The anti-Jihadi conundrum
"Norway as we know it today is seriously threatened by mass immigration. This madness must be stopped before it is too late.."
".. we will therefore actively work to stop all immigration to Norway and send home the immigrants in the cases where it is possible. We are particularly critical of Muslim immigration. We do not recognize Islam as a religion, but see Islam as a political ideology which has as a goal to achieve world domination. Islam is our time's most dangerous enemy. Therefore we have zero tolerance for Islam and we will do what we can to prevent Islam's growth in Norway and shut down all mosques."
There is an on-going debate around the blogosphere about whether all anti-Jihadists are valid partners in the anti-Jihadi fight.
The above was translated from the Norway Patriots (NorgesPatriotene) party program (Norwegian). The party fears a future when ethnic Norwegians would be a minority in their own country. In their explanation to the press (Norwegian), they say it even more plainly: Every country should be populated by its own - Norway by Norwegians and Morocco by Moroccans. Mixing many different groups in one area will inevitably lead to problems. History has shown us through many examples that mixing together different religions, customs and values often leads to bloody conflicts.
The idea that a person is born into a society and that one cannot change one's culture, by the way, is one shared by both racists and multiculturalists.
Not everybody who says that immigration to Europe must be stopped is a racist, of course, but should liberal-democrats who worry about a takeover by a totalitarian movement partner with every racist who says Islam is a threat? Should the threat of being called a Nazi or right-wing extremist mean that one should partner with them?
A recent post "Surrender, Genocide.. or What?" at Gates of Vienna has caused the blog wars to flare again. The post was followed by condemnations from Little Green Footballs and ShrinkWrapped, and then counter-condemnations from Tundra Tabloids and Atlas Shrugs (Eating Our Own).
I have read through most of the above mentioned post, and I disagree with almost everything the writer has to say. I will list here a few points as to how I see the current situation.
The Jihadi war
The percent of radical Muslims who turn to jihad and terror is quite small, particularly when compared to the many movements who support jihad, and justify it in certain cases (Jews, Israel) but who do not actively engage in violence themselves.
Is Europe losing the terrorism war? There are news about terror threats every other day, but the last successful terror attack in Europe was in 2004, and in the US - in 2001. In Europe, at least, in the past four years, despite quite a few attempts, Islamic jihadists have failed in carrying out a large scale attack. Some attacks failed due to either luck or miracles, but most failed because the perpetrators were caught by security forces. Anybody want to consider how security forces have such tight control over jihadi groups?
The next successful terror attack might be right around the corner, but I doubt that is going to cause Europe to fall.
The Ethnic Nation
Much has been written, in blogs and in books, about the dangers of Islamic extremism in Europe. Are genocide and civil war the only possible options?
Most Western European countries have a Muslim population of less than 5%. Is Europe really incapable of dealing with such a small minority, even if it was 100% seditious?
The answer to that relates to something's that's been on my mind for the past few weeks. Is Europe capable of dealing with minorities at all?
To my American readers: try to think when was the last time you ever thought of anybody born in America as a 'foreigner' or considered the idea of a non-American American. Have you ever met an American born to a mixed marriage of an immigrant and an American who felt he wasn't accepted as an American? How about calling a third generation American a "New American"? (See here, here, here, and here, as well as my review of 'While Europe Slept'). Muslim immigrants are expected to fit in, but I have yet to see that they are truly given the opportunity of doing so.
Though I have thought differently in the past, ethnicism is racism. It can be clothed in political-correctness or masquerade in multiculturalism. Most of the world runs on ethnic lines, and so it is a granted way of life for most. Changing it might be impossible, but it is an issue Europe must be aware of.
The war of ideas
Europe, and the West, are facing a war, certainly, but at its essence the war is a war of ideas.
Take what a Muslim extremist like Qaradawi says: "I expect that Islam will conquer Europe without resorting to the sword or fighting. It will do so by means of da'wa and ideology. Europe is miserable with materialism, with the philosophy of promiscuity, and with the immoral considerations that rule the world – considerations of self-interest and self-indulgence. It is high time Europe woke up and found a way out from this."
In my opinion, in this war, the Muslims are winning. They are not winning because they offer a better solution, as Qaradawi would like to think. They're winning because there's no other solution in sight.
Consider all the books and blog posts which have been written in the past few years about Jihad and Muslim extremism. How many have dealt with the values the West has to offer? To some it might be too obvious, not worth mentioning really. How many have seriously discussed Muslim claims and Western responses?
'Islamists and Naivists' is a good starter when it comes to freedom of speech, but that book was not translated into English, and as far as I know, it stands alone. For most other topics, the playing field is left wide open. Native 'ethnic' westerners convert to Islam because totalitarianism does exert a pull of its own, because it is easier to show submission than to take responsibility for every act and every decision in daily life, and because nobody ever told them what their own culture - Western culture - has to offer.
On the other hand, a lack of understanding of what freedom of speech and freedom of religion come to protect, has caused both of these freedoms to be abused and misused by totalitarian forces intent on undermining and subverting democracy.
For quite a while I've been thinking of starting such a project on my own, and I might still do so, but the task is daunting and requires much study of Western thought and philosophy.
If Europe resorts to genocide, civil war, or mass deportations - Europe might be 'Islam-free', but the war would be lost. Liberal-democratic values would be trampled down. Besides, what do you think would happen a few generations later, when Europe once again begs remorse for past sins?
My 2-cents on how to deal with Muslim extremism? I will list a few ideas, without going too deeply into each:
1. Accept converts into Western society and into European nations.
2. Fight extremist Islam. It is not a war against the West alone, it is a war many Muslim countries are facing as well.
3. Acknowledge and teach the values of the liberal Western culture
The debate is essential, because it is what defines us. I do not agree with every blog post on anti-Jihadi sites and I stand by my right to say so. If 'eating our own' is prohibited, if the debate is banned, if submission is required, you might as well give up on the future of western liberalism.