Saturday, June 30, 2007

Voiced and Unvoiced

Saturday, being a slow day on the blogs, is usually reserved for either poetry or ranting. Today’s post will be a little of both.

Ever since we posted the Mohammed-burning video, we’ve been getting email from various folks complaining about it. They think it’s stupid, or adolescent, or pointless, or only plays into the hands of our enemies, etc. In other words, they’re on our side, but think Flaming Mo was not a productive use of our blogspace.

We have also come under criticism for our recent anti-Bush posts. One regular reader says he views our opinions on the topic as the right-wing equivalent of moonbattery, and will no longer read our blog. Our ideas about the amnesty bill, the NAU, the penetration of the administration by the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. grade into Bilderburg/Trilateral Commission/Illuminati country. We are at risk of descending into paranoid delusion.

He may be right. I used to be less paranoid than I am now, but learning about modern Islam — from Jamaat ul-Fuqra to the Ikhwan to the Kosovar Mafia to Hizb ut-Tahrir — has made me paranoid. It’s hard not to be paranoid when confronted with what goes on today.

So what is our function here? What is our purpose? To publicize pointless adolescent pranks and spread paranoia?

18th century printing pressBloggers are the modern equivalent of the pamphleteers of the 18th century. We’re facilitating a conversation and a communication that would otherwise not occur. Most of us are doing this for little or no money, and some are taking great risks in the process.

Our governments and the media have shut out any effective and well-informed discourse on the topic of the Great Jihad, so it’s left to us ordinary citizens to take up the slack. We’re on our own.

If we do not yell and bang on our saucepan lids, our new status as unwilling dhimmis will be forced down our throats by those who know better.

And, yes, sometimes we exaggerate and engage in overwrought rhetoric. After all, Gates of Vienna is a propaganda operation.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Some of our readers think that when the Danes burned Mohammed in effigy, they were in effect yelling “Down with the government!” into a closet. That is, the midsummer caper was a feel-good stunt with no practical effect, just a way for a few boisterous Vikings to have a good time.

Down with the gummint!But the evidence is that it was much more than that.

It doesn’t seem like that much of a deal, to have an embedded video here at Gates of Vienna, which is only a minor blog. However, the link from Little Green Footballs sent a lot of people over here to watch the video. We saw a huge surge of traffic this week, with about 40,000 people coming to watch Flaming Mo over the last few days. As word of the event spread, links to it popped up all over the internet, in blogs, online newspaper comment sections, and discussion forums, from Sydney to Helsinki to Mumbai to Toronto.

In addition, a number of other blogs, some of them much larger than ours, embedded the video. At a rough guess I would think that a million people have by now seen the Danes burn Mohammed. That’s not an insignificant amount of publicity, and it is most certainly not shouting subversion into a closet.

The reaction in the discussion boards and comments was overwhelmingly supportive of what the Danes did. And the objections were mostly of the same type, that “this is stupid and ineffective.”

Regardless of what you think of the video stunt — and it is tacky and amateurish — people are indeed eager to see something like it. All over the infidel world people are hungry for a sign that there is someone, somewhere who is willing to brave the storm of political correctness and insult the Muslims. When you consider the vile invective and murderous behavior that Muslims exhibit towards the rest of us every day, it’s amazing that anyone considers something as innocuous as the Danish video to be “going too far”.

So people are hungry to hear the message that things can be different, that someone is willing to stand up and express the same feelings they have, that there are others who feel the way they do. Part of the success of the current PC regime lies in atomizing its opponents — without the internet, and with the media in lockstep, those who stand in opposition to the zeitgeist would not realize how many of us there are. But Gates of Vienna’s site meter tells the true story: there are many thousands, and presumably millions, who feel the same way.

So part of our job is to give voice to the voiceless, to let others know that they are not by themselves. It brings to mind a couple of stanzas from Wilfred Owen’s fragmentary poem “The Calls”:
- - - - - - - - - -
Then sometimes late at night my window bumps
From gunnery-practice, till my small heart thumps
And listens for the shell-shrieks and the crumps,
      But that’s not all.

For leaning out last midnight on my sill,
I heard the sighs of men, that have no skill
To speak of their distress, no, nor the will!
      A voice I know. And this time I must go.

Or Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass”:

I do not say these things for a dollar, or to fill up the time while I wait for a boat;
It is you talking just as much as myself — I act as the tongue of you;
Tied in your mouth, in mine it begins to be loosen’d.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I keep returning to the Danes because they offer something to the rest of the West that nobody else can give: they are willing to stick it to the Man.

That’s why they inspire us. That’s why the Danes are leading the Counterjihad. That’s why the burning of Mohammed resonates so loudly throughout the infidel world.

Our regular Danish commenter and translator Phanarath had this to say on the topic in an email to Dymphna yesterday:

The spirit of the Danish people can even stand a comparison with the Americans and we totally outshine the countries around us.

We hold a spiritual key of wisdom here and if we can combine it with the American key of faith and idealism, then we can together revitalize the western world. And many people know this intuitively as we can see in the huge response to the burning of the doll of Mohammed. If that event had come from any other country, the response would have been minimal.

The Germans love the Danes, and so does most of western and eastern Europe. Israel loves us for those stories from WW2. Australians have almost the same mentality as the Danes and we get along great with them.

The Danes can be the link that gathers the whole western world together in a way that America cannot do by itself. This is what I believe is coming, and we can see it happening already on a small scale.

And no one will mind or feel intimidated by our cute little country; they will just look at us and want to do as we do, but the strength and power behind it all will come from America. One of America’s great forces is that you have the ability to feel a oneness with things you like and so it will feel like your own project, with the difference this time that you have the Danes in between you and the rest of the West and that will make everyone follow along without any resentment. Including Japan of course.

Phanarath sees his country the same way as I do: the Danes are leading the way. Keep one eye on Denmark.

And keep the other eye on history, as Al Stewart did in his song “Constantinople”:

by Al Stewart

Across the western world
The fights are going down
The gypsy armies of the evening
Have lit their fires across
The nether side of town
They will not pass this way again

So here in the night
Leave your home it’s time for running
Out of the light
I see the hosts of Mohammed coming

The Holy Sister bars her doors against the East
Her house has stood too long divided
The uninvited guests are breaking up the feast
She may not bid them leave again

So here in the night
Leave your home it’s time for running
Out of the light
I see the hosts of Mohammed coming

I dreamed I stood like this before
And I’m sure the words that I heard then
Were much the same
It’s just an old Greek tragedy they’re acting here
Held over by popular acclaim

So here in the night
Leave your home it’s time for running
Out of the light
I see the hosts of Mohammed coming

The siege of ConstantinopleThis song is from the album 24 Carrots, which was out of print for many years, but has recently been re-released.

It was first released in 1980. How likely would it be that a popular musician would record something similar today? How likely would it be that a record label would release it?

Times have changed, and voices are being muffled across the Western world.

So we must act as the tongue of you. Tied in your mouth, in ours it begins to be loosen’d.

Bat Ye’or Speaks in Toronto

Bat Ye’orBat Ye’or is one of the best-known counterjihad writers in the world. She has gained a place in history with her writings about the history of Islamic aggression against non-Muslims, for her studies of the condition known as dhimmitude, and for coining the term “Eurabia” for a Europe in thrall to its Third-World Muslim immigrants.

Niall Ferguson has written that “[n]o writer has done more than Bat Ye’or to draw attention to the menacing character of Islamic extremism. Future historians will one day regard her coinage of the term ‘Eurabia’ as prophetic. Those who wish to live in a free society must be eternally vigilant. Bat Ye’or’s vigilance is unrivalled.”

Yesterday she spoke at an event sponsored by the Fraser Institute at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto. The Flygirls of Vigilant Freedom were present with a video camera, and last night they transcribed the recording. The video itself will eventually be posted online, and I’ll let you know as soon as it is available.

The Flygirls had trouble hearing certain words on the audio track, and those have been marked in the transcription below with [square brackets]. I took it upon myself to fill in some of the lacunae with my best guesses, but most of them I left as the Flygirls sent them. I have not done a close proofreading of the text, so if you find any typos or other obvious errors, please let me know and I will make changes.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Address by Bat Ye’or
The Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto
June 29th, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen I would first like to thank the Fraser Institute for having invited me to this very important conference and that it is very important issues which are very topical for our time. I have to congratulate the Institute and the speakers for the clarity of their speech that were pronounced and the acute examination of problems of today, current problems. Coming from Europe, I must say that I am full of admiration because such a conference would have never taken place in Europe. Maybe in Italy, maybe, but with such topical discussion, so much frankness and sincerity and also objectivity is really remarkable. So my thanks to the institute for having invited met to participate in this very important conference.

I have learned much from the distinguished speakers who exposed their policies to prevent the immigration of terrorism of its development into Canada. This problem emerged from two modern phenomena: mass immigration and global Jihadism linked to petrodollars. However, there is no reason to see that all immigration are impact to terrorism, especially if the immigrants share the democratic values of their host countries. Immigration is identical for western democracies, values and of the host countries. If this immigration is linked to global Jihadist ideology, if it is culturally and religiously hostile to western values to secularism, if it refuses integrations and aims at replacing the western Judeo-Christian culture and secular political institutions by a Sharia Jihadist system.

Terrorism must be seen as the ultimate attack on the human being, on human rights and freedom, as a modern expression of physical and intellectual misstatement. I want to take this opportunity to express my deep admiration and sympathy for all victims of terror, whatever their religion and who are persecuted because of their resistance to tyranny.

And this situation is not limited to dictatorships but it exists also in Europe where intellectuals, professors and journalists are threatened and have to hide or have to be guarded just for having exercised their constitutional rights. Terrorism is the means used by foreign forces to dominate and control other countries therefore for instance, using their leaders as puppets. This [lattel] if they submit maintain the functional appearance of independence and democracy while in effect, the whole system is corrupted and can [camp] suddenly giving way to civil war.

For historical geographical strategic reasons, the situation in Europe is different from that in America, but from what I heard since yesterday, I found striking similarities between the situation in Canada and in Europe. In fact, the situation we see, we are living now in Europe, is the result of the decisions that have been taken in the 1960s and 1970s and of the pressure Europe then surrendered to the terrorists’ threat following two events:

Palestinian international terrorism in Europe from the start, from the start 1968 and economic terrorism with Arab oil count in October 1973 against European countries friendly to Israel. The then 9 countries of the European unity accepted the conditions to the PLO and Arab league and these were: European recognition of and legitimization of Arafat, support for the PLO and the adoption of the anti-Israeli and anti-American poise. The political agreement went together with economic and cultural collaboration with our countries and the PLO and the new immigration policy whose consequences we are seeing now.
- - - - - - - - - -
This framework set up between the European countries, the European commission and the Arab league states with the PLO was institutionalized in the Euro-Arab dialogue from 1974 and 1975. From this moment, started politically, economically and culturally, the Palestinization of Europe. This means that terror was no longer a crime but a worthy and glorious act performed by Palestinians heroes against two evils: Israel and America.

With Nazism creeping back, Europe became the greatest supporter of Palestinian Jihadist terrorism against Israel. Such development and power to the European ends of Nazism and communism, linked to the Arab states by the common Judeo-phobia and anti- Americanism all by economic links and interests. The dialogue framework was at largest in 1995 by the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the so-called Barcelona process, which created the largest structure including this [  ] in Israel. This structure is a partnership which encompasses numerous economic, financial and legal instruments. These two processes, the dialogue and the partnership encompass massive immigration into European community, which became in 1993, the European Union. Such immigration was then considered the most important component of the European common strategy for security and defense in the Mediterranean and became for this reason, a double subject. It was forbidden to speak about the problems of immigration by the media and by the political [  ].

We see therefore, because of Palestinian terrorism, the European community had feared its common defense strategy in the Mediterranean on its alliance with a Jihadist terrorist organization, the PLO, rather than relying on an independent military force, like America has done. This choice and this policy led to a new theory of peace management: the theory of multi-lateralism and international governance based on the appeasement of terrorist gangs which compromises rules and regulations mutually accepted by the state and on building an economic interdependency.

In this view, the Europe-Mediterranean partnership establishes linkages and networks between the civil societies and the NTO’s of the two shores of the Mediterranean. It created common functional synergies and solidarities between Europe and Arab worlds and develops common deceptions and cultural partnerships at all levels and this is the reason of the British boycott of the British [  ] against Israel because of these linkages, and it also encompasses Muslim immigration in Europe. This policy is detailed in several EU documents. I mention that in my book.

This structure that links several areas: politics, economics, culture, security; all that together with immigration, was implemented at the highest level of the EU and it engendered a proliferation of networks that are the very count for anti-Israel and anti-American policies and also for Judeophobia in Europe and anti-western activism, and as well as [promas (14:02)] propaganda, the denial of terrorism and of Jihadism and for support for immigration.

Such policy of close alliances with Arab league states and PLO induced European leaders to deny Jihadism and terrorism, hence terrorism, is a Jihadist tactic, which is well-explained in the little book of Jihad, which dated from the 8th century- Jihadism is attributed to America and Israel like in the Arab and Muslim world.

Note that the EU, the European Union considered seriously a problem of border controls and for these reasons mainly: Europe has no borders. It is seen like the EU technocrat as a system of continual expansion, expanding into Africa and Asia, hence, the idea of controlling borders is irrelevant in this case.

As for immigration, we have seen that it was welcomed within the legion of a new political and cultural order: a Mediterranean society whereby the mixing of religions, multiculturalism, will allow the emergence of a new Islamic and tolerant society. This could be achieved only by multiculturalism and the destruction of local European nationalism and in order to allow [incut] to integrate into a plural society. In fact, the European Union was planning and is planning the death of the European nations - this is in the policy of European integration. And in order to replace the European nations by a Mediterranean construct — what I have called Eurabia — because multilateralism/ multiculturalism is limited to Europe since the Arab countries and Turkey moved over to exclusive Muslim societies. After a decade of this policy, you can see that Europe’s policy to protect itself from Jihadic terrorism in the 1970s by expulsing the terrorist Jihad against Israel, has in fact led to its cultural Islamization, to a [  ] of the Arab world and to a negation of its Judeo-Christian identity.

At the same time, Europe has become the fanatical champion of Palestinianism, supporting it by a vicious political and cultural war against Israel. Hence we can see that Palestinian terrorism has succeeded to transport Europe into a dhimmi-subdued continent. It has impacted on its home policy by opening the gates to immigration and on its foreign policy, changing its relation from friendly to hostile toward Israel and America. And this could only be achieved thanks to powerful European collusions and collaborations. But now the developments of indigenous terrorist sects in Europe, general security, the reconstitution of [Sharia Dait] society among millions of migrants (although many are very well-integrated into Europe) and the [hospitalization] of the mother countries, which are the main sources of immigration into the West, has let strong European anti-immigration and requests for immigrants to integrate to European society. However, such policies are considered by the powerful organization of the Islamic conference as racist, Islamophobic and xenophobic hence, Doudou Diene, the UN special reporter on racism, xenophobia and related intolerance of the human rights council Geneva links immigration controls, security measures and European cultural and national revivals to Islamophobia.

In a recent report of January 12th, 2007, he says that racism and xenophobia “most often take the form of legislation and policies that approach immigration and asylum issues solely from a security point of view and criminalize immigrants and asylum seekers.” He deploys the growing emphasis of rhetoric based on “defense of national identity”, which promotes the defense of identity vis-à-vis immigration. Diene declares that “questions relating to the place of foreigners in society, immigration and asylum are treated increasingly on the basis of two criteria: the security imparity and the defense of national identity.” He condemns as Islamophobic “the purely security-based approach to the inspection and surveillance of places of worship and culture and even the teaching of Islam and thereby, in the resurgence of policies and the adoption of legislative, administrative and police measures, that stigmatize or criminalize national or foreign minorities of the Muslim faith as demonstrated by the increase in the number of Imams who have been deported. Lastly, the rejection of diversity and multiculturalism is manifested by the creation of obstacles to the construction of mosques and by intolerance and repression of Islamic cultural expressions and symbols and attire and therefore is very visible.” He also condemns “the selective profiling in airport stations and at borders of people with alleged Islamic appearance, whether physical or because of their clothing”.

These accusations are, of course extremely serious because they deny to Europeans their own human rights to security and at the pretext of Islamophobia, while in fact, security for the human being is a basic and primal right that comes before for the rights of immigrants. In the same spirit, the sovereign, national and cultural rights of Western societies are denied in order to promote those Muslims to immigrate into these societies with their own traditional rules, languages and customs. We see therefore, that the institute of terrorism and immigration touches in some ways, the Jihadic principle of the right of Muslims to immigrate in the [  (23:50)] the land of war of the infidels, to Islamize it and that this right has primacy over the rights of the infidels for security and that national or cultural rights, which are anyway not recognized. Doudou Diene requests Europe to accept (and this is repeated constantly in his report), that it is multicultural if Europeans should renounce their own culture and own patrimony in order to accommodate Muslim immigrants. He calls their refusal Islamophobia.

Let us remember that the regulations concerning immigrants were conceived in the 1960s in a totally different global context than today and I think this was said by Salim [Asur] yesterday. Then, immigrant movement represented smaller numbers and there were not the repeated ways of millions of today and people could easily integrate into the host societies. But now, immigration movement has changed and gotten massive and moreover, this occurs in a situation of global war because Jihad is a war, and it obeys theological rules and not to international continents, hence international jurists have to examine how to adjust the viewed rights and regulations to a current situation of Jihadic war against the West.

This last aspect does not appear in Mr. Diene’s report. As a conclusion, I will add one remark: the position of Doudou Diene resembles that of Europe against Israel, in relation to its concern over the security of citizens and their sovereign rights. In their constant condemnation of Israel, European officials totally overlooked the reality of terrorism and sanctioned Israel as if protecting innocence or being killed, [  ] was wrong. Now the West, in particular Europe, will have to fight to impose the recognition of the rights it has denied to Israel, mainly the right to security against Jihadist terrorists and the recognition of full respect for the Western sovereign national and cultural rights. Thank you.

Question and Answer Session

Q: Thank you very much, I’ll just remind people again: if you write questions down, we’ll gather them up. I’d like to ask a question which follows on your last remarks about sovereignty: Is what we’re seeing in Europe somewhat of a battle over sovereignty between perhaps, the people on one side, state on another and an immigrant community that is not well integrated. Somehow, is there a conflict over authority and who is the final authority in Europe in these nations’ states?

A: Yes, there are many battles which are fought now in Europe and I am afraid that this can take some time. This might take bloody aspects because of the censorship that was imposed on a very serious problem linked to terrorism and immigration. So, the battle is between so many different forces and it is in so many areas - it is the battle for the recognition of the security rights of Europeans but also the cultural rights and the universities, for instance. There have been for years a cultural Jihad which has Islamized the universities and also the media and this has been done thanks to the approval of the government because this policy was all organized and in collaboration with the Arab states by the European government. So there is, as you have said, an opposition against immigrations, an opposition also and a battle against the customs of Sharia [  ] (29:46)] relations that are developing in European society by the immigrants and also an opposition to the policy of the government and to the EU. Because what we see now, is a result of the EU, the European Union policy. It was a policy which has total lack of transparency. The European people know what was going on and suddenly they are faced with a situation which is very critical and so there are many movements in Europe which demand the abolition of the EU.

Q: I have several questions about the new president of France, Sarkozy, saying that he’s pro-American and more friendly to Israel than his predecessor and essentially asking about a) the role of France and the development of current policies and b) whether things going to change now under new leadership?

A: Yes, this is right about Sarkozy being pro-American and we have to be happy about that and I think also closer to Israel which means not so much closer to Israel but at least not so partial, so anti-Israeli as his predecessors. And what he will do, it is difficult to say how he will manage the terrible situation we have now in Europe because the European countries have lost so much of their sovereignty and this is what Blair fought against in order to maintain some sovereignty. So, so much has been destroyed by the European Union construct and whatever the policy of France will be, it will have to adjust to the regulations of the European Union and therefore, to the regulations of the 27 countries. Now the European countries are no more free to act independently.
  But certainly there is a greatest awareness in Europe. This is thanks to America, I must say, about all these problems and I hope also of Canada because the discussions of the terrorism issue and the decline of Europe in American newspaper have pushed Europeans to react and to speak about those problems. So, I think that if we all engage in those discussions it will be profitable for all of us.

Q: I have a question and I’m going to add a bit to it: It says if the Israel-Palestinian conflict is resolved, will Europe change its policy towards the Arab region and I want to add to that - do you think the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be resolved?

A: Well the Israeli- Arab conflict is a part of a wider conflict which is the Jihadist conflict against the non-Muslim countries and the Arab-Israeli conflict has taken such poignancy/prominence because also, it was seen by the Arab league and Arab countries as a way to play on European anti-Semitism in order to bring an alliance with the Arab countries and by this way, to infiltrate into Europe and impact on its policy. But even if this conflict will be resolved, I don’t think that this will bring an end to the problem. I think the problem is for the Muslims to abandon the Jihadist ideology which is an ideology, and to recognize that this has been set up and explained in books, little books, theological books in Muslim jurisdictions from the 8th century, however nevertheless, we are now in the 21st century and we have to share together this planet and we have to establish good relations between all types of people in all religions and start to abandon the Jihadist view which wants to implement one religion, Islam, all over the planet. And I think this is our duty to do it, to work out that with our Muslim friends because our Muslim friends who speaks like [  (35:43)] so many other which I know very well, very courageous, they are part of our battle and they’re conducted with even more courage than us because they are threatened more than us. And it is a battle that we can all win, I hope so, because we can all win if we are frank, if we have the courage to expose the problems as they are.

Q: I have a more critical question for you saying that terrorism in Europe has a long tradition which predates the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and so on. The European Union has succeeded in preventing another Franco-German war. This writer says that Europe is more resilient than you fear and less Judeo-phobic than you claim. Don’t you think that you’re over-dramatizing the situation?

A: Well, first of all, yes, that’s true that it is a tradition of terrorism in Europe before the PLO. We have the [  ], we have the [  ] movement, we have the Irish terrorism so that’s true, however, those terrorisms are linked to local situations and they are not theological-inspired terrorism. While Jihadism is linked to a global Jihad and also to a theological interpretation of sacred Muslim text and we have to be very frank with this fact because if we hide it, we are only harming ourselves. We are trying to ignore the threat that will suppress us, so the other remark is if I exaggerate. Well, I will say that me personally, I live in a small place and I am not very social. I don’t know European anti-Semites, I have not met them. I think that European anti-Semitism was created by the European states. It is a culture that has been imposed over the European people in order to develop this anti-Israeli cultural and political war. And this is mentioned in European text, that the Arab world has to acknowledge the cultural and political European efforts, support to the PLO as a strong asset for their cause because Europe could not send soldiers to kill and to destroy Israel after the Holocaust but they had established a whole network of hate, a global and world network of hate against Israel and the same can be said against America and this is because of the network and the alliance with the Arab and Muslim world because this in fact, is the guarantee of security of Europe. Europe has built its security system on the hate of Israel, on the hate of America and with the alliance with Arab and Jihadist movements and Palestinian movements.

Q: You talked about multiculturalism in Europe and critics of multiculturalism of being accused of Islamophobia. How do you defend your own views if one was to say that your views are Islamophobic.

A: Well I will say that when I go for instance to India, I enjoy seeing the culture, the Indian culture in India. I think it is very good, very nice, very colorful. And I am very grateful to the Indians or to the Buddhists to have added their own culture to the world culture. In the same way, I am very happy to see European culture. I don’t think that European culture should disappear and I think that when Indians come and ask to live in Europe, they have to be grateful to the state that welcomes them and they have to respect the culture of this country. And I spoke about the Indians, the Indians are doing that without any problems, but the problems come from other populations - mainly Muslim populations but not all, who have in their historical traditions and their religious text also the tradition of fighting Jews and Christians. And to also, refusing to have contacts or to link with Jews and Christians as friends, so there it is a difficulty. This is in Koranic verses so there are two or three Koranic verses that say: don’t become friends to Jews and Christians - make friends with your own.

  So we have to know that there are these aspects in the Muslim religious texts which don’t exist for reasons in Hindu or Buddhist or other religions. So there is a difficulty there for integration. On the other hand also, we have to know (sorry for being a little long), that Islamic civilization was created by Jihad; that means by the conquest of Christians’ land, in Asia it was Buddhist and Hindu land but the Christian land that Muslims took over were from Hungary to Sudan to [Nukia (43:12)], which were Christian from Portugal till Iraq. And all over this enormous territory, over three continents, there were Christian populations living there with Jews. So when those lands were conquered by Jihadist army, the Muslim theologians and [jurid  ] established special regulations concerning Jews and Christians. Those regulations were oppressive; they recognized them the right to live as non-Muslim but on the condition that they would be humiliated and totally inferior to Muslims. So there is this tradition in the Islamic history and we have to take this into account and we must, in order to establish friendly relations with Muslim, discuss about these problems. It is extremely important; otherwise we will not be able to eliminate the problems between us.

Q: I have a question about two other European leaders. Your views of Merkel in Germany and Brown in the UK regarding this issue.

A: Well, Angela Merkel is, of course, a very admirable woman and she had succeeded in many things and especially I am happy with what she has done: she has abandoned the anti-American policy of the [  ] government and she also has adopted a more pro-Israeli stance. It is true that Germany has always had, since the Second World War, very good relations with Israel, has helped Israel, and has established friendly relations with Israel, and that is true. I think Merkel has emphasized this aspect but it is also good that she wants to see the current issue now of global Jihad. We didn’t allow a western alliance harder than having each Western country fighting against each other, which is of course [  enemies ??].

  Now about Brown, whether he just took over I think yesterday, it is too early to speak. But unfortunately, the timing here of plan of the Blair regime has been dreadful for the future of England because now England is in such a state and we saw this morning this kind of terrorism that I don’t know what he can to do in this situation. It is a situation in England which is the same for instance in France or in other countries: Belgium, Holland, Sweden. It is a very difficult situation because if we try to stop immigration, there will be certainly terrorist reprisals. If we try to do what you have said here, what Canada should do- if we try to do it in Europe it will be extremely difficult and we have to expect a period of terrorism.

Q: I think we have time for one more question: What are the implications if any, for European development in Canada?

A: It is very important because Europe is very important to Canada. If Europe becomes more and more Islamized — this is a process that I have examined in my book: the decline of recent Christianity, and I examine all the processes of Islamization of Christian civilization in society and this has allowed me to recognize that now I have seen that under my eyes developing - so if Europe is going on this path, it will have negative effects for Canada because it won’t be an ally to Canada. It will become an enemy to Canada, like it has become an enemy to America. I mean, when you read the book of Chris Patton, the European Commissioner for Foreign Relations of the last commission, he always writes in his book nasty things about America and he says if only Blair could impact and change the policy of America and since Europe has signed the litigation to America, in order to change the policy of America and to bring it to alliance of European-Arab position. And this of course, is a dhimmi-position, is a surrender position and this I’m afraid, can be done also to Canada, especially if Canada changes policy. According to Fraser Institute, there will be some grassroots works on those problems. Now about Canada, I must say that when I was reading the documents on the Euro-Arab dialogues and the Euro-Arab meetings, Canada was mentioned. So I think that Canada was also part of this policy which I have now described to you, which was European.

Norway Cracks Down on Female Genital Mutilation

I Could Scream: Examining the plight of women under Islam


The death of a 12-year-old Egyptian girl at the hands of a doctor performing female circumcision in the country’s south has sparked a public outcry and prompted health and religious authorities this week to ban the practice.

The girl, Badour Shaker, died earlier in June while being circumcised in an illegal clinic in the southern town of Maghagh. Her mother, Zeniab Abdel Ghani, told the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that she had paid $9 dollars to a female physician to perform the procedure.


On Thursday, the Egyptian Health Ministry issued a decree on female circumcision, stating that it is “prohibited for any doctors, nurses, or any other person to carry out any cut of, flattening or modification of any natural part of the female reproductive system, either in government hospitals, non government or any other places.”

It warned that violators of the ban would be punished, but did not specify the penalty. The ban is not as enforceable as a law, which requires passage in the national legislature.

In other words, a "decree" without teeth.

The Norwegian media and politicians are firming up in the battle against their immigrants’ barbaric custom of genital mutilation of little girls. And it sounds like the crackdown is serious:

instruments of torture, but no anestheticNorway’s center-left government unveiled a list of 14 emergency measures they’re putting into place immediately, in an effort to keep girls from being sent out of the country for the procedure many describe as barbaric.

The measures come after state television channel NRK broadcast a shocking report last weekend that nearly 200 girls living in Norway have been sent by their own families to Somalia in recent years, to undergo female circumcision.

The practice is illegal in Norway and the country has had a law for years preventing it. Prosecution has been minimal, however, with only a handful of cases brought to court.

Now officials are trying to crack down and enforce the law. That can include preventing girls at risk from leaving the country, if their families are suspected of sending them abroad to be circumcised.

That’s quite a concession in a country that bends over backwards to protect immigrants’ “rights.” Of course, there are the usual warnings from the nay-sayers:

“Skin color and travel destinations won’t be enough,” Justice Minister Knut Storberget of the Labour Party was quick to point out. “The authorities must have concrete suspicions that circumcision is planned, in order for the family to be denied passports.”

So what would entail “concrete suspicions”? Would it be enough that the family is Somalian, going back home for a little vacation trip and have a five year old girl in tow? Since that is the ruse most often employed, how do officials know their “suspicions” are correct? Since everything will be denied at the family and tribal level, what is a poor leftist country to do? Simply continue cleaning up the horrid aftermaths of such procedures?

Afttenposten reports on the medical help given these girls after the fact:

Sarah Kahsay, a midwife at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo, told newspaper Aftenposten that she and her colleagues have tried to help around 260 girls and women during the past three years.

One must question how high the percentage is of mutilated girls who seek medical help. If 260 girls were treated, how many more never showed up for treatment and are forced to endure their pain and “healing” at home?

Obviously, the hospitals get the severely botched cases. Parental concern can indeed overcome tribal laws and it would be hard for a family to watch a child die in pain when competent medical help is available. To that extent, immigration to a Western nation is making inroads in Somalian practices, even if it is only after the fact.

Ninety percent of the girls and women who suffer this practice are ethnic Somalians. Female genital mutilation also occurs among girls from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Gambia and Senegal. Even Kurdish girls from Northern Iraq are starting to show up, though the report notes that these children are older — about eleven or twelve. Somalian children undergo this horror at a much younger age, as Ayan Hirsi Ali has attested personally.

Why the big crackdown? Public awareness is why:

The agonized screams of one young girl being forcibly held down while her genitals were being cut shook Norwegian viewers and has led to a political outcry on the issue. There have been calls for increased enforcement of the law prohibiting female circumciscion, a fatwa against the practice, and regular medical checks of young girls believed to be at risk.

Some steps being taken by the government in reaction to the public demands are:

  • tough, “more binding” cooperation between the police and local township officials
  • a public information campaign in local taxis and on the local public transport system.
  • a 24-hour phone line is being set up to take calls from potential victims or members of the public wanting to report cases of suspected circumcision.
  • mandatory genital screenings for girls at risk are proposed

This last step must await approval by Parliament, which is currently on summer recess. Perhaps by the time they meet again, the furor will die down. However, visual images make a deep impact, and the Norwegian people may not give up easily.
- - - - - - - - - -
states with laws against FGM

Wherever there are Somalians, though, this practice continues. If more MSM outlets in other places where Somalians settle are willing to do the public a service by grapically exposing this inhumane and cruel treatment of little girls, the custom may be eradicated. I hope Hirsi Ali will use her position in the US to make a stand against what she had to endure. We have Somalis here, too, and you can bet their little girls are enduring this brutal “custom,” if not here, then on “vacations” at home in the old country.

Let’s see what the Minnesota MSM are willing to do for these little girls. Let’s see if Hillary talks about “the children” in her numerous trips through areas which contain large minorities who practice this barbarity. This is one custom that can’t be protected by the ethnographers who insist we leave indigenous people to follow their own customs. Once they elect to immigrate, they are no longer indigenes, they are immigrants who have to make their way in a new culture.

In this instance, it is definitely a case of “faster, please.”

Friday, June 29, 2007

Keeping Boys and Girls Separated

One of the notable characteristics of fundamentalist Islam is the strict segregation of the sexes. Interactions between men and women who are not related to one another are tightly regulated, if not prohibited.

But Islam is not the only religion which separates the sexes. Orthodox Judaism is also very restrictive about interaction between males and females.

In an earlier post, Zerosumgame brought to our attention the case of a Jewish school in Gothenburg which is being sanctioned by the Swedish school authorities for separating boys and girls. He and Phanarath requested that we supply a separate thread on this topic.

Our Swedish correspondent LN located the material for this post in the Swedish media, and a Swede who calls himself Carpenter volunteered to do the translation into English.

So this post is very much a group effort.

It appears that the Jewish school in Gothenburg was not singled out because it was Jewish, but for simple violations of Swedish school regulations (whatever one might think of those).

But the unanswered questions are these: What would have happened if the school had been Muslim instead of Jewish? Would it have been sanctioned in the same way?

There is probably no way to answer these questions, since Muslims are so numerous in Sweden, and Jews so few, that it is unlikely that an Islamic school would find itself in the position of having so few pupils.

And now for Carpenter’s translations:

These articles are about the Jewish elementary “free-school” (friskola; a non-tax-funded school or private school) Beit Menachem in Gothenburg, which has lost its permit to educate Jewish pupils due to “several violations” and the fact that that the school separates girls and boys in different classes.

From Aftonbladet:

Jewish school loses its permit after criticism
Keeps boys and girls separated

The Jewish ground-school [elementary school] has several serious violations, according to the School Authority [Skolverket]. Hence, the school’s approval is being revoked.

The school Beit Menachem consistently organizes education and recreational activities in segregated boy- and girl-groups.

“It is not compatible with the values and objectives which are expressed in the school legislation,” writes Skolverket in a message to the press.

Skolverket has also criticized the deficiency of the students’ influence, and the unequal share of responsibility between the principal and the students. One more criticized failure is that there are fewer than twenty students, all from the same family. According to the school law, every school must have at least twenty pupils.

“The deficiencies are so serious that the approval can no longer be given,” writes Skolverket.
- - - - - - - - - -
From Göteborgs-Posten:

Free-school is being threatened with revoked permit

Once again, the Jewish free-school Beit Menachem in Änggården is being threatened with a revoked permit. Besides the fact that the students are still too few, this time it also concerns boys and girls being kept in distinct groups - even during the breaks.

In Skolverket’s latest inspection, several deficiencies were found. Except for some smaller concerns , the criticism is directed towards two main points:

“First of all, they separate by gender, both in the teaching and during the breaks. They do so due to the Orthodox interpretation of their religion; they’re Hasidim, and girls do not interact with boys. But separation between girls and boys is against the curriculum as Skolverket construes it. Secondly, the school has too few pupils,” says Gerhard Eriksson, Skolverket’s education counsel in Gothenburg.

Beit Menachem School has nine pupils, but normally a free-school must have at least twenty pupils to receive aid from the municipality.

Skolverket has now decided to withdraw the school’s permit, if they have not solved their problems before April 13th or have clearly presented how the problems will be attended to.

However, if the school appeals in court, the process can take several years, and in the meantime the school can be run as usual.

But the school has got another matter hanging over it. As recently as 2005, Skolverket intended to withdraw its permit, with the only reason at that time being that there were too few students. The school appealed the decision in Länsrätten [the County Administrative Court], which judged in the favor of Skolverket, and then in Kammarrätten [the Administrative Court of Appeals], which judged in favor of the school.

Now, Regeringsrätten [the Supreme Administrative Court] has recently approved a new trial.

“Since it is with municipal aid the school is being financed, it must follow Swedish school legislation. It is our task to look at it and our duty to make sure it is followed,” says Gerhard Eriksson.

GP [Göteborgs-Posten] has contacted staff from the school, but they did not want to comment on the report or say what position they take on the new requirements for change.

“But what we have discovered so far is that they have no intention of changing the groups separated by gender. This is difficult and complex stuff,” says Gerhard Eriksson.

Governing and Reason

For those of you (like me) who have a hard time researching byzantine legislative news, I’ve got a jumping-off place where you can plunge into the fray. covers the spectrum from the local to the federal level. It has a myriad of stories and reports that I’ve not seen elsewhere. For example, there is this - the Homeland Security chief saying we can’t stop illegal immigration (which I read between the lines and find the coded message, “so pooh on the Senate vote”):

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the Bush administration will continue to enforce existing immigration laws, building border fences and beefing up border patrols, despite the Senate’s crushing of an effort to dramatically overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. But Chertoff said the flood of illegal immigration is not likely to recede.

Here’s their index page, full of juicy links and information.

And here is their daily blog, The 13th Floor., where you can learn that the Alabama governor has issued a proclamation for a week of prayer, petitioning God for rain.

Death and TaxesI suppose it’s one way to pass the time while you wait for the thunder that will eventually come anyway. He’ll no doubt get his answer by way of a hurricane. And then there will be another petition for money - but this one will wend its way to the Federal government…you know, the other god. One handles death, the other does taxes.

Then there is the 13th Floor page, which has dozens of interesting links interspersed with a few short posts. This one, pondering the fate of New York City should Bloomberg resign to run for office, is intriguing:

As the Bloomberg for President speculation reached Fred Thompson levels of hysteria over the past few days, it dawned on me that I had no idea who takes over if the mayor of New York City leaves office early.

The same question dawned on the New York Times, which offers the answer: Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. As the Times explains, the city rules for special elections are a bit murky, so it’s unclear whether she would serve out the rest of Bloomberg’s term, which ends in January 2010.

Gotbaum, 68, is a veteran of city government who keeps a low profile. She would be a notable mayor for a couple of reasons beyond, you know, running a city of 8 million people. She’d be New York City’s first Democratic mayor in 15 years and the only woman nationwide in charge of a city of a million or more people, unless a woman wins elsewhere between now and then (Dallas’ Laura Miller is leaving office).

Her tenure also might prompt someone to write, “Gotbaum governs Gotham.” Say that five times fast.

- - - - - - - - - -
As I said, this is a good site. It’s going on my list of magazines to buy, just because it’s so educational and entertaining. I’ll put it after The Claremont Review, though. That is definitely my next one in the reading budget. It describes itself this way:

The Claremont Review of Books offers bold arguments for a reinvigorated conservatism, which draws upon the timeless principles of the American Founding and applies them to the moral and political problems we face today. By engaging policy at the level of ideas, the CRB aims to reawaken in American politics a statesmanship and citizenship worthy of our noblest political traditions.

My kind of thinkers…as in Charles Kesler’s this month,“Iraq and the Neoconservatives”. Here’s a small snip of a wide-ranging essay:

the early neocons were cultural pessimists. They warned that capitalism and democracy were both drawing down the inherited cultural capital on which they depended; and neither capitalism nor democracy seemed capable of adding to that dwindling stock. They feared that bourgeois America, capable still of bourgeois virtues, was steadily losing ground to the bohemian, relativist America of the intellectuals. Robert Bork’s Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (1996) is a reliable, if extreme, version of their pessimism.

But a strange thing happened on the way to Gomorrah. In the midst of decline, a resistance and regeneration began to take hold. It started as an intellectual and political revival, led by the mainstream conservative movement, which the neocons have never quite understood or appreciated. It broadened and deepened with the religious revival of the 1970s and 1980s, which helped to turn millions of evangelical Protestants and newly energized Catholics into faithful Republican voters. A religious revival was one of the last things that the neocons would have expected, but it gave them hope for the country. The electoral and policy successes of Reagan Republicanism, to which the neocons contributed in striking ways, confirmed that systemic renewal was possible, after all.

Though they had not anticipated these developments, the neocons easily adjusted to them. As anti-Romantics, they had never let their doubts about liberal society’s viability ripen into an ideology of decline; as Democrats or ex-Democrats, they admired the moderate reform tradition (as they saw it) of 20th-century American liberalism. So individual neocons, mostly in the younger generation, had been advising and aiding politicians all along. The neocons’ long-term pessimism never inhibited their short-term political efforts.

Intellectually, the crucial connection between the neocon generations came in the 1970s, when thinkers like Michael Novak began to argue that bourgeois or democratic culture had greater resources for replenishment than their fellow neocons had realized. Novak argued that far from being parasitic on Protestantism, democratic capitalism was itself a spiritual calling, a Christian mission in which entrepreneurs partook in God’s own graceful creativity. Properly understood, capitalism reinforced Christianity (including Catholicism), and vice versa, though of course neither could be reduced to the other. Richard John Neuhaus and others focused on civil society, the realm of voluntary associations that Tocqueville had long ago pointed to as essential to a healthy democracy. By preventing government from usurping their functions, and by encouraging them in other ways, mediating institutions like churches could thrive, and revivify American culture.

In tracing the connections between culture and politics, neoconservative scholars followed in Tocqueville’s and ultimately Aristotle’s steps: Aristotle’s “regime” was all about how politics shaped culture, and culture politics. For the first generation of neocons, many of whom were sociologists, culture probably seemed the predominant force. The second generation came increasingly to share Aristotle’s confidence in the power of politics to shape culture—and thus of American power to help spread liberal democracy to countries whose culture hitherto had been profoundly inhospitable.

The caliber of writing at The Claremont Institute is unsurpassed.

Meanwhile, the breadth of information at is equally important. It covers the practical realities of modern governing in the U.S.

We need both.

The Good News and the… Good News

The Senate goes at itThere's a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about the last two important Senate votes. The decisions on these two pieces of legislation are encouraging. Perhaps the Senate finally gets it: their closed club is under intense scrutiny by the American public. Not everyone mind you; just that part of the citizenry that votes.

First, of course, is the victory that wasn't, the victory that “turned into a rout,” as Byron York puts it:

We heard for several days that the big immigration cloture vote was going to be really, really close. “Razor-thin,” as the highly trained professional pundits like to say.

I thought so, too. I had breakfast yesterday morning, a couple of hours before the vote, with a Republican senator who was a “no” on the issue. He was keeping up with things pretty closely, and he thought the margin, one way or the other, was going to be, well, razor-thin.

Since 64 senators had voted to move the immigration bill forward on Tuesday, we discussed whether there might be five who would change their minds and vote against allowing the bill to proceed. If that happened, the bill would die by a single vote.

It seemed clear that a few senators were going to switch to “no.” But there was no guarantee there would be five. And no expectation of more than five.

And even if there were five, there were worries that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had something up his sleeve and might persuade a few Democrats who had voted against the bill on Tuesday to vote differently this time, keeping it alive.

Either way, it was going to be close, close, close.

And then it turned out to be a rout, with the bill's supporters falling 14 senators short of a vote to move forward.

Why? Chalk it up to the old “profiles in courage” effect.

For a while, when it appeared that the bill had a chance of staying alive, its most timid supporters stayed on board — but only on the condition that everybody else stayed on board, too.

Then, yesterday morning, word went 'round that the required five senators had changed their minds. The immigration bill appeared headed for defeat. That's when a squeaker became a stampede.

What were the senators thinking? Well, everybody knew that if the bill died, it would stay dead, probably for a long time. That would mean their vote on cloture would stand, certainly up until next year's elections, as their final position on the “amnesty” bill.

In other words, the Senate has become very aware of the scrutiny voters have applied to their comings and goings. And Senators will have to go home to run for office. Any opponent could string them up merely by pointing to their approving vote for an “amnesty” bill.

“It was one of those things where people were prepared to vote for it — if it was going to pass,” says a plugged-in Senate source. “But they didn't want to fall on their swords for a failed bill, and on the last vote on this issue for a long time.”

So the coalition that everyone described as “fragile” fell completely apart. But that only became clear in the last few minutes before the vote.

Do read the whole thing, to get the flavor of those final hours. Just the description of Teddy Kennedy's “leather-lunged oration” is worth your time.

Note: Virginia's junior senator, a newly elected Democrat, was one of three “turncoats” who voted to kill the thing. I am looking forward to sending him my thanks. One doesn't often get the chance to thank a Dem, and I'm not going to let this opportunity pass unremarked.

The second piece of good news was the vote in the house to kill the resurrection of the “Fairness Doctrine.” Fairness? Sure it is:

In other news, Mike Pence [Republican, IN] is my new hero. His crafty stake to the heart of the Fairness Doctrine, which would have effectively force on me an Al Sharpton for every Sean Hannity I listen to on talk radio. The Pence Bill banned any federal funding from the FCC [that's the Federal Communications Commission for our European readers] that would be used to enforce the Fairness Doctrine. Pence is now writing a bill that would cleanly and dryly cut the throat of the Fairness Doctrine once and for all. A 53-46 victory [he's referring to the Senate vote on immigration] and one of 309-115 [the House vote] made for an excellent day for Americans and an excellent day for freedom of the press.

For those not familiar with the history of the Fairness Doctrine, see here.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Mohammed-Burning Video Has Moved

As we all expected, YouTube removed the Mohammed-burning video.

It also simultaneously removed all the violent jihad videos.


As of tonight the Flaming Mo video has been re-posted at Google Video. For anyone who hasn’t already seen this piece of incendiary Viking performance art, I have embedded it below.

If it doesn’t work, click here.

For a translation of the Danish intro, and a further discussion of 80+ comments, see our post from earlier this week.

[Post ends here.]

Our Moral High Horses

Moral high horseI’ve been blogging for almost three years now, so I’ve gotten used to writing every day. The engine stays warm and the gears are all greased up, so that I can crank out the rhetoric whenever I need it. I find a topic, churn out a rant, and then go back to my real job.

But it never fails to amaze me how some of our commenters, people who keep no blogs of their own, can write concisely and elegantly on a topic and get to the heart of an issue much effectively than I can. It’s even more remarkable when some of the most eloquent writers do not have English as their native language.

Our Danish commenter Phanarath is one such writer. The essay below was taken from an exchange of opinion between him and another commenter on Monday’s post.

Phanarath’s essay is part of a larger discussion about the folly of treating Islam as a religion like other religions. Islam is a political ideology, and modern radical Muslims have become adept at manipulating the tolerance of our free societies to advance their political agenda and gain local control within our political systems. Their long-term goal — as stated clearly in the propaganda of the Muslim Brotherhood and groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir — is complete control, when the conditions are ripe.

The place where my grandfather used to live, and where I sometimes played as a child, now lies within a Muslim area. Today it’s a very unsafe place with the problems I described above and much more, smaller things like gender separation, halal this and haram that and constant demands for special treatment for the mostly unemployed population of the area.

The only group of people behaving in this destructive way are Muslims. And it’s not just a few, as some might think; it’s a collective pattern that they repeat everywhere, wherever they become a local majority. The visible troublemakers might only be a small percentage, but the collective pattern always seems to be the same.

It’s Islam itself as a whole that creates these problems, and for most common people this is obvious. I get so tired of intellectuals who try to find ways to explain this simple fact away. And many have tried.
- - - - - - - - - -
There are lots of Muslims who are kind and peaceful as individuals, that’s true. But they still show the same collective patterns when enough of them get together. They start to see themselves as opposed to the non-Muslims around them.

To target Jihad and Sharia as the real reason for the problems is just one more clever way to try to excuse Islam. And while intellectuals play mind games, teenage girls get raped. And yes, it makes me hostile, as it should, but I am sorry for directing it at you.

The essence of the problem comes from the Muslim identification as being in opposition to other groups. If we somehow make all Muslims sign a treaty or a contract, saying that they reject Jihad and Sharia, and we let them keep the identification as Muslims, they will simply hide their belief in Jihad and Sharia from us and keep it to themselves until they feel ready to confront us. As long as they can identify themselves as Muslims, it will be used to control the behavior of people within their system, and at the same time tell us what we want to hear.

Therefore we must strike at this identification, by banning Muslim organization, symbolism and garments that are used to signal that people are Muslim. By doing this we can remove the iron grip the Muslim community has over its members, and then it be will possible to slowly start to make things more positive and peaceful for everyone. I am pretty sure that many of those we call moderates would be happy about this, secretly at first.

Or we can sit on our moral high horses and wait for the whole thing to blow, while we argue details about how many peaceful Muslims there are or what verses we think are the most evil. We can let our children and people who don’t have the resources to relocate be the foot soldiers in a war, a war they never asked for and that we refuse to even acknowledge, while we convince ourselves that this somehow makes us better then others.

Update on the Midsummer Burning of Mohammed

I’ve just learned that YouTube has removed the Mohammed-burning video. We all knew it was only a matter of time until that happened.

The burning of Mohammed

I’m told that the video will soon be posted again elsewhere. Stay tuned — we’ll post the new link and/or embed as soon as we get it.

[Nothing more in this post.]

Open Hands and Large Hearts

According to this report we’ve done it again. America leads the world in charitable giving. And it’s not the wealthy corporations, or the Bill Gates-type donors who are the backbone of charity:

Donors contributed an estimated $295.02 billion in 2006, a 1 percent increase when adjusted for inflation, up from $283.05 billion in 2005. Excluding donations for disaster relief, the total rose 3.2 percent, inflation-adjusted, according to an annual report released Monday by the Giving USA Foundation at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.

Giving historically tracks the health of the overall economy, with the rise amounting to about one-third the rise in the stock market, according to Giving USA. Last year was right on target, with a 3.2 percent rise as stocks rose more than 10 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis.

“What people find especially interesting about this, and it’s true year after year, that such a high percentage comes from individual donors,” Giving USA Chairman Richard Jolly said. [“Jolly” is a jolly good name for a charities oversight chairman —D]

Individuals gave a combined 75.6 percent of the total. With bequests, that rises to 83.4 percent.

The biggest chunk of the donations, $96.82 billion or 32.8 percent, went to religious organizations. The second largest slice, $40.98 billion or 13.9 percent, went to education, including gifts to colleges, universities and libraries.

About 65 percent of households with incomes less than $100,000 give to charity, the report showed.

Why is this not surprising? The donations that the Republican Party receives are largely from individual donors — that’s why staying on message for their base is more important than it is for the Dems, who are underwritten by Soros and Hollywood and the unions.

And conservatives give more to charity than do liberals…or perhaps give more meaningfully. Remember when Hillary took a tax deduction for donating Bill’s old underwear to charity?

This report noticed the same thing de Tocqueville did — Americans operate from a sense of abundance. They give because they are hopeful, they are optimists, and they know there is more where that came from. Besides, they sincerely believe in the adage about bread cast upon the waters:

“It tells you something about American culture that is unlike any other country,” said Claire Gaudiani, a professor at NYU’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and author of “The Greater Good: How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism.” Gaudiani said the willingness of Americans to give cuts across income levels, and their investments go to developing ideas, inventions and people to the benefit of the overall economy.

Gaudiani said Americans give twice as much as the next most charitable country, according to a November 2006 comparison done by the Charities Aid Foundation. In philanthropic giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, the U.S. ranked first at 1.7 percent. No. 2 Britain gave 0.73 percent, while France, with a 0.14 percent rate, trailed such countries as South Africa, Singapore, Turkey and Germany.

Having been the recipients of others’ generosity during the Baron’s unemployment, I can say that while donations came from everywhere — even Berkeley — the majority of our givers were Texans and Aussies. Many gave more than once.

This news report doesn’t even mention the Australians, so I went looking for some larger reference. Here’s one [.pdf] from the World Bank for 2005:

World Bank Charity

Notice that the Anglosphere dominates when it comes to sharing.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Does anyone have an idea why that might be? I mean, a theory with some philosophical underpinnings? If so, I’d like to hear them, especially the ones that don’t bleat about our superiority. As I said, such largesse must come from a fundamental optimism.

But from whence does that optimism flow? Is it perhaps a sense — rightly or wrongly — that we have the freedom to make individual choices about how we will make our way in the world?

Does that optimism flow from a sense of gratitude for all we have?

And while we’re at it, what is your favorite charity…and why?

I’ll go first: Grameen most touches my capitalist heart, but I am also enamored of courageous individuals like Michael Yon and Bill Roggio. When the Baron was still working as an employee, I gave money to Michael Yon so he could buy some night vision glasses and not get killed.

On the other hand, when the time came to support Bill Roggio’s embed in Iraq, we didn’t have any money to spare, so I sent him an explanation and an IOU. Do you know what he did? He sent us a contribution!

How’s that for an open heart?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A New Balance Between Rome and Jerusalem

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

My post about the impact of Christianity on Western culture generated some interesting comments. Several readers stated that Christianity is flexible, unlike Islam, and that the United States, perhaps still the most devoutly Christian of Western nations, also has the most dynamic military forces. And it was the Americans who dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which hardly indicates that Christians have to be soft.

The blogger Vanishing American says she can’t count the number of Internet discussions she has seen blaming the “Camp of the Saints” invasion of the West on the feminizing impact of Christianity. She should note that The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail does indeed describe how Christian leaders and bishops are at the forefront of surrendering Europe in the name of compassion, and this really is happening. Moreover, she says that “I cannot see how Christianity has been capable of instilling guilt in Europeans long after they have stopped believing in Christianity.”

This is an inaccurate view of the situation. Although some of the destructive ideas I mentioned earlier are not always directly related to Christianity, they have adopted certain aspects of Christianity or at least ideas derived from Christian cosmology. However, they have upset the balance, and the resulting secularized religions have become caricatures of the original, sometimes highly dangerous ones. These post-Christian political religions believe in human perfectibility. That sounds like an attractive proposition, but its track record shows that this ideal has caused a lot of pain in real life.

Jürgen HabermasSome observers are aware of the fact that notions such as human rights are ultimately based in Christianity. I don’t always agree with the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who does have some quirky ideas, but he is right when he says that “Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”

If we assume that Christian anti-Semitism is partly a reflection of a Christian Oedipus complex vis-à-vis its parent religion, Judaism, which is a plausible hypothesis, this opens up new perspectives on the hatred directed against Christianity by Multicultural, post-Christian Westerners. Since their creeds are secularized versions of Christian ideas, Christianity without Christ, some of them hate their parent religion, this outmoded and abrogated creed that still dares to exist.

Karl MarxAccording to Vanishing American, “Truly, liberalism in general, even the extreme secular brand of liberalism, is a sort of counterfeit Christianity. This has been pointed out many times. Karl Marx, the son of a Christian convert, was a nonbeliever, but whether consciously or not, the system he fathered was a parody of Christianity. Instead of looking to a kingdom not of this world, Marxism and its offshoots proposed to create a heaven on earth.” She also quotes scholar James Kurth, who has called the deformation of Christianity behind Multiculturalism “Protestantism without God.”

I’ve seen this claim before, that Multiculturalism is tied to Protestant culture. There could be some truth in this, but the Catholic Church is also infected by this problem, and it has other challenges in that it is a bureaucratic institution that is first and foremost looking after its own interests. Since it is demographically speaking increasingly based in developing countries, it more and more resembles a Christian version of the United Nations. Although I would welcome it, I therefore question the Church’s ability to defend the West.

I understand what blogger Conservative Swede means when he talks about European rather than Western civilization. When speaking about the West, we tend to include Protestants and Catholics, but not eastern, Orthodox Christians. But since the Roman Catholic Church is becoming one large religious NGO, it is increasingly difficult to say that it represents the West. As a Western European, I have more in common with a Serb or Bulgarian Orthodox than I have with a Catholic from Bolivia or a Protestant from Botswana.

Niccolo MachiavelliAs I’ve demonstrated elsewhere, cultural relativism in the West can be traced back at least to the Enlightenment, perhaps to the Age of Exploration in the 16th century. However, there are even those who would claim to that its seeds date back prior to the Reformation. Humanists of the fifteenth century championed cultural criticism and presented their audience with a choice between a powerful past in ancient Italy and a corrupt and divided present. The most extreme strands of humanist thought led in the direction of repudiating Christianity altogether, and were personified by Machiavelli, who relied almost solely on Rome, very little on Jerusalem.

The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism by Jill Kraye explains it this way:

Their intimate knowledge of another culture, their habit of comparing that culture with their own age, their realism and their habit of arguing both sides of a question led in the end to an incipient form of cultural relativism. This is perhaps most obvious in the writings of the late humanist writer Michel de Montaigne, but signs of it can already be found in Petrarch. A major lesson of cultural relativism, of course, is that what one is in the habit of thinking of as a given of nature may in fact be a product of culture. And what belongs to culture, not nature, is within human power to change. Applied to the sphere of high culture, the will to reject tradition and embrace change can lead to a Renaissance; applied to the political sphere, it can lead to a Utopia.

The writer Paul Gottfried says that Multiculturalism “travels in the baggage of the American empire, as was evident during the unprovoked attack on Serbia.” I agree with that. As a fully mature developed ideology it was exported from the USA, which acted as the Multicultural Empire in the case of Serbia in 1999, an ideological war to uphold Multicultural orthodoxy.

Gottfried also warns against a secular or Multicultural theocracy. He continues: “Mass democracy is a term used to describe a government that rules in the name of the ‘people’ but is highly centralized and operates increasingly without an ethnic-cultural core. It is a bureaucratic empire that distributes political favors and provides a minimal level of physical protection but is no longer capable of or interested in practicing self-government. (...) What happened is that, contrary to what nineteenth-century critics of democracy believed, universal suffrage and urbanization did not lead to the outbreak of anarchy and violent expropriation. Rather the people voted to hand over power to ‘public administrators’ and more recently in the U.S. judges, who became the agents for practicing democracy on our behalf. Democracy was not equated with meaningful self-rule but with being socialized by administrators, who taught us ‘equality’ and later, pluralism and multiculturalism. That mass democratic regime has turned progressively therapeutic, with the advent of the cult of victims and the degeneration of Christianity into a purveyor of the politics of guilt.”

The burning of TyndaleJames Kurth calls this the “Protestant deformation,” which has paved the way for Multiculturalism. According to Gottfried, “At the heart of the problem is the transformation of justified spiritual guilt into social guilt and the Protestant focus on the individual into a rejection of membership in a shared civilization that needs to be preserved.”
- - - - - - - - - -
The flagellantBut this confirms what I have said earlier. Our guilt complex does have its roots in Christianity, but it has been transformed into something else. Christianity believes in sin, but it also believes in forgiveness and redemption. According to the new post-Christian creed, we are told to feel vaguely guilty all the time for some unnamed sins. This makes us weak to resist attacks from outside because we will always feel that any act of aggression is justified. This guilt complex is destroying us, leaving us mentally disarmed in front of every enemy. Unlike in Christianity, where Christ sacrificed himself to wash away your sins, in this new Christianity without Christ, there is no possibility of redemption. And since it’s unbearable for us to live with this guilt for real or perceived past sins (again, a secularized version of the Christian concept of original sin), the only way we can free ourselves of this sin is to rid ourselves of our culture and everything that makes us “us.” We thus end up sacrificing ourselves. This secularized, post-Christian version of Christianity clearly isn’t sustainable. If left unchanged it will leave us powerless in front of Islam, and we will lose.

The IslaminternI’ve stated that post-Christian ideologies, arguably even Marxism, have expropriated ideas derived from Christian cosmology. However, they have been highly selective in which elements to use and which to discard. Christians believe in right and wrong, good and evil, something which Multiculturalists do not, except perhaps racism and discrimination, which are the only sins and one for which there can be no forgiveness. They have rejected crucial components of Christianity. Likewise, Socialists tend to view criminals as misguided individuals, at best in need of proper ideological guidance by Leftist social engineers, at worst as victims of society that should get an apology from us. They don’t believe in evil, except perhaps in those who reject their ideological guidance and wisdom.

Marxists substituted God as the engine of history with the impersonal forces of class struggle, but their religion contains no afterlife. The reasons why Marxists find it easier to accept Islam than Christianity is first of all because they can continue their hatred for traditional Western culture under a different garb, but second of all because Islam, with its sharia and its desire to regulate all aspects of society in minute detail, has stronger emphasis on establishing its Paradise in this life as well, as opposed to Christianity.

FrankensteinBy claiming that post-Christian ideologies have adopted elements of Christian thought I am in no way implying that they are in any sense identical to Christianity, just as a kidney transplant from one individual to another doesn’t make the two bodies identical. It could be useful to think of them as a sort of ideological Frankenstein monster made up of haphazard combination of body part from a variety of sources, some of which in post-Christian Europe happen to be from the newly slain corpse of Christianity. Seeing the number of dead corpses in Socialist regimes, one could argue that the religion of Marxism more closely resembles the religion of the Aztecs, with its human sacrifice, than Christianity.

Michael W. Perry, author of the book Untangling Tolkien, left a blog comment stating that during the 20th century, a simplistic, moralistic pacifism replaced the Christian belief that, given the sinful nature of humanity, just wars were necessary. That’s why medieval Europe knew it had to fight Islamic invasions, while modern, secular Europe does not. One of the bloodiest naval battles in history was the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, fought to keep the Ottoman Empire from invading Italy and turning St. Peter’s in Rome into a mosque.

In the view of Mr. Perry, “it’s not Christian virtues that weaken Europe, it’s the warped continuation of some of those virtues in the total absence of others, particularly a deep and pervading sense of the nature of evil that means that it often can’t be fought by words, international institutions, or diplomacy. (...) Historically, Western Christianity benefited from the way it spread. Contact with Greek thought awakened it to ideas that Jews rarely wrestled with. Contact with Rome taught it how to deal with large, complex, cosmopolitan societies using structured government and the rule of law. (Israel had been small and agricultural.) And finally, contact with the heroic in Northern Europe helped to teach it individualism and the necessity to fight for freedom. You see that in Tolkien, who was devoutly Catholic.”

Map of Middle EarthTolkien was a deeply Western writer. Being a linguist by profession, he was fascinated with the languages of the Celtic tribes of the British Isles, especially Welsh, but also with Finnish, a non-Indo-European language radically different from the other tongues he was familiar with, and with the Kalevala, the national epos of Finland. He was preoccupied with the period of British history in between the downfall of Roman rule in the province of Britannia in the 5th century and the Norman Conquest in the 11th century. During the Migration Period, Germanic tribes from the east moved into Britain in large numbers. The epic poem Beowulf, to which Tolkien devoted considerable time, describes this culture in the 8th and 9th century at a time when Christianity was spreading, and mentions tribes from today’s Sweden and Denmark. The Kingdom of Rohan in The Lord of the Rings is clearly inspired by this Anglo-Saxon culture and its Scandinavian roots.

The names of characters such as Gandalf the wizard may be derived from Scandinavian examples, for instance the Saga of Halfdan the Black, who married Ragnhild, daughter of Harald Goldbeard, and fought against King Gandalf. Together they produced a son, Harald, who succeeded Halfdan as ruler around 860 and later earned the nickname Harald Fairhair. Following a rejected marriage proposal, he took a vow not to cut his hair until he was sole king of the entire country. He is traditionally regarded as Norway’s first national king. His successor Erik Bloodaxe later killed his brothers to get rid of rivals. This according to Heimskringla, the tales about Norwegian kings recorded by Icelandic writer Snorri Sturluson.

One highly interesting legacy from the Roman era is the border between England, which along with Wales was a part of the Empire, and Scotland, which was not. This border has remained more or less stable for two thousand years. Hadrian’s Wall in northern England was built by emperor Hadrian in AD 122 after his predecessor Trajan had conquered so many new territories, making the Empire reach its greatest territorial extent, that his successor needed to consolidate Roman rule. The intersection between Roman, Christian and Germanic influences had a decisive impact on the histories of England, France and Germany, respectively.

The Frankish ruler Charles Martel, after beating back the Muslim invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, founded the Carolingian Empire, which bears his Latin name: Carolus. He also laid the foundations for the feudal system, and thus shaped much of the Middle Ages. His grandson Charlemagne was crowned Emperor in the year 800 by the Pope. The Carolingian Empire, which was a deliberate attempt to revive the Roman Empire in the West, at this point encompassed France, Germany and much of Central Europe plus Italy down to Rome, but was divided into three parts in 843. The eastern third, with its heartland in today’s Germany, later became known as the Holy Roman Empire and lasted for another thousand years, one way or the other. This is somewhat ironic, given that most of Germany was never included in the original Roman Empire. After Roman forces were massacred by Germanic tribes at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest year 9 A.D., the Romans never again made any serious attempts to conquer the lands north of the Rhine.

Otto von BismarckIn England and France, the memory of centuries under centralized Roman rule never totally disappeared, which could help explain why the English and the French managed to create unified states in the Middle Ages while Germany wasn’t unified until Bismarck in the late 19th century. This could arguably be due to geography as well in the case of England, but it is more difficult to explain why France and Germany, both part of the Carolingian Empire, went their separate ways without taking the Roman legacy into account.

FaustThe unity of Germany was also upset by a religious conflict in the 11th and 12th centuries, at a time when the papacy asserted its power. Pope Urban II initiated the First Crusade in 1095. The Investiture Controversy, regarding who should have the right to appoint church officials, broke the authority of the German king. The Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century left the Empire further in shambles. Thereafter, it existed in name only. In the play Faust, written at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, the German author Goethe briefly mocked its powerlessness, but the Empire wasn’t formally abolished until the Napoleonic Wars. Following Germanic traditions, the Emperors had to be elected and gave concessions in order to win favors, which weakened their authority. Still, some families such as the House of Habsburg dominated the list of emperors for centuries. They also dominated the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Empire, which later merged into the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary until it was dissolved after World War I.

As these examples show, the memory and the legacy of Rome never quite left us, even into the modern age. Islam became a world religion by creating an empire though war. Christianity became a world religion by being born into and growing within an already established empire, the Roman Empire. Christianity was influenced by Roman civilization from the very beginning and would probably have been impossible without it. I do see potential problems with Christianity as such. Yet since it is flexible, it is colored by what other impulses it is combined with, which is why I do not agree with those who say that we have to get rid of Christianity in order to survive. Realistically though, it contains potential flaws that need to be contained by adherence to nations and by balancing them out with emphasis not only on Greek logic, but also Roman strategic skills.

SocratesThe West has always been a composite civilization, comprised of a complicated mix of different impulses. We will need all of them to survive. Relaying on just one isn’t enough. We need both Rome and Jerusalem, both the Greco-Roman and the Judeo-Christian strands of the West, but maybe we need to strike a new balance between the two. The crucial question is whether Christianity, at least in Western Europe, has already been so weakened and discredited that it has been removed as a significant factor.

P.S.: Regarding civilizations and religion, China also provides an interesting example. According to scholar Thomas T. Allsen, “In addition to the commercial goods, mainly silk, coming west, many cultural wares, from folklore motifs to alphabets and religions, moved eastward. Almost all of the major religious movements originating in the Middle East — Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Manichaeanism, and Islam — reached China, while Chinese ideological systems made no inroads in the West. This intriguing and persistent pattern, which has never been explained, was apparently established quite early.”

As Allsen points out, too often we “equate political and economic superiority with cultural dominance. There are many examples to the contrary. As Braudel points out, England emerged in the eighteenth century as the premier political power but France retained and even extended its cultural influence. This is true of Roman cultural reliance on the Greeks and the Achaemenid [Persian] dependence on Mesopotamia. Consequently, it is no anomaly that the Mongols of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were certainly dominant in the political and military spheres but hardly in the cultural.”

Buddhist scriptureChina, despite having a reputation as a proud civilization, has historically proved more willing to accept non-Chinese religions than vice versa. Christianity isn’t native to Europe either, it came from the Middle East. But at least it was a part of the same empire and political entity at that time, so it was still a “Roman” religion. Buddhism was not in any way native to China. Silk was known to Julius Caesar, and the silk trade with Rome grew rapidly from the reign of Augustus. Chinese trade with Iran and India had been established much earlier. Yet despite the popularity of Chinese goods, and despite the fact that China is one of the oldest continuous civilizations on earth, and for several thousand years also was one of the wealthiest and most technically advanced, its religions and philosophies never had a large impact outside of East Asia.


I don’t know, but it’s an intriguing question.