The PJ Tatler

V.S. Naipaul Says It All About the Islamic State: It's Islamic, It's Evil and It Needs to be Destroyed

Don’t take it from some pasty-faced white guy. Take it from a Nobel Prize-winning British author of Indian extraction from Trinidad. Here’s the teaser from the Daily Mail:

The Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul has warned that Islamic State are the most potent threat to the world since the Nazis. In a hard-hitting article in today’s Mail on Sunday, the revered novelist brands the extremist Muslim organisation as the Fourth Reich, saying it is comparable to Adolf Hitler’s regime in its fanaticism and barbarity.

Calling for its ‘military annihilation,’ the Trinidadian-born British writer says IS is ‘dedicated to a contemporary holocaust’, has a belief in its own ‘racial superiority,’ and produces propaganda that Goebbels would be proud of.

And here’s what Naipaul has to say about the rise of fanatical barbarians:

My first book [on the subject of Islam] was called Among The Believers and the second, perhaps prophetically, Beyond Belief. Since those books were written, the word ‘fundamentalism’ has taken on new meanings. As the word suggests, it means going back to the groundings, to the foundations and perhaps to first principles. It is used to characterise the interpretation given to passages of the Koran, to the Hadith, which is a collection of the acts in the life of the Prophet Mohammed and to an interpretation of sharia law.

However, the particular fundamentalist ideology of ‘Islamist’ groups that have dedicated themselves to terror – such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and now in its most vicious, barbaric and threatening form the Islamic Caliphate, Isis or the Islamic State (IS) – interprets the foundation and the beginning as dating from the birth of the Prophet Mohammed in the 6th Century. This fundamentalism denies the value and even the existence of civilisations that preceded the revelations of the Koran. It was an article of 6th and 7th Century Arab faith that everything before it was wrong, heretical. There was no room for the pre-Islamic past.

Naipaul’s warning is important: Islam does not simply seek the forced conversion or death of every single “unbeliever” on the planet. It also — and this is the part that should interest anyone in western civilization — the eradication of everything non-Islamic. No more Mozart, no more Goethe, no more Shakespeare, no more Chartres Cathedral. It is a deadly pestilence that must be eliminated if the West is ever to survive in anything like its current form.

The idea that faith abolishes history has been revived as the central creed of the Islamists and of Isis. Their determination to deny, eliminate and erase the past manifests itself in the destruction of the art, artefacts and archaeological sites of the great empires, the Persian, the Assyrian and Roman that constitute the histories of Mesopotamia and Syria.

They have bulldozed landmarks in the ancient city of Dur Sharukkin and smashed Assyrian statues in the Mosul museum. Destroying the winged bull outside the fortifications of Nineveh satisfies the same reductive impulse behind the destruction by the Taliban of the Bhumiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has described this destruction of art, artefacts, inscriptions and of the museums that house them not only as a butchery of civilisational memory but as a war crime.

After we bombed Germany and Japan into submission, in response to their war crimes we hanged their leaders, outlawed their former systems of government and forcibly imposed democracy upon them. Something similar is going to have to happen to an expansionist Islamic world, and soon:

Though the appeal of Isis can be challenged by other strands of Islam, its murderous presence persists in the failed states of Iraq and war-torn Syria and threatens to spread through northern Africa.

The crippled Iraqi government has launched its reluctant armies against Isis. The Iranians, being Shias opposed to Sunni Caliphates, are supporting the Iraqi army and the Shia militias, who are a considerable force independent of the Iraqi government, are in a coalition to fight Isis on the ground. With air support from the West, they may manage to push Isis back.

Such an offensive, with the immediate objective of regaining Iraqi territory has to be urgently expanded. Isis has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich. Its military annihilation as an anti-civilisational force has to now be the objective of a world that wants its ideological and material freedoms.

Is the West’s current leadership up to the task? Don’t make me laugh.