The Islamic world of the Middle East is sinking into the gloomy and forgotten past: the Bronze Age, the world of slavery, human sacrifice, pedophilia, sexual sacred traditions, beliefs in conspiracies and now the most terrible — ritual cannibalism
Special to WorldTribune.com
In the 90s, when working on an article about homeless animals, I visited a shelter for dogs and cats located between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
The Director of the shelter told me about the miserable life of his pets, lamented how many dogs from Arab villages were brought here in terrible condition: they were beaten, held under the scorching sun starving, gotten rid of when they were not needed.
Why? He could not give a clear answer. Only later I learned that such attitude to dogs is the norm for Muslims here, because dogs, according to Islam, are “unclean animals”.
Dogs are not the only victims of “Palestinian frustration”. In 2000, the Englishwoman Lucy Fensom set up Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land to help old and sick donkeys that were abandoned by Arabs as useless. Donkeys are subject to regular abuse by Palestinian teenagers; “fighters against occupants” use them as “shahids” tying explosives to them and sending them to Israelis. There is another kind of entertainment: they paint a donkey in the colors of the Israeli flag, torture it, burn out the Star of David on it, pour over gasoline and set it on fire.
That way, via the relationships between animals and people, I began my journey into the jungle of the Muslim world in the Middle East — the perverted and cruel world, full of anomalies and pathologies, irrational anger and countless superstitions. It is a world where a woman, a child, a person with sexual and psychological aberrations are doomed to the fate of the miserable dog or donkey. It is a world of jinns, spirits, beliefs in conspiracies, legalized pedophilia and actual slavery, “codes of honor” and boundless fanaticism, clans structures, arrogant and suspicious attitude towards the outside world. It is a world that brings us back to the prehistory of mankind.
I was surprised to discover this world. I visited Muslim republics in the former Soviet Union many times. I saw tolerant communities that defended their tradition in the face of the Soviet atheism, and it inspired respect.
Murderous conflicts after the collapse of the USSR were caused by the shock of the unexpected dissolution, bleeding old wounds and abcesses, but not by the religious fanaticism.
The uprising of Dzhokhar Dudayev in Chechnya against Russians in the early ’90s was the result of the burst of nationalism and old offenses – in memory of the barbaric deportation of Chechens to Siberia in the 40s.
But in general, Muslim people of the USSR didn’t express any religious intolerance — Russians, Jews, Germans, Polacks, Koreans deported to Central Asia by Stalin, could confirm this.
Those were the two faces of Islam, but the secret of Janus was quite obvious.
Involution of Islam
Mankind, throughout its very existence, desperately tried to set itself free from firm grips of dark primal instincts, from the viscous swamp of irrational primitive nature. It was a difficult task, but gains were significant.
Moral and spiritual ideals of the prophetic Judaism became the basis of the ethical value system of the Western world. The Greco-Roman philosophy of the late antiquity broke away from primitive beliefs and practices, having created unique and unrivaled systems, such as Stoicism and Epicureanism, Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism.
Christianity, having passed through the hearth of tests and pride, returned to its roots and became one of the ways to spiritual salvation and social justice. Buddhism is a religion of consolation, elevation and rejection of carnal beginning.
The pagans readily abandoned primitive cults too under the influence of highly developed civilizations.
Hindus didn’t cling to the grim rituals of widows’ self-immolation (Sati) and Thuggee sects. Christian people of Africa and Siberia got rid of abominable superstitions quite easily. Descendants of the Aztecs and Inca in Mexico and Peru don’t protect their “sacred right” to human sacrifice, and Maori and Polynesians — to ritual cannibalism.
Muslim nations on the periphery of the Islamic world, like Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Azerbaijanis, Indian Muslims or Hui people in China, are not prone to religious fanaticism and the practice of slave societies. On one hand, they see themselves as heirs of cultures that are more ancient than Islam. In Uzbekistan, historical handbooks and guidebooks remind you about the ancient kingdoms of Bactria and Sogdiana. The Kazakhs are proud of their kinship with the Cumans Empire. In Azerbaijan, they show ancient temples of Zoroastrians to tourists.
On the other hand, Christianity, the great cultures of India and China, and in our time – the secular Soviet ideology softened archaic beliefs and prejudices of Islam. It is Central Asia, not surprisingly, where, at the junction of civilizations, great Muslim scholars were born, such as the creator of Algebra Ibn Musa Khwarizmi, the mathematicians and astronomers Ibn Kathir al-Farghani, al-Farabi and Ibn Ahmad Biruni, the philosopher and physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna). Ulugh Beg invented the first Observatory in Samarkand, and the famous Babur was not only a conqueror, but also a poet, a writer and a scholar.
Today, Sufi orders and the Baha’i communities with their center in Haifa flourish only on the outskirts of the Islamic world, in Central Asia, Azerbaijan, India and Africa. Also this is the only place (and only in Israel in the all Middle East) where the truly humanistic Islam movement — Ahmadiyya Muslim Community — is not subject to severe persecutions.
Only in the Middle East, in the realm of its absolute power, the Muslim world made its journey to the opposite extreme. It not only returned human being to the animal state, but asserted this at the level of religious law and traditions.
The most advanced, harmonious, tolerant religion of the early Middle Ages, with spiritual searches of al-Ghazali, Jalal al-Din Rumi, Yunus Emre and Averroes, erotic allusions of Omar Khayyam, Sheikh Nefzawi and Ibn Arabi; the religion of Baghdadi and Andalusian caliphs — Islam was withdrawing into itself more and more, sinking into the quagmire of petty disputes, prohibitions, absurd dogmas and narcissism. All movements of the modern Islam — from the “Muslim Brotherhood”, “Hizb ut-Tahrir” and Wahhabi / Salafi to the Taliban, Shiite dogmatists in Iran, “Al Qaida” and “Islamic State” — are moving deeper and deeper into the dark tunnel of pre-Islamic prejudices, gloomy rituals, primordial instincts and pathological fanaticism.
Descent to the Dark Past
Modern Islam is characterized by all features of slave-owning, archaic communities.
“World of Crescent” is the only place on the planet where slavery flourished legally for centuries and continues to thrive in a disguised form in our time.
Formally, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Yemen abolished slavery in the 60s, but informally actively practiced it in relation to foreign workers (Indians, Filipinos, Ceylonese, Thais, etc). All of them have sponsorship laws (kafeel), which de-facto represent contemporary slavery.
“Sponsors” have absolute power over labor migrants. They can deprive them of rights of residence, confiscate documents, pay no salaries, ban them from leaving the country and even their houses on the pretext that the workers might try to “escape”. They can kill and rape them with impunity.
Ownership of black slaves is a special matter. The religious justification of this slavery in Islam is rooted in Biblical interpretation, according to which Africans are sons of Ham who committed an unpardonable sin against his father Noah, and therefore they are doomed to be slaves of descendants of Shem, i.e. the Arabs. So Negros, whose ancestors were brought by Arabs from Africa to the area of Basra as slaves in the earliest days of Islam, remain slaves of Arabic sheikhs up until now. They are called Abd (“slave”).
In Mauritania, slavery was abolished in the early 80s. But until now the whole population in this country is actually divided into castes: lighter-skinned “Moors” — slaveholders, “Black Berbers” or “Haratin” – their subjects, and Negros — the lower class.
Slavery is hereditary, and children of slaves remain the property of their owners. The number of slaves in the country is estimated to be up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20 percent of the population, though officially the use of the word “slave” in the media is forbidden. In many cases slaves have a certain place in the house, like animals.
In Sudan slavery is thriving. Entire villages are being demolished; men, women and children are being enslaved. In the 90s, the number of enslaved descendants of Ham was estimated to be 100 to 200 thousand.
In Niger slavery is a norm. There are almost a million of slaves there.
ISIL and its branches in Libya and Nigeria officially revived the institution of slavery in its most heinous and barbarous form, but slavery is deeply rooted in the collective consciousness of the Middle East world and is practiced actively.
A death on the battlefield was considered as honor for a warrior in previous times, because such death opened the way to heaven. The early version of the “Jihad” was no exception: men fought against equal rivals in a fair fight, but by no means against children, women and unarmed men.
The current concept of “Jihad” is much closer to primitive human sacrifice. The purpose of the ancient cult of sacrifice was to appease the angry and bloodthirsty Deity. For the sacramental ceremony they selected predominantly children, juveniles and girls of own tribe as the embodiment of naivety and virginity. Sacrifice represented a horrifying theatrical performance. The sacral victims that voluntarily sacrificed themselves went to paradise where they could enjoy carnal pleasures. People from another tribe were slain like cattle.
The same mythologeme we can see in the current interpretation of “Jihad”. For the role of “martyrs” they choose children and adolescents that are too young to realize they are going to the slaughter. They believe that by killing themselves they make their way to heaven — to the embrace of 72 virgins. (What else can a man of Bronze Age dream about?). On the other side, slashing of people from another tribe chosen randomly, especially women and children, shall delight the cruel Deity and make his enemies tremble from horror.
Finally, the terror of “shahids” is of public, theatrical and ultimately horrifying nature — with torn bodies, severed limbs, flowing blood. This is a typical murderous mystery practiced by ancient people — from Mesopotamia, Syria, and Phoenicia to South America.
Women As Prey, Concubine
In the Age of Bronze, the place of woman in the social hierarchy was a little higher than the place of livestock. She had three standard roles: Prey – when speaking about women from another tribe; Slave — for her owner, and a procreation machine; and finally “Currency” — to conclude bargains, tribal and dynastic alliances. Her freedom of choice was similar to the freedom of choice of a horse or a camel.
Islam returned to woman “her” place in the social hierarchy. In the Middle East she can’t leave the house unaccompanied by her husband, father or brother; she can’t work; she loses her son in case of a divorce; she is subject to beating and humiliation if she doesn’t satisfy her husband.
Islam legalizes the beating of women and advises how to keep her on a tight rein like a horse.
Sheikh Muhammad Kamal Mustafa, the author of the book ‘The Woman in Islam’ asserted that “It is forbidden to beat her on the sensitive parts of her body, such as the face, breast, abdomen, and head. Instead, she should be beaten on the arms and legs”.
Sheikh Yousef Qaradhawi, one of the most influential clerics in Sunni Islam: “It is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive parts. In no case should he resort to using a stick or any other instrument that might cause pain and injury”.
In February 2016 Mufti of Gaza Hassan Al-Laham prescribed: “This hitting is a kind of reminder that the love and friendship that Allah commanded, is still found between us (i.e., the couple).” Wonderful, isn’t it? What was the reaction of feminists? It was the organization of the women’s “Peace flotilla” to Gaza.
Female genital mutilations deprive women of their sensuality and turn them into primitive machines for procreation, to insensible dolls.
Any suspicion of adultery leads to their murdering by the family: they can pour acid over them, disfigure them or push them under a truck. The same fate threatens them if they become a victim of a rape. They get married by the decision of the family without their consent.
Primitive tribes considered women of conquered people to be their natural prey. Non-Muslim women today share the same fate.
Long before the ISIL, in 1948, the Arabs set forth to conquer Israel dreaming of killing men and raping women. In Lebanon, Palestinians raped Christian women in Lebanon and thereby provoked the civil war. Secular regimes restrained sexual lusts of Muslims against females of “infidels.” As soon as they broke, Christian women turned into the object of sexual harassment.
On April 10, 2013, Salafi cleric Sheikh Yasir al-‘Ajlawni announced a fatwa that permits the rape non-Sunni women in Syria. In Egypt, in February 2013, Ahmad Mahmoud Abdullah, known as “Abu Islam”, justified the raping of women in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. The raping of girls of the Coptic community in Egypt became commonplace under the Muslime Brotherhood’s Morsi regime. Recently Muslims burned down Christian homes in southern Egypt and forced a 70-year-old Coptic woman to walk naked through the streets.
Non-Muslim women are whores for a Muslim man, especially if they walk alone and wear short skirts – as in Cologne, London, Stockholm or anywhere else.
Sex and Power
Primitive people endowed phallus with a sacred value, and considered the act of copulation as a demonstration of the male power and authority – in relation not only to a woman, but also to a defeated opponent.
The symbolism of sexual possession is well pronounced among aboriginal peoples and monkeys. Konrad Lorenz described the scene in the Berlin zoo.
In the Berlin Zoo, I once watched two strong old male Hamadryas Baboons assaulting each other in real earnest for a minute. A moment later, one of them fled, hotly pursued by the other, who finally chased him into a corner. Unable to escape, the loser took refuge in the submissive gesture, whereupon the winner turned away and walked oft, stift-legged, in an attitude of self-display. Upon this, the loser ran after him and presented his hindquarters so persistently that the stronger one eventually “acknowledged” his submissiveness by mounting him with a bored expression and performing a few perfunctory copulatory movements. Only then was the submissive one apparently satisfied that his rebellion had been forgiven.
Rudiments of this culture remained in marginal societies, for example, in prisons.
In the Middle East, a sexual act as a personification of power over a defeated rival became the norm. Lawrence of Arabia was a victim of such barbaric tradition. Iranian dissidents, Chris Stevens and Gadhafi faced even more frightful fate: they were raped and murdered. This barbarity brings us back to the times that mankind hasn’t known since the appearance of the great religions.
Pedophilia and Other Sexual Perversions
This disgusting phenomenon was inherent to all people in all times, but only Islam legalized it. Things that were considered to be shameful in Judaism, Christianity and in the secular culture, became the norm in the Middle East. Raymond Ibrahim cites Dr. Saleh bin Fawzan, a prominent cleric and member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious council.
Bin Fawzan just issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for marriage, and that girls can be married “even if they are in the cradle.”
Fawzan insists that nowhere does Sharia set an age limit for marrying girls: like countless Muslim scholars before him, he relies on Koran 65:4, which discusses marriage to females who have not yet begun menstruating (i.e., are prepubescent) and the fact that Muhammad, Islam’s role model, married Aisha when she was 6-years-old, “consummating” the marriage — or, in modern parlance, raping her — when she was 9.
Ibrahim gives examples of girls who died as a result of such “child-marriage”, pointing out that leading Islamic authorities, such as Yusuf Qaradawi, took young girls as wives.
According to The International Center for Research on Women, in 2005 there were 51 million child marriages and almost all of them — in Muslim countries.
Ayatollah Khomeini wrote: “A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby”.
Bestiality? Why not? Ayatollah Khomeini: “A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels and so on. However he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village, however selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.” (From Khomeini’s book, Tahrir al-Vasyleh, fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom, Iran, 1990).
In May 2010 in Gaza, 450 Hamas men married girls that were younger than 10 years old. Feminists? Oh, yes, we forgot – they are busy arranging the “Flotilla of peace” to Gaza.
Mutilated and Mentally Ill People
Animals feel irrational hatred to any aberration within their own species. In my childhood I saw a flock of sparrows that attacked a sick bird – they were trying to peck it to death. The miserable sparrow managed to escape having flown into the window of some house.
Civilization has moved beyond this disgusting prejudice, but those unlucky fellows who were born crippled in the Middle East have no way to escape.
This is a “black hole” of the Islamic world, and what we know is just the tip of the iceberg. Last December, the Palestinian agency Maan wrote that in the South of Hebron they found a mentally ill man, who had spent 25 years on the chain in a sheepfold. His family chained him up when he was 10 years old, and he ate together with sheep and chickens. In February 2016, Maan wrote about a mentally ill person in Bethlehem. He was handcuffed, chained up in a shed without ventilation and heating and was fed from a bowl like an animal.
The reason of such attitude is primordial fear. According to Islamic belief, a mentally ill person is in the grip of the jinn and possessed with evil.
Let alone homosexuals – this is commonplace. They are hanged on cranes, as in Iran, and thrown from roofs of buildings. LGBT-community, “Doctors Without Borders”, “Christians for Human Rights”? Of course, they are fully focused on the fight against Gaza blockade!
Like primitive cultures, Islam of the Middle East rejects any and all manifestations of civilization, even if it’s a dead civilization.
It’s the only culture that fights against antiquities: Buddhist temples in Afghanistan, Palmyra, Tuareg sanctuary. It destroys anyone who belongs to other religions, whether Yazidis, Christians, Zoroastrians and Bahá’ís.
They live in the permanent atmosphere of paranoia. Their own troubles they justify with theories of conspiracies. They believe in “Sharks of Mossad”, as the governor of South Sinai, Mohammad Abdul Fadhil Shousha put it; in “Israeli wild boars” that destroy agricultural fields in the West Bank, as claimed by President Mahmoud Abbas; in “Israeli wild hyenas” that were released by Israeli settlers in the West Bank to frighten Palestinian people; in “supernatural rats”, as published in July 2008 by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa to cause panic in East Jerusalem.
“The Jews have the greatest powers of sorcery, and they make use of this tool”, claimed Mehdi Taeb, a friend of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the head of Khamenei’s Ammar Base think tank.
They are sure that ISIL is the result of the conspiracy of CIA and Mossad, that Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain pork and alcohol to poison Muslims.
Do you know case of natural cataclysms? Mallam Abass Mahmud, a Muslim cleric in Ghana, explains: “Allah gets annoyed when males engage in sexual encounter and such disgusting encounter causes earthquake.”
Like in primitive cultures, there is no hint of self-criticism. India, China, Asian and Christian countries in Africa forgot about colonialism, although they experienced plenty of grief and humiliation. The Middle East was a mandated territory for 20 years only, in the period between the world wars, but Arabs still blame the West for all their miseries. The civilization that was great at some point, has now slipped to primordial culture, but apparently it is not the lowest point of fall.
In May 2013, the world witnessed something horrifying: Abu Sakkar, the leader of “Al-Farooq” group (now a part of “Jabhat al-Nusra”), carved the heart of Assad’s dead soldier out and ate the human flesh. Comrades supported him yelling “Allah Akbar”. It was not an isolated incident.
In November 2013, Theodore Shoebat wrote, quoting Arabian news source Zaman al-Wasal and Orient News Television, that Kuru disease caused by cannibalism only had been spreading in Syria. According to Michigan State University, in 2014 only there were about 8 to 10 cases of Kuru registered in Syria: “Kuru re-emerged in the Muslim community recently among Syrian rebels, who reportedly used to eat hearts of victims. Two of these rebels were then hospitalized and transferred to Germany to be treated for the disease, which signified the emergence of the disease in Syria”.
It’s ritual cannibalism, a terrible relic of the primeval world. Isn’t cultural diversity lovely!
The involution of Islam is just one side of the coin. The other one, which is no less horrifying, is the spiritual degradation of the West that welcomes the primordial, predatory world with cute teddy bears, songs about the peace and flowers.
Alexander Maistrovoy is the author “Agony of Hercules or a Farewell to Democracy (Notes of a Stranger”), published recently by Xlibris, Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble).