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Published on April 21st, 2010 | by Bojidar Marinov


Civilization and Self-Control

“I don’t want men looking at me lustfully when I work here.”

This is how a Muslim girl, cashier at Wal-Mart, replied to my wife’s question about the purpose of her head-covering, wrapped tightly around her head, covering everything except her face.

My first reaction was, “Phew, how do you look ‘lustfully’ at a woman’s hair?” In a Christian society, the hair is the glory of a woman (1 Cor. 11:15). We don’t normally expect Western men to fantasize over a woman’s hair; and hair is a legitimate ornament for a woman, as far as the Bible is concerned. Deviations, of course, have existed in every culture, but are they so common in the Western societies as to warrant such strict dress-code? What made this Muslim girl have such strange views about modesty?

Her views are not informed by the norms of the Western society but by the tenets of her Muslim worldview. According to the teaching of the Muslim religious teachers, a woman is a sexual object from her hair to her feet, and every part of her body is an occasion for seduction. Westerners usually believe that the burqas and the yashmaks of the Muslim women have some religious significance – something like the head coverings Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 11. They don’t. The only significance of Muslim clothing for women is the avoidance of sexual seduction by the woman. Burqas are not a religious symbol; they are a protective barrier, protecting both men and women from the male sexual lust.

Islam has a very specific view of man’s libido. In the Muslim worldview, male sexual lust is a central fact of man’s personality. It is a force that can’t be controlled in any possible way from the inside; one only accepts it as a fact and seeks ways to curb it externally. A woman is viewed as a sexual object only because a man is viewed as an animal whose sexual drive has no brakes or limits. A man is always defined by his lust, whatever other characteristics he may have. Rich men are expected to have multiple wives, and concubines as well. The sultans of the Ottoman Empire – the leaders of the Muslim world for centuries – were expected to have hundreds of wives, not so much because it was expedient for the Empire, but rather because that’s what a good Muslim was supposed to do. Most of the teachings or counseling of Muslim scholars you can find online are concerned with sexual lust, relationships between the sexes, or sexual relations within the family. Man as a sexual animal is the essential belief of the Muslim view of man, and nothing can be done about it.

This belief was also expressed in the rampant homosexuality and pederasty existing in the Muslim world for centuries. In cultures where the rich had the opportunities to appropriate many girls for themselves, and where male sexuality was considered a central fact of life, many of the younger and poorer members of society resorted to homosexuality because of the lack of available women. Even today, Muslim homosexual poetry is considered the “finest” in its “genre” among the connoisseurs. Contrary to what some Muslims today claim, the Muslim countries didn’t have anti-homosexual legislation until the late 19th century, and that appeared only as a result of Christian – particularly Victorian – influence on educated Muslim elites. In late 19th and in 20th centuries notable European homosexuals (John Maynard Keynes, Lord Byron, Joe Orton, and others), would make trips to Muslim countries to satisfy their lust for boys. It was considered normal in the Muslim world that a grown man without a wife would seek the services of young boys.

And of course, affirming this view of man, the eternal promise of Islam to its male adherents is blatantly sexual and promiscuous in nature: 72 virgins for every faithful Muslim, created to be his eternal sexual slaves.

No wonder Islam seldom teaches self-control in man. While acknowledging the destructive nature of male uncontrolled lust, Islam leaves it to women to protect themselves and society from destruction by choosing their clothing in such a way as to completely shut them off from the world. Men are supposed to remain at the level of immature puberty their whole lives. Women and girls are supposed to act wise and mature from a very early age, exercising external control where men are unable to exercise internal self-control. In the Shariah legislation, a woman is guilty of adultery even when raped. It must be her fault, and the man is very often absolved, as being an innocent victim of his own overwhelming lust and the woman’s lack of prudence.

This, of course, is in stark contrast to the Christian worldview based on the Bible. Far from being an irresistible drive, male sexuality is believed to be controllable, and certainly not a central fact of man’s life. A man is defined by a number of characteristics, and his sexuality – while admittedly destructive when uncontrolled – is only limited to his family. A good Christian man is expected to remain self-controlled and sober even when tempted. There are rules for modesty in a Christian culture, and there are expectations of women as there are of men, but whatever the conduct of a woman, the responsibility for adultery, fornication, and rape lies always primarily with the man. Self-restraint has been an integral part of the moral code for Christian men throughout the centuries – whether it was the monastic codes, or the chivalry rules of conduct, or the Puritan morality, or the Victorian culture. A man without sexual self-control was a man without dignity, and therefore his reputation suffered. Kings and mighty rulers may have been promiscuous at times but they have always at least tried to maintain an appearance of respectability by obeying the accepted norms for sexual conduct. Even Louis XIV, with his many mistresses, preferred to keep them private, and would listen to the advice of his religious advisers.

Unlike Islam, which expects man to remain an immature, uncontrolled beast throughout his life, Christianity encourages maturity, self-control, and restraint. A Christian civilization is a civilization controlled and protected by mature, responsible men. A Muslim civilization is an always precarious balance between the destructive lust of immature men and the protective care of mature and responsible women.

This maturity in controlling the sexual drive in man has ramifications in many other areas of human life. Immature childish lusts in men, when uncontrolled, lead to lack of self-control in other areas as well. TV coverage from demonstrations in the Middle East showing crowds of grown-up men acting chaotically like animals are known to anyone who ever watched CNN. The only analogy we have in the West is crowds of adolescents at rock concerts. Such behavior is not considered aberrant in the Muslim world, however. Men, in fact, are expected to act like animals, without self-restraint. The poor economies of the Muslim world can be blamed on the lack of self-control: rich people are expected to indulge in childish whims and desires (i.e. have garages of 300 cars, or large palaces, or spend money on other unnecessary luxuries) instead of wisely investing in the future or financing charitable organizations.

The Puritan asceticism and long-term orientation of so many of the Western wealthy families – that same asceticism that created capitalism and the wealth of the West – is completely foreign to the Muslim mentality. The absence of social justice in all the Muslim East is a product of that lack of self-control. Fathers and brothers beating and even killing female family members out of rage for wounded “honor” are a common occurrence, and are justified under the Shariah law.

A civilization is built on the self-control of men. When men are able to refuse to obey their childish whims, their energy is freed to undertake greater things: invest, build, accumulate knowledge, create economic and political organizations, innovate, explore, discover. A man who cannot control his lust is unlikely to have the long-term commitment necessary to build a civilization. The Christian civilization that created the modern world with all its technologies, prosperity, justice, and knowledge, emerged in result of the self-conscious decision of Christian men in many generations to forgo present consumption and invest in the future. In the 8th through 10th centuries, Europe had fewer resources, less population, and a worse starting point than the lands taken over by Islam. In the course of several centuries it was hit by many epidemic plagues, by the beginning of the Little Ice Age in the early 1300s, by Mongol invasions, etc. And yet, by the 1500s it emerged as a vibrant, prosperous, and technologically developing civilization that set its eyes on conquering the world. The Reformation gave it the complete moral code for civilization builders, and as a result, we have our Western world today.

In contrast, Islam started by conquering the most prosperous regions of the civilized world – Egypt, Mesopotamia, Northern Africa, Spain. Lacking the theology of male self-control, though, it gradually transformed those civilized regions in lands of savagery and barbarianism, and within 1,000 years it managed to remain woefully backward in comparison to the Christian West. Even today, the crowds of devoted Muslims are not able to produce a superior civilization. No matter how fast their numbers grow, Islam will remain an anti-civilization force, and will never be able to produce anything of value to match the West. The key is male self-control. Not only doesn’t Islam teach it, it actively discourages it. Islam is in essence a female culture: preserved from decay by mature women who are forced to take responsibility for their immature men.

The future for Islam is not as bright as is envisioned: It doesn’t have what it takes to build a successful civilization. But this is still not good news for the West. The West has lost its ability to civilize because it has lost its ability to produce self-control and maturity in man. However, this will be a topic for another article.

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About the Author

A Reformed missionary to his native Bulgaria for over 10 years, Bojidar preaches and teaches doctrines of the Reformation and a comprehensive Biblical worldview. Having founded Bulgarian Reformation Ministries in 2001, he and his team have translated over 30,000 pages of Christian literature about the application of the Law of God in every area of man’s life and society, and published those translations online for free. He has been active in the formation of the Libertarian movement in Bulgaria, a co-founder of the Bulgarian Society for Individual Liberty and its first chairman. If you would like Bojidar to speak to your church, homeschool group or other organization, contact him through his website: http://www.bulgarianreformation.org/

20 Responses to Civilization and Self-Control

  1. What i do not understood is in reality how you are now not actually a lot more smartly-appreciated than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You know therefore considerably relating to this matter, produced me individually imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men are not involved except it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. All the time maintain it up!

  2. Farmer says:

    Regarding the first line of the article, "I don’t want men looking at me lustfully when I work here”:

    What's funny, I see a lot of *modest* Muslim girls that wrap their heads and cover hair, yet wear tight jeans that wrap each buttock tightly….

  3. Tom Schroeders says:

    Why don't we Christians take the Muslim ladies' word for it namely that their dress code is an expresion of their faith. Giving witness to that faith. What happened after Vatican 2, The religious took of their religious garb and kicked the habits as if they were no longer required to give witness to their faith. We all see the result of that watering down of respect for the religious generally, and nuns especially. Whilst our youth don T shirts and other garb to show they belong now to some other strange cult or other!

  4. mmw says:

    What I like most about this post is that it is by someone that actually knows what they are talking about, someone that has researched included facts. It is a shame that children in schools are taught that "Islam is a religion of peace". The treatment of women by this faction is abhorrent and repulsive. The lies fed to American children to promote this religion in American schools are just as repulsive. It is nice to see the truth shared. Thank you.

    • shamsuddeen says:

      Mmw islam is a religion of peace, islam never tell lies about christanity. May be u don’t know anything about islam, as u said its good to do research why can’t u on ur own read about islam please?

  5. Craigy says:

    Thanx Bojidar for this posting – it is certainly an eye-opener to find that Islamic women don’t wear scarves, etc for religious purposes, but to keep men’s apparently limitless lust in check. The position is, of course, ridiculous, as if men are what they say they are, they will just transfer that lust into other areas, and so we have Osama….

    As an aside, we should remember that Charles Martel defeated the invading Islamic forces at the Battle of Tours in 732, which was the beginning of the end for Islamic expansion in Europe. If he hadn’t, well…..

  6. Mugg, I would have mentioned such a thing if it was true. Yes, it is true that some production of beauty in the Arab world COINCIDED with the age of Islam – mainly in the first centuries of Islam, when the earlier influence of Christianity was still strong. As the centuries went by, though, Islam became more and more consistent with itself, the healthy Christian influence of the earlier eras was lost, and about 17th and 18th centuries nothing of value was being produced there anymore. Until late 19th century, when the European Christian influence – and the influence from the Christian communities within the Arabic world itself – again gave the spark for another renaissance in arts and knowledge. That renaissance is dead now, a generation after the end of European colonialism.

    Therefore, the statement that "Islam has produced much beauty" is a false statement. It won't help "balance" the article, it will add an element of untruth to it. I am not in the business of telling untruths for the sake of "balancing."

    But you are right, the Muslim "achievements" must be studied, in another article perhaps, and the truth must be told, that Islam hasn't produced anything of value that it didn't steal from other cultures.

  7. Mugg says:

    It would have helped balance the article if you had mentioned that Islam has produced much beauty in art, music, architecture, literature, and culture. It is not devoid of "good" in that respect. However, despite its "civilized" themes, the treatment of women, children, and "infidels" shows its cruel roots and its favoring of the rich and of men. God help them.

  8. dawn d'ney says:

    i agree that civilisation without christ is not christian however it has to be said that for the purposes of explaining the article the west or the christian west is irrelevant most of your inventors or people who created a big impact on society were men of god however.though we may have lost that spiritual fire people can acheive great things without gods help the fact is while our laws are based on christian ethics they are kept not because of moral resons nescessarily but because as we live longer its a whole lot easier to be good , upright and not murderous than it is to be bad cause everyone knows'' you catch more bees with honey'' than you do with marmite!

    • Guest says:

      Please use punctuation. It would make your post much easier to read. I do suggest this kindly.

  9. Samuel Deeb says:

    Thank you Bojidar for this excellent article, it is very informative and interesting to read. Keep up the good work.

  10. Nan Heidt says:

    Believe it or not, I know some churches that sound much like Islam in their teaching that men cannot control their urges. 'Nuff said…

  11. Avon Bellamy, II says:

    I agree that the influence of Christ on the West had a great deal to do with the reversal of the West's backward ways. Lifting any backward group out of rampant and abject paganism will have that affect and only Christ is capable of that. In fact, I agree with much of what was stated here but the way it was stated almost gives the credit to "Christian civilization" and not Christ. There are no Christian civilizations. There are civilizations which acknowledge the One True God and are influenced by His statutes and then there are those which are in opposition to Him – and the former are struggling with the prospect as can be seen by the constant sin of man against man that has gone up before the throne of God under every civilization which has ever been ("Christian" or otherwise). The closest thing to a Christian civilization that will ever inhabit this Earth will be the one Christ rules Himself with an iron rod – and that won't be a "Christian" civilization – that will be the Kingdom of God. Until then we have a lot of flawed people looking forward to the final wiping away of our sins and by trying to approximate the keeping of God's statutes we are able to mitigate some fraction of the fall out from those sins. There's no evil that can be found in just about any nation on the planet that can not be also found among those who claim to be morally superior – we all are seeking His forgiveness. Islam is a failed attempt to reach God – but so is "Christian civilization" without Christ.

    • Guest says:

      Hi Avon, that was very well said. I especially liked what you wrote … "Christian civilization" with Christ … cannot be! One day … every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess … I look forward to that.

  12. Lusitanus says:

    Another time, with a group of friends in Dakar, we were approached by a young pimp, offering us young girls ("of five, of six or seven years of age, take your pick"). The offer was followed by that Humphrey Bogard's Casablanca line: "Come wid me to de Cashbah, where de girls are". We almost died laughing.

  13. Lusitanus says:

    While I was visiting an Arab university in North Africa, I student explained to me why he liked fully robed girls, totally covered from head to toe: "What makes you hot is imagining what is beneath all of that clothing. When a woman dresses European clothing, she is fully exposed, her secrets are out and they unappealing. A woman must leave something to a man's imagination". From what I understood, a woman fully clothed, from head to toe, is extremely sexy to an Arab man.
    Talk about weerdos!

  14. James says:

    Test Comment

  15. aSeattleConservative says:

    smg45acp: There's an old saying in Afghanistan: "Women are for child bearing, boys are for pleasure."

    Regarding the first line of the article: "I don’t want men looking at me lustfully when I work here.”

    My response to a statement like that would be something like: "Ah, but it's the EYES that "do it for me" honey."

  16. smg45acp says:


    Check the above link.
    PBS ran hour long special on the Afghan's common practice of running homosexual child prostitution rings.
    Disgusting beyond description, but amazing that anything on mainstream television would dare speak any truth at all about Islam.

    • Gramma213 says:

      I watched this last night. I can't even put into words what I thought and felt. Man's inhumanity to man is limited only by his imagination.

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