They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims denounce European Muslim Demopathy

MEMRI has an interesting and refreshing translation from two liberal Gulf Muslims on the situation of Muslims in Europe. In addition to denouncing the systematic abuse of their freedom that their European hosts offer them, they describe the way the radicals have taken over the Islamic communities there. The definition of demopathy is “using democracy to destroy democracy.”

We infidels had best pay attention.

Special Dispatch – No. 2309
April 10, 2009 No. 2309

Liberal Gulf Writers: Muslim Groups in Europe Are Exploiting Europeans’ Openness

Two recent articles in the Gulf press discussed the attitudes of European Muslims towards the West. On December 2, 2008, Bahraini liberal Shi’ite cleric Dhiya Al-Mousawi published an article in the liberal Kuwaiti daily
Awan on the Mumbai terrorist attacks, some of the perpetrators of which were Muslims who were naturalized British citizens. The second article, by liberal Kuwaiti columnist Khalil ‘Ali Haidar, was published October 5, 2008 in the UAE daily Al-’Ittihad. Both writers criticized Muslim groups in Europe for harming the West while at the same time enjoying Western freedoms and services. Haidar treated the subject more broadly, criticizing all Islamic movements and parties in Europe on the grounds that they are promoting Islamic extremism, that they have taken control of the lives of the European Muslims, and that instead of attempting to bridge the gap between the East and the West, they have consciously brought about isolation, alienation, and, ultimately, jihad-motivated terrorism against the West.

Following are excerpts from Al-Mousawi’s and Haidar’s articles:

European Muslims Are Spitting Into the Well from Which They Drink

In an article titled “When the Terrorist is British Born,” Al-Mousawi wrote: “…It is sad that in Western countries there are thousands of Muslims who receive citizenship for themselves and their families after having been expelled from their respective homelands. [The West] gives them asylum, work, shelter, and health insurance – [yet] they are the first to turn their backs on their second homeland. Worse, some of them think nothing of committing suicide in the squares, in the very countries that have granted them and their families protection… It is odd that some sheikhs curse and revile the West from the pulpits of the Western [mosques,] and wish for the destruction of the [Western] countries, as the police of those countries guard them…” [1]

The Islamists Have Taken Control Over the Lives of the Muslims in the West

Al-Haidar wrote, in a similar vein: “The problem of Europe and the U.S. is neither the Arabs nor the Muslims. It is the Islamists, both parties and groups, who have taken over the political, religious, social, and cultural life inside and outside Islamic and Arab countries. [These parties and groups] have influence over the Muslim minorities of the Western countries… They have focused on imposing restrictions on the first generation [of immigrants], on brainwashing the second generation, and on excommunicating unions, organizations, and mosques. For many years – in fact, since the end of the Second World War – Western countries have been welcoming Arabs and Muslims, and providing [them] with extensive opportunities for preaching and [other] activities. They have treated them with amazing kindness. With time, the Muslims grew in power, and tightened their grip on the very heart of these societies.

“The presence of Islamists [in the European countries], with all their different parties, groups, and schools of thought, has been a testing ground for relations between their Muslim minority, which has been influenced by the indoctrination [carried out by different] parties, and these democratic societies. For many years, Islamists, and especially the Muslim Brotherhood, have complained about the oppressive [policies] of Arab regimes, the freezing of freedoms, surveillance, etc. [Abu A'la] Al-Mawdoudi’s[2] writings, [originally in Urdu], have gained popularity in the Arab world, corrupting the youth and distorting their outlook. [Al-Mawdoudi] proclaimed to the entire world, and especially to [his] liberal European opponents, the advent of a new social order superior to Western democracy on every count – in liberty, flexibility, religious tolerance etc. – that will be introduced under the leadership of Muslim youth uncontaminated by the filth of Western civilization and its materialist [values].”

The Islamists Have Wrought Alienation and Terrorism

“The ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Al-Tahrir party, [3] and Egyptian, Pakistani, and other Islamic groups has cast the Arabs and the Muslims in Europe into darkness and confusion. With their books, films, and extreme separatist ideas, they have paved the way for the proliferation of different forms of extremism, and hence to overt terrorism.

“The unceasing attacks on Western civilization, on man-made laws, and on Oriental studies, as well as on [what they regarded as] the cultural invasion and Western conspiracies – have made it difficult for [Muslims] to integrate into the new environment to which they migrated while hating it. [However, his integration] as far as his material interests or the aims of his party were concerned [was never impeded]…”

The Absence of a Culture of Revival and Innovation

“The Islamic party movement has not embraced the idea of revival and innovation; as a consequence, it has failed to see a positive side to Western society or to study Western literature, art, and culture so that it could create a model of modern culture, literature and art that combines Western and Islamic [elements]. Even the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, along with others who are proud of the Islamic civilization and profess to be heirs to the Baghdad and Andalusian civilizations – [even they], during the half century [of their sojourn] in Paris, London, or Germany, have not produced a [single] new idea, [let alone new] art or culture worthy of notice…

“True, they have established publishing houses to circulate their parties’ books and publications; they never let up in improving their media weaponry, such as the press, television, and other [media outlets]; they developed their own financial institutions and banks [and called them] ‘Islamic: no interest’; they established private schools, which only further isolated Muslim boys and girls from their European environment and thus enhanced the Islamic parties’ control of their [lives] – and this is only a partial list. But what they have failed to do is to act as a bridge between East and West, as have, say, the poets of the [Muslim] diaspora. They also never helped plant seeds of modernization, democracy, and creativity – cultural, artistic, and literary – in the Arab and the Islamic worlds.

“Most reports on [Muslims in Europe], produced with great enthusiasm by the media, are about fights between [different] mosques, family honor murders, or extremist religious discourse. Not a single one of their associations has ever sponsored a useful cultural program, nor has any of their parties ever translated an encyclopedia or organized a study group to explore an aspect of culture, education, or ties between East and West. Neither have any of these circles invested effort [in a project] – not even to reexamine the writings of Islamic parties and modernize them by removing extremist ideas and the ideology of heresy accusations.”

Note the near-explicit critique of Saïd’s Orientalism, in particular the contrast between the know-nothing attitude of the Islamists towards Occidental culture in contrast with the extraordinary and scholarly interest of the West in Arab culture.


Abusing Tolerance

“Western tolerance towards Muslims in Europe and in the U.S. on freedom of religion in general, and its respect for Christian and Jewish converts to Islam in particular, has not been used as a model by any Islamic party. It didn’t teach them religious tolerance; it didn’t lead them to acknowledge that religious choice is a personal matter; it did not prompt them to protect non-Muslims in the Arab and Muslim world. On the contrary, they became increasingly offensive, since they perceived that the West was conceding to their demands and treating them with tolerance. Thus, they gained ground and popularity, and their arrogance was became boundless …

“The Islamist literature, publications, and sermons, even in the heart of Europe, have essentially retained the conceptual structure of ancient [Muslim] writings, in that they continue to treat any input from civilization as refuse, all the amazing technological innovations as purely material development, and the life and values of the West as decadence and degradation.”

The Connection to Violence and Terrorism

“It has often been said that moderate Islamic groups have nothing to do with violence and terrorism. But this is an illusion. All the ideas of terrorist groups fit the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, of the Al-Tahrir [party], of Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyya in Pakistan, and others. Ideas like idol worship, the rule of God, the establishment of shari’a, and others, which have assumed new fundamentalist connotations associated with new ruling parties, were not invented by Al-Qaeda or Fath Al-Islam. The notions of cognitive isolation, the invalidity of man-made laws, and serving God; the undermining of the values of homeland and citizenship, as well as all facets of political realism; proclamations such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto ‘Death for the sake of Allah is our highest aspiration,’ and numerous other [slogans] – all these have not been invented by Al-Zarqawi, bin Laden, or [Sheikh Abu Muhammad] Al-Maqdisi…

“What can we expect of a youth who encounters [the following] idea, [which appears] in a book frequently discussed by the Muslim Brotherhood: ‘Today we live in a jahiliya [the pre-Islamic era of idol worship], akin to idol worship in [Muhammad's] time and worse. We are surrounded by idol worship. Human achievement and beliefs, people’s traditions and customs, their traditional sources, their arts and literature, their laws and regulations, and even most of what we regard as aspects of the Islamic culture, Islamic authorities, and Islamic thought and philosophy – all these are products of idol worship.”

“This is a simple passage from the book Milestones by Sayyed Qutb. This book has been translated into all the languages of the Islamic countries: Turkish, Persian, Urdu, Malaysian, Indonesian, and others, as have hundreds of other Muslim Brotherhood books. These books are brainwashing thousands of youths in the Muslim world, and drawing [many of them] towards extremist terrorist organizations.

“Is not this passage, which has been read [and reread] by Islamists for over 40 years, the main reason for the Muslim’s deepening sense of alienation from both his own society and from the society in Europe, America, or Australia to which he emigrated?…

“There is no doubt that it is these ideas, texts and doctrines – some of which seem innocuously ‘moderate’ [to us, after] they have poisoned our souls – that have shaped the views of many Muslims, men and women, worldwide, and have brought forth a generation of jihadi terrorists.

“It is this [phenomenon] that has precipitated the clash between the Islamists and Western societies in America and Europe.”[4]

[1] Awan (Kuwait), December 2, 2008.

[2] Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdoudi (1903-1979)(1903-09-25), also known as Mawlana (Maulana) or Sheikh Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi, was a Sunni Pakistani journalist, theologian and political philosopher, and a major Islamist thinker. He was also a political figure in his home country of Pakistan, where he founded the Jamaat-e-Islami Islamic revivalist party.

[3] Hizb Al-Tahrir (Liberation Party) is a radical Islamic group whose agenda is to rally Muslims with a call for a new Caliphate.

[4] Al-Ittihad (UAE), October 5, 2008.

34 Responses to They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims denounce European Muslim Demopathy

  1. sshender says:

    as if on cue, I just watched the Islam vs. Islamists DVD yesterday, which talks about just that. Anyway, I recommend it to anybody interested in the subject. It’s not sensational, but nonetheless worth your time.

  2. E.G. says:

    Try telling this to a “youth” whose vocabulary contains a few hundred words in a specific local (usually a neighbourhood) jargon, hardly ever written, whose attention span does not exceed 30 minutes, whose parents if not grand-parents have already been on the receiving end of social services ensuring what is considered the vital minimum. For whom freedom means that the country’s or societal laws have no relevance to her behaviour.

    Go philosophise with someone whose axiom is “I”m only entitled to rights that are not fully given to me because my heritage (of which I’m not really familiar) has been unduly taken away”.

    It’s much easier to convince a person who believes s/he’s got no choice, no responsibility, that it’s just (fair) to be on the dominating side after having been dominated. If only because the wheel of History, by definition, has to turn.

  3. [...] [email protected] (gwydionwilliams) placed an interesting blog post on They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims…Here’s a brief overviewMEMRI has an interesting and refreshing translation from two liberal Gulf Muslims on the situation of Muslims in Europe. In addition to denouncing the systematic abuse of their freedom that their European hosts offer them, they describe the way the radicals have taken over the Islamic communities… [...]

  4. [...] emsnews placed an interesting blog post on They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims…Here’s a brief overviewMEMRI has an interesting and refreshing translation from two liberal Gulf Muslims on the situation of Muslims in Europe. In addition to denouncing the systematic abuse of their freedom that their European hosts offer them, they describe the way the radicals have taken over the Islamic communities… [...]

  5. [...] Read more:  They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims denounce European Muslim Demopa… [...]

  6. [...] admin added an interesting post today on They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims…Here’s a small readingMEMRI has an interesting and refreshing translation from two liberal Gulf Muslims on the situation of Muslims in Europe. In addition to denouncing the systematic abuse of their freedom that their European hosts offer them, they describe the way the radicals have taken over the Islamic communities… [...]

  7. [...] Augean Stables placed an interesting blog post on They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink: Real Moderate Muslims denounce European Muslim DemopathyHere’s a brief overviewMEMRI has an interesting and refreshing translation from two liberal Gulf Muslims on the situation of Muslims in Europe. In addition to denouncing the systematic abuse of their freedom that their European hosts offer them, they describe the way the radicals have taken over the Islamic communities there. The definition of demopathy is “using democracy to destroy democracy.” We infidels had best pay attention. Special Dispatch – No. 2309 April 10, 2009 No. 2309 Liberal Gulf Writers: [...]

  8. Lorenz Gude says:

    My next door neighbor just moved out. He is from the Philippines and came to Australia on a temporary work visa. He really wanted to stay and did all he could to fit in. I saw him today and he has gotten to stay – against the odds given the economic downturn. He was joyful and talked about how he will be able to bring his children to Australia by Christmas. I was joyful too. I said congratulations and welcome to Australia. He shows no tendency to want to reject Australian values, to make his culture and legal system dominant. No, not all the downtrodden and less fortunate want to overthrow and dominate. Post colonialism and colonialism are two sides of the same coin – both are caught up in the dominate or be dominated paradigm. Both those who commit and excuse Demopathy miss what my young neighbor does not – the possibility of a win win and a better human community.

  9. obsy says:

    E.G., sounds like you live in Europe.

  10. oao says:

    No, not all the downtrodden and less fortunate want to overthrow and dominate.

    duh. if you don’t indoctrinate them with it, they are unlikely to.

    E.G., sounds like you live in Europe.

    and he’s seen the future of the rest of the world.

  11. Cynic says:

    Talk about spitting in the face of British taxpayers:
    Hate Islamist preacher Bakri used British taxpayers money to live in luxury

    Yes. If you indoctrinate them sufficiently they’ll take one to the cleaners.

  12. [...] Michael G. Wechsler added an interesting post today on Augean Stables » They Spit Into the Well from Which They Drink …Here’s a small readingIt is the Islamists, both parties and groups, who have taken over the political, religious, social, and cultural life inside and outside Islamic and Arab countries. [These parties and groups] have influence over the Muslim minorities of … Published by Richard Landes on Mon, 27 Apr 2009 22:12:16 -0700 Blog : http://www.theaugeanstables.com/ Url : http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/04/28/they-spit-into-the-well-from-which-they-drink-real-moderate-muslims-denounce-european-muslim-demopathy/ (Ranked #20) [...]

  13. Francois says:

    We have seen over the last 10 years emerging a word which before was barely used in mainstream media. This word is “islamist”. Now, “islam” meaning “submission” and “muslim” meaning “submitted”, I have been wondering for some time whether the switch from “muslim” to “islamist” is not simply a switch from “submitted” to “someone who submits”.

  14. [...] had best pay attention. Special Dispatch – No. 2309 April 10, 2009 No. 2309 Liberal Gulf Writers: click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : [...]

  15. [...] had best pay attention. Special Dispatch – No. 2309 April 10, 2009 No. 2309 Liberal Gulf Writers: click for more var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : [...]

  16. oao says:

    I have been wondering for some time whether the switch from “muslim” to “islamist” is not simply a switch from “submitted” to “someone who submits”.

    i am ambivalent about the term, which is political in character.

    otoh, it was invented to distinguish between “radicals” such as OBL, hamas, hizballah, etc. and your “average” muslims who are not radicals/fanatical. otoh it is a copeout by those who don’t want to admit that the problem is with islam, not the radicals.

    i personally think that there is no moderate islam (as the turkish PM has stated), but there are “moderate” muslims who are essentially a little bit more than nominal or secular muslims. but i sometimes use the term islamist to refer to those who are aggressive jihadists.

  17. Amos says:

    Thanks for posting this, Prof. Landes.

    The Richard Irwin looks like a great read – I started browsing in it just now. Who is he?

  18. Cynic says:

    oao,

    i personally think that there is no moderate islam (as the turkish PM has stated),

    I put in a link in the Ralph Peters on 21st Century Diplomacy

    Radical anti-US cleric Sadr resurfaces in Turkey

  19. Eliyahu says:

    it is bizarre how Washington has been so blase over the Turkish slide towards Islamism, or whatever we should call it. Maybe they ain’t really opposed to the spread of Islamism at all.

    Also funny is that when Erdogan [or Urdung, or whatever his name is] won his first national election in Turkey, his party only got about 35% of the votes, as I recall. Yet, through their system he was able to become prime minister and start suppressing his domestic rivals [the Kemalists]. It is also funny that –as far as I know– the US never took any revenge or punished Turkey in any war for refusing to allow US troops go through eastern Turkey to get to Iraq from the north.

  20. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    In similar fashion they let Iran’s Foreign Legion in the making get away scott free with all those Marine’s lives in 83.
    Funny, peculiar, because there was always a lever to force their policy on Israel by stopping the delivery of arms, breaking off cooperation on development etc.
    Punishment for Israel was always on the cards.

  21. oao says:

    Radical anti-US cleric Sadr resurfaces in Turkey

    this did not escape me either — i saw it. it’s clear turkey has veered away from europe (that’s good), and
    is allying itself with islamists. consider it no longer secular.

    it is bizarre how Washington has been so blase over the Turkish slide towards Islamism, or whatever we should call it. Maybe they ain’t really opposed to the spread of Islamism at all.

    it’s 1930 appeasement all over again. just like pakistan, the alibama admin thinks that if you let them be islamists they’ll be sated. history shows they’ll only be whetted.

    Also funny is that when Erdogan [or Urdung, or whatever his name is] won his first national election in Turkey, his party only got about 35% of the votes, as I recall.

    the similarity to the 30′s is uncanny, ain’t it? yet despite it, the western msitakes are also the same. those who forget history are doomed to relive it.

    Punishment for Israel was always on the cards.

    but of course: aren’t the jews responsible for all the problems of the world?

  22. Eliyahu says:

    Tonight, 3 May, Israeli TV channel 1 had a report on US attitudes toward Iran’s bomb. The Channel 1 political reporter, Ayala Hasson, said that there was more understanding for Israel’s position on the Iranian bomb in Europe than in the USA [read: the obama administration]. Europe is a lot closer to the Iranian rockets and potential bombs than the US is. That could explain what Ayala Hasson said.
    Think further. If Europe has to live under the threat of Iranian rockets and the Iranian Bomb, then it will have to ask for American protection. Maybe that’s a clever way of making the Euros dependent on the US.

    Maybe this indulge-Iran policy reflects the influence on obama of zbig brzezinski. Zbig always had a soft spot for Khomeini. Just think of the Zbig-Carter reaction to the Khomeini takeover and Iranian hostage crisis back in 1979-1980. By the way, back in 1979, Ramsey Clark, ex-US attorney general and current leader of the so-called American Civil Liberties Union [still today] was calling for good US-Iranian relations, oblivious to Khomeini’s hostility in principle to the very notion of civil liberties. In the spring of 1979, Clark was blaming the American Jews for the lack of such good relations. Check it out.

  23. oao says:

    Maybe that’s a clever way of making the Euros dependent on the US.

    MAKE them????? they’ve ALWAYS BEEN dependent!!!!! could they have developed their welfare states had they had to build and maintain their own defense? the euros may not want to admit it to themselves, but without the US everybody would have been speaking german or russian by now. euros have long lost the will and ability to defend themselves, which is why they are appeasers and screw israel. and they will accept iran nukes too and will dance to sharia’s tune.

    Maybe this indulge-Iran policy reflects the influence on obama of zbig brzezinski.

    the affinity between the two may stem from the fact that both are pompous idiots.

  24. oao says:

    re brzezinski

    http://www.gloria-center.org/Gloria/2008/10/Giving-Until.html

    see what i mean? and the guy has the gall to recommend engaging iran and the idiot obama listens to him.

  25. michal says:

    isn’t the dfn of demopath one that uses democracy to destroy “civil society” rather than democracy? i think there is a big difference in the two.

  26. Eliyahu says:

    oao, it’s not just zbig. It seems to me that obama is following the Baker-Hamilton Report recommendations. That is, he wants to “engage” Syria, engage Iran, engage Hamas, and so on. Of course, not all engagement is bad. I was very happy when my daughter and son got engaged.

    But baker-hamilton-obama want to “engage” with mass murderers. Now, if I call Assad Junior a “mass murderer” or a serial assassin, am I incorrect? How come everybody forgot about Rafiq Hariri? For God’s sake, the guy was a billionaire. Is it permissible to kill billionaires?? I know that it’s OK to kill a Jewish child in Sderot. But a billionaire?? By the way, how many Kurds did Assad Junior kill in Kamishli a few years ago when he suppressed Kurdish riots?? How many too-outspoken Lebanese has Bashar killed since he got rid of Hariri? Do baker-hamilton-obama have any scruples? Is the present Syrian govt legitimate? Why did fake peacemongers like John Kerry go to Damascus in February? Zbig was there, by the way, in February of 2008, on the day when Imad Mughniyyah was taken out of our misery. Then obama wants to hold hands with A-jad. How sweet!! Funny, isn’t it, that they claim that the Land of Israel must be divided into two states, one to be called “Israel” for the time being, the other “palestine” whereas there never was a nation or state of palestine. Yet that is all to serve the principle of self-determination of nations. But how about Lebanon?? Doesn’t Lebanon deserve self-determination separate from Syrian control? Where do baker-hamilton-zbig-obama-susan/rice-samantha/power stand on Lebanon’s self-determination? They find Israel wanting in regard to human rights. Iran does not accept HR even in principle. But they still want to hold hands with the mullahs.

    Something seems wrong here.

  27. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    i did not mean just zbig.

    but his case is the most idiotic, because he actually did what he proposes before and we got the embassy takeover and khomeini’s iran. how idiotic can one be?

  28. Eliyahu says:

    oao,
    unfortunately, obama and Co. seem to be shaping up as a second carter administration when zbig was riding high. But obama and his slimey gang look like they are going to be worse than carter, if that’s possible.

  29. Cynic says:

    It seems that as Amir Taheri writes

    As the U.S. Retreats, Iran Fills the Void

    Convinced that the Obama administration is preparing to retreat from the Middle East, Iran’s Khomeinist regime is intensifying its goal of regional domination. It has targeted six close allies of the U.S.: Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Morocco, Kuwait and Jordan, all of which are experiencing economic and/or political crises.

    America is giving up on having any influence in the world, even in its own interests of security and standard of living.

    What with getting a foothold in Eritrea and creating a second “Foreign Legion” in Somalia, Iran with the “bomb” will control the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea and will dictate to Europe and the US, the price of oil and any trade through Suez.

    Apparently the Jpost had an article citing Ram Emanuel as saying:
    Thwarting Iran’s nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

    This was similar to what Clinton had to say :
    For Israel to get the kind of strong support it’s looking for vis-a-vis Iran, it can’t stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts..
    Obviously Americans have voted in a clown who is going to make a circus of war and peace.

  30. oao says:

    unfortunately, obama and Co. seem to be shaping up as a second carter administration when zbig was riding high.

    but carter did not have the experience of his failures yet. alibama has the benefit of carter’s failures, yet he repeats them.

    But obama and his slimey gang look like they are going to be worse than carter, if that’s possible.

    yes, they will be MUCH worse, because (a) carter was ignorant while alibama is both ignorant and narcissist (b) alibama has the blind support of the media, congress and a completely ignorant and gullibe public.
    he can do anything he wants and he will.

  31. oao says:

    iran, syria and hamas are playing the americans like a violin:

    http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=16637

    and i gurantee you it works.

  32. Eliyahu says:

    oao,
    zbig could be called a sorcerer’s apprentice, as Elie Kedourie called the State Dept & CIA operatives running loose in the Middle East in the 1950s & 1960s.

    for detail on them and their accomplishments see an article by Elie Kedourie on “sorcerer’s apprentices” and a book by Miles Copeland, The Game of Nations.

  33. Chris says:

    Good article that describes the situation accurately and concurs with my personal experiences.

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