Saturday, 5 March 2016

Tom Holland hates Islam so much he again denies the prophet of Islam existed

Tom Holland
There are other utopias fashioned by ancient empires or at least ideals of ancient utopias that continue to exert a profound influence to this day, and the most obvious one would be the state established by Muhammad supposedly in Medina which continues to inspire billions of people across the globe and to act as a geopolitical motor to this day. The question of whether Muhammad established a state in Medina is massively open to question, but what we can see when we trace the evolution, the process by which this state came to be enshrined, what we see is that there was an enormous amount of ideological programming going on by the empire of the Arabs that had been raised in the aftermath of Muhammad's career and which justified its imperial sway and justified its moral mission in terms of what the Caliphs and the lawyers and the scholars who lived in the Caliphate for two centuries after Muhammad existed looked back to this period and constructed a model of how Islam had come into being and how Muhammad had lived and functioned and the character of his prophetic inspiration that gave to the foundation of the Caliphate a literally God-given sense of identity. And Islam I think now that Marxism has essentially imploded as an ideology, Islam exists as the most potent illustration of how utopia can legitimise empires in the past but can continue to exert an influence to this day, so utopias, I think, and the re-writing of history, to illustrate that utopias actually did exist - it's an incredibly significant aspect of history.

This is rather a confusing use of words. Utopias by definition do not exist, so I interpret what Holland the raging seething Islamophobe to be saying is this: that the propaganda value of Islamic myths is powerful and. crucially, more powerful than everything else that has ever existed before, and is much much bigger than Judaism and Christianity, now that Marxism has imploded.

Liberal-Feminism has no comparable mythologies that engage our emotions, moral convictions or romantic destiny.

Holland has seen the writing on the wall, and is obviously very very afraid: the Whig Interpretation of History is not a patch on Islamic eschatology promising divine purpose and human destiny.

It is interesting that Holland's verbiage consists mostly of abstractions that only the educated few who take the trouble can understand, and will mean nothing at all to the man in the street.

If Britain had not declared war on Germany in 1914, WW1 would have just stayed a European war.

Tom Holland:
ISIS are clearly the most utopianist organisation operating in geopolitics at the moment. I think we should take what they say about wanting to usher in the end of days literally. I think lots of them do want to do that and I think they are not talking in a Marxist sense about material culture  or what would be the material basis for utopia. The are talking about utopia in a divine sense. They are attempting to usher in heaven on earth and to cast themselves as people who will inherit heaven when they die. Their vision of the future is absolutely grounded in a particular understanding of a particular moment in the past because for Islam probably more than any other religious or cultural ideology that existed, what Islam has succeeded in doing is kind of dropping a sheet anchor to a particular moment to a particular time and establishing that as a mirror into which humanity has to look to understand what the will of God is, what the nature of a utopia should be. So in essence the desire to recreate that moment is hardwired into Islamic Utopianism even more than it is in any analogous tradition within Christianity. 

Under this verbiage we may deduce that Holland is saying that the story of Jesus as an executed revolutionary can in no way compare to the power and glory of Muhammad winning wars and establishing the world's first Islamic State.

The Council of Nicea tried to jazz up Christ's sacrifice by saying he was simultaneously God Himself and His son, but people in the 21st century tend not to be taken in by such absurdities. If most are already atheists, then all the more would they be in difficulty believing that a mere man is also God Himself and His son.

But what if Christians dumped the Trinity?

Then they would be no different to Jews and Muslims. It is the Trinity that makes Christians feel special and better than Jews and Muslims.

What would a rational Christian - if such a person exists - believe in if he could no longer even bring himself to pay lip service to the absurdity of the Trinity?  He could be a Jew, but the Old Testament is so harsh with stoning for every little infraction and doesn't even allow divorce. The Koran on the other hand has a whole chapter on divorce and even its harshest punishment - crucifixion - gives the state the option of clemency.

Judaism is an exclusive golf club, Islam is an inclusive political party in a single party theocracy, like Iran, which seems to be doing OK these days, all things considering.

Margaret MacMillan:

I think there are two kinds of utopias: ones that exist in the imagination or exist out of time or in another alternative reality, but those who talk about utopias often talk about a Golden Age in the past and also something that will come again so they are locating them in human history. We may see their reasoning as absolutely wrong and the utopias they project into the past or claim to know from the past are not real at all, but they are nevertheless arguing that they are there in the past and saying we have proof. They were there. We know that there was that world that existed in time and we are going to have another such world that will exist in a future time. So I think they are very much woven into history. 

Instead of utopia, why don't the panel talk about propaganda?

A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.

— Confucius, Analects, Book XIII, Chapter 3, verses 4-7

Tom Holland:

The prime difference of Islam and Christianity is that Christianity is apolitical. Jesus dies a political failure. He does not draw his sword, he does not establish a state. His kingdom is in heaven and that means there has always been this suspicion of political orders within Christianity that you do not have within Islam, that Muhammad supposedly establishes a state that serves as a model for how God wants humans to live.  The fact that it is almost certainly a fiction doesn't alter the fact that  lots and lots of Muslims throughout history and certainly in the current time believe in that and believe that what God wants is for the state that existed in early 7th century Medina to be established [contemptuous laughter] in whatever way it can be in the present. 

Because Holland hates and fears Islam, his stratagem is to pretend that not only does God not exist, neither did His prophet Muhammad.
What would be even more insulting to Muslims even more than bad scatological drawings of Muhammad than pretending that not only does their God not exist, neither did Muhammad?

Then Muslims would feel so stupid for believing in lies whose liar didn't even exist.

That would soon put those pesky Muslims in their place.

Or would it?

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