Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Danger of Censorship About Islam

In the comments on one of yesterday’s posts, commenter FluffResponse left the following message:

Last night, I started a thread in the Discuss section of the Swedish site The Local; the thread was called “The Danger of Censorship about Islam”. A poster named Cyberfluff was a bit exasperated at my writings about the dangers of Islamic immigration and asked what I wanted HER to do. I told her I’d be back; and I was, with a multiparagraph essay that seems to have resulted in my being banned from the site. (Note the name of the thread I started!)

Could someone (a) see if the thread and my response is still there; and if not (b) find Cyberfluff (who posts here and there on that site) and ask her to see my response below. Gates of Vienna is a new kind of Radio Free Europe. Thanks.

I went to the thread at The Local mentioned by FluffResponse, and his or her response is indeed still there, but the reader has to click the link and go to page two to see it.

However, to save readers the trouble of doing the extra clicking, FluffResponse’s message is reproduced here in its entirety (being an old fuddy-duddy, I took the liberty of capitalizing certain proper nouns and the personal pronoun):

In response to your request, here are the four things that I want you to do:

(a) Read the anti-jihadi works: the web sites listed earlier (to which you can add Wolfgang Bruno) and an increasing number of books (authors include Spencer, Bawer, Bostom, Bat Ye'or, Fallaci, Ibn Warraq, Trifkovic, and Karsh).

(b) Rediscover what is being lost (and which Islam is threatening to replace, to our detriment). C.S. Lewis and a local church might re-introduce you to Christianity, for example, and with it a desire to take the radical step that native Europeans are not doing: having children and raising them in a stable family, which implies caring about what is happening to your society today and what is likely to happen in future generations.

(c) Find a way to contribute to the anti-jihadi movement. I gather that some of the books that speak to the European experience (from Bawer, Bat Ye’or, and Fallaci) are not always available in Europe, either because they have not been translated or because… well, in Italy, they want to ARREST Fallaci! it would be good if you could militate against those kind of restrictions and help get the word out, perhaps as a translator, perhaps as a columnist; whatever your skills, help the cause of the West.

(d) Support a political party that stands up to Islam. Fjordman (whose writings are here and here) tells a story of horror for Sweden, a country of increasing rape and robbery. (Why do you shrug off the worsening situation for women, as caused by young immigrant males who consider themselves — in keeping with the model for Muslim behavior — to be waging a war?) Fjordman suggests that there is no political party in Sweden that is worthy of support — in France, there is Mouvement Pour La France, for example — but maybe you can help force a debate about immigration. (Alas, you are already in a situation where fulfilling that request will put you in physical danger; but of course, the continued immigration and acceptance of Islam as an equal of Christianity will only make the horror worse.)

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

In closing, let me report to you how Fjordman sees it:

“Sweden is a semi-totalitarian country. It’s all about façade. On the surface, Sweden is a tolerant nation and peaceful democracy. In reality, there is massive media censorship by a closed elite that is scared of having a debate about immigration. There are even physical attacks on critics of immigration by Leftist extremists, something which has been largely ignored and thus quietly approved by the establishment, until it now even targets parties in Parliament. No dissent is tolerated. Opinion polls have revealed that two out of three Swedes doubt whether Islam can be combined with Swedish society, and a very significant proportion of the population have for years wanted more limitations in immigration. Yet not one party represented in the Swedish Parliament is genuinely critical of the Multicultural society or the current immigration policies. The Swedish elite congratulate themselves that they have managed to keep ‘xenophobic’ parties from gaining a foothold while the country is sinking underneath their feet. No, Mr. Jagland, we have nothing to learn from Sweden except hypocrisy to perfection. We should study them only in trying to avoid letting them drag us down with them when they fall, which they will.”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

[Another poster (Mahmood) then asked why the Europeans don’t take action; and I answered as follows.]

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Mahmood, that’s a good question. Let me quote from Fjordman again:

“It’s getting urgent. When enough people feel that the system isn’t working anymore and that the social contract has been breached, the entire fabric of the democratic society could unravel. What happens when the welfare state system breaks down, and there is no longer enough money to “grease” the increasing tensions between immigrants and native Europeans? And what happens when people discover that their own leaders, through the EU networks and the Euro-Arab Dialogue described by Bat Ye’or in her book “Eurabia,” have been encouraging all these Muslims to settle here in the first place? There will be massive unemployment, and tens of millions of people will feel angry, scared and humiliated, betrayed by the system, by society and by their own democratic leaders. This is a situation in some ways similar to the Great Depression that led to the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s. Is this where we’re heading once again, with fear, rising Fascism and political assassinations? The difference is that the “Jewish threat” in the 1930s was entirely fictional, whereas the “Islamic threat” now is very real. However, precisely the trauma caused by the events 70 years ago is clouding our judgment this time, since any talk at all about the threat posed by Muslim immigration or about preserving our own culture is being dismissed as “just like the rhetoric used against Jews by the Nazis.” Europeans have been taught to be so scared of our own shadow that we are incapable of seeing that darkness can come from the outside, too. Maybe Europe will burn again, in part as a belated reaction to the horrors of Auschwitz.”

34 comments:

XY said...

Fjordman would no doubt be called a "racist" by many Swedes (I've seen much weaker positions than Fjordmans being called racism). In fact, I think this blog would be called "racist" by many.

I intend to spread Fjordmans writings as much as I can, but it is pointless to just go into any random Swedish forum and ask "hey guys, what do you think about this?". That will only lead to insults, smugness, sarcasm, banning, and so on.

Baron Bodissey said...

john--

Oh, yes, we're definitely "racists" here. I've seen that epithet applied to GoV at more than one lefty blog or forum.

I stipulate to it (and all the others, like sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe, theocrat, neocon, etc., etc.) just to get past the name-calling phase.

"Okay, I'm all those things you say I am. Now what? Is what I say true or false, or simply an opinion? What are the counter-argumments?"

But things don't usually go beyond name-calling.

I can say, "Leftists are fools." That might be true, but it's not helpful. If I say, "Leftist policies disregard human nature, and have proven a failure in every single instance in which they have been tried." -- THEN we've got something to argue about!

XY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
XY said...

"Oh, yes, we're definitely 'racists' here."

I knew it! :)

Islam is a system of ideas, just like Nazism or Communism. So in that regard, it is no more racist to be anti-Islam than it is to be anti-Nazism, and surely being anti-Nazism isn't racist? But somehow many don't grasp that. (It may be the case that most Muslims are Arabs, but that's completely irrelevant.)

fluffy said...

Hi Baron! What you are attributing to FluffResponse is showing up as posted by Onlooker. Whoever it was I need to thank them for the reminder to check Wolfgang Bruno's blog again. After that I need to straighten out a few folks. I shall not permit this ongoing abuse of my internet handle.

Baron Bodissey said...

Fluffy --

I think FluffResponse and Onlooker are the same person, and the former was just the blogger profile set up recently to comment here. As far as I can tell.

eatyourbeans said...

If nothing but fascism will fix this mess, then let it be fascism. Anything but Eurabia.

FluffResponse said...

Thanks to Baron Bodissey for giving my response a wider audience. I tried to register here as "onlooker" (my now disgraced handle at www.thelocal.se ); but only "FluffResponse" (one of several tries) was accepted.

It doesn't seem at all pointless to go into forums and talk about the anti-Jihadi movement and why it is not even slightly racist but is life affirming. How do you further a political movement (especially where it is most in need) except by approaching folks both en masse and as individuals?

Fluffy (the single, unique Fluffy): would you be willing to let CyberFluff know that I am banned from even seeing posts on The Local and that it would be neat if she continued the conversation here? She'll probably refuse, as the Gates Of Vienna represents the evils of Anglo xenophobia, nevermind that Anglo culture has a long history of success.

Other folks from The Local might do some onlooking here, too.

Dan M said...

Hitler tried to portray enemies of NAZISM, and enemies of Hitler Germany's policies as more than just opponents of NAZISM, but as uniquely anti-German, anti the German nation, anti legitimate German aspirations. Thus, Hitler tried the same rhetorical gimmick as the Left uses to such effect today. And he used that to gain time and power during the '30s, during his massive military buildup.

After he threw his military forces all over the place, his attempts at dismissing all his enemies as anti-German were going nowhere.

SO he morphed his arguments, and then sought to portray himself as the great defender of Western values, against the Communist, {here too, he tried to describe his destruction of Jews as really a defense of the West, because the Jews were deemed by him to be "internationalist," which to him meant pacifist}. Towards the end, the German efforts to the East were all placed within this broad historical overview, the Wehrmacht was described as modern day Teutonic Knights, holding back the horde from the East.

Dan M said...

Eatyourbeans, fascism isn't necessary to fix the problem. That paints the problem in terms too stark to be helpful. Moreover, that allows your political opponents to pain you as a fascist, because of your apparent blase indifference to fascism.

We've had democratic governance for centuries, likewise Britain. And for all that time we didn't have a muslim problem within our midst, {here I use the term "our" to imply the overall West}. So we needn't embrace fascism to solve a problem that we handled before.

Part of the problem, a huge part of the problem is the decades long aspect of the situation. What many of us describe as descending upon Europe won't occur overnight. Therefore it's very easy for Europeans to mock those who describe what is coming, as "prophets of doom."

It's very frustrating, but it's part of the price that must be paid to speak on the subject.

XY said...

"It doesn't seem at all pointless to go into forums and talk about the anti-Jihadi movement and why it is not even slightly racist but is life affirming. How do you further a political movement (especially where it is most in need) except by approaching folks both en masse and as individuals?"

I agree with the above, I just meant that given that many in sweden aren't receptive to the ideas (especially when they are presented as radically as Fjordman presents them), it's pretty important to find the right audience (I'm not saying that it is impossible to reach someone in a random forum, just that it is much more likely to only get insults etc back, which I find pretty depressing since what I'm basically trying to do is help.)

Buffy said...

I want to suggest the problem isn't "muslim" but is "arab" instead. Arabization of Islam is a worldwide curse from arab oil wealth disseminated via muslim "charities." It's a problem with arab salafist islam which Iran's (half Persian, quarter Azeri, part arab) islamic revolution is hitched to ideologically. You've got to be smart enough to drive a wedge between the billion muslims of the world, and the arab perverts and child molesters who want to control them all. Hint: take away to oil money that's driving the process. The radical bloodthirsty mullahs are being sponsored from the home arab countries. It comes from the arab center. Attack there.

FluffResponse said...

Buffy, some argue that Wahhabism is the issue. Islam IS an engine for Arab imperialism, but the problem seems to be broader, as Muhammed was a man of brutality and thievery who is proposed as the model for all time. Sura 9:29 and all that.

Can Islam be reformed? Hard to see how, as the religion is not an interpretation but a dictation, a story for all time.

Muslim Unity said...

Islam is not America or the West. We don't want to steal people's oil and land.
Remember That! Before you say such things! You need to learn so much more!

FluffResponse said...

Doesn't the history of Islam and of its disrespect for other traditions show that when the chance is there, lands are taken and dhimmis are used for their labor? Didn't Ali ask Muhammed why the peaceful tribes near Medina were attacked; and wasn't the answer (essentially) that those who are not with Allah (a specific conception of the Divine) are fair game to our predations?

Am glad that you are here, muslim unity, as the best option in this terrible situation is for muslims to look at their political system from the point of view of non-muslims and to approach the question, "Do I really want my life to reflect this system?" You want to ask this question because (although Islam teaches that the believers will dominate) the societies ruled by sharia have not and probably cannot succeed, but are characterized by poverty (outside of oil) and tyranny.

In the West, at least, you have a choice. Your loved ones are unlike to kill you if you take the heroic step of distancing yourself from a belief system that was probably forced on your ancestors. (You might want to think about that truth; your ancestors would have rejected the muslim truth if they could have done so without paying a terrible price.)

Yes, I do have a lot to learn and am reading to overcome my ignorance.

Dan M said...

Fluff, you're repeating a position of the esteemed Faoud Ajami, who writes for Newsweek. He too narrows the problem of islam, of the mideast, to precisely the arab problem, then he goes further and suggests it is a Wahabi problem.

And when he makes his case, it can be compelling. And I don't dismiss it. It's something that requires time and effort to really explore at length.

unaha-closp said...

Buffy is right (even though I am pretty sure wahabist Sunni salafism is more invasive than the counterpart Iranian Shia salafism mentioned.) The problem are the missionaries of salafism sent to keep the Muslim colonists in-line and to convert us (the natives). This is exactly the same method that Rome used to keep the Christians under control, but then Rome fell and could no longer afford the expense - so allowing the reformation, renaissance and all that to happen. To defeat this all that needs to happen is break the power of Rome, oops, I mean Riyadh and Tehran.

The counter argument that Islam is inherently bad - as made by fluffresponse - may technically be true. However it is defeatist, because it presents 1.3 billion people as our enemy. How can 1.3 billion be persuaded to change their minds, it is not possible.

Dan M said...

Yea, Buffy is right to "slay" the beast by cutting off their finances in the Arab world.

I think that GW should have put a full air and naval blockade around Saudi Arabia on September 12th. We had no problem initiating a policy of starving the Japanese and the Germans into submission, why then are we giving the muslims a dispensation from the full power of the United States.

unaha-closp said...

Coz they have oil a blockade would be problematic. What is needed is a way to secure the oil in control of a regime disinclined towards the religious establishment. A military coup or similar might work.

XY said...

The problem with using the term "Arab" in my view is that it seems to suggest a certain genetic group. If, for example, you say Swede or Dane that simply suggests belonging to a certain nation, but if you say, for example, African, Arab or Jew, that does seem to suggest a genetic group. Of course we shouldn't be too concerned with how things "sound" since a leftist intent on misunderstanding will do so whatever we say, but perhaps we shouldn't invite it either. We could say "Islam as practiced in the Middle East" or something. I don't know. Perhaps my analysis isn't even correct, I have a lot to learn about this issue as well (I've ordered "While Europe slept" should arrive in a few days...)

Dan M said...

John is right. We have severe nomenclature problems in this war.

And that rhetorical confusion is reflective of an overall strategic confusion, which hinders us in the formulation and execution of strategy.

Dan M said...

We should have asked ourselves which muslim states support and fund terrorists the most. And the answer would have been Iran, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, {and of course Afghanistan}. And war should have been declared on each.

We didn't hesitate during World War II to take on extremely powerful states, and we should not have flinched after September 11th. The nation was more than ready for GW to announce such an ambitious plan after 9/11.

The first words out of his mouth on the evening of 9/11 should have been: "I'm going to need men...." And he would have millions lining up outside of recruiting stations the next day.

He should have called the nation to measures equivalent to the civilizational struggle we're in.

All non citizen muslims should have been thrown from the country.

A naval embargo should have been placed in the Med., prohibiting the movement of muslims to Europe and elsewhere, thus ending the demographic jihad.

A full war plan sufficient to the task would take some serious typing, which I don't feel like right now. But that war effort should have been launched.

Bill Kristol just published a piece that the Administration is backing sharply away from any serious effort to stop the Mullahs getting the bomb.

And I don't think the Israelis are going to step to the plate, when the United States has just backed away.

If the mullahs get the bomb, the world that we have known will profoundly change.

FluffResponse said...

fluffy, please ignore my request to put a message on thelocal.se, as i was able to get on that site this morning.

Aneud said...

Glad you were not banned FluffResponse. It would have been surprising if you did, you carried yourself very well under attack. TheLocal does some extreme things at times but unless a poster has been engaged in personal attacks they don't ban people, although they will edit their posts when they feel like it, sadly.

wildiris said...

I would have to agree with Buffy on the observation that the problem with Islam is an Arab problem. I would like to refer the commenters on this thread to a great essay on the history of Islam posted at musulmanbook.blogspot.com. It's the most comprehensive review of the history of Islam that I've yet read. The essay was originally writen in 1924, long before considerations of PC'ness ended any chance of a honest historical treatment of the world's different cultures. The pattern that we see in today's world of Islam's interaction with its culturally more advanced neighbors is exactly the same pattern of behaviour that Islam has demonstrated for the last 1400 years. History would be a great teacher in our current world situation, if only our media would inform us of it.

Dymphna said...

wild iris! How good to hear from you...

And for some of our more ummm, indolent lurkers, here is the link wild iris provided:

Musulmanbook

And here's an explanation on the page:

Islam and the Psychology of the Musulman, authored by Andre Servier, was published in French in 1922 and translated to English 1923. There are 16 chapters covering a wide array of topics...

Fluff from TL said...

fluffresponse:

It appears that your post remained intact and whatever happened with your account was corrected. I saw your post this evening, so you had already seen my response to the one posted here. I responded to your last post here.

-CF

FluffResponse said...

the reason for my request to converse here (aside from the company we'd keep) is that the local has tried to block me and partially succeeded; and i am again in a situation of no access. (i am being a bit unclear so as not to help those for whom free speech is an american excess instead of a way of getting to the best solutions to social problems, even when we do not all see a situation as a problem.) i may be able to see your answer sometime in future, but it would be best if you'd reproduce it here; otherwise, i may respond and you will by then be out of touch.

FluffResponse said...

meanwhile, here's another sign that the situation is a problem for the West (the article i'm referring to is on seditious Muslims in the Dutch and other military; for example, in france, they did not call out the military for the november riots because... oh, you know):

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1045

Archonix said...

For the record I have absolutely no qualms about calling this an arab problem. Originally I thought it was a muslim problem, but there are non-arab muslims who appear to be quite sane and rational. I'm sure I've mentioned family experiences in the country of Morocco, which is muslim, ruled by arabs, but majority black african of the, I guess, ethnic grouping called "Burbars". The burbars have a rich culture that the arab muslims tried to wipe out when they took over, but they never managed to do it. African moroccans, generally, don't trust the arabs and have nothing to do with them whenever possible; they say they're liars and cheats. Experience has confirmed this. My aunt and my parents both have tried to purchase appartments in various parts of Morocco - it's up-and-coming, property wise. My aunt dealt with an arab-owned company and so far they've basically treated her like crap, even going so far as to take money for an apartment she didn't want.

It's an arab problem. Arab culture is built on the premise of one-upmanship. What Lawrence of Arabian understood as "honour", in teh self-effacing greetings made by the arab welcoming you to his dwelling is just another part of that, wherein the guest and his host will compete to see who can make himself look the most humble.

It's certainly not a genetic thing. The arab is a cultural artefact, in much the same way that the englishman is a cultural artefact. People who spend enough time living in an arab culture will adopt the same ways of living in order to function more effectively in that culture. The question is, was it arab culture that created islam, or islam that made this arab culture? Probably they both made each other...

Fluff from TL said...

fluffresponse:

Would you consider continuing the discussion via email or else in "neutral" territory? I know my opinions will send some of the people here crawling up the walls in annoyance.

----------------------------------------------------------
My response to yours:

Onlooker wrote:
Hey, Cyberfluff: not sure why i was unable to get on yesterday; but fearing that my response to you had been deleted, i posted on Gates of Vienna. the result was that you and i were featured on 30 April, as may interest you:

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/


Your posting here came through fine. I responded.

Onlooker wrote:
thanks for your response. your belief that freedom of speech can be akin to terrorism -- and not (i think) only in extreme cases like shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre -- is disturbing; and fjordman is an important voice. but as this thread is still active, I now think that Sweden is not akin to the old Soviet Union. Perhaps the conversations in many threads and many homes will yet lead to stronger restrictions on immigration, as well as protections against creeping sharia.

take care.


I think recognizing the power of speech is essential. If it weren't powerful, it wouldn't be necessary to protect it's freedom and people wouldn't try to restrict it. With freedom comes responsibility and moral culpability. I find it disturbing that people will argue for freedom of speech, but are loathe to accept the responsibility that comes with it. If I can direct your attention here for a moment:

Jiminsf wrote:
i was on the train from stockholm to eskilstuna and watched a muslim student go into the bathroom on the train. she was watched by everyone on the train car. when she came out two guys went in looking for a bomb. when they came out they spit on her. she cried.

you guys better get a grip on the muslim culture so you are not thrown out of all countries.

when i looked at the girl student i saw fear. the others i saw hate, real, hate. in sweden!


(I've only quoted the relevant bit here.)

Fjordman (and others like him) are morally culpable for contributing to that kind of hate, even as Muslim clerics who preach hate toward the West are morally culpable when their followers act on the ideas expressed in that rhetoric.

I'm not sure if you intended your previous post to be the end of the discussion or not, so I'll let this stand as it is,

FluffResponse said...

Cyberfluff, i'd like you to simmer in my consciousness for a while, while i read up on some of the authors that i asked you to read. ("You mean that you asked me to read material that you hadn't?") Having started Eurabia, I am impressed that you read that book without becoming apoplectic. the accusation of european elites is that they have sold the europeans down a river of great sadness.

The assault on the girl by the boys on the train is unfortunate. The story reminds me not of the culpability of the truth tellers (the spitters probably never read Fjordman et al., and even if such readings contributed to the atmosphere, the atmosphere is far more poisoned by the belief that the Islamic immigration and creeping sharia are not a huge mistake. Perhaps the smiling embrace of islam on the part of so many stems from a fanciful history that teaches islam as having been kind to other cultures; or a fanciful reading of the Muslim political system to suggest that it is compatible with pluralism). Anyhow, I did not think of Fjordman, but of the phrase "clash of fascisms," and this article:

http://jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/006082.php

my continued suggestion is that every day, folks review the latest essays on jihadwatch.org, which is an important site for anti-jihad news and conversation. several people (in the thread you are now reading) suggested that the problem of Islam is a matter of Arab culture or Wahhabi literalism -- and no doubt some of the worst behavior is found among Arabs: 100 years of warfare against the Jews show the truth, for those not blinded by the plight of "Palestinians," who were created in the 1960s.

At jihadwatch, you will often find conversation about events in the non-Arab Muslim world. worthy of note.

Baron Bodissey said...

Fluff, FluffResponse --

As moderator, I must say that none of this is annoying. Keep up the conversation as long as you like; just keep it within the bounds of civility and don't be obscene, and your host will be happy.

FluffResponse said...

oh, i think that's probably the end of this thread.

i left a version of my last message on theLocal.se , mentioning tomorrow's local elections in england, where the British National Party will gain because the mainstream parties are not responding to the crisis. The BNP are bad folks, probably, but they've been given a place at the table by the silence of others.

Thanks for being.