Monday, November 17, 2014
I've long come to the conclusion that we cannot understand Islam by succumbing to our Western tendency to see the Other as some species of Homo Occidentalis -- i.e., by superimposing some behavioral model that makes sense in our worldview. This becomes doubly, trebly problematic, when the Other in question is the Mother of all Others, Mohammedans. We must, I maintain, always try to err on the side of assuming Islam is unique, and that Muslims, though they may sometimes appear to be behaving in ways familiar to us (particularly when they are seemingly assimilating), are in fact singularly alien.
I don't have much to go by save for a gut feeling, built on years of informal study of the issue, with its years of dot-connection I have tried my best to make intelligent and literately creative. One hunch I've had is that while Muslims may seem disordered at times, riddled with societal corruption and internecine pathologies, they yet seem remarkably capable of systemic coordination and "grapevine" networking, in their perennial pursuit of a Pan-Islam.
One glimpse into a theory that may describe this further, if not explain it better than any Occidentomorphic attempts, occurred to me on viewing a Nature video on certain animals that manifest a "swarm" style society, from which I've culled this TubeChop not much more than a minute long.
P.S.: The Google image I found for my article here is especially felicitous; showing a swarm of fire ants on a floor pullulating around a square box -- the whole scene remarkably resembling the Hajj around the Ka'aba.