Anatomy of a madness, Part 4
I read The Satanic Verses in the winter of 1996-97, unemployed and frozen, and again in the winter of 2014-15, Charlie Hebdo on TV 24/7. The third time was in that magical realist summer of 2020, with a fresh-ish MFA to my name, to study the work as art. 12 August 2022: the author survived.
Rational thought and civilised ethics have been creeping up on Muslims for roughly two centuries, finally catching up with them in dramatic fashion over the last four decades, as the autonomous individual generalised across Islamic societies, fertile soil for the open source knowledge of Islam that the ever-questioning kufaar spread across the world at the speed of light. Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi admits that kafir knowledge of Islam today exceeds that of the Islamic “scholars” themselves for the very simple reason that there is absolutely no limit to what a free person may, or is able to, think. To the Muslim mind, on the contrary, not only is free thought not available, the very idea of it, let alone a foray into it, fills the Muslim with intense discomfort.
Salman Rushdie situated his famous The Satanic Verses as the first signal of reality catching up with Muslims, even though he conceptualises it in a more limited way. Rushdie references the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds as metaphor for the place The Satanic Verses holds in the unfolding of the now familiar “radical Islam” and its strangling effect on the bedrock freedoms of free societies. In Hitchcock’s film, the first bird appears, to which no one pays any attention. Then a number of them turn up and course a disturbance. Finally, the world is overwhelmed with attacking birds, by which time it is too late. “I was that first bird,” said Rushdie, the harbinger, the warning. What had happened to him at the hands of Muslims in 1989 would soon overwhelm us all.
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 precipitated one Muslim generation gap, and the Internet another. The brash Islamic assertiveness of the mullahs found a receptive audience amongst a younger generation of semi-secular Muslims around the world that converged their geographic distinctiveness into a Middle Eastern cultural hegemony. It was the beginning of the substitution of Arabic terms for the traditional vernacular, of children given names associated with the Middle East, of males praying in mosques without head coverings (initially skulking in the back rows), and later, especially amongst the pretentious, adopting Arabic naming conventions for themselves, e.g., Ahmed Andalusi suddenly became Ahmed ibn Yusuf al-Andalusi. These born-again Muslims saved up to make their way to Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to become Arabic-spouting “people of knowledge” upon their return, insha-Allah.
This younger generation of rapidly re-Islamising semi-secular Muslim populations swelled the ranks of the foot soldiers of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and the da’is chomping at the bit to “invite” the kufaar to “the truth.” Sheikh Yasir Qadhi and Mufti Ismail Menk, both born in 1975, got in at the tail end of this post-1979 generation. They, in turn, are now the older generation discovering not a gap, but a gulf between themselves and the Internet generation coming up behind them. Unlike the previous generation, that stood out for being fired up by sentimentality over being Muslim, this new a generation stands out for being fired up by knowledge of Islam. What stands out about the last three generations are: the pre-1979 generation kept a low profile; the post-1979 generation immersed themselves fully into being Muslim; while the Internet generation demonstrates strong disillusionment with Islam — they made apostasy cool.
The reformed, liberal, cultural, progressive and new age (!) Muslims with their fantasy candyfloss Islam, basically picked up where the pre-1979 generation left off, but they ditched the low profile for a more razzmatazz approach, pro-actively going out there to show the world just how wonderful Islam is and how peaceful, pleasant and reasonable Muslims are. At the liberal extreme of fantasy Islam, Canadian Muslim Dr Shabir Ally unequivocally and sincerely condemned the attempt on Salman Rushdie’s life, even without being asked to do so.
- Dr Shabir, what are your thoughts, if somebody is happy about the attack, because some Muslims are expressing jubilation, actually. Not the majority, but I've heard people saying that, maybe he deserved it or something like that. How would you respond to that, Dr Shabir?
- Well, I would say, no, he doesn't deserve it. Nobody deserves any such kind of attack. And then, looking at it from the other perspective, we hear that this person was stabbed some fifteen times. If somebody's following that fatwa and thinking, okay, I'm gonna go for the sake of God, and I'm gonna kill this person because that's the fatwa. And I'm gonna please God by this, why does he do it fifteen times? Maybe one calculated blow that will—I'm not saying that anybody should do this—but I'm thinking that it makes sense. We can understand the person making one calculated blow to end the life of the victim. But to go fifteen times? That shows not only that the person is following the fatwa, but he is exhibiting some rage. And even in a Muslim battle, this rage has to be contained. You know, one might be doing something judiciously for the sake of God, not out of rage. This rage is itself not Islamic.
- Dr Shabir, thank you for sharing your thoughts. We pray for Salman Rushdie's recovery. And we hope that Muslims will see the light, the ones who support this [attack], that they will turn back and, you know, and follow the teachings of the Quran.
Dr Ally is an affable Muslim gent, and as such much more dangerous than Hadi Matar who tried to murder Salman Rushdie, for by his own existence Shabir Ally “proves” to many that Hadi Matar does not exist. Additionally, Dr Ally is horrified at the attack and finds it especially disturbing that Matar should have found it necessary to stab Rushdie fifteen times, rather than just once. This indicates to the surprised Dr Ally that Matar was also “exhibiting some rage,” demonstrating the trademark shock-horror of Muslims who have either never heard of Shari’a, pretend that it is something other than it is, or deflect attention away from it, the latter of which Dr Ally was doing.
Such sanitisation of Islam enjoys prominence because there is a market for it, not only amongst Western Muslims, but also amongst a very large section of the kufaar, who need Muslims such as Dr Ally to cling to, because the idea that no Muslim can be trusted because of Islam is simply too ghastly and depressing to contemplate. For their sentimental comfort, Islam cannot be allowed to be the comprehensive, all-conquering, nightmare that it is. Of course, Dr Ally condemning the attempt on Rushdie’s life must be acknowledged for its own intrinsic worth, especially coming from a Muslim.
Had Shabir Ally stuck to murder being wrong and left it at that, no harm would have been done. But on the back of his condemnation, he then had to try to defend Islam and Muslims, not because of malice, but because, like so many Western fantasists, he can only conceive of Islam as a matter of choices, arguments and opinions, a paradigm that traps them all. Some even think it’s just a matter of fatuous soundbites like, “Radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam the solution.” To them, there is nothing inherently bad about Islam, and those who issue fatawa commanding murder are simply wrong. Those Muslims who hate are simply wrong. Such people can never “win the argument.”
Shabir Ally will ignore that Shari’a commands Muslims to hate, and commands Muslims to kill anyone who slights Muhammad in any way, no ifs or buts. Similarly, Muslim "revert" Saajid Lipham unequivocally condemns the attack on Salman Rushdie and in the same sentence condemns the book he wrote. One way or another, Muslims will present these actions as equivalent. Lipham also criticised Abdullah Andalusi for not condemning the attack during his debate with Douglas Murray. Andalusi, in answer to Saajid Lipham's commentary on the debate, said just about the stupidest thing that it is possible for a Muslim to say:
No one actually clearly condemned the attack on Salman Rushdie. The host himself didn't even give a clear condemnation of the attack on Salman Rushdie. Not even Douglas Murray gave a clear and specific condemnation against the attack on Salman Rushdie. So why should I be expected to condemn the attack on Salman Rushdie when no one else was asked that question?
Western Muslims with their candyfloss Islam may come in for condemnation from Muslims who know what their religion is and would see its telos, the violent subjugation of the entire world and all worship for Allah alone, attained, yet in their own unwitting way, Western Muslims advance jihad in that they blind the kufaar to what is happening right before their eyes, thereby disarming them. It must be kept in mind that, as in Communism, as in Nazism, so in Islam, the telos is everything, and all means, whether long-established or devised on the spot, must lead to it. This is why Muslims lie without restraint and make up whatever they need to make up under the given circumstances. Unlike Western law, Shari’a is not about maintaining a status quo; it is about attaining an as yet non-existing end state. Most of Islam’s laws are therefore both binding and non-binding, depending on whether the situation advances the state of the world towards the Islamic telos or not.
A few years ago, at the height of the Muslim rape-gang scandal in Britain, one Muslim group, Honesty Project, even went so far as to make a propaganda hit video in an attempt to convince the world, but mostly themselves, that Muslims can be happy just like everyone else, but nonetheless took the sensible precaution of not revealing their names. The Honesty Project’s Muslims were well aware that there are limits to honesty. While such public display of “Muslim happiness” might make Islam more attractive to gullible kufaar, it erodes the austerity necessary for what Shari’a calls “the elect” to control lay Muslims, and so threatens the power relations within Islam. This is why public displays of happiness and public displays of affection are quickly stamped out, and public displays of violence and hatred encouraged. George Orwell captures this idea well in Nineteen Eighty-Four as Oceania’s five minutes of hatred. None can indict Muslims more comprehensively than Muslims themselves. Such is the paradox of Muslim greatness.
While the Happiness Project’s stunt of happy, dancing women drew stiff opposition from mainstream Muslims who condemned such public displays of happiness as haram, forbidden, some offended Muslims took a more constructive approach, and countered by producing a halal version of the happiness video. They pleaded that they are, “Simply trying to find a middle ground to express ourselves without using extreme means of music or women dancing in public.” (My emphasis). Of course, only an “Islamophobe” would suggest that Muslims are fundamentally incapable of happiness, or that their condition is the very definition of a cult. No one puts it better than Abdullah Andalusi: "Acquiesce to the liberal worldview and liberal moral system, something that, of course, as a Muslim, we can’t do." In short, the pursuit of happiness is out.
Between 9/11 and the end of 2006, Muslims had murdered 39,916 people in the cause of Allah (61,228 murder attempts were unsuccessful, leaving the victims merely injured). One of Al-Qaeda’s visionaries wrote and published The Managing of Savagery, its actual title, also translated as The Managing of Barbarism, to give focus to the barbarism and savagery of jihad, and to apply it rationally, rather than squander it haphazardly. One of its purposes was to remind Muslims, especially the “domesticated Muslims” of the West, “Jihad …is naught but violence, crudeness, terrorism, frightening (others), and massacring—I am talking about jihad and fighting, not about Islam and one should not confuse them.” When Western Muslims resist kafir pressure for them to condemn violence, they know whereof they do not speak. “If we are not violent in our jihad and if softness seizes us, that will be a major factor in the loss of the element of strength, which is one of the pillars of the Umma of the Message.” Al-Qaeda keyed into a Muslim zeitgeist that was riding high on contradictory power.
With managed barbarism, Al-Qaeda believed it could attain the Islamic telos, all worship for Allah alone, i.e., a world-wide caliphate, by the end of 2020. Turning Iraq into an inexhaustible source of jihad murderers by the end of 2006 was a key part of that barbarism management plan. This makes me wonder whether George W. Bush’s “Islam is a religion of peace” pronouncement after 9/11 was really the gaff that it appeared to be, or whether it was disinformation (several layers deep) to conceal the intention to invade Iraq to destroy that plan. That The Managing of Savagery plan was never going to work is not the point. The point is that the Muslims involved in it were absolutely convinced that it would; the entire planet would be Muslim by the end of 2020.
According to The Managing of Savagery, “The first goal [is to]: Destroy a large part of the respect for America and spread confidence in the souls of Muslims.” The destruction of respect for America is certainly in evidence, but the Muslims’ contribution to this, while not denied, is open to debate, since other totalitarian forces, in particular the KGB / FSB, and the Communist Party of China, are also hard at work to destroy respect for America. But as for “spread confidence in the souls of Muslims,” it fired up delusion, rather than spread confidence.
This profound disconnect between what Muslims believe about themselves and what they really are, especially their belief in their own power, is in my understanding, inherent to the way the Muslim mind works. Every Friday, imams around the world “promise” that the Jews will be destroyed “very soon,” that Muslims will have their caliphate “very soon” and that Islam will rule the world “very soon.” Muslims are given to delusions of power, perhaps more so than other peoples nurtured under totalitarian conditions as “mechanisms” for world domination.
All of you today, maybe not really grow up as person, not really grow up in your individual skills. ...Grow up as mechanism, and this is the mechanism which interested by our motherland (Russia) in the future; not you as personality, but you as mechanism...
You will grow up, and you will live in another happy, powerful, big realm, because for Russian there are no borderlines (territory), only horizons. Russia must be not in these borders which now we marked (i.e., by international law), but border is much bigger. No one easy will give us lost territories, no one give us and the resources that have been taken from us. We'll have to pick them up ourselves (territories). For the Lord said, "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." ...So that's why we prepare for war!
So 2020 turned out to be the most catastrophic year for Muslims, when just twenty years earlier, it was going to be the consummation on earth of all things Islamic. The Muslim penchant for catastrophic timing struck again in 2014, when full-blown Shari’a came to the deserts of Syria and Iraq in the form of ISIS (Daesh), at a time when every Abdul and his dog, if he had a dog, has a laptop. ISIS implemented Shari'a strictly by the book, aiming for the best that Muslims can get. Yet it turned out that Shari'a was all too gruesome for most Muslims to stomach, and only 30,000 rushed to sling their offensive kafir passports into the bonfires of their new, wondrous and short-lived caliphate. Muslim “domestication” ran far deeper than Abu Bakr Naji had feared. “ISIS are not real Muslims,” howled the domesticated. ISIS frequently lamented the reluctance to kill that it observed in so many contemporary Muslims. In its operational mouthpiece, Rumiyah, ISIS ideologues opined:
Many people are often squeamish at the thought of plunging a sharp object into another person’s flesh. It is a discomfort caused by the untamed, inherent dislike for pain and death, especially after ‘modernisation’ distanced males from partaking in the slaughtering of livestock for food and striking the enemy in war.
Hence Al-Qaeda's The Management of Savagery. Such management was necessary lest Muslims lose focus, or take their eye off the prize. Abdullah Andalusi puts the problem this way—the point towards which Douglas Murray should have pushed him, given that he had the audience:
Condemning an attack is always met with a follow-up question aimed at condemning Islam itself. Do you condemn Islamic blasphemy laws? Do you condemn what the Shari’a says against insulting the prophet Muhammad? Do you condemn that anyone should be punished for insult?
This brings a bigger topic of discussion and the Muslim would be forced to either not have enough time to explain it, ...or they repudiate the Shari'a and they negate the very basis of (sic) which they are Muslim in the first place. Or, if they are on the defensive and don't want to offend the people they are speaking to, acquiesce to (sic) the liberal worldview and liberal moral system, something that, of course, as a Muslim, we can’t do.
As to why Muslims should end up in this situation in the first place is not so much because other Muslims can kill them for "acquiescing in the liberal worldview and liberal moral system," but because their own humanity has come to the fore under the influence of "the liberal worldview and liberal moral system." The inability to any longer suppress their own humanity, what Andalusi calls the lack of "Islamic discipline," he explains:
There wasn't any fatwa against Charlie Hebdo when they produced very disgusting depictions of the prophet Muhammad, and yet they faced vigilante violence from some Muslims who were so angry that they couldn't maintain Islamic discipline.
In other words, the mass murderers of Charlie Hebdo could not manage their barbarism and failed during this "most critical stage through which the umma will pass." They cracked under pressure just the same as the Muslims whose humanity gets the better of them, causing them to leave Islam. Yasir Qadhi operates on this human side of things, and calls such failure of Islamic discipline, "weak iman" (faith). The poor lay Muslim finds himself screwed from both sides: the Muslim on his left shoulder says, kill the one who insults the prophet; the human on his right shoulder says, this cannot be right.
Alhamdulillah, most of us elders, we have no worries, alhamdulillah. We're not worried about these things. Whether we understand or don’t understand, we know Islam is true. We know Islam to be true. Our younger generation doesn't have that level of iman [faith] in the first place, so when these issues come, their iman is not strong enough to overcome. So they say, we're going to reject Islam. So I would rather present an alternative that is somewhat palatable and they can then accept it, rather than they reject Islam. Is that clear? (My emphasis)
Yasir Qadhi's flock cannot see the glaring irony in his imposing of Islamic discipline on the weak of faith. If what he concocts is designed to make Islam, in his own words, "somewhat palatable" to those who cannot take it anymore, then what is Islam before he starts tinkering with it? Yasir Qadhi is doing exactly as Abdullah Andalusi did in his debate with Douglas Murray: backing down before maintaining a purest stance damages Islam. "I would rather present an alternative that is somewhat palatable and they can then accept it, rather than they reject Islam."
This is Yasir Qadhi managing savagery. There would be much such to-ing and fro-ing over the decade 2010-2020 as the management of savagery was tested to breaking point. What a real Muslim was, racked the brains of all who, in one way or another, were desperate for Islam to be a religion of peace and for Muslims to be nice people. A continuous stream of short life-cycle Leftwing and apologetic terms ensued to try to keep up with the overlapping contradictions engulfing the discourses of “peaceful Islam” and “moderate Muslims,” the ones Al-Qaeda calls “domesticated” and that some in the da’wa scene denounce as “weaklings and imbeciles.” Marrying a six-year-old and having sex with her at nine was no longer something to be proud of, nor was beating your wife. Killing your sister for being “too Western” was still sort of so-so. But outright condemning a Muslim for killing an infidel who insulted the Muhammad they love above all else was still going too far for many, way outside a “moderate” Muslim’s comfort zone. Muslims love a dead man. There’s a word for that. It’s necrophilia. Christians escape this particular cultish trait by claiming that Jesus is not dead!
Yasir Qadhi does not comprehend, nor can he be expected to comprehend, the distinction between the autonomous individual and the dependent subordinate. A lay Muslim who badgers a sheikh with, "What do we do about this? Do we believe in these fairy tales? This is mythology. Would you believe this?" can no longer be spoken to as if they are in willing submission to authority. Yet this is the only tone that the elect can take with “the masses.” Of course, those addressed as if they were dependent subordinates leave Islam. A Muslim student activist at the time The Satanic Verses triggered the madness of crowds, reported ten years later,
To say that you didn’t support the fatwa at the time was almost as if you are betraying the Prophet himself. You are unwilling yourself to be counted. If you didn’t support the fatwa, there was something wrong with you. Your faith was lacking. (My emphasis).
In August of 1990, the year after the fatwa, with Khomeini by then quite dead, his name still resounded across Sunni and Shi’a crowds alike, and his portrait stayed aloft in Muslim demonstrations across the globe. The Sunni top brass in Cairo still needed to recover their usurped position at the head of the ummah. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, formerly The Organisation for the Islamic Conference) issued its so-called Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, basically a lipstick-on-a-pig effort to sell Shari’a as something good. The CDHRI does admirable things like lay the foundations for the reintroduction of such laudable civilisational achievements as slavery. As for insulting prophets and such like, recently, the dhimmi United Nations even adopted a resolution designating 15 March as “International Day to Combat Islamophobia.” The then Pakistani Prime Minister, initiator of the resolution, crowed,
Today, the UN has finally recognised the grave challenge confronting the world: of Islamophobia, respect for religious symbols, and practices and of curtailing systematic hate speech and discrimination against Muslims.
This is unquestionably a victory for Shari'a. There will be more. The way the "Mother of all Parliaments" capitulated before the wave of paedophilia that Muslim rape gangs unleashed on that sceptred isle, means only that the legalisation of paedophilia is not far off. We are back in the days when armed men have to fend off sex-crazed marauders so their daughters and wives may have human lives. And it all begins with, "I agree with free speech, but..."
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
England is overrun by the monsters I ran away from. The last bird has landed.
- I was a fourth-year undergraduate at the time, and lost several friends to this craze.
- "Condemning the Attack on Salman Rushdie," Dr. Shabir Ally & Dr. Safiyyah Ally, Let the Quran Speak, YouTube, 17 August 2022 https://youtu.be/ai6RoIIpEmw
- "Response to Saajid Lipham: Why Muslims should not respond to demands to condemn attacks (& review)," Abdullah al Andalusi, YouTube, 20 August 2022 https://youtu.be/1AUB1RzJwFg
- Nadir Nahdi, “Pharrell - Happy British Muslims!” YouTube, 16 April 2014, https://youtu.be/gVDIXqILqSM
- “Moderate Muslims,” you know, the ones who remain silent when others go on killing sprees. Staff Writer, “British-Muslims’ ‘Happy’ video sparks backlash,” Al-Arabiya News, 18 April 2014, https://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/entertainment/2014/04/18/British-Muslims-Happy-video-sparks-backlash
- Yasmine Hafiz, “The ‘Halal Version’ Of The ‘Happy British Muslims’ Video Gets Rid Of All The Women,” Huffpost, 18 April 2014, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/halal-happy-british-muslims_n_5174655?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAIiS1foELLm3IGDw0_krQbOMNDRBanVrIBM0GkPZMk1W49ViZ0Jv_8sToBtVnwbG5SzI3kfap57oX6zGmR7ibipdA0GG2w_eFbojvwZI90SxcGBvXRvDiBWTIuWlxAsyHMy7hDvyTWOwIfWfBHs_cVAwk1eGZsJIqWL5c50QpnXw
- Abu Bakr Naji, The Management of Savagery: The Most Critical Stage Through Which the Umma Will Pass, Transl. William McCants, 23 May 2006.
- "BIGGEST DEPOT IN CRIMEA EXPLODES! Current Ukraine War Footage And News With The Enforcer (Day 174)," YouTube, 17 Aug 2022 https://youtu.be/i_Y8MlvydQk?t=3279
- The distinction between Al-Qaeda and ISIS is one of tactics. The point here is that ISIS set up its “caliphate” exactly where and when Al-Qaeda's The Management of Barbarism plan called for it to be set up.
- Quoted in Robin Wright, “The Hand of ISIS at Ohio State”, in The New Yorker, 29 November 2016.
- "Shaykh Yasir Qadhi | The Signs of the End of Times, pt 6 - Ya'juj And Ma'juj," EPIC Masjid, YouTube, 14 September 2019 https://youtu.be/snGjDv9woOc
- The Communist Party of China has exactly the same problem. It does not grasp, and never will grasp, that you cannot teach autonomous individuals the “correct understanding of China,” which is exactly what China is doing to 7.25 million people in Hong Kong and intends to do to 23.9 million people in Taiwan, autonomous individuals all. Journalists question Chinese ambassador to Australia Xiao Qian | ABC News (Australia), YouTube, 10 August 2022 https://youtu.be/SIEI8qBMZbM
- "Salman Rushdie & the Satanic Verses Scandal" https://www.videoclip.bg/watch/1546497
- "PM Imran congratulates nation after UN recognizes challenge of ‘Islamophobia’," Pakistan Today, 15 March 2022 https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/03/15/pm-imran-congratulates-nation-after-un-recognizes-challenge-of-islamophobia/
- Richard II, William Shakespeare, Act II Scene 1. The deathbed speech of John of Gaunt.