Wednesday, March 28, 2012

cultural jihad!

White lies     Each semester I remind my students about the imortance of reading and taking notes on their text, Light One Candle. The majority, without much coaxing, complete that assignment. Always, there is a segment who think they can get away with faking it. For them, that may seem to work until their final.

For that exam, on a separate sheet of paper, is a question about honesty. I ask, “Who taught you about the importance of telling the truth? Is that important to you? Will you teach the same lesson to your children?”

I encourage them to give me details, to make their answers clear. And they do. Instead of sentences, they write paragraphs. When finished, I take those pages, then hand them the next. It reads, “Did you read your text, Light One Candle? If not, please explain why you didn’t.”

For those who claim to be truth lovers yet didn’t read Light One Candle, they come face to face with their own integrity---or lack of it. Most come clean, admit that they haven’t done their work, knowing, as I’ve carefully explained all semester, that their final grade would suffer. Indeed, as they’d been told from the onset of the semester, they will have graded themselves.

What they’ve learned, I hope, is that deception doesn’t pay. Good grades depend, instead, on honest hard work.

Chances are that they’ll recall terms I used when discussing Islamic imperialism, taqiyyah and kitman. Both are useful tools in the promotion of the ultimate goal of jihad, the conversion of the world of the infidel, the dhimmi or kaffir who live in Dar el harb, to that of the faithful, Muslims, who live in Dar el Islam. Because it is comprised of all who are non-believers (most especially, people of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians), Dar el Harb is the world of war.

Ultimately, jihad is carried out to perfect the world by transforming all of Dar el Harb into Dar el Islam. Whatever must be said or done to make that happen, because it is for the good of spreading Islam, is acceptable and justifiable. Indeed, using deception is but one way to make the world completely Islamic, a world ruled by shari’a in which no laws contradict the Koran.

To that end, what’s done in the name of Islam for the sake of Allah is entirely acceptable because deception was practiced by Mohammad, the perfect role model for all Muslims. If he practiced dissimulation against non-believers, that meant that non-believers got what they deserved, lies (taqiyyah) and kitman (half truths). Shamelessly done, such practices were believed to be legitimate, not requiring apology when exposed simply because their perfect role model’s example was being followed. And besides, what was being done was being done to lesser beings, non-believers, second class people who, the reasoning goes, would eventually benefit by being shone the light of Islamic belief.

Hence, the likes of Edward Said, famous for denouncing colonialists (and their authors) as Orientalists who had trampled on the cultural sensitivities of the (Islamic) countries they colonized, never admitted his cultural jihad. Still touted by the academic left as a ranking literary critic of Orientalism (his definition is below), Said deftly criticizes the “West” for its bias
“... despite or beyond any corrsespondence, or lack thereof, with a ‘real’ Orient.”

Sparking disdain for western literary arrogance, Said’s criticism puts westerners on the defensive. However, what he’s done is to redirect our attention from a much more insidious cultural attack by Islam on any of the countries it has invaded. Even at Emory University (please see: Orientalism - Emory University---English Department "Where ... Edward Said's evaluation and critique of the set of beliefs known as Orientalism forms an important background for postcolonial studies., there’s little mention of such things as the reason for such a short list of women authors in Islamic countries.

Nor is there mention of such works as Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books or its author Azar Nafisi; it doesn’t fit the curriculum.

Related, in that it’s a similar slight, are historical texts that condemn American slavery, that fail to mention Muslim slavers who operated 1000 years before America and one hundred years after emancipation. Please reference this from von Bismarck:
Reichstagsakten 1888/89, 7. Lp., Vol. 121, Attachment 41: Collection of Documents pertaining the Uprising in East Africa, No. 28: Directive to the Imperial ambassador in London
Friedrichsruh, October 28th 1888
It is to be desired that our agreement with England on fighting the slave trade and the import of weapons to East Africa will have the shape of an international agreement. Such a document would establish limits for the expansion of the continued expansion of the Muslim and slave trading movement, by the moral impression by the accord of the two European powers so far engaged there, and also, more propably, will lead to the cooperation of the other European states engaged. I propose the exchange of notifications between us and Britain, in which we take upon ourselves the obligation, under the condition (p.412) on an equal participation of Britain for the same purpose, to fight the anti-Christian and anti-civilizatoric movement which has emerged over the last years on the African continent, and to recognize the prohibition of the export of slaves and the import of arms and ammunition as the most effective means, as it is only the possession of superior arms and ammunitions which enables the Arab and Muslim minority to undertake slave hunts and wars necessary to obtain slaves, and to keep up the superiority of their race in Africa's interior. [my emphasis]

White lies that comprise taqiyyah compound themselves into a thick cosmetic that blends to normal the real visage of cultural jihad.

            B.Koplen  3/28/12

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[From Orientalism, New York: Vintage, 1979.]
Unlike the Americans, the French and British--less so the Germans, Russians, Spanish, Portugese, Italians, and Swiss--have had a long tradition of what I shall be calling Orientalism, a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European Western Experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely imaginative. The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles. . . .
It will be clear to the reader...that by Orientalism I mean several things, all of them, in my opinion, interdependent. The most readily accepted designation for Orientalism is an academic one, and indeed the label still serves in a number of academic institutions. Anyone who teaches, writes about, or researches the Orient--and this applies whether the person is an anthropologist, sociologist, historian, or philologist--either in its specific or its general aspects, is an Orientalist, and what he or she says or does is Orientalism. . . .
Related to this academic tradition, whose fortunes, transmigrations, specializations, and transmissions are in part the subject of this study, is a more general meaning for Orientalism. Orientalism is a style of thought based upon ontological and epistemological distinction made between "the Orient" and (most of the time) "the Occident." Thus a very large mass of writers, among who are poet, novelists, philosophers, political theorists, economists, and imperial administrators, have accepted the basic distinction between East and West as the starting point for elaborate accounts concerning the Orient, its people, customs, "mind," destiny, and so on. . . . the phenomenon of Orientalism as I study it here deals principally, not with a correspondence between Orientalism and Orient, but with the internal consistency of Orientalism and its ideas about the Orient . . despite or beyond any corrsespondence, or lack thereof, with a "real" Orient. (1-3,5)   (Edward Said's Orientalism: a Brief Definition

and this, regarding taqiyya and kitman:

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