Saturday, July 23, 2016

THE MESSAGE FROM MOHAMMED

The earliest legends about Mohammed and his band of followers in Mecca has colored the relationship of Muslims with the rest of the world. The rejection by the Meccans and the holy revenge of the Mohammedans is re-enacted every day on a world scale. 



"The Message" Movie Trailer 1976 - Story of Islam.

The movie "The Message" (IMDb) is a 3 hour melodrama in which the appearance of actor Anthony Quinn is the sole mitigating circumstance. Nevertheless, the movie is required viewing for students of Islam. The film was conceived prior to the present Islamic revival. In other words, the film does not contain any of the politically correct revisionism that one might expect in a pro Islam movie today. In the movie the actors depicting Mohammed and his followers have the polished heroism that was typical of Hollywood at the time. Still, this authorized propaganda movie meant for a Western audience is not an unabashed puff piece. It gives us a fairly balanced view of the earliest beginnings of Islam. 

The narrative begins as Mohammed (who is invisible throughout the movie) is receiving his divine revelations in a cave at Mecca and is gathering his first followers. Soon their missionary zeal becomes quite impopular with the natives in the city.

Mohammed's followers try to cleanse the Kaaba, at the time a shrine for various tribal idols. Following a violent uprising they are humiliated and punished. Mohammed receives an order from Allah to flee Mecca. They end up in Medina, where Mohammed in another revelation is ordered to take revenge against the Meccans.

Transformation

The quarrel between the Mohammedans and Meccans does not appear to be theological in nature or regarding any specific religious dispute. It's about the person of Mohammed and the persons of the early Muslims. By the act of submitting to the will of Allah, Muslims undergo a transformation of sorts that turns them into superior beings. This intrinsic superiority goes to the core of understanding Holy War (Jihad). 

The Mohammedans avenge their humiliation at the hand of the infidel Meccans; this is followed by another retaliation, a truce and finally a violation of the truce on the part of the unbelievers. In the end the Muslims are victorious against the Meccans. They take the city and are welcomed as liberators. The Kaaba is rededicated to the one and greater god (meaning of Allahu Akbar). 

The Message

Mohammed sends out couriers carrying his message to all corners of the known world: the Emperors of Persia and Byzantium, and the Patriarch of Alexandria are informed of Mohammed's victory against the pagan Meccans.

The pagan negation doesn't concern a certain idea or a specific truth; it's about the rejection of the metaphysical, intrinsic transformation of believers when they submit to the message of Mohammed.

There isn't any differentation between Islam and Muslims: rejecting Islam is rejecting Muslims and vice versa. Like the Meccans, the Zoroastrian Persians and the Christian Byzantines and Ptolomaic Egyptians spurn Mohammed's message.

From that moment on, all those who reject  or offend Islam or Muslims have become like Meccans. In other words, they have become inferior beings rejecting or insulting superior beings. This event has become the model how Muslims view their relationship with the rest of the world. 

Revenge and Holy War

Allah ordered Mohammed to retaliate against the Meccans. Therefore the attack was not just legitimate; it has divine authority. The "innocent civilian" is a Western concept unknown to Islam.

Muslims like to cast themselves in the role of noble victims who have been spurned, punished and oppressed by inferior beings. In Islam outrage over social and cultural injustices in the 7th century AD, violent protests and Holy War are Holy Commandments instructed  to Mohammed by Allah.

The indignation of superior beings over perceived humiliations are reminiscent of the victimhood that Hitler used to spur on Germans after the First World War to struggle against "Jews" and "Capitalists". 

Separate political Islam from religion

Islam is totalitarian, holistic. It controls a believer's personal life, as well as the social order and the nature of the state. Forget about theology and the Koran! These are not what concerns us. At issue is the life and the role model of Mohammed as described in the Hadith, because that is the part of Islam that determines the psychological and philosophical relationship of Muslims with the rest of the world. 

It explains the hair trigger outrage and protests against any perceived slights and offense against Muslims or Islam. It explains the perpetual state of war of the Dar-al-Islam against the Dar-al-Harb, the realm of unbelievers who keep rejecting superior Islam.

We must separate personal religion from the parts of Islam that control society and politics. That dividing line if the Sharia, or the Islamic law. But the psychological integration is much harder to entangle. This is one of the reasons why it is almost impossible to reform Islam. 



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