In contemporary Western societies, repressed religion returns in secular cults and fascism of different shades. The cult phenomenon becomes more dangerous when religious zealots push their agendas through the so-called liberals and neo-conservatives.
The Bush and Blair regimes’ response to recent Israeli aggression and terrorism is an excellent example of the apocalyptic passions of religion that have returned as projects of universal human emancipation through more and more terror.
Today, the United States and its close allies ignore history and justify their own and Israeli aggression on the basis of lies or pretexts such as the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. On the other hand, mass killing of innocent civilians in occupied lands is considered “collateral damage” in an effort to emancipate the survivors.
With only a little hyperbole, one might define secular cult’s marriage of neo-conservative re Islamophobic philosophy in terms of this Freudian cycle. The mark of repressed thought and emotion is that it is shut away from conscious scrutiny. This is nowhere more evident than in the encounter of Muslim societies with radical part of the West. Western thinkers note that Islam has never grasped the need for a secular realm. Actually, they fail to note that what passes for secular belief in the West is a mutation of religious faith.
Besides the struggle to maintain the exploitative economic order that benefits just a few, the continued conflict between the Muslim majority world and the West is a war of religion. The Enlightenment idea of a universal civilization, which the West upholds against Islam, is an offspring of Christianity. The peculiar hybrids of dictatorships, kingdoms and democracy are by-products of Western radical thought and designs.
The chiliastic violence of radical democracy of the United States, Britain and Israel is not the product of any ‘clash of civilizations’. The twentieth century’s grand experiments in missionary terror were not in reaction to something wrong in the Muslim world. They expressed the totalitarian ambitions that have been harbored only in the West.
The death camps of Nazi Germany, the gulags of Soviet Russia, the Dresden bombing and the nuking of Japan killed 60 million people, far more than in any earlier century. Yet it is not the number of dead that is peculiarly fascist. It is the belief that as a result of these deaths a new world would be born. In former times, the Inquisition tortured and killed on a large scale; but it did not imagine it would remake the world through terror. It promised salvation in the world hereafter, not paradise in the world below.
In contrast, both in the twentieth and twenty-first century, industrial scale killing has been practiced in the belief that the survivors will live in a world better than any that has ever existed. As a whole the U.N. sanction on Iraq 1.8 million lives. When the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. was asked on 60 Minutes program whether the cost of the lives of over a half million children “was worth it” in order to get rid of president of Iraq. She replied, “yes the price is worth it.” A real estimate will show that close to 200,000 people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001, yet the warlords are determined to make these places earthly paradises for the survivors.
Edmund Stillman and William Pfaff rightly pointed out in their book, The politics of hysteria, in 1964:
“To destroy a city, a state, an empire even, is an essentially finite action; but to attempt to total annihilation–”the liquidation–”of so ubiquitous but so theoretically or ideologically defined an entity as a social class or racial abstraction is quite another, and one impossible even in conception to a mind not conditioned by Western habits of thought. Here is a truly Faustian ambition–”to transform by physical action to merely the earth, but the qualities of the creatures who dwell upon it, an ambition related to the modern quest for the breaking down of mountains, the escape from the bounds of the earth, the control and reform of human genetics, the manipulation of life itself–”all of them ambitions which, before this century, were the dark matter of myth and necromancy. Yet such have been the stated ambitions of the two political movements, Communism and Fascism, which have convulsed the middle years of our century.”
Self evidently, the belief of Western totalitarians that terror can remake the world is not a result of any kind of scientific inquiry or secularism. It is faith, pure and simple. No less incontrovertibly, the faith is uniquely western.
Western warlords believe in the myth that, as the rest of the world submit to their power and reshape itself in their image, it is bound to become enlightened, peaceful and pure–”as contrary to all evidence, they imagine themselves to be. The continued and successful resistance in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan has destroyed this myth; and yet it continues to be believed. The nihilists in Washington, London and Tel Aviv are driven by the belief that the world can be transformed by spectacular acts of “shock and awe” and terror. This myth has been repeatedly disproved; but still it persists.
Myths are not refuted. They simply disappear, as the way of life from which they sprang fade from the world. Science teaches limits, but intermingled with eschatological myths it has kindled limitless ambitions. The result is the unbounded violence of modern times, which the U.S., U.K. and Israel in particular continue. It is not the first attempt to remake the world by terror, and it will not be the last. Once the past tyrannies disappeared, other types of terror in the name of liberation and democracy followed. The advancement of knowledge and technology does not prove that this is the age of reason as well. It merely added another twist to human folly and fine tuned the ways to subjugate torture and annihilate.
United Nations Security Council’s unanimously passing a resolution condemning Israeli terrorism or the U.S. vetoing it, is irrelevant. The world has to do more than thinking about resolutions to condemn terrorism of the trio of terror because Washington, London and Tel Aviv’s determination to continue global terrorism has ensured that the humanity is in for an unimaginably bigger, wider and most horrible war of human history in the very near future.
Abid Ullah Jan’s latest book, "After Fascism: Muslims and the Struggle for Self-determination." is now avaliable at:
Also see: "The ICSSA"