Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bernard Lewis on Muslim Rage (Part 1)

Side-note: I am still travelling but I wrote this on my notepad, and decided to publish it on the blog (via a thumbdrive) when I got the chance to access the Internet.

An Introduction:

In his infamous essay The Roots of Muslim Rage, which spawned the Hitlerian science of the clash of civilizations (actually, it has an entire section devoted to it), vulgar propagandist Bernard Lewis tries to explain Muslim anti-Americanism/anti-Westernism for his already partisan readership. The late Professor Edward Said remarked that the moment you hear the word “us” as in Lewis’s “our Judeo-Christian heritage” against the Other, you want to head for the door. That would mean walking a couple of miles if we’re going to be through with this tiresome ode to Lewis’s ego embodied by labels like “America”, “Western presence”, “Western models”, “revulsion against America”, “Western civilization”, “anti-Westernism”, “anti-Americanism”, “Western paramountcy” against “House of Islam“, “Muslim lands”, “Muslim dissidents”, “Muslim hostility”, “Muslim possessions”, “Muslim masses”, “Muslim response” etc. Let me mention that not once does Lewis in the course of this whole drivel mention anything about “Western rage”, “anti-Islam and Islamophobia” (in which he shamelessly indulges throughout, evoking some very hateful moods on which hate-mongers base their arguments), and when Lewis does consider, he chooses arguments that recoil:

Some Western powers, and in a sense Western civilisation as a whole, have certainly been guilty of imperialism, but are we really to believe that in the expansion of Western Europe there was a quality of moral delinquency lacking in such earlier, relatively innocent expansions as those of the Arabs or the Mongols or the Ottomans, or in more recent expansions such as that which brought the rulers of Muscovy to the Baltic, the Black Sea, the Caspian, the Hindu Kush, and the Pacific Ocean?

Take note of how he twists the entire attempt at introspection. And just to make it clear, Islam forbids imperialism and terrorism as they go hand in hand. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never spoke of invading another country or people. In fact, he was a persecuted refugee himself, and it was in the Year of Sadness that the Holy Prophet lost his beloved wife Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her. The other tactic that Lewis employs is intellectual camouflage, e.g.

A new variant of the old golden-age myth placed it in the Third World, where the innocence of the non-Western Adam and Eve was ruined by the Western serpent.

If you read Lewis’s writings, even this essay, you will find that Lewis is trying to establish this himself except the other way round. In Lewis’s world, the West is holy and the East is barbaric, serpentine and full of “rage”. The very fact that Lewis is so depleted on scholarship and lofty on American foreign policy propaganda tells us where all this is coming from. In the next part, I’ll talk about how Lewis is not so strictly referring to Muslims but the Eastern race, specifically the Arabs. This is interesting given Huntington’s, the torchbearer of Lewis’s rage, characterization of the Confucian and Islamic civilizations in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. Not even a molecular effort is spared by either Lewis or Huntington to come to common terms. An example of Lewis’s rage is the Iraqi conflagration which he advanced and supported with his neocon pals like Dick Cheney aka Hordak of the She-Ra cartoon grunting from the side-lines.

And if they ask what of the Rebellion against this neo-fascism that is gripping the self-proclaimed freedom lovers and corporate crooks, say we are. We salute our brothers and sisters in humanity from Korea to Mexico and we don’t feel any clash of civilizations but clash of egos. The bigger the ego, the bigger the propaganda and the gun of the M1 tank. In the words of Bernard Lewis himself:

It should by now be clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilisations—the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against that rival.

This is a bit of Lewis’s venom analyzed by the late Professor Edward Said in that memorable speech. Lewis must be glad to know that both his secular present and his Judeo-Christian heritage have been expanded and the Iraqi people are waiting with flowers for him and his cronies like Fuad Ajmi and Sheikh Kabbani. Just as it was predicted. And down the street, he’ll also find some WMD. After all, the lying Muslim-baiting war-mongering sanguinary drunkard Christopher Hitchens had found a correlation with Niger.


Dawood said...

As salaamu alaikum,

This has nothing to do with your post, but I know how much you like the american muslims against terrorism logo. Here is the new and improved version.

sindbad said...

Salaam alaikum,

I think this again suffers from a similar problem -- that of selective condemnation. But given that state terrorism is the major sort of terrorism, it's a good rejoinder to the previous logo.

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