Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Lewis

Who is Oriana Falaci? An alternative interpretation  of St. John’s apocalyptic vision;  (November 2, 2007)

 

            Oriana Falaci is an Italian journalist turned writer; she was dying of cancer when she published her last book “Falaci interviews Falaci” followed by “Apocalypse”.  Falaci was a very liberal personality most of her life, defending the oppressed, until she turned sour and dissatisfied with the state of affairs perpetrated by the slaughtering of foreign hostages by Moslem extremists in Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Falaci was furious that all the recent terrorist activities in Europe such as in Spain, Italy, France, Holland and Russia were executed by Moslems.  Falaci practiced selective amnesia in this book to avoid mentioning the genocides and terrorist activities in former Yugoslavia that were perpetrated by Christians, Catholics and Orthodox, and the daily terrorism in Iraq among the Moslems sects of Sunni and Shi3a.  Falaci went as far as supporting anyone, even Nazis or fascists, as long that the political program was to stop Moslems’ immigration to Europe and to never provide them with the legitimacy of a European citizenship.  Falaci ended her career by lashing out at legislations that permit homosexuals and lesbians to officially marry and adopt children “because it is a sin” and contrary to human procreation process.

            I wrote an article as a response to Falaci’s stands on Islam and Moslems entitled “Are there moderate Moslems?” and I will re-edit a few excerpts from my previous article.  Oriana Falaci has made up her mind that there are no moderate Moslems, lest they are Moslems by birth but are no longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations. 

Falaci insists that the word “terrorism” is not good enough; the mass media should be consistent in saying “Islamic terrorism”; a term that would satisfy the terrorist Zionists immensely.  Oriana Falaci espoused the views of Bernard Lewis, the guru of the neo-conservatives in the USA, on Islam; she considered this academic turned polemist as the ultimate authority for truth on Islamic matters.

            Apparently, the then 80-years old Lewis gave an interview to a German daily where he lambasted the West for not believing that radical Islam is the main enemy, instead of the new fascists; Lewis is hammering the notion that all of Europe is going to be Islamist by the year 2100.  There is a definite trend and disposition in the West to fit theories that antagonize the Moslem World by accepting as sound evidence the many terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist Moslems after the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.

            The vehement attitude of Falaci toward Islam stems from two premises; first, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Moslems, and second, the practices of Moslems’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.  I have responded on these two premises in my previous article and will focus on the alternative apocalyptic versions.

            Falacy used St. John’s apocalyptic vision to offer her version of Islam as the Monster and enliven her ejaculations and substantiate her stand, as if a flawed concept can be clarified by a more obscure premise.  In St. John’s apocalyptic version a Monster with seven heads and ten corns would emerge from the sea and the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders until the an angel descend from heaven and lock the Monster and punish the Beasts. Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Moslems and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

            The Monster is to emerge from the sea, though the Moslem World is mostly a vast desert until now.  Either the 100-years old St. John was completely dehydrated, and thus seeing mirages, or he had a vision of another Ice Age period and thus, wet continents have exchanged climatic states, or Falaci was getting out of whack and delving into uncharted territories.

            For the time being, the USA is the only superpower located smack between the Pacific and the Atlantic; the USA has waged two World Wars and invaded Asia and Europe and the only superpower to have landed troops in all continents and are still present, even after the end of the last “hot” world war more than 60 years ago. The USA has many heads in finance, economy, technology, sciences, mass media, music and movie production, agriculture, and a military supremacy with extra three corns in space exploration, maritime hegemony, and genetic experimentation. 

            The Beast can be represented by the world States leaders executing the US orders and the intelligencia and educated people interpreting favorably the misinformation that the successive US administrations are propagating to spread democracy by pre-emptive wars; many leaders are emulating the Beast, either out of fear of economic embargo, military reprisals, ordered terrorist activities, or because of local politics, or allegiance to the neo-conservative program. 

So far, many nations have joined the Bush Junior war on Iraq without the sanction of the UN, and most of them have ended up retrieving their troops after seeing the light or their leaders failing in elections.  The three main Beasts to shoulder this pre-emptive war were Blair of Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.  I will only focus on the Saudi Monarchy/Theocracy Beast.

            Wolfowitz has said after the US troops entered Iraq: “Now, we can get our troops out of Saudi Arabia, after twenty years, without fear of destabilizing the region.”  There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia not only encouraged the US with its plan to invade Iraq but also financed this campaign directly and indirectly.  The Saudi Wahabi caste was first, getting revenge on the Iraqis for giving their supremacy over the other castes in Saudi Arabia the scare of their life in 1993: Saddam  invaded Kuwait and approached the Saudi Arabia, second, the Wahabi caste was encouraging the US to get its troops out of Saudi Arabia because Ben Laden was recruiting heavily on the basis of the “infidel Christians” spreading their impurity in the land, third, because the Saudi Monarchy and Wahabi caste are completely reliant on the US to maintaining their social structure, and fourth to keep communist China influence out of the Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

            The Monster can be named; it is the neo-conservatives in the USA.  They are an amalgam of hundreds of Baptist and Protestant sects with the main single belief in the process of how the Second Coming of their Messiah is going to happen. The neo-conservatives are clamoring that all the Jews should be relocated in Israel and then, after the Jews re-build their famous Temple in Jerusalem, they will launch a targeted crusade toward Israel, with the intention of Christianizing the new heretics of Jews; this campaign would be effective and completed and only then the Messiah would feel comfortable to come back! The odds are the neo-conservatives would repeat Titus’ feat of destroying the newly erected Temple and scatter the Jews all over the world.  If the Jews believe that the support of the USA is free of charge then they are under the spell of the demon; the Jews will have to pay back everything with high interest too.

           

            Falaci had a most striking interpretation of why the intelligent Ussama Ben Laden decided to televise an appearance a couple of days before the Presidential US election; Ben Laden warned the Americans that if they re-elect Bush then he will have no option but to repeat another deadly strike.  Ben Laden knew that his speech will galvanize the arrogant US citizens into shedding their apathy for voting and move in mass to voting heavily for Bush against the favorite Kerry.  The Bush Administration needed Ben Laden alive to sustain their propaganda against Islam and linger in Iraq.  Ben Laden needed Bush in power to recruit heavily among the anti-American Moslems. This is the ultimate deal between the staunchest extremist Beasts to wreck havoc in the world and create a definite cultural clash between the Christian West and the Islamic World.

            The current generally rigid Islam is a major factor to the prevention of effective communication between the West and the Moslem World but it is not the only main factor.  Most of the Moslem World is organized in Caste Systems (closed religious autonomous sects) due to the influence of India and the domination of the successive Mongol Empires to the whole region for over ten centuries.  The most effective venue is not to lambaste mercilessly Islam but to aid our region to gradually break out of our caste structures so that we may communicate first internally as a society and then open up to the West later on as people free to speak and publish our opinions without undue internal harassments. This gradual change is not meant to impose democracy by pre-emptive wars but to allow our societies to invent alternative open systems that work in each Middle East States.

I could not help but write a short poem related to the same theme.  Worst, I could not help but sharing it with you; it is titled “Redundant Prophets“:

 Tormented youths, hearing voices, experiencing apocalyptic nightmares,

Seeking desperately a corner in a desert,

Preferably when available nearby,

In desolate locations, in complete isolation,

To exorcise their dark dreams,

Their oppressive loneliness, the demons in their soul,

And to find peace of mind.

 

Archangel Gabriel materialized to a few of them,

Talking to them in a centaur voice,

Vast and reaching the skies,

Or plainly in a human form, surrounded with blinding light.

Gabriel would not let them in peace,

He would harass them during their wretched life,

Urging them to fear the Unique God,

And pray and glorify God’s name, and proselytize in God’s name.

 

Most were not as lucky in fame,

And have never seen a divine apparition;

They did pass that critical phase in life, in good mental stability,

And reduced level of exacerbated anxiousness.

The difference between Prophets and young crazies

Can be traced to the genetic laziness of Gabriel;

Or most likely to the current glut in redundant prophets.

“Are there moderate Moslems?”

Octobre 26, 2007

It coincided that I was reading chapters of two books concomitantly “Quand l’Amerique refait le Monde” by Ghassan Salameh and “L’apocalypse” by Oriana Falaci   when I realized that the topic of current Islamic fundamentalism is wrecking havoc on the disposition of many western people who tended to be liberal in many issues but could no longer reconcile a liberal attitude toward Islam; mainly the reality of the virulent Islamic behaviors toward strict adoption of the Koranic laws that regulate the daily life for the Moslems and trying to circumvent the civil laws in Europe.

Ghassan Salameh has investigated the genesis of the new trend in the US ruling government toward Islam after the September 11 attack and which was based on the studies of a few “prestigious” American academics on Islam.  Salame stated that the neo-conservative elements in the Bush administration have adopted Bernard Lewis as their guru in matters related to Islam and the anti-Moslem movements.  Professor Lewis was fascinated and excited in the 1950s with everything Islamic and then turned sour, negative and dissatisfied with the Islamic World; he repeatedly claimed in his studies that the Moslems have a rage and a strong tendency to hate the Western Nations as a product of their sense of inferiority complex toward the West and propagated the concept of an invasion to saw the grains of democracy in the Near East.

After the September 11 attack on the Twin Tower, the neo-conservatives like Perle, Wolfowitz, Abrams, and Gaffneys directed the debate toward the confirmation of pre-emptive offensive against the infantile specie of the political regimes in the Moslem World; the notion of an ineluctable conflict of Islam with the USA.  Pipes went as far as eliminating any cause for using cultural instruments in the arsenal of the war.

It is obvious that Oriana Falaci has made up her mind that there are no moderate Moslems, unless they are Moslems by birth but are no longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations.  Actually, the late Oriana Falaci was a staunch liberal but could not swallow the latest slaughtering of foreign prisoners by extremist Moslems and how Moslem immigrants are flaunting the civil laws in Europe.

Falaci insists that the word “terrorism” is not good enough; the mass media should remain consistent and say “Islamic terrorism”; a term that would satisfy the terrorist Zionists immensely.  Falacy relied on St. John’s apocalyptic vision where a Monster with seven heads and ten corns would emerge from the sea and then the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders. Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Moslems and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

I was surprised by the coincidence to read that Oriana Falaci also adopted the views of Bernard Lewis on Islam and considered him as the ultimate authority for truth on Islamic matters. Apparently, the then 80-years old Lewis and growing more senile by the by, gave an interview to a German daily where he lambasted the West for not believing that radical Islam is the main enemy, instead of the new fascists; Lewis is hammering the notion that all of Europe is going to be Islamist by the year 2100.

Thus, there is a disposition to fit theories that antagonize the Moslem World by accepting as evidence the many terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist Moslems. The vehement attitude of Falaci toward Islam stems from two premises; first, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Moslems, and second, the practices of Moslems’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.

The first premise may be true if we rely solely on the media accounts that, almost exclusively and consistently, show that the current terrorist attacks in the Western World, such as USA, Spain, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Holland where “terrorism had struck”, were done by Moslems.  She focused on the terrible acts of slaughtering hostages by Moslem radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia.

Falaci forgot to mention that terrorism has also been striking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Philippine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, and Lebanon, to name but a few of the destabilized states, where terrorism was carried by Hindu, Christians, and various Moslem sects against each other castes.

The hidden facts that terrorism is done by the western extremists are not widely publicized and mostly toned down and not taken up relentlessly by the media; for example, the Oklahoma City bombing was first attributed to Moslem extremists and then the US had to admit that it was a purely US extremist act; not to mention the dozen of mass killings in the US schools and universities.  Moreover, most of the western terrorist acts are ordered by the states or committed by organizations supported by the states and consequently not divulged and buried as national security secrets.

Falaci should have recalled the many terrorist acts that ravaged Italy and Germany in the 60s and 70s and committed by the extremist left movements and done by non-Moslems; she also decided to forget the recent decade long terrorism and genocides that plagued former Yugoslavia and which was started by Christians among themselves in self cleansing mechanisms and then cleansing themselves with the blood of the Moslems in Kosovo and Serbia.

Falaci should have taken up also these terrorist occurrences of destabilizing many third world countries, and going on even today, by the US and Israel; she has indeed experienced these Western terrorist acts during her long career as a journalist, but she decided to focus her venom on Islam, thus satisfying the present Western propaganda strategy of misinformation and distortion.

As for the second premise, Falaci poured her venom on those Moslems who claim to be moderate simply because they didn’t join a radical group or didn’t commit a terrorist act but practice awful behaviors.  For example, how can a Moslem claim to be moderate if he prevents his wives or daughters to be integrated in their new societies, ordering them to swim in their “dishdasha” even if this practice is tantamount to drowning, having three wives and treating them as slaves, beating his wives because it is permitted by “Al Shari3a”, killing his daughters because they refused to marry the men that he selected for them, lambasting school directors because they allowed their sons and daughters to be offered sweets containing hints of alcohol, and so on.  Falaci claims that nine out of ten of the Islamic divine inspired laws are opposite to the Italian civil laws, and consequently, there is no possibility of coming to acceptable terms with Moslem believers.

If we recapitulate the history of the world we can demonstrate that almost every religion encouraged terrorist acts throughout history when the goal was to establish a theocratic state, governed by the clerics, or to maintain the power of the religious hierarchy caste over the citizens and the other minority castes.  European history is packed with genocidal periods where the majority of a Christian sect tried to exterminate other secondary Christian sects in France, Spain, Byzantium, Russia, and Germany, to name a few.

The one main factor that permitted the western Christian societies to edge toward rational civil laws and weakens the Christian Orders was that the New Testament dealt only with spiritual doctrines: Christ died before his religion was firmly established and didn’t have to enact laws organizing society when the Roman civil laws were the law of the land.

The major problem with the Moslem religion and its inability to establish rational civil laws for the land is that the Prophet Mohammad vanquished his arch enemy the Koreish tribes in Mecca while still alive and had to re-organize the tribal society with laws emanating from the unique God.

For maybe esthetic reasons, the Sourats of the Koran were organized according to length and not chronologically as logic would dictate; otherwise, the Moslems would have realized that the sourats in the first 13 years of Islam were purely spiritual and not deviating far from Jesus’ teaching.  Actually, whatever variations there are in the two spiritual religions, Islam and Christianity, are identical to the views of the different schisms in Christianity in the early centuries and which provoked mass extermination of the smaller Christian sects by the dominant Christian sects. For example, the status of the Virgin Mary, the duality of Jesus, the Holy Ghost and a multitude of other differences that Byzantium was famous with splitting hair were points of contention among the Christian sects and still are.

If the Koran was divided into two volumes, the spiritual volume related to the first 13 years of its formation and the second volume related to the earthly laws governing the City-State of Medina and then society in the Arab peninsula among the tribes, then communication among the two cultures would have been possible and the Moslems would not have reverted to rigid dogma forced upon them by ten centuries of domination of Central Asian tribes (Mongol Empires) and culminating by their close associated tribe the Ottomans.

As is common among all religions, the religious orders emphasize the earthly concepts that can be impressed upon the believers by attaching heavy burdens on their daily life for total subjugation.  Ironically, Christianity created daily burdens of religious obligations that were not included in the Bible, just to impose its hegemony over the soul of its believers; moreover, Jesus strongly denounced the Jewish Order for the daily heavy burdens they encumbered the Jews with and lambasted the order as a hypocritical order.  Nevertheless, Christianity, whether Roman or Lutheran or Protestant, feverishly created religious obligations that were not in the New Testament but dug up from the Jewish religious books or from the proclamations of the saints and religious leaders to subjugate their members into a tight closed caste.

In general, Christianity is an open religion and the Western Nations in their zest to proselytize their respective dominant religion endeavored to invade the “barbarous” people for the proclaimed purpose of indoctrinating these people into the Christian values; most of these people were subjugated into changing religions nominally but kept their “pagan” traditions.

However, the Christian Maronite sect in Lebanon has reverted to a closed religion and adopted the caste system since the independence of Lebanon in 1943.  The Maronite sect has agreed on a tacit pact with the non-Christian castes not to allow non-Christian members from the other castes in Lebanon to be baptized Maronites; I can testify that even Lebanese living overseas were not permitted to change religion: the Maronite Order made it clear that the process of changing religion is not feasible.  This Maronite Christian sect has sold out its soul to preserve its supremacy as a caste in Lebanon local politics and ended up losing its supremacy in 1989 at the Taef Conference in Saudi Arabia.

Consequently, the divergence between the western societies and the Moslem societies are the result of types of revealed Books; the main Christian Book that basically does not contain earthly laws but were created later by the dominant Christian orders, and the Moslem Book that does specifically include earthly laws for governing societies.

The western societies have succeeded in establishing rational, though debatable, civil laws created by men (women had not yet fully participated in most of these laws); and they don’t have to bend their laws to accommodate Moslem immigrants who are stuck with divine laws to run their daily lives.  This is not to say that the Western World has to adopt pre-emptive strategies of conquering Moslem and Arab countries on the flimsy crusading abstract notion of spreading democracy and the international civil laws when the geo-political reality is clear and is meant to control energy resources and stopping the expansion of China in world politics.

As for the Moslem World, if the purpose of all these upheavals is catching up with the technology of the western societies then the burden resides mainly on accepting the premise that the spiritual doctrines should be separated from the rational civil laws.  Otherwise, if the Moslem World wants to survive under its own set of divine obligations and be ruled my mullah, and sheikhs, and muftis then let it proclaim it openly and unite under this purpose and let the world live as separate entities; societies that instituted civil laws and those insisting on inspired divine laws.

In either case, there is no basic need for forced hegemony of one civilization over another if the human mind cannot device a method for human communication and entente: forced hegemony has never worked or lasted in history and all the evidences are leading to the fact that the current western forced hegemony is failing, unless partitioning the Arab World into cantons is viewed as a definite success of the new pre-emptive strategy; which has nothing to do with cultural differences.

Islam is carrying an insurmountable burden of awkward traditions, not just because of the five centuries of Ottoman domination, but eleven centuries of Moslem Sunni Central Asian tribes that dominated most of the Moslem World, from Mongolia, to Kazakhstan, Kerghizia, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, India, and Turkey.  These hordes have established empires and the local vassals adopted the rigid dogmas and tribal customs of their caste systems.

Any recent reforms undertaken in the Middle East were thwarted by the Western powers to divide these nations and establish theocratic States and dictators most amenable to their creators.  Our inability to change and communicate even internally among ourselves is related fundamentally to our autonomous caste structure.

Falaci was sensing right but she was fighting cancer; anyway, rational behavior is not the rule in this somber period within the Bush Administration, even if many of its leaders seem physically fit, aside of Dick Cheney.

Note:  The proposition that the Sourates of the first thirteen years were spiritual in nature was investigated by Antoun Saadeh in the 1940s and published in a book “Al Islam fi ressalataih al Massihiyat wa al Mouhamadiah” translated liberally as “Islam (Message of Peace) by its two messengers Christ and Mohammad”


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