Thursday, August 25, 2005

Islam Is a Supremacist Ideology

Islam is a supremacist ideology that aims to conquer and subjugate. Let’s examine the origins of this practice.

Is Islam a religion or political ideology? The early Islamic rulers, i.e. caliphs, were not missionaries seeking to convert but warriors seeking to conquer and subjugate. Muhammad was succeeded by the four “rightly guided caliphs” (632-661 A.D.). During this time Muslims conquered Persia and a major part of the Eastern Roman Empire: Syria, Palestine and Egypt. These military victories had profound religious significance: it validated Islam as the true religion. Following Muhammad’s example, Muslims derived their livelihood from conquest and exploitation – not production and trade.

Muslim apologists scoff at the notion that Islam was spread by the sword since Islam holds that before waging war, non-Muslims must be given the chance to submit. In essence, Muslim warriors were saying “we’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.” Massacres were common in Syria (634), Mesopotamia (635-642), and soon after in Egypt, Cyprus, Armenia, Tripoli, Carthage, etc. However, in many instances populations choose to accept the change from Byzantine rule to Islamic rule with initially minor change in daily routine.

Islam was initially a racial supremacist ideology that became a religious supremacist ideology. In the first hundred years non-Arab Muslims were excluded from power. Muslims believed Allah spoke Arabic and favored the Arabs. Only Arabs were exempt from slavery, for example. In Islam’s second century, after 750 AD, under the Abbasid caliphs, who ruled from Baghdad, Persians were included in the governing ranks. “To compensate for this, and to replace the wakening bond of Arab ethnic cohesion, the caliphs laid increasing stress on Islamic identity and conformity trying to impose on their vast and diverse empire the unity of a common faith and culture.” [Lewis p78]

Non-Muslims in conquered territories were treated as less-than-human, having no rights and few privileges. Oppression was more than economic exploitation. It had another dimension – a ritualistic religious dimension – that reaffirms the supremacist mindset. The non-Muslim, called a dhimmis, was constantly subjected to humiliation. For example, a dhimmis cannot, upon penalty of death, possess a weapon, raise a hand to a Muslim in defense, criticize Islam, convert to any religion but Islam, marry a Muslim woman, display religious objects, or employ a Muslim. Dhimmis must live in ghettos, privately practice their religion, wear distinctive clothing, walk on the back streets or to the far left side, walk humbly, accept insults, etc. [Ye’or p118]

Bat Ye’or points out the purpose was to “reduced them to the outward appearance of complete contemptibility. They were deprived of all means of defense, either physical or legal, thus rendering them cowardly in comparison with the courage of their superiors; they were obliged to grovel in a servile manner such that the victor would appear more generous; they were forced to live in fear of the next day so that each day they were delivered from death would fill them with gratitude …” [p124-5]

A 15th century Islamic theologian calls for the following method of tax collection. “The tax collectors were to stand above the Jews in a threatening position so that it should appear to everyone that the latter were to be humiliated and despoiled of their belongings. ‘They will then realize what favor we bestow upon them in accepting the jizya [tax] and letting them off so easily. Then they should be dragged away, one by one … While paying, the dhimmi should be slapped in the face and pushed away so that he will consider that through this form of ransom he has escaped the sword.’” [p125] “[T]he plundering of these subhuman beings, both their person and their possessions, was interpreted as a sign of the Devine Will rewarding the just cause of the victor.”

Again, in an irony that only Mario Puzo could match, oppression of non-Muslims was deemed a code of tolerance. However, tolerance, in Islamic doctrine, means grudgingly enduring inferior beings.

What’s important is the need to humiliate the dhimmi. This has a dual dimension: physical harm and spiritual humiliation. The later almost always involves blaming the victim for deserving the physical harm. Thus, after Islamic attacks – like 9/11, Madrid, London, Beslan, etc. – invariably some statement is made that amounts to “you brought it on yourself.” Those in the West, quick to assent to the blame, become accessories to the crimes after the fact. They help complete the attack as the humiliation is a vital part of the attack.

The dynamics of a supremacist ideology is similar to an abusive relationship with its victim psychology. By accepting the blame the victim gains the illusion of control: “we can stop this by changing.” Dr. Kenneth Levin calls this “The Oslo Syndrome” when applied to Israel. However, it is common among the appeasement faction through out the West.

Understanding the inherent nature of the Islamic supremacist ideology makes it clear: Islam sees the West (and all non-Muslims for that matter) as an inferior realm to be brought under Islamic rule and subjugated. Islam originated as a supremacist ideology that believes it deserves to rule over others. We’ve had experience with this kind of ideology before.


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