Monday, 18 July 2005

Hatred and mysticism behind the violence

As Christopher Hitchens says in a post below, "Random and 'senseless' though such violence may appear, we also all know it expresses a deadly ideology; indeed that in some ways it is that ideology. The preachers of this faith have taken care to warn us that they love death more than we love life."

Making that ideology concrete are some comments in today's Times. The first is from London-based cleric Hani Al-Siba’i, who says of the London killings,

“If Al-Qaeda indeed carried out this act, it is a great victory for it..." When asked about the killings of civilians by Islamists in Iraq, he denied that victims could be divided into combatants and non-combatants. “The term civilian does not exist in Islamic religious law. There is no such term as civilians in the western sense. People are either of Dar al Harb [literally, house of hostility, meaning any non-Islamic government] or not.”

When contacted yesterday, Al–Siba’i stood by most of his comments, although he said the remarks about the definition of civilians “may have been mistranslated”.

And The Times reports another cheerleader from murder is on his way to London.

Al-Qaradawi, 79, is banned from America for advocating child suicide bombers in the Middle East, although he has condemned the London bombings. He has reportedly said: “The Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb and these human bombs must continue until liberation.”

These people do mean it. The Times also has a series of interviews with suicide bomber volunteers in Gaza, and with one suicide bomber survivor. They concur with the venom above. "One member of al-Qassam said: “We do not have tanks or rockets, but we have something superior — our exploding Islamic bombs.”
“How did you feel when you heard that you’d been selected for martyrdom?” asked [The Times]. "It’s as if a very high, impenetrable wall separated you from Paradise or Hell,” he said. “Allah has promised one or the other to his creatures. So, by pressing the detonator, you can immediately open the door to Paradise — it is the shortest path to Heaven.”

The interviews makes clear the mysticism at the heart of all this:

“What is the attraction of martyrdom?” I asked. “The power of the spirit pulls us upward, while the power of material things pulls us downward,” he said. “Someone bent on martyrdom becomes immune to the material pull.

And in this religion, as in so much fundamentalism, the material world is seen as evil; the good can be reached only by shunning this world and seeking another through faith. Ayn Rand identifed the link between Faith and Force, in her article 'Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World.'
The real conflict, of course, is reason versus mysticism... The conflict of reason versus mysticism is the issue of life or death -- of freedom or slavery -- of progress or stagnant brutality...
Reason and freedom -- are corollaries, and their relationship is reciprocal: when men are rational, freedom wins; when men are free, reason wins. Their antagonists are: faith and force. These, also, are corollaries: every period of history dominated by mysticism, was a period of statism, of dictatorship, of tyranny.
Makes you think, doesn' t it.

1 comment:

  1. michael fasher18 Jul 2005, 18:31:00

    the most devastingly effective destroyer of western mystiscism is charles dawin.I met a pakistani who had never even heard of dawin or evolution.If we coulf find a way to get dawins idea into the islamic world that would be like droping a nuke on the fundementalists(no wonder the western fundementalists fear dawin so much)


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.