Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Brief History of the Transatlantic Counterjihad, Part VII

Islam over Europe, seen from orbit

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)
France: Bloc Identitaire
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.


Previously:

2011 Nov 24 Part I, Introduction
    25 Part II, Conferences
    26 Part III(a), The Transatlantic Counterjihad at the OSCE
    27 Part III(b), The Transatlantic Counterjihad at the OSCE (cont.)
    28 Part IV, The Rosetta Stone Projects
    29 Part V, Official Opposition to the Transatlantic Counterjihad
    30 Part VI, Unofficial Opposition to the Counterjihad

10 comments:

Chiu said...

We must all stand together even if we do not prevail. The coward who runs from a battle that his former compatriots win is dishonored but alive, while those who run from a battle lost to savages will only die in torment for the amusement of the enemy.

Sagunto said...

"American concern for the political and economic well-being of Europe began with Woodrow Wilson in the First World War..[..]"

Poor laptop, coffee all over the screen (hmm, bad coffee anyway).

Woodrow Wilson was "concerned" for economic "well-being"? Is this the same Wilson who signed the heinous Federal Reserve Act into law? Can't believe I'm reading this.

Anyway, the US progressivist warstate entanglement in WW-I, out of "concern" with Europe, wasn't that swell for civil liberties (TM) in the US itself. Here's what Robert Nisbet had to say about it:

"I believe it no exaggeration to say that the West's first real experience with totalitarianism - political absolutism extended into every possible area of culture and society, education, religion, industry, the arts, local community and family included, with a kind of terror always waiting in the wings - came with the American war state under Wilson."

Twilight of Authority, pg 166 (1975; Liberty Fund ed.)

As I wrote before, the progressivist and unconstitutional superstate USA (Unified States of America, est. 1913) has been a destabilizing/restructuring force in Europe since this nation's participation in WW-I, which gave rise to the Wilsonian fascism of the managerial state (see: Nisbet, 1975; Gottfried, 2002).

Whether it's the Wall Street war reparations-scheme foisted upon Germany, or the incessant push for Turkey to enter the EUSSR - today's mirror image of the USA - or the creation (thnx Mr Clinton) of an Islamic state in Europe (or Afghanistan under Reagan, Egypt under Barack Hussein O, Lybia under BHO, Gaza-strip/West bank, all prez.). Political Americanism (i.e. Wilsonian neo-Progressivism) has in fact been something of a double-edged sword.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag

Chiu said...

The point that Nazism was recognized (before it lost) as the direct successor to American Progressivism is valid. But it is not as if those ideas came from nowhere or were totally alone in their relationship to each other.

Progressivism, Marxism, Nazism...Islam. The process of evolution of ideas for the ordering and assessment of society means that sometimes there will be missteps, and often they will be severe. But part of the strength of the West must lie in its ability to intelligently criticize the particular flaws of any philosophy rather than adopt a blind hostility or affection for it based on its relationship to other ideas.

This faculty is essential for moving past mere conservative attachment to what has worked before. We must move forward, but we must renew the faculty of doing so with our mental eyes open to the logical implications of the paths we choose. Learning to identify why failed social programs led to outcomes so different from that predicted is a necessary exercise in developing our vision of the future.

Pointing out the connection between Progressives and Nazis may be a good way to quickly discredit the modern proponents of progressivism, but all it really does is force them to change their name (which they do every couple of decades). If we are to move past the advocates of a totally planned society more permanently, we must focus on being able to concisely explain the basic structural flaws that remain constant no matter the name or pedigree of such ideas.

My own focus is on the necessity of personal accountability for one's own actions, which is impossible in any planned society. Those who decide what is to be done neither do it themselves nor suffer the effects of the actions they have ordered. Those who do carry out the orders are not able to fully responsibility for their actions because they did not decide on those actions on their own.

The shift in allocation of resources and effort can appear to have dramatic results in the short-term, but in the long-term overall productivity and innovation both are dramatically stunted by abandonment of freedom as a basis for realizing human potential.

Then again, while this criticism of the fundamental structure common to all planned societies may be more reusable, it does seem to be far less immediately compelling. I suppose pointing out the connection to Nazism must be relied on at times.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Sagunto said...

Arch-progressivist FDR, an economic planner (and praised by socialist Hitler for his New Deal policies) and a war planner, like this crook Woodrow Wilson a poster boy for the transatlantic CJ?

Wow, that's.. rich.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Well, I disagree with some of the choices here as well, in particular Woodrow Wilson and F. D. Roosevelt. Reading Liberal Fascism makes the point better and more elaborate than I can do in a blog comment, but I'm not very convinced that their political choices were that wise. Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, masterly defended Europe from the Evil Empire. I want him back :)

Sagunto said...

Henrik -

Glad to see you bring up that book. Though by no means perfect as a scholarly work (too "political" for my taste, in that it neglects the neo-con/neo-progressivist similarities), it makes a very good overall point.

You know what Ronald Reagan said (want him back too! With less inflationary spending, that is) about FDR's policies?

"Fascism was really the basis of the New Deal"

Here's a great article by a conservative Australian researcher that touches on the same point made in "Liberal Fascism". It's called: "The American Roots of Fascism"

Take care,
Sag

Sagunto said...

And concerning the "outreach" by the Truman administration, commentator Avery Bullard once had the following to say:

"During the Truman Administration leftist intellectuals, including Frankfurt School scholars and Freudian psychoanalysts, were sent to Germany to 'reeducate' the German people in particular and to change European political culture in general. They weren't all Jewish as the John Dewey New Englander Neo-Puritans were also well represented.

German teachers and academics were purged by the Allies, barely in the French occupied parts, but with great enthusiasm in US areas. Books were removed from libraries. Cultural figures like writers and filmmakers were screened by the American authorities and the Marxist and Freudian educators identified the family as the root cause of German and European xenophobia and authoritarianism and set about undermining it. (See Gottfried's book and Tomislav Sunic's Homo Americanus)."


Let's just forget about the Fabian socialist Kennedy..

Four posterboys for the Trans-Atlantic CJ, and all four of them Big Gov(TM) progressivists..

Cheers,
Sag

Chiu said...

I agree that the expansion of the military power of the Federal government has been significantly unconstitutional and often destructive of the freedoms and real security of American citizens. But I do not therefore accept that it would not be possible for America to project significant military influence in the global battle between free nations and totalitarianism without such infringements on the rights and liberty of the American people.

Yes, progressives used the "need" for a powerful military to justify radical and unconstitutional expansions of the power and reach of the Federal government (to the point that it has become a national government rather than a federal one). But that doesn't mean that there wasn't, or isn't, a need for America to back freedom with military force when it is under threat of annihilation by totalitarian ideologies. It just means that we didn't need to violate the basic principles of limited, Constitutional, American government to accomplish it.

We can and must remain committed to the defense of freedom in the world even as we attempt to restore it domestically.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Sagunto said...

One last comment about this curious parading of four progressivist US icons of transatlantic "outreach".

Two names, bound together as consecutive models for unselfish "outreach" and economic well-being of strangers overseas: Roosevelt and Truman.

Let's see how they cared about the economic well-being of the American people, with a telling example about the failing price control by the US managerial state:

Roosevelt blamed the American farmers for overproducing, so he organized the wholesale dumping of milk, the slaughtering and destruction of pigs, and so on.

Then few years later, when, surprise of surprises, there were meat shortages, Truman blamed the American farmers for "hoarding". He actually intended to send the US Army and the National Guard onto these farmers to confiscate the stuff he was sure they had stashed away.

Again, America was a great idea, but the US has become a great disaster. Championing these sufferers from political dirigitis as the progenitors of freedom is a mistake.

By no means should these deranged progressivists be regarded as mentors of the transatlantic CJ cooperation.

I rest my case. No doubt this theme will be revisited in other topics.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag

Chiu said...

The essential problem of all government is that it is a "necessary evil". The better someone understands that all exercise of government originates and ends in the use of violence to limit human potential, the more reluctant they will be to find it "necessary".

Thus it is often those who do not understand or admit that government is inherently evil who are quickest to resort to it. This means that, when the use of violence to limit some particular humans really is necessary, it is often the case that those who are quick to resort to the tools of government (such as the military) will tend to be on the forefront (the recent idea of never using force when it is really necessary is the final stage of cultural decline).

Those eager to fight unnecessary wars will occasionally stumble into fighting a war that must be fought. That doesn't make the war itself unnecessary, but it does necessitate an acknowledgment that the person who decided to fight it was, after all, right about something.

There is a convincing case that FDR didn't have to fight the Japanese, that they could have been induced to cease their aggression in Asia and break their alliance with Germany through appropriate diplomacy. But there is no such case for not fighting against the Nazis. And had the United States simply committed itself to support the defense of Britain as a free nation, the war with Germany would have ensued inevitably.

Even if FDR was wrong about everything else (and I can't really think of anything else he was right about, at the moment) he was at least right about fighting the Nazis and does deserve credit for that. True, he also deserves some blame for having supported and admired their rise to power...I do not overlook this, nor want anyone else to do so.

The sad history of how Progressivism inspired, justified, and supported Nazism right up till the outbreak of war with them is instructive to the current circumstances. It should not be glossed over in our viewing of history as we try to discover solutions for our present troubles.

Chiu Chun-Ling.