The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
24th of August, 2014

The Free (Secular) World Athwart the Islamists

It is interesting indeed that serious challenges to the modern nation-state have caused the lines between the secular state and the religious state to become ever more important. Without intending to (and, often, without even realising it), the modern states—nearly all of them secularist—are having to emphasise what makes them different (and, as they hope, preferable) to the alternative states that are showing up.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting American official that “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas. …These are both branches of the same poisonous tree. The free world, the democracies have to stand together against this terrorism.”

See, the central doctrine of what they call “The Free World” is democracy. This, in its most-basic form, is essentially populist hedonism. What the majority prefers is law. Of course, I need not go on about how this is a very dangerous thing.
But if you want to be free in this sense, that is where you end up. Those who end up with the good system are not free, as even the majority has to conform to what an authority has decided is the right thing.
This democracy they love unto death. The Americans, for example, will sensibly justify an invasion for the sake of democracy. (I totally support people living and dying for their central doctrine; I just don’t support democracy being that central doctrine.)

Now Netanyahu seeks to pull the Gentiles to his side by bragging about how Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and that “the democracies have to stand together.” He doesn’t realise that this is the new paganism; and characteristically Jews would be excellent at high heresy. (Thank God—the God of their fore-fathers—for His unfailing mercy towards them, in spite of them.) These Jews, who do have a divine Law, spend all their religious efforts arguing about how to not keep it (and gathering around themselves a cohort of Rabbis to legalise, or even enjoin, their law-breaking), and when they seek to differentiate themselves from Islamists, it is not their God that they appeal to as the source of their glory, but to themselves and their freedom to choose what is right in their eyes. “The free World,” they call it. Even the mostly-heathen Arabs have not mistaken “popular” with “right”; these Hamas and ISIS enforce bitter and anachronistic laws everyday as part of their commitment to Shari’a, and they don’t care for the popularity of their Islamic law—they believe it to be divine, so they enfocrce it.
It isn’t those who hear the words of a Law that are righteous before God, but it is those who obey it that will be pronounced righteous. When Nations, who have no Law, do instinctively what the Law requires, they, though they have no Law, are a Law to themselves; for they show the demands of the Law written on their hearts; their consciences corroborating it, while in their thoughts they argue either in self-accusation or, it may be, in self-defence—on the day when God passes judgment on people’s inmost lives, as the good news that I tell declares that he will do through Christ Jesus.
—Romans 2
If you are not a democracy, you are some kind of theocracy; since if right is not decided by the (pretense of) majority, then some other entity is understood to have the authority to decide right. Furthermore, wherever such authority is recognised, then Ultimate Authority—God’s rulership—is recognised, even if merely due to logical necessity.
Every single human recognises this authority innately (starting with kids recognising it in their parents); the Enlightenment merely allowed us to ignore this in the same way it permitted everything between Darwinism and gay marriage. I mean, if you will end up at “I have two dads!”, what’s to stop you from sampling abortion, eugenics, and democracy along the way?

The modern World is democratic not because democracy works, but because theocracy was abandoned. (After all, most implementations of democracy are for the purposes of legitimising certain representatives’ authority to compel, and they essentially terminate democracy to establish oligarchy. The point of is not to give everybody a voice, but to convince ourselves that we gave the rulers the authority they have over us. It’s evident nonsense, especially in practice, but democrats actually go on believing this stuff. “Power belongs to the people …” and other such heresies, you know.)

The other thing to note in that exchange is that Netanyahu rightly recognises that Hamas and Islamic State (Iraq-Syria) are essentially the same thing. The problem, though, is that he denounces their “terrorism,” which is actually not a bad thing.
Terrorism is merely a war tactic. If people are dying, it doesn’t matter that they were done after a siege, or after a bomb ambush. Aggression can’t follow rules; conflict is not sport; war is not a game. I remember that the Germans took the Americans to the war court because they used repeating firearms in the trench charges of World War 1. That was, in fact, terrorism, but the Germans had no case: the Americans were at war, and had to win by killing. Does it matter that they used tactics to which the Germans had no response? If you cannot stop the aggressor, why do you expect him to follow your preferences in fighting? If you want to be good in war, don’t fight. I even truly believe that Israel cause a lot of sheer terror in Gaza. (See the video here But if that is how to win, that is how you fight.

What Netanyahu should have called out is their common theology, not their common terrorism. The terrorism is just as bad as all war is. The Islam, though, is what causes the conflict in the first place, which necessitates—even legitimises—terrorism. Don’t fight terrorism; fight Islam.
But the secular World cannot fight Islam, because it would have to become theocratic in order to properly and successfully oppose a theocracy, which is a position it long ago denounced, heaped scorn on, and abandoned. And, unfortunately, if democracy remains, and the demographic trends hold, the West will be theocratic again soon enough—Islamist, to be precise. I think France is approaching 15% Muslim, and so no election campaign can actually oppose Islam and succeed, even though it also cannot succeed as an Islamist campaign, either.

Now the modern nation-state seems to be dying, and with it the principles on which it stood. In an overly-International age like ours, a war in Syria features European and Australian volunteers doing beheadings. As a result, the nation-state is now facing down a challenge—mostly rhetorical—from a faith-nation-state. If you read the first sentence in the Hamas Covenant, is a quote from the Qur’an which says that Muslims are a “nation” (ummah). Islamic State also repeatedly refers to this ummah, which they believe they have created a global state for. Hence there is a global challenge to the nation-state as we know it. The only valid opposite of both Hamas and Islamic State is the Christian state.