Toxic Islam - A Food Theory of Culture

I have been developing a "food theory of culture" with one of my friends. A good meal should consist of a variety of foods. Even excellent ingredients will become boring if you rely on just one or two of them all the time. What makes a fine meal is not just fine ingredients and a competent cook but the overall balance between the various ingredients, where the totality is greater than the sum of the parts. You need something salty, something sweet, something spicy and something refreshing. Focusing on each individual component and stating with certainty that “this is the thing that created the success” is a mistake, but a very common one.

As it happens, food is one of the aspects of life where I will concede that Asians often outperform Westerners, and where southern Europeans frequently outperform northern Europeans. There are many Italian restaurants in Britain, but few British restaurants in Italy. There aren’t that many Dutch, Scandinavian or German restaurants in other regions, either, compared to the Chinese, Indian or Thai restaurants you can encounter all around the world.

There are certain minerals and vitamins that are necessary to sustain life. However, it is also possible to get too much of them. Theoretically speaking, you can die from drinking too much water; just because drinking a couple of liters of it per day is healthy does not mean that drinking twenty times as much of it is twenty times as healthy. You could argue that the modern West suffers from a form of cultural malnutrition; we are being force-fed a steady diet of cultural junk food which systematically deprives us of minerals vital to our mental health while we are becoming fat and lazy. At the same time, we digest far too much of some ingredients that can be beneficial in smaller amounts, above all self-criticism and altruism.

The most common flaw in many cultures is a total lack of self-criticism or appreciation of "the Other." Islamic culture constitutes an extreme case of this problem. Muslims will NEVER concede, either individually or as a group, any flaws of their own. It’s always the fault of the Jews, the Hindus, the Crusaders, the Americans etc. This blame game is deeply unhealthy in the long run because it prevents real progress. One of the beneficial aspects of Christianity is that it states that all human beings are sinners. Because of this it is not necessarily shameful to admit that you are flawed since all human beings are so by definition. Admitting the possibility that you could be wrong means that you can address your flaws and work to reduce or perhaps remove them. This will be impossible as long as you consistently project all of your flaws unto others, as Muslims and many Africans in particular often do.

A culture that never admits its flaws can survive for a long time, yet its progress will be seriously impeded. In contrast, a society that considers itself just one big flaw will not survive for long as it will be unable to defend itself. This is where the white West is today. Our self-criticism, which runs deep in our psyche, is a virtue provided that it is counterbalanced by a healthy dose of self-confidence. If you remove the latter ingredient then the first one, which used to be a virtue, suddenly becomes a vice. Again, the key word is “balance,” not first and foremost the individual ingredients, although that matters, too. Self-confidence is like vitamin C, which means that we currently suffer from a potentially fatal case of cultural scurvy.

If we stick to our food analogy I would claim that while many ingredients can be beneficial if you consume them in modest amounts, a few ingredients are toxic to your body regardless of the amount. Islam would in my view constitute the most obvious case of this. During the 1990s, people involved with publishing Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses were murdered in Japan and attempted murdered in Norway, despite the fact that Muslims constituted less than one percent of the population in these countries at the time. This demonstrates just how toxic Islam is and how quickly it can destroy any formerly free society.

"Our self-criticism, which

"Our self-criticism, which runs deep in our psyche, is a virtue provided that it is counterbalanced by a healthy dose of self-confidence."

Nicely stated, though at an individual level, there are too many people here in the West who are critical of the West without being critical of themselves.

Also, while Islam is generally toxic, it certainly seems possible that Muslims who are Westerners first and Muslims second would be benign. Unfortunately, Western society is doing nothing to encourage this. Instead, we are told that we must be unprejudiced against all Muslims.

On "A Food Theory of Culture"

A very interesting theory indeed.  Many times I find imbalance both appetizing and healthy, so long as I have achieved balance at the end of the day.  However, garbage is garbage, be it British cuisine or Islam.