15 Apr, 2001
Ideas and beliefs are transitory. Actually ideas are constantly changing and being renewed. Everyday we learn new things and accordingly everyday we change our minds slightly. Our views can change dramatically over the course of a few years. This is inevitable if one keeps learning new things. Those who never change their minds are those who never learn new things. They keep regurgitating their old beliefs and never look beyond their tunneled vision.
You can rally people around yourself and create a fictitious unity by generating hate in them. Give them a common enemy and unite them in their common hate. Find an escape goat and blame everything on it. The holy prophet did that. He inculcated the hate of the Jews and the non-believers to unite the Arabs. Khomeini used the Baha’is and the Jews as scape goats. He blamed Israel and America as the culprits for all miseries of Iranians. Hitler did the same. His scape goats were the Jews.
But unity achieved by instigating hatred of another group and highlighting the differences is not a lasting unity. Islamic unity did not last long. Soon after the death of Muhammad and after Muslims exterminated the Jews and the Christians from Hijaz they started to kill each other. The first battle took place between Ali the Caliph of Islam and Ayesha the favorite wife of Muhammad. In that battle many died. Then it was the Battle between the Khavarej, a hard line Muslim group and Ali. In this “battle” Ali lost about 8 men but when the Khavarej 4000. The truth is that these men were not ready for war, They had gone to protest with no arms at all, Otherwise it is impossible that in a battle 4000 men die while the other party give only 8 casualty. This senseless slaughter lasted only one or two hours. Both sides were Muslims and related to each other by blood.
- The ambition for power, the greed for booty and the lust for women captured in wars gave Muslims incentive to attack Iran, Syria and eventually other countries. Islam will only grow as long as there is an enemy to subdue and to hate. As soon as there is no one left, the Muslims will start fighting among each other as they are doing between the Shiites and the Sunnis in Pakistan. Islam is a religion that thrives on hate. Muslims need enemies to remain united. That is why they need “Zionism” and the “American Imperialism”. All Muslims are fighting with each other but in one thing they are united and that is in their hatred of Israel and America. If you take away these enemies from them, they will tear each other apart.
Hitler was not only an evil man but also his method was wrong. His brand of unity founded on race superiority and hate did not last and could not have lasted. The average public in Germany was not aware of the holocaust. He killed the Jews and oppressed the freedom, but he was unable to kill the idea of freedom and the dignity of human being. Today the Germans are united by understanding and cooperation, not through hate of someone else. And yes the abhorrent idea of racism is dead. We killed it and for all intent and purposes it is dead even though there are still few who are racists. The cohesive force between the Muslims is not dissimilar to what bonded the Nazis. Islam is also a doctrine of hate and just as Nazism is doomed to disappear.
Fascism drives from the Italian word fascia, which means a bundle of woods. This was an old Roman emblem. The idea is that a single stick of wood can be broken easily, but when you bundle many sticks together and fasten them with each other, they become strong and unbreakable. Fascism creates the concept of “we” versus “them”. It is divisive and the unity of “we” is sustained by keeping alive the hate of “them”. In fascism and all fascistic ideologies the unity is achieved by the fear and hatred of others. The political ideology of fascism is based on “a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship and forcible suppression of the opposition of minority groups” (Webster). Nazism and Islam are both inspired by fascistic ideas. In Islam, just as in Nazism the minorities are underdogs, their rights are denied and violated and the might is revered as right. The best description of fascism is given by the Prophet in this verse "Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other." (Q. 48:29)
But times change and today’s world is different from the world
of 70, or even 10 years ago. The Internet is bridging the gap
between the nations and dissipating the misunderstandings. Today
the fascistic ideologies can no longer survive. People are talking
with each other, exchanging ideas and discovering their oneness.
1400 years ago a narcissistic megalomaniac demagogue could have fooled ignorant people around him. Seventy years ago, a mad charismatic charlatan in Germany could incite nationalism and instill pride in the defeated Germans of the WWI by inflaming their racial superiority. Today only a fool will think of himself superior because of his race, nationality or religion. Today unities are achieved in diversity. Today we celebrate our differences and are proud of our multi-culturalism. Today people are wise. There has been much cultural exchange, racial and national intermingling for everyone to experience that we are one people. Today one cannot call for unity based on racial supremacy. Of course there are always crazy skinhead youth that are on the fringe of the society and are nothing but misfits and outcasts. Those are exceptions to the norm.
The same goes for Islam. Islam owes its success in inciting
hate. Hate of the non-Muslims and superiority of the believers
over non-believers. Quran not only condemns the non-believers and
relegates them to the blazing fire of hell, (Q.
69:36) it also instructs the Muslims to slay them wherever
they find them (Q.2:191),
do not befriend them (Q.
3:28), fight them and show them harshness (Q.
9:123), and smite their heads (Q.
But this is a changing world. The world can no longer continue to harbor these fascistic ideas. The world is now poised to embrace its unity and celebrate its diversity. Ideologies that promote superiority of one group and hate of others, like Nazism and Islam have no place in our world.
Today, we have to unite our people through love. Playing with their feelings of nationalism, race or religion to unite them is unethical and counterproductive. These are foolish thoughts that would have worked in the past when people were not educated. It works on ignorant people. Today we are more educated and are accepting of other races, and ethnicities. We are humans and we share this oneness with all humanity.
We can replace old and antiquated ideas with new ideas of universal peace, oneness of humankind and equality for all. These are powerful ideas. These are the ideas of the new era of mankind. This is a new age, and oneness of humankind is the spirit of this age. Democracy is possible only through pluralism. Pluralism is the beautiful word, which means unity in diversity.
Setting ourselves free from the mental bondage of Islam requires more than denouncing it. Many of us who have walked away from Islam are still Muslims in our outlook. Islam teaches superiority of the believers over non-believers. We may think of ourselves superior by virtue of our race, nationality or anything else. That is not freedom. Islam also claims to have the monopoly of the truth and condemns any other thought as satanic. If we hold to our own way of thinking as the ONLY right way and look down at other people who think differently, call them superstitious and their thoughts unworthy of consideration, we are thinking like Muslims. Only a person can claim to be free from Islam who has no feelings of superiority in her heart, who has no thoughts of self-righteousness in her mind and who truly sees herself as the child of humanity and one with this Universe.
In a free world to ask: “what is your religion” would be a politically incorrect question. We fight the thoughts that inseminate hate. We do not fight people. People are sacred; thoughts are not. If we continue this hatred, we will be disintegrated. We will lose everything. When we get rid of Islam there should be no more fights for religion or truth. We will be free to believe in any religion we like and discuss whatever we please. We can promote our religion and we can speak against any religion. Everyone will be protected to express himself and no violence or discrimination will be tolerated.
Ali Sina is the editor of Faithfreedom.org. He is has contributed in 'Beyond Jihad - Critical Voices from Inside Islam'. His latest book is Understanding Muhammad: The Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet.