Category Archives: all-sufficiency

The outlook for France is grim

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Église Saint-Étienne

And not just for France, of course. Dalrymple identifies the factors which, he writes,

ensure fertile ground for the recruitment of further Mohammedan ‘martyrs’ for years to come.

These are:

  • a highly secularised Muslim population whose men nevertheless wish to maintain their dominance over women and need a justification for doing so
  • the hurtful experience of disdain or rejection from the surrounding society
  • the bitter disappointment of a frustrated materialism and a seemingly perpetual inferior status in the economic hierarchy
  • the extreme insufficiency and unattractiveness of modern popular culture that is without value
  • the readiness to hand of an ideological and religious solution that is flattering to self-esteem and allegedly all-sufficient, and yet in unavoidable conflict with a large element of each individual’s identity
  • an oscillation between feelings of inferiority and superiority, between humiliation about that which is Western and that which is non-Western in the self
  • the grotesque inflation of the importance of personal existential problems that is typical of modern individualism

It is Islam or nothing

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 21.12.33Moslem fundamentalists, writes Dalrymple,

have understood that, where the survival of their religion is concerned, it is all or none. They have seen what happened to religious faith in England and France once such faith was treated as a merely private matter, freely subject to criticism either serious or mocking.

And since they are instilled with the notion

that there is in Islam an essence that is uniquely precious, they cannot accede to the scheme of the moderates, which will lead to its de facto extinction. The extremists are more consistent, far-seeing and realistic than the moderates, though morally grossly their inferiors.

Islam is uniquely precious to them because

they have nothing else to be proud of or to hang on to. Whatever its glorious past, Islam has had a bad past few centuries; it has contributed nothing to the stock of universal advancement. This would not matter but for its claims to unique truth. How is it that a doctrine, or family of doctrines, claiming all-sufficiency, has been so barren of contribution to progress?