The problem, according to him, is that Europeans who are mostly unfamiliar with our blog are likely to misconstrue our positions. Because we are Americans, and because we strongly support Israel, we are pegged as liberal neocon arch-Zionists or some such contradictory confection of Eurononsense.
So the Swede got me to thinking.
At the risk of degrading our reputation even further in the eyes of our Nordic detractors, I’ll attempt to lay out the current position of Gates of Vienna on Islam, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, the EU, and all the other issues relating to our core mission.
The Left has recently become fairly monolithic in its alliance with and support for Islam. By adopting the time-honored anti-imperialist, anti-American, and anti-capitalist rhetoric of the Marxists, Muslims have managed to make common cause with Greens and Socialists across the entire Western world.
The Right, however, remains divided on the topic of Islam. Some traditional conservatives view orthodox Islam — which does, after all, display a notable moral rectitude — as less of a threat to the West than the native modern depravity of popular culture, with its emphasis on mass consumption, hedonism, promiscuity, homosexuality, and mindless self-gratification.
Such thinking, however, remains a minor strain among conservatives. The central argument on the Right is between those who believe that a “moderate Islam” exists, and those who think it is a mirage. It is personified by Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer, one of whom believes in reaching out to “moderate Muslims” and nurturing them, while the other considers Islam itself to be irredeemable, and the idea of a “moderate Islam” a chimera.
The jury is still out on this question, of course. But in four years of blogging it I haven’t seen any signs of a moderate form of Islam. There are plenty of Muslims who are moderates, of course — people who lead normal lives, don’t brutalize their families or kill apostates, and don’t strive to institute a new Caliphate through violence, intimidation, and deception. But they are “moderates” to the extent that they don’t practice their faith. They are MINOs (Muslims in Name Only), or unannounced apostates, or Muslims who pay very little attention to their religion.
The sad fact remains that there is no significant alternative within Islam to the “radical” version if one wants to be a practicing Muslim in a faith community. Any Muslim who turns to the roots of his faith in the Koran and the hadith finds a blueprint for violence, intolerance, and bestial treatment of women and non-Muslims. He discovers that his faith requires him to make war against non-Muslims until the entire world submits to Allah, or to die in the attempt. He learns that the precepts of Islam govern his life down to the minutest of details, including which shoe to put on first and in what direction to face when urinating.
There are a few Muslim scholars who would like to abandon the hadith entirely and re-interpret the Koran to edit out the violent and intolerant parts, in order to bring Islam into line with the modern world. But these courageous individuals face insurmountable obstacles — the tenets of Islam insist that the core scriptures are the immutable word of Allah, and may not be changed or interpreted. Not only that, anyone who dares to attempt such a project is the worst of heretics and deserves to be killed.
Needless to say, these conditions tend to put a damper on Islamic revisionism.
For the nations of the West, there is always a danger that a resident community of peaceful “moderate” Muslims can mutate into hotbed of radicals.
The earliest Pakistani arrivals in the UK were moderates. The immigrants in the 1960s came primarily for the economic opportunities in Britain, and had little overt interest in Islam, radical or otherwise.
But Islam tagged along with them. They built mosques — or mosques were built for them — in their adopted home, and they attended them occasionally, marrying and raising their families in the general Islamic traditions of the old country. Their children underwent religious instruction in the mosque schools, and the mosques remained centers of social and cultural life for the immigrant community.
And somehow, three or four decades later, these same mosques were turning out young fundamentalist firebrands who were ready to die for Allah while taking as many kuffar as possible with them.
These newly-minted mujahideen were born in Britain, raised in Britain, and educated in the most multiculturally tolerant state schools to be found anywhere in the Western world. Most of their parents were moderates, their communities were moderate, and yet they were drawn to vilest and most radical version of Islam like a moth to the flame.
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Because they decided to become good Muslims, unlike their parents, and study the Koran and the hadith. Because their instructors at the mosque were devoted scholars of Islam who understood the core meaning of the scriptures and were able to transmit that knowledge to them.
Because they became devoted, practicing, observant Muslims. That’s why.
Those who hope for an Islamic Reformation don’t realize what they’re wishing for.
Significant portions of Islam already have reformed. The Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen) is a successful reform movement. So is Al Qaeda. So is Hizb ut-Tahrir. All of these groups have abandoned the distorted and adulterated modern versions of their faith and returned to the original, true, pure Islam.
That’s why they’ve become murderous terrorists: Muslims who strive to recover the precepts of their faith are drawn inexorably to the violence inherent in core Islamic doctrine as defined in the Koran and the hadith.
The best we can hope for is more lapsed Muslims. More falling away from the traditions of Islam. More worldly, non-practicing Muslims who go to the mosque only when social politeness requires them to. More Muslims who never read the Koran and hardly ever spare a thought for Allah.
However, as we’ve seen in Britain, the above condition is no guarantee that future generations of the faithful won’t discover the True Religion. As long as there are imams who are well-versed in the Koran and ready to educate the young, the danger will remain.
Not only that, there’s the niggling little problem of taqiyya, divinely-sanctioned mendacity for the sake of protecting and advancing Islam. Sleeper cells of devoted radicals can be (and have been) planted in the West, mimicking moderate secular Muslims and waiting months, years, or decades until the time is ripe for full jihad.
There seems to be no getting away from it: the problem is Islam itself.
So what is to be done?
This is where I part company with many other anti-jihad people: I want to consider, define, and elaborate programs which might have an actual chance of being implemented within the foreseeable future.
It’s all very well to call for an end to all Muslim immigration and a policy of containment directed at Muslim countries. I can agree with that.
It’s all very well to demand the closure of Islamic schools, a halt to the building of mosques, and the deportation of all violent immigrant Muslims. I can agree with that.
But there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that these policies will be enacted. In the current political climate they are simply impossible to implement. Both major parties in the United States believe in the Islam-means-peace meme, and both of them are certain that the best policy is to make alliances with “moderate” regimes like those in Pakistan and Kosovo.
No American political figure of national stature is willing to go on record talking about the actualities of Islam. Not only would he face a full-bore media assault as a “racist” if he did, but Saudi money has been spread so widely and corrupted so deeply that our political structures are seriously damaged, perhaps irreparably. Members of the federal government are even officially forbidden to associate “Islam” and “jihad” with “terrorism”. That’s how bad it’s gotten.
As a result, if we want to effect change, we must set our sights lower.
One tactic is to avoid talking about Islamic immigration and advocate reducing all immigration to a tiny trickle. It’s not as if twenty million more unassimilated Mexicans would be good for the country, right? So close the borders and deport the criminals, regardless of their religion or country of origin. Such a policy would be immensely popular, and is at least imaginable within the not-so-distant future.
Another important tactic is to fight sharia and not “Islam”. The fact that you can’t have one without the other is irrelevant; it’s much more politically feasible to oppose sharia rather than Islam. Forcing Muslims to defend Islamic law exposes the illiberal nature of Islam, and reveals the fact that the tenets of sharia run contrary to the traditions, laws, and constitutions of all Western countries. When Islam is forced to defend sharia in the West, it finds itself in a very weak and vulnerable position.
While all this is going on, it’s important to track terrorist financing. This can be difficult, because powerful figures — former congressmen and senators, ex-cabinet members, and lobbyists for both parties — are on the Saudi payroll. Exposing these connections to the light of day is a tough job, and can be a career-killer for those whose livelihoods depend on the government or large philanthropic organizations. Even so, it’s a job that needs to be done, and dedicated people are out there doing it.
Finally, and most importantly, we must struggle to maintain our civil liberties. As recent events in Canada, Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands have shown, freedom of speech is being rapidly degraded. If current trends continue, our ability to get the word out in a public forum will be severely circumscribed, and the task of resistance will become that much more difficult.
Just for the sake of argument, let’s imagine that United States has come to its senses, halted all Muslim immigration, and somehow successfully contained Muslims within existing Islamic countries.
What about Europe?
Millions of Muslims already live in Europe, and many of those have been there for two or three generations. With a declining native population and a high birth rate among the Muslims, Europe will continue to experience severe problems with Islamic zealots even in the unlikely event that immigration is halted.
A Muslim majority (or near-majority) in any European country would not be in the interests of the United States. A Europe overrun by Islam would pose a severe security threat to us, one that would be much more difficult to deal with than Saudi Arabia or Iran. So it’s important to look for policies that have a chance of working for Europe as well as the United States.
The problem is much more severe and urgent in Europe, and the vehicle for the approaching disaster is the EU. Even Europe-hating Americans will find it in their best interests to look for solutions that help the Counterjihad in Europe and slow the EU juggernaut.
I asserted above that none of the policies demanded by dedicated right-wingers — a halt to Muslim immigration, containment, mass deportation, the destruction of Mecca, etc. — are realizable in the current political climate.
But that climate can change at a moment’s notice. Mujahideen all over the world are desperate to get a suitcase nuke or a bucket of ricin into a major population center in the United States. Given the number of zealots who intend to do us harm, and the current sieve that we call our borders, it’s all but inevitable that a deadly catastrophe will eventually occur, devastating our economy and ushering in a brand new political climate within the space of a few short weeks.
At that point the situation becomes chaotic and unpredictable, and many of the stringent measures advocated by the Islamophobes — plus even more horrific ones — are likely to be implemented.
However, chances are they’ll be implemented not by the existing political system, but by a Strong Man who will emerge at the moment of crisis, a Pinochet, a Mussolini, or a Lenin whose time has finally come.
There are some among our readers who may look forward to our rescue by the Strong Man, nationalists who long for a determined individual to break through the current political logjam and take the necessary actions.
But I am not one of them.
Strong men and authoritarian governments do not like independent-minded citizens. They don’t want people who can think outside the box.
They want sheep, and the same sheep who now submit meekly to political correctness — the ones who believe that no child should be left behind, that racism is our greatest problem, and that Islam is a religion of peace — will also be the sheep under the new regime. They will gladly assent to the policy that all Muslims must be deported and Mecca must be nuked. They’ll eagerly await the nightly television address from El Jefe Maximo, whoever he might be, and nod in agreement with his words.
Oh yes, it will be a bad time indeed. Muslims and former political leaders may well be strung up from lampposts when the day arrives.
But you and I and other people like us — people who can think and reason for themselves — will become the zeks of the new regime. After the crisis — assuming that we even survive — we’ll be breaking up rocks in quarries and hauling timber in the work camps. The new gulag will be waiting for the likes of us.
And that, among other reasons, is why I don’t welcome the prospect of the Strong Man.
Pray that we manage to achieve incremental change before the cataclysm arrives. Strive to work within the existing system, because the one that follows it is all too likely to be much, much worse.
Note: I have reworded the first paragraph of this post to be more accurate about the location of the criticism in the Swedish blog.