Friday, February 18, 2011

A Sense of Place: Where We’ve Been

2011 Winter Quarterly Fundraiser, Day Three

When we began blogging we had a clear idea of which issues we thought were important but both of us knew that where we were headed was an unknown. It is one thing to have goals — in this case, to both fight against the undermining of Western culture by Islam and to rally people to Israel’s defense in order to further protect that culture. It is quite another to understand where this Garden of Forking Paths would lead us. Sometimes it is a blessing not to know the future.

We never planned to be a portal to Europe for Americans, but that’s what happened. Our job description grew in small, almost off-hand ways in the beginning. Then it became a long walk through the valley of the shadow of death for a while, and now it is something we never dreamed: a true, multi-continental effort that even crosses the equator. Who’d have thought?

The beginning of our journey toward things European occurred with a post I wrote in April 2005, “Buy the Book”. I’d found a news story on Middle East Online, of all places, on Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II. Their editorial interest lay in Danish royalty’s opinions about Islamic fundamentalism:

Queen Margrethe of Denmark

[She] warned against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Denmark and the world in a new book out on Thursday, saying people must on occasion “show their opposition to Islam”.

“It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and very lazy,” she said in the authorized biography “Margrethe” written by journalist Annelise Bistrup.

While she did not specifically refer to fundamentalism, she spoke of “these people for whom religion is their entire lives”.

This was a shocker. A European leader who spoke plainly about the problem?? Where was Queen Elisabeth? Never mind; we’d already seen Prince Charles in his jalabiya.

We became immediately interested in this Queen Margrethe and in her country.

As it turned out, her subjects returned our interest. And, of course, we were developing a correspondence and mutual interests with another Scandinavian, Fjordman — whom I later named “The Dark Prophet of Norway”. He has continued to live up to his soubriquet.

Tip jarWe focused on these countries, especially the problems being swept under the rug by Sweden… only Fjordman kept pulling up the rug and pointing to the sweepings. The takeover became harder to ignore; the active collusion of the Swedish government to flood the country with Muslim immigrants while refusing to discuss the resulting problems was shocking. True, what Islamic countries did to and against their citizens was barbaric, but these things — honor killings, rapes, attacks on Jews, etc., — were happening in Europe, in one of the wealthiest, most sedate of the modern welfare states on this planet.

The learning curve on the fact of the Islamization of Europe by a flood of immigrants was not an easy one to master. It ran contrary to everything we thought we knew about “civilized” Europe, an ancient place full of distinct cultures and languages. It’s deeply unsettling when everything you thought you knew turns out to be wrong.

The Anglo-Saxon world, if you excluded the sovietization of the UK, felt more secure. But that, too, was an illusion, as we were to discover. Slowly, as the idea of a Counterjihad alliance was born, we turned to the earlier voices who had warned us: Bat Ye’or, Oriana Fallaci, Phyllis Chesler, Mark Steyn. The rigid criminalization of speech into categories of hate — in Canada, in Denmark, in Austria, in Finland — was essentially disturbing. In our own country it was more subtle and less marked.

Denmark’s newspaper, Jyllands Posten brought things to a head with the Motoons. Or rather, they began the process. When the cartoons were originally published, they were little remarked upon in the Arab world. An Egyptian newspaper ran an account of the story, but there was no public pushback until…until a Danish imam made a tour of Middle Eastern countries with copies of the cartoons laced with much uglier pictures he’d inserted himself, just to get the conflagration going.

He succeeded quite well. Most Western media refused to run the cartoons. Middle Eastern countries began a boycott of Danish products. Arab politicians and diplomats began their pressure on Denmark’s Prime Minister to punish the newspaper. No matter how often it was explained to them, the concept of free speech didn’t sink in. It can’t. Free speech is as far from Sharia Law as you can get.

Meanwhile, Europe continued down the Yellow Brick Road with the so-called Constitution (now the Treaty of Lisbon) that no European country wanted but everyone got anyway. It’s clear that if the economic hard times don’t destroy this artificial union, the cultural cracks will certainly widen enough for all the bureaucrats in Brussels to eventually fall in.

The Counterjihad alliances in Europe have continued their work with one another. People from very different places have come together, moving past their language barriers to weave an informal, robust network of information-sharing. Would that the groups in America cooperated as cohesively as our allies across the Atlantic.

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Among the many surprises in this journey has been the continued level of interest by wise Americans who want to know what is going on beyond our borders. Yes, we have a large European audience, but it is smaller than our readership in the U.S. This gives me hope that beyond our differences and beyond the distances involved, we can work to our mutual benefit to defeat those who would have us live under some universalist yoke, be it transnational oligarchs or Islam’s various — and lethally opposed — versions of their unrealistic Ummah.

Many Americans realize we are no longer separated from others by distance or by disparities in wealth. Our economic ruin, whether deliberate or not, will serve to bring our expectations into line with the rest of the world. We have learned the folly of throwing money at problems that were created by money in the first place.

Americans who read Gates of Vienna are conservatives. The rare liberal who wanders in doesn’t stay long. They are, for the most part, fiscal conservatives. Their social philosophies regarding marriage, abortion, etc., are probably more varied. The fact that these subjects don’t come up much for discussion is obvious: other things have taken a back seat to our survival as a Western-based culture. In that respect, Israel is our canary in the coal mine. If we don’t ensure that she has air to breathe, we’re the walking dead ourselves.

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Our donors today, some of them coming in multiples from the same place, are:

Stateside:

California, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas

Near Abroad:

Canada

Far Abroad:

Australia, Iceland, and the UK

Many thanks to all of you, in all of your diverse places. Your generosity keeps us going.


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8 comments:

Polymath said...

I had not realized, since I have only been frequenting this blog since last summer, that part of your original mission was to "rally people to Israel's defense". I haven't seen so much of that recently. The canary in the coal mine analogy is apt, but that doesn't mean that efforts to save the canary will make the mine safer. Israel is important because it is an ally against the spread of Islam and can do some of the fighting for us, and because, despite the insanity exhibited by our ruling classes in talking about Israel, it provides the clearest illustration for ordinary people of how dangerous, irrational, backward, stupid, and wicked the Muslim world is.

But we should be careful not to let support for Israel in its struggle with Muslims prevent us from seeing when its interests do not coincide with those of other Western countries, and not to let it prevent us from discussing frankly the role of Jews in creating and maintaining some of our current social problems.

David Horowitz's vicious and dishonest hit piece yesterday against Ron Paul,

Ron Paul Is A Vicious Anti-Semite and Anti-American and Conservatives Need To Wash Their Hands of Him


illustrates the need for clarity and honesty here.

shewholives said...

You mention that most people coming to visit your site are conservatives and that the lone liberal does not stay long. I am a pro-choice Democrat who wandered over to your site many years ago, as I was an early fan of Little Green Footballs. As you mentioned, it is best that the social issues take a back seat as we work together in the counterjihad movement. Thanks to all.

syntec said...

I have to congratulate Polymath for his/her submission to the debate.

The points echoed in this response are spot on.

and

yes, I read that same article by David Horowitz just 2 days ago.

However, we mustn't overlook the fact that there are, fortunately, also genuine Jewish participants involved in the fight to save European civilization too, but they need to publically renounce without reservation - which also means actively working openly against the elements within their ethnicity who have been trying to destroy European gentiles and their civilisation for many centuries including right up to the present day, otherwise those genuine Jews run the risk of being perceived in similar fashion to those elusive moderate Muslims leading to the total breakdown of trust of them by the indigenous peoples of Europes.

Should the latter be permitted to happen then the Jews are on their own against the Far Left and their Islamofascist comrades.

on-my-own-in-berkeley said...

Syntec,

This also applies to the Presbyterians and Methodists who are working--as organized groups-- against our traditional Western civilization. Otherwise, the Presbyterians and Methodists will be on their own against the Far Left and their Islamofascist comrads.

syntec said...

on-my-own-in-berkeley

"This also applies to the Presbyterians and Methodists who are working--as organized groups-- against our traditional Western civilization. Otherwise, the Presbyterians and Methodists will be on their own against the Far Left and their Islamofascist comrads."

Quite right!

Some mainstream Christian denominations have successfuly been infiltrated by the Far Left decades ago and it's imperative the hierarchies of the still faithful churches collectively expose the corrupted.

Dymphna said...

@ on=my-own & syntec:

Let's not forget the suicidal Episcopalians -- ECUSA. Our small church rolls on, sans any feeling of connection to the larger diocese with its endless, trite and deadly boring "Racism Workshops".

And the Unitarians are pretty clueless, too.

I find it hard to respect any church that sets itself up, in conrtravention of the law, as a sanctuary for illegal aliens while ignoring the plight of their own underclass poor right under their noses.
-----
There is no sect, no synagogue, no religious band of brothers who can say "here there is no fault to be found". In fact, the jokes Jews make against themselves about in-fighting are pretty amusing and with different content could be made to fit into that genre of "How many Amish does it take to screw in a light bulb" jokes.
-----------------

Syntec, I'm missing a subtext here. YOu say:

genuine Jewish participants involved in the fight to save European civilization too, but they need to publically renounce without reservation - which also means actively working openly against the elements within their ethnicity who have been trying to destroy European gentiles and their civilisation for many centuries including right up to the present day...

What are the specifics to which you refer? Where are Jews now trying to destroy Gentiles? I'm not trying to be provocative, I'd like to know about this.

Haven't read the Horowitz essay bu it sounds unfortunate. I have no idea of Ron Paul's sentiments one way or another re Jews. Or blacks. Or Islam, for that matter. Ron Paul is famous for his intransigence against govt corruption at all levels, including the one in which he works. Is that not enough?

Like most people, I find him a bit whacky re our foreign policy, but there are others who can handle that more wisely than he would. I just want him to keep pounding away at our fiscal irresponsibility.

I stand with Israel and her fight for survival for selfish reasaons: should Israel go, we're dead meat. The Saudis are, too, and they work surreptitiously to make sure she isn't over-run by Islamic fundamentalist crazies. Such an event would make life intolerable for the Saudis and they know it well.

Our coverage of Israel is in fits and starts as things heat up there or cool down. So many people are covering that subject with much better understanding than ours. I would imagine that when Hamas and Hezbollsh join forces to make big trouble in South Lebanon again -- this summer?-- we'll be covering it once more.

But for the time being it's mostly Hate Speech Crimes and various other insanities in the Old World which preoccupy us for hte moment.

Here in the US, when we do cover it, our focus of late has been the subtle erosion of our own First Amendment rights and the inroads Sharia Law is making here. Those are a growing concern. Soon only the very wealthy will be able to afford to lawyer up when they speak their minds.

on-my-own-in-berkeley said...

Dymphna,

My comment was ironic. I really appreciate your comments.


Syntec,

Along with Jews, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Unitarians, mainstream Catholics and we must not forget the Lutherans, who are working against our traditional civilization, may I suggest that we should look at--first and foremost--the academics. As a group, college and university professors may have the largest percentage of PC multiculti/socialist/communisit believers of any other group--religious or otherwise.

I'd also like to suggest the following GoV post, including all of the comments at the end of the post, especially the comments of the post's author.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2011/01/art-of-strategic-citizenship-part-3.html

Peter said...

Jyllands Posten is not Denmarks newspaper, it is one among many, one of the few big ones.