Are Western Apologists for Islam Today’s ‘Useful Idiots’?

The early Muhammad, like the early Marx, sounded like a hippie.

By John Zmirak Published on May 15, 2017

Every day, in little ways and big, each of us faces the choice: Between illusion and truth. Comfort and courage. Between getting patted on the back or looking yourself in the mirror.

The French have made their choice. Confronted with monthly terror attacks, large sections of major cities “no-go” zones for police and women not wearing hijabs, and agents of ISIS infiltrating “refugee” groups, the voters of France overwhelmingly chose … surrender.

They rejected an imperfect candidate, Marine Le Pen, with a plausible and moral plan for containing the cancer of radical Islam. Instead, they picked Emmanuel Macron, an off-the-shelf crony socialist who favors open borders and denies that “French culture” exists.

That nation’s largest Catholic newspaper, La Croix, endorsed Macron, and the head of the French church welcomed his election. Meanwhile, Catholics in Iraq and jihadist-occupied Syria face burned and blackened churches, and life in refugee camps.

Just Cowards and Fools?

What’s the difference between Islam as seen by French Catholics, and by Iraqi ones? Are Christians who believe that Islam is a “religion of peace” simply … cowards and fools?

It’s a tempting conclusion. It easy to think the same of Western liberals who defend “Marxist theory” while squirming at Communist crimes. Indeed, Communists themselves used to call such people “useful idiots.” Both timidity and stupidity surely play their part.

But even those evils need something to work with. In the case of Communism, Westerners who sneered at “primitive anti-Communism” would insist that the “idealistic” Karl Marx was betrayed by Communist movements. Blood-soaked rulers like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot or even Lenin. … They were never real Marxists at all.

Every single time Marxism has ever been tried in the real world the results are the same: Famine, tyranny, and slaughter. But that doesn’t disprove the theory.

Yes, every single time Marxism has ever been tried in the real world the results are the same: Famine, tyranny and slaughter. But that doesn’t disprove the theory. Go back and read the early writings of Marx, when he sounded like a liberal. Look at the vaporous utopia he promises. Why, it doesn’t even have a State! That “withers away” at some point, right about the time that everyone willingly gives up his private property. Then he works hard every day just for the common good. Then the chorus of “Kumbaya” breaks out from grateful billions. And everybody’s happy. No need for secret police, gulags or psychiatric prisons. Or even for “opiates” like Jesus.

That’s the real Marxism. You know, the one Marx daydreamed about before he even led a movement. Which only ever existed inside his head. The version millions lived through, out in the grubby world of actual people and places, which tyrannized half the planet. … That was the illusion. Okay? Have you got that, students? It will be on your final exam.

Doublethink on Islam

The same kind of doublethink prevails concerning Islam, and it’s equally hard to fathom. Apart, that is, from cynical explanations like faint-heartedness and folly.

But we do know what materials this self-delusion works with. That comes courtesy of a prominent Jesuit Catholic priest, Father Henri Boulad. Unlike the bishops of France, Fr. Boulad has lived for decades in a majority-Muslim country, Egypt. In fact, he was the leader of all the Jesuit priests in Egypt.

According to Agenda Europe, Fr. Boulad has responded to the elections in France and the rise of Islam in Europe … by seeking citizenship in Hungary. That country’s conservative president Viktor Orbán, has refused to accept Muslim refugees — to the loud condemnation of leaders in the EU and the Church. As Agenda Europe reports:

With accepting Hungarian citizenship, he wanted to “signal that the country has made the right decision on the issue of the migration crisis that threatens the existence of Europe,” said Boulad. “I would like to (…) fight for the future and for the Christian values on the side of Hungary and Viktor Orbán.”

Cherry-Picking the Quran

Boulad explained in his comments the source of Western self-deceptions over Islam, especially in Catholic circles. Essentially, those who wish to think the best of Islam, whose fear of “xenophobia” overpowers their rational faculties, have plenty of material to work with. They can draw on the part of the Quran that Muhammad supposedly received while he lived in Mecca. At that point, he was still a marginal, little-heeded mystical preacher, surrounded by pagans. And his message was one of tolerance, and peaceful coexistence among Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The same kind of doublethink prevails concerning Islam, and it’s equally hard to fathom.

It was only later, once he ruled the nearby city of Medina as an absolute monarch, that Muhammad starting hearing very different messages. Now they told him to “slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them.” Now the messages began to include harsh condemnations of non-Muslims. They called for Islamic wars of conquest. Now Paradise was the reward for those who died in the course of jihad, while those who lived could keep the goods and the women whom they captured. Yes, plunder and sex slaves. As ISIS points out: It’s right there in the Quran.

Much more appears in the Hadith, dubious collections of supposed verbal traditions going back to Muhammad, which Arab scholars compiled centuries later. These filled in all the details of law, government and social control that were missing from the Quran — an infuriatingly vague and hard-to-understand document, whose first written versions only appeared long after Muhammad’s death. For useful, approachable books on the murky origins of Islam, see Tom Holland’s In the Shadow of the Sword, or the more provocative Did Muhammad Exist? by Robert Spencer.

We Are All Sufis Now

Wherever Islam really came from, or whatever happy visions danced in the Prophet’s head while he was still powerless, we know what happened next. Likewise, we know what came of Karl Marx’s youthful social justice fantasies. But if you want to avoid conflict, or seem more sophisticated than the “bigots” or “Bourgeois” around you, you can latch onto the early stuff. That is a religion of peace, just as Marx’s early scribblings talked a lot about “freedom.”

This cherry-picking is what most Christian clergy seem to be doing, Fr. Boulad warned. Except, of course, for Christians in Muslim nations, who oddly have a very different view of Islam. You know, the way the Polish Karol Wotyjla (later Pope John Paul II) had a different take on Marxism than lefty priests living in Paris.

In fact, Fr. Boulad even traces the etymology of Christian self-delusion over Islam. Boulad cites as the main source of Catholic Islamophilia,

French Islamologist Louis Massignon (1883-1962), for whom mystical Sufism had meant the essence of Islam. Islam, however, historically chose not the “Meccan,” but the “Medinian,” path that still determines it: “The suras of the Koran that threaten so-called unbelievers with violence and jihad, are from the Medina period, while the more tolerant, mystic suras stem from the Mecca period. Rome does not understand this, and the Christians of the East, who know Islam from the inside, are not asked, they are put to the side” [Boulad said].

Peaceful Muslims living in Western countries probably do the same thing in their heads that Massignon did. They focus on the early stuff, and shrug off its ugly sequels. We should be grateful for that. But the more time their kids spend in Saudi-funded mosques, or on the Internet, the more likely they are to find out the truth about Islam, at least as it’s preached by all its major religious authorities, in every Muslim country. Just like Marxism, by its fruits we shall know it.

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  • Grumpy4456

    Key to understanding the Quran is abrogation. That which follows, as in a text, abrogates or repeals that which came before. The early parts of the Quran are essentially meaningless.

    • Zmirak

      True, to my knowledge. I just didn’t want to make the argument even more complex than it already was.

      • Grumpy4456

        All Islamic Scholars I’ve read concur about the great importance of abrogation as it relates to the Quran. Good article and another keeper. Hey, I think I heard you on our local radio station WAEB in Allentown with Bobby Gunther Walsh who were are so blessed to have as part of our community. If so, hope you return.

    • Billy Chickens

      The key to understanding the Quran is to know where it came from. It came from Muhammad’s “Gabriel” who was none other than the devil.

      • Mary Heater

        The same angel who appeared to Hagar and Ishmael in the desert?

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Seems like theres no fool like a twice fooled fool. As has been said , “fool me once – shame on you , fool me twice – shame on me “. These modern advocates of the peaceful religion ruse characterize this adage. First they are willfully ignorant of the whole counsel promoted by the koran. Second they are willfully ignorant of the driving impetus fueling terrorism of the koranic kind. Seems like these folk like the proverbial dog returning to it’s vomit or that pig returning to the mud summarizes the philosophy of the self deluded. It would appear that neither nausea nor feculence can keep these “useful idiots” from their habitual folly ….

  • Patmos

    When you ignore Christ, you ignore “Know a tree by it’s fruit”.

    It’s amazing how brilliantly simple and powerful the teachings of the anointed are.

    We’ve got to keep setting people free. It’s the only way.

  • Jordan

    Massignon rediscovered his Catholic faith through a mystical experience of the medieval Sufi Al-Hallaj, which in turn led Massignon to want to join Blessed Foucauld as a hermit in Algeria for a time. Maritain writes in the Degrees of Knowledge of the evident sanctity of an Al-Hallaj. If Maritain and Massignon are correct we might at least entertain the possibility that Sufism really is the heart of Islam, since it’s only fair to judge a thing by its best aspect and not its worst–the reverse is what makes New Atheist, ahem, “biblical exegesis” so risible. We should be leery of approaching the Quran in the same way, with a chainsaw when we need a scalpel. As Christopher Dawson wrote, certainly no useful idiot, “For
    with all its faults and weaknesses, the Sufi movement remains one of
    the great witnesses outside Christianity to the religious needs of

    • Zmirak

      “judge a thing by its best aspect and not its worst” That would be a great idea, absent the Fall of man. In fact, the opposite is true. We test ideas by seeing if they can lead to perverse conclusions, and planes to see if they’re likely to crash. By this standard, we should judge Communism by communes, and cults by the Cult of Mary.

  • Kevin Carr

    The Cross is an offense, many will go in any other direction that to admit they are sinners and ONLY Christ can save them and they are accountable to only Him.

  • James

    Marine Le Pen was not just flawed but deeply flawed. You speak of “Sharia Vichy”, but the history of the National Front was far too close to the original Vichy for a majority of French voters. I believe there was an article in this very publication about this.

    Furthermore, Le Pen was far from a crusader, but was militantly secular in her campaign. This would explain the Christian opposition to her.

    Many French conservatives wanted Fillon, but, when it came down to two, preferred Macron to Le Pen.

  • Cowards and fools come in many colors. Sometimes they’re even color blind to themselves. For example, the same people who are opposed the Muslim invasion into America more often than not support the genesis for the Muslim invasion into America.

    CLUE: There were no openly practicing Muslims, no Mosques, no Sharia, and no Islamic terrorism (the worst of which is the proselytizing of our posterity to their false god Allah) in 17th-century Colonial America whose governments of, by, and for God were established upon Yahweh’s moral law, beginning with the First Commandment:

    “…When the 18th-century founders replaced the First Commandment (found intact in some 17th-century Colonial Constitutions) with the First Amendment, America was transformed from a predominantly monotheistic Christian nation (a united nation under one God, Yahweh) into arguably the most polytheistic nation to exist (a divided nation under many gods, including Islam’s Allah).

    “It’s one thing to allow for individual freedom of conscience and private choice of gods, something impossible to legislate for or against. It’s another matter altogether for government to enable any and all religions to proliferate through the land and evangelize our posterity to false gods. This is what the First Amendment legitimizes. It is an unequivocal violation of the First Commandment and the polar opposite of the following First Commandment statute:

    ‘[Y]e shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves. For thou shall worship no other god: for Yahweh, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou … go a whoring after their gods….’ (Exodus 34:13-15)….”

    For more, see blog article “National Religious Freedom Day aka Celebrating the Founders’ Violation of the First Commandment.” Click on my name, then our website. Go to our Blog and search on title.

    Then online Chapter 11 “Amendment 1: Government-Sanctioned Polytheism” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective.” Go to our Online Books page, click on the top entry, and scroll down to Chapter 11.

    • Micha_Elyi

      If you truly understood the Bible, you’d be a Catholic Christian.
      After all, it’s the Catholic Church’s own book.

      • Nehemiah 6:8

      • T Whitfield

        did you mean little c catholic? or Roman Catholic?
        just curious since the Roman Catholic church did not exist when the Bible was written and later canonized, but only the roots of what was to morph into the RC church.
        just trying to understand your comment.

        • Docent

          Oops. The New Testament arose out of the Catholic (or Roman Catholic) Church (Gospels and Epistles, plus the Apocalypse or Revelation) established by Christ while He was on earth. It inherited/accepted those Scriptures (that would later be referred to as the Old Testament) that were in use at the time and quoted frequently by Christ. To make it clear many years later which books were acceptable/authentic in order to combat competing claims that could not all be legit, the Church exercised it’s teaching prerogative and authority to teach (again granted by Christ) to indeed declare which books of both the Old and New Testaments pass canonical muster.

          As such, it is theologically correct to refer to the Bible as the Catholic Church’s book since it alone possesses the authority to interpret it, etc., despite many false claims to the contrary.

      • Kenji Wright

        If you truly understood the Bible you’d be an agnostic atheist now.

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