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Iblis, the Shaitanic State of Dajjal
There is great power in words—consider “nigger”—but even greater power in what we choose to name things. Call Trinidad Carnival the ostentation of a bunch of vulgarians too drunk to discern their own vainglorious superficiality and you understand why poor people sneer at their wee-wee trucks; but call it “culture” and the state throws $300m at it.
There is great power, too, in isolating people. As a child, I was told about an African tribe that did not physically punish serious wrongdoers, but simply ostracised them.
No one “saw” them. The wrongdoers, I was told, driven to distraction, would either leave voluntarily or throw themselves off cliffs; and this is where a Beatle murdered in Manhattan a generation ago comes into the story of Paris last Friday.
Since his death on December 8, 1980, Paul McCartney has referred to John Lennon’s killer as, “the man whose name we must never say.”
To pronounce his name would give him recognition he has neither earned nor deserves; I refuse to even give him a capital M as the man whose name I will never type.
And this is where the so-called Islamic State comes in.
And brings in our power to treat it the way it should be.
President Hollande is correct: France is under attack because of its policy of laïcité, or state-guaranteed secularism.
France was the first country in the modern world to properly separate religion from citizenship. No church, temple, mosque or rumshop can conduct a legal French wedding: only the Republic itself has the power of formalising marriage.
No display of religious affiliation, whether crucifix or Star of David or niquab, is allowed in French public spaces (even if a religion showing a willingness to burn embassies at the drop of a cartoon can get away with relative murder, and gain relative advantages).
Muslims claim religious intolerance today for the same reason Catholics did in 1789: the privilege of their group was threatened, not their belief or their god; and they saw, in laïcité, the loss of their advantage.
When you have a multitude of Gods and their followers jammed together in one space, you can take one of three approaches: 1—the Muslim approach: declare anyone refusing to accept your faith’s paramountcy an infidel and require he accepts his subjugation, on pain of death or enslavement; 2—the “make-as-eef” Trini approach: simultaneously treat every God as the One True God and eat his food greedily on his public holiday, but don’t take any of his troublesome doctrines, like jihad or bans against artificial birth control, too seriously; or 3—the French one: allow everyone to believe everything in private but display none of it in public.
French secularism, laïcité, represents world society’s highest achievement; no matter how wicked France was in the past or how racist it might remain today. In France, humans wrestle with human challenges without the benefit of six different Gods telling us what to do.
The Canadians, despite their cute new prime minister, have just made a colossal mistake in permitting women making the oath of citizenship to wear niquab; if one owes a greater loyalty to one’s God than one’s nation, one should live in a nation that does not separate God and country.
In secular France, no one is deprived of their “right” to believe the biggest pile of horse manure a man in a dress shovelled into their unsuspecting and defenceless minds when they were small children; but no one is allowed to claim that his own bizarre belief is above either the criminal law or the constitutional legal guarantee of gender equality: no matter how fervently some jackass believes it, a homosexual is not an abomination, but a citizen; and, even if the Koran or any other so-called holy book actually denies it, a husband can indeed rape his wife, since her pudenda are not really his property to use at his whim.
A woman in France refusing her husband sex has the protection of laïcité; a good Muslim—or Catholic, or Jewish, or Hindu—wife has only a divinely-sanctioned beating coming to her.
Which leads to the group of quite insane young men—judged by secular Western standards, which are far safer and far more equitable than any God’s with whom I’m familiar—posing as the Islamic State.
Read contributing editor of the Atlantic, Graeme Woods’ eye-opening piece: “What ISIS Really Wants” (March 2015, available online) and you will understand how desperate the battle between superstition and reason is, and how easily we might play into their bloody hands.
Woods details the 7th Century mindset of the crackpots currently taking over Syria in their Toyota pickups: they really do believe that the Apocalypse will be triggered if they can just get the armies of Rome—or the US, or France—to set foot in Dabiq.
But we can outsmart them—or at least make them smart in their jihadi boots.
For myself, like Paul McCartney on December 9, 1980, I will never again use a name that could be considered holy by anyone to refer to a gang of openly unholy men.
From this day forward, I shall think of them as Iblis, the Shaitanic State of Dajjal, and a name we should all use, particularly Muslims disowning the literal acceptance of the Koran’s perfection.
Roughly speaking, Iblis is the Devil and Shaitan, likewise, and Dajjal will lead the forces of what the Christians call the Anti-Christ in the Apocalypse the Shaitanic State is now desperately trying to trigger.
Indeed, the Shaitanic State might be a God-given name for the blood-crazed pack in Syria and Iraq. In’shAllah.
n BC Pires is the messenger of Dog. Play it backwards and you’ll hear Paul is dead right.
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