Wednesday, January 29, 2014

( 16 ) Conclusions Derived From Reviewing " A World Without Islam "

By Sodium

Graham Fuller, author of the book, " A World Without Islam " has divided the content of his fascinating book into the following three categories:

~  Category One: " Heresy And Power "
~  Category Two: " Meeting At The Civilizational Borders Of Islam "
~  Category Three: " The Place Of Islam In The Modern World "

The following conclusions are mainly based on the three categories cited above, ( I may quote Graham Fuller, when and where I may see appropriate ):

~  The world has existed since time immemorial and certainly before the appearance of Islam on the world stage. And the world has been suffering from violence and conflicts before Islam came into existence. Therefore, pointing accusing finger on Islam for the current violence in this world does not really hold water. In short, it is fundamentally the human conditions that have produced violence and so many recorded conflicts, not religion per se. Religions have been used, till present time, to either cover-up achievements of well-defined political agenda, or as profitable instruments for cash-flow by certain " religious " institutions.

~  All three Abrahamic religions, namely, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are connected by certain and well specified theological facts, based upon their respective and fundamental tenets. Yes, indeed, there are differences, but the similarities are well recognized. Hence, tolerance can be achieved, if the concentrations are directed on the similarities instead of the differences.

~  Both Judaism and Christianity have their own internal and external problems. There is nothing really new for Islam to have its internal and external problems also.

~  Because of so many heresies founded in Christianity due to so many different views on the nature of Jesus Christ, (Christology ), so many different Christian Churches had evolved and developed. Islam has well recognized and well established four main, " Mathahib, "  meaning, " Schools of Thought. "  They are:

               Hanafi School of Thought.
               Maliki School of Thought.
               Shafi'i School of Thought.
               Hanbali School of Thought.
~  All three Abrahamic religions have been used by rulers, political leaders and governments to achieve their geopolitical agenda through out human recorded history.

~  On page 139 of the book, " A World Without Islam " Graham Fuller has made the following statements and I quote:

         " Samuel Huntington, in his book, THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS, employed the infelicitous phrase " Islam's bloody border."  In a world that is fairly bloody overall, it's worth remembering that it generally takes two to make a border bloody. "

It seems to me that was an extremely brilliant response to Huntington's subjectivity, or, most likely, Huntington's obvious bias against Islam.

~  As Islamic civilization had gradually declined, The Western world's Reformation and Age of Exploration had moved on the world stage, as a potent trend which eventually became a potent force that conquered and colonized the Islamic world. The firm adherence of Muslims to their religion across the globe, including the Muslim minorities that are living within some major countries of the Western World had created the animosity between a declining civilization and a rising one. But this apparent religious animosity has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity as much as with geopolitical struggles. Once more, Graham Fuller makes this point clearer by the following statements of his; and I quote them as they appeared on page 245 of his great book:

      " Religious Muslims tend to agonize over a possible loss of a moral direction in the decline of their civilization, but there are indeed other more objective reasons that must also be cited in the relative decline of the East and the rise of the West. These factors have little to do with Islam and a great deal to do with political and geopolitical changes in the world, as well as other objective external factors. In short, If Islam had not existed, it seems very like that the course of most of these events would not have been significantly different. We witness, for example, civilizational exhaustion in cases like China in the late nineteenth century as well."

Based upon the above quotation, it seems to me that the ruling class in the imperialist West must have a big enemy to keep, what President Dwight Eisenhower called, " The Military Industrial Conflict, " functioning profitably. Communism was the enemy before the collapse of the Soviet Union. After the demise of the Soviet Empire which was considered the " Evil Empire " by the ruling class in the West, a big enough new enemy must be found to replace Communism and its protector, the Soviet Union. As I inspect the map of the globe, I could not see bigger than the Islamic world that qualified to be the new enemy that could match the old enemy, communism and Soviet Empire, in bigness. Hence, the ruling class of the West has decided to make Islam and the Muslim World as the new enemy, for other reasons beside bigness.

 ~  To put it as clearly as possible, it will not serve justice, nor will it serve reality to " Islamize " the current violence the modern world is encountering and making it institutionalized in the Western institutions, while the real and huge violence is currently being committed by certain Western powers against the Muslim World. In short, the West must look in the mirror long and hard before pointing its accusing and bloody fingers, stained with Muslim blood, at Islam and Muslims. The proof is consisted of so many criminal acts of violence that have been committed by certain Western powers against innocent Muslim population across the globe: (A) destruction of Iraq, in 2003, as a functioning human society and a major Arab Muslim country, (B) what Western military powers have been doing to the innocent Afghani people, by the mighty military strikes and especially by the DRONES, military airplanes without pilots, and (C) lastly, but not least, the killing of innocent Muslims, across the globe, has been done in the name of what seems to be an endless War on Terrorism, while the imperialist West is the greatest terrorist of them all.

Final Words:
The cited conclusions in the foregoing are the main conclusions which one may be able to deduce from reviewing the book. But they are not the only ones that could be derived from the whole book. In fact, the number of possible conclusions that can be derived from the book, as an integrated whole, are almost endless. However,  the intent, here, is mainly to provide the interested readers, who have no access to the book, a degree of understanding of what the book is all about. It is hope that such an intent has been achieved and accomplished.




Monday, January 20, 2014

( 15 ) " What to Do? Toward a New Policy with the Muslim World "

By Sodium

This is the outline of the review of the last chapter of the book, " A World Without Islam " by Graham Fuller. Hence, it means that it is the last topic of the series of topics entitled as " A World Without Islam, " As Reviewed By Sodium. What remains, in this connection, to outline is the conclusion or conclusions which might have been reached in the course of the entire reviews from the first topic through the last one. I may summarize such conclusions in the next topic. But now let me outline what Graham Fuller has written as to this topic, ( 15 ) " What to Do ? Toward a New Policy with the Muslim World. "

Graham Fuller has started this topic by critically questioning the lack of agreement on the definition of terrorism, in the international community as a whole. However, his hardest criticism is directed on the definition of terrorism as put forward by the Defense Department of the United States. He has quoted such a definition as follows:

" The calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological. "

And Fuller's response to the above definition is as follows:

" The political hooker on this statement (definition) is the phrase "use of unlawful violence."  No definition is offered for the term "unlawful," but it appears to mean "not sanctioned by government." Yet isn't this precisely what political struggles usually revolve around lawful?  Modern Western thinkers tend to define the state as possessing the sole legitimate monopoly on the use of violence. Thus "state" = "lawful."  That equation may be appropriate in most Western democracies where governments rule by consent, but it is a far shakier argument in authoritarian states that exclude and persecute political opposition and where change often never comes about except through some kind of  "unlawful" activity. Such governments seek to ensure that all opposition is "unlawful." And such activity is often encountered by what, in effect, are forms of state terrorism directed against a significant group of its own citizens. "

He goes on to make the following important facts about the Muslim and developing worlds:

" In the contemporary Muslim World-and we are not just talking about Muslims, but about the entire developing world---there are at least three conditions under which the use of political violence becomes arguable: overthrow of despotic regimes, struggle for national liberation, and armed resistance against foreign occupation."

It seems to me that Graham Fuller has totally and completely repudiated the definition of terrorism offered by the United States Department of Defense.

It also seems to me that Fuller is a strong believer in the "Principle of Cause and Effect." In other words, terrorism is an effect resulting from a real cause. And unless the cause or causes of terrorism is or are well understood and well defined correctly by the whole international community, all efforts invested in fighting terrorism will not stop terrorism. And it has become clear to me that by writing this topic, as the last chapter in his great book, he faithfully is trying to help his own country and the rest of the Western world to overcome terrorism by eliminating its causes. And in his attempts to persuade his fellows Westerners, he offered the following strategic thoughts:

* Western military and political intervention in the Muslim world-all highly provocative to Muslims-must cease so that the area can begin to calm. That means withdrawal of all US and Western forces from Muslim soil

* Efforts to identify and stymie terrorist acts must be carried out through intelligence and police work; capture of terrorists should be the prerogative of international organizations or local countries, and not by the United States operating on an illegal extraterritorial extension of its sovereign rights to capture and assassinate individual at will.

* The United States must withdraw its special support from pro-American dictators that discredit the US, give the lie to US-stated commitments to democracy, and only lead to the buildup of more explosive political environments and anti-American resentment.

* Democratization must be allowed to proceed in the Muslim world, but Washington must not be the vehicle for its implantation. Ideally, Washington must keep its hands off the process so as not to tarnish it, as has been the case in the past, through association with US Self-interest. Past selective and instrumental use of democratization by Washington for pursuit of US strategic goals has discredited the very concept of its democratization programs.

* An early solution to the Palestinian problem must be found. It is perceived across the Muslim world as the single most egregious case of foreign imperialism, which has displaced local people and cast them into desperate living conditions in refugee camps, imposed second-class citizenship upon them in Israel, or pushed them into exile---for more than sixty years. Palestinian suffering has grown, accompanied by a radicalization that has spread beyond Palestine. The crisis demands a quick solution, the general outline of which are well known to all parties. The Israeli colonization efforts in Palestinian territories must end and be reversed.

* If only a tenth of the potentially one trillion plus dollar squandered by Washington on Middle East wars, which have sown death and destruction with little to show for it, could be devoted to building schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, and training institutes, the region would be transformed, the US image would soar, and huge progress could be made in living conditions.

* Enlightened US policies could soon bring an end to international and transnational sources of violence and radicalism; domestic sources of violence in individual in individual countries require separate analysis and treatment in accordance with local conditions, and, in any case, pose a lesser immediate problem.

* Only Muslims (i.e.., locals) in the end will be able to find solutions to dealing with Islamic (i.e., local) radicalism.          

Final Words:
I have tried not to burden the readers with lengthy reviews as much as I possibly could. Whether or not I have succeeded in my attempts I really could not tell, one way or the others. My intent from the very beginning of these reviews has been to provide the readers a clear idea about the content of this great book, " A World Without Islam." Whether I have succeeded in fulfilling my intent or not, that is not for me to say. Only the readers who read carefully all the entire reviews from the very beginning till the end are the most qualified jury in this connection. And I accept their verdict, whether it is positive or negative. I have done the best I could for dedicated readers of this website.

However, I have said it in the very beginning of the reviews that the best way to get a profound feeling what Graham Fuller, the author of the book, has tried to convey to his readers was ( and is ) to read the entire book from cover to cover. There is no other alternative, regardless how hard I try to help out. Well, at least I have tried to help those who have, for different reasons, no accessibility, whatsoever, to the book, let alone reading it from cover to cover.

At any rate, I wish to express my profound thanks to those dedicated readers who had encouraged me to continue my attempts in publishing the series of the reviews, at a time I almost had given up on the whole project of the reviews of this fascinating book, because of the serious technical difficulties I had encountered, in the middle of the reviews. Without their encouragement, patience and understanding of the dilemma I had encountered and which was beyond my control, the planned reviews of this series of topics would not have been achieved and completed, at all. To them and them alone is due all the credit and my profound thanks and appreciation.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

On The Death of Ariel Sharon of Israel.

By Sodium

Based upon what I know about Ariel Sharon, a former prime minister of Israel, and a well known war criminal, ( Sabra and Shatela's massacre in 1982 in Lebanon, and Qibya's massacre in Palestine in 1953 ), he deserves no eulogy from me, or from any other self-respecting human being who sanctifies human life. In fact, I say bluntly, to anyone who cares to listen, his death is a GOOD RIDDANCE.

All those world's leaders who eulogized him are nothing more than a bunch of liars, because they know, as well as I do, that he was a warmongering psychopath and thief; and above all, a war criminal who should have been brought to International Court of Justice to face justice, for his accumulated criminal acts against humanity.

I publish this post to remain, hopefully without deletion, as a witness and reminder, for all future generations, across the globe, to read and be well aware of who really Ariel Sharon was, in spite of what the self serving political eulogists had said, in compliments, over his death..

I say it once more: his death is a GOOD RIDDANCE.