SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

What would Ahmadinejad's Acquiring the Bomb Really Mean for Us?

So he gets the bomb. Several countries have the bomb, including India and a Muslim country, Pakistan. Why is the the world going into panic mode because Iran and Ahmadinejad might get the bomb? What is the difference between Pakistan and Iran that is so troubling? The concern is more than the Muslim make up of both countries, the concern is that Ahmadinejad and his cronies are Gnostics.

Most college-educated Americans have heard of Gnosticism and may even have read of Gnosticism in their studies of comparative religions or even in their own church history, but few really know anything about the detrimental effect that acting Gnostics had on European history and consequently on early American colonial history.

European religious wars lasting several centuries were very bloody. To avoid feelings of religious animosity and to build respect, very little more than that is said about them in American schools other than the eventual outcome was the impetus of desire for some European religious separatists to make their way to a new continent where they could be "free". "Free" mean free of and free to.

Free of the kind of religious strife that had plagued Europe for centuries and free to practice their religion as, at that time, there were no nearby competing Christian or Muslim sects. Eventually Americans had no knowledge of the meaning of religious strife and have no context into which they can put the concept of killing and martyrdom in the name of religion save for the vicarious experiences of a few Catholic saints and the misunderstood and infamous specter of the Spanish Inquisition.

Larent Murawiec of the Hudson Organization lays out in graphic detail why Ahmadinejad is so dangerous by linking his beliefs in coming of the Mahdi with those of Christianity's Second Coming of Christ and the past behaviors of Christian Gnostic insurrectionists, believing themselves to be the "Elect", for centuries created religious anarchy requiring a swift and brutal quelling by civil authorities and the Catholic Church. The "troubles" were eventually ended with the deaths and migration of hundreds of thousands or more until the 19th century rise of a similar strain in Islam.

There is no excuse for the cruel, vicious, and un-Christlike behaviors of Christians during between the 11th and 15th centuries. One could only ask: What would have happened if they also had had the bomb?

For five hundred years, from 1100 to 1600, Europe was wracked by Gnostic insurrections, from the Flanders to Northern Italy, from Bohemia to France: Pastoureaux, Taborites, Flagellants, Free Spirits, Anabaptists, etc. The belief-structure just described was theirs. They mobilized hundreds of thousands of people, threatened kingdoms and overthrew dukedoms, they slaughtered Jews, priests and rich people, they created their own, grotesque, bloody, totalitarian 'republics.'

"Soon we shall drink blood for wine," one of the leading insurgent writers stated, "those who do not accept baptism. are to be killed, then they will be baptized in their blood." And another one: "Accursed be the man who withholds his sword from shedding the blood of the enemies of Christ. Every believer must wash his hands in that blood. every priest may lawfully pursue, wound and kill sinners." And "the Just. will not rejoice, seeing vengeance and washing their hands with the blood of sinners." Hear Thomas Müntzer: "curse the unbelievers. don't let them live any longer, the evil-doers who turn away from God. For a godless man has no right to live if he hinders the godly. The sword is necessary to exterminate them. if they resist let them be slaughtered without mercy. the ungodly have no right to live, save what the Elect choose to allow them. Now, go at them. it is time. The scoundrels are as dispirited as dogs.Take no notice of the lamentations of the godless! They will beg you. don't be moved by pity. At them! At them! While the fire is hot! Don't let your sword get cold! Don't let it go lame!"


The same "screed" is being spouted by certain Islamists and the same kinds of savage behaviors are being inflicted as we see nightly on the news. Why? They believe in the righteousness of their beliefs and deeds and that they will bring on the end of the world. For this reason, deterrence has no value.

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Mayor of Tehran, he insistently proposed that the main thoroughfares of Tehran should be widened so that, he explained, on the day of his reappearance, the Hidden Imam, Mohamed ibn Hassan, who went into the great occultation in 941 AD could tread spacious avenues. More recently, he told the Indian Foreign Minister that "in two years, everything will be settled," which the visiting dignitary at first mistook to mean that Iran expected to possess nuclear weapons in two years; he was later bemused to learn what Ahmadinejad had meant, to wit, that the Mahdi would appear in two years, at which points all worldly problems would disappear. This attitude, truly, is not new, nor should it surprise us: religious notions and their estranged cousins, ideological representations, determine not only their believers' beliefs but also their believers' actions. Reality, as it were, is invaded by belief, and belief in turn shapes the believer's reality. The difference between the religious and the ideologically religious is this: the religious believer accepts that reality is a given, whereas the fanatic gambles everything on a pseudo-reality of what ought to be. The religious believer accepts reality and works at improving it, the fanatic rejects reality, refuses to pass any compromise with it and tries to destroy it and replace it with his fantasy.


And Ahmadinejad is not alone: The famous Ayatollah Khomeini said: "We have not made a revolution to lower the price of melon," meaning his revolution is apocalyptic and eschatological, one in which the Mahdi, when he reappears, "will be to lead the great and final war which will bring about the extermination of the Unbelievers, the end of Unbelief and the complete dominion of God's writ upon the whole of mankind. The Umma will inflate to absorb the rest of the world."

Nothing will get their way, nothing will deter them, because nothing else exists but that which must be eradicated so that their Order of the world can be fulfilled. Contemporary jihad is not a matter of politics at all (of 'occupation,' of 'grievances,' of colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism and Zionism), but a matter of Gnostic faith. Consequently, attempts at dealing with the problem politically will not even touch it. The jihadis are not "crazy"...they are possessed of a disease of the mind, and the disease political religion of modern Gnosticism in its Islamic version."

Here is a description of their "gnosis" :

The believers - here, the jihadis - are the Elect: they, and only they, know God's plan for the world; they have been chosen by Him to fight and win the final, cosmic battle between God and Satan, and bring about perfection on earth, in this case, the extension of God's writ and dominion, the dar al-Islam, to mankind as a whole. Everybody else is wrong and evil, jahili, and an enemy who can and should be killed at will. Reality, Creation, that is, is irretrievably perverted. The Perfect are "an elite of amoral supermen" (Norman Cohn), who know what reality 'really' ought to be. They are engaged in transforming the world so that it conforms to the 'second reality' that they alone know, thank to their special knowledge, gnôsis. In order to get from A to B, from the evil today to the perfect tomorrow, torrents of blood have to be shed in exterminatory struggle, the blood of all those whose actions or whose very being hinder the accomplishment of the 
Mahdi's mission. Owing to their extraordinary status, the Perfects are above all laws and norms. Everything they do is willed and sanctioned by God. Their intent (niyyah) vouches for their acts. They alone are able to determine life and death. The power this ideology confers upon its believers is intoxicating. They love death more than we love life.


We thought the Nazis and Bolsheviks were the embodiment of death, destruction, and evil; they pale in comparison with the possibility of the Islamic Gnostics.

Until I read this essay, I didn't understand their fear or grasp the significane of Islamism, nor could I fathom the old maxim: "More wars and suffering have been inflicted in the name of religion."

Read it all.

7 Comments:

  • At Sat Jun 03, 04:05:00 PM PDT, Blogger Gjournal said…

    "The religious believer accepts reality and works at improving it, the fanatic rejects reality, refuses to pass any compromise with it and tries to destroy it and replace it with his fantasy."

    This is evasion and an attempt to whitewash religion. What is referred to here as a "religious believer" is simply a person who has not totally succumbed to faith and still maintains some allegience to reason and life on this earth. But as a Christian apologist I guess you just can't bring yourself to fully condemn religion which is the ultimate enemy in this war. This is a war of reason vs. faith not Islam vs. Christianity. Although I concede that Islam is the most lethal and disgusting religion ever conceived.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 07:53:00 PM PDT, Blogger Eleanor © said…

    Christian apologist? Certainly not. I do not condone the acts done by the Christian Gnostics during the European wars based on religion, or on any war for the sake of religion, whether modern or ancient.

    There is a difference between "religion" and "spirituality"; the one often has nothing to do with the other and, religiosity is one of the most potent and dangerous constructs of the human mind and the impetus of the damage that some call evil.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 09:56:00 AM PDT, Blogger George Mason said…

    To gjournal:

    I think that if you read the original paper by Murawiec, linked in this blog, you will see the sundry issues which concern you conceptually separated, and that should take care of concerns about "Christian apologetics."

    Otherwise:

    The paper Eleanor presents to us from Laurent Murawiec at the Hudson Institute is brilliant and one of the best papers I have read regarding the mind-set of Islam. In fact, I would call it a "psycho-epistemological" paper, meaning that it deals with how Islamists use the automatic functions of the conscious and subsconscious faculties, or to make it short and sweet, how they manage their minds with regard to subconscious actions.

    The paper also puts religion in real perspective. As gjournal stated quite correctly, a "religious believer" is simply a person who has not totally succumbed to faith and still maintains some allegience to reason and life on this earth." But, there are the religious who hold no allegiance to reason and life on earth," or, in Eleanor's words, "...religiosity is one of the most potent and dangerous constructs of the human mind and the impetus of the damage that some call evil." Religious psycho-epistemology in the White House, DoD, and the State Department are losing this war with Islam for us. I am one who calls religion "evil" because of philosophical and historical factors, as well as the (psycho-epistemological) reasons cited in the Murawiec article. I have thought since 9-11-01 and my learning about Islam that Islam is the meaning of religion taken to its logical conclusions. Most Western religions stop short of going that far, but the potential remains (cf: Gnostics).

    We are losing the war with Islam because the leaders of our nation, including the military, will not either name the enemy or identify his nature. As a result, we are fighting a war simply to sacrifice fine men and women and waste treasure. We will never win, until and if we recognize that Islam and its adherents must be destroyed and the will to fight taken from Muslims; and until we accept that we fight for our own rational self-interest for America first and foremost. No other course will do; any other course presumes that some derivative from reason will allow men of good intentions to work things out. Hah! This is Islam, and it ain't gonna happen.

    Their death worship truly, as the Murawiec article points out, leaves us only the choice of killing them and destroying anything holy to them. That involves also deporting Muslims not citizens yet and denying further entry; those here must come under severe and chronic scrutiny. Be prepared for the worst from them.

    War with Iran and its strap-hangers is inevitable. It cannot be surgical. It must be scorched earth. The sooner it comes, the better off we will be. But, come it will. The longer we wait, the more damage we will have inflicted on us.

    I have said it before and will say it often: Islam must be put out of our misery.

    And those who are religious while maintaining some allegiance to reality and reason must get their act together to stop being part of the problem and be nothing but part of the solution. Some are already, and I applaud them.

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 05:34:00 AM PDT, Blogger Jason_Pappas said…

    I thought it was a great article when I found it at Front Page Magazine. I posted a link at Infidel Blogger’s Alliance. It’s great to see this article promoted here and with good commentary.

    Of course, reason infuses our culture (even if not to the extent that we’d like.) I’ll avoid the glass-half-empty/half-full argument as their (Islam's) glass is totally empty and cracked. It won’t hold an ounce of reason for more than a short period.

    The article is excellent in emphasizing that the West has changed but, of course, it couldn’t go into the whole story of the rebirth of Hellenic rationalism, the British Enlightenment, and founding of our nation. It is clear, however, that Islam is in the Dark Ages because of its total banishment of reason and complete domination of a barbaric faith. It has little room for reason and can’t constrict its faith to the purely private realm.

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 07:38:00 AM PDT, Blogger George Mason said…

    Jason,

    Your comments add real value to this discussion.

    As an aside, I saw Murawiec, the author, before I read the article. He was a panelist when CSPAN recently broadcast the hour with Andrew Bostom and his book. Murawiec's comments belied knowledge and insight that went far deeper into Islam than most. His article confirmed it. He is a scholar worth keeping up with.

    Murawiec's description in his article has an archetype in Ahmadinejad, who is very public and more easily observable than most of the "true believer" Muslims. Murawiec + Ahmadinejad provide significant understanding of what Islam does to cognition, thus to behavior.

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 08:10:00 AM PDT, Blogger Jason_Pappas said…

    I’ll keep an eye out for Murawiec. It’s clear that he has a grasp of history such that he can compare and contrast trends that span a millennium.

    Today I broached the topic of altruism in foreign policy on Jihad Watch. I hope I was clear. In any case, it will be interesting to see what Hugh says.

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 08:34:00 AM PDT, Blogger George Mason said…

    Jason,

    Good show. I will follow that string.

    Do you subscribe to the new Objective Standard? Issue one has a terrific article by Yaron Brook on this postmodernistic concept of "just war" that has been driving Iraq, among others. He goes into how altruism underlies the crazy notion of "just war," as they mean the term. This crazy notion and its underlying principle have kept us from winning a war ON PURPOSE for decades.

     

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