Saturday, August 31, 2013

Could Islam produce a Martin Luther King?


From Brother Ivo:

As we ponder the significance of Dr Martin Luther King's famous 'I have a Dream' speech, the dreadful situation engulfing the Middle East sees an increasingly grim outlook for the poor, the weak, and the non-combatant. The rich can often escape; the committed will thrill to the lure of martyrdom rhetoric; and the ambitious will climb the bloody pole of power with their eyes on a prize of their own imaginings. In this all too familiar scenario we see an echo of conflicts in other parts of the world: however dreadful, there is little we see here that has not occurred elsewhere. Yet, somehow, the Middle Eastern situation seems especially hopeless.

Europe has little basis for feeling superior. Before we had Srebrenica, we had the Holocaust, and long before that, the Thirty Years War, the Wars of Religion, and even the Hundred Years War. Many in England have forgotten - or more likely never knew - that on a per capita basis, the English Civil War was more bloody than either the American Civil War or even the First World War.

It does not make the Middle Eastern conflicts any less appalling, but all commentary needs to proceed with caution, perspective and historical awareness.

Wars end in one of three ways. One side secures outright victory; the warring factions become war weary and prepared to compromise; or an outside overwhelming force suppresses the combatants.

The resources and religious implications of the Middle East render it peculiarly sensitive and intractable. The Arab League, the United Nations and so called 'International Law' have consistently proved themselves unfit for purpose in such a context, and the world's only superpower has a leader who is either too vacillatingly cerebral, obsessed with domestic campaigning, or weak. As some have observed, at least when his predecessor drew a line in the sand, everyone knew the consequences of crossing it.

When the President went to Cairo, puffed up by his Nobel Peace Prize, and offered to grasp the hands of despots if only they would unclench their fists, they did so - only to offer two fingers. Similarly, Tony Blair has been invisible in his his 'Middle East Envoy' role. Western charisma carries no weight in the region.

And so the agony continues, and, as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, even intervention does not mean the suffering ceases. One can suppress macro-scale violence, yet in the modern world the devasting micro-violence of the car bomb, the suicide bomber, and the IED can continue to wreak havoc on the innocent bystander.

We need to pray for anyone bearing responsibility or carrying expectation to improve the situation, while doing all we can to limit expectation. Confidence in our capacity to influence for the good may not be an asset.

Yet even if we were able to end the more appalling expressions of violence, it would probably prove temporary, for it is not guns or bombs or even chemical weapons that wage war, but men (usually men). And so, whatever the secularists may think, the key to creating peace in that region lies not politically, diplomatically, legally, or rhetorically. It is theological.

This is a region that runs on God-talk. The secularists may not care for it and bemoan that reality, but they need to lay their prejudices aside, recognising that not only do we have to start where we are, but that in this context Richard Dawkins has a readership of about 4 and dares not transpose his ideas into an Islamic context. Unlike Dr King, he fears to follow his beliefs into the areas of maximum danger, even from the comparable safety of England.

It may be that a similar fear grips the theologians of the region and one cannot altogether blame them, although in a region seemingly awash with martyrs for war, it is disappointing to have so few in authority willing to risk it for peace.

This leads us to ask why this might be.

Hinduism has its Gandhi, Buddhism its Dalai Lama, Christianity its Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela. Does Islam have the capacity to bring forth its Martin Luther King?

Brother Ivo poses the question in that specific way for a reason. There is no doubt that Muslims - the vast majority at home and abroad - want to live in peace for themselves, their families and neighbours every bit as much as those of other religions and none. There are war-zone junkies in the ranks of fanatics, mercenaries, the press corps, and some politicians, but exposure to the reality of such conflict cures most of the malady.

It is one thing to speak in the abstract about wishing for peace, but it is quite another to hew it from the rough stone of entrenched opinion, self-interest and fear which are found on the ground. It is often through digging deep to find common foundation that lasting progress is made.

The key to ending the social acceptability of racial segregation in America's Deep South was the grasp of religious texts common to both the black and white communities, who had long tolerated the lop-sided doctrine of 'separate but equal'. Both sides had long simply accepted the status quo. Unlike the Middle Eastern situation, the problem was chronic but not acute. A gradual, measured destabilisation was possible in a calculated way.

A crucial part of the measured destabilisation was the use of the scriptures accepted by both sides of the racial divide.

The wisdom of Dr King, which was the reason for the success of the movement, lay in his selection of theological role model. He did not invoke the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon or the victories of Gideon or Joshua. Inspired by the more recent successful example of Gandhi, he invoked the power of the suffering servant, and, like Gandhi and Christ himself, he laid down his life for his people.

Mohammed didn't.

That is a simple historical fact, and Brother Ivo does not mean it to be offensive but to make plain that this does make a difference in the way these things may have to be worked out.

Jesus and the Moor of Venice might have counselled their followers to 'keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them', but Mohammed offered a very different role model. He was not only a religious leader but became a warrior prince. Brother Ivo has seen the sword of Mohammed; it is on display in Istanbul. Nobody ever saw the sword of Jesus Christ. He may have used a sword metaphorically; Mohammed was more practical.

Furthermore, the message of Mohammed was submission - not spiritually in the quietness of one's heart, but publicly, practically, overtly and politically. It is submission to a God distanced from the grubbiness of this world, untainted by the all-too-human blood, sweat and tears of Calvary. Jesus was the willing victim, never God's executioner.

Mohammed is also presented as the very model of how a Muslim should conduct himself and rule his family. This makes it very tempting and easy for the less-than-humble and the less-than-peaceful to take up arms and demand of his enemy not compromise, but submission.

Matters are made more complex by the divisions within Islam of its divergent understandings of authority, which were fought early within Christian history but remain even more acute within Islam. Today, Roman Catholics and Protestants generally find much common ground in the modern world. They do not range against each other in power blocs anymore. We may witness this at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem where the competing Christian zealots have entrusted the keys to a Muslim family. Generally we view this as absurdist theatre; not as a casus belli.

We are likely to find an ecumenical mixture of Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicals and Anglicans on both sides of theological disputes of the day.

It is therefore an easier context in which to seek the theological bedrock on which to establish discussion and arrive at a modus vivendi if not agreement.

Gandhi's gift to Martin Luther King was the insight that civil rights might be advanced against some civil authorities by disobeying law, but that disobedience had lawful consequences. The civil disobedience of Gandhi and Dr King was predicated upon an acceptance of suffering: it was the suffering which transformed the rebellion from crime to moral act. This is frequently unknown or overlooked by current protesters, who frequently resent and deny the legitimacy of the exercise of law against them.

Common ground and respect for the established basis of law was and is a sine qua non of successful civil disobedience.

Whatever the many and varied faults of the British Raj and 1950s America, both were philosophically capable of being shamed by the unjust conviction of the leader making peaceful claims for a morally just cause.

The prospect of an Islamic Martin Luther King arising in the current Middle East has many hurdles to overcome, not least of which is context. There is a relative paucity of regimes that would respond robustly but peacefully to such a figure - at least in the way the British and US governments did in these instances. There is still a sharp sectarian divide rubbed raw by recent atrocity on all sides.

Brother Ivo is therefore sceptical that we shall see such a figure arise any time soon. He cautions himself that it took a very long time for figures of the stature of Gandhi, Dr King and Nelson Mandela to arise, even in cultures where the necessary conditions were emerging. We must therefore not lose heart, but remind ourselves that, with God, nothing is impossible.

Brother Ivo is the Patron Saint of lawyers.

41 Comments:

Blogger Gnostic said...

Nelson Mandela? A man of peace? Seriously? When did MLK use terrorism as a passport into a prison cell? And when did his wife advocate, and apparently practice, murder as an end to a means like Winnie Mandela did?

And by that same logic would you include Yasser Arafat to your list? After all, just like Mandela, he won a "Peace" Prize for being a terrorist turned global populist. And lately we have discovered just how "peaceful" a more recent recipient has proven to be.

While MLK wasn't perfect by any means he doesn't deserve to be lumped in with the likes of Mandela whose murderous tactics cannot possibly be compared to the civil disobedience of MLK.

I tend to agree with you, Brother Ivo, on a lot of matters, including most of what you have written here. But Mandela as a role model for peace? Are you having a giraffe?

31 August 2013 at 08:52  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Gandhi and King sought to change the rules in societies that upheld the rule of law. It seems to me that if societies believe in the rule of the sword rather than the rule of law (as Mohamedian societies are prone to do) then anyone who seeks to change the rules can only do so by wielding their own swords. Passive resistance to the rules will be met with the sword and normal service will be resumed.

Thus I agree with Br Ivo when he says:

"There is a relative paucity of regimes that would respond robustly but peacefully to such a figure - at least in the way the British and US governments did in these instances."

I also share his doubt that any figure is likely to arise anytime soon. It's hard to stand up without ones head.

31 August 2013 at 08:53  
Blogger David B said...

One of Bro Ivo's worst pieces.

Not for the reasons alleged by Gnostic above, though.

Sometimes those who start from a militant warlike position can become men of peace, as Mandela, and, closer to home, Adams and McGuinness.

For those people, it was not an easy road to walk, as the chance of being assassinated by more intractable opponents of the very real injustices they fought against was very real.

The OP is too long for a thorough fisking.

Para one was notable for a particular omission from the list of poor, weak and non-combatent.

Who is it that, under Islam, is often denied education, the ability to marry from choice, equal justice? Women!!

A notable ommission indeed!

Paras 2 and 3 are actually pretty good, I concede, but from there the post goes very much downhill, approachoing rock bottom with the uncalled for and unwarranted dig at Dawkins - recently castigated by opponents for pointing out the lack of Nobel winners produced by Islamic education systems, but more generally someone who is an open critic of Islam, far more so than some mealy mouthed Christian leaders who suck up to Islam.

One cannot help wondering if that dig was a result of ignorance or dishonesty, remembering of course that the two are not mutually incompatible.

I don't have a lot of time for the last Pope, but at least he did not initially kow-tow to it, even if he was moved to back pedal.

Crucially, though, Ivo seems ignorant of the fact that an Islamic background has produced people who, at great personal risk, and despite personal suffering, do have great moral standing. More so than Gandhi or King in my view.

Sleeping with naked young girls under the guise of testing celibacy somehow lacks verisimilitude, and King lived less than a Christian sex life, as is well known. As well as, at least at some time in his life, explicitly denying the Virgin Birth and Resurrection. Hypocrites, both, one way and another!

On the other hand, I give you the eminently googleable Maryam Namazie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Malala Yousafzai.

Can it be that the institutional mysogeny of the CoE has led Ivo to ignoring - perhaps even being unaware of - the people of enormous moral standing who stand up to militant Islam on the grounds that they are women?

David










31 August 2013 at 09:20  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

muslims can be likened to wasps while Christians likened to bees. They don't mix, will never change their behaviour and have very different roles in life. I know which I'd rather be.

31 August 2013 at 09:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Article: "Furthermore, the message of Mohammed was submission - not spiritually in the quietness of one's heart, but publicly, practically, overtly and politically."

If Allah is the creator of the universe then its will is what matters and its judgement that falls on us whether we like it or not. It seems to me that mono-theists make these claims but some of them invite us to judge competing ideologies based on human criteria. In the West, that's usually peace, freedom, happiness, respect, some notion of a Good Life, and so on. One might say that a recognition of the good of those things is innate and put there by the creator but why do I have them as an atheist but not Muslims if one accepts the premise put forward on recent threads?

31 August 2013 at 09:38  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I'd like an answer to that one too, DanJo.

31 August 2013 at 09:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Presumably Satan has got its grubby hands on them or something whereas I'm just naturally lovely in real life. :)

31 August 2013 at 09:59  
Blogger Gnostic said...

:D

31 August 2013 at 10:11  
Blogger William Lewis said...

"One might say that a recognition of the good of those things is innate and put there by the creator but why do I have them as an atheist but not Muslims if one accepts the premise put forward on recent threads?"

Perhaps, along with the "recognition of the good of these things", the Creator also gave us the chance to reject them, or just ascribe them to natural loveliness, rather than their true provenance.

31 August 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Gnostic, I think you must differentiate the pre-Robbin Island Mandela with he who responded to the invitation of De Klerk to build something new.

You cannot liken him in this phase to his more extreme wife or Arrafat.

In large ( Peace and Reconciliation Commission) and small ( Sport and National Anthem) he demonstrated to the minority White population that they could come together. In this he drew much support from the MLK Foundation in Atlanta, so he can bear comparison.

31 August 2013 at 10:32  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother Ivo shall have to bear Brother David B's scorn with as much fortitude as he can muster.

Dawkins remark about Islam producing fewer Nobel Prize winners is pretty anodyne. It is a simple statement of fact: incidentally Trinity College has also produced more Nobel Prize winners than France so it is not especially barbed.

What he does not do - which MLK did- was to engage with his opponents to say where they were going wrong. If Dawkins merely cites this as a fact or a difference in priority then it's a small debating point

The more interesting question - which Brother Ivo is asking here ( re MLK comparison) is the " scientific" question -" Why might this be?"

I am not yet aware of Dawkins addressing this in detail and certainly not offering the scorn of some of his followers ( eg Sky Fairy rhetoric)

The purpose of the post is to create interesting debate, perhaps leading to an improved understanding and you make a very good point which yet let go too easily.

The ladies you draw our attention to may be very admirable but patently they do not have stature as we do not know of them, as we do Dr King.

He, like others, gave voice to the voiceless. It may well be that any MLK figure will have to come from a similar minority assumed incapable of such insights/ leadership.

He was patently better educated, more sophisticated, astute and articulate than most who had constructed a narrative of the black man's innate inferiority. The poisonous stereotype was thereafter unsustainable.

Maybe the challenge to the more hard line Mullahs will come from those they attempt to silence and hold in gender submission, though again, Brother Ivo looks at the context and does not expect the Million Women march on Tehran or Mecca anytime soon

31 August 2013 at 11:01  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Brother Ivo, I am Sister Gnostic.

And I'm of the opinion that although a leopard can dye his spots to suit the current peace zeitgeist he rarely, if ever, truly changes them.

That goes for Adams and his ilk too who were accepted as part of the NI peace process.

As for endorsement by the MLK Foundation, so what? Is that a confirmation of instant earthly sainthood? I think not.

31 August 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I note the Muslim is wearing a slogan saying he will die for Mohammad without reference to Allah. This is why this cult is quick to kill not for a god but for a 6thC dead killer - Crazy f*****s.

31 August 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger David B said...

"The ladies you draw our attention to may be very admirable but patently they do not have stature as we do not know of them, as we do Dr King. "

Neither did Dr King have that stature, when he started - along with others, and despite much opposition from many Christians in the US - to campaign for social justice.

Helping, back in the day, to make King - and his fellows like Joan Baez - better known and more respected, and even - as I did - going on anti-apartheid marches was a good thing to do.

Waving hands in the air because fairly well known women of enormous courage and moral stature are not well known enough is not a good thing to do.

Helping to make them better known, and adding moral support, even financial support, the the other hand....?

David


31 August 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger David B said...

Just a little further aside into the moral character of King.

I see that that "blood crazed ferret" - as he says the Church Times once described him - Damian Thompson in the Torygraph points out that he plagiarised his doctoral thesis.

In their various ways King and Gandhi were great men, but far from saints, both.

In terms of moral rectitude, do either compare well with, say, Richard Dawkins?

I think not.

David

31 August 2013 at 11:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Could Islam produce a Martin Luther King?

Of course it could! It did, in fact: it produced Mahmud Muhammad Taha.

Taha hoped that modern Muslims would set aside the Medina rulings, and live by the Mecca principles.

Unfortunately, the Sudanese Government executed him for apostasy in January 1985.

31 August 2013 at 12:14  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Apologies Sister Gnostic.

Saint Paul did manage to " change his spots" so don't be too cynical.

The reference to the MLK Centee advising Mandela is not to suggest conferred sainthood ( plainly neither men are ) but to refute those who might suggest " no similarity ".

Brother David B

If we have contributed in some modest way to making the efforts of peacemakers better known, the effort of writing the piece will not have been in vain.

There is one important difference between Gandhi MLK and Dawkins in that the former not only preached moral civil disobedience but did so knowing risk of mortal violence and both paid with their lives. Dawkins tends to go for soft targets; beating up Anglicans does not compare.

31 August 2013 at 12:19  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 August 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Could Islam produce a Martin Luther King?

Islam was born with its own method of claiming its rights, advancing by stages from peaceful means to violence. That being the case, I doubt Islam has any need of a Martin Luther King. The method was set out by the Prophet Mohammed and recorded in a hadith:

Sahih Muslim Book 19, Number 4294: When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizyah [tax]. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.

It may be that a similar fear grips the theologians of the region

Toby Lester, in his superb article ‘What is the Koran?’, tells of the events that befell the Egyptian professor, Nasr Abu Zaid:

‘The Koran is a text, a literary text, and the only way to understand, explain, and analyze it is through a literary approach,’ Abu Zaid says. ‘This is an essential theological issue.’ For expressing views like this in print—in essence, for challenging the idea that the Koran must be read literally as the absolute and unchanging Word of God—Abu Zaid was in 1995 officially branded an apostate, a ruling that in 1996 was upheld by Egypt’s highest court. The court then proceeded, on the grounds of an Islamic law forbidding the marriage of an apostate to a Muslim, to order Abu Zaid to divorce his wife, Ibtihal Yunis.

For a while Abu Zaid remained in Egypt and sought to refute the charges of apostasy, but in the face of death threats and relentless public harassment he fled with his wife from Cairo to Holland, calling the whole affair ‘a macabre farce’. Sheikh Youssef al-Badri, the cleric whose preachings inspired much of the opposition to Abu Zaid, was exultant. ‘We are not terrorists; we have not used bullets or machine guns, but we have stopped an enemy of Islam from poking fun at our religion. No one will even dare to think about harming Islam again.’

31 August 2013 at 12:39  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Danj0

“If Allah is the creator of the universe then its will is what matters and its judgement that falls on us whether we like it or not. It seems to me that mono-theists make these claims but some of them invite us to judge competing ideologies based on human criteria. In the West, that's usually peace, freedom, happiness, respect, some notion of a Good Life, and so on. One might say that a recognition of the good of those things is innate and put there by the creator but why do I have them as an atheist but not Muslims if one accepts the premise put forward on recent threads.”

You're not a true atheist! You like all your contemporaries from Christian western countries are Christian atheists at heart and I also include Richard Dawkins. You see the ability to recognise the goodness in peace,freedom, happiness, respect and a notion of a Good Life has been instilled in us throughout centuries of Christian teachings, despite all the wars we have fought in the past.

Muslims have been marinated in hate and suppression for centuries so it will take a massive movement probably Muslim women who have been and still are the downtrodden that will eventually through education make a dent in their barbaric ideology.

31 August 2013 at 14:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Islam is rather like a surge of soldier ants. Everything gets eaten in it’s path. Any one individual who emerges will eventually lose balance and slip and be devoured by his own kind. Because they will not recognise him as one of them. You see, he will eventually question the herd mentality, and then he is no longer of the herd. Not one of them at all...


31 August 2013 at 15:55  
Blogger John Wrake said...

I think that your inclusion of Gandhi in your list of saints is a mistake.

MLK opposed real racism by non-violent action.

Gandhi opposed an authority he wished to supplant by a pretended peacefulness while encouraging his followers to violence. His support for the Moplah rebellion in 1922 and his Quit India movement in 1942 give the lie to any claim of peaceful resistance.

John Wrake

31 August 2013 at 16:20  
Blogger John Wrake said...

I think that your inclusion of Gandhi in your list of saints is a mistake.

MLK opposed real racism by non-violent action.

Gandhi opposed an authority he wished to supplant by a pretended peacefulness while encouraging his followers to violence. His support for the Moplah rebellion in 1922 and his Quit India movement in 1942 give the lie to any claim of peaceful resistance.

John Wrake

31 August 2013 at 16:20  
Blogger John Wrake said...

I think that your inclusion of Gandhi in your list of saints is a mistake.

MLK opposed real racism by non-violent action.

Gandhi opposed an authority he wished to supplant by a pretended peacefulness while encouraging his followers to violence. His support for the Moplah rebellion in 1922 and his Quit India movement in 1942 give the lie to any claim of peaceful resistance.

John Wrake

31 August 2013 at 16:20  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Brother Ivo.

I admire your optimism but am unable to share it. The character of any religiously motivated leader will be shaped by the nature of the deity he serves. Any charismatic figure arising from the maelstrom of Islam is more likely to be the antithesis of MLK.

31 August 2013 at 16:26  
Blogger Brother Ivo said...

Brother John,

One cannot deny that whatever his faults, Gandhi inspired MLK and that was not an ignoble achievement.

31 August 2013 at 17:33  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

There is no doubt that Muslims—the vast majority at home and abroad—want to live in peace for themselves, their families and neighbours

The persecution of non-Muslims in the Islamic world suggests that Muslim neighbourliness is restricted to fellow Muslims, and even then it can be a little peevish: ‘Some Pakistani Muslims told Sky Tyne and Wear they needed the new mosque because they did not feel welcome in nearby Bangladeshi mosques.’

31 August 2013 at 18:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Marie: "You're not a true atheist! You like all your contemporaries from Christian western countries are Christian atheists at heart and I also include Richard Dawkins."

Oh dear.

31 August 2013 at 18:39  
Blogger Peter D said...

"Yet, somehow, the Middle Eastern situation seems especially hopeless."

It always has been the centre of dispute between emerging and declining empires.

... the key to creating peace in that region lies not politically, diplomatically, legally, or rhetorically. It is theological."

And those theologies include secularism, capitalism, socialism, and liber-democracy too.

Added to which we have the geopolitical significance of the its location at the intersection between East and West; the reserves of gas and oil that fuel the economies of the world; the lingering effects of the 'cold war' between Russia, the West and China; and the competing interests of the Arabs and Persians all wrapped up in violently opposed versions of Islam.

And in a small spot of land rests God's Holy City.

Peace in the Middle East? At best there may be periods of less violence but I can envisage only one way of peace finally coming to that region and it will not be through the efforts of men or women - good, bad or indifferent.

31 August 2013 at 18:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D, an astute racial observation, if one may be so bold and to call exactly what 18:59 is...

31 August 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Brother Ivo, it is very difficult not to be cynical in this world and at this time. :0)

31 August 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Brother Ivo

I fear ye are barking up the wrong tree.

Islam cannot be reformed, it can only be submitted to or repudiated. Check Ali Sina / faith freedom international or indeed read the quran.

No reformation, no enlightenment, no MLK or Ghandi. Only the sword. And the womb.

31 August 2013 at 21:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector
"Peter D, an astute racial observation, if one may be so bold and to call exactly what 18:59 is..."

Something of a backhanded compliment as there was no racial content in my post at all, Sir. Observations perhaps about the fallen nature of man we all have in common - regardless of ethnicity, religion or skin colour.

As the Bible says:
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

The history of this region, perhaps more than any other, shows the results of individuals, tribes and nations seeking earthly power and riches.

31 August 2013 at 22:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. Something of a backhanded compliment as there was no racial content in my post at all, Sir.

Well, never mind. Let’s call it the hot headedness of the people of the middle east then. We can thus send that naughty word ‘race’ off to the courts where it can be given the whole life tariff it so richly derives...

31 August 2013 at 23:24  
Blogger Peter D said...

But Inspector you're forgetting the Middle East was the 'cradle of civilisation'. The place of the very first cities. The region where east meets west and north meets south.

Around 3500 BC the Sumerians and Akkadians, in Mesopotamia,Iraq today no less, had sophisticated living arrangements - terribly embarrassing when one considers the barbarians in Britain and Ireland.

So nothing 'inherent' to the peoples living there. One offers it is more to do with the interplay of forces within and upon them - as it is with all other 'types'.

The region has a fascinating history if one cares to consider it.

1 September 2013 at 00:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Peter D. One can only wonder how the middle east would have turned out if Mohammed had been put to death for raping a nine year old girl...


1 September 2013 at 01:16  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector, well some other empire would have dominated the region. Take your pick - Iran or Constantinople.

Mohammed unified the various Arabian tribes into a single religious polity under Islam.

The pre-Islamic Middle East was dominated by Byzantine and Persian empires. The Roman-Persian Wars between the two had devastated the region and within a decade Muslims conquered Mesopotamia, Persia, Byzantine Syria, and Egypt.

So take your pick. A Zoroastrian, Indo-Iranian Empire or a Greek-speaking Byzantine Christian Empire.

1 September 2013 at 02:22  
Blogger Ivan said...


M K Gandhi through his life and example awakened the consciousness of India and directed it to humane ends. The masses were dirt poor, mired in ignorance and superstition. The comparable nations, China and Russia came under the control of evil communists who racked up an incredible body count with nothing to show for it. In the normal course of events these agrarian countries would have followed the path of gradual transformation to an industrial economy, but the certain Marxists were in a hurry. The Indians were spared all these experiments in no small measure due to the legacy of Gandhi.

Like all successful politicians he had an element of charlatanry and showmanship. This came with the territory. Indians appreciate as a man of God, one who could overcome sexual desires. He himself was very sincere in that pursuit and there is no account remotely like that surrounding MLK about him.

1 September 2013 at 03:58  
Blogger LEN said...

Could Islam produce a Martin Luther King?

Islam seems to be mainly about control through fear.

I would think it far more likely the M L K would end up in an Islamic jail or worse.

1 September 2013 at 10:49  
Blogger Ian G said...

It will never happen. For the reason why see here:
http://thealmondrod.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/do-we-need-islamic-reformation.html

2 September 2013 at 17:33  
Blogger Mr. Mcgranor said...

That may be why they have the upper-hand--temporally. Refusing to allow socialism and Americanism to turn their religion into a secularized ceremonial Deism of Judaism.

7 September 2013 at 22:33  

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