29 September, 2020

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Civilisations Have Clashed: Who Will Rebuild?

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Civilisations have clashed: Who will rebuild? What shall we do about ISIL?

The blame-game is secondary; important but less important; the living take precedence over the dead. The real issue is what to do next; the blame-game is disputation about who did wrong in the last century or in previous decades. I can drive home the point with a Lankan analogy. Whether war crimes were committed and who is to blame should be followed up; but it is secondary to current Tamil demands for genuine devolution, anticipated possibility of regime change, etc.

We must take a similar approach to the Middle East; the Sykes-Picot secret Agreement of 1916 which arbitrarily carved up of the Middle East and Turkish territories, then oil and American Imperialism, then creation of Israel and CIA’s overthrow of Mosaddegh in 1953, all relevant and crucial past history. But now ISIL, al Qaeda, fundamentalism and the de facto collapse of states (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Palestinian Authority, and Somalia in Saharan Africa) cry out. The primitive savagery of fundamentalism, the brutality of jihadism, the American led air war and the arming of anti-ISIL Kurds, Iraq’s rump army and anti-Assad Syrians is primary. Where do we stand on these matters? These are mainly moral questions for us in Lanka as there is no practical way in which we can intervene or influence events.

We can, as some addle-pates do, relieve our bile eviscerating Obama as if he is a great plague, froth against jihadist terrorism, or pontificate great theory – historical blame-game. It is all familiar, maybe tiresome and serves very limited purpose. Instead let me restate the dilemma in unpretentious questions to which I do not have indisputable answers but only attitudes and opinions.

The moral imperative

The questions are direct and urgent; the answers, taken together, define a person’s moral and ideological deportment, and on this occasion ideology and morality are separable. For example, it is not obvious if a leftist will damn ISIL as a barbarism, or deem it the rage of downtrodden creatures. Likewise among pious Muslims there are admirers of ISIL and detractors, enthusiasts of the American military campaign and opponents. There is no palpable left/right, Muslim/non-Muslim, democratic/conservative divide in the responses to these three questions.

a)     Notwithstanding a century of colonialism and more recently American resource exploitation of the Middle East and bankrolling Israel – oppressor of the Palestinians – should we support a military campaign to destroy ISIL and al Qaeda as a greater evil?

b)     Conversely, notwithstanding ISIL’s despoliation of democratic, and I daresay socialist values, should we throw our moral sympathy behind jihadism as the voice of the oppressed?

c)     If we answer yes to (a), how do we carve out our separate identity in this conundrum; ‘we’ here means democrats, socialists and liberals?

Reader please give forthright answers; don’t duck and hedge and give “on the one-hand but on the other-hand” nonsense. My answers to (a) and (b) are straightforward: (a) YES, and as a corollary, (b) NO. The snag is (c). You may have guessed that this is the non-Kantian moral imperative I have been leading up to all along; (c) is the purpose of this essay.

About fundamentalism

Let me explain my hostility to jihadist fundamentalism. Less severe as fits the case, hostility underlies my aversion to religious extremism (BBS) and shrill nationalism whether Sinhala or Tamil. But there’s no denying the jihadist version, objectively, poses a greater threat. Fundamentalism refers to the philosophical approach that holds that there exist core beliefs which are unshakably true, un-falsifiable and a compulsory code of practice. Those who hold that the Koran is the inerrant and literal word of god to be strictly adhered to, and the font of moral righteousness, are fundamentalists in a proper usage of the term. That per se matters not; but when these protagonists permit no barrier between religious morals and state and society they come in conflict with democratic practices and the separation of church and state.  These ideologues vary greatly; some conservative and propounding narrow views, others employing populist rhetoric. Imposing strict codes of behaviour on society, that is on other people, is the root of conflict. When enforced imposition of religious practices comes in conflict with broadly accepted norms of human rights, the clash becomes acute.

These believers vary in doctrine and political demands. Some accommodate Christians, Jews and secularists comfortably, others employ a dualist Manichean ideology; ‘You are one of us or against us’. In the latter form it is now the world’s primary source of resistance to the West. In the aftermath of George Bush’s invasion of Iraq, radical Islam alone had the balls and the brawn to stand up against it as Europe, Pakistan and Asia, China and Russia, cowered in fear. This, its anti-imperialist strength, is born of a century of exploitation by foreign masters in cahoots with local rulers.

Migration has added a new dimension. David Greenfield, an American is candid: “A clash of civilisations is approaching driven by a variety of factors, including the collapse of European, American and Russian world power and the demographic strength of the Muslim world. We could ignore the implications for our own countries if it were not for a sizable stream of settlers spreading across Europe and speaking openly of the day when they will become a majority and impose Islamic theocracy on the native European minority”. This clash will not go away; rather it will worsen with the passage of time; Europe will find no easy exit from ruinous contradictions.

Christian and Jewish fundamentalists too deem the Bible the literal and inerrant word of god, but find ways of sidestepping its injunctions. Deuteronomy is a particularly bloodcurdling text. Chapter 20 prescribes that when you lay siege and capture a city “thou shall smite every male . . . but the women and little ones and the cattle and all that is in the city . . . though shalt take unto thyself and eat the spoil thereof.”  Chapter 21 condemns women caught in adultery and non-virgins at marriage to death by stoning. So chucking rocks at feisty females is not only a Taliban pastime! Chapter 27 lists twelve savage curses, 28 adds four more. Charming verse 23:1 stipulates that if your marbles are damaged or your pecker “cut off, (you) shall not enter the congregation of the Lord.” In like vein 23:2 banishes bastards and their issue for 10 generations to come (phew!) from the flock. The stuff makes delightful reading (there is much “going into her” adventure in these pages). Fortunately Christians, even fundamentalists, find ways to feign deafness. The problem is that some provisions in the Koranic text are similar and jihadists live by them, literally.

Then there is Wahhabism; preaching puritanism whilst its benefactor, corrupt and reactionary Saudi absolute monarchy, swims in whisky. Monarchy and Wahhbism lean on one another; militarily and ideologically keeping a vice like grip on the country. They are the source of funds and beliefs for Islamic extremism all over the world. Stephen Schwartz in The Real Roots of Islamic Extremism says Islamist extremism exists because corrupt and oppressive rulers maintain power. The West should support democratisation of Arab and Islamic countries”. But till recently it was the West that provided an umbrella for these ogres to thrive. Be that as it may, the case for eliminating Wahhabism, monarchy and jihadism is now unassailable.

After the American led war

History teaches that military methods alone cannot eliminate ideas, particularly religious and racial ones. I do not refer to the see-saw outcomes in the daily battles and bombardments in Syria and Iraq. Eventually American military might with the fifty-odd others in tow will prevail; ISIL will be destroyed as were Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi. Afterwards Basher al-Assad will be dispatched. But what then; anarchy like post-war Libya or a fractured and failed Middle East like Iraq already?

Nations cannot, in globalised times, rebuild themselves in isolation; it is a multilateral task. No barriers exist to the movement of capital and goods, jihadists and ideas, Ebola and education. Even ISIL acknowledges this when it calls for a Greater Caliphate, that is world government abiding by Islamic law.  Jihadism cannot be pushed aside except by putting something universal it its place. Francisco Fukuyama’s crap dug from the Entrails of History has been flushed down; hidebound neo-liberalism. Neither has capitalist democracy, impoverishing the poor and marginalising the periphery, succeeded, as depicted in John Gray’s False Dawn: Delusions of Global Capitalism. Capitalism is still unable get off its knees after the 2008 New Depression; Europe teeters on the brink of its sixth recession in six years, Abenomics is kaput in Japan, and the Chinese miracle is running out of steam. This backdrop to Jihadism makes Rosa Luxemburg’s option “Socialism or Barbarism” ever more true, but it is also ever so far as the Left slumps all over the world. Every zeitgeist of the Twentieth Century has been laid to rest; it’s time for out of the box lateral thinking.

If single-malt democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism and liberalism of yesteryear are all stale, their brand champions on the run, but we still refuse to capitulate to the demons creeping out of a moral and mental extremist morass, is a new blend of populist-socialism and broad-minded liberalism the answer? It seems so, but there is no one-taste-suits-all-palates blend. It has to be a separate mix, case by case, country by country, continent by continent. Middle East blend won’t sell in Lanka. Halting the relentless march of the European far-right (UKIP, Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, Greet Wilders in Holland, or the Freedom Party of Austria) needs yet another blend of spirits.

This broad formula makes sense in Europe and South and East Asia not overwhelmed by war and anarchy, but it is inadequate for the great swathe stretching from Shahran and Northern Africa across the Middle East into Pakistan and Afghanistan – that is the greater part of the Islamic world. As Rajan Philips said last week (“End Of Innocence In Canada, Sri Lanka Declared “Unstoppable”):  “While it is necessary to contain and destroy the brutal machinery of the Islamic State, that alone is not sufficient as a solution to fundamental and broader problems”. Economic development and investment, education and women’s liberation, welfare and health, these are sine qua non, but seem beyond the knack of local peoples and the capacity of the international community, despite an increase of global productive power beyond anything ever before seen in human history.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    3

    its better if the west doesnt meddle in islamic state, because when u hit u should expect a return. muslims are not the aborigines west massercurd or the native americans, killed in millions, till 100 years Ottomans were par with the west and exceeding, so caliphet has arrived.ia we will rise again

    • 2
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      Dear “professor” David,

      Why waste time on these issues that are irrelevant to us here in Sri Lanka, especially in view of the upcoming elections?

      Please keep promiting Maduluwawe Sobhita or Sarath Fonseka as “common candidate”.

      You might get somewhere oneday!

    • 1
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      jehan

      “its better if the west doesnt meddle in islamic state, because when u hit u should expect a return. “

      The so-called Islamic State is not Islamic. It is Satanic, Iblisic.

      The correct name is Iblis State or Iblees State

      Hadith of Najd

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd

      Al-Qaeda, ISIS have no regard for human life, that’s why I left – ex British jihadist

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrVFflAAM8c

      Read the full letter here.

      http://lettertobaghdadi.com/index.php

    • 1
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      Kumar David –

      RE: Civilisations have clashed: Who will rebuild? What shall we do about ISIL?

      Well, many ISIL have low intelligence, IQ around 82 whereas for Europeans and East Asians it is 100 and 105 or so.It is a structural problem.It is made worse by unproven religious ideologies.

      The Europeans and East Asian have 3 time many Neanderthal Genes, and that increases lipid Metabolism in the brain, an they are more intelligent than Africans , South Asians and Middle Easterners.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

      Neandertal legacy written in Europeans’ fat metabolism

      Fat metabolism genes inherited from Neandertals may have helped Stone Age humans survive in Europe around the time when cave lions and saber-toothed cats ranged the continent.

      Neandertal DNA is typically sprinkled evenly throughout non-Africans’ genomes, Lachmann says. But in Europeans, genes involved in fat synthesis held more than three times as many Neandertal sequences as did other genome regions. And genetic signals hinted that this DNA might have spread rapidly through human populations.

      “There must be some purpose” for the genetic changes in fat metabolism, says study coauthor Philipp Khaitovich, an evolutionary biologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Max Planck Society Partner Institute for Computational Biologyin Shanghai. “But we still have no idea, no idea at all.”

      One possibility lies in how the brain works. Fat helps messages zip between neurons, but researchers don’t know whether the change in Europeans boosts brainpower, or whether a Neandertal-like fat metabolism helped ancient humans stay warm in cool climates. Or the genetic changes could have been adaptive for an entirely different reason that researchers haven’t dreamed up.

      https://www.sciencenews.org/article/neandertal-legacy-written-europeans%E2%80%99-fat-metabolism

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6487291

      Psychometric intelligence correlates with interindividual different rates of lipid peroxidation.
      Weiss V.
      Abstract
      The review outlines a theory concerning the neurochemical basis of interindividual differences in human intelligence. From the work of Lehrl and Frank it can be concluded that Spearman’s general factor of intelligence is a phenomenon of short-term memory capacity, i.e. a phenomenon of reversible short-term changes in synaptic membrane permeability. The empirical correlations between glutathione peroxidase activity, a genetically polymorphous enzyme, and IQ, and between the relative lipofuscin content of the brain and the ontogenetic development of fluid intelligence, have the background that peroxidation of phospholipids and its cleavage products are the regulating factors of membrane permeability. Furthermore, the glutathione status plays via lipid peroxidation, activating adenylate cyclase and inhibiting the sodium pump and acetylcholinesterase, an essential role in the regulation of energy supply and reducing power of cortical cells. In inbred strains of mice inherited learning speed, serum peroxide levels, and the parameters of the acetylcholine system are closely correlated.

  • 1
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    DearvProf. Kumar David,

    RE: Civilisations Have Clashed: Who Will Rebuild?

    Civilisations have clashed: Who will rebuild? What shall we do about ISIL?

    Does the Earth go around the Sun? Are the Wahhabis and ISIS followers of the Devil, Satan, Iblees? The data support both hypotheses.

    Well, well, expose ISIL and their sponsors for what they are.

    Who are the iSIL?

    Ask the Same question. The Covert Origins of ISIS

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMjXbuj7BPI

    Al-Qaeda, ISIS have no regard for human life, that’s why I left – ex British jihadist

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrVFflAAM8c

    The belong to Wahhabis and their clones.

    Muslims need to call a spade, a spade. Muslims need to call the Wahhabis, Iblis, Satan. Lucifer.

    The Wahhabis and their clone have spawned and expanded into Deobandis, Talibans, Salafis, Towmeed,, Muslim Brotherhood, iSIS, ISIL, Boko Haram and many other varieties.

    92% of the Saudi,support ISIS. Why?

    The are in the Iblis Coalition to destroy Allah following Islam.
    The Allah following Muslims, have failed to call the Wahhabos Iblis, Iblis followers.

    Saudi Arabia will demolish Prophet Mohammad birthplace

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX7UvR16XP4

    Saudi Wahabies are destroying every historical holy sites in Makka & Madina

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8CXmDBJHMk

    ISIS Set to DESTROY Mecca! Iblis State.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImFKWW5McJg

    PROPHECY ALERT: “ISIS Destroys Tomb Of Jonah The Prophet

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-7a9UpSrlM

    Shocking History of Saudi Arabia,The Satanic, Iblis State with Great Satan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HmeGCigDD0

    Because the Saudis and iSIS, ISIL follow the Iblis, Satan.

    • 3
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      Prof. Kumar David

      RE: Civilisations Have Clashed: Who Will Rebuild?

      Who destroys? Wahhabis, Jews and ISIL, the Iblis Followers,

      The Muslims, by not Calling Wahhabis and their Clones Iblis and Satanist, are Cowards and complicit.

      Najdi Salafi Wahhabi kafir and Zionism similarities

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajcu575vn2k

      Uploaded on May 12, 2011
      This is a video showing an example of similar beliefs between Wahhabism and Zionism (Israel). They both have hatred towards Muslim Sahaba, Ahl al Bait and Awliya who spread Islam all over the world. The British and French colonialists killed millions of Muslims but did not touch any Islamic grave. The Wahhabis are clearly worse than them because they have attacked the graves of Muslim saints.

      Sunni Muslims are not terrorists but Wahhabis are and they were excommunicated from Islam 200 years ago. The Wahhabis didn’t just become kafir or terrorists now. They were the very terrorists created by the British under the leadership of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab Najdi and his partnership with Ibn Saud. They appeared from the Najd region located in eastern part of present day Saudi Arabia as foretold by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Najd is the Najd of Saudi Arabia today and this is exactly east of Madina Munawwara (get your children to check) about which there are the following Hadiths.
      Ibn Umar reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying while he had turned his face towards the East: “Behold, turmoil would appear from this side, from where the horns of Satan would appear.”
      (Sahih Muslim, Book 041, Number 6938)

      Early Wahhabis killed Sunni Muslims from that area and spread their filth throughout until the Ottomans sent Muhammad Ali Pasha to wipe them out. However, in the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire ended and petrol money was discovered around Najd. Through support of Britain, the USA and Zionists, the Saudis and Wahhabis regrouped to create Saudi Arabia and spread their terrorism by wiping out as many Sunni Ulama as possible and destroying the relics and holy sites of Islam that were scattered all over Saudi Arabia. Britain, USA and France supported the Wahhabis once more when the USSR invaded Afghanistan to fight the Cold War. They ignored the Sunni Muslims and armed the tiny Wahhabi minority in that country. Now those perverts are committing mass atrocities everywhere due to which the USA has invaded Afghanistan.

      They are spreading their terrorism once again having by killing more than 300 Sunni scholars in Iraq, Pakistan and Somalia. They are trying to ethnically cleanse these areas of Sunni Muslims despite having a following of a few million world-wide.

      They are maligning the peaceful face of Islam with their perverted terrorism.

      The Wahhabis these days come under many disguises such as Salafis, Ahl e Hadith, Athari, Tabligh Jamaat, Hizb ut Tahrir, Jamaat e Islami, Maududi, Tanzim ul Islami, Rabita Alam al Islami, Muslim World League, al Muhajiroun (al Munafiqun), al Qaeda, Taliban, al Shabab, al Maghrib Institute, Peace TV, IRF (Islamic Research Foundation), al Gama’a al Islamiyya, Islamic Salvation Front, Islam4uk and other names which they hide behind

      May Allah destroy them, Amin.

      The graves of Holy Muslims are sacred unlike Wahhabi graves.

      Abu Ayyub al-Ansari: “al-Waqidi said: It has reached us that the Eastern Romans VISIT HIS GRAVE and seek rain through his intercession when they suffer from droughts” (1:243). Mujahid said: “People would uncover the space above his grave and it would rain.”

      Ma`ruf al-Karkhi (d. 200H): “His grave can be seen in Baghdad, and one seeks blessings with it. al-Hafiz Ibrahim al-Harbi (d. 285H) — Imam Ahmad’s companion — used to say: Ma`ruf’s GRAVE IS PROVEN MEDICINE” (2:214) Ibn al-Jawzi adds: “We ourselves go to Ibrahim al-Harbi’s grave and seek blessings with it” (2:410)

      al-hafiz al-Dhahabi also relates Ibrahim al-Harbi’s saying about Ma`ruf al-Karkhi: “Ma`ruf’s grave is proven medicine.” Siyar a`lam al-nubala’ (9:343).

      Abu al-Hasan al-Daraqutni said: “We used to seek blessings from Abu al-Fath al-Qawasi’s grave” (2:471).

      Abu al-Qasim al-Wa`iz: “His grave can be seen in Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s cemetary and it is sought for blessings.” Related in the notice on `Abd al-Samad ibn `Umar ibn Muhammad ibn Ishaq (2:482).
      Category
      Education

  • 4
    0

    Kumar David, as his name says, speaks every thing what only came from the western values mixed with Judeo – Christian culture. His world and knowledge are limited to those values and those civilizations.

    He does not think human history was not every thing of western and those of the judeo-christian cultures.

    There were other things that were more successful than what he is talking.

    Time will tell what would be happening.

  • 1
    0

    Maybe it had “the balls and the brawn” but it lacked the foreskin.

  • 2
    0

    Kumar David… It appears your wires are short circuited again.
    Quote:
    “Whether war crimes were committed and who is to blame should be followed up; but it is secondary to current Tamil demands for genuine devolution, anticipated possibility of regime change, etc.

    David is dreaming or in a state of King Robert.
    War Crimes and blame is not secondary BUT history.
    As for Tamil demands,the TNA,LTTE & Diaspora arrogance & church greed made us missed the bus when we had the upper hand n on a platter.

    We had to lick the wounds & bury the dead.
    We are just lifting our heads and about to get a Fisheries harbour for Gurunagar. You overseas fat cats leave us alone.

  • 2
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    More evidence of that Christian upbringing, however much the author pretends to reject it.

    The ugliness that is blamed on Islam certainly predates Christianity, a fact that we take great pains to obscure, Christians even more so than the Judaics.

    As for the rebuilding, it won’t be the US. We saw that very clearly in Vietnam and there are other more recent examples too.

  • 0
    0

    Answer to a): No! Rather than go after Isis, West must clean up their act and go back to their original religious heritage (without medieval Catholic fundamentalism). Remove things like abortion, gay-marriage, sperm-banks, incentives towards adultery and fornication,…….. Soon, Isil will relent. And it will be healthier for the globe. Then, all other modern global power implements will become effortless. Capitalism will become a responsible one – a socialized capitalism and liberalism of greater mindfullness. Democracy will triumph.

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