Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt and Islam: democracy or dictatorship?

There are many who rejoice at the downfall of dictators. Certainly, they tend to be odious megalomaniacs who torture their people, repress opposition and oppress minorities. But there are others who observe, like Churchill on democracy, that in some cultures and complex socio-religio-political contexts, it is the lesser evil.

Whether this was the case in Sudan, Tunisia or Egypt remains to be seen. One thing is certain: the peoples of these nations have had enough, and are breaking the shackles and throwing off the chains of decades of dictatorial rule, police brutality and systematic torture.

But for what?

Revolutions in the West have tended towards liberty and the rejection of the Ariston in favour of the Demos. It has been an inevitable consequence of the Reformation and Enlightenment that Christendom was forced to adapt to a New World Order of openness and accountability, with a priesthood of believers, parliamentary democracy, individual responsibility and the Word of God communicated in the vernacular.

But revolutions in what many term the ‘Islamic world’ are not necessarily destined for such an outcome.

And it is not that Islam and democracy are incompatible, as many erroneously aver: it is frequently the proposition of those who have themselves almost certainly never read the Qur’an and are scarcely aware of centuries of scholarship on the mutability and multiplicity of the Islamic faith, which is as diverse and disparate as the myriad of Christian denominations. The problem is the ascendancy and dominance of a particular interpretation of Islam – the Wahhabi strain – which seeks to agitate, occupy, subjugate, inculcate and deny liberty and justice to all, Muslim or not.

There are, of course, some Christian denominations which also agitate politically and seek to inhibit the individual conscience, control education and mould a particular form of society. But these extreme expressions have been tempered by centuries of political engagement and theological scholarship: we tolerate them because they are essentially benign.

In Islam, there has been no reformation, and the clash with the principles of the Enlightenment is an inevitable consequence of globalisation: if you show the darkened oppressed a better way via the light of Google or Twitter, why would they not seek to follow it?

But the revolutionary turmoil in Sudan, Tunisia and Egypt is not part of a coherent theological movement, as was the Reformation; or a socio-cultural awakening and flourishing, like the Enlightenment. It results principally from a perception of Islamic appeasement, compromise and subjugation to the ‘Great Satan’: it is a humiliation to millions of Muslims that the ‘Christian West’ may demand concessions, impose conditions and dictate the terms of debate to the ‘Islamic world’.

The mistake the West still makes – and this is most evident at Westminster and within all policy priorities and internal debates within the main political parties – has been to perpetuate the primacy of economics. Those politicos who have moved on from the purity of political ideology to economic theory are the new enlightened ones. Even if what they spout is myopically Keynesian and thoroughly discredited, they are heard, entertained and honoured with the chains of office of political credibility. They are asked to write articles for prestigious magazines, give lectures to the great and the good and invited to No10.

But those who write on religion are sidelined and shunned as being (at best) a little eccentric, or (at worst) sectarian, bigoted and divisive. In politics, Mammon unites and God divides.

But Tony Blair was right.

And his words have hung upon this blog since its inception:
Religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st century as political ideology was to the 20th century. In an era of globalisation, there is nothing more important than getting people of different faiths and cultures to understand each other better and live in peace and mutual respect, and to give faith itself its proper place in the future.
We were warned that there would be wars and rumours of war, as there have been throughout human history. But the present conflict is not a result of political ideology, assertions of state sovereignty or economic hegemony: it is cultural and religious.

And the longer we bury our heads in the sand, deceiving ourselves that this may somehow be mediated, deflected and appeased, the more bloody and terrifying will be the final conflict.

Wahhabi Islam opposes and hates: it does not compromise, for that would be to dishonour the Prophet and offend Allah. It advocates a religio-political system of governance which is irreconcilable with the democratic traditions of the West. And it is becoming more militant and ever more dangerous. As it asserts a modern expression, its antipathy towards the West will become increasingly evident, and the terrorist atrocities of the IRA will be as nothing compared to what they will unleash upon us.

The revolution in Iran and the overthrow of the Shah yielded a Shi’a theocracy intent on the destruction of Israel.

Democracy in Gaza yielded government by Hamas, intent on the destruction of Israel

The government of national unity in Lebanon has recently fallen to Hezbollah, intent on the destruction of Israel.

Egypt has had a peace treaty with Israel since 1979, for which Anwar Sadat paid the ultimate price. President Mubarak has sustained and honoured that treaty, against growing antipathy towards Israel and the West, in particular by the Muslim Brotherhood. Let us not fool ourselves that the Egyptian people are not looking for a saviour, a king, a strongman to lead them to their promised land.

Politics abhors a vacuum. Just like the Palestinians fell for the lies of Hamas, it is not impossible that some day soon Egypt will be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Democratically elected.

And who could then discount an Iran-Lebanon-Egypt alliance against Israel?

We can no longer afford to gaze at our navels and debate minutiae. These revolutions are the beginning of a jihad the likes of which the world has never seen. Wahhabi Islam must be rooted out and eradicated for it has no respect for democracy, liberty, free markets or civil liberties. It does not care for the rule of law, freedom of conscience of freedom of religion. We must assist those who seek to promote a peaceable Sunni Islam, a moderate Shi’a expression, and encourage all towards an understanding of the Sufi tradition.

And while we must, of course, deplore the appalling loss of life and heed the very different warnings provided to us by Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia and Egypt, so must we also guard against the emerging state within our own state.

As long as questions of religion and culture are subsumed to economics and sidelined by issues of petty politics, we deprive ourselves of the very vocabulary and urgent inquiry we so urgently need.

Oil is one thing.

Wahhabi Islam and a rebellious shari’a-supporting burgeoning youth intent on our destruction is quite another.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Revolution in Egypt = Devolution in Israel

One of the most immediate effects of a regime change in Cairo will mean the opening of the Rafah border crossing, allowing the free movement of people to and from Gaza – to be finally liberated from control by Israeli forces.

And that will force the devolution of power from Israel’s Likud government to the democratically elected administration of Hamas, in Gaza. This will alter, at a stroke, Israel’s hegemony in the region and dramatically change the political dynamics of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

The other important effect is to shine a spotlight on America’s political and financial support of yet another dictatorial regime: from the Shah of Persia in Iran, through Sadam Hussein in Iraq to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. All of whom prospered with US aid at the expense of their peoples and the peace of the region.

Perhaps, in future, the US will make public the precise names of all beneficiaries of US aid, the amounts, the exact purpose of such aid and the evidence of where and how it is to be allocated. This will hopefully ensure that such monies from the US Treasury will be used to encourage and maintain democracy and world peace, and not paid to encourage repressive regimes that are unrepresentative of their people and a danger to peace, and serve merely to enrich a handful of individuals.


30 January 2011 at 11:31  
Anonymous Trencherbone said...

" is a humiliation to millions of Muslims that the ‘Christian West’ may demand concessions, impose conditions and dictate the terms of debate to the ‘Islamic world’."

Muslims seem particularly obsessed with humiliation, especially of, or by, the kuffars.

30 January 2011 at 11:39  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Your Grace,

My Twitter feed in overwhelmed with tweets expounding and misinforming with general and groundless waffle about Egypt. It is not a pleasant experience to read my Twitter feed at the moment.

I am so glad that you are here to save my Sunday. This post is so far the only thing I have read that comes close to the reality of what is actually happening. I am aware of the wide readership of this blog and I really do hope that it reaches out into certain realms of political influence, and that certain individuals will wake up. His Grace should be an official adviser upon all thing religio-political.

Sanity speaks out at last!

30 January 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger LeucipottomySpoon82 said...

@ Jared Gates

If your Twitter feed is unpleasant viewing at the moment then I would urge you to take His Grace's advice to others (as I did) and follow Rowan Bot:!/rowan_bot

Rowan Bot will put a smile on your face even if nothing else does, lol.

30 January 2011 at 12:21  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...


30 January 2011 at 12:39  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Worrying days indeed Your Grace. The 'suicide' bomber is bad enough but with an Islamist finger on the nuclear trigger, how many Muslims would be content, in their view, to go to paradise for their share of dark-eyed beauties in the interests of destroying as many kafirs as they can?

30 January 2011 at 13:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Wahhabi Islam must be rooted out and eradicated”

Great. Let us start on our own soil. Let us also rise up. Let us rid ourselves of the Labour and ConDem traitor parties who have given, and are still giving, every succour and encouragement to this alien and barbaric ideology. If not, then before this century is out we will be a minority Christian population living in daily fear of our lives as those Christians in Iraq and Egypt and host of other countries do today.

30 January 2011 at 14:23  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Remember when the Shah of Persia was deposed, everybody rejoiced, particularly the anti-monarchists.
The same in Egypt when King Farouk was deposed. None of the revolts in that part of the world ever seem to result in any improvement for the majority.
With no organised secular opposition in Egypt, it is more than likely that the Islamic extremists will take over in a country just the width of the Mediterranean away from Europe. We should be very worried.

30 January 2011 at 14:23  
OpenID yokel said...

Your Grace,

Learned in the Christian teachings and traditions you may be, but I fear that your understanding of Islam is much less deep. There is only one Islam. Either one does, believes, and submits exactly as the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sura demand, or one is an apostate. And apostates are no longer Muslims, and are therefore to be killed.

If one goes back to those fundamental Islamic documents, your statement that "the revolutionary turmoil in Sudan, Tunisia and Egypt is not part of a coherent theological movement," is exactly 180 degrees out of synchronisation with the reality of Islam. It is the Muslim Brotherhood using Islamic holy writings as they were intended.

You are however absolutely correct when you state "These revolutions are the beginning of a jihad the likes of which the world has never seen." However, your subsequent remarks about a resolution are exceedingly wide of the mark. There is no peace for the Kuffar in Islam, except in the early Mecca verses, all of which were subsequently abrogated by the warlike Medina verses. The only other peace in Islam is for the Submitters, the Muslims, and then only if they keep in line.

To win a battle, we must first correctly identify the enemy. Until we Western Christians open our eyes and realise, like Charles Martell and the King of Poland in previous generations, that Islam is the enemy, then we have no chance of prevailing.

As Trencherbone writes in the link above "So, kuffars, beware the coming Islamageddon. Once Muslims can take on the West there'll be an orgy of rape, murder, torture and mutilation that will make the two previous world wars seem like a family squabble. We need to shove Islam back into its box and nail the lid down before its too late for all of us." (My emphasis)

Alas, I doubt whether we will prevail because the pre-publicity for a battle in the Valley of Megiddo (Revelation 16 & 17, Daniel 11) has all the rulers of the world lined up against the God of Israel. He alone will bring an end to all of this.

30 January 2011 at 14:33  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

^ Crikey.

30 January 2011 at 14:39  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Wahhabi Islam must be rooted out and eradicated for it has no respect for democracy, liberty, free markets or civil liberties.

I think Your Grace is a little unfair on Wahhabism when its only sin is to take the Qur’an and other texts literally. If the Qur’an contains teachings that disrespect the foundations of Western society, the blame lies with the book itself rather than an honest interpretation of it.

Even if a more moderate version of Islam were to prevail over Wahhabism, the Qur’an would still stand unaltered, with all its venom for non-Muslims, ready and waiting for another ibn Abd al-Wahhab to preach the unadulterated word of Allah.

If the West wishes to preserve its way of life, it is Islam itself that must be rooted out.

@ Ancient Briton (13:31)—The ’dark-eyed beauties’ in the words of a Saudi scholar: ‘Allah said that the black-eyed virgins are beautiful white young women, with black pupils and very white retinas, whose skin is so delicate and bright that it causes confusion. Allah said that they are like hidden pearls. They are all the same age, morally and physically beautiful. They are like precious gems and pearls in their splendour, their clarity, their purity, and their whiteness.’

30 January 2011 at 14:55  
Anonymous JayBee said...

There are two words missing from this debate. One is Suez and the other should be fairly easy to guess.

I reckon 'the great satan' is doing his darndest to to tread on the neck of the Muslim Brotherhood and will by all possible means assist a secular military takeover leading to eventual democratic elections of course. The Suez Canal is a vital artery for oil supplies. Its loss would double the price of oil overnight which might trigger hyperinflation in the current economic mess. The West cannot afford to let this strategic asset fall into unfriendly hands.

30 January 2011 at 15:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And it is not that Islam and democracy are incompatible, as many erroneously aver..."

Well, of course! We were forgetting all those thriving Islamic democracies such as, er, um....
Democracy requires literacy which requires female education which gives women un-Islamic ideas. Why do you think the Shah was kicked out? He was a bleeding heart liberal compared to what followed.

30 January 2011 at 15:11  
Anonymous Paul said...

Democracy in Egypt ? I doubt it. More likely an Army strongman a la Mubarak will fill the void.

30 January 2011 at 15:13  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

Anonymous posts in what I take to be an anti Isreal position:

The other important effect is to shine a spotlight on America’s political and financial support of yet another dictatorial regime: from the Shah of Persia in Iran, through Sadam Hussein in Iraq to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. All of whom prospered with US aid at the expense of their peoples and the peace of the region.

You want the USA to come clean on it's aid?

The USA provides about $400 million to the Palestinians. This goes up and down somewhat of course and they also contribute to UNRWA and UNSAID.

The EU provides roughly the same amount.

The Palestinians are consistently ignored by the ARAB world.
If we left it to them the Palestinians would be starving.

30 January 2011 at 15:18  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30 January 2011 at 15:28  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The Wahhabi house of Saud is propped up by the west YG security for oil. Even though we can hardly afford the prices at the pump.

As for calling us the christian west, christanity is holding on by the skin of its teeth in the west because its being eclipsed by a crescent moon.

Those in the US opposed to a crescent shaped 911 memorial plus we in Britain who find the BBC subversive, which strangely enough is to open a new media centre at Salford Quays may do well to remember Marx and Engels came up with the Communist manifesto in the Crescent Moon Public house, the Crescent, Salford.

Those muslims may just be right about who the Great Shaitan is!

30 January 2011 at 15:45  
Anonymous Jonathan Stuart-Brown said...

Bringing it home to the UK, Genesis 12 v 3 'I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you'. God still has the same deal. An Apple he has told us not to touch: Israel. It is The Apple of His Eye. The land belongs to God and He gave it to Israel. We prosper or suffer depending on our acknowledging this.
Zechariah 2:8

Deuteronomy 32 v 10
He found Israel in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led Israel about, he instructed Israel, he kept Israel as the apple of his eye.

Everyone needs to see Psalm 83 is coming at some point in the next ten years. This combination has never happened. But it will settle once and for all The Bible or The Koran is the true word of the True God. Hopefully after that we will all get on much better and there will be much more justice and freedom in the Middle East.
Do read Psalm 83 or watch it with maps

30 January 2011 at 16:42  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Wahhabi Islam opposes and hates:

Yes and Wahhabi Islam is promoted and financed by the Islamic Establishment. Which is to a large extent the Saudi Royal Family. Which may I add, close friends of The British Royal Family. Some say that they are actually not so distantly related to each other, I have not so far taken the time to confirm this or not.

There are clearly extremely dark forces at play. The size and strength of these forces are up for debate, as they clearly do not always get entirely what they want, or when they plan to get it.

Tony Blair was NOT right about religion being as 'significant' as it was in the 20th century, this because Religion already is more self-evidently significant today then it was at anytime for at least 100 years.

Wars in the 20th century were apparently waged in the name of political ideology, and imperial competition, not so today. Or indeed not so self-evidently so. Of course ALL wars are actually all about wealth and power, and who has it or not. In this nothing, repeat NOTHING has really changed at all.There is a nice way to achieve ones ends, and there is an evil way. Our establishment in conspiracy with others, chose the evil path quite some time ago, as witnessed by the events of 9/11.

Indeed all seems to come back to this event in particular, and several others including the assassination of JFK.

These events happened, they are not figments of our imagination, nor are they in any way disconnected from each other.

For THE EVIDENCE conclusively PROVES beyond any shadow of any doubt whatsoever that 9/11 was at least in part an inside job. In common with The Kennedy assassination they have both been covered up by forces that have the power to do such a thing, even though the evidence is so completely damning, as well as SEEN to clearly be so.

How can we be expected, to trust our own establishment when they not only conspire to murder their own people, by also murder democratically elected presidents, and then pervert every single institution, or organization charged with finding and then reporting the truth to the people?


We are not expected to trust them, were are expected to wet our collective nickers, metaphorically hind behind our sofas in terror, and basically shut up, or simply go into a state of very understandable denial, and therefore get on with our ordinary lives, suspend our common sense, let them get on with doing whatever they wish.

Which, to a large extent is exactly what we as a people have done, and are still doing.

30 January 2011 at 17:24  
Anonymous Jonathan Stuart-Brown said...

Isaiah 19 is interesting on the Egypt situation.

30 January 2011 at 17:33  
Anonymous Oswin said...

A bravura piece Your Grace, regardless of the valid, exegesis quibbles noted by Yokel, Trencherbone and others.

However, one can't help thinking that the West 'shut the stable door' on a compliant Sunni presence once we failed to employ, and maintain, the Sunni administered Iraqi Army, to police post-invasion Iraq. An error of such magnitude and gross stupidity, that it beggars belief!

30 January 2011 at 17:58  
Anonymous len said...

The mistake the West has made is to assume that Islam is merely another Religion,Islam is also a Political Ideology.
The enemies of Israel(and the West) seem to be growing more militant and this should be giving some cause for concern for those in Authority.
All this of course is Prophesied in the Bible, the Nations rising up, some wishing to divide Israel into two States ,others wishing to 'eradicate' Israel.
The Nations will be Judged by God for their treatment of Israel;
"I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land." ( Joel 3:2)

God calls Israel His.Interesting for those who claim it to be theirs!

30 January 2011 at 18:15  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Len said 30 January 2011 18:15

I utterly agree with your statement but how many people who blog on here really believe the Word of God on anything?

Some even deny that God has any plan for His people despite what Paul says in Romans as a definitive christian statement on doctrine,(What benefit the Jew?) that they are NOT FORGOTTEN but only til the 'fullness of the gentiles' in the church is brought in.

'God calls Israel His.Interesting for those who claim it to be theirs!' (Even some christians believe they are ISRAEL!!!)


30 January 2011 at 19:06  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30 January 2011 at 19:12  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Wise words indeed, Your Grace. What we see on the Street in Cairo today has no bearing on who will finally control Egypt, the centre of the Arab world. For the West and Israel, the only outcome is anyone but the Muslim Brotherhood. It remains to be seen if the Western-backed Egyptian military can remain cohesive and re-assert control. Gamal Abdul Nasser was an Egyptian colonel, and able to usurp the generals to win power with the backing of the Army. If there is somewhere an Islamist colonel who can depose the military establishment and rally the Egyptian Army in his own support, we have a problem.

30 January 2011 at 19:58  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30 January 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Please refer to His Grace's bottom line, and keep the thread on the matter of the post.

Bless you.

30 January 2011 at 20:28  
Anonymous Trencherbone said...

We are seeing the beginning of a polarisation between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb which will resemble that between NATO and the Warsaw Pact at the height of the Cold War.

Unfortunately in this case a hot war is inevitable, by the very meaning that our enemies ascribe to 'Dar al-Harb'.

Twenty years ago the West could easily have won the war, but now we have been so badly infiltrated by a huge fifth column that we shall probably be destroyed by internal intifadas without the need for an enemy invasion.

30 January 2011 at 21:20  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace - the sight of that rag at the top of your post had the potential to ruin my Sunday. So I responded to the previous strand, only to find, upon return, that my thoughts tend along the same lines anyway!

Which is to say, methinks your bottom line lies hereabouts: As long as questions of religion and culture are subsumed to economics and sidelined by issues of petty politics, we deprive ourselves of the very vocabulary and urgent inquiry we so urgently need. And I couldn't agree more.

As ever, Oswin and bluedog bring knowledge and perspicacity to the cause(s) and effect(s) of the situation; as ever, I ask that we diagnose the cause(s) of its present exacerbation, in order that we treat the source of infection rather than busy ourselves with 'band-aids'

As ever, too, I lay the blame on the doorstep of "franco-german filosofy." Thanks to Marx and Engels our masters and their intermediaries obsess over 'class' and economics; to communists as a whole we owe denigration of Christianity. And I say much confusion and 'hatred' is deliberately fuelled by 'multiculturalists' and postcolonialists. One of their 'icons' - Edmund Said - provided something of a 'theoretical' bible in “Orientalism,” where he spoke of a network of interests brought to bear upon “the Orient,”* (as he and the kermits are pleased to call it).

To give Said his due, he later added that a variety of approaches to his subject had “been used in ways that cannot be understood if discipline is isolated from discipline, or interpretation from history and political purpose.”** Subsequent history and political purpose have much to do with franco-germans, as well as Islam. Oh, how "tangled is the web [they] weave" - with which to ensnare us all!

Thank you, Your Grace, for your courage and insight; for broaching these issues.

*Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978.
**Said, Edward. “Orientalism Reconsidered.” Cultural Critique, 1 (Fall 1985), 89-107.

30 January 2011 at 22:14  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

non mouse said 30 January 2011 22:14

Not a criticism but the flag is Egyptian (I wondered if it was the German flag of 1933-35 as well but you can see the emblem..The eagle of saladin. dimly).

I agree that our country is being destroyed 'on purpose' by the EU project, as the strength of our country must be subdued to facilitate fully what they wish to enforce.
No more will This Nation be the last bastion in Europe for freedom from tyranny. We will be completely shackled.

'And I say much confusion and 'hatred' is deliberately fuelled by 'multiculturalists' and postcolonialists. '


30 January 2011 at 22:59  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Actually - it was the blazing 'tricolor' that got to me (I can never remember the order it's supposed to be in). Whatever the order, though, I think it's interesting that Egypt should have adopted that as its own...

30 January 2011 at 23:11  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Non Mouse said
The historical basis for the flag of Egypt.

The Free Officers who toppled King Farouk in the Revolution of 1952 assigned specific symbolism to each of the three bands of the Arab Liberation flag.

The RED band symbolises the period before the Revolution, a time characterized by the struggle against the monarchy, and the British occupation of the country.

The WHITE band symbolizes the bloodless nature of the Revolution itself.

The BLACK band symbolises the end of the oppression of the Egyptian people at the hands of the monarchy, and foreign imperialism.

German flag used by Nazi's until 1935 was also used below.German flag has Black at top, Egyptian has Red at top.

Flag of the North German Confederation (1866–71) and the German Empire (1871–1918). Also used by Weimar Republic foreign services (1922–33).

'Whatever the order, though, I think it's interesting that Egypt should have adopted that as its own...'Does make you wonder if this was also a way of shoving nazism back down our british throats?


30 January 2011 at 23:23  
Anonymous non mouse said...

KOHCs - Thank you - I didn't know any of that.

And: 'Does make you wonder if this was also a way of shoving nazism back down our british throats?' Oh, indeed; especially in view of El Alamein.

And didn't I once read that there are quite a few blue-eyed German descendants, around that part of the desert?

30 January 2011 at 23:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the British who helped the Wahhabis gain power in Saudi Arabia.

31 January 2011 at 03:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well who has not read the Koran, huh?

Of 114 Suras abot 15 do NOT tell of the sharp division of Muslims and unbelievers, how deprived the unbelievers are and how they will rot in hell.

If you look for reason and reality never ask the archbishop.

31 January 2011 at 05:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ad: "understanding the sufi tradition"

Orientalist Tilman Nagel:

The notion of a tolerant Sufi stream opposing the intolerant sharia Islam is another fiction of european Islam enthusiasm and has been proven wrong by science a thousand times.

31 January 2011 at 05:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is from Pew, December 2010:

% Favor
Stoning people who commit

off of hands for
theft and robbery

Death penalty for
people who leave
the Muslim religion
% % %
Turkey 16 13 5 %
Egypt 82 77 84 %

Does anyone see a civil society here?

I do not enjoy to be pessimistic. Let's hope for the best.

31 January 2011 at 05:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the days of the British Empire there was plenty of capital and corporal punishment so the "natives" have hardly been shown a good example of a civil society.

31 January 2011 at 06:08  
Anonymous Voyager said...

has been to perpetuate the primacy of economics

What else do you expect from Social Marxists ? The prevailing gospel in The West is Frankfurt School Marxism

31 January 2011 at 07:23  
Anonymous Seth said...

"Even if what they spout is myopically Keynesian and thoroughly discredited, they are heard, entertained and honoured with the chains of office of political credibility."

HG should stick to religion too - it's Friedmanite economics that has created mayhem and misery from Chile to Iraq and has been utterly discredited. HG would do well to read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine before sounding like a be-robed Glenn Beck.

31 January 2011 at 08:53  
Anonymous Trencherbone said...

Sufis are just as violent as the rest of them. See links under 'Sufis' at

31 January 2011 at 09:39  
Blogger Alcuin said...

It is with trepidation that I take issue with His Grace on two subtle but crucial points re Islam.

First: that Islam is not incompatible with democracy. Strictly speaking, true. The problem is that there are some, fully valid and scripturally sound, interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with democracy. One only has to look at the results. The only democracies in the Islamic world are Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia. Of these, Turkey had its modernization imposed by force and Pakistan by the Raj. Both are shaky, with severely curtailed liberties. The only Muslim country never to feel Western influence is the least democratic - Saudi Arabia. So His Grace is technically correct, but no one would put money on democracy emerging from people power in a Muslim country.

Second: that Islam has not had a reformation. It has - and it created Wahhabi Islam. Christian and Muslim reformations were essentially "back to basics", and that is where the problems lie. The founding texts of Judaism can indeed support conquest and intolerance, but Christ broke that covenant. Unlike the Koran, the New Testament cannot be used to justify coercion, conquest, theft or discrimination. Christian texts are considered divinely inspired, but written by men, and thus neither sacrosanct nor immutable. Muslim texts are both, being the literal copy of a master text kept in Heaven.

I agree that Wahhabi Islam is a deadly threat and that the Third Jihad is about to move into a higher gear. In 1939, many felt a relief that the vacillation and appeasement of the League of Nations era was over, replaced by a straight but deadly conflict with clear dividing lines. When we reach such a threshold in the Third Jihad is difficult to predict, but many of us, particularly on the right, will sigh with relief that at last we stand firm on our principles, whatever the cost.

Delenda est Islam.

31 January 2011 at 09:48  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Great post, Mr Alcuin, but do you not think that it may be darkest before the dawn?

In saying this I mean that if we could imagine ourselves as Muslims, peering out from inside the Islamic world at the Christian world, what would we see? In my opinion, that view is a daunting one of a civilisation of extraordinary technical ability and cultural influence. The 'other', meaning the West, has a far greater capacity to promote ideas than any competing polity on the planet. The Chinese may see it the same way, which is why news of the pro-democracy riots in Egypt is being supressed by the Chinese state media.

I read these reports with quiet confidence, but without expectation that democracy will prevail in Egypt. The military has produced the leaders since Nasser destroyed British power and the old pasha system. The most likely outcome is a continuation of military power with a nod to the Muslim Brotherhood. Mubarak will go, the Mukhabarat will rule.

As His Grace recently explained in a post about Iran, nearly one million non-Arab Persians are now thought to have become Christians. Many of them presumably voted for democracy in 2009, while expressing embarrassment about the medieval theocracy in which they live.

In summary, our ideas and our values retain their powerful influence. We may fret about the state within the state being created by our own Muslim migrants. But in Iran, the leading Shia state, and in Sunni Egypt, the leading Arab nation, governments are using tear-gas to keep our ideas at bay.

Now if we are influencing the Muslim world so effectively, for how long can the internal Muslim threat hold out against us?

Answer - only if we let them. We need the confidence to win, as we did in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

It would help if we could find a Reagan or a Thatcher to clear our minds and show us the way.

31 January 2011 at 11:37  
Blogger srizals said...

May the Egyptians, whoever they may be, prevail in the uprising against an old Pharaoh who still thinks he would be buried with his wealth and power. He might even think he deserved a pyramid of his own. Why doesn’t he ask the Judea-Christian Germans who used taqiyya to steal Nefertiti from Egypt and glaringly displayed a stolen treasure of other nation, shamelessly for ages. Ops, I forgot, he's a friend of the friendly West!

31 January 2011 at 13:49  
Anonymous TheObserver said...

What's the West with Dictators? Some kind of addiction or something?

31 January 2011 at 14:52  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Yo Srizals old chum! I see you are now venturing into the esoteric realms of Egyptology, and worse, of that vacuous, fat fool and Prima Donna, Zahi Hawass (note the spelling!)who is continuing to demand the return of the Nefertiti 'bust'.

Germany refuses, naturally, stating: ''She is, and remains, the Ambassador of Egypt in Berlin''

Which just about says it all ... better a lump of inert matter, than a lumpy, inert Egyptian! :o)

Anyhows, to be fair, you can hardly lay the blame for Hosni Mubarak on the West; neither can you wholly blame Mubarak for continuing Sadat's policies of co-existence with Israel ... after all, Egypt did deservedly get its arse kicked around the block back in 1973.

However, don't despair, there's a sporting chance that some fly-blown buffoon will eventually take over, and unleash more Mohammedan-mayhem upon the world.

31 January 2011 at 15:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Wahhabi Islam must be rooted out and eradicated for it has no respect for democracy, liberty, free markets or civil liberties."

So American liberalism (in the European sense), the Enlightenment, and Reformation were/are good things? We must defend our materialistic hedonism from the Muslim hordes?

31 January 2011 at 16:14  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

"There are many who rejoice at the downfall of dictators. Certainly, they tend to be odious megalomaniacs who torture their people, repress opposition and oppress minorities. But there are others who observe, like Churchill on democracy, that in some cultures and complex socio-religio-political contexts, it is the lesser evil"


Are you saying what I think you're saying? To torture people, repress opposition and oppress minorities is the 'lesser evil'?

Good God (so to speak)

31 January 2011 at 16:58  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Jeremy Hyatt,

The phrases 'there are many' and 'there are others' may give an indication of a response to your question.

31 January 2011 at 17:10  
Blogger DP111 said...

On the current primacy of Economic Prophesy

Prophets of Davos
At Davos, Switzerland, this week, where the world's most self-regarding prophets were assembled for their annual Pentecostal parody, which they call the World Economic Forum, a session was devoted to discussing why economic forecasts always turn out wrong.

Five of the world's most prominent economists were there to defend their profession, and the best argument I heard is that "the forecasts are right, but the timing is wrong." Since the whole point of forecasts is timing, this is not a good argument.

"We always failed to predict the turning point," said Raghuram Rajan (according to BBC), of his days as director of research at the International Monetary Fund. Something would always happen "outside the model" -- a revolution, for instance, in a country assumed to be stable -- to throw all the numbers off.

1 February 2011 at 11:26  
Blogger DP111 said...

Trencherbone wrote: Muslims seem particularly obsessed with humiliation, especially of, or by, the kuffars.

This is the main reason why our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan are so galling to Muslims here and in Islamic nations.

It is also the main reason that these interventions are causing political earthquakes in the ME. Pakistan is also being de-stabilised as a consequence.

The question is, were these aftershocks were a calculated policy

1 February 2011 at 11:29  
Blogger srizals said...

Hopefully not Oswin, we need more the likes of Saladin and Al Fateh and their men. Pure to the last drop of their blood, so pure, they are willing to spill their own blood fighting powerful deadly nemesis, rather than the innocents. Soldiers, merciless and ruthless, are not included.

Suicide and murder were never their way. It is the way of those who have went astray. Muslims should be reading more Al-Fatihah, and hopefully be able to comply.

1 February 2011 at 21:01  
Blogger srizals said...

The Opening
With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

the All-Merciful, the Very Merciful.

the Master of the Day of Requital.

You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help.

Take us on the straight path.

the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.


1 February 2011 at 21:11  
Blogger Whitey Lawful said...

Democracy doesn't equal dictator in the mid-east? I say let them have there authoritarian culture... As the west becomes authoritarain by default -- due to liberty not being license. Also, for Petes sake get the legacy of the counterculture out of your church and stop feeding yourselves to Rome.

1 February 2011 at 23:21  
Blogger Mr. Dyer said...

Here is the question. What do we do? I saw the president speak, which he beat around the bush so bad tonight that we are still left with all the questions of what we are actually going to do. Which I don't blame him. I think we are in a rock and a hard place. WE put ourselves in this position and now we are looking at a major movement to take over the middle east and see Israel attacked from every end. What do we do? Do we help kick out the leadership in Egypt, and if so, how do we make sure that we support the average Egyptian, and not the Muslim Brotherhood??? Our biggest problem is the position we put ourself in, now where do we go from here...? Should we pull out interests and lets see what happens and we just defend Israel if they do go in, or do we try to get involved, which could cause more hate in Egypt and other M.E. countries and egg them on to more of a movement. We are looking at this developing through Africa and Europe as well. This is no small middle eastern matter.

2 February 2011 at 03:51  
Anonymous jeff said...

A islamic/Arab religion mixing with Democracy was predicted 2600 years ago in the Bible.

In 2 Thessalonians it says that “the man of lawlessness will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God and worshiped”.

In other words, he will declare himself God, but what god? And of what religion?

In Daniel 2 we have the prophecy of king Nebuchadnezzer’s vision called the “Great image”. This image consisted of five future kingdoms that would rule over Israel, beginning with Nebuchadnezzer’s Babylon.

The fifth and last kingdom, would be a kingdom that would rule in the last days, the Bible says that this kingdom would be one of both mire and metal or “iron mixed with clay”, the key word being mixed.

I believe it’s not a coincidence that this verb mixed occurs only three times throughout the bible and all three occurrence are found in Daniel 2: 40-43.

So by knowing the Aramaic and Hebrew meaning of this verb, we can understanding what form of governments the iron and clay depict, and we can know the identity of this last days religion.

What is the translation of this verb mixed? It is the word “Arab.”

Now here’s the kicker! We know that any religion outside of Christianity is a religion built by Lucifer in the spirit of antichrist. Right?

Now in Isaiah 14: 13-14 (a prophecy about Lucifer’s fall) it says:

‘You (Lucifer) said in your heart’ “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God… I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

The Hebrew word for “ascend”, as in “I will ascend to heaven… I will make myself like the Most High”. Is the word Allah.

Go to this website and learn more.

19 February 2011 at 19:25  

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