We also hear a lot about ‘Islamic science’ and the Islamic translations of Plato and Aristotle. We don’t here much about the fact that Islamic lands seemed very closed-minded, even in the ‘Islamic Golden Age’.
It is well known that Spain today translates as many books into Spanish each year as the Arab Muslim world has translated into Arabic in the last eleven hundred years! That sounds like closed-mindedness to me. However, perhaps it is because the Koran and the Hadiths gave and give Muslims all the answers. Perhaps Sharia law sorts out all problems. Perhaps Islamic culture is all the culture Muslims require.
Is Islam itself responsible for this closed-mindedness? According to the Ayatollah Khomeini, Islam is not like most – or all? – other religions. Islam tells you what to do in the kitchen, in the bedroom, in the bathroom – everywhere. It is a ‘totalistic’ religion that follows you everywhere and keeps with you until death - and then beyond into Paradise or hell.
Most Muslims say that ‘Islam means “peace”’. ‘Islam’ actually means ‘submission’. More correctly, it means ‘the peace one will get when/if one submits one’s will and intellect to Allah’. Thus is it any wonder that Islam rejected the wheel and does not desire to translate too much infidel stuff into Arabic (or Urdu, etc.)?
There are other mind- and soul-killing aspects of Islam. In fact most of them follow from what has just been said. If Islam, or Allah, follows you everywhere and utterly controls your mind, then such submission, such totalitarianism of the mind and soul, must surely be replicated in political institutions. As indeed they have been and are!
I said earlier that Islam was not as responsive to the West as it is often claimed (e.g., by Edward Said, Tariq Ramadan and others). However, 20th century Muslims have been mightily responsive to two European individuals: Hitler and Stalin. This was especially true of 20th century Arab Islamic lands. What are the similarities here? –
But unlike Nazis and Stalinism, Islam fused death with religion. (Actually, to some extent both Stalinism and Nazism did fuse the two, especially Nazism.) To Muslims and Islamists, death is a sacrament. It is to be hoped for. Life on earth is the pits. It is ‘the scum of existence’, according to Khomeini.
Again, from intellectual and spiritual totalitarianism we will inevitably find political totalitarianism following. The West did not ‘impose’ dictatorships on Muslims. They wanted it. And they wanted it because their religion requires it. Democracy simply does not work in the Middle East, and perhaps many – if not all – Muslim nations. It never has and perhaps it never will. Bernard Lewis sums up the Islamic position thus:
‘… electoral policy has been classically summarised as “One man (men only), one vote, once”.’
Is this true? Well, let’s look at the contemporary Islamic world:
i) Lebanon – gains for Hezbollah
ii) Egypt/Syria – gains for the Muslim Brotherhood
iii) Palestine – victory for Hamas
iv) Iran – (a couple of years ago) victory (allegedly) for Mahmoud Ahmadineejad, the virulent anti-Semite
v) Iraq – the Shia ‘religious coalition’
Firstly we have totalitarian Islam. Then we have totalitarian Islamic states and dictatorships. So what also follows from these? -
i) In 2002 the aggregate GDP of the Arab Islamic nations (which include oil-producing states such as Saudi Arabia)was less than the GDP of Spain.
ii) Islamic states lag behind the West and the Far East in manufacturing output, job creation, technology, literacy, life expectancy.
Of course this is all to do with ‘Western colonialism’. Bullshit! I am willing to say that such a thing, if it was bad at all, might have contributed a little to this dreadful state of affairs. But to say that ‘we’ are completely responsible is little short of racism – if inverted racism. It is to say that Muslim peoples just can’t get it together themselves. Either that or they are unique victims of Western imperialism or the West simply does not do enough for them. What poor little souls liberals and far-leftists must think Muslims are.