Is Islam Truly a Religion like Any Other?
Islam represents a strange mixture of ingredients, where its will to dominate mingles with a desire for submission, while reclusion merges with universality, materialism with superstitious spiritualism, repressed sensuality with asceticism and rigidity with duplicity.
Allah’s Paradise, for example, is not equivalent to the mystical contemplation of God in ineffable happiness as in the Christian notion of Paradise or to a cosmic union with the divine principle as in the Jewish or Buddhist afterlife. Nor is it akin to Hindu metempsychosis and its final reincarnation into perfection. It is a place of infinite pleasure and sensuality and a highly materialistic realm. Moreover, it is the exact counterpoint to all that Islam prohibits on earth and represents absolute anti-asceticism. In this post mortem afterlife, Allah will allow his followers to indulge in all that he prohibits in life, as a reward for all believers who practice jihad. This schizophrenic paradox is one that Islam is alone to possess: the truth of this world is not identical to that of the afterlife. Muslim values are changeable and their promises meaningless. In his practice of double standards, Allah is a faithful reflection of those who invented him.
Such an attitude is out of the question in other religions, of course, including Christianity and Judaism, whose respective values are immutable and do not change to suit the circumstances. It is in this respect that Islam is similar to Marxist Communism in its deep-seated mentality: everything is twofold, and nothing straightforward nor clear. Rigid principles are associated with infringement authorisations and duplicity, just as their pacifistic discourse is combined with acts of violence. Another common trait between Islam and Marxism is their aim, which is exclusively materialistic: it would hardly be a matter of surprise if the paradise of Allah, a realm of boundless pleasure granted to the faithful as a reward, had actually been a source of inspiration for the modelling of the communist ideal of a classless society, one that enjoys absolute abundance and embodies the theoretical objective for all mankind to strive for within the trilateral framework of dialectical materialism, the dictatorship of the proletariat and Socialism.
Islam is always judged from a Christian perspective and within a Christian mindset, as if it were a spiritual religion associated to merciful salvation, a ‘religion like any other’. Which is certainly not the case. What it is, in fact, is a politico-religious totalitarian doctrine with a superstitious dimension. And it is this fact, this absolute simplicity, which has endowed it with a power greater than that of Communism, since the latter was no more than a socio-economic utopia founded upon a farcical scientific nature, which explains its ephemeral character and failure.
Save for a few exceptions that can only be qualified as drifts, such as Sufism (whose influence has been very limited), Muslims submit entirely to their dogma, without any discussion: Salvation, meaning the Paradise of Allah, can only be accessed through jihad (i.e. a ‘strife within the path of Allah’), which every believer is expected to participate in to the best of his abilities and skills, but ideally through the self-sacrifice of murderous martyrdom, whenever possible. The major difference that sets the Christian and Muslim concepts of Salvation apart is that the former is complex, intellectualised and spiritual. It is not founded upon a notion of strife, but pervaded by concepts such as ‘grace’, ‘love’, charity, redemption, etc., all of which are completely foreign to Islam. The Muslim beliefs that relate to Allah’s Paradise, with its young virgins (72) that offer themselves to the resurrected mujahid elites, are not only rooted in very effective superstitions, but also in a deficient mental level. No other religion’s beliefs and dogmas are this appalling.
A powerful but simple elaboration, the doctrine of Islam was developed by cynics to be used upon the simplest of minds. Naive fanaticism has always been compatible with Islam’s calculating, manipulative and brainwashing purposes. The Bedouin culture, characterised by dogma, cunning and a simultaneous superiority and inferiority complex, has permeated the Muslim religion, whose followers are however not, on a worldwide scale, predominantly Arab. Despite this fact, Islam, whose Sunni wellspring is located in Saudi Arabia, has adopted this original mentality, a mentality endowed with an immense power of acculturation. As for the ethical dimension and worldview that stem from all this, they are both at odds with European, Indian, Chinese and Japanese traditions and mentalities for instance, as well as with those of many other peoples of our planet.
The concepts of honour, sincerity and face-to face combat are for example absent from the Arab-Islamic culture. Instead, it is cunning behaviour that prevails, double standards and calculating hypocrisy (taqiyya) that are nurtured and lies that are considered a virtue. These facts explain the Muslim fascination for indiscriminate attacks and terrorism. In the long term, the Islamic ambition to conquer humanity is bound to fail, however, because the nature of man differs greatly from the unifying and totalitarian vision of the world that is proper to Islam. Mankind is not uniform in its constitution and even the Arabian mentality itself, which gave rise to Islam, will eventually crack once it realises that what it has begotten is an impracticable ideology.
Islam Through the Ages — a Radical Attachment to the Past
One of the main differences between Islamism (or rather ‘primary Islam’ or ‘fundamental Islam’), on the one hand, and Communism, Nazism, Fascism and all other religions or ideologies is their relation to time. Unlike Western civilisation, which has been influenced by Judeo-Christianity, Islam does not have a linear and progressive vision of time nor even a cyclical conception of it: its chronological vision is delimited by an absence of evolution.
Communism, Fascism, Nazism and the French Revolution (through its Reign of Terror) all strived to create a ‘new Man’ through revolutionary endeavours. Their actions were a projection into the future, an abolition of both the present and the past and a desire to end up with a ‘clean slate’ through their respective progressive myths. With Islamism, i.e. a return to genuine fundamental Islam, the only projection one encounters is focused on the past. This is what Marcel Gauchet calls ‘radical traditionalism’ and is a manifestation of what I prefer to term ‘archeofuturism’, namely the resurgence of the archaic in one’s future undertakings. But beware: there are other types of archeofuturism (i.e. the integration of tradition into the future) that are far richer and more interesting than Islam.
What Islam seeks is a return to the Mohammedan effort of the 7th and 8th centuries, whose goal involves the establishment of a universal community of believers revolving around ageless morals. Islam also lacks the eschatological and therefore progressive vision that characterises Christianity and Judaism. The contemplation of God, associated with the notion of an Islamic unification of mankind (both in this life and in the hereafter), reveals a religious ideology pervaded by the central concept of immutability. Islam is supposedly beyond temporal restrictions and any conception of evolution remains foreign to it. It is timeless and can therefore bide its time.
This is what has, for a long time, fascinated various European traditionalists, Evolian enthusiasts (who have read Evola but misunderstood his words) and Islamophile Sigrid Hunke, a Nazi ideologist and author of the surrealistic work entitled Allah’s Sun Over The Occident, where she associates Islam to Hitlerism as part of an exalted sort of mysticism. In his Black Book of Islam (Tatamis Editions), Jean Robin clearly explains the Nazi-Islamic complicity of the Third Reich: it involved the creation of a Muslim SS division comprising Yugoslavian recruits, while Hitler himself held talks with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the highest Islamic authority at the time and an admirer of National Socialism, with whom he claimed to have common values. These obviously included radical anti-Semitism and anti-Christianism. As we shall see later on, there are some obscure connections between Islamism and some neo-Nazi circles nowadays, all in the name of the struggle against ‘Americano-Zionism’.
Due to a severe case of intellectual confusion, Islam is perceived among some groups as the champion of tradition against decadence. Islamists (and others too) do not shy away from contrasting Islam, the regenerative and traditionalistic defender of natural law, with Western decadence, whose symbols are Gay Pride activities and same-sex marriages, for instance. This rhetoric may well be influential in certain traditionalistic circles but remains fraught with sophistry, in the sense that the ‘tradition’ that Islam advocates is completely incompatible with European traditions (whether Christian, Greco-Latin or any other) or those of other peoples (Japanese, Kabyle, Jewish, Chinese, Indian etc…).
However, this so-called traditionalism, this archaism that characterises radical and fundamental Islam, does not hesitate to make use of the technologies and most recent Western cultural codes when, for example, recruiting potential candidates for jihad and terrorism among the young Muslim members of the immigrant populations of Europe. Social networks are used to brilliant effect, while mobilising images depicting various atrocities and inspired by video games and ultraviolent Western movies are broadcasted online. One thus sees that those manipulative jihadist leaders’ anachronous and archaic mentality does not hinder them from using the most decadent modern instruments. This approach is both very clever and highly revolutionary.
The Tragedy Surrounding Moderate Muslim Reformers
It is extremely difficult to be moderate within a radical system and attempt to reform a doctrine that claims immutability. One may object, saying that many Muslims are peaceful people who do not adhere to a totalitarian and violent Islam in any way, but such an argument is invalid. The opinion of moderate reformers is one thing, the central doctrine another. What any sincere moderate Muslims — excluding those who embrace hypocrisy and cunning — refer to is a virtual and intellectualised Islam, a pipe-dream that could never come to pass. It is but a westernised and therefore disfigured Islam, one that does not correspond at all to the current trends of returning to the source, as witnessed through the global rise of Islamism. Countless naive non-Muslims have never even opened the Koran and yet believe in an ‘Islam of Enlightenment’, which they blindly rely on. This is nothing short of ‘Western-centrism’ (excuse the neologism), as if Islam was ever going to follow the same path as Christianity and relinquish all notions of intolerance and exclusivity. The fact remains that Islam differs greatly from its counterpart, since its discourse and ethics are antithetic to the latter’s and the mere idea of espousing a more ‘moderate’ message contradicts its Koranic precepts.
Indeed, what is essential to the matter is the objective content of Islam’s founding texts. I am now referring to the critical Aristotelian view of ideological and religious discourse: the theory of essences. The moment a speech (whether religious, ideological or of any other kind) outlines certain principles in an explicit fashion, these postulations may well end up being applied to the letter. ‘Moderate’ people do not represent this central doctrine and their gold-plating efforts lack any genuine value.
Considering that some essentially totalitarian principles are enshrined in the very fundamentals of Islam (and, in addition, happen to be applied objectively), there is no reason not to view Islam as an essentially totalitarian doctrine. The same goes for Nazism and Communism: the fact that one encounters some moderate followers among the proponents of these doctrines does not alter the instilled doctrinal virus in any way. This medical comparison is quite to the point, since there are both moderately affected people and others with severe symptoms among all populations afflicted by viral disease during an epidemic. The virus itself, on the other hand, remains unchanged..
Moreover, we must be very wary of those who describe themselves as ‘moderate Muslims’. Some of them are sincere, of course, but are they real Muslims? And is it not the case that there are also those who resort to cunning and concealment when claiming moderation? Nevertheless, the situation of sincere moderate Muslims is a rather tragic one, both among those who practice their religion peacefully and the intellectuals whose ambition is to ‘modernise’ and secularise Islam, which is mere utopia. In fact, they are caught between the hammer and the anvil.
On the one hand, they are suspected of conniving with Islamism, i.e. with fundamental Islam, which they struggle against and sincerely want to reform (an impossible mission nonetheless), while on the other hand being harassed and threatened by their own coreligionists, who accuse them of mellowness, betrayal and apostasy, especially with the rise of the idea of combative jihad among young Muslims everywhere. This applies to France, but also to Tunisia for example, where both the government and civil society organisations are attempting to resist Islamism, whose proponents no longer hesitate to resort to terrorism.
Deep within, these moderate Muslims are torn apart, because they cannot, for emotional reasons, admit that Islamism and Islam are indistinguishable, nor renounce their faith, the sole exceptions being the rare individuals who have converted to other religions or those who have embraced agnosticism. They have also displayed great courage by joining the front line in the battle against Islamism. Islamists consider them to be traitors and apostates, directing their hate at them and threatening them much more than they ever wreak vengeance upon the Islamophobic non-Muslims who resist them. The harshest criticism against Islamism (and even against the Islamisation of Europe and the uncontrolled immigration that the latter suffers from) has come from these very same moderate Muslims, who have shown much more lucidity and courage than most European intellectuals.
Writer, journalist and director Mohamed Sifaoui is a Muslim who fights against Islamism with a lucidity and bravery one rarely encounters among intellectuals and non-Muslim politicians. He argues that the ideological criticism of Islamism and jihadism is paralysed by the fear of being branded ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘racist’. As might be expected, he has been targeted by hatred and threats at the hands of his fundamentalist co-religionists.7 Just like many other intellectual Muslims, Sifaoui relies on the existence of a ‘true Islam’, an Islam that he believes to be peaceful, democratic, free of medieval extremism, compatible with democracy and humanistic. A reformed Islam? A modern Islam, perhaps? The problem is, however, that real Islam is defined by what is written in the Koran, whose content is neither democratic nor peaceful, nor even tolerant. Similarly to all those brave Muslims who fight for the same cause, Mohamed Sifaoui is trapped in a tragic situation and heading towards a dead end. He is caught in an admirable illusion that stems from an intellectualistic and dreamlike attitude. For Islam is an indivisible whole, just like the black stone of Mecca.
The Word of Allah is not Subject to Discussion
Of course there are harmless Muslims, but will they remain so in the long-term? Will they not, either as a result of their own personal evolution or under the pressure exerted by their own community, be motivated to participate in the jihad? What is troubling is the sudden radicalisation of many young Muslims of immigrant origin in Europe, Muslims who had thus far never been a source of problems. Another cause for worry is the identity of numerous men currently present in the military framework of the Islamic State, Daesh, since many of these mujahideen were previously members of Iraq’s secular party, the Baath. Aristotle’s theory of causality, which displays great common sense, should be mentioned here: as soon as a doctrine, whether religious or not, delineates a number of precepts and principles, the latter are bound to remain its primary causes. Even when scholars attempt to attenuate them, they always retain their central, founding and virtually active aspect. The only element that matters is a doctrine’s conceptual basis, meaning its mental DNA (to express things in contemporary terms). Ideologies and religious doctrines are responsible for their own basic concepts. Islam, Communism and Nazism all have such inherent conceptions. One cannot claim, therefore, that there are ‘extremists’ and ‘moderates’.
Either through their calculating hypocrisy or their naive sincerity, ‘moderate’ Muslims resemble closet communists in their desire to establish democratic dictatorship. A moderate, democratic and feminist Islam is as conceivable and credible as philosemitic Nazism or cosmopolitan and liberal Marxism. In fact, sincere moderate Muslims are attached to a sentimental cultural tradition without really being familiar with the true nature of Islam.
In its sacred, dogmatic corpus (the Koran and Hadiths), what Islam objectively presents is a worldview and comprehensive doctrine whose openly declared purpose is the submission of all mankind to the laws of the Sharia. Any claims that Islam’s matrix can lead to a different outcome are nothing but self-deceit. True Islam is the most perfect system of all totalitarianisms, one that seeks the abolition of all differences: All of mankind is to submit to its laws, worship Allah and yield to its traditions. The existence of a pluralistic form of Islam on a given territory, an Islamic rule that would tolerate other beliefs and ideologies as its equals, is completely at odds with the intention expressed in the Koran and the unifying doctrine of Dar al-Islam. It is a farce, no more no less. This is why the contradictory and deceitful statements made by Dalil Boubaker, the rector of the Parisian Mosque and a man who advocates the transformation of abandoned churches into mosques before retreating into assertions of love towards France’s Catholic roots, are nothing short of smokescreens and do not reflect any sincerity whatsoever. Indeed, what such an attitude betrays is pure Islamic cunning.
A genuinely moderate Muslim is thus burdened with a major predicament: he is either a false utopian Muslim, or a hypocritical Muslim mujahid of the Dar al-Sulh (a time of truce on a yet unconquered territory) and Dar al-Harb (a period of territorial conquest). True Muslims (i.e. Islamists) know that Islam is primarily an unreformable orthodoxy, in which any notions of extremism, moderation and adaptation are meaningless. One does not revise or alter the divine word: one is simply required to obey it. The message of Islam is very clear and expresses the totalitarianism of Allah’s laws. The latter may be endorsed or rejected, but never amended.
The above text is an excerpt from Guillaume Faye’s Understanding Islam (Arktos, 2016). If you liked this selection, be sure to check out the whole book.