Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Other

Could be anywhere, could be anyone, could be sometime.

Doctors working in a hospital where all the bodies, including that of the terrorists, were taken said they had not seen anything like this in their lives.

"Bombay has a long history of terror. I have seen bodies of riot victims, gang war and previous terror attacks like bomb blasts. But this was entirely different. It was shocking and disturbing," a doctor said.

Asked what was different about the victims of the incident, another doctor said: "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatised. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.

Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.
Could be some indefinite event, but we know it's not. We know that there lays in the mind the capacity to do great evil; but seldom does it arise in this unrestrained mode, and then it has to be raised consciously by training and practice. Even savages have an innate restraint.

Islam is a training for jihad. Islam is only one form of politically motivated violence one among many, to be sure, but today it's the most lethal and the most common. Islam is an immediate menace to Humanity. Islam as poligion has the deepest potential for the practice of unrestrained violence. For the most part, Islam is a mere programme for conquest by Muslims. No other religion has such a programme for its adherents. The core of Islam is jihad. The history of Islam is jihad. The essence of Islam is jihad and islam, the latter being "slavery." There is nothing else like it. Savage violence is common enough. Islam is unique.

Islam is unique as a violent poligion. It creates its own counter-forces, though. There's nothing unique in that.


truepeers said...

The core of Islam is jihad.

-no, I don't think you've worded this right, in your desire to reduce a religious phenomenon to some metaphysical essence, which is a hopeless intellectual exercise. The core of Islam is Mohammed's revelation. We can argue over the nature of that revelation because we are free men who are not told what it must mean. We can argue over it because like any religious phenomenon it is at core paradoxical and not self-evident.

There is no doubting the history of Jihadi violence. But there is much else that Muslims can cling to and develop should they wish, and should they learn more about freedom. Your desire for "clarity" is a desire for a final and ultimate war, as it is for the savages who do violence in the name of Allah. But I don't think the savages will be defeated in such a war, but rather in one which will allow Muslims to join a greate transcendent vision of what they are about. But that will take men of faith to show what could be possible...

Dag said...

Any number of people have had revelations, but Mohammed's resonated with too many, and that because it strikes a chord in people that is deep and dark and appealing: It is organized conquest and an absolution from freedom. Change that, and you no longer have Islam. You have something not Islam. You might keep the name but the religion is no longer Islam. And we deal with Islam itself, not something else under that name.

A problem with writing that "Islam" is many things is that it is so only till people grasp the metaphysical realities of the poligion itself, which is vital and living in our world continuously. There is ersatz Islam, but it doesn't satisfy when people find the core of the creed, which is available and continuous in history. People are only fooled and satisfied with ersatz Islam till they encounter the real thing. Then we see jihad.

truepeers said...


no doubt you point to an evil discovery process that is real in this world for far too many people. But what is the point of telling all the others their religion, focussed on God and keeping the peace close to home, is ersatz? And what is the point of showing no faith in a different "Islamic" future? History is nothing but the emergence of things that were previously impossible. Yes, some things are truly impossible, but it is not so dangerous to be less than certain about which these are.

In other words, what is your strategy for this war? I don't deny that we are in a war we must win. But what I question is all or nothing ways of looking at things Islamic, the metaphysical desire for essences which seems to be a turn off for many, pragmatically-inclined, would-be allies. Some who come to fight on the side of greater freedom will give up Islam, and some will try to change it. Who are we to know that all efforts of the latter type will fail?

We need to defend a vision of freedom and be less concerned with defining Islam. We are not Muslims, that is not our fight, our concern. Our concern is to hold the lines that allow for a free society to flourish. We need to be able to know our friends and enemies without engaging in vain quests for metaphysical essences.

The war will be won by those who can put forward a new kind of transcendent vision that will allow the greatest number to engage in a greater more free form of human reciprocity.

To this end, is it not worth considering that there are any number of states and individuals in Muslim countries who are in some kind of fight against the Jihad as practised in Mumbai?

Jihad may be a key sacrament but there are many ways of organizing it. And some of these are simply out of touch with human realities in the long run. The dream of a world united in one Umma under one Caliph is pure fantasy that fails to understand human nature. No doubt Islam is for many a queer sort of Gnostic fantasy. But I can't help but think some Muslims are more tuned in to realities in this world that exist beyond Islamic texts. Calling their thinking "ersatz" thus strikes me as unproductive. Claims on the truth of texts and religious things cannot seriously be made without appeal to a greater human reality and to a serious and open engagement with it. Why insist that the closed religious mind is the real religious mind?

Further, there is a pragmatic reality we have to take into account in making alliances. You don't seriously think, do you, that all diplomacy with Muslims can be pushed aside in some final war against Islam in which all Muslims must be ruled by outsiders until they learn to give up Islam? That's just not going to happen anytime soon, given who we are in the West today. Thinking in this fantastic way will not be productive in fighting the war we have to fight, making alliances with the lesser evils. And it is the outcome of this war, more than anything, that will further clarify the real nature of Islam. Fundamentally human things are never unchanging essences because history continually reveals further possibilities in them.

Vancityguy said...

-Excerpt from a Dag family gathering



Get dem dere Jeehadees!

I goin shoot me some Mooslims darnit!




Gee cuz, you sur'are puurty


truepeers said...

Sometimes I fear people may misunderstand the point of my playing good cop to Dag's bad. It's not to make Dag appear a bad guy, because I know he's not. I [we] do it with the hope that a little debate can further our shared understanding of the different ways of seeing the Islam problem, knowing that we need more than one way of seeing the problem, though I know I fail the cause sometimes with my convoluted or insufficient explanations of a strategy for liberating Muslims from the many evils of their worlds, as a necessary thrust of our struggle to survive Islam as a free Western culture.

So on that note:
Excerpt from Vancityguy family gathering:

-"isn't multiculturalism great?" now we don't actually have to do the hard work to know anything about other cultures, as long as we make a show of respecting them..."

-"Yeah it's all good"

-"oh, except for Amerikka"

-"is Dukes of Hazzard on yet"?

-"God I love laughing at hillbillies..."

-"Hollwood sucks!" - sullen silence as the righteous one has spoken and spoiled the fun. Tv is turned to CBC and everyone looks bored but serious

-"Heh did you hear about that Mark Steyn nut making fun of Persian "sheepshaggers"?

-"the nerve..."

Vancityguy said...

- Continued excerpt from the Dag family Christmas

yeeeeehhhhaaawww, Turkey time!


Go'en git dem Mooslims, we need some inter-tayn-ment


Look at'dem Mooslims, darn they lik eatin'dirt - they call dat prayin?


Deese Jeehadees, they jus'lik dem Queerbekers, can't trust'em, no sir


Hey trupeers, where you goin'at? You leavin?

Aw shucks, just'cause truepeers thinks WAY more before he talks he thinks he all hoity toity



Note: I like reading your stuff truepeers, even though I don't always agree. Just try reigning in Dag somewhat, he's a little too hot under the collar and thick between the ears to take very seriously. I bet he makes some mean Moonshine though.

Walker Morrow said...


And the purpose of those comments was....?

Vancityguy said...


Plain as dat der nose on dat der face

Git'dem damn Jeehadees!



Walker Morrow said...


Well, good luck with that.