Power Comes From Lying

Everyone knows how commendable it is for a prince to keep his word and live by integrity rather than by cunning. And yet our own era has shown that princes who have little regard for their word have achieved great things, being expert at beguiling men's minds.

Machiavelli, Niccolo (2009-01-01). The Prince (Vintage Classics) (p. 64). Random House. Kindle Edition.

The latest atrocity committed in the Islamic State has just been released into the public consciousness. According to reports in the mainstream media, a teenage boy has been crucified after being found guilty of betraying the religion of Islam. The devout Muslims who murdered the boy made sure that his ordeal lasted for three days. [1]

This brings to mind the Islamic forces who invaded Malta in 1565, who after finally defeating the Knights of St. John at St. Elmo, beheaded the corpses then nailed them on to crosses before floating them across Grand Harbour to their brothers at Senglea.

One is struck by the attempts by both groups of Muslims to take possession of the Christian narrative and use it for their own dark purposes.

In the face of the atrocities that are being committed daily by the Muslims of the Islamic State, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, acknowledges that “they (the Muslims of the Islamic State) claim to do this in the name of Islam”, but insists that 'that is nonsense, Islam is a religion of peace'. [2] Cameron has already made his position on the religion of Islam clear, stating after the murder of a British soldier on the streets of London by two 'soldiers of Allah' called Mujahid Abu Hamza and Ismail Ibn Abdullah that 'there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act'. [3]

In order to evaluate Cameron's position on the religion of Islam, we need to familiarise ourselves with some basic logical concepts. A categorical proposition is a statement which relates members of one group to members of another. It has a subject term and a predicate term, and it can be expressed in the following standard forms: All S are P, No S are P, Some S are P and Some S are not P.

One attribute of categorical propositions is quantity. This refers to whether the proposition makes a claim about every member of the class denoted by the subject term. The propositions 'All S are P' and 'No S are P' both say something about all members of the class denoted by the subject term S, so those propositions are said to be universal. The propositions 'Some S are P' and 'Some S are not P' say something about one or more (but not all) members of the class denoted by the subject term S, so those propositions are said to be particular.

Another attribute of categorical propositions is quality. A categorical proposition claims that some or all the members of the class denoted by the subject term are also members of the class denoted by the predicate term, which is affirmative, or that they are not, which is negative. So the propositions 'All S are P' and 'Some S are P' are affirmative and the propositions 'No S are P' and 'Some S are not P' are negative.

The four standard form categorical propositions have traditionally been referred to using the first four vowels of the Roman alphabet. The universal affirmative proposition (All S are P) is called an A proposition, the universal negative (No S are P) is an E proposition, the particular affirmative (Some S are P) is an I proposition and the particular negative (Some S are not P) is an O proposition.

So where the subject term is Islamic doctrines and the predicate term is doctrines that justify acts of cruelty and barbarism, we can see that Cameron has explained his position on Islam using an E proposition (No S are P). This can be illustrated using a Venn diagram, as follows:

Having laid out David Cameron's position, the first thing we have to remember is that Cameron is a British politician, and as Cameron himself has acknowledged (before a Christian audience, in typically Machiavellian fashion) the United Kingdom is a Christian country, our society is founded on Judeo-Christian values, and the Bible is part of our cultural and political heritage. [4] This then, is the context in which Cameron received his education.

Cameron has acknowledged that he is not an authority on any religion, and admits he has not taken the trouble to educate himself specifically about Islam. So there is nothing to suggest that David Cameron knows the first thing about Islamic doctrines and practices. [5]

If anyone asserts that Islam is 'a religion of peace' simply because David Cameron has uttered those words, then they are obviously making an appeal to inappropriate authority. (This is a fallacy – the argumentum ad verecundiam.)

 On the other hand, there is no legitimate reason for us not take the confessions of murderers seriously. When Mujahid Abu Hamza was filmed red-handed at the scene of his crime, for example, he explicitly cited surah at-taubah, the ninth surah of the Koran but one of the last to be written, as he explained his motives to the world.

Time and again, we see Muslims who have committed acts of barbarism stating that their motives are Islamic. We see respected men like Shashank Joshi acknowledging in the national press that 'the practice of beheading is invoked in the Koran'. And we see Muslims like Professor Ednan Aslan from the University of Vienna, a man who unlike David Cameron, has taken the time to educate himself about the religion of Islam, acknowledging that everything the Islamic State is doing is 'theologically correct' because it comes directly from the foundational texts of Islam. [6]

And here we come to an important logical point. If, where the subject term is Islamic doctrines and the predicate term is doctrines that justify 'dreadful' acts of barbarism and cruelty, the E proposition (No S are P) is false, that does not mean that the corresponding A proposition (All S are P) is true.. It's important to note here that that is not what people in the Counter-jihad are saying when they draw attention to specific Islamic doctrines. (Anyone who says otherwise is attacking a straw man.)

If an E proposition is false, then as a matter of logic, we can only say that the corresponding I proposition (Some S are P) must be true. This proposition can be illustrated by another Venn diagram:

Note that the section where S and P overlap is no longer empty, but has the variable x assigned to it, where the value of that variable is undetermined.

So David Cameron's E proposition (No S are P) is false, the British government's position is untenable, taking anything Cameron says about Islam seriously is not rational behaviour, and the people involved in the Counter-jihad are telling the truth. Where the subject terms is Islamic doctrines and the predicate term is doctrines that justify cruelty and brutality, the particular affirmative proposition (Some S are P) is true.

You might think that the nonsense that we hear from the likes of David Cameron should just be ignored, and we can start discussing the real issues behind the ever-growing menace of Islamic terrorism in the Western world any time we like. But we've been waiting for just over 13 years for that to happen, and if we don't do something about it shortly, then it looks like it never will.

As Peter Hitchens says, the views of anyone who wants to discuss problems with Islamic doctrines and practices should be taken on board by their opponents and addressed using reason, facts and logic. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen in this country of ours.

We are going to have to force the issue. We need to use David Cameron's own words against him whenever he makes unsupported assertions about the doctrines and practices of Islam.

“In making this speech I claim no religious authority whatsoever.” - David Cameron, 16th December 2011.

“I'm not a scholar of any religion.” - David Cameron, 8th October 2014.

And whenever any member of the political elite repeats the assertion that Islam is a religion of peace, we need to remind people of what John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty:

“They have no authority to decide the question for all mankind, and exclude every other person from the means of judging. To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common argument, not the worse for being common.”

Mill, John Stuart (2006-08-31). On Liberty and the Subjection of Women (Penguin Classics) (p. 24). Penguin UK. Kindle Edition.

We need to remind people of the archetypal politician Senator Roark in Sin City, who told the Machiavellian truth about politics: 'Power comes from lying – lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you.' And we need to ask them if they really want to give that power to a nobody like David Cameron.


1. Joshi, P. Isis Terror Group Release Images of Teenager Crucified for Apostasy, Yahoo News, 18th October 2014 (accessed 20/10/2014).

2. Cameron Says 'Islam is a Religion of Peace... We Will Destroy ISIL With an Iron Determination', Breibart London, 14th September 2014 (accessed 20/10/2014).

3. Morris, N. Murder of soldier in Woolwich was a 'betrayal of Islam' says Cameron as he insists Britain will stand resolute against terror, The Independent, 23d May 2013 (accessed 20/10/2014.

4. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister's King James Bible Speech, November 16th 2011 (accessed 22/10/2014).

5. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street, David Cameron's 2014 Eid al-Adha reception speech, 9th October 2014 (accessed 22/10/2014);
Spencer, R. David Cameron on Eid Al-Adha: “Islamic State has nothing to do with the great religion of Islam, a religion of peace.”, jihadwatch, 12th October 2014 (accessed 22/10/2014);
Surah 60:4, Koran (accessed 22/10/2014).

6. Joshi, S. Shashank Joshi: Royal United Services Institute, Harvard University (accessed 23/10/2014;
Joshi, S. Where does the Islamic State's fetish with beheading come from?, The Telegraph, 14th September 2014 (accessed 22/10/2014);
An Antiquated Theory Shaped by Revenge, War and Violence, Gates of Vienna, 21st October 2014 (accessed 22/10/2014);
Revelation: The Fuel Project Guide (Appendix Video 1 - Violent Islamic Verses), youtube, 24th February 2014 (accessed 22/10/2014).

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