Read This First - About the Book Islam and the Psychology (Mind) of the Musulman and its author Andre Servier
It is obvious when you begin to read Islam and the Psychology (Mind) of the Musulman, Musulman and it's author Andre Servier, are not politically correct. Those were the days! This book was published in French in 1922 and English in 1923. It will never be published again. In fact, there are many people who will find this book hateful to Islam and demand it not be available to anyone. We know who 'those people' are. But that has all changed.
This blogsite has 18 postings. You are in the Read This First posting. The remaining 17 consist of the preface to the book and each chapter (1 through 16) has an individual post.
REGARDING TYPOS: The download copies (DOC, PDF) have been updated based on reader comments and will be slightly more accurate than the postings.
You may request a MS Word doc musulman.doc OR an Adobe Acrobat PDF by emailing me. I will send it as an attachment. It is about 550KB (half a megabyte). Relatively small. You can host that file for others to download if you wish. I will post download site links so let me know. I hope this ebook is spread far and wide around the globe. Host it everywhere. Servier, who has been rolling in his grave for decades, would be proud.
Some striking statements by Mr. Servier about the Musulman:
"The intelligence of an Arab rises as high as the faculty of imitation. Put him on a motor-car or a locomotive engine, and after a certain time of apprenticeship, they will be able to drive it; but if the machine should get out of order, he will be quite incapable of repairing it, and still less could he make a new one.”
The same mistake had been committed by the Romans in former days, when they had granted the citizenship to barbarians. "An exchange was established between Italy and the Provinces. Italy sent her sons to die in distant lands and received in compensation millions of slaves. Of these, some were attached to the land, cultivated it, and soon enriched it with their bones; others, crowded together in the towns, attentive to the vices of a master, were often freed by him and became citizens. Little by little the sons of freed men came to be in sole possession of the city, composed the Roman people, and under this name gave laws to the world. From the time of the Gracchi, they alone nearly filled the Forum. Thus, a new people succeeded to the Roman people, absent or destroyed."
'Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was-and it remains-incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.'
George Mason at Sixth Column has written an excellent summary. For those who do not want to read the 'whole thing', or don't have the time, it's a very good overview.
ANDRE’ SERVIER’S ISLAM AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE MUSULMAN
(Translated by A. S. Moss-Blundell, with a preface by Louis Bertrand; Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York; 1924)
“Islam is Christianity adapted to Arab mentality, or, more exactly, it is all that the unimaginative brain of a Bedouin, obstinately faithful to ancestral practices, has been able to assimilate of the Christian doctrines. Lacking the gift of imagination, the Bedouin copies, and in copying he distorts the original. Thus Musulman law is only the Roman Code revised and corrected by Arabs; in the same way Musulman science is nothing but Greek science interpreted by the Arab brain; and again, Musulman architecture is merely a distorted imitation of the Byzantine style.” (Servier, page 61)
We are always on the lookout for books which delve into the functions of the minds of Islamists, most particularly those arch-typical Islamists, the Arabs. To date, the best book on the subject remains The Arab Mind by Raphael Patai (our review). This old timer by Andre’ Servier comes in second.
Both books come from very different parts of the 20th century. Servier published in 1924, and Patai’s final revision came in 1983. Yet, both could have been written on the same day, or even at the same time, or several centuries ago. Both deal with the most stagnant minds on the globe, stagnation devoid of any but parasitized “progress” for almost 1500 years.
Patai is long on Arab-Islamic behavior and language (psychology) while short on history. In his defense, he was not writing a history book and did not have the need to be long on history. On the other hand, Servier is long on history and short on psychology. Servier was addressing the profound ignorance of Islam and its history existing in the colonizing French of his day and needed the cite the history. Both volumes complement each other marvelously.
Servier wrote from the perspective of post-World War I. French colonization was going strongly throughout North Africa and the Middle East, where the French and British were dealing with vast concentrations of Muslims. The Ottoman Empire was just about out of business as a Caliphate, to be replaced by a semi-democracy under Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk). Egyptian nationalism underway for decades was strengthening substantially against the British, but the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was some four years off from formation. England and France had carved up the Middle East, forcing various artificial boundaries, literal lines in the sand, including Iraq. Oil was not yet a big deal, but was close to it. Communism was flourishing here and there, and fascism was gearing up for big things ahead. Germany had been kicked out of the Middle East and Africa following defeat in World War I and was wallowing in severe economic inflation. America was in the throes of the Flapper Era and almost oblivious to the Muslim world.
Servier tried to prepare the French to deal with Muslims (or Musulmans, as he referred to them), particularly in North Africa. Those living today who have taken the time to shake off ignorance about Islam will find little new, in general, in Servier. Almost everything he wrote, you can read from our site, Jihad Watch, Counter Jihad Education Task Force, and Daniel Pipes’ website, as well as others too numerous to mention. However, Servier said what we have learned many years before we were born. What was true about Islam and Muslims to Servier in his time is equally true, and remains completely unchanged, today. Like Patai, Servier was not troubled with cultural thought disorders such as “political correctness,” multiculturalism, moral relativism, and epistemological relativism which have prostrated Europe and Canada, and have almost brought the USA to its knees.
He made the case that to understand Islam, you must first understand the Bedouin, and to understand the Bedouin (Arabs), you must understand the desert of the Arabian peninsula. So he begins with the desert and how this molds the psychology of those who try to live off it. The people who resulted as Bedouins live a nomadic and predatory live style, with intense loyalties to families and tribes, and almost complete inability to deal with the future (conceptual range) and creativity. Theirs is close to an aconceptual existence, dominated by impulsivity, emotionality, and progress through looting, versus productivity.
Prior to Islam they had no civilization, nor have they developed one since Islam. They came close by the 9th century A.D., but managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the nick of time. Their sole creation has been a religion. Islam, said Servier, is a “secretion of the Arab brain.”
His history is a good accounting of the first centuries of Islam, up until the final ossification of Islamia which occurred in the Ottoman Empire. He documents how fragile young Islamia was after Muhammad because of infighting and a fading sense of purpose. What happened to the conquering hordes of Islamia after conquest became the biggest threat to early Islam. The conquering hordes had come from a geographical area devoid of civilization--the Arabian peninsula. The Arabs overwhelmed civilized “neighbors” by means of sheer physical force and barbarity. Those whom they conquered were always much more civilized than these barbarian Muslims, whose primary interests were physical loot, carnality, and the joy of bloodshed using raw power--Bedouin values and virtues sanctioned by Islam.
However, the conquering Arabs kept making the same mistakes. They forced conversion to Islam on the conquered peoples; then, they themselves grew soft through their internalization of the fruits of civilization from those whom they had conquered. The conquered peoples, once converted, became utterly equal to the Muslims, as Islam dictates. The conquered peoples always set about conquering their conquerors, who grew softer and softer. Also, the early Muslims, with their Bedouin psychology, turned on each other continuously with intrigue after intrigue, On the other hand, the conquered peoples, now equal to the Arabs, just grew stronger, threatening the future of Islam. Something would have to be done to save Islam.
Before the process of ossification of Islamia really took hold, these early Muslim Arabs delighted with the inventions, discoveries, arts and sciences, and publications they had looted from the civilizations they conquered. These civilizations had been heavily enculturated through exposure to centuries of Latin, Greek, and certain other civilizations. Syria, Persia, and India were reservoirs of those cultures, and were plundered by the Islamists who moved in to take from them.
Servier is very clear about the fact that Islamists have invented absolutely nothing in their entire history, other than Islam, and yet they have received misattribution after misattribution from many ignorant sources, which have alleged Islamia to have been a high civilization, along the lines of the Arabian Nights (even this was Persian, not Arab). Medievalists mistakenly gave the Islamists credit for the knowledge passed to them from Muslim writings, not realizing that these materials did not originate with Muslims, but had simply been appropriated from others. Later on, in a backlash to Christianity, some Europeans went out of their way to praise Islam for its “high civilization,” as a means of putting Christendom in a bad light. To this day, many people, some of whom ought to know better, still misattribute the status of civilization and culture to Islamic society. Muslims copied, and usually not accurately. What original work they did do became selected histories and writings about grammar. Everything else they attempted to originate has been as universally inferior as it has been scarce.
Quoting Servier (page 18):
“To sum up: the Arab has borrowed everything from other nations, literature, art, science, and even his religious ideas. He has passed it all through the sieve of his own narrow mind, and being incapable of rising to high philosophic conceptions, he has distorted, mutilated and desiccated everything. This destructive influence explains the decadence of Musulman nations and their powerlessness to break away from barbarism…”
There is a good reason for that inferiority. Inferiority in all intellectual spheres is the spawn of Islam. Wherever Islam takes hold, human progress stops, then regresses to a basal level, where it stays. Quoting Servier, “After a century of Arab domination, there is a complete annihilation of all intellectual culture.” (p 11)
Under the Umayyad caliphates, Islamic civilization came close to existing, but when the Abbasside caliphates displaced the Umayyads, Islamia began its terminal decline and fall. Its high water mark ended in 846 A.D. with the death of the last Umayyad caliph, Wathiq. Thereafter, very decadent, if not fundamentalist, Abbasside rulers took over. Prior to 846 A.D. and for a while thereafter, cultural ferment continued to civilize Islamia, because the Arabs enjoyed utilizing their importation of knowledge, particular philosophy, medicine, and the sciences from the conquered territories and could have had their own renaissance.
Servier summarizes (pp 182-183) the end of the Umayyads:
“Islam owed them much; it was they who built up its power. Free from fanaticism, they had left some liberty to the vanquished peoples, and thus in Syria, in Egypt and in Spain, they had allowed Greco-Latin civilization to put forth new flowers. The… [Umayyads], instructed and polished by the Syrians, were to some extent and possibly unconsciously, the heirs and successors of the Byzantine Emperors. As such, they deserve some recognition. With their successors, the Abbassides, there begins the reaction of narrow fanaticism against liberty of conscience; the reign of blind piety and persecution; it is also the reaction of the Arab spirit, coarse and ignorant, against Greco-Latin culture.”
Arab scholars scrutinized Medina-style Islam particularly, the type most fundamental and closest to Muhammad’s preachings, found it wanting as well as an obstacle to the exercise of thought and discovery. Sages ridiculed Islam in favor of freedom of thought and expression because Islam was so utterly backward and rigid. The Mutazalite sect, under the Umayyads, came very close to nullifying Islam--until they did themselves in with their own brutal enforcement of their ideas, which paradoxically extolled “free thought.”
From the mid-9th century to its end, caliphs and clerics established shari’a, and shari’a became the immutable and unquestionable law of Islamia. This was done to stop the disintegration and impending demise of Islam. Doing this ossified Islamia because it was enforced by sword. Philosophers, scientists, and artists were put to death unless they shut up and posed no further threat to the Medina-style Islam which all had to adopt. Within three generations, most progress in Islamia became a thing of the past. Progress slowed until by the time of the Ottomans, no one could remember the old days. And so it has been for at least half of a millennium and will become so for the rest of the world if Islam achieves the power it seeks.
As Servier puts it (page 153),
“Islam was not a torch, as has been claimed, but an extinguisher. Conceived in a barbarous brain for the use of a barbarous people, it was—and it remains—incapable of adapting itself to civilization. Wherever it has dominated, it has broken the impulse towards progress and checked the evolution of society.”
He does not make the point as well as Patai does about the significance of the Arabic language becoming fused, from the first, with Islam and this fusion has persisted to this day. The Arabic language, developed among the Bedouins of the Arabian peninsula, became the means expressing Arab subculture. It also became the official language of Islam and was imposed as the official language on all conquered peoples. Few were literate, so the effect of the Arabic-Islamic fusion magnified the effect of Islamizing peoples, and still does. Its importance cannot be overstressed as being the transmission belt for turning a normal child into the Muslim we see today, saw yesterday, and will see tomorrow.
Servier does address the key role of Muslim women in establishing and maintaining the rigidity of Islam by their effects on the young. Islam keeps women suppressed, repressed, and ignorant, but it requires that they raise the children. These same women literally brainwash children during their most formative years, until formal Islamic education finishes off these kids in ignorance and illiteracy to keep them and the Islamic subculture utterly stagnant.
Human minds must be thoroughly deformed in childhood for Islam to work as it does. Islam not only closes minds, it welds them shut.
From page 191,
“The deadening influence of Islam is well demonstrated by the way in which the Musulman comports himself at different stages of his life. In his early childhood, when the religion has not as yet impregnated his brain, he shows a very lively intelligence and remarkably open mind, accessible to ideas of every kind; but, in proportion as he grows up, and as, through the system of his education, Islam lays hold of him and envelops him, his brain seems to shut up, his judgment to become atrophied, and his intelligence to be stricken by paralysis and irremediable degeneration.”
It worth noting that Servier was quite aware that Islam was on the move to becoming a nuisance, if not a menace, to civilizations five decades before Khomeini took power in 1979, and long before the events of 11 September 2001. In his first chapter, he states:
“…Islam is by no means a negligible element in the destiny of humanity. The mass of three hundred million believers [Editor’s note: This was 1924. Muslims now number over one billion.] is growing daily, because in most Musulman countries the birth-rate exceeds the death-rate, and also because the religious propaganda is constantly gaining new adherents among tribes still in a state of barbarism.” (p. 2)
He adds, and do remember that he writes from the perspective of 1924,
“The number of converts during the last twenty years in British India is estimated at six millions; and a similar progress has been observed in China, Turkestan, Siberia, Malaya and Africa.” (p 2)
Rising Islamic agitation had been going on for some time and was quite evident in Servier’s day. He attributed it to Muslim reaction to British colonialism. Four years after this book, in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood formed in Egypt, with two goals: to return to ultra-fundamentalist Islam and to throw out the British and British influence.
He also was fully aware of dissimulation which Islam inculcates in Muslims. It is a process of lying by omission, commission, playing multiple levels of meaning against whomever the Muslim deals with. This is the taqiyya which we know well today, and it made Muslims as untrustworthy then as now.
Servier had a few quirks. One was his trust of the Turks, one the author of the preface to the book, Louis Bertrand, did not share. The latter was much more accurate in his distrust. The French Servier held the Negro not only in low esteem but wrote as though they were deterministically incapable singly, in groups, or as a people, ever to be able to rise to accomplishment or responsibility. He also is unduly laudatory about Muhammad. Further, the way Servier wrote about Arabs and the Musulmans (Muslims), he would surely be accused of racism because that has become such a popular ad hominem epithet among postmodernists to attempt to discredit what someone says. However, if you examine what Servier says through the entire book, you will not conclude that he is a racist.
He summarizes his principal ideas about Islam and its effects at the end of the final chapter, and that is worth quoting since this book has long been out of print:
“Islam is a doctrine of death, inasmuch as the spiritual not being separated from the temporal, and every manifestation of activity being subjected to dogmatic law, it formally forbids any change, any evolution, any progress. It condemns all believers to live, to think, and to act as lived, thought and acted the Musulmans of the second century of the Hegira [8th century A.D.], when the law of Islam and its interpretation were definitely fixed.
“In the history of the nations, Islam, a secretion of the Arab brain, has never been an element of civilization, but on the contrary has acted as an extinguisher upon its flickering light. Individuals under Arab rule have only been able to contribute to the advance of civilization in so far as they did not conform to the Musulman dogma, but they relapsed into Arab barbarism as soon as they were obliged to make a complete submission to these dogmas.
“Islamized nations, who have not succeeded in freeing themselves from Musulman tutelage, have been stricken with intellectual paralysis and decadence. They will only escape as they succeed in withdrawing themselves from the control of Musulman law.”