|Printed in The Muslim News (October 20, 1989) in response to Fay Weldon's Sacred Cows (Counterblast, Channel 4 Books) - an exceptionally vicious attack on Islam in the wake of the innocuous and impotent expression of Muslim rage against Salman Rushdie's scandulous book.|
The false gods of hatred and vengeance have spoken. Through the mouth of a She-Devil. The witch of hypocrisy and conceit has ridden her broomstick. Applauded by the crowd of Channel Four. The fetish of the endogamous tribe has raised its ugly head. Displaying the serpent of race in full colours. The worship of the golden cow of self-righteousness has begun. Behind a smokescreen of moral depravity. Only the sanctuaries of daft religions haven't been bombed. Only the idolaters of false Gods haven't been sent to the gas chambers - yet!
At last, the skulking novelist (i.e. Rushdie) has found a ready partner from among his incestuous clan of ungodly literati. On the renegade's side has appeared a real-life She-Devil, in all her crusading fury. Responding to the call of 'crushing the Muslims', the Witch of Counterblast has cast her first spell of damnation on the Muslim faith. The casualties, so far, are truth, decency and justice. The obscene sanctimony of the echt atheist's genocidal passions merely confirms the fact that the most compelling testimony to human freedom is man's - She-Devils included - capacity to lie. Truth merely exposes the real world, but the lie aspires to remake it. And so is it with the lies of the apostate's advocate: her quotes from the Muslim Scripture are often pure fabrications and her exegesis of the sacred text outwits the Satan himself in perversity, guile and wickedness.
The mercy of (Islamic!) God who invents (!) sin in order to appear forgiving, so proclaims the Counterblast, is a circular argument, puzzling to Western ears.' Strange western ears! Having been tuned to the Christian broadcast for two millennia, they seem to forget that the religious catch-22 is a western invention: To be sinful is to need salvation, but in order to be saved, one has to be born in sin! Sin and salvation, guilt and grace, Man's debt and God's ransom, all belong to the Church's bag of tricks. Islam, where there is no corporate guilt and the individual is forever legally (morally) responsible, hands out no deeds of collective redemption. The Mercy of the True God is neither to have created man in sin, foredoomed and flawed, nor to have promised him a bogus salvation that must await the charade of second coming! No, in the enviable role of the con-man, no one can beat the Christian cleric.
The Bible, it is claimed further, reveals a kinder, more interesting, less vengeful, less cruel God, one worth studying, worshipping. Included in the less vengeful side of the Biblical God are, of course, his repeated demands for genocide. For instance, Joshua at Jericho (6: 17, 21) and Saul in the case of Amalekites (I Samuel 15: 1-35). The later case, so observes Professor R C Zaehner, is so shocking, so wicked, that it deserves to be quoted in full in case any who may be Jew or Christian should have forgotten it and in order that those who have not been schooled in the Good Book may obtain some inkling of just how good it is: This is the very word of the Lord of Hosts: "I am resolved to punish the Amalekites and destroy them, and put their property under a ban. Spare no one; put them all to death, men and women, children and babes in arms, herds and flocks, camels and asses.'
Barred as the Muslim is by his faith from trafficking in hate and maligning other religions - the favourite pastime of the hawkers of Biblical compassion, he may only allude to the more interesting' side of the Biblical God through the judgement of insiders. What more, for instance, can he add to the following quote from a critical work by the notorious Bible-basher Robert G Ingersoll - now conveniently gone out of print and not available to ordinary Christians. Ingersoll here claims without mincing any words: "The God of the Bible is a false god, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous..."!
To this, Zaehner's mild censure needs to be added: As to Christianity and all that mealy-mouthed claptrap about Gentle Jesus meek and mild, perhaps it is not besides the point to remind the reader that this same Jesus is quoted as saying: You may not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a son's wife against her mother-in-law; and a man will find his enemies under his own roof'.
The biggest charade in this great lie, however, is that the secular-humanist taunts the man of faith for wanting to kill an idea, for putting a death sentence on individual conscience! Some conscience that is granted the logistical backing of the entire publishing industry in the West! Some freedom of expression that barters the truth of history for the lie of fiction! Some dignity of one's own belief when it mocks the sanctity of an entire faith. Obviously, as long as the expression is the calumny of Islam and slander against the Prophet, the freedom enjoyed by the Western jester has to be absolute. But challenge you the western monopoly of the word, and your- freedom of belief, thought, expression, publication, dissemination, propagation hasn't got a chance!
The West, we are told, has progressed out of savage barbarity in the name of God towards freedom of belief; out and away from the Crusades, leaving behind the killing and tortures of religious dissenters, the intricate horrors of the Inquisition, the burning of witches.. Certainly, not every step since the Dark Ages of the West has been a step towards barbarity. And yet, morally we are more depraved today than ever before. Witch-burning has been replaced by gas-showers (Was it for their belief that these wretched went to death at Auschwitz and Buchenwald, or was it for their race?), and the Bomb hangs on all of us like the sword of Damocles!
We need not remind the sanctimonious secularist that s/he her/himself blasts cities, destroys forests and fields and kills everything at random, for profit and for pleasure, for the sake of much crasser goals such as the possession of a piece of real-estate! Moreover, having ransomed our humanity to the pawnbroker of power (the territorial state), and sold our souls to the Mephestophles of amorality (modern science and technology); having solemnly baptised the killer instinct of man in the cathedral of Realpolitik and appointed the pontiff of racism as the grand inquisitor of human dignity, the secular man is in no position to proclaim himself the defender of human conscience!
Surely, this modern world of ours, with its Bomb and gas chambers, its technology of remote killing and war-ethics of the total annihilation of combatants and non-combatants, its strangulated nature and its enslaved human subject, is a gift of the Secular Man. It too, as is confessed by the Counterblast, has its own sacred cows. Among the apologists of its moral order, however, only some are sacred, the rest are just cows.