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The Manchurian Candidate
the abysmal tale modern Muslim history is telling me
Hands up, who remembers The Manchurian Candidate?
Adapted twice into film approximately 40 years apart+ telling the tale of a man programmed to become a remote control assassin, the book published in the late 1950s on the heels of a cultish public fascination with brainwashing triggered by the Korean War. By the end of the war 1 out of every 10 American soldiers had collaborated with the enemy, so powerful had the communists’ brainwashing proved. The term brainwashing comes from Robert Guillan and Edward Hunter, both inspired by the power of propaganda + psychological conditioning sweeping through China under Mao’s Communist Revolution. The Chinese term hsi-nao, meaning to wash the brain, inspired the english word brainwashing.
Guillan wrote once1 that brainwashing doesn’t quite capture the process of indoctrination, which he describes as more surgical—i.e. emptying minds and then filling them with pre-fabricated thought. Thinking about the modern origins of current Muslim thought [this latest research project I’ve embarked upon]—leads me to the Manchurian Candidate. Literally that concept just walked into my head at 3 am when the prefrontal cortex thought demons came out to party whilst I tried to put myself to bed.
Having just read Rubin + Schwanitz describing the kaiser’s glee at unleashing furor Islamiticus against against the British Infidels, having just read about how the dying + decrepit Ottoman Empire chose to promote pan-Islamism to clutch onto imperial power and stamp out nationalistic uprisings, having just begun to go down the Hassan al-Banna Muslim Brotherhood clown-show of indoctrination research rabbit hole—it all makes terrifying sense now.
I get these big Manchurian Candidate vibes when I see mainstream Muslim sh1t in my social media feeds such as The Muslim Ummah … Muslims are a part of one collective body. OMFG I SEE IT and when you see it you cannot un-see it. It’s all part of the message — Muslims together against the Big Evil Entity [of] Lying Zionist European British Usurpers [+] BumbleweedBrains — Muslims together against Beelzebub2 for short. Also dude, I watched Star Trek. The Borg are my favourite alien species so, how about no to the We Are One Mind sh1t? I grew up learning all the ways the hive mind religious community schtick scams + abuses morally courageous hoomans. Absolutely GTFO of my head people—no, no, also no, we are not one mind. Like, no—ewwww. Also—yuck, you cannot traipse through my psyche with your dirty feet yo. Ahahahahaha, not sharing a mind with fanatical muppets, nope.
Dirty Feet = lazy thinking such as extremism + fanaticism — all of those behaviours of rigid mentation that result from low or non existent emotional intelligence.
So, as an outsider and a relative newcomer to this very weird party called the Muslim world, where do I begin?
Look—can I just say it already???
Furor Islamiticus seems perjorative if you ask me, and yeah, I realise no one did. Still, that never stopped me opening my big loud mouth before. Just ask anyone who knows me well. Also, hello, did you catch the name on the way into this joint, hehe? Bad Hijabi. Anyhoo. Bismillah.
Say it a few times to yourself :: furor Islamiticus :: dude, doesn’t it sound like a plague we need to innoculate ourselves against, or like a serious affliction that demands immediate medical attention— you know, like Asthmaticus or Epilepticus? I find it puzzling to have to wade through a slough of firebrand politico-religious rhetoric about anti-colonialism + anti-imperialism + kafir + blah blah Beelzebub3 will destroy you Muslims fear the west whilst observing the degree to which this fanatical behaviour, entirely bereft of introspective thinking, confesses to the presence of the intellectual boogeyman it claims to warn against. Meaning, the manipulative fear-mongering extolling the demonic evils of a scapegoat and issuing a warning smacks of mind-colonising. Religious extremism = the ultimate imperialism.
I recently had a text message conversation with Irshad Manji in which I said that, couched in its historical context, Palestinian nationalism seemed like a dog whistle for hating Jews. I wondered how Himmler could seem more attractive than the Hashemite King to 1930s Muslim leadership—to which Irshad replied fascist authoritarianism is the easiest impulse ever. That brings me to a question Shadi Hamid asked recently :: Is the Middle East Ready for Democracy? It’s an interesting question, and it causes me to ask a few questions of my own. Can we force people into freedom? Can we speak of freedom in a world ruled by divine command + governed by immoral piety—one which produces either atheists who loathe religion or identitarian fanatics who view freedom of thought as threatening?
Democracy, as a system of procedural mechanisms for managing political competition and selecting leaders, seems beyond the reach of a human society in the grips of fascist authoritarianism. So, my answer to this question has evolved into a solid NO. The question asks is the Middle East ready and the answer seems clear, doesn’t it? No, the Middle East is not ready for a system of procedural mechanisms to fairly manage political competition and select level 5 leadership. Just take a look at how the Muslim world functions.
Muslims made excuses for the Taliban, they made excuses for Qatar, and seem pretty okay with Saudi Arabia, all things considered. Yeah, Khashogghi is collateral damage everyone seems okay with, including the supposed Leader of the Free World. Muslims will tell you they want to abolish the British monarchy and will remain notably silent about the House of Saud. The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave pretends that the Iranian Regime and the Saudi Regime are different and we pretend not to notice that obvious manipulation of a centuries old sectarian religious conflict. Muslims bang on about how Europeans stole Arab land and also remain notably silent about how the Sauds stole Mecca + Medina from the Hashemites. Such distortions in thinking reveal a society in a war against freedom.
Mustafa Akyol doesn’t see Shadi’s question about democracy as the one to ask. He wants to dial the conversation way back to basics— saying, point blank, the Muslim world needs liberalism. Okay, I can get with this. However I do think Shadi’s question an important one, because the reason the Muslim world isn’t ready for democracy is because it needs liberalism. Maybe Mustafa’s question begs the next one we need to ask — is the Muslim world ready for liberalism? Again, I’m going to say NO, going by behaviour I see on the ground. It’s been a hundred years and Muslims still hate Jews more than they love freedom for their own people—that blows my mind every time I think about it.
So, yeah, I get harsh Manchurian Candidate vibes from the Muslim world. This takes me back to the heart of Mustafa’s book Reopening the Muslim Mind — a command-centred focussed top-down society does not cultivate a mature populace with an ethically sound collective conscience that’s able to embrace the challenges of progressing humanity. A culture of literalist hypocrites without a moral compass lacks the capacity for personal responsibility and, in fact, poses a danger to the freedom of the overall global society.
Studying the history of the Muslim world + tracing the modern history of current Muslim thinking, I get a distinct impression that everyone on the planet INCLUDING MUSLIMS sees Muslims as a weapon of mass destruction and that this serves a need for both Muslims and the rest of human society. German Empire-sponsored Furor Islamiticus against the British or American Empire-sponsored Jihad against the Russians—let’s just take our favourite kooky exotic incendiaries out of storage: Muslims! We can arm them + prime them for a jihad + unleash them. After approximately 150 years, can we now move past this obviously flawed western foreign policy favourite? After more than 150 years, can Muslims level up + lean into personal responsibility + all the cool sh1t Rūmī tried to teach us?
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Taiwan Today, 01.07.1958, Book Review, THE BLUE ANTS - 600 Million Chinese Under the Red Flag by Robert Guillan, Translated by Mervyn Savill, Secker and Warburg, London, 1957. 257 pp.
Beelzebub is considered a prince among demons in Christian culture
beelzebub = Big Evil Entity [of] Lying Zionist European [+] British Usurpers [+] BumbleweedBrains