What do you think of Islam?

Islam is a religion torn by strife and its history. Like all civilisation, we see a cycle of Golden vs. Dark Ages.

In the west, our last dark age was WW II. And from that we learned a valuable lesson.

We learnt a fear of war that still pervades through much of Europe. And that fear hasn’t left us. Maybe in the USA because there are so few reminders of war there. You teach the glory of WW II.

We in Europe have to remember its horrors. I say to every warmonger in aspiration? Walk among the graves at Ypres. We wonder why people satiated Hitler to begin with? We forget they are the survivors of WW I so were desperate for peace. America lost soldiers but it didn’t see the war. Its boys returned heroes. In Europe? We saw our lads return to ruins. Our civilians saw war and we wanted none of it. That gave us our current Golden Age. We are desperate for peace because we remember war. And everytime we fight we remember it again and again. That is why I think we have stable society in the “West”. We took our plunder from our colonies and declared peace and strove to that. All our Wars have been elsewhere.

The USA learnt it’s lesson at Vietnam. We just learnt it a bit earlier. And even then there are still hawks who think war is good.

Islam’s dark age is a product of war too. And it starts with the 1800s. The first Wahabbi Movement took place and Wahabbists took over Mecca from their capital in Riyadh under the House of Saud. See the Wahabbists think that the physical monuments to Islam are an affront. So they destroyed the Prophet’s Grave… No Seriously? We know roughly where Mohammed is buried, we just don’t know where. But the first time in the 1800s the Wahabbists were a bit slap dash… They just trashed the cemetery and defaced the grave site. The joke I mention here? Muslims from the time period were buried alongside Jews. Yeah? Imagine how the dialogue of Israel would have changed if both sides knew this piece of history.

Okay so needless to say? Tonnes of Muslims across the planet were “pissed off”. So the Muslim superpower du jour intervened.

The Ottoman Empire invaded the Middle East and basically kerb stomped the Arab Wahabbi tribes. Camels/Horses versus trained soldiers armed with rifles, machine guns and cannon supplied by the trains from Egypt and through Syria.

The tribes resented their new Turk masters but the Ottomans were effective administrators. As long as the tribes left the railways and the cities alone they were free to do what they wanted. That all changed in the 1910s with WW II. We all know of Lawrence and his role in the downfall of the Ottoman Empire.

Then we come to Mohammed Ataturk, see Ataturk’s secularism made him wonder why they have this enormous flank which was indefensible and only valuable for cultural and religious purposes. In short? Why occupy Mecca and Medina? The Allies were rampaging towards Turkey. Ataturk’s defence of Turkey left Saudi Arabia back in Bedouin hands. The thing was the Ottoman administration was always through the Sharif of Mecca and a small Ottoman Garrison as a reminder of their power. When the Ottomans retreated the Sharif was defacto ruler of a loose confederacy of tribes.

The House of Al Saud fought another civil war from their Kuwait Stronghold returning in the early 1900s. First Riyadh fell under Al Saud’s Wahabbist army but this was part of the greater Arab Revolt. When the Sharif of Mecca tried to form a “Pan Arab” state his erstwhile allies (AKA Brits and French and indeed Americans) decided to cripple this power. They supported the Saud. By 1930 the dust had (hah) settled. Al-Mamlakah al-Arabiyah as-Saudiyah stood… The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Remember how the first time they destroyed relics and monuments to Islam? The Ottomans had restored them, this time they made sure. The mosque of the Prophet still stands. But the graveyard where he is buried? Is an empty lot. The marker stones were painted over, smashed and buried.

What proceeded was a desolation of Islamic History only mirrored by the Rape of Baghdad where the rivers ran black with ink and blood. And this was abhorrent to Muslims of the 1930s. Bear in mind this was the era of Hyderabad and Lucknow in India. Where Muslim art and culture was its zenith. But he who holds Mecca holds the heart and mind of Islam. Now this wouldn’t have meant anything really but the “Rich” and “Moderate” Muslim states fell. The Turks retreated to Turkey. The Kingdoms of India became India and the seeds of dissent were sown through the actions of M. A. Jinnah creating India and Pakistan and that cold war. Added to which we see the formation of Israel at the cost of Arabs.

What we see is a history of “backstabbing” by Western Powers. Ottomans, Pan-Arabia, Palestine which set the tone of discontent. This continued with support for Al-Saud and indeed the loss of moderate secular Muslim countries in the formation of India. And finally we see the power gained by Al-Saud through oil and the use of Wahabbi ideals. We can see those ideals in 2 places.

The adoption of Wahabbi ideals was PERFECT for the NWFP in Pakistan. The NWFP was part of Pakistan by sticking a flag in it and fucking off. No seriously? It was the absolute border of the Raj. It is a rugged and tough terrain much like the Arab Peninsula and the Bedouin Ideals stuck. The Burkha/Niqab? Bedouin/Berber outfits. That was where we imported that kind of teaching on purpose. To create an entity that was not swayed by luxuries that the Soviets were pushing. See we see the Wahabbists as incredible arseholes. People who kill and maim. That’s because the dialogue has changed. Back then they were traditionalists, honourable, brave fighting against an oppressive force. Today they are backwards, weirdoes and suicidal.

The thing is they were always fundies, we never really advertised that bit before. Again we see the export of Wahabbi ideals to Africa via Islamic Aid from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian Mullahs dictate what the others think.

Now here is the thing. When your ideal Muslim is a fundamentalist as dictated by the KSA, everyone works to take that pedestal by being more “Muslim” than your neighbour. Fundamentalism is a creeping thing. Have you heard about those atheists? Yeah. Yeah they are different. Yeah they are not proper. Yeah they are not Muslim. Yeah they are not good. Yeah they are evil. Yeah they are evil and someone should tell them otherwise. Yeah they are evil and someone should do something about it. Yeah they are evil and I will do something about it. Fundies feed off each other.

So in effect? You are in a situation where the ideal Muslim is some unachievable standard created by some bedouin tribesman from a violent tribal society that has suddenly come across vast amounts of modern wealth who has not just destroyed the bulk of Islamic History and written it to glorify JUST Mohammed and his tribal and war like origins rather than the progress made.

So we live in a bizarre state where Muslims seldom read their own history so cannot learn from it while a streak of Wahabbist poison exists within their teachings that corrupts slowly.

Hence our current dilemma where we see even traditionally moderate Muslim societies like Indonesia and Malaysia (seriously) adopt Shariah rather than secular law systems and holds a tribal court system to be the ideal. Just because Saudi Arabia does it.

There is a mad irony to this. Ibn Sina, Harun Al-Rashid, Saladin, Khayyam, Kabir, Akbar and Rumi are all paid lip service by various Muslims who forget that many of these men would be considered bad Muslims today (Ibn Sina and Khayam drank, Al-Rashid and Saladin were multi-culturalists, Akbar married a Hindu and didn’t force her to convert and Rumi’s poetry speaks of love that would be alien to many Wahabbists.)

It’s like the Catholic Church being proud of Galileo or Ken Ham suddenly declaring Darwin to be “a swell guy”.

Islam has lost its brain, its heart and its soul is now a bunch of poisonous old men thinking poisonous old thoughts. So poisonous that Muslims still think of themselves as living the lives of their luminaries rather than the reality that they face a creeping fundamentalist streak. In the perception that they are under attack they ignore moderate voices and listen to the people who are completely irrational in their belief. Many Muslims don’t see attempts at being moderate as progress but kowtowing to “white people” and a loss of identity. To them the misogyny is vital because it is Muslim. To them the regressive principles are vital because that is what it means to be Muslim. And this goes back to the ideal Muslim being the war like Mohammed rather than his other historical portrayals. To them treating women as equals is not a fundamental because Islam ONCE treated women better and holding on to that they still assume nothing has changed.

That’s the joke. Most Ex-Muslims speak about how much freedom they have, and that’s because Islam’s progressive values (and they were progressive for the time) are now not anymore.

As of right now? The biggest victims of Islam are Muslims themselves.


  1. busterggi says

    Islam is based on fan fiction (the NT) based on fan fiction (the OT) based on myth.

    The Abrahamic religions have had a thoroughly blood-soaked history since day 1 and that will never change.

  2. Alverant says

    Any religion, including islam, that tries to outlaw criticism or satire of it is evil. If a religion needs government support and is unable to stand on its proverbial two feet it is not worth considering.

  3. Pen says

    …everyone works to take that pedestal by being more “Muslim” than your neighbour.

    Yeah, there’s definitely the risk of that race to pure (insert ideology)-hood. The one no human being can win, but at least you get a bloodbath before the end of it. In the areas I’ve studied, I’ve seen it in the Terreur aftermath of the French Revolution, in Communist regimes, in the history of Christianity constantly.

    If there’s one thing I hate and despise particularly, it’s the spectacle of human beings engaging in competitive ideological purification. It’s always a bad idea. It inevitably involves lopping bits off that are part of being human and giving way to excesses. It’s not very different from deciding humans should be perfect spheres and starting to chop off arms and legs and stuff yourself with gallons of high-fat sugaroids in pursuit of the goal.

  4. RJW says

    I doubt that the current state of Islamic civilisation is all the Wahabbists’ fault, Muslim societies were dysfunctional relative to the West long before the Wahabbists appeared, the real problem is the Islamic ideology itself.

    The USA definitely did not learn its lesson in Vietnam, apart from the use of high technology to ensure lower American casualties.

  5. says

    It bears to remind how much of Islamist fundamentalists are actually there because the west supported them. Like Saudi Arabia. They’re our friends, right? Who cares that they treat women worse than cattle and domestic workers worse than shit? Let’s agree to disagree among friends.
    The Taliban? Were totally our friends. So was Bin Laden for a long time.
    And then we created this double bind where muslims who live in western countries are often pushed into the direction of fundamentalism because we simply make no room for them in the middle.
    After 9/11, the racial profiling and the hunt for sleepers there was an interview with a young muslim man and I will never forget that one sentence: “What should I do? If I grow a beard and am openly religious I’m an Islamist. If I just keep on shaving and live my life like I did before I’m an islamist sleeper”

    I really hope that the Turkish people can turn around and reclaim their country and their secularism. After the recent mining catastrophe it should be clear for everybody that he’s driving the country backwards on all levels. (Seriously, the utter asshole declared that “accidents like this simply happen everywhere” and then went on to mention mining catastrophies that happened in the west in the late 19th and early 20th century)

  6. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    What do I think of Islam?


    Don’t get me started.

    Lets just say I think its an awful ideology that was founded by a very nasty individual who deserves no respect or reverence at all given what a despicable role model he was and is a very bad harmful and oppressive belief system to have.

  7. Steersman says

    Ibn Warraq in his Why I Am Not a Muslim – highly recommended, available online (1) in various places – makes the very credible case that Islam is fundamentally antithetical and entirely incompatible with democracy. Maybe a very large reason why there are virtually no democracies in the Islamic world, and maybe why they “don’t play well with others” once they show up in Western countries – cases in point being, among others, the gender segregation in the UK, FGM, and the attempts to implement Sharia that others have credibly detailed and have raised the alarums about.

    In which case, one might argue that Western democracies should close the borders to any further immigration of Muslims. And that they might even give some thought to deporting those already here – an instrument of social policy that is not entirely without credible precedent (2) and over a rather long period of time.

    1) “_http://www.scribd.com/book/165896254/Why-I-Am-Not-a-Muslim”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deportation”;

  8. says

    Maybe a very large reason why there are virtually no democracies in the Islamic world[1], and maybe why they “don’t play well with others” once they show up in Western countries [2]– cases in point being, among others, the gender segregation in the UK, FGM, and the attempts to implement Sharia that others have credibly detailed and have raised the alarums about.

    [1] Like Turkey (did you read the OP? Or didn’t you know who Kemal Attatürk was)
    [2] Like the Turkish minority in Germany. Yeah, Solingen, that was Turkish people burning down a house with Germans. Or was it the other way round?

  9. Steersman says


    [1] Like Turkey (did you read the OP? Or didn’t you know who Kemal Attatürk was)

    I did say “virtually”, so as to say “Almost but not quite; nearly”.

    But yes and no that I read the OP – enough to get the gist but not all the details – Avicenna is also someone who could use a TL;DR (abstract) section. And I do know of Kemal – high school social studies if I’m not mistaken. However, one might argue that recent events in Turkey still make it iffy whether it is going to make it out of the sixth century and into the twenty-first.

    [2] Like the Turkish minority in Germany.

    Know nothing about that, although it seems it might be worth looking into. However, one might suggest you reflect on some sensible observations someone made over on Pharyngula [surprising in itself] on the utility of the word “most”. And it seems there are many more cases of egregiously anti-democratic actions by Muslims than there are explicitly pro-democratic ones – sort of Avicenna’s point if I’m not mistaken. You really should read that book of Ibn Warraq’s, as well as The Trouble with Islam Today by the gay-female Pakistani-Canadian Muslim Irshad Manji.

    But, in passing and on a somewhat related topic, you may wish to take a look at this comment (1) by Aneris on Benson’s blog and which she has apparently suppressed – clueless twat that she is – as well as my subsequent response.

    1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=186458#p186458”;
    2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=186468#p186468”;

  10. says

    Yeah, Steersman, it’s not like you’re setting up strawmen left right and centre, fall back on plausible deniability and paint a large number of people with a broad brush.
    Nobody denies that in many countries with a large muslim minorities problems exist. But your claim is simply bullshit since the vast majority of muslims in those countries is getting along with other people just fine. It’s like looking at English Hooligans and making claims about English people as such.
    If you think you’re helping, you’re wrong. Your doing nothing but pigeonholing and stereotyping about billion people on this planet leaving them only room as fascist islamists.

  11. Steersman says


    Yeah, Steersman, it’s not like you’re setting up strawmen left right and centre, fall back on plausible deniability and paint a large number of people with a broad brush.

    Strawmen? Strawmen? You have to be fucking joking. Or you can’t have read very much of Avicenna’s post, the events in Britain that Benson and Maryam Namazie, among others, have described in exhaustive and disconcerting detail, or anything of the two books I listed earlier. That many Muslims in the West are apparently and superficially law-abiding says absolutely diddly-squat about the egregiously dogmatic, narrow-minded, anti-intellectual, savage, misogynistic, barbaric ideology that is the heart of Islam. And which is essentially espoused and supported by virtually all practicing Muslims – do take a look at the Pew Forum report (Q.37, pg 170 in particular), and note that fundamentalism is more prevalent in Islam than it is in any other religion. And when push comes to shove, which ideology do you think is most likely to motivate them? Islam? Or Western secularism and democracy? Do keep in mind the response to the Danish cartoons, and the fatwa against Rushdie.

    And, speaking of the latter, you might wish to take a look at the following quotes – as a sample – from Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim; you could follow that up by actually spending the $12 to download it (or less if you search) and then actually read it in some depth as it seems your ignorance on the nature of Islam is both profound and highly problematic:

    Chapter 1; The Rushdie Affair:

    Every Muslim will have to face the challenge of the scientific developments of the last hundred and fifty years. Scientific knowledge directly conflicts with Muslim religious beliefs on a number of issues. But the more fundamental difference is a question of methodology—Islam relies on blind faith and the uncritical acceptance of texts on which the religion is based, whereas science depends on critical thought, observation, deduction, and results that are internally coherent and correspond to reality. We can no longer leave religious thought uncriticized: all the sacred texts must be scrutinized in a scientific manner. Only then will we stop gazing back and only then will religion stop being an obscurantist justification for the intellectual and political status quo. [pg 7]

    Two other skeptics also doubted Islam’s ability to provide any solutions to modern-day problems. In 1986, a Cairo lawyer, Nur Farwaj, wrote an article criticizing the sharia, the Islamic law, as “a collection of reactionary tribal rules unsuited to contemporary societies.” Also in 1986, Egyptian lawyer and essayist Faraj Fada published a pamphlet under the aggressive title of NO to Sharia. The work argued for the separation of religion and state because Islam could not provide the secular constitutional framework necessary for running a modern state. [pg 7]

    Chapter 8; Arab Imperialism, Islamic Colonialism:

    In this context, it is not surprising that Muslim intellectuals, with one or two exceptions, have been inculcating in the Muslim masses a hatred of the West that can only, in the long term, lead to a retardation of the acceptance for the need for reform, for change, for the adoption of human rights, for the rule of law—in short, for all those ideas that originated in the West, and that are considered the defining characteristics of Western civilization. It is a depressing fact that during the Gulf War almost every single Muslim and Arab intellectual sympathized with Saddam Hussein, because, we are told, “he stood up to the West.” In this explanation is summed up all the sense of Islamic failure, and feelings of inferiority vis-a-vis the West. The Muslim world must indeed be in a dire way if it sees hope in a tyrant who has murdered literally thousands of his own countrymen—Arabs, Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites, Muslims, and Jews. These same intellectuals seem incapable of self-criticism, and still the old battles are being fought—”them” and “us,” the Crusades all over again. Every ill, every failure in the Muslim world is still blamed on the West, Israel, or some Zionist conspiracy. As Kanan Makiya so courageously pointed out,

    Old habits die hard. They die hardest of all among people who have made it their duty to awaken pride in self and a sense of collective identity by blaming all ills on some “other”—a foreign agency or “alien” culture outside the community one is trying to extol, and often more powerful and dynamic. The painful thing to observe is the unrelenting stridency of the Arab intelligentsia’s attempt to blame every ill on the West or Israel. The language gets more unreal, hysterical, and self-flagellating, the less the Arab world is actually able to achieve politically and culturally in modem times. [pg 210]

    Chapter 17; Islam in the West:

    In Europe, the riots, demonstrations, and book burnings carried out by fanatical Muslims subsequent to the Rushdie affair woke Europeans up to the consequences of the presence, in their midst, of several million people who did not espouse secular values, who even explicitly set out to defy those values. Since 1989, France and Great Britain have taken different positions on the Muslim spokesmen’s increasingly shrill demand for greater freedom in following their own customs, sometimes in defiance of the secular laws of the two countries. Muslims were urged to murder a British citizen. Scandalously, the British police did not take a single step to arrest the people concerned, those who had publicly incited Muslims to murder Rushdie.


    Nowhere are the different approaches more apparent than in the case of genital mutilation, sometimes known as female circumcision. In an article in the British daily, The Independent 7 July 1992, we read that: “Local authorities and social workers have turned a ‘blind eye’ to the genital mutilation of young girls among African and other Third World communities in Britain for fear of being labeled racist,” even though genital mutilation was made illegal in 1985. The article goes on to say, “Social and health service staff are also ‘nervous’ about preventing or reporting mutilation as they feel it conflicts with anti-racist policies. ‘There continues to be confusion as to what is legitimate in culture, which should be respected, and what is human rights abuse.’” More than ten thousand girls are said to be at risk. …. [pg 351; different responses to Islam in France and England; Muslim deportation; human rights abuses versus cultural rights]

    Muslims in Britain and What They Want:

    Britain is said to have approximately one-and-a-half million Muslims, a majority from the Indian subcontinent. Most, if not all, are there of their own free will, seeking to better their economic situation. In the last fifteen years, many Muslims have made it clear that they have no intention of being assimilated into the host society; instead, it is up to the host society to change, to accord them separate rights, and separate privileges. Some of their most articulate spokesmen have spelled out what they hope to achieve. Dr Zaki Badawi, former Director of the Islamic Cultural Centre, London, wrote: “A proselytizing religion cannot standstill. It can either expand or contract. Islam endeavors to expand in Britain. Islam is a universal religion. It aims at bringing its message to all corners of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole of humanity will be one Muslim community, the Ummah.”

  12. belzer says

    “Muslims in Britain and What They Want:”

    .. How about this for a suggestion : Hired by UKIP, so they could get votes for their anti-science views, and so on …
    Or,they the majority) want to have the same rights as everyone else?

  13. Steersman says

    Belzer (#14):

    “Muslims in Britain and What They Want:”

    .. How about this for a suggestion : Hired by UKIP, so they could get votes for their anti-science views, and so on …

    Not terribly up on the nature of the UKIP, although Wikipedia suggests many members have “concerns about the value of immigration, hostility to immigrants and a lack of trust in the political system”. But, in light of that, I don’t see how Muslims are likely to advance their “anti-science views” by getting hired by the UKIP.

    Or,they (the majority) want to have the same rights as everyone else?

    Hadn’t realized that the truth of science was up for being voted on – if that’s what you’re getting at there. And if many Muslims attempt to do that – which certainly seems to be the case – then that rather clearly indicates being unclear on the concepts of both democracy and science – and some evidence of my, and Ibn Warraq’s, position that Islam is antithetical to that system of governance.

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