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Or consider if the Arab Islamist tradition of revolution followed a historic communist, atheist, left-wing pattern like this:

“Imagine there’s no heaven,

It’s easy if you try,

No hell below us,

Above us only sky.

Imagine all the people,

Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries,

It isn’t hard to do,

Nothing to kill or die for,

And no religion too.

Imagine all the people,

Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer,

But I’m not the only one,

I hope someday you’ll join us,

And the world will be as one.

Imagine no possessions,

I wonder if you can,

No need for greed or hunger,

A brotherhood of man.

Imagine all the people,

Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer,

But I’m not the only one,

I hope someday you’ll join us,

And the world will live as one.”

And is that not a similar sentiment to Islam, except for religion of course? The Western utopian vision is the opposite, as shown by these songs, but it is still a utopian vision. Dylan’s is a song of struggle, a battle cry in conflict.

They’re incompatible, but they can coexist through Zionism, in a common reactionary struggle; also against the supposedly evil, imperialist capitalism and Western Christian religion and humanism and open-democracy.

Or as Karl Popper put it, a man who experienced that kind of society, as “the open society and its enemies.”

Remember that Mein Kampf translates perfectly as “My Jihad.”

****

image via recruiterpoet.files.wordpress.com

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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.
12 weeks ago
12 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
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Imagine there's no Muslims....it's easy if you try
12 weeks ago
12 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.
12 weeks ago
12 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.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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