A Letter to the Key Leader among the German Muslims
had intended to write you a letter conveying my prayers to the Creator of the Universe asking blessings on you and the huge Muslim community in the German State, this being the beginning of our Holy month of fasting. One can only regret that the effective preventive work of your special services chose the opening of Ramadan to be the time to make a publicity involving the arrest of these dreadful terrorists, and must hope it was done without reflection, and can only regret that it was not done a month earlier. While every terrorist phenomenon must be utterly removed from the European State, and of that there can be no doubt, my concern is not with either the efficacy or the sensitivity of the special services. My concern is two-fold: one, the abysmal ignorance of the political class and their pseudo-academic advisors, and two, my awareness that the causes of terrorism in Europe and elsewhere, as well as its motor-force, have simply not been understood either sociologically or psychologically.
Let me say first of all, that the name ‘Islamic Terrorist’ is in itself a complete political fiction. The two terms in themselves represent a nonsense, since they are utterly lacking in compatibility. On the one hand you have a term defining the world’s greatest religion, with the largest number of adherents, whose unique material manifestation has been the highest civilisation, whether by the sublime architecture of Tamerlane and the Mughals in the East, or by the philosophers, doctors, and scholars who produced a proto-science and the highest legal method in history, in the West.
Now the word ‘terrorist’ had never manifested in the Islamic society. It did, however, appear as a by-product of the Shi‘a religion, not in itself a sect of Islam but a post-Islamic sub-religion uniquely based on turning post-Islamic history into a metaphysic. I mean, of course, the notorious Isma‘ili phenomenon of terrorism, which can be clearly identified as re-surfacing in the 20th and 21st centuries. The primary instrument of that terror was the suicide-activist. The unfortunate victim, for such as these are victims, was required to enter a state of exaltation on the promise that his action would assure him a place in Paradise. Having committed his ghastly deed, he was then buried in a special martyrs’ cemetery. There, the young followers who were next in line for this immolation were taken to meditate on the faces which were drawn in ink and placed over their graves, to further their identification with them. They then trotted off to commit their hideous act of suicide-assassination. They were the terror of the Muslim population of the great Sultan Saladin (Salahuddin), and also of the christian kings.
Now, it is possible to go to the Gaza Strip and observe exactly this Isma‘ili-type cemetery, and the glazed youngsters being prepared for death by their shameful and cowardly masters, in exactly the same way as the Isma‘ilis did in the Middle Ages. To make inescapable where the inspiration and doctrine has come from, it should also be pointed out that the leadership of Isma‘ili terrorism was a hidden leadership unknown to everybody. Their leader directed affairs from a hidden place in the high mountains of Lebanon. He was called the Old Man of the Mountains. Today the same phenomenon is directed from the mountains of Waziristan, which is a known area of fanatical Isma‘ilism, and there until recently the contemporary Old Man of the Mountains lay in hiding. I refer, clearly, to Osama bin Laden. Another aspect of this story is the mystery of his death or occultation. In Rawalpindi and in the Security Services of Paris they say he is dead. They also say the videos of him are morphed, a now simple digital process. This leaves us with an inescapable political shadow over the relationship between the colonialist NATO doctrines and the smoke-screen necessity of an indefinable, quasi-non-existent entity of world terror whose name two billion Muslims have learned from the media. At this point I should add that, knowing as I do all the Muslim leadership with the exception of China, I have yet to come across one Muslim ‘alim or leader who has ever met any of them!
When the official analysis of the Twin Towers incident was issued in the USA, Muslims did not fail to notice that on the night prior to the disaster – I might add, that a lady I knew was killed on one of the planes – the criminal hijackers passed their evening neither in prayer nor fasting, but by entertaining prostitutes and drinking vodka-sours! The fact that the epicentre of this plague called terrorism is undeniably Palestine, and by extension the shamefully traduced State of Afghanistan, still does not permit us to identify it as Islamic. During all my lifetime, right up until the 70s, or perhaps 80s, something called a ‘serial killer’ simply did not exist. To be precise, if it did, it was such a social anomaly that people knew the name of the killer. Jack the Ripper! However, as the capitalist society evolved, so too did its crimes. The term ‘serial killer’ and the phenomenon first surfaced in the USA. It then took root as a new pathology of the self-hatred endemic to capitalism. If one were to say “christian serial killers”, there would be an outcry. Why? Because that simply is not the relevant term to designate the sociology of the serial killers. One does not have to dig deep to find its political causes. They are embedded in the very nature of atheist humanism, which from its beginnings has been ferociously misogynist. There would not be a women’s movement in the USA if there had not been a prior persecution and humiliation of them in the social nexus. The much-vaunted claims that women are equal to men are still denied by the highly significant role women are cruelly forced to adopt if they wish to enter the realm of politics. In politics the American Secretary of State, the German Chancellor and the French Justice Minister, simply have not been able to function in the all-male environment of politics without becoming transvestites, however stylish the cut of their manly suits. Last night, flicking through fifteen TV channels, at the moment I tuned in, a woman was screaming, another sobbing, another being raped, and so on, over nine out of the fifteen channels. It gets worse later at night. As far as the banking elite is concerned, I only know one woman in the highest echelons of banking. Perhaps appropriately, her first husband mysteriously disappeared and her second was murdered in his bathroom.
Let us now look at the term ‘terrorist’ further. To us Europeans there remains a disturbing split between the intellectual content of our education, taking in as it did history, literature and the arts, and the weltanschauung offered to us on a daily basis by the media with their Esperanto-like limited vocabulary, and the politicians with their fractured grammar. The fractured grammar of European ministers in Germany, France and Britain is really quite shocking, but it is nowhere challenged by our academics, perhaps because they have all gone into the lucrative business of emerging as terrorist experts!
Let us therefore remind ourselves of the emergence of terrorism – the term, its political application, and its philosophical frame. The word was first used in the language of the great Russian writers in the 19th century. Significantly, two words went together – terrorist, and nihilist. In the political practice of the time they were seen as synonyms. The terrorist-nihilist, as understood by Turgenev and Dostoevsky, was not seen as a radical desirous to bring about a change in the power nexus. He was seen as someone who, seeing no solution to the terrible contradictions of society, and to its irrational foundations, decided that there was no meaning left in the political discourse. The result of this ‘nihil’ was that the terrorist concluded that an ultimate act of utter meaninglessness which was an act of utter destruction – and the highest destruction is the destruction of one’s own self – thus in itself challenged the society to face up to the total ‘nihil’ of the contemporary situation. As if with ghastly determination, the democratic politicians then proceeded to confirm the individual act of self-destruction by plunging the world into the mass suicide of the 1914-18 World War. Virginia Woolf had declared: “On or about December 1910, human character changed!”
The two great giants of the 19th century had warned that civilisation had broken down and that an end-destruction was not only near but longed-for – both Ibsen and Wagner declared the end. Ibsen’s Rosmer and his lover walked into the mill-race to drown. Brünnhilde flung herself into the fires of Valhalla. It took a German historian after World War II to perceive what no-one had dared to say, that 1914 to 1945 was one disastrous European civil war. Worse than that, it was a second Thirty Years War.
Since 1945, whether we like it or not, want it or not, know it or not, the political class have found themselves with a disappearing hold on power. Political power is manifest by control of substantive wealth. It has always been thus. Today the political class rule uniquely by the tiny financial sum of the annual budget allotted to them by the voting tax-payers, while the stupendous wealth of commodities and currency manipulation remains in the hands of a tiny oligarchy, elected by no known constituency.
It must be understood by the educated European elite that just as the terrorism of 19th century Russia, which is the true, unique and only modern precursor to present-day terrorism, occurred at the point where two polar extremes were connected by the electric current of violence – Tsarism and destitution were fatal lovers who shared in the blast – today’s terrorists are the inescapably bound, helpless suicidal lethal lovers of the high oligarchy of that massive wealth embedded in the banking system at its core, and the commodities system of oil and precious metals at its core. Brünnhilde’s meeting was with the flames of Valhalla and the Gods. Ibsen’s Rebecca West, in plunging into the mill-stream, was making rendezvous with the shame of her past.
We are in a terrible situation, which the arrest of these paltry, miserable terrorists scarcely has raised up before our eyes. We must take a long look. Europe desperately needs renewal. That renewal will be Islamic, and that Islam will prove to have taken its inheritance from the wisdom of Goethe, the first great European Muslim, and the wise, nearly Sufic psychology of Schiller, as well as the inspiration and guidance that confirmed it in the writing of Nietzsche and the sublime Rilke. And so my prayer this Ramadan is that at this crossroads among the ruins of a great civilisation, we do not stifle genuine political discourse between the Muslim Europeans and the rest in a fascistic policy of the intimidation of the doctors who have come with the medicine.