“The parents of 24,000 children in northern Pakistan refused to allow health workers to administer polio vaccinations last month, mostly due to rumours that the harmless vaccine was an American plot to sterilise innocent Muslim children.” — from this article
The assorted crazinesses and conspiracy theories (I like best that well-known one about Neil Armstrong hearing the azan on the moon — one giant step for Homo Islamicus, apparently) that are widely believed in the Islamic world provide yet another example of the susceptibility to lunatic ideas and the most absurd rumors among populations of people who have been brought up in societies where they are deliberately taught not to think.
For Islam teaches that Allah must never be questioned. The products of his will or whim are simply there. Ours not to reason why, for Allah Knows Best. And that is how the ask-mr-fatwas sites, in giving their opinions which have the effect of unappealable rulings to the inquiring (“Can I wear a bouffant hairdo?” “Can I defecate in a toilet if the water in the bowl is still?” “Can I inherit property from the parents of my ‘reverted’ spouse?”) always conclude: Allah Knows Best.
The habit of submission in Islam (Islam means “submission”) is not merely one of submission to Allah over rituals. It is a larger submission, a Total Submission. And that submission includes the habit of Mental Submission. That helps to explain why, after a very short period, in the first few centuries of Islam, that is at a time when the lands conquered by Muslims were still largely inhabited by Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, there was here and there the transmission of discoveries made by non-Muslims (e.g., Hindu mathematicians), and also very modest development of what might be called science. The modesty of Islamic science and technology can be seen by quickly consulting any of the authoritative histories of science and technology. But one discovers that:
1) many of those involved in these scientific endeavors were either Christians or Jews, or were Muslims whose parents or grandparents had been Christians and Jews, and therefore their mental formation, and that of the societies in which they grew up, had not yet been thoroughly islmamized; and
2) the people involved held views that in most cases were dangerously un-Islamic. Ar-Razi, for example, could reasonably be described as a freethinker. In other words, what brief scientific effort there was, between, say, 800 and 1200, in what is called High Islamic Civilization, was not the product of Islam, but was rather the product of individuals, many of them not themselves molded by Islam or even believers in Islam.
The habit of mental submission leads not only to susceptibility to every kind of crank belief, or even to the entertaining of two separate and contradictory beliefs (“The Arabs could not have been responsible for 9/11/2001 and it must have been the Mossad” and “The Americans had it coming to them and they will get more of it from us”), but to a touching desire to find validation in some praise for Islam uttered here and there, over the centuries by this or that non-Muslim. For it is with a desperate eagerness that Muslims quote the list of cranks and oddballs who, in the Western world, converted or “reverted” to Islam: a French doctor, Bucaille, who treated the Saudis; Leopold Weiss (Muhammad As’ad); an upper-class twit like the son of Lord Burt, former head of the BBC; and assorted others including all the female yvonne-ridleys who have found in Muslim dress something that answers their felt need, their need to be “someone special” or that “special someone” in a world that otherwise pays them no never mind.
Muslims are inculcated with and exhibit a sense of superiority: we are Muslims, we are the Best People (cf. Qur’an 3:110), “Islam must dominate and is not to be dominated,” Allah will prevail and Muslims have a right to, and will, rule everywhere. At the same time, they can see that there is something wrong with Muslim societies and polities. They can see that they have produced nothing of cultural or scientific significance, or at least they have some inkling of that. They can see that the Muslims have produced nothing, and their wealth is merely the result of an accident of geology. They can see that not only the ancient hated rival, Western Christendom (as they still regard it), long ago pulled away from them — and so have the formerly impoverished countries of East Asia. They can see, and Arab “intellectuals” who write reports for the U.N. can identify, the failure of Arab (and other Muslim) societies to produce scientific papers, to publish books, to translate other books, to create their own universities that are semi-decent. Their societies are, culturally and artistically, failures.
But they cannot conceivably blame Islam itself for those failures. That cannot be done. They cannot point to the limits on artistic expression and mental freedom that is part of Islam. They cannot dare to note that the habit of mental submission is at the heart of Islam. So they must blame…the Infidels. They must, that is, again and again, if they are even willing to admit that something is wrong, blame those Infidels — because otherwise they would have to blame themselves. They would have to blame what created and molded them, which is Islam.
And that they will not do.
But we, by noting all this, we the Infidels, by being aware of it ourselves, can force at least some Muslims to make that connection themselves. We need not accept blame for what is the fault of Islam. We need to do this for many reasons. We need to do it to shut off the possible appeal of Islam to the economically and psychically marginal by showing them not so much that Islam is “for losers” (an unpleasant phrase) but that Islam itself creates whole societies of “losers” — or of those that exhibit political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral failures directly attributable to the teachings, the attitudes, the atmospherics of Islam.
And by understanding this ourselves in the Infidel lands, more people will be keener to recognize the nature of Jihad and the variety of its instruments. They will then better understand the full civilizational menace to themselves and their descendants of the spread of Islam and the growth of Muslim populations deep within Infidel lands.
Finally, if there is to be hope of appealing to the most intelligent Muslims, those who at least admit there is a grave problem, helping them to dare to make the connection between the failures of Islamic societies and of Islam may cause the growth of incipient self-doubt and self-questioning. This will, at the very least, weaken the hold of Islam on its brainwashed or fearful adherents, and may even cause some, especially among non-Arabs, to begin to see Islam as a vehicle of Arab imperialism, cultural, linguistic, and political, and to begin to consider returning en masse either to the faith (Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, even in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans Christianity and Judaism) of their forcibly converted ancestors, or perhaps to another belief, or no belief at all.