Monday, December 02, 2002

Islam = Arab Imperialism

Religious scholars who have dissected or deconstructed Christian religious beliefs to the delight of critics of Christianity have begun to turn their attention on Islam.

Scholarship in this area is difficult because of a lack of cooperation from Muslim scholars who are either afraid of the violence of radical Muslims or are radical Muslims themselves. Muslims who opine, for example, that historical events might not have been exactly as written in the Koran are likely to get death threats or worse, and they are considered legitimate targets of officially sanctioned violence by Muslim clerics who incite others to violence against the apostate scholars.

Nevertheless, there is an increasing body of this sort of scholarship, and, as you might expect, a critical review of historical events shows that the Koran is not the most accurate description of events around 600 to 700 AD in the middle east after all. For one thing, it is likely that Mohammed did not even exist or that the reality of his ministry was quite different from that described. The Koran was probably written well after the events described transpired, not at the time as has always been claimed. The religious precepts of the Koran were probably formulated well after the expansion of the Arab Empire, and they were formulated to explain and justify this Imperialism, not the other way around.

It is not surprising, therefore, that right conduct according to the Koran very closely resembles pre-Islamic Arab tradition, including the tradition of conquest.

It is the most complete sort of conquest that makes the defeated believe that they have been spiritually saved by the culture and beliefs of the conquerors.

Arabs came in to a region by force or by threat of force and proceeded to completely replace the defeated culture. This is what happens to peoples taken over by Islam today. Islam replaces everything native. Islam supplants native customs, beliefs, dress, diet, language, naming conventions, everything. Islam moves the people to destroy all vestiges of their past religions and customs including shrines, images, scriptures, and memory. That transformation is so complete that Malaysian Muslims will tell you that their favorite fruit is the date rather than the native mango even though the date is not native to their country and has to be imported from the middle east.

Thus, to be Muslim is to be Arab: it is quite literally to dress like an Arab, to act like an Arab, to think like an Arab, to speak like an Arab, to write like an Arab, to have an Arabic name, to eat like an Arab. It is in essence to want to be an Arab.

Islam is Arab Imperialism from 600 AD to today, and it is very little more than that.