Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dr. Andrew Bostom on J.Q. Adams On Islam

(Update: I've added Dr. Bostom's list of FrontPage articles on Islam to the On Islam section in the left sidebar of this blog.)

Until a few days ago, admittedly, I did not know who Andrew Bostom was, and since I did not know who this man was, neither did I know of his contribution to Western scholarship on the nature of Islam.

I've spent the better part of the day trying to educate myself on this man Andrew Bostom, mainly through reading his articles at FrontPageMagazine. I also read the Wikipedia article on Mr. Bostom which states in part:

Bostom's writings are characterized by meticulous referral to primary sources and extensive documentation.

Ya think?!

I had to laugh at that when I first read it. For if you know nothing of this man Bostom, and you follow my links to his articles, you're going to learn quick, fast, and in a hurry that this description of what characterizes Dr. Bostom's witings is, well, right on the mark. Had I read the Wiki article prior to delving into his articles, which was not the case, I would have been more prepared for what I was about to receive. But I digress...

The main point of this entry is to point you to one of Dr. Bostom's FrontPage articles, John Quincy Adams Knew Jihad, in which Dr. Bostom states the following regarding J.Q. Adams's understanding of Islam.

Dr. Bostom writes:

John Quincy Adams possessed a remarkably clear, uncompromised understanding of the permanent Islamic institutions of jihad war and dhimmitude. Regarding jihad, Adams states in his essay series,

“…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”(emphasis mine)

Let us examine that last statement in the Adams quote again. "The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God." There are two ways to read this statement: (1) The precept of the Koran is that Mahomet is the prophet of God," and, (2) The precept of the Koran is perpetual war against all who deny that Mahomet is the prophet of God.

In other words, the first pillar of Islam is non-negotiable, applying to all peoples everywhere, all the time. Either you acknowledge that Mohammed is the prophet of God, or the whole Islamic world is commanded in their holy book to wage violent and perpetual jihad against you.

Is this not what we've been saying around here for ... how long now? Is this not precisely what makes Islam, and therefore Muslims, completely and utterly incompatible with the West, which we've been saying as well.

But Quincy Adams has further insights:

Dr. Bostoms writes:

And Adams captured the essential condition imposed upon the non-Muslim dhimmi “tributaries” subjugated by jihad, with this laconic statement,

“The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute.”

But perhaps the best part of the whole article, at least for me, is Mr. Adams's comparison/contrast of Jesus Christ and his religion with Mohammed and his religion:

Adams on Jesus Christ and Christianity, Relative to Muhammad and Islam

"And he [Jesus] declared, that the enjoyment of felicity in the world hereafter, would be reward of the practice of benevolence here. His whole law was resolvable into the precept of love; peace on earth – good will toward man, was the early object of his mission; and the authoritative demonstration of the immortality of man, was that, which constituted the more than earthly tribute of glory to God in the highest… The first conquest of the religion of Jesus, was over the unsocial passions of his disciples. It elevated the standard of the human character in the scale of existence…On the Christian system of morals, man is an immortal spirit, confined for a short space of time, in an earthly tabernacle. Kindness to his fellow mortals embraces the whole compass of his duties upon earth, and the whole promise of happiness to his spirit hereafter. THE ESSENCE OF THIS DOCTRINE IS, TO EXALT THE SPIRITUAL OVER THE BRUTAL PART OF HIS NATURE." (Adam's capital letters)….[pp. 267-268]

“In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE (Adam's capital letters)….Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.” [p. 269]

So Adams sums up the contrast between Christ and Christianity, and Mohammed and Islam in this way: The essence of Christ's doctrine is to exalt the spiritual over the brutal part of man's nature. Whereas, the essence of Mohammed's doctrine is to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of man's nature. Is anyone else seeing a problem here? Adams sums up the problem this way in the conclusion to the preceding paragraph:

While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.

Now I ask you, is there any hope that in our lifetimes, or during the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren, or during the lifetimes of their children and grandchildren, that the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet Mohammed, as Quincy Adams aptly puts it, shall not furnish motives, many many motives, to human action, specifically to those of the Arab variety?

Tell ya what, if you're a liberal don't answer that.


John Savage said...

Terry, great post. I think I saw that Quincy Adams bit somewhere before -- perhaps it was courtesy of Bostom. It's really sad that our Founding Fathers, living in a world where they basically had only secondhand knowledge of the Muslim world, understood it better than today's Americans with our ideological blinders.

I've decided that wherever they differ from us moderns, our Founding Fathers deserve the presumption of being correct. Whether it's on Islam, the role of government, interpretation of Scripture, race, or whatever else, we're the children looking up to our great teachers. Where opinions have changed, the burden of proof lies on those who came later. Our situation is parallel to that of the people who painstakingly rediscovered ancient knowledge after the Dark Ages, is it not?

Terry Morris said...

John, I agree, it is sad. Even if, by "founding fathers" we mean a select few statesmen and patriots, I don't think we could pull together a proportional number of today's "leaders" who have the depth of knowledge and understanding of these subjects that they had. We're still riding on their coat tails, man, even as we think we're somehow more enlightened than they were.

By the way, when speaking of J.Q. Adams, I suppose it more technically right to say that he was a "founding son"; the son of a founding father. But I've lumped him in among the founders many times before, and I imagine I'll continue to do so.

Thanks for the great comments.