Tuesday, December 09, 2008
An Islamic-Western Dictionary
Anyone who has studied foreign languages is familiar with one of the crucial tools of that pursuit, the bilingual dictionary: French-English, Italian-English, German-English—or, for the more rarified interests, Latin-English, Greek-English, Hebrew-English; etc.
An Islamic-Western dictionary, however, is a different kettle of fish altogether. While the foreign language dictionaries conduce to the curiosity and pleasure of learning another way of conceiving and formulating the world—whether with an eye to travel, or to do business, or to expand one’s intercultural horizons, or to read classics that tend to get lost in translation—the Islamic-Western dictionary is a grim manual with one overarching function: to clarify our knowledge of our most fanatical, most intolerant, most murderous, and most inveterate enemy.
It might be asked: Why “Western” in the name of the dictionary and not, say, “Infidel”, in order to broaden appropriately the identification of our side in this perennial struggle—since, as we know, it is not merely the West that is menaced by Islam, but the entire non-Muslim world? The answer is that, firstly, the main terms defined in this dictionary, as the reader will soon see, refer to sociopolitical concepts that are most classically epitomized by the Western genius, in the context of the historical origins and progress of its Judaeo-Christian and Graceo-Roman matrices; and secondly, that Western genius has come to rule the world in terms of sociopolitical ideas, aspirations, institutions and infrastructures.
A contributor to FrontPage.com, Henry Kadoch, recently provided a succinct adumbration of nearly all the essential terms that an Islamic-Western dictionary should define; and he also articulated the rationale of the peculiar nature of that dictionary—to wit, the perversely reverse nature of each definition which the Islamic mind demands when it seemingly mirrors Western ideas:
In order to understand what Muslims mean when they use a certain word, we must remember that in their minds and cultures, certain words do not mean anything like the accepted meaning we have for them in the West. For Muslims, the meaning of any word is very closely related to the traditional meaning of that word in the Koran and their other holy texts. . .
. . .we in the West are often dumbfounded by their words vs. their actions, because for us the words mean one thing, and for them they mean something entirely different. They are thus able to manipulate the uneducated listener into believing they agree, when in fact for the most part, they do not agree.
Mr. Kadoch then listed the terms with their definitions properly parsed so as to reveal that lexical perversion. However, as I will argue at the end of his reproduced list here, he has neglected to supply one key term (self-defense) which will illuminate the guiding principle that ties all the terms together into one coherent and interlocking whole. Along with that key term is another important term he neglected to include, innocent person. Furthermore, two other symbolisms require explication in terms of the perversity of Islamic definitions.
Here is his list:
Peace—The state of cessation of all resistance to Islam. Peace only exists when Islam rules politically and religiously, and all Islamic principles are established as the law of the land.
Freedom—Freedom exists when Islam and its principles attain complete dominance and constitute the entirety of religious belief and political rule.
Justice—The state when Sharia law is the law of the land, and all judicial decisions are based on it and it alone. Justice exists when non-Muslims have no standing before a court, and when the testimony of two Muslim women is equal to that of one Muslim man.
Equality—Equality is achieved when Muslims are the only leaders of society, and are given their rightful place as the best of men, leading all institutions, political and religious. This does not extend to non-Muslims or apostates.
Tolerance—The state when non-Muslims are properly subdued and subservient to Muslim rule, agree to their second-class Dhimmi status, and duly pay the Jizya to their Muslim overlords.
Truth—Truth is the accepted Islamic version of events, as laid out in the Koran and the Sunna. Anything beyond that is merely hearsay, and in many cases blasphemy. (see Lies).
Democracy—The state when Islam is the absolute law and religion, and all peoples conform to Islamic law and customs. (see Freedom).
Freedom—of Speech Freedom of speech is achieved when Muslims, and only Muslims, are free to espouse their beliefs, and non-Muslims are prohibited from commenting on or criticizing anything Islamic.
Just Society—A society ruled by Muslims under Islamic law.
Koran—Allah’s final word, perfect and un-altered, superseding all others and the true and only guide for mankind in religion, law and politics.
Oppression—The rule of a state by non-Islamic law; actions of resistance to implementation of Islamic law and Muslim rule.
Racism—The state where anything Islamic or any Muslim is criticized or rejected.
Infidel—Any and all non-Muslims. Subject only to conversion, subjugation, or death under Islamic law.
Slavery—The rightful and lawful status of any infidel captured in battle against Islam.
Treaty—A non-binding and temporary agreement between Muslims and non-Muslims, valid only until such time as the Muslims have the power to achieve by force or other means what they have momentarily failed to achieve.
Lies—The act of hiding the truth, permissible by Islamic law for a Muslim when in fear for his safety or when it advances the cause of Islam.
One term that needs to be added—a term used frequently by Islam apologists and, as with the other terms on the list, also subject to the Orwellian equivocation. It will be readily seen how my additional term is intimately linked with all the other terms listed by Kadoch and, with them, forms an indissoluble whole which one could subsume under the general rubric of Jihad (or Islam, for that matter)—and that term is:
Self-defense / Defensive war
Definition: The legitimate mobilization and deployment of military and/or paramilitary forces to resist oppression and more generally to resist the state of affairs when peace, freedom, justice, equality, tolerance, truth, democracy, freedom of speech, and the Koran are being infringed upon (see each of the preceding italicized terms in the list above).
Furthermore, along with self-defense/defensive war, there is the term innocent person, which is closely linked with it and with Jihad more broadly, since its obvious obverse, the guilty person, is under constant threat of violence from Muslims following Islam—not only currently, but also throughout 1,400 years of history:
Definition: two types:
1) anyone who is a legitimate Muslim
2) anyone who is not opposing the supremacy of Islam
—where type 2 is subject to somewhat more security than a non-Muslim liable to be seen as opposing Islam, but less security than a legitimate Muslim and therefore can never be sure his life, limb or property will not be threatened by Muslims for Islamic reasons in the future.
As we can also see, all these terms, when put together in a coherent whole, equal Islam itself. We can also add to that list the Sunna (which subsumes the Hadith and Sharia law) for Sunni Islam (as well as whatever the Shia equivalent is) as the practical concretion of Islam.
This key term, self-defense/defensive war, is of central importance, because what we would define as the aggressive and violent expansion of Islam—and all the violence that attends their long-term attempts to expand whenever, wherever and howsoever Muslims are engaged in reviving their perennial goal of world conquest—in the Muslim mind is seen as self-defense: the defense of their supremacist right to be masters of the world ever surrounded by wicked "enemies", in order to usher in the eschatological end of history so that their god may transform the Earth into eternal Paradise and finally abolish the struggle, the Jihad, in order for his creatures to finally relax and enjoy their animal appetites unto perpetuity, as they were meant to do from the beginning in the Garden, so whispered the serpentine Allah to Eve—before God ruined the whole thing.
Delving thus more deeply into the Islamic nebula of concepts, we find that even the ultimate desideratum of Paradise is subject to the perversity of the Islamic double-meaning: as I observed in a previous essay, one way to regard the obscenely glittery and massively sensual delights of Islamic Paradise would be to see them as the enticements of that mythically original deceiver, Satan, as his lure to win followers to his antithesis of Heaven—in the fullest and richest sense which the mystical meanings of that Christian symbolism intend, from the right order of human orientation in the tension of faith in existence between the perfection of love and the imperfections of sin in this life, to the tension-free eschatological existence of the perfection of love in the next life, paradoxically only experienced through our aforementioned tension in this life.
Which brings us to the paradox of Jihad itself and its lexicological perversity: on the face of it, the idea of Jihad appears to be an equivalent symbolism for the tension of existence, which is, in the Western Graceo-Roman and Judaeo-Christian traditions, the life of faith, hope and love borne in patience and humility reasonably balanced with the acceptance of the mystery of imperfection. In Islam, however, this apparently equivalent symbolism, Jihad—while certainly “tensional” in its sense of a “struggle”—is actually the demonic resistance against the tension of existence.
This demonic resistance is, in Islam, extrapolated in a grand and supreme belief-system that, in its totalitarian systematization, simultaneously deforms both the individual, and the Individual Writ Large: Society. In the former, the psyche of each individual Muslim is deformed in its perversion of tension into an intolerantly anti-tensional “struggle” against human imperfection. In the latter, there unfolds the deformation of society through the cultivated perversion of the tension of the progress of sociopolitical compromise among competing meanings of life—a progress that has been the ongoing legacy of the Western genius, evolving in a context of the painful wisdom learned through the blood, sweat and tears of centuries of argument, debate, dissension, conflict, violence and wars.
In the Islamic perversion of this tensional progress in its apparent equivalence, Jihad, there is a struggle positively disposed against any earnest development of compromise in a system of a balance of powers—a compromise which has cultivated the rejection of the supremacism of any one power over others in favor of a kind of international democracy of ideologies and religions. In the Western system as it has evolved, this democracy of ideologies and religions has developed into a kind of neutral super-system that rejects, as much as possible, the role of embodying and enforcing the meaning of life—as was the role of all previous political systems with their theocratic tendencies, including Christendom—leaving that role up to subsets within society reasonably expected to be multifarious and often mutually exclusive, and therefore accorded the rights of protection but not the right of trying to impose their meanings of life on others.
It is this overarching neutral umbrella of secularism, with its official and institutionalized accomodation of multiple meanings of life within its agnostic embrace, that Islamic Jihad cannot tolerate, and must “struggle” against forever, with the aim of overthrowing, in favor of a successful conquest and concretization of Islamic supremacism over the world—for according to Jihad as defined in its interlocking terms above, and understood in its anti-tensional sense, Muslims cannot tolerate the indefinite compromise of Islam within a loosely affiliated, horizontally arrayed international family of competing, yet cooperating, systems of geopolitical organization and existential meaning: Muslims must have, they long for, desire, thirst and hunger after -- are culturally encoded by their traditional blueprint -- to struggle perennially in order to realize a vertically arrayed global organization where Islam rules, and all non-Muslims are subjugated under Islam, and all who resist this are killed.
And in the face of this inveterately hostile struggle against us, we must collectively learn that our secular system of competitive cooperation—designed to absorb and accomodate as much diversity of meanings and organization as possible—has its limits and cannot tolerate a counter-system so intolerantly antithetical that it threatens to undermine our system. Against Islam’s struggle against us, we must therefore struggle—if not to win, at least to manage it in our favor indefinitely.