A rage against history | Professor Clive Kessler

Saladin and the defeated King Guy of Jerusalem

Clive Kessler is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of New South Wales. He is well known as a scholar of South-east Asia, especially the Muslim bits. In the past week he has published on current events in Europe in an article entitled A rage against history in New Mandalaan online publication of the College of Asia and the Pacific of the distinguished Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. The ANU is one of the world’s top 50 universities, according to the Times higher education supplement.

It’s an article well worth reading to see the professor’s account of the source of the troubles now being experienced in Europe and a possible remedy for it. But it’s rather long, so I attempt a summary here with selected quotes from the article.

Recent “Islamist” crimes in Europe and elsewhere have their source within the wounded soul of contemporary Islamic civilisation and of the modern Muslim world generally. 

This is because, among other things, Islam sees itself as the successor to and the completion of the Abrahamic faith tradition of ethical and prophetic monotheism. To Judaism and then Christianity. And it sees itself as complete because it sees itself (or so its scholarly traditions assert), unlike Judaism and Christianity, as equipped with a fully developed social and political “blueprint”, a divinely prescribed plan for the organisation and political management of society.


… after Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt the world of Islam was overwhelmed. The collapse and humiliation of the Islamic world was accomplished by what we now call “modernity” —— social, economic, administrative, technical, military, intellectual and cultural. It was defeated and routed by the application of modern attitudes and techniques, born of the Enlightenment and the new scientific revolution, that the European powers commanded and developed and began to deploy ever more thoroughly, and which the world of Islam lacked. That is how Napoleon and those who followed him succeeded; that is what Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt powerfully demonstrated and announced.

Today, the radical Muslims, or militant Islamists, do not merely feel the pain of this deep wound within the soul of Islam. They also seek to act, with violent means, forcibly to “set things right again”. They are possessed and driven by a conviction that “history has gone wrong” on them —— that it has done so wrongly, and so has wronged them —— in defiance of divine historical assurances and guarantees of political primacy, ascendancy, sovereignty and success.

And, it will simply not do to cut these violent people loose, allowing them to do as they please, by saying “what they do has nothing to do with Islam”. It has everything to do with Islam. 

There is no other way to explain it. It makes no sense without reference to Islam. What the violent militants do may have little to do with “Islam as decent, progressive people choose to understand it”. But it exists within, feeds off, and is explicable only within Islam and Islamic terms, and with reference to the travails of modern Islamic history generally.

Please read Professor Kessler’s very thorough article, long though it is, but well worth the effort, if only to see Professor Kessler’s recommendations, at:



About GC

Poor sinner.
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5 Responses to A rage against history | Professor Clive Kessler

  1. Robert says:

    The same equally applies to Zionism.
    As Catholics we look at La Salette that expressly mentioned Napoleon! This should resonate with Catholics that La Salette has a central theme of an Apostacy at the top from the Faith. Fatima is a moment of Revelation (Fatima the very name resonates with Islam and the Iberian Pernisula with its experience of Islam) for Our times with a Prophetic date 1960.
    Materialism kills the Supernational. The Belief in things unseen.
    I do not make the mistake of equating belief in God with Christianity. Belief in God exists wherever Man has been found. Christianity is the Word Made Flesh. The Marriage of the Word to Adam’s Flesh and hence reparation to Original Sin and through Grace the restoration of Divine Sonship to Man.
    I do not see a social political or economic worldy system called Christianity! Instead I see Christianity as Christ restoring All things lost through Adam’s Sin and at a certain moment known to God a second coming (its all in the Creed). The CREED that most forgotten summation of Faith and belief.
    Christ fortold this falling away from the Faith that we are now living through! Materialism and wordly Rationalism cannot feed Mans soul only Christ can heal Man.
    I am not surprised that the Ancient paganism and idolatry are surfacing today because Masonry is the false idology that places paganism on a parity or even above Christ. Free masonry intent is to overturn the Triumph of the Passion and return mankind to the slavery of Original Sin. This in the name of equality! If you love the Truth you must recognise the Word Made Flesh and see in Christ the Truth necessary to heal Our Age.


  2. A brilliant article by a clearly brilliant Australian professor. Thank you, G,C. I for one have never read a more insightful analysis of the core problem Moslems are facing, and why some of them are taking out their murderous anger on the rest of the world.


  3. Robert says:

    I would recommend Hilaire Belloc book Heresy’s at this point. Neither Zionism nor Islam believes in The Trinity. Masonic Europe the pagan Goddess Europa. Comparative Religion thesis and antihesis to be reconciled into a one world Religion?


  4. GC says:

    RJB, yes, I feel Professor Kessler has got a lot right here and what he says reflects a lot of what I myself have concluded about some people I live among.

    He wrote another article last year for Quadrant discussing similar matters:

    If by a “religion of peace” one means a religion and an attendant worldly order of hegemonic quietude and obedience, then Islam is a religion of peace—a peace under which Muslims heed God (as they understand God, or are required by their religious authorities to understand these things) and non-Muslims obey worldly Muslim authority (as they are told and required to do).

    The Quadrant article is here.


  5. Pingback: A Rage Against History | nebraskaenergyobserver

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