Andrew Bostom Islam Islam 101



Thanks again to Andy Bostom for yet another eye opening insight to Islam by a scholar from a time past, unhindered by the political correctness of our day. Taking full measure of Islam’s founder, Mohamed, his motivations, cunning successes and institutionalization of triviality and despotism, Jacob Burckhardt lays Islam and its founder bare, naked-like for all eyes to see. And we hate what we see.

And now we must again turn back to Islam, with its stranglehold on national feeling and its miserable constitutional and legal system grafted on to religion, beyond which its peoples never advanced. The State, as a political picture, is here extremely uninteresting; in the Caliphate, practically from its outset, a despotism without responsibility to heaven or earth was taken for granted, and even, by a highly illogical twist, by its renegades. What is supremely interesting is how this organization came into being and could not but come into being, given the nature of Islam and of its rule over Giaours [Infidels]. There lies the explanation of the great similarity of Islamic States from the Tagus [a river in the Iberian peninsula] to the Ganges, the only difference being the former with less steadfastness and talent. A kind of division of power can be dimly descried only among the Seljuk nobility.

Jacob Burckhardt: How Muhammad’s “Victory of Fanaticism and Triviality” Engendered Islam’s “Despotism” and “Periodical Renewal of the Holy War (Jihad)”

September 21st, 2014 (2 minutes ago) · No Comments · Essays

An iconic figure in the annals of Western historiography, Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) was a pioneering scholar of “cultural history.” Burckhardt, whose best known work is The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860), believed it was the solemn duty of Western civilization’s heirs to study and acknowledge their own unique cultural inheritance—starting with the culture and heritage of classical Athens. Burckhardt emphasized how the Western conception of freedom was engendered in Athens, where its flowering was accompa­nied by the production of some of history’s most sublime literary and artistic works. Moreover, while Burckhardt affirmed the irreducible nature of freedom, and upheld equality before the law, he decried the notion—a pervasive, rigidly enforced dogma at present—that all ways of life, opinions, and beliefs were of equal value. Burckhardt argued that this conceptual reductio ad absurdumwould destroy Western culture, heralding a return to barbarism. Burckhardt’s lecture notes for his history courses at the University of Basel during the period from 1865 to 1885 include Weltgeschichtliche Betrachtungen, published in English as Force and Freedom, 1964, and in 1979 as Reflections on History, by the Liberty Fund.

Extracts from these two collections, below, illustrate Burckhardt’s pellucid, frank understanding of the yawning cultural chasm—moral, philosophical, and educational—between Islam, and Western civilization. With unapologetic insight Burckhardt hones in on how Muhammad, Islam’s “radical simplifier,” engendered Islamic “despotism”—in modern parlance “totalitarianism”—and the creed’s eternal impetus for “periodical renewal of the Holy War (i.e., Jihad),” to achieve “world empire,” as “a simple corollary.”


With his Muhammad scanty preaching alone he would have achieved only a modest and temporary success; but from the hegira [migration to Medina, ~ 622 C.E.] on, he constantly procured new goals for his adherents: in addition to Mecca, which he promised them, the robbing of caravans and the conquests in Arabia together with the resulting booty. To this there immediately attaches as something natural the holy war against the outside as well. World empire is a simple corollary.

Muhammad is personally very fanatical; that is his basic strength. His fanaticism is that of a radical simplifier and to that extent is quite genuine. It is of the toughest variety, namely, doctrinaire passion, and his victory is one of the greatest victories of fanaticism and triviality. All idolatry, everything mythical, everything free in religion, all the multifarious ramifications of the hitherto existing faith, transport him into a real rage, and he hits upon a moment when large strata of his nation were evidently highly receptive to an extreme simplification of the religious; his genius lies in his divining this. And the peoples who were now attacked may also have been somewhat tired of their existing theology and mythology. From his youth on, Muhammad, with the aid of at least ten people, looks over the faiths of the Jews, Christians, and Parsis [Zoroastrians], and steals from them any scraps that he can use, shaping these elements according to his imagination. Thus everyone found in Muhammad’s sermons some echo of his accustomed faith. The very extraordinary thing is that with all this Muhammad achieved not merely lifetime success, the homage of Arabia, but founded a world religion that is viable to this day and has a tremendously high opinion of itself.

More here at Andy Bostom’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.