Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ghassan Salameh

“Are there moderate Muslims?”

Posted on September 25, 2008 (and written in Oct. 26, 2207)

Note: This lengthy article was meant to be exhaustive. If you want me to split it in two articles, I will be ready to do it.

It coincided that I was reading chapters of two books concomitantly “Quand l’Amerique refait le Monde” by Ghassan Salameh (Salami) and “L’Apocalypse” by Oriana Fallaci  when I realized that the topic of current Islamic fundamentalism is wreaking havoc on the disposition of many western people.

Mostly, the western people tended to be liberal in many issues but could no longer reconcile a liberal attitude toward Islam: Mainly the reality of the virulent traditional Islamic behaviors toward strict adoption of the Koranic laws that regulate the daily life for the Muslims 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 Twin Towers 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-Muslim movements. 

Professor Lewis was fascinated and excited in the 1950s with everything related to Islam and then turned sour, negative and dissatisfied with the Islamic World: he repeatedly claimed in his studies that the Muslims 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 Muslim World.

The spreading 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 Fallaci has made up her mind that there are no moderate Muslims, unless they are Muslims by birth but 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 Fallaci was a staunch liberal but could not swallow the latest slaughtering of foreign prisoners by extremist Muslims and how Muslim immigrants are flaunting the civil laws in Europe.

Fallaci 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. 

Fallacy relied on St. John’s apocalyptic vision where a Monster with seven heads and ten horns 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 Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

I was surprised by the coincidence to read that Oriana Fallaci 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. (If mankind survive till then)

Thus, there is a disposition to fit theories that antagonize the Muslim World by accepting as evidence the many terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist Muslims.

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises:

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Muslims, (obviously wrong and faked wishes) and

Second, the practices of Muslims’ 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. (How these laws are biased to the privileged elite classes are Not broached)

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 Muslims.  She focused on the terrible acts of slaughtering hostages by Muslim radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia.

Fallaci forgot to mention that terrorism has also been striking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Philippine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, and Lebanon, Africa, to name but a few, in order to destabilize these States, where terrorism was carried by Hindu, Christians, and various Muslim 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 Muslim 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.

Actually, all the terrorist acts of the Israeli settlers and the government on Palestinians and other adjacent States are coined as “individual actions by crazy people”

Fallaci 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-Muslims; 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 Muslims in Kosovo and Serbia. (And current far-right parties terrorist activities)

Fallaci 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, Fallaci poured her venom on those Muslims who claim to be moderate, simply because they didn’t join a radical group or didn’t commit a terrorist act but engage practically in “awful behaviors”. 

For example, how can a Muslim claim to be moderate if he prevents his wives or daughters to be integrated in their new societies, ordering them to swim in their long robe “dishdasha/jalabiya”, even if this practice is tantamount to drowning, or having three wives and treating them as slaves, or 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.  (But many of these customs are practiced by many non-Muslims religious sects, and the Koran does Not encourage many of those imposed patriarchal privilege systems)

Fallaci 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 Muslim believers. (Let Italy just carry out the civil laws on non-abiding Muslim citizens to encourage “moderate Muslims” to follow suit)

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, and labelled them “heretics” and their shed blood a duty.

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 Muslim religion and its inability to establish rational civil laws for the land is that the Prophet Muhammad 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” and the mainstream customs among the tribes.

For maybe esthetic reasons, the Sourats of the Koran were organized according to length and not chronologically as logic would dictate; otherwise, the Muslims 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 Islam and Christianity, are identical to the views of the different schisms in Christianity in the early centuries (mostly based on Jewish customs sect) 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 Muslims would not have reverted to rigid dogma forced upon them by 10 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.

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 Muslim 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 Muslim 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 Muslim 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 Muslim 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 Muslim World wants to survive under its own set of divine obligations and be ruled my mullah, and sheikhs, and muftis then let it be proclaimed openly and unite under this purpose and let the world live as separate entities; societies that instituted civil laws and those insisting on man-made “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 “war” strategy, which has nothing to do with cultural differences.

Islam is carrying an insurmountable burden of awkward traditions, not just because of the 5 centuries of Ottoman domination, but 11 centuries of Muslim Sunni of Central Asian tribes that dominated most of the Muslim World, from Mongolia, to Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, 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.

Fallaci 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 1:  The proposition that the Sourates of the first thirteen years were spiritual in nature was investigated by Antoun Saadi in the 1940s and published in a book “Al Islam fi ressalataih al Massihiyat wa al Mohammadiyah” translated liberally as “Islam (Message of Peace) by its two messengers Christ and Mohammed”

Note 2: Antoun Saadi is the founder of the Lebanese-bases Syria National Social party in 1936. A secular party , wanting to separate the religious sects dominance in the political and social structure and the government civil laws and regulation. This party was attacked by the sectarian parties encouraged by the mandated colonial powers of France and England on the Near-East region. This party claimed that we are one people in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq and was the preadhead of confronting the Zionist plans that were backed by the colonial powers and the USA and Russia.

 

Beirut Design Week 2014

Year after year, the Lebanese capital’s design week showcases the highest levels of applied design, both in terms of product and its background origins.

Design / Maria Cristina Didero posted this July 10, 2014

In constant flux for historic, socio-cultural and political reasons, in these times when globalisation is levelling diversity, what may make a city such as Beirut special is its fragmentary nature and huge potential.

After years in the grip of war, the so-called Paris of the Middle East is earning its place on the local creative scenario.

Given all its recent vitality, there simply had to be a Beirut Design Week, organised by the non-profit MENA DESIGN RESEARCH CENTER and backed by the Minister of Tourism Michel Pharaon, it is now in its third year thanks to the work of its directors, Maya Karanouh and Doreen Toutikian who managed to attract more than 90 national designers.

In apertura e sopra: Nada DebsSeven steps to #craftcool, performance featuring seven craftsmen

From 9 to 15 June, the Lebanese capital did celebrate only the accepted local creativity, with internationally consecrated queens such as Bokja (thinking positive, Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri presented happiness in the form of The Tree of Love) and Nada Debs (with the extraordinary #craftcoolperformance featuring seven craftsmen dressed in white at work); year after year, they showcase the highest levels of applied design – both in terms of product and its background origins.

As well as the “Newcomers” exhibition at the Saifi Village– a colourful display by the country’s fashion designers – the Souk also featured two European delegations: Denmark displayed its “Contemporary Danish Architecture” and Holland presented an overview of its best current works in the “Dutch Design Exhibition”.

Beirut Design Week

In this country of delightful people, climate and food, the majestic Central restaurant outstandingly re-designed at the beginning of this year by the associated architects MARIAGROUP (Michèle Chaya and Georges Maria) after an initial design by Bernard Khoury in 2001 – and where you feel as if you are in one of today’s most edgy metropolises – staged Design Meets Food, a project focusing on free interpretations of primary foodstuffs – should chocolate and gold be considered such for different reasons, as occurs in the installation by duo David/Nicolas which covered a selection of the most internationally famous biscuits in gold.

The talented Carlo Massoud presented a ziggurat of sliced bread – care had to be taken when choosing the slice to eat or the whole installation collapsed – to be eaten with cheese and olives.

Mary Lynn Massoud and her partner Racha Nawam create ceramic totems employing the Japanese technique of raku

Mazen Fayad went straight to the heart of staunch carnivores by hanging a lamb head down with a tap in its belly from which red wine flowed; slightly farther on, Karim Chaya invited visitors to taste beef, pork and small birds (yes, all in one bite, beak and bones included) after putting on a pair of headphones reproducing the sound made by the animals cooked.

Lebanon is a country of strong flavours. The shop of designer Karen Chekerdjian, who trained abroad, confirms the international flavour of a country that is moving on after a traumatic diaspora and witnessed the return home of its best minds, all keen to further their city’s cultural and creative growth.

There are several young talents: Mary Lynn Massoud studied at the Manufacture de Sevres, Central Saint Martins in London and then in Italy; she and her partner Racha Nawam, who gained experience in the USA, create ceramic totems employing the Japanese technique of raku.

Ghassan Salameh presented Magma, a collection of light fixtures in opaque glass over a metal structure that are reminiscent of traditional Oriental geometries

In collaboration with Mexican designer Francisco Torres, The Squad Design gallery launched, the 10 100 1000 contest for young designers and the versatile Ghassan Salameh, a graphic artist and designer with a degree from the Notre Dame University in Beirut and a Master gained abroad, presented Magma, a collection of light fixtures in opaque glass over a metal structure that are reminiscent of traditional Oriental geometries (sadaf furniture).

The result resembles a garden of luminous roses and, like roses, each one differs from the other thanks to the unpredictable fusion of the two materials. Badaro is currently one of the most Bohemian quarters and where we visit the SAA office of architect Sophie Skaf, in a splendid Jeanne Royère building of the mid-20th century that has always been in her family and is now being refurbished.

Skaf has published a book on vibrantly patterned tiles entitled 20×20, the fruit of years of research in Tunis, Paris, Barcelona and Beirut. We also paid a much-deserved visit to the OtherDada of young talent Adib Dada in the Sabbagh Building, one of the city’s historic buildings that survived the bombing and has now been fully, skilfully and thoughtfully refurbished. Dada is a perfectionist of architectural design with several ongoing commissions in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Adib Dada approach to architecture takes in a number of scientific studies on urban biodiversity that focus on flora and fauna, smart mobility and smart energy.

The Italian presence was in the Hamra district where, in the brilliant Carwan Gallery, led by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte and Pascal Wakim, Vincenzo De Cotiis showed a selection of furnishings he designed for Progetto Domestico, a collection that the Milan-based architect and designer has been producing for years. Not far away, Karim Bekdache’s gallery of 20th-century collectibles and PSLab were another two must-see venues for design lovers.

 

Sophie Skaf

The thread running through today’s Lebanese creativity is a zero-carbon footprint production, given the great skill of the local craftspeople and the desire to activate and strengthen the country’s industry.

With film screenings and talks (the one with the artist Mona Hatoum, fashion journalist Hilary Alexander, designer Caroline Simonelli and communication and graphic design expert Esen Carol was packed), Beirut Design Week took us all over the city, from the heart of the Downtown to the Ashrafieh, Gemmayze, Sursock, Karantina and Mar Mikhael zones; a Beirut that, with its gutted cinemas and buildings with a memorable past awaiting refurbishment (e.g. the Saint Georges hotel much loved by Brigitte Bardot), has already witnessed interventions by archistars such as Steven Holl and Herzog & De Meuron (the former with the Downtown marina; the Swiss duo with the Beirut Terraces), tackling projects that flank the fascinating 20th-century architecture which, to date, only a few are trying to restore.

© all rights reserved

9 – 15 June 2014
Beirut Design Week 2014
various locations, Beirut

“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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