Les ordres d’Allah was published in 2006, whose author, Jean-Paul Roux, was a research director at the CNRS. One cannot, therefore, without being anachronistic, qualify it as a conspiracy book. The book is a marvel of clarity and conciseness and raises some central questions in the improbable time that we now live in.
The book says that Muslim society does not resemble ours; that the Muslim man has a personality (a mentality, historians would say) that is in many ways diametrically opposed to ours: “We are not dealing with an amorphous mass, but with a living and dynamic body, and moreover in continuous demographic expansion. We are confronted with it more and more closely, because we travel in Muslim countries, because we are victims of its terrorist attacks, of its apostolate, of the arrival in our lands of millions of immigrants who settle in our cities and whom we come into contact with every day.”
These words date from 20o6.
Muslim law (called, Sharia) has been established by jurists based on two essential sources: the Koran and the Hadith, the latter transmitted by an unbroken chain (or presumed to be so) of honorable and well-known people from the time of Muhammad until the ninth century, when they were recorded by great compilers. Who were these honorable men? Not much is known about them, if anything, and what is known about them has not come to the attention of the press or Islamic scholars.
Would someone like to explain to me by what mystery the Roman Catholic world gives to this chain of oral transmission a credit and a dignity that it denies to all the oral transmission of Eastern Christianity?
The other source of Sharia, the Koran, is untouchable. One must accept this book as such or reject it outright. One cannot be a Muslim if one rejects or even discusses the Quranic text.
Most Muslims do not know the Koran. They have heard of it but have never read it. Ask any Libyan, Afghan, Pakistani coming out of a mosque, he has not read the Koran because it is written in Arabic and is rarely translated and made available to the people. It can therefore be difficult for Muslims to determine whether a particular injunction comes from a Hadith (and can therefore be contested) or from the Koranic text, which imposes the most absolute submission. In fact, the religious culture of most Muslims is much the same as that of the Christians in our parishes. A few stories were finally given some credence. “I was told that…”
I would like to focus on only one of the aspects evoked in Roux’ book: sexuality, going a little beyond the deductions drawn by its author, who is a historian, but not a philosopher.
Why sexuality? Because it constitutes one of the great human conducts, because it engages the moral (or ethical) quality of every man and woman; because this dimension of human existence is organically linked to the vision of man conveyed by a society and internalized (or rejected) by its citizens; because sexuality implies an anthropology, and that of Islam is not only deficient but essentially unequal and oppressive for half of its humanity, women; because, finally, it poses an essential point of metaphysics and philosophy, which is not visible and which requires a somewhat technical analysis, but which Allah’s orders touch directly.
In Islam, it is normal to mate as nature wants but also in submission to God who established these laws. Man needs to eat, let him eat; he has sexual organs to enjoy and procreate, let him enjoy and procreate: “enjoy them (your wives (IV, 24/28), have commerce with them and desire what he has prescribed for you.” This is very clearly the expression of an animal law which puts the act of eating and copulating on the same level. But if it is normal to mate, it should be done by observing “continence” which the Koran calls “control” or “guarding one’s sexual organs.” Believers are thus invited to “lower their gaze” and “watch over their sexual organs.” The invitation applies to everyone, men and women alike.
This means something precise: sexuality is legitimate on the condition that it is restricted; it can only be exercised within the framework of marriage or concubinage with slave women.
“Those who live in continence, except with their wives and slaves, will be honored in the gardens of paradise” (LXXX,29).
There is no need for the long Cartesian deductive chain to reach a conclusion: sexual slavery is perfectly authorized and even rewarded. The Islam of DAESH thus applies the Koran. There are female slaves, and they are authorized by the Koranic text itself, and to enjoy them, with a reward. Why deprive themselves?
There are two points to consider. It may well be that it is impossible for a believing and firmly believing Muslim to hold the sexual act as a highly significant act of communication which engages the whole body, not to say the whole person, since the body is also the soul which is united to it. It is true that the sexual organs can be considered as a kind of metonymy for the whole body. But Islam does not know the spirit, it only knows the letter of the text, because if it admitted the spirit, it would simply have to reflect, and all its prose would crumble under the light of evidence and reason.
It is therefore continence (as Islam conceives it) that opens paradise, not fidelity or the relationship with the wife. Islam cannot reach the idea that Catholic theology has promulgated based on St. Paul: woman is the glory of man and the husband/wife relationship is the visible and analogous figure of the relationship of God and the creature. The human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and it is a desecration to consider it as an object of pleasure and lust.
Islam condemns not only adultery and homosexuality (the Koran enjoins the torture of men who have committed “turpitudes” in pairs) but also prostitution, and a hundred lashes are inflicted on “debauchery (i.e., any act of debauchery) and the debauched.” And those who cannot afford to pay a dowry should simply refrain from sexual acts.
“As for those who have no money to marry, let them choose to remain chaste.”
Can it be a choice when you don’t have money for dowry?
The Koran does not only set up a rigorist and prudish morality which one would end up getting rid of like a used coat: it institutes a specific relationship to sexuality which places the woman in a radically unequal situation, a relationship which moreover destroys the relationship of the man to beauty and to voluptuousness, a healthy voluptuousness. For sexuality is not radically bad; it can simply be perverted, like everything that is good.
As such, the wearing of the veil informs us, in the deepest sense of the term. Of course, except in the perverse case where even the eyes are hidden by a veil (often transparent), it cannot cover the eyes, which must be lowered, an attitude associated with modesty but also with shame. I have seen women in Qatar driving at 130 miles an hour in Doha with this veil on their face.
After all, why cover the whole body if it is enough to watch over the sexual organs?
By themselves, the sexual organs are neither beautiful nor ugly. What is beautiful (or ugly) is the human body. And it is because this human body, when it is young and of beautiful proportions, arouses an aesthetic type of pleasure so that it can arouse sexual desire. If we cover the woman’s body, there is no need for the Muslim man to look down; he can watch over his sexual organs in all serenity because we do not look down on a shapeless mass that is completely covered and looks like a sack of potatoes.
This relationship with sexuality is one of the vicious orientations of Islam, because it implies the repudiation of beauty, and is thus a form of perversion.
The spirit needs enjoyment, to contemplate beautiful things, because the aesthetic sense needs to be awakened and for that it has around it all Creation, which is a marvel: mountains and valleys, rivers and woods, landscapes of infinite variety. And, of course, the pleasure given by the radiance of youth or by the feeling of a life really lived, and of the fragility of human life on a wrinkled face. For lack of this delectation, there remain only the compensatory pleasures of this frustrated sense which is the sense of beauty, intellect and sensibility at the same time: pleasures which satisfy then the raw curiosity, the brutal appetite and the morbid curiosity under the reign of the carnal Venus.
Beauty, which is delectation, implies aesthetic pleasure; and the singular nature of this pleasure is translated in the engaged senses: the sight and the hearing, held traditionally for the highest senses. For it is only in man that there exists the possibility of a pleasure quite distinct from tactile satisfaction. To taste this sense of beauty, one must stop wanting to touch things or take hold of them.
Because, by its very nature, beauty is delectable; it moves desire. And it produces love.
The Greeks saw the essential in telling of the Trojan war. The principle which governs the sensitive life, the life of the sensitive appetite—in potential—is love, which Saint Augustine, a fine psychologist, put at the root of all passions. Saint Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between the affectivity regulated according to reason—the love that leads to a thing by virtue of the fact that it suits us—and the affectivity regulated according to sensitive passion—sensory love, necessarily regulated by an affection. It is the sensory appetite which explains that there is in the man a kind of love which is of purely animal order, love exclusively carnal and intimately bound to the senses, even exclusively governed by the attraction of the senses.
This is why, to the misfortune of the Trojans, it was to Venus that the victory over the two other goddesses belonged. If the beauty of Helen is the terrestrial origin of the Trojan War, the divine origin is the “trifunctional stupidity” of the shepherd prince summoned to choose between the three goddesses. By choosing Venus, Paris shows thereby how much beauty is taken in by the senses and the secret bonds which unite aesthetic pleasure and voluptuousness. He shows that he is a slave to appetite in the choice he makes and which will cost his family dearly. Woman is thus presented as the natural place of beauty, even of voluptuousness. She is in a relation of obedience to beauty, the metaphysicians would say.
That they are or not able to explain it philosophically as I have just tried to do it, men (men and women) feel this node of relations between aesthetic pleasure, voluptuousness, desire and love. It is this complex nucleus that the orders of Allah destroy, destroying the use of reason as the exercise of freedom, and the risk of error that it can generate. And since it is woman who in a general way arouses this feeling and this aesthetic pleasure, therefore this desire, it is necessary to hide this body that one cannot see. But then we break one of the great sources of delight: the beauty of the female body and what it represents—inspiration.
Allah’s orders have made Homer unreadable and plunged a quarter of humanity into a kind of moral distress with no way out. It has forbidden women the happiness of feeling the energy of a young, vigorous body, full of attraction, energy and vitality, of experiencing the joy of noticing that this body is seen, looked at, that it can arouse attraction, desire and therefore the meeting, the exchange, the conversation. It is to deprive women but also young men of the relationship of mutual attraction which constitutes the ground and the spring of the future love relation.
Shakespeare’s Juliet was not a sex offender.
Killing in Islam is a pious act when it comes to jihad. Natural law has no consistency. Allah decides what is right and what is wrong. Allah’s orders are those of an arbitrary God who does not allow man any freedom and who has conceived him as an animal, an animal whose lust and concupiscence must be curbed, an animal that must be put under the yoke.
We do not know Islam. The works to make known the contemporary Muslim world and which pose the problem of its relations with the Western world, support theses inspired by ideologies, most often currently extraordinarily favorable to Islam.
“We have invented to reassure ourselves, two Islams: one open, enlightened, tolerant, peaceful, formalist, preoccupied with rituals and struck by multiple prohibitions; the other obscurantist, closed in on itself, sectarian, fanatical, warlike, that we call fundamentalist or Islamist, which means absolutely nothing; the one authentic—the first—the other deviant and sick—the second. There is only Islam; and it does not have two faces—but only one with multiple facets. The mystic and the terrorist, and all those who fall between these two extremes, have always coexisted and drink from the same sources, the book of God and the person of Muhammad.”
This was written back in 2006.
Three questions arise when faced with this religion: Can the individual, as Islam sees him, fit into Western civilization? Does the image that the Koran and history have drawn of the atheist, the idolater, the Jew and the Christian make it possible or not for the Muslim to fraternize with them? Is society, as Islam conceives it, compatible with Western society in such a way that they can merge into each other?
If the answer to these three questions is no, then the fate of our Christian brothers in the East is seriously compromised. But we already know that, don’t we? And we would know it if the Church of the West had defended its part in the East with the courage that its cause requires, and that it deserves.
Let’s open a world map and look at the Muslim lands, those that apply the Koran, at least officially, between the two extremes of mysticism and terrorism. May God have mercy on the women of Afghanistan, but also on those of Pakistan, and on those of all the Muslim nations that condemn them to a terrible subjugation.
The unnatural alliance of the new anthropologies and Islam (of which we see a figure in what is called Islamo-leftism) is only possible because both of them consider man as an animal. The orders of Allah for all, such is the program of Islam. Opposite, the destruction of what makes our human nature: “Man and woman he created them,” to show another invisible pole of human nature, the sacerdotal, the greatly sacerdotal. There is no priesthood in Islam.
History, which has already given birth to many bloodthirsty monsters, has given birth to Islam and the new programming.
But one does not go against the God of Israel who programmed man for freedom, for beauty and for Him. God, our God, is true, true is His promise, true is His word, true is His salvation. True also is His power. When the God of Christians orders, He says to His prophets: “Go, I will be with you,” “Tell my people”—He gives the choice: “I set before you life and death. Choose life.”
Let us choose life.
Let us choose Him.
Marion Duvauchel is a historian of religions and holds a PhD in philosophy. She has published widely, and has taught in various places, including France, Morocco, Qatar, and Cambodia. She is the founder of the Pteah Barang, in Cambodia.
Featured: Pandora, by John William Waterhouse; painted in 1896.