Guest Post – Understanding ‘conscience’ in the context of the Islamist’s ‘religion of peace’

A regular reader and commenter here at WOBH has supplied this guest post


British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been ridiculed for his comments that Mohammad Emwazi, better known as ‘Jihadi John’ should have been arrested and “held to account in a court of law” instead of being ‘evaporated’ by a drone strike. The tongue-in-cheek comments by Labour MP Ian Austin, that Emwazi would have “come quietly” simply highlights just how ludicrous Corbyn’s views are even to members of his own party.  But Corbyn’s views echoes those of many of the socialist liberals that saturate our society.

In the wake of the Paris attacks yesterday, this disconnect between what is reality and these widely held views amongst the liberal and socialist elite and many Western world leaders is potentially fatal to our society.

New Zealand also has its fair share of ignorant people.  I was staggered to hear Annette King, deputy leader of the Labour Party reiterating on Newstalk ZB yesterday, the NZ Labour Party’s position that “we shouldn’t be in Iraq” and suggesting that these terror attacks in Paris are all the result of the “American’s going into Iraq”. I am not alone in my horror at her utterances on the radio.  The blogger The Veteran, had a similar reaction describing it as “simply beyond belief,”

Unfortunately for us all, this is a pervasive view amongst the ignorant and ‘uneducated-as-to-Islam’ members of our society.  Agnès Poirier in the Guardian writes that “the viciousness [the] terrorists reserve for France is notable. For obvious reasons: France and Paris are the cradle of the Enlightenment, the birthplace of secularism and the separation between the State and the Church, a beacon of freedom of thought, scepticism and powerful satire. It is also an active player in fighting Islamists in the world.”  She suggests that for “35 years now, French governments, one after the other, have weakened the foundation of the République by allowing the rise of communitarianism. The extreme right is increasing its electoral hold, and so is antisemitism among young French Muslims.”

 “Communitarianism,” that socialist utopian ideal imposed on Western society has in the past 24 hours enabled ISIS to deliver the worst atrocity to France since World War II.

As we all search for some understanding and ‘reason’ for these attacks while we channel-surf the news covering the unfolding horror and tragedy in France, in the days to follow there will no doubt be claims by socialists that the terror attacks are because of the lack of jobs for Muslim immigrants, poverty, racism, “Islamophobia”, the war in the Middle East and America.  Yet none of these reasons are at the heart of the cause of the terror.

There is a simple answer.    

Quite simply there is no reasoning with these killers and barbarians. Why?  Because as long as they follow the Quran to the letter they believe they are being good Muslims and will reach paradise. Their sole desire is to be judged, not by our earthly laws and concepts of justice but by their God. 

The Quran commands them to “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture, [9:29]: and “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip. [8:12];”  “Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. [2:216]

But surely these murdering jihadists who exist in the real world, exposed to societal mores and laws must have something of a conscience and some concept that what they do is wrong?  How can they not feel some remorse for their evil deeds?  Surely it must be America, poverty, racism and joblessness that has driven them to these desperate acts of war in the Middle East and the terror attacks worldwide?  The answer to all of those questions is a resounding NO. The root cause is the Islamist’s concept of God, conscience, reason and cause and effect and the extent to which this is being indoctrinated into the hearts and minds of its followers worldwide.

There is a French Proverb that says: “Il n’y a pas oreiller afin doux comme une conscience claire” which translated means there is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.  A state of grace and finding a sense of peace within and being at-one with God is also at the heart of the world’s great religions.

The author of Islam is reported to have said in the Hadith “the greatest Jihad is to battle your own soul, to fight the evil within yourself,” Many have claimed that words like this is evidence that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. At first glance, and without an educated understanding of the Quran and its status in Islam it seems so. It is clever.  But what does it really mean? 

The “conscience” is knowledge of oneself.  In a civilised society we grow up and inherently know what is right and what is wrong largely because “good” and “evil” are intrinsic to the nature of the acts themselves.  Happiness and love makes us feel good. Envy and anger makes us feel bad. For thousands of years we have witnessed cause and effect in the world external to ourselves. It has taught us the essence of a functional and civilized society with laws, a sense of justice, fairness, equality and freedom of thought and speech for all.

We also have science – in which mankind has discovered the ‘reason’ for why things happen in nature.  Islam in the traditionalist’s world view denies and rejects all of this in toto.  For the Islamist there is only the word of God in the Quran. From there the Islamist jurists claim the Sharia, the one law to guide mankind in accordance with the Quran.  

Muhammad Yusuf as-Sanusi (a 15th century Sunni scholar) explained it in this way: “It is impossible for the Most High to determine an act as obligatory or forbidden . . . for the sake of any objective, since all acts are equal in that they are his creation and production. Therefore the specification of certain acts as obligatory and others as forbidden or with any other determination takes place by his pure choice, which has no cause. Intelligibility has no place at all in it rather it can be known only by revealed law (shari‘a).”

Denying the intrinsic nature or objective of any “thing” or “act” logically means that what is forbidden today could arguably be permitted tomorrow.  But because the Islamist believes that the Quran, the Hadith and ergo Sharia law is the ultimate code by which we must all submit they ignore this logic. 

Islam can, I suggest, claim to be a “religion of peace” in only one respect.  As long as one follows the Quran and only does what is halal (permitted) and nothing that is haram (forbidden) the devout Muslim experiences ‘inner’ peace.  It is a false peace of course, because it is only a peace from one’s own conscience. For the jihadist it is the subjugation of the mind to the barbaric directives in the Quran whilst rendering one’s self to being little more than that of an automaton.

I don’t believe for one minute that all Muslims are lacking a conscience and an understanding of what is right and wrong, good and evil whether known intrinsically or by the code of our civilised society. Doubtless millions of them struggle to reconcile what is in the Quran with what their conscience tells them.   But for the traditional devout Islamist there is no place for one’s own conscience. What is right or wrong is in accordance with God’s will as set out in the Quran. In other words “Allah Knows, while you know not.” [2:216]

This is also why ‘Dial-a-fatwas’ are big business in the Middle East to answer all manner of ridiculous questions as to what is permitted and what’s not in accordance with the Muslim’s code for life. All over the world young men and boys in particular, are being indoctrinated in this traditional view of the Islamic ideology in mosques and madrassas – predominantly funded by the Saudis and their version of Islam. Strict Wahhabism. Killing non-Muslims (“the Unbelievers”) is a command. They are the automatons of the Islamic State. In other words, there is no reason.

I say it again. There is no reason in Islam. No cause and effect. It is apostasy to the traditional sects of Islam to suggest that God could even be a “just” God. God just “is”.  The Quran is the word of God that has existed for all time. Period. What it says, goes. Simple as that.

In their interpretation of God, nothing that happens is for any reason or cause other than that God “wills” it. To explain this concept, imagine a ball rolling down a hill. From a cause and effect perspective the ball rolls because of its spherical nature, the incline, gravity and the momentum it gains as it rolls downhill.  Yet the traditional Islamic view is that a ball only rolls down a hill because at each unit of time, as infinitely small as that is – the ball’s existence and position is being created and destroyed and created again and again sequentially. There isn’t even a link between the creations other than that God wills the ball to look the same at each point in time.

In other words, we only exist in this moment because God wills it. We have no free will.  That is the preserve of God alone.

This concept of God and the Quran is why we are faced with the evil that is the Islamic State and the adoption of Sharia Law in a growing number of Islamic countries and communities.  For the traditionalist the killings of all non-Muslims, gays, Jews, Christians adulterers and apostates is the ‘Will of Allah’ working through the killer.  Conscience, reason and cause and effect is irrelevant in this mind-set.  By applying this “logic”, the Muslim jihadist can justify these abhorrent acts of violence and evil throughout the world by reference to what is said in the Quran. 

All is not completely lost.  Despite these traditional views being the predominant interpretation of Islam today practiced by the Sunni, Wahhabists and Salafists, there are sects within Islam that argue against this view believing that the Quran was a creation in time and it must be modernised to fit with the times we live in today.  Fundamentally there are also differing views as to the concept of God, will and reason. There has been a fraught discourse on this issue within Islam since around the 9th century.  Robert Reilly’s The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis explains in detail, with extensive references to Islamic jurists’ teachings, the schism that occurred from the 9th Century onwards. It is highly recommended reading for a deeper understanding of the genesis of the problem the world faces today with Islam.

It remains to be seen whether and when the reformists within Islam can or will bring about the change within Islam itself that is necessary to ensure it has a place within civilisation and work to roll back the destructive indoctrination of the foot soldiers of the Islamic State.  If not stopped the traditional Islamists will ensure the destruction of mankind. 

What does this mean for the people of France as they consider their future? Poirier says “I am not optimistic. At best, it will probably take a generation, perhaps two, to weave back together the fabric of society that has been shred to pieces on Fridaynight. What France needs is lucidity and courage. At worst? I don’t want to think about it.”

But think about it and truly understand it – we must.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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