Here is a review of the book “Chasing a Mirage: A Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State” posted on Ultra Currents. The book is written by Tarek Fatah, a secular Muslim of Pakistani origin living in Canada. He argues that the Islamic state is merely a mirage that the Muslims have been chasing for the last over one thousand years.
The great myth is that all Muslims are moderates and only a few extremists tarnish the holy ideology called Islam. It is about as intelligent as saying that for 3 generations from Bismarck to Hitler, all Germans were moderates, more interested in brautwurst und bier, than in world supremacy and that the great unwashed German mass of course did not support Germany’s run of dictators from 1865 to 1945. So it goes with Islam.
The benefit of Fatah’s book is that is lays bare to ridicule the idea that there is nothing inherently fascistic in political Islam, or that all Muslims just want to be BMW owning tolerants. It is written by a leading Canadian Muslim leader, a co-founder of the Muslim Canadian Council of Toronto, and a person who struggles with fitting Islam into a secular-tolerant Canadian society. And it is quite a struggle.
Fatah is a reformed Pakistani Marxist who rejects Islamic claims to world domination, a one-world Umma, or the establishment of a new Caliphate to safeguard Islam’s destiny. Hence the title – Chasing an Illusion or the fantasy of a new Muslim caliphate and the recreation of Islam’s so-called mythical golden age.
For his trouble and rather considerable courage, he is of course routinely vilified within the Muslim community with Muslim sock-puppets and little minds denigrating his pro Western and liberal attitude. Fatah’s book is a good read because he lays out in rather somber detail, the intolerant and fascist [in the true sense of the word], agenda of extremist political Islam.
Islam is of course an ideology, not a faith. This is something that Fatah a practicing Muslim would reject. But at least he and others can recognise the inherent fascistic intolerance and will to rule embedded in the Koran and in political Islam. Fatah is simply sick to death of the intolerant elements of his ‘faith’. His book is an attempt to wake up Muslims to the extremist agendas being fostered not only on Muslims, but also on non-Muslims within the West.
Fundamentalist Islam is alive and doing very well within Western states. Wahabbist, neo-Salafist, and Anti-Semitic doctrines are common place throughout Mosques in the West. Few Muslims bother to criticise these practices and fewer still will do anything to try and reform their so-called ‘faith’. What kind of ideology is without a reformation, self criticism or searching analysis ? Is it a faith or an intolerant cult ?
Fatah sums up the intolerant nature of Islam: “You have been lied to for centuries. Muslims need to educate themselves about Islam, not proselytize their religion to non-Muslims. It is time for them to read the truth about Islamic history……They should stop glorifying the politicization of Islam, a phenomenon which has produced a panaroma of tragedies and bloodshed…” The general ignorance of Muslims about Islam is always startling. The ritualised, non-thinking nature of Muslim acceptance of all things in the Koran, or all deeds by Muslims as being worthy, is best described as cultish.
The lack of knowledge only abets and emboldens Islam’s political criminals. As Fatah says, “By looking the other way, the intelligentsia and the middle classes have become complicit in these crimes. They justify their inaction as patriotism, where they stand in solidarity with the Islamic state….This rejection of the universality of human rights is not limited to the elites of the world’s 56 Islamic countries but is also widespread among the leaders of Muslim organisations.” Muslim supremacy is no surprise. Even inside Islam Arabs are primus inter pares, with a divine right to rule over other Muslims. In any event, Muslims in general [you can’t be specific about an ideology], generally agree that they and Islam are superior.
The rejection of such Western niceties as human rights, female emancipation, tolerance for Judaism, acceptance of the ‘other’ be they black, gay, yellow, religious or secular – is endemic within Islam. The ideology developed by an Arab political-military leader named Mohammed is quite obviously intolerant and uninterested in anything else but its own aggrandizement.
Fatah echoes this criticism, “The Islamic contempt for the West is not an expression of anti imperialism or a reflection of anger against colonialism and its devastating effect. Far from it…..In fact the Islamist disdain for the West is based almost entirely on their rejection of European enlightenment itself – the Renaissance….In short for the jihadi the problem is Western civilisation itself.”
The West has always been Islam’s problem. The two cultures are completely incompatible. Islam rejects the West’s vision of the world one based on law, rationality, plurality, respect, economic integration, tolerance, and order. Islam’s development has never had anything in common with that of the West. Islam is top-down, ritualised, archaic, anti-modern and irrational. Why is anyone surprised by Huntington’s bloody borders of Islam ? When Islam comes up against any other culture there is always bloodshed – 300 million dead over 1400 years of Muslim jihad make that fact indisputable.
Fatah rightly claims that Mohammed was simply an Arab ruler and head of a burgeoning Arab state. Probably the unification of Arab tribes was inevitable. What was not inevitable was that Mohammed [or someone else] would replace the 300 odd moon cult deities with one supreme moon cult deity and infuse Judeo-Christianity into Arab pagan practices to create Islam. Islam is thus the glue to Arab imperialism and later Muslim expansionism. That Mohammed wanted Islam to dominate the globe is undeniable. But perhaps the modern Muslim can look to reform him or herself and the anti-modern practices of a 7th century cult instead of worrying about the global Umma.
What is refreshing about Fatah’s book is that he tackles the untouchables within Islam. Not only does he name Mohammed an Arab head of state he also goes through and calls out the following as examples of Islam backwardness and anti-modern repression:
1. The failed states of the Islamic world – failed due to the implementation of Islamic orthodoxy. He does a great job of analysing Pakistan and the eradication of that country’s potential by political Islam.
2. Muslim cultural genocide. A simple example – -ironically according to Fatah 95 % of Mecca’s thousand year old development has been demolished by the Saudi authorities [p. 53], yet no Muslim protest, anywhere in the world, has ever been registered against this destruction of Islam’s holiest of holy sites. Compare this muted reaction to any activity of a Kaffir or other, even designing or planning to desecrate a Muslim object, let alone engage in a massive cultural eradication in Islam’s most important spiritual center. The Muslim hypocrisy reeks.
“How can a country bulldoze the grave of the Prophet’s daughter, destroy Muhammed’s house, build a public toilet inside the house of the Prophet’s wife…….Imagine the reaction across the Muslim world if the destruction of the Prophet’s home had been blamed on a Jewish conspiracy…”
3. Iran. The prototypical Islamic state is a disaster. The sad state of affairs inside Iran are of course defended with great venom by Western hating apologists and relativists. Yet the real world facts are clear – millions of Iranians are living in a terror state, untold tend of thousands have died there since 1979, and millions have fled. Iran is a Muslim inspired disaster a state which was not Islamic until the mid 7th century, and since then has never achieved peace, stability, or the enrichment of its people.
As Fatah asks, “How can any Muslim defend such oppression and mass murder in the name of Islamic solidarity? ….they should imagine walking the shoes of the 30.000 who were ordered killed by the Mullahs in the summer of 1988.”
4. Palestine – yet another future Islamic state. The entire idea is a myth and as Fatah makes clear, Palestinians [who are Arabs, Palestine never existed] are just being used by Arab states as pawns against Israel. What will happen when we have yet another Islamic fundamentalist state bordering Israel ? Fatah is happily optimistic – he thinks Palestine will survive in peace. He is wrong of course, but at least he criticises the Arab penchant to support fascists such as Hamas or Hizbollah.
5. Islam’s ongoing political war. Fatah does a good job explaining the politicisation of Islam immediately after Mohammed’s death – a civil war which still rages today between the Sunni’s who were more or less from Mohammed’s tribal elite and the Shia’s who represented the blood lines of Mohammed’s family. Islam is riven with political sects and hatreds. It is thus not some unitary, spiritual, faith based system, but more a set of competing interests each vying for political power and wealth.
This sectionalism has killed millions of Muslims over the years and continues to stunt Islamic development and acceptance of reality, “The rest of us Muslims can, of course, continue to label each other as non-believers and apostates. We can hate modernity itself, be envious of human joy, bury our heads in the Arabian sands, and let the bloodthirsty desert have the last laugh.”
6. Western political cowardice. Fatah’s trenchant observation is that the political cowards running Western states will never intercede to disperse domestic Islamic fascism and radicalism. He is right. As such it will be up to the common Muslim and indeed non-Muslim to drag, berate, hit, convince, and cajole Muslims and Islam into the 21rst century. Politicians won’t do it. Fatah and many other’s like him, both Muslim and non-Muslim must do it or else we face a future civil war within Western states.
7. Islamic violence in the name of supremacy. As Fatah illustrates it is a global problem. Muslims everywhere are politicising Islam and using violence and war to further their aims and agendas. No other ideology is engaged in the same level of systemic violence. It defies rationality and is the most salient feature of Muslim intolerance.
Fatah is a devout Muslim and earnestly believes that Islamic faith in its benign form is compatible with Western civilisation. On this and many other points in his book he is wrong. The importance of his book is that he presents a historical and world view which demands Muslim reform and a rejection of extremist political Islam. On this issue hangs the future balance of Western-Muslim relations.
It is up to Muslims to reform their ideology. Fatah and others are demanding a new vision for Islam and if the average Muslim does nothing than they are just as complicit in the current raging fascism of Islam as any delusional Mosque leader, or Western apologist for the 1400 year Muslim jihad.