“I do not accept the mendacity of the so-called Moderate Islam. I do not believe that a Good Islam and a Bad Islam exist. Only Islam exists. And Islam is the Koran. And the Koran says what it says.” –Oriana Fallaci, 2006
I can sympathize with the atheists. With what is going on in the world today—the wars, the revolutions, the terrorism, the mass executions—in the name of religion, who wouldn’t be just a tiny bit disgusted with the very idea of adhering to a religion, any religion, that commands a subjugated silence for its potential opponents and dissenters? However, if one looks closely, one can readily notice that there is only one religion that exists today as the common denominator behind these recurring human tragedies: Islam. Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes, “Much as the apologists dislike hearing it, Islam is giving all religions a bad reputation. Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself.”
Neil Kressel referred to Islam as being “infected” with antisemitism. I disagree with this viewpoint. This is to suggest that Islam, in its very essence, is salubrious and absolutely good for mankind and that its manifestations of anti-Jewish hatred and hatred of all others came afterward, as if by chance and coincidental. Ayaan Hirsi Ali refutes such facilitative theories when she writes, “As I see it, the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts. It simply will not do for Muslims to claim that their religion has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists. The killers of Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram cite the same religious texts that every other Muslim in the world considers sacrosanct.” Ayaan Hirsi Ali promotes the idea, as do I, that “Any serious discussion of Islam must begin with its core creed, which is based on the Quran…”
I don’t pay much attention to those whose arguments in defence of Islam are presented by way of “context dropping,” to use Ayn Rand’s terminology. It’s quite obvious to me that, in the Western narrative, the way we are always too accommodative for our own good, Muslim antisemitism is neatly omitted from discussion of all things Islamic. This omission has become so shameless and so commonplace that Muslims today, both clerics and laity, even those who boast of intellect and education, equate honest criticism of their conspicuously violent behaviour to the persecution suffered by Jews at the hands of the Nazis. The irony in this insouciantly false comparison—an irony which continually escapes notice—is that the Muslim today replaces the Nazi of yesterday as the anti-Jewish oppressor. The “moderate” Nazis of 1933 were those who voted Adolf Hitler into power.
Western society is being bombarded with a primarily Arab propaganda that insists we finally accept the view, despite our conscientious objections and refusals, that the Jew, according to certain Quranic sources, really is evil and quite deserving of our scorn. As Robert Wistrich writes, “Arab and Muslim antisemitism is the Trojan Horse designed to undermine the West’s belief in its own values.” Even Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, of San Diego University, that most timid of sophists, concedes that, “Antisemitism has become an entrenched tenet of Muslim theology, taught to 95 percent of the religion’s adherents in the Islamic world.”
There is only Islam. And Middle Eastern history is glaring proof that “jihad” is not a defensive ideology. The problem is, and remains, that the same Islam we are told honours the “people of the Book” is the same Islam that, apparently, does more to inspire Muslims to murder them in their beds. As I have written elsewhere, I have never expected to find that elusive Islam promised by its apologists. I don’t see it, although I’ve never stopped searching for it. The proofs against their promises of its existence have become a reductio ad absurdum. Or as Bertrand Russell once noted, “…more cranks take up unfashionable untruths than unfashionable truths.”
And how can we expect, with any measure of confidence, these apologists and sophists to admit to such tragic untruths when their religion, the Islam that exists (as opposed to the Islam promised us), has instructed them, by weight of conscience, that those hyperbolic boasts of their Quran obsolesces all other peoples and paths to paradise and proscribes against, with the threat of death, all other metaphysical considerations? But I find in their boasts—and especially in their refusal to prove the worth of those boasts—, to borrow from Primo Levi, “…the true, the possible and the fantastic were intermingled in a varied and inextricable tangle.”