A war that they call Jihad. Holy War. A war that might not seek to conquer our territory, but that certainly seeks to conquer our souls. That seeks the disappearance of our freedom and our civilization. That seeks to annihilate our way of living and dying, our way of praying or not praying, our way of eating and drinking and dressing and entertaining and informing ourselves. You don’t understand or don’t want to understand that if we don’t oppose them, if we don’t defend ourselves, if we don’t fight, the Jihad will win. And it will destroy the world that, for better or worse, we’ve managed to build, to change, to improve, to render a little more intelligent, that is to say, less bigoted – or even not bigoted at all. And with that it will destroy our culture, our art, our science, our morals, our values, our pleasures. – Oriana Fallaci
Fight against those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath been forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low
– Koran, 9 : 29
This is the the post that I never wanted to write.
For the last twelve years I have been following the subject of Islam and Jihad, and I hate every last minute that I have lost on this subject. I would like nothing more than to be utterly wrong about this subject, and have spent a great deal of the last twelve years trying to prove myself wrong.
0.1 A brief note about politics
Opposition to Islam is usually characterized as ‘right wing’. Here is what opposing Islam means, in practice:
- Opposing racism
- Fighting sexism
- Defending gay rights
- Opposing Imperialism and militarism
- Abolishing slavery
- Defending refugee rights
- Improving the status of immigrants
- Opposing European fascist movements
- Ending dependency on fossil fuel use
- Fighting genocide and ethnic cleansing
- Stopping the influence of big oil on government
- Enforcing secularism
- Holding criminals in Western halls of power, like the CIA and Henry Kissinger, accountable for their crimes
- Demanding a strict internationalism – standing by our brothers and sisters throughout the world
- Defending freedom of speech
- Standing for science and reason and against superstition
- Abolishing the system of economic exploitation leveled at the world’s poorest
- Siding with the Western working class and opposing the Western ruling class
So. What part of that do you object to?
You notice at the top of this site that I have included the picture of Condorcet? That is because my politics are very much influenced by the pre-Marxist left, the Enlightenment left, the left that fought against the tyranny of Church & King, abolished slavery and colonialism, and thought of an age where:
The time will therefore come when the sun will shine only on free men who know no other master but their reason; when tyrants and slaves, priests and their stupid or hypocritical instruments will exist only in work of history and on the stage; and when we shall think of them only to pity their victims and their dupes; to maintain ourselves in a state of vigilance by thinking on their excesses; and to learn how to recognize and so to destroy, by force of reason, the first seeds of tyranny and superstition, should they every dare to reappear amongst us.
In this piece I will be making use of many of the great reformers, the liberal tradition of Thomas Paine and John Locke, as well as the anti-colonial struggles as documented by writers like the great Trinidadian Marxist writer C.L.R. James. If that sounds interesting, well, please read on.
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 he backs this up with a quick line from Bernard Lewis’, which I here substituted with a quote from a 1950 US history textbook called The Growth of the American Republic (referred to in Christopher Hitchens’ Why Americans Aren’t Taught History). Lewis also insisted that the Muslim practice of stealing children – the devshirme – and forcibly converting them to Islam, was something that infidel parents hoped for, especially in the Christian Balkans.
And in the same way that Charles Dickens was able to refute the apologists for slavery by citing the descriptions of slavery by the slavers themselves, allow me to cite the conditions of the dhimmi, not with reference to lying infidel Islamophobes, but by the attestation of the greatest doctors’ of the faith, such as Al Ghazali, arguably the most influential Muslim since Mohammed:
[T]he dhimmi is obliged not to mention Allah or His Apostle… Jews, Christians, and Majians [Zoroastrians] must pay the jizya…. [O]n offering up the juyza, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits [the dhimmi] on the protruberant bone beneath his ear… They are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells… their houses may not be higher than the Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddler-work is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They [the dhimmi] have to wear [an identifying] patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the [public baths]… [dhimmis] must hold their tongue…
The point must be obvious. Liberal minded people understand that a historian who has confederate sympathies cannot be taken at face value when it comes to describing the state that black Americans lived in in the deep South, and they also understand that there are those who have unsavoury reasons for wanting to prettify racism and oppression.
The trouble is that the liberal minded find themselves tripped up by their own conscience. They seem only able to concede the existence of white bigotry and oppression. That all humans are capable of becoming intolerant knuckleheads seems very difficult to grasp – and unfortunately, they end up sounding exactly like the people they would most despise. It doesn’t matter whether you ignore bigotry out of racial supremacism or careerism or a misplaced sense of guilt or sensitivity, you are still behaving like Radish, or David Irving – why you block your mind out to cruelty and oppression is of no concern to its victims.
In this piece I make much use of Saunders’ book, that I find quite dishonest. But I try to say that non-judgmentally. It isn’t so much dishonesty but denial, in the chronic sense, that runs through his book. One way you notice that is that, like so many modern liberal Westerners, he has an almost instinctive aversion to the facts that run counter to his views – he hasn’t bothered to read or investigate deeply Islamic history or theology or all the statistics on modern Muslim opinion and behaviour that run counter to his view. This really is denial in the psychological sense – refusing to look because you fear the worst is true.
Honesty doesn’t mean just avoiding conscious lies. It’s something more fundamental – the mental commitment to seek out the truth, which means thoroughly investigating the matter. Instinctively avoiding or evading whole lines of evidence isn’t honesty, even if you don’t deliberately lie.
In this Saunders is like so much of modern, liberal society. I understand that – who cannot? Do you think that I like that this is the reality of Islam? Do you think I want to believe that there is a filthy menace to everything in this world that I value? Worst of all, do you think that I enjoy having to rethink everything I believed about a great number of liberal issues – immigration, citizenship and the rest of it? I don’t. I hate it – but reality isn’t what we want it to be. If this is the truth of our world, wishing will not change it.
So please, at the outset avoid arguments like this:
0.3 This is just another form of white xenophobia or racism. ‘Islam isn’t a race’ is just a dodge – this is in line with prejudice against immigrants, blacks – dark skinned people in general. Your views are just racism recast, and we should dismiss them as such.
What difference would it make if I was a racist? It simply means that a racist is right and you are wrong. Moreover, let’s say that I am a racist and a bigot and this is all an elaborate con. Doesn’t that make you morally obliged to take this seriously, to read through it and offer a comprehensive refutation? If you just dismiss this, won’t you be letting other people get conned by me?
However, please reread that first link and then look at this:
To take that from the top, left to right, row by row, these are: Sabatina James, Austrian Pakistani convert to Christianity and women’s rights activist; Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Somali Islamic apostate and atheist, women’s rights activist; Yaron Brook, Israeli-American head of the Ayn Rand Institute; Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister; Ashin Wirathu, Burmese Buddhist and leader of the 969 movement; Bruce Bawer, gay American writer living in the Netherlands; Ibn Warraq, Islamic apostate scholar; Guillaume Faye, French neo-fascist; Robert Spencer, American Catholic conservative; Maryam Namazie, Iranian communist; Oriana Fallaci, Italian journalist and anti-fascist resistance fighter; Pim Fortuyn, former communist party member, and life-long social democrat, as well as supporter of gay rights; Brigitte Gabriel, Maronite Christian Lebanese; Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition politician; Richard Dawkins, British atheist intellectual and evolutionary biologist; Sam Harris, American leftist atheist; Walid Shoebat, former PLO terrorist and fundamentalist Christian convert; Umar Malinde, Ugandan Christian convert; Suzanne Zeller-Hirzel, last survivor of the White Rose, the anti-Nazi resistance in Germany; Zakaria Bostros, Coptic priest; Bill Maher, US lefty comedian; V.S. Naipaul, Trinidadian writer and winner of the Nobel prize.
Now as you may have noticed, this is about as a diverse group as you can imagine. There is exactly one thing that unites this group, which is that they all have taken a close look at Islam and concluded that it is a menace.
Take Islam out of the equation and just note down the number of people you’d think were broadly on ‘your team’ – your political/philosophical worldview. You don’t have to agree with all of them, or even most of them – but the miniscule chances of you not aligning with any of them, should make you ask: how is it that a group of people with exactly nothing else in common tend to converge on the same view of Islam? Doesn’t that suggest that we might have stumbled across something valid?
But if insist on this argument that loathing of Islam is some sort of irrational bigotry, to be lumped in with racism, well, that’s very convenient. A certain fraction does exist that use hostility to Islam as a way of being generally xenophobic. However, before you get smug, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin – what sort of people tend to like Islam, defend it? Well, people like this guy:
And this guy:
And of course, this guy:
Cheap shot? Try the following further details:
- 9/11 was excused and defended by Horst Mahler, one of Germany’s leading neo-Nazis
- In America, the leader of the National Alliance – another white supremacist movement – praised bin Laden as a hero
- The 2008 Cologne protest against the proposed Mosque faced a counter-protest by German neo-Nazis who were opposed to ‘Islamophobia’.
- There’s been a steady trickle of neo-Nazi converts to Islam
- Alois Brunner fled to Syria and helped build its secret services
- Of course, there’s neo-Nazis who are Muslims
- ‘Pro-palestinian’ groups find it fine to go along with white supremacists, for their views on Jews
And so on. In their loathing of the liberal, American-Jewish world order, they sound a lot like both Islam’s fanatics and the Islamophile defenders on the political left.
So when someone like Ben Afleck says that criticising Islam is like saying ‘you shifty jew’, it is entirely appropriate to respond that, on the contrary, he is recycling the talking points of the most hardened white-supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Still think it’s a cheap shot? Well, then think twice before you attribute hatred of Islam to some sort of racist bigotry.
0.4 It’s wrong to generalize about large groups of people!
Why should it be wrong to generalize? Have you ever in your life made a comment about ‘the conservatives’, or ‘the leftists’? If you’re an American, what about generalizations about ‘the Republicans’ or ‘the Democrats’? Much more pertinently, don’t we generalize about ‘fascists’ or ‘communists’ – even knowing that there were good communists and even good Nazis, and some Muslim Hutus saved Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide. Yet none of those exceptions changes the nature of Communism, Nazism or Islam. The statement Nazis were mass murdering lunatics isn’t changed at all by the fact that a very large chunk of the Nazis were just ordinary Germans who wanted things like a welfare state, the repeal of Versailles and an end to catastrophic inflation, and had no sympathy for war or violence at all.
We don’t generalize about race (for example) because race is a really crappy predictor of human behavior. However, people do indeed act differently according to the kinds of beliefs they hold – that’s the very definition of being human. It is no more wrong to generalize per se about members of a religious group than it is about a political one. If you’re an Anglosphere conservative, I imagine you favor lower taxes and smaller government. If you’re a Christian, I imagine you believe Christ is your Lord and Saviour. If you are a Muslim, I imagine you are likely to take the commands of Islam seriously. And as those commands are violently illiberal, it will tend to drive people to behave in a violently illiberal way
Notice that this link between beliefs and action is completely accepted by all those making this argument. Doug Saunders keeps arguing that writers like Bruce Bawer, Mark Steyn, Orianna Fallaci etc. are responsible for Breivik for spreading the ideas that inspired him. So people are perfectly willing to accept that there is a link between ideas and actions when it’s the writings of journalists and pundits, but try to pretend there is no such link when the writing is considered God’s own word.
0.5 We’ve heard all this before. There were large concerns about unchecked Jewish immigration and unchecked Catholic immigration. In both cases, people were worried about a large religious group that was different from the majority and didn’t want to integrate. Fears about Muslims and Islam are just as unfounded.
Just to stick with the Jews for a second, consider the chutzpah of the world’s predominant practitioners of Jew-hatred try to paint themselves as facing what Europe’s Jews in the 1930s even as they unleash their own Kristallnacht.
This nonsense has been dismissed neatly by the late great Hitch:
“Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s,” Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times. Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like. What is needed from the supporters of this very confident faith is more self-criticism and less self-pity and self-righteousness.
And more recently by Bill Maher:
It doesn’t sting because it’s beyond stupid. Jews weren’t oppressing anybody. There weren’t 5,000 militant Jewish groups. They didn’t do a study of treatment of women around the world and find that Jews were at the bottom of it. There weren’t 10 Jewish countries in the world that were putting gay people to death just for being gay. It’s idiotic.”
As regards the Catholic comparison, that’s closer. Doug Saunders admits that the fear of Catholics in the 40’s and 50’s has something to do with the Catholic Church’s deeply sinister endorsement of fascism – the celebration of Hitler’s birthday from the pulpit, the sanctioning of La Ultima Cruzada: General Franco’s destruction of the Spanish republic with the blessing of Hitler and Mussolini, at the head of an army of Muslim mercenaries, and so on. Funnily enough, that’s the kind of thing that tends to upset people.
Just to continue with my previous point here, people like the leathery old racist and chauvinist Pat Buchanan have a thing about the term ‘Islamofascism’. The Hitch pointed out the following:
Patrick J. Buchanan, who asked us how we would have felt if Franklin Roosevelt had described Mussolini, say, as “Christo-fascist”.
Buchanan in his own autobiography describes being raised in a home where the true heroes were Father Coughlin the Jew-baiting priest, General Franco the foe of the Reds and freemasons, and Joseph McCarthy the drink-sodden bigmouth and bigot. That’s why the term “Catholic fascist” or “clerical fascist” used to be so current on the left.
However, having, you know, been on the wrong side of the Second World War, the word from the chair was to knock it off with this crap and to do it right quick. The Catholic Church did so, leaving us to comment on its role in hiding child rape, etc.
The problem with Islam is that the only guy who could have ruled something similar – Mohammed – isn’t around any more. As I’ll argue in section 2.0, Islam is fundamentally different from all other religions in this way: while many other religions have at times been in alliance with or supportive of fascism – the Catholic Church in Europe, Buddhism and Shinto in Imperial Japan – Islam is inherently fascistic. That’s a distinction that can’t be escaped.
0.6 My story
This is the reason that I blog, why I write, why I am involved in the Islamorealist scene. I had wondered about sharing it, and after a chat with my colleague, he convinced me that it is worth sharing. So, for what it’s worth…
I’m a child of ‘the end of history’. I was there when the Berlin Wall fell, I was there when Nelson Mandela walked free and was elected. To those who didn’t experience that, it is hard to imagine the hope and optimism of that time. I pity those who didn’t know that bright moment. It was completely natural to think that the long nightmare of history was over. The last rivals to the liberal world order had been not just defeated but discredited. Fascism was dead, communism was dead – the only argument was over what kind of democratic liberalism we’d like to have – welfare state or super-capitalistic? Yes, there were individual tyrants and tyrannies left around, but they were pathetic holdouts against the tide of history – they would be wiped out eventually. The ancient scourge of poverty would be eradicated by the free market, tyranny would fade away, and history was over. Or, rather, it seemed the start of proper history. With all the useless crap of wars and totalitarianism out of the way, humanity could get on with something important, like eradicating poverty, abolishing disease, ending ageing and colonizing Mars.
Even 9/11 changed nothing for me. It was perfectly obvious that bin Laden and his ratbag associates had only precipitated their own extinction. They would be hunted down and eradicated, the only question was when. So things were still on track.
Then this happened:
Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, on the streets threatening death for free speech, burning books, promising a new holocaust. Every single danger sign we had been taught to look for. And this was the only protest we’d ever seen – never one against 9/11, never one against 7/7 – nor later did we see anything comparable against Darfur or Isis.
That is when I realized that history was not over. That is when I realized that this wasn’t ‘a tiny minority of extremists’. It was a movement numbering in the tens and hundreds of millions, and the liberal world that had been so painfully won was at risk.
I hated this conclusion. I still hate it. I have spent much of the last eight years trying to prove myself wrong. The results of that search – well, that’s what you’re about to read.
0.7: Important preamble explaining the purpose
Let’s get real here. There’s basically no infidel who really cares about Islam. If they’re not in the diplomatic corps or writing some dissertation on the subject, no infidel cares about Islam.
We don’t care if someone practices the five pillars.
We don’t care about veils or burkas.
We don’t care about Mohammed’s flying horse.
We don’t care about the Archangel Gabriel.
We don’t care how many schools of Islamic jurisprudence there are, or who founded them, or about the fine points of Koranic versus modern Arabic, or the concept of God in Islam, or the difference between Sunni and Shia, or any of the rest of this superstitious guff.
We care only about one thing:
Is Islam coming to get us?
Are the doctrines and beliefs of orthodox Islam such that they inspire ways of acting and behaving that are a serious threat to the liberal world we’ve come to like so much?
And the answer is “Yes”. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
1.0 Islam in practice
There’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith… obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists. But ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you have what’s coming to you? It’s more than just a fringe element. – Bill Maher
We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. He is already on the way; he is like Muhammad. The emotion in Germany is Islamic; warlike and Islamic. They are all drunk with a wild god. – Carl Gustav Jung
1.1 The Google experiment
[Ed: this worked better before Google started screening out anything negative about Islam. Try Bing instead]
Anyone can do this test really easily. Go onto google news and type in, say, Buddhism. The kind of headlines I get are:
- NYC protesters say Dalai Lama rejects their Buddhist sect
- Buddhism and the Environment in China
- Buddhism and the Law
- Mettananda’s grim warning of [A Conspiracy against Buddhism] (1956) still worthy of serious attention
Now try it with Christianity:
- Christianity in China
- Did Arafat convert to Christianity before he died?
- How the First World War changed religion and challenges Christianity
- The Warrior Wives of Evangelical Christianity
How about Hinduism?
- Russians embrace Hinduism
- Britain’s PM David Cameron Unveils Encyclopedia of Hinduism
- What does Hinduism teach about the right to die?
- History and Overview of Religious Divorce In America; Mormons, Islam, Hinduism
You get the picture? Now try typing in Islam:
- Child marriage in Islam
- The Trap of Islam’s Eternal Conflict
- Prince Harry plotter Ashraf Islam jailed for fraud
- Intel memo shows NYC ax attacker’s online obsession with radical Islam
And on and on and on…
I used to run a weekly series called ‘The Friday Jihad roundup‘. All I did was use google news to search for the keywords Islam, Muslims and Jihad, and put up the information I found. I needed to build the page daily. I’ve been thinking about restarting it, but I haven’t because every time, there are just too many stories.
It could take up to an hour every day just to compile them all. Eventually I just didn’t have the time.
1.2 This is all just cherry picking. You can’t deny that only a tiny minority of extremists engage in terrorist attacks. How can you then tar the entire Ummah?
Let me phrase it like this: would you then say that there never was a problem with racism in the American South? Why not? After all, the number of people committing lynchings were very few. Only a tiny minority of extremists went in for lynchings. How can you then tar the entire southland with the actions of a few?
Or look at this:
Those are the diaries of Victor Klemperer, a German Jew who survived the Third Reich. I’ve read all the way through them and do you know what is interesting? There are really very few Nazis in it. I can think of one or two, counterbalanced by endless acts of kindness and generosity by ordinary Germans. So – how can one say there was a problem with racism in Nazi Germany, rather than with a tiny minority of extremists?
Because that’s not the way it works. To return to the Southland example, there were a tiny minority who actually conducted the campaigns of terrorist violence – the KKK. Around them were another, larger group who do not engage in the violence, but share the goals – segregationists like George Wallace. Let’s call this group ‘the totalitarians’. Around them was a still larger group that might not have cared about segregation, but still believed blacks were an inferior species – the racists. Around these was another group of those who were just uncomfortable with the whole subject, but could be counted on to whine defensively whenever the subject was brought up – the ‘whiners’. And then, finally, there was a larger group that didn’t say or do anything, that just went along with the order of the day.
In Dante’s Inferno the most despised group are those that never found even the courage for wickedness, the ones that stood aside and never joined any faction.
A similar situation exists with Islam. Right at the core there are those actually conducting killing and terrorism – the jihadis. Around them is a larger group that doesn’t go for that but shares the overall goal of enforcing the norms of Shariah on every society they come into contact with: abolishing free speech, opposing homosexuality etc. – the totalitarians. Around this is a larger group that may not be down with every item on the Islamic totalitarian agenda, but who still advance the notions of Islamic supremacism and the hatred of the kafir – the infidel. These we’ll call ‘the bigots’. Then there’s a group that could get along, okay, with others, but they whine and moan about every infidel complaint about the previous three circles, and prevent any criticism or resistance, and so are effectively on the side of those circles – the ‘whiners’. Finally, there is, again, a large mass which keeps its mouth shut, head down and does nothing, as Queen Rania of Jordan has noted.
Here’s a graphic representation of this:
Set against this mass is a tiny, itsy-bitsy minority who seriously speak out against all the problems that Islam has, and they usually end up with death threats on their heads.
1.4 That’s not accurate. The two outermost layers are only a problem because of the three innermost, or more likely the two innermost. Who care if someone whines, who even cares if someone’s a bigot, if they don’t actually cause trouble? Deal with the inner two circles and we’ve won, and those are much smaller than your graphic suggests
Actually, we tend to care quite a bit if someone is a bigot or an enabler of bigotry in most other cases (once again, please compare with racism). You drastically still drastically underestimate the size of the different circles. Let’s start with the central one, the most hardcore of them all, the jihadis. I drew a parallel with the KKK, but, as the ever helpful website The Religion of Peace points out, Islamic terrorists kill more people every day than the KKK did in the fifty years, and more people in two hours on 9/11 than during the entire Northern Ireland conflict. They also include this handy-dandy counter:
In case that isn’t dramatic enough, remember that this refers to ‘terrorism’ which is a subset of jihad – the non-state actors. It doesn’t include all the state-sponsored jihad, such as that sponsored by the government of the Sudan, or that of Indonesia.
Now try the following on for size. Here is a wiki list of the number of terrorist organizations active in the world today. Out of a hundred and thirty two, eighty-five are Islamic jihad forces. Before you ask, no, I didn’t count various movements like the Palestinian Liberation Front, which you could arguably call ‘nationalist’.
Remember, this is just the inner circle. The most hardcore of hardcore types.
1.5 Terrorism is awful, but you have to remember the root causes. Muslims are just reacting to various injustices done to them. Witness Palestine, witness Afghanistan, witness Iraq. Of course they’ll fight back.
The roots of violence, that is to say, are in the preaching of it, and the sanctification of it. – Christopher Hitchens
Can I point out that the KKK also claimed ‘root causes’ in the form of a military aggression of the Union against the Confederacy? I confess a certain weariness at this justification of Islamic atrocity –
1.6 It’s not justification! Explaining and excusing are two different things! Just because I’m looking at the reasons for their behavior doesn’t mean I’m justifying it.
Sorry, but – you are. You may not like that that is what you are doing, you may not even be really aware that that is what you are doing, but it is what you are doing.
Let me give an example: the revisionists of the Second World War. There is a great deal of serious discussion about the various forces that lead to that horror, and all of it is legitimate. However, none of these can wish away or minimize the force of Hitler’s fanatical racism. Those that do are quite rightly regarded as defending the other side. Case in point Pat Buchanan.
Another case in point, David Irving. One of the reasons he sued Deborah Lipstadt was her claim that Irving was a partisan of Hitler. The judge ruled in favour of Lipstadt on the following grounds: if you make mistakes in your work, that is normal and part of the business of debate. However, if all of your mistakes have the same trend, to exonerate one side and defame the other, you have chosen a side.
Take the oft invoked case of Iraq. Whether or not you supported the removal of Saddam Hussain, the fact is that the aims of Bush and Blair, and of the neoconservatives, was to install a liberal democracy in a part of the world that had never seen it, and were willing to join forces with movements like the Iraqi socialist and communist parties, the trade unions and the women’s movements. Conversely, the overwhelming majority of death in Iraq has not been from coalition troops killing Muslims – it has been of various Muslim factions killing each other, and killing Infidels. People who deny or evade this, have chosen to excuse not explain.
1.6 Explain, excuse… whatever. You are still not dealing with the fact that terrorism is driven by secular, this-worldly root causes. Injustices inflicted on the Muslim world are at the bottom of this. Not to mention that Muslim anti-Semitism is only because of Israel. Not to mention the legacy of colonialism.
Yes, a certain colleague of mine takes this line. It was also taken by Jeanene Garofalo on Bill Maher’s program. She asked, if Islamic jihad has a religious motivation, why are most attacks directed at America and Americans? – and actually got applause.
If you pop over to The Religion of Peace and browse through its stories, what you will quickly learn is that the most numerous victims of Islamic jihad attacks are firstly, Muslims, and secondly, non-Western Infidels.
We’re told that attacks on America are explainable because of American foreign policy. And attacks on Israel are explainable because of the occupation of Gaza. Attacks on the rest of the West are okay because of its alliance with American policy and, possibly colonialism. Attacking India is, naturally, justified because it insists on keeping Kashmir. It’s completely understandable that al-Shabab murders Kenyan civilians because they have an American military base. And the fact that there are attacks on Yezidi living Germany is totally justified because they’re mean enough not to roll over and let themselves get killed (okay, I haven’t actually heard that last one…)
Bill Whittle phrased it neatly:
[C]onsider this: Muslims are angrily at war with Buddhists in East Asia. Muslims are enraged with Animists in Africa. Of course, none of this approaches the sheer hatred that Muslims bear towards Hindus in the South Asia peninsula. And this foaming hatred blanches compared to the white-hot fury Muslims feel for the Christian American Crusaders. And this fury is but a candle to the incandescent, boiling, supernova of murder they feel toward the Jews.
Does anyone beside me detect a pattern here? You know, my Dad told me once, “Bill, if more than three people in your life are utter, total assholes, then maybe it’s you.”
Further, if you believe that the suicide attacks on Israel are just down to the occupation, you have to ask, as Sam Harris points out, the question of where the Christian Palestinian suicide bombers are, or where the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers are. For my part, I’d have to ask the question of where the Ahmadiyya terrorists are. I’ve been covering the jihad beat for the last eight years and I haven’t yet come across a story that involves terrorism and the Ahmadiyya Muslims, unless they’re the victims. They often are because their brand of Islam explicitly rejects violent jihad, and so they are persecuted. Finally, to the people who say Muslim anti-Semitism is because of Israel have to explain why Muslim antisemitism long predates the existence of Israel (see the ‘History’ subsection), and why there are attacks on jewish communities throughout the rest of the world (no matter how much we may dislike Mugabe, there is a grand total of zero retaliatory attacks on black Zimbabwean expatriates, and we’d rightly call it racism if that did happen).
But let’s say: fine, it’s the result of root causes and we should address them. It is understandable, given the behavior of the Infidel world and the Western world in particular, that a significant chunk of the Muslim world wants us dead. All we need to do is change our behaviour to address the root causes. Fine. So, we’ll start with abolishing gay marriage and criminalizing homosexuality.
Well, Dinesh D’Souza has written an interesting little book where he points out that Islamic jihadis do have a lot of root causes – things like the acceptance of homosexuality, sexual license, blasphemy and so on. He points out that these practices are deeply, deeply offensive to conservative Muslims, and Western conservatives should make common cause with conservative Muslims in opposing these practices. This will have the neat effect of both killing the socially liberal left at home and draining away Muslim rage.
So, why don’t you go for censorship and the criminalization of homosexuality?
This is the problem about ‘root causes’ that people prefer you didn’t notice. The person making this argument about the jihad is fine with addressing the ‘root causes’ he, personally, finds objectionable. The philosopher Lee Harris wrote that this kind of analysis was a ‘Why I would have blown up the twin towers’ essay. Lefties can go along with the towers being blown up because of US foreign policy. Conservatives like D’Souza and Pat Robertson are fine with them being destroyed because of abortion and homosexuality. The aforementioned neo-Nazis are down with the towers being destroyed because America is the puppet of Zionists etc. This is all very interesting psychologically, but what matters is why al-Qaeda blew up the towers.
Also interesting: they do, in fact, cite all those reasons, but ramped up to horrendous levels (in a helpful document called Why We Are Fighting You, Al-Zawaharie lists as examples of degeneracy, the fact that the US isn’t ruled by Shariah, that it permits usury, and it didn’t punish Bill Clinton’s sex life), as well as adding in a whole number of other things (another reason that al-Qaeda hit the towers was the role the US played in stopping the genocide in East Timor, and the war between HAMAS and Palestinian Islamic Jihad was over the question whether they should push for the reconquest of Andalusia, or all of Spain).
1.7 That may be true about the hardcore of nutters, but you haven’t proven the size of those other circles.
I can agree with that. Remember, if it were just down to the terrorists, I wouldn’t particularly care.
Let’s just start looking at that second circle – the totalitarians. Those who broadly accept the goals of the jihadis desire to make Shariah the law of the land.
(I do hope no one is going to try to argue that that isn’t totalitarian. And if they do, please go and pick up a book and read what the Shariah is really like).
There’s a much ballyhoo’d study of Muslim opinions called “Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms, and Islam in Political Life”. Huzzah! Muslims want democracy! And personal freedoms! That’s that then, right?
Not exactly. First of all, I don’t care whether Muslims want freedom for them. I’m interested in whether or not they want it for the rest of us kafirs. And democracy literally means ‘the rule off the majority’. Once you’ve heard Ugandan Imams arguing that the majority of Ugandans want homosexuality punished by death, and that’s the democratic decision, you take this with a pinch of salt.
If you dig into this study you find that it doesn’t look as rosy as all that. Taking just a look at the support for Shariah, you find the following:
Let’s suppose you think this isn’t conclusive, and you think that support for Shariah isn’t a sign of totalitarianism. Then look at this one:
And this one:
Presumably this’d all be, what? Nice, ‘moderate’ stonings and murders? And please try to explain how widespread support for stoning adulterers and for killing apostates can be blamed of root causes?
By any reading of these facts, fifty-five percent of Egyptian Muslims are totalitarians, and sixteen percent of Tunisian Muslims are. That’s even before I’ve gotten into the surrounding circles.
You know what’s really interesting about this study? Daniel Pipes, who is often considered a frothing Islamophobe with few parallels places the number of totalitarian Muslims at ten to fifteen percent. The evidence is that he was underestimating the fanaticism and totalitarianism.
1.8 That’s just one study. There are plenty of studies that show the opposite. There was that famous John L. Esposito study that showed that only seven percent of Muslims were extremists.
First of all – I am really sick of the term ‘extremist’. It’s a nonsense term that doesn’t really mean anything. We’re asking the question of who is totalitarian.
What you have to remember is that Esposito is a notorious apologist – a guy with a real crush on Islam. Even if you take that figure at face value, we are talking about well over a hundred million totalitarians. That’s more than the Nazis, or the Bolsheviks. So if this is the best even a favourable view of Islam can cook up…
But it’s worse than that. What was actually done was to poll Muslims on whether or not they supported 9/11 with the traditional 1 to 5 measurement. Initially it was planned to group the 4s and 5s as ‘extremists’. Yet when he found out the true numbers were horrifyingly high, they rejigged the test to count only 5s. Read the whole sorry story.
I’m not the biggest fan of opinion polls – there’s always a way to influence the results. But why is it, that over the last eight years, I have found exactly no studies that make me feel optimistic in any way? Here’s a great compilation of studies of Muslim opinion. Read it and see if you still feel so optimistic about our future.
Sorry, what was that about a ‘tiny minority of extremists again’?
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 (I wonder what Saunders’ excuse is for the fact that 52% of British Muslims want homosexuality criminalized, and 100% think it is unacceptable). 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.
If you really want to go into it in depth, here is a compendium of Muslim opinion polls. Read it and see if you still feel so comfortable.
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 population 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.
1.11 There are numerous mainstream Muslim organisations in the West that are just as much part of the democratic mainstream as everyone else.
‘Mainstream’ is another one of those weasel words. Take a look at this, from the ‘Muslim Peace Conference’:
So you can be completely mainstream, moderate and still think that stoning is okay for adultery.
The much vaunted public moderates tend to be practitioners of taqqiya. That is, Islamic dissimulation. The principle that it is okay to lie to infidels. Look back up at the circle I showed above – it places Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) among the totalitarians. He’s on record as saying he wants to see the United States become and Islamic state, and many of his fellow CAIRists are on record as supporting HAMAS, supporting Hezbollah and so on. This website has a good round up. CAIR has also been listed as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.
What about the Islamic Society of North America? Well, they have a habit of sponsoring Hezbollah defenders, it has a been linked to the spreading and promoting of Wahhabi preachers, there is considerable evidence linking it to the Muslim Brotherhood, something they’ve effectively admitted etc.
What about Reza Aslan? He’s a nice moderate, right? Well, he’s on the board of the National Iranian American Council which is a shill for the Iranian regime. So he’s at best a whiner, and probably a totalitarian. He has no interest, none, in opposing Islamic jihad and Islamic supremacism. Take his defense of the Muslim Brotherhood:
While admitting that there is a difference between the Brotherhood and a full-blown jihadist organization like al Qaeda, I said that their ideology was “close enough” to be of concern. Aslan responded with a grandiose, ad hominem attack saying, “that indicates the profound unsophistication that you have about this region. You could not be more wrong.” He then claimed that I’d taken my view of Islam from “Fox News.” Such maneuvers, coming from a polished, Iranian-born scholar of Islam carry the weight of authority, especially in front of an audience of people who are desperate to believe the threat of Islam has been grossly exaggerated. The problem, however, is that the credo of the Muslim Brotherhood actually happens to be “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
At best, his Islam is whatever Muslims say it is shtick is useless in opposing Islam’s jihad and harmful to the attempt to wake infidels aup.
Turning to Europe, we have Tariq Ramadan, who is so famously moderate he could only bring himself to call for a ‘moratorium’ on stoning, claims that jewish victims of jihadi shooters in Brussels were really Israeli agents, and a whole book has been written about his taqqiya.
In Britain there are plenty of Muslim student organisations that lead to headlines like this one. We also have Iqbal Sacranie, knighted by the Queen, secretary of the Muslim council of Britain, who said that “death was too good for Rushdie“, and that homosexuality was ‘not acceptable’, so I think we can place him under the ‘bigots’ category. Same thing with Mehdi Hasan, who when he is not weeping with self pity about how people don’t like him and his religion, is found bellowing about how kaffirs like me are cattle, of congenitally low intelligence etc. He’s also started calling for censorship and blacklisting those of us critical of Islam.
There’s only so many of these stories you can come across before your prior becoming, when confronted by the latest loudmouth ‘moderate’, that you are being sold a bill of goods again.
1.12 They just need time to modernize. Ultimately, the pull of free liberal society is too strong. Give them enough time and they will adopt the modern, liberal values of the rest of the world
That idea has already been disproved. Muslims are becoming less liberal, more fanatical as time goes on. In the nineteenth century, Sir Richard Burton became the first infidel to visit Mecca, and he wrote in is memoir that he hoped that the general spirit of liberalism that was spreading around the world would soon be such that infidels could visit Mecca easily. About two centuries ago, the British Orientalist E.W. Lane wrote that contact with European civilization “will probably, in the course of time, materially diminish the [Muslim] feeling of fanaticism.” Yet later he was forced to conclude with some melancholy that this hadn’t happened – in fact, the opposite had happened. Contact with European culture had increased the fanaticism and intolerance of Muslims in Egypt. That was almost two centuries ago.
1.13 Doesn’t that contradict your point? I mean the inference is that Islam used to be more tolerant, and it is only in modern times that it has become this fanatical and depraved. After all, the Dar al-Islam was a beacon of tolerance and reason while Christian Europe sweltered through the Dark Ages.
Please see the ‘History’ subsection. Briefly, the tolerant period of Islam was a brief two centuries, and it coincided with the empire being least Islamic.
The tolerance and relative calm that used to exist in the Islamic world was a very brief period, resulting from the dilution of localized versions of Islam through centuries of disconnect from the source, and also by the fact that this was when Europeans effectively ruled the world. Modernism looked much more attractive then. With the rise of Saudi petro-money and the world of global communications, these diluted versions – heresies, essentially – are being swept away by the ancient creed.
Don’t get this wrong: Islam has always been bloody and intolerant, and it has not changed for fourteen centuries.
1.14 When you ask Muslims to condemn groups like the Islamic State and other jihadist organizations, you’re acting like you don’t trust them!
You’re right. I don’t. Next question.
1.15 What about all the condemnations of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda from top ranking clerics?
Here’s a good round up of many of Islam’s leading lights coming down hard on ISIS. It’s unsurprising that people like the Ayatollah Ali Sistani (Shia) don’t care for the Islamic State (Sunni). More importantly, the Islamic State is nuts even by the standards of other jihadists – they even want to destroy the Kaaba as an example of idolatry, something that probably doesn’t endear them to their co-religionists (I would suspect that this inspires more fury than the slaughter of the Yezidi). If your standard for virtue is ‘not as wicked as IS’ then many can jump that barrier.
(N.B.: Contrast with European Muslims’ support for IS, cited above, and see again my point that it’s at the fringes that fanaticism is worst.)
Take another look at that list of groups condemning IS. Just because they are against IS doesn’t mean that they aren’t totalitarians. The Wahabbis were warred against by the same Ottoman empire that would commit genocides against the Christians of the Balkans and Asia Minor. You think the Saudi Muftis or the Al Azhar is going to say that killing apostates is haram? Do you hear any of them repudiating the doctrine of jihad? And of course there are those, like CAIR, that find it very useful to put up a front, as already discussed.
(Granted, these still show more moral sense than the cretinized British National Union of Students, but that’s a subject for another day)
That isn’t to say that there isn’t real condemnation out there. There was one Iraqi cleric – I wish I could find the guy – who said it was better to see the Kaaba destroyed seventy times than to spill a drop of innocent blood, and he specifically included the Yezidi in his sermon so he wasn’t using the old dodge that in Islam infidels are by definition guilty, and called for the holy cities of Iraq to grant them refuge. Now that was a bit more like it!
The trouble is, and you’ll find this over and over again, that the human virtue of many Muslims is sabotaged by the brain-parasite of Islam. The Ayatollah Ali Sistani may well condemn the treatment of the Yazidi, and he may well be sincere. Yet on his website, under the uncleans (‘najis‘) he lists:
Urine, Faeces, Semen, Dead body, Blood, Dog, Pig, Kafir, Alcoholic liquors, The sweat of an animal who persistently eats najasat.
That’s us, by the way, between Pig and Alcoholic liquors. Imagine someone who was well and truly opposed to lynching and denounced it repeatedly. Yet he also argued that blacks were inferior and unclean, like faeces, semen or dogs. Forget about how you’d feel about that – how effective would you think such an argument would be?
And while they may not support IS, in a Gallup poll two thirds of Muslims in Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia and Pakistan supported unifying the Muslims into a Caliphate.
1.16 But I know many Muslims and they’re just normal people! None of them have tried to kill me yet.
Even people that really should know better make this argument. The anti-fascist writer Oyvind Strommen is a good example. He’s been good on understanding the roots of European fascism, but he dismisses any discussion of Jihad with ‘Muslims haven’t tried to kill me – LOL!’
Again, look at the pattern of circles. Those engaged in acts of violence are always a tiny minority. What I claim isn’t that all Muslims go in for violent jihad, but that a large, large fraction of them either support it ideologically, or can be counted on to quietly turn away and no do anything when horrors are done to Infidels by their co-religionists.
There’s also another problem, and here I’ll reference this book:
This is simply a book of interviews with those who took part in the Rwandan genocide. What is truly frightening is how normal everyone in the book is. They were just average, normal people, right up until. There is one story that I will never forget – a football match where halftime was blown. The Hutu half of one team returned with machetes, having been just given the order.
Iraq’s Yazidis are reporting something similar.
That’s the really unnerving reality – you never can tell. How much do you really know about what goes on inside Mosques and behind closed doors?
1.17 But Muslims in the West seem so well integrated.
This used to be Fareed Zakaria’s line, that the best hope for Muslim democracy was the well integrated, democratic communities of Muslims in the West. Sadly, that turned out to be wrong. It takes a Muslim immigrant thirty years to reach a level of assimilation as that of an infidel immigrant just arrived. Practices like widespread cousin marriage don’t exactly help assimilation. The real answer for the relative quiescence of Muslims in the West is that they are a minority, and it isn’t a good idea to cause that much trouble. They do already cause a great deal of trouble – sending thousands to join ISIS, raising funds for jihad, establishing no-go areas in our cities, abrogating free speech when it comes to the subject of Islam – but not as much as they might.
You think that will stay constant if those numbers grow? You know what the fate is of infidel minorities when Muslims are in the majority? Ethnic cleansing. When Pakistan was founded, 24% were Hindus. Now less than 2% are – the rest have been killed, driven out or forcibly converted by Muslim fanatics. In Bangladesh, the percentage dropped from 31% to 9%. A century ago, more than 20% of the Middle East was Christian, and in the 1980s, Lebanon was majority Christian. Now the Christian population of the Middle East is down to 5%. In 1948, 85% of Bethlehem was Christian, but now it is only 12%. In the 1950s, half of Tunisians were Catholics – following expulsion and persecution, that number has been reduced to a tenth.
After September 11, there is a plot to eliminate all the Christian minorities from the Arabic world. Our simple existence ruins the equation whereby Arabs can’t be other than Moslems, and Christians but be westerners. Gregory III, Patriarch of Antioch of the Melekite Greek Catholic Church.
This is the grossest scandal of our time. There’s been a whole-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing over a large chunk of our planet, and no one cares. No one seems even slightly interested. But you should be interested, because you’re next on the list.
Peter Hammond has done a neat analysis showing how violence towards infidels correlates neatly with Muslim population size:
As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:
United States — Muslim 0.6%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%
At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.
This is happening in:
Denmark — Muslim 2%
Germany — Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
Spain — Muslim 4%
Thailand — Muslim 4.6%
From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for
Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:
France — Muslim 8%
Philippines — 5%
Sweden — Muslim 5%
Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago — Muslim 5.8%
At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.
When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:
Guyana — Muslim 10%
India — Muslim 13.4%
Israel — Muslim 16%
Kenya — Muslim 10%
Russia — Muslim 15%
After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:
Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%
At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:
Bosnia — Muslim 40%
Chad — Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%
From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and jiyzya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:
Albania — Muslim 70%
Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%
Qatar — Muslim 77.5%
Sudan — Muslim 70%
After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:
Bangladesh — Muslim 83%
Egypt — Muslim 90%
Gaza — Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%
Iran — Muslim 98%
Iraq — Muslim 97%
Jordan — Muslim 92%
Morocco — Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan — Muslim 97%
Palestine — Muslim 99%
Syria — Muslim 90%
Tajikistan — Muslim 90%
Turkey — Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%
100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:
Afghanistan — Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%
Somalia — Muslim 100%
Yemen — Muslim 100%
Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.
1.18 There’s an undue focus on the Middle East. It is only the Middle East that is a land of suicide bombers and fiery Mullahs. Nations like Indonesia, Turkey and Malaysia don’t show any of the troubles that we associate with Islam.
Another variation of the Zakaria line (I don’t mean to pick on the man – his The Future of Freedom from which I am drawing this is a good book, but fatally flawed when it comes to the subject of Islam).
First of all – Turkey became a secular state through an explicit war with Islam. Attarturk was hard and he was cruel, because he had to be. He built up a secular military, broke the power of the clergy, instituted the fez that made praying difficult, replaced arabic script with latin script, made sure that those who were too pious were tossed out of the military and the universities, banned the veil – and so on. He also built up a cult of himself and of ‘the Turk’, as a replacement for the mindless fanaticism of Islam, with himself as a replacement for Mohammed. Yet even so, there has been a slow destruction of the infidel peoples of Turkey. In the 1920s, Smyrna was burned and its three hundred thousand Christians were massacred and scattered to the winds, signalling the end of nearly two millenia of Christianity in Asia Minor. This would ultimately concluded in the Armenian genocide. Here’s a good article on the murder of the Assyrian people.
Indonesia is moderate? Here are some headlines from that part of the world:
There’s another little issue – the East Timor genocide. Two hundred thousand were murdered out of a population of six to seven hundred thousand. Muslim officers made sure to kill the villagers pigs (a significant part of Islamic hatred). The Indonesian armed forces are overwhelmingly Muslim, and they were joined in their atrocity by two thousand members of Laskar Jihad, while their victims were mainly Christian. One reason that bin Laden gave for 9/11 was that, finally, after arsing around too long, the West stepped in and helped save our civilizational cousins from extinction. For this, the jihadis will never forgive us.
Malaysia? Well, Malaysia is only 61% Muslim and so isn’t completely in the darkness. Just quite a bit:
I didn’t spend so much as five minutes rounding up these stories, I promise you that.
1.19 Say what you will about Islam, but it at least has been free from the racism that has plagued Christianity. Didn’t Malcolm X come back from Mecca saying how he found that there was no difference between white and black?
Islam is in its origins an Arab religion. Everyone not an Arab who is a Muslim is a convert. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A converts world view alters. His idea of history alters. He rejects his own; he becomes, whether he likes it or not, a part of the Arab story. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his. The disturbance for societies is immense, and even after a thousand years can remain unresolved; the turn away has to be done again and again. People develop fantasies about who and what they are; and in the Islam of converted countries there is an element of neurosis and nihilism. These countries can be easily set on the boil. – V.S. Naipaul
First things first – being non-racist doesn’t make you nice, necessarily. The Communists were officially non-racist and they killed more people than anyone this side of Islam’s jihad.
However, this line is complete and utter bunk. I really cannot believe that anyone can come up with it in the wake of Darfur. Here, watch and see how well Islam has eradicated racism. Incidentally, the cry of the Janajaweed was to ‘Kill the Abeed’, and on Obama’s election, Zawahiri referred to Obama as ‘Abeed al-Beit’ where ‘al-Beit’ means ‘house, and ‘Abeed’ means – oh, go on. Guess.
This has been true forever. Alexander Dumas, whose grandmother was a black slave, describes the black servant of the Count of Monte Cristo has having lost his tongue for ‘straying too close to the Sultan’s harem for a man of his colour’.
I have considerable respect for Malcolm X, though not as a preacher of Islam, yet when he made his famous visit to Mecca, it was a scant two years after slavery had been abolished and it was still practiced, and in fact still is to an extent. In the 1950s, twenty percent of Saudi Arabia’s population were slaves. The Muslim slave trade in black Africans persists in the Sudan.
Another instance where the West has managed to completely screw our brothers and sisters, I might add, thank you peaceniks:
I don’t think it is possible to exaggerate what we might have won had we been wise and decent enough to stand by the people of South Sudan. They were so sick of the Janjaweed that they formally repudiated their arabic names and adopted ones like Colin Powell and George Bush.
Here’s another detail that you may have noticed. Muslim society become Arabized. They take Arabic names. They assume the norms and modes of tribal Arabia. Wearing dishdashas, using Arabic and all the rest of it.
”There probably has been no imperialism like that of Islam and the Arabs. The Gauls, after 500 years of Roman rule, could recover their old gods and reverences; those beliefs hadn’t died; they lay just below the Roman surface. But Islam seeks as an article of the faith to erase the past; the believers in the end honor Arabia alone; they have nothing to return to.” – V.S. Naipaul
Compare and contrast this with Christianity. Take a look at the following:
The predominance of the ‘White Jesus’ figure is solely due to the fact that Europeans expanded the use of the printing press far before others, and so came to have an overwhelming influence. The idea that Christianity is a ‘religion of colonialism’ is ahistorical nonsense. Christianity has lived in Africa far, far longer than in Europe (many old Church fathers were Africans), and of course it originated in the Middle East. Indian Christians trace their spiritual ancestry to the apostle Thomas (I have a few Indian Christian friends), and Christianity only really arrived in northern Europe (my ancestors) about a millennium ago, with the return of the Knights Teutonic. Go to Ethiopia and you’ll find the most ancient Christian communities.
Even in Europe, as you travel, you see that Christianity has adapted to local culture – becoming part of it rather than eradicating it. There’s a big difference between the stern Gothic cathedrals of Germany and the relaxed churches of southern Italy. Similarly, African and Chinese Christians see the faith their own way – it’s truly a universal creed. This, by the way, is why a great number of white supremacists don’t like Christianity.
So why doesn’t the same thing happen with Islam? Why this need to relentlessly Arabize every society that it seizes? That goes back to its roots. Islam has always been a vessel of Arab supremacism. Muslims from everywhere bow towards Arabia. Mohammed supposedly said:
Love the Arabs for three things: Because I am an Arab, the Koran is in Arabic, and the language of the people of the paradise is Arabic.
There are some who argue that’s a false hadith, but the spirit is real. It took me little time to find this:
The following Ahadith all collaborate to establish the virtue of Arabs:
من غشّ العربَ لم يدخل في شفاعتي ولم تنله مودّتي
Whoever cheats the Arabs, he will not be included in my intercession, and my love will not reach him.
أحبّوا العرب لثلاث: لأنّي عربي، والقرآن عربي وكلام أهل الجنة عربي
Love the Arabs for three things: because I am an Arab; the Qur’ān is in Arabic and the language of the people of Paradise is Arabic.
من أحب العرب فقد أحبني، ومن أبغض العرب فقد أبغضني
Whoever has loved the Arabs has done so because of my love and whoever has hated the Arabs has done so because of having enmity for me.
The Koran is always to be recited in Arabic, because Islamic canon holds that it is a reflection of a perfect book – in Arabic – that is kept in heaven by Allah. Millions of Muslims learn it off by heart without even knowing its meaning, just the sound of the words.
Multiracialism sits ill with racial supremacism.
1.20 What about all the cruelties and crimes committed by Christianity?
Well, first of all, we’re not discussing Christianity, we’re discussing Islam. I am fully aware of the Albigensian Crusade, the Inquisition, the dreadful alliance of the Catholic Church with fascism etc. That’s neither here nor there at the moment. This is ‘whatabboutism’. Christianity could be as evil as you like and it would not make Islam any less wicked.
If anything, this makes my point for me. We’ve had horrors committed in the name of a faith founded by a pacifist. What exactly do we have to expect of a faith founded by a warlord?
1.21 Is there nothing you see as hopeful in the Ummah?
Actually, there is. It concerns the Muslims living within the Islamic heartland. If you take a look at the following:
There seems to be at least the rudiments of modernity in Iraq. Again, I think that Islamic fanaticism is particularly pronounced on Islam’s borders – where it brushes up against the infidel world. In the Islamic heartland, where Muslims cannot as easily blame others for their failings, I think there’s some potential. See 4.0 What is to be done?
1.22 Wait: you’re seriously telling me you’re more hopeful about Muslims in the Middle East than Muslims in the West?
Yes, I am. There’s this assumption floating around the place that because Muslims are living in the West they must obviously be picking up the liberalism and enlightenment of Western culture. The problem with that is that ‘Western culture’ isn’t monolithic. I’ve noticed that Muslims in the West can just as easily pick up the self-pity and self-centredness of many post-socialist leftists.
In purely Muslims societies, everything has been shaped by Islam. Muslims cannot blame others for their failings, cannot escape the consequences of their beliefs, have to see its hideous consequences. And, unsurprisingly, many do not want part of it.
Here’s a story illustrating this:
“I used to love Osama bin Laden,” proclaimed a 24-year-old Iraqi college student.
She was referring to how she felt before the war took hold in her native Baghdad. The Sept. 11, 2001, strike at American supremacy was satisfying, and the deaths abstract. Now, the student recites the familiar complaints: Her college has segregated the security checks; guards told her to stop wearing a revealing skirt; she covers her head for safety. “
Now I hate Islam,” she said, sitting in her family’s unadorned living room in central Baghdad.
In the Muslim world there is no escape from the consequences of Islam’s hatred and bigotry. And we live in the information age. Any Muslim who starts to wonder, If Islam is divine and perfect, why do our societies suck so much? will have answers in five minutes of internet searches. Every attack by the jihadis, every cruelty and barbarity will do nothing but demonstrate the true nature of Islam, and cause more and more Muslims to free their minds.
Here is one of the most hopeful stories I have found in a long time. Atheism is growing in Iraq. In a survey, they found that:
In a poll released in April 2011, by the now-defunct Erbil-based Kurdish news agency AKnews, ordinary Iraqi citizens were asked “Do you believe in God”? The answers were quite surprising for this Middle Eastern country, home to many holy sites for Muslims, Christians, Jews, and many other religions; 67% answered yes, 21% probably yes, 4% probably no, 7% no, and 1% had no answer.
According to Nawaf Al-Kaabi, a 23-year old university student from Basrah in southern Iraq, the number of atheists could be much higher if that poll was held in 2014.
Seven percent are atheists in the heart of the ancient Caliphate? And an additional four are agnostic? Do you understand how important that is? Human reason is triumphing over backwardness and superstition.
1.22 The idea of Eurabia, of the Islamization of Europe is a conspiracy theory. The idea that Europe will be subsumed into a Caliphate is laughable.
Agreed, it is. However, the idea of Eurabia is different from that of a global caliphate.
I’ve had some sport with this before, but the salient point is in the comments:
A good way to think of the last one is like the spread of crime – or, my preferred analogy, Nazification. The way far right movements take over areas on the continent. First there’s a clubhouse, then there are people distributing fliers at the local schools, free cds. Then a few rallies happen, then some heavy hitter types show up. Then the area becomes bad for immigrants to live in, very bad, then for anyone speaking up against these types… You see the analogy I’m sure.
I very much doubt that Doug Saunders would quibble with the idea that an area can become extremely unpleasant to live in if a bunch of German neo-Nazis decide to move there and take control. Nor would there be any quarrel with the idea that a town in the American Deep South that developed a strong KKK presence would be similarly affected. That is the prism through which to view Islamization.
My colleague Henry Porter sat me down in his West London home and made me watch a documentary that he thought had received far too little attention when shown on Britain’s Channel 4. It is entitled Undercover Mosque, and it shows film shot in quite mainstream Islamic centers in Birmingham and London (you can now find it easily on the Internet). And there it all is: foaming, bearded preachers calling for crucifixion of unbelievers, for homosexuals to be thrown off mountaintops, for disobedient and “deficient” women to be beaten into submission, and for Jewish and Indian property and life to be destroyed. “You have to bomb the Indian businesses, and as for the Jews, you kill them physically,” as one sermonizer, calling himself Sheikh al-Faisal, so prettily puts it. This stuff is being inculcated in small children—who are also informed that the age of consent should be nine years old, in honor of the prophet Muhammad’s youngest spouse – Christopher Hitchens
Here we have Muslim gangs enforcing Shariah in Denmark. Here we find Muslims ethnically cleansing Jews from their neighborhood. Here’s the Shariah patrol in London, and here’s the same in Germany. There’s a distinct spread throughout Europe of areas where Muslims have abrogated the rule of law in favour of their own order.
This shows that this is not at all ‘immigration’. When people move to another country to follow its laws and adapt to its way of life, that’s called immigration. When people move to another country to change its laws and way of life to match theirs, that’s called colonization.
That is what is going on. Saunders dismisses the idea of importing Shariah by saying that fundamentalist Christians in the US have been trying to get legislation to be Biblical for decades, and have failed, so how will a minority of Muslims manage to change European law? I wonder how he explains that Britain is now a country where burning the Koran is against the law – with a Muslim minority.
The reason is that the Muslims in Europe are willing to engage in violence at the drop of a hat, something that neither American Christians nor any other religious group is willing to do. Had the burned book been a Bible or a Bhagavad Gita, the police would have shrugged. Muslims have already managed one massive victory – the de facto abolition of free speech.
The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. No apologies necessary. Muslims must learn that if they make belligerent and fanatical claims upon the tolerance of free societies, they will meet the limits of that tolerance. And Governor Romney, though he is wrong about almost everything under the sun (including, very likely, the sun), is surely right to believe that it is time our government delivered this message without blinking.
Until I can publish an article saying that Islam stinks, in a mainstream European newspaper, with my face and name next to it, without fear of death, I don’t want to hear a peep about Eurabia being only ‘a conspiracy theory’.
1.23 What about this idea of a ‘stealth jihad’, that Muslims activists are trying to secretly institute Sharia in Western societies? That’s a conspiracy theory if I’ve ever heard one.
Well, as I’ve had reason to point out:
If you start down that route, you end up believing really weird things, like, I don’t know, that Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon conducted secret diplomacy to extend the Vietnam war, and got tens of thousands of American GIs and who knows how many Vietnamese killed, just to put Nixon in the white house, or that the CIA betrayed Nelson Mandela to the Afrikaner Police, or that the CIA itself was formed from former Nazis, hired en masse at the end of the second world war, or that JFK was sharing a bird with a mafia don and used her to help set up an assassination attempt on Castro, or that Clinton used cruise missiles to destroy the Sudan’s only medicine factory just to distract from Monika Lewinsky
The problem is that this conspiracy theory comes from the mouths of Muslims, and not fringe nuts, but prominent ones. A Muslim Brotherhood document, dating from 1991 (original Arabic here) stated as follows:
The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
If we want to establish a real Muslim society, we should not imagine that such an end can be achieved by a mere decision issued to that effect by a king or a president or a council of leaders or a parliament.
Gradualism is the means through which such an end can be fulfilled. Gradualism here refers to preparing people ideologically, psychologically, morally, and socially to accept and adopt the application of the Shari`ah in all aspects of life, and to finding lawful alternatives for the forbidden principles upon which many associations have been founded for so long.
Gradualism in that sense does not mean we are to procrastinate and put off applying the Shari`ah. It is not to be taken as a pretext for discouraging people and foiling their pressing demands to establish Allah’s Laws.
It, rather, should spur us to spotlight our aims, set our plans, and decide, sincerely and wisely, on the gradual stages to be taken in that respect. In that way, step by step, and through wise planning, organizing and determination, we can reach the last and long-awaited stage of applying all the teachings of Islam heart and soul.
This was the same approach that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) adopted so that he (peace and blessings be upon him) could change the pre-Islamic life of degeneration and ignorance into the enlightened life of Islam.
If you watch the Undercover Mosque documentary, you will hear the Imams saying explicitly that Muslims must form parallel societies and hold themselves apart from the kafirs, hold themselves as pure, until they are ready to take over. Note that this is exactly the way European neo-Nazis and fascists talk.
In addition to the natural consequence of importing huge numbers of religious bigots into liberal societies, we have a direct, planned agenda of conquest and domination.
1.24 Okay, let me grant that Muslims want to hurt the West. The fact is that they can’t. Take oil out of the equation, and the Muslim world is economically irrelevant. It is artistically, culturally, scientific irrelevant tout court. The only thing the Muslim world has going for it is a willingness to kill and die, and a high birthrate. But the birthrate is tanking like crazy and Muslims principally kill each other. Islam is dying – why get worried? After all a tiny, beleaguered outpost off the West has beaten back the Jihad for seven decades – imagine what we could do if we just wanted to.
There’s two interesting books that make this argument. One is How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is dying too) and The Myth of the Muslim Tide by Douglas Saunders. I’ve been having some sport with Saunders on the subject of what Muslims in the West say and do and believe, because his research there is quite shoddy. However, Saunders is right on the demographic issue. There’s quite a respectful review of his book at VDARE of all places (and I think we can assume that VDARE isn’t plagued by any undue political correctness). So, yes, the Muslim birthrate is collapsing, heading down the tubes.
I actually agree with this, up to a point. Goldman points out that even the stern strictures of Islamic faith can’t keep the birthrate up as a society modernizes, and if Muslim societies do not modernize they will be winnowed out by famine. Meanwhile, the jihadists are turning cannibal, massacring their coreligionists, and driving people to apostasy. Yes, Islam is dying. After fourteen centuries of cruelty and evil, its time is finally ending.
However, as Goldman also notes, that is precisely what makes it so dangerous. It is precisely when people have nothing to lose that they are at their most dangerous. Hitler’s frenzy was driven by his conviction that this was the last chance the Germanic races had before they were irretrievably polluted by interbreeding. Similar, this is the last chance that the jihadis have to finish what Mohammed started – their last shot at enslaving mankind. It won’t work – but it could do the most appalling damage. Islam may be dying, but there is a real chance that it will take us out with it.
Not least because Angela Merkel, in her boundless wisdom, has decided to make demographic considerations irrelevant:
Merkel’s insanity has Mulsims pouring in to Germany at the rate of a million a year. However, those Muslims are predominantly young and fertile, while Germany is predominantly older nad has fewer children. That means, unless this madness is stopped and reversed, Germany will be majority Muslim the next generation. This isn’t something that’s going to happen in fifty years, it is happening now.
This is covered in more depths in the 4.0 What do we do? section.
1.25 But if Islam is so weak, then how on earth can they pose a threat to us? It seems to me, you are missing the dangers of the kind of movements writings like this F.A.Q. could inspire. We’re seeing an uptick in some very nasty politics throughout Europe.
This is where we move from really bad news to completely apocalyptic bad news.
At the end of The Suicide of Reason, Lee Harris asks the question of whether we are seeing a process of historic inevitability, that Islam will expand and eventually subsume the whole world. He answers:
No. But it may well be able to destroy the world that Western liberalism has made. And that is something to think about.
There’s a historic cycle of Islam’s jihad that should give everyone the screaming heebie-jeebies. The jihad builds and builds, growing ever bolder and committing worse and worse atrocities. However, in doing so, the jihadis teach the same tactics of cruelty and fanaticism to the infidels. Then, finally, they push their luck that little bit too far and the infidels hit back hard.
You get the Crusades. Or the Reconquista. Or Hulaghu Khan. Or Milosevic. When infidels start treating Muslims the way Muslims treat infidels, it get’s ugly fast.
This is the problem. Historically, the answer to Islam’s jihad has been almost as cruel and bloody as the jihad itself. The Crusaders notoriously slaughtered European Jews and Byzantine Christians before they got to work on the Muslims.
I’m hardly the first person to notice this. Here’s Mark Steyn from America Alone:
Why did Bosnia collapse into the worst slaughter in Europe since World War Two? In the thirty years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 percent to 31 percent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 percent to 44 percent. In a democratic age, you can’t buck demography—except through civil war. The Serbs figured that out—as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you can’t outbreed the enemy, cull ’em. The problem that Europe faces is that Bosnia’s demographic profile is now the model for the entire continent.
And here’s Sam Harris from The End of Liberalism:
Increasingly, Americans will come to believe that the only people hard-headed enough to fight the religious lunatics of the Muslim world are the religious lunatics of the West. Indeed, it is telling that the people who speak with the greatest moral clarity about the current wars in the Middle East are members of the Christian right, whose infatuation with biblical prophecy is nearly as troubling as the ideology of our enemies. […]
The same failure of liberalism is evident in Western Europe, where the dogma of multiculturalism has left a secular Europe very slow to address the looming problem of religious extremism among its immigrants. The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.
To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization.
Whenever someone points this out, he is promptly accused of being a supporter of fascism. Saunders – just to drag him in again – writes on page 45:
[T]he arguments by Bat Ye’or, Mark Steyn and others that the Serbian-led war against Bosnian Muslims was the violent culmination of justifiable activism to prevent Bosnia becoming the bulwark of an imagined Muslim population invasion.
Similarly, it is fashionable for people with shaky journalistic ethics and scruples, such as Glenn Greenwald, to accuse Sam Harris as being pro-fascist. Yet as any fool can see, they are concerned about the path the future will take.
The case of Kosovo is interesting because it is one of the few instances where Muslims have been the victims rather than the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. Milosevic was a fiend, and his followers villains, but that does not make the eastern Muslims completely innocent. As we have seen in 1.18, the natural tendency of Muslims, when they are in the majority, is to try to eliminate all infidels. Under the Ottoman yoke, the Eastern Christians were subject to horrors for centuries. Entire villages were crucified, paralleling the Islamic genocides in Greece and Armenia. So when Alija Izbetgovic published his Islamic declaration, calling for a return to Islamic domination, the Serbs went bananas and turned to the nastiest piece of work they could find.
None of that justifies what they did. Atrocity is never justified. But what you have to remember is that this, sadly, is often the fate of anti-colonial struggles. Many would accept that Mugabe isn’t a nice guy; many would also accept that this doesn’t justify white colonial rule. The Mau Mau were not a bunch of boyscouts; that doesn’t make Britain’s gulag any less real. If you read the great Marxist historian C.L.R. James’ book Black Jacobins, about the slave revolution in Haiti, you will find that James is unsparing when it comes to the atrocities carried out by the rebel slaves – the rapes, the massacres, the babies paraded on spikes. However, he is never in any doubt about the vastly greater horrors of slavery in San Domingo, nor about who was on the right side of history in that conflict.
So if the endgame is infidels repaying Muslims in their own coin, treating Islam Islamically, then we should all be terrified. There is one important difference to the counterstrike that is building now. This isn’t the age when Mohammed’s warriors could swarm out of the Arabian peninsula and overwhelm exhausted empires. It isn’t even the time when the Ottoman Caliphate allied with Imperial Germany in the last great Jihad. This is the age of the atom and the genome. If a solution to Islamic violence and cruelty isn’t found right quick, the world’s Muslims will be facing crusaders armed with the most lethal weaponry ever invented by man.
I didn’t want to write this because I don’t want to give anyone ideas, but it’s not that hard to figure out. Imagine, say, France collapsing into a civil war between Muslims and Infidels. Is it completely impossible to imagine President Marine Le Pen targeting France’s nuclear weapons at North Africa to ‘even the odds’?
But forget major powers like France, Germany – we’re already at the stage where nations like Luxembourg or Lichtenstein could devastate the Islamic world with little effort. So make no mistake about it – we’d win. The infidel would triumph. The Muslim world would burn from one end to the other, Muslim minorities would be massacred across the planet. But what the hell kind of a world would be left afterwards?
This blog focuses heavily on Islam. Yet readers will have noticed that I never link some sites that should be obvious, such as Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch. There’s a reason for that.
While Spencer is probably one of the necessary authors to read on the subject of Islam – you really don’t know this argument unless you’ve read his stuff closely – he doesn’t pay any attention to this side of the problem. That leads him to go along with movements like the English Defence League without knowing quite what he’s letting out of the box. Yes, the accusations of fascism are made much, much too easily and wantonly, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t real fascism out there.
The EDL isn’t a racist organization, the way the neo-Nazi BNP is, and that is what is so frightening about it. The world is too interconnected, people mingle too freely for racism to ever be a successful animating principle again. However, a fascism shorn of racism is another matter entirely. For example, do you know what the EDL’s main sister organization is internationally? The Buddhist Defense League.
If I’d have told you ten years ago that there would be a British movement demonstrating against an immigrant population, and it was twinned with a movement of Burmese Buddhists, you’d have thought I was nuts. Yet that’s the world we live in.
The lefty mainstream that manufactures excuses for Islamic violence has made a terrible mistake – they assumed that no one else would try to get themselves a piece of that action. If you consider the case of the Shiv Sena in India, they were formed explicitly out of a recognition that Islam’s fanatical intolerance got results, and so they decided ‘Why not us?’. Anders Breivik is anti-Islam (even though he’s recently come out as a full Nazi, and claims that his ‘manifesto’ was just to discredit anti-Jihadists) but the reason that he decided to kill a whole bunch of people rather than start a blog is, in his own words, that he saw that the lefty mainstream kept knuckling under to Islamic violence, and concluded that violence would therefore work in advancing his agenda. When you legitimize violence for one group, you legitimize it for all.
None of these movements are nice – see my previous point about the reactions to jihad being almost as terrible as the jihad itself. We’ve already got Greece’s Golden Dawn saying that when they take power, all Muslims will have one month to leave Greece – or else. I have Indian Christian friends who are spooked about the rise of Hindu nationalism, and not without reason. Take a look at this:
Those of you who think this piece is just a nasty act of Islamophobic provocation – you had better hope that people like me succeed. Because if we fail, you’ll be facing people like that girl. Those gucci radicals who will only criticise Islam in the most footling, and pootling, and mild and ineffective ways are open the gates of hell – they are laying the ground for exactly the kind of atrocity they claim to want to prevent.
If we see a transformative catastrophe – a European nation sliding into civil war, an attack of mega-terrorism with CBN capacity – then all bets are off. Nor should one imagine that the liberal mainstream would stop what followed – the same voices that were quick to yell ‘hands of the Taliban’ were the same that yelled ‘hands off Slobodan Milosevic’ back in the day. I’ll quote myself here:
Thank goodness for Tony Blair. Had he not gotten Bill Clinton to live up to his obligations on Bosnia, there would now be, right in the heart of Europe, a national socialist state with strong ties to Russia, that had gotten its start by killing all the Muslims within its boundaries – and, oh boy, wouldn’t that just have been a barrel of laughs?
Those – I’m naming no names – who advocate the “Be nice and leave them alone” position just don’t realize just how bad this could get. If we saw the unopposed construction of concentration camps in Europe when a rinky-dink country like Yugoslavia went off the deep end – do you care to imagine what we might see if a serious power went that route?
Just try to imagine the world in the aftermath of a transformative catastrophe – a nuke going off in Bombay or Berlin. Just try to imagine the fear, the tension, the rage, and what they would draw in their wake.
I don’t want to live in that world. Whatever cockeyed beliefs they’ve been inculcated with, I think the majority of the world’s Muslims are good people. Even those who hold violently illiberal beliefs are redeemable – Ayaan Hirsi Ali began by supporting the Rushdi Fatwa. One of the many reasons I hate Islam is that it has enslaved a billion minds, minds that I am sure can find their way to freedom if we give them some much needed help. –
None of that will be possible if a transformative catastrophe happens. So, to those who accuse me of whipping up hatred against Muslims – I am trying to save their sorry lives.
The challenge for us in the Infidel World, and either one would be hard enough: we have to firstly resist Islamic imperialism, and second, prevent the empowerment of homegrown lunatics who would be almost as bad.
If we want to save Muslim lives, we ultimately have to destroy Islam. If we can find a way to accelerate apostasy throughout the Islamic world, we will see the liberation of a fifth of humanity from mental slavery and the elimination of the oldest totalitarianism that has plagued our species. If not – god help us all. And He doesn’t exist.
1.26 A plea for realism
This is a deadly serious matter, not a debating contest. So I ask the following: which Muslim nation would you be happy to live in? Not to visit, but to live – to pursue a career, start a business, found a family. Revisit point 1.15 and answer me what Muslim society treats infidels well? What Muslim society treats infidels half as well as Muslims are treated in the West?
Imagine all Muslims tomorrow suddenly got it into their heads to become Sikhs. Or Hindus. Or Christians. Or Buddhists. Or literally any other religion in the world, or even – best of all – become atheists. Does anyone doubt for one second that the status of humanity would not be enormously improved?
1.27 A last experiment
To people who dismiss all of the foregoing, I’ve made the following bet: we’ll choose a city, say London, Berlin or Paris. I’ll wander around all day with a sign denouncing Christ and Christianity, or almost any other religion. You will have to wander around with one denouncing Muhammad and Islam.
Funny, no one has yet taken me up on that.
1.28 So you don’t think Muslims are evil?
I repeat: I really don’t think most Muslims are genuinely evil. Not even among the totalitarians or the jihadis. I think they have had this hideous brain-parasite called Islam implanted that subverts their natural good nature. Take the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq. When he announced that attacks on Christians are a threat to the whole country, when he called on the people of Najaf to accept both Muslim and Christian refugees I applauded. That is a demonstration of solidarity anyone should be proud to emulate. The problem is that, even while he is doing this, he still tells his followers that kafirs like me are like dogs, pigs, feces, or semen. The doctrine of Islam overrides his fundamental decency.
There’s an obscure Anarchist pamphlet that should be read more widely: Against the God Emperor. A group of Japanese Anarchists plotted to throw bombs into the imperial carriage to kill the Emperor. What is interesting is why.
They had a career of pamphleteering and they found Japan’s working class receptive to their ideas. The criticism of Japan’s government, the ideas of liberalism, opposition to the class system – all that found ready acceptance. But then they ran up against an insurmountable obstacle: the Emperor’s Will. The instance the argument was made “But that’s the way the God Emperor demands it“, the Japanese peasantry would just shut down their brains and obey.
So it is with Muslims. I have no doubts that hundreds of millions want human rights, want freedom, want progress and all the rest of it. But the instant it is pointed out “But that is against what Mohammed taught” their brains shut down.
You know those films where someone becomes infected with an alien parasite and someone good and otherwise decent suddenly changes as the parasite takes control? That’s what’s going on for most Muslims. Or alternatively, try the following clip from The Matrix:
“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
That is the case here. As long as a Muslim remains plugged into the Matrix of Islam, he is unreliable, as Islam may override his natural decency. We should be helping Muslims become unplugged. We shouldn’t be focusing on trying to ‘reform’ Islam, we should be trying to destroy it. We’re not trying to have a fifth of humanity suffer from a lesser infection, we should be trying to cure the Islamic infection.
1.29 So does all this mean you hate Muslims?
No. I pity them.
I honestly do not think that the majority of Muslims are wicked people. That may seem odd given what I’ve written, but I am including even the ‘bigots’, the ‘totalitarians’ and even some of the jihadis in that. The other thing that you learn when studying history is that good people can support and defend even the most indescribably evil views. I can sympathize with that, as can any German protected by the grace of late birth.
There were many good Communists. There were even many good Nazis – people who just wanted a fair shake for themselves and their kids in a society that had been brought to its knees. John Rabe was a ranking member of the Nazi party who ended up saving a quarter of a million lives during the Rape of Nanking.
So it is, I think, with much of Islam. Ayaan Hirsi Ali said that she began by wanting to see Jews killed and Rushdie killed, simply because she had been brought up that way. Here’s the ‘Son of HAMAS’ who turned away from jihad.
Muslims are the first and main victims of Islam. The brain parasite was implanted in them, against their will. North Africa, the Middle East were all flourishing civilizations before Islam ruined them. The peoples there have been cheated of what should have been their birthright. There is no reason, none, why the ancient sites of Damascus, Alexandria and Constantinople should not dwarf Berlin or London in achievement, no reason but Islam.
How many hundreds of millions of lives have been squandered completely, because these poor souls were indoctrinated into a hateful creed that denied them the ability to rise to their full potential?
So I pity them. I would wish for nothing more than the emancipation of those minds enslaved by the brain-parasite of Islam, and that is another great failure of those of us who are lucky enough not to be born into that creed – we should be helping these minds to free themselves. So, I pity Muslims. They are our lost siblings, and we shouldn’t forget that. Even though we will have to fight, and resist Muslim aggression, never forget that.
3.0 Islam in history
To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Muhammad and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have kept on developing. – George S. Patton
[E]ver since the religion of Mahomet appeared in the world, the espousers of it, particularly those under the Turkish emperor, have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations ; rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth: that numberless cities are rased from the foundation, and only their name remaining : that many countries which were once as the garden of God, are. now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished away from the earth ! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of humankind! – John Wesley
3.1 Islam’s past may be bloody, but so was Christianity’s. Really, there’s nothing particularly bad there, or we’d know about it.
When I was young – sadly, a long time ago – I visited India and found myself speaking with an interesting Hindu girl who said that she was moderately well disposed towards Hitler.
I was taken aback. This girl wasn’t a fascist or a racist – it turned out that she simply didn’t know about the horrors of Hitler’s regime, including the Holocaust. The impression she’d had of Nazi Germany was of a mild form of Apartheid, and was horrified when I explained the reality.
I wondered how that was possible. Much later I knew how she must have felt, when I learned about the Rape of Nanking, and thought of how the Samurai are romanticized by silly Westerners, especially silly Americans.
People tend to assume that they have a reasonably comprehensive view of the past – that we can be unaware of something monstrous seems absurd. Yet it can easily happen. And it has indeed happened with Islam – a millennium of imperialism, genocide and oppression has dropped out of people’s awareness.
The reasons for this white out are not always innocent or honest. 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.
There is no way that this section will be comprehensive. After eight years, I still come across material that can shock me. Remember the extent of what we are dealing with – how would you explain the Third Reich to someone who’d never heard of it? And that was only twelve years, not a thousand.
Bearing that in mind – please, read on.
(N.B. I’m making a great deal of use of Andrew Bostom’s compendium The Legacy of Jihad, that compiles vast numbers of primary and secondary source material on jihad through the ages. So take the citation as read, unless indicated otherwise)
3.2 The first tide of jihad
After the death of Mohammed, the Muslims swarmed out of Arabia, overwhelming the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires that had been weakened by their long conflict. I found the following animation of Mediterranean history quite useful:
Wikipedia has a good section. There’s a myth, recirculated by Cracked so you know it’s pretty current, that these conquests were restrained and peaceful. Nothing of the kind was true – and, really, would you expect it to be, after reading all the foregoing? Just be realistic – how likely is it that the early Muslims operated under proto-UN style restraint? The first millenium was a bloody place.
Infidel empires were offered the choice: accept Islam, become dhimmis and pay the jizya, or face war. Most everyone chose the latter. When Muslims took a city, the standard procedure was a whole lot of rape and massacre.
Here’s C.E. Dufourcq, cited in The Legacy of Jihad, describing the conquest of Sicily:
During their [the Muslims’] conquest of Sicily, when they took Syracuse in 878, after a deadly attack, they were exasperated by the resistance that they met with. When they rushed into the city, they found along their way the Church of the Holy Savior, filled with women and children, the elderly and the sick, clerics and slaves, and they massacred them all. Then, spreading out through the city, they continued the slaughter and the pillage, had the treasure of the cathedral handed over to them: they also took many prisoners and gathered separately those who were armed. One week later all of the captives who had dared to fight against them were butchered (four thousand in number, according to the chronicle al-Bayyan)
3.3. Big deal. As you say, things were rough back then. Why should I care?
History matters. When we discuss history, we aren’t so much discussing the past as the future. Our understanding of the past informs the options we have in the future.
Fareed Zakaria writes: “So, if you are asserting that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant — “the mother lode of bad ideas” — then, since Islam has been around for 14 centuries, we should have seen 14 centuries of this behavior.” – Well, the fact is that we do see fourteen centuries of this behaviour. Zakaria’s ignorance of this history is used to promote a dangerous fantasy – that Islam was once tolerant, and so can be tolerant again – and it’s on the basis of this history that he advocates suicidal policies like mass Muslim immigration and the hope for Islamic reform.
These delusions are widespread. Even clear thinking people like Scott Alexander, are capable of writing stuff like this:
Consider the war on terror. It’s a truism that each time the United States bombs Pakistan or Afghanistan or somewhere, all we’re doing is radicalizing the young people there and making more terrorists. Those terrorists then go on to kill Americans, which makes Americans get very angry and call for more bombing of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Taken as a meme, it is a single parasite with two hosts and two forms. In an Afghan host, it appears in a form called ‘jihad’, and hijacks its host into killing himself in order to spread it to its second, American host. In the American host it morphs in a form called ‘the war on terror’, and it hijacks the Americans into giving their own lives (and several bajillion of their tax dollars) to spread it back to its Afghan host in the form of bombs.
First of all, modern jihadists butcher other Muslims and non-Western infidels way more than they ever hurt Americans, and second, the institution of jihad long, long predates the ‘war on terror’. It is astonishing that, in 2014, people still don’t get this.
Here is the tenth century Maliki jurist Ibn Abi Azyd al-Qayrawani:
We Malikis maintain that it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax <jizya>, short of which war will be declared against them.
But it’s actually worse than that. Try this, again from Scott Alexander:
We talk a lot about the “radicalization” of Muslims – for example, in Palestine. And indeed, nobody likes Hamas and we all agree they are terrible people and commit some terrible atrocities. Humans can certainly be very cruel, but there seems to be an unusual amount of cruelty in this particular region. And many people who like black-and-white thinking try to blame that on some defect in the Palestinian race, or claim the Quran urges Muslims should be hateful and violent. But if you’re willing to tolerate a little bit more complexity, it may occur to you to ask “Hey, I wonder if any of this anger among Palestinians has to do with the actions of Israel?” And then you might notice, for example, the past century of Middle Eastern history.
This isn’t just getting history wrong, it is getting history backward. It isn’t “Israel has been mean, so Muslims want to kill jews”. It’s “Muslims have wanted to kill jews, so Israel is now getting mean”. I cannot understand how someone otherwise so well read and reasonable can not be aware of the fact that Muslims have been beastly to Jews ever since the days of Mohammed. Conversely, the original Altneuland fantasy contained a hope that Jews and Muslim arabs would live together in peace. Herzl had a fictional Arab Muslim saying “The Jews have made us rich. Why should we hate them?”.
Zionism, like the struggle for Greek and Balkan independence, was an anti-imperial struggle, a struggle against Islamic imperialism. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem famously allied with Hitler, formed the SS Handscharr with Bosnian Muslims, and hoped to set up his own death camp in Palestine – long before Israel existed as a state. What is not as widely known is that he also hoped to lead the armies of jihad back into India, to re-establish the rule of Tamerlane there.
You cannot begin to understand the present Middle East without understanding this pre-history of cruel imperialism.
It is not just the whitewash of jihad imperialism – it is also that so many Islamic figures refer back to this history as one to be recreated. In the video it showed the rapid expansion of the Roman empire – we know exactly what kind of people started trying to recreate that.
Cracked says that the spread of Islam was proof of how tolerant and enlightened it was. In reality, well, consider the state of affairs in the Mongol Empire under Mongke Khan, who was a pagan:
Möngke was a serious man who followed the laws of his ancestors and avoided alcoholism. He was tolerant of outside religions and artistic styles, leading to the building of foreign merchants’ quarters, Buddhist monasteries, mosques, and Christian churches in the Mongol capital. As construction projects continued, Karakorum was adorned with Chinese, European, and Persian architecture. One famous example was a large silver tree with cleverly designed pipes that dispensed various drinks. The tree, topped by a triumphant angel, was crafted by Guillaume Boucher, a Parisian goldsmith.
Although he had a strong Chinese contingent, Möngke relied heavily on Muslim and Mongol administrators and launched a series of economic reforms to make government expenses more predictable. His court limited government spending and prohibited nobles and troops from abusing civilians or issuing edicts without authorization. He commuted the contribution system into a fixed poll tax that was collected by imperial agents and forwarded to units in need.
Now consider Tamerlane, a devout Muslim Mongol’s own description of his invasion of India:
My great object in invading Hindustan had been to wage a religious war against the infidel Hinuds, and it now appeared to me to put down these Jats [Hinuds]. On the 9th of the month I dispatched the baggage from Tohana, and on the same day I marhced into the jungles and wilds, and slew 2,000 demon-like Jatys. I made their wives and childrend captives, and plundered their cattle and property […] Next day I gave orders that the Musalman prisoners should be separated and saved, but that the infidels should all be despatched to hell with the proselyting sword. I also ordered that the hosues of the saiyids, shaikhs and learned Musulmans should be prserved but that all the other houses should be plundered and the fort destroyed.
After the seizing of Dehli:
High towers were built with the heads of the Hindus, and their bodies became the food of ravenous beasts and birds … such of the inhabitants who escaped alive were made prisoners.
If you visit India, you will find mosques built from the remains of Hindu and Buddhist temples.
This is the same Tamerlane who killed a twentieth of the world’s population. So the writer for Cracked really is whitewashing atrocity on a grand scale.
3.4 Still, the fact that there are people who don’t know the history doesn’t change the fact that it is history. What is it about the Islamic conquests that makes them different from all the others – men like Ghenghis Khan, Attila or Julius Caesar?
I agree with you completely. All of the conquests in the ancient world were ghastly. Here’s the War Nerd, describing Julius Caesar in action:
Julius Caesar got a message from his Gaul vassals pleading for help against the Helvetii. At this point he had six legions under him in Gaul, almost 300,000 men. But he wanted more, because he had something a little more drastic in mind than just defeating the Helvetii. He was out to exterminate them. So he called up another two legions, which meant he had 400,000 trained soldiers against 110,000 part-time tribal warriors.
It was no contest. The Romans surrounded the Helvetii and started stabbing their way through the mass of warriors, then the civilians. As they advanced, the legions would herd a few saleable-looking women and children away from the killing. They were sent to holding pens in the rear to be sold as slaves. The main body of Roman soldiers kept working through the mass of Helvetii, stabbing and stabbing. Roman soldiers were taught to use the short sword-“gladius,” which is where “gladiator” comes from-to stab, not slash. Stabbing made a deeper wound, more likely to tear up a guy’s guts and give him a fatal infection. The stab was also quicker than the big dramatic downward smash those hammy heavy-metal barbarians were addicted to.
At the end of the battle, they had slaughtered 220,000 men, women and children-60% of the whole tribe. Must have been exhausting too. Imagine the sheer hard work it took to kill that many screaming, scrambling people with the Roman short sword, not much bigger than a Bowie knife.
The fact that Muslims killed, raped and plundered when they seized territory is par for the course then. What I would say the main difference is what the Muslims brought with them – a totalitarian system of oppression. Please note again the difference between the way the pagan Mongols treated their subjects and the way the Muslim mongols treated their subjects. Or consider the Roman empire:
The Empire was remarkably multicultural, even at its very highest levels. Emperor Septimus Severus was half-Libyan and some historians think his appearance might have passed for black in modern America. Emperor Maximinus Thrax was a Goth, Emperor Carausius was Gallic, and Emperor Philip the Arab was…well, take a wild guess. Although Rome did have a state religion, they were extremely supportive of the rights of minorities to continue practicing their own religions, and eventually just tried to absorb everything into a giant syncretistic mishmash that makes today’s “ecumenialism” seem half-hearted in comparison. Although their tolerance famously did not always extend as far as Christianity, when the Romans had to denounce it they claimed it was not a religion but merely a “superstition” – a distinction which itself sounds suspiciously Progressive to modern ears. Indeed, the insistence of Christianity (and Judaism) on a single god, and their unwillingness to respect other religions as equally valid (in a very modern and relativistic way) was a large part of the Roman complaint against them.
To continue with the hanifa quotation from 2.14, it describes just how ‘tolerant’ and ‘enlightened’ Muslim rule was in India:
The Hindus are designated in the Law as ‘payers of tribute’ (kharaj-guzar); and when the revenue officer demands silver from then, they should without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If the officer throws dirt into their mouths they must without reluctance open their mouths wide to receive it. By these acts of degradation are shown the extreme obedience of the zimmi [dhimmi] the glorification of the true faith of Islam, and the abasement of false faiths. God himself orders them to be humiliated (as He says, ’till they pay jaziya’ with the hand and are humbled … The Prophet has commanded to slay them, plunder them, and make them captive
K.S. Lal noted that it was also not uncommon for Muslim jiyza collectors to spit into Hindu mouths and demand that the Hindus say ‘thank you’. As ghastly as Apartheid in South Africa or segregation in America were, I don’t think that level was ever quite reached.
But, as always, the status of Hindus – as polytheists – meant that they could constantly have even the minor safety of dhimmitude revoked, and subject to slaughter, something that happened regularly. An estimated eighty million Hindus were murdered through direct pogroms during the five centuries of Muslim rule (remember that this was from a starkly smaller population than today) and goodness knows how many Buddhists and Christians died in those slaughters.
This is a living history. When did, exactly, the Islamic drive to extirpate Hindus from their own country stop? The answer is that it has never stopped. As we have seen, in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the ethnic cleansing and Islamization rolls on to completion, and now tries to tear Kashmir out of the subcontinent to continue the process. Here is a documentary about the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 indigenous Hindus by Islamic jihadis from Kashmir, a process that some of my colleagues want to dignify and whitewash.
I previously described the parallel between Milosevic and Mugabe, as both being born out of national liberation movements that went wrong. Muslims had oppressed the Christian Balkans for centuries, oppression that described by the monk Issaye:
They massacred one part of the Christians with the sword, and led off others into slavery; the rest were carried off by a premature death. Those who had been preserved from death were decimated by famine, because over all of those lands raged a famine such as there has never been since the creation of the world – and may the merciful Lord grant that there never again be one like it. And those whom the famine had spared were, by a divine warrant, attacked and devoured by wolves, both day and night. Alas, what a sorrowful picture to behold! The land is left devoid of all goods, men, livestock, and other produce… And then the living truly envied the dead. And – believe me – not I, who am ignorant of everything, but even Livanius, the wisest of the Hellenic authors, could not describe the evils that overwhelmed the Christians of the western lands.
A million Balkan Christians were taken as slaves,It was only in the nineteenth century that even the most basic rights began to be restored to the Eastern Christians, and the spectacle of the uppity infidel was so unacceptable to most Muslims, that they responded with massacres – of the Bulgarians in 1876, of the Armenians from 1894-1896, and of course, the first great genocide of the twentieth century that a certain scabby little corporal would take as inspiration when he decided to imitate Mohammed.
Neither Mugabe nor Milosevic can be defended, nor should one do so, but that does not change the fact that the aspirations of both the Balkan Christians and the black Zimbabweans to live free of colonial rule were entirely justified. While I still think removing Milosevic was the right thing to do, I sometimes am forced to wonder – how would we react if the US and UK went to war in Zimbabwe to remove Mugabe for the purpose of helping the white Rhodesians, and more, white Rhodesians who explicitly said they wanted to restore colonial rule? And those were the same Rhodesians who had a record of collaborating openly with Adolf Hitler, forming an SS brigade, for this purpose?
3.5 You’re banging on about crimes of Islam, but what about the crimes of the West? Slavery, colonialism and all the rest of it? You seem awfully quiet about that.
Well, first of all – this is whataboutism, as I have had cause to remark before. I’m happy to get into the historical crimes of the West.
What I would say is that the difference is that the West has had to face up to those crimes, to its history, and has tried to make at least some amends. Islam spectacularly has not. Case in point – I know because I have read them – no one, not even the fascist writers in the West, advocate that Europeans re-establish their lost empires. Meanwhile large numbers of Muslims support the idea of recreating the Caliphate.
It was the reactionary Evelyn Waugh who wrote this:
“Even now you will find people of some good will and some intelligence who speak of Europeans as having ‘pacified’ Africa. Tribal wars and slavery were endemic before they came; no doubt they will break out again when they leave. Meantime under European rule in the first forty years of this century there have been three long wars in Africa on a far larger scale than anything perpetrated by marauding spearmen, waged by white men against white, and a generation which has seen the Nazi regime in the heart of Europe had best stand silent when civilised and uncivilised nations are contrasted.”
Meanwhile you can count on the fingers of a blind butcher’s hand the number of Muslims that seem to be willing to admit what Islamic imperialism meant for the conquered. You hear endless whining about ‘the legacy of colonialism’, ignoring that Islam has only ever been a colonial and imperial project.
Or take slavery. The hideous record of the Atlantic slave trade is there for all to see. Yet it was Westerners, in particular the British, who ended the slave trade, destroyed and delegitimized an institution that had until that point been considered an inescapable part of human existence.
Contrast the Islamic slave trade. More white Europeans were taken to North Africa to be slaves (1.5 million) than were transported to the whole of North America, and another one million Christian boys were taken as slaves from their parents in the Balkans by the Ottoman empire. Granted, that’s a dodge, since the majority of Atlantic slave trade ended elsewhere, but even so, the number of black Africans taken as slaves by Arab Muslims dwarfs those of the slave trade.
K.S. Lal notes that slavery was unknown to India before the Muslim conquerors brought it there.
Once again, this isn’t a competition. The real question is: When did this system of Islamic slavery cease? Trick question – it hasn’t.
As recently as the 1950s, Saudi Arabia‘s slave population was estimated at 450,000 — approximately 20% of the population. During the Second Sudanese Civil War people were taken into slavery; estimates of abductions range from 14,000 to 200,000. Slavery in Mauritania was legally abolished by laws passed in 1905, 1961, and 1981. It was finally criminalized in August 2007. It is estimated that up to 600,000 Mauritanians, or 20% of Mauritania‘s population, are currently in conditions which some consider to be “slavery”, namely, many of them used as bonded labour due to poverty.
Of course, slavery still persists most dramatically in the Sudan, and even as I write this, it turns out that Muslim immigrants to the UK have been found keeping slaves.
Muslims should be made to face up to Islam’s history. A rare example is here:
“We still insist that we are always the victims, and that we are always innocent. Our history is angelic, our imperialism was a welcome conquest [futuhat], our invaders [ghuzah] were liberators, our violence was a holy Jihad, our murderers were Shahids, and our defective understanding of the Koran and the daily violation of the rights of women, children, and minorities were a tolerant Shari’a.
“Since our societies have known, to date, only a culture of resentment… of hatred, and of seeking vengeance – [the question arises] whether we are capable of reconsolidating cultural, moral, and humane relations with the other?… Is it possible for us to abandon our current cultural heritage that is full of great illusions and of denigration of the other?
“The Islamic [world] must renounce, once and for all, the Islam that is awash with accusations of unbelief [against other Muslims]and treachery, that divides the world into the camp of Islam and the camp of unbelief, the camp of war and the camp of peace. This division destroys any serious dialogue between religions and cultures
“We must renounce the dhimmi laws that fill the books of jurisprudence, and apologize to the Christian and the Jewish minorities [for the past]. We must put an end to our changing of the facts, and to the miserable fabrications that we created in an attempt to prove that these minorities enjoyed a high status in the Islamic state, based on specific historical events presented in a truncated fashion and not in full.
“We must assess Islamic history objectively, and issue an historic public apology to the Africans who were abducted, enslaved, and expelled from their homes… The Arabs and the Muslims played a sizeable role in this loathsome trade. They alone caused the uprooting of 20 million people…
Until we hear a lot more voices like this, it is incumbent on infidels to hold Muslims accountable for their history.
3.6. But isn’t it true that the early caliphate was tolerant and enlightened? Certainly compared to the horrors of Dark Age Europe under Christianity.
That is true – but you have to examine what this statement really means. It is saying, “At the best it has ever been, Islam was a bit better than Christianity at its most godawful worst.”
That’s not an endorsement.
The early empire probably was quite tolerant, according to the sources I’ve found. What you have to remember is that the early empire was practically non-Islamic – an Arab empire rather than a Muslim empire. The Koran had only been standardized after Mohammed’s death, and the hadith weren’t standardized until the ninth century (there’s an argument that Islam doesn’t really start until the ninth century, in the same way that Christianity doesn’t start until the council of Nicaea). Ibn Warraq relates that the Caliph Walid II got so sick of the bullying tone of the Koran that he stuck the damn thing onto a lance and shot it to pieces with arrows.
Unfortunately, the decadent and liberal Ummayads were overthrown by the far more fanatical Abbasid’s, and that was the end of that.
3.7 What about the Golden Age of Islam? What about all the scientific achievements of that time? Didn’t the liberal Islamic world preserve the secrets of Greece and Rome while Europe slumbered through the dark ages?
In some ways, this is just a restatement of 3.4, and it relies on a similar exaggeration of the age of tolerance that was only possible when the Muslim world was barely islamic – ruled by nominally Muslim Ummayads and consisting of an infidel majority below them. Islamic imperialism has been so thorough that people assume anyone with an Arabic name was likely Muslim. This just wasn’t true. For example Jibril Ibn Bakhtishu founded the first hospital in Baghdad, and he was a Nestorian Christian, as were his descendants.
Then there’s the problem that many ideas credited to the Muslim empire when they were, in fact, invented by others. Muslims are sometimes credited with the invention of paper, but it was the Chinese Tsai-Lun who pressed it out of Mulberry fibers. People keep saying that numerals are ‘Arabic’ – in fact, they were developed by the Hindus. Similarly al-Khwarizmi is credited as ‘the father of algebra’, but his work is more accurately understood as an elaboration of the great Indian mathematician Brahmagupta. ‘Damascus steel’ originated in India. There are even those who try to claim Omar Khayyam as an example of Islamic cultural and mathematical achievement, despite the fact that he is plainly a wine-loving atheist Epicurean.
There’s a tendency for certain types to say that an unwillingness to praise Islam for achievements is ‘Eurocentric’. In point of fact, it is the Islamophiles who keep trying to write out of history the amazing achievements of the ancient civilizations of India, Persia, the pre-Islamic Middle East, or Africa.
Ah, yes, Africa. Africa was a site of civilization that dwarfed anything that my shaggy ancestors had, back in the day. There were black Pharohs and black Roman emperors, and one of the first Popes – Pope St Victor – was an African – not to mention that St Augustine, one of the most influential Christian theologians in history, referred to himself as an African.
And, of course, Alexandria, Constantinople and Damascus were centres of learning long before anyone knew the names of Oxford or Cambridge.
So, what about this transmission of ideas to the West? That didn’t come from any generosity – firstly, Westerners actively sought out other cultures to learn from them (notice that there has been little transmission the other way – more books are translated into Spanish in one year than into Arabic in a thousand), but there was another reason. At the start of his Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, Rousseau writes:
Europe had relapsed into the barbarism of the earliest ages; the inhabitants of this part of the world, which is at present so highly enlightened, were plunged, some centuries ago, in a state still worse than ignorance. A scientific jargon, more despicable than mere ignorance, had usurped the name of knowledge, and opposed an almost invincible obstacle to its restoration.
Things had come to such a pass, that it required a complete revolution to bring men back to common sense. This came at last from the quarter from which it was least to be expected. It was the stupid Mussulman, the eternal scourge of letters, who was the immediate cause of their revival among us. The fall of the throne of Constantine brought to Italy the relics of ancient Greece; and with these precious spoils France in turn was enriched
If you want to turn see just how revisionist Islamophile apologist can be, read Andrea Khalil who leaves out the final sentence in that quote, and tries to paint the Muslim empire as the generous preserves of knowledge they faithfully passed on to the West, whereas what really happened was that thinkers and scholars fled the mind-destroying tide of Islamic fanaticism.
3.8 Where did this fanaticism come from, if it didn’t exist at the start?
Here I will turn to Andre Servier, whose book Islam and the Psychology of the Musulman should be mandatory reading. From the preface of Louis Bertrand:
What I admire most of all is his vigorous assault upon the great mass of French ignorance. One of the prejudices most likely to lead us to disaster lies in the belief that our African rule is nothing more than an incident in the history of the country, in the same way as we look upon the Roman dominion. There is a number of writers who persistently maintains that Rome made but a short stay in Africa, that she remained there but a century or two. That is a monstrous error. The effective empire of Rome in Africa began with the destruction of Carthage, 146 B.C., and it only came to an end with the Vandal invasion about the year 450 of the Christian era — say, six hundred years of effective rule. But the Vandals were Christians who carried on the Roman civilization in its integrity, and who spoke and wrote Latin. In the same way, the Byzantines who succeeded them, even if they did not speak Latin officially, were able to regard themselves as the legitimate heirs of Rome. That went on until the end of the seventh century.
So that Africa had eight hundred and fifty years of effective Latin domination. And if we consider that under the hegemony of Carthage the whole region, from the Syrtes [gulf near Tripoli – GC] to the Pillars of Hercules, was more or less Hellenized or Latinized, we arrive at the conclusion that Northern Africa had thirteen hundred years of Latinity…
So: Africa had thirteen centuries of classical civilization, long before my shaggy ancestors joined up.
What the hell happened?
How is it that the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Berbers, as soon as they became Islamized, lost the energy, the intelligence and the spirit of initiative they exhibited under the domination of Greece and Rome? How has it come about that the Arabs themselves, who, according to the historians, were the professors of science and philosophy in the West, can have forgotten all their brilliant accomplishments and have sunk into a state of ignorance that today relegates them to the barbarous nations?
Let us confine ourselves for the moment to the case of the Syrians and the Egyptians, whose Schools of Damascus and Alexandria collected the traditions of Hellenism; to North Africa, Sicily, and Spain, where Latin culture still survived; to Persia, India, and China, all three inheritors of illustrious civilizations.
The Arabs might have learned much by contact with these different peoples, It was thus that the Berbers of North Africa and the Spaniards very quickly assimilated Latin civilization, and in the same way the Syrians and the Egyptians assimilated Greek civilization so thoroughly that many of them, having become citizens of the Roman or of the Byzantine Empire, did honor in the career of art or letters to the country of their adoption.
In striking contrast to these examples, the conquering Arab remained a barbarian; but worse still, he stifled civilization in the conquered countries.
What have the Syrians, the Egyptians, the Spaniards, the Berbers, the Byzantines become under the Muslim yoke? And the people of India and Persia, what became of them after their submission to the law of the Prophet?
How is it that these people who, under Greek or Latin influence, have shown such a remarkable aptitude for civilization, have been stricken with intellectual paralysis under the Muslim yoke to such a degree that they have been unable to uplift themselves again, notwithstanding the efforts of Western nations in their behalf?
And the conclusion:
[S]ince the second century of the Hegira the Caliphs have decided, so as to avoid any variation of the religious dogma, to lay down exactly the spirit and the letter in the works of four orthodox doctors. It is forbidden to make any interpretation of the sacred texts not sanctioned by these works, which have fixed the dogma beyond all possibility of change, and by the same stroke have killed the spirit of initiative and of intelligent criticism among all Muslim peoples, who have thus become, as it were, mummified to such an extent that they have stayed fixed like rocks in the rushing torrent that is bearing the rest of humanity onward towards progress.
That’s exact. The idea that Islam was responsible for this flower of scientific development simply doesn’t explain why, as Dawkins observed, the Islamic world’s contribution to humanity for, say, the last six hundred years can be read on the back of a matchbox. On the other hand, assume that Islam was not a torch but an extinguisher, then everything makes sense.
The great turning point is typically placed with Al Ghazali, whose Incoherence of the Philosophers put a stop to all experimentation with Hellenistic philosophy, and Islam became completely ossified. Fanaticism and intolerance spread throughout the entire structure. Worst if all, those infidels who fell underneath the Islamic yoke, found their creative energy and capacity suppressed and crushed.
The Indian historian Jadunath Sarkar comments:
When a class are publicly depressed and harassed by law and executive caprice alike, they merely content themselves with dragging on an animal existence. With every generous instinct of the soul crushed out of them, the intellectual culture merely adding a keen edge to their sense of humilation, the Hindus could not be expected to produce the utmost of which they were capable; their lot was to be hewers of wood and drawers of water to their masters, to bring grist to the fiscal mill, to develop a low cunning and flattery as the only means of saving what they could make of their own labor. Amidst such social conditions, the human hand and the human spirit cannot achieve their best; the human soul cannot soar to its highest pitch. The barrenness of intellect and meanness of spirit of the Hindu upper classes are the greatest condemnation of Muhammaedan rule in India. The Muhammadan political tree judged by its fruit was an utter failure.
Rebecca West, in her Black Lamb and Grey Falcon wrote:
These people of Dalmatia gave the bread out of their mouths to save us of Western Europe from Islam; and it is ironical that so successfully did they protect us that those among us who would be broadminded, who will in pursuit of that end stretch their minds till they fall apart in idiocy, would blithely tell us that perhaps the Dalmatians need not have gone to that trouble, that an Islamized West could not have been worse than what we are today. Their folly is certified for what it is by the mere sound of the word “Balkan,” with its suggestion of a disorder that defies human virtue and intelligence to accomplish its complete correction.
I could confirm that certificate by my own memories: I had only to shut my eyes to smell the dust, the lethargy, the rage and hopelessness of a Macedonian town, once a glory to Europe, that had too long been Turkish. The West has done much that is ill; it is vulgar and superficial and economically sadist; but it has not known that death in life which was suffered by the Christian provinces under the Ottoman Empire.
This, more than anything else, is why Islam fills me with horror. There have been other tyrannies and other murderers throughout history, but those storms passed, and humanity endured. It is only the mind-destroying rule doctrines of Muhammad that have managed to shut down the rightful advance of history, to abolish all progress and reduce human life to senseless, brainless stagnation.
3.9 Don’t all religions oppose science and progress? Think of Galileo, think of Giordno Bruno.
The thing is – this would be an argument if I was a Christian apologist. I’m not. I absolutely agree that Christianity’s power needed to be broken by the Enlightenment, that the reign of superstition had to come to an end.
That doesn’t, however, make all religions equivalent in their influence and effects. The question is, given that the Enlightenment was essential for human liberty, was it possible for the Enlightenment to happen anywhere other than in Western Christendom?
I don’t think so.
You see, Christianity developed within the great Graeco-Roman civilization. Many early Church fathers began as Hellenic and Latin pagans, and just couldn’t bear to to relinquish the treasures of art, philosophy and literature developed by the pagans. There were certainly fanatics like Tertullian who rejected all science and philosophy, but as Peter Gay (one of the premier historians of the Enlightenment) notes:
At least some of this uncompromising rejection of learning was a response to the vigorous polemics of an opposing party within Christendom, a long line of clerics who were reluctant to abandon the rich treasures of pagan antiquity. It was this party, above all, that was slighted by the silence, or the facile disdain of Enlightenment historians. As articulate and civilized men who saw no need to abandon Vergil for the sake of Christ, these devout humanists defended some pagan writings as innocent and others as prefigurations of sublime scriptural wisdom.
That’s entirely correct. Dante is quite merciless in showing the punishments that await sinners in hell. Yet he also includes this:
The virtuous pagans are confined to quite a beautiful garden of perpetual twilight, where their only punishment is a sense of absence from Christian redemption. This company is listed as including Homer, Horace, Ovid, and even Saladin. An Islamic equivalent to this is just unthinkable.
Similarly, if you read Jonathan Israel’s Radical Enlightenment, you find a picture that is more complex than the idea of an intellectual revolution that burst into existence fully formed, overthrown Christian superstition. It is closer to an ongoing argument, stretching down the centuries. Thomas Aquinas argued with Augustine, and restored Aristotle and scholastic reason, while later the Cartesians would be arguing with the scholastics and so on.
So while Christianity lopped off the heads of pagan philosophy, the roots still remained, and the plant could regrow, greater than before.
Islam, by contrast, tore up the roots and burned them and sowed the ground with salt. Nothing could ever again develop there – and as even the most cursory look at the Muslim world shows, nothing has. That’s why one Cambridge college trumps the entire scientific output of 1.2 billion Muslims.
While early Christianity struggled to preserve some of the legacy of the past, Islam flatly rejects everything that comes before it as jahiliya, fit only for destruction. V.S. Naipaul :
[Islam] has had a calamitous effect on converted peoples. To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it, you have to say ‘my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn’t matter’.”
This abolition of the self demanded by Muslims was worse than the similar colonial abolition of identity. It is much, much worse in fact…
Look at the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, the burning of the libraries of Timbuktu and the both the ancient and modern destruction of the library of Alexandria, and the vandalizing of the Astronomical clock of Lyons.
This drive to eradicate the past is an infallible sign of totalitarianism. Think of the Khmer Rouge’s ‘Year Zero’, or the book burning of the Nazis:
These books, these clocks and statues, these artifacts are the record of our species’ soul. Without them, we are lost.
3.10. So let me grant you that Christianity had certain preconditions that allowed the Enlightenment to occur there and not elsewhere? But then shouldn’t you conclude that all the civilizations but the West are doomed to stagnation?
Not even slightly. There’s a difference between the preconditions to develop the Enlightenment, and the preconditions necessary to accept what the Enlightenment brought.
Let’s have no supremacism here. Those of us lucky to be born into the West are that – lucky. The West is the firstborn child of Greece and Rome, and it received the greatest legacy from there. However, as is obvious, the ideas that caused the West to take off so staggeringly fast in the last five hundred years have been eminently adaptable to other civilizations – Orthodox, Hindu, African, Sinic etc. This is one of the most exciting developments of the twenty first century – if one civilization, based on the fag end of Eurasia, can develop all this simply by accepting certain basic principles, imagine what humanity is capable of when the rest join in.
With one, glaring exception, however: Islam. As noted previously, for centuries we’ve been waiting for the Islamic world to liberalize and modernize, and it has spectacularly failed to do so.
Lee Harris is one of the most important authors of our generation, and probably the best living philosopher. In his book, The Suicide of Reason, he notes that this is to do with Islam’s popular culture of fanaticism. Unlike Christianity, which explicitly announced that its kingdom was not of this world, Islam began as a political project. The Ummah was, in effect, an artificial tribe, its members distinguishing themselves not by a common blood, but by common ritual and common belief. That is why Islam’s core text emphasize a fierce in-group, out-group division. The culture of popular fanaticism – of being willing to go to any lengths to defend the traditions of your tribe – functioned, and still functions, within Islam as a kind of intellectual immune system, rejecting foreign influences.
The problem for the world is: can Islam really be expected to surrender its raison d’etre?
3.11 Imagine history without Islam
Imagine the course of human history had Islam never existed. I don’t think anyone could doubt that things would have been incomparably better off. The great Hellenic and Greek legacy would not merely have flourished in western Europe, but throughout north Africa and the Middle East. Afghanistan would not be a primitive hell-hole, but still be the site of the Bactrian civilization, that wonderful link between Europe and the far East. There is little reason to doubt that this process of civilizational linking and merging would not have continued, as India was every bit as capable of learning from Europe as Europe was from India, and southern Africans would have learned from northern Africans, the way that northern Europeans learned from southern Europeans. Europe would never have been severed from Africa, and so much of the hideous legacy of colonialism might have been avoided altogether.
In other words, had Mohammed never been born, or his followers been wiped out at the battle of Badr, then all of Europe, Africa, and Asia would likely now be at ‘first world’ levels – or perhaps even more, given that a much larger proportion of human intelligence could have made its contribution.
This maiming of the human family, the crippling of our development, and the denial to unnamed and forgotten billions the fate that should rightly have been theirs is what Islam can never be forgiven for.
4.0 How not to oppose Islam
These last eight years I have been involved in this argument, I find that it isn’t so much the facts that people object to, as their implication. They fear facing up to what Islam really is for fear of having to embrace utterly illiberal ends.
Rest assured, that what is written here is entirely within the best liberal tradition. However, first we need to clear away some brush:
4.1: Can Islam be reformed?
Once again, we have to be clear about what we mean when we say that we want to see Islam ‘reformed’. We want Islam to:
1) Abandon the violent bigotry it preaches of all infidels
2) Respect freedom of religion, and of no religion – quit persecuting and murdering apostates
3) Respect equality of the sexes
4) Respect the rights of gays
5) Respect freedom of speech and stop trying to silence – either by murder or by other means – those who say that Islam is bollocks on stilts.
And so on. In other words, we want Islam to behave according to the civilized minimum, the one that we expect from literally every other group. Note that what we take as read from any group of infidels is considered a huge, controversial imposition.
But please note that what infidels hope from Islam – that it quits demonizing, attacking and murdering us – is what we’ll get both if Islam ‘reforms’ and if Islam just collapses internally. It’s no difference to us whether the Islamic world undergoes a deep ‘reform’, or the world’s Muslims become Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, or – best of all – atheists. In fact, the latter is much better, as it removes the possibility of a resurgence at a later date.
4.2 But what about moderate Muslims who don’t go in for all this violence, cruelty and bigotry?
You have to ask yourself – what exactly are moderate Muslims?
Moderate Muslims are simply those Muslims who are better than their religion – their human reason makes them rebel against the life-hating evil of their religion. Their problem is that they are right but they do not know it. They lack the arguments, the mental equipment that allows them to see that their morals are superior to those preached by Mohammed.
Yet there is a crucial difference between Islam and other religions that have walked this path before now. I have already pointed out how the fundamental difference is that other religions that were violently illiberal – Christianity, Buddhism – could beat a fast retreat to their founders, and stay there. That’s not really an option for Islam given the psychotic nature of Mohammed’s teachings and life. If you ask whether Christ or Buddha would be against violence, oppression, forcible conversion or the rape of children – the answer’s obvious: they would. If you ask whether Mohammed would be – that stuff was his meat and drink.
But there is a second issue.
Christianity’s reform took place over centuries. As the Church surrendered its temporal powers, bit by bit, it could not see where things were tending. Islam’s votaries are in a different position. Their religion is in headlong collision with modernity. There isn’t the the theological space for careful nuancing and doctrinal questioning and reinterpretation – because if you admit that this or that piece of mindless barbarism isn’t right after all, then the believers might start asking themselves “Well, if that isn’t real, what else here doesn’t stand up to scrutiny?” And once they have started down that path, what end is there except atheism?
The extreme hysteria that characterizes the Muslim world is at least partly born of an awareness that Islam is like an old, worn-out sweater: even the slightest tug on a thread and the whole thing might unravel.
So the real question is: is an Islamic reform more likely than an Islamic implosion? And which should we work towards?
4.3: How did Christianity get reformed?
As I have said, I am not a Christian apologist. There’s this vague impression going around that Christianity became corrupt and tyrannical and then men like Martin Luther called it back to its founders teachings, and that is why things changed.
In point of fact, Luther’s attack on the Catholic Church is quite reminiscent of bin Laden’s attack on the existing Islamic world. Luther’s criticism wasn’t that the Church was too tyrannical – it was that it was too corrupt and too liberal. In many ways, Luther saw freedom in the sense of hurriya, the ability to be better slaved to divine command. During the Peasants’ War, Luther authored a pamphlet titled Against the Murderous Hordes of Peasants, urging the local nobility to crush the uprising with maximum force, something they did with considerable abandon. He was also deeply anti-Semitic.
People forget just how vicious Christian fanaticism was in the old world. Americans talk about their ancestors fleeing religious persecution, but the religion that was persecuting them was another version of Christianity. At the time when Frederick the Great was still alive, the official punishment in France for desecrating a roadside shrine was loss of an arm followed by death. In Peter Gay’s history of the Enlightenment, he relates the story of a European Jew who was sentenced to death by flaying, as he was accused of blaspheming the holy virgin. The mob that gathered chased the executioner away, so as to carry out the sentence themselves. Such a scene would not be out of place in much of the Islamic world today.
What changed is that the wars of religion so sickened Europeans that they were willing to embrace the Enlightenment project and break the terribly hold that religion had. Writers like Diderot and Voltaire poured such scorn on the superstitious nonsense of revelation and miracle, that faith was more or less laughed out of the world.
Those who sought to break that power, didn’t, excuse me, start arguing for “moderate Christianity” or “reformed Christianity”. The philosophes argued against religion, and they were completely uncompromising. Diderot famously coined the phrase that “Mankind will not be free until the last king is strangled with the guts of the last priest”. In Les Miserables, Victor Hugo gives the old revolutionary the marvelous line “I tore the cloth from the alter, but I did it to bind the wounds of the poor”.
Relying on ‘moderation’ to win the day is a fools errand. ‘Moderates’ are just the ‘neutrals’ I described at the start of this piece. Moderates in every day and age form little else but ballast. In other words, even if we want a ‘moderate’ or ‘reformed’ Islam, we have to argue, and argue hard, against Islam, period.
This is also far more effective as it is far more intellectually honest. Every time there is some horror in the news, the Western worlds political leadership rush to the microphones to announce that, of course, this latest atrocity committed by Muslims in the name of Islam, and justified by extensive reference to Islam’s core texts, has nothing to do with Islam. Do these people really believe this? Or is there not, rather, an underlying desperate hope “Please, whatever you do don’t make that connection, because our only hope is that Muslims will simply ignore and evade what the teachings of Islam are, and if they don’t, we’re dead.”
They are rather like the superstitious Greeks calling the Furies The Kindly Ones, in a hope to appease and stay wrath, or the medieval peasants who would not “speak of the devil, lest he appear”.
Yet imagine that at the next horror, the President of the United States stands up and says, “Well, we’ve tried to be nice. But the fact is that Islam’s core teachings mandate this kind of atrocity, and we expect the Muslim world to confront those teachings and deal with them. To the Ummah I say: You are just one religion among many, and you need to get used to that.”
What’d happen? Three things:
1) There’d be the usual tantrums and death threats throughout the Ummah
2) There’d be thumb-sucking editorials and wailing from the usual quarters
3) There’d be a flurry of apologetic, trying to show how Islam doesn’t mandate this barbarity after all.
Now point 1) would neatly prove the President’s point, while points 2 and 3 would be obviously threadbare and unconvincing. So the effect would be to sow the seeds of doubt. “Just maybe, this religion isn’t all it is cracked up to be after all…”
Zakaria voices the following objections:
So, the strategy to reform Islam is to tell 1.6 billion Muslims, most of whom are pious and devout, that their religion is evil and they should stop taking it seriously?
Yes, yes it is. That is what ‘reform’ really means. The fact that the Church lacks the terrible power it once had is due to the fact that people stopped taking it seriously. As Bill Maher remakred, the problem with the Ummah is “that Muslims still take their religion too seriously, while we have the good sense to blow it off”.
What exactly does Zakaria think is the alternative? Attacking the bad ideas of Islam won’t work, but saying those bad ideas are actually good will? Exposing wickendess will not end wickedness, but pretending it doesn’t exist, will?
Zakaria’s point is that most Muslims are decout and are therefore not reachable by rational argument. This is the House MD line “Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any religious people.” I’m not so sure. In my experience it is the ‘moderate’, ‘reformed’ type who is the last to quit religion completely, because he is simply someone who doesn’t take ideas seriously. Conversely, the true believer really does take these ideas seriously, and is so much more likely to investigate them, if only to defend them intellectually from crticism. And since the ideas of Islam are transparent nonsense, it is much more likely that people make the leap from ‘devout’ to ‘apostate’, rathern than from ‘devout’ to ‘moderate’.
4.4 What about Islamic reformers?
Islam’s ‘reformers’ are, I’m sorry to say, a dangerous distraction and waste of time.
As I’ve indicated previously, there are a lot of loudmouthed ‘reformers’ – Tariq Ramadan is one – who are just totalitarians taking advantage of infidels who are desperate. They are desperate either to believe that Islam isn’t a menace, or they are desperate because they think that Islamic reform is the only hope – they’ve never let themselves consider a world without Islam as a possibility.
The other kind of reformer is the one who is sincere – the one who wants a decent society and also wants to remain Muslim, and sees the conflict between point one and point two. Such people do exist. The best of them would probably be Maajid Nawaz. Nawaz spent his youth as an Islamic jihadist, was banged up in prison under Mubarak, and is now trying to argue for reason and human rights, and to do so has taken him some considerable courage. Nawaz is routinely denounced as an apostate, a kafir and all the rest of it – charges that come with no small threat of lethality. So, I do respect him and think he is an honest and courageous man.
That, sadly, doesn’t mean that he will be successful
Mere goodness can achieve little against the power of nature – Hegel.
We’d be foolish to risk our futures on the prospect of an Islamic reform. I have a copy of the 1954 Pelican book Islam, (priced attractively at three and six), that’d today probably have the subtitle A Very Short Introduction. Picked at random:
The ulama by encouraging a violent and fanatical spirit have given Muhammadanism a sinister reputation contrary to many precepts of its founder.
‘Out of context…’, ‘fringe’…, ‘tiny minority of extremists…’ – the conversation does not change that much. Alfred Guillaume is clearly no ‘bigoted islamophobe’, but he sees the problems that Islam posed to the world even then. His solution? Islamic reform.
In the chapter Islam Today, the author mentions many such reformers. Men like Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, who dreamed of a liberal college in Pakistan where Islam and Western thought could be freely debated without fear. Or Sayyid Amir ‘Ali, author of The Spirit of Islam, who wrote to condemn polygamy, and stated that Muhammad, not Allah, was the author of the Koran. Or Sir Muhammad Iqbal, author of Six Lectures on the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, who argued that ‘heaven and hell are states, not localities […] There is no such thing as eternal damnation in Islam…’. Or, finally, Shaykh Muhammad Ashraf, who founded a monthly journal The Islamic Literature, devoted to liberal debate and study.
Have you heard any of these names before? Are their broad schools and movements out there devoted to them? Do their followers take to the street in protest and anger at the slaughters of the jihadists?
Guillaume concluded mordantly:
It would be a rash man who would prophesy concerning the outcome of the struggle between the reformers, the selfish rich, and the ulama; but provided that the former have a sufficiently large audience to whom they can appeal through the radio and the press, there would seem to be good ground for hope that the next few years will see a gradual reinterpreation of Islam and far-reaching reforms in the structure of society. The history of Islam has shown that it has extraordinary powers of adaptaiton: it has succeeded in absorbing apparently incompatible philosophies, and mutually contradictory religious conceptions, and it has silently abandoned others which it has tried and found wanting. Its one danger is that the old forces of reaction will be too strong for the new spirit of liberalism, armed as they are with shibboleths and anathemas which can rouse the ignorant masses and terrorize men of vision. Only time can show which part will gain the upper hand.
We’ve tried the reform thing. We’ve been hoping for reform for decades – for centuries in fact. It’s never worked.
The great ‘reform’ that is often hoped for is defined as a rejection of Koranic literalism. That ways are found to interpret and re-interpret and re-re-interpret the command to “slay unbelievers” until it vanishes into a deconstructionist ether. But as we have seen, the end of Biblical literalism came, not because of reformers, but because such criticism was poured onto the core texts that literalism became unsupportable. If such a process were directed at the texts of Islam, which is more likely – that a ‘reformed’ version would come into being, or that Muslims, who are, after all, human beings with thinking brains, having begun to question would not follow their thoughts through to their conclusion and reject Islam in total?
That brings me to the ways in which even honest Islamic reformers are a danger.
4.5 You are seriously saying that Islamic reformers are a danger?
Yes. First of all, I think that these reformers do harm by muddying the water. Of crucial importance in this struggle is waking up infidels across the planet, alerting them to the real nature and doctrine of Islam. Second, regardless of the good intentions of the reformers, the effect of their work is ultimately to provide a fog of hermenutics and rationalizations that allow Muslims to feel that their faith can still, somehow, be salvaged, and that they don’t need to ‘unplug’. That leads to the third point – under immense stress of trying to resist the fanatics of their own faith, and of wrestling with the intellectual problem of trying to derive human decency from the life and words of Mohammed, they become prickly and abusive to those of us who try to say the obvious about the core texts. That leads to lashing out, to the boring accusation that we are “doing bin Laden’s work” or some such nonsense. Finally, fifth, in an attempt to somehow balance all of this, they often find it easier to snipe at the real Islam critics, the apostate and infidel scholars who are playing it straight, and, sixth, they can compensate for their half-criticism of Islam with exorbitant demands on the infidel world.
Let me take the world’s most self-promoting Islamc reformer, Irshad Manji. Manji is the author of The Trouble with Islam Today, and self-proclaimed ‘Muslim refusenik’. In her book she writes breezily that the West ‘needs Muslims’ and that is our business to absorb the Islamic baby boom.
Well, sorry, Irshad, but no we don’t, and no it isn’t. We are not obliged at all to rescue Muslims from the effects of their own moral and mental default, and we are not obliged to risk our land and the future of our peoples on the hope that Muslims will take their Islam from a lesbian with uncovered hair, whose website seems more interested in peddling mediocre self-improvement than serious critique, than from the unsmiling doctors of the faith who back up their pronouncements with the explicit doctrines, sanctified by traditions a millennium old. If it is true that the West needs immigration to replenish its societies, then there are millions of infidels fleeing Islam’s cruelty. They will do just nicely.
4.6 The trouble is that the West has been hollowed out, we have lost the sense of what we believe in. If we are to endure, we need to re-embrace the Judeo-Christian heritage of our civilization.
Okay. One of my prized possessions is a magnificent Dore Bible, as well as a fine edition of the Common Book of Prayer.
I have heard people toss this phrase around and I have never been able to get a clear bead on what it means. To the best of my understanding, it is there to argue that our civilization is better than Islam and we shouldn’t be afraid of saying it. A civilization of individual rights, secular law, the primacy of reason over faith, with the necessary corollaries of individual initiative, scientific advance, industrial development, the emancipation of women and liberty is better than a civilization of stagnation, bigotry, mindless faith twinned to mindless hatred, and the crushing of all culture, art and science in favour of the mediocre pronouncements of a mediocre book.
Okay, so why not just say that?
The first problem with undefined pronouncements about ‘judeo-christian civilization’ is that the undefined is never as good as the defined in an argument. Take the recent PEGIDA marches in Germany. Some of the protestors have announced “they are worried about Germany’s Christian culture being diluted”, or at least that’s the way it’s reported. But if the issue was that there were suddenly far more Diwali celebrations throughout the lad (which would count as a ‘dilution’) you would not have seventeen thousand Germans saying they have had enough.
The “dilution of Christian culture” argument is really weak, not least because most Germans, like most Europeans are either convinced or de facto atheists.
On the other hand, if they were to respond: “We are sick of violent anti-Semitism imported by Muslims. We are sick of honour killings. We are sick of the fact that not just Jews, but our own tiny Yezidi community is being attacked by Muslim goons. We are sick of attacks on free expression. We are sick of the multi-racial and multicultural society being plowed under by the violent fascistic bigotry called Islam. We were not painfully and brutally freed from Nazism to lie down to this!”
– Well, then they’d be in serious business. It would also make nonsense of things like this counter-demonstration flag:
The caption reads “Dresden for all” and on the right it contains one of those COEXIST holy symbol mash ups. But as absolutely anyone who pays attention knows, the only problem is with the star and crescent. If you were to just spray paint over that symbol, you’d have a PEGIDA banner.
That brings me to the second reason that I don’t trust stuff about “Judeo-Christian” civilization. It excludes far too many of those with whom we should seek alliance and common cause. By definition, it excludes the Hindu and Sinic civilizations, and the Buddhists, and even those poor beleaguered Yezidi who fight on the front lines against this. The problem, and I will come back to this, is that you cannot choose a heritage.
Third, it leads into all sorts of false trails, having to engage in all sorts of Christian apologetics. In his Politically Incorrect Guide, Robert Spencer argues that while Islam was spread by the sword, the peaceful spread of Christianity is attested by the saints who travelled, and risked terrible danger, to preach the word of Christ to the pagans. That’s true only up to a point. For the first several centuries of Christianity, it was indeed pacifist – having no political power, it had to be. However, later it was indeed spread by the sword. Karl der Grosse – Charlemagne – waged a ferocious war against the pagan saxons, giving them the choice of conversion to Christianity or death. The twelfth century saw the Albigensian crusade waged against deviant Christians, with the famous pronouncement “Kill them all, God will know his own”.
Fourth, and most worryingly, there is a danger here. Most American types who use this phrase uncritically – Robert Spencer, for example – have a loyalty to the ideas of the open society and classical liberalism. Yet loudmouthed defense of “Christian heritage” has a darker side, even in America – it was used to defend racism and segregation (Cleon Skousen, dug up and re-animated by Glenn Beck, attacked those critical of the Mormon Church’s racism as being engaged in godless subversion), while in south America, it has often been the doctrine of men like Jose Rafael Videla. In Europe, things are worse still. Historically, the people speaking loudly of defending Europe’s ‘Christian heritage’ are men like Franco, Salzar and Codreanu. In other words, the term used without propaganda, in the most strictly historical sense, fascists.
I wrote previously that I don’t link or cite Robert Spencer’s stuff, despite the fact that he is probably one of the half-dozen essential authors you should absorb if you want to be able to argue this subject. The reason isn’t his diagnosis of the problem so much as his solution. While I do not think he has the slightest sympathy for the fascist cause, I am worried about what can creep in under such a broad and empty heading. As things get worse – and they will – you will have more and more people looking for answers. Imagine someone reads a lot of Spencer’s critique of Islam and finds it compelling and it stands up to criticism (it does). Along with it he absorbs this vague idea about “Judeo-Christian” civilization, but is left wondering what that means, exactly? And there are far darker forces out there who are willing to provide an answer…
That’s made worse, much worse, by lines like this:
Civil war and the death of Britain as a free society loom in the near future — but at least they were never “racist” or “Islamophobic.”
Civil war, huh? In the near future? First of all – let’s get real. Bosnia collapsed into civil war when Muslim numbers reached parity with the Christian Serbs, something that will not happen for forty, fifty years (long before which this matter will have been settled one way or another). Let’s also be serious about the extent of this stuff. The blasphemy prosecutions that plague Britain are a disgrace and a crime, but they are not the end of a free society, not by a long shot. Compare and consider the situation in Apartheid South Africa, where far worse was inflicted on the native population, extra-judicial killings were the norm, and there was pervasive censorship to the extent that it was illegal to print Mandela’s name. Yet revolution was still possible without civil war. Who dares to say that we in the West face anything similar?
Moreover, if civil war in Europe in inevitable, then quite a few things follow from it. Even more so when it is phrased like this:
Instead, Britain appears prepared to go quietly, although civil war still very likely looms in its future.
This suggests, none too subtly, that the alternatives facing the UK are either civil war or meek submission to Islamic theocracy, something like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Now, if this is the case, then it logically follows that civil war, as ghastly as it is, is better than tyranny, and should be preferred. It furthermore follows that it is best to get the civil war out of the way as soon as possible, when the odds are strongest on the infidel side.
Do you see how dangerous that implication is?
This is exactly the conclusion that was drawn by Anders Breivik, or more to the point, by his principal inspiration Peder Jensen, the blogger Fjordman. The connection between the two was drawn very well by the writer Oyvind Strommen. Read this carefully, as it leaves little out:
Now, of course Fjordman claims – both as Fjordman and as Peder Jensen – that he has never encouraged violence. Well, frankly, I don’t think you have to. If you’re saying that Jens Stoltenberg, for instance, is actually a worse traitor than Quisling, if you’re saying that Europe is being occupied and colonised, if you’re saying that politicians, journalists and academics – across the political scale – are willingly playing a part in this… if you’re saying all of this, politically motivated violence does not seem like an absurd idea; the step onto violence is not a very far one.
Just to stick with the point about Quislings and the Nazis, one of the worst terrorist gangs on German soil was the Baader Meinhof gang, responsible for 296 bomb attacks before they were collard. They did this because they became convinced that Germany’s political elites were bringing back the Nazi era.
Sam Harris wrote about the connection between beliefs and actions, giving the example of believing that your child was being held hostage at this moment. It doesn’t matter whether it is true or not, if you really believe that, the effects would be profound on you. Similarly, imagine believing – really believing – that your gov’t was moving to resurrect the fully fledged Nazi state, death camps and all of it. Wouldn’t you at least consider violence as one of the options?
That is why beliefs need to be scrutinized. It is worth quoting Fjordman at length:
The French writer Guillaume Faye predicts a real collapse at some point between 2010 and 2020. I am tempted to agree with him. I don’t think the current political and economic order in the Western world is stable at all. On the contrary, I suspect we are fast approaching a serious historical discontinuity that will sweep aside today’s suicidal liberalism. It’s a house of cards that will collapse as soon as the geopolitical tectonic plates make a sudden shift, which they will.
My personal opinion is that the euro as a currency probably won’t exist a few years from now, and may well take the European Union down with it. I view this as a desirable outcome since the EU constitutes a primary engine behind the ongoing destruction of European civilization and the peoples who created it. I also cannot see how the escalating debt crisis in the USA can be resolved without social unrest of some kind. Frankly, I will not be surprised at all if the rising tensions we are witnessing, and episodes such as the Muhammad cartoon Jihad in 2006, will by future historians be viewed as early skirmishes in an impending world war, triggered by the implosion of the Western world order. If we are lucky, out of the ashes will emerge a new generation of European civilization, with a different mythology and concept of morality.
This reveals the eminense gris in Fjordman’s writing’s, the neo-fascist writer Guillaume Faye. To understand this guy, you have to clear your head of the cliches about fascists – tattooed knuckleheads, hefty rednecks wearing bedsheets and all the rest of it. Faye is nothing whatsoever like that – he is intelligent, holding a PhD in political science from Institut d’études politiques de Paris, one of the world’s foremost Universities in the social sciences. Faye is erudite, widely read, and a compelling writer. So I’m not surprised even as I am worried that his work manages to be convincing and compelling to so many.
Note the phrase about “suicidal liberalism”. In context, I assure you that Jensen doesn’t mean what Americans mean when they say “liberalism”. This isn’t an Ann Coulter rant. No, the liberalism in question is the liberalism of Locke and Paine, of the American Declaration of Independence. It means the very idea of the free society. This motif – that the liberal, open society is intrinsically decadent and needs to be overthrown to institute a new, martial order – is of the purest fascist pedigree. This is exactly how writers like Guillaume Faye and Alain de Benoist talk.
I want to be clear here: I don’t think that there is a molecule of fascism in Robert Spencer’s political make up. I think that he is using terms in an unclear way that, given his stature on this subject, could give cover to extremely unpleasant movements. I fully accept that being constantly insulted and called a fascist, a nazi, a racist etc. while you are also under threat of death doesn’t exactly make you receptive to arguments like mine. I’m also aware that he’ll likely think me a squalid little hypocrite for saying that he writes well about Islam but not linking him for these reasons – and he may well be right to do so. Still, I can’t get away from these conclusions.
4.7 But given most of the foregoing, how can you disagree, given that you view Islam as a threat?
I disagree about the nature of the threat. A Europe ruled by Islam will not happen, not now, not ever. The world has changed too much. Islam’s supremacists do not have technology, or wealth, or knowledge, or wisdom, or even a convincing ideology going for them. They have only three things:
1. Islam’s baby boom
2. A willingness to kill.
3. A willingness to die.
But 1) Islam’s demography is crashing at a historically unprecedented speed,
2) Jihadis may like to kill but they are not that good at it. Conversely, a poorly equipped Kurdish woman managed to kill a hundred ISIS members before she was killed in turn. Imagine what a serious army would do, when the gloves were off, and that is even before I have mentioned the mega-weaponry that advanced nations have.
3) A willingness to die, on its own, does not get you very far.
The danger is not that Islam will succeed in conquering the West – it is that its fanatics will cause such trouble that the horrific civil war expected by Spencer and Jensen becomes a reality. Civil war isn’t an alternative to disaster – it IS the disaster to be avoided.
The choice isn’t between civil war or submission. It is between civil war, or criticizing both the ‘motherload of bad ideas’ that is Islam, such that it is discredited – and also, oh yes, criticizing the quite nasty ideas of men like Jensen.
It has to be both: Any criticism of Islam is fatally undercut by any connection to fascism and racism, and any anti-fascism is utterly gutted if it tries to handwave the reality of Islam. Chaps like Jensen can turn to chaps like Strommen and ask “How exactly are you the anti-fascist when you are the one apologizing for the movement that calls for the slaughter of Jews and Hindus, the enslavement of women, and the destruction of liberal society and democracy?” And, here’s the real kicker – they’re right to ask that. I’ve not found a single sentence for Strommen that suggests that he considers as anything other than bigots, those of us who are worried about, say, Muslims from Europe going to help exterminate the Yezidi or the fact that criticism of Islam in Europe is abrogated by the direct threat of murder.
More than 1000 French supermarkets, including major chains such as Carrefour, have been selling Islamic books that openly call for jihad and the killing of non-Muslims.
You can’t claim that the Breivik atrocity says everything about anti-jihadists and then turn around and say that the countless Muslim atrocities say nothing about Islam.
You can’t pose as an anti-fascist while ignoring the oldest fascism of them all.
5.0 Alright Mr Smart Ass. You’ve been attacking the people who have done the most work in criticising and opposing Islamic imperialism. What’s your clever, clever answer how we fight this menace?
Thought you’d never ask.
This section is different from the others, as I can’t consistently stick to the Q & A format.
5.1.1 Ditch the defeatism
The neck and the groin. The neck and the groin. It doesn’t matter how big the fucker is, he always has a neck and a groin. – Old Irish Saying.
A trap one can easily fall into is to surrender to despair from the sheer extent of Islam’s mindless cruelty and barbarism, and the pathetic cringing apologetics of our idiot ruling class. The feeling that we are sliding towards catastrophe that we are helpless to prevent, and that there is nothing that can stop the fiasco.
This cloying feeling of helplessness is our greatest enemy. The suicidal policies our leaders pursue can be traced to this far more than to political correctness or anything similar. It is the feeling that there is nothing you can do.
Here’s the reality: as an enemy Islam is wicked, monstrous and evil. What it is not is scary. There are people who have living memories of the Third Reich and the USSR. Those were some scary enemies. Islamic terrorists are horrifying, but look at the numbers – you are way more likely to be killed in traffic or by ordinary crime. So while there is every reason to hate Islam, there is no reason to be scared of it.
Here’s a little proof: the existence of Israel. Israel is 16% Muslim, surrounded by Muslim nations all of which want to see it eradicated. And this tiny outpost of Infidel civilization has trounced every attempt made by the Ummah for seventy years, and not just done that, it has flourished.
Let’s take even the limiting case of major disaster – a European nation (e.g. France) sliding into civil war or succumbing to Shariah or something like that. What would happen?
The answer is straightforward – it would trigger a chain reaction across all of Europe, resulting in the other nations rallying and a Reconquista.
To return to the case of Israel, something people need to realize – for all the bitching about Israel, European goyyim are nowhere near as furry and gentle as the Israelis. Israelis have become less sympathetic and harsher in their treatment of the Arab Muslims – after seventy years of constant attempts by Arab Muslims to annihilate the Israelis.
It isn’t going to go that prettily in the case of Europe. If Europeans had to put up with anything like the anti-Israel jihad for as little as ten years there wouldn’t be any Muslims left in Europe.
Many American conservatives have this idea that Europeans are weak, vacillating and unable to stand up to a real threat. They could not be more wrong. Europeans are different because – with the exception of Britain – we all share land borders. That means that something like the US pulled in Vietnam – the kind of irresponsible, desultory war that caused such suffering – has not been an option for Europeans for most of our history. Any European power that pulled a Vietnam on its neighbour would be wiped out.
This has lead to a fundamentally different way of approaching things. Europeans are pacifist and appeasing right up until the point that we aren’t. And when we aren’t – then we take it all the way.
5.1.2 Destroying Islam is fundamentally humanitarian
That brings me to this point. As I have said, one way or another, Islam will not survive this century. Humanity has advanced too far, history has progressed too much. Every society in which Islam takes power rots almost instantly. And there is nothing – nothing – Muslim fanatics can do to stop this. Every time they murder and threaten, they just prove the true nature of Islam to the world. Every bomb and bullet from the jihadis does more to discredit the Islam than any writing I could do.
So while Islam is dying, it might kill hundred of millions in the process. Our business is to free as many minds as possible from Islam, and in doing so save lives.
5.1.3 Do not forget that every Muslim is a potential Infidel
I have many friends among the Persian diaspora. They are good people who love their country and would like nothing better than to see it rid of Islam. Throughout he Ummah there are millions, hundreds of millions who would gladly be shot of Islam, or who would be so, if they could just be allowed to see that it was possible. Yusuf Al Qaradawi has admitted that without the death penalty for apostasy, Islam wouldn’t exist today.
Never forget this. War, violence is the last resort – and in personal relations, hatred and condemnation should be last resorts. Most Muslims are good people who have had the worst luck of being born into Islam. Be glad that you do not share that fate, and hope that our lost brothers and sisters find their way home.
5.1.4 Embrace internationalism
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 and solidarity are words that have been dirtied thanks to fools, as some sort of airy-fairy whimsy. They are actually a matter of graphite-grey practicality. Solidarity is simply that you have a vested interest in the struggle of those who share your values – that those trying to enslave those others will quite happily enslave you too. Internationalism is simply extending that knowledge to the world scale – the same people who rape little girls in Britain are the ones establishing slave markets in Iraq.
This is the question that the racialists cannot answer: who exactly is more my brother here – the PKK or Kenyan Armed Forces fighter who carries the war to ISIS or Al Shabab, and just happens to look a bit different to me – or the slimy white politician who ensures that Islamic colonization of Europe continues? How exactly are we going to be able to turn back the Islamic tide without making common cause with our civilizational cousins?
Part of the big problem with modern day “anti-racists” is they think that just by kicking up a huge fuss about racism, things will change. That people will all suddenly get along if only we keep on insisting that Friendship Is Magic. Yeah, about that:
Racism is a side effect of tribalism. When people identify themselves as being part of divergent groups, hostility happens naturally (vide: Robbers Cave Experiment), which is one reason why the whole “celebrate diversity” schtick is worse that useless. If you really want to make some progress, you need to celebrate unity.
Getting people who are from different groupings to drop those identities in favour of a broader one is a devil of a job, and historically there has been only one sure fire way to do so: war. There is nothing quite like a common enemy and a common cause for people to learn to unite. Whatever our differences, we need to remember that we are all infidels, and as such, considered subhuman animals and prey by Islam
So if you really want to see racism, tribalism and xenophobia reduced, here’s your best chance. We are in this struggle in any case, and it will continue for the rest of our lives. There is nothing we can do about that. I don’t like it one bit, but if we are in this struggle, as price and in compensation, we can use it to dispense with those lingering tribal biases.
And I am not just talking about the differences between racial groups, but also within them. One of the most important things for Europe is for it to become truly unified, and that means ceasing this endless aggression towards Russia. If you consider the current coalition against Putin’s Russia, you will find, sitting high in NATO, Edrogan – and I assure you, there is nothing in Putin’s record, as bad as it is, that isn’t in Edrogan’s, and worse. Edrogan explicitly seeks to recreate the Caliphate, and incites subversion from Turkish Muslims against their European Nations – and this guy our rulers are allying with against a fellow European? Have they completely lost their minds?
Similarly, in India, whatever is true about the Hindu nationalists, they are on the same side as us in the struggle against Islamic imperialism. Same thing with the beleaguered Buddhists throughout East Asia.
Yes, some of these guys are unlovely in certain aspects – but to borrow a line from Muhammed Ali (and trust me, the irony isn’t lost on me) no Hindu ever called me kafir. It isn’t Eastern Orthodox Christians who are raping girls in Rotherham, nor is it Sikhs or Buddhists who are attacking Jews and Yezidi in Germany.
Above all, people need to wake up to the struggle going on throughout Africa. The long loping border that Islam cuts through the center of the continent is the jihad’s frontline. Nations like Tanzania, Kenya and Nigeria are up against Islam’s sharp edge. They are on the frontline; they deserve our maximum support and solidarity.
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.
Islam hates and destroys everything that is not Islamic and in the end, it will destroy itself. It is time for all Infidels to unite against this menace.