[EDIT: Formatting fixed on the long excerpts]
So I take a few months off to deal with personal and business matters – and somehow, in that time, it’s been decided to throw the doors open and let my home be invaded and overrun. So we have bombs going off in the EU’s capital, and mass sexual assault on the streets of my fatherland, and, naturally, the usual crowd is storming off to defend Islam.
I’ll write a more in depth post on this, but for the moment I’m going to focus on a skirmish on the struggle to restore sanity. Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage were at something called the “Munk Debate”, squaring off against Simon Schama and Ann Arbour. As both Schama and Arbour are feminists they, naturally, mocked concern about sexual assault as either fake (Arbour) or a product of sexual frustration on the part of Steyn and Farage (Schama). Steyn struck back with some vim:
“Mme Arbour scoffs at the ‘newfound feminists.’ I’m not much of a feminist, but I draw the line at a three year old … and a seven year old getting raped.”
In the follow up to this on Twitter, one Doug Saunders weighed in with a long sneer:
@AlienPsyTing A very large part of his debate argument involved retailing urban myths involving refugees and rape etc
— Doug Saunders (@DougSaunders) April 3, 2016
I’m German. I read the German newspapers. And I assure you, those are not “urban myths” to Germany’s media, to its people, to its police, even if two of those are under pressure to hush things up.
I know this guy. I’ve got a very long “Anti-Islam F.A.Q.” on the way. To write it I engaged with Saunders’ book, “The Myth of the Muslim Tide”, because you should read the best arguments against your own position. Here’s an excerpt:
1.9 That’s just Muslims in the Rest. In the West, Muslims quickly adopt the same liberal worldview as Westerners. What you are seeing is cultural, not Islamic.
At the start of this, I referred to Doug Saunders’ book as surprisingly dishonest, and this is the reason. In his book he makes a lot of hay with studies showing that, e.g., such-and-such a percentage of Muslims in this or that European country only rarely go to the Mosque. He doesn’t address questions like this one, the extremely widespread support for things like killing apostates, and I think I can guess why: it is an unarguable threat to a liberal state, and it isn’t one that can be simply hand-waved. According to the Policy Exchange study, thirty-one percent of British Muslims support murdering apostates. Furthermore, a majority of British Muslims (78%) want to see the Danish cartoonists prosecuted and 68% say that those who insult Islam should be prosecuted. This means that a clear majority of British Muslims are opposed to the most fundamental rights of a free society.
Saunders blithely states that:
The facts are unambiguous here. Across the Western World support for violence and terrorism among Muslims are no higher than that of the general population, and in some cases it is lower.
This is flat out false. Just to completely underline this, take a look at this. One in seven ‘young Britons’ likes ISIS. I think that not even the most depraved lefty (okay, yes, maybe the most depraved lefty) or conservative likes ISIS, so this is probably restricted to young British Muslims . That means up to eighty percent of young British Muslims are sympathetic to a group so evil, al-Qaeda kicked it out.
Once again, this isn’t a survey of Muslim opinions, but of ‘Germans’, ‘French’ etc. You make the adjustment and you find that the Islamic State has a majority support by European Muslims. In other words, a straight reading of this means huge numbers of European Muslims are in favour of this:
For the record, I think this has to be out of whack somehow, the business of polling being what it is. But it does reveal a large support for the worst crimes, as long as infidels are the victims. Here’s a study of young dutch Turks: while only 8% support the idea of a Caliphate, 80% are down with jihad against infidels,
Here’s another poll result – 72% of Dutch Muslims say fighting in the Syria jihad is defensible. Here’s another one:
This is from a widespread study of attitudes of Muslims and Christians in Europe. The pink bars indicate Muslim opinions. So from this we f ind that 58% of Muslims in Europe want a return to fundamentalism compared with 20% of Christians, 65% say that religious law is more important than secular compared with 12% of Christians, 58% do not want any homosexual friends compared with about 11% for Christians, 45% say they can’t trust Jews, compared with 8% for Christians – and so on. And so on.
But forget the polls for a second and just think about how Muslim communities in Europe actually act. List to the recordings from Undercover Mosque of Imam’s calling for the death of Jews and Hindus. A simple test would be the following. Try launching, in a moderately well read newspaper, a competition for whoever can produce the best cartoon making fun of Islam’s Prophet. You know what will happen, and you know that murderous, hateful frenzy that you’ll see. You also know that nothing comparable is ever elicited by the slaughters of ISIS, the Islamic rapes etc.
So how on earth can Saunders possibly claim that Muslims in Europe are not supporters of totalitarianism? In part, it’s to do with polls that stress generalities that are misleading. For example, he cheers the fact that Muslims in North America say they are “Muslims first, Americans second” in a somewhat similar percentage as Christians say they are “Christians first, Americans second.” But that misses the fact that Islam does not recognize any division between religion and state, while Christianity more or less invented the concept of secularism. He also makes much of a poll finding saying that Muslims in Europe have the same level, very low, level of support for attacks on civilians, a level of support he pegs at 1-2%.
But how can that coexist with the previous results showing support for ISIS? How does it gel with the finding that 6% of French Muslims say that terrorism against civilian targets is ‘often justified’ and a further 10% say it is ‘sometimes justified’?
Here’s a thought: Saunders says that he doesn’t care what Islamic doctrine is, he isn’t interested in theology, Islam is whatever Muslims say it is. He should have been more careful. Having done any serious study of Islamic doctrine, he’d have come across the idea of the kafir, the infidel. Islam divides the world sharply into Muslims and kafir, and it regards us kafir as sub-human. So what is more likely is that Muslims are opposed to violence when it is directed against Muslim civilians, and in favour of it when it is directed against infidel civilians. Similarly, Saunders makes much of the low support for the death penalty amongst European Muslims: I have no doubt they are against the death penalty for Islamic jihadists, and this coexists with the large number that want to see apostates killed.
I also have to add that part of the reason that Saunders can argue this way is that he’s not being entirely straight with the facts and figures. I offer a small but salient example. On page 66 of his book he writes,
Muslims in Germany have become even more tolerant of homosexuality, with 47% of German Muslims (versus 68% of Germans in general) finding it morally acceptable, according to a large-scale Gallup survey.
You can find that Gallup poll here. The actual finding is in figure 32, which reports that 68% of the general German public finds homosexuality morally acceptable, while only 19% of German Muslims do. It’s also hard to credit that Saunders doesn’t know about all these other poll results that don’t fit with his picture of a happily integrating Muslims community that is no different from other immigrant communities.
However all of this still misses the basic argument about the different circles back in 1.2. The claim isn’t that clear majorities of Muslims in the West want to reduce us to the level of Islamic theocracy. The claim is that significant numbers – double digit percentages – of Muslims are in favour of Islamic totalitarianism and the remaining Muslim community does next to nothing to stop them, and just whines whenever Infidels speak up against this. The lunatics are running the show in the Ummah. I’m German and trust me: thanks to the Islamophiles I cited at the start of this piece, we know perfectly well how easy a bunch of crazies can end up running the show. The Nazis only ever got 33% of the 1933 vote.
That the nutters are running the show isn’t that surprising. You know from personal experience how difficult it is can be to take a stand against bullies even in the workplace. Imagine what it is like trying to do it when it can get you ostracized or killed, and your holy book is saying the bullies are right. I’m very happy to find out that 35% of French Muslims are fine with homosexuality (and hope this isn’t taqqiya), or that 38% of French Muslims apparently support a ban on the hijab in public places (Saunders cites the following book that I don’t have – if anyone can send me a scanned copy of that result, that’d be great). Those are hopeful statistics, for reasons I’ll explain in the final section. However, we can’t get away from the fact that at the moment the lunatics are in the driving seat in the Ummah.
1.10 What about the fact that so many Western Muslims seem fine with drinking, premaritial sex etc.?
The high level of support for abortion, premarital sex and pornography are striking. Yet, I’m sorry to say, that doesn’t fill me with any sort of hope. Pre-maritial sex, abortion etc. are self-indulgent things. Notice that when you ask the question about homosexuality, which requires acceptance and tolerance of the other, the poll numbers drop substantially. During his travels through Pakistan, Naipaul noted that the place was lousy with pornography, including child pornography – and more troubling from an Islamic perspective, gay porn.
If Muslims are willing to compromise their faith when it comes to their own self-indulgence, it does not follow that they are willing to compromise it when it comes to tolerating infidels and respecting human rights. Indeed, it is perfectly possible that they will react with far greater fanaticism in West than in Islamic lands, out of overcompensation.
Samuel Huntington wrote about Islam’s bloody borders. Where Islam touches the infidel world, it typically becomes much more fanatical and violent. The fanaticism is a response to the fear of contamination – it’s how Islam has managed to maintain its cultural autarky for so long. Saunders pretty much admits this – on page 108 he cites a study of all the Muslims in Britain charged with terrorist offences that found that
77% of them came from neighbourhoods where less than 11% of the polulation was Muslim and more than half (56%) came from neighbourhoods with less than 6% Muslims.
Here’s a line from the late Christopher Hitchens:
Mongia Souaihi cheerfully explained to me the many reasons why the veil is not authorized by the Koran and why she is in danger for drawing this conclusion in print. “The fundamentalists from overseas have declared me to be kuffar—an unbeliever.” This I know to be dangerous, because a Muslim who has once been declared to be an apostate is also a person who can be sentenced to death. “Which fundamentalists? And from where overseas?” “Rachid Ghannouchi, from London.” Oh no, not again. If you saw my “Londonistan” essay, in the June Vanity Fair, you will know that fanatics who are unwelcome in Africa and Arabia are allowed an astonishing freedom in the United Kingdom.
Saunders points out that terrorists often appear less pious – taking drugs, going to prostitutes, drinking etc. That makes the opposite point that Saunders thinks he’s making. This is why it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of religious doctrine if you are going to discuss it. It’s applying Western standards of piety to where they have no place. In Islam, there is no ‘salvation’ the way there is in Christianity – all deeds and words are supposedly weighed at the end, deciding whether you go to heaven or hell.
With one exception. The shahid who dies in Allah’s jihad is guaranteed a place in paradise (Bukhari, 1206). So it’s not surprising to see a combination of personal indulgence with fanatical intolerance and violence. Moreover, Saunders notes that two-thirds of British jihadists have criminal records, and many were radicalized in jail. That’s to be expected. Any Muslim who wants to rob and rape infidels has absolute authority to do so according to the strictures of the Koran and the example Mohammed who personally lead razzias for booty. It’s the perfect pitch – you go to some hapless sod of a shoplifter in jail, tell him that he’s justified to feel angry and resentful, that he had every right to rob, as long as he gets with the jihadist program.
From my introduction to the F.A.Q.:
0.2 On the denial of bigotry and oppression
This is the second F.A.Q. style post I have done. The previous one was on racialism, and one thing I learned about was denial. I had a tussle with the blogger Radish about his denial that slavery was that oppressive, or the legacy of the deep South, in regards to its blacks, was that bad. I was surprised to find how much denial there was; one comment I didn’t have time to make hay with was from the writer Daniel Sanders’:
[…]nigger, a neutral term for non-whites tolerated, albeit sometimes roughly, in the Southland
And he backed this up with a reference to the famous historian Louis:
As for Sambo, whose wrongs moved the abolitionists to wrath and tears, there is some reason to believe that he suffered less than any other class in the South from its “peculiar institution”.
And who also said that the prospect of their children of becoming a house slave was coveted by blacks in the Confederacy, so much that whites were envious of this fate.
Okay, that last bit is made up. What I am in fact referring to is the writer Douglas Saunders’ book The Myth of the Muslim Tide in which he refers to:
dhimmi, a term for non-Muslims tolerated, albeit sometimes roughly, in the Muslim world.
And I ended with:
To take Saunders again, in his cavalier dismissal of the nature of dhimmitude he dismisses Bat Ye’or’s work – Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide, The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam, and The Decline of Eastern Christianity: From Jihad to Dhimmitude.
One reason these books are fascinating is their compendiums of primary source material. Eyewitness accounts and descriptions, from Muslims and Infidels, of the cruelty, degradation and slaughter dealt out to kafirs living under Islam. So Saunders is in the position of those racialists who tried to insist, against the evidence, that blacks had it good in the Southland – or David Irving claiming that the diary of Anne Frank is a hoax.
In the actual F.A.Q. I’m more generous to Saunders than I am being here, because of both his nasty imputation of the worst motives to his opponents, and his highly suspect and loudly trumpeted concern for “brown people”.
If Saunders could pay any attention, he would realise that brown people are among the victims of jihad – and far far more “brown people” are its victims, than white people. I’m not like Farage and Steyn – I think they are way too moderate and conservative.
Re: my Anti-Racialist Q & A, Scott Alexander wrote:
It’s astounding because I have no idea what the author’s political leanings are even though he seems to go through great trouble to explain them. One minute he will seem like a raging leftist, the next he will be talking about how racism […] keeps people of all skin colors from uniting in brotherhood against the real enemy, Muslims.
By George, I think he’s got it!
Internationalism is a mental readjustment. It is common to hear complacent people in America saying things like “we haven’t” been attacked since 9/11. Well, no, actually, if you take the view of internationalism, we have been attacked almost every single day since then. When ISIS rounds up Yezidi slave women to sell, we are attacked. When Al Shabab assaults Kenyan malls, we are attacked. When Boko Haram tries to erase the Christian South, we are attacked.
This isn’t “Islam vs the West”. It is Islam vs Everything – including itself. As you can see from the news in Syria and Iraq, when it has nothing left to destroy, it turns on itself. This isn’t just a struggle to preserve the West – it’s a struggle for the future of the human race.
So whether we are white Atheists, black Christians, brown Hindus, yellow Buddhists, or any of the hundred variations and combinations of Infidel – we’re all in this together. We are all Infidels, we are all subhuman to Islam. So for those of us lucky enough to be born free and rich in the West, it’s not enough to simply look to secure our own lands – if we are going to survive, we need to look to our brothers and sisters in distant lands. In Asia, and above all in Africa, in the great looping border that divides the Christian world from the Islamic – these are the frontline against the jihad. They deserve all our support – and if we fail them, we will deserve what will happen to us.