Imagine All the People Living in Islamist Hegemony: Why Lennon and Dylan Know All About Islamist Hegemony


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Arab and Islamic politics would have benefited greatly if the Eastern cultural tradition had been replaced by Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game” or “Imagine” by John Lennon.

Consider if these song lyrics had been Arab Muslim tradition. We do this as an exercise in understanding of Arab (and Turkish and Persian) politics:


“A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers’ [an African American civil rights leader] blood,

A finger fired the trigger to his name [This is how Bashir Gamal, Anwar Sadat, and King Abdullah I were killed.],

A handle hid out in the dark,

A hand set the spark,

Two eyes took the aim,

Behind a man’s brain,

But he can’t be blamed,

He’s only a pawn in their game. [Terrorism, which was organized by Muslim extremists and then Arafat and Hizballah; 1950 Fatah, 1982 Southern-Lebanese Islamists, 1981Egyptian Islamist extremists]

A South politician preaches to the poor white man,

‘You got more than blacks, don’t complain,

You’re better than them, you been born with white skin,’ they explain [Proper thinking Muslim and anti-Israel sentiment]

And the Negro’s name [Anti-Islamist]

For the politician’s gain,

As he rises to fame,

And the poor white remains,

On the caboose of the train [i.e. the rank and file Muslims; the wretched of the earth],

But it ain’t him to blame,

He’s only a pawn in their game.

The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid,

And the marshals and cops get the same,

But the poor white man’s [Arabs and Muslims] used in the hands of them all like a tool,

He’s taught in his school,

From the start by the rule,

That the laws are with him,

To protect his white skin,

To keep up his hate,

So he never thinks straight,

‘Bout the shape that he’s in,

But it ain’t him to blame,

He’s only a pawn in their game.

From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks,

And the hoof beats pound in his brain,

And he’s taught how to walk in a pack,

Shoot in the back,

With his fist in a clinch,

To hang and to lynch [Radical Islamist, both Sunni and Shi’a],

To hide ‘neath the hood,

To kill with no pain,

Like a dog on a chain,

He ain’t got no name,

But it ain’t him to blame,

He’s only a pawn in their game…”


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.”


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