Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fjordman on Bassam Tibi

Fjordman, referring to yesterday’s post at Gates of Vienna, has a short discussion at Dhimmi Watch about Bassam Tibi:

Bassam TibiTibi makes many valid points regarding the cowardice and censorship in Europe these days, and he should be given credit for consistently criticizing those Muslims who are pushing for the gradual implementation of sharia in Western lands. I hold him in higher esteem as a thinker than some other self-proclaimed reformists such as Irshad Manji.
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However, he states that Muslims, in order to live in Western countries, have to renounce Jihad and “give up” sharia. This is certainly a brave thing to say, but exactly how does he propose to do that in real life, given that, as he himself readily admits, only a minute fraction of those calling themselves Muslims would agree with such radical views? And even if such a transformation took place, could the resulting religion be called Islam anymore? Since there are dozens, probably more than one hundred, verses calling for Jihad, some of them explicitly violent, in the Koran, and even more references in the hadith, doesn’t this mean that Muslims have to renounce large parts of the Koran, the hadith and the personal example of Muhammad in order to achieve this? Even if that could be done, which I seriously doubt, the result could hardly be recognized or described as “Islam” in any traditional sense of the word.

Moreover, Tibi is one of those calling for Euro-Islam and a “Europeanization of Islam”. I don’t see how this can be done theoretically and theologically, and see few if any practical indications that this is happening. On the contrary, as Bat Ye’or warned already in the 1990s, “I do not see serious signs of a Europeanization of Islam anywhere, a move that would be expressed in a relativization of religion, a self-critical view of the history of Islamic imperialism...we are light years away from such a development...On the contrary, I think that we are participating in the Islamization of Europe, reflected both in daily occurrences and in our way of thinking.”

And this is happening with the active participation of the European Union, cleverly hidden from European citizens beneath a veil of meaningless words and phrases.


Anonymous said...

This post brings us to the very heart of the matter.

I applaud those who seek to reform Islam, and I think it is important that we reach out to them. We -- and they -- have very legitimate concerns about extremists, not the least of which we are all under a death sentence together. Furthermore, neither we nor they want to drive more people into the extremist camp.

However, when it comes to reforming Islam, I think the Islamic deck is very much stacked against the reformists, moderates, liberals, and secularists, and in favor of the extremists.

We need to open up Islam to debate, both within the Islamic world and without; the debate needs to come out of the closet.

Oscar in Kansas said...

Yes, the 'Europeanization' of Islam is essentially a call for the transformation of Islam from an all encompassing way of living, eating, praying, thinking, fucking, reading, etc. into a mere 'lifestyle'; a transformation from an Islam that is the master identity over and above all others (indeed the identity that gives any other identity its meaning) to one among many. Tibi even uses the phrase 'identities' implying some kind of equality among his various loyalties. He wants Islam to become in Europe what Buddhism is in the US, an intellectualized, ritual-less, hobby for the educated upper middle class: a few yoga classes, a little Tai Chi, some mediation, lots of all-embracing tolerance, some incense and cute little status on the bookshelf.

All this is exactly what Europeans are supposed to want to hear. Yet they still don't accept him as one of their own. European elites know they are caught in an impossible situation. They have to pretend that Islam (reformed or not) is part of Europe to keep from further alienating millions of muslims. Therefore they can't embrace Tibi's call for deep reforms which most muslims will rightly see as a wholesale gutting of their identity and most cherished beliefs.

But at the same time the elites, no matter how hard they try, cannot force the various European peoples to accept Islam as European, much less the equal of Christianity; they cannot force people to view Arabs (or Turks or Pakistanis) as Germans or Dutch. Sure they can hand out passports but this kind of 'citizenship inflation' only devalues that currency. As 'paper citizenship' becomes meaningless native Europeans tend to view themselves as just that, natives: an ancient, indigenous population subjected to unwanted foreign immigration.

I think these rumblings from below are what really frightens the Euro-elites the most. The specter of Blood and Soil haunts them, which is why after every attack or arrest MPs and Church leaders rush out to hug an imam and visit a mosque and swear on their mother's bones that islam means peace and most muslims are peaceful, etc. etc. They know this isn't true but the thought of unleashing the ancient demons of ethnic hatred scares them into blind stupidity. This why the BNP and le Pen receive far more official and press condemnation than imams or 'activists' who actually call for violence. But of course the Europeans leaders are just whistling past the graveyard.

In short many European leaders would rather witness the steady Islamization of Europe than admit that Islam cannot be European-ized and risk awaking the natives from their slumber. So it's a race between two clocks: one clock ticks toward the tipping point when Europe is so Islamized that there is no turning back; the other clock ticks toward a revival of ancient European ethnic conflict.

Right now the first clock is ticking faster. But life is long my friends. And filled with surprises.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

Thomas. Well said, all your posts today are. But I will say again something you alluded to earlier - the two clocks tick together, either way the longer it goes the worse it will be. A little regulated backlash now will save a whole barrowload of savagery later. The eutopians think its better to break the second clock, and deny the first even exists.

Robert in England : Yeah, Tibi really is urinating against the breeze. If you read the interview he gives to Spiegel, they ask how many of the millions of Euromuslims would agree to his reformist ideas, he admits its "a couple of thousand". In any case he, like Hirsaan Ali and the others, wants to sell the Muslim world precisely the same snake oil thats destroying the west. Sadly, not even the ummah are that pig ignorant.