l’amour, l’amour

Pour l’Islam, ce n’est plus du mépris que vous exprimez, mais de la haine?
M.H. Oui, oui, on peut parler de haine.
Est-ce lié au fait que votre mère s’est convertie à l’islam?
M.H. Pas tant que ça, parce que je ne l’ai jamais prise au sérieux. C’était le dernier moyen qu’elle avait trouvé pour emmerder le monde après une série d’expériences tout aussi ridicules. Non, j’ai eu une espèce de révélation négative dans le Sinaï, là où Moïse a reçu les Dix Commandements… subitement j’ai éprouvé un rejet total pour les monothéismes. Dans ce paysage très minéral, très inspirant, je me suis dit que le fait de croire à un seul Dieu était le fait d’un crétin, je ne trouvais pas d’autre mot. Et la religion la plus con, c’est quand même l’islam. Quand on lit le Coran, on est effondré… effondré! La Bible, au moins, c’est très beau, parce que les juifs ont un sacré talent littéraire… ce qui peut excuser beaucoup de choses. Du coup, j’ai une sympathie résiduelle pour le catholicisme, à cause de son aspect polythéiste. Et puis il y a toutes ces églises, ces vitraux, ces peintures, ces sculptures…

—Michel Houellebecq, entretien par Didier Sénécal,
publié le 01/09/2001

  1. En amour, il y en a toujours un qui souffre et l’autre qui s’emmerde.
  2. Jésus qui nous aime a tant souffert pour nous, donc il nous emmerde.
  3. En faisant souffrir tout le monde, Mahomet a évité cette erreur.
  4. Ainsi l’Islam a devenu la religion la plus divertissante du monde…

talking turkey on armenian superiority

Christopher Hitchens’ parallel between Turkish Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threat to cleanse his nation of 100,000 Armenian aliens whom it “tolerates”, and the Turkish “campaign of race extermination” that America’s then-ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau reported to the U.S. Secretary of State on 16 July 1915, has swiftly elicited the stock Turkish criticism of Morgenthau’s memoir, notwithstanding Hitchens’ lack of reliance thereupon. One Emre Ozaltin writes:

Absolutely schocking [sic.] that Morgenthau’s book is cited as a source, its content would embarass [sic.] all but the most ardent racist.
    Read: “The Armenians, are known for their industry, their intelligence, and their decent and orderly lives. They are so superior to the Turks intellectually and morally” among many other such gems.

The same passage by Morgenthau was quoted by Turkish Times, “the oldest English-language Turkish-American periodical in USA”, in May 2003, and echoed by Bruce Fein, a “resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America”, on 4 June 2009. In each instance, the genocide apologist tempestuous Turkophile omitted the point of Morgenthau’s proclamation of Armenian superiority:

This chronic omission begs the question of the reasons behind the passing of much of the Turkish business and industry into Armenian hands. While this development may be as plausibly credited to some unfair business advantage of the Armenian diaspora over their Turkish hosts hampered by their religious strictures against usury and profiteering, as it is to its intellectual and moral superiority thereto, there needs be no malice in a claim of Armenian cultural tendencies towards commerce finding fertile grounds in Muslim lands, even if it is conjoined with speculative comparison of intellect and morality.

Long before T.E. Lawrence enjoyed his buggery by Turkish guards in Deraa, Western physicians observed that the statistics of anal syphilitic chancres in the Turkish capital were “too horrible for belief”. While it may no longer be fashionable to decry “the practise of unnatural vice” or censure the promulgation of unmentionable maladies, it would be hard to conjure intellectually sound grounds for foreclosing inquiry into the extent to which the doctrines of religious deception (taqiyya) and dissimulation (kitmān) that are commonly identified with Iranian culture and Shī‘a Islam, might be habitually practiced by Turkish Sunnis as part of their gainsaying of the Armenian holocaust.

But the most important component of intellectual and moral fitness is the capacity for dispassionate and disinterested contemplation of issues and committed engagement in fair and open discussion on all matters of contention and disagreement. In this regard, every Islamic culture bears the burden of a permanent state of war against its infidel neighbors.

Thus the jihād may be regarded as Islam’s instrument or carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muḥammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief in God. The Prophet Muḥammad is reported to have declared “some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ.” [Abū Dā’ūd, Sunan (Cairo, 1935), Vol. III, p. 4.] Until that moment is reached the jihād, in one form or another, will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dār al-ḥarb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dār al-Islām is permanently under jihād obligation until the dār al-ḥarb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community which prefers to remain non-Islamic—in the status of a tolerated religious community accepting certain disabilities—must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dār al-Islām or be bound as clients to the Muslim community.

—Majid Khadduri, War and Peace in the Law of Islam, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1955, p. 64

This belligerence stands as the main obstacle in the way of integrating Turkey with Western society. And as long as it so remains, the discussion of intellectual and moral superiority of the Armenians over the Turks can disclaim all racist prejudice, finding an adequate rationale in historical records and religious doctrines.

sympathy for the devil

Double standards don’t work anymore; Germany has become too sophisticated. One way to look at Hitler’s scurrilous anti-Jewish tirades is as a provocation to focus people on the Jewish boycott against Germany, ever-increasing Jewish domination of European finance and professions, unrequited Jewish responsibility for German defeat and humiliation, and virulent Jewish contamination of Nordic races.

Iranian Nazi language can be vile, but any Islamist European peace — and engagement with Iran Germany — will have to take account of these points.

politically correct

After eight years of his third marriage, Muzzammil Hassan beheaded his latest wife Aasiya Hassan. His abridgment followed her filing for divorce that cited previous incidents of domestic violence. Both of Ms Hassan’s predecessors in Mr Hassan’s uxorial affections are on record with similar complaints. Coincidentally, Mr Hassan is the founder of Bridges TV, an award-winning television station chartered to counteract negative stereotypes of Muslims in America.

Liberal Western responses account for this act as “an anomaly, not in any way reflective of a rich, beautiful culture and a religion whose majority seek peace”. A Muslim community leader disclaims the act: “This is not an honor killing, no way.” He adds: “It has nothing to do with his faith.” After denouncing “that most basic foundation of prejudice: The insistence that one member of a group represent the entire group”, an active feminist and LGBTQI advocate blames “undeserved male privilege and the resulting second-class personhood of women”.

Indeed, the road to conclusions contradicting the title of Islam as “the religion of peace” is paved with unwarranted generalizations. On the politically correct and empirically witnessed view, the appeal of Islamic submission extends primarily to men, tribes, and nations in dire need of forcible pacification. Their violent outbreaks attest to this need without impugning their gender or confession.

odi ut amatura et amo ut osura

In his account of youthful character, Aristotle attributes all its errors to excess and vehemence in love, hate, and everything else. At their peril, the young neglect of the maxim of Chilon: Μηδὲν ἄγαν, Ne quid nimis, “Never go to extremes”. (Rhetoric 1389b4-5; Diogenes Laertius, Vitae Philosophorum I.41.) And as he turns to the flaccid dispositions of old men, Aristotle observes that neither their love nor their hatred is strong; but, according to the precept of Bias, καὶ φιλοῦσιν ὡς μισήσοντες καὶ μισοῦσιν ὡς φιλήσοντες—“they love as if they would one day hate, and hate as if they would one day love”. (Rhetoric 1389b21-25; DL I.87.) Prudential anticipation of reversals in love and hatred emerged as an early modern adage. Thus Erasmus commends it in commenting upon “Ne quid nimis” in Adagia I.vi.96. Likewise, Juan Luis Vives writes on behalf of the “Anima Senis”: odi ut amatura et amo ut osura—“I hate as if one day I should love, and love as if one day I should hate”. More recently, Tancredo Neves, the hero of Brazilian Democratic Movement, is said to always have remembered the motto of Getúlio Vargas, his former patron, role model, and predecessor in election to the Brazilian Presidency: “I have never made an enemy whom I could not approach or a friend from whom I could not separate.”—“Não tenho inimigo de quem não possa me aproximar nem amigo de quem não possa me distanciar.” (Ronaldo Costa Couto, História indiscreta da ditadura e da abertura: Brasil: 1964-1985, Editora Record, 1999, p. 322.) Striving to dislodge a military dictatorship, Neves boasted during his Presidential campaign, that if he got 500 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. He got the votes and was due to be sworn into office on the Ides of March in 1985. But a day before taking his Presidential oath, Neves fell gravely ill with a gastric tumor. Seven surgical bouts only served to aggravate his suffering. Neves died on 21 April 1985, the 193rd anniversary of execution and dismemberment of Tiradentes, the hero of Brazilian independence. Thus Tancredo Neves came to God after having slighted His will.

God’s will has swayed the fortunes of Jerusalem since 1095. A nominally secular state, Israel was founded upon the promise made by God to the descendants of Abraham. This promise is countermanded by the founding charter and ongoing policy of Hamas, which calls for the elimination of the Jewish state and worldwide extermination of Jews. And just as the Zionist project emerged in response to the political leverage of antisemitism, so Palestinian nationalism feeds off Jewish hegemony in the Holy Land. In more generic terms, Carl Schmitt cast the essence of the political as resting on the distinction between friend and enemy:

Der politische Feind nicht der Konkurrent oder der Gegner im allgemeinen. Feind ist auch nicht der private Gegner, den man unter Antipathiegefühlen haßt. Feind ist nur eine wenigstens eventuell, d.h. der realen Möglichkeit nach kämpfende Gesamtheit von Menschen, die einer ebensolchen Gesamtheit gegenübersteht. Feind ist nur der öffentliche Feind, weil alles, was auf eine solche Gesamtheit von Menschen, insbesondere auf ein ganzes Volk Bezug hat, dadurch öffentlich wird. Feind ist hostis, nicht inimicus im weiteren Sinne; πολέμιος, nicht ἐχθρός.
—Carl Schmitt, Der Begriff des Politischen: Text von 1932 mit einem Vorwort und drei Corollarien, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1963, p. 29
The enemy is not merely any competitor or just any partner of a conflict in general. He is also not the private adversary whom one hates. An enemy exists only when, at least potentially, one fighting collectivity of people confronts a similar collectivity. The enemy is solely the public enemy, because everything that has a relationship to such a collectivity of men, particularly to a whole nation, becomes public by virtue of such a relationship. The enemy is hostis, not inimicus in the broader sense; πολέμιος, not ἐχθρός.
—Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, translated by George Schwab, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996, p. 28

While Jewish nationalism emerged from the 1896 publication of Der Judenstaat by Theodor Herzl, its Palestinian counterpart originates in the 1948 dispossession of the Arab natives of the newborn Jewish state. In Aristotelian terms, their political predicament is rooted in the ardor of youth. Tancredo Neves was able to define his political mission in the terms of contingent animosities ungrounded in essential hostilities. No such definition is available to Israeli and Palestinian politicians, who continue to group their nations according to the friend and enemy antithesis. Thus the prospects of peace in the Middle East are foredoomed, as long as its neighboring and intermingled adversaries continue to regard each other as public enemies. There is as yet no basis for them to hate as if one day they should love. And for want of this basis, well-meaning Christian powers will meddle in vain.

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]history.

three cheers for ethnic cleansing

Bernard Lewis […] alluded to how Muslims, five hundred years ago, were taught to view living under non-Muslim rule. And though Lewis has declared that Europe will be Islamized before the end of the century — he said this as a fact, as something inevitable, as something which the Europeans were apparently helpless to resist, said nothing about Muslim discussion of the same subject today, now that tens of millions of Muslims are living in non-Muslim nation-states in Western Europe and North America. Lewis gave no guidance, no hint of what might be done. He, who had lived through World War II and the movement, often forced, of peoples after that war, never thought to allude to the Benes Decree. I assume that like all educated Europeans he thinks that the efforts of Masaryk and Benes, by which 7 million Czechs and Slovaks managed to expel 3 million Germans, was justified, but why does he not hint that perhaps the same kind of expulsions like those which were required to reduce what at the time was merely a theoretical future threat posed to 7 million non-Germans in Czechoslovakia, could certainly justify the need to preserve the civilizational legacy — Plato and Spinoza and Hume, Leonardo and Shakespeare, Dante and Quevedo (from whom Lewis borrowed some affectionate Spanish for a dedication) — of the Western world, lest it be undone by the most inexorable, and entirely unworthy, of subversives — mere demography, mere migration and overbreeding. Nor did Lewis say anything, on what might have been an occasion for salutary truth-telling and not for the usual slightly off, never quite direct or forthright, conversation à batons rompus.
Hugh Fitzgerald, Bernard Lewis: All That Glitters Is Not Gold, New English Review, April 2007