Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Islamist Right in France and Russia

The Islamist Right is an unfamiliar concept in Western Europe, but one we may hear more of. How else to describe "LLP," a French video-blogger who rails against Freemasonry--which he seems to associate with the Jews--and republican laïcité (secularism) while mentioning that everyone now knows that 9/11 was a "false flag attack" and that no Muslim may ever, ever become a Freemason? And quotes Guénon explicitly on laïcité and implictly on Freemasonry?

I am told that LLP "is having quite a terrific success on internet." His "Maçonnerie et Laïcisation de l'Islam" had only attracted 1,460 views over six months when I viewed it, so I'm not sure, but it is certainly an interesting example of a particular genre.

And then there's, "le site des résistants au nouvel ordre mondial" (the site for those resisting the new world order), still going strong after seven years (it started in 2002), with its companion journal, Résistance. This site is New Right rather than Islamist, but reports news of Dugin and friends, and is certainly positive towards some varieities of Islam and Islamism. Interviews posted towards the end of 2009 dealt with Mircea Eliade and Guénon as well as the good relations between the Arabs and Fascism. And then there was also an interview with Edward Limonov of Russia's National Bolshevik Party, entitled "Every Day I feel closer to Islam."

Limonov reports that he first learned about Islam from Gaydar Jamal, and admired it more after what he saw in jail in 2002-03 (where he had a Chechen cellmate, the rebel Aslanbek Alkhazurov). Asked why some Russian rightists were converting to Islam, he replied:
I think that National Bolsheviks who convert to Islam are looking for both protest and discipline in Islam. Islam clearly states how to behave in everyday life, something which is not taught in other religions . . . In Islam, an individual finds precise rules.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guénon and Agarttha

Just published: Marco Baistrocchi, "Agarttha: A Guénonian Manipulation?" Theosophical History, Occasional Papers, vol. 12. This is a translation by Joscelyn Godwin of three articles originally published in Italian in Politica Romana in the 1990s, by an Italian diplomat. An "engaged" author rather than a scholarly one, but still worth reading.

The whole question of Agarttha and Guénon's Le roi du monde (The King of the World, 1927) is puzzling. In Le roi du monde, Guénon endorsed views about the existence of "Agarttha," a hidden subterranean initiatic kingdom, that were highly imaginative. Guénon did not always check his sources as painstakingly as is required in academia, but on no other occasion did he devote so much energy to something quite so unlikely. Why?

Baistrocchi provides a useful introduction to, and summary of, the problem. He also more or less excludes one possible answer to the question. Guénon can hardly have actually believed the imaginative accounts he endorsed in Le roi du monde. He knew, as Baistrocchi shows (p. 22 and passim), one of the main sources for the imaginative account of Agarttha, Louis Jacolliot's Les Fils de Dieu (1873). But...  Jacolliot was writing not about Agarttha, but about Asgard, the abode of the Norse gods!

So what was Guénon up to? Baistrocchi's suggestion, that Guénon was joining in a conspiracy to combat the interest in Asiatic religion awakened by the Theosophical Society for the sake of maintaining public interest in Catholicism and Islam, seems to me unlikely.

The puzzle, then, still awaits solution. But at least one possibility now seems to have been excluded.