By Professor Paul Eidelberg

A nationally syndicated columnist I recently met in Washington, DC privately referred to Islam as "another Evil Empire" -- the malediction for the Soviet Union.

It is not the 800 Jews of Medina [slaughtered by the Prophet in 627 AD], but millions of infidels slaughtered in subsequent centuries that should make us pause and reflect. Not only that. Those who defend the Prophet should reflect on the fate of the millions of infidels for whose heads the mujahid's knife is being sharpened in all Islamic countries right at this moment. [Source material for this article is from book cited below:]

Jihad: The Islamic Concept of Permanent War by Professor Suhas Majumbar Voice of India, New Delhi, 1994)Voice of India, 2/18 Ansari Road, New Delhi 110 002. ISBN: 81-85990-19-0 To order please send check for $5.50 (USA postage included) to: A. Ghosh (Publisher) 5740 W. Little York #216, Houston, TX 77091

Oh Allah, destroy America, her agents and allies! Allah, raise the flag of Islam over the Al-Aksa mosque, Jerusalem and Palestine ... Ikrama Sabri, Mufti of Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority Senior Cleric, September 12, 1997

A nationally syndicated columnist, a Gentile acquaintance, privately referred to Islam as "another Evil Empire" -- the malediction a dauntless President Ronald Reagan used to describe the Soviet Union. Of course, the Arab-Islamic world is hardly an empire, but it does have certain characteristics in common with Soviet Communism, despite the latter's atheism.

First, Islam does not recognize international borders. Second, Islam is a militant and proselytizing creed. Third, Islamic doctrine divides the world into the Realm of Peace (Dar al-Islam) and the Realm of War (Dar al-Harb). Fourth, Islam is totalitarian. Edward Said, an Arab professor at Columbia University, admitted that "The Arab world is a sink of corruption and ... the most appalling and murderous tyrannies." Although Muslim apologists deny this harsh view of Islam and emphasize some of its humane aspects, the contrary evidence, as will be seen in a moment, is overwhelming. (Walid Phares, an Arab professor at Miami University, recently said that those who emphasize the personal meaning of Jihad as "the struggle against one's evil inclination" rather than its political definition as "the Holy War against infidels," are simply perverting history by minimizing the primary significance of the concept.) The truth is that Islamic "fundamentalism" is authentic Islam, a religion which has not undergone a Protestant Revolution, as a few intellectually liberated Muslims must ardently desire.

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Although Israel is the current "Satan" of Islam, Israel's political elites have never pursued a national strategy commensurate with the bellicose nature of Arab-Islamic culture. To the contrary, in his address to a joint session of Congress shortly after becoming Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu gratuitously denied any "clash of civilizations" regarding Israel and its Arab-Islamic neighbors. All the more reason for American presidents and diplomats to pursue the fallacious policy that Arab despots can be appeased by giving them Jewish land and Western technology. (The attempted appeasement of Nazi Germany, supreme in scientific technology, refutes this "land-for-peace" policy.)

This bourgeois policy dominates Israel's socialist Labor Party. And now the Likud has succumbed to the same morally obtuse policy. Accordingly, no Israeli government has ever taken the ideological offensive and exposed the malevolent nature of the Arab-Islamic world and its implacable hostility toward the Jewish State. To do so in this era of cultural relativism would not be "politically correct." Indeed, to tell the truth about Israel's enemies would be condemned as "racism." Ignored by democratic humanists is the fact that suppressing the truth consigns the Arab-Islamic masses (as well as non-Arab and non-Islamic minorities in the Middle East) to the tyrannies mentioned by Professor Said. Let us be candid.

Some 650 years ago, the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun wrote that Arabs are a savage people, that "Savagery has become their main character and nature." But what of Islam, for not all Arabs are Muslims? First, we need to bear in mind that the Islamic religion, which originated in the seventh century, was superimposed on Arab tribes steeped in paganism. Although this religion has given dignity and meaning to the dismal and impoverished lives of Arab masses, it has never erased that original paganism which again and again has erupted in the savagery mentioned by Ibn Khaldun. Professor Bernard Lewis puts it this way: "There is something in the religious culture of Islam which inspired, in even the humblest peasant or peddler, a dignity and courtesy toward others never exceeded and rarely equaled in other civilizations." But he hastens to add that "in moments of upheaval and disruption, when the deeper passions are stirred, this dignity and courtesy toward others can give way to an explosive mixture of rage and hatred."

It needs to be emphasized, however, that Islam itself, specifically, its love of violent death as the key to paradise, incites suicide-bombers and thus fosters to the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. As already indicated, Jihad, or the Holy War against infidels, is a basic religious obligation for Muslims. The Koran teaches them: "Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends" [Sura 5:50]. "Allah ... forbids you to make friends with those who have fought against you ... or abetted others to do so" [Sura 60:9]. From this passage comes the necessity on the part of Arabs to describe Jews as "aggressors." The Koran's imperative on dealing with "aggressors"? "Kill them wherever you find them" [Sura 2:190]. Consistent therewith, the seemingly innocuous King Hussein of Jordan (who welcomes arch-terrorists in Amman) once urged Arabs to "kill Jews wherever you find them, kill them with your hands, with your nails and teeth."

Turn, now, to Maimonides' Epistle to Yemen, where the great Jewish philosopher refers to Arabs as follows: "Never did a people molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they.... No matter how much we suffer and elect to remain at peace with them, they stir up strife and sedition, as [King] David predicted, 'I am all peace, but when I speak, they are for war' (Ps. 120:7)."

Although Maimonides describes Islam as monotheistic in a letter to Ovadya, a convert, in another responsum he qualifies this position. He notes that Muslim stone-throwing is a ritual derived from pagan cultic practices. Even the central Islamic ritual of the hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca and its Ka'ba shrine is of pagan origin. Hence Maimonides felt obliged to say that "Ishmaelites [i.e. Moslems] are not far from engaging in false worship."

Maimonides also said that Mohammed perverted the Torah, that some of its treasures were stolen and embodied in the Koran. Yet, while Arabs denigrate the Torah and call the Five Books of Moses a Jewish forgery, hardly any Jew places the Koran in question. A nineteenth-century exception was Abraham Geiger (the founder of Reform Judaism), who said this about Mohammed and the Koran:

"The order in which he [Mohammed] gives the prophets is interesting, for immediately after the patriarchs he places first Jesus, then Job, Jonah, Aaron, Solomon, and last of all David [Sura 4:161]. In another passage [Sura 6:84-86] the order is still more ridiculous, for here we have David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Zecharia, John, Jesus, Elija, Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot! The incorrect spelling of the names of these prophets as well as the parts which [Mohammed] assigns to them in history, proves that he had never even looked into the Hebrew Scriptures." Perhaps Muslim exegetes can explain these bizarre discrepancies. Let us therefore focus on Arab customs and beliefs, relying on closer students of the subject.

For example, the late Professor Yehoshafat Harkabi, once head of Israeli military intelligence and a confidant of Shimon Peres, regarded "falsehood as an expression [Arab] national character." He quotes an emancipated Arab sociologist Sonia Hamady: "Lying is a widespread habit among Arabs, and they have a low idea of the truth." In contrast, Truth (Emet) is one of the names of the God of Israel. Moreover, and contrary to the Torah, Arabs do not believe in the principle of free will, the basis of ethical monotheism. The illustrious Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, well-versed in philosophy, rejected "Islam's barren and desolate monotheism" as opposed to Jewish monotheism which brings joy and life to all."

Islam's affinity with fatalism reinforces, if does not actually engender, Arab-Islamic dictatorships. At the same time, the Islamic denial of free will leads Muslims to reject the theoretical and practical aspects of the Noahide laws of universal morality. This is why savagery, as Ibn Khaldun observed, is characteristic of Arab-Islamic culture. It would be a tragic error to attribute the savagery manifested in recent Arab suicide-bombings in Jerusalem merely to Hamas terrorists. Recall the civil war in Lebanon. In a report which appeared in the London Observer on 15 January 1976, British journalist Patrick Sills writes: "In the corners of the streets of Beirut, small children exhibit bottle which contained human ears dunked in acid, like pickles or artichokes in vinegar. Bodies are laying in the streets immersed in their coagulated blood, some lacking their procreative organs, which were cut off and put in acid for exhibition by children ... "Nuns were raped in front of their parents and brothers and afterwards had their elbows slit....

"The number of those killed and wounded, and worse than anything the kidnaped whose fate was usually horrible and awesome, reached about 40,000, with both sides competing between themselves for the most ferocious actions. Complete villages were pillaged, set on fire, and all the population eliminated. The [PLO] Palestinian terrorists were the most extreme and cruelly vicious of all." The kinsmen of these Arabs are now taking control of Judea-Samaria and Gaza. They are no less savage, notwithstanding their courtesies to Western diplomats and journalists. Ponder the gruesome example of Syria. There teenage militia girls and boys, in a ceremony to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, respectively killed four-foot snakes with their teeth and twisted the heads off puppies and drank their blood -- to the applause of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. That Jews were the intended object of this paganistic ceremony has not prevented various Israeli Prime Ministers from believing that genuine peace is possible with the Assad regime (which slaughtered 20,000 of its own citizens in Hama). Unfortunately, not a single political leader in Israel or in the democratic world has had the courage to say that signing peace treaties with such despots is a replay of the Munich Pact, no less inane and no less immoral. Perhaps they have succumbed to the shallow, democratic doctrine of "conflict resolution" purveyed by political scientists tainted by moral or cultural relativism.

Like blind-deaf-mutes, these academics see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, and speak-no-evil aboutArab-Islamic culture.

Of course, they would argue that such candor can only serve as an incitement to violence. However, by being silent about evil and by appeasing evil regimes, Israel's political and intellectual elites degrade and disarm their own people on the one hand, and facilitate the hostile designs of these regimes on the other.

No Israeli politician would dare say: "Indoctrinated from infancy on, Arabs, like the Assassins of a thousand years ago, are unrivaled in dedication and fanaticism, in hatred and murder. They regard killing Jews as more lawful than the falling of rain. When Arabs kill Jews, they feel they are killing not human beings but noxious insects." Such a statement, however, would be self-incriminating, for it should be evident that Israeli politicians, out of cowardice and imbecility, have given Arabs cause to despise Jews. Nevertheless, this decadence (foretold in various Jewish sources) should not be construed as anything more than the political stage of Israel's rebirth.

We stand in the midst of political decay and of grave danger, but with abundant evidence of a spiritual resurgence pointing toward the restoration of Hebraic civilization. Hence, with the New Year before us, let us go forward, without fear or pessimism, our sights lofty and unwavering, our hearts and minds armed with courage and truth!


Professor Paul Eidelberg is the founder and director of FOUNDATION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 244 Madison Avenue, Suite 427, New York, NY 10016, 212-372-3752, E-mail: CONSTITUTION@USA.NET