas and voting on certain laws represent the process of choosing USMR. Liberalism is a fundamental requirement for a meaningful democracy. Liberalism, through its system of universal rights, permits new ideas and values to appear. Moreover, liberalism facilitates the development of campaigns to bring about changes to USMR in the future elections. If elections do not propose new ideas, they are often meaningless charades.
However, according to EPT, the dominant parliamentarian systems are not the only possible methods for choosing USMR. Neither, each and every articles of rights currently associated with liberalism need be seen as indispensable or immutable. We have to remember that the current liberalism evolved within the old ideological system and it still bears many relics of the previous system and this is the main reason for the shortcomings of current liberal democracies. The most important elements of liberalism are those which allow a peaceful interaction of ideas and thus peaceful struggle for power.
The Unsatisfactory Intellectual State: Unfortunately, Muslim groups and so-called Muslim thinkers have been given a very easy ride by the current political and intellectual systems in the West. They are rarely challenged, and when the marginal media outlets challenge them, the Muslim leaders often don’t even respond, probably because they are afraid that they may inadvertently expose their bankrupt notions even further.
Instead of responding with civil discourse, they set loose their mobs in displays of anger and outrage at best, or loose their criminals to assassinate and destroy at worst. Both of these terrorist methods usually succeed in silencing the critics and bring their domination of the world one small step closer. IN contrast to their critics, Muslims themselves enjoy complete freedom to express Islamic ideas, through their countless mosques, along with radio and TV stations and other kinds of media.
The Big Intellectual Hurdle Today: The problem here is that people don’t recognize the need to for interacting individuals and groups to agree on basic moral issues. People in small social networks usually discuss their views on social issues and learn each other’s moral views, since this is a necessary step before deeper involvement. However, in our current model of liberal democracy, most people lack even an awareness of the need to take this first step.
What is needed is first, institutionalized procedures for various subgroups to codify their rules and values in some way so the rest of us can know what they are, and then to submit them to the community at large for discussion and deliberation. The second step would involve submitting those moral rules and principles, which have substantial social backing, to a vote so that USMR is chosen. In the meantime, we should request that all individuals and subgroups stop practicing those moral rules that have not been sanctioned through this liberal democratic process.
It seems utopian, but even here, we cannot expect perfection. The current liberal democracy has evolved, as stated above, from within the ideological systems of the past. Many institutional and ideological relics persist and damage society. One of these is people’s attitude toward religions.
It is still not too late, but time is running out. All it takes is to provide a space for public debate about all what is involved in Islam and demand that until the next liberal democratic exercise of election, Muslims and non-Muslims should apply only those rules that are sanctioned liberal democratically. Without this condition the liberal democracy will be eaten from within for sure.
KPCP suggested that liberal democracy is the institution that provides the platform for the examining of and deliberating upon differing moral ideas and choosing the set of moral rules that the majority agrees on. Through regular and periodic elections, liberal democracy also provides for the opportunity to reform and update the USMR so that it can continue to represent the views of the majority and promote new moral thinking. Yet liberal democracy should not be conflated with mere democracy. Democracy in and of itself is very dangerous. Allow me to explain. A civilised society needs liberal democracy but not democracy in the sense of the majority rule.
Islam and Democracy: In the light of the above, for instance, Iranian democracy, where questioning of Islam is not allowed, is a sham with only having the appearance of democracy but lacking the substance. Iran’s democratic future will hang on whether violence in the course of power struggle will continue to be allowed. Muslims are trying to portray Islam as a good, peaceful and civilized institution. Non-Muslims need to pressure Muslims to, as much as possible, abstain from and condemn any violence in the course of ideational interactions.
But Isn’t Islam Opposed to Change and Driven By Fear?
‘And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers. How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Messenger was true and clear arguments had come to them; and Allah does not guide the unjust people. (As for) these, their reward is that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men, all together. Abiding in it; their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be respited. Except those who repent after that and amend, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Surely, those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in unbelief, their repentance shall not be accepted, and these are they that go astray. Surely, those who disbelieve and die while they are unbelievers, the earth full of gold shall not be accepted from one of them, though he should offer to ransom himself with it, these it is who shall have a painful chastisement, and they shall have no helpers’ (3.85-91).
Hmm, Allah also seems to be interested in gold. Islam’s antidemocratic tendencies are even more striking in this verse:
‘It is not for true believers—men or women—to order their own affairs if God and His apostle decree otherwise. He that disobeys God and His apostle strays grievously into error’ (The Koran, 33.36).
So according to this verse, polygamy, slavery, the treatment of the non-Muslims, apostates, the Jihad and host of other issues are all givens and cannot be changed. So why should Muslims even bother with democracy? Indeed, Muslims want only one thing from democracy, and that is to it to achieve dominance and thence to impose Islam. So it is not safe to allow Muslims to participate in democracy as long as they refuse to change Islam or even to reject one verse of the Koran.
Is There a Good Reason to Believe in Mohammed and His Allah? After all the arguments above, can we find any good reason to be a Muslim? Muslims are Muslims because of erroneous assumption about the goodness of Islam, a notion they have had drummed into their heads since childhood. Probably many Muslims will usually have no interest in torturing and killing other humans, but many others are more than prepared. But the inherent violence of Islam is the reason that many people are leaving the religion.
For those who do remain Muslims, the civilized world should not allow them into its territories. Western governments blithely and suicidally admit across their borders those who follow the Koran and become the head and fingertip choppers of tomorrow. Sexist and misogynist Muslims should not be welcomed in to the West to menace and assault women. Remember that Muslims allow what they term “marrying captive women”, something the rest of the world calls rape. Muslims engage in this practice insofar as they regard themselves living in a state of Jihad, and see their mission as that of liberating non-Muslim lands and countries in the cause of Allah, as they did in the early history of Islam.
To wrap up, I would say that if Islam and the history associated with it were presented just as history, we could accept that the atrocities associated with Islam are mere history with few consequences. We know that most, if not all, past political establishments were atrocious themselves in one way or another. We know about the carnages and destructions and massive scale pillaging that were carried out by most, if not all, nations and empires. Nevertheless, many of us have moved beyond the barbaric past towards a more civilized present.
Yet Islam is presented to us as the most sublime political system
and Mohammed as an exemplar of good behaviour and a model to follow.
It is not regarded only as history but rather as a model for the
present and future. Islamic terrorists are following Mohammed’s
example and teachings to the letter. Is that what we want?
I have no doubt that Muslim fanatics will get outraged by articles like this one. They have a vested interest in keeping the truth about Islam from coming out. Nevertheless, the purpose of articles like this is to help Muslims, not to hurt them, and at the same time to help the world, because Islam is a danger to mankind.
Let’s face it: Islam, amongst other things it does, serves the interests of the violent and the aggressive. Aggressive Muslims and their misled followers, usually young Muslim men, need to silence critics like me. Their tactic is both simple and open. They want to silence the critics so their voices will dominate the crowd. In a way, they want to turn all of humanity into a crowd to be driven by fear and violence. Protect free speech: refuse to allow yourself to be driven by fear.
[i] Scientists in the West should not be surprised if in the future some Muslims condemn them for plagiarism. These Muslims may argue that scientists have been extracting all their knowledge and science from the Koran without acknowledging it.
[ii] When it is a farcical time and you got a farcical foe, even if it is deadly, the best advice is to be as farcical, because unless we tune in to the same wavelength as they do, we will fail to engage. So let’s offer a bit of advice to Western male leaders only: ‘Next time you see a local Islamic leader with that familiar bulges under his belly, do not be intimidated! Instead, call for the TV cameras, but before you appear, make sure you pad your crotch well with some rags. Or you can take a note from ‘The Spinal Tap’. (The “musicians” in the film claimed that they had armadillos in their pants, but a security check at the airport, revealed that one had a cucumber instead). But if you wanted to frighten Abu Hamza or Abu Qatada, you need to put some real armadillos down there, but make sure it’s a small armadillo that’s missing its teeth so you are not too inconvenienced. Or maybe you can ask Western corporations to invent some new crotchwear to frighten those Islamic leaders. Western culture has been very successful in inventing new technologies!
But female politician need to be warned that this area is out of bounds for them. We don’t want Muslims all over the world to laugh at us; we want them to be frightened. Hopefully, someone in the West will be able to come up with some sexual baggage that will work for women too. But until then, this crotch-extension business is a male domain only!
Showan Khurshid is the author of : "Knowledge Processing, Creativity and Politics: A Political Theory based on the Evolutionary Theory" which can be purchased from Amazon..