Sunday, July 13, 2008

What the Hedgehog Knows

This post was sent in by our commenter, Zenster. The editing work was done by me, with Zenster’s approval.


The fox knows many things, the hedgehog one big thing.
- Archilochus -

The sly and cunning fox may know many things but what does it really know? For all its conniving and craftiness, just as often the fox finds itself hounded to death by red-clad hunters, shot at the henhouse door or ignominiously draped about some vapid starlet’s shoulders. How can such wiliness just as often meet with so ignoble an end?

Even though foxes may be clever by half, their predatory nature still can get the best of them, if not the worst. As Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins observed, “It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.” Rapacity is not all it’s chalked up to be. Robert Browning once said, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” While that may be the case, an overly grasping nature can just as easily clap onto prizes far more dubious in worth than they might first appear. A blind pursuit of paradise-much as with even our very best intentions-can just as easily pave the road to Hell.

So much for Reynard … but what of Spiny Norman? We’ve heard from the oh so knowledgeable fox, now how about the hedgehog?

HedgehogHowever demure it may seem when not being confronted, the hedgehog bristles at any intrusion upon its domain. Willing to anoint itself in times of peril, it can obsess with almost single-mindedness when dealing with an enemy. Far more immune to venom than many other creatures of its kind, the hedgehog is possessed of a calmness that is much less apparent in more voracious beasts. In its own more peaceable kingdom, the hedgehog knows that predators must be presented with something less than an appetizing treat. What is it that the hedgehog knows?

With spines outthrust against encroachment, the hedgehog knows that freedom only comes with a serviceable defense. Its barbs are laid back when left unmolested but stand at the ready if assailed. The fox can only run when confronted with a more powerful foe, but the hedgehog is able to oppose a wider variety of threats. For all its savvy, the fox lives by fight or flight while the hedgehog can stand its ground. The hedgehog knows the freedom of being armored against ready attack.

So it is with Islam and the West. The Islamic fox knows many things. It has rules and rituals for every situation. However much this might look like the ultimate in contingency planning, nothing could be farther from the truth. Islam’s hidebound and immutable routines do not permit its adherents any adjustment in confrontations with the novel or innovative. In fact, collisions between calcification and inventiveness are all too often rather lopsided affairs.

This is part of what the hedgehog knows and the fox has yet to learn, by far.

Muslims have devised so many inviolable laws and regulations such that there no longer exist any avenues to circumvent even the most absurd or ridiculous of conventions. Lashed to its own mainmast, Islam remains enraptured by the siren call of excessive spiritual purity. The entirely demagnetized moral compass held by most Muslims bestows few favors upon those who escape, struggling ashore to the modern world.
- - - - - - - - -
Much like Scylla, Muslims devour their young with bomb vests and perform wanton human sacrifices by means of global terrorism; as with Charybdis, Islam’s all-embracing nature gorges itself upon human suffering and vomits forth a swirling torrent of misery whose final vortex is all too often a premature and violent death.

Islam has a hydra-like quality of sprouting even more oppression in response to any given assault upon it. Societal cannibalism and human sacrifice have been Islam’s preferred way since its inception. In fact, this cultural degradation of the Bedouin tribes existed even before Mohammad. He simply found a way to harness and use these aspects of desert tribal life to build a power base for himself. Thus, Islam’s eternally warring nature reflects a brutal cultural bias that is fundamentally Hobbesian.

In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Ironically, all that stands between the average Muslim and a life that is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”, is an inoculation of almost equally fatal potency. To this day, Islamic nations continue to exhibit a comprehensive cultural and technological retardation that defies ready explanation without examining its pre-Islamic foundations. When that image of Islam’s prolonged stagnation is refracted through the lens of Western perception understanding begins to emerge.

Much of Muslim life is quite, “poor, nasty, brutish, and short” because that is how it’s arranged. Poverty is not only endemic throughout the MME, but in fact prosperity is regarded as being inimical to Islam’s goals as an ideological system. Consider this quote about the now-dead but once close associate of Osama bin Laden, Yussuf al-Ayyeri:

The goal of democracy, according to Al-Ayyeri, is to ‘‘make Muslims love this world, forget the next world and abandon jihad.” If established in any Muslim country for a reasonably long time, democracy could lead to economic prosperity, which, in turn, would make Muslims ‘‘reluctant to die in martyrdom’’ in defense of their faith. [emphasis added]

Clearly then the imposition of poverty aligns with the aims of Islam. As to that other Hobbesian characteristic- “nasty”-few other words more accurately describe life under shari’a law. For one thing, a technologically illiterate culture assures that life will be “brutish”. And even if it were not industrially barren, Islam’s theology of Abject Gender Apartheid assures that the status of Muslim women meets the definition of “brutish”. Finally, the near-constant and deadly internecine warfare that permeates intra-Islamic relations, combined with technological lack of advanced medicine, guarantees curtailed life expectancy for most Muslims in the Middle East.

Where Islamic life departs from Hobbes’ otherwise dysphoric portrayal is in its tribal makeup. Life is not solitary. In this one respect Islam inoculates itself with an anti-venom of almost fatal strength. Again, we must summon up the lens of Western perception to make sense of how Islam copes with population growth. Burgeoning European populations led to increased productivity and a heightened sense of nationalism among those various ethnic groups that emerged from beneath the escutcheon of Pax Romana. Clearly, no such thing happened within the MME. Why is it that large Muslim populations never experienced any sort of similar fruitfulness?

While certain traditions within Islamic culture predate the birth of Mohammad that in no way prohibited them from becoming further entrenched by Muslim practices. Tribalism certainly preceded Islam throughout the entire Fertile Crescent. Yet, despite its claims of enlightenment, Islam has done little to dispel endemic tribalism. Moreover; Islam’s intrinsic structure actually perpetuates many of its own worst flaws.

“Uswa hasana, al insan, al kamil”, or Islam’s notion of the Perfect Man regards their prophet Mohammad as a supreme model for all human life. This single concept is emblematic of a recurrent theme within Muslim belief structures. During earlier stages, Islam was far more malleable than in its current iteration. There was a period when educated individuals were permitted to make independent or original interpretations of problems not explicitly covered by the Koran. Even if it was applicable only to them selves alone, such construal represented a significant departure from the Islam that we see today. Known as ijtihad, it was a method of autonomous legal reasoning that no longer has any substantial basis within the predominant and traditional schools of modern Islamic jurisprudence.

It is important to bear in mind that “the door to ijtihad” was closed almost one thousand years ago. Islam’s existing scholastic and clerical apparatus found ijtihad far too contentious to permit its ready adoption by a largely ignorant and unlettered adherents, most of them forcibly converted. In the decision to ban ijtihad was a bad seed, one whose germination sprouted a strangling ivy which overgrew what could have become a flourishing tree of philosophical inquiry.

In an attempt to protect their own power base from any disputation, Islam’s clerical aristocracy of that time slammed shut the door to ijtihad and opted for taqlid, literally “blind imitation”. To this very day taqlid continues to be manifested in the promotion of in rote memorization of the Koran. This same blind imitation is personified by “uswa hasana, al insan, al kamil”, in how Muslims regard Mohammad as the Perfect Man.

Taqlid served to trap Islam in amber. Blind imitation paralyzed the growth of Koranic doctrine and immobilized any migration away from those core principles espoused during its first few centuries of evolution. Even as modern Muslim clerics exalt Islam’s unchanging and enduring nature, outside observers are able to discern a pervasive stasis that continues to suspend all hope for modernization throughout the MME.

Even as Islamic doctrine imposes at least second-class citizenship upon unbelievers, a similar two-tier structure prevails within Muslim culture itself. By imposing taqlid’s blind imitation, Islam’s elite not only dispensed with troublesome challenges to clerical authority but cemented their political position as well. Thus by this purposeful retention of proto-Arabic traditions, Islam’s clerical elite rendered unassailable their own positions of privilege. Thus the classical model of nomadic Bedouin tribalism was ensconced in Muslim society despite its inapplicability to an increasingly metropolitan lifestyle.

What better way of immunizing oneself against competition than by setting your opponents at one another’s throats in the limitless arena of tribal feuds and blood vendettas? But having created a tableau of near constant strife within the ranks of underlings and potential usurpers, how then to moderate this chain reaction to keep it from melting down? It is a delicate balancing act to stoke fractious internal disputes amongst the rabble without having that fray bespatter the hem of authority’s robes. In a land of severely limited resources-both natural and intellectual-how does one prevent further fragmentation of quarrelsome tribes and their holdings while retaining complete power over them?

The solution to this conundrum was both a stroke of pure genius and base pandering to the foibles of proto-Arabic culture. Islam elevated the worst vices of tribalism to the level of societal virtues and then locked them into place through the mechanism of taqlid. Marriages were and are arranged as political or commercial transactions; love and happiness within these unions is not a consideration. Meanwhile, endemic nepotism continues to perpetuate the primacy of Islam’s elite even as preferential treatment cripples all creation of new wealth or power. Any other system would have been a threat to the dominion of those in control

Borne along in this tide of preferment and favoritism are other debilitating practices like corruption, graft and featherbedding plus numerous other forms of misconduct that are anathema to what the West would consider a healthy business ethic. One single driver within Muslim culture propels all of these societal ills but it is a necessity in Islam for it is, paradoxically, a near-fatal inoculation against what would otherwise be a solitary existence. Yet, due to historical divergences and differences between the West and Islam, this factor and its context within Muslim culture remains mostly unrecognized. Only the most seasoned of Western observers grasp this.

One fundamental phenomenon necessary to keep the tribal structure-with all its preferment-safely in place is consanguineous marriage (the wedding of first and second cousins).

A chart showing the global distribution of consanguineous marriage not only indicates its overwhelming popularity in Islamic countries but also bears an undeniable resemblance to a map of International Corruption Indices. All of which points up a fairly direct correlation between detrimental mating patterns and unhealthy business practices.

Historically, marrying a cousin solved numerous intractable predicaments inherent in the nature of tribal structures and the retention of power. Among them are:

1.) Consolidation, retention and avoiding the fragmentation of both business establishments and, in particular, landed estates. This is of especial importance in arid Middle Eastern climes because very small parcels of farmland become unsustainable.

2.) The efficient disposal of otherwise burdensome female offspring whose fertility might contribute towards a competing tribe’s growth if they were allowed to marry outside of the clan.

3.) Preservation or retention of tribal identity, specific religious affiliation, inheritance rights, traditional skills and, more importantly, further strengthening those alliances that serve to reinforce the position of Islam’s royal families and clerical elite.

Note how these historical traits are only of benefit to tribal cultures. Where it would be reasonable to assume that such archaic traditions should have been discarded long ago, this is not the case. Remarkably, consanguineous marriage is demonstrably independent of both religious and educational status for Muslims in the Middle East and Asia (and those who immigrate from there to the West). While for some this inherent cultural structure somehow seems to mitigate Islam’s culpability, this is also not the case. The rigidity and overwhelming persistence of tribal motifs in Islamic culture is self-imposed. The refusal to change in the face of overwhelming evidence that such practices are injurious is a function of Islam’s willful blindness to its own deficits.

Although these tribal motifs have evolved slightly over time, a cursory examination of modern political Islam reveals a preponderance of what Phillip Carl Salzman’s book, “Culture and Conflict in the Middle East”, labels a “dual pattern of tribal self-rule and tyrannical centralism [that] continues to define life in the Middle East”. In an article that examines Salzman’s work, Daniel Pipes couches his observations in terms of “agnates” or paternal relatives. It is these male kinfolk who go to battle and, therefore, determine the status of all who fall under their control. Pipes goes on to note these factors:

The imperative to aggregate more agnates than one’s neighbors, Salzman argues, means developing tactics to outnumber their male progeny. This has several implications:

Marrying one’s daughters to cousins, as a way for the family to benefit from their fertility.

Practicing polygyny, so as to benefit from the fertility of multiple women.

Scrutinizing other families’ females, hoping to catch them in an immoral act, thereby compelling their men-folk to kill them and forfeit their fertility.

The delineation of these ancient patrilineal traditions clarify the how and why of consanguineous marriage. While Islam did not originate these practices, it is clear that their continuation confers distinct benefits upon male-dominated Muslim society; to the profound detriment of women.

Claims have been made that consanguineous marriage actually protects women because such unions place them among relatives who might be more kindly disposed towards them. However, it is obvious that a friendly mother in-law represents quite the meager tradeoff in place of what the West considers to be normal, universal autonomy. Instead, women are forced both to endure Islam’s cruel policy of Abject Gender Apartheid and to internalize this as a good idea.

Islamic culture has a bias towards effective rather than efficient problem-solving methods. Thus, violence represents a highly effective tool that yields immediate results. Unfortunately, outcomes obtained this way are unstable and infantilize those members of society who are the objects of violence and terror as a method of societal control. In the long term, honest negotiation of mutually beneficial agreements is actually more efficient. The results of such negotiation are several: laws require far less energy to enforce and maintain and the freedom from violence by law enforcers allows individuals to develop a more mature moral code.

Since we have no modern Islamic culture that accepts Western ideas of jurisprudence it is not immediately clear how Islam’s doctrine of unilateral triumphalist supremacism and its rejection of diplomatic compromises forces it to pay a well-hidden but potentially lethal price.

Throughout Islam’s existence the vast majority of its expansion has been at sword point. Historic estimates of nearly one billion war dead stand as stark testimony to the legacy of Muslim aggression. Islam’s policy of Abject Gender Apartheid and its enslavement of women (the physically weaker sex) is an inward manifestation of its outward strategy towards other cultures. Thus Islam deliberately targets susceptible or vulnerable cultures in order to subdue them. The use of rape as a terrorist weapon and the enslavement of captured women is a matter of historical and doctrinal record, one that has been confirmed as recently as al Qaeda in Iraq.

Thus, while attacking targets of convenience lends itself to an apparently impressive track record, such expediency carries with it a distinct penalty. Easily conquered foes may not yield up the most desirable spoils of war. It was this bitter lesson that Napoleon learned during his Russian campaign. In the taking of wintertime Moscow, Bonaparte raided an empty larder and retreat became an exercise in slow starvation. Charles Joseph Minard’s superlative histogram of the Franco-Russian campaign is a remarkable single-page document that clearly explains a complex military misadventure.

In a slower, more devastating fashion, Islam is beginning to realize how ill-served it has been by its tradition of violent conquest. Through the enslavement of captured women, Islam has used genetic specimens of ipso facto weaker cultures. In what can only be a much deeper irony, even Islam’s golden age of exploration may have further augmented this problem.

In his paper, “Inbreeding and genetic disorder among Arab population”, biologist Keith Garbutt identifies the mechanism by which Islam’s propensity for conquering other cultures has been leveraged against it by the practice of consanguineous marriage. It involves the introduction and transmission of chromosomal alleles:

allele: n. One member of a pair or series of genes that occupy a specific position on a specific chromosome.

Garbutt goes on to note:

The consequence of consanguinity in the Arabic population is worse than typical. Although Arabs are usually identified as Caucasians, modern Arabic populations especially in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, are the result of a long history of blending with different human races (Der Kalustian et al., 1980). Arabs, Africans, Europeans, and other Asian people intermarried during wars, mass migrations, trade and religious practices (pilgrimage). All in all, this kind of “out breeding” rendered Arabic populations more susceptible to genetic disorders when comes to consanguinity; because out breeding introduced different deleterious recessive alleles common among other populations beside those alleles already common among Arabs.

By forceful abduction or, less often, benign commingling Muslims acquired the defective alleles of numerous other ethnic races. Through the reinforcement of consanguineous marriage Islam amplified these undesirable traits. Thus, it is not just due to cousin marriage that Muslims tend to suffer such high rates of birth defects. Ironically, these congenital deficiencies also are a direct result of Islam’s near constant aggression along its “bloody borders”. Islam’s intrinsic xenophobia has forcibly mandated the mating of Infidel women with Arab males. While Muslim men are free to mingle with women of any background, Muslim women are not. This lack of genetic reciprocity is a microcosm of Islam’s macro-world of unilateral privilege and preference for Muslims in general. That the West has allowed a culture with such lopsided values admittance to its shores is a dire mistake.

This is the “one big thing” that the hedgehog knows, namely, freedom.

However, Muslims are being permitted to pervert the enduring traditions of Western freedom in a number of hideous ways. We have already seen Islam’s attempts to remove our right of free speech. In war or peace our very best characteristics of humanity, fair play, decency and transparency are all being turned against us and used as weapons. Now, in a grotesque fashion we see one of the West’s most noble traits used against us as well; namely, our love for children.

When the West allows consanguineous marriage in its midst, this practice becomes a serious problem, not just for the health of Muslim families, but for Western civilization as a whole. The West tolerates Muslim use of our immigration clauses (designed to encourage “family reunification”), for the purpose of importing non-assimilating fundamentalist members of their tribes. Used as a way of strengthening resistance to integration, consanguineous marriage also serves to bolster a sense of solidarity among Muslims in opposing Western ideals. Hidden within this steamroller of demographic jihad is a poison pill whose effect is just beginning to be felt.

British studies have found that Pakistani immigrants are thirteen times more likely to have children with recessive disorders than the general population. Combine this with an already documented higher reproduction rate and the result is that Western medical facilities are being flooded with extremely expensive cases of pediatric congenital birth defects that-due to the frequently low income of the parents involved-levy an enormous financial burden on the welfare state and its taxpayers.

Whether through polygamy or a bottomless sense of entitlement, it is well-known that Muslim families absorb more than their fair share of social services, welfare and other state benefits. Intentional or not, the use of consanguineous marriage to further encumber what are already strapped medical care providers represents a uniquely cruel and predatory form of attack. Muslims are abusing the West’s longstanding emphasis upon the sanctity of marriage, family life and the welfare of children in a most callous fashion.

Rest assured that there will be blowback against any rational program of intervention or treatment. Ever sensitive to the least unintentional slight or humiliation, Muslim parents will disregard and probably reject any admonition regarding consanguinity. Even the slightest hint that a family might possess “bad genes” will be met with indignation and outrage. Merely using the medically correct term, “hereditary disorder” is sure to arouse hostility and inspire those involved to avoid proper treatment. Is it a fitting repayment of Islam’s cruel and barbarous nature that consanguineous marriage between Muslims is crippling their own culture?

Islam devours its young and trades upon their misery in its quest for world domination. The West must disentangle itself from this horrific apparition. It must halt Islam’s perverting effect on families and children.

The requirement for mandatory pre-nuptial genetic testing with respect to consanguinity should be standard just as is our requirement that individuals not practice bigamy. Along with underage and arranged marriages as a usual and customary procedure, consanguineous marriages should be considered illegal. Immigrants seeking to import a mate from lands with high rates of consanguineous unions should be subjected to DNA analysis along with their proposed partner. In this way cases of cousin marriage can be intercepted and legally barred from occurring.

Freedom is the West’s “one big thing”. It clearly overshadows the pestiferous minutiae of Islam’s unending shari’a rigmarole. Few images convey this better than the now famous, “Freedom Go To Hell“ placard held by a masked Muslim demonstrator. It is past time for Western people to make good use of their liberties before these rights become constrained at the hands of those most threatened by freedom. Like all the Politically Correct liberal politicians, Muslims cannot abide the notion of people being allowed to determine their own fate. To decline the innumerable benisons of Allah’s eternal laws is a dire insult to all Islam, just as rejection of the nanny state is an offense to liberal socialists. Independent, freethinking individuals will always be a huge threat to the hive-minded.

The West’s greater and inherent liberty has allowed it to discard many cultural dysfunctions. Some traditions are not worth keeping (i.e., slavery, racism, caste systems, etc.). This list must now include consanguineous marriage due to the number of closely related people who have come to live among us. Western individualism was embodied at one time in its almost unanimous rejection of marriage between cousins, with royalty being the exceptions to this practice. We ignore the trampling of this custom to our own peril.

By discouraging endogamy (inbreeding) the West promotes construction of healthy families. This fosters communities that are freely formed and are free of tribalism along with the graft, nepotism, secrecy and corruption inherent to areas of the world where the prison of consanguineous marriage prevails.

[Author’s note: I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dymphna for her gracious contribution in editing this work. Little was removed but much was improved.]


Fortress said...

Why stop them? Let them die.

JohnLobenstein said...

Zenter and Dymphna
Thank you for this outstanding post.

On other blogs and in discussion threads I had begun to describe Islam and Muslim societies as contemporary Bedouin tribalism. Either the other people in the threads did not know what a Bedouin is/was or I stated my point so poorly it had no influence. The latter alternative is solved. I only need to include a link to this post.

Thank you both.

Zenster said...

David: Why stop them? Let them die.

Why? Clearly you have missed one of the major points being made in my article. Providing intensive medical care for severely retarded or birth defect afflicted children already costs Western countries HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR. Allowing Muslim consanguineous marriages to unnecessarily up that number is not just insane, it also permits Islam yet one more avenue of economic jihad against the Infidel.

I suggest that you go back and read, The Fifth Generation Warfare, as posted in the July 12th Gates of Vienna News Feed. An excerpt:

… shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden called on Muslims "to concentrate on hitting the U.S. economy through all possible means... Look for the key pillars of the U.S. economy. Strike the key pillars of the enemy again and again and they will fall as one."

Here is a link to a 2002 article that discusses the overall cost of caring for severely retarded children in America and California. Some excerpts:

More than $35 billion in additional lifetime costs will be expended for all children in the United States born with mental retardation in 1998 alone. The figure is $4.7 billion for California children.

In addition, estimates of additional per-person lifetime costs for other developmental disabilities include $706,704 for cerebral palsy, $275,717 for hearing impairment, and $386,074 for vision impairment.2 Based upon these approximations, nationally, there would be $11 billion in additional lifetime costs for children born in 1998 with these three disabilities, $1.5 billion for those in California.

Consanguineous marriage represents an insidious and Politically Correct method of bleeding Western economies. It would be both a career killer and political suicide to even suggest that severely deformed or retarded babies knowingly given birth to by Muslim parents should be allowed to die instead of receiving medical treatment. As I mentioned in my article:

“… Muslims are being permitted to pervert the enduring traditions of Western freedom in a number of hideous ways. We have already seen Islam’s attempts to remove our right of free speech. In war or peace our very best characteristics of humanity, fair play, decency and transparency are all being turned against us and used as weapons. Now, in a grotesque fashion we see one of the West’s most noble traits used against us as well; namely, our love for children.”

If Muslims in Islamic nations wish to continue practicing consanguineous marriage, perhaps they should be allowed to. It will continue to contaminate their gene pool and drain their economies with costly health care. Even then there remains a danger in that retarded Muslim children are used as bomb vest killers by those vicious scum who remotely detonate them at a distance. Moreover, I have often mused about how:

“I shall be less than surprised if it turns out that consanguinious marriage promotes both a genetic predisposition for violent behavior and enhances susceptibility to programming or indoctrination. Combined with the existing propensity for mental retardation, this would go a long way towards explaining the savage, robotic and Neanderthal Muslim mindset.”

I am not alone in these speculations either. I suggest you go back and read all of the linked articles in Gates of Vienna’s previous discussion of this topic. Buried in them are observations nearly identical to that of mine about congenital Arab retardation being linked to terrorism.

Finally, a legal ban on consanguineous marriage represents one more way of making Western countries Muslim-unfriendly. This is of particular importance in how there are few objections that could be raised by the majority of non-Muslim people. Consanguineous marriage has been shunned by most Western nations for CENTURIES. It's a well-recognized fact that recessive and detrimental genetic traits are reinforced by inbreeding and therefore it is rightly frowned upon.

Radical or fundamentalist Muslims would resent this measure and seek the haven of countries that still allow this practice, thereby vacating Western nations intelligent enough to enact such bans. This would help stem the flood of totally unassimilated tribal relatives being allowed entrance under “family reunification” clauses in our immigration policies. What’s more; Muslims who complied with the ban on consanguineous marriage would be those more apt to integrate into Western culture and this would, literally, help breed up whatever possible strain of “moderate” Muslim there might be, if such a thing even exists.

JohnLobenstein, you are most welcome. I'm glad that this article has been of service to you.

babs said...

Great article!
While reading through the first part I thought of printing it out for my less astute friends. Unfortunately, this article is at the graduate school level and therefore not eligible for regular, uninformed people. By that I mean, you need to already have a body of knowledge, as well as a fairly sophisticated vocabulary, in order to follow along.
I do take issue with one point. That is the shutting down of outside exploration within the nation of Islam.

"In an attempt to protect their own power base from any disputation, Islam’s clerical aristocracy of that time slammed shut the door to ijtihad and opted for taqlid, literally “blind imitation”.

Yes, I have heard this before but, I am not sure that this was a "political" decision. I would appreciate further conversation on why Islam turned inwards. What, back in the 1600's?

Also, it would help the uninformed if you put some dates to your events.
Overall, quite an effort Zenster. You should have this published in some journal or other that is not afraid of libel suits... (hint, don't peddle it in Canada right now)
What is your educational backround? Reading this I would think that you are a University Prof. but then, are there any Profs willing to put their head on the chopping block with this type of analysis left in the western world?
I will print it out anyway. My less than informed friends can slog through and maybe get 10%. That's better than nothing.

Zenster said...

babs: What is your educational backround? Reading this I would think that you are a University Prof.

Thank you for your generous assessment. I am a high school graduate. Admittedly, when I graduated my high school was among the top ten in all of America but that is no longer the case. As an autodidact, I am self-taught in all my areas of expertise. I'm glad you enjoyed the article so much.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit, I shied away from reading this at first when I saw the length, but I am very glad to have read it now. Keep up the good work, Zenster.

Zenster said...

Thank you, Natalie. I'll do my best to maintain this sort of quality. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.