Jasmine Revolution is ... the dumbest uprising in history

John R. Bradley, The Arab Spring has left Tunisia a poorer and far less liberal place
For the past half a century, the Tunisian film director Nadia El Fani would have had no problem showing her new documentary, Neither God Nor Master, which explores her atheism and disdain for radical Islam. But before the Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia was the most socially liberal country in the Muslim world. Its Islamist extremists were where they belonged: in prison. A few weeks ago, however, during the film’s premiere, hundreds of bearded zealots smashed through the glass doors of the capital’s CinemAfricArt cinema, attacked the audience, and threatened ‘a massacre’ if the screening continued.

Six months after the overthrow of the Tunisian strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, an avowed secularist and hardly the tyrant he is portrayed as having been, such incidents have become frequent. In May, Nouri Bouzid, another Tunisian director and critic of Islamist extremism, was stabbed in the head. Hundreds of hardline Islamists now prowl the streets of Tunis seeking converts. Radicals have firebombed the city’s legalised red-light district, demonstrated outside the local synagogue, killed a Catholic priest, hounded a teacher out of his job for saying something deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed, forced the interim regime to block all internet pornography and caused widespread chaos by rioting to demand that the veil, previously banned, be made compulsory.

The intellectual elite threw their support behind the revolution, in which only a tiny percentage of the population participated. Now they complain of a lack of police protection. But the laconic policeman in charge at a local station, in response to a plea for help from a member of the CinemAfricArt audience, rather hit the nail on the head. ‘Ben Ali was protecting you, and you kicked him out,’ he reportedly said, and shrugged…

Tunisians belonging to the country’s once vast middle class, who shunned the uprising, have sunk into a collective depression. Many are openly stating what recently was considered sacrilege: the revolution was a terrible mistake....

Tunisia’s political outlook is as dismal as its economic performance. The main Islamist political party, Ennahda (Awakening), looks certain to triumph in forthcoming elections…

Tunisia’s uniquely secular inheritance went up in smoke with the Jamsine Revolution — perhaps the dumbest and most self-defeating uprising in history.
Here is a video. There is the usual rabid chanting for about 12 minutes and then the doors to the cinema are closed. At 14 minutes they start to break down the doors and eventually smash their way in, waving the black flag of jihad.

But don't be alarmed, people, Islam is a religion of peace and this is just a tiny minority of extremists and every religion has its extremists. Here, let Sam Harris explain ...

Sam Harris, The End of Faith - Chapter 4: The Problem With Islam
WHILE my argument in this book is aimed at faith itself, the differences between faiths are as relevant as they are unmistakable. There is a reason, after all, why we must now confront Muslim, rather than Jain terrorists , in every corner of the world. Jains do not believe anything that is remotely likely to inspire them to commit acts of suicidal violence against unbelievers. By any measure of normativity we might wish to adopt (ethical, practical, epistemological, economic, etc.), there are good beliefs and there are bad ones—and it should now be obvious to everyone that Muslims have more than their fair share of the latter ...

Given the vicissitudes of Muslim history, however, I suspect that the starting point I have chosen for this book—that of a single suicide bomber following the consequences of his religious beliefs—is bound to exasperate many readers, since it ignores most of what commentators on the Middle East have said about the roots of Muslim violence, it ignores the painful history of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. It ignores the collusion of Western powers with corrupt dictatorships. It ignores the endemic poverty and lack of economic opportunity that now plague the Arab world. But I will argue that we can ignore all of these things-or treat them only to place them safely on the shelf—because the world is filled with poor, uneducated, and exploited peoples who do not commit acts of terrorism, indeed who would never commit terrorism of the sort that has become so commonplace among Muslims; and the Muslim world has no shortage of educated and prosperous men and women, suffering little more than their infatuation with Koranic eschatology, who are eager to murder infidels for God’s sake.

We are at war with Islam. It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so. It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been “hijacked” by extremists. We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran, and further elaborated in the literature of the hadith, which recounts the sayings and actions of the Prophet. A future in which Islam and the West do not stand on the brink of mutual annihilation is a future in which most Muslims have learned to ignore most of their canon, just as most Christians have learned to do. Such a transformation is by no means guaranteed to occur, however, given the tenets of Islam....

A Fringe without a Center

The world, from the point of view of Islam, is divided into the “House of Islam” and the “House of War” and this latter designation should indicate how many Muslims believe their differences with those who do not share their faith will be ultimately resolved. While there are undoubtedly some “moderate” Muslims who have decided to overlook the irrescindable militancy of their religion, Islam is undeniably a religion of conquest. The only future devout Muslims can envisage—as Muslims—is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, subjugated, or killed. The tenets of Islam simply do not admit of anything but a temporary sharing of power with the “enemies of God.”

... Islam and Western liberalism remain irreconcilable. Moderate Islam—really moderate, really critical of Muslim irrationality—scarcely seems to exist. If it does, it is doing as good a job at hiding as moderate Christianity did in the fourteenth century (and for similar reasons).

The feature of Islam that is most troubling to non-Muslims, and which apologists for Islam do much to obfuscate, is the principle of jihad. Literally, the term can be translated as “struggle” or “striving,” but it is generally rendered in English as “holy war,” and this is no accident. While Muslims are quick to observe that there is an inner (or “greater”) jihad, which involves waging war against one’s own sinfulness, no amount of casuistry can disguise the fact that the outer (or “lesser”) jihad—war against infidels and apostates—is a central feature of the faith. Armed conflict in “defense of Islam” is a religious obligation for every Muslim man. We are misled if we believe that the phrase “in defense of Islam” suggests that all Muslim fighting must be done in “self-defense.” On the contrary, the duty of jihad is an unambiguous call to world conquest. As Bernard Lewis writes, “the presumption is that the duty of jihad will continue, interrupted only by truces, until all the world either adopts the Muslim faith or submits to Muslim rule.”

There is just no denying that Muslims expect victory in this world, as well as in the next. As Malise Ruthven points out, "The Prophet had been his own Caesar. If imitatio Christi meant renouncing worldly ambition and seeking salvation by deeds of private virtue, imitatio Muhammadi meant sooner or later taking up arms against those forces which seemed to threaten Islam from within or without," While the Koran is more than sufficient to establish these themes, the literature of the hadith elaborates:

"Jihad is your duty under any ruler, be he godly or wicked. A single endeavor (of fighting) in Allah’s Cause in the forenoon or in the afternoon is better than the world and whatever is in it. A day and a night fighting on the frontier is better than a month of fasting and prayer..."
See? Nothing but sunshine and lollipops.

And besides, Obama's "moral force that bent the arc of history towards justice" will surely prevail in the Arab Spring, after all it's a "powerful wind" and "there is something in the soul that cries out for freedom". And best of all, Obama has "confidence" in the revolution.

Confident Tunisian souls assisted by a powerful wind nonetheless protest against the CinemAfricArt attack, just in case.

File under: Islam is undeniably a religion of conquest, sunshine and lollipops.

H/T: Andrew Bolt

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