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Archive for the ‘islam’ Category

Oswald Spengler wrote in the Decline of the West about the “revolution within the form.”  In such circumstances, things appear to be what they always were.  They have the same names–nations, parliaments, cultures–but their essence is fundamentally changed, like the farce that was the Roman Senate under the Emperors.   Rick Darby of Reflecting Light describes this sad phenomenon brilliantly with regard to the now decadent entity that is Europe:

Old Europe died in 1945. A lot of it was physically destroyed, but buildings can be rebuilt, and in fact some have been re-created exactly as they were before the bombs struck. But Europe’s sense of itself, its individual nationhoods, its links with a past going back to the Roman empire, are gone.

What passes for Europe now is generic and technology-minded, its so-called leaders agreed on only one thing: that its indigenous citizens are cursed with a terrible past best left behind as quickly as possible. The quickest way is population replacement. And the Third World, especially Islamic, is happy to abandon their wretched homelands for Europe’s pleasure garden. But not to abandon the tribalism and belief systems that messed up their states of origin.

The New Europe is to be, officially, anything and nothing. Unofficially, in reality, its future is Islam unless the tide is turned soon.

This indeed is the great swindle of liberalism.  An entire continent exchanges its faith and its ethnic integrity for what? Microwave ovens and the ever-receding goal of forgiveness from the gods of political correctness?  It’s a depressing situation, a crime really, and one where the chief perpetrators will escape punishment.

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Ireland is about to discover that its life as the archetypal ethostate is incompatible with multiculturalism.  Ireland recently enacted a controversial anti-blasphemy law, which defines blasphemy as “publishing or uttering matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion, thereby intentionally causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion, with some defences permitted.”

OR

Ireland always had a blasphemy provision in its Constitution.  Until very recently, this was only presumed to protect Christian beliefs, but the provision was never defined by statute and fell into desuetude.  For murky reasons–perhaps fear of a Dutch cartoon scandal–Ireland recently defined blasphemy broadly in a revision of its defamation laws.  The neutrality of that law is not entirely surprising.  Since 1916, Ireland damaged its ethnic unity through a recent wave of immigration.  Ireland’s new residents, especially Muslims, are infamously touchy on matters religious.  Furthermore, the Irish, as a religious people who long labored under official persecution, are naturally inclined to respect the religious beliefs of others.  Finally, Ireland is under pressure from E.U. overseers to remain neutral and multiculturalist in all things.  This nihilistic crap about “everyone being right” is apparently the new defining ethos of Europe.

This new law will be impossible to apply in practice.  Here is the problem:  what Islam teaches–for example that Jesus is only a prophet–is blasphemy.  Jews teach that Jesus is not the Son of God, nor was He the Messiah; this too is blasphemy.  Muslims and Jews think that my Roman Catholic beliefs are blasphemy as measured against their own beliefs.  In other words, religion itself involves many competing, overlapping, and mutually exclusive claims to the truth, where the core tents of any one religion may reasonably be called blasphemy by another.

When different confessions must exist side by side one another, and one is not clearly the national majority religion, two things must happen.  These religions will cease to be vital defining aspects to those communities and their collective life, or those religions will be in endless conflict with one another.  The relegation of religion to a private matter is one of the hallmarks of the modern age, and it did bring about a certain peace (at the very least from religious wars) in those lands where it was embraced.  But in the process religion has become weak and irrelevant.  The Irish nation, formerly defined in many ways by its militant Catholicism, has apparently lost its way in the fog of liberalism in a way that it never did under Protestant persecution.

While some privileging of Catholicism would be wholly appropriate in Ireland, the liberal treatment of religion with legal silence would be preferable to the multiculturalist’s enforced respect of all religions under the rubric of “blasphemy.” In Ireland, I predict absurdities, such as prosecutions against the “blasphemies” inherent in the core doctrines of the Catholic religion.  Such a gesture will prove the sincerity and fairness of the Irish regime to the Eurocrats in Brussels, the nascent Muslim community, and other good multiculturalists.  A show trial against Catholics will ensure that the real religion of Europe today, that of liberal Indifferentism, will not be offended.

We can only hope such an absurdity, if it comes to past, will rouse the Irish from their slumber so that, once again, they can undertake the work of re-evangelizing Europe starting with their homeland.

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I received this book by Hilaire Belloc for Christmas and can’t recommend it enough.  Literally every page is packed full of a concise narrative history, insight into the development of Church doctrine and its dicontents, and Belloc imbues the whole story with unusually elegant writing and a real sense of drama.  I believe one of the best ways to understand Catholicism–or anything–is to understand precisely what it is not.  The Church developed most of its doctrines in detail as a response to different heresies.  For example, nearly every line of the Nicene Creed (promulgated at the Council of Nicea) is a response to some heresy or other, i.e., “God from God, Light from Light . . . begotten not made, one in being with the Father” is directed at Arianism, “one holy catholic and apostolic church” is aimed at Gnostics and other schismatics.

Belloc is one of the great turn-of-the-century Catholic writers, along with Ronald Knox and G.K. Chesterton.  Their times were much like our own, because the bacillus of modernism was already present, even if personal decency carried on through some inertia.  Much of what they had to say remains relevant and is, indeed, even more relevant than when it was written.

One of Belloc’s more important insights–especially for a book written in 1938–was that Islam was something of a sleeping giant, because it had clarity of ideas, sincerity, numbers, and only a temporary technological inferiority to the West.  Belloc suggested–quite fantastically given its present circumstances–that the Muslim world presented the most coherent and likely competitor to Western dominance, whether or not the home-grown heresy of Modernism and its arch-manifestation in Communism reduced Catholicism to a small minority sect.

He writes:

These things being so, the recrudescence of Islam, the possibility of that terror under which we lived for centuries reappearing, and of our civilization again fighting for its life against what was its chief enemy for a thousand years, seems fantastic. Who in the Mohammedan world today can manufacture and maintain the complicated instruments of modern war? Where is the political machinery whereby the religion of Islam can play an equal part in the modern world?

I say the suggestion that Islam may re-arise sounds fantastic but this is only because men are always powerfully affected by the immediate past: one might say that they are blinded by it.

Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today. The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines the very structure of our society is dissolving.

In the place of the old Christian enthusiasms of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism. But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Jewish Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.

In Islam there has been no such dissolution of ancestral doctrine or, at any rate, nothing corresponding to the universal break-up of religion in Europe. The whole spiritual strength of Islam is still present in the masses of Syria and Anatolia, of the East Asian mountains, of Arabia, Egypt and North Africa.

While liberals were horrified by 9/11, I don’t believe inherently doubtful liberals have the guts or the certitude needed to counter radical Islam.  Liberals will always buckle when tough choices–such as mass expulsion of corrosive foreign elements–must be made.  Without a Christian revival, Europe is likely lost to Islam, which is conquering Europe through mass immigration, while America has half a chance because the Christian religion is not completely destroyed here.

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I don’t have much to say about the Nigerian terrorist, other than this is what happens when you let Muslims into Western countries they hate.  It’s like night follows day:  some of them will be terrorists, some will get in touch with al Qaeda, some will be lone wolves, but once in a while, either way, they’ll be effective.  We were lucky here.  But this is not surprising.  It seems to happen every few months.

Now, in response, TSA has freaked out in its usual fashion, not by looking at who is on its planes, but instead promulgating various across-the-board and draconian restrictions on having any items on your lap and taking a crap in the last hour of a flight.  This is a prime example of how the false freedoms of multiculturalism and open borders undermine our traditional freedoms, including the freedom to use a laptop on a flight and not to be practically strip-searched every time you board a plane.

I am surprised the suspect was not a psychiatrist with the transferred post-traumatic stress of his patients!  I’m also surprised that Obama didn’t go out of his way to protect the reputation of the “Religion of Peace,” the way he did with Major Nidal Hasan.  Remember when Obama said we should not “jump to conclusions” in interpreting his “Allah Akbar” initiated shooting spree.  And remember in Cairo, when Obama said, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”  Oh well, even an instinctual leftist like Obama realizes when he’s gone too far and it’s time to beat a hasty retreat.  But when will the country realize we’ve gone too far in indulging the leftist and sentimental fantasy that we can let in Third Worlders, particularly Islamic Third Worlders, and remain a free country?

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We’re soon going to have the shooting in Fort Hood reduced to a question of individual psychology.  We’re supposed to conclude that it was the meaningless act of a madman.  Thus understood, it’s random, a senseless tragedy, and a story of a good soldier gone bad.  In fact, this treacherous assault on our servicemen by a traitor in their midst is anything but senseless.  It is perfectly understandable.  It’s non-random.  It’s an act of “meaningful” violence.  And the key to deciphering that meaning is in the name of the shooter:  Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

I’ve written about this deficit of analogical reasoning by the media and our politicians regarding Muslim-on-American violence before.  When the patterns involved are permitted to be observed and recognized, this act of treachery should not be the least bit surprising.   It’s natural and regularly occurring and logical considering the utter incompatibility of the soldier’s religious faith and the necessary loyalty of a soldier to a country that will not implement that faith’s aggressive political program.

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Andrew McCarthy does a very good job of teasing out the willfully blind assumptions about Islam that permeate General McChrystal’s Afghanistan strategy. While Obama’s push-back on this strategy is likely rooted in crude politial calculation and general weakness, conservatives should not assume the converse: that McChrystal’s nation-building and troop build-up counsel is an effective one. McChrystal’s biggest source of confusion is the same as Bush’s, a confusion about nationalism, Islam, and our capacity for addressing root causes.

McCarthy writes:

When McChrystal is not getting Islam hopelessly wrong, he makes the fatal error of ignoring it — a mistake that has characterized U.S. strategic thinking for at least two decades. Thus he asserts, for example, that “the insurgents have two primary objectives: controlling the Afghan people and breaking the coalition’s will” — as if there were no rationale (besides the unremarkable tyrannical impulse) for “the insurgents” to behave this way. But the Taliban and its allies want to control the Afghan people in order to reinstitute what they see as the purified Islam of Mohammed’s Companions. They are not just “insurgents,” they are jihadists who see themselves as pursuing a divine commandment to impose Allah’s law. In a great many cases, they are doing so in their own country, and with the support and respect of many of their countrymen.

So while McChrystal is correct that a majority of Afghans (especially those who practice more moderate strains of Sufi Islam) rejects the Taliban, a sizable minority sympathizes.

I agree completely, and I would add that the McChrystal/Bush/Surge approach is similar to the liberal, 1960s approach to crime. We were told, “We can’t just arrest criminals and throw them in jail, we have to end poverty first.” How’s that working out?

The mistake in the case of Aghanistan and the War on Poverty is to think that we can’t deal with a problem other than by addressing a root cause, or that it’s always more efficient to address root causes rather than treat symptoms. Sometimes it’s most efficient to treat symptoms and mollify effects, and this is the meaning of such earth-shatteringly simple ideas like locking up criminals to stop crime or wearing a seatbelt to avoid injury in a car wreck.

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It’s extremely worrisome that only eight years after 9/11, a Jordanian illegal immigrant and a relatively recent Afghan immigrant that looks like this are even in the country.  Equally worrisome is the problem posed by Caucasian, native-born converts to Islam such as the angry ex-prisoner arrested in Illinois.

There is no doubt these are bad people.  In a more self-confident society, they’d be interrogated, tried, and hanged within a month.  But I do wonder if the two arrests involving FBI informants that also functioned as co-conspirators is the best use of FBI resources, as was the case of the Illinois and Dallas arrests.  There are no doubt many hateful, anti-American Muslims within our borders.  But many are lifelong seethers and trash-talkers who lack the resources, brainpower, and discipline to actually harm anyone.  They’re as dangerous as “attempted murderers” who cast spells and poke voodoo dolls.

When the FBI builds and provides a bomb to someone like this, it may be propelling a person that is in practical terms a low threat into a resource-draining inmate.  I may be wrong; the wherewithal and ability of the accused may be higher.  It’s hard to tell from this vantage point.  But one notable facts suggests they were just angry losers:  in both Dallas and Illinois, the conspiracy and the provision of disarmed bombs involved the work of FBI agents and informants.  We also know the FBI and all government agencies are fairly risk adverse.  It’s not clear they would triage potential suspects based on likelihood of success.  Let me be clear that I am only concerned about this as a matter of resource allocation; there is certainly no injustice or standing to complain on the part of the would-be Muslim terrorists themselves.

On the other hand, the New York arrests of Zazi shows a much more worrisome situation, where the accused terrorist was buying bomb-making supplies independently. I am glad that he and his confederates have been found out, before they could maim and kill.  One wonders if we would have drawn lessons from their success.  The El Al Airlines massacre in Los Angeles, the DC Sniper (involving a convert and immigrant), and the shoe bomber plot have all gone down the memory hole, as has the Lackawama Six.   Foiled or failed efforts make little impression.  Even the 9/11 attacks have been converted into a saccharine tragedy and time for national service as opposed to a wake up call that certain bad people believing a certain religion hate out guts.

Have we all been so brainwashed to forget that America was able to have limos driven and food served and other menial jobs perforemd before Muslim immigration began in the last two or three decades.  It’s not like these are essential or particularly valuable residents.  Their continued presence is a sign of national weakness and paralysis brought on by multiculturalist liberalism.  No one thought, for example, that commitment to American values required large scale Japanese and German immigration during World War II.  We knew then that saboteurs and double agents would exist in any such groups and that the risk of disloyalty and danger to national security was simply too high, even if some–perhaps a majority–of those coming would be peace-loving and loyal folks who did not like and did not fit in with the authoritarian regimes they were fleeing.

These arrests all reveal something missing from our strategic approach to terrorism.  We continue to ignore the “formal cause” of Islamic Terrorism which is a belief in Islam.  And recognizing this would make it plain that we need to (a) close our borders to Muslims, (b) remove all Muslims we can legally remove now, such as non-citizens, and (c) limit proselytizing activities of Muslims in American prisons, the military, and anywhere else where these groups can be limited  But it’s simply anathema to the liberalism and the ersatz spirituality of guys like Bush and Obama to consider that the very content of someone else’s religion might be the problem and that the Muslim terrorists might be those who understand and act upon that religion in the most sincere way.

Concerned and looking for answers, I read a lot about Islam after 9/11. Like modern Christianity, it is a varied thing with various viewpoints. But some of those viewpoints are more persuasive, rooted in the text, and made with logical and historical rigor.  I concluded the terrorists and extremists were acting on the basis of an understanding of Islam that rang the most true, that seemed to manifest its historical and textual spirit most sincerely.  All of this is another way of saying that the best Muslims are the worst people, and our only hope for decency among them is the extent to which they disregard or modify their religion’s teachings.

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