Thursday, 10 January 2013
A Blast From the Past: Conor Cruise O'Brien, in 1995, Discussing the Jihad in Algeria
I encourage anyone coming to this blog today who has not heard of Conor Cruise O'Brien, and/ or has never heard of what O'Brien had to say about Islam and the Jihad, to click on the link, and read.
To give you an idea of the flavour, here are two excerpts from the article - originally published in "The Independent", on the 6th of January 1995 - that you will find there introduced, reproduced and commented upon:
"Fundamentalist Islam" is a misnomer which dulls our perception in a dangerous way.
"It does so by implying that there is some other kind of Islam, which is well disposed to those who reject the Koran.
"Islam is a universalist, triumphalist and political religion. It claims de jure dominion over all humanity; that is God's will. The actual state of affairs, with unbelievers of various sorts dominating most of the world, is a suspension of God's [i.e. allah's - CM] will, and a scandal to the faithful. The world is divided between the House of Islam, and the House of War, meaning the rest of us.
"For more than two centuries now, the House of War has been in the ascendant, and the House of Islam has been abased.
"The remedy for this unnatural and intolerable state of affairs is jihad.
"Jihad is defined as 'the religious duty imposed on all Muslims to wage war upon those who do not accept the doctrines of Islam'. The Prophet Mohamed himself not merely preached but waged jihad. God's [that is, allah's - CM] word, dictated to the Prophet and preached by him, is binding on all Muslims, and his example is their inspiration...
"What is going on today in the Muslim world is not the advent of some aberrant thing called Islamic fundamentalism but a revival of Islam itself - the real thing - which Western ascendancy and Westernised post-Muslim elites no longer have the capacity to muffle and control. The jihad is back."...
""The tragic error of the French in trying to cope with the revival of Islam derives from a conceptual error; the illusion that 'Islamic fundamentalism' is something distinct and separable from Islam itself..."...
And O'Brien simply skewers the form of this error that manifests in the Anglosphere:
"That the claim of a group of Muslims to be acting in the name of Islam, is rejected by an unbeliever, speaking for other unbelievers, will do little to reduce the credibility of that claim, in the eyes of other Muslims.
"President Clinton's personal approach to this matter appears to be governed by a kind of woozy ecumenism, fairly prevalent among Western liberal churchmen....
"'All the great religions are the same' is the idea. Only they aren't.
"The Clintonian world view observes [sic: I think this must be a typo or a typesetter's misreading, and that it ought to be 'obscures', which makes much more sense - CM] the hard specificity of Islam.
"The Prophet Mohamed did not offer his followers a chance to live in harmony with their neighbours.
"He taught them to fight their neighbours, if they were unbelievers, and kill them or beat them into submission.
"And it is futile to say of those Muslims who faithfully follow those teachings today that their actions are not 'intrinsically related to Islam'.
"We are facing an Islamic revival....".
Click on the link. Read it all. Go to the original link at the archives of The Independent (it is probably a minor miracle of the internet that you can read it thus; I doubt they would dare to put it in their paper, today), and make your own copy of the whole in its original form.
And then, if you are French, you might consider translating it into French, and circulating it as widely as you can. Think of it as a good stiff swig of Irish whiskey, except that it clears - rather than clouding - the mind. - CM