*Ancient Religions, Modern Politics*

by on April 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm in Books, History, Law, Political Science, Religion | Permalink

That is the new Princeton University Press book by Michael Cook and the subtitle is The Islamic Case in Comparative Perspective.  It is a very good comparative look at why Islam has evolved to have a special influence on politics, relative to the other major religions:

…Muslim solidarity has not displaced nationalism, but it has established itself as an alternative to it.  It has done remarkably well in shifting the moral terms of trade in favor of Islam as a political identity and against the various nationalisms of the Muslim world, thereby putting them on the defensive…These qualitative observations find some support from a survey of 2005 that asked Muslims in six mainly Muslim countries whether they saw themselves as citizens of their countries first or as Muslims first,  In all but Lebanon more respondents identified primarily as Muslims than as national citizens…

The findings of a survey carried out in 2006 shed an interesting light on this.  In Pakistan 87 percent of Muslims identified as Muslims first, rather than citizens of their country; in India only 10 percent of Hindus identified in this way.

I found this book consistently interesting.  The book’s home page is here.

1 umm April 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

being violent helps, too

2 Adrian Ratnapala April 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm

It does.

But then you need to explain why Christianity has become so much less violent over the last 1000 years and Islam hasn’t.

3 Adrian Ratnapala April 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Actually this “being violent” think is interesting too. What does it mean?

If aliens took a sample of 100 pious Muslim men randomly from the face of the earth and 100 pious Christians men in the same way and found out how many violent acts they had committed in their lives, then they probably wouldn’t see much difference between the groups. If anything the Christians would come out worse because they booze more.

4 Z April 27, 2014 at 6:37 pm

It depends from where you pluck the samples. If the Christians come from Western Europe and the Muslims from East Africa, the latter will most certainly be hyper-violent compared to the former. On the other hand, if you picked your Christians from South America and your Muslims from East Asia, you would get the opposite result. You would have to adjust for race to get anything meaningful and even then you’d have to look at economics. Poor Muslims will be more violent than rich Muslims.

5 Peter M April 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm

All religions have members that practice violence.. That does not mean the religions have violence in their doctrines, or that they cause it. For Christian-citizen violence examples, see WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Iraq to name the main ones. For Jewish-citizen violence, note how they have treated the Palestinians. People hide behind religious symbols and kill and hate, but the fact that they do that has nothing to do with the religion’s doctrine. The great majority of people of all religions are peaceful. Their are untold millions of Muslims who have had to seek refugee status around the world from violence others have caused. It is only a certain element in every society that seeks to profit through violence.

This is an easy distinction. It is clear that Christ taught tolerance of others and non-violence. There are millions of people who call themselves Christians, and may go to church every Sunday, but who nonetheless routinely violate Christian doctrine.

6 Alexei Sadeski April 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Which of the three primary belligerents of WWII was Christian?

Nazi party – atheist

Communist party – atheist

Imperial Japanese government – Buddhist

7 Peldrigal April 27, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Imperial Japanese governement religion actually was a state-sponsored Shinto, quite removed from almost any kind of buddhism.

8 prior_approval April 28, 2014 at 12:13 am

‘Nazi party – atheist’

And whose common soldiers were issued belt buckles saying ‘Gott mit uns’. One hopes there is no need to document which god was supposed to be with them. (English link – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gott_mit_uns)

9 So Much For Subtlety April 28, 2014 at 1:55 am

I have a mug with “World’s Greatest Lover” written on it. I shall be asking you for a written statement supporting that later on. Now you admit that simply writing something on the side of something else makes it true.

And I did not even inherit it from the Kaiser. So must be true.

10 LJM April 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

— Adolph Hitler

The Nazis themselves were far from atheists.


11 So Much For Subtlety April 27, 2014 at 7:06 pm

All religions have members that practice violence.. That does not mean the religions have violence in their doctrines, or that they cause it.

This sort of politically correct dog sh!t is really beginning to annoy me. Yes, all religions have members that practice violence. But most religions have violence in their doctrines and they directly cause it. Or at least justify it. That is the point about Islamists – they are not Muslims who happen to be mass murdering rapists. They are mass murdering rapists who think that God wants them to commit mass murder and rape. Hence Boko Haram’s actions this month.

People hide behind religious symbols and kill and hate, but the fact that they do that has nothing to do with the religion’s doctrine.

Actually that is garbage. In many cases that is true. But not in all. It is manifestly not true for Islam. Where the killing and hatred rise in direct proportion to the degree to which people believe in the religion. It has everything to do with the religion’s doctrine. Islamic revivals are common in Muslim history. And guess what? They are invariably violent. Your claim about this lot of Islamists is even more obviously untrue because the vast majority of Muslims is very clearly not rejecting their violence. Unlike Pope John Paul II who went to Ireland and made the strongest condemnation of terrorism ever, virtually no one in the mainstream Muslim community has come up with anything other than token condemnations that are actually partial justifications.

The great majority of people of all religions are peaceful. Their are untold millions of Muslims who have had to seek refugee status around the world from violence others have caused. It is only a certain element in every society that seeks to profit through violence.

The great majority of Muslims are bad Muslims. They drink. They eat the wrong things. They do not blow many people up. But the Muslims who force their women to cover, who don’t eat pork, who don’t listen to music, they are far more likely to go around blowing people up. Unlike Quakers for instance. There are millions of Muslims seeking political asylum – and the right to continue the sort of dysfunctional culture that produces the violence that drove them out of their homes. A certain element may exist, but some religions try to suppress it and some try to encourage it.

This is an easy distinction. It is clear that Christ taught tolerance of others and non-violence. There are millions of people who call themselves Christians, and may go to church every Sunday, but who nonetheless routinely violate Christian doctrine.

They rarely kidnap school girls and use them as sex slaves though. It is not clear to me that Jesus Christ taught either tolerance of others or non-violence. And by that I mean billions of Christians have lived and died without accepting your pathetic definition of Christianity. Including pretty much everyone worth reading. So there you go. If you do not understand the religious tradition you were raised in, why are you pronouncing ex cathedra on other people’s?

12 plus one man April 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm


13 Ray Lopez April 28, 2014 at 12:14 am


Entertaining screed by So Much For Subtlety that resonates only with Fox News fans. Z and Peter M have it right: most Muslims are like most Christians, maybe a bit better in fact, but Islam has more extremists than Christian groups (the only extremists in Christian groups are probably in Africa (Lord’s Resistance Army) or Utah (polygamists) or in the US Deep South (anti-abortionists)).

14 So Much For Subtlety April 28, 2014 at 1:48 am

So what you are trying to say, Ray, is that you agree with everything I wrote. After all, I said no more than you did, except I tried to point out the fact that there are more extremists in Islam may have something to do with what they are taught.

Good for you.

And if the Lord’s Resistance Army was ever Christian, it is hardly that now. As for the others, this is more of the same pathetic false equivalantism that makes the Left so intellectually bankrupt these days. If supporting polygamy makes you an extremist the entire Muslim world bar Turkey is extremist. Even I did not claim that. There are no violent Christian anti-abortionists, but if opposing abortion makes you extremist that again would be the entire Muslim world except Iran and Tunisia. Well done Ray. Well done.

15 T. Shaw April 28, 2014 at 10:43 am


You are correct.

Apprarently, Ray Lopez is not conversant with multiple Q’ranic verses calling for violence, murder, rapine, etc. against non-believers.

Maybe Ray would know something if he hadn’t been brainwashed by the dope-smoking, ex-hippy scum that run so-called education, e.g., Bill Ayers.

As such, FOXNEWS is a cure for institutionalized stupidity.

16 DMS April 28, 2014 at 1:56 am

“For Jewish-citizen violence, note how they have treated the Palestinians.”

Go ahead and note. What do you have?

The Jews and the Arabs/Palestinians have been involved in a war which has been going on, with vary intensity, since at least the 1930s. So of course there is violence — that is why it is called WAR. The Palestinians are treated as the enemy, which to some large degree they have been and are. What would you expect?

Your use of the term “treated” makes it sound as if the Arabs/Palestinians have been passive bystanders and doing nothing but sipping coffee.

17 mulp April 28, 2014 at 12:28 pm

“But then you need to explain why Christianity has become so much less violent over the last 1000 years and Islam hasn’t.”

Islam is 1400 years old.

Christianity at 1400 years was entering its most violent era.

Christianity was used as the moral justification for wars that reached a crescendo with WWII, becoming Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds, to mix metaphors.

In the Bible Belt are placed missiles which can destroy hundreds of cities and kill a billion people on the orders of one person that conservatives suggest needs to be a Christian to be legitimate. Which increasingly means Catholic, reminding me of the attacks on JFK who would be under the thumb of the Pope.

18 Curmudgeon April 27, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Has Islam “evolved” to be that way ? Or is it not the case, rather, that it has been so from the beginning, or at least from the time that the texts of the Qur’an, the ahadith and the SIra were finally collected and fixed?

19 Marie April 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Of course that’s right.
It predates nationalism, and was born in contest with local secular authority.

20 Marie April 27, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Pre-date, although I guess that could have been a kind of pun.

21 Adrian Ratnapala April 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Christianity pre-dates Islam and was also born in a contest with secular authority. And that partially explains why the RC church is what it is, but it doesn’t explain why European nation states are the way they are.

22 So Much For Subtlety April 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Yeah but with Christianity the secular authority won. The Catholic Church put up a long fight against that initial victory but it was never really able to reverse it.

23 mulp April 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Has the secular won? Do you think an atheist could be elected president? More to the point, could a conservative atheist have a greater chance of being the Republican nominee than Donald Trump or Herman Cain?

Republicans can’t even admit to believing in science these days, much less defend a belief in science, because that is counter to the conservative version of Christian belief. Ironic given the high percentage of Catholics which are the foundation of science in the West, after being shepherded through the Dark Ages by Islam.

24 Adrian Ratnapala April 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Going by the two-pages of the book that I found, the author seems to agree with you: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i10255.pdf

In that intro he describes how the notion of a nation state is a European export that doesn’t always fit with how things work elsewhere.

This European way of looking at things was by no means idiosyncratic, but neither was it universal. Other parts of the world had their
own ethnic and religious traditions, and the relationship of these to
political identity could be very different. Thus, exporting the European
conception of political identity to such regions was bound to produce
some distinctly un-European outcomes.

It’s interesting to compare “Arab World” to America. Both are religiously and linguistically homogeneous, both are the result conquest motivated by plunder but justified by a genuine religious zeal and both were united under great empires until a century or two ago. Yet they seem very different to me.

25 Adrian Ratnapala April 27, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Arggh. By “America”, I meant “South” America. I leave the comparison to the USA as an excercise.

Mea Culpa.

26 Marian Kechlibar April 28, 2014 at 3:41 am

The local spoken dialects of Arabic across the Arab world are no more mutually intelligible than English and Dutch, probably less so.

The official Arabic (“Modern Standard Arabic”) used by the learned class is the same across the world, but has an ancient feel to it and majority of the population is unable to speak it.

This isn’t linguistic homogenity of the American type.

27 Z April 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Islam has always considered itself a religion of conquest, a religion of the sword.

I think if we forget about the silly maps drawn up by Europeans and look at the Middle East in terms of its people, Islam has always been closely tied to ethnic identity. There are some exceptions like Persians and Levantine populations in places like Lebanon and Syria. Most Lebanese consider themselves Arab, but also different from other Arab populations.

28 mulp April 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

“Christianity has always considered itself a religion of conquest, a religion of the sword.”

29 Luke April 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm

That doesn’t sound good, if the same thing is true for the muslim immigrants moving to the west.

Maybe it is one of many reasons why muslim immigrants perform so bad compared to non-muslims.

30 suntzuanime April 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Well, I wouldn’t expect many Hindus to identify as Muslims first.

31 Marie April 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm


32 Rahul April 27, 2014 at 4:31 pm


33 Adrian Ratnapala April 27, 2014 at 4:57 pm

What percentage of Indian Mulsims see themselves as Muslims first and Indians second?

I also wonder about extinct countries like Bengal and the Punjab. Those do fit into the European model of having one language (and ethnicity?) but no particular religious identity. Would Muslims in those places have put religion or nation first?

34 So Much For Subtlety April 28, 2014 at 1:59 am

Well part of Bengal still exists. In Bangladesh. They put their religious identity first when dealing with the rest of India, breaking away to form Pakistan. And then when they were heavily discriminated against by all the governments of Pakistan, put their national identity ahead of that.

So it is a bit mixed really.

The people of Punjab all put their religious identity first as one of the larger non-Communist mass killings of the past 100 years was in Punjab at Partition. When Punjabis of all religions tried to murder all the other Punjabis of the other religions.

35 Adrian Ratnapala April 28, 2014 at 8:15 am

I had thought that East-Pakistan was created under pressure from non-Bengali Muslims. Now, after checking the Wikipedia, I find that the Muslim League was indeed the driving force, but they had strong support in eastern Bengal. On the other hand, when a unified, independent Bengal was proposed, it was Congress that stopped it — Jinnah himself was in favour.

Parsing all this I would guess that in 1947, the preferred option of Muslim Bengalis might perhaps have been a united, independent Bengal. But given the choice between India and Pakistan, they preferred Pakistan.

36 Rahul April 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Too many hypotheticals.

37 simplicio April 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I imagine it’s a lot more fun being nationalist when your nation functions well. Nationalism and pan-Arabism seems to have more or less failed in the Middle East, either spectacularly (Saddam) or slowly petering out (Mubarak). Nothing particularly compelling seems to have replaced them, so it makes sense people would revert to thinking themselves as part of a larger religious community first, rather then as members of dysfunctional nation-states.

One might compare Medieval Europe. In the early part of the period when political units tended to be weak and divided, the Church wielded a lot of power and the idea of a pan-Christian identity had real political force. As ethnic nation states became organized, the Church was reduced to a puppet of whatever monarch happened to be on top at the moment, and the idea of an overarching Christian political community became purely rhetorical.

38 Peldrigal April 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm

This is so far the most intelligent comment. I distinctly remember Somalis cheering for the Shabab, because establish order over the warlords in a way that the provisional government couldn’t, and then condemn them when hard islamic law was instated. A similar pattern could be observed in Egypt or Palestinian territories: people identify with religious institutions not because some inherent characteristic of the Islamic religion, but because religious institutions are more successful than secular institutions.
I wouldn’t propose this as an absolute truth, but it seems a far more interesting pattern for thought and research.

39 So Much For Subtlety April 28, 2014 at 1:54 am

people identify with religious institutions not because some inherent characteristic of the Islamic religion, but because religious institutions are more successful than secular institutions.
I wouldn’t propose this as an absolute truth, but it seems a far more interesting pattern for thought and research.

Which merely pushed the question back one step. Why are religious Muslims less likely to be corrupt and incompetent? Or at least corrupt. Why are they more likely to win on the battlefield? Why are they more successful than secular institutions? And why is the bar so low – why is rote learning of an obscure text written in a dialect it seems no one could ever understand preferable to a secular education that leads to scholarships at Ohio State?

Might it be because the identity as Egyptians or Algerians or whatever was always weak and so could not call on the same degree of self-discipline and self-sacrifice that the identity as a Muslim could?

40 Marian Kechlibar April 28, 2014 at 3:50 am

” Why are they more likely to win on the battlefield?”

Are they? With the possible exception of the Pashtun, whose warrior proficiency goes back to the era of Alexander the Great, fundamentalists more often than not lost badly when clashing with regular armed forces.

Total disregard for your life tends to shrink your field forces rather quickly. Relying too much on divine grace has the same effect.

41 Peldrigal April 28, 2014 at 11:28 pm

The veterans of Gallipoli would be delighted to hear that.

42 Steve Sailer April 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Razib pointed out that the big increase in pilgrimages to Mecca in the jet age has increased the homogenization. People come back from Mecca and start doing super fundamentalist stuff that nobody in Bangladesh or Java has ever done because that’s they way we do it in Mecca (and they want everybody to know they’ve been to Mecca)/

43 dirk April 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm

The flip side of that is many “bad muslims” believe it’s OK to act like a decadent Westerner as long as they clean up after their pilgrimage. I have muslim friends who are heavy drinkers who say they will quit drinking after they make their pilgrimage, which they plan on putting off until their 60s. Not sure where it comes from but there’s a strong belief among many muslims that post-pilgrimage you are supposed to behave more orthodox. It isn’t merely about being influenced by the experience of Mecca, although that probably reinforces the post-Mecca behavior.

44 Douglas Knight April 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Here is Razib, but he doesn’t claim what you attribute to him, but merely hypothesizes that it could happen. (It should be easy to determine if it is happening, though.) What he does assert it that it was happening in the 19th century. Elsewhere I thought I read 17th century. Back then Hajjis were rarer and they also spent a lot more time in Mecca. Then they did start reformist movements in Java. Does quantity trump quality today?

45 yayaver April 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Contrary to the European experience, secularization in the Islamic world preceded a religious reformation – with profound negative consequences for political development in Muslim societies. The introduction of secularism into the region, first due to the colonial encounter with Europe and secondly due to the modernizing and repressive policies of the post-colonial state, effectively meant that secularism in Muslim societies was a top-down process of state imposition, rather than a bottom-up process that emerged via an organic connection with debates from civil society. While Islamic fundamentalism is a reaction to political corruption in Islamic nations: modernizing movements failed to provide their citizens with the fruits of modernity and instead developed into authoritarian-style regimes. The only place for resistance and opposition has been the mosque.

What I will like here to quote US-Iranian intellectual Hamid Dabashi on Islam – “If in Europe, you have a – not secular but – cosmopolitan context, it is not out of the goodness of the heart of Christianity, but it is because the social context that has created an organic environment – particularly during the era of Enlightenment – forced Christianity to accommodate non-religious sentiments. The same holds true for Judaism, and a fortiori for Islam.”

46 chuck martel April 27, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Religion vs. nation/state aren’t the only competitors for allegiance. People, especially outside the west, have loyalties to clans and tribes as well. In fact, that’s often the most important relationship in their lives, regardless of their religion or under the government that supposedly regulates them. Very surprising that hasn’t already been mentioned.

47 MikeDC April 27, 2014 at 6:11 pm


And what the hell are “moral terms of trade”?

And what’s the practical import of Pakistani Muslims identifying as Muslims before they identify as Pakistanis? How does that fact explain why it’s a complete mess?

More generally, how does one promote “Muslim solidarity” in the face of the utter lack of solidarity seen in Muslim politics. Intervention, intrigue and hostility seem to be the norm both internationally and intranationally.

48 Alexei Sadeski April 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Does the book mention the somewhat unique feature of Islam in which the state is not distinguished from the faith?

In traditional Islam, judges and political leaders are religious functionaries. This is in stark contrast to Christianity. As some have said, ‘In western tradition, the concern has been that the state will control religion. In the Islamic tradition, the concern has been that the religion will control the state.’

49 PD Shaw April 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm

I’ve read Michael Cook’s book on “Forbidding Wrong in Islam,” which was excellent, as was his “Koran — A Very Short Introduction.” The first was an interesting examination of an important point of ethics, particularly on the question of at what point should I intervene in another’s wrongoing? The second book was valuable in understanding that the Koran, unlike other Holy Books, has independent significance from its content. I will probably read the new one as well.

50 y81 April 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

What percentage of Americans identify as Christians first and Americans second? I would think it would be pretty high.

51 Steve Sailer April 27, 2014 at 10:23 pm

What percentage of American Christians have shown they care about what happened to their fellow Christians in Iraq when Bush invaded? How many care about their fellow Christians in Syria, who are on the side of the dictator?

52 affenkopf April 28, 2014 at 10:13 am

Wrong kind of Christians. I doubt many Sunnis care much what happens to Shia either.

53 Marie April 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

That’s a good point, though. I think in America picking one or the other might be a form of branding, and if push comes to shove the brand won’t matter much.

I wonder if it could be the same with Muslims. The incentive to see yourself in a light you may actually not stand in very often might be even higher.

54 Cyrus April 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm

How do you meaningfully survey this anyway? It’s not like the survey respondents are actually being forced to choose between citizenship and their manner of worship.

55 derek April 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

I’m not certain that Islam is much different from Catholicism in this regard. It wasn’t too long ago that Quebec, a Catholic stronghold, had many similarities to Islamic countries. Get outside of the cosmopolitan cities, and you had a powerful church that ruled people’s lives. The education system had two functions; one to educate the elite to prepare them in perpetuating the political/religious system, second to keep the rest poor and stupid. The social and community control over people produced real fear, kept them isolated from the outside world, and occupied with the goals of the Church. A son to the military, a son to the priesthood, a daughter to the convent. And lots more to work the farm.

The Islamic scholars have the benefit of hindsight. They saw the purposeful deconstruction of these power structures throughout the world, and you can see by their strategies that they recognize the seeds of their own irrelevance, and work to prevent them. In Quebec, Nationalism was used by the intellectuals who wanted to change society as a means of circumventing the emotional pull of the Church. They wanted to get the Bishop out of the provincial legislature, but they couldn’t go directly after the deeply held family and community traditions that the Church represented. So they presented nationalism, Quebec Libre, focused on the inequality and injustice, real or imagined between the French and the English. The nationalist project worked; the emotional devotion transferred from the Church to Quebec, within a generation the church lost it’s standing in the province, communities and the family. The Church liberalized around the same time, opening these deeply insulated communities to the outside world, which also diminished the influence of the Church. An astonishing transformation, Quebec now has the highest abortion rate in Canada, and the lowest marriage rate in the country, a practical and open rejection of the mores of the Catholic Church.

The Islamic leaders recognize nationalism as something that would replace them as the center of devotion for the people, and are using whatever tools at their disposal to prevent that. Pan islamicism diminishes the power of individual national patriotism, and Islam maintains it’s hold. They also can count on the stupidity of the western fools who fall for the victim story every time. It was progressive leftists who dismantled the power of the Church in Quebec, now these progressive leftists are intent on preventing any affront to Islam.

Maybe Progressives learned a few things as well. Keeping people stupid and poor, while educating the elite in maintenance of the power structures worked for centuries for the Catholic church. Explains the Progressive opposition to making schools actually perform.

56 Marian Kechlibar April 28, 2014 at 3:44 am

The role of the Church in Quebec was probably the same as the role of the Church in Poland during communism – an alternative structure of power, while the real power is held by universally despised (and/or foreign) group.

As soon as the local population emancipated itself politically, the power of the Church shattered in a single generation.

57 B Cole April 28, 2014 at 4:23 am

Can secular nations survive if citizens go religion crazy? I wonder.

See Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iran, etc. They are melting down, sometimes despite the USA spending trillions of dollars (only $6 trillion lost, no worries).

We can hope this fever breaks but maybe it is not. Pakistan looks like it is a few feet from self-immolation, like Syria.

Sppoky time: Like at films from the 1960s of Egypt,and even when Nasser was ranting at the bully pulpit like a lunatic. The crowd includes many Euro-style women, looking young and smart.

Islamic nations turn to crap.

58 Rafael J . Hernandez Nuñez April 28, 2014 at 7:08 am

Brought form other comment I made before:

The problem with Islam is that such religion have not undergone the same changes other religions suffered during the XVI and XVII siecles. Within Islamic countries, all the power (political, religious, social, military and economic) is still hold by the Coran’s interpreter. Why?, because the Coran is a book with its ‘Shuras’, or paragraps, ordered not in a chronological but in diminishing size way. With all paragraphs taken out of context, from the reading of that book the interpreter may infere the best and the worst for the non muslims (or enemies of the muslims) the same as the best and the worse for the women. That is why in every muslim country every king (take Morrocos’ King as an example) or head of government takes for himself the highest interpreters’ rank of the Coran. All of them autodenominates themselves as the closest descendant of Mahoma to be able to have the highest rank in interpreting the Coran’s ‘shuras’. All of them will fight in a fierce manner against any other interpreter of the Coran that may try to give himself that right (imagine why).

And this is why living side by side with muslims is somehow complicated. If they are not clearly pro-occidental, be them moderate or not, their behavior may change as fast as the Coran’s interpreter changes his discourse. This is why every government of a non muslim country should always be aware of the interpreter’s discourses within their country.

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