I RECEIVED an interesting email from a woman who calls herself Western Feminista, who has eloquently commented before at Talk About Islam Among Non-Muslims. She was struck by the strange similarity between Islam and Bushido.
I thought we could use this in the same way as comparing Islam with Scientology (which I recommend here), in the sense that we may be able to get around some of the defensiveness non-Muslims have about Islam by talking about similar teachings in other religions. Here are some of the similarities Western Feminista found:
Devotion to the Emperor (as a direct descendant of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami) and the view that the Emperor was an earthly agent of divine origin. His decisions and judgments were, by default, moral and legal.
Muslims also revere Mohammad, the direct chosen Prophet by Allah (God). He will sit next to Allah interceding on behalf of believers on Judgment Day. It is his dictation of the word of Allah that make up the Koran that all Muslims must adhere to. His utterings are by default, moral and legal.
Humiliation and Shame:
The notions of "saving face" and the avoidance of shame have also been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries. To admit one's wrongdoings, or worse the wrongdoings of an ancestor, would be a disgrace according to the belief in filial piety.
Lower-ranking soldiers were often beaten for the “crime” of serving a superior's rice too slowly, and sick and wounded soldiers were treated with disgust. (Infringement of the Laws of War and Ethics (January 1945) “Many incapacitated soldiers, with a good chance of recovery, have been disposed of on the grounds that they are useless to the Emperor. A-17 Division Order commands medical officers to dispose of any sick and wounded who become a liability.”) Perceived insults from Allied prisoners were met with executions, and attempts to “shame” POWs by forcing them to bow, fight for food, etc., were routinely used. Women civilians were “shamed” by being used as “comfort women.”
Islam is also a Shame/Honour-based culture — obsessed with keeping face, guarding against the threat of humiliation and over-the-top reactions to the slightest perceived insult. An excellent example is the Mo-toon worldwide frothing-at-the-mouth scenario, Theo Van Gough, the film “Submission,” Geert Wilders' stand against Islamification, a fatwa issued against Pokemon Toys…the list is innumerable and is growing daily.
Dhimmis are “shamed” by having to pay protection tax (jizya). Women are subjugated in the name of “honour” daily.
Free Thought Banned:
In Bushido, the Confucian precepts also set the parameters for a samurai's unquestioning obedience to his daimyo. Within the Confucian context, a "Just War" was any undertaking that the ruler sought to fulfill. They could not be questioned by anyone because that would demonstrate disrespect for authority and a questioning of the authority's divine judgment.
In Islam…“the verses of the Qur'an and the Sunnah summon people in general (with the most eloquent expression and the clearest exposition) to jihad, to warfare, to the armed forces, and all means of land and sea fighting." Those who can only find excuses, however, have been warned of extremely dreadful punishments and Allah has described them with the most unfortunate of names. He has reprimanded them for their cowardice and lack of spirit, and castigated them for their weakness and truancy. In this world, they will be surrounded by dishonour and in the next they will be surrounded by the fire from which they shall not escape though they may possess much wealth. The weaknesses of abstention and evasion of jihad are regarded by Allah as one of the major sins, and one of the seven sins that guarantee failure. (Al-Banna)
We can also look to Islamic leaders for backup:
“Keep on fighting for the application of Islamic law. If this state and nation wants to become great, safe, and at peace then it has to return to Islam one hundred percent without bargaining. If not, then it will be destroyed.” (Abu Bakar Bashir, spiritual leader of the Indonesian Mujahideen)
"I am one of the servants of Allah. We do our duty of fighting for the sake of the religion of Allah. It is also our duty to send a call to all the people of the world to enjoy this great light and to embrace Islam and experience the happiness in Islam. Our primary mission is nothing but the furthering of this religion." (Osama bin Laden, May 1998)
Bushido also stressed respect for others, however, the term others was very illusive and often manipulated to mean almost anyone or only a select few. POWs being held by the Japanese Imperial Army were taken on death marches, starved, beaten, beheaded, shot and certainly not respected…the mere fact that they had surrendered, sent them to the bottom of the food chain.
We have seen lots of examples put forward by Islamic apologists stating the same thing — that Islam is a peaceful religion that accepts women, Christians and Jews with respect…the passages from the Koran are too many to show here that is not the case…
War as a means to an end:
Bushido sees war as an act that could purify the self, the nation, and ultimately the whole world. Within this framework, the supreme sacrifice of life itself was regarded as the purest of accomplishments. “Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.” Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure (1710)
Ritual suicide (seppuku) was preferred over a life of shame (defeat), and was adopted as a means of war by the Japanese Imperial Army. (Kamikaze tactic during WWII — this was also consistent with the Bushido Code’s requirement of self-sacrifice.)
The idea that war is a way of “purifying” the whole world is another area where Islam agrees — the whole globe should become Islamic. Islam means submission, and so the House of Islam includes those nations that have submitted to Islamic rule, which is to say those nations ruled by Sharia law. The rest of the world, which has not accepted Sharia law and so is not in a state of submission, exists in a state of rebellion or war with the will of Allah. It is incumbent on dar al-Islam to make war upon dar al-harb until such time that all nations submit to the will of Allah and accept Sharia law.
Islam also believes the premise that dying while waging jihad is the purest of accomplishments…”But nothing compares to the honour of shahadah kubra (the supreme martyrdom) or the reward that is waiting for the Mujahideen.” (Al-Banna)
It was not unusual for civilians to be routinely slaughtered by the Japanese Imperial Army, as well as taken as forced labour for war projects. (Thai/Burma Railway used civilians taken from Indonesia as well as Malaya and other neighbouring SE Asian countries, as well as POWs.)
Islam has a long history of taking slaves by force, and is currently still perpetrating horrors against indentured servants from other countries, especially in Saudi Arabia.
The punishments meted out to civilians and POWs by the Imperial Japanese Army have been recorded by history as shocking — atrocities that still sicken to this day. The belief in their superiority over all others led to acts of pure evil being perpetrated, for which they were condemned by all western nations.
Why then, does a doctrine that is easily aligned with Bushido still exist? (Bushido already having been condemned as inhuman and vile.) Why is this doctrine still being allowed to infiltrate our daily lives? Why does the media apologise and excuse it? Why do the politicians of the same nations that held war-crime tribunals against the JIA now trip over each other to appease the latest practitioners?
At the end of WWII, a declaration was given to the Japanese to sign….one of the conditions read:
"We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation...The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established."
In other words, "No More Bushido." Why then, can I not say, "No More Islam" without being accused of hate speech?
When I asked Western Feminista if I could reprint her analysis, she said yes, and then added:
I sat down after watching the mini series “The Pacific” and Googled the JIA and Bushido and just picked out a few bits that struck me as being creepily similar.
I thought it was strange that so many people compare Islam to Nazism (Jew hatred etc) — but I haven’t heard anyone looking at it from a “religious spiritual” side…everything the JIA did was in the name of the Emperor and the belief that he was a divine being unable to be criticized. (Even Hitler had people who doubted him…but the Emperor didn’t.)
My Grandfather was on the Thai Burma railroad, and he always said that theirs was an ideology that encompassed every aspect of their lives, was completely irrational and evil to the core…