By Edward Cline
Ayn Rand described the phenomenon of nihilist terrorism through her character Steve Mallory in The Fountainhead. Mallory says to Roark:
In her later writings, especially in Atlas Shrugged, she identified the nature of the beast, that is, its motive and purpose: a hatred of existence, of the good for being the good; and destruction of it for the sake of destruction, and killing for the sake of killing.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines nihilism (which, as a political philosophy, first appeared in Tsarist Russia) as: “Negative doctrines in religion or morals; total rejection of current religious beliefs or moral principles.” In a strictly philosophical context, nihilism is “an extreme form of skepticism, involving the denial of all existence,” or “nothingness, non-existence.”
The Columbia Encyclopedia describes the modus operandi of nihilist “activists” in Russia, which differ not an iota from the contemporary terrorist methods of Al-Quada, Hamas, Hezballah, the IRA, Basque Separatists, and other terrorist organizations:
“Nihilism stressed the need to destroy existing economic and social institutions, whatever was to be the nature of the better order for which the destruction was to prepare…” Agreement between different programs of nihilism “was not essential to the immediate objective, destruction. Direct action, such as assassination and arson, was characteristic. Such acts were not necessarily directed by any central authority. Small groups and even individuals were encouraged to plan and execute terroristic acts independently.”
Fortunately for Westerners, the rule of law and reason to date has constrained Christian believers from a literal interpretation and application of the ethics of the Old Testament, which is as mindlessly vengeful and violent as the Koran. Among the more recent episodes of enforcing the Bible and God’s will were the Salem witchcraft trials.
Unfortunately, the goal of our Islamifascist enemy is the establishment of a global reign of Islam. This is what our political leaders refuse to admit or are unable to comprehend, that our enemy has declared war against the West. It is essentially a nihilistic enemy, deaf to appeals to reason or mercy, malignantly inoculated by blind faith against all rational persuasion, and consequently and pathologically committed to the conquest of the West. Iran and Syria are the chief source of funds behind the campaign to force the West to bow to Mecca, or face misery, death and destruction by an enemy bent on world domination.
In the September 7th New York Sun, some days after the butchery in Beslan, Russia, Daniel Pipes, the foremost authority on Islamic terrorism, published an article, “They’re Terrorists -- Not Activists,” in which he listed twenty euphemisms for the term terrorist employed by leading newspapers and by the news media. He justly excoriated such high-profile outlets such as NPR, the BBC, and Reuters and several newspapers for exhibiting squeamish timidity when reporting the actions of Al-Quada, suicide bombers, and the heads of terrorist organizations.
“…The multiple euphemisms for terrorist obstruct a clear understanding of the violent threats confronting the civilized world. It is bad enough that only one of five articles discussing the Beslan atrocity mentions its Islamic origins; worse is the miasma of words that insulates the public form the evil of terrorism.”
True enough. Pipes does not delve much into the motivation behind such timidity, except to link the euphemisms to “an odd combination of sympathy in the press for the Palestinian Arabs and intimidation by them.” He might have added that today’s journalists for the most part have been educated in our universities and trained in their professions to accept as the one immutable absolute that, when a task requires moral judgment, there is no black or white, only a vast, variegated field of gray.
A minister of the Iraqi interim government in a recent edition of “Sixty Minutes,” while discussing the numerous depredations of master terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said that while Zarqawi is certainly a sociopath, more likely he is a psychopath. One cannot disagree with that assessment. However, he went on to assert that Islam is a religion of “peace and love,” and that Zarqawi uses the dictates of the Koran as an untouchable patina for his fundamental criminality, and behaves instead as a servant of Satan, not of Allah.
Judging by the Koran, there is not much difference between Allah’s mercies and Satan’s crimes. And it is probably too much to expect a Moslem to publicly accuse the Koran of being as bloody-minded as the Old Testament. Whatever imperatives of “peace and love” are in the Koran, are directed to devote Moslems for the exclusive benefit of fellow devote Moslems. All other men, women and children are infidels, pagans or non-believers, fair game for murder, rape, torture and enslavement. The Koran sanctions a perpetual open season on anyone who refuses to submit to Allah’s will, and no peace or love need be extended to him. The unexpurgated Koran offers the perfect “moral” game plan for killers who are fundamentally the same as Charles Manson, Richard Speck, or the Son of Sam, obsessed with death, their victims’ and their own. After all, Mohammed commands the true Moslem to:
“Kill the disbelievers where we find them.” “Slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers.” “Strike off the heads of the disbelievers…(make a) wide slaughter of them…”
Those are just samplers from the Koran. Even an atheist must concede that these are hardly the maxims expounded by a pacific Jesus, but echo instead the tyrannical dictates of the Old Testament Jehovah. Christian theology asserts that Jesus was willing to die for your sins. Our Koran-quoting Islamifascist enemies are willing to die and to take you with them, as horribly and painfully as possible, because they are failures at living, or because you are successful at it.
That is nihilism.
Given the aim of Islamifascism, which is a universal theocracy guided by the Sharia or Islamic law, why characterize it as nihilistic? Because in order to triumph, it must destroy anyone or anything that contradicts or opposes it. And most of what contradicts or opposes it -- indeed, contradicts and opposes the Islamic and Christian creeds down to their cores -- are Western, reason-based, pro-life ideas, values and institutions, and any evidence of them in persons or things.
That is why Nick Berg, Paul Johnson, the Nepalese workers, and others are kidnapped and subsequently beheaded or “executed.” That is why Americans in Iraq are ambushed, burned alive, and their scorched and dismembered carcasses dragged through streets and strung up on bridges. That is why crowded nightclubs in Bali are bombed. That is why Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev can boast responsibility for Beslan, and why Zarqawi can personally slit the throats of his victims.
Basayev said in 1995 to reporters of the Moscow Times, after a Beslan-like raid on Budennovsk, where he ordered his hostages doused with gasoline: “I thought, what difference is there, whatever means I use, if they are Russian, they are jackals. My people are more important to me than these Russian children and women.” There is your quintessential nihilist speaking. There is no difference, except that his victims must be civilized Westerners. His “people”? If Saudi Arabia and Iran are any measure of how he plans to govern them, rank-and-file Chechens will be treated as animals, as fodder for the glory of Allah.
This explains why schoolgirls and women teachers at Beslan could be raped, then shot in the head afterward by Basayev’s thugs, to express the efficacy of evil and the painful pointlessness of existence, and to erase whatever joy of existence may have moved the lives they ended. “I hate my existence. Why should you enjoy yours? If I suffer, it’s your fault. Now it’s your turn.” That is nihilism, disguised in political/religious garb. It is transparently evil. It explains the random, indiscriminate brutalization and killing of hostages at Beslan, then their wholesale slaughter with bombs, bullets and grenades when the crisis reached its apex.
It explains why planeloads of people can be blown out of the sky, or used as missiles to destroy the symbols of Western civilization, in the name of Allah. And why busloads of schoolchildren, workers, and housewives can be blown to pieces by Palestinian suicide bombers, or shredded by glass, nails, and ball bearings in pizza parlors and at weddings.
Every Westerner -- every American, especially -- should regard every such assault personally, as a personal attack on himself, and demand that our leaders fight this enemy ruthlessly, with no mercy, concession, or compromise granted to these new barbarians. It should be a moral crusade against a determined human carnivore. Ancient Rome thought it could bargain with Attila and Alaric. And that was the end of Rome.
Basayev claimed on a Chechen website: “We are not bound by any circumstances, or to anybody, and we will continue to fight as is convenient and advantageous to us, and by our rules.” Continue to fight for what? The establishment of an Islamic theocracy in an “independent” Chechnya. Because his targets are Westernized Russians, and his method is their indiscriminate massacre, any claims his cause might have had are delegitimatized. Unfortunately, his chief enemy in Russia is also a paragon of ruthlessness, President Vladimir Putin, ex-KGB officer and dictator. That conflict only serves to skew the judgment of western politicians and journalists, whose minds are already befogged by subjectivism and pragmatism.
The fundamental nihilistic feature of Islam is an unconditional submission to Allah’s will, no questions asked, ever. No Thomist inquiries or heresies uttered by a Moslem Pierre Abélard could ever be tolerated in Islamic practice or in Islamic politics. One such concession would spell the eventual demise of a religion that requires absolute power over men’s minds and bodies. Obey, or die.
The London Sunday Times of May 23 featured an article by Amir Taheri, who quoted the late Saudi theologian, Sheikh Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Jubair, who substantiated Taheri’s thesis that “democracy” (or a secular, representative government) was incompatible with Islam:
“Only one ambition is worthy of Islam, to save the world from the curse of democracy: to teach men that they cannot rule themselves on the basis of man-made laws. Mankind has strayed from the path of God, we must return to that path or face certain annihilation.”
An ambiguously put ultimatum, at the very least. Whose annihilation? Islam’s? Or the West’s? If Islam cannot triumph and govern man’s existence on earth, can it allow the West to survive so that man can live happily on it?
“There is only one state that fulfills the mystic’s longing for infinity, non-causality, non-identity: death,” said John Galt in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. “…A mystic relishes the spectacle of suffering, of poverty, subservience and terror; these give him a feeling of triumph, a proof of the defeat of rational reality.”
That is the level of existence the Islamifascists wish to impose on us. The sooner the West grasps that fact, the sooner it will be able to preserve its existence and extinguish that particular drooling beast and other species of mysticism for good.
But it must first know, accept, and proclaim that it is the good.
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