Islam - The Path of Least Resistance

by Mary Jackson (June 2007)

"For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction." (Matthew 7:13)

Say what you like about New English Review contributors, we are not dull. None of us is dull, although some of us are very pedantic about verb usage. I am confident that few if any of our readers are dull. Dull people would not read NER. QED.


Not being dull themselves, most people reading this will have experienced hardship when spending time with dull people. Other dull people do not suffer in the same way. In my case this was for mercifully short work assignments, which seemed endless at the time. What struck me about my stay in Dulland was how dullness prevails. In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, but in the country of the dull, the non-dull will eventually be ground down into the dust.


I touched on this point in my short piece on the dullness of Islam:


Think of friends or relations you have known, lively interesting people, who acquire dull wives or husbands. Nine times out of ten, the dullness prevails. A late relative of mine used to remark when two boring or nasty people got together: “Well, at least they won’t spoil another couple.” People level down more than they level up.


How does this happen? How does the superior, livelier mind succumb to the inferior, dull one? It happens, I think, because it is easy. A lively, humorous person can say dull things, but a dull person can never say anything lively or humorous. After long periods of blank looks and hostility, the lively person generally gives up the fight and joins the dull. Some refuse. Surrounded by dullness, they remain interesting. But they will be unhappy. If the dull environment is a workplace, they will not get promoted. If it is a marriage, they will be made unhappy in other ways.


If you can’t beat ’em, says the old cliché, join ’em. The dull make it easy for the un-dull to join them. It is the path of least resistance. 


Islam is dull, as I have said. Not only is it dull, but historically it has been inferior in every respect to the civilisations it conquered. Yet its conquest was absolute and lasting as other conquests were not. Why? Lee Harris, in his review of Andrew Bostom’s The Legacy of Jihad, puts it exceptionally well:

If a conqueror gives the conquered people a choice between becoming one of his kind on the one hand and being subjugated or liquidated on the other, he will gain an enormous advantage over those conquerors who do not offer such a choice. If the conquered people know that they have no choice but to accept their status as slaves and chattel, their hearts will continue to be rebellious: They may obey, but only out of fear; they will certainly never come to feel that the conquerors represent legitimate authority; they will never be willing to fight to defend their conqueror’s position of supreme domination, but will rather work to subvert and undermine his hold on power.

Things will go quite differently, however, if the conquered people know that by conversion to the faith of their conquerors they will be able to escape the humiliation of servitude and subjugation. If those who choose to convert are looked upon as members of the community of the faithful and no longer as infidels, then there will be a powerful incentive to convert. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any method by which a quicker pacification of a conquered people could be achieved than by allowing them to make a swift and easy transition from being outsiders to being insiders — a transition that only required a person to accept the simple principle, “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet.”

Islam makes it easy. Why struggle? Wide is the gate, and broad is the way.

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Mary Jackson contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all her contributions, on which comments are welcome. 

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