ISIS is an Islamic Fourth Reich – V. S. Naipal

V. S. NaipaulThe Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul has warned that Islamic State are the most potent threat to the world since the Nazis.

In a hard-hitting article in the Mail on Sunday, the revered novelist brands the extremist Muslim organisation as the Fourth Reich, saying it is comparable to Adolf Hitler’s regime in its fanaticism and barbarity.

Calling for its “military annihilation,” the Trinidadian-born British writer says IS is “dedicated to a contemporary holocaust,” has a belief in its own “racial superiority” and produces propaganda that Goebbels would be proud of. 

A long-term critic of Islam as a global threat, he also challenges those who say the extremists have nothing to do with the real religion of Islam, suggesting that the simplicity of some interpretations of the faith have a strong appeal to a minority.

He has likened Tony Blair to a pirate whose socialist revolution had imposed a “plebeian culture” on Britain and found himself embroiled in controversy in 2001 by comparing Islam to colonialism, saying the faith ‘has had a calamitous effect’ as converts must deny their heritage. – Mail Online

 Lt Moaz al-KasasbehImagine a world in which a young man is locked in a cage, has petrol showered over him and is set alight to be burnt alive. 

Imagine the triumphant jeering of an audience that has gathered to witness this. Imagine, also, a 12-year-old child with elated determination on his features shooting at close range a kneeling man with his arms tied behind his back.

Then picture the spectacle of a hundred beheadings of victim after victim in humiliating uniforms, their hands and feet bound, kneeling with their backs to their black-robed executioners who wield knives to cut their throats as though they were sacrificial lambs. 

Picture queues of helpless men and women being marched by zealous executioners who nail them to wooden crosses and crucify them, howling and bleeding to death as crowds watch. 

Then picture thousands of girls and women, their arms tied, being marched by hooded and armed captors into sexual slavery. And then, if that is not enough, picture men being thrown off cliffs to their deaths because they are accused of being gay.

Yes, all these scenes could have taken place in several continents in the medieval world, but they were captured on camera and broadcast to anyone with access to the internet. These are scenes, of yesterday, today and tomorrow in our own world.

I have always distrusted abstractions and have turned into writing what I could discover and explore for myself. 

So I must begin by admitting that I have not recently travelled in those regions threatened by barbarism—the Middle East, the north west of Africa, in pockets of Pakistan and in the Islamic countries of south-eastern Asia.

However, in the 1980s and early 1990s I undertook to examine the “revival” of Islam that was taking place through the revolution in Iran and the renewed dedication to the religion of other countries. 

I travelled through Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia attempting to discover the ideas and convictions behind this new “fundamentalism.”

My first book was called Among The Believers and the second, perhaps prophetically, Beyond Belief. Since those books were written, the word “fundamentalism” has taken on new meanings.

As the word suggests, it means going back to the groundings, to the foundations and perhaps to first principles. It is used to characterise the interpretation given to passages of the Koran, to the Hadith, which is a collection of the acts in the life of the Prophet Mohammed and to an interpretation of sharia law.

ISIS FlagHowever, the particular fundamentalist ideology of ‘Islamist’ groups that have dedicated themselves to terror – such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and now in its most vicious, barbaric and threatening form the Islamic Caliphate, ISIS or the Islamic State (IS) – interprets the foundation and the beginning as dating from the birth of the Prophet Mohammed in the 6th Century.

Top ISIS LeadersThis fundamentalism denies the value and even the existence of civilisations that preceded the revelations of the Koran. 

It was an article of 6th and 7th Century Arab faith that everything before it was wrong, heretical. There was no room for the pre-Islamic past. 

So an idea of history was born that was fundamentally different from the ideas of history that the rest of the world has evolved.

In the centuries following, the world moved on. Ideas of civilisation, of other faiths, of art, of governance of law and of science and invention grew and flourished. 

Abdulmecid IIThis Islamic ideological insistence on erasing the past may have survived but it did so in abeyance, barely regarded even in the Ottoman Empire which declared itself to be the Caliphate of all Islam.

But now the evil genie is out of the bottle. The idea that faith abolishes history has been revived as the central creed of the Islamists and of ISIS

Their determination to deny, eliminate and erase the past manifests itself in the destruction of the art, artefacts and archaeological sites of the great empires, the Persian, the Assyrian and Roman that constitute the histories of Mesopotamia and Syria. 

They have bulldozed landmarks in the ancient city of Dur Sharukkin and smashed Assyrian statues in the Mosul museum. Destroying the winged bull outside the fortifications of Nineveh satisfies the same reductive impulse behind the destruction by the Taliban of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has described this destruction of art, artefacts, inscriptions and of the museums that house them not only as a butchery of civilisational memory but as a war crime. 

It is telling that the victims of Wednesday’s barbarous shootings were visitors to the great Bardo Museum in Tunis, a repository of art and material from Tunisia’s rich, pre-Islamic past.

Isis is dedicated to a contemporary holocaust. It has pledged itself to the murder of Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can, however fancifully, accuse of being a spy. It has wiped out the civilian populations of whole regions and towns. Isis could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.

Joseph Goebbels Like the Nazis, ISIS fanatics are anti-semitic, with a belief in their own racial superiority. They are anti-democratic: the Islamic State is a totalitarian state, absolute in its authority. There is even the same self-regarding love of symbolism, presentation and propaganda; terror is spread to millions through films and videos created to professional standards of which Goebbels would have been proud.

Just as the Third Reich did, ISIS categorises its enemies as worthy of particular means of execution from decapitation to crucifixion and death by fire. 

Whereas the Nazis pretended to be the guardians of civilisation in so far as they stole art works to preserve them and kept Jewish musicians alive to entertain them, ISIS destroys everything that arises from the human impulse to beauty. 

Such barbarism is not new to history and every nation has suffered mass murder and barbaric cruelty in the past. That a European country in the 20th Century launched a holocaust on the basis of race is a matter of the deepest shame. 

That ISIS has revived the religious dogmas and deadly rivalries between Sunnis and Shias, Sunnis and Jews and Christians is a giant step into darkness.

The Arab lands, relatively stable under the Ottoman Empire, were divided up by the British and French victors of the First World War into the kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Jordan at the Cairo Conference of 1920. Borders were drawn in straight lines and the sons of the Mufti of Mecca imposed on the newly carved territories as kings.

Winston Churchill was advised at the Cairo conference by T. E. Lawrence and by Gertrude Bell, who should have known that the Shia would not readily welcome or acknowledge a Sunni king and vice versa.

After upheavals, rebellions and military coups, the region settled down under dictatorships in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Saddam HusseinThe Ba’athist Party was, in some senses, a modernising force and Saddam Hussein, though a Sunni, ruled the predominantly Shia and partly Kurd nation of Iraq with a ruthless hand. Wherever two or three were gathered in the name of the Almighty, he sent in his police.

He may not have been a savoury character but his overarching policies were holding on to power and modernising Iraq. 

He was the cat that kept the rats of Islamism at bay. His invasion of Kuwait, another artificial sheikdom, poor in territory at the knee of Iraq but rich in oil, triggered the international reaction against him. The Bush-Blair alliance invaded Iraq and the puppet regime they set up executed Saddam. In the absence of the cat, the rats ran riot.

Muammar GaddafiAnd so it has proved throughout the region. The Libyans, with the assistance of a European alliance, overthrew Gaddafi. The country is now at the mercy of Islamic militants. The same Arab Spring saw democratic protest against the Egyptian dictator and resulted for a while in an elected regime veering towards the repressions of Islamism. 

It was overthrown by a military coup whose leader, General el-Sisi, speaking to the clerics and supposed scholars of the authoritative Islamic university Al-Azhar, called on them to denounce ISIS as the greatest threat to international peace and exhorted them to declare the ideology of ISIS a heresy. The mullahs of Al-Azhar have not as yet complied.

In Syria, the conflict of groups opposed to the government of Bashar Al-Assad resolved itself in the formation of a Sunni Islamicist militia, which in turn evolved—after a significant bloodletting – into ISIS.

Are ISIS and its followers heretics? The politicians of Europe and America, including David Cameron, Barack Obama and Francois Hollande, after every Islamist outrage insist on describing them as a lunatic fringe. Their constant refrain is that these perpetrators of murder and terror have as much to do with Islam as the Ku Klux Klan has to do with Christianity or the testament of Jesus Christ. But does such political assurance bear scrutiny?

Of course the politicians, church leaders and others who say “these atrocities have nothing to do with Islam” are not making a researched or considered theological statement. They are attempting, quite rightly, to prevent civil discord in a world in which there are considerable Muslim immigrant populations in most countries of Europe and in the US.

UK girls for JihadSo what impels the tiny minority of young men and women from immigrant communities to volunteer themselves to “jihad” and to almost certain self-destruction, or young women to abscond from their families and from European reality to become jihadi brides.

When I visited Pakistan, I discovered what I have characterised as the effects of an ideological nurture. The Pakistani or Bangladeshi Muslim is taught that he or she has no historical antecedents before the conquest of parts of India and its conversion to the faith.

ISIS RecruiterThe pressures of poverty and promise bring this Muslim to Britain. He and his family don’t speak English. 

They are confined to work and live in an exclusively immigrant area of an inner city—say Bradford, Tower Hamlets or parts of Greater Manchester or Birmingham. 

Their children are raised as Muslims, some strict some not so strict, and are sent to the normal city schools which soon become almost exclusively immigrant.

Some find that the values that traditionally inform them are at variance with those of the lives they see around them. This is true for even those Muslim young men and women who are being educated, through Britain’s by-and-large egalitarian system, to be surgeons or computer programmers.

Mumbai youth join ISISIslamism is simpler. There are rules to obey, a jihad to fight against the civilisation you can’t comprehend, a heaven to go to when you martyr yourself and now a real fighting force in the world which you can join to simplify and solve your existence: no history to complicate your self-awareness, no art to distract you, no ambivalence and choices that “Western” civilisation offers you, no doubt about the fruits of martyrdom, no allegiance to the country in which you were brought up and which gave you a free education and perhaps welfare benefits. A gun, a half-understood prayer and the simplicity that a simple and singular upbringing craves.

That is why they go. And volunteer for death, and die.

In the past three or four centuries since Descartes, Leibniz and Newton, Islam remained encrypted in the revelations of the Koran and the Hadith of a 6th Century life.

The expansion of the scientific enquiry coincided with or possibly caused the maritime expansion of European colonialism. Empirical science, the progress of liberal religion and the germination of modern democratic ideas coincided with European colonial dominion over Asia and Africa.

The process of decolonisation in the 20th century gave rise to the idea that every advance in civilisation, scientific or democratic, was to be condemned as “colonial.” There may be no ideological answer to such bigotry. 

The Islamic world does contain currents that are opposed to the interpretations that ISIS gives to the Koran, the Hadith and to sharia. These are yet to declare themselves.

Though the appeal of ISIS can be challenged by other strands of Islam, its murderous presence persists in the failed states of Iraq and war-torn Syria and threatens to spread through northern Africa.

Iraqi Army against ISISThe crippled Iraqi government has launched its reluctant armies against ISIS. The Iranians, being Shias opposed to Sunni Caliphates, are supporting the Iraqi army and the Shia militias, who are a considerable force independent of the Iraqi government, are in a coalition to fight Isis on the ground. With air support from the West, they may manage to push ISIS back.

Such an offensive, with the immediate objective of regaining Iraqi territory has to be urgently expanded. ISIS has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich.

It’s military annihilation as an anti-civilisational force has to now be the objective of a world that wants its ideological and material freedoms. – Mail Online,  22 March 2015

» Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, TC, is a Trinidad-born Nobel Prize-winning British writer known for his comic early novels set in Trinidad, his bleaker later novels of the wider world, and his autobiographical chronicles of life and travels. Naipaul has published more than 30 books, both of fiction and nonfiction, over some 50 years.

Iraqi soldier's heads by ISIS

 

4 Responses

  1. That disgusting picture in the end said it all. A religion that doesn’t value the right to life or property of others is one that we can all do without. How is what ISIS doing different from what happened for almost a millennia in India?

  2. UK MPs warn against growing number of British jihadists – Press Trust of India – London – March 26, 2015

    A committee of British lawmakers chaired by Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz has warned the government that it is not doing enough to prevent youngsters leaving the UK to join Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria.

    The lawmakers’ report argued that preventative work with communities, families and international partners is vital and needs to be a top priority for the UK Home Office.

    Vaz, who is chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said, “The number of cases being brought to public attention should ring alarm bells. This must be a relentless battle for hearts and minds, and without a strong counter-narrative we are in danger of failing to prevent even more departures. We are at the edge of a cliff.”

    The disappearance of three London schoolgirls — Shamima Begum, Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16 — who are believed to have joined IS in Syria, raised questions as to who could have done more to prevent their departure.

    After taking evidence from the police and the families of the three girls among others, Vaz said their case suffered from a “lack of immediate action”.

    He added: “Schools and the police must inform parents immediately, and work with them even if there is the smallest hint of radicalisation, or a close association with someone who is thought to have been radicalised.”

    However, a Scotland Yard spokesperson defended the speed of the police response to the schoolgirls’ disappearance.

    He said the committee’s criticism was “misleading”, pointing to the evidence given by both UK and Turkish authorities of “rapid exchanges” between the two.

    The committee’s report said there needed to be an advice service which would be a less extreme step than calling the anti-terrorist hotline.

    The Association of Chief Police Officer’s lead officer for the government’s anti-terror strategy Prevent, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy, agreed that more needed to be done.

    However, he said the police “do not have the capacity” to routinely work with every school in the country.

    “The police service will play its part but the prime responsibility for dissuading young people from getting involved in extremist activity has to lie with parents, families and carers,” he said.

    The committee also pointed to weaknesses in information sharing with airlines and other countries.

    It said greater care needed to be taken at airport check-in desks when people were travelling to destinations of concern – namely Syria, Somalia, Iraq and Nigeria, as well as neighbouring countries, such as Turkey.

  3. THIS is naipaul !

  4. We’ll shut down extremist mosques supporting terror, warns Theresa May in fresh drive to defeat extremism – Mail Online – London – 22 March 2015

    Theresa May yesterday unveiled a raft of controversial powers to drive Muslim extremists from British public life – including the closure of mosques which harbour fanatics.

    The Home Secretary said Britain had tolerated extremist views for too long and hardliners needed to understand the ‘game is up’ for anybody who rejects British values.

    Her wish-list included sending hit squads modelled on the Government’s Troubled Families Programme into ‘isolated’ communities to teach English and encourage children to mix with youngsters from other backgrounds.

    The Home Secretary told Islamist fanatics in British: ‘The game is up’. Read more HERE

Comments are moderated

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: