5 prominent authors on the parallels between Islam and Communism

Recently, America’s leaders have been doing a lot of commenting on the nature of Islam, while simultaneously negotiating with the theocratic Iranian regime regarding its nuclear program.

While reading Andrew Bostom’s “Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran,” [excerpt here] we came to his conclusion, which contains thoughts from several prominent Islamic scholars and authors on the nature of the religion that would appear to be at odds with the views of today’s political establishment.

Army Demonstration...The Iranian Islamic Republic Army demonstrates in solidarity with people in the street during the Iranian revolution. They are carrying posters of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian religious and political leader.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
The Iranian Islamic Republic Army demonstrates in solidarity with people in the street during the Iranian revolution. They are carrying posters of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian religious and political leader. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images) 

Below are five such politically incorrect takes, indicating that Islam and Communism are analogous ideologies [all emphasis Bostom’s]:

1) Leading Islamic theologian Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi in The Islamic Law and Constitution

“A state of this sort [i.e., an Islamic state] cannot evidently restrict the scope of its activities. Its approach is universal and all-embracing. Its sphere of activity is coextensive with the whole of human life. It seeks to mould every aspect of life and activity in consonance with its moral norms and programme of social reform. In such a state no one can regard any field of his affairs as personal and private. Considered from this aspect the Islamic state bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states.”

[sharequote align=”center”]”[T]he Islamic state bears a kind of resemblance to the Fascist and Communist states”[/sharequote]

2) Bernard Lewis in his 1954 essay Communism and Islam

“I turn now from the accidental to the essential factors, to those deriving from the very nature of Islamic society, tradition, and thought. The first of these is the authoritarianism, perhaps we may even say the totalitarianism, of the Islamic political tradition… [T]he political history of Islam is one of almost unrelieved autocracy…[I]t was authoritarian, often arbitrary, sometimes tyrannical…[N]othing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law [Sharia]…Quite obviously, the Ulama [religious leaders] of Islam are very different from the Communist Party. Nevertheless, on closer examination, we find certain uncomfortable resemblances. Both groups profess a totalitarian doctrine, with complete and final answers to all questions on heaven and earth; the answers are different in every respect, alike only in their finality and completeness, and in the contrast they offer with the eternal questioning of Western man. Both groups offer to their members and followers the agreeable sensation of belonging to a community of believers, who are always right, as against an outer world of unbelievers, who are always wrong. Both offer an exhilarating feeling of mission, of purpose, of being engaged in a collective adventure to accelerate the historically inevitable victory of the true faith over the infidel evil-doers. The traditional Islamic division of the world into the House of Islam and the House of War, two necessarily opposed groups, of which the first has the collective obligation of perpetual struggle against the second, also has obvious parallels in the Communist view of world affairs. There again, the content of belief is utterly different, but the aggressive fanaticism of the believer is the same. The humorist who summed up the Communist creed as “There is no God and Karl Marx is his Prophet” was laying his finger on a real affinity. The call to a Communist Jihad, a Holy War for the faith — a new faith, but against the self-same Western Christian enemy

[sharequote align=”center”]”content of belief is utterly different, but the aggressive fanaticism of the believer is the same”[/sharequote]

3) Bertrand Russell in The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism

“Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam…Those who accept Bolshevism become impervious to scientific evidence, and commit intellectual suicide. Even if all the doctrines of Bolshevism were true, this would still be the case, since no unbiased examination of them is tolerated…Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism [Islam] rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world.”

[sharequote align=”center”]”Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are…concerned to win the empire of this world.”[/sharequote]

4) Jules Monnerot in Sociology and Psychology of Communism

[Bostom writes prior to quoting Monnerot: “[I]t was Monnerot who made very explicit connections between pre-modern Islamic and 20th century Communist totalitarianism. The title of his first book chapter (and entire first section of the full work) labeled Communism as “The Twentieth Century Islam.” He elucidates these two primary shared characteristics of Islam and Communism: “conversion”— followed by subversion— from within, and the fusion of “religion” and state.]

“Communism takes the field both as a secular religion [emphasis in original] and as a universal State [emphasis in original]; it is therefore…comparable to Islam [emphasis added]… Soviet Russia (to use the name it gives itself, although it is a mis-description of the regime) is not the first empire in which the temporal and public power goes hand in hand with a shadowy power which works outside the imperial frontiers to undermine the social structure of neighboring States.”

[sharequote align=”center”]”Communism [is]…both…secular religion and…a universal State…comparable to Islam”[/sharequote]

5) G.K. Chesterton in The New Jerusalem

“Now a man preaching what he thinks is a platitude is far more intolerant than a man preaching what he admits is a paradox. It was exactly because it seemed self-evident, to Moslems as to Bolshevists, that their simple creed was suited to everybody, that they wished in that particular sweeping fashion to impose it on everybody…Those who complain of our creeds as elaborate often forget that the elaborate Western creeds have produced the elaborate Western constitutions; and that they are elaborate because they are emancipated.”

[sharequote align=”center”]”to Moslems as to Bolshevists…they wished…to impose it [their creed] on everybody”[/sharequote]

 

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