Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Development of a Parallel Society

An Interview with Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo

Dr. Patrick SookhdeoAt the Counterhihad Summit in Brussels last month, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs interviewed Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, who was one of the featured speakers at the conference. Heroyalwhyness, a longtime Gates of Vienna reader and commenter, has transcribed the interview; the results are below.

KGS at Tundra Tabloids made his own transcription of the interview. I haven’t had time to compare the two versions; readers are invited to see how well they match.

Pamela has posted a thorough presentation on Counterjihad Brussels 2007, with lots of photos, video, and audio. The mp3 file of the interview with Dr. Sookhdeo can be found here.

Q: Hello, I’m here with Patrick Sookhdeo, am I saying that correctly?
A: Sookhdeo.
Q: Sookhdeo. You just gave a very powerful presentation at this conference, and I wanted to discuss with you — just how far infiltration of Islam is in Western societies, particularly you focused on Britain.
A: That’s correct. I think that its important that we separate out the countries because Islamic infiltration is dependant on a number of factors. And in some places, they have been able to make much more headway than in others. I think the UK is by far the place where they have made the most headway.
Q: Why is that?
A: I think there are several reasons. I think, firstly British policy of successive governments followed a policy of multiculturalism. It was politically driven and effectively enshrined Islam. Which meant, it was politically acceptable. It was allowed to develop socially and culturally. I think that’s a very big area, the multicultural. I think the second where the majority of Muslims came from, they came from the Indian sub-continent. British policy during the days of the hiraj was to allow the Muslims a degree of autonomy in terms of ‘how’ they could live out their religious lives, known as communalism. And so, when they came here, although initially they were part of society, gradually they began to develop much more, this communal position furthered by a British policy of multiculturalism. And I think that in the last forty years, Islam has rediscovered it’s roots. Classical Islam has rediscovered the Qur’an, the hadith, it’s Sharia and they have discovered an Islamic identity. I think these things together has projected them very much into a community which is distinctive.
Q: So you would say that they have, not a choke hold but a strong hold in the UK.
A: They have created blocks, you could say power blocks from which they can influence. And those power blocks are geographical. Where, in areas they form the majority — also in society, where they can lead a society in matters of government, where they can seek to shape government policy. So, I would say that they are present in many different aspects of British life.
Q: How did they do that? What was their strategy? It wasn’t by accident, certainly?
A: No no. It was very well thought out and fortunately, many had not done work on this. Back in 1979, there was the Islam in Europe conference, and one of their basic strategies that arose was that Muslims should NOT integrate as individuals in society but rather as communities. So they emphasized the development of Muslim communities — in other words, they would become majority in given areas and then they would go to the next stage which was to engage the political bodies in that area. If you had to reduce their strategy over the past 30 years it would firstly the creation of an Islamic consciousness, and all Muslim women would wear the hijab, everyone eats halal meat — those very basic things that gives visibility to the Muslim community. They know “who” they are. And their Sharia, their law, it now becomes operative within. Secondly, to create organizations and institutions. For example, an Islamic Woman’s Society, an Islamic legal society, an Islamic educational society… now, each of those societies sits down and works out it’s principles and sets “what are our objectives”, “where do we want to go”, “how are we going to get there”, “how does Islam fit within this”, and “where does our law come in”. Once they have that in place, they move to the third stage which is to say to their local authority “look, we have lots of Muslim children in school, should not the school cater for our children, in terms of dress, in terms of Ramadan, in terms of food, in terms of education ?” They’d say, politically, we’re here, should we not be present on national days, should we not be a part of everything. So what has happened is they’ve engaged the political structures at local, regional and national levels. Islam has now been accepted and brought into the center. That engaging also had to do with the media, social, cultural, religious bodies all operating in tandem so their presence was known, it was felt. And then there is the final stage which is the threat. If you don’t give way to what we want, then we are not to blame if you are attacked. Now in England, we have had our 7/7 and sadly, Muslim leaders came out and said, “It’s really British government policy is to blame because you/we are in Iraq killing Muslims. You can’t blame our young people. In other words, they are saying to the government, “ you have got to follow our foreign policy. We will tell you what to do”. So you’ve got that fourth stage which is where violence is threatened or utilized.
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Q: Now, in America, this is starting to happen. I’m on the “Stop the Madrassa” coalition. There is a school in Brooklyn, an Arabic school and we’re trying to stop it. But it’s certainly not the first, and I can see in the UK, they’ve been very successful, have they not? Are there a great many Muslim schools, public schools?
A: Very much so. In fact,. the worrying feature is that our present Labour Government has decided to fund at least one hundred Muslim schools. So you have independent Muslim schools, that’s outside of the state funding.
Q: Yes, we have that too
A: And the government is now saying, “we need now to fund them and to bring them into the state sector as Muslim schools — which I think is an unwise decision to take.
Q: And so, what do you think is the next step in the UK? What happens next?
A: I think the worrying factor is how far these communities are going to go in terms of some kind of autonomy. If they form majorities within given geographical areas… that is already happening…
Q: That is happening.
A: And if non-Muslims are being pushed out, if they create their own institutions, which they’ve done. If they’re able to Islamicize police forces, which they’ve already done — and capture political power — At what point do they say these areas are now going to be under Sharia, and we will determine “who” comes in and “what” can take place within? Let me give you two illustrations. Dogs. Muslims are currently saying their hadiths, traditions say that dogs are unclean and should not be in these areas. So what happens if you have a dog? Another is alcohol. What happens if you have a taxi driver who is this Muslim, he picks up somebody who has alcohol at this alcohol shop. Does that mean the alcohol shop will have to close down? Or advertising. One may not like some advertising if they advertise beer or scantily clad ladies. Should they all be removed? So it has huge impact on what happens within a community. My concern for the states, I think, is not just madrassas which are developing, but actually Islamic communities of the type which we have seen develop in the UK.
Q: Like Dearbornistan.
A: Exactly. That is now happening in the states.
Q: Now, if George Bush could have done something differently after 9/11. Did he do anything that you think could have been done differently? Done better? More effectively? Or is this just a runaway train?
A: I think Mr. Bush’s strategy, and may I add, I doubt any other incumbent would have done it differently because they had to safeguard the American people. That was the priority.
Q: yes —
A: And it meant that they had to develop Homeland Security for the first time join up all the dots and all the security agencies working together properly, good immigration laws with much greater emphasis on counter terrorism. I, personally, think he did the right thing. But I think secondly, he had to go after the perpetrators. And so, it was right that the Taliban, al Qaeda was attacked in their back yards, so to speak, in Afghanistan.. And I don’t think Mr. Bush could be faulted. Again, as I said, any incumbent would have done the same.
Q: Do you think the train has left the station?
A: I think in the UK, it has. Because the Muslim community has been allowed to develop in such a way that it’s going to be very difficult for outsiders to influence it. It could be, she could be influenced from within. It would mean the Muslim community leaders standing up and saying, “Look, we want to come back into the station and we want to be a part of life “. That’s a decision they have got to take. But if they continue to preach separation, the development of a parallel society, old Indian version of communalism, then I think it is very very difficult to see a way ahead.
Q: Why would they back peddle when they have been so successful? I don’t understand. I mean, what would be the objective? They are achieving their objectives this way.
A: I think that you would, are not happy… there are some young professionals who have embraced Western values, particularly separation of religion from state. Internal, private law rather than public. Really they’d appreciate a liberal Western society. And I think people like that obviously do not want an Islamic state. I think there are some Muslim leaders who are sitting down and saying, Look we have fled from rigid societies, do we want to replicate those societies here? Is it possible for Islam to adjust to a contemporary Western society? So I think we’ve got those thinkers. The real dilemma is, the communities are conservative by nature, even though they are traditionalists. Their leadership tends more the hard line. They’re the Jamaat, the Muslim Brotherhood. Their leaders are actually saying, “well, we got what we wanted, and it’s taking us where we want. And more than that Western society, secular society is so corrupt, we don’t want that! We want our children and our families to grow up in our own communities, with our own religion and with our own law “ In other words, we want a Muslim street. That’s where the tension is going to be.
Q: And this Muslim Street, do you think it would welcome Christians and Jews and infidels? It’s not in the book, Patrick.
A: Well, thus far in the UK, they are saying they don’t want them because they have had anecdotal evidence of people being pushed out of those areas of conflict and violence. And the Muslim Street is the Muslim Street under Sharia, otherwise they are going to create zones into which non-Muslims are not going to be allowed into.
Q: I think that is very dangerous. Your opinions on Turkey entering into the European Union. Do you have any thoughts on that?
A: Very much so. Turkey is a member of NATO and a very valued member. I can see a place where Turkey, in terms of economics and trade can have a relationship with the European Union. For Turkey to become a full member of the European Union would pose real challenges to Europe. The size of the Turkish population by 2020, it could get up to a hundred million, that’s about a quarter of Europe would be of an Islamic position. The present government is moving away from the secular state and is moving towards an Islamist state. Europe is very weak in terms of its foundations, it’s Judeo-Christian basis is very weak
Q: which makes it so very easy to infiltrate.
A: Precisely. I would be uneasy with a fully integrated Turkey into the European Union because I believe it could pose real difficulties for Europe for the future. If, there are those who have suggested that if Europe [Turkey] enters the European Union by 2020, Europe could have as much as 45% Muslim.
Q: Wow.
A: It begins to pose real difficulties for a country which would then be shaped by Islam.
Q: And in regards to the global jihad, by the way, I just purchased your book, “The Global Jihad”, is that available yet, is that on Amazon yet?
A: It’s Amazon UK. It’s being published in the US next month.
Q: Maybe we’ll do a show with you when that comes out and help you sell some books.
A: Thank you.
Q: How Israel fail? Israel, most assuredly failed. Not always, not throughout history. But you have to say the current leadership is weak. What would you have done differently? If you were advising…
A: Yes. Are you thinking in the context of Hizb’allah?
Q: Yes.
A: I think if one is going to war then one needs to decide to pursue it absolutely or not at all. Secondly, there is a temptation now to use air power because no one wants more body bags. And air power by itself is not sufficient. Thirdly, the issue of ground troops was very significant and how far they would move, but more than that, Israel underestimated the fighting capabilities of Hizb’allah. She will need to take seriously an irregular force fighting asymmetrically and she will have to look at how she can engage in that, particularly if her air power takes out buildings from which insurgents can hide bombs. I think the whole strategy needs to be re-looked.
Q: Well, thank you very much and good luck.
A: Thank you so much too.
Q: Well, thank you very much and good luck.
A: Thank you so much too.


Profitsbeard said...

Kudos for the fine transcription job, heroyalwhyness.

And an acute interview by Pamela, of AS, with one of the clearest thinkers on this entire issue.

One chilling note:

If Turkey were brought into the EU by 2020, Europe would have a 45% Muslim population, overnight.

A must read.

Rebel Radius said...

I agree whole heartedly.

Pastorius said...

Good interview by Pamela.

I think Patrick is dreaming when he says the Muslim community might decide it wants to reintegrate (come back into the station is the way he put it) into British society.

What planet did that comment come from? When has Muslim society, ever in history, decided to integrate itself?

One has to wonder why Patrick would says such a thing. Was it a moment of weakness? Was he just speaking hypothetically? If so, what was the point?

I don't get it.

Show me the "Muslim community leaders" who would stand up and ask for such a thing. I don't think he could show me more than three or four in all of the UK. And soon, those three or four would be receiving a barrage of death threats. We've seen it over and over.

History Snark said...


I think that some Muslims do see things as they really are- that Western Society has more to offer a person than their own. There have been rumors of cells of terrorists coming into the US over the years and then being "seduced" by our freedoms and opportunities. The attackers then don't answer the Call when it comes. My understanding is that this is more or less a Fact.

However, I agree there are problems with the idea. After all, the "Asians" that tried to blow up the airport in Glasgow were professionals, who are truly our best hope for reforming Islam.

And generally, it ain't happening. As you say, the leaders aren't protesting the actions of their co-religionists. Fear is no doubt part of it.

It all comes back to an old post by the Baron, which was my intro to GoV. I believe the title was "Why we cannot rely on moderate Muslims". They all work together, just as Patrick describes it here.

And just as was apparently planned during the Islam in Europe conference. Sad, when one thinks about it, to realized how poorly Western strategic thought works against non-westerners. We have Clausewitz and his (overly simplified by me to make a point)"pound them into submission" ideas, and the non-westerners have a "drag it out for decades and win without bloodshed" mentality.

Western society is too focused on smashing through obstacles and winning in the short(er) term. Non-westerners play to get the results they want in a decade or a century.

Hmm. I wonder if this is a bona-fide topic for my blog...

Anonymous said...

I am pleased to learn that Patrick was one of the speakers at the summit. I look forward to reading/listening to all that was said there.

Patrick has the credentials, background and life's-work connections that make him a quintessential authority in this discussion. Some of his comments may seem overly optimistic but perhaps he should be allowed that. Through his comments in another forum I have learned the true gravity of the world-wide situation - to include the on-going human suffering and tyranny that today is the norm in many places. (see


I totally agree on your comments on Clausewitz. The US military establishment is steeped in a flawed assumption that "all things warfare" can be measured/evaluated/accomplished through the Clausewitzian framework. I believe this is very dangerous flawed thinking. Surprisingly, I recently came upon some articles in back issues of the Canadian Military Journal which indirectly addressed this topic. Perhaps there is something to be learned from up there.