The young men of Islam: perpetually angry and disaffected

If you read nothing else today, please read Fouad Ajami’s devastating indictment of the Islamic culture, a culture that encourages perpetual disaffection and anger with the world at large:

‘A Muslim has no nationality except his belief,” the intellectual godfather of the Islamists, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote decades ago. Qutb’s “children” are everywhere now; they carry the nationalities of foreign lands and plot against them. The Pakistani born Faisal Shahzad is a devotee of Sayyid Qutb’s doctrine, and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was another.

Qutb was executed by the secular dictatorship of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966. But his thoughts and legacy endure. Globalization, the shaking up of continents, the ease of travel, and the doors for immigration flung wide open by Western liberal societies have given Qutb’s worldview greater power and relevance. What can we make of a young man like Shahzad working for Elizabeth Arden, receiving that all-American degree, the MBA, jogging in the evening in Bridgeport, then plotting mass mayhem in Times Square?

The Islamists are now within the gates. They fled the fires and the failures of the Islamic world but brought the ruin with them. They mock national borders and identities. A parliamentary report issued by Britain’s House of Commons on the London Underground bombings of July 7, 2005 lays bare this menace and the challenge it poses to a system of open borders and modern citizenship.

Read the rest here.

Contrary to the red-necked cretin liberals envision when they think of the average conservative, I’m sophisticated enough to understand that not all, or even most, Muslims are radical Islamists — but they certainly adhere to a faith that encourages a particularly malevolent radicalism that seeks to spread its tentacles throughout the world.  And if you’re a silent Muslim, who doesn’t speak out against your religion’s excesses, you are complicit.  In a PC world where no one but a group member can criticize the group itself, silent members are as bad as the active ones.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    My own experiences with Muslims, which are mostly good and which include many of my past and present friends, convinces me that they only have a vague notion of what exists in the Koran. It was a Muslim Kuwaiti  friend that loaned me her English-language Koran to read, confessing that she didn’t read it herself. So, they are like the majority of professed Christians in that regard – i.e., only vaguely aware of what their holy book is all about.
    But, as one of my Christian Iraqi friends lamented, the book is obsessed with sex, plunder, pedophelia and violence. Yup, and the killing of those that don’t agree with you. I don’t know of any other religious faith that demands the same of its adherents.
    The question in my mind is what is it about our society that forces us to avert our eyes away from the nature of Islam (not necessarily Muslims). Have we become so intellectually decadent that we can no longer confront the ugly realities of the dangers that face us and name the danger for what it is?
    Several people (including Adjami, who is one of the great minds of our century) have suggested that we are witnessing the death throes of “old’ Islam, eventually to be replaced with a modern interpretation of the faith. Faster, please.

  • Tonestaple

    Here’s another article well worth everyone’s time.  The one thing that makes Islam completely unsuited for the west is “inshallah” and a belief in predestination and a lack of free will.  This also accounts for the impressive stagnation of Islamic countries.  To the extent that you believe that everything that happens is the will of Allah, you abandon any pretense of being able to affect your world.  Everything you do, including murder in the course of jihad, was ordained by Allah so you may as well go ahead and indulge in your basest behavior and to hell with anyone in your way.

  • 11B40

    Small point:  There’s no “d” in Mr. Ajami’s last name.
    I’ve been reading Mr. Ajami’s writings including his “Dream Palace of the Arabs” and “The Foreigner’s Gift” for about the last ten years and he has done more to shape my understanding of Arabs and Muslims than any other writer.  I have yet to find anything he has done that has been well worth my time.
    He has introduced me, through his near poetic prose, to the deep psycho-social disfunction that is the Arab/Muslim culture and to how determined its adherents are to hang on to its medieval, tribal world view.   I have almost no hope that those people will ever be released from their mental and behavioral enslavement.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I have a brother-in-law who was an instructor pilot with the U.S. air force.
    He told me that he  hated flying with the Arab pilots: he would take them into a dive in a T-38 trainer and, when he would nervously ask them if it wasn’t time to pull back on the stick as they fast approached ground-level, the standard response would be  a shrug and “insh’allah”.

  • Bookworm

    In the Middle Ages, the Islamic world was a very sophisticated place, equal to, though quite different from, the Christian West.  Indeed, the Western world benefited from the Crusaders’ passing through and pillaging, not just tangibles, such as jewels and towns, but also intangibles, such as math and preserved Greek and Roman thinking.  But while the West moved on into the future, the Islamic world remained mired in the Middle Ages.  And what was sophisticated for 1273, is terribly retrograde in 2010.  One suspects, therefore, that there is indeed something in the mindset created by the religion that makes for cultural and mental flatlining.

  • johnfromcolumbus

    Bookworm wrote “And if you’re a silent Muslim, who doesn’t speak out against your religion’s excesses, you are complicit.  In a PC world where no one but a group member can criticize the group itself, silent members are as bad as the active ones.”

    I was just having this conversation recently and I couldn’t agree more.  Remarkably enough, Bill Maher’s documentary ‘Religulous’ emphasizes your point when he takes aim at Islam.

  • 11B40

    I just discovered that National Review Online has an interview with Mr. Ajami in its “Uncommon Knowledge” section.

  • Ymarsakar

    Book, that’s because most of the islamic culture you admire came from conquered people.
    Arabic numerals? Came from the Afghan/Pakistan area, aka India.
    The architecture and stuff? We all know where the Hagia Sophia came from. While Buddhist stuppas were destroyed, I can’t say for certain that their designs weren’t copied or modified.
    Then there is the Persians. Followers of Zoroastrianism with their own cultural heritage, up until Islam took it all over, of course. Then there’s Turkey, who had their own nomadic or semi-nomadic cultures taken over, of who we can’t even recognize the names of now because it is a Black Sea cultural artifact that Westerners didn’t pay much attention to.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Egyptians were a combination of Monophysitism, Roman/Greek influences, and Alexander the Great issues. When Islam conquered them they gained everything that they didn’t burn in the Library of Alexander.

  • Ymarsakar

    So if you see decay, Book, it is because Islam hasn’t been able to conquer and steal from other cultures in awhile. Not any “modern” cultures, that is.

  • Ymarsakar

    “So, they are like the majority of professed Christians in that regard – i.e., only vaguely aware of what their holy book is all about.”
    I think it is more like they depend upon priests and mullahs to interpret the Koran for them, so they have no need to read it for themselves. Inshallah, after all. If Allah had wanted them to know what was in the Koran, he would tell them through the Islamic religious institutions.