Thursday, August 02, 2007

What It's Really "Allah" About for Islamists

All around the world people are gathering in one place or another, with one goal in mind - to kill other human beings. Their reasons for doing this are myriad, but what cannot escape the notice of those who are being targeted is that, usually, it is because those who are being targeted are not Muslim. This is not, unfortunately for many Iraqis, the case in Iraq today. But even so, terrorists who fly the banner of Islam and quote from the Qu’ran to justify their acts of despicable carnage seek one thing and one thing in particular - domination over others.

The men who flew the planes into the World Trade Center were not poor. They were not uneducated. They were not even idealistic. They were, however, ideologues. Their dogma was not one guided by principles of justice and equity, but instead centered around instilling fear in the minds of “unbelievers” and subjugating non-Muslims to sharia law. Whether or not the cowards who sent those men to kill on their behalf innocent civilians in New York and the military protectors of the United States at the Pentagon actually believe the drivel they submit to a frightened world via Al Jazeera is another story.

I think, to a large degree, that people like Osama bin Laden are more like the leaders of the Soviet Union were than, say, die-hard believers in a cause. The cause is less about the religious aspect of the fight, though that is undoubtedly central to their aims. What they are after is, primarily, power over others. The leaders of the USSR enjoyed certain kinds of financial benefits denied to members of the proletariat unfortunate enough to not be in government or members of the Communist Party. This is not to say that many didn’t believe in the eventual victory of communism over capitalism.

However, I think that rhetoric about communism and socialist propaganda were merely tools that, when manipulated at home and expanded around the globe, allowed Soviet leaders to use and abuse power that might’ve ordinarily been denied to them. And, for that matter, I also tend to think of “Communist” governments like Russia used to have and like China now possesses being less left-wing oriented than right-wing. Or, that is to say, when I think about Communist governments they are, whatever their “revolutionary” bullshit, conservative governments.

Take a look at governments that have or have had so-called “Communist” governments - countries like Russia, China, Cuba and North Korea spring to mind. These governments may have come into being, or been shepherded into being, by left-wing activists or movements. Even so, once constituted these Communist governments maintained quite belligerent, nationalist stances domestically and on the world stage. The race to the moon was less a contest between communism and capitalism, more a contest between America and Russia.

One of the fundamental principles guiding the “thugocracy” that is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - a.k.a. North Korea - is the idea that North Koreans (or maybe it’s just Koreans in general) are racially and culturally superior to their enemies...namely, the United States. Nazi Germany was the same way, and few if any would call Hitler’s Reich left-wing, despite “Nazi” deriving from the “National SOCIALIST German Worker’s Party”. Nationalist it was...socialist it wasn’t. Fascist it was.

Just the other day, Cuban athletes participating in the Pan-American Games in Brazil were rushed out of the country after four athletes defected to our side. People like Michael Moore might make a big deal out of the wonderful healthcare system Havana has created and maintained over the years, but notice how there are no Cuban “Michael Moore”-types in the Republic of Cuba. You know why this is? It isn’t because El Presidente Castro is adhering to the state’s motto, “Patria y Liberta” - Homeland and Liberty.

No, it’s because Cuba is a Communist country, which ostensibly makes it left-wing but is quite fascist in its bellicosity toward America. For some reason there is a mistaken idea out there that left-wingers are more progressive than right-wing “conservatives”. If Communists are, rightly, supposed to be leftists, don’t you think in truly left-wing countries, the people would have more liberty, not less? Growing restrictions - in fact, an all-out assault - on freedom of the press in countries like Venezuela are not indicative of socialist progress, but rather point to fascistic tendencies in “leaders” like Hugo Chavez.

And as for China, well - the name of the Chinese military is generally known in English to be the People’s Liberation Army. China is known as the “People’s Republic of China”. But China doesn’t really belong to the people, and isn’t technically a Republic - in fact, it’s an insult to republicanism, just as Iran’s theocracy is despite Tehran being the capital of an “Islamic Republic”. China belongs to the privileged members of the Communist Party, and no one else.

Where am I going with this? What with the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists, the unrest in Pakistan, homicidal bombings with mass casualties in Iraq, and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, we’re hearing more, not less, rhetoric today about Islamist hopes for the creation of a region-spanning Caliphate. Just as Soviet leaders once spoke of the inevitable victory of Communism over Capitalism, Islamist leaders are prematurely proclaiming the victory of Islam over us infidels, and fill their followers with delusions of grandeur on what their Islamic Caliphate will do for them.

But these Islamist leaders, men like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Osama bin Laden, are hardly what one could call true believers in their cause. Karl Marx is said to have called religion the opiate of the masses, and who better today understands that idea and by manipulating that commentary more or less successfully implement their plans for insurgency, terrorism, and nuclear holocaust than Islamist leaders?

I believe that if ordinary Muslims across the Middle East truly knew the power-hungry nature of their leaders, they’d see through the thin veil - ahem - behind which their true motives are hidden. But then, I also believe that in a region where the only true democracy is a Jewish-majority one, and the other semi-democracy (Turkey) is vulnerable to military overthrow when Islamists gain too much power (and where you can be thrown in jail for insulting Turkishness), Muslims in the Middle East want to believe that the terrorists, those “martyrs”, truly care about their welfare.

The Taliban cared not for the welfare of ordinary Afghanis. Hamas cares not for the welfare of ordinary Palestinians, of ordinary Gazans, otherwise they’d moderate and accept Israel’s existence and no longer challenge it and lead their people to believe that war is preferable to peace. Al Qaeda in Iraq, Osama bin Laden, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...all are concerned about their power first, their money second, and their people last of all. And where does Islam fit in? Well - they'll thank Allah for the power He has granted them not to help others, but to rule iron-fistedly over them.

Unfortunately, it may be that the only way to help them see the light is by allowing the Islamists to gain power and take over governments. They may do some good for the people at first, but it’s only to ingratiate themselves with a populace that starts out eager for results but later gets lethargic over freedoms. Watch what happens in those situations when the people demand a say, or other political parties, or the right to dress a certain way or shave their beards, from their Islamist governments. It won’t be republicanism, or democracy, in action. That’s for sure.

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