Get PJ Media on your Apple

Rubin Reports

john_lennon_art

If you want to understand Arab and Muslim politics, read Constantine Zurayk’s article published shortly after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Zurayk was a frustrated Arab moderate trying to understand how Middle East politics worked. He realized that as long as Israel was only perceived as a high mountain to Arab ambitions, Israel would always stand in the way of Arab political development. When Zionism or Israel is made to be the focus, this conflict will justify all Arab and Muslim anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-Western, anti-American sentiments.

See here in Zurayk’s account:

“Seven Arab states declare war on Zionism in Palestine, stop impotent before it, and turn on their heels. The representatives of the Arabs deliver fiery speeches in the highest international forums, warning what the Arab state and peoples will do if this or that decision be enacted. Declarations fall like bombs from the mouths of officials at the meetings of the Arab League, but when action becomes necessary, the fire is still and quiet and steel and iron are rusted and twisted, quick to bend and disintegrate”

His message was not Israel as the central problem, but Arabs as the central problem.

In other words, radical nationalists, traditional society, and Islamism fuse to destroy the West; all three fail. But since Islam must be true, then it has to be the right way. Islam cannot be wrong; it is the basic concept building Muslim society. The desperate work of Western society–the enlightenment and antimonarchic– is futile and unacceptable. The Arab and Muslim worlds are not ready for Thomas Paine, George Washington, or anti-clericalism (like the one that infested the French Revolution).

Arab and Islamic politics would have benefited greatly if the Eastern cultural tradition had been replaced by Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game” or “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I think Pawn in the Game is a variant of the Marxist notion of 'false consciousness'- just as is 'clinging to guns and God'. But a strongly religious and tribal society is not stratified into classes the way Marx imagined - it is a crazy quilt of tribal allegiances, kin relationships and religious distinctions along with gender relations that would make a phish weep for its bicycle. Lennon's song is a remake of a Schiller's 18th century hit The Ode to Joy (music later by Beethoven) with the key lyric - "alle menchen werden bruder' which is the seed corn of the French Revolution and the Terror and still the un-national, un- anthem of the European un-union.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Imagine is a communist manifesto set to nice music. "Imagine no possessions...." Sure, John. How much did you own?

But it is true that it might improve the Muslim world
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Imagine there's no Muslims....it's easy if you try
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm having trouble simply understanding your thesis. I'm a big fan of yours, so, trust me, I'm trying hard! :-)

Is it that "had the Muslim culture been such that they produced songs like this and their accompanying messages, how different would it be?"

Or is it that Dylan's song correctly describes the woes of modern Islam (replace "Whites" with "Muslims") and Lennon's song describes modern Islam also, (???) Or that Lennon's song does *not* describe Islam?

I'm really struggling here -- grasping at straws. I would venture to guess also that if I ma having this level of difficulty, others might as well. I say that as someone who generally fully understands, appreciates, and agrees with your writing.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The songs are wonderful, but the reality is a failed society that excludes and oppresses the female 50% of the population, engages in first cousin marriage generation after generation, and accepts all as "the will of Allah." It took decades and a brave President for Egypt to realize the futility of permanent war with Israel. The Palestinians are hooked on UNWRA welfare. Gradually, the demonstration effect of their failure and the West's and Israel's success will wear away the Islamist illusions. But don't hold your breath.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All