Had Orwell but known Islam. Part 4

Doubt is the undoing of Islam, and the antidote to doubt is simple and obvious: remain a Muslim of strong faith. This means to never doubt, remain primitive and simplistic in thought, remain ignorant, and, above all, never trust your own mind.

Had Orwell but known Islam. Part 4

Special Series on Apostasy: There's no better time than Ramadan

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5

The Islamic show is kept on the road by the social division between “the elect”, the people who tell lay Muslims what they think and send them to your deaths, and the “many”, the simple Muslims, “the masses”, who think as they are told, say as they are told and do as they are told. Naturally, they die when they are told. In practise, this social division of Islam fundamentally comes down to:

Allah Most High prohibited the people to go out altogether in military expeditions and jihad, and ordered a segment of them to engage solely in becoming knowledgeable in the religion of Allah. (Reliance of the Traveller, Book B2.2)

The quoted passage is some of the unpublicised small print of the lauded “bargain” Allah has struck with the believers:

Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph, (Qur’an, 9:111).

The bargain is struck with “the believers”, but as we’ve just seen, some of the believers are exempted. They go to Paradise not for selling “their lives and their wealth,” but for ensuring the lay Muslims do so. But even this is uncertain, because another clause in the small print reads:

Allah's Messenger, the truthful and truly-inspired, said, “Each one of you collected in the womb of his mother for forty days, and then turns into a clot for an equal period (of forty days) and turns into a piece of flesh for a similar period (of forty days) and then Allah sends an angel and orders him to write four things, i.e., his provision, his age, and whether he will be of the wretched or the blessed (in the Hereafter). Then the soul is breathed into him. And by Allah, a person among you (or a man) may do deeds of the people of the Fire [sin, AP] till there is only a cubit or an arm-breadth distance between him and the Fire, but then that writing (which Allah has ordered the angel to write) precedes, and he does the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters it; and a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise [righteous deeds, AP] till there is only a cubit or two between him and Paradise, and then that writing precedes and he does the deeds of the people of the Fire and enters it." (Sahih Bukhari 6594)

To make this clearer, Allah ordains everyone’s ultimate fate, be it Heaven or Hell, before that person is a discrete living being in the womb. In the end, they will end up in Heaven or Hell according to what was written before they existed, regardless of whether they have spent their entire lives in piety or wickedness. So the bargain of Paradise that Allah has struck and promised to fulfil if the Muslim would but give everything he owns and kill himself in the cause of Allah, is a scam over and above the scam of the bargain supposedly being struck with “the believers”.

So what you have is this: The lot of you, go out there and kill the infidels wherever you find them, go slay and be slain, and seventy-two virgins await you in Heaven. This is your bargain with Allah, who has chosen for you Islam as your religion. Those of you who slay, but fail to be slain, never mind, you will get your share of all the loot you bring back to us. While you’re busy with that, Allah commanded us to hang back here and occupy ourselves with studying the Sacred Law so that if you do come back, we can continue giving you the benefit of telling you what to do. Takbir!

To the scholars, law (subjugation and obedience) and religion are one. To lay Muslims, the ones whose station it is to go out altogether in military expeditions and jihad, “the deen” is the religion and only the religion. The law they leave to the “people of knowledge”. To drive home the point, Reliance of the Traveller adds, “It is obligatory for the ordinary person to follow the scholar who is a mujtahid, [someone trained in Sacred Law].” For lay Muslims, there is nothing else to the deen except absolute obedience to the minutiae of the religion as explained by the sheikhs, and for Islamic totalitarianism to work, this is exactly how it has to be.[1] Spare a thought for Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi, who ended up bearing the brunt of the backlash against what was going to happen sooner or later anyway.

In a Muslim environment, there is always some respect that we have for the Qur’an. We should. In a Muslim environment, we’ll press a little bit, and then, we’ll say, “OK, halas [that’s it].” That’s great, Alhamdulillah. ...They [Western academics] are bringing forth [very difficult] issues. Their level of knowledge is leaps and bounds above what it used to be 100 years ago. What is happening in the last few years, it’s not me [controlling information] anymore; it’s the Western academics. These problems [hidden from lay Muslims for 1400 years] are now becoming mainstream.[2]

And still, all that lay Muslims are expected to do is hear and obey, as Qur’an 24:51 instructs. The Qur'an is oft-criticised for its errors, inconsistencies and contradictory verses, as well as for inconsistencies and mutual abrogations with the hadith, not to mention innumerable alterations to what is claimed to be a text preserved “letter for letter” from Allah to Jibreel to Muhammad to the Qur’an in your hand. Such criticism is valid, but they also miss the point. The innumerable “problems” in the Islamic holy texts serve a critical totalitarian function. The confusion that results from reading these texts negates what might survive of the lay Muslim's sound cognitive faculties, causing him to abdicate his own apprehension and judgement, and drive him to doing the only safe thing: asking a scholar what he should think. The scholars are not called “the guardians, transmitters and interpreters of religious knowledge” for nothing. The less a Muslim trusts his or her own mind, the more certain they become.

While certainty is the mortar of faith, arbitrariness hold totalitarianism together. Certainty can thus be indulged only up to a point, because certainty contradicts arbitrariness. It must be kept in mind that Islam, the religion, is in the service of Islam, the totalitarian system. Arbitrariness means that those subject to the law must never able to pin down the law, never be able to hold the scholars to account and never be able to turn a favour (that has to be begged for) into a right (that can be demanded). Lay Muslims are always subject to someone else’s interpretation of the law. So whether they have really sinned or not comes down to how the “scholars” happen to see things on the day. Begging, pleading, bribing and flattering suggest themselves as possible ways of influencing the outcome. Scholarly abuse of lay Muslims reaches especially gross proportions when divorced wives want to reconcile with their ex-husbands. They have no choice but to subject themselves to a Shari’a pimping fest called nikah halala.

When the scholars really want to put their foot down, they fall back on “scholarly consensus,” ijma’a, what the fascist fathers of Islam were unanimous on and is supposedly fixed for all time. If a Muslim were entirely free of sin (Muhammad excepted, of course), then what little might remain of the humanity of the lay Muslim would militate against such a person going to hell. Never fear, Muhammad’s got that covered, too:

By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them. (Sahih Muslim 2749)

This is part of Islam’s future-proofing that ensures that a Martin Luther never emerges. Another is the obligation to obey the leader, no matter how bad or corrupt that leader might be, except if that leader goes against Allah. Then the ordinary Muslim must rise against him. No matter how pious a Muslim’s life, he will never know whether he is pious enough for Allah, and only the sheikhs can help him with that. To be on the safe side, ask for forgiveness for what you don’t know you’ve done. There is no need in Islam for “original sin” – another totalitarian contrivance – since being free of sin is to place oneself beyond the power of Allah (read: the scholars) to do with as he pleases. To avoid the confusion that flows from all this, a Muslim must abdicate his mind.

The Russian case illustrates the same role of confusion in totalitarian control. The KGB, now FSB, operates in exactly the same way as laid out for the Islamic scholars in Reliance of the Traveller. The brainwashed Soviet population, the current Russian and other post-Soviet generations that came of age before the 1990s, believe the truth to be whatever the KGB tells them it is. Truths, however, are only secure until the next truth that contradicts and thereby supplants it. Skipping over all the stages of thought degradation that this opens up, we can go straight to the end result. George Orwell describes doublethink through Winston Smith’s musings:

His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.

The truths that Russians, Chinese and Muslims are fed are deliberately contradictory, and all of them, with their own characteristics, demonstrate the multiple self-negating cognitive processes that Orwell describes above. The effect of constantly hearing contradictory truths is that such a population withdraws from engagement with facts outside of their immediate material concerns, concerns that are deliberately kept considerable so as to leave no room for wandering thoughts. Under such conditions, simply believing whatever you are told comes as a relief. The end result is a complete abdication of autonomous judgement and a shutdown of all critical faculties. Best to leave such matters to the Party or the scholars, who will tell me, from day to day or week to week, what is real.

Putin’s propaganda doesn’t try to persuade you of an alternate reality that you should believe in. It tries to manipulate your sense of reality. It basically tries to saturate the informational environment with incompatible pictures of reality. The aim isn’t to persuade you of anything. [It] isn’t to initiate you into a kind of political mobilisation, into a kind of vision. The aim is to depoliticise you, to make you feel, well this is too complex for me to engage in, and make you feel that maybe there isn’t such a thing as an unqualifiedly statable truth about anything. …Putin’s propaganda tries to tell you, look, this is a very complex world. There are claims and counter-claims, and then it tries to pump information at you from all directions. The idea is that you simply give up on politics. That’s the key aspiration and it’s been working very tragically, effectively.[3]

This is exactly how lay Muslims rely on their scholars to tell them what is reality. Where the Russians’ preoccupation is with basic material survival, those of Muslims, given that this life is but a “test” on their way through to their real life in the Afterlife, is with avoiding falling foul of a morass of contradictory laws of which they are deliberately kept ignorant. They are imbued with pride in their ignorance as the only feasible, nay, virtuous, condition. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. Lay Muslims themselves display the strongest disapproval towards lay Muslims who think about Islam, presume themselves knowledgeable and so trespass onto the preserve of the “people of knowledge.”

Without understanding how the KGB/FSB wield power over the Russian mind, the CCP wields power over the Chinese mind, the Islamic scholars wield power over the Muslim mind, a full understanding of totalitarianism as a system remains illusive. Instructively, now that Stalin’s cult of personality, the religion of the earthly God, is gone, Orthodox Christianity is again stepping into the role that religion has been playing in Islam without interruption, the supernatural God restored to his throne by none other than ex-KGB officer and Putin crony, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow himself, who endorsed Putin’s rule as nothing less than “a miracle of God.”[4]

Lay Muslims, “the masses,” are not supposed to know what Shari’a is, for they would soon see how Islam manipulates them. This is why the texts of Shari’a are forbidden to them and reserved for the elect only. The scholars will tell them whatever they need to tell them in the moment. “It is not wise,” says Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadi, that “the masses” should know more than the sheikhs vouchsafe for them. Should lay Muslims retain any critical faculties after their years in madrassa, they might, despite prohibition, actually try to understand the Islamic texts for themselves. The outcome might be that they become convinced that they are, indeed, not people of knowledge, and that they must not think about such things, that their faith is weak and that Allah knows best. However, as is increasingly likely, they could just as easily realise that they’d been scammed.

The role of complete generations

Under totalitarianism, the subordinates self-subordinate. There is no need for those in power to coerce the subordinates, because all minds have become extensions of a single, communal mind geared towards the attainment of a telos. In the case of Islam, that telos is “all religion is for Allah alone”. On the basis of the police-state verse, lay Muslims collectively subordinate themselves, each keeping the others in check:

The believers, men and women, are Auliya' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another [to the exclusion of the kufaar, AP], they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'ruf (…all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (…all that Islam has forbidden). (Qur’an 9:71)

For such an arrangement to stabilise into permanence requires the passage of at least one complete generation that has never known anything but totalitarianism. Nazism, with its all-pervasive subordination, had not completed its first totalitarian generation. Its totalitarianism was inchoate, and had not managed to reach self-replication before it was militarily defeated. Without a generation that has lived their entire lives as subjugated, indoctrinated beings, and in turn raised their own offspring as selfless instruments in the service of a telos, their singular purpose hardwired into their young brains, the totalitarian system cannot settle into self-replication. Spectacular as its barbaric accomplishment during its six-year thousand years have been, subjugating the Jews for extermination and the Slavs for slavery, Nazism simply did not exist long enough to mature into a fully-fledged totalitarian system. Christopher Hitchens made the following salient observation:

In Russia in 1917, for hundreds of years, millions of people have been told the head of the state is a supernatural power. The Tsar is not just the head of the government, not just a king, but he stands between Heaven and earth, and this has been inculcated in generations of Russians for hundreds of years. If you're Joseph Stalin, himself a seminarian from Georgia, you shouldn’t be in the totalitarianism business if you can't exploit a ready-made reservoir of credulity and servility that’s as big as that. It’s just waiting for you to capitalise on, so what do you do? Well, have an Inquisition, for one thing. Have miracles for another. …You will have heresy hunts. You will tell everyone they must be grateful only to the leader for what they get, and they must thank him and praise him all the time, and that they must be aware all the time of the existence of the counter-revolutionary Devil who waits to—you see where I'm going with this.[5]

Vladimir Putin only had a small gap of one generation to close, with the bridgehead of the last Stalinist generation still very much in place. The breach was the free generation that came of age between 2000 and 2015. Russia mobilising for war while keeping the borders open is universally assessed (and widely mocked) as a massive blunder on Putin’s part. It was nothing of the kind. It was a great purge of the sullied, the deplorables. The generation of militarised and brainwashed schoolchildren of Putin's Special Educational Operation of 2015-6 [6] were ready to be put into the field. The Russian population cleansed of a generation that thought for itself, with aspirations inconsistent with the national aspiration, the Russian regime could roll out its Special Military Operation to subjugate the Ukrainian nation, a free people, in pursuit of the Russian nation’s telos of Russkiy Mir. Most of the Russian civilians who willingly mobilised into the invasion army are from generations raised under totalitarianism and salvaged from the disastrous experiment with freedom. A Russian soldier in Ukraine explained:

“I’m not looking into the causes of the war. If I was mobilised, it means that my Motherland needs me. I am a simple soldier. The question why and what for is not my responsibility.” Russian lawyer Max Olenichev says social conditioning like this dates back to Soviet times and is part of the problem: “The majority of Russian people are not ready to go to war, but there’s a willingness to rely on the government’s decisions, because there is a belief that authority knows better. The people don’t think critically. First, they don’t understand when the government is using them as canon fodder.”[7] (My emphasis)

Totalitarianism means the subsumption of all purposes into a single purpose, and hence the subsumption of all will into a single will. It has no room for autonomous individuals, for people insane enough to think that truth and loyalty are two different things, or that there is such a thing as reality. Of course, such people naturally arise in every society of humans. In the totalitarian case, they are either weeded out one by one, or purged in their thousands, even millions. It happens every few generations. Islam is no exception. The religion of peace is going through exactly such a purge at time of writing. The overwhelming majority of 45,031 people Muslims have murdered since 9/11 are Muslims.[8]

There is only one problem, the spell on the Muslim mind is broken. To stop the torrent of apostasy sweeping the Muslim world, the scholars are going to have to launch Ridda Wars 2.0, and kill very large numbers of at least two generations of Muslims everywhere. And they cannot afford to do that, because they need lay Muslims to come forward to kill and be killed in the cause of Allah, especially in Europe and North America. Such people there will be, but they will be doing so against a backdrop of mass and increasing apostasy. The stage is being set for the greatest fitna Islam has ever seen. For the first time in history, it becomes possible for Muslims to end Islam; not reform it, end it.

Doubt, as we have shown, is the undoing of Islam, and the antidote to doubt is simple and obvious: remain a Muslim of strong faith. This means to never doubt, remain primitive and simplistic in thought, remain ignorant, and, above all, never trust your own mind. The inculcation in the Muslim of an aversion to questioning is, of course, the scholars’ insurance against the exposure of their cruel racket, and the underwriting of religion as the insurance policy of totalitarianism. The Qur’an warns:

O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble. But if ye ask about things when the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be made plain to you, Allah will forgive those: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Forbearing. Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith (Qur’an 5:101-102).

And there we have it again: Don’t ask questions, but if you do, well, Allah might forgive you anyway, if you play your cards right (metaphorically speaking).


  1. In later historical periods, alternative mechanisms of control become available, but during late antiquity, there was only religion as a form of mass control, hence the similarity between Islam and Catholicism, another totalitarian system with a global mission, especially prior to the Reformation that the autonomous individual imposed on it.
  2. “Holes in the Narrative - Yasir Qadhi interview clip + Muslim reaction,” EarnedNothing, YouTube, 15 Jan 2021 https://youtu.be/DsikKJg4ETw?t=193
  3. Vlad Vexler, "Vlad Vexler: Putin's Thinking and the Russian People Today," Jake Broe Podcast (E006), Jake Broe, YouTube, 4 Oct 2022 https://youtu.be/2697pPORYuw. See also "The Riddle of Why Russians Don't Protest," Vlad Vexler, YouTube, 25 Oct 2022 https://youtu.be/K4O3D7CfThA. Former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov makes essentially the same point.
  4. Joseph Stalin destroyed most of the Orthodox Church, and coopted the rest. Vladimir Putin is destroying only a small part of the Orthodox Church, and is coopting the rest. See "Russia: The Orthodox Connection," People & Power, Al Jazeera English, YouTube, 19 Oct 2017 https://youtu.be/KQR36Z7Pwn4
  5. Christopher Hitchens, "Hitchens On Stalin," MakeCakeNotWar, Youtube 22 Dec 2007 https://youtu.be/TRhczvtmbWE To get a real sense of what Hitchens "reservoir of credulity and servility," see "Back in business: Christianity's second coming in Russia," 60 Minutes Australia, YouTube, 22 Mar 2022 https://youtu.be/kIVLh_rn_WA.
  6. "Guide: To 18+ years old Russian Occupant in 2022, from 15+ years old casual kid in 2016," Radio Svoboda, Veed.io.
  7. “Ukraine war: Russian troops face lack of supplies,” DW News, YouTube, 14 October 2022. https://youtu.be/yqK32rD9Ois
  8. Religion of Peace https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/site/about-site.aspx

Picture credits:

Unknown author - книга Русский революционный плакат / Вячеслав Полонский. — Москва : Государственное издательство, 1925. — 192 с., ил.http://propagandahistory.ru/2013/Sovetskie-plakaty-dlya-musulman--1920-1930-e-gody/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=70089891

Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69850572

Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1987-004-09A / Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5483348