A poster at this website recently asked: “There is an excellent PhD just waiting to be written re. the peculiar mental pathologies that Islam inculcates in its adherents….Has that PhD been written?”
Yes. Here and there. Look at Andre Servier’s book, now on line (put online by a JW poster alerted to its merits). Look at “The Arab Mind” by Patai; figure out where he avoids the word “Islam” and supply it yourself. Other books — such as that by John Laffin — limn the same, sometimes better. Studies of the Qur’an have been completed that show how replete with aggression the text is, and which draw the obvious conclusions — the conclusions that so few in Washington or other Western capitals will draw, or even dare to think much less talk about — but at the moment the names of the Danes and the Dutch authors involved escape me.
It’s all there. How Islam discourages free inquiry at every step. How Islam encourages submission to the blind and irrational (or at least not necessarily rational, but rather whimsical) will of Allah. How Islam encourages intolerance of others and an inability to compromise, but rather inculcates a zero-sum view of the world as divided between the victor and the vanquished. It starts with Believer (victor) and Infidel (vanquished), but can also be seen in the way that various groups of Muslims naturally treat each other.
Look at the Fast Jihad (Hamas) and the Slow Jihad (Fatah or PLO) in Gaza. Look at Sunnis and Shi’a in Iraq (not to mention Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, and even Yemen). All of it clearly related — and yet somehow never related — to not merely the tenets, but what has been carefully described here about two thousand times as the “attitudes” and “atmospherics” of Islam, which arise naturally out of the canonical texts — Qur’an and Hadith and Sira — and the most authoritative commentators on those texts.
Tenets, attitudes, atmospherics of Islam — they are all part of the same thing, and they can all be seen at work in societies suffused with Islam. There are those most suffused, with legal systems closest to the Shari’a: Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sudan, Pakistan. And now Somalia may be added to the list. There are those only slightly less complete and fanatical in their adherence to Islam: Egypt, Jordan, the U.A.E., the so-called “Palestinians” in those territories some call “Palestinian”; areas of Iraq under local control of local Shi’a (as in Basra) or Sunnis (as in Ramadi). Then Islam is observed less still in Morocco and Algeria and Libya (where the colonel has his own ideas, some of them hardly Islamic at all). Then there is still another group, with Tunisia and Oman being even milder in their Islam. In Tunisia this is the result of secularizing Bourguiba and the Destour Party and now Ben Ali, who runs a police-state designed to keep Islam down. Oman is a special case because of the influence both of Ibadiya Islam and Sultan Qaboos’s wisdom. Then there is Syria, with its Alawites needing to preserve the role of the local Christians who are no threat to Alawites and who can help withstand the Sunni Ikhwan; Turkey, with its Kemalism tattered but not completely torn; and assorted non-Arab Muslim states, such as the “five stans” of Central Asia, in which so much stamping out of Islam (as of all religion) was accomplished by the Soviets during the basmachi uprisings, and where a non-Muslim population in Kazakhstan, for example, as well as the intelligently secular Kazakhs, have helped to keep Islam down as a political and social force. Indonesia, meanwhile, until recently managed, partly under Dutch rule, and then under the secular Sukarno, to constrain Islam because there was another, non-Arab identity and history to appeal to, whereas Arab Muslims have an ethnic identity that overlaps almost completely with, and reinforces and is reinforced by, Islam.
And so on.
But start with those books. Then go on from there.
Do you think anyone in the Pentagon or the State Department has managed to produce a list such as that above, with a sliding scale that measures the suffusion of a particular Muslim society or state with Islam? It would take a minute. But they don’t do it. They don’t even think in those terms. And if you think they could produce such a list, and what’s more, offer a coherent explanation with reference to local histories as to why one country is this way and another that way, you are far too hopeful. Whatever your worst fears about the level of understanding in our government may be, they do not come close to the awful truth.
“The Awful Truth.” A wonderful movie in which Irene Dunne sings a funny song to a bunch of stuffed-shirt swells before Cary Grant again carries her off in his automobile. Funny for the movie.
Not so funny when it applies to that State Department, that Pentagon, that Congress, that Washington press corps.