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Archive for January, 2010

Christianity is the religion of peace

Posted by paulipoldie on January 23, 2010

By Walid Shoebat

It is blatantly wrong “to equate all of the Muslim religion to evil.” To say that is “tantamount to a former Baptist going to Saudi Arabia and equating all Baptists with abortion-doctor killers.”

So says Mr. J. Todd Foster, the managing editor of the Bristol Herald Courier, in a Nov. 8, 2009, article against me.

Can one even rightfully compare Evangelicals or Catholics to Muslims?

Here is my challenge to Foster: I am willing to go to the largest mass at the Vatican in Rome dressed up in Muslim garb with a Koran in hand if Foster agrees to go to the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, with a visible cross around his neck. If Foster turns up unscathed I will pay him the sum of $15,000, apologize and repent publicly from saying anything against Islam or Muslims.

Foster won’t take the challenge. I guarantee it. Why? Because he knows that I am right and he is wrong.

While criticism of Christianity is ubiquitous, filling our libraries, schools, and media, Foster and his ilk would rather bend over backwards to submit and appease Islam. Mr. Foster fears his blood being spilt at the altar of freedom while I risk mine for his right to smear my character and credentials.

Mr. Foster laments that no Muslim scholar was present at our lectures. The two methods one can learn about Islam is either to invite such scholars who will gladly give Foster a sensitivity course on Islam or ask Christians who are Assyrian, Sudanese, Pakistani, Armenian, or Egyptian Copts who have lived under the Islamic yoke.

Would he dare find any of these who would call Islam a religion of peace?

Might he find a single Muslim scholar who does not have a litany of statements attributed to him in support of Jihad?

Foster will not be able to provide a single name of such a scholar.

Can he even define what a peaceful religion is? If not, I am certain that I can contribute in this regard.

A peaceful religion is the type of religion that when criticized, its followers will pray for the critic. A religion of that sort is Christianity. A violent religion is one that when criticized, its followers reprimand the critic, saying “you’d better say that our religion is peaceful or else we will kill you.”

This is what we see millions of Muslims do worldwide.

Foster then targets my credibility, referring to a negative article written by the Jerusalem Post. He likely selects that particular source because the Post is a conservative paper. As the line of reasoning goes, if the Jerusalem Post says it then it must be true.

Interestingly, Foster omitted that the Jerusalem Post regretted publishing the article written by the freelance journalist Jorg Luyken after finding out that their own Christian edition turned down the article for lack of professional journalism and accuracy. Luyken then turned to the secular/Jewish edition of the Jerusalem Post without disclosing that the Christian edition had not accepted his screed.

Mr. Foster even failed to mention that the Jerusalem Post gladly issued my rebuttal, which proves beyond a doubt that I am who I claim to be. I would hope that Foster, being a gentleman, will publish this.

Foster could have easily found all the evidence on my Web site under “my identity” which discloses my family connections, from my own cousin Jawad Younis, who provided moral and legal support for Al-Qaeda and corresponded with Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. Younis was also the attorney for Abu Zubaida, one of Usama bin Laden’s henchmen.

If Google is Foster’s best method for inquiring about one’s credentials, he failed to ‘Google’ in Arabic my famed cousin Arin Ahmed Shoebat, another family member who was part of the suicide bombing operation in Rishon Letzion. Like Luyken, Foster never examined the several documents proving my credentials and additionally failed to mention other reputable individuals who did, like Daniel Pipes who is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Pipes is a reknowned analyst who examined many of my personal records. Mr. Pipes confirmed my credibility and so did the FBI, the United States Air Force, and the Department of Homeland Security, all of whom I have spoken for and in some cases was an unpaid consultant.

Foster refers to a New York Times article that cites the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) calling me a “fraud.” The same New York Times that smeared John McCain as an adulterer now claims I was a “fraud.” They give credibility to CAIR, a terror front group that even the FBI severed its ties with. It takes absolutely no courage for Foster to apologize to Islam and a level of courage I’m wagering he doesn’t have to visit Mecca.

I’ll even pay for his ticket.

http://www2.tricities.com/tri/news/opinion/columnists/article/christianity_is_the_religion_of_peace/39845/

Posted in Christenverfolgung, Islamization, Islamkritik | Leave a Comment »

Fjordman: Toxic Islam – A Food Theory of Culture

Posted by paulipoldie on January 23, 2010

I have been developing a “food theory of culture” with one of my friends. A good meal should consist of a variety of foods. Even excellent ingredients will become boring if you rely on just one or two of them all the time. What makes a fine meal is not just fine ingredients and a competent cook but the overall balance between the various ingredients, where the totality is greater than the sum of the parts. You need something salty, something sweet, something spicy and something refreshing. Focusing on each individual component and stating with certainty that “this is the thing that created the success” is a mistake, but a very common one.

As it happens, food is one of the aspects of life where I will concede that Asians often outperform Westerners, and where southern Europeans frequently outperform northern Europeans. There are many Italian restaurants in Britain, but few British restaurants in Italy. There aren’t that many Dutch, Scandinavian or German restaurants in other regions, either, compared to the Chinese, Indian or Thai restaurants you can encounter all around the world.

There are certain minerals and vitamins that are necessary to sustain life. However, it is also possible to get too much of them. Theoretically speaking, you can die from drinking too much water; just because drinking a couple of liters of it per day is healthy does not mean that drinking twenty times as much of it is twenty times as healthy. You could argue that the modern West suffers from a form of cultural malnutrition; we are being force-fed a steady diet of cultural junk food which systematically deprives us of minerals vital to our mental health while we are becoming fat and lazy. At the same time, we digest far too much of some ingredients that can be beneficial in smaller amounts, above all self-criticism and altruism.

The most common flaw in many cultures is a total lack of self-criticism or appreciation of “the Other.” Islamic culture constitutes an extreme case of this problem. Muslims will NEVER concede, either individually or as a group, any flaws of their own. It’s always the fault of the Jews, the Hindus, the Crusaders, the Americans etc. This blame game is deeply unhealthy in the long run because it prevents real progress. One of the beneficial aspects of Christianity is that it states that all human beings are sinners. Because of this it is not necessarily shameful to admit that you are flawed since all human beings are so by definition. Admitting the possibility that you could be wrong means that you can address your flaws and work to reduce or perhaps remove them. This will be impossible as long as you consistently project all of your flaws unto others, as Muslims and many Africans in particular often do.

A culture that never admits its flaws can survive for a long time, yet its progress will be seriously impeded. In contrast, a society that considers itself just one big flaw will not survive for long as it will be unable to defend itself. This is where the white West is today. Our self-criticism, which runs deep in our psyche, is a virtue provided that it is counterbalanced by a healthy dose of self-confidence. If you remove the latter ingredient then the first one, which used to be a virtue, suddenly becomes a vice. Again, the key word is “balance,” not first and foremost the individual ingredients, although that matters, too. Self-confidence is like vitamin C, which means that we currently suffer from a potentially fatal case of cultural scurvy.

If we stick to our food analogy I would claim that while many ingredients can be beneficial if you consume them in modest amounts, a few ingredients are toxic to your body regardless of the amount. Islam would in my view constitute the most obvious case of this. During the 1990s, people involved with publishing Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses were murdered in Japan and attempted murdered in Norway, despite the fact that Muslims constituted less than one percent of the population in these countries at the time. This demonstrates just how toxic Islam is and how quickly it can destroy any formerly free society.

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4280

Posted in Fjordman | 1 Comment »

As the Islamic Curtain Descends

Posted by paulipoldie on January 22, 2010

by Mark Silverberg
Shari’a Law is taking over Gaza and is being received with mixed feelings by Gazans.

The Arabs of Judea and Samaria should take note.

In December, 2008, according to the London-based Arab daily Al Hayat, the Hamas parliament in Gaza voted in favor of a law allowing courts to mete out sentences in accordance with Shari’ a law. According to the bill, if approved, courts will be able to condemn offenders to a series of violent punitive measures that include whipping, severing hands, crucifixion and hanging. The bill reserves death sentences to people who negotiate with a foreign government “against Palestinian interests” and engage in any activity that can “hurt Palestinian morale.” According to the Al Hayat report, any Palestinian caught drinking or selling wine would suffer forty lashes at the whipping post if the bill passes. Convicted thieves would lose their right hand.

Whether such a law passes or not, the shadow of Shari’ a law is descending on Gaza. In November 2009, ISS (Israel’s internal security service) issued a Report describing how Hamas has instituted Islamic law and thought in all areas of Gaza life since its violent takeover of the area. Should Israeli security forces withdraw from Judea and Samaria, it is a safe bet that the implementation of Shari’ a law now unfolding in Gaza will follow the same path.
The Report’s main points include…
. the enforcement of a dress code for women on the street, in schools and in the courts;
. the expulsion of female students from schools who do not wear a head covering and wide dresses;
. instructions to judges not to hold sessions if female lawyers do not appear in Islamic garb;
. a requirement on official Hamas TV (Al-Aqsa) that women announcers must wear a veil, and that Islamic content must be featured in its TV programs;
. men not being allowed to swim in the ocean without a shirt;
. a prohibition against female mannequins being exhibited in shop windows;
. a prohibition against mixed-gender public ceremonies;
. a prohibition against men teaching in girls’ schools. (Efforts are also being made by Hamas to separate boys and girls in the UN-run schools);
. Fatah-identified teachers being replaced by Hamas members;
. Hamas police arresting immodestly clad women and enforcing gender separation;
. unmarried couples being prohibited from appearing in public;
. married couples being required to produce a marriage certificate upon demand;
. religious studies classes being added to schools, mosques and  prisons with the stipulation that prisoners who become more religious can have their sentences shortened;
. an across-the-board 1% public sector pay-cut imposed during the summer months to pay for summer camps for reviewing the Koran;
. increased construction of mosques, madrasses and Islamic Shari’ a courts;
. the establishment of an Islamic National Bank and an Islamic insurance company; and
. a new criminal code based on Shari’ a law. (In June 2009, the Legislative Council passed amendments to the criminal code for the purpose of “preventing immoral incidents in public.”)
The imposition of strict Shari’ a law by Hamas comes as a direct result of significant challenges to its religious authority. At the Ibn-Tamiya mosque in the Gaza town of Rafah, Salafi preacher-physician Sheikh Abdel-Latif Moussa and his Jund Ansar Allah (“Warriors of the Companions of God”) followers recently challenged Hamas’s Islamic credentials claiming that it had not gone far enough in imposing Shari’ a law in Gaza and had joined a democratic political process thereby violating Islam.
The group proclaimed an Islamic “emirate” in Gaza, posted statements supportive of Osama bin Laden, hosted terrorist training videos on its website, and (according to Hamas) had acted against Israel without Hamas authorization. On August 19th, the group’s challenge to Hamas’s religious authority was ruthlessly crushed in a bloody confrontation, but the issues raised by the Salafist group continue to threaten the religious foundations upon which Hamas has established its rule.
The incident exposed deep religious contradictions within the Islamist movement in Gaza. Every missile not fired at Israel by Hamas has now become ammunition for the Salafists. Every effort made by Hamas to interfere with the actions of the Salafists in Gaza is deemed a betrayal of Islam. Any negotiations between Hamas and the Israelis  on opening Gaza’s borders or facilitating prisoner exchanges exposes Hamas to Salafist condemnation.
Until now, Hamas’s dilemma has centered on how to translate its religious rhetoric (Shari’ a law) into actual policies without alienating its religious and secular supporters. There is a vast difference between religious theory and religious practice. In Gaza, while opinion polls calling for the implementation of Shari’ a law tend to be popular, actual implementation of Shari’a law has not been so well-received.
In Jordan, after the Muslim Brotherhood did well in the 1989 election, the organization discovered very quickly that limiting the interaction between males and females in public places, especially at sporting events, was less than popular amongst the general population. Eventually, that law was overturned.
Hamas may find that Gazans will react much the same way to the imposition of strict Shari’ a law. It is possible that the more Shari’ a law is implemented in Gaza, the more divided that society will become. Hamas’s traditional religious supporters who continue to demand greater implementation of Shari’ a law may well become alienated and seek more radical Salafist movements willing to apply the full force of Shari’ a throughout Palestinian society, while Hamas’s more moderate supporters (that is, those who voted primarily against Fatah corruption rather than for Hamas) will favor Shari’ a theory over its actual implementation.
This was borne out by a recent poll undertaken by Stan Greenberg of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research. The poll suggests that  58% of Gazans disapprove of Hamas’ performance (42% strongly disapprove) including its implementation of Shari’ a law. Greenberg attributes this loss of popularity to Hamas’s record in office. As every elected representative has discovered, campaigning is much different from governing. While Hamas won the 2006 Gaza election largely due to Fatah’s corruption and Hamas’s rejection of the peace process, Gazans are discovering that the reality of Hamas rule in implementing Shari’ a law is affecting their lives just as profoundly as the two above issues.
The recent Gaza War only served to underscore that realization. Hama’s firing missiles at Israel’s civilian population centers, together with its use of Palestinian civilians, schools, ambulances and mosques as shields have shown the downside of Hamas’s approach to the “peace process.” Constant war and destruction combined with a repressive religious Shari’a system that affects their everyday life is not the desired outcome for most Palestinians. There is a significant body of evidence showing that Hamas diverted UN relief aid and food supplies from general Palestinian society in favor of its supporters in the wake of the Gaza War, so the corruption argument has become a two-edged sword.

Hamas requires Islamic legitimacy, and as such, it is vulnerable to claims from Salafist groups in Gaza that it is merely a secular organization waving an Islamic flag as opposed to a true Salafist organization seeking to impose a global Islamic caliphate. While Hamas jealously guards its political power, it now seems willing to bow to the pressures of these Salafists. What the Shabak Report indicates is that an Islamic mini-state in the full sense of that term is currently emerging in Gaza. For reasons of survival (or so it believes), Hamas has made its choice.

http://alexander-munch.blogspot.com/2010/01/as-islamic-curtain-descends-by-mark.html

Posted in Human Rights - menschenrechte, Islam, Islamization, Sharia | Leave a Comment »

Der Preis der Freiheit ist ewige Wachsamkeit

Posted by paulipoldie on January 22, 2010

by Baron Bodissey

Geert Wilders’ opening words at his trial yesterday have been translated into German by Liz, and Vlad Tepes has subtitled the video.

In solidarity with Europe News, Politically Incorrect, ESW, AMT, and all our German and Austrian readers, here is Mr. Wilders’ speech in German:

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2010/01/der-preis-der-freiheit-ist-ewige.html#readfurther

Posted in Geert Wilders, Islamisierung, Islamkritik, Videos | Leave a Comment »

Ihr habt mit Hass gekocht

Posted by paulipoldie on January 22, 2010

Von Necla Kelek

22. Januar 2010 Der französische Aufklärer Voltaire schrieb 1740 ein Stück mit dem Titel „Der Fanatismus oder Mohammed der Prophet“. Dort charakterisierte er den Propheten des Islam als skrupellosen Machtmenschen und bekam prompt Ärger mit seinem König, der darin zu Recht eine generelle Religionskritik vermutete. Wenn Claudius Seidl in der Sonntagsausgabe dieser Zeitung (siehe Kritiker des Islam: Unsere heiligen Krieger) meint, ein Voltaire-Zitat paraphrasieren zu können, um das muslimische Kopftuch zu verteidigen, schießt er ein intellektuelles Eigentor. Er verkleinert den Voltaireschen Freiheitsbegriff auf einen Gag. Aber so witzig wie Voltaire (und Henryk Broder) ist er dann doch nicht. Thomas Steinfeld höhnt in der „Süddeutschen Zeitung“, Broder und ich würden mit denselben Mitteln für die Aufklärung streiten wie Islamisten für die Scharia, und nennt uns „Hassprediger“.

Aber ich mag – um dasselbe Voltaire-Zitat zu bemühen – verdammen, was die Journalisten Claudius Seidl, Thomas Steinfeld und andere über mich schreiben, doch würde ich mein Leben dafür einsetzen, dass sie es weiterhin tun dürfen. Ich akzeptiere Kritik an meiner Arbeit, das gehört zum Diskurs und zu jener Freiheit, die ich in den Augen meiner Kritiker zu maßlos und selbstgerecht verteidige.

Aber ich bestehe darauf, dass wir, reflektiert und auf den Inhalt konzentriert, über den Islam streiten, jenseits persönlicher Angriffe. Wir brauchen eine Debatte über das, was unsere Gesellschaft im Innersten zusammenhält: einen Diskurs über die Freiheit des Wortes und seine Grenzen und darüber, ob in diesem Land die Menschenrechte tatsächlich für alle gelten, auch für alle Muslime; welche Rolle die Religion in unserem Leben spielen sollte und warum unter Verdacht gerät, wer unsere Freiheitswerte verteidigt. Vielleicht spiegeln meine Kritiker ja nur ihre eigene Verunsicherung in Sachen „westliche Werte“ – die Steinfeld immer in Anführungszeichen setzt – und kompensieren dies mit verbalen Hieben. Dabei wird deutlich, wie fremd ihnen die Kultur des Islam ist. Und irgendwie versuchen sie den Eindruck zu erwecken, es handele sich ums Feuilleton und nicht um eine politische Auseinandersetzung.

Alle Parteien versuchen seit dem Wahlkampf im letzten Jahr, das ihnen unangenehme Thema Islam und Integration der Muslime aus der öffentlichen Debatte herauszuhalten. Unangenehm, weil kein Fortschritt in Sicht ist. Der Dialog mit den Islamverbänden ist gescheitert, weil sie unfähig zum inhaltlichen Diskurs sind. Die Islamkonferenz – so hört man – soll umstrukturiert werden, um die Erfolgserwartungen zu dämpfen. Allen Verantwortlichen ist nach drei Jahren quälender Debatte klar, mit dem organisierten Islam wird keine Integration gelingen, man wird die Verbände allenfalls befrieden. Darum macht man die Sache klein. Da erscheint es als eine göttliche Fügung, wenn aus selbstberufenem Mund religionskritische Positionen grundsätzlich in Frage gestellt werden. Das Thema Islam soll so wie die Schweinegrippe erster Klasse beerdigt werden. Die konservativen Islamverbände wird es freuen, verkünden sie doch immer, dass ihre Religion frei von Fehlern ist.

Die Aufklärung ist keine „Siegerreligion“

In ihrem Überschwang stoßen die (von solchen Verdächten und Rücksichtnahmen natürlich freien) Kritiker der Islamkritik aber unbeabsichtigt eine Debatte über die Leitkultur an. Eine Debatte, die sie einst selbst zu verhindern suchten, als sie vor Jahren von einem Muslim, dem Politologen Bassam Tibi, angeregt wurde. Man fertigte Tibi ab, wie man gewöhnlich den wegbeißt, der sich nicht mit der Rolle des Impulsgebers begnügen will, sondern es wagt, an der Deutungsmacht der jeweiligen Platzhirsche zu zweifeln. „Westliche Werte“ kommen in diesen Beiträgen nur noch als negativ besetzter Kampfbegriff vor, und die Aufklärung wird gar zur „Siegerreligion“ erklärt.

Die „Süddeutsche“ verwechselt nicht nur die seit Max Weber unter Soziologen bekannten Unterscheidungen von Verantwortungs- und Gesinnungsethik, sondern unterstellt mir als Muslimin „christliche Islamkritik“, um dann zur großen Gleichmacherei anzusetzen. Islamkritiker werden zu „Fundamentalisten der Aufklärung“, ein Begriff, den als Erster übrigens der Mörder von Theo van Gogh benutzte. Die Verteidigung der Menschenrechte wird als Fundamentalismus denunziert, und Henryk Broder wird behandelt, als sei er Mullah Omar.

Die Selbstverständlichkeit, mit der Freiheit hingenommen und gleichzeitig deren Verteidigung diskreditiert wird, erscheint mir als intellektueller Überdruss, die Wortwahl der Kritiker leichtfertig. Ich gebe zu, dass ich in dieser Frage besonders empfindlich reagiere. Ich schmeiße zum Beispiel kein Brot weg, denn als Kind habe ich gelernt, Brot ist heiliger als der Koran, weil Voraussetzung für das Leben. Freiheit ist für mich so etwas wie das Brot des Lebens. Ich habe mir die Freiheit genommen, denn sie schien zunächst „nicht für uns gemacht“, wie meine Mutter entschied. Ich nahm sie mir, weil ich in Deutschland lebte und mich viele Menschen unterstützten. Religion ist Teil dieser Freiheit, ohne die sie nur ein Zwangssystem wäre. Es geht mir bei den zu verteidigenden Werten auch um die Würde, die jeder Mensch hat, und nicht um eine Gnade, die man ihm gewährt. Ich lade Herrn Seidl und Herrn Steinfeld gern auf ein Stück Brot ein.

Ein vertrautes Täter-Opfer-Schema

Debatte In dieser neuerlichen Debatte fällt aber auf, dass der Anlass – der Islam und seine Rolle in einer demokratischen Gesellschaft – völlig untergeht. Es geht in diesem Streit weder um die reale Situation der muslimischen Frauen noch um das Staats- oder Freiheitsverständnis der Muslime in Deutschland. Die Debatte um Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung wird auch nicht mit den Muslimen oder gar in Moscheen geführt, sondern in der Parallelwelt einiger Redaktionsstuben und Institute. Man setzt sich nicht rational-kritisch mit islamischen Vorstellungen auseinander, sondern beschäftigt sich mit den Islamkritikern. Vielleicht reibt man sich ja an diesen Kulturvermittlern, weil man deren Methode der Kritik erkennt. Und es fällt auf, wie fremd ihnen islamisches Denken mit seiner anderen Begrifflichkeit bleibt.

Einen Menschen nicht als selbstverantwortliches Individuum, sondern – wie es der Islam praktiziert – als kollektives Sozialwesen zu denken, ist für viele, die nicht in einer solchen Gemeinschaft aufwuchsen, anscheinend doch nur schwer nachvollziehbar. Dass der Islam nicht nur spirituell, sondern durch die Scharia einen politisch-ideologischen Charakter herausgebildet hat, dass er Glaube und Politik ist, überfordert offensichtlich die Vorstellungskraft vieler Westeuropäer. Und so reagiert man reflexartig, wenn sich ein vertrautes Opfer-Täter-Schema anbietet.

Die seit Jahren von Islamstiftungen aus Saudi-Arabien angezettelte und unter den Wächtern des Islam verbreitete Debatte um Islamophobie und Rassismus ist dabei besonders bemerkenswert. Die Islamwächter versuchen, den Islam nicht nur als Religion, sondern als Wesen des Menschen zu verkaufen. Jeder Mensch ist ihrer Lehre nach per se ein Muslim. Kritik am Wesen des Islam ist folglich eine Schmähung des Unveränderlichen. Islamkritik ist deshalb Rassismus, Muslime sind Opfer, Kritiker Nazis, wie die „taz“ schreiben lässt. Der Heimatdichter Heinz Strunck ( „Fleisch ist mein Gemüse“) würde zu solchen Ausfällen sagen: „Mit Hass gekocht“.

Die Scharia gehört geächtet

Religionskritik ist in Europa nicht erst seit Luther und Lessing eine der Triebkräfte der Zivilgesellschaft, und ich lasse mir gerade als Muslimin von niemanden verbieten, meine Religion zu kritisieren. Aus Eigennutz, denn ich möchte, dass Muslime lernen, mit den Herausforderungen der Moderne umzugehen. Ich würde mir wünschen, mehr säkulare Muslime mit kritischem Verstand meldeten sich endlich zu Wort und setzten sich mit archaischen Traditionen genauso engagiert auseinander wie mit den Zumutungen der Bürgergesellschaft.

Wir Muslime haben in diesem Land unter diesen Bedingungen eine große Chance, uns mit erfahrenen Streitern darüber auszutauschen, wie Religion und Freiheit in einer modernen Gesellschaft gelebt werden können. Und wir können es hier, im Gegensatz zur islamischen Welt, ohne Angst tun. Wir dürfen diese Chance nicht verpassen. Ja, es geht mir um die Reform des Islam und darum, dass sich Muslime von politischen Ideologien lösen, säkularisieren und sich auf die spirituelle Kraft der Religion besinnen.

Ja , ich halte den Versuch, die religiöse Rechtleitung und die Vorschriften für den Alltag durch Tradition und Gesetz zu bestimmen, ich halte die Scharia für überholt. Sie gehört geächtet. Dieser Prozess wird keine „Zwangsmodernisierung“ von außen sein, die Muslime müssen es selbst tun. Ja, ich bin für den „westlichen Lebensstil“ und seine Werte. Das ist nämlich unser Rechts- und Sozialstaat, der nicht nur Muslimen Religionsfreiheit und genauso Freiheit von Religion gewährt. Und ich halte das Kopftuch für ein Symbol der patriarchalischen Bevormundung und religiös nicht durch den Koran legitimiert. Sollen die Frauen es tragen, wenn es ihnen gefällt, aber nicht, weil sie es müssen.

In Deutschland leben über vier Millionen Bürger, denen man eine muslimische Identität zuschreibt, es gibt mehr als dreitausend Moscheen und Gebetsstätten und mehrere tausend Vorbeter und Funktionäre. Diese heterogene und völlig disparate Community hat erhebliche soziale, kulturelle, ökonomische und auch religiöse Probleme. Viele der größten Probleme erwachsen aus dem tradierten Menschen- und Weltbild, dem Dilemma einer Kollektivgesellschaft, die mit einer auf die Verantwortung des Individuum ausgerichteten Sozialordnung kollidiert; einer Kultur- und Modernitätsdifferenz also, die mit den Mitteln der herkömmlichen Migrationsforschung und der Integrationspolitik bisher nicht gelöst werden konnten, weil sie das „System Islam“ nicht anrührten.

Für mich sind Freiheit und die Verantwortung des Einzelnen universale westliche Werte, unteilbar und für alle geltend, auch für Muslime.

Die Soziologin Necla Kelek, geboren 1957 in Istanbul, veröffentlichte zuletzt das Buch „Bittersüße Heimat“.

Text: F.A.Z.
Bildmaterial: ddp

Posted in Islamisierung, Islamkritik | Leave a Comment »

Does Freedom Still Have a Home In This Country?

Posted by paulipoldie on January 21, 2010

by Baron Bodissey

Geert Wilders is the leader of the PVV (Party for Freedom) in the Netherlands. On January 20, 2010, he went on trial in Amsterdam, charged with insulting Muslims, discrimination against Muslims, and incitement to hatred. These were his opening words in court:

Once again, we owe a deep gratitude to our Flemish correspondent VH and Vlad Tepes for their translating and subtitling, respectively.

The full transcript of Mr. Wilders’ speech is below the jump:
– – – – – – – –

00:00 Mister Wilders, do you have something on paper that can, or may be given to the registrar later on?
00:10 When I get it back.
00:12 Then we will make a copy of it and hand the original back to you.
00:16 Yes, thank you.
00:17 Mr. President, members of the court, I would like to only use a few minutes of my right to speak.
00:26 And I would like to begin by saying that of all our attainments, freedom is the most precious and most vulnerable.
00:36 It is what people have dedicated their lives to and what people have given their lives for.
00:45 Our freedom in this country is the fruit of centuries.
00:50 It is the result of a history that has no equal and has brought us to where we are today.
00:59 I believe with all my heart and soul that the freedom is threatened in the Netherlands.
01:06 That heritage, which generations could only dream of…
01:12 … is precisely this freedom which is no longer a given fact, no longer a matter self-evidence.
01:20 I dedicate my life to defending our freedom. I know what the risks are and I every day again, pay the price for that.
01:31 I do not complain about it; it is my own decision. I see it as my duty and therefore I am standing here today.
01:43 I know that the words I use are sometimes tough, but they are never reckless.
01:50 It is not my intention to spare the ideology of conquest and destruction, but neither do I intend to offend people.
02:01 I have nothing against Muslims. I have a problem with the Islam and the Islamization of our country…
02:09 … because Islam is at right angles to freedom.
02:14 Future generations will wonder how we, in 2010, at this location, in this room, served our most precious asset.
02:29 Whether the freedom is for both sides in this debate and thus also for Islam-critics.
02:35 Or whether in the Netherlands only one side of the debate may be heard.
02:41 Whether freedom of speech in the Netherlands applies to everyone, or only to some.
02:49 The answer to that is immediately also the answer to the question whether freedom still has a home in this country.
02:57 Freedom has but never been owned by a small group, but has always been the heritage of us all.
03:09 We have all been blessed by it.
03:13 Lady Justice wears a blindfold, but she can hear perfectly well, she can listen perfectly well.
03:23 And I hope she, Lady Justice, will hear the following phrases sound, loud and clear:
03:30 “It is not only the right, but also the duty of free people…
03:37 … to speak out against any ideology that threatens freedom.”
03:44 Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was right:
03:49 “The price for freedom is eternal vigilance.”
03:53 I hope with all I have in me that freedom of expression in this trial will prevail.
04:02 Not only that I will be acquitted, but that the freedom of speech will continue to exist.
04:11 Finally, Mr. Chairman, members of the court.
04:14 In this trial it of course is about the freedom of expression.
04:20 But in this trial it is certainly also about finding the truth.
04:25 The statements I have made, the comparisons I have drawn — are they true?
04:32 As mentioned in the summons.
04:35 Because, if something is true, how can it be illegal?
04:40 Therefore I ask you strongly not only to grant my request for the hearing of witnesses and experts in the field of freedom of speech.
04:52 But I also ask you explicitly to honor my requests for the hearing of witnesses and experts on the field of Islam, all in full publicity.
05:05 I hereby am not only referring to the gentleman Jansen and Admiraal but also on the expert witnesses
05:10 from Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries. Preferably, all.
05:16 I must have the ability to defend myself,
05:21 I must prove you that I have spoken the truth, please do not obstruct me from that.
05:28 Because without these witnesses, I cannot defend myself well
05:32 and in my view it will be out of the question that this is a fair trial.
05:37 Thank you.
05:40 We will withdraw for a while to consider in the proceedings,
05:44 unless one of us wants to say something.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2010/01/does-freedom-still-have-home-in-this.html#readfurther

Posted in Freedom of Speech/Redefreiheit, Geert Wilders | Leave a Comment »

The Trial of Geert Wilders

Posted by paulipoldie on January 21, 2010

A Dutch reader named EC has contributed the following analysis of the Geert Wilders trial and its significance in the post-WWII political context of the Netherlands.


The Trial of Geert Wilders
by EC

The trial

The trial of Wilders ban this morning, Wednesday January 20, at the court of first instance in the Amsterdam Court of Justice. This is a preliminary session in which a plan for the proceedings is set.

The indictment against Mr. Wilders cites:

  • Group insult of Muslims,
  • Incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims because of their religion, and
  • Incitement to hatred and discrimination against non-Western foreigners and/or Moroccans because of their race.


This trial can be seen as one phase in the efforts by his enemies to get Wilders ostracized because of his outspoken attacks on Islam, especially radical Islam, on excessive mass immigration from non-Western countries, especially by Muslims, on bad conduct by some groups of immigrants, and on the politically correct attitude of many authorities and most of the establishment.

The trial was requested by leftist individuals and organizations. Initially the public prosecution office deemed their request not sufficiently justified by law and refused to prosecute. But this judgment was overruled by the Court, which ordered the prosecution office to start proceedings. Later the prosecution office widened the scope of the Court order to include the charge of racism.

Objections by Wilders against the changes have been rejected. He has always said that he had only a problem with Islamic ideology but not with Muslims as people as long as they were orderly, as most are, and did not commit crimes or try to impose sharia law in Holland. Then he would help them to become full members of Dutch society.

The maximum penalty for the charged crimes is two years’ imprisonment.

Wilders will certainly fight for acquittal and he is certain of the outcome. He is to be defended by Bram Moszkovicz, a prominent Dutch lawyer. May he display Ciceronian qualities !

Political character

This trial is a political one because in fact it is used to impose, by way of a judicial verdict, as legally binding on the Netherlands, the core of political correctness which has, during recent decades, increasingly infiltrated and penetrated Western politics and society. What cannot yet sufficiently be obtained by the democratic process may now be enforced by the judicial process. Thus, along with freedom of expression, democracy is also at stake. This is a decisive link in a wider political strategy. The link has become necessary, because Wilders is clearly a rising star in the polls and could, after the elections, possibly become the next Prime Minister. This threat is now countered by prosecuting him.

A trial to make Europe legally safe for sharia
– – – – – – – – –
At first sight, it would seem that the enemies of Wilders are not very clever, for the trial offers Wilders a unique and protracted opportunity to extensively explain to a worldwide public the evils and dangers of Islam. He could bring forward openly all kinds of information and proof: exactly the way of acting he is accused of ! This could perhaps even induce a turning point in the public opinion in the Netherlands, Europe and the West in general, and would not miss some effect on parts of the Muslim masses in the world.

However, it remains to be seen whether this will actually happen. Will the authorities respond with restrictive and intimidating measures, and will there be a lack of fair reporting by the media?

The conviction of Wilders is not the final purpose of his trial. It is only a means to ban him, and with him his party and similar parties in Europe, from publicity and from the political stage. His enemies will think that the intended outcome for the Netherlands and Europe, namely the legal suppression of criticism of Islam and the elimination of Islamophobic political forces from the democratic process, are worth the price of a certain measure of defamation of Islam as a consequence of the trial. With that end in view, the permanent effects — suppression of free speech — far outweigh the temporary risk that defamation entails.

Since a European judge is the last resort, the result of this trial could be a halal European justice and a halal European democracy. This would make Europe legally safe for sharia.

So this process is a milestone in the conquest of Europe by political correctness and Islam. For the third time within a century Europe is in very deep trouble. This time, new invasion by the U.S. and Britain in Normandy to liberate Europe is unthinkable. These countries are themselves in the same process of decline as continental Europe.

However, as history has shown the effects of developments, once set in motion, are not always predictable.

Some precedents

Earlier threats to political correctness and Islam were dealt with by other means:

  • In 2002 Pim Fortuyn was murdered by a leftist fanatic on the eve of the general elections of which Fortuyn was expected to become the great winner. He had brilliantly criticized the weaknesses of the establishment and especially political correctness, immigration, and Islam. Although he was a democratic politician, he was compared to German Nazi leaders by his enemies.
  • In 2004 Theo van Gogh was murdered by a fanatic Muslim because of the film Submission, which dealt with the oppression of Muslim women. Van Gogh made this film in cooperation with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She received death threats and was forced to go into hiding.
  • In 2006 some alleged irregularities in the asylum application of Ayaan Hirsi Ali were used to deprive her of her Dutch nationality and so to remove her from the parliament and from the country. With her campaign against the abuses of Islam, especially the oppression of women, she had become a nuisance to the politically correct political parties and media.

The net results of all these events seemed, till now, rather positive for their perpetrators. However, a third murder could be less effective than the envisaged trial. This legal approach is also more consonant with the reigning hypocrisy and self-complacency which is so typical of political correctness. Moreover, in legal proceedings, those with the biggest wallet (i.e. Islam with our petrodollars) can often ruin their opponents. In contrast, a murder has a widespread and very pre-emptive intimidating effect and thus is no less a precedent than a judicial verdict.

The hundreds of death threats Wilders has received since 2004 have not yet led to his murder. This is probably due to his 24/7 protection during the last six years. This heavy security has hindered in his private life considerably; he is hardly a free man any longer.

The political class is utterly complacent about this fate of a member of parliament, a representative of the people.

International context

The explanation of the background of the present situation in the Western world can be found in a number of books and articles, especially in these articles: Fjordman’s “Political correctness: the revenge of Marxism” and “Electing a new people: the leftist-Islamic alliance”, and Baron Bodissey “Counterjihad and Counterintelligence”.

Diana West in her book “The Death of the Grown-Up”, suggests that a spoilt baby-boom generation lacks a sufficient sense of responsibility and public spirit.

As for Europe, Bath Ye’or in her book “Eurabia” reveals the secret ties between the EU and the Arab world, who since the 1970s have been working together for the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe, and towards the Islamization of Europe.

Residual Trauma from WW II in the Netherlands

For Holland, there the additional deep trauma which resulted from the German occupation and the Holocaust. In 1940, when suddenly attacked, overrun in a few days, and occupied by Germany — its traditional good neighbour and economically important partner — Holland was naïve and unprepared. Holland was a small, flat, and crowded country; it had not been involved in any European war since 1815. It had always managed to remain neutral, but there were no neutral neighbouring countries during WW II.

In view of these personal, cultural, scientific and economic ties with Germany, some people initially had difficulty believing that Germans could really be so bad. Additionally, the German occupation awakened elements of fascism and anti-Semitism that did have much grip on Holland before the war. These elements furthered collaboration with the nazis. However, most people in Holland saw more and more clearly that this Germany was decidedly the bad one. A brave and active resistance movement could not prevent mass deportations by a very resolute and ruthless Nazi occupier. Nonetheless, many Jews and other persecuted Dutch people were helped into hiding and were saved.

Following the war feelings of guilt grew over what had happened in this country; ever since there has been a kind of permanent resistance. People feel morally bound not to let it happen again and to better protect the immigrants now (including nearly one million Muslims) than they did the 130,000 Jews during the war.

Politics in the Netherlands

Christian churches, political parties, unions and other organizations find it difficult to believe that a religion like Islam, indeed any religion, should not be a noble thing. Religion is sacrosanct and not to be questioned.

The socialists, for their part, see the immigrants as poor third world underdogs to be welcomed, helped and supported as much as possible, even including their family members in their home countries. Besides it is their newly imported electorate. They need each other.

All parties see Wilders as a right-wing extremist and a troublemaker. They do not understand that he is a classic patriot who is fighting for the freedom of his country. Patriotism has in any case become suspect, since it conflicts with multiculturalism. These political parties believe that without Wilders there would be fewer problems with immigrants. In their view immigrants, with a few exceptions, are as good human beings as any other human beings in the world. The problems with immigrants and Islam are explained away or excused. Even the think-tanks of some major political parties hardly possess any solid expertise on Islam and would never dare criticize it fundamentally.

But many people feel threatened by the ever-tightening grip of Islam on the country and the practically unlimited immigration, with all its consequences for social cohesion, and its enormous costs. The financial crisis makes these problems worse. In many cities young immigrants, especially Moroccans, terrorize certain neighbourhoods. Complaints and protests by the Dutch people there are mostly ignored by the authorities and their protests are ascribed to racism. In past decades the whole society has largely been brainwashed by political correctness, and many people and subsidized organizations have a vested interest in the asylum industry. Dissenting opinions are denounced as right wing extremism.

Very few people dare to speak out openly in favour of Wilders for fear of immediately being labeled racists and ostracized. But the common people with their common sense are the ones most directly confronted with the problems. They acknowledge the situation and support Wilders. They see him as the only person who can help get rid of this mess.

Most politicians lack historical knowledge and political vision. The Government is almost entirely devoid of political leadership; it is unable to counter effectively the growing administrative chaos and criminality, nor can it uphold the basic values of freedom and democracy.

Prospect

This is a complicated and dangerous situation, and also a tragic one. In this dispute about the meaning of WWII and the Liberation for present-day politics, both sides accuse one another of endangering our moral legacy. Each views the other as a sort of fascist. One side compares Islam with Nazism; the other side compares the Muslims today with the Jews during the Holocaust. The Dutch obsession with “don’t let it happen again” —exploited for decades by political correctness to stifle any opposition — has somehow become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In Holland, problems are traditionally solved by consultation and compromise, with mutual concessions. Governments are always based on a coalition of several parties. But in this case a solution seems very difficult, the more so as the problem is an open-ended one dependent on international relations, influences and developments. The trial of Wilders is likely to widen the gulf between both sides, and to enhance the stakes of all involved, nationally as well as internationally.

Should Wilders ever become Prime Minister, his Government would probably be sabotaged by the other political parties and by other strong forces in the country, and boycotted as a kind of “apartheid regime” by the EU, the UN, the OIC, etc.

However, there are two positive trends here:

(1) Wilders is a staunch statesman, and he is winning over more and more people.
(2) Even many of those who do not agree with him are of the opinion that he should be free to speak.

Sadly, these are exactly the types of democratic factors that will be nullified by the trial.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2010/01/trial-of-geert-wilders.html#readfurther

Posted in Freedom of Speech/Redefreiheit, Geert Wilders | 1 Comment »

the radical left so despises europe that it intends to destroy it by muslim immigration …. and i have the source documents from the euro union and the euro-med “association agreements” to prove it ..

Posted by paulipoldie on January 14, 2010

sit down.  read.  think.  and quit your damn bitching about how how hard this is, and the state of the world.  just sit down.  read.  and, think.

what is the source of the radical left’s infatuation and courtship of islam?  or, do you remember socrates “allegory of the caves?”  or, who controls the dance?

introduction.

the radical left i speak of resides in the united states and in europe, a species of radicals unlike any other found in the world.  for the most part they suffer few material wants or privations and certainly not the imposition of any personal injustice, being if not born into privilege having attained it; they tend to be well educated and professional, and very much leaning to the public sector; and if they are outraged about the injustice and privations of this world and its systems, it is certainly not because they have suffered any of them, in any direct or personal manner.  in short, they are not radicals or leftist who have grown up in squalor or who have fought against actual injustice, or protested anything that required actual physical want, hardship or risk.  their suffering is the suffering of sympathy for those they posit as downtrodden.

they are those persons of whom malcom muggeridge once so acidly observed of an english royal of some degree or another, “that he was a revolutionary his entire life, and it had cost him nary a sunday chop.”  they drive volvos.  they eat yogurt.  and they are tight with all the peeps, even those they would never invite into their homes or to their parties, especially those peeps, …. , the guilts make the bonds of understanding tighter, don’t you know.  the more “unwashed,” the better.

and, it may be said of these leftists, euros or yanks, that the peeps of the world with whom they are tightest are islamic arabs, most particularly “palestinian” muslims.  you would no doubt not be surprised that almost to a dead soul they condemn israel and sing paeans to the palestinians with regard to the peace process.

you might be surprised, however, to learn that euro and yank alike, they want you and i to live amongst the arabs and too of course acculturate with them, and to integrate with them into a broader cultural awareness.  you might also be surprised that they want arab muslims to live among us, and that both communities of leftists, euro and yank, are promoting very dramatically increased muslim immigration into north america and europe in order to achieve that goal.

and, indeed, that the process has been ongoing, active, and more extensive than you might imagine for some time.

the european situation.

how would you feel if your government planned the immigration of 50 million north african muslim workers into your country, and neglected to tell you about it?

muslim immigration into europe raises concerns much larger than mere numbers at this point might suggest, though long term forecasts suggest that as much as 25% of europe’s population might be muslim by year 2100.  indigenous europeans are to be forgiven if they feel their politicians have made accommodations to muslims that infringe upon traditional rights of free speech and political expression, as the euro parliament and national parliaments have passed legislation that limits critical opinion of the muslim religion, and has given individual muslims the right to sue if they feel the religion has been maligned.  in like manner, public institutions have come under increasing pressure to accommodate and expand muslim practices while concomitantly curtailing those same services paid for by indigenous taxpayers: municipal swimming pools all over europe have curtailed services to the general public to allow muslim woman their own bathing schedules.  muslim cab drivers the world over insist upon and get public footbaths to soak their weary feet, while other weary feet go weary.  and, the issue of dress, particularly the wearing of traditional muslim garb has raised considerable friction, as female muslim police officers in britain, for instance, insisted on wearing muslim scarves and uniforms consistent with traditional muslim dress.  and, all over europe, the presence of islam is attendant to rising crime rates, particularly violent assault, rape, and crimes of property damage: this new year’s eve in france alone, more than 1,000 cars were put to the torch by islamic thugs.

such matters have aroused increased interest, concern and opposition to further or increased muslim immigration into europe.

and, of even greater concern to europeans, is the fact that the leftist political leadership of europe works assiduously to effect increased muslim immigration, largely in ignorance of the europeans, and absent any effort to win their assent: instead, they are to be “educated” when policies are placed into effect.  this is very greatly resented, as you might imagine.

the short and the sweet of it is, that the euro union has entered into a compact with a number of north african states to make operable a governmental entity called euro-med, and that a chief feature of its raison d’être and operation is a vast migration of peoples from north africa and the mediterranean basin into europe proper, and a great number of them will be muslim.  pamela geller of atlasshrugs2000 has written extensively of this, here, here and here, and is a recognized authority on the subject.

her articles have told how the euro-med councils were formed and established, and that they were active, and then focused on the assertion that the euro union intends to admit nearly 50 million muslim/north african workers into the euro union by the years 2050-2060.

she does not view that prospect with enthusiasm.

and, neither do i.  my concerns are several about this issue.  one, is that most europeans are ignorant that this is happening.  and, two, those who do know what is happening seem inclined to try and discredit these assertions by questioning the sources of pamela’s figures, to back up her claims in the posts linked above.

I thought, what better source and authority for these assertions that the horse’s mouth, that is, the official documents and statements of the euro union on such matters.  as it turns out, i can demonstrate the authenticity of the figures and the scope of the european union immigration scheme, by recourse to official euro union documents.

the paris convention.  on 13 july 2008, ministers of the european union and heads of other states met in paris, france and ratified a far reaching scheme,  the paris summit for the mediterranean, to integrate not only the economies, but the cultures and politics of states “bordering” on the mediterranean sea along with those of the euro union.  those minister agreed, as pertains to the issue of muslim immigration into europe, the following:

euro-mediterranean heads of states and government meeting in paris on 13 july 2008, … agree to adopt the following joint declaration:

they share the conviction that this initiative can play an important role in addressing common challenges facing the euro-mediterranean region, such as … ; migration; terrorism and extremism; as well as promoting dialogue between cultures.

11. the barcelona process:

the five-year work programme adopted by the 10th anniversary euro-mediterranean summit held in barcelona in 2005 (including the fourth chapter of cooperation on “migration, social integration, justice and security” introduced at that stage) and the conclusions of all ministerial meetings will remain in force. … .”

the barcelona process. the european union delegates and heads of state specifically decided that the 4th paragraph of the work programme adopted at the barcelona summit in 2005 was to remain in force and effect.

this 4th paragraph, as it is referred to in euro union documents, has far reaching language on the scale and nature of immigration sponsored into the european states by the european union: you may or may not be surprised to know that this is not very well known in europe, and you might be even more surprised to know that the euro-med organization, comprised of the euro union & north african,  middle eastern and some balkan nations, is not widely known in europe.  at any rate, the euro union members and the heads of the mediterranean states agreed, as to the issue of immigration into europe:

migration, social integration, justice and security

11. acknowledging that migration, social integration, justice and security are issues of common interest in the partnership, and should be addressed through a comprehensive and integrated approach, the euro-mediterranean partnership will enhance co-operation in these fields to:

(a) promote legal migration opportunities, work towards the facilitation of the legal movement of individuals, recognising that these constitute an opportunity for economic growth and a mean of improving links between countries, fair treatment and integration policies for legal migrants, and facilitate the flow of remittance transfers and address ‘brain drain’;

………….

12. …

(a) hold a ministerial meeting to discuss all issues pertinent to migration. and hold an expert senior officials meeting to prepare the ministerial and discuss other issues of relevance.

(b) develop mechanisms for practical co-operation and sharing experience on managing migration flows humanely, deepen dialogue with countries of origin and transit and explore options for providing assistance for countries of origin and transit.

(c) promote schemes for safer, easier, less expensive channels for the efficient transfer of migrants’ remittances, encourage active contacts with expatriate communities to maintain their participation in the development process in their country of origin,

.

(e) promote legal migration opportunities and integration of migrants;

(f) enhance cooperation to fight illegal migration. this cooperation should involve all aspects of illegal migration, such as the negotiation of different kinds of readmission agreements, the fight against human trafficking and related networks as well as other forms of illegal migration, and capacity building in border management and migration.

(g) the euromed partners welcome the convening of a euro-african conference on migration.

pamela geller has stated in her articles the euro-med disaster: floodgates to ruin“ and euro-med: no, it’s not a drug, but it might kill you” that as many as 56 million legal migrant workers might be brought into europe by years 2050-2060.  may this figure and the scope of such migration be confirmed via recourse to european union publications, or must it necessarily be a matter of conjecture?  well, whatever level of speculation may be involved in the derivation of the figure, there is absolutely no doubt about the fact that this is a figure being reported by the euro union commission to the european union parliament, by official publication.  there is no guess work or conjecture about it, pamela geller’s figures are rock solid, and it will take a hardy soul to convince informed opinion otherwise.  in an official report dated 10.06.2009 to the euro parliament, the euro union commission said:

commission of the european communities

brussels, 10.6.2009

com (2009) 262 final

communication from the commission to the european parliament and council

an area of freedom, security and justice serving the citizen

the foundations have been laid for a common policy on immigration. in particular,

there are rules that make legal immigration fairer and easier to understand, a

common agenda has been agreed for facilitating integration into european societies,

and stronger action is being taken against illegal immigration and human trafficking.

partnerships have also been established with non-union countries so that questions associated with migration can be managed in a concerted fashion.  page 2-3

in 2006 there were 18.5 million non-eu nationals registered in the union, which is

about 3.8% of the total population. migratory pressures can be expected to grow

further. this is due to population growth and poverty in many of the countries of

origin, and to the ageing of the population of europe: between 2008 and 2060 the

number of people of working age is expected to fall by 15%, or about 50 million.  page 4.

according to estimates there are about eight million illegal immigrants living in the

union, many of whom work in the informal economy. tackling the factors that

attract clandestine immigration and ensuring that policies for combating illegal

immigration are effective are major tasks for the years to come.  page 4.

there it is.  right in front of your eyes.

(oh, by the way, it may be interesting for you to notice that the “barroso” in the hyperlink to the above document, if you go to look at the original, is the “mr. barroso” who is the president of the european union commission.  friends, communique’s don’t get any more authentic than this.)

the euro union is going to lose 50 million persons of working age in that period between now and 2060: not 50 million in population, but 50 million workers.  and, those job slots are to be filled by immigrants from areas suffering from excess populations and poverty: not too many physics professors coming in.

and there is a word in the texts that i began to notice a couple of days into this, but that i haven’t mentioned yet, and that is the word “integration.”  my friends, the euro union does not expect the majority of these people to go home.  how do you put them back on the farm, once they’ve seen paris, indeed?

update:  correction on population figures:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Europe

the wikipedia article deals with the history and evolution of the islamic religion in europe. according to the german Central Institute Islam Archive, the total number of muslims in europe in 2007 was about 53 million, including 16 million in the European Union.[1]

no less an authority that geert wilders has been quoted as saying that by his calculation, there are no less than 50 million muslims in europe.  it would appear that by focusing only on those muslims he believes to be in the euro union, that president barroso of the euro union commission “low balls” the figure in order to try and minimize the impact that further muslim immigration into europe will have.  i will go with wilders, thank you.  wilders also has said that europe will be 25% muslim by the year 2050, and not by year 2100 as the euro union maintains.

european leftists and american leftists: marching to the beat of the same damned drum.

1.)”changing course: a new direction for u.s. relations with the muslim world,” published by the u.s.—muslim engagement group.

how would you feel if the american left planned the immigration of millions of muslims into the united states without telling you about it?

as i researched the documents for this piece, I began to notice certain things eerily reminiscent, and very much similar, to a pamphlet i wrote about not too long ago.  that document was twice published by an organization called the u.s.—muslim engagement group,” and called for the united states to completely change its policies toward the muslim and arab world.  i have done everything i can to promote knowledge of this article, and pamela geller has done as much as she can as well, linking the article twice at atlasshrugs, here and here.

in my initial reporting on this pamphlet entitled “changing course: a new direction for u.s. relations with the muslim world” i wrote a piece called obama’s vision —  a muslim compatible america  …  the abandonment of israel” offered the following observations, which are worth repeating:

indeed, so enthusiastic are the report’s authors on “engagement” with islam, that they go so far as to suggest a significant cross acculturalization between american and muslim institutions, and a significant intermarriage, if you will, between those comprising the leadership strata in government, education, the academe, and leaders in the arts & entertainment, the sciences, and faith based and religious institutions, in both america and the muslim world.

.  so, i suppose there is only to turn to the text of the pamphlet i am discussing, and to see what it has to say about various things and why i think what is says.

the authors of “changing course” propose a radical integration of american and muslim societies, via a number of diplomatic effort that are more than just vaguely reminiscent of the community organizing done by various leftist groups in the united states since the 1960’s.  the authors of “changing course” propose to initiate this integration of societies by:

4. improve mutual respect and understanding between americans and muslims around the world

· use public diplomacy to reinforce changes in politics and actions

· dramatically expand cross-cultural education, people-to-people and interfaith    exchange

· promote greater depth and accuracy in news coverage and programming

· invest in cultural diplomacy through arts and entertainment programs, to deepen mutual understanding and challenge stereotypes

· involve the muslim-american community as a bridge

report, “executive summary”

a not unintended consequence of such an exchange, socially and politically among societies, would be to elevate the political and social role and status of muslim american communities and individuals within american society: the use of the “muslim-american community” as a bridge between societies surely elevates the role of those people involved in the bridging, … , indeed, such a role would make such people indispensible within the content of such cross acculturalizaiton.

the goals asserted in “changing course” are not the goals associated with the conduct of traditional diplomacy between nations and governments, which while they may ameliorate conflict at that level of reality, do not really change the nature of the societies represented by governments: in some sense the attitudes in this pamphlet represent a repudiation of the limitations of classical state to state diplomacy.  the reach of the diplomacy in “changing course” is to supersede the limitations of the nation state.  i put it this way in my previous analysis of “changing course,” and it is a pretty clear expression of what the leftists who wrote “changing course” are up to:

heretofore, diplomacy has been conducted by governments, who marshaled the forces of their societies to advance their positions on the international stages, and whose diplomacy was conducted by ambassadors and generals, and when the common man had a role, it was subordinate, … , it was to fight and die adhering to his beliefs.

in short, what the young leftists community organizers of the 1960’s propose to do in “changing course” is to in effect bypass the role of governments in diplomacy, and to achieve a far more intimate exchange of learning and association between muslims and americans on a person to person basis.

i wrote earlier:

the exposition of these ideas begins in chapter v. of the report, sub-chapter 4., to “improve mutual respect and understanding between americans and muslims around the world,” beginning page 74 and running through page 91.  … asserting the true aim of this report, the authors posit an integration of muslim and american societies:

“…  given the perceptual and psychological barriers that have built up in many muslim countries and communities during the last decade or more, promoting effective, two-way communications with key muslim constituencies should be a major focus of u.s. public diplomacy and strategic communications.

it is equally important to promote education, dialogue, and creative collaboration at the societal level, both as an end in itself and as a way to create more political opportunities for u.s. and muslim leaders who want to improve relations.    …..  however, the u.s. government and the government of muslim majority countries need not only to increase funding, but also to change policies and regulations to make it far easier for americans and muslims in other countries to meet, talk, learn and work together. philanthropic, religious, and media organizations also need to make significant new investments to ensure that there is deep civic engagement to complement government-sponsored initiatives.”

report, page 75.

this is an open and bald faced statement of the purpose of the report.  [and, as noted, it is a repudiation of the classic notion held amongst nation states that only nation states conduct diplomacy. jjjay]

this is not the cooperation and exchange between diplomats and emissaries; this is an exchange and acculturation between people’s and societies.  In the end, it is, to coin a phrase, i suppose, extra-diplomatic, in that the exchanges and loyalties developed thereby transcend the interests of governments, and become the interests of peoples.  it is, in short, the community organizers end run dash around institutions, really in an effort to thwart institutions, just as pan-islam is not really curtailed nor controlled by the arab nation states.

the recommended and anticipated scope of such societal interchange and acculturalization, as it is termed by the “changing course” report writers is simply astounding, quite staggering in its own way.  what it recommends, taken to its fullest extension, is the integration of american society and muslim society at their highest levels, the emphasis always being upon the exchange between elites and opinion makers and reporters: you will find no recommendation for like exchanges between construction workers and mechanics, for instance.  now, upon first utterance or reading, this seems a silly point, but due reflection suggests otherwise: this is a report that suggests the integration of opinion and policy makers, the movers and shakers of society, with the rest of both societies to follow along dutifully, it would be assumed.  but, let the report’s paragraphs speak for themselves, as set out by my commentary supplying some context:

we find these remarks with regard to educational reform in both the united states and in muslim nations:

the u.s. government, together with educational, philanthropic, and business organizations, should substantially expand present commitments to academic and professional education on muslim history, religion, and culture, and on issues in u.s.–muslim relations.”

report, page 79

it is equally important for the u.s. to expand its commitment to fund basic education (literacy and numeracy) in muslim countries, and to support teaching and learning about other cultures as part of the curriculum.  the u.s. should not impose it view of what should be taught about other cultures in muslim countries’ schools.  nonetheless, the u.s. should use dialogue and advocacy to promote balanced presentation of historical, political, and cultural issues, and to put an end to teaching the advocates of violence.”

report, page 81

we find these remarks about international exchanges to build understanding, which sounds strangely like subsidized education for muslim students in the united states, but again, these are things to “build bridges,” in the vernacular, at all levels of u.s. and muslim societies around the world.  says the report:

there are also strategic, cultural, and economic gains for the u.s. when bright young muslims, who will someday be leaders in their own countries, come to the u.s. for their education.

organizations involved in cross-cultural student, cultural, professional, or community exchanges, and u.s. businesses with operation in muslim countries, should substantially scale up their efforts to promote direct contact among citizens and leaders from the u.s. and muslim countries.  for example, the brookings institution has proposed a $50 million fund to support 10,000 global service fellowships per year. exchanges should target education, media, labor, military, religious, and community leaders, because of their potential impact as opinion makers. exchanges should also include musicians, artists, and others who can have a major effect on public perceptions and opinions.”

report, page 81.

what we see here, purportedly, is no less an effort than to tie entire generations of muslims to our view point.  we should do well, however, to remember that most of the arabs who run o.p.e.c. organizations in the arab world were educated at english and american graduate institutions, and this has made them no less inclined to adopt economic and trade policies quite harmful to the united states: we should ask, why would we be any more successful this time around, in “turning” such people to our views.

nonetheless, the report continues, with particular and continuing emphasis upon “engagement” in areas dealing with the control and content of broadcasting in the mass media, … , e.g., television and radio.  the report focus upon the mechanics of the dissemination of such viewpoints over public airways, as it might be influenced by arab/muslim news media, broadcasters and producers for u.s. broadcasts, and as it might be influenced by americans for muslim majority nations, and how this might be shaped and directed by this interchange.  i suppose it not unmindful at this juncture, to remember that in most nations of the world, and decidedly arab & muslim nations fall into this category, the content and broadcast of ideas over the air is of such importance that governments control most of it, and it is strictly a monopoly of government agencies.  even in the so called social democracies of western europe, such as in france and germany, the content of public broadcast is of such importance that it is not left to chance, or chaos, and is tightly supervised and controlled.  only in the united states, and canada, and great britain, are private entities given absolute discretion in what they print and broadcast.  (anyone given any thought to the “fairness doctrine,” and our good friend rush, lately?)  does any of this sound like control of a propaganda agency?  and, just how realistic is the caveat in the last sentence quoted, that no broadcasts in a muslim nation involving this sort of american cross-acculturalization are to be censored by muslim societies and governments:

without adding substantially to the cost of coverage, news media could provide more diverse perspectives on breaking news and ongoing stories.

in particular, u.s. news web sites could provide more extensive links to commentators based in muslim countries, and muslim media web sites could provide more links to commentators based in the u.s.  discussion between the production and editorial staffs of major u.s. news media and counterparts in muslim national and regional markets about diversity and depth of coverage could also be productive.  in the u.s., news media could expand their coverage of muslims in non-conflictual contexts, including charitable and civic organizations, fund-raising events and cultural activities, while simultaneously giving more publicity to muslim condemnation of terrorism and extremism.

whatever initiatives are taken by news media to provide more innovative coverage, it is important that they be voluntary and clearly separate from governmental public diplomacy, and from soft or hard censorship.”

report, pages 85-86.

this report suggests nothing less than the total integration of american and muslims societies at the highest level of leadership and opinion making, as a way to decrease conflicts & tension between the societies resulting from failures of communication and knowledge.  (“what we have here, is a failure to communicate,” a classic observation from “cool hand luke.”)

in some sense the recommendations from “changing course” sound democratic and egalitarian, but it is not until a more sober assessment is made do we realize that the “interchange” and understandings realized above are accomplished by societal elite talking to his societal co-equal on the other side, and that it is elites and opinion and policy makers who achieve these broader understandings, for the most part.

2.)the european union and the euro-med integration.

pamela geller has brought the issue of muslim immigration into europe in the coming years into very shrap focus and into the forefront of public discussion, both in terms of the numbers involved, and in terms of the social consequences that will impact european life, and european civilization.

but, as we began to explore the documents and basis of the euro-med agreements, and other diplomatic texts common in the euro union scheme of things called “association agreements,” which are diplomatic accords between the union and other nations (some of which are being prepared & groomed for accession into membership in the union), it became readily apparent that most if not all of the goals enunciated for america and the arab world are also stated as goals in the associations between the euro union and other nations, and especially in the euro-med partnerships.

the goals for societal interchange and integration are no different in the euro-med “association agreements,” and i hope to be able to demonstrate that with requisite clarity in the passages to follow.  one must assume that similar language in these areas of diplomacy have similar import: indeed, it should be no surprise that “changing course” celebrates the euro union diplomacy, as the lineage runs for nearly 20 years in politically leftist circles around the world.  and, it might be added, seems to find its origins in euro union aspirations to dominate international politics and diplomacy: while the u.s. used military muscle to impose a peace, the europeans have been scurrying around making diplomatic relationships, securing the “spoils” of our “wars,” as it were.

if my assumptions are correct on the matter, this has tremendous import to european citizens, the citizens of the various nation states. because it reveals to them for the first time what the leaders of the european union have in mind for them, in ways that they could not have considered before, because a great deal of this has been kept from them.  it seems to me, and has for a while, that the european left intends that no european nationalism be left in the union when they are done with it: the european left seems intent to destroy the last vestiges of european nationhood, the last underpinnings of the nation state, and the last loyalty of any european citizens to any political entities other than the european unity.

if i am correct, if the documents reveal what i think they reveal, the european left means to subsume and submerge european nationalism by inundating it in a sea of islamic immigration, and by integrating pan muslim and pan arabic culture into eurpean culture wholly erasing the later.

I think that I am correct in this, and that this represents fundamental insight into the motives and future operations of the european leftist governing elites.  phew!!

not without some difficulty, I have found the original text of an association agreement” signed between the european union and egypt on 25 june 2001 and ratified by the entire member states of the union and effective 06 january 2004: the euro-med has been up and running for some time folks, as very ably documented by robert spencer.  the “egyptian association agreement” is 355 pages long in pdf format,  and, for the most part, as you might expect, it is concerned with regulating and promoting commerce between the european union and egypt.  the european union did start out as a trade association, and this remains an important function of the union, but that function has been somewhat relegated to reduced status given the drive to world government.

you will also find exact parallels between the goals and missions of the euro-med “association agreement” and those goals and missions advanced in the tract of the u.s.—muslim engagement group’s pamphlet, “changing course,” suggesting beyond reasonable doubt that the america’s leftist vision if not inspired by the euro left’s is tracking almost exactly parallel to it.  and, you will not be surprised to find that the “association agreement” follows exactly on point with those principles related in the organic documents of the euro union discussed above in this paper.

what are some of the parallels?

one of the more striking parallels in the euro-med agreements with the american left’s views on people to people diplomacy finds expression in the “association agreements” provisions on integration of european and muslim news and public broadcasting, reflecting the overwhelming importance of television as an informational and propaganda device in the modern state, which seeks to govern and regulate the dissemination of knowledge.  the “association agreement” between the euro-med partners and egypt, and it is well to remember that it is governments talking about shaping media policies in this agreement, reads as follows:

article 52

information society and telecommunications

the parties recognise that information and communication technologies constitute a key element of modern society, vital to economic and social development and a cornerstone of the emerging information society.

the cooperation activities between the parties in this field shall aim at :

a dialogue on issues related to the different aspects of the information society, including telecommunications policies;

the exchanges of information and eventual technical assistance with regulatory matters, standardisation, conformity testing and certification in relation to information technologies and telecommunications;

the diffusion of new information and communications technologies and the refinement of new applications in these fields;

the implementation of joint projects for research, technical development or industrial

applications in information technologies, communications, telematics and information

society;

the participation of egyptian organisations in pilot projects and european programmes within the established frameworks;

interconnection between networks and the interoperability of telematic services in the community and egypt. ce/eg/en_40-41.

just as the american left, the european left view television as something too important to be left to amateurs, and too important not to go unregulated by government.  the statements of these policies are very frank assessments on the part of government ministers and bureaucrats alike, that the dissemination of information to the public is something of very grave concern to government, and something that the partnership governments in the euro-med should monitor and shape carefully to properly educate their citizens.

like their american counterparts, and no doubt inspiring them, the european ministers are very much concerned about educational matters, and exchanging world views with their muslim neighbors in north africa.  again, these are ministers and bureaucrats of governments, setting joint policies on the educational policies of the heretofore world’s great democracies, with north african societies and economies barely emerging into modernity, in some respects:

article 42

education and training

the parties shall cooperate with the objective of identifying and employing the most effective means to improve significantly education and vocational training, in particular with regard to public and private enterprises, trade-related services, public administrations and authorities, technical agencies, standardisation and certification bodies and other relevant organisations. in this context, the access of women to higher education and training will receive special attention.

and, in like fashion, the european politicians and bureaucrats are concerned that their efforts result in cultural understanding and dialogue, and not just that, but cross aculturalization, in other words the attainment of understanding that transcends mere familiarity and rises to a level of appreciation and affinity.  again, we quote from the euro-med association agreement signed with egypt on 25 june 2001:

article 71

1. the parties agree to promote cultural cooperation in fields of mutual interest and in a spirit of respect for each other’s cultures. they shall establish a sustainable cultural dialogue. this cooperation shall promote in particular:

conservation and restoration of historic and cultural heritage (such as monuments, sites, artefacts, rare books and manuscripts);

exchange of art exhibitions, troupes of performing arts, artists, men of letters, intellectuals and cultural events;

translations;

training of persons working in the cultural field.

2. cooperation in the field of audiovisual media shall seek to encourage cooperation in such areas as co-production and training. the parties shall seek ways to encourage egyptian participation in community initiatives in this sector.

3. the parties agree that existing cultural programmes of the community and of one or more of the member states and further activities of interest to both sides can be extended to egypt.

4. the parties shall, in addition, work to promote cultural cooperation of a commercial nature, particularly through joint projects (production, investment and marketing), training and exchange of information.

5. the parties shall, in identifying cooperation projects, programmes and joint activities, give special attention to young people, self-expression, heritage conservation issues, the dissemination of culture, and communication skills using written and audiovisual media.

6. cooperation shall be implemented in particular through:

a regular dialogue between the parties;

regular exchange of information and ideas in every sector of cooperation including meetings of officials and experts;

transfer of advice, expertise and training;

implementation of joint actions such as seminars and workshops;

technical, administrative and regulatory assistance;

dissemination of information on cooperation initiatives.

again, as with the american left’s vision in “changing course” there is an emphasis on a diplomacy that transcends relationships between states, to an effort to engage entire societies and culture in a mutual exchange of information, and, presumably, good will.  and, please notice again, that such interchange and mutual planning and development is not taking place between garage mechanics grocery store managers, but between those that we might describe as societal elites, politicians and governmental bureaucrats: this looks superficially like democracy, but, in reality, is handmaiden to a far different and more centralized governmental control.  there is a reason why these matters are not widely disseminated in europe and england.

we haven’t set out all the parallels, as such would be very daunting in a paper of this brevity, and i say that full realizing the length required to set this all out even briefly.  but, we think that it should be obvious to even the most partisan observer, that in this matter of people to people diplomacy the american left and the europen left are moving on parallel tracks.

and, that the american left and the european left have decided to court islam and the muslim countries most assiduously as they follow this path.  why have the arabs and muslims of the world, or even of the 3rd world for that matter, been singled out for this?  are there no people less quarrelsome, less warlike, less prone to international and national terrorism, who might have been found more suitable persons with whom to build relationships?  less prickly?  less murderous?

we have seen how the organic documents of the european union and the euro-med agreements suggest that a proper methodology of integrating the societies of the mediterranean basis is by promoting islamic immigration into europe on a massive scale.  the euro-med and egyptian “association agreement” signed  06 june 2001 shows precisely how this is to be implemented, by a massive integration of economies and trade practices, by lowering restrictive trade barriers, and by an insinuation of cross cultural values into both european and muslim societies by joint management of the news, and exchange of entertainers and educators and the like.  and now, a reminder of how the real work of this exchange and change is to be done, as made explicit in the following paragraphs from the euro-med document:  we quote these relevant passages, and inquire of you, if you have ever witnessed diplomacy that was concerned with a dialogue and cooperation on social matters of citizens of different states?  this is not the diplomacy of states, this is a diplomacy that seeks integration of society and government, that seeks to change and regulate the relationships of persons in heretofore separate societies, and not just of their respective governments:

title vi

chapter 1

dialogue and cooperation on social matters

article 62

the parties reaffirm the importance they attach to the fair treatment of their workers legally residing and employed in the territory of the other party. the member states and egypt, at the request of any of them, agree to initiate talks on reciprocal bilateral agreements related to the working conditions and social security rights of egyptian and member state workers legally resident and employed in their respective territory.

article 63

1. the parties shall conduct regular dialogue on social matters which are of interest to them.

2. this dialogue shall be used to find ways to achieve progress in the field of movement of workers and equal treatment and social integration of egyptian and community nationals legally residing in the territories of their host countries. [do you really think 50 million europeans are going to immigrate to north africa in the next 50 years?: jjjay.]

3. the dialogue shall notably cover all issues related to:

(a) migrant communities’ living and working conditions;

(b) migration;

(c) illegal migration;

(d) actions to encourage equal treatment between egyptian and community nationals, mutual knowledge of cultures and civilizations, the furthering of tolerance and the removal of discrimination.

article 64

dialogue on social matters shall be conducted in accordance with the same procedures as those provided for in title i of this agreement.

article 65

with a view to consolidating cooperation between the parties in the social field, projects and programmes shall be carried out in any area of interest to them.

priority will be given to:

(a) reducing migratory pressures, notably by improving living conditions, creating jobs, and income generating activities and developing training in areas from which emigrants come;

(b) promoting the role of women in economic and social development;

(c) bolstering and developing egyptian family planning and mother and child protection

programmes;

(d) improving the social protection system;

(e) improving the health care system;

(f) improving living conditions in poor areas;

(g) implementing and financing exchange and leisure programmes for mixed groups of egyptian and european young people residing in the member states, with a view to promoting mutual knowledge of their respective cultures and fostering tolerance.

ce/eg//en 47-48.

and, finally, our favorite portion of the document, and a treat for those of you who like lists and pomp and ceremony as much as i do:

final act:

the plenipotentiaries of:

the kingdom of belgium,

the kingdom of denmark,

the federal republic of germany,

the hellenic republic,

the kingdom of spain,

the french republic,

ireland,

the italian republic,

the grand ducky of luxembourg,

the kingdom of the netherlands,

the republic of austria,

the portuguese republic,

the republic of finland,

the kingdom of sweden,

the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland,

contracting parties to the treaty establishing the european … , hereinafter referred to as the “member states”, and of the european community, hereinafter referred to as “the community”, of the one part,

and

the plenipotentiaries of the arab republic of egypt, hereinafter referred to as “egypt”,

of the other part,

meeting at luxembourg on 25 june 2001 for the signature of the euro-mediterranean agreement establishing an association between the european communities and their member states,

of the one part,

and the arab republic of egypt,

of the other part,

hereinafter referred to as

“euro-mediterranean agreement”, have adopted the following texts:

the euro-mediterranean agreement, the annexes thereto and the following protocols: … .

in preparing this paper i have talked to some who thought the euro-mediterranean agreement moribund.  the euro-med sure does not act moribund, does it/do they?  they act like they are up and running with a vengeance, these entities that act as member states and as union.

I am not going to tell you the status of the various agreements extent.  you may google that and find out for yourselves.  but, the euro-med is viable, and it is stumbling & bumbling along its way to full status.

it foretells a conquest of a civilization that genghis khan could not muster.  and, every bit of it has been accomplished by a european left inimically hostile to the concept of european nation hood and nationality: europe is not being destroyed from without, it is being destroyed purposefully by those acting from within, and by those who hold firmly as yet to the reins of power.  this all portends a betrayal from with unprecedented, truly in history.

why the left courts islam.

at this juncture a certain intellectual schism emerges, and it relates to trying to understand just why it is that the world’s left is so enamored of islam, and why our culture both on this side of the pond and the other seeks “engagement” with a religion and culture that in so many ways seems to to me hidebound, barbaric, repressive and forever systematically appositional to ever acquiring or even wanting to acquire western knowledge and values.  let alone trying to arrive at some sort of institutional peace between civilizations.  understand something here.  i am not a cultural relativist in any sense of the word.  i believe western civilization, religion, culture and political heritage superior to islam in every respect, and far superior to islam in aiding the individual to lead a cultured, civil, ethical, moral and happy life.  i would gladly pound medina into dust if it meant securing the primacy and survival of the west over the entirety of islam: in a short heartbeat.

i see very little worth in the basic religion, which seems more an instrument of political administration and conquest, than a religion.  in some respects islam seems more about the repression of women than anything else, and the religion exercises rigid control over their behavior and status by any number of regimens.  they suffer violence which is endemic to religious values, and occupy a position is most Islamic cultures which is stultifying and demeaning: women bear the burden of sexual disfigurement when their clitorises are removed, by such precision instruments as broken glass, and suffer other ignominy straight from the middle ages.  yet leftist feminism murmurs nary a sound of dissent.  islam in europe calls for democracy and the rule of law in relation to their own treatment, yet calls for the death of european political leaders, to include the queen of england, former prime minister tony blair, geert wilders in the netherlands who may very well be the next dutch prime minister, … , and yet leftist politicians, prosecutors and public officials intimidate and suppress any european complaint about this by a ferocious and implacable application of “hate speech” rules when europeans have the temerity to point out the social consequences of such behavior: it is a contradiction that defies imagination, yet the european left seems content with it.  and, islamic thugs harass and beat anglican and catholic clerics the length and breadth of europe and england, and the leftist clerics continue to find excuse for such loutish behavior.  the crime rate soars in the presence of islamic males of adolescent and early adulthood, including violent assault and especially the rape of european women, yet such is excused or ignored in the european media.  and, let us not forget, the annual performance upon new year’s eve of the massive burning of french automobiles by muslim “youth,” a new year’s revelry as described in press releases from french ministeries and as reported on french television.

and, there is the matter of culture, and legalism.

europeans are required to exercise tolerance to islamic culture.  yet, islam has entirely no requirement to tolerate european culture, and indeed, european governments and the european union legislate and attempt to stamp out every last vestige of nationalistic sentiment in the european populations whenever it finds expression.  as has been remarked, odd that:  the euro union decries racism yet it imposes a vicious reverse racism on its own subjects in favor of an immigrant class whose “importation” the euro union sponsors, and culturally favors the interlopers when inevitable tensions arise.

it is hard to comprehend intellectually, why this is so.  why does european politics and legal authority suppress european nationalism, even while it champions the right of muslims to express their nationalism, ethnicity and religious ethos while condoning the clear breach of european law and ethos by muslim immigrants?

some suggest there need be no search for obscure explanations, that the reason is obvious, and it lies in the fact that arab nations have the lion’s share of the world’s oil reserves while europe has almost none, and find in those facts ready and reliable explanation as to why the euro leftist who administer the euro union are willing to sell their countrymen down the toilet in favor of arab muslim immigration.  they are of the opinion that europe is hostage to this energy disparity, and that the europeans will do anything to gain access to the middle east’s oil reserves, including political union with them, and accepting the presence their excess populations as immigrants, this burden partially set off by their cheap labor.

i do not agree with this assessment, and confessedly do not find this a ready explanation.

there is no doubt about the disparity in energy reserves between europe and the middle east.  but, to my mind the fact of energy reserves do not begin to explain the european union’s adventures with the “euro-med political partnerships.”  and the key reason to my mind is that the euro-med does not really reach the middle eastern oil fields that one might expect to be the aim of a geo-political thrust to obtain access to arab oil, nor does it really even give the euro union the launching off point to try and gain dominance over the middle eastern fields.  to state it as succinctly as possible, the “euro-med” is an insufficient lever by which to move the middle eastern oil fields into and under europe’s sway.

the reasons are geo-political.

and here, we have a little exercise.

i would like to introduce you to captain john, and his wonderful map of the world’s reserves: this map is by far the cleverest such that i have ever seen, lending at once a graphic understanding of who has the oil and who uses it in the world.  you must follow the link to the map, but it is well worth it, and quite entertaining.

the next thing to do is to go to “google maps,” and pop up the mediterranean sea and the middle east/gulf of arabia in one view, and split your screen, putting captain john’s marvelous map and google maps side by side, and just look at them.

and, finally, do one other thing.  well, you don’t have to do it, we will simply tell you something.  libya is not part of the euro-med organization, and libya has the largest oil reserves in africa.  but, and here is the clue to what i am getting at: africa is not the middle east, and in this instance, it does not look to me that it would give europe the geo-political clout to reach the middle east, even were it a part of the euro-med, and it is not.

look at captain john’s oil map.

saudi arabia is the biggest country in the world, in terms of oil reserves.  and, it become obvious, that though france and germany are amongst the world’s largest consumers of oil, being the same hideous olive as russia, canada, mexico and brazil, that they are laughably lacking in any kind of oil reserves at all.  and, if you go to the map of the world’s coal reserves at the world coal institute, you will find the same situation obtains as to coal and natural gas: europe has none to speak of, or, more precisely, the euro union has bupkis for coal reserves.  the euro union has no energy reserves of its own: it has to buy all of its energy, as a practicle matter,  at retail upon open world markets.  it has a petroleum paucity and an anthracite anomaly, put simply.  ironic, isn’t it, that the euro union should have no carbon of its own.  (does the motive of cheating european scientists to fabricate “global warming” statistics, in order to obtain control over carbon harvesting, distribution and consumption, become clearer, mean anything to you now?  it wasn’t bad science, it was patriotism.)

now that you have absorbed all that, it is back to google map.  and here the sorry state of europe’s geo-political reach is revealed, and it is revealed why the euro-med scheme is not going to give europe access to the middle east’s oil reserves.  europe and euro-med are too far away from the middle east, and euro-med does not put it any closer, in any practicable sense.

since europe is so tiny and saudi arabia so large on captain john’s map, the two look close together.  they are not, in a geo-political sense, and, they are not, in the sense of real politik, and again, euro-med does nothing to put europe any closer to the oil.  the same things that prevent europe from exercising hegemony over the middle east exist even in the presence of an expanded and functioning euro-med partnership.  euro-med, in the strictest sense, changes nothing.  amazingly enough.

in the realities of geo-politics, there are the little matters of syria, jordan, israel and egypt & the suez canal separating europe from the middle east.  they separate europe from the middle east now, and they do not put it any close w/ euro-med.

france and germany and italy and england cannot surmount this reality because they, and the euro union, have no military or diplomatic reach likely to be able to exert any influence on middle eastern oil and energy policy: euro-med will not change this.  neither the euro-med nor the euro union have blue water or strategic navies, and hence no leverage of an immediate presence in the region to influence o.p.e.c. policies on oil supply and production.  if they had navies they do not have the infantry to put ashore such as might constitute a legitimate threat to capture and hold middle eastern oil fields.

and here is a determinative factor geo-politically.

it might be legitimately said that the united states  of america possesses all of those tools and assets, and in an overwhelming fashion.  and it may be legitimately observed that the middle eastern world is acutely aware of u.s. power in this regard, having watched the u.s. forces in action twice in iraq and now in afghanistan, and it escapes no one’s notice that afghanistan is a very long ways away from anywhere, but there we are.  and, moreover, that the u.s. not only has this power, but the ability to marshall sufficient diplomatic and military unity to muster support from the world’s other “powers,” whether it really needs them or not, but it does look good diplomatically, doesn’t it.  (and the united states has not the political will to enforce favorable gas and oil prices on middle eastern suppliers, and so the united state suffers the same geo-political penalty in this sense that the euro-union does.  retail.)

the u.s. cannot force a more favorable price with its power and assets than, … , retail.   and, most assuredly, the euro union without this naked power and asset, is not going to be able to force a more favorable price from the middle east for its oil, either.  and, the eventual materialization of the euro-med is not going to change that geo-political fact one little bit.

the u.s. and the euro union pay the same spot prices for oil that everybody else in the world does.   if they are not willing, or in the case of the europeans, not able to take the resource by brute force, the middle eastern oil barons will reward such ethical propensity by charging retail.

retail is a reality.  and not even a european presence in egypt, and a short pipeline across a short stretch of the red sea below the suez is going to change that.  retail remains the governing fact, in the world of real politik.  any additional costs of delivery of the oil resource to europe associated with changing the location of method of delivery of oil at the terminus belonging to the saudis, will be absorbed by the buyer.  at retail.

oddly enough, if you google the topic of “oil pipelines + saudia arabia” you will not find very much, except a couple of sites which note that several existing pipelines have been closed down by regional conflict. a pretty good site run by pbs explains why more pipelines do not exist carrying crude oil from saudi arabia to europe, and the fact is simple.  pipelines across saudi arabia cost the saudi’s money in production and delivery costs, a cost which they are not willing to absorb:

much of the [saudi arabia’s] oil resources and infrastructure are located in the east, close to the conflict prone persian gulf, necessitating passage through the straits of hormuz, a two mile wide shipping bottleneck at the gulf’s outlet to the sea. of the eight largest oil and gas fields that contain more than half of saudi oil reserves, the two biggest ghawar (the world’s largest oil field) and safaniya (the world’s largest offshore oilfield) are near or in the persian gulf itself. two-thirds of saudi arabia’s crude oil is exported from the gulf via the abqaiq processing facility. saudi arabia’s two primary oil export terminals are located at ras tanura (the world’s largest offshore oil transfer facility) and ras al-ju’aymah, both in the gulf, as well. another terminal lies in yanbu, a port city on the red sea. in an effort to rely less on the gulf route through the straits, the saudis have constructed the east-west crude oil pipeline (petroline) to transport crude nearly 750 miles from the ghawar oil field to yanbu. however, this route is not as efficient as the straits of hormuz, adding five days shipping time to asia. thus far, economic concerns have kept the pipeline operating at only half capacity. the abqaiq-yanbu natural gas liquids pipeline, which runs parallel to the petroline, serves yanbu’s petrochemical plants. two additional pipleines: the trans-arabian pipeline to lebanon and the 48-inch iraqi pipeline have been closed indefinitely due to regional conflicts.

the euro-med adventure does not alter this.

the euros have nothing that they can offer to the middle eastern countries, saudi arabia in particular, that serve as inducements similar to those they are capable of offering their partners in the mediterranean basin.  the saudi’s do not have any excess population that they need siphoned off, so there is not value in reducing oil prices to get rid of excess number by sending them off to europe.  the middle eastern countries do not lack access to educational opportunities for their elites, such as suffered historically by the north africans:  the saudi and the Iraqis have no problems placing students in western universities, nor do they lack the funds to pay for their educational needs.

the situation as to immigration may be a little different for iraq and iran, which do not share in the societal and governmental and ruling class riches enjoyed by saudi and the emirates.  but here, another limiting factor on the utility of trading accommodation for excess muslim populations for access to oil takes over: at some point there has to be a finite limit in an economic sense for the utility of acquiring the benefit of geo-political gain in exchange for the burden of societal damage and expense associated with the importation of marginal people: let’s face it, the euros are going to want to acquire trained persons of economic value, and the muslims are going to want to give away worthless duds.  it is a classic horse trade.

the euros can only absord so many immigrants.

and, it still get them, in my estimation, one overriding reality.

retail prices at the middle eastern production terminuses.  as a cautionary note, please remember that none of these things that brought her mediterranean colleagues into euro-med have induced libya to sign up.

the middle east speaks money.

and, saudi arabia has all the money in the world, almost literally, and it has no excess population to support: and, its per capita income more or less guarantees that no one will leave saudi arabia for menial labor in europe.  and, note one other thing.  it costs money and time and efficiency for saudi arabia to pipeline oil from one side of the country to the other, even if avoiding transit of oil past the straits of hormuz: that is the reason the pipe line to yanbu runs only part time, and i can guarantee you that is only when oil demand is very high, and when high spot prices justify shipment of the oil by pipeline.

the united states has military bases in saudi arabia, and we have defended them twice from iraqi aggressions.  we are their largest customer in the world. for this we get wahiddi terrorism, and retail. europe simply does not have the geo-political nor military muscle to demand otherwise, and the euro-med will not change that situation one iota.  with regard to middle eastern oil, the situation remains for the euro union what it has always been.

no, the saudis will not change.  and the situation for the europeans will not change.–the european union can pick up its oil where everybody else picks up theirs, at the ocean side terminals.  i do not understand how the euro-med partnership(s) will change that calculus one bit.  and, for the house of saud, the oil business is a simple business: you extract the stuff out of the ground and put it in the boats for around a $1 to $2 bill, take the $50 to $70 to $90 @ barrel the guy on the ship pays, and the rest of it, the shipping costs and the manufacturing costs and distribution and sales, why, that’s his dime and his problem.  they simply don’t care.  and, you know something, that’s just the way it ought to be: nobody is putting a gun to our heads to buy the stuff, now, are they?

if i am right, the smart guys at the european union ought to be able to figure that out as well.

if they can figure out that the euro-med’s importation of muslim immigrants will neither secure them guaranteed access to oil, nor reduced prices for the same, then what is the motive for the euro-union to admit 50-100 million muslims (workers + families) into its confines in the next 50 years.  surely, for them to do so, especially in light of the fact that no present labor shortages are demonstrable over the euro union, then there must be some other compelling reason to do so, given the social discord the relatively few number of muslims in europe causes already.

i think i know, and that i understand the thought process of the european left in all of this.

first, the euro lefties think that they are noble to help their third world brothers.  o.k., so much for that bullshit.

second,  the european leftists want to crush the remaining vestiges of nationalism within the european union, and that muslims are just the ones to do it for them, via european union immigration and legal policies.

the raison d’être for muslim europe, or at least a europe sufficiently Islamized that it has destroyed the european national, the flemish, the walloons, the normans, the saxons, the prussians, the hessians, the britons, along with the germans and the english?

it is the new european man.

it is nothing new with ideologues, in fact the crafting of a “new” man to fit the needs of the “new” regime is relatively standard fare for marxist-leninist pap this past 150 years of so.  marxist-leninist theorists under lenin and stalin postulated a new “soviet” man, and they killed thousands of the old model to make way for taking deliveries, so to speak, on  the new models.  we wouldn’t be too surprised that if one searched the archives of the german national socialists one would come up with some sort of reference to the new man most suitable for the visionaries of the party, in charge of such matters.  a man unsurprisingly to look just exactly like the idealization of the aryan soldier found in german political posters and other art works.  and, indeed, if you go to the writings harold lasswell, a 1930’s professor of law at yale law school, and close intellectual colleague of harold laski of london school of economics fame, and a chief intellectual exponent of the british labour party, e.g., anglo-saxon-norman branch of the russian communist party, you will find in both a fervor for the  new “socialist” man, a man especially adapted and fitted for contributing to the regime.

lasswell and laski had been horrified by world war one, and both sought the sinecure of social stability as a way to avoid social upheaval and the violence of open conflict, and both sought in modern social science a way to produce a populace less inclined to such committing such waste. writes dennis smith, democracy on trial, quoted at some length in an earlier article of mine, of the views of these two men:

it was not for lack of effort on harold lasswells’ part.  he wanted very much to psychologically prepare america for fundamental political, and collectivist, change.—

lasswell was a proponent of making the population “psychologically fit” to be citizens, and measuring them to try and determine their proclivities, e.g., what they might do:

like laski, [lasswell] focused upon the dimension of political power.  however, as the title of his book power and personality (1948) implied, the other dimension of his analysis was not economic, but psychological.  in order to make democracy work, the key issue was not to put the economic structure right but to get personality right.  scientists paid considerable attention to shifts in the physical environment, but:

our self-observatories are in a less-advanced state… .  we need a never-ending inventory of the character-personality structure (with special reference to the requirements of democracy) of our one-year olds, our two-year olds and so on up.  these annual cross-sectional patterns can be chosen by proper sampling methods throughout all accessible cultures, all strata in society, and hence during all crisis and intercrisis situations.’  (lasswell 1948: 169).

lasswell proposed that cross-section reports on ‘environmental and predispositional factors’ should be made.  this would permit experiments to be carried out for the sake of determining the relative usefulness of different ways of changing the environment to help in ‘the formation of the democratic personality.’  (lasswell 1948: 169).”  dennis smith, democracy on trial, pages 120-121.

in short, lasswell proposed fitting and crafting the person for suitability in the political scheme, and not crafting the political scheme to fit the needs, aspirations, dreams and desires of the person comprising it.  so much, as they say, for the pursuit of happiness.  lasswell’s motivation was the pursuit of suitability.

lasswell and laski were proponents of rule by societal elites, social scientists and politicians and those in the know, and favored such rule over societies in which the passions and contentions of man led to disorder.  this passage setting forth their views, sets this perspective off nicely.  is there any one reading this who does not find the sentiments of these marxist social scientists of the 1930’s reflected in the structures of the modern british government, or of the euro union, and does not any american reading this see the impetus towards this in his governance.  again, this passage comments on the dennis smith book, democracy on trial:

lasswell and laski formulated many of their criticism of democracy and capitalism, which of course nurtured them both in the comfort, privilege and prestige of professorial endeavor, in the 20’s and 30’s following the horrors of world war i.  it may be said, and has been, that the carnage and waste of that  war, which destroyed the flower of european and english youth and topped empires of long standing, also destroyed western civilization’s faith in itself.  this, i think something of an oversimplification, as the common man persevered and functioned as ever before, (as is the common man’s wont), but it is true to say that wwi destroyed the intellectual classes’ faith in democracy and capitalism.  as noted of lasswell and laski:

both men rejected theories based upon the supposed preferences and actions of rational individuals and a sovereign state.  their immediate intellectual predecessors had defined the ‘task of the hour.’  in lasswell’s words, this task was

the development of a realistic analysis of the political in relation to the social process, and this depends upon the invention of abstract conceptions and upon the prosecution of empirical research.  it is precisely this missing body of theory and practice which … undertook to supply in england and which … has been most foremost in encouraging in the united states.  (lasswell 1951a: 46)’”  dennis smith, democracy on trial, page 109.

in short, lasswell argued for the development of a view of man not premised upon his rationality nor ability to decide what is in his best interests, but to develop a scheme of politics which would somehow inhibit the mischief that indulgence in this belief had caused, wwi bearing eloquent witness.  lasswell would protect us from ourselves, and from our pernicious thoughts.

lasswell and laski were to bring science to bear upon the issues of politics and rule, and science would brook no tolerance of outmoded conceptualizations which had proved impotent to prevent the irrational war to end all wars.  adherence to the old 19th century views of politics were deemed “unscientific,” and those who held to such views were not abreast of the times.  or, as one professor put it, the view to be accepted was “… that the non-rational side of human nature should be accepted as a datum and built into the theories of political science.”  dennis smith, democracy on trial, pages 109-110.  science, (and by direct implication, scientists) should rule the day, with a view towards inhibiting man’s irrationality.

both men were proponents of shaped social discussion, that is, discussion led by scientists and elites, and which constituted, quite frankly, propaganda as shaped and manipulated by societal elites, the media, and others in control of its contents.  this was premised upon their mutual distrust of the passions of men, and their belief that individuals were often the poorest judges of “what was good for them:”

this passage from wikipedia with regard to lasswell is a convenient thumbnail sketch of his views, and should give substantial insight into the manipulation of image and language would forms the language and content of political speech in this day and age:

along with other influential liberals of the period, such as walter lippman, he argued that democracies needed propaganda to keep the uninformed citizenry in agreement with what the specialized class had determined was in their best interests. as he wrote in his entry on propaganda for the encyclopaedia of the social sciences, we must put aside “democratic dogmatisms about men being the best judges of their own interests” since “men are often poor judges of their own interests, flitting from one alternative to the next without solid reason”. [footnote 3, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/harold_lasswell]

lasswell construed the specialized classes as ruling elites, the academics, the socially & economically well positioned, and politicians & political bureaucrats who knew best what was in the interests of the people that they ruled over, and from lasswell’s position, those who occupied those positions if not doing so by virtue, at least had earned the privilege by guile and craft.

this last on harold lasswell and propaganda:

mr. lasswell was not simply interested in passively measuring attitudes, but in actively manipulating attitudes, beliefs, and “normative standards of conduct,” if you will, in order to make a society more tractable and governable.

his first efforts at the study of attitude and belief manipulation involved measuring the efforts of the various propagandists at work in world war one to see how they went about their manipulations.  writes smith :

tocqueville and mill had feared the irrationality of public opinion.  through its agency, prejudice was liable to challenge the rule of the rational.  lasswell demonstrated that nearly a century later the tables had been turned.  the rational procedures of science and bureaucracy were fully equipped to create fantasy and strengthen prejudice within public opinion.  in his study of propaganda during the first world war he showed that this function was systematically organized by the state.  by directing a flow of signs and symbols for the attention of the target audience at home or abroad, the propagandist sought the ‘instigation of animosity toward the enemy, the preservation of friendship between allies and neutrals, and the demoralization of the enemy.’  (1971: 46)

lasswell concluded that propaganda by print, screen and so on was the modern substitute for the tribal tom-tom: ‘print must supplant the dance.’ (221).

………………………..

“….  The propagandist concerned with stirring passions in wartime typically wanted to put a match to the bonfire.  the peacetime politician was usually more interested in pouring water over the danger area.  this was a central theme in psychopathology and politics (1951a).

in this book lasswell dismissed the idea that politics was about rational discussion and democratic consultation.  in a passage which took a point of view diametrically opposed to the line adopted by laski in the grammar of politics, lasswell complained about the ‘vast diversion of energy towards the study of the formal etiquette of government.’  he added:

in some vague way, the problem of politics is the advancement of the good life, but this is a once assumed to depend upon the modification of the mechanisms of government.  democratic theorists in particular have hastily assumed that social harmony depends upon discussion, and that discussion depends upon the formal consultation of all those affected by social problems. the time has come to abandon the assumption that the problem of politics is the problem of promoting discussion among all the interests concerned in a given problem.  discussion frequently complicates social difficulties, for the discussion by far-flung interests arouses a psychology of conflict which produces obstructive, fictitious, and irrelevant values.’  (lasswell 1951a: 196-7)

in lasswell’s view, the problem of politics was less to solve conflicts than to prevent them occurring. political activity should direct society’s energy at ‘the abolition of recurrent sources of strain in society…’  the tension level should be reduced as far as possible through ‘preventive politics.’” [1][5] dennis smith, democracy on trial, pages 122-123.

this should be guided by ‘the truth about the conditions of harmonious human relations, and the discovery of the truth is an object of specialized research; it is no monopoly of people as people, or ruler as ruler.’ (197)”  dennis smith, democracy on trial, page 123.

in short, the art of politics is to get everybody’s head right, to prevent the social discord present when everybody doesn’t have their heads right.  this is an extraordinary passage, and an extraordinary insight into the ideologue’s mind, as it reveals that “truth” is known, and is in conformity with the ideologue’s notion of how things should be, and that the discovery and verification of that truth is to be the object of research, … , by, … , well, who else, the social scientist.

conclusion.

the simple fact is that europe does not have to bring islam and muslims to europe in order to secure its economic productivity, especially if we consider that through euro-med the european union could have utilized the north african/mediterranean basin labor pool in its home countries, via outsourcing, as the united states has done on the north american continent.

it is widely recognized that the united states is an economic colossus.  but what is not so widely known is that canada and mexico also have very strong, and very large economies, ranking among the largest in the world: the size of the north american economy easily outstrips that of the euro union.  the integration of the mexican and canadian economies with that of the united states is responsible for this.

the euro union could have done the same, moving industry to the labor pool in the mediterranean basin.

yet the european union has decided to move the labor pool to the industrial sites, and to move a massive number of north african muslims immigrants into their midst, with all the social problems, crime, and the conflict of religious beliefs, cultural values, and the clash of civilizations.

why?

and, why islam?

why did the leaders of the euro union, and it sure as hell wasn’t the general populace who promoted and adopted these schemes, not simply turn to south america for a populace far more compatible with european norms, given that south america is populated by large groups of european heritage and background, holding similar values and faiths common to their homelands?

there may be contrary explanations for why this was done.

some may contend that it was to secure cheap access to energy, and to achieve control over the region of the world with the largest oil reserves.

i believe this not a persuasive explanation, perhaps not even plausible, and i am convinced that in no wise does it even come close to serving as a complete explanation, because i do not think that europe can achieve such goals as to secure cheaper energy needs via the euro-med project, for the reasons stated above.

i believe that more fundamentally, the social planners and schemers at the euro-med and the european union think that muslims immigrants & muslim immigration are the precise mechanism excusing the imposition of those social controls that finally destroy the last vestiges of european nationalism, of european statehood, those things that stand in the way of the european masses/society from having their ultimate loyalties lie with the european union.

the european elites and leftist politicians intend to bring in enough muslim immigrants to give rise to a sufficient level of social discord and even racial and ethnic and religious values in order to justify the imposition of those societal controls and norms (necessary to prevent the conflict between europeans and the muslims perhaps giving rise to the violence or civil war fomented by the left) which will give rise to the full implementation of the socialist marxist euro union state.  they intend to manage the conflict in such a way as to eliminate any continuing nationalist loyalty, and to instill loyalty political loyalty in the european union as a source of social stability and order.  along the way there will arise the opportunity to achieve and create the “euro man” by this forging of a new demos, a new body politic: the euro man will be slightly browner than his predecessors, he will probably be profoundly anti-catholic and slightly islamic, but, in the end, the euro man will emerge still adhering to european values, if only in a more passive and acquiescent manner than before.

and, he will emerge from this fomented travail, a firm adherent to his protector and benefactor, the state of the euro union.

and, if all goes well, completely ignorant of his manufacture.  and, completely ignorant to that which he is forfeit.

i believe that this vision and this process, using the advent of the most sophisticated communication techniques available, and absolute control of the media and news dissemination with a view towards shaping social policy, represents the ultimate triumph of the school of thought led by the law professor harold lasswell of yale and the social philosopher and avowed marxist harold laski of the london school of economics.  i do not know who, if there is an eternity, has the more smug look on his face at this moment, whether it be carl marx, or vladimir lenin, or harold laski or harold lasswell or joseph goebbels, but i am very sure that it is not montesqieu, or locke or abraham lincoln.

look, if you will, to the provisions in “changing course” and in the “association agreement” between euro-med and egypt regarding the management of the media relations between islam and the united states, and islam and europe.  ostensibly a tactic to create people to people diplomacy in order to build common paths to understanding and tolerance, and ostensibly to bypass and transcend the nation state, it is in fact a process controlled, shaped and manipulated by governmental agencies and bureaucrats to carefully control the dissemination of news, and to mold and shape public perceptions & attitudes with regard to what is thought about the news of the day.

in the end, people end up being just like modeling clay, resistant and stiff to manipulation when cold, but when warmed and massaged, easily formed into a myriad of shapes.  the social planners will never move people past the early stages of outrage, but will continually massage and mold them through control of image and thought until they assume the desired shape, and political posture.  i am betting goebbels has the biggest smile on his face, and see the realization of his thoughts and dreams.

no, this latter thought does not portend well to israel.

the same observations may be made of all levels of the “engagement” and “social interchange” envisioned by the left.  while the exchange of educational opportunity and the like is promoted as a way to help people know each other more intimately as persons, these interchanges and engagements are also to be carefully orchestrated by government agency and bureaucrat, and the frequency and type of such exchanges are to be carefully massaged by the same, with a view towards management.

this is propaganda and management by highly educated social scientists, politicians and bureaucrats with a view toward achieving laski and lasswell’s dreams of societies that are free from conflict and damaging war.  free from the cause of war.  free from the obstreperous speech and conduct which rouses the passions and provides the portent for war.

free of passion.  freed from aspiration.  freed from the burden of thought, and comforted by widely held opinion.  in numbers, truth, in truth, numbers.

such societies are, of course, also free from any burdens associated with thinking for themselves, and free from any serious decisions about with whom they associate, or what they might think of those with whom they are thrust into intimate association by forces other then themselves.

the thoughts, the passions, the upheavals of populations in whom nationalistic sentiments reside are entirely antithetical to the docile, passive and shaped populations envisioned by lasswell & laski, and envisioned by the authors of “changing course” and the shapers of the “association agreements” guiding the formation of the euro-med: make no mistake about it, the motives behind all of these things are shaped by the same visions.

and ultimately, by the same mistrusts.

lasswell & laski, george soros and madeline albright, the architects behind the curtain if you will of “changing course,” and the social planners of the euro union do not think that you and are capable of making up our own minds as to how we wish to live in the “complex world,” nor how we wish government to govern us in such a “complex world:” they think such decisions beyond us.

oddly enough, they do not think such decisions beyond them.  they think themselves quite capable of deciding such matters, and, if you will recall lasswell and laski, deciding such matters without a whole lot of worthless discussion with us.  simply put.

if you think this nonsense conjecture, please reflect for a moment on the recent debacle involving the conference on climate recently held in copenhagen, denmark.  mere weeks before the convening the convention, the advocates of the global warming treaty were prepared to waltz into copenhagen and pass the treaty, a done deal, and this treaty would have created a massive edifice giving atmosphere science and state bureaucrats the authority to manage and determine global industrial production, pollution policies, and would have given other bureaucrats you have never met, never seen and never even heard of, the ability to impose personal income taxes and to have taken the revenues from the same and distributed it to the 3rd world in a massive scheme of income redistribution.

and this magnificent edifice would have been governed by rules and procedures you would never have known about and quite beyond your reach to influence or control.

and, every bit of it was built on lie.

or, as harold lasswell and harold laski would have said, truth found by scientist and social policy experts beyond our ken, and shaped in such a manner as to have guided us toward proper social action.  or, in short, the entirety of global warming science appears to have been nothing less than a massive propaganda scheme to have conferred our governance upon unseen and inaccessible experts.

you think trying to get something out of microsoft relative to your computer is difficult, you try and find out something about the european union: friends, every bit of information in this post was obtained by dint of concerted effort, digging up documents that are hidden and secreted.  does that reassure you, that the eurpean union which wants to reshape europe, doesn’t want to talk about it very damned much.

and, in a fashion that lasswell and laski would have applauded, they don’t want you worrying your pretty little heads very much about it either, and they sure as hell don’t want any europeans talking about the immigration policies they are shaping, nor talking about the muslims they intend to bring into europe.

in fact, to do so is against the law of the european union, and is a criminal defense.  ask geert wilders, or lars hedegaard, or mark steyn in canada, what it is to come afoul of the european and canadian “hate speech” laws.

it turns out that the “new” socialist man, just as the old “soviet man,” and just as the docile fellow envisioned by laswell and laski, is one who keeps his mouth shut.

this much is clear.  i believe that it is more than likely that this is entirely the reason that muslim labor is being brought into europe by european politicians, to give them precisely the rationale they need to impose the social controls that help them achieve the societies envisioned by those two great champions of leftist thought, harold lasswell and harold laski.

it is, of course, entirely obvious that lasswell and laski would have viewed the expression of my individual and individualistic views as counterproductive to an orderly society, as consuming worthless effort to accommodate, and, ultimately as uninformed and not relevant, because i am not one of the philosopher kings authorized by education, title, rank and bureaucratic grade to issue such pronouncements.

joseph stalin shot people in the back of the head to impose his views of the “soviet man.”

the only question is, how much will the european leftist unleash the hounds of war under their “control” against their fellow europeans to achieve the level of social control they seek.  oh, yes, the create the crime and the unrest, so that they may control it, and, not coincidentally, so that they may control their fellow citizens by the repressive measures they will feel authorized to impose.

theo van gogh suggests that they are not hesitant to use violence, and the attack on kurt westergaard in denmark the other day confirms that islam will be a hound of war that will have no hesitancy to attack the more vocal elements in the population, when commanded by the leftist planners and bureaucrats.

they remind me so much of hitler’s minions, or stalin’s henchmen, take your pick.  vicious mollusks in control of islamic pit bulls.

the only question remains, is who will deal with the muslims, when their “usefulness” has run its course?

john jay @ 01.04.2009

p.s.  let me ask you.  did you see anything in any of these publications from the left, … , anything at all, about values, or ethics or religious beliefs or moral conviction convictions, or about right and upholding truth?  no, i don’t believe you did.

surely, harold lasswell is as contented as joseph goebbles, though i don’t believe he was given to smiling very much.

http://wintersoldier2008.typepad.com/summer_patriot_winter_sol/2010/01/the-radical-left-so-despises-europe-that-it-intends-to-destroy-it-by-muslim-immigration-and-i-have-t.html

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Here comes EuroMed: 14 days left to protest!

Posted by paulipoldie on January 13, 2010

By Henrik R Clausen 13 January 2010

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, also known as EuroMed, has been pretty much under the radar for 15 years. When it caused some public discussion in 2008, it was renamed ”Union for the Mediterranean”, and quietly permitted to proceed. Not much was heard of it, but now

EuropeNews has the scoop: It is being established now – and we have a window of merely 14 days to protest it.

The news is tucked away in this discreet ANSAmed news item:

MED UNION: JORDANIAN MASADEH APPOINTED AS SECRETARY

Quote:

Ahmad Khalaf Masadeh, Jordanian ambassador to Brussels, has today been appointed as secretary general of the Mediterranean Union.

It is remarkable that an ambassador of a non-democratic nation has been appointed to head the Union. Now, it should not be assumed that the European Union, run by a non-elected Commission and having a non-elected President, should care too much about such details.

But since the 16 non-EU states of the Mediterranean Union does include decent democracies (Israel, Croatia) as well as more dubious ones (Albania, Bosnia, Turkey), it would seem appropriate to appoint a representative from a democratic country to head the Union.

There are more remarkable passages in that piece. Quote:
A statement will be circulated tomorrow amongst the 42 Foreign ministers of the countries which make up the Mediterranean Union, with any comments to be made within 15 days. With the exception of surprise opposition, today’s appointment will be definitively approved by a process of tacit consent.

There we have it – full stealth mode. Unless someone protests loudly, this will proceed. Now, in order to field a reasonable protest, one needs to know what goes on, and politicians in democracies need to know if they have public support for the protest or not. Since neither of these are the case, no protests can be expected, and the project will continue.

What is the project about?
From the EuroMed web site:

  • Political and Security Dialogue, aimed at creating a common area of peace and stability underpinned by sustainable development, rule of law, democracy and human rights.
  • Economic and Financial Partnership, including the gradual establishment of a free-trade area aimed at promoting shared economic opportunity through sustainable and balanced socio-economic development.
  • Social, Cultural and Human Partnership, aimed at promoting understanding and intercultural dialogue between cultures, religions and people, and facilitating exchanges between civil society and ordinary citizens, particularly women and young people.

Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? But it also suffers from the kind of abstraction where you can tuck in just about anything. To figure out what goes on and what the perspectives are, one should perhaps consult the EuroMed University in Slovenia.

One could also ask the Anna Lindh Foundation or study their Strategy Paper to find out.

Or solicit the opinion of the Alliance of Civilizations.

The AoC home page currently features a photo of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recent recepient of the ”King Faisal International Prize”, explicitly given for ”his services to Islam”. Report at JihadWatch.

The participation of persons and governments like these, who also openly maintain warm relations to the brutal Iranian regime, is in itself sufficient reason to suspend EuroMed indefinitely.

All of this, apart from the King Faisal International Prize, is paid for by our tax money, yet far removed from public scrutiny and debate. We should not accept our leaders to engage in a project like this, developed behind closed doors, with lofty and unclear perspectives. A project left naïvely open to exploitation by non-democratic member states and religious fanatics alike.

What is the difference between EuroMed and the Union for the Mediterranean?
Quote:

While maintaining the acquis of its predecessor, the Barcelona Process http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/euromed/barcelona_en.htm offers more balanced governance, increased visibility to its citizens and a commitment to tangible, regional and trans-national projects.

In other words, nothing major.

The change of name hostensibly serves to increase visibility, but in reality this is mere window dressing to confuse the press and the public.

There was an implicit assumption that when French President Sarkozy launched his Union for the Mediterranean, Sarkozy’s proposal for Mediterranean bloc makes waves it was a different initiative, that the concerns about the original EuroMed had been taken seriously, causing it to be replaced by a less ambitious and less dangerous ‘Club Med’. This is documentably false.

The confusion, however, worked quite well. It became unclear to journalists and citizens alike what was the nature of Sarkozy’s project, what kind of progress would take place, and if this made sense at all. The last significant press reports assume that the project was now faltering Sarkozy’s Union of the Mediterranean falters, thus nothing to worry about. In reality his “Club Med” has served to cover the fact that EuroMed proceeds apace.

Thus, we have been subject to several acts of deception. This is not in itself illegal or punishable under the law, it is merely disrespect for the spirit of democracy. We should not be all too surprised, for Sarkozy performed a similar sleight of hand for the Constitutional Treaty, now renamed the Lisbon Treaty, after it had been rejected in French and Dutch referendums.

Sarkozy had originally promised the electorate that the Constitutional Treaty would be replaced by a ‘Mini-treaty’, a concept that lead journalists and citizens alike to assume that the concerns that led to the rejection by the people had been addresssed.

The new Treaty, however, turned out to be wordier than the rejected one. Sarkozy kept his promise with a simple trick: Setting the revised version with a smaller type, that it could be printed on fewer pages. Such behaviour from our most trusted politicians leave us lost for words, damaging democracy itself by means of contempt from our very own leaders. More on that (a very interesting subject unto itself) in From Constitution to Lisbon.

This practice of deception alone is sufficient reason for the citizens of Europe to reject EuroMed, now renamed Union for the Mediterranean. It is a project not subjected to public scrutiny, conceived before it was understood that Islamism is a threat to the free world, and based on blind and naïve assumptions on the goodwill of all involved parties. This is unworkable and dangerous in the current political situation.

Much more needs to be researched and discussed about EuroMed, its implications for Europe, for immigration and the development of Euroabia. The latter was for a long time considered almost a conspiracist theory created by historian Bat Ye’or. Yet, if one connects the dots and follows the news, its implementation is well underway, formally as well as informally. She was right from the very first day.

Right now we need to pull the brake on establishing the EuroMed institutions. You can help to do that, by writing to the newspapers or even going directly to the Foreign minister of your contry, requesting an immediate halt to this stealth project. The time is now. We have 14 days.

UPDATE – Bat Ye’or comments:

I commend you for warning Europeans about the political decisions taken by their leaders without consulting their public opinions on matters that would change totally their future, and not for their advantage. Europeans should request to be consulted on Foreign policy and immigration issues.They should not allow a small group of people to conduct their affairs behind their back, as it has been for the whole immigration and Mediterranean policy since 1973 as European, Arab, and American sources confirm it. The media should be open to debates and should not be controlled by networks subjected to the Organization of the Islamic Conference fatwas. This is going on now. More and more international policy is conducted through international networks linked to the UN bodies weakening democratic institutions.

http://europenews.dk/en/node/28957

Posted in E.U., Islamization, Must Read, News | 1 Comment »

Sharia a threat to Britain’s future as ‘tolerant’ society

Posted by paulipoldie on January 13, 2010

Sharia a threat to Britain’s future as ‘tolerant’ society

‘To what extent is Sharia Law already operating in Britain?  To what extent is Sharia Law incompatible with British Law?’

by

Douglas Murray

In February 2008 the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams delivered a lecture at the Royal Courts of Justice titled ‘Civil and Religious Law in England : a Religious Perspective.’  The Archbishop talked about Islamic sharia law and compared sharia courts in the UK to the Jewish ‘Beth Din’ courts.  The next day, on BBC Radio 4’s ‘World at One’ the Archbishop gave an interview which appeared to make his point much more explicit.

Whilst conceding that he was ‘no expert’ on sharia law, he related what he understood it to be, rebutted suggestions that it was a monolith and denied that its most famous and brutal manifestations – in Saudi Arabia for instance – were typical.

It was put to him that sharia was ‘incompatible with democracy’ and therefore hard to incorporate into British life as he appeared to be advocating.  The Archbishop replied: ‘That’s a pretty sweeping judgment.’  Whilst repeatedly stressing the complexity of the tradition of Sharia, and once again citing the Beth Din as a precedent for the integration of religious courts in British law, one particular phrase stood out.

‘…now that principle that there’s one law for everybody is an important pillar of our social identity as a Western liberal democracy, but I think it’s a misunderstanding to suppose that that means people don’t have other affiliations, other loyalties which shape and dictate how they behave in society and the law needs to take some account of that, so an approach to law which simply said, “There is one law for everybody and that is all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or your allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts”.  I think that’s a bit of a danger.’

This quotation, combined with the Archbishop’s assertion that ‘the application of Sharia in certain circumstances’ in the UK was ‘unavoidable’ caused extensive press comment.

‘What a burkha!’ railed the Sun’s front-page.  Television channels accompanied reports of the Archbishop’s comments with footage of sharia beatings in Africa and elsewhere.  The leaders of all major political parties united to condemn the comments and so did a complete sweep of the British press.  The country seemed to have awoken to the suggestion that sharia would inevitably become part of British life and, without caring to listen for the detail, the nation appeared to respond with a single resounding ‘no.’

The issue died down until July when the retiring Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Phillips, gave a talk on ‘Equality before the law’.  He described sharia as suffering from ‘widespread misunderstanding.’  Whilst admitting that stoning, the chopping-off of hands and flogging would be unacceptable, he backed sharia principles being applied to marriage arrangements in the UK and was supportive of the sharia finance initiatives which the Treasury had observed since 2002.  Lord Phillips said: ‘There is no reason why sharia principles, or any other religious code, should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution [with the understanding] … that any sanctions for a failure to comply with the agreed terms of mediation would be drawn from the Laws of England and Wales.’

And so the most senior judge in England followed the most senior member of the national church in backing the integration of elements of sharia law into British life.  However low-level the sharia they were advocating might have been, they propelled the issue to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.  And there it has stayed.

Rightly so.  For the story is about more than itself – about what we are as a society, and about what we might become. English common law is one of the cornerstones of our society.  As Roger Scruton has written, one of the most remarkable things about English legal thinking is that is has ‘remained concrete, close to human life and bound up with the realities of human conflict.’  No greater contrast with the fixed edicts of sharia could be imagined.  And so the sharia debate goes right into the heart not just of contemporary Britain, but also about whether the country remains capable of defending its traditions, and capable of drawing lines in the sand.

And it is also about something more: about whether rights which British people have fought for, and attained, after generations will genuinely be extended to all – or whether the process of multicultural fragmentation will extend to allowing people born into certain communities to live parallel lives, judged by parallel laws.  The debate speaks of the limits of multiculturalism and the more specific, fundamental issue – of the future of Islam in Britain.

Sharia law is Islamic law.  And there is no single sharia.  Rather it is an array of competing and contending schools of interpretation derived from two principle sources: the Koran (the book which Muslims believe to have been dictated to Mohammed by God via an archangel) and the Hadith (or ‘sayings’ of Mohammed).

The problems for any system of law based on these texts are huge.  Not just because of the problem of sources, interpretation and the confusions surrounding the lack of a single recognised figure of authority within Islam.  But also because of what one can sum up as the basics of sharia: for what unifies different interpretations of Islamic law is often more revealing than what separates them.  Though there is no single acknowledged interpretation of sharia, it is more than possible to summon up its general trends – the directions in which it leans.

The European Court of Human Rights, set up under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is just one of the institutions worldwide which has deemed sharia to be not just at odds with, but actively ‘incompatible’ with human rights.  As a signatory to the ECHR and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Britain has acknowledged the incompatibility of sharia with our own legal system.

Acceding to the same logic from the opposite side, Islamic countries have objected to the Universal Declaration. In 1990 they set up a parallel declaration – the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.

Thus both sides have acknowledged in their own ways that sharia and the liberal democratic norms and rights of Western democracies are not compatible.  The stumbling blocks are not in mere details.  They go to the centre of what liberal democratic societies have fought for centuries to develop and sustain.  There is a lacuna at the heart of sharia and Islam itself on core issues – not least the rights of half of the species.

Islamic scriptures routinely accord women half the rights accorded to their male kin.  Verse after verse in the Koran discriminates against them in this and other ways.  Many Muslims may disagree, but in Islam’s core-texts women are repeatedly deemed to possess half the worth of men.  If these texts were no longer considered relevant they would not be an issue.  Judaism and Christianity also have violent and misogynistic verses in their scriptures.  But Judaism and Christianity have moved on from literal interpretation of their texts.  They have in the main developed into monotheisms which see scripture as a guide rather than a rule-book.

Islam is different.  Partly because Muslims believe their holy book to have been dictated direct by god, rather than merely inspired by god, Islam has a unique doctrinal issue at the heart of the faith.  This might possibly be overcome. But for the present Islam remains the only Abrahamic faith which at its highest levels continues to see intransigence as a virtue and interpretation as vice.

Sharia, therefore, mandates how the followers of Mohammed should behave.  It governs their lives from the smallest thought to the greatest action.  The treatment of women is fundamental to this way of looking at the world.  Sharia mandates, for instance, that women accord to strict dress codes.  It also rules that they should inherit only half the wealth of their brothers and sees their testimony in court as worth only half that of a man.  In sharia a man is allowed four wives, but a woman only one husband.  And while a man can divorce his wife with great ease, it is exceedingly difficult for the woman to leave her husband.  All this is laid down in the Koran.  It also finds backing in the example of the polygamous and – by contemporary standards at least – misogynistic precedent of the life of Mohammed himself.  These facts, as we will see, continue to have an extraordinary impact on the lives on women in Britain today.

It is not only in the treatment of women that Sharia law finds itself in intrinsic opposition to British and European norms of human rights and law.  Other aspects of sharia are equally incompatible.   Consider the treatment of minorities.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, mandates that all people must be allowed ‘freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear’ as well as ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.  Yet in the Islamic tradition and the modern interpretations of the four main Sunni schools and the Shia school that developed after Mohammed’s death, no such freedom exists – either in theory or practice.

Sects within Islam which are disputed by the major schools have been stamped out throughout the history of Islam.  Mohammed himself slaughtered whole tribes who did not accept his ‘revelation’.  And to this day all schools of Islamic law agree that those who leave Islam – apostates – must be punished with death.  Though awarded a certain respect as ‘people of the book’ the best that Jews and Christians can hope for in an Islamic society is to be afforded second-class citizen status – a position known as ‘dhimmitude’.  Historically, the ‘dhimmis’ are permitted to live in a Muslim society only if they accept their second-class station, pay a special tax (the ‘jizya’) and submit to the authority of Muslims. ‘Polythesists’ – Hindus and others – have not, historically, been so fortunate.

Sharia has further problems – again derived from the sayings, writings and example of Mohammed – including the fact that one of its central pillars is the practice of violent jihad (holy war).  Indeed, jihad is supposed to be one of the fundamental duties of all Muslims.  The medieval jurist Ibn Taymiyah (1263 – 1328) wrote that ‘Jihad against the disbelievers is the most noble of actions and moreover it is the most important action for the sake of mankind.’  The decision as to when and where such jihad is appropriate is open to considerable discussion, but its position at the heart of the Koran and therefore the sharia is not. At its lowest level the practise of violent jihad is mandated in defence of the ummah (the Muslim world) and fellow Muslims from perceived aggression.  This is jihad as a defensive operation.

But numerous verses also extol offensive jihad – specifically against non-Muslims.  For instance: VIII, 12, ‘I will instill terror into the hearts of the Infidels, strike off their heads then.’  VIII, 39-42 says, ‘Say to the Infidels: If they desist from their unbelief, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return to it, they have already before them the doom of the ancients.’  IX, 39 reads, ‘If you do not fight, He will punish you severely, and put others in your place.’

Finally, there is the fundamental incompatibility at the heart of sharia of the system of punishment known as ‘hudud’.  Sharia punishments range from lashing and beating, to the amputation of limbs (including the amputation of an arm and a leg on alternate sides of the body) whilst death sentences include death by stoning, beheading and crucifixion.  Last December the Hamas government in the Gaza reintroduced hudud punishments, including crucifixion, in the territory.

These are of course the most aggressively visible face of sharia and as such are both highlighted by the media and down-played by many embarrassed Muslims.  But it would be wrong to think that such aspects are either consigned to history or even to the extreme margins of the faith.

In 2006 the largest group claiming to represent British Muslims, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) appointed a new head. Iqbal Sacranie, the previous head of the MCB had been a cause for easy attack for some years for his notorious comments on the Satanic Verses affair.  He had said at that time that death was ‘too good’ for Salman Rushdie.  His successor, Abdul Bari, was apparently cut from the same cloth. In an interview with the Telegraph, he was asked if stoning was ever justified?  ‘It depends what sort of stoning and what circumstances,’ he answered. ‘When our prophet talked about stoning for adultery he said there should be four [witnesses] – in realistic terms that’s impossible.’ Islamic cultures throughout history have proved otherwise.

Abdul Bari was not alone in refusing to condemn a strict interpretation of Koranic scripture.  In 2003 the Muslim writer (and grandson of Muslim Brotherhood leader Hasan al Banna) Tariq Ramadan  declared on French television – in a debate with Nicholas Sarkozy – that as a progressive step there should perhaps be ‘a moratorium’ on the stoning of women.  Although he was – and still is – widely described as a ‘reformer’, Ramadan was unwilling to call for an outright rejection of such medievalism.

The Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa, is one of the most revered authorities in contemporary Islam, and is frequently referred to by Western leaders as a source of wisdom on the interpretation of sharia.

In 2007 the Grand Mufti was reported to have said in a Washington Post – Newsweek discussion that people should be free to choose their religion.  This would have been unprecedented from such an authority, meaning among other things, that the traditional sharia punishment of death for apostasy from Islam could be debated and perhaps overturned.

But shortly afterwards, Gomaa declared that he had been misquoted by ‘Zionists’. He was then reported to have declared that apostates from Islam should not be killed unless they then spoke against Islam – in which case they could be targeted.  In an official statement he clarified his position: ‘What I actually said is that Islam prohibits a Muslim from changing his religion and that apostasy is a crime, which must be punished.’

In 2006, during Israel’s war with Hezbollah, the Grand Mufti declared that it was the ‘religious duty’ of every Muslim to support Hezbollah in their fight against Israel.  He is not a fringe figure, nor, by the standards of Islamic spokesmen, is he particularly extreme.  The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has courted him and advocated him as an example of a progressive cleric.

I have discussed here aspects of sharia which were obviously not those which Rowan Williams or Lord Phillips were suggesting should be incorporated into British public life.  But their centrality to sharia should certainly make members of the British establishment commentators pause.

**

Given sharia’s harsh tenets it is perhaps not surprising that the way it has found its way to acceptance in British life has been not just surreptitious, but soft.  In particular, it is the ‘soft sharia’ of sharia finance which has provided what Islamists believe to be the first acceptance, and its critics the ‘thin end of the wedge’, of sharia in the UK.

Yet the whole concept of sharia finance is a contradiction in terms. In 7th century Arabia, where Mohammed claimed to have received his revelations, there was no organised banking system. There were no bonds, no pensions and no mortages.  There was, in other words, nothing in existence akin to anything which people in contemporary Britain know as finance.  Yet ‘Islamic finance’ or ‘sharia finance’ have become commonly heard terms in recent years.

Western commentators and leaders such appear to be under the impression that sharia finance is intrinsic to Islam – an ancient and unalterable position.  In fact, as the scholar Timur Kuran has shown in his book ‘Islam and Mammon’, it is an entirely ‘invented tradition’.  It is not a millennia-old necessity of faith for Muslims.  It was made up in 1940s India.

The idea of an Islamic economics ‘that is distinctly and self consciously Islamic is very new’ writes Kuran.  He notes that a Muslim to whom you mentioned the words ‘Islamic economics’ a century ago would not have known what you were talking about.  The whole thing was primarily the invention of one man – Abul-Ala Mawdudi (1903-1979), together with Hasan al-Banna and Sayid Qutb, one of three principal god-fathers of the twentieth-century’s revival of Islamic fundamentalism.

Mawdudi’s explicit hope was that his system of Islamic finance would enable Islam to enter the modern age without having to compromise or Westernise.  His newly invented Islamic banking scheme assisted one of his primary goals – the minimalization of contact between Muslims and non-Muslims.

The scholar Patrick Sookhdeo quotes a Mawdudi follower, and senior member of the party Mawdudi founded, Jama’at-i Islami, in explaining that: ‘Resurgent Islam represents a new approach – that is, to strive to reconstruct the economy and society in accordance with Islamic ideals and values.’

In the mid-1960’s Islamic finance started to become a minor academic discipline.  But it was only in the wake of the 1973 oil-crisis that a number of major Middle-Eastern oil powers saw the real attraction of a separate banking entity for the Ummah, independent of the West.  In 1975, the world saw the establishment of the first commercial sharia banks, the Islamic Development Bank and the Dubai Islamic Bank.

The notion of sharia finance grew steadily throughout the 1980s and ’90s, becoming, as Mawdudi had hoped that it would, as something which Muslims would more and more feel obliged to participate in as part of their role in being good Muslims.

Like all sharia, sharia finance derives its basic rules from Islam’s primary texts.  Yet, as I have noted, when it came to finance, Mohammed understandably did not have very much to say.

One fundamental precept of sharia finance is its objection to the earning of interest on investments.  This objection is based on one Koranic verse in particular: ‘O believers, devour not usury, doubled and redoubled, and fear you God; haply so you will prosper’ (Arberry translation, Book III, verse 125).  ‘Riba’ (interest) is therefore deemed ‘haram’ (‘forbidden’).

Christian and Judaic texts also contain condemnation of usury, but have found ways around literal following of the texts.  Muslim finance attempts to sustain its distaste for usury, true to the literal telling of the texts, and has therefore developed elaborate methods by which, ostensibly, to obey such verses.

The result is not only convoluted, it is also debatable whether it even obeys the verses in question.  As Irfan al-Allawi of the Center for Islamic Pluralism puts it:  ‘although they say that this is Islamic banking this is not, because they’re taking interest. They change the wording.  You’re not taking a mortgage out, you’re taking a loan and renting a property, so in actual fact it’s not sharia.’  Nor is the rejection of riba consistent even in the most authoritarian Islamic societies.

On top of the inconsistencies in practice, there is also some controversy over the actual meaning of ‘riba’ in Islamic tradition.  During Mohammed’s time, if a debtor failed to repay a loan made to him his debt would be doubled.  This could be repeated each time he defaulted on a loan and could lead to him having to be sold into slavery.  Therefore, some scholars argue, Mohammed’s words on this matter were simply a response to a particularly brutal aspect of the society in which he was writing rather than an objection to a simple financial practice.

Though there is certainly room for debate, the most literalist schools have in this case – as in so many others – consistently won through.  Their objection to riba is particularly intense, refusing to allow the charging of interest to remain solely a sin – as it were – of the heart.  For instance, the early and renowned Persian commentator on the Koran Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838-923) wrote: ‘Whoever kept dealing with Riba and did not refrain from it, then the Muslim leader should require him to repent.  If he still does not refrain from Riba, the Muslim leader should cut off his head.’  Prominent contemporary scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi in his 1994 book, ‘The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam’, maintain similar lines.

As Allawi pointed out after a visit to Saudi Arabia: ‘In Mecca, the Saudis have these big shopping malls and they rent them out for shops and are making 200%, if they’re accumulating interest there.  And again that’s supposed to be forbidden in Islam, how can you say here we need halal banking.  Because I’m sure deep down they know that it’s not Islamic banking.  They’re trying to camouflage it, they’re trying to make themselves feel better.’

Despite the obscure origin of the concept of sharia finance, despite the fact that the first generation of Muslim immigrants into post-war Britain would have had no idea what such a thing was, and despite its more recent Islamist connotations, the British government has in recent years chosen to accept it without criticism or even question.

In 2000 the Bank of England, together with the Treasury, formed a working group to look at how to enable the development of Islamic finance within the UK.  Since 2003 the Financial Services Authority, Treasury and Revenue and Customs have been introducing changes to the tax and regulatory systems which allowed UK companies to offer Islamic financial products.

In March 2006 the then-Chancellor, Gordon Brown met privately with self-appointed Muslim leaders to discuss the issue of Islamic finance.  And on 13 June of the same year he addressed the Islamic Finance and Trade conference in London, organised by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) which, I repeat, has strong links to Islamist ideology.  Brown, reasonably, called for stronger trading links between the UK and Muslim countries. But he also declared that he wanted to make the UK a centre for Islamic investment.  He praised the MCB for its help with reforming recent regulatory measures which had, he explained, now ensured that Britain’s financial frameworks were compliant with sharia.   He also praised the MCB’s assistance on the expansion of Islamic mortgages which had by 2006, after three years, become worth over half a billion pounds.

The Islamic finance industry is now growing at 15% a year worldwide.  Emile Abu-Shakra of Lloyds TSB has said that their research suggests that out of 2 million UK Muslims, three-quarters want banking services supposedly ‘in line with their faith’.  The Islamic Bank of Britain is the UK’s first sharia compliant high-street bank, regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and with its own Sharia Supervisory committee, while a further ten major global banks operating in the UK provide Islamic financial services.  Despite the fact that one of the leading firms involved in sharia-compliant finance in the UK was Lehman brothers, sharia finance in the UK is booming.  In the last decade the market measured by sharia-compliant assets has grown from $150 billion in the mid-1990s to $700 billion in 2007.   London now offers a secondary market in sukuk valued at $5 billion.  To reflect this growth, the Markfield Institute in Leicester and the University of Reading in 2008 started enrolling for a new Islamic finance degree – the first degree in the UK to be taught by Islamic specialists to obtain an MSc in Investment Banking and Islamic Finance.

Why is this a problem, or a potential problem?

First – an acceptance of Islamic finance accepts the moral stances of sharia.  Islamic banks will not deal in any activities deemed to be haram.  So there is to be no trade or investment in alcohol, pork products, pornography or arms-trading.  There is also, from the point of view of non-Muslims, the pointless complexity of the whole enterprise.  Since riba is haram, wealth can only be generated through legitimate trade investment.  Profits are shared between the supplier and customer.

In December 2008, the Treasury published a document ‘The development of Islamic finance in the UK: the Government’s perspective’.  It was more than a financial document – it was a document which revealed a particular vision of a society.  Echoing the Archbishop of Canterbury’s words, the document described the introduction of sharia-compliant finance as ‘inevitable’.  ‘The UK has a strong and proud tradition of openness and flexibility’ stated the Economic Secretary to the Treasury in his foreword, ‘which, combined with London ’s position as a leading international financial centre and a significant Muslim population, provides a strong foundation for growth.’  The document also stated that the ‘The Government believes that the growth of Islamic finance in the UK is beneficial to all UK citizens.’

Above all there is the serious problem of who is to decide what is acceptable investment and what is haram.  As the UK government’s December 2008 document says, ‘It is the role of Shariah scholars to determine whether a financial product or service is compliant with the Shariah principles.’

Among the serious issues is what happens to the ‘zakat’.  Zakat is the percentage of earnings which Muslims are obliged to pay to charitable causes as a ‘tithe’ from their earnings.  It is up to clerical authorities to decide where the zakat goes.  Such authorities currently include the European Council for Fatwa and Research headed by the extremist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. According to former US counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, members of the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions include organizations implicated in the funding of al-Qaeda.

It is the job of just such authorities to decide what at any one time might constitute a haram product.  The British, and indeed Danish, economies may be able to cope with a banking system which does not deal in their bacon products.  But what would the UK government do if scholars decide that products from allied countries cannot be traded?  Would Israeli products develop a haram label?  Or, some time in the future, goods from America or Britain herself?

Much will depend on who the government takes directions from, and who it permits to make such judgements.  Their record so far has not been impressive.  Boards which make the decisions on what is haram and what is not are already thought to have included extremist clerics like Qaradawi, while the UK government’s continuing reliance on the reactionary MCB bodes exceedingly badly about the direction in which Britain and specifically Britain’s Muslims are expected to go.

In the section titled ‘Involving community leaders’, the government’s 2008 document states that a future priority is to ‘raise awareness’ among Britain’s two million Muslims, using ‘existing community infrastructure, such as mosques, to disseminate information on issues of personal finance.’  Once again, the government is promoting dealing with Britain ’s Muslims only through the most conservative and clerical avenues.  The document goes on to state that, ‘Some industry practitioners have previously considered a roadshow-style event where a group of Shariah scholars would travel to different areas of the UK to educate Imams about the basics of Islamic finance.’  Since the document repeatedly cites the MCB as their main source of contact among ‘community leaders’ it is not hard to guess what kind of advice would be given, and the direction in which such ‘educated’ imams would lean.

The bottom line is that the government has put its policies towards a whole swathe of the population into the hands of clerical reactionaries. It has begun to not just propagate but proselytise the idea that sharia finance is the norm for Muslims.

It has also propagated the idea that sharia finance can be successful as a system.  As the world’s banking system goes through a state of crisis there appears to be a continuous mirage that some alternative economic system might be available to save us from our woes – perhaps doing so in some more ‘ethical’ or ‘charitable’ way.  It is therefore worth bearing in mind frankly what sharia finance can actually accomplish.

One established critic of sharia finance is Timur Kuran, formerly the King Faisal Professor at the University of Southern California and now at Duke University. In his view, the aim of reducing poverty and inequality by the imposition of zakat has succeeded exactly ‘nowhere’.  In fact the zakat system has not only failed to transfer resources to the poor, ‘it may transfer resources away from them.’  In Malaysia the zakat system has served as ‘a convenient pretext for advancing broad Islamic objectives and for lining the pockets of religious officials.’

Kuran argues that there is no such thing as Islamic banking, just as there is ‘no distinctly Islamic way to build a ship.’  Instead the scheme has ‘promoted the spread of anti-modern currents of thought all across the Islamic world.  It has also fostered an environment conducive to Islamist militancy.’

This is why the encouragement given to the growth of sharia by the Prime Minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the former Lord Chief Justice, is so divisive and so dangerous.

**

The attitude of British Muslims towards sharia law is changing. The majority favour British law but a consistently large minority appear to desire sharia, and the desire appears to be greatest among the young.

A 2006 social research poll for Channel 4 asked 1,000 British Muslims: ‘Would you prefer to live under Sharia law?’  30% of respondents said that, yes, they wanted to live under Sharia law, 15 % were undecided and 54% wanted to live under British law.  But Muslim respondents aged between 18 and 44 were twelve per cent more likely than their elders to prefer living under sharia.  Other polls have shown similar results.

An ICM poll in 2006 showed that 40% of 500 Muslims polled wanted to see sharia law introduced into parts of the UK.  A poll conducted for the think-tank Policy Exchange by Populus the following year showed 37% of Muslims between the ages of 16-24 preferring to live under sharia.  And in 2008 a poll conducted by YouGov for the Centre for Social Cohesion revealed that two-fifths of Muslim students in the UK supported the introduction of sharia into British law. The direction of Muslim attitudes is for an increasing amount of sharia.

Sharia finance is only one way in which the concept of sharia values are gaining ground. Last September, Britain’s debate over sharia law debate re-erupted, when the Sunday Times ran a major story titled ‘Revealed: Britain’s first official sharia courts.’  The article reported that ‘Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.’

The Sunday Times reported that:

‘The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.  Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.  Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.’

The newspaper revealed that a particular set of Sharia courts run by one Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi were taking advantage of the 1996 Arbitration Act, which allowed the enforcement of properly agreed arbitrations.  The courts, known as the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT), were boasting not of new legislation, but of their use of old legislation.  In fact, arbitration can be carried out by any two adult parties in Britain if the parties have volunteered for arbitration.

In the wake of the Sunday Times piece, the then Shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, wrote to the Home Secretary to ask for clarification as to whether or not any laws had been changed.  The Home Secretary’s written response was adamant.  Jacqui Smith wrote that ‘I must emphasise that Sharia has no jurisdiction in England and Wales.’  She explained that the MAT had been established in 2007 and are ‘a form of “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR), and do not deal with any criminal matters.’  She also stressed that ‘If a decision were to be in any conflict with English law then it would simply not be enforceable.’

But the real problem that emerges with the MAT is not that they are practicing perfectly legitimate ADR, but that they had stepped far beyond their remit – and into the realm of criminal law.  For the MAT had not only admitted, but boasted, about seven cases in particular which the government and police should have taken an interest in.

In the first instance, the MAT boasted of having over-seen six cases of domestic violence cases which had worked ‘in tandem’ with police investigations.  In each case the women who had been the subjects of abuse withdrew their complaints from the police whilst the MAT judges had suggested that the husbands take anger-management classes and advice from Muslim elders.  The Home Secretary said that there was no evidence from the police that the women had been persuaded to drop their complaints with the police.  Siddiqui said that the marriages had been saved by giving the couples another chance.

At an event in November 2008 at the Temple in London, Siddiqui was on a panel chaired by the former President of the Family Division, Baroness Butler-Sloss. He explained that 95% of the cases which the MAT oversaw consisted of mediation.  What the remaining 5% were was left uncertain. He stated that in domestic violence cases the MAT offered couples rehabilitation first and an Islamic divorce after that.  When questioned about his visions for the future, he argued that a society which ‘accepts’ same-sex partnerships and mistresses should be a society which also allows polygamy.

When the Sunday Times broke the news of the activities of the MAT, their remit was consistently represented by the MCB and others as simply equivalent to the activities in Britain of the Jewish courts, the Beth Din.  But the Beth Din only hear civil cases – mainly divorce and business disputes.  What is more, the Beth Din never represent themselves as anything above or equal to the law.  This is important because it is in the case of marital law, and the refusal to tell women in particular that a religious ceremony is not a legally binding ceremony that many sharia courts are treading into ground that is actively illegal.

Consider the case of Gina Khan. She is a Muslim women’s rights campaigner based in Birmingham.  Several years ago she attempted to get a sharia divorce.  Many Muslims have portrayed the granting of extra rights to sharia courts as part of a drive to improve the rights of women.  Khan believes that this concern is a fake:

‘What they’ve really done is use our plight to establish their sharia courts. They are not at all concerned about what has happened to Muslim women.  If they were, then the first thing they would look at is the way we get married, and protect us by making sure the marriage is legal.  They’re not even doing anything about that.’

This transpires to be one of the central problems.  A generation of Muslim women born in Britain are failing to learn about their basic rights because the legal system associated with sharia is holding itself out not as merely parallel to British law, but as something which has replaced British law.

Gina Khan took me to meet a woman from Birmingham whose daughter had been married in an Islamic ceremony at home.  Her husband left her after a short period of marriage, and it was only then that the daughter discovered she was not married in the eyes of the law.  Her husband, a solicitor, knew this.  The family appealed to the UK courts for help, but as the mother said, ‘they threw the case out on the basis that there wasn’t a recognised marriage.’ It turned out that the man was already married and was carrying out a polygamous Islamic marriage.

Worse was to come.  The girl’s mother sought advice from the leader of Birmingham central mosque, one of the heads of the local sharia courts.  Dr Mohammed Naseem is a former candidate for George Galloway’s Respect party and one of the leaders of the Islamic Party of Britain, which among other policies advocates the execution of homosexuals.  Immediately after the July 2005 London suicide bombings he declared at a press conference in Birmingham that despite forensic and CCTV evidence he did not believe that the attacks had been carried out by Muslims.

Dr Naseem offered the mother no assistance at all.  But while she was at his mosque she was aware that women were coming to Naseem to get Islamic divorces.  These were being issued – for a price – and the woman saw Naseem taking the money for acting as a judge able to dissolve a marriage.  They were paying £130 each time.

Gina Khan says that this do-nothing approach from clerics posing as judges is no isolated case.  ‘All around Birmingham’ she says, ‘there isn’t a single mosque that supports women in cases of domestic violence.’  Nevertheless, Khan says that the West Midlands Police seem to believe that the only way to approach issues relating to Muslim women is through the mosque. “That is a myth.  You can’t turn to the imams and expect them to support you.’

During the seventh century some of the attitudes towards women which Mohammed came up with might have seemed relatively progressive.  But if Islamic scriptures are immutable, as most Muslims believe, then they cannot even start to appear progressive for our own times.  As Khan puts it, ‘Our rights have been frozen for fourteen hundred years.’

As Khan points out, women who have escaped countries where there are harsh regimes and laws have often come to Britain precisely because it is a free country.  In many cases they come here to escape sharia.  ‘To give Mullahs power over the community is a step backward.’

Many of those who have argued for sharia’s incorporation into Britain, and those who compare it with the Beth Din, focus on the ‘voluntary’ side of it.  Surely if a woman ‘volunteers’ to be judged by a sharia court there can’t be any objection?  But the core of the problem is that it is almost impossible for any outside to know if a Muslim woman in the ghettos of Sparkhill in Birmingham, or parts of Luton or Bradford has actually ‘volunteered’.

Khan had been forced to move out of the Muslim area she lived in because of intimidation and threats.  ‘There would be pressure,’ says Khan.  ‘If I said I was going to the police… there’s an element of honour and shame that you don’t go to non-Muslims.  You don’t go to the British.  We don’t want the police at the door because it brings dishonour.  You don’t want to go to the courts system because it brings dishonour.  So then I would be told “You know sharia is our law, so let’s go to the sharia council.  They will give you justice”. There’s nowhere else to go.’

The often terrifying pressures upon Muslim women, and others, are completely ignored by those who advocate strengthening the force of sharia law over British law.

As Khan says, ‘This is supposed to be a secular country and for some reason we as Muslim women are ending up at the door-steps of Mullahs, and that shouldn’t be happening.’   The people who are propelling sharia are, she says, ‘dragging Muslim women backwards.’  Her own experience in recent years attests to this.  The ‘little kangaroo courts’ that Gina Khan went to ‘didn’t do anything.’ ‘They didn’t care that I gone through domestic violence.  They didn’t care that my husband wasn’t providing me with anything.  They didn’t care that he was going to make me homeless or whatever.  They didn’t care about none of these things.  The only thing that happened was an alcoholic Mullah rang me at 11 o’clock and made a pass.’

**

In my research two names in particular recurred as examples of the type of people who may well have more and more influence in sharia courts in Britain if such courts were allowed to thrive. They are Sheikh Suhaib Hasan and Anjem Choudary, who is a solicitor.

Sheikh Suhaib Hasan is Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council. His vision of a future sharia Britain does not stop at overseeing marital disputes.  In speeches on Islamic websites he calls for ‘the chopping of the hands of the thieves, the flogging of the adulterers and flogging of the drunkards.’  This, he says will allow the launch of a jihad: ‘Then jihad against the non-Muslims, against those people who are the oppressors.’

Asked whether he approves of the stoning of adulterers he confirms that he does because he ‘never saw any adultery’ when he was in Saudi Arabia.  He is a spokesman for the MCB on sharia law.  In an interview last December he said: ‘Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society.  This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low.’

In a Channel 4 documentary Hasan said that once sharia law was implemented in Britain, “then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief’s hand is cut off nobody is going to steal.  Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all.  We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don’t accept it they’ll need more and more prisons.”

Suhaib Hasan now runs a set of courts under the auspices of the Islamic Sharia Council.  The first court was started in Birmingham in 1982.  The organisation says that they have heard more than 7,000 cases in that time, with 95% again relating to divorce.  There are now ten courts run by just this one organisation: three in London, with others in Dewsbury, Rotherham and other places.  Nobody knows what they say when they are in session, nor what compulsion is felt by those who attend them.

Suhaib Hasan is a classic Wahhabi scholar of the deeply literalist and fundamentalist mindset which has produced so many problems in the Islamic – and wider – world.  But compared with Anjem Choudary, Hasan’s views could seem progressive.

Anjem Choudary is a follower of the exiled cleric Omar Bakri (founder of the terrorist group al-Muhajiroun).  He is one of the few leading members of a number of affiliated, now-banned, organisations who is not in prison.  He has been involved in the violent protests outside the Danish Embassy in 2006 and the anti-Pope demonstrations outside Westminster Cathedral in the wake of the Regensburg Address.  Though careful to tread just within the law, he has repeatedly been accused of glorifying and inciting acts of terror and the recruitment of violent jihadists.  He describes himself as a Judge of the ‘Sharia Court of the UK’ and principal lecturer at something called the London School of Sharia.  These courts were started by Omar Bakri who, banned from returning to Britain, now lives in his native Lebanon.  I asked Choudary what he actually does.

‘We have buildings and we have offices but at the end of the day this is something more national.  I deal with cases and I teach in Derby, Leicester, Birmingham, Luton, all around London and anywhere else where people require us.’  He styles himself as a selfless helper to Muslims in distress and distances himself from other sharia set-ups.

Choudary advocates an all-or-nothing attitude to sharia.  ‘It’s a whole system that needs to be implemented together’ he says.  Yet he conducts marriages in his courts – about 1,800 so far.  Asked if he encourages people that he ‘marries’ through these courts to register civilly as well, he replies ‘No’.

‘Because once you’ve gone down that road of registering the marriage… you’re automatically really saying “look, we are accepting the [non-Islamic] system that goes with it”.

For the hundreds of women who Bakri and Choudary have ‘married’ over the last fifteen years then, none may be protected in law.  The British state has no idea of who they are, what recourse they have had, or what future they can expect.

Today the sharia snow-ball is gathering speed.  The UK government is now preparing legislation that would allow the institution of what they are calling ‘sharia pensions.’ There is also the new initiative, advertised by the Guardian last October, of‘sharia car-insurance’.

As we went around the most ghetto-ised sections of Birmingham with Gina Khan – areas she now has to be careful returning to, I asked her what she thought of the authorities, the Archbishops and Lord Chief Justices sitting down South who were speaking as authorities whilst admitting their own ignorance of the system they were propelling – a vision of society which her daughter’s generation might soon be expected to live by.  ‘I really do wish that these men wouldn’t come out – especially men in these powerful positions – and make these statements without having any indication of the consequences for Muslim women.  Who is he listening to?  Have they come into the communities?  Start asking the women – finding some real people.  This is Britain, and there should be one law.”

The sentiments could hardly be a more appropriate aspiration to the fundamental rights which the Europe’s courts and the UDHR are meant to grant us all.  But the rights which Muslim women might have expected when they immigrated into Britain two generations ago are not today the rights which Britain appears to expect of them.

Sharia is based on the writings and declarations of a seventh-century tradesman.  Individuals should be free to choose whether or his words constitute sacred, divinely dictated, texts and whether to base their consciences and behavior on its strictures.

But the British state and British law cannot accept that these texts must be deferred to.  They cannot be the basis for law.  This country has fought, and Western society has fought, for many centuries to base law on reason.  The greatness of this system is that totalitarian systems of law or governance cannot ultimately prevail because they will dissolve under the glaring light of reason.  We have inherited this right, among other sources, through the Judaeo-Christian tradition which believes in the interpretability of its texts as well as from the enlightenment.  From Montesquieu and Mill, via a numberless array of men and women, both famous and unknown,  our societies have fought against the totalitarian grip of scriptures which men and women were once born into accepting and which they either volunteered to accept or struggled to throw off.

In 2009 most people born in Britain do not have to go through the process of shrugging off laws or re-capturing rights not granted to people in their community. But the piecemeal adoption of Sharia law presents us with an issue which we have so long taken to be settled that we have forgotten how we attained it: the problem is what to do about those who would base laws on textual literalism.

It also presents us with a new challenge, which previous struggles against literalism did not have to tackle in the same way.  We are allowing different laws to be applied to people of different ethnic origins.  This is the truly shocking thing about the sharia debate.  Like the doctrine of multiculturalism (as opposed to multi-racialism) which has allowed this debate to flourish, the encouragement of sharia in British life is based not on equality, or respect for other cultures, but on unfairness and separate-ness.

It is based on the notion that there are laws which would not be good enough for me, but which are good enough for you, not good enough for people born in certain bits or the country, but good enough for others.  It enforces difference and makes double-standards acceptable.  If its future in Britain is indeed ‘inevitable’ then Britain’s future as a tolerant and pluralistic society cannot be.

Douglas Murray is Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion. This essay was the winner of the 2009 Charles Douglas-Home Award. An edited version appeared in The Times on 30 December 2009.

http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2010/01/sharia-a-threat-to-britains-future-as-tolerant-society.html

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