Saturday, June 17, 2006
Islam Redivivus—Part One
This first part which I post today will be a somewhat leisurely and verbose introduction to the topic. Please sit back, sip some cognac, and simply relax into my wordiness. As my overall narrative, explicated in two more posts in as many days, becomes tauter and more crystallized, the implications folded in to this first post will unfold and, hopefully, take hold.
In an earlier post, I mentioned the danger to the modern world of an Islam Redivivus.
Apparently, I did not coin that phrase, as I once thought (some proto-PC MC intellectual from the 19th century, Arminius Vambéry, may have been the first to use that phrase; though it seems, from a casual Googling, that the present use, at least on the Net, is mostly mine). Feeling a mite generous, I’ll save the reader the agony of a few mouse-clicks to find an on-line dictionary: redivivus means “making a strong comeback after a long hibernation”.
Right from the get-go, the word in this context implies a politically incorrect assumption: namely, that Islam used to be a great danger to the world. The politically correct assumption is that, if Islam poses a danger at all today (see my post The Leftist Two-Step, where I describe the sophistical process by which the danger Islam poses is denied in the first dance step, then suddenly acknowledged in the second dance step which seeks a clumsy alternative tactic to refuting the proposition), it is a new, unprecedented phenomenon, probably caused somehow by Western influence and/or interference; since we all know that Islam was a ‘great’ world religion with at least one if not many ‘Golden Ages’ of shining tolerance and philosophical genius putting to shame the dark and gibbous West of the time. This is not to mention the various tactics used to take the teeth out of any substantive critique of present-day Islam based upon a sound interpretation of the copious and globally disparate amount of disturbing data emanating from the trans-national world of Muslims—tactics which all boil down to attempting to surgically separate Islam from all serious problems emanating out of Islam, in order to preserve a pristine and blameless Islam from the “tiny minority of extremists who have hijacked a great and noble religion of peace”. Such tactics, when successful at least in the impoverished minds of some (actually successful in the minds of all too many in our time), would pull the Persian rug out from under any specter of an ‘Islam Redivivus’—since there is argued to be nothing bad about the original Islam that is supposedly making a comeback, the point being that our recent problems and dangers are some weird, unprecedented eruption, ultimately caused, in one way or another, by the evil West, either through its Colonial evils, or through its more recent post-Colonial crypto-Colonialist evils; or a combination of the two.)
At any rate, the proper thesis here is that this term, Islam Redivivus, implies that the dangerous imperialism of original Islam, based upon a deformed eschatology -- which is essentially and intrinsically supremacist, expansionist and geopolitical -- is making a comeback now in the 21st century, after a fallow period which some would date from the defeat against the Turkish Muslims attempting to conquer Europe at the end of the 17th century: roughly 300 years of Islamic hibernation, out of a total existence of 1,350-odd years. Doing the math, this means that Islam was an active and conspicuous danger for a solid millennium, then for various complex historical reasons, receded into itself and hunkered down for another three centuries, and only recently began stirring and waking up again. (In later posts, I shall argue that certain inflammations of post-17th-century belligerence on the part of Muslims—such as, for example, the Mediterranean piracy and the resistance of the juramentados of the Philippines—were expressions not of the triumphalist expansionism typical of the earlier millennium of Islam’s main history, but were, rather, expressions precisely of an Islam acting out in the historically changed context of a stupendously superior West that geopolitically frustrated Muslims in their normal entelechy typified by their former glory days—though those glory days were not, by any means, uniformly palmy.)
In Part Two, I will adumbrate more clearly and simply this 1,350-year career of Islam and attempt to sketch in some sense to the meaning and structure of Islamic history from the Infidel’s-eye view.