Our Children Are The Guarantors

Defending Zionism from its detractors. Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. Let the other side apologize for a change.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reform At Will (Not)

“Reform”. For those who are not into the dhimmi mindset, for those who do not believe terrorism is “resistance against Western imperialism”, for those who recognize that we are the ones who are up against an imperialistic ideology, called Islam, that word is the last glimmer of hope for true lovers of peace, the only alternative to World War III. If Islam could be reformed to be like other religions, whether personal or national or having dreams of worldwide acceptance but through the power of the deity or of intellectual persuasion rather than through human military efforts, then the need to confront it on the worldwide battlefield would be spared from us. But hope is one thing; every hope needs to be evaluated by a study of its feasibility.

Is religious reform at will possible, and if so, how long could it take? Time is of the essence here, because, as Fjordman emphasizes, it will not do us much good to witness the reform of Islam after the demographic jihad has brought our states down on their knees before the god of the Koran. In an attempt to answer these questions, I compare religions and reformations in them; not all the comparisons may be applicable to Islam, yet the workings of the religious mind share some common points that can shed light on the issue.

The idea of religious reform at will suffers from the bias of the outsider view (“outsider” not necessarily meaning atheistic, but the view of anyone who does not share the belief system in question—for example, the way I view Scientology): it rests on the belief that one’s religion is a human artifact, a lump of clay to be molded as desired. This is decidedly not the view of any serious religionist. He who believes his religion to be lower than its practitioners will not follow it for long. That is evidenced not only by religion throughout all of history, but also today, in the situation where, for example, fundamentalist Christian churches are full to brimming with people, especially young people, while the liberal churches, those which assume religion to be man-made and malleable, sport a handful of old people. Religion is adhered to, not despite but because of its making demands on people; even truer today than in the past, for today religion serves for countless people their anchor against the emptiness of McDonaldism (a.k.a. globalism and consumerism).

Reforms have happened; sometimes they really did happen as a result of religious authorities sitting on their council and making decrees, but never did a reform take place out of a desire to fix “errors inherent in the religion itself”. The errors any religious reform is meant to fix are errors caused by humans deviating from the pristine state of the religion. That is an important fact that must be remembered when discussing religious reform, whether it be the historical Protestant Reformation or the future prospect of Islamic reform.

Historians say the Protestant Reformation opened the way to the Enlightenment, first by making the Christian Bible compulsory reading for all, then by allowing private interpretation of it—a process which, when carried to its conclusion, led people to doubt the religion itself. It goes without saying, however, that Martin Luther did not have the current Episcopal Church, with its woman priests, homosexual bishops, dropping of the Christian exclusivist message and substitution of Marxism-inspired social utopianism for it, in mind. He did not want to create a new church at all; he believed himself to be bringing Christianity back to its roots after centuries of (again, his belief) creeping apostasy.

Luther would have met the same fate as the Bohemian reformer Jan Huss (burned at the stake the previous century). However, he was backed by German princes who wanted lands of the Catholic Church for their own. Here is another fact about religious reform: unless there is political support for it, it will be crushed by the original form of the religion, by some way or another. That crushing need not be physical elimination; it can just as easily be religious ostracism, which delegitimizes the movement of reform. No Conservative or Reform Jews have been accorded by Orthodox Jews the treatment given to Muslim apostates, yet Orthodox Judaism has cut off those reform movements as legitimate branches of Judaism, and does not recognize their authority.

Religious reform can take the form of decree by the religious authorities, as in the case of the Second Vatican Council, but it often occurs quietly, as a de facto change. For example, in 18th- and early 19th-century Orthodox Judaism the acrimony between the chasidim (centered on the mystic layers of Torah study) and the mitnagdim (the more traditional sect, focused on debating Talmudic issues) was comparable to the aforementioned relations between Orthodox Judaism and the two reforming branches, but in the course of the 19th century the controversy died out. No religious decree declaring the end of the dispute was ever issued by the mitnagdim; the change happened just so, and Chasidic Judaism is now together with Yeshivish (or “Lithuanian”, because most of the mitnagdim were there) Judaism under the roof of Orthodox Judaism. As to why it happened, researchers are reasonably certain that it was because of the necessity to unite against a common enemy: the Enlightenment, with its challenge to faith (and, consequently, Reform Judaism). The circumstances can elicit religious reform, whether de facto or de jure; in both cases, this is not about a group of people sitting and saying, “Hey, let’s get with the times and reform our religion”.

Islam underwent reform in the 19th and 20th centuries. Previously, the advances of the Ottoman Empire had kept the religion in a complacent state; as the duty of jihad was being executed by the Sultan, there was no need to reform. But the Ottoman Empire began its decline in 1683, with the second unsuccessful siege of Vienna, and from the 18th century onward the scientific and industrial revolutions gave non-Muslim Europe military superiority to conquer many Islamic states. The distress of the Muslims at losing their dominions prompted them to try out various reforms, among which were nationalistic movements such as Pan-Arabism, Nasser’s Arab Socialism and the Baath movement. But already in the 19th century the voices of “Returning to the Original Islam” could be heard, as in Mahdi-ruled Khartoum, which took its toll on the British colonials, including their general, Gordon.

The figurehead of “Back to Islam” and “Islam is the Solution” is the Muslim Brotherhood (or Brethren), set up by Hassan Al Bana in the 1920’s. It is described as a reformist movement; that is perfectly correct, but this is exactly the opposite kind of reform we clamor for. Bana and his successor Qutb were no different from Luther in wishing to bring the religion back to its pristine state, away from its perceived current state of mass apostasy. They had, as Robert Spencer says repeatedly, no problem recruiting the canonical sources of Islam for their purpose. Here is yet another fact of religious reform: the weighty legacy of the canon.

I have brought this useful example before: Orthodox Judaism does not permit females to wear pants. This injuction is from the Torah (Deuteronomy 22:5), and the rabbinical interpretation of it gives the rule that males are to wear pants while females are to wear a dress. Now, you might find an Orthodox Jewish girl here and there who goes with pants, but that can in no way be taken as an example of religious reform. She will usually be condemned by her parents for that, if not by her society as a whole; and most importantly, no Orthodox Jewish rabbi could ever give it a de jure recognized status. Another example from the same area: boys and girls dancing together in Centrist Orthodox (also known as Religious Zionist; that’s where I belong) up until the 1980’s. It was a de facto custom; Rabbi Neriah zt"l had no problem mustering the Orthodox Jewish canon to put an end to that practice in the 1980’s. A de facto deviation can linger on for quite a time, but if it does not influence the canon, it cannot be called a reform. The writings of the Chasidic rabbis are now part of the Orthodox Jewish canon, which is why Chasidic Judaism is part of Orthodox Judaism now even though the mitnagdim never issued a decree to that effect. Pants for females and mixed dances are not forthcoming to Orthodox Judaism; anyone who dared to make changes in that department, be he even a well-respected rabbi, would be ostracized.

The change of times and circumstances may nudge religious reform. The prayer-book for Centrist Orthodox Jews adds prayers of thanksgiving for Israel’s Independence Day; the Ultra-Orthodox have not added those prayers, yet in the recent Lebanon War, last summer, they prayed for the safety of the state of Israel, something that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. The Neturei Karta huggers of Ahmadinejad, for all their religiosity and orthodoxy, are shunned universally for the traitors they are, even by anti-Zionist Satmar. In the case of women’s attire, there is no motive for reform; whereas, in the case of the agunot, women who cannot remarry because their husband refuses to divorce them and has fled to far away, the issue has gotten pressing today, so that many Orthodox Jewish rabbis have endeavored to find a remedy.

In summary, religious reform must first have a motive, and then it must withstand the opposition, not just of the mainstream branch, but of the mainstream canon of the religion. When we observe the state of Islam in our day, we find both requirements scarce at best. We would wish Islam to reform away from the jihad ideology, but we must ask ourselves: what motive is there for such a reform? The prerequisite for reform is the recognition that something is wrong, but the jihad ideology only brings rich dividends to the Muslims, foremostly because non-Muslim dhimmitude shows them that it pays. Jihad is, as Robert Spencer says, supported by the canon of Islam; to find room for repudiation of the jihad ideology within the canon, let alone to challenge the canon, requires an extraordinarily heavy lever of circumstance. It requires showing the Muslims that the jihad ideology is their undoing.

But that is not what is going on in the non-Muslim world right now. As long as Western universities, supposedly the bulwark of freedom of thought (but in reality hotbeds of Marxist sedition), detain students for stepping on flags with “Allah” written on them or for reprinting the Mohammed Cartoons, the reform of Hassan Al Bana and Sayyid Qutb will be the only one toward which the Muslims turn, for they are given daily proof that the two were right in stating that the return to the original Islam of jihad would restore the old glory of the Caliphate. This state of affairs adds to Fjordman’s warning that we may not have enough time to wait for Islamic reform: as things stand now, the awaited reform has zero chance of happening at all. Pacifism ensures the prospect of world war once again. G-d help us all.

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19 Comments:

Blogger Yankee Doodle said...

Interesting. And, I'm going to have to come back and re-read it. A couple of quick points, though:

1) Western Imperialism nothing. Muhammad gave birth to Arab Imperialism under the banner of Islam. As more people were brought into the fold, Arab Imperialism evolved into Islamic Imperialism.

2) The attacks from the Islamic World into Europe were Arab and African colonialism. Spain was a colony of Africans long before Europeans began colonizing Africa. The Reconquista is what ended African colonialization of Spain; Europe's colonialization of Africa, the discovery and colonialization of America, began where the Reconquista ended.

3) Currently, the Islamic world has turned away from its original Arab domination. The Saudi-backed spread of Wahhabism has for two centuries been an attempt to bring the Islamic World back under Arab domination, and re-Arabify Islamic Imperialism.

Consequently, we should be talking about Arab Imperialism, Arab and African colonialism. And it was brutal. Arab Ideological Imperialism and Islamic Imperialism still are brutal, even more so in the last two centuries.

February 13, 2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Yankee Doodle,

Thanks for the comment. The relationship between the Islamic religion and the Arab ethnicity is something I wrote about first in my post Ishmael's Spiritual Spawn (December 13, 2006), and then, building on it, in my post Iran between Cyrus and Haman (January 26, 2007), where I opine that the interests of the Iranian nation have been hijacked by Islam.

I would prefer to avoid making this an "Arab vs. non-Arab" issue, because it feeds the enemy's (both Islamic and Marxist) accusation of "racism", while we have to keep hammering the point home that we are up against a global, supra-racial movement, whatever its ethnic origin was centuries ago.

February 13, 2007 2:27 PM  
Blogger kahaneloyalist said...

ZY, since as you have shown Islamic reform in the direction we want is extremely unlikely, the question becomes if we dont want to become Dhimmis or dead what do we do?

Shy of Genocide there may be other options, in Islam when the Muzzies are weak they may temporarily put off Jihad as happened for brief periods of time especially in the late Ottoman period. So if we are willing to be incredibly cruel and make Dresden look like a picnic. So that the Muzzies are desperate for us to stop, it may be possible to work out a truce lasting centuries. But most people pale when they hear this as an option.

February 13, 2007 5:41 PM  
Blogger Yankee Doodle said...

I see your point, but an imperialistic ideology must be confronted as such.

By parallel, I would not have wanted to make an issue dealing with the Nazis into a German/French or German/British one. But, hey, if the shoe fits....

There are many Arabs who are Christians; obviously, they don't deserve blame for Islamic Imperialism.

The fact is that Islam is a foreign religion to Iran, Pakistan, etc. Over the centuries, people in non-Arab countries adapted Islam to their cultures somewhat. Wahhabi Islam, which is born, raised and promoted from Saudi Arabia, seeks to eliminate these other cultural influences, brutally and violently. And, the Koran was supposedly given to Mohammed in Arabic, and so is not authoritative in translation: that's Arab cultural imperialism.

Pakis, Turks, Iranians, they all need to know they will be second-class citizens in the Islamic world as it is evolving. The whole Islamic world is based on having such distinctions -- dhimmis, for example; House of Islam, House of War.

Wahhab essentially said that what those people are practicing isn't true Islam, and that they are therefore as bad as infidels, if not worse, since infidels never became Muslims, but those people did and have left the straight path. Therefore, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia -- they're all House of War.

Islam is an ideology of conquest and discrimination and exploitation.

Not my fault -- I didn't invent it, neither did I reinterpret and spread it as Wahhabism.

I'll read your other articles when I have some time -- thanks for the links! :)

February 13, 2007 8:19 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

KL,

All I know is there isn't a politically correct way to win this war. Victory may not involve "going medieval" on the Muslims, but it most certainly will involve acts of what is now called, "cultural imperialism".

Solutions have been bandied about in the "infidel bloggers" circle for several months now. Fjordman gives some of more reasoned ones (see the "Fjordman Report" sidebar on Gates of Vienna); for my part, I did a stint at a plan way, way back on August 14, 2006, and a more detailed one posted as a comment on Gates of Vienna, on December 21, 2006 (my second comment there).

Meanwhile, here in Israel it's looking more and more like Rabbi Meir Kahane (hy"d) was right. Take a look at this recent piece, from ZNET (which is just a summary; see the PDF for the whole lowdown on the prospect of Israeli Arab loyalty). As I said at the closing of this post: G-d help us all.

Yankee Doodle,

The tension between Arabism and universalism in Islam can be exploited (as can the Sunni-Shi'a conflict). However, whether it's oil-rich Wahhabis or Iran-funded Shi'as, Europe is under the same threat of being Islamified. The conflicts between the Muslims may mean there could never be a single, unified Caliphate, but that's cold comfort for your average Frenchman or Dutchman if he has to be a second-class citizen in his own country. As Fjordman says, we're not at the moment at the stage of countering the Islamic threat on its Middle Eastern core lands, we're still at the stage of countering it at home, in the West. That's precisely why I, no antiwar activist by any stretch of imagination, think the US adventure in Iraq was a mistake from the start (and Afghanistan too). Our priorities need to get straight.

February 13, 2007 10:37 PM  
Anonymous religion of pieces said...

SUPPORT THE CAMBRIDGE PATRIOT !

Mobilize the Blogosphere!

Counter-jihadist bloggers must not abandon this young man. Cambridge University is trying to hush things up, probably to avoid interrupting the flow of petrodollars rather than protecting the student from any more death threats in addition to the ones he's had from the University and City Muslims (town and gown Muzzies united!)

When everything has quietened down, the student is likely to be hauled before a Kangaroo Court - the Clare College Court of Discipline, which will meet for the "first time in living memory" (do they still conduct their trials in Latin?).

He is likely to be charged with 'Racial Incitement' (Yes I know Islam isn't a race - but try explaining that to a Cambridge professor). He will be given a fair trial and then expelled.

The two other possible charges are 'Blasphemy' and 'Bringing the College into Disrepute'. The former is extremely dodgy because blasphemy has historically only applied to the Christian religion.

As for ' Bringing the College into Disrepute' , it could be argued that the spineless dhimmified College dons have done far more damage to its reputation by grovelling before the threat of Mohammedan thuggery than has the student. Counter- jihadists may choose to put this view to the Clare College authorities.

Clare College has obviously many moonbats in its ancient belfry - their first reaction on seeing the cartoon was to call the police! In this environment a fair trial is impossible.

It is likely that the Kangaroo Court will be a travesty of justice and will sit in private with the student not being allowed representation or to call supporting testimony (Contrast with the very similar Charlie Hebdo case in France).

The judge and jury will no doubt consist of those sneering postmodernists, Marxists and politically correct jobsworths who detest and work to undermine the very civilization that supports these parasites in the style to which they are accustomed.

Islamically-aware bloggers need to send out the message loud and clear that it is every Briton's birthright - and indeed every Briton's patriotic duty - to ridicule the three totems of the barbarians.

Islam is an absurd and primitive belief system - philosophically, theologically and cosmologically (the sun setting in muddy spring etc).

However, it is impossible to defeat Islam by rational argument, because most Muslims are profoundly irrational and ignorant. They are primitive tribalists who have no understanding of logically reasoned discourse. But like all tribalists they are acutely sensitive to their totems being dishonoured. This, as Ali Sina pointed out [1] , is where they are at their must vulnerable. They cannot tolerate their totems being mocked .

THE FIRST TOTEM which we should ridicule is the one and only foundation of this Satanic cult, that depraved violater of innocence, the monstrous Pervert Mohammed himself. The original Danish Motoons were actually quite mild compared with what was to follow [2]. The Clare college student is to be congratulated in bringing his fellow undergraduates' attention to the intrinsically violent nature and institutionalised pedophilia of those who model themselves on Mohammed's sick psychotic personality.

THE SECOND TOTEM which we should ridicule is the basic doctrine of Islam. The foundational belief of Islam is that Allah is a brothel-keeper [3] and Mohammed is his ponce, and you get to screw 72 virgins and bugger 24 pretty pre-pubescent boys in Allah's brothel in the sky if you kill enough infidels. If bloggers can make this doctrine into a standing joke we've gone a long way towards destroying Islam.

THE THIRD TOTEM of Islam is the koran - Mohammed's murderous hate manifesto . Mohamedans are acutely sensitive to the book being 'humiliated' in any way (like being put on the bottom shelf in a bookshop - it should always be on the top shelf next to the porn). There are many ways of humiliating a koran, and infidels are encouraged to find novel approaches. You don't even need to vandalise or deface the book. Returning it to the college library containing that greasy bacon wrapper which you were using as a bookmark should cause a major riot.

Finally, to repeat my main message. We need to let the snivelling dhimmis at Brown-nose college know that the bloggers are watching them like hawks.


TOTEMS

[1] Why mocking Islam is so effective: http://ibloga.blogspot.com/2006/02/some-very-enlightening-thoughts-from.html


[2] More Motoons
http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/extreme_mohammed/
http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/000783.html
Mo the filthy child molester...
http://www.faithfreedom.org/audio/Islamsnot4me.htm


[3] Taking the piss out of Islam. 72 virgins and 24 boys with liquid brown eyes....
http://www.factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000079.html
http://www.islamcomicbook.com/lyrics3.htm
http://www.newyorker.com/shouts/content/articles/070129sh_shouts_martin

February 14, 2007 4:05 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Sayyid Qutb

As one who has followed the blog world on its views of Sayyid Qutb, your discussion of him and your take on this character is interesting. You may be interested in visiting and contributing to a blog that explores the totality of Qutb and Islam in the form of considered essays.
http://anti-sayyid-qutb.blogspot.com/

Enjoy

Dave

February 14, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger kahaneloyalist said...

Dave, Qutb was an evil man but he didnt create anything new. He simply took Islam to its logical conclusion. So I think focusing overly much on him is a mistake in that it is not his philosphy that is the problem but Islam itself.

February 14, 2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger Yankee Doodle said...

Religion of Pieces: spread this around -- We Do This for Allah (And Our Seventy-Two Virgins)

ZY: You've got some great points.

One course of action, situation permitting, could be just to place the whole Islamic world under guard, contain them, and let them wipe themselves out. A variation of that may become a factor in taking down the radicals.

Personally, I get quite irritated when I see Israel getting attacked, then, as Israel responds, the world calls for Israel to show restraint. I think the world should be much more forcefully demanding that the radical terrorist culture shows restraint, and when they don't, it shouldn't just be Israeli tanks hunting them down!

Regarding strategy, I'm an American, we've got a different history, and I have a different view. After Pearl Harbor, we didn't fight in Hawaii; we went straight to Tokyo with a small raid, then worked our way there until we were just pummeling them. We weren't going to fight in California or Hawaii; we were going to fight in Japan.

Similarly, after 9/11, with all its Saudi and Taliban connections, we had to go to Afghanistan. Where I give Bush bad marks in foreign politics is that once we had the bad guys down in Afghanistan, we should have been kicking them. We let up.

I understand Bush's reasons for going into Baghdad. But, we seem to be conveniently overlooking Riyadh. Wahhabism = terrorism, and the House of Saud has been supporting Wahhabism since the days of Wahhab himself.

We've gotten bogged down in Iraq, we've lost a great deal of moral support from the world after 9/11, our military forces are getting worn out, and what do we stand to gain? We're treating symptoms, not the disease.

The disease is in Saudi Arabia; beyond that, Bin Laden has nukes, and nobody can seem to find him or them. First things first; make an example out of them, then ask Iran if they'd care to talk.

February 14, 2007 2:16 PM  
Blogger Al S. E. said...

President Ahmadinejad's views are summarized on this website: ahmadinejadquotes.blogspot.com

February 15, 2007 5:41 AM  
Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

What an outstanding analysis!..I will blogroll u pronto.

February 15, 2007 6:34 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Thanks, Angel!

I love your blog. It's loopY in a positivE way. :-)

February 15, 2007 7:22 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Dave,

Thanks for the site, it looks like it'll provide me with some new points to address.

Yankee Doodle,

You did, though, put Japanese-American citizens in internment as precaution. In the case of this war, dealing with the enemy at home isn't just a precaution, it's all-important, because infiltration from within is this enemy's modus operandi (which was not the case with the Japanese or even the Germans in WWII).

The point most deserving emphasis, in my opinion, is how President Bush undoes whatever good is done in Iraq when he admits thousands of Saudi students to the USA as residents. Victor David Hanson has repeatedly said that what's making this war hard for us to win is that the enemy is perfectly capable of operating stateless, biding its time until it takes over its host (just like a virus works). If not for their penchant to withdraw restraint from themselves, as in 9/11, we might all still be sleepwalking.

Al S. E.,

I expected a "correction" on the "wiped off the map" bit. It's all the rage on Daily Kos dairy komments. But you're clutching at straws, as even Reuters doesn't buy it.

But even if that interpretation is plausible... you know what they say, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me". Before 1939, the "It can't possibly happen" crowd had the benefit of there being no precedent; now, they have no such cause for credence. I said this time and again: this is an issue on which we Jews cannot afford anything but to err on the side of caution.

What of his big words about "social justice" and all that? Nothing new here--more from the "They Know What Works" department, the Muslims' skill (and that must be acknowledged) in appealing to Western Leftists' sentiments. From the same factory as Hamas leader Meshaal's piece on The Guardian. Meshaal and Ahmadinejad frame it in Marxist language for world support, and it has worked well; I am not fooled, however, into forgetting that their goal is the total defeat of the other side, first Israel (G-d forbid) and then the rest of the world, after which their Leftist useful idiots would be laid on the chopping block just as surely as Khomeini's Iranian Communist allies were in the 1980's.

Iran doesn't deserve Ahmadinejad. Iran doesn't deserve Islam either. We'll do what we must to remove this threat, but let it be clear: this isn't about Iranian nationalism, much less about "social justice" and "global equality", it's about Islamic imperialism.

February 15, 2007 9:49 AM  
Blogger Yankee Doodle said...

"The point most deserving emphasis, in my opinion, is how President Bush undoes whatever good is done in Iraq when he admits thousands of Saudi students to the USA as residents. Victor David Hanson has repeatedly said that what's making this war hard for us to win is that the enemy is perfectly capable of operating stateless, biding its time until it takes over its host (just like a virus works). If not for their penchant to withdraw restraint from themselves, as in 9/11, we might all still be sleepwalking."

Worse than undoing the good; it's one step forward, two steps back.

Fortunately (?), Wahhabi Islam has NEVER been known for its restraint.

"Iran doesn't deserve Ahmadinejad. Iran doesn't deserve Islam either. We'll do what we must to remove this threat, but let it be clear: this isn't about Iranian nationalism, much less about 'social justice' and 'global equality', it's about Islamic imperialism."

And Islamic Imperialism originally evolved from Arab Imperialism -- Islam in its first century was just that. Wahhabi Islam is a rearabification of the Islamic world. The mula and the mullahs come from Saudi.

February 15, 2007 5:13 PM  
Anonymous Ptah said...

I am not on blogger, but my blog is here, to whose bloglist I have just added your blog. I came here via a post from Rantburg, and hope to, figuratively, pick your brains regarding some issues with Judaism that I want to get straight.

Regarding the Reformation: I just realized that it is somewhat misnamed. A REAL Reformation would not have resulted in people splitting off to form a separate church, but the Roman Catholic Church changing doctrines to accomodate a more straightforward reading of the New Testament. The reading of the Bible was not compulsory, although it did become as compulsory as a student textbook is regarded as compulsory in the schools: Martin Luther did the translation of the New Testament into german to make real a taunt he had made to a Bishop: "I will make a plowboy more knowlegeable of the scriptures than you." The Roman Catholic church insisted on an absolutist authority to interpret scriptures, when it was the Reformationist argument that the scriptures were plain enough for the average person to interpret for themselves.

Even Pope Benedict, in the famous Speech that got him in trouble, got it somewhat wrong: he stated that the reformers insisted on replacing reason with faith, implying that the replacement was in all facets of life, when the issue was really whether one was saved by faith plus good works, versus being saved by faith ALONE (sola fide). This has a bearing on Islam, in that it is a religion based on a capricious and arbitrary Deity who demands works as well as faith, but doesn't promise anything. Well, except for those who die in Jihad, in which case they get the First Class ticket to paradise. Even during Ramadan, Jihadis are excused from fasting.

February 15, 2007 8:36 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Ptah,

You'll find my brain in that vat over there. ;-)

The Catholic position to scripture is similar to that of Orthodox Judaism: no private interpretation allowed. In Orthodox Judaism, everyone is supposed to know the scriptures, but along with their authorized rabbinical commentaries. The Catholic Church proclaims itself the key to interpreting the scriptures properly; in Orthodox Judaism, the claim is that the key to right interpretation was handed down as Oral Law (Torah she-be'al-peh) together with the Written Law (the Pentateuch). In light of the view of, "two Jews, three opinions", it is clear why private interpretation is disallowed--there'd be too many Judaisms that way. Diversity is allowed within the umbrella of the Orthodox Jewish canon, but not outside it, hence Reform and Conservative Judaism are not considered forms of Judaism at all (Jews who follow them are still Jews, however).

Do you read Spengler? If you don't, please do, you won't regret it. Look at the article, "Jihad, the Lord's Supper, and eternal life" for starters, it touches just the point you raised.

G-d bless.
ZY

February 16, 2007 9:48 AM  
Blogger Ronald Barbour said...

Excellent article zy -- the current Jihad against Western Civilization will not be ended by an "Islamic Reformation" but only by the defeat and Unconditional Surrender of Islam, or its conquest of the West.

Indeed, G-D help us all!

February 16, 2007 3:58 PM  
Blogger Highest Infidelity said...

In recent weeks, I've really taken to learning about Islam, history of Islam, and related topics. I've also started brushing up on American and World history.

What has never failed to reform the Islamic world is when they go too far and get their butts kicked. All of a sudden, they lose their interest in jihad. It happened on and off in Spain during the Reconquista, it happened after Vienna in the 17th century, it happened with the Barbary Coast pirates in the 19th century....

They're getting out of line again, mostly the Wahhabis; they need another whoopin'.

February 18, 2007 4:42 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Ronbo,

The choices are: conversion, dhimmitude or resistance. Reform was often presented as another option, a peaceful yet non-dhimmi solution; my post, however, sets out to show how reform is, unfortunately, subsumed under the rubric of resistance.

Highest Infidelity,

I don't think temporary changes can be called reform. It's like in Judaism there's a lot of secular researchers who say the passage from Temple sacrifices to prayers was a reformation, but an Orthodox Jew can never look at it that way, because, even if it takes thousands of years, the future vision is that of the return of worship in the Temple. Religious reform is by definition permanent.

February 18, 2007 4:57 PM  

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