Groundhog Day is the long eternal tragedy of Islam, which always sees its shadow and always ends up with six weeks, six months or six hundred years of more winter. That hopeful time when the bitter cold of winter begins its slow transition into the warmth and renewal of spring never comes for Islam.
In a reversal of the cycle of season, the Arab Spring led to the Islamic Winter, but that is the endless pattern of Islamic attempts at reform and rejuvenation, which rather than finding renewal in their attempts at transformation only go on perpetuating the same cycle of violence, tyranny and oppression.
There is a peculiar tragedy to a religion which cannot escape its own destructive nature, each time it reaches for some form of redemption, its hands come up dripping with blood and it all ends in more bodies and petty tyrannies.
The film Groundhog Day showed us a man who was doomed to repeat the same day over and over again until he learned to use his time to become a better person. Islam has been stuck in its own form of that cycle, repeating the same century over and over again, moving from religious ecstasy to holy war, seeking redemption through religious tyranny, and finding that there was no escaping the internal decay and instability in the veins of its religion.
Islam’s only redemption lies in establishing a theocracy. Its commitment to power and the indulgence of the earthly and heavenly paradise of loot, slaves and violence led to its own degeneration over and over again. Having no other spiritual form than the exercise of power, it has corrupted itself each time, and then attempted to exorcise the corruption through more of violence.
The Islamic leaders of one generation endorse the tyrants whom the Islamic leaders of another generation strive to overthrow. Hardly had Mohammed kicked the bucket than his nearest and dearest were fighting a civil war over supreme rulership. The origins of the Shiite-Sunni split lay not in theology, but in a vulgar power play between Mohammed’s relatives. That greedy infighting has hardened into theological variations, but underneath they remain fixed in the same patterns of warring over power and wealth.
Over a thousand years later the Muslim world is still dedicating all its energies to civil wars and external conflicts whose only true goal is to put money and power into the hands of its leaders. The confrontations between the prominent Shiite families running Iran and the Arab Sunni families running the Arabian gulf states are not theological, though they take place under the guise of theology. They are ethnic and economic conflicts dressed up as religious conflicts.
The ugliest elements of Islam, its bigotry toward Jews and Christians, its endless raids, its need to remove the faintest doubt about the parentage of the children of its women, are pure tribal pettiness distilled into religion by warlords and clan leaders whose understanding of theology did not extend beyond sanctifying the exercise of their personal power.
Islam was a predecessor of power movements like Communism and Nazism, its leader worship grimly real, as any cartoonist who has tried to draw a picture of Mohammed knows, or anyone who has seen Shiites cut their children bloody while crying out in mourning for Caliph Ali. Its theology is still incapable of embracing anything higher than its own will to power. Its objects of worship are its warleaders, its soldiers and its atrocities.
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