December 19, 2006
December 19, 2006
Vanderleun has a terrific, provocative- and disturbing post, Toying With Genocide.
He starts by taking a close look at how both the left and right see Islam. The Left are “worrying if THEY have enough to eat, enough to wear, enough respect, enough, in short, of the love THEY deserve for not killing US today” (see Dr Sanity for Leftist Freudian slips and other expressions of psychosis) and the Conservatives are concerned about what “THEY will do to US” if we aren’t very, very careful and selective about which of THEM we capture or kill while WE seek to give THEM the “gifts” of freedom and democracy.”
The post goes on to describe the events that have in the past, preceded genocide. Vanderleun is setting the stage.
One of the most difficult groups to assimilate into a society is one that draws its core identity from an inflexible religion. This is not to say that Islam in incapable of reformation, only that it has a solid track record of killing its Luthers as soon as it sees them. Still, past performance is no guarantee of future results so there is still, for now, a glimmer of hope. Especially in America where one of our core myths is that, like the Borg, we can assimilate anybody. Right? Right.
Much is made of the ability of the United States to assimilate all manner of national, racial, religious cultures and characteristics into itself and grow stronger. The eagle on the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States holds the banner “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One) unfurled in its beak. But the process of this assimilation in the past has never been an easy one as the Irish, the Italians, and the African Americans, among many others, have learned. Still, over time measured in generations, the process has always succeeded. It has succeeded to such an extent that the American left now makes a fetish of dis-assimilation, code-named “diversity.” Indeed, the reveling in diversity is not so much a fetish as it is a hobby. Americans indulge it, albeit with continued carping, because we can afford it. We have that much money and that much spare time. For now.
Vanderleun’s description of European attitudes toward Muslims is as clear- and accurate as has ever been written. Europe is that land of Oz,
…where xenophobia is a tradition and recurrent racism a hobby; where the expectation of immigrants was, from the start, that they would come in, do a bunch of scut work, and leave the rest of Europe to the Europeans. After all, the deeper thought goes, you can’t really expect a Muslim from Morocco to every be a “a real Frenchman,” “a real Italian,” “a real German,” or a “real Englishman.”
The inner fixations on race and origin are much more firmly held in Europe than in the US. Regardless of the talk about assimilation heard widely in Brussells and the traditional capitols of Europe, the fact remains that for many decades everyone that was staunchly European was quite content to let “their” Muslims live apart. Now, with the advent of the rising birthrate and violence emerging from the various Muslim ghettos in all the major and most of the minor cities, Europe is starting to re-examine their “Muslim problem” in search of a solution.
And Europe, right up to the war now on simmer in the Balkans, has a distressing habit of coming up with solutions that are all too final. Groups within Europe that do not fit into Europe, that dwell in ghettos and keep to their own language separate from the larger society, are often expelled or excised. In a way, although Germany took the point, the Holocaust was Europe’s way of getting it’s Jews to leave. Where to? At the time it didn’t matter, just so long as they were — in one way or another — gone. Gone to Israel. Gone down under the ground. Gone up in smoke. It didn’t matter as long as the Jews got gone, did it? France and Poland were happy to play. Russia? It was right there all along and continued the work after the fall of Berlin right up until… well, it really isn’t over, is it?
It is very au courrant today to equate Muslims in Europe with prewar Jews (Muslims desperately need to be helpless victims), as if somehow, history was repeating itself clearly and unmistakably. Of course, it isn’t that simple, or accurate a description. Prewar Jews in prewar Europe were very different than Muslims in Europe today.
Most Jews in much of prewar western Europe were already assimilated into their respective communities. They were professionals, business owners, taxpayers and like Jews everywhere, had made their mark and contributions in education, science, the arts, business and politics.
It is also true that there were millions of Jews in Eastern Europe that kept themselves apart, that strictly followed their faith, and asked only that they be left alone. They were not unlike the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch in the United States. While they keopt themselves apart, they wanted to maintain good relations with their non Jewish neighbors.
There are differences between prewar Jews and European Muslims of today. Prewar European Jews were not dependent on the state for never ending support or cradle to grave social welfare benefits. Further, prewar Jews that had inhabited Europe for a thousand years, were not armed, were not violent and they did not use the threat of violence to intimidate their neighbors.
To equate the predicament of European Muslims today to prewar Jews is to wholly misunderstand and misrepresent current European realities. Prewar Jews wanted to be invisible or to contribute, however they chose. They wanted no more than to be a part of the landscape. Muslims in Europe today want to be a powerful influence that dominates European society- not by virtue of their contributions (as was the case with the Jews), but by virtue of their existence alone.
Be that as it may, it was ‘enlightened’ Europeans that perpetrated the Holocaust, or turned a blind eye as the horrors unfolded. As Vanderleun righly notes, Europe today desperately wants to avoid ‘Holocaust 2.0.‘ In the next breath, Vandeurleun also talks about Muslim reform and how we are attempting, with a still voice, to “Talk Islam out of its current obsessions and madness.“
I would submit that this approach to war against Islam is clearly one driven by the current policies of the West that aims to, essentially, talk Islam out of its current obsessions and madness. It is the very small stick wielded alongside our softly spoken words of “democracy,” “freedom,” and “prosperity.” In a way, the West’s manner of war with Islam at present is essentially a kind of tough love: “Please learn to control your acting out. Please learn play well with others, or we’re going to have to give you a time out.”
Put somewhat baldly, the argument within the West on what to do with Islam is now between those who believe it should not be spanked at all but have its self-esteem boosted, and those who think that a small spanking now followed by the hot fudge sundae of freedom will result in acceptable behavior.
Either could be right, but if both are wrong the next level of discipline is typically expulsion. And by “expulsion” I do not mean that Islam will simply be sent to its room.
A second series of attacks on America at the level of 9/11 or greater will not bring out more B-52s. They are already out. A second series will bring out the one arm of America’s war machine that has rarely been asked about, written about, or even mentioned in passing since September, 2001; the ballistic missile submarines.
The big stick. The very big stick.
Vanderleun is right about many things- he usually is spot on. That said, there are other factors that come into play when discussing Islam and the west.
We are attempting to ‘engage’ Muslims (and ourselves) in a conversation about plurality, religious tolerance, respect and coexistence- as if that were the secret to successful free and democratic societies. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.
Free and democratic societies are not built upon particular ‘groupthink’ or ‘grouphug’ ideologies. Free and democratic societies are predicated on the truth that there are no ‘groupthink’ or ‘grouphug’ ideologies.
We have said before that we do not need to assure Muslims that we are caring of their beliefs or sensibilities. We will not bestow a status upon Islam that we do not bestow upon other religions or faiths. In a free and democratic society, Muslims are not special and are not deserving of special status.
In a free society, we do not care about your beliefs. We care about your actions and behaviors. History has taught us that when some beliefs are given preference over others, by virtue of political ideology or religious inclination, the blood of innocents freely flows. It really is that simple.
Muslims are free to integrate and assimilate into free societies in whole or in part. We make no demands one way or the other, nor do we care. We are not obligated to care about some beliefs and concerns above all else and above the beliefs upon which a free society is built.
In a free society, faith is a private matter, between the believer and God. Christians, Jews, Muslims or Buddhists are free to worship as they believe. Free nations have long understood that all religion flourishes when it is understood that what you believe and how you believe, is not relevant to a peaceful, prosperous and meaningful existence.
What is relevant to a free society is how citizens behave. We expect citizens to be good neighbors. We expect citizens to be honest in business. We expect all citizens to follow the law and we expect citizens to understand that there are no exceptions. If some citizens are offended by what they see or hear, they are free to change the TV channel or radio station. You are free to cancel newspaper subscriptions and you are free to write letters to the editor.
Muslims is Europe or elsewhere are not free to react violently or to threaten those with they take issue. Western democracies are just that- free societies. The laws of the jungle are not applicable. If they did, the first displays of violence or barbaric behavior would have been dealth with very differently.
In a free society, dissent is a right, of course. It is however, also a privilege contained in the same way a painting is contained in a frame. You can paint the canvas of dissent as you please, as long as you stay within the borders of what is deemed acceptable behavior- that is, behavior that is non violent or destructive.
It is also true that we are free to ignore Muslim protests or disagree with those expressions. Those rights that are firmly embedded in a free society and there is absolutely nothing that will change that. Protests are are not a mandate of recognition or credibility.
For many Muslims, these concepts are difficult to grasp. They come from societies and cultures where they are part of a majority- and that culture and society routinely persecutes minorities and awards privileges to those who are part of that majority (that is why most Kurds are pro democracy and pro America. They have been persecuted for generations and treated as second class citizens. They understand that ‘freedom’ isn’t just for a select few).
If, when and how Islam reforms itself is for Muslims to decide. We cannot demand or dictate the tenets of any faith. That said, we can and will demand that Muslims, like everyone else in a free society, comport themselves in a way that is compatible with our beliefs.
In French Riots And An American Diner, we noted that
‘Melting’ into the melange that is America is optional, and always has been. In fact, there are communities that integrate fully and their are others that choose to integrate partially. It is not a zero sum game. There are Hindus and Hasidic Jews that have been here for generations and they retain as much or as little ethnic identity as they desire… The Amish…keep themselves apart by choice… but they too are clearly a part of the American landscape…
American minorities are integrated into the social fabric of the country because there is an interdependence with society at large.
That interdependence is predicated on the reality that we are all of equal worth. What we contribute is more important that what we believe. Our value is predicated on our behavior, not on our existence.
The Anchoress noted a truth not often realized:
We live none of us to ourselves, and everything we do, even if we are not “thinking” about it, not acting consciously, has a ripple effect, it reaches out and touches other lives, sometimes imperceptibly. Nature uses everything…We think we’re going along in our own little spheres and that nothing we do matters…for good, or for evil…but it all matters…
In fact, nothing is forgotten and nothing is inconsequential. How we behave in a free society determines the quality of our society.
We cannot presume to tell Muslims what they should or should not believe. We can however, demand a code of conduct that is civilized and that conforms with the values of a free society. The ball is in their court. They alone will determine their future in nations that are democracies.
Western democracies and their nuclear missiles, will not fall to radical Islam.