Date: 18/10/2021
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Mshad Al-Zaydi: Sharing the World With The Islamic State And The Islamic Republic

Mshad Al-Zaydi fears the world of those Muslims -- Sunni in the case of the Islamic State, Shi'a in the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran -- who take Islam most to heart. But he cannot yet, or perhaps never will be able, or allow himself to admit, that what is wrong is what is in the Qur'an, what is in the Hadith, what is in the Sira, what it is about thaving  Muhamamd, as, for Musilms that permanent  Model of Conduct ("uswa hasana"), that Perfect Man ("al-insan al-kamil"), who must never ever be criticized in the slightest. Can such a man as Mshal Al-Zaydi ask himself what is wrong with Islam? Can he ask himself: what would the Arabs themselves have been like, what art, what music, what science, might they have developed, had not Islam contained or discouraged or forbidden or punished any art but calligraphy and mosque architecture, any music but, very occasionally, the folk songs, the wedding singers, the odd Umm Kalthum of the last century, any science if that science required, as science (but not technology) does, the habit of skepticism and independent thought. Many non-Arabs are, or soon will, come to realize that islamization means forced arabization, and that means a loss of one's own pre-Islamic history, and the adoption of a factitious Arab identity, or at least the attempt to emulate and pretend to be Arab. But what of the Arabs themselves? What about all those Saudis and Emiratis and Kuwaitis and Qataris rich enough, and presumably now worldly enough, to have seen and lived in London, Paris, and New York. Do they not ever stop counting their banknotes, and in those between-banquet moments, and after shopping, and before the grouplets of call girls arrive, meditating -- even if for only a moment -- in their hotels particuliers or Plantagenet hunting-lodges, about Islam and its effect on Arab civilization, on the Arabs themselves, and what they might have accomplished had they not submitted to Islam long ago?