School Bully for President
When people are tired of condescending nuances and onslaught of cliches, they become cynical, dismissive and give the pulpit to the bully. The bully returns the favor as he bares their visceral fear and goes about dumbing down the dialog. All that remains is to decide how to lynch the victim.
"We are all Muslims"
Now it was clearer: the civilised world— where laughter or leisure was not a crime against divinity—was getting cosier, and thereby more vulnerable, in its selective, politically convenient appraisal of Islamism. The political class could not discard platitudes in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Whenever a politician, invariably the leader of a victim state, said ‘Terror has no religion’ or ‘Don’t vilify Muslims’, it was a disingenuous assumption, and a convenient distraction. No faith divided or terrorized or subjugated people as Islam did in the world after the Cold War. A meaningful conversation on it was impossible because condescending liberals and meek politicians assumed that talking about Islam was denigrating Islam. This cop-out—and the accompanying face-off between ‘Islamophobia’ (a stigma attached to anyone who dared to break the consensus) and ‘Islamofascism’ (a visible version of domination and dehumanization)—made the sanguineous God freer, and the domain of fear wider.
- Prasanna Rajan, Open Magazine
Religion of War
Devout Mohammedans assemble in four different ways.
1) They assemble several times daily for prayer, summoned by a voice from on high. The small rhythmic groups formed on these occasions may be called prayer packs. Each movement is exactly prescribed and orientated in one direction - towards Mecca. Once a week, at the Friday prayer, these packs grow to crowds.2) They assemble for the Holy War against unbelievers.3) They assemble in Mecca, during the great pilgrimage.4) They assemble at the Last judgement.
As in all religions, invisible crowds are of great importance., but in Islam, more strongly than the other world religions, these are invisible double crowds, standing in opposition to each other.
The bi-partition of the crowd in Islam is unconditional. The faithful and the unbelieving are fated to be separate for ever and to fight each other. The War of Religion is a sacred duty and thus, though in a less comprehensive form, the double crowd of the Last Judgement is prefigured in every earthly battle.
When the days of peace are over, the Holy War comes into its own again. "Mohammed" says one of the greatest experts on Islam, "is the prophet of fighting and of war... What he first achieved in his Arabian sphere he leaves as a testament for the future of his community: the fight against the infidels, the expansion, not so much of the faith as of its sphere of power, which is the sphere of power of Allah. What matters to the fighters for Islam is not so much the conversion as the subjection of infidels." The Koran, the book of the prophet inspired by God, leaves no doubt of this.
"When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them.Arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush for them."
Crowds and Power - Elias Canetti, 1962