Leaving Islam





This line of thought seems to be shared by many Leftists, which is why they feel perfectly justified in stifling the freedom of speech of their opponents, even by violent means. A Marxist is a person who doesn’t believe in God, but still thinks he is God’s representative on earth. As Eric Hoffer says: “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.” Perhaps what we are seeing in Europe is a coalition between two religions, Socialism and Islam, united not in the belief in the same God but in hatred towards the same Devil: The capitalist and Judeo-Christian West. The attacks Western Leftists mount on Christianity have little to do with “tolerance” and a lot more to do with discrediting a troublesome rival creed that stubbornly keeps blocking the road to Utopia.

One of the reasons why so many intellectuals in the West accept the idea that Islam has been “misunderstood” is because this is the same excuse they use for their own favorite: Marxism. Famed historian Eric Hobsbawm has for instance argued that Marx was misunderstood, and that the Communism of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union wasn’t “real Marxism.” It certainly was real for the tens of millions of people whose lives it destroyed. If an ideology results in devastating failures everywhere it is tried out then there is not something wrong with the interpretation, there is something with the ideology itself. What good is a “guide” that leads people to shipwreck every single time?

Although weekly magazine “The Economist” can be plain awful when dealing with issues related to Islam or Muslim immigration, they can still be sensible on other subjects. In an article called “Marx after communism,” they demonstrate how Leftism is in fact a new religion:

It is striking that today's militant critics of globalisation proceed in much the same way (as Marx himself). They present no worked-out alternative to the present economic order. Instead, they invoke a Utopia free of (…) social injustice, harking back to a pre-industrial golden age that did not actually exist. Never is this alternative future given clear shape or offered up for examination. And anti-globalists have inherited more from Marx besides this. Note the self-righteous anger, the violent rhetoric, the willing resort to actual violence (in response to the “violence” of the other side), the demonisation of big business, the division of the world into exploiters and victims, the contempt for piecemeal reform, the zeal for activism, the impatience with democracy, the disdain for liberal “rights” and “freedoms”, the suspicion of compromise. (…) Anti-globalism has been aptly described as a secular religion. So is Marxism: a creed complete with prophet, sacred texts and the promise of a heaven shrouded in mystery. Marx was not a scientist, as he claimed. He founded a faith. The economic and political systems he inspired are dead or dying. But his religion is a broad church, and lives on.

Claire Berlinski, author of the book "Menace in Europe: Why the Continent’s Crisis Is America’s, Too" also notes how many Europeans, when asked, will declare themselves more alarmed by American imperialism than by Islamic radicalism. According to her, Europeans have in recent memory suffered two great losses, that of their religious faith and that of its replacements—ideologies involving the idea of human perfectibility, leaving Europeans paralyzed by shame and self-doubt. They have retreated into a kind of cocoon of technological and physical comfort. Americans are much more hopeful for the future than Europeans, partly because they are more religious in a conventional sense. But Americans also have an idea of what it is to be American. “America’s sense of itself doesn’t include the memories of the Somme and Passchendaele; it doesn’t include the memories of Auschwitz and Dachau. It is still possible for Americans to revere their own nation without irony, to revisit its past without despair.” Berlinski connects the death of Christianity in Europe with Europe’s anti-Americanism, which can reach such passionate heights that it strays from anything that can be remotely described as rational and approaches the status of quasi-religion:

What I’ve noticed is a quasi-religious and messianic character to this anti-Americanism, particularly in the way it seems inevitably to be linked to anti-modernism and anti-Semitism. It is this mystical element of the anti-American movement that is both most interesting and alarming. Anti-Americanism, particularly as it is expressed in Europe, seems to me more than an expression of simple inanity, nostalgic yearning for greatness past, or an external projection of failed social programs. The critical question, I think, is what kind of spiritual void, what kind of existential emptiness, does anti-Americanism serve to fill?

Ali Sina is not a stupid man. He sees this, too. In order to subdue people and impose on them your Marxist ethos, Sina says, you have to rob them from their own identity, their own culture, heritage, mores, government and religion. Once you rob them from their identity and selfhood, you can shape them in any way you like. “The society can live without religion but it can't live without morality. We must not throw the baby with the bathwater. Judeo-Christianity has done a lot of harm, but it has done also a lot of good. It has given birth to the greatest civilization that mankind has ever known. Let us not be biased. This democracy that has brought to the world this much progress in the last couple of centuries, could not have been born in any other culture.” Later, however, Ali Sina says that: “I admit that Judeo-Christianity has outlived its utility.” Then he goes on to criticize ALL ideologies, not just religious ones: “Ideology is evil. It robs one from rational thinking and once one loses that ability, he become like an animal. To the degree that you subscribe to an ideology, any ideology, you become dehumanized. Man is noble because he is capable of independent thought. You lose that through beliefs and ideologies.”

Sina’s motto is “Don’t be a follower, be your own Prophet.” But is this feasible? I would argue that most human beings are neither willing nor able to come up with their own set of moral values, and even if this was possible, I’m not sure whether it would always be desirable. Don’t we then wander into the territory of moral relativism, Multiculturalism and “to every man his own truth,” precisely what Ali Sina himself warns against?

As somebody once put it: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.” The retreat of the traditional, Judeo-Christian religion in Europe during the 20th century left the door open to a new set of “religions without God” that in many ways proved at least as harmful as the “intolerance” they were supposed to replace. Marxism killed more than 100 million people during a few generations. The negative argument against removing the Judeo-Christian religious base of the West could thus be that whatever flaws might exist in the old system, what will replace it could well turn out to be worse. There are also more positive arguments in support of it, which I will discuss in the second part of this essay.



Go to Part 2 





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