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Emet m'Tsiyon

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Barbary Pirates Were Warriors for Islamic Jihad, according to a 19th Century French historian

Islam divides the world into two parts geographically, Dar al-Islam where Islam and Islamic law [the Shari`ah] hold sway, and Dar al-Harb which is ruled by non-Muslims and is perforce in a permanent state of war [harb] with Dar al-Islam, as Muslims see things. Further, Islam sees only two nations in the world, the Nation of Islam, of Muslim believers [mu'iminun] and the nation of unbelievers [kufar], which includes the rest of the human race, no matter what their particular religion or sect or state of unbelief may be. Cesar Famin gave an account of this in 1853, an account relayed by none other than Karl Marx to readers of the New York Tribune [15 April 1854]. Yet, it seems that in the benighted 21st century, much knowledge that mankind possessed in the past has been forgotten due to the dictates of what is "politically correct."
Famin reports that between Islamic states and states of the Dar al-Harb no lasting peace is possible, although there can be truces with those who surrender, make treaties and pay tribute, which is likened to the special taxes paid by non-Muslim subjects of the Muslim state to their governments, jizyah and kharaj. The tribute can be paid "either openly or under other, sweeter names for the sake of the national amour-propre [self-esteem of non-Muslim nations] , names to which the Muslims are quite indifferent: customary gifts, gifts of good manners [or ceremonial or protocol gifts], good friendship offerings."

"This is how the permanent state of hostility of the regencies of Barbary [the Barbary Coast, North Africa], subject to the religion of Muhammad, to the infidel peoples that have not offered tribute, nor had a treaty nor have capitulated, is explained. We used to say that the Algerian or Tripolitan ships [that is, ships from Algiers or Tripoli] were manned by pirates and buccaneers, by filibuster seadogs without faith and without law. But the truth is that these so-called pirate ships were the warships of a power that, obeying the fundamental principle of its religion, considered as enemies all those who had not obtained from it capitulation [surrender] agreements or treaties, since every unbeliever who does not pay tribute is harby; he is an enemy who must be exterminated or reduced to the state of a slave. Therefore, there wasn't any notion of piracy, but the simple consequence of a principle of religion. The great seagoing nations came to understandings, not without pain, with these miserable Barbary regencies in order to put an end to these" . . .[p 9] [depredations]
"It would be in vain that he [a foreign, non-Muslim merchant in a Muslim land involved in a dispute with locals] would invoke the benefit of the peace existing between his sovereign and the chief of the believers. These words of perpetual peace belong to the political language of Europe, and are devoid of meaning for the members of the Prophet's sect. Peace cannot exist between the two nations. There can only be, as we have said, truces between them; and for every good believer, the truce is broken whenever a giaour [infidel] in a Mohammedan land commits one of those thousand infractions of the law that have been invented by ignorance and fanaticism. . . the law of Muhammad mixes together in the nation of infidels all those who do not obey the precepts of the Koran, whether they be called Christians or Magians, Jews or idolators. . . in the eyes of the true believers, there cannot be any distinction possible between these diverse peoples and diverse religions. . . " [p 11]

This is because the strict Muslim sees all unbelievers as belonging to that one nation of unbelievers, as Famin has explained. This is expressed by the Arabic proverb: Kulli kufar millatun wahidun [= All infidels are one nation]. Likewise, all Muslims are one nation [ummah]. So the Muslim in Morocco feels more in common with a Muslim in far off Indonesia than with a Jew whose family has been in Morocco for two thousand years. And the Sunni Muslim Arab in Iraq feels more in common with a Sunni Muslim Pakistani than with the Christian inhabitants of Iraq whose ancestors lived there long before Islam. So, according to strict Islam, there cannot be any "Palestinian people," since those they have been calling "Palestinians" only since the 1960s, are in fact Muslims --overwhelmingly-- who owe more loyalty to fellow Muslims far away than to the Christian minority living near them within the Palestinian Authority zones. Are the wise policy planners of the European Union aware that their dear Hamas considers the Arabs called by the EU "Palestinians" to be part of the Islamic nation?
Why has the understanding that Cesar Famin had in 1853 somehow seemingly disappeared from the minds of nearly all Western politicians, journalists, NGO aid workers, etc??

About the "Barbary regencies," except for the pirate ports in Morocco, they were part of the Ottoman Empire which had formal sovereignty up to the Moroccan border. Morocco was a separate kingdom. See more by and about Cesar Famin by searching the site.
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Coming: Jews in Jerusalem and Galilee, poems of Zion, the BBC Problem, etc.



  • Do you live in Israel? I am just curious.


    By Blogger Bill, at 11:20 PM  

  • Eliyahu --
    (This is a second try, I think my first one disappeared, but for all I know you may get two posts from me.) In any case, thanks for the many interesting posts on Jihadwatch. Here is the complete text of the Prufrock parody. With all due respect, I don't think Professor Wisse gets one line right -- Irving Howe gave it as "un mayn pupik ver mir kalt," and that is how I have always heard it, and it sounds better that way. Enjoy.

    * * *

    It appears in a paper by Ruth R. Wisse entitled "Language as Fate: Reflections on Jewish Literature in America", a paper published in the 1996 Studies in Contemporary Jewry (Vol. 12), pages 129-147, Oxford University Press. The volume is subtitled Literary Strategies: Jewish Texts and Contexts. As this volume is not easily accessible, and because I thought other people might be interested in it, here it is:
    Der shir hashirim fun Mendl Pumshtok

    Nu-zhe, kum-zhe, ikh un du,
    Ven der ovnt shteyt uf kegn dem himl
    Vi a leymener goylm af Tisha b'Av

    Lomir geyn zikh
    Durkh geselakh vos dreyen zikh
    Vi di bord fun dem rov

    Oy, Bashe, freg nisht keyn kashe,
    A dayge dir

    Oyf der vant fun dem koshern restorant
    Hengt a shmutsiker betgevant
    Un vantsn tantsn karahod

    In tsimer vu di vayber zenen
    Ret men fun Marx un Lenin

    Ike ver alt...ikh ver alt...
    Es vert mir in pupik kalt

    Zol ikh oykemen di hor, meg ikh oyfesn a floym?
    Ikh vel tskatsheven di hoyzn
    un shpatsirn bay dem yam,

    Ikh vel hern di yam-moydn
    zingen khad gadyo

    Ikh vel zey entfernv

    Ruth Wisse (b'sheim omro) says that she got these lines from Lucy Dawidowicz, who got them from Chaim Raphael, who got them from Daniel Bell.

    Alas, I could not find the original in any of SaulBellow's papers on deposit at the University of Chicago library. Bellow assisted Isaac Rosenfeld in its composition, and I could not find the original in any of Rosenfeld's books. Thus this is, as Ruth Wisse says, an oral tradition that she finally recorded on paper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 AM  

  • Marc, thanks a lot [a groysn dank] for the prufrock parody. I really like it. But I think that the way Ruth Wisse has that pupik line seems to me to better fit the rhythm and meter of the original prufrock. And that's how they used speak Yiddish in my family, as I recall.
    A groysn dank dir farn shir

    ps-- does anyone talk about marx and lenin anymore? Do leftists talk about marx and lenin anymore? Here in Israel I don't know what's going on in America. Marx might be considered politically incorrect for all I know.

    By Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, at 12:42 AM  

  • Marc,
    I like that line that refers to eliot's:
    In the room the women come and go speaking of Michelangelo

    which becomes:
    in tsimmer vu di vayber zaynen
    ret men fun marx un lenin

    but I think it needs another syllable to fit eliot's rhythm and meter:
    in tsimmer vu di vayber zaynen
    ret men NUR fun marx un lenin

    [Ruth Wisse, please notice this]

    By Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon, at 11:50 AM  

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