The Demands of Freedom: Do Europeans have “the right stuff”?

In a famous remark that explained much about the failure of the revolutions of 1848, the Italian observer Massimo d’Azeglio used the metaphor of the stallion of liberty:

    The gift of liberty is like a horse, handsome, strong, and high-spirited. In some it arouses a wish to ride; in many others, on the contrary, it increases the desire to walk.


Europeans seem to be slowing to a crawl. Just what dhimmi should do. The following are reflections by Paul Belien at The Brussels Journal. It’s almost a year old. If anything, with the possible exception of Sarkozy’s election, things are worse.

The Rape of Europe

By Paul Belien
2006-10-25

The German author Henryk M. Broder recently told the Dutch Newspaper DeVolkskrant that young Europeans, who love freedom, better emigrate. Europe as we know it will not exist twenty years from now.

While sitting on a terrace in Berlin during the interview, Broder pointed to the other customers and the passers-by and said, “We are watching the world of yesterday.”

Europe is turning Muslim. As Broder is sixty years old he is not going to emigrate.

“I am too old,” he said. However, he urged young people to get out and “move to Australia or New Zealand. That is the only option they have if they want to avoid the plagues that will turn the old continent uninhabitable.”

Many Germans and Dutch, apparently, are not waiting for Broder’s advice. The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands and Germany has already surpassed the number of immigrants moving in. One does not have to be prophetic to predict, like Henryk Broder, that Europe is becoming Islamic.

Just consider the demographics.

- The number of Muslims in Contemporary Europe is estimated to be 50 million.

- It is expected to double in twenty years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families.

- Today Mohammed is already the most popular name for newborn boys in Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and other major European cities.

Note that generally demographic trends should not be extended linearly into the future: too many variables affect individual choices. But this looks more serious. If the Muslim immigration is joined by an emigration of the initiative-taking Europeans (largely a self-selecting elite), then the trends, once they really “take” will accelerate. We may be looking at emigré populations who will leave Europe, and then return in military efforts to conquer the continent back after the (certain) failure of the Muslim states in Europe. The only problem is — how much devastation will occur in the process. As a medievalist, I dread the damage to Europe’s medieval past, architecture, manuscripts, stained glass windows…

Broder is convinced that the Europeans are not willing to oppose Islamization. “The dominant ethos,” he told De Volkskrant, “is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated.

She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death.”

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the Brussels newspaper De Standaard the Dutch (gay and self-declared “humanist”) author Oscar Van Den Boogaard refers to Broder’s interview. Van den Boogaard says that to him coping with the Islamization of Europe is like “a process of mourning.” He is overwhelmed by a “feeling of sadness.”

“I am not a Warrior,” he says, “but who is? I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it.”

Consider that in all of Europe no one under the age of 65 has picked up arms in defense of their country. That task has been borne by the United States since Hitler surrendered in 1945.

As Tom Bethell wrote in this month’s American Spectator: “Just at the most basic level of demography the secular-humanist option is not working.” But there is more to it than the fact that non-religious people tend not to have as many children as religious people, because many of them prefer to “enjoy” freedom rather than renounce it for the sake of children.

Secularists, it seems to me, are also less keen on fighting. Since they do not believe in an afterlife, this life is the only thing they have to lose. Hence they will rather accept submission than fight. Like the German feminist Broder referred to, they prefer to be raped than to resist.

“If faith collapses, civilization goes with it,” says Bethell. That is the real cause of the closing of civilization in Europe.

Islamization is simply the consequence. The very word Islam means “submission” and the secularists have submitted already. Many Europeans have already become Muslims, though they do not realize it or do not want to admit it.

Some of the people I meet in the U.S. are particularly worried about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. They are correct when they fear that anti-Semitism is also on the rise among non-immigrant Europeans. The latter hate people with a fighting spirit. Contemporary Anti-Semitism in Europe (at least when coming from native Europeans) is related to anti-Americanism.

People who are not prepared to resist and are eager to submit, hate others who do not want to submit and are prepared to fight. They hate them because they are afraid that the latter will endanger their lives as well. In their view everyone must submit.

This is why they have come to hate Israel and America so much, and the small band of European “Islamophobes” who dare to talk about what they see happening around them. West Europeans have to choose between submission (Islam) or death. I fear, like Broder, that they have chosen submission – just like in former days when they preferred to be Red rather than dead.

This is, by the way, the definition of a slave in antiquity and a Dhimmi in Islam: he who choses servitude over death. Being a slave is a choice.

Europeans apparently never read John Stuart Mill: “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse.”

“A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

Europe? Are we waking up yet? Or is the problem the Isalmophobes and not the Islamists?

54 Responses to The Demands of Freedom: Do Europeans have “the right stuff”?

  1. Diane says:

    This is a little dire, don’t you think? If Islamists have already taken over Europe, then why do we see the Mohammed cartoons coming out of Denmark, or restrictions against hijab in France and Germany? Not to mention the UK, which is hardly throwing in the towel just yet.

    check out those cartoons. they are as mild as you can imagine, and the response of the west — usa included — to the muslim reaction was, like the response to khoumeini’s fatwa on salman rushdie, a clear signal that the west is not prepared to fight for its own principles. as for england throwing in the towel, this is not promising.

    As RL notes, foretelling the future is pointless — too many variables are unknown.

    i note that linearly extending current trends is pointless. if you don’t have a sense of where we’re going, you can’t make intelligent choices about the future.

    Another thought: what about Hindu and Buddhist nations that also value democracy? Will they stand idly by as Europe devolves into a Third World continent? They – I mean China and India, of course – have a huge stake in keeping the global economy healthy and keeping religious freedom alive. And they represent the world’s two fastest growing economies and the majority of its human population.

    this presumes that china and india understand the value of religious freedom. this is an incredibly difficult idea to enact, and i’m not at all sure that it even figures on their screens. as i’ve pointed out before, when the drafters of the US constitution made freedom of religion (and the corresponding division of church and state) a principle of the new republic, it was the first time in Christian history that tolerance was a winner’s creed.

  2. Michael N says:

    I agree with Diane – the situation is serious, but these predictions seem alarmist and exaggerated, and I thought that on this site we disliked all such fictions, even in the service of a higher cause; that we fought against those lies that purport to “represent” the higher truth, such as the image of a child deliberately gunned down by an evil army?

    that seems like a stretch. i’m not sure it makes sense to call these fictions since they’re about the future. they’re warnings, and i’m not sure they’re so far off. comments below.

    For example, I’m quite sure that if there were one name favoured above all others in the non-muslim world – John, for instance – we would see how enormously Johns would outnumber Muhammads in all their variants. In terms of names, the non-Mohammed vote is split. (Maybe that’s a concern – we have no identity that would give our culture a sense of dynamic, while they definitely do).

    i’m not sure we want to mimic their monolithic attitude. but what it does tell you is that, unlike many immigrants who want to “fit in,” these folks are unapologetic. that, in itself, is fine when the attitude behind the lack of apology is genuine multiculturalism — i respect myself and i respect you. but when the “pride” in being muslim is, for example, born of 9-11, then we’re in trouble.

    I’m not dismissing the concerns raised here, not at all; but I do live in the East End of London, in George Galloway’s islamic heartland, and the statistics in this article do not give a true idea of what I see around me. The vast majority of muslims here want a quiet life, and they want what a Palestinian recently quoted by Melanie Phillips wants – to put bread on their children’s table more than anything else (as he put it – “at least in Israel they have law”).

    this reminds me of the journalists who come back from the arab/muslim world and say, “they want democracy.” it’s not an issue of a) what they say they want, or even b) what they think they want. it’s a question of what kind of sacrifices they’re willing to make to get that. the arab world (and much of the muslim world like pakistan and afghanistan) are not about to give up honor-killings. and as for the “vast/large” majority of english muslims who “want to put bread on their children’s table,” the real question is what their kids want.

    The danger genuinely comes from a small minority of muslims, and the challenge is to ensure that they are stopped dead in their tracks before they radicalize an even larger section of muslim youth in this country and others. Have our governments performed that essential task with anything like competence? No, and indeed they have only just woken-up to the problem and still seem to think that engaging with radicals like the Muslim Council of Britain is the answer. It’s not; people like the MCB need to be publicly slapped down, very hard.

    agreed. and that’s just what’s not happening. to the contrary…

    I’d love to hear our government say unequivocally, addressing such groups, that Britain will never be an islamic state, that those who want to live in an islamic state have plenty to choose from already and are free to leave; that those who are happy to live at peace as a religious minority amongst other religious minorities, indefinitely, and who understand that no special rules and regulations are going to be enacted here to their benefit (especially regarding the freedom we all have to ridicule those religious beliefs and practices we find ridiculous) are welcome here as equal citizens with all the freedoms and protections we enjoy.

    so would i. i gather that’s what the australians are saying and there’s no lack of critics who feel they’re being provocative.

  3. Michael N says:

    Having said that, I’m also quite well aware that were the demographic dam to burst, the average muslim may want something more than to live in peace and put bread on the table. The question is, is this likely to happen? At the moment the muslim population of the UK is about 2.7% – so it hardly seems that if push comes to shove they are going to be in any position to seize power and change the nature of our country anytime in the next century at least. And if current trends continue, they will soon be massively outnumbered by staunchly catholic Polish immigrants in any case! Within the last two or three years, the population of my childhood hometown has become a staggering 10% Polish!

    So there are all sorts of imponderables that the figures don’t really communicate in the article. I am the last person to dismiss these concerns as racist or hate-speech, and neither do I dispute the statistics quoted, I simply think that those statistics only tell half the story.

    you may well be right. there’s a much bigger picture. but the future belongs to those who seize the initiative, and right now, the initiative is with the islamists who have duped the cultural elite (media, academics) into a “multicultural” scam.

  4. Michael N says:

    OK. Please forget everything I just wrote. I take it all back.

    http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1688

    There are too many Mohammeds here.

    for those who haven’t read Melanie Phillips’ post, here’s a taste. statement by a group of conservative Muslims advising the Tory party on their foreign policy:

    An incoming Conservative Administration must appreciate that a pro-zionist [sic] attitude will not bode well with many [Muslims - rl]. Pro-zionist statements only damage relationships with Muslims nationally and internationally. Thus, statements like the one made by David Cameron on 12th June 2007 can be too easily interpreted as unbalanced and weighted towards only the zionist and Israeli positions.

    [Footnote]: David Cameron said ‘If what you mean by Zionist, someone who believes that the Jews have a right to a homeland in Israel and a right to their country then yes I am a Zionist and I’m proud of the fact that Conservative politicians down the ages have played a huge role in helping to bring this about’ and ‘There is something deep in our Party’s DNA that believes in Israel, the right of Israel to exist, the right of Israel to defend itself and that a deal should only happen if it means that Israel is really allowed to have peace within secure borders and real guarantees about its future’.

    The point here is that Muslims handpicked for their conservative attitudes and their alleged commitment to England’s continuation as a western (and hence wealthy) nation, don’t have a clue. The idea of Muslims accepting Israel as a legitimate entity — a basic element of any commitment to multi-culturalism and respect for others — is a pipe dream right now. As far as I’m concern, there is no better test of Muslim commitment to “honor-shame” versions of Islam, than this almost universal attitude in which Israel’s very existence is a blasphemy.

  5. fp says:

    Europe is lost for several reasons:

    1. European Union
    2. Decadence, social decay and collapse of education
    3. Old age and lack of reproduction
    4. Islamization

    It’s 1-3 which induce 4. As I said so many times, it’s not that the islamist won, it’s that Europe commits suicide.

    The evidence is overwhelming but, as some demonstrate here, psychologically it’s too hard to accept. That’s how the west rationalizes not addressing its problems and not fighting for itself: wishful thinking that “things are dire but not irreversible”. And my guess is that the west will go down thinking this to the bitter end. Cartoons will not save it.

    It is a mistake to rely on moderate muslims. First, the evidence shows that they can be very easily and quickly radicalized, particularly the younger generations. Second, they now still live in western Europe, but when they are pluralities in many areas and then a majority, in the presence of already self-dhimmified infidels the radical so-called “minority” will take over — just like in most muslim societies where moderates are cowed, silent and lack influence.

    In fact, this has already happened in many parts of Europe.

    fp
    http://fallofknowledgeandreason.blogspot.com/

    in a democracy it takes a majority to take power. mafiosi only need about 5% and an intimidated and intimidatable majority. europe has to stand up for itself. so does the rest of the west. and this is not a call to violence. it can happen on the level of discourse. but it will take a courage so far sorely lacking.

    as cynic points out in the next comment, intimidation works on many levels.

  6. Cynic says:

    The danger genuinely comes from a small minority of muslims,

    Heh!
    Michael N, you don’t know how intimidating that small minority is, especially high on the rhetoric the Imams produce that they fear nothing and armed with modern weapons that they have those you described as vast majority of muslims here want a quiet life, in fear.
    A fear quite unlike what you may have experienced.

    Broder, mentioned in the article above, has an idea of what to expect, and something that the Palestinian, Melanie Phillips mentions, knows: of living the daily fear of violence and not knowing which of your actions will be construed as against “their sensitivities”, be it just that you handled your food with your left hand instead of exclusively with your right hand.
    When you live in an oppressive environment and cannot escape because through intimidation many of those in fear become the eyes and ears of that small minority thus increasing the stress to mind boggling levels.
    Being obsequious is just going to get one’s butt kicked even harder and life will be miserable.
    It’s a zero sum game.

  7. Michael N says:

    Cynic, you’re wrong about one thing: I do know how intimidating that minority can be. But I do agree with you that their intimidation is currently aimed largely at their fellow muslims. As a Londoner, having twice at least seen gangs of thugs with their faces hidden, holding placards inciting mass murder and spewing a hatred of our society – for nothing other than a set of drawings and a speech – I have nothing but contempt and loathing for that minority, and I do quite understand the power that minorities can have when they shout loudly and bullyingly enough. That’s why I say that islamist organisations need to be roundly slapped-down in this country. I think essentially we are probably in agreement. I’m only really taking issue with the notion that the threat we face is a demographic one. I feel that this is a long way in the future, and only if current trends continue. That is sheer speculation. What I am in no doubt about is the power that vocal, intimidating, bullying, faith-driven minorities can have.

    As I say, until that threat is dealt with – until our governments deal with it, or until the unlikely point is reached at which the islamic community shows itself willing and able to deal with it – I agree that there are too many Mohammeds in Europe.

    Essentially, I am in complete agreement with Martin Amis.

    what does martin amis have to say?

  8. fp says:

    cynic,

    you mention one reason, fear. but there is another:
    the moderates’ position is theologically weak and they know it. even when they are not cowed, if they deem themselves muslims, to reject jihad and sharia they must renounce core tenets of islam, that is, they must become apostates. Those who believe in such ought to have their heads examined. So the minority, not the majority counts, particularly in the presence of infidel submission.

    consent to being killed or else
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/018511.php

    accomodating sharia a full time job
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/018510.php

    michael,

    the government is implicated in Eurabia and has facilitated rather than combated the problem. unless the public forces them to address it they will do the exact opposite. i don’t see it happening.

  9. Michael B says:

    The opening quote from Massimo d’Azeglio is supremely fitting, it’s the difference between a willingness to ride and a willingness to submit – and submit, in very large part, due to habituated forms of thought inculcated by Multi-Culti and similar initiatives/sensibilities and additionally made possible by a lack of more positively founded frames of reference. Poorly conceived white guilt, post-colonial guilt, similar forms of guilt, writ large, as the primary theme and foundation upon which the west now perceives itself; more positive outlooks are strictly secondary and subservient to the corrosives advanced by the Left. Then too, kick in some intimidation by Muslim and Islamicist initiatives, the demographics to boot, and it all becomes a very potent environment for furthering those already habituated forms and outlooks.

    Europe has some hopes remaining, but they are fading and likely are fading more quickly than most polities are willing to admit, or, perhaps, even capable of perceiving. People and nations can be resilient, but they need to be willing to be resilient and most polities do not evidence that quality at the present juncture.

  10. fp says:

    RL,

    it is important to distinguish between FREE choice and choice which is not free: the former is one where you have at least some control over the options from which you choose; the latter is when you have no such control. the choice you refer to is of the latter kind.
    if all the options imposed on you are bad — submit or die — it can be misleading to talk about choice because it implies some freedom, when in reality you have very little of it.

    this is further exacerbated by the fact that a solution to the problem — better options — requires COLLECTIVE, not individual action which has its inherent difficulties (as game theory reveals).

    this does not inspire expectations of light at the end of the tunnel.

    i get the feeling that the west — including, if not especially, the israelis — are caught in one of the typical action flicks in which the good guy doesn’t want to fight, and until his loved ones either killed or badly hurt, and his life is in danger, can’t really fight back. given that until now — and for quite some time — global jihad is asymmetrical warfare, we westerners feel its unfair to fight back with all we have. so we’re waiting until the “playing field is leveled.”

    when bob simon says, “in the middle east, a picture can be worth a thousand weapons…” he gives an insight into the media’s attitude. for many, the radical imbalance btw israeli weapons and palestinians needs to be “balanced” and therefore, if they can give the palestinians a boost in the media war, then they can somehow level the playing field. i tried this line of reasoning out on several reporters and they readily agreed.

    what they don’t realize, is that by so doing they empower really hateful people. there’s no decency in this misplaced sympathy.

  11. fp says:

    mike b,

    careful, you are very close to sounding like me.

  12. Joanne says:

    It’s odd: I keep hearing the term “multiculturalism,” but what I see are pushes toward biculturalism.

    Muslims are feeling their oats these days, and making a lot of demands, some of them valid and some not. But what about the Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, Sikhs, Jains, and Parsis, not to mention sub-Saharan, Native American and Australian aborigine animists? Hey! Don’t they have rights, too?

    One way to confront Islamists, who hide behind the banner of multiculturalism, is to confront them with genuine multiculturalism. I can just imagine how they’d react if they woke up one morning to find a giant golden statue of Buddha in a local traffic circle, or a colorful statue of Shiva on a college campus. Or little Buddhist shrines on street corners surrounded by incense and lit candles. If the Muslims complain about idolatry, one could answer that their attitudes offend Third-World peoples like the Chinese, Southeast Asians, and Indians. How dare they be so ethnocentric!

    Indians can patiently explain to Muslims how the latter’s prohibition on pork and consumption of beef is deeply offensive to them. Buddhists and Shintoists could complain that the Muslim insistence on monotheism is offensive, since ancestor worship is very important to these two religions. And never mind the Hindus when it comes to polytheism. Also, any violence against Muslims in India must never be linked to Hindus. After all, Hinduism is a religion of meditation, not violence. And, of course, THE issue isn’t Palestine. It’s Kashmir.

    They can demand that the British government be advised by a panel of Hindus and Buddhists about Kashmir and Tibet, as well as policies in general toward China, India, etc., and also about the food served in British school cafeterias.

    British textbooks should be changed to emphasize the contributions of the Indian, Chinese, Amerindian, sub-Saharan, Indochinese, and sub-Arctic (Inuit, Yupiaq and Inupiat) civilizations to British history.

    And modesty of dress for women? What about the right of Indian women to wear saris, or short-sleeved kurtas? Or for the Japanese to wear kimonos? Really, very offensive, indeed. The Muslims should be ashamed of themselves not understanding other civilizations.

    Anyway, you get the picture. Why should Muslims have all the fun!

  13. fp says:

    joanne,

    >”I can just imagine how they’d react”…

    You don’t have to imagine at all. What happened and happens to other religions in the muslim world is well documented if you care to follow the news. But just like everything else, this reality is ignored by the west.

    Which is why I suspect that even multiculti is a rationalization for appeasement out of fear. Not all are conscious of it, of course, but that’s what rationalizations are devised to obscure, isn’t it?

    I cannot prove it, but my guess is that had it not been for the widespread terror around the world and the multitude of muslims in their midst, this bending over backwards to appease muslims which is called multiculti would have not reached current levels.

  14. fp says:

    in fact, muslims are not supposed to have fun — there is no laughter in islam, so said khomeini.

    that’s why they want to stop infidels from having fun too.

    it’s a lot about envy.

  15. Richard Landes says:

    this last set of remarks is, i think, really important. it’s a way of distinguishing between demopaths and genuinely “multicultural” types.

  16. trophyb says:

    Not sure that slavery is always a choice, certainly not in the sense of a meaningful choice. Would you be willing to make that claim about people enslaved in concentration camps?

  17. Eliyahu says:

    fp, here’s some raw meat for you to chew on. One Roger Kimball, described by Prof Reeves as one of the smartest guys on the planet, is pessimistic about the future of academe, because it has been “colonized” by ideological maniacs. He sees little hope for the future of the university. And he’s talking about America more than about Europe. See link:
    http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/43644.html

  18. lgude says:

    I found Belien’s explanation for the relationship between anti Americanism and Antisemitism to be the most satisfactory I have read. I want to add something to the view he expresses when he quotes Bethell “If faith collapses, civilization goes with it.” I tend to see this as a broader collapse in self belief in Western culture and in Europe particularly as the nihilism that has arisen from defeat in two world wars. By way of counter example I would cite the work of atheist and Marxist Norm Geras who discovered in his holocaust research that belief in Communism sustained camp survivors as well as religious faith. I would also note that Norm is vigorously opposing the same tendencies as Richard Landes and most of the commenters here. Furthermore, for those of you who might assume that I am a secularist you would be wrong. I suspect that the normal bonds even to a human collective, whether it takes the form of religious faith or not, are broken when people act as isolated rational actors and perhaps that is why they put ‘community’ on a pedestal – precisely because they lack the obvious and self evident connection to their community that would move them to give their lives to defend it.

  19. lgude says:

    I want to add that it is worth watching Bhutto’s speech in response to the Islamist attack upon her and her country. She delivers a ringing defense of democratic values and a lot more besides. The fanatics, grown fat on the fruits of bullying Westerners who’s first instinct is to appease, have brought the wrath of ordinary Iraqis down upon themselves and are working hard to do the same in Pakistan.

  20. fp says:

    eliyahu,

    i am the last person who needs anything to chew on this. I have come to this conclusion in the 80′s when I left academia in part for this perception.

    i focused and specialized on research methods, the philosophy and history of science, etc. and i noticed that too many academics had no clue about these subjects. you can’t do serious research without any knowledge and understanding of methodology.

    didn’t you noticed my emphasis on the collapse of education? it’s at the root of the fall of the west. and things have deteriorated enormously since I left. there is no more education to be had — history, logic, philosophy, science, classics — today the focus is entirely on conformity (including indoctrination) and preparation for employment. nobody teaches how to think independently and critically. indeed, people will do anything to avoid having to study issues and think –that’s hard for them because they were never taught to. instead they apply the dogma, which is quite easy.

  21. fp says:

    yes, europe used to be much better in education, but
    all their protestations and criticism notwithstanding,
    it’s gotten americanized and, unfortunately, they copy the bad, not good stuff from america.

  22. fp says:

    lgude,

    that stuff about loss of faith is the weakest argument belien has and it undermines the whole thing. and it is simple to prove.

    there was a time in history when europe was dominated by faith. then it looked not much different than islamist societies and they spent their time exterminating each other in the name of their gods.

    the loss of belief in itself is not due to secularization. rather, it is due to the collapse of education and the indoctrination with crap instead of knowledge and reason.

    i recommend hitchens’ GOD IS NOT GREAT for how secularism could actually enhance self-belief, but given that you’re not a secularist i doubt you’re interested.

    incidentally, some of the worst collapse of self-health is in religious circles. think of the pope switch in turkey, including praying in a mosque which used to be a church; and the idiotic anglican church who is indifferent to christian massacres and discrimination of christians and jews in muslim societies, blames the jews for it and looks for every opportunity to kiss the islamists’ asses.

  23. fp says:

    lgude,

    so you bought bhutto’s crap, huh?

    I suggest you study the period when she was prime-minister and why she was kicked out of the country. she was not exactly a martyr for democracy.

    she is just a part of that culture, and she knows how to talk to the west, so that they buy her.

  24. Michael B says:

    “didn’t you noticed my emphasis on the collapse of education?” fp

    The 100th, or the 200th time?

    “… bhutto’s crap …” fp

    Whatever her past faults and imperfections, Bhutto*** made it clear in her recent post mortem that she’s a genuine social and political leader in Pakistan. If you don’t grasp the qualitative difference, understood on viable political grounds, between Bhutto and the nihilists who attacked her, you don’t grasp, or rather fully appreciate, much.

    And without wanting to quibble concerning the multi-culti exchange, as there are various viable perspectives, in one sense there’s a type of tetra-culturalism afoot. Dividing the jihadists/nihilists from the more genuine democrats in the Muslim world, and dividing the “fifth columnists” from more genuine democrats in various quarters of the west as well. I would still distinguish large “M” Multiculturalism from small “m” multiculturalism (which latter is better rendered as political and social pluralism, imo) as yet another viable frame of reference. Or put differently still the demopath and both the PCP categories advanced by RL are extremely helpful. I wonder if the former category fails to take sufficient account of less aggressive forms of demopathy, those who more absentmindedly and passively attach themselves to demopathic sensibilities, but the categories are extremely helpful.

    *** Bhutto advanced two or three primary themes during her post mortem. 1) the extraordinary courage of the scores of police and her own security attachment in consciously facing death and dismemberment at the hands of the suicide/terrorists, the nihilists, and 2) she witnessed to a strong statement against the nihilists and likewise one in forceful favor of democratic rule, comity, plurality, etc.

  25. fp says:

    that question was not aimed at you, but at eliyahu who was telling me to chew on a piece of educational collapse.

    as to the rest of your comments, yeah, right, whatever. I’ll let time prove who grasps what. talk is cheap and putting most of the weight on it is wishful thinking.

    imo pakistan and afghanistan are lost causes. even if with some semblance of non-islamist govt, they are failed states that control very little.

  26. fp says:

    here’s faith at its best for you:

    http:/Criticism gone too far/www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/10/21/criticism_gone_too_far/

  27. Diane says:

    In post# 5, fp writes:The evidence is overwhelming but, as some demonstrate here, psychologically it’s too hard to accept. That’s how the west rationalizes not addressing its problems and not fighting for itself: wishful thinking that “things are dire but not irreversible”. And my guess is that the west will go down thinking this to the bitter end. Cartoons will not save it.

    And in response to post #10, RL writes: i get the feeling that the west — including, if not especially, the israelis — are caught in one of the typical action flicks in which the good guy doesn’t want to fight, and until his loved ones either killed or badly hurt, and his life is in danger, can’t really fight back. given that until now — and for quite some time — global jihad is asymmetrical warfare, we westerners feel its unfair to fight back with all we have. so we’re waiting until the “playing field is leveled.”

    I still haven’t heard a serious argument or seen any proof that Western complacency or multiculturalism or appeasement (pick your poison) won’t erode once European Muslims begin to do more than draft position papers, stand on street corners waving offensive placards and every now and then, set off bombs in a public place that kills a dozen people. This does not a social revolution make!

    On the other side of the argument stands logic and precedent. Why is it naive to question the inevitability of Europe being swallowed by Islam? We who live in the West know its blessings, and the millions of Muslims applying for visas here every year tells its own story. Why assume we (and the Westernized Muslims who stand to lose as much as we do, if not more, as apostates, rather than dhimmi) won’t reach for our water-cans before the mullahs have torched our way of life? When real liberties are threatened by Sharia, I think Sharia will be roundly sent packing from Europe and elsewhere in the West.

    In my opinion, the Soviet Union represented a much more serious threat to Western liberties than Islam/ism does. Why? Because East European-style communism came well equipped with weapons and armies; and ideologically, it brandished a world-view that (in principle) jived with our own Enlightenment values. Islam is not armed to win a serious military confrontation with the West; and ideologically, it is in no position to win over the hearts and minds of people already enjoying the liberties of secular democracy. And here’s the proof: How many Western “multiculturalists” have converted to Islam? Almost none. And in the post WWII era, how many liberals became card-carrying Reds? Too many to count.

    Yet, for all its strategic advantages as a competing ideology, Communism went down in flames. Why, then, assume that Islamism won’t do the same — it has a lot less going for it?

    I think RL and others here grossly underestimated the will of average people — when push comes to shove — to stand up for what is, with all its flaws, undeniably the best social order ever to temper this Hobbesian mess of a world.

  28. Michael N says:

    I was asked what Martin Amis has to say: this article sums up the debate well enough: http://www.spenboroughguardian.co.uk/adam-wolstenholme/Amis-v-Eagleton.3397068.jp

    Amis has since done what the Pope should have done – in the face of criticism, he got tougher, not softer. He has since claimed that western society is more evolved, more civilised than muslim society, that he feels an intellectual gulf between his world and the world of muslim states, and that muslim children are raised on hatred.

    Naturally, he has been accused of crossing the line into racism, the usual tactic the western liberal pulls when s/he wants to shut down debate that might demonstrate the superiority of western liberal democracies.

  29. fp says:

    mike n,

    it is not entirely clear to me that the pope, and christian religion in general have gotten tougher. indeed, where it really counts — deeds, rather than talk — it is pathetic.

    the pope has reversed himsel on turkey’s acceptance into EU and went to pray with muslim in a mosque which used to be a church. it was an obviously blatant dhimmi reaction.

    and all of them are busy blaming israel and ignoring palestinian terror.

    christians are masscred, oppressed and driven out in most muslim countries and you can barely hear a perfunctory protest from the vatican and churches, who are busy talking about interfaith and submission to letters from muslim leaders who cunningly define dialogue on islamic terms.

  30. fp says:

    looks like a reply of mine to diane either did not post or disappeared. so i’ll repeat it.

    with accelerated immigration and amnesties in europe, with the immigrants multiplying at a high rate, and the west (including russia) not even reproducing the current increasingly older population there won’t be enough westerners to reverse the trend in islamized circumstances much worse than now. not to mention a public infantilized by the idiotic elites and their EU.

    reversing such trends, even if it happens, which cannot be assumed either, take too much time to have an effect. based on evidence and history it is more reasonable to expect worse than a turnaround.

  31. fp says:

    it’s interesting that the pope says this now:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/018534.php

    but the vatican said nothing and even protected the Croatian Ustashe state atrocities in which even priests and high level clerics participated.

    nor did it say or do anything regarding the holocaust.

    which is why no religion has any credibility with me when it gets on its high moral horse. and i think that any notion that religion is the root of morality is utterly laughable.

  32. fp says:

    Mark Steyn:

    America Alone does not give a date for when Muslims become the “majority” in Europe, because that depends on a combination of factors – not just birthrates, but accelerating immigration, and accelerating emigration such as we’re already seeing from France and the Netherlands – that only a fool would attempt to predict precisely. However, as I say in the book, it is not necessary for Islam to become a statistical majority: Of countries with a Muslim population of 20-50 per cent, only three are ranked as “free” – Serbia, Suriname and Benin. So what matters is the point at which mediation between Islam and the rest of the community becomes the dominant political narrative. And for Mr Hari to think predictions of Euro-Muslim electoral success are preposterous ignores the fact that already, right now, in the governing Socialist Party of the capital city of the European Union, ten of the 18 council members are Muslim. So what does he think Brussels will be like in another ten years? One can argue about what this transformation means, or even about the rate of transformation, but to deny there’s anything going on involves a profound suspension of disbelief.

  33. N00man says:

    A bit more on the Martin Amis flap, a lovely article depicting Amis facing down the bien-pensant London establishment:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3971

    And here I always Amis was just a callow aesthete, but I’ve only read the early stuff.

  34. Michael N says:

    fp – you seem to have misread what I wrote regarding the Pope; I said that Amis had done what the Pope *should have done* – he got tougher rather than softer in the face of criticism. The context making it clear that “he” refers to Amis rather than the Pope.

  35. Michael N says:

    Nooman, thanks for that link. It’s a shame to see a satirist as great as Chris Morris expounding what you rightly call the bien-pensant groupthink of the media herd. That has rather spoiled my morning.

    Morris’s reaction, though, is extremely revealing: to some people, the Middle East debate is no longer, complicated, intractable, or labyrinthine; it has become as simple as black and white, good and evil, and the idea of anyone actually “defending Israel” (its existence? its policies? Morris doesn’t seem to care which – both must be rejected, after all) is utterly beyond the pale – sufficiently so that an instinctive wail of disbelief is the only appropriate response, as though what was actually being heard defended was the deliberate murder of children and the subsequent drinking of their blood.

  36. Michael N says:

    I forgot to add: Nooman, speaking as one myself, this site isn’t a forum for you to spout your entirely unreasonable prejudice against callow aesthetes! Leave us alone ;)

    RL – as for the “vast/large” majority of english muslims who “want to put bread on their children’s table,” the real question is what their kids want.

    Yes. Absolutely. This hits the nail on the head. I also agree utterly with your analysis of the actual statement by the Palestinian Arab cited in the comment. Islamists in general must pray fervently that we are all as easily duped as the journalists we send abroad.

  37. fp says:

    mike,

    yup, i realized i misexpressed that first sentence after I pressed to submit.

    the “black and white” position is that typical of those who don’t want to face the real problem, but instead fool themselves by scapegoating and hoping that throwing some of their own to the wolves they will save their ass. it is the coward position.

    I won’t exactly regret when — note that I don’t say if — they will live under sharia. apparently that’s about the only way they’ll comprehend, and even then I am not sure.

  38. fp says:

    we ARE as easily duped. because we want to be duped. the alternative is to fight and that’s what we desperately want to avoid. appease and the problem will go way. right.

  39. Michael N says:

    fp I would broadly agree with what you are saying.

    There is a tendency to dress things up, to rationalise, to over-complicate; but what lies at the root of so much of Europe’s approach (in particular) is simple: cowardice. We’ll invent any “intellectual” justification we can in order to avoid facing the truth about ourselves; that truth being the fact that we would rather wave goodbye to our civilisation than face a fight to preserve it.

    Melanie Phillips often claims that multiculturalism and moral relativism have left us unable to fight for what we are and what we have, but I do sometimes feel that the reverse may be true; that we may have invented these ideologies and cultural constructs precisely as a way of avoiding having anything to fight for. She would claim that we have devalued our civil society to such an extent that we no longer have the will to fight for it. I say the reverse may just as likely be true – that because we are afraid of fighting, and afraid of death, we have decided to disown anything that may once have been considered worth fighting or dying for, and have invented any number of ‘isms’ to rationalise and hide the surrender.

    This might be why so much of the public discourse on the ‘clash of civilisations’ – in the mainstream media at any rate – blames the West for violence perpetrated by the West, and blames the West for violence perpetrated by islamists. They see “us” as the problem that needs to be dealt with.

  40. N00man says:

    Michael–
    I am the pot calling the kettle black.

    Generally, anybody who Terry Eagleton doesn’t like is okay with me.

  41. Michael B says:

    “nor did it say or do anything regarding the holocaust.”

    “which is why no religion has any credibility with me when it gets on its high moral horse. and i think that any notion that religion is the root of morality is utterly laughable.” fp

    Who’s on a high moral horse? So much moral umbrage about others being on a high moral horse; the irony is rich. Too, no doubt the anti-religious and anti-theism zealots of the 20th century do hold sway with you. But the low brow defense against such an blatant historic set of initiatives, from Sam Harris to yourself, is that the Soviet and Maoist regimes were “like” religion, or some such perspicacious double-talk. Pathetic. Any illogic will do though, in order to ensure one’s place back upon the back of the high horse you’re riding in on.

    I’m not Catholic and am not emotionally tied to the debate in that specific sense, but it serves as a striking contrast, that someone is so ready to sneer about “nothing” that was done, in a set of threads devoted to correcting a formidable liable. Following are three Jewish authors on Pius XII:

    Joseph Lichten, A question of judgment;: Pius XII and the Jews

    David Dalin, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII and His Secret War Against Nazi Germany

    Jeno Levai, Hungarian Jewry and the Papacy: Pope Pius XII did not remain silent

    Dalin’s book is of course the most recent and it’s full of real life and documented examples of what both Pius XII and the Catholic chruch did as well.

    As to Dr. Lichten (of B’nai B’rith, among other associations, who suffered his own losses during the holocaust), here’s an essay he wrote, one of modest length, that soundly rebuts many of the parroted sentiments, extended excerpt, though the entirety of Lichten’s piece is soundly reasoned, not that cogency would interest someone with a bigoted outlook:

    “What is the case against Pius XII? In brief, that as head of one of the most powerful moral forces on earth he committed an unspeakable sin of omission by not issuing a formal statement condemning the Nazis’ genocidal slaughter of the Jews, and that his silence was motivated by reasons considered in modern times as base: political exigency, economic interests, and personal ambition.

    “What is the case for him? That in relation to the insane behavior of the Nazis, from overlords to self-styled cogs like Eichmann, he did everything humanly possible to save lives and alleviate suffering among the Jews; that a formal statement would have provoked the Nazis to brutal retaliation, and would substantially have thwarted further Catholic action on behalf of Jews. To the Sacred College of Cardinals Pius XII wrote on June 2, 1943: ‘Every word that We addressed to the responsible authorities and every one of Our public declarations had to be seriously weighed and considered in the interest of the persecuted themselves in order not to make their situation unwittingly even more difficult and unbearable.’”

    [...]

    “There is considerable documentation in support of Pope Pius’ fear that a formal statement would worsen, not improve, conditions for the persecuted. Ernst von Weizsacker, the German ambassador to the Vatican during World War II, wrote in his memoirs:

    “Not even institutions of worldwide importance, such as the International Red Cross or the Roman Catholic Church saw fit to appeal to Hitler in a general way on behalf of the Jews or to call openly on the sympathies of the world. It was precisely because they wanted to help the Jews that these organizations refrained from making any general and public appeals; for they were afraid that they would injure rather than help the Jews thereby.”

    “Pius XII’s silence, let us remember, extended to persecutions of Catholics as well. Despite his intervention, 3000 Catholic priests were murdered by the Nazis in Germany, Austria, Poland, France, and other countries; Catholic schools were shut down, Catholic publications were forced out of print or strictly censored, and Catholic churches closed. The possibility of a public statement from the Vatican moved German Foreign Secretary Joachim von Ribbentrop to wire von Weizsacker on January 24, 1943:

    “Should the Vatican either politically or propagandistically oppose Germany, it should be made unmistakably clear that worsening of relations between Germany and the Vatican would not at all have an adverse effect on Germany alone. On the contrary, the German government would have sufficient effective propaganda material as well as retaliatory measures at its disposal to counteract each attempted move by the Vatican.”

    “Pius learned precisely how firm this German threat was from the protest of the Dutch bishops against seizures of the Jews, for immediately following that protest and, as later confirmed by an SS officer, in direct answer to it, the Nazis stepped up their anti-Jewish activities in the Netherlands; a week after the pastoral letter was read at all the masses in Holland, the SS rounded up every priest and monk and nun who had any Jewish blood whatever, and deported them to concentration camps.”

  42. fp says:

    mike,

    >This might be why so much of the public discourse on the ‘clash of civilisations’ – in the mainstream media at any rate – blames the West for violence perpetrated by the West, and blames the West for violence perpetrated by islamists. They see “us” as the problem that needs to be dealt with.

    1st, it is not a clash of civilizations, but one between civilization and barbarism. this is what the west does not comprehend, because if it did, it would respond differently.

    2nd, it is mainly the left which sees “us” as the problem. they lost the socio-economic conflict and are now desperate to bring the west down by whatever means possible, without realizing the consequences.

    3rd the rest of the west is scared shitless and deludes itself that if they just appease the islamists and give them israel, they will save their ass. some leftists also belong here, whether they realize it or not.

  43. Michael N says:

    Yes, hence the inverted commas around ‘clash of civilisations’ – it was perhaps too dryly delivered to be seen as sarcasm, but that’s my fault.

    The left is ‘mainly’ the problem, but when we see anti-semitism from the right (as is traditional) AND from the left (which is relatively new) it unfortunately meets in the middle, and infects everyone.

    I believe Israel is the key conflict: as the former Spanish President Jose Aznar told Avigdor Liebermen, “I believe that Israel is important to Europe. If Israel falls, I am sure that Spain will be next, and after it, the whole western world. I am afraid that Israel will be left alone to face Iran.”

    That’s why, in my estimation, it is important for Europeans to fight specifically the anti-semitism and anti-Israel poison that is spreading so quickly here. And in that respect the political right is little better than the left. (That, at any rate, is true of Europe. Whether that holds true in the USA I wouldn’t know).

    There is much truth in the notion that we hand Israel over on a plate to her enemies in the hope that they will spare us, but I think there is another dynamic at work also: the demonisation of Israel is creating a Europe that is sapped of moral strength and belief; we are like branches hacking at our own root; it’s not merely that we are trying to save our own skins by abandoning Israel, but that we are also deliberately rejecting something about ourselves as a culture, we are announcing our surrender, not merely trying to avoid the war.

  44. fp says:

    mike b,

    sorry, the comment on my moral horse is such a nonsense that does not merits a response.

    the evidence is all against the vatican and not for it, complete with helping the nazis escape, anti-israel positions after the war and, despite reversing the accusation of deicide, that position is still held by many in the vatican. but I don’t want to get into this subject.

    mike n,

    that’s one reason why aznar is no longer PM. people with think that way don’t have much of chance these days.

  45. Michael B says:

    You need not be “sorry,” I had zero expectations; diffidence has a habit of evidencing itself at convenient junctures. So much for vaunted reason and knowledge and hard nosed polemics – at times, they’re inconvenient.

  46. fp says:

    mike b,

    bs.

  47. Michael N says:

    Well, there we go.

    1) fp launches an attack on religion, the vatican in particular.

    2) michael b responds with a long and detailed argument, complete with citations and bibliography;

    3) the defender of education and reasoning responds by ignoring evidence which might at least qualify his sweeping statement, flings words like ‘nonsense’ around, and then – having raised the vatican/holocaust issue himself – says he doesn’t want to ‘get into’ the subject, and finishes with a dismissive obscenity.

    fp, I’m not getting into another tedious argument with you, and you should take this as a compliment: you can do better than that. I wish you would. I’d enjoy it :)

  48. Michael N says:

    When I say I’d enjoy it, it’s not meant to sound as weird or flirtatious as it does. I’m happily shedding the last vestiges of catholicism from my life, largely due to the vatican’s incessant support for the Palestinians, and a quick burst of evidence-based invective from fp would probably help the process :)

  49. fp says:

    sure i can do better, but only when I care enough.

    I’ve had exchanges with mike b and (a) I don’t much care for his abstract, theoretical and pompous syyle (b) i don’t think it is worth my time to discuss the vatican. I said my piece. if he thinks he proved me wrong, let him.

    i dk what you dumped religion, but if you needed the support of the pals to complete it, you’ve got a problem. because there is hardly anything as ridiculous as organized religion, let alone catholicism.

    as for a burst of evidence, off the top of my head:

    - there is abook about the death of pope John Paul I, forgot its name, written by an englishman

    -another is Hitler’s Pope

    -The Vatican Exposed
    http://www.amazon.com/Vatican-Exposed-Money-Murder-Mafia/dp/1591020654/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-4851335-2407208?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191715590&sr=8-1

    as there are tons of others.

  50. Michael B says:

    But of course there was nothing “abstract” about my reference to Joseph Lichten’s essay – very much to the contrary. Not only was his a prominent Jewish voice of that contemporary era, additionally reflecting real-world accomplishments and a notable conscience and actor as well, his was, and still remains, a voice that argues forcefully, cogently, responsibly and substantively, on an even keel.

    fp, you’re the one re-acting, pontificating and avoiding cogency and well reasoned arguments and instead are engaging in a tout court dismissiveness along with general, unsupported allusions, more personal inferences, etc. And btw, I replied with references to that “high horse” not out of re-action but rather because you demonstrably retreated away from cogency and sound and better informed forms of argument onto that “high horse” of presumptive authority, rank dismissiveness, personal slights, etc.

    You’re bigoted, your concern with “knowledge and reason” is selective. But yes, there are books. I have yet additional titles – and many of them – I can throw out as well. But the point, after noting some relevant titles (relevant only in part because they reflected reputable Jewish sources – they are cogently argued as well), was in fact to highlight the well reasoned and empirically/historically reasoned argument of one of those voices, reflected in J. Lichten’s particularly well argued essay.

  51. Michael N says:

    “because there is hardly anything as ridiculous as organized religion, let alone catholicism”

    He has spoken! The issue is settled! (How much at home your habits of reasoning would have been in the pre-Reformation church… and how ironic that you don’t see this…)

    fp – thank you for your concern about my “problem”. I sincerely hope that one day you may realise what yours is.

  52. fp says:

    I really don’t care how well argued or jewish is the essay. it cannot touch the basis of my contempt for organized religion in general and catholicism in particular.

    engaging in discussions about religion with those who defend it is not the kind of waste of time I can afford.

    if just because i am unwilling to get sucked into such useless exchanges — neither side will convince the other — gives you the opportunity to declare me a bigot and whatever else, suit yourself. I could not care less.

  53. Michael N says:

    fp, fair enough. This is perhaps not the place to discuss the merits or otherwise of religion, let alone the history of the catholic church.

    But I know that reason and education are things you ARE passionate about. Which is why this type of comment is, let’s say, amusing:

    “I really don’t care how well argued or jewish is the essay. it cannot touch the basis of my contempt for organized religion in general and catholicism in particular.”

    Interesting. Similarly:

    “engaging in discussions about religion with those who defend it is not the kind of waste of time I can afford.”

    Yes, in the same way that, once a person has decided Israel is the enemy and is evil, discussion and reasoning become an irrelevance that would only interfere with their fixed dogmatic position, and should therefore be avoided.

    Please don’t misunderstand: I admire militant atheism as much as the next man, and the catholic church is certainly an easy target; it’s what Michael B describes as your “selective” adherence to reason and knowledge that is slightly bemusing.

    “i am unwilling to get sucked into such useless exchanges — neither side will convince the other.”

    Wrong. You speak for yourself. I cannot speak for Michael B, but I try ALWAYS to be responsive and open to reasoning and argument. In this last sentence you openly claim for yourself (and revealingly assume in others) an inability to respond to reasoning or argument in this matter, a disinterest in evidence that might cause you to at least qualify your sweeping statements.

    We are not talking theology here, but history. You are determined to incriminate the vatican in the holocaust, and the evidence you present would tend to confirm that view partially. But here’s the thing: there’s another side to the story, also with evidence behind it (evidence that is neither abstract or theoretical).

    “if he thinks he proved me wrong, let him”.

    Yeah, that’s what it’s about; who wins the argument. No room here for nuanced thinking – on a subject as difficult and historically complex as a continent-wide genocide and the moral responsibilities and actions of third parties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>