Islam’s War on the Past

by David Solway (March 2023)

Relief of Vienna, 1683
, Frans Geffels, 1683-1694


We have heard much of the slash-and-burn frenzies of the Muslim hordes pillaging and slaughtering their way through parts of Africa and the Middle East. It is not only Christians, lapsed communicants, perceived heretics and foreigners that are the victims of their confessional ferocity and predatory aims, but the architecture and muniments of civilization itself. The threat which Islam poses to the life of the West should be obvious to anyone who is not complicit, gullible or mentally defective. To fully understand the menace, we must recognize that the Islamic attack is multi-pronged, taking place on a number of levels or fronts all working in concert, and gaining traction with every passing day.

Terror is the preferred means of those we call “extremists,” “radicals,” or (a new favorite) “gunmen,” whether “lone wolves” (who often seem to roam in well-spaced packs) or established, heavily armed organizations the media like to refer to as “militants.” The warrant for their habitual violence is rooted squarely in the Koran and the Hadith, not in poverty or unemployment despite assurances from their sympathizers and appeasers.

As a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, cited by Raymond Ibrahim in a penetrating article for PJ Media, makes clear: “Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.” Jihad, Ibrahim points out, “is integral to Islam, doctrinally and historically,” located prominently within the founding scriptures and ancillary texts.

More potent in the long run than the tactic of terror is the strategy of massive immigration and refugeeism, the poisoned fruit of multi-culturalism, enabling the metastasizing growth of Muslim populations in the progressively febrile democracies of the West. Once Islam in any of myriad forms is allowed into the body social, and in light of the agenda articulated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” a zymotic future is foreordained as societies begin to unravel and countries to lose their national character. Ten percent of the census is the tipping point. Scholars like Peter Hammond and the aforementioned Raymond Ibrahim have canvassed approximately 50 countries on four continents and done the math, and the results are indisputable.

The consequences of this covert invasion are glaringly evident in many European nations where Islamic no-go zones have proliferated, Sharia law has been incrementally introduced, thoroughfares have become prayer venues, welfare subsidies have been depleted, jihadist recruitment has escalated, rape has acquired the magnitude of a grooming epidemic (the true “rape culture”), and Muslim voting blocs can determine the outcome of elections, as conniving politicians are well aware. Such are the conditions that Western compromisers, accommodationists and tolerists, priding themselves on their putatively enlightened ideas, are ensuring for their progeny, if not for themselves.

Additionally, the Iranian march toward nuclear status is part of the Shi’ite plan for world domination, which in the Twelver version of the faith requires a universal conflagration and bloodletting to hasten or welcome the arrival of the Twelfth Imam, aka the Hidden Mahdi. The Middle East remains a tinderbox as civil wars erupt, nations fall apart, and Israel braces for the threat of nuclear attack.

As we have been warned repeatedly by the most astute observers and critics among us—Robert Spencer, Steven Emerson, Andrew Bostom, Bruce Bawer, Raymond Ibrahim, Emmanuel Sivan, Serge Trifkovic, Geert Wilders, Peter Hammond, David Horowitz and others—we are under siege by the armies of a supremacist faith. To the array of hostile forces and tactics, we must add another front opened (or re-opened) by the warriors of Muhammad—the offensive against the past.

The Taliban demolition of the 1,700-year old Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 and the near destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra should have sounded the alarm loud and clear. The systematic destruction of Hebrew/Israeli artifacts attesting to the millennial sojourn of the Jewish people in the Holy Land, a project carried out by the Islamic waqf in control of the Temple Mount, is an undeniable attempt to erase the signs and proofs of the historical presence of an entire nation in what was always its natal homeland. Islamic militias rampage through the Middle East and parts of Africa demolishing synagogues, churches, temples, palaces, statues, biblical tombs, historical monuments, remnant cities like Hatra and Nimrud, and inestimable cultural treasures anchoring antiquity to the living present.

What we are witnessing, working in tandem, as noted, with terror, social infiltration and the imminent nuclear and ballistic capability of a deranged and religiously dedicated rogue regime, is the deliberate and ongoing effacement of the historical, cultural and architectural record of Judeo-Christian civilization and its ancient precursors. The attack on ancient artifacts amounts to a surgical operation on the cultural psyche of the occident, a kind of chronosectomy, or removal of the temporal organ, leading ultimately to the gradual elimination of communal memory.

According to Daniel Pipes, the motive for this orgy of destruction is to “confirm the superior power of Muslims and, by implication, the truth of Islam.” There is something to this, of course—a platitude need not be untrue. One will also agree with Robert Spencer’s unexceptionable thesis that for the Muslim sensibility, the relics and shrines of “pre-Islamic civilizations, and non-Islamic civilizations, are all jahiliyya—the society of unbelievers, which is worthless,” as stipulated in the Koran (3:137). But the real quarry is the historical logbook of the West and the material ledger of its antecedents. And the goal is their extirpation. This initiative against the collective memory of the West, tantamount to the razing of a world-historical library, is nothing less than an auto-da-fé of astronomical significance.

The barbaric iconoclasts of Islam have profited greatly from a tribe of elite Western academics. Looked at from the perspective of a mordant irony, it is as if the Islamic marauders constitute the activist arm of the Western university and its curricular reduction of the magisterial pageant of Western history in favor of a postmodern pastiche of marginal cultures, dubious movements and anti-Western polemics. The ground of desecration has been well prepared by a legion of witting and unwitting collaborators. This malignant tillage is now being pursued to its desired harvest, not only by an external enemy, but by a host of homegrown savages in the academy, the media and the political echelon.

The four-front assault—terror, social infiltration, nuclear arming and erasure of the past—is what the West is currently up against, but it remains plainly incapable of understanding or resisting the combined onslaught upon its cultural integrity, social consensus, political cohesion, and the traditional armature of its past, that is, the glue of retrocognition—Islam’s renewed foray against the mind of the West. A person without memory is a hollow shell, living from moment to moment, unable to plan for the future or survive without help. A civilization that loses its heritage, whose evolutionary development is wiped out, and that no longer knows where it has come from or the identity of its parentage enjoys an aimless and frivolous existence until it eventually collapses and disappears. It survives paradoxically only in the triumphant if sketchy memory of the civilization that has replaced it.

The eclipse of memory, the decoupling of the archive from the present, is nothing short of death by other means. When, owing to the eradication of memory, time no longer functions as a sustaining medium, the will to persist is paralyzed and life becomes meaningless. The murder of the past is a particularly effective form of cultural homicide.

The long march through the institutions is growing shorter by the day.


Table of Contents


David Solway’s latest book is Notes from a Derelict Culture, Black House Publishing, 2019, London. A CD of his original songs, Partial to Cain, appeared in 2019.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


8 Responses

  1. Great piece — as always from Solway. I teach teens in my homeschool community, and even though homeschooled kids tend to be better-educated, I’ve been alarmed and disheartened by their ignorance of the West’s history and their own cultural legacy. They’re completely ignorant about Islam too. The eradication of cultural literacy among our youth is almost complete.

  2. I appreciate your comment, Mark. I’ve long followed your work, and recall especially your favorable review of Diana West, which got scrubbed and replaced with treif–the reason I abandoned FPM. You were always one of the best.

    1. Thanks, David, that means a lot to me. I’ve got almost no social media presence – intentionally – but if you can handle another couple of emails a week clogging your inbox, I’d be honored if you followed my Substack, Culture Warrior, free at If not, I get it – there’s too darn much to keep up with out there. Either way, thanks again.

        1. Thanks so much to both of you, David. Yes, I got an email from the MenAreGood Substack cross-posting Janice’s great piece on Intl. Women’s Day, and I followed her after that.

  3. Alarming piece. From an architect’s point of view, especially the parallel to postmodern cultural art clerics who successfully eradicate the traditional past which no doubt leads to “an aimless and frivolous existence”.

  4. Once you take Islam seriously you understand how it truly is the proto-ideology of World History, the totalitarian regime before there were totalitarian regimes. And most worryingly Islam shares one trait with Liberalism that make it a potential successor ideology in the West: an ontology of violence to all things not itself and all things born before it. These must perish to validate the legitimacy of Islam, its revelation and its conquest.
    Our leaders, academics and theologians have failed us by normalizing ecumenical hug box approaches to Islam – the treat is obscured and untreated and the numbers increase every year. Many friends reprimand me, but I know many of the faithful, they are so nice and normal, yes I say they are not a worry, but the problem is when the 10% that are fanatical attack us, they will not lift a finger to stop it, after all they know how to live in an Islamic social order, what possible incentive do they have to risk death at the hands of their co religionists? We must stop all Islamic immigration to our lands and move to make certain schools of the faith illegal, meaning decertifying them as religions and reclassifying them as political movements.

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