This is the final installment of an eight-part history of the Transatlantic Counterjihad. Links to the first seven parts are at the bottom of this post.
Once again, thank you to the Counterjihad Collective for undertaking this project.
A Brief History of the Transatlantic Counterjihad
by the Counterjihad Collective
VII. Observations and General Conclusions
In the Classical Liberal Tradition: The Transatlantic Counterjihad
Observers on the political scene and in the mainstream media generally refer to the opponents of sharia as “right-wing extremists”. Commentators routinely place anti-Islamization activists beyond the pale of acceptable political discourse, and always far to the “right”.
Nothing could be further from the truth: the Counterjihad stands squarely in the middle of the classical liberal tradition. Consider some of the characteristics of the anti-sharia movement:
- Civil Liberties. Those who oppose Islamization are strong advocates of civil liberties as defined by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They are especially adamant about the right to speak and publish freely, since this right is the one most frequently infringed by states wishing to silence them. Their opponents, on the other hand, strive to constrain speech that criticizes Islam or sharia, or that offends Muslims. Such suppression helps enforce one of the most basic tenets of Islamic law.
- The rights of women. Critics of sharia object to the provisions of Islamic law that relegate women to second-class status, deny them the right to vote, reduce the weight of their testimony in a court of law, and otherwise infringe upon what the West considers their universal rights. Opponents of the Counterjihad take the illiberal position that Islam’s treatment of women is “cultural”, and therefore sacrosanct under the doctrine of Multiculturalism.
- The rights of homosexuals. Islam mandates severe punishments for homosexuality, including death. Critics of sharia strongly support the rights of gay people to have freedom in their intimate relations. Opponents of the Counterjihad are reduced to supporting Islamic regimes that put homosexuals to death.
- Religious freedom. Islam forbids its adherents to convert out of the faith, or to become atheists. This is termed “apostasy”, and the punishment prescribed by all major schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite, is death. The Counterjihad takes the traditionally liberal position that freedom of religion is an absolute right, and a citizen may adopt any religion he chooses, or no religion at all. Critics of the Counterjihad are thus forced to support the right of Islam to punish apostates.
- Opposition to religiously-sanctioned violence. Violent warfare against infidels is prescribed by the Koran, the hadith, and the Sunna of the Prophet. All faithful Muslims are required to follow the example of Mohammed and wage war against non-Muslims, or give material support to those who do. Therefore, those who oppose the Counterjihad are supporting the Islamic right to wage jihad, which right is held not just by Islamic states, but individually, by all believers in Islam.
As may be seen from the above examples, supporters of the Counterjihad are staunch advocates for the classical liberal tradition in both its European and American forms. Opponents of the Counterjihad assume positions that are coercive and repressive. When taken to their logical conclusion, their policies are indistinguishable from those practiced by the Fascists, Nazis, and Communists during the 1930s.
This is not really surprising. To oppose the Counterjihad is, in a sense, to support jihad. Jihad, as understood by Islamic law, requires the imposition of sharia on the entire world by coercive totalitarian means. This is why the methods of governance employed by Islamic theocracies closely resemble those of fascist regimes. Islam found a brother ideology in National Socialism during the Second World War, and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was one of Adolf Hitler’s most devoted supporters.
The Emerging Consensus: Multiculturalism has Failed
British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have all stated on various occasions that “Multiculturalism has failed”.
A number of political parties have emerged in Europe during the past ten years that make opposition to mass immigration and Multiculturalism one of their major political principles. Among them are:
|Austria:||Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (Austrian Freedom Party, FPÖ)|
|Belgium:||Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest, VB)|
|Denmark:||Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party, DF)|
|Finland:||Perussuomalaiset (True Finns)|
|Germany:||Die Freiheit (Freedom)|
|The Netherlands:||Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom, PVV)|
|Norway:||Fremskrittspartiet (The Progress Party)|
|Sweden:||Sverigedemokraterna (The Sweden Democrats, SD)|
|Switzerland:||Schweizerische Volkspartei (Swiss People’s Party, SVP), also called Union Démocratique du Centre (Democratic Union of the Centre, UDC), Unione Democratica di Centro (Democratic Union of the Centre), and Partida Populara Svizra (Swiss People’s Party)|
|The UK:||British Freedom (BF), United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and the British National Party (BNP)|
In additional to formal political parties, numerous civic organizations and volunteer groups have sprung up to oppose Multiculturalism, sharia, and the Islamization of Europe. Among them are the English Defence League (and Defence Leagues in other countries inspired by the EDL), Pro-Köln (Germany), Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (Germany), Alliance to Stop Sharia (France), Stop the Islamisation of Europe (based in Denmark), and numerous others.
Mainstream journalists such as Melanie Phillips (UK), Douglas Murray (UK), Mark Steyn (Canada), and Ezra Levant (Canada) have spoken out against Multiculturalism in much the same terms used by Counterjihad activists. In 2010 a German banker and member of the Social Democrats, Thilo Sarrazin, wrote a best-selling book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany Abolishes Itself”), which warned against the dangers of continued mass immigration into Germany, particularly Muslim immigration.
It becomes obvious that the Counterjihad’s political and social positions on Multiculturalism can hardly be described as fringe positions. They are fully mainstream, and half a century ago were commonplace in the West. It is only in the last thirty years or so that support for civil liberties and opposition to the repression of free speech have become “extremist”.
In the Tradition of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and John F. Kennedy
Today’s Transatlantic Counterjihad movement formed in late 2006 as British and American activists convened online to express their opposition to sharia. Within a few months the network of groups had expanded to include volunteers in Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, and other European countries.
The outlook binding these different groups together derived from a shared sense that Western Civilization was under grave threat from the encroachment of Islam and sharia law. Since the core of Western Civilization is European, and Islamization is far more advanced in Europe than in the United States or Canada, the movement has focused on resisting the advance of sharia in Europe.
Free speech is already being suppressed in Europe, as detailed above. Europeans who speak out on these matters may face official harassment, dismissal from employment, prosecution, fines, and imprisonment. Canada, through its infamous Human Rights Commissions, has put a similar chill on free speech.
The United States alone — however tenuously — retains the right to speak and publish freely, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. For that reason, much of the organizing and actions opposing sharia have originated and flourished in the USA. Americans who understand the gravity of the situation in Europe have reached out to their brothers and sisters across the Atlantic to offer help and support in their struggle to save our common civilization.
This transatlantic initiative is the most recent example of a long tradition of American outreach to Europe. American concern for the political and economic well-being of Europe began with Woodrow Wilson in the First World War, and was continued by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Second World War. Under Harry Truman the United States undertook a firm commitment to contain the threat of Soviet Communism and help Europe remain prosperous and free. The Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift were just some of the more obvious ways in which America acted to preserve European democracy. Fifteen years later, when John F. Kennedy visited Berlin, he reaffirmed that stance.
The Wall has been gone for more than twenty years, and there are many people in the United States who would prefer to return to traditional American isolationism concerning Europe. One of the most frequent comments made by American readers on internet news articles and blogs about Islam in Europe is that “Europe is lost” — that is, the situation there is too far gone for hope, and there is no point in concerning oneself about what happens to Europe. It is simply too late.
The Transatlantic Counterjihad has responded with a resounding “NO!” to such sentiments. The common bonds between Americans and Europeans are too strong and too important to be abandoned so easily. North America and Europe form the core of Western Civilization. If either continent should fall, the entire edifice would collapse.
The Transatlantic Counterjihad is the 21st century’s reprise of the Marshall Plan. In contrast to what happened during the Cold War, however, the current flow of aid runs in both directions. American freedoms are also under grave threat, as evidenced by recent attempts to impose the OIC’s proposed law against “defamation of religions” on the USA under the auspices of the UN. There may come a day when European hands will reach back across the water to give assistance to their American cousins struggling to protect their liberties from the encroachment of sharia. It is the job of the Counterjihad to help preserve European freedoms so that Europe may in turn help the United States and Canada.
This long, twilight struggle affects the entirety of Western Civilization. The Transatlantic Counterjihad maintains that we must all stand together if we are to prevail.