Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tolerating the Intolerable

London protestNeo-neocon has weighed in on the Great Mohammed Cartoon Affair. Drawing on earlier posts, she discusses the inherent contradiction in open-ended tolerance. Those who would tolerate the behavior of others, no matter how intolerant those others are, will tolerate away their freedom, their wealth, and ultimately their own lives.

As she puts it in her concluding paragraph:

The bottom line is that members of a society must adhere to the rules of that society or face the consequences. Islamicist fanatics in Europe see their opportunity to remake the rules, and see a chink in the armor of Europe’s Enlightment secularism. How Europe chooses to respond will help to determine the course of its own future, and perhaps much more.

But she also asks a question that some regular readers here at Gates of Vienna might want to address:

What percentage of European Moslems is represented by the fiery protesters, the ones calling for death and destruction? (Please take a look at these photos to see the sort of thing I’m talking about). I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone knows. I tend to think most people lack a natural bent for fanaticism, so my guess is that they are not in the majority.

We have some Europeans who stop in here frequently. What do you think? And Mr. Eteraz: do you know enough about your co-religionists in Europe to offer an opinion?

I’m throwing it open as a forum.


Anonymous said...

What percentage of European Moslems is represented by the fiery protesters, the ones calling for death and destruction?
As far as I'm concerned, all of them, at least until the ones who don't start coming forward.
But that's just me.

Minh-Duc said...

It cannnot be secularism is one religion is granted special privilege and status. I am incensed at the bullying. I am incensed at the cowardice by our state department. I did not escape Communism to live under Sharia.

PhilippinesPhil said...

By now it should be no secret that muslims believe sharia applies to EVERYONE, no matter where you reside. I don't see any tolerant "moderate" muslims demonstrating against this precept. Sounds like tacit approval to me.

Dan M said...

Better question: "Who cares?" We're not God, we can't separate the "wheat from the chaff." And besides Muslims could be in the West for a couple generations, then one of the grandkids listens to some whacked out preacher, articulating the real Islam, and voila, a terrorist is born.

I'm increasingly of the opinion that most Muslims need to be removed entirely from the West. We simply can't take the chance on them anymore.

Too many terror cells, too many Islamic ghettoes, too much terror fundraising.

They've got to go.

Daffersd said...

I come from the point of view that there may be moderate Muslims but Islam is extreme. Taking that into account, people like Tariq Ramadan and that Sir heading up the MCB are the same as Bin Laden in my opinion.

I met a Muslim recently who drank over the new year and who were getting on with life in Britain, I guess that person was what I would call moderate, though her brother tried to blame the French riots on the Riot polices throwing Algerians into the Seine in the 50's. So he had the typical blame it on the others disease, so in my view he was infected by the extremism of Islam.

So I guess where I am coming from is that a moderate Muslim is what a pious Muslim would define as no longer a Muslim because they reject those restrcitions and most importantly Jihad and don't blame everyone else for their faults, therefore the only modertae Muslim is someone who is about to or has left Islam.

VH said...

There were street interviews in Brussels on Belgian TV. All Muslims interviewed expressed their outrage at the cartoons. Most even didn't want to look at a copy of Libération where some cartoons were printed.

Now this is the right attitude. If you feel offended, just don't look. Expressing your anger is free speech too. None of them mentioned any violence.

@Dan M: there is a significant Muslim minority in Belgium. Most of them are here for 2-3 generations. Except for some enlightened individuals, most live in ghettoes. The satellite dishes are lined up, not pointed to Mecca, but to Arab news stations. They never watch local TV. Most of them speak Dutch badly, as a consequence.

How can you expect them to integrate in our society? And it's worse for the women, they are confined at home.

X said...

For the last 10 years or so, we here in the UK have been patting our own backs abotu how successful we've been at integrating the Muslims in to our society. Unfortunately the people who think it's so live in a bubble in Westminster, not the real world. In reality, Muslims aren't integrating. The reason for this is, there's no such thing as a moderate muslim. It's like saying you're a christian, yet don't believe in christ, nor that he existed, nor that any of the events in the bible have any worth in society today...

I met someone like that. I laughed.

There are countries that are apparently modernising and secularising. Morocco, for instance, is becoming quite modern because the current king wants the tourist money. It's a nice image to present. The presence of Islam tends to either force a state to completely secularise, or to return to its islamic roots. Libya is an islamic state that's almost completely secular, though there's some confusion about that (little green books and so on)... the thing is, once Islam has a toe-hold, it stays until it's take over or it's been exterminated. Like dry-rot.

The seeds of extremism lie at the very heart of Islam. It's a militaristic religion, predicated on the idea of conquest. I've seen it speculated that Mohammed created it simply to form an army for the conquest of Arabia, to drive out the christians that so offended him and, eventually, take over the world. A quick read of the Koran and the Suras backs up the idea quite nicely. Which is the point, really. Unlike other religions, which demand that their followers act consistently with both fellow beleivers and unbelievers alike, Islami allows its followers to cheat, lie, steal, rape and murder if it means that the realm of Islam is expanded. I rarely trust Muslims because of this. They're taught to deceive unbelievers from an early age. Even the apparently moderate ones have been taught that, so it's difficult to see how much of their "moderate" behaviour is truly geniune.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

I would have thought it was obvious that tolerance is as a positive and intolerance is a negative. Multiplying a negative integer by a positive always generates a negative, and thus it is with tolerating intolerance or disrespecting tolerance - the intolerance grows.

Turning the other cheek merely gets you bitch slapped up the face both sides.

I don't think the % is too great yet, but the potential constituency is the majority of all European muslims.

Allowing this sort of rubbish (ie divisive protests inimicable to wider society) to continue allows the violent radical in their own (seperate segment of) society to attract the less brave, intimidate voices of reason, agitate the undecided, radicalize the aimless alienated (the losers, criminals and deranged). If left unsuppressed it will grow. Fortunately blood has not been spilled yet - when it is, the rifts become irreparable.

What we are seeing in general is the opening stages of potential inter-communal violence (a.k.a. civil war).
This is what happened in Bosnia in the 90's, where relatively small groups opportunistically managed to polarize their parts of a multi-ethnic society which was then more integrated than western europe is now. Underlying discords become enunciated, and institutional support (Imams) drives, organizes and reinforces the polarization. Quite frankly, all that remains is a spark to start serious violence, although hopefully that spark would have to be rather spectacular.

wildiris said...

As part of a discussion a while ago with some members at my church, I heard, what strikes me, as the most definitive observation regarding the question, “whether Islam is or is not a religion of peace”, I have ever run across.

The discussion went through many of the usual pro/con talking points that we’ve seen over and over again posted here on the web. Then…

(Apologist for Islam) Islam is really a peaceful religion; it’s just that it has been hijacked by a radical and violent element.

(Skeptical Listener) No! The problem with Islam isn’t that it has been hijacked; the problem is that there is something about Islam that makes it so easy to be hijacked by such radical and violent elements.

(Observation 1) Every society has its share of violent, misogynistic, hurtful and etc. people, a number of who will always try and bend their religion to serve as a cover, excuse or justification for their behavior. As a result, all religions have had their fringe cults and sects that have acted out in violent and/or other anti-social ways; that’s just a sad fact of human nature. But Islam, of all of the world’s major religions, seems to be the one most troubled by this problem, while at the same time; the more peaceful (moderate) element in the religion of Islam is seemingly powerless to stop this co-opting from happening.

(Observation 2) It doesn’t matter what verses of the Bible or Koran one chooses to emphasize, or how one may try to interpret them. The ultimate arbiter of what is or what is not a proper Christian or Muslim response is the lives and works of Jesus or Mohammed themselves. Jesus was above all, a man of peace, while Mohammed was anything but a man of peace.

A Christian may try to use scripture to justify or incite others to violence, but because Jesus himself would not have acted in that way, their words will never attract more than a handful of listeners.

But it is the converse that is true for Islam. While there may be many within the Muslim religion that want to live peacefully with their neighbors, Mohammed himself did not live that way. As a result, the voices of the “moderates” carry no weight with the community of Islam as a whole. After all, how can one Muslim, with any authority, tell another not to do what Mohammed himself did do? It’s not that the moderates can’t or won’t speak out against the radical element, it’s that the prophet Mohammed, by the example of his own life, left them with no voice to speak out with.

(Conclusion) That’s why Islam is not, never was or can ever be trusted to be a “religion of peace”. Because Mohammed himself was not a peaceful man and by the example of his own life, he has left the door wide open for the more violent element in any community or society, in which Islam is the dominant religion, to turn Islam into a tool to justify their violent actions against others.

In other words, Islam, as a religion, can’t be any more “peaceful” than, as a man, Mohammed was himself.

felix said...

I agree that deporting Islamofascists, Radical Islamists is the way to go. It is not our job in the non-Islamic world to take into our countries radical islamist who want to kill or convert us all in the hope that that somehow, through exposure to our education or political system, they will change. I am hopeful that a movement will soon arise to promote deportation of radical islamists and, of course, to keep out those who want to enter.

Papa Ray said...

"to turn Islam into a tool to justify their violent actions against others."

Um..excuse me, but it does not need to be turned into anything to justify violence. It advocates and encourages violence as it is and can not be revised or disbelieved by a believer.

On pain of death.

Islam is a cult, an evil cult, a cult of conquest and destruction.

Papa Ray
West Texas

John Sobieski said...

Why is banning Muslim immigration taboo to the infidels? All terror derives from Muslims. Less Muslims, less terror. It is as simple as that.

Mussolini said...

Deportation is the only humane answer, but it is taboo because in a secular society choosing any class of people to discriminate against (except for Christians) is a violation of the tenets of secularism.

Many, many tens of thousands of children will need to die before American's politically correct politicians overcome their secular blinders and call for deportation.

Such is the way of the West. Only through maximum innocent casualties can we agree to admit we were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Deport all the Muslims? Gee, I dunno...
If we're going to deport all the criminals, that would be one thing. But we got the First Amendment guaranteeing religious liberty in 1789 (admittedly, a time when nobody thought it would only ever apply to Protestants and Catholics)and now we're stuck with it. Even if it could be done, I think the law of unintended consequences would cause us to regret it after about a week.

X said...

Islam is much more than merely a religion, though. They say it themselves; it's a way of life. Sharia proscribes every aspect of life, from trade, to marriage, to government, from birth to death, how to make peace, how to wage war. Everything. If it's not in the Koran or the Suras, it doesn't exist.

I suspect we've reached one of those pivotal moments in history. The US constitution, all our secular western beliefs, rest on the idea of freedom of expression, belief, movement... freedom to do anything not specifically designated as illegal. This is an idea to which Islam is diametrically opposed, as nothing is legal unless Allah wills it so. Islam abuses the freedom we grant in order to destroy it, yet they claim that freedom as their own when we try to prevent them. We've made our "freedom" in to chains and bars, when it should be the prime weapon in our arsenal, and the prime reason for action.

Our freedom is threatened by Islam, Islam is a political system that claims supremacy over our own, therefore, association with Islam is essentially sedition, and should be treated as such.

Mussolini said...

Exactly, Archonix.

Islam is a political system that merges rule with religion.

We have a democracy here in the US. Islam's most "moderate" members here in America have stated that the constitution needs to be scrapped and replaced with sharia.

Those are the "moderates."

We are suppposed to allow a political system to destroy democracy that we've fought so many times for because it has the trappings of religion?

Islam cannot tolerate a co-existant system of government and religion - look at every single Islamic country on the map today.

Every country that thinks they have "included" Islam and all is well should note all those countries that bragged about it: France, especially, and Germany, and the Low Countries, the Nordic countries, Australia, Britain...

...and here in America we have documented statements by all the major players in CAIR that sharia must reign supreme here as well.

End result: every country that allows Islam to enter is inviting a festering wound - a ticking time bomb. Would you send your kids to school if you knew there was a bomb there that could go off? We need to treat our democracy the same way.

The constitution and the Bill of Rights and everything sacrosanct has always been suspended in times of war. This is war. We cannot rationally think that the enemy deserves the protection of our own rights.

In war, the enemy has no rights, except those of the Geneva convention. Deportation is humane.

mahatma coat said...

its much the same as here in Ireland as regards the I.R.A. A very small percentage of people would actually participate in the bombings shootings etc. A some what larger percentage would be willing to provide some sort of practical support ,but a very large percentage ,in fact a majority support the goals.A poll taken after the July 7th bombings in London showed over 60% of British Muslims wanted to live under Sharia law in the U.K. There is no politically correct solution to this

a4g said...

I have no doubt that most Muslims are peaceful, moderate folks who would happily go along with more peaceful exhortations from their leaders.

And as such, they are worthless in this discussion.

The go-alongs in any group always make up the vast majority-- but it is their willingness to go along that makes them so dangerous.

For as surely as they refuse to stand up to the "hijacking" of their religion, they will similarly refuse to stand up during the next holocaust.

The equation must be normalized by removing the feckless. That leaves only the radicals.

Oh, and that editor in Lebanon.

Always On Watch said...

Daffers D said, Tariq Ramadan and that Sir heading up the MCB are the same as Bin Laden in my opinion.

Check out what CAIR has to say about Tariq Ramadan.

I noticed today at CAIR's site that a state senator from North Carolina has now joined CAIR.

Many of our elected representatives regularly attend CAIR functions, such as banquets.

neandertal said...

For anyone who missed it on Brussels Journal, Churchill had this to say about Islam (quite a while ago, at age 25):

from The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pp. 248-50. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899):

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science – the science against which it had vainly struggled – the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.