By Angry Anonymous
My philosophical and ethical outlook is best summed up in the phrase ‘live and let live.’ That being the case it was a natural fit for me when I stumbled upon libertarianism, with the non-aggression principle at its core and its emphasis on individual freedom. If everyone on the planet would accept just this one tenet – peace would prevail regardless of what else they may or may not believe.
Let us assume for a moment that the world is at such a state, the non-aggression principle has been universally accepted and ‘world peace’ that goal of beauty pageant contestants everywhere, has finally been achieved. Now into this mix is born a new ideology which says, ‘No way, I didn’t agree to that, I believe my ideology is superior and I will use any and all means to propagate it. Submit or die.’
I am not a pacifist. Neither are most people. Most of us will fight back and resort to violent means if provoked. So once we make the offer of ‘live and let live’ and it is rejected, how do we deal with such a party? How do you deal with ideologies such as Communism and Islam, which seek to impose themselves upon us and whose violence is conveniently channelled through a handful of individuals but which are a threat in their entirety?
We don’t use violence against those who have done us no harm. To do so would make us the aggressors. We can only act against those specific individuals who carry out the acts of violence and yet it is the ideology in whose name they act which is the real threat.
For the purposes of this article we’ll use 9/11 as an example but we could just as easily use the violence in India, or Russia, or Europe, or Africa, to make these points and lay out this case. Many of us may have considered and grappled with various explanations for all of those disparate events, for Bali to Beslan, but we’ll restrict ourselves to the explanations given for 9/11.
I personally believe 9/11 to be a false flag event, but will be setting that aside and only considering the other, ‘real’ explanations.
Of these there are but two. The ‘they hate our freedoms’ explanation, and the ”their’ actions are a reaction to ‘our’ actions’ explanation, or blowback.
The first one of course we all know to be ludicrous and so we need not entertain it. Those who do accept this explanation live in a world of fantasy and are welcome to continue to do so.
It is the second explanation that is the focus of this article.
This is an issue that has been of interest of to me for a number of years and a very useful technique to employ in dealing with it is to visualize the problem. That is to say, to have a picture of the world map in your head and to highlight the trouble spots.
This is not a new idea. Or at least not entirely so in that we do have Huntington’s ‘bloody borders’ concept from almost two decades ago to build upon.
To find this outline map of the world, draw two ovals on it and label them took me less than a minute and it serves as a useful aid.
There are those regions that have been affected by the Ultimate Cause of Islamic violence, from its inception on down, and there are those affected by the Proximate Causes. Note that the Proximate Causes oval is not merely the outer band. That is to say, Proximate Causes are applicable even within the inner oval, but the reverse is not necessarily true. As the reader is well aware just about the entire planet has been affected by the Proximate Causes of Islamic violence.
What is immediately obvious of course are those parts of the world that do not fall within the Ultimate Cause oval. These include the United States (the Americas as a whole), Northern Europe, the Far Eastern reaches of Asia, Australia etc.
Now, this just happened to be the path that history took. It was believed that there was no other land on the planet apart from the essentially singular landmass that makes up Asia, Europe and Africa, and so Islam never invaded the Americas during its initial centuries-long outward thrust. So there remained regions – beyond the points where Islam was stopped, and those where it chose not to venture – untouched by that initial outward push. If the presence of the Americas and of people living there had been known, would Islam have invaded? We’ll never know. Be that as it may, the Islamic heyday, its Caliphates on down to the Ottoman Empire, never touched large parts of the globe including the Americas. That initial thrust I believe was a result of the Ultimate Cause of Islamic violence, its teachings themselves.
Now to return to the explanations for 9/11. The libertarian argument which posits that 9/11 was a reaction to US actions in Muslim lands is the only sensible explanation. Because the United States has been meddling in Islamic countries for decades, and continues to do so today, some Muslims – not all – feel the need to exact revenge against said United States. We know this argument is sound and that the Neocon argument does not hold water.
As a quick aside to dismiss the Neocon rationale and illustrate the non-aggression principle let us consider the following scenario. Let’s say I was on a bus sitting next to a guy who has killed ten people. He happens to be a psychopath who kills for the sake of killing. No one knows that he is a killer. The cops aren’t looking for him, no one suspects him. Now, if I were to pick a fight with him for some reason, if I were to initiate violence against him for some reason, and cause him physical harm, it should be plainly obvious to all observers that I would be in the wrong. That he is a killer is irrelevant to our confrontation. He did nothing to me, he did not aggress against me and so I have no case to use violence against him. I would have to be punished for having wronged him. However, once that has been taken care of we are still left with the fact that there is this killer at large.
Noting the truth about Islam does not place one in the same camp as the frothing-at-the-mouth Neocons. Asia, Europe and Africa have been dealing with the threat of Islam since long before the Neocons came along. And it is by that same token that I argue that the Ultimate Cause of Islamic violence is not now and never has been America’s Problem. If the Proximate Causes of Islamic violence are removed America can go back to its blissful, Ocean-guarded existence. Regardless of what foolish opportunists like Hitchens might say about Jefferson fighting the Berber pirates.
The wrongs of the American Empire over the last century and more, and the wrongs of the British Empire before it are well documented. Which means we can plainly see that plenty of non-Muslim countries have been invaded and occupied by the American Empire over the duration of its existence. And yet there aren’t many terrorists from those countries. There aren’t many Filipino or Vietnamese terrorists waging war on America. If the list of countries is expanded to include those invaded and occupied by other empires such as the British and the French, not to mention the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and more, it would just about be the entire membership of the United Nations General Assembly. And yet there aren’t too many people from non-Muslim countries providing invasion and occupation as excuses to carry out acts of violence. Not too many black Africans blowing themselves up in Paris even though French meddling and plunder in Africa is ongoing and not merely something confined to history.
Did India invade Kashmir or did Islam invade Kashmir (and the rest of India)? It could be argued that the troops representing the current dispensation in New Delhi invaded Kashmir and if the Muslims in Kashmir wish to free themselves from faraway, non-Muslim New Delhi, then they should be able to do so. If they view Indian troops as occupiers and want them to leave, the troops should leave. The Indian state should leave.
Government is everywhere and always a necessary evil and if it must exist at all it must be small and local.
As an opponent of the state I do consider the Indian presence in Kashmir an occupation. However, as one who has a knowledge of history I also know that India didn’t invade Kashmir, Islam did. Islam invaded Kashmir like it invaded the rest of the sub-continent and killed or converted tens of millions. And so I am able to see both proximate and ultimate causes. On a side note, the regime in New Delhi continually keeps insisting that Kashmir is an ‘internal’ issue but it fails to treat it as such. The solution is to trifurcate the state: make Buddhist Ladakh and Hindu/Sikh Jammu separate states and simply ‘let go’ of the valley of Kashmir.
Did Russia invade the Caucasus or did Islam invade the Caucasus? Both actually, but that is immaterial. If the Muslims of the Caucasus wish to be free of influence from faraway Moscow they should be free of it. If they want Russia out that is all that matters. The Russian state should leave.
Government is everywhere and always a necessary evil and if it must exist at all it must be small and local.
Did China invade East Turkestan (the Chinese name for it translates as ‘New Frontier’) or did Islam invade East Turkestan? Both, but if the Uyghurs wish to be free of faraway Beijing they should. The Chinese state should leave.
Government is everywhere and always a necessary evil and if it must exist at all it must be small and local.
Did the Christians make war (the crusades) on the Muslims or did Islam invade Jerusalem and later Europe itself?
Did the Jews invade Israel or have at least some of them always lived there?
Did the Arabs invade Palestine or have they always lived there including in their pre-Muslim avatars?
In each of these cases and numerous others, we must consider which action came first and what was the reason or reasons for that action. It is fashionable in the ‘west’ to state that the Muslims haven’t attacked anyone since at least the 1500’s. This by way of suggesting that Muslims haven’t initiated violence since that date. That is a very poor and incomplete view of history to put it mildly. If one wishes to be extremely generous one might concede that perhaps Islam hasn’t initiated acts of violence against the ‘west’ for a long time but its acts of aggression elsewhere have continued in an unbroken train since its birth. One rarely hears or reads about the initiators of violence of the pre-Modern era.
If one looks at the history of Islam as a whole, across all regions and across the entirety of its existence, the picture that emerges is fairly clear. The reader must ask himself if the violence is incidental, with wealth, power and other considerations being the motivators, or is it the driver?
Let’s look at the Quran and the Hadith. Let’s look at the life of Muhammad. Let’s look in short at Islam itself.
Let’s also distinguish between the tactic, ‘terrorism’ and the motivation. That word terrorism has in my opinion lost all meaning over the course of these last ten years. The recent events in Norway would qualify as terrorism and yet the word isn’t used in this case because terrorism has come to denote Islamic violence alone. Occasionally the word is used with the qualifier ‘state’ prefixed to it, but even such a use only highlights the inadequacy of the term. Anders Breivik by the way is a sad but fitting example of the confusion that persists in the minds of many non-Muslims. His muddled manifesto mixing the very real suffering of actual victims of Islamic violence, both recent and historic, with Neocon language and propaganda illustrates how muddied the waters have become.
The actions of the American Empire, the wars of choice and wars of aggression, as well as the actions of other non-Muslim states provide the excuses and the justifications, but we must not lump together the real, existential threat that Islam poses, with blowback. We must not conflate and confuse the two. The actions of the American Empire make the very real fight against Islamic aggression seem phony as well. It makes Muslims out to be the victims always and everywhere and non-Muslims the aggressors always and everywhere. Never mind Muslims killing Hindus in India, Buddhists in Thailand, and Christians in the Philippines, Russia, Europe and Africa. Never mind their open, unabashed calls to violence, BASED on their texts. It all gets filed under the rubric of defence. Defence that is on the part of Islam against all of us non-Muslim aggressors.
We have a situation where current realities, Proximate Causes, allow Muslims to claim victimhood, and based on Proximate Causes alone, that claim is valid and true, but the Ultimate Cause is obscured, or worse, not even acknowledged to exist. When the Ultimate Cause is considered the picture is almost entirely reversed with abusers becoming victims and victims becoming abusers.
Which is why dismantling the American Empire would be the best thing to achieve clarity. It would remove the justifications. Every conflict could then be seen in its own light for what it is and judged independently. I want India out of Kashmir, Russia out of the Caucasus, and all the rest of it precisely so that the excuses can be taken away, the rationales can be taken out of the equation. Did Islamic violence in Europe start after the Europeans started meddling in Muslim countries? Did Islamic violence in India start after the ‘anti-Muslim pogrom’ in Gujarat, or the destruction of the Babri mosque, or the Indian ‘occupation’ of Kashmir? Is Islamic violence in Africa a recent phenomenon? Slave trade anyone?
We don’t become one with the Neocons if we recognize the violence inherent in Islam.
Why are we still talking about dialogue between civilizations? Islam wasn’t born yesterday. Neither were Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism or Hinduism. None of these ‘isms’ were born yesterday. If there is still violence, if there is still a need to clear misunderstandings we must ask why that is. Be it the Philippines, or Indonesia, or Thailand, or China, or Bangladesh, or India, or Russia, or Europe, or Africa, we have disputes between Islam and some other party. Why is that so?
Are all non-Muslim ideologies, belief systems, value systems, philosophies in perfect agreement or harmony with each other? Of course not. Is there a complete absence of violence in all their dealings and interactions? Of course not.
Yes there are disagreements between Christians and Jews, Christians and Hindus, Hindus and Buddhists. But how many inter-religious hot conflicts can you name today where Islam is not one of the belligerents? (Sri Lanka doesn’t count. Contrary to popular perception that is an ethnic tussle through and through. A Tamil-Sinhalese conflict, NOT a Hindu-Buddhist conflict, where oftentimes both the Tamil and Sinhalese belligerents are Christian.)
Certain left-leaning or anti-imperialist Christians and Jews tend to cast a sympathetic eye upon Muslims as fellow Abrahamics who worship the same ‘one god’ as themselves; that they basically subscribe to a similar ethical and moral system as yourself; that they are basically good people who just want to live their lives peaceably and be left alone. All of that I cannot speak to. As a non-Abrahamic I will not claim to be able to decipher the Muslim view of Jews and Christians, or the Christian or Jewish view of Muslims. I can only speak to what seems to me to be the Muslim view of non-Muslims as a whole. Namely, the ‘House of Islam’/’House of War’ view of the world. (There is also apparently a ‘House of Safety’)
It is probably safe to assume that the majority of Muslims – much like the majority of adherents of other religions and belief systems – have never actually read the texts of Islam or know much about its history. They assume it espouses peace and brotherhood and other warm and fuzzy concepts. Then there are those who have read the texts, reject its violence and use their own good judgment and opt for peaceful co-existence. And finally there are those who read the texts and perform an outright rejection. But we our concerned solely with those who read the texts and take its message literally and to heart. I accept that Muslims are Muslim (and this is just as true for those belonging to other religions/value systems) by accident of birth. They are Muslim because they were born into Muslim families or Muslim societies. Yes the vast majority are good and decent and peaceful, but they are that way in spite of Islam not because of it. And they are good precisely because they allow their personal morality to trump the morality of the Quran. They are not the ones who concern us. We are concerned with the fundamentalists. The ones who stick to the fundamentals of Islamic teaching. The ones who act upon the words of the Quran and seek to emulate the life of Muhammad. Does the motivation come from the texts or are these actors just the misguided few?
During the Cold War if an observer pointed out the danger posed by the arms race or the wastefulness of the multiple wars, that did not imply that he had failed to recognize Communism for the evil that it was. It did not mean that he espoused the view that Communism was basically good and that it was the evil American military-industrial complex that was targeting Communism for no rhyme or reason? It means in short, that he did not fall into the ‘enemy of my enemy’ trap.
After all, don’t we all recognize that what the Neocons have sought to do, and have been fairly successful at doing over this past decade is to replicate the cold war model? An enemy image, first Communism, now Islam, and a number of good little wars every now and then. Earlier, Korea, Vietnam, and other little wars here and there, and now, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other little wars here and there. This war that is supposed to last generations. This war without end. That is probably what they hoped for with the first Cold War. That it would last for ever and ever. How inconsiderate of the Soviet Union to go and collapse. Who’d have thought Communism wouldn’t work out. Who could’ve seen that one coming.
As a thought experiment I invite you to consider a world in which the Proximate Causes of Islamic violence have been resolved, and then analyze the Islamic violence that preceded the existence of these Proximate Causes.
As one who believes the state is responsible for most of the violence in a society, I ask you to consider Islam as just another statist ideology and see where that idea leads. This has been one of the recent ‘breakthroughs’ I have had in dealing with the issue of Islamic violence. To view Islam as just another ideology of totalitarian state control such as Communism, or Fascism, or even our own system, Democracy, helps one to better understand Islam’s use of force to get others to submit to it and its views, and its need to control every aspect of the lives of all those under its power.
When one begins to look at Islam in this new light, rather than viewing it as the ‘great’ religion that we are supposed to view it as, one is forced to confront an issue that libertarians have been strangely reluctant to face. And then dare I say, the reader might even begin to view Islam in much the same way that I came to view it – as a totalitarian ideology that seeks to impose itself upon others by any and all means, and to control their lives in totality.
Now, one might read all of this and ask, ‘So what?’ Even if all of this were true, ‘What about it?’ ‘What is one to do?’ Frankly, I don’t know. I do know that violence is not the solution. This is not a call to arms.
My argument really is very simple: Don’t believe me. That’s it. Don’t accept any of my contentions. Don’t take my word or anyone else’s word for that matter at face value. Find out the truth for yourself.
Rather than reading what A said about the matter, and what B said about what A had to say, and then what C said about what B said about A – go to the primary texts themselves.
Read the Quran and study the history of Islam. Read the texts and educate yourself on the nature and history of Islam. About both, its bloody borders and its bloody innards.
The pastor over in Florida who wanted to burn the Quran and wanted others to do the same is a great example of the Neocon/Breivik view. Such an act would achieve three things. It would make non-Muslims look like the persecutors and further the image of Muslims as victims, it would increase sales of Qurans because you need physical copies to burn, you can’t burn digital copies, and thirdly and most importantly it wouldn’t make anyone any wiser about the issues involved.
Well you can’t burn digital copies but you sure can read them. All the information and resources we need to educate ourselves on this subject are available to all of us for free. We live in an age where we don’t need gatekeepers anymore. Actually we never needed them but they were there anyway and they tried to convince us that they were serving a vital purpose. The Marxists historians the world over, the left-leaning journalists, the ‘Sickular’ intellectuals, all with complete control over the modes of information dissipation had managed to dominate the debate and pass off their falsified, fanciful versions of history and notions of society as the truth. But no more. Academic control by these eminences is slipping and leftists and the PC-police can no longer decide what is allowed and what is not. We most definitely do not need to turn to them to enlighten us on history or for critical exegesis. Nor do we need to accept the claim of Islamic apologists that their guidance is essential for us to interpret the Islamic texts.
Like I said, my argument is simple. Go to the original texts. Go to the history books – the real ones, not the Marxist fairy-tales masquerading as history.
We need a broader, deeper and longer term understanding of these matters.
What I want is for everyone, non-Muslims and Muslims alike to see the truth in two regards: the nature of Islam itself, its teachings, and the history of Islam, its track record over these last 1400 years.
In closing I would like to ask the reader to consider a few questions.
Do cultures deserve a space of their own where they may express themselves freely? A space which may be recognized as being ‘of that culture’? Would anyone begrudge the Japanese the uniqueness of Japan or the ‘closed’ nature of Japanese society? It isn’t that there are no non-Japanese in Japan, for there surely are plenty, but Japan is a unique culture which deserves room for expression and it finds that expression on that small set of islands in the Pacific. No one says there should be no non-Swedes in Sweden or non-Greeks in Greece, but surely the Swedes and the Greeks deserve their space. As do the Han, the Tibetans, the Indians, the Filipinos, the Dutch, the French and everyone else. And please spare me the lebensraum reminders and accusations of Fascism. Why is ‘Multiculturalism’ the only way? Especially this particular version which seems to be shoved down our throat by left-wingers seemingly for the sole purpose of forcing Muslims into the fabric of non-Muslim societies.
In Norway we saw a guy who was right about ‘Cultural Marxism’ and its impact on our societies but misguided in believing that the Neocons actually have anything intelligent to say about anything, and that their ‘method’ of dealing with this problem is the right one. A guy who was right about the nature of, and the history of, the threat posed by Islam, but wrong about the means to be used to deal with that threat. In his own mind, in some roundabout way, he believed his violence was directed at the state, the agency which he saw as aiding the Islamic threat. There are many in different parts of the world who would probably be in agreement with him on that last part.
Ideologies come and go. Marxism (Collectivism) was born, was tried – didn’t have to be tried, but was tried anyway – caused tens of millions of deaths and is now for the most part gone. Islam is just another ideology, a belief system. But wait, it is a religion, and therefore off limits. Not only a religion but one of the ‘great’ religions of the world. Well if Islam had been exposed right away as Communism was, it too might have faded away long ago.
I am under no illusion that there is a unified ‘We’ among non-Muslims. That all of us non-Muslims would get along swimmingly and there is no disagreement among us. But what ‘We’ do have in common is that ‘We’ non-Muslims, ‘our’ states and ‘our’ policies, are the Proximate Causes of most if not all of the Islamic violence of today and of the last few decades. The Ultimate Cause of Islamic violence however is Islam itself.
“This article was originally written for an American Libertarian readership and was hurriedly modified to its present form. It assumes certain knowledge and/or adherence to certain positions on the part of the reader.”
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