Saturday, July 31, 2010

Islam is Both Theology and Politics

The following article was written by Kent Ekeroth, the international secretary for Sverigedemokraterna (Sweden Democrats), in reply to a blog post at the web site for Axess, a conservative Swedish magazine. The blog post criticized SD for inviting Robert Spencer to Sweden to speak about the threat of Islamic jihad.

Many thanks to Cavatus for the translation:

Kent Ekeroth: Shall we waste time on debating debates?

Kent Ekeroth of SDAnna Ekstrom recently wrote recently wrote an article on the blog Axess about my and the Sweden Democrats’ opinion on Islam after the participation of the Islam expert Robert Spencer during the Swedish political week in Almedalen on the island of Gotland. But the debate we ought to mention is the one that aims to answer the question: How can we ensure that the political aspects of Islam end up in the same ideological corner as Nazism? If Anna Ekstrom, Johan Lundberg or someone else want to debate this, I and the other Sweden Democrats will of course take part.

Recently an entertaining but rather unessential pseudo-debate has been flourishing among the Swedish public about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s real or imagined views. Such a discussion seems uninteresting to me, since it isn’t dedicated to a public discussion of cultural, political, and kindred subjects in any essential meaning: the debate deals with the alleged views of a third party. Anna Ekstrom now tries to initiate a similar pseudo-debate on Robert Spencer. Just as Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself may declare her own opinion, Robert Spencer may declare his own views. If Anna Ekstrom has questions about this, she should write to Spencer. I have no need to defend his views. Instead, I choose to focus on the debate about Islam and Islamism that should reasonably return readers a better profit.

Some clarifications: yes, there are Muslims who are peaceful, and yes, they have the right to practice their belief in private. But there are also Muslims who are not peaceful, who are ready to kill in the name of their God, and who dedicate their lives to adapting society to the political directions that are codified in the Islamic law, Sharia. There is no contradiction between saying that there are peaceful Muslims and saying that the Muslims who are violent and intolerant follow the same religion that do their peaceful fellow-believers.

It is in fact very simple: a religion is a set of rules, and in the case of Islam even a set of laws. Islam is both theology and politics — the politics is part of Sharia, which regulates everything from inheritance and divorce to what laws to apply in wartime. (One example chosen at random: the beheading of prisoners is lawful since Mohammed beheaded prisoners of war. It doesn’t get any better than that.)

Every aspect of man’s life is covered by Sharia. Every Muslim is free to ignore Sharia — the Muslim who does so disregards Islam’s political aspects and focuses instead on the experience of God, a “transcendent meeting with a divinity”, as Johan Lundberg expresses it. In the same article, Lundberg points out that Islam has come to be regarded as “synonymous with a set of laws and legal cases that mostly do not have much to convey to Swedish society in the 21st century”. This is correct: the laws that Lundberg mentions, Sharia, are not part of a modern, civilized, secular society.
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They are intolerant, they discriminate against women and non-Muslims, and they impose violence against non-Muslims and inhuman corporal punishment for “crimes” that at bottom are not crimes. A legislation that imposes capital punishment for infidelity is not legislation worth its name: it is a form of barbarism. These laws originate, however, with Islam; thus the set of theological doctrines and laws that have been codified by ulama and fuqaha over time, and that are regarded even today as normative by the “religious elite”, to a very great extent influence the non-Islamic debate.

And it is here where the problem appears: the problem is not so much those Muslims who completely ignore a central part of Islam (here I disregard the general problems that arise in a multiculture), namely Sharia, but the Muslims who take Islam and accordingly Sharia seriously and work to adapt their environment to Islam’s normative orthodoxy. It is here that we see the division between ordinary Muslims and so-called “Islamists”: the two groups follow the same prophet, read the same muniments, and consult the same religious elite for guidance. But it is when Sharia comes up on the agenda that the restrictions of freedom of religion, which are to be found in the 9th article of European Convention of Human rights, come into question.

It is important to note that even though there are Muslims who disregard Sharia, this does not imply that Sharia is not part of Islam. Islam and Muslims are not necessarily the same thing but as long as Islam looks as it does, i.e. includes Sharia, Muslims will take it seriously.

Those who try to practice the political aspects of Islam — those who normally are called Islamists — are not protected by freedom of religion. It is actually fully necessary to oppose political Islam, in order to protect our fundamental human rights. Islam’s schools of law command, for example, capital punishment if you leave Islam. At the same time, the right to become a convert is inscribed in the UN declaration of human rights. Here two legal systems come into conflict. To me it is apparent what system overrules the other: in a conflict with fundamental human rights — the rights denied by Sharia — Sharia will lose, always, without exception. It wouldn’t be necessary to explain why, but the one who still wonders is advised to study why “Islamists” and jihadists around the world do what they do.

For these groups are surprisingly willing to explain what motivates them: Sharia, and thus Islam. Al-Qaeda pretends to make a defensive jihad, which is a religious duty according to Sharia when Islam is regarded being under attack or oppressed by non-Muslims. Al-Shabaab blasts bombs in restaurants and digs up Sufi graves, since they are fighting for Sharia. The Taliban execute innocent people in their ambitions to establish Sharia in Afghanistan. And so on and so forth. These groups are jihadists — they take up arms and murder in the name of Allah since they take the Islamic law seriously.

Their ideological kinsmen, the “democratic Islamists” in organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, do not use violence, but have the exact the same goal: they work for the day when Islamic law will be prevail in the societies where they live. An internal document [pdf] that was presented as evidence during the Holy Land Foundation trial in the USA reveals the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood:

4- Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:

The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan 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 the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahideen be equal.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a far more dangerous organization than al-Qaeda and similar jihad organizations, since the former pretends to be peaceful. Their European umbrella organization, FIOE [pdf], has prominent friends in Sweden, for example Abdirisak Waberi, a candidate to the Swedish parliament for the party the Moderates. During the spring of 2008 they were invited to a conference in Sweden’s parliament on the theme “freedom of religion and speech”. The host for this event was Mehmet Kaplan. Thus we have a situation in which representatives for the organization whose ideological ancestor, Sayyid Qutb, inspired modern jihadism, is invited to Sweden’s parliament — in order to discuss the freedoms and rights that are denied by the legislation that this organization lobbies for — Sharia.

And it is here somewhere where the shoes chafe my feet. What exactly do Sweden’s Muslims do to handle these Islamists’ assiduous ambitions for influence? So far I have not noticed any efforts from, for example, Sweden’s young Muslims or the Peace Agents (Fredsagenterna) to stop Islamists like Waberi from getting into Sweden’s parliament. The question arises: if these organizations recommend peace and tolerance, why aren’t they acting against the Islamists? One thing is certain: absolutely the best way to respond to the “tepid” attitude of many Swedish non-Muslims towards Islam is to work against political Islam, sharia itself, and jihad in the sense of “holy war for the sake of Allah”. If Muslim organizations that work to convince non-Muslims of the fact that Islam is a religion of peace were instead to strive energetically for mastering so-called “Islamism”, they wouldn’t have to sell their message to non-Muslims. But instead they treat criticism from organizations like Sweden’s Young Muslims by shouting “Islamophobe”, which in reality should be interpreted as “Shut up!” Such an objection is far too simple and is not convincing.

Let me summarize: the right of the individual Muslim to practice his private faith is guaranteed by freedom of religion. The individual Muslim does not “by nature” behave in a certain manner — he can chose to disregard the message of violence that is an inevitable part of Sharia and thus of Islam, but he can also chose to adhere to this. But choosing not to follow the decree of Islam does not imply that these decrees do not exist — jihad in the sense of holy war with a view to invading non-Muslim states and replacing their laws with Muslim supremacy in form of Sharia (which is not the same as compulsory conversion), is part of Islamic law and is commanded by all the law schools in Islam. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban state for example that they wage jihad in order to defend Islam — are they doing the wrong thing according to Islam?

Those Muslims who choose to adhere to this legislation and implement it are called Islamists, and the project in which they are engaged is exactly contrary to the freedom and rights that our society is founded on. The political aspects of Islam are not protected by freedom of religion, and are best addressed through prohibition — outlaw Sharia and ban Islamist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no room for Islamists on the political scene in the Western world today. Where Islamists have implemented Islam’s political aspects, it is necessary to criticize these — and then you criticize Islam, since Sharia is a central part of Islam. Criticism of Islam is in reality necessary in order to find the solution to both so-called “Islamism” and jihadism. If you don’t even understand the ideology that is the driving force behind these movements, you cannot refute them.

The only debate we ought to have is the one that aims at answering the question: how can we ensure that the political aspects of Islam end up in the same ideological corner as Nazism? If Anna Ekstrom, Johan Lundberg or someone else wants to debate this, I and the other Sweden Democrats will of course be willing to participate. Is there someone who will take up the gauntlet, or shall we continue to waste time on debating debates?

Kent Ekeroth is the Sweden Democrats’ candidate for the parliament as number 16 on the ballot.

16 comments:

Henrik R Clausen said...

Islam is Both Theology and Politics

Permit me to dispute this. As far as I know, all major theological questions within Islam were settled in the 9th and 10th centuries, as pointed out by Robert R. Reilly in The Closing of the Muslim Mind.

Theological issues settled, Islam has no need for Reason, Philosophy or debates on the nature of Allah. What remains to be done is to apply the Law of Allah as precisely as possible, and let his Will reign supreme.

Needless to say, I consider that Bad Ideas...

GM Roper said...

There can be no doubt that Islam as a political entity is all about conquering the world and instituting Sharia. If the west and the east don't grasp that fact, then when they have a surprise coming at some point in their lives, or the lives of their children.

Time to wake up and stop pretending that that hungry tiger just over the rise is a gentle tabby cat.

NorseAlchemist said...

Good news, Everybody!

Looks like more people are starting to take a public stand and throw up their middle finger at Islam. I present you with the only thing that might draw more Ire than International Draw Mohamed Day.

International Burn a Quran Day.

Not my idea btw, though I admire the guts it takes to pull this off.

There's an interview about it on youtube and cnn, as well as a rapidly growing Facebook page.

I've got a little blog post about it up too. Just click the link at the top of my comment.

trencherbone said...

Islamic theology is moronic.

Yorkshireminer said...

I do not post here as much as I would like,I have wondered why? I think mainly because I agree wholeheartedly with what the commentators have to say.

Zenster said...

Islam is Both Theology and Politics

Slight − or not-so-slight − nitpick:

IF THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, THEN IT'S NOT A CHURCH … IT'S A STATE.

All valid religions must eschew theocracy or suffer being consigned, forcibly if needed, to history's scrapheap of failed ideologies. More than almost any one thing that has historically confounded human achievement it is theocracy − and Islam especially − which embodies the retrogressive mindset.

Just as corruption is the wellspring of this world's ethical and moral woes, so is theocracy the overwhelming source of our planet's spiritual shortcomings.

How can we ensure that the political aspects of Islam end up in the same ideological corner as Nazism?

It will be of immense service to the counter-jihad if this one issue can be made a pivot point for all future public discussion of Islam. Few things are more vital than defusing Muslim attempts at tarring opponents of shari'a with the label of "Nazi" and assuring that Islam is painted into Hitler's own bloodsoaked, genocidal corner.

Some clarifications: yes, there are Muslims who are peaceful, and yes, they have the right to practice their belief in private.

This is a folly which needs to be dispensed with post haste. Muslims that refuse to embrace any use of violence in the furthering of Islam are blasphemers who are to be killed by more pious Muslims. Full stop. There can be no equivocation or debate about this central and motivating aspect of Islamic jihad.

It is here that we see the division between ordinary Muslims and so-called “Islamists”: the two groups follow the same prophet, read the same muniments, and consult the same religious elite for guidance.

The only problem being is that there is no "division". It is a false construct for the same reasons that I have posted above. Pious Muslims all must support and further global shari'a or risk expulsion from Islam in the form of capital punishment.

It is important to note that even though there are Muslims who disregard Sharia, this does not imply that Sharia is not part of Islam.

Again, this is a fallacious construct for reasons already mentioned. All Muslims must agitate − violently if necessary − for the global imposition of shari'a. However, the latter half of the quoted equation is of the utmost importance with respect to informing Westerners about the inseperable nature of Islam and shari'a.

Those who try to practice the political aspects of Islam — those who normally are called Islamists — are not protected by freedom of religion.

Again, the same fallacious construct. By definition all pious Muslims must "practice the political aspects of Islam" and, therefore, "are not protected by freedom of religion". This is how Islam eventually must come to be banned in civilized societies. There is no alternative as Islam is an intolerably retrograde force that is wholly incompatible and imiscible with Western culture.

Islam and Muslims are not necessarily the same thing but as long as Islam looks as it does, i.e. includes Sharia, Muslims will take it seriously.

This is self-contradictory. Islam and Muslims are the same thing and therein lies the root and branch of this entire issue.

… in a conflict with fundamental human rights — the rights denied by Sharia — Sharia will lose, always, without exception.

Given this, then the time is now to begin rolling back Islam along with the cultural and moral filth it represents.

Zenster said...

What exactly do Sweden’s Muslims do to handle these Islamists’ assiduous ambitions for influence? So far I have not noticed any efforts from, for example, Sweden’s young Muslims or the Peace Agents (Fredsagenterna) to stop Islamists like Waberi from getting into Sweden’s parliament. The question arises: if these organizations recommend peace and tolerance, why aren’t they acting against the Islamists?

As with insuring that "the political aspects of Islam end up in the same ideological corner as Nazism", so must the thundering silence of Muslims and Liberals regarding shari'a law's barbarism be highlighted.

If Muslim organizations that work to convince non-Muslims of the fact that Islam is a religion of peace were instead to strive energetically for mastering so-called “Islamism”, they wouldn’t have to sell their message to non-Muslims.

Insert hysterical laughter >here<.

The author clearly has no concept of taqiyya. Any "Muslim organizations that work to convince non-Muslims of the fact that Islam is a religion of peace" are furthering jihad.

In its current form, Islam will never be, has never been and most definitely is not a "religion of peace" save for Muslims themselves. Even then, Muslims do not get much peace out of the deal either. As for non-Muslims the only "peace" they will ever see from Islam is the "peace" of the grave.

Let me summarize: the right of the individual Muslim to practice his private faith is guaranteed by freedom of religion.

More fallacious hogwash. Freedom of religion does not apply if that "private faith" includes the promotion and advocacy of seditious, anti-Constitutional activity which Islam incontrovertibly demands of all its followers.

The individual Muslim … can chose to disregard the message of violence that is an inevitable part of Sharia and thus of Islam…

While, most likely, not intentionally delivered as such, this is a lie that desperately needs to be debunked. MUSLIMS ARE IN NO WAY FREE TO DISREGARD ISLAMIC DOCTRINE IN ANY PART OR WHOLE WHATSOEVER. FULL STOP.

… jihad in the sense of holy war with a view to invading non-Muslim states and replacing their laws with Muslim supremacy in form of Sharia (which is not the same as compulsory conversion), is part of Islamic law and is commanded by all the law schools in Islam.

It is astonishing to see Kent Ekeroth make such discerning observations about Islam even as he demonstrates an almost willful blindness to Islam's intrinsically triumphalist nature.

If one examines the fate of all other cultures subsumed by Islam, it is patently clear that "Muslim supremacy in form of Sharia" is the same "as compulsory conversion". Along with being the poster boy for intolerance, Islam is also the pluperfect example of a mono-culture.

The political aspects of Islam are not protected by freedom of religion, and are best addressed through prohibition — outlaw Sharia and ban Islamist organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Doing this is tantamount to banning Islam itself and I am most definitely not saying that like it's a bad thing.

There is no room for Islamists on the political scene in the Western world today.

Close but no cigar. Stop mincing words. It will be death of us all.

There is no room for Islam in the Western world today.

Where Islamists have implemented Islam’s political aspects, it is necessary to criticize these — and then you criticize Islam, since Sharia is a central part of Islam.

Here, the author finally purchases a clue.

Criticism of Islam is in reality necessary in order to find the solution to both so-called “Islamism” and jihadism.

If by "criticism" the author means "the application of superior firepower", then I could not agree more.

Zenster said...

The only debate we ought to have is the one that aims at answering the question: how can we ensure that the political aspects of Islam end up in the same ideological corner as Nazism?

Here, Ekeroth is on the money and has, at the very least, established a solid starting point for all further discussion.

Is there someone who will take up the gauntlet, or shall we continue to waste time on debating debates?

Those that engage in "debating debates" are nothing more or less than jihadist enablers who increasingly risk being recognized for what they really are; namely part of the problem and not the solution. They may continue to do so but only at their own dire peril.

Henrik R Clausen: Theological issues settled, Islam has no need for Reason, Philosophy or debates on the nature of Allah. What remains to be done is to apply the Law of Allah as precisely as possible, and let his Will reign supreme.

Le bingo!

NorseAlchemist: International Burn a Quran Day.

As a dedicated bibliophile, book burning presents some seriously conflicting issues for me.

But(t) please let me know when somebody is ready to "roll" out the Qur'an on toilet paper, I'm all set to get "behind" that idea.

EscapeVelocity said...

Zenster, you should be down with the Koran burning, since you seem to be quite militant.

Heinrich Heine: “Where books are burned in the end people will burn.”

Zenster said...

EscapeVelocity: Zenster, you should be down with the Koran burning, since you seem to be quite militant.

Heinrich Heine: “Where books are burned in the end people will burn.”


I resent your implications and suggest that you retract them immediately.

I almost cited Heine's timeless quotation myself.

Properly applied anti-jihadist militancy does not require nor does it support the sort of totalitarianism that burns books and libraries. Islam proudly maintains an almost airtight patent on that benighted mindset.

Feel free to post your apology anytime.

EscapeVelocity said...

Glass Sheets, baby!

No retraction, forthcoming.

You need to make it clear that you advocate policies designed to avoid Glass Sheets, instead of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

Zenster said...

EscapeVelocity: You need to make it clear that you advocate policies designed to avoid Glass Sheets, instead of advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

Please provide a cite with links and verbatim quotes showing where I have been "advocating pre-emptive nuclear strikes" against Islam. If you cannot do that, then you have yet another statement to retract.

EscapeVelocity said...

Not interested.

It would be much easier for you to repudiate pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Muslims and Muslim nations, clearly and concisely here.

That would clear up the matter, very quickly.

I wont be retracting any statements. They are my observations, stated plainly. Maybe Im wrong. Maybe you always used phraseology which gives you an out.

I really dont care.

Its clear that you are always talking about Sheets of Glass in Muslim Nations or areas.

Which is extremely distasteful rhetoric. Militant.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Where books are burned in the end people will burn.

That really depends on which books meet the fire!

If, say, Mein Kampf had been incinerated, each and every copy, the world probably would not have been the least worse off...

Zenster said...

EscapeVelocity: Its clear that you are always talking about Sheets of Glass in Muslim Nations or areas.

I do that because, it is exactly where they are headed WITH OR WITHOUT Western intervention.

Clearly, you have not been paying very close attention to my routine predictions of a Muslim holocaust.

Yet one more time, I will cite Wretchard's magnum opus, "The Three Conjectures":

The most startling result of this analysis is that a catastrophic outcome for Islam is guaranteed whether America retaliates or not. Even if the President decided to let all Americans die to expiate their historical guilt, why would Islamic terrorists stop after that? They would move on to Europe and Asia until finally China, Russia, Japan, India or Israel, none of them squeamish, wrote -1 x 10^9 in the final right hand column. They too would be prisoners of the same dynamic, and they too have weapons of mass destruction.

Even if Islam killed every non-Muslim on earth they would almost certainly continue to kill each other with their new-found weaponry. Revenge bombings between rival groups and wars between different Islamic factions are the recurring theme of history. Long before 3,000 New Yorkers died on September 11, Iraq and Iran killed 500,000 Muslims between them. The greatest threat to Muslims is radical Islam; and the greatest threat of all is a radical Islam armed with weapons of mass destruction.


Unfortunately, Western powers do not have the luxury of just sitting back and watching Islam immolate itself. Far too much of its own population and priceless heritage will be vaporized by nuclear terrorist attacks before Muslims finally get around to obliterating themselves in their usual orgy of argument over Islamic "purity".

Neither do I have the moral luxury of anticipating such a horrible outcome for a quarter of this world's population without making some attempt at averting it. I do this by seeking to increase public awareness regarding how spinelees Western political leadership is working hand-in-hand with Islam to bring about this Muslim holocaust.

Through a combination of inaction, appeasement and outright enablement, these Western political traitors are encouraging Islam to paint itself into a coffin corner from which a minuscule fraction of its original population will have any chance of emerging.

I find this as needless as it is repugnant and do my best to provide an unflinching depiction of what awaits individual Muslims and Islam as a whole should it prove itself incapable of reigning in the jihadists. If such a grim picture cannot forestall what, from all existing measures, is inevitable, Islam will have no one but itself to blame.

Finally, EscapeVelocity, you may think that you have the luxury of casting around baseless aspersions but, in reality, all you really are doing is undermining your reputation and credibility as a commentor of any worth here at Gates of Vienna. That you seem to contradict your own supposedly Christian morals is something that is strictly between you and your Maker.

Disregarding the rules of order for proper forensic exchange will get you nothing but scorn from those who make an honest effort at engaging in legitimate debate.

Again, you may think that "It would be much easier for you to repudiate pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Muslims and Muslim nations, clearly and concisely here" but the task is yours for having made the accusation.

If you hadn't noticed, that's how ethics work. The person making such accusations bears responsibility for producing proof of those allegations. Using smear tactics is and always has been an illegitimate ploy which cuts no ice with me.

laine said...

Let's say for the sake of the author's argument that there are peaceful moderate Muslims who worship Allah but choose not to follow or promote sharia. Why are they not countering their Islamist sharia-loving co-religionists? After all, if the putative moderates' sincere intention is to remain free of sharia, then it's in their interest to stop its spread in the West.

The numbers of those willing to stick their heads out above the parapets are so small, you can name them by name, one or a handful per country! e.g. Tarek Fatah and Salim Mansur in Canada, half a dozen in the US, most of whom have written a book or two.

What's the point of maintaining there are more? If they won't speak up now, when they have all the protections of a large non-Muslim population surrounding them, how on earth does anyone expect them to do it when Muslims create No-go areas, build mega mosques with Saudi money, and commit bombings? Whether they exist or not, the moderates are functionally not there, just as moderate Germans didn't stop their extremists from running the show.

EVERY Muslim is a potential sharia convert, especially when push comes to shove. They can turn on a dime. In fact, if I had a dime for every time some Muslim bomber's closest relatives exclaim that they couldn't see it coming because he was "never particularly religious", I'd be rich.