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For decades now we have been importing war. The massive immigration of Muslims into western countries – began with the aftermath of the Algerian war in France and with the opening of West Germany to hundreds of thousands of Turkish gastarbeiter, “guest-workers” whose grandchildren are there still – has inevitably brought to the West the native pathologies of Muslim societies, that is, the tendency to assert themselves by violence and the disregard of any law that is not Sharia – or rather, their interpretation of Sharia.

It does not matter, from that point of view, whether or not the majority of Muslims is peaceful or respects the law. No doubt they do. But the same may be said of their correligionaries in their countries of origin, and yet all those countries suffer from the same pathologies, unless they are repressed by force. I can personally testify what a pleasure it is to work with one particular Egyptian client – pleasant and warm in manner, accurate in all they do, paying on the dot, and as upright as a flagpole. Yet we have seen that Egypt as a country has only two choices – military oppression, or religious savagery; and that the people themselves have eventually preferred oppression to letting their own large religious minority loose on the country.

I do not have to show why or how that is; it is sufficient to remark that it is so – and it is certainly so. Muslim countries are affected by civil violence on a scale unknown to pretty much any other civilization, and are correspondingly backward in all that we regard as advanced civilization – from health care to industrial prosperity; since all those things depend on a stable and decently non-violent state of society.

We have pretty much ignored the rising local symptoms of this pathology in our own countries, because, in effect, what can a few lunatics with knives do to a society whose defence is in RPGs, armoured vests, machine guns, rocketry, aircraft and aircraft carriers? Muslim violence, even where it prevailed, has always been treated as a public order problem. But now we no longer have that luxury. Terrorists no longer come with home-made explosives and handguns bought on the local black market. Because of the existence of vast war zones where armies meet with armies, each armed with modern weapons and increasingly learning military tactics, Mumbai first, and Paris now, have met with terrorists who moved and fought like trained commandos.

Some people like to say that this is the West's own fault; but that is nonsense. I was totally against the idiotic support for the so-called Arab Spring, that put Egypt, the largest Arab country, into deadly danger, and turned Libya and Syria into militarized wildernesses; and I have the blog posts to prove it. I said four or more years ago that the so-called Arab Spring in Syria was nothing but a Sunni insurrection – whatever few deluded secularists and democrats may have tried to join or direct it – and I gave my reasons to think so; and facts proved me right. But the fact is that long before the folly of Cameron, Obama and Hollande, before even Bush II's misconceived invasion of Iraq, events in the Muslim world were moving in that direction. The first state in the Muslim world to collapse into a welter of warlords and religious militias was Somalia, and that was long before Bush II came to power. Then there was the matter of Chechenia, and while the Russians may be blamed for that, Chechenia's hopeless jihad against the Bear was entirely the result of internal pressures. Certainly the Russians cannot be said to have encouraged the rebel factions against themselves, as the West insanely did in Syria and in Libya.

In effect, the Muslim world has been drifting towards civil war for at least a quarter of a century. Libya, Syria, Iraq, are latecomers to the party; and the forces that tore them apart had been sharpening their claws in Somalia and in Nigeria, in the Caucasus, in Afghanistan, in Bosnia, and – so far as anyone is allowed to know – even in Chinese Turkestan, in spite of the immense military and police apparatus that faced them there. Veterans of each jihad move to each new battlefield; we hear of Chechens, Uighurs, Iraqis, Libyans. In effect, a manifold insurrection has been brewing in all sorts of places, few of which we even got to hear from – who apart from me has ever paid any attention to the jihad in the Central African Republic?

And as we had little or no real part in the genesis of this war, so we have no real choice in whether to fight it. Nobody is going to like it. The Anglo-American expeditions to Iraq and to Afghanistan nearly tore apart both countries and the whole western alliance from the inside: the idea of having to face jihad now as it dominates the Fertile Crescent and Libya, let alone everywhere else in Asia and Africa, is so unimaginable that few people or nobody even dare speak of it. And yet the so-called Islamic State is an immediate and deadly threat, it not to our territorial integrity, then at least to our internal peace. The underground railway of volunteers, fed by the treacherous Turkish government of Recip Erdogan, is by now bringing not dozens but hundreds of Muslim volunteers from all European countries to the front line, where they are trained not even, as iin the Afghan and Pakistani terrorist camps of the recent past, in explosives handling and suicide bombing, but in modern warfare. When they come back, which they regularly do, they have become not just a public order threat, but a military one. We have no choice. The war has come to us at last, decades after we began to import it, and we will be made to fight it whether we want to or not.

And let us not delude ourselves that the mere repression of the Islamic State – which would be well into the power of European countries even without American support, if only they wanted to – will be enough. This war moves like a mole to any of a dozen possible frontlines, and once the European extremists have learned how to reach them, they will reach them. Sooner or later, our troops will be back in Afghanistan – possibly in the company of Chinese divisions – as well as in Nigeria, in Central Africa, in Somalia. This is the logic of events.
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...reference for the statement that birth rates in Iran and Algeria are falling towards negative level. Only I can't remember who it was. Well, here is a report: http://www.prcdc.org/files/Fertility_Decline_Muslim.pdf
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Four years ago, the government of the French Republic took the lead in refusing to support the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. The French, who had taken a very active and successful part in the first Iraq war, simply did not think that an invasion followed by the occupation of an Arab country was a good idea. That was their prerogative (see under "sovereign state").

(My position was that I loathed Saddam Hussein so much that anyone who wanted to drive him out was fine by me. I would even have supported an Iranian invasion. But I would not have started to insult people who disagreed.)

The idiot part of the American right suddenly made France the bout of all their hatred. Someone spotted a market opportunity, as Americans do (the French do that as well, but when the French do it, that's evil!) and prostituted a certain amount of historical knowledge in the search for a quick buck, producing some sort of tract which rewrote history with the claim that "France have always been our enemy, but they have concealed it under a pretence of friendship".

I would dismiss this intellectually contemptible and factually fraudulent thesis in as many words, and not even bother about it, were it not that one of the finest minds in my f-list seems to have been taken in by it. As it is, I want to ask how you imagine you can trace a consistent attitude of hatred, and what is more, of subtly disguised hatred, in a nation that has, since the foundation of the United States, experienced three royalist constitutions, five republican ones, two bonapartist ones, and one fascist tyranny, and completely boxed the compass in terms of attitudes, views, and alliances. This is the kind of things that rabid anti-Semites postulate about Jews - attitudes consistent across the centuries, constant vicious subtlety in carrying them out, hatred fertile in invention but completely barren of reason. The French ought to be proud: they have been promoted to the rank of Chosen People, next to that other target of unreasoning, blind, stupid, despicable hatred. In case anyone had any doubts, I regard Jew-bashing as a stain on the face of mankind.

No doubt the prostitute or prostitutes who set out on this bit of free enterprise got out of it what they wanted - money, admiting letters from ignorami and fanatics, and the odd spot on TV talk shows; rewards that serious historians get rather less often. But as we are still free people here, I want to use my own freedom of expression, rather less despicably than the prostitute or prostitutes concerned: first, by calling whoredom by its proper name; and second, by stating clearly that there shall be no pity here for such views. The historical slag or slags who sold their integrity for popular success will not be treated as anything but filth, and anyone who takes them seriously is warned that I will do what is in my power to restore them to sanity.
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From AFP via Breitbart come these peculiar quotes from Iranian newspapers
"The reality is that if we do not consider Pope Benedict XVI to be ignorant of Islam, then his remarks against Islam are a dictat that the Zionists and the Americans have written (for him) and have submitted to him."

"The American and the Zionist aim is to undermine the glorious triumph of Islam's children of Lebanese Hezbollah, which annulled the undefeatable legend of the Israeli army and foiled the Satanic and colonialist American plot," it said.

Fellow hardline daily Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there were signs of Israeli inteference aimed at creating conflict between Islam and Christianity.

"There are many signs that show that Pope Benedict XVI's remarks regarding the great prophet of Islam are a link in a connected chain of a Zionist-American project," it said.

"The project, which was created and executed by the Zionist minority, aims at creating confrontation between the followers of the two great divine religions."
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A year or more back, a meme asked me in which period I would rather have been born in.Read more... )

To Kikei

Mar. 20th, 2006 10:43 pm
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The way to silence me on a matter of principle - or, at least, to come close - is not, as a few people have found out before now, to threaten or insult or cyber-mob me. These things work on me by the law of contraries. But if someone I really care for asks me to moderate or abandon my position, because it is painful for her (or him), I will find it very hard not to do so. Gentleness does for me what threats never will: it is very hard for me to look in the eye of a friend and tell them - you are wrong, you are even disastrously wrong, and I am under an obligation to everything that is true and beautiful to oppose you. Which is why I have taken two days to even drop this little note in response to your answer to my last post. I have no time to answer it in depth, as I am late with a RL job. I will in the near future, I hope; and to clarify my position, I will give my view as a historian and a non-Muslim of Muhammad's place in history, and of the religion he founded.
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Yes, we are fortunate. Like the great men of a time we thought we might never see again, we have our chance to defend freedom.Read more... )
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1 - from the national Malay news agency Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU, Feb. 13 -- Muslims in the country, especially lovers, have been advised not to celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow.
State Islam Hadhari Development Committee Deputy Chairman, Muhammad Ramli Nuh said celebrating the Day could be regarded as recognising the enemies of Islam because Valentine or Valentinus took part in planning and attacking Cordoba, once a well-known centre of Islam in Spain, causing its downfall....

Muhammad Ramli said although not many couples celebrate Valentine's Day in the state, the state government wished to remind that the celebration should not be held including in hotels.

2 - St.Valentinus of Interamna (modern Terni, Italy) was, according to his legend, executed by the Emperor Claudius II for insisting in marrying young soldiers against a direct Imperial order. That is why this martyr, commonly confused with the priest St.Valentinus of Rome, is regarded as the patron saint of engaged couples.

3 - Claudius II ruled from 268 to 270AD. Cordoba fell to the Christian king Ferdinand III of Castile in 1236. I have not been able to find any Valentine around him, and I do not believe that the name was in use in Castile at the time. Draw your own conclusions.
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When I posted about the Muhammad cartoon controversy, I did not realize that it was becoming a worldwide affair. Read more... )
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There used to be a nasty little joke going around about the more prejudiced sections of the English public: "Heard the last about (whatever war was going on at the time)? Italy has surrendered just in case." I do not seem to hear it any more; probably because people have learned better than to say it in my presence.

However, yesterday, it happened for real. Only it did not happen in Italy. It happened in Norway.

A few months ago, a Danish writer looking for an illustrator for a book on the life of Mohammed met with a problem: three professional illustrators in succession turned him down cold. The reason? They were afraid for their lives. Apparently word had got around the Danish artistic community that anyone who dared draw a likeness of the Prophet was liable to be murdered by some of his more committed followers.

A conservative news magazine called Jyllands-Posten heard the story and was furious. At its appeal, twelve cartoonists sprang forward and presented their own ideas of a likeness of Islam's founder. And the trouble began.

Denmark, like every other country in western Europe, has a Muslim minority, which, like all Muslim minorities, tends to overrate both its rights and its power. (The largest immigrant minority in Italy, for instance, in spite of our closeness to the Muslims world, is not Islam but the Eastern Orthodox churches.) Some violence, and a great many threats of violence, took place. Jyllands-Posten stood firm, stating in curt and admirably civilized words its own right of self-expression. The government was called upon to do something, and the Danish Prime Minister gave the dignified and courageous answer that the right to give orders to the Press is a right that a democratic head of government neither has nor wishes to have.

Muslim anger grew. How DARED this tiny little infidel country claim the right to draw pictures of the Prophet if they wished? That was an assault upon all the Muslims of the world! The nastiest kind of political fishermen started plunging hooks and sinkers in very muddy waters; and as the twelve original cartoons might not have been deemed outrageous enough (in fact, most of them were nothing more than drawings of conventional bearded Arabs in white clothes, only a minority being even humorous, let alone insulting), three more, truly outrageous ones, sprung up from nowhere, to whip the fanatical masses of the Muslim world into further fury. People who had never heard of Denmark in their lives were mustered in the streets to scream their hatred at the peaceful little country. The UN performed its usual blame-Abel-and-praise-Cain act. A boycott of Danish produce was called, and the Danish business community grew uneasy, begging the government to forget all this nonsense about dignity and freedom of expression - there were serious issues at stake here - money! (Thus the capitalists fulfilled once again their vocation of cowards, quislings and traitors at every time and in every country.)

(The episode of the three apocryphal cartoons I find particularly significant; not only because it is evidence of the deceit and propaganda on which Islamistic politics live, but also because it may have some psychological relevance. For a Muslim, consciously, the notion of drawing the Prophet in a truly vile and revolting guise would be something of the ultimate horror, even of suicide. And yet, one has to wonder whether the people who secretly produced these obscenities were not only fulfilling their propaganda duties, but letting loose those elements of inner revolt and suppression which are also visible in their incredibly short fuse and ease of hatred and violence.)

The Danish government, in spite of the occasional meaningless courtesy, did not give in. They behaved, in all and for all, as I would wish any free country's leadership to act. And then, yesterday, the Norwegian government, which had nothing to do with the affair at all, published this obscenity:

I am sorry that the publication of a few cartoons in the Norwegian paper Magazinet has caused unrest among Muslims. I fully understand that these drawings are seen to give offence by Muslims worldwide. Islam is a spiritual reference point for a large part of the world. Your faith has the right to be respected by us.
The cartoons in the Christian paper Magazinet are not constructive in building the bridges which are necessary between people with different religious and ethnic backgrounds. Instead they contribute to suspicion and unnecessary conflict.

Let it be clear that the Norwegian government condemns every expression or act which expresses contempt for people on the basis of their religion or ethnic origin. Norway has always supported the fight of the UN against religious intolerance and racism, and believes that this fight is important in order to avoid suspicion and conflict. Tolerance, mutual respect and dialogue are the basis values of Norwegian society and of our foreign policy.

Freedom of expression is one of the pillars of Norwegian society. This includes tolerance for opinions that not everyone shares. At the same time our laws and our international obligations enforce restrictions for incitement to hatred or hateful expressions.

To compare this kind of vileness to Vidkun Quisling is to do the most famous of all collaborators an injustice. Quisling was never abject before his Nazi masters, and did not try to make "freedom of expression" mean the opposite of what it does. The current Norwegian government is abject with a depth and thoroughness hitherto unknown in Europe.

Two of my online friends are a Norwegian and a Muslim. They are both very dear to me. I regret having to publish this, and I have been silent both about the trash that now "govern" Norway, and about my view of Islam, in order not to give pain. But there are times when to be silent is to fail in your duty, and this seems to me one of those.

I ask everyone who reads this to reprint it in their LJ or place a link.
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Hamas' victory is a disaster. In spite of all the hopeful chatter we keep hearing from all sides, it shows that the majority of Palestinians want peace like they want a third nostril. Added to Iran's greed for the atom bomb, it throws a very, very dark shadow across the near future.
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I think that the future of the whole world depends on two monstrous gambles, in which most of us are concerned. One is to do with Islam: the effort to tame the rebellious and Titanic spirit of this religion by continued acquaintance and collaboration with a world that now includes not only the West but also the Far East and India. The other is the Chinese leadership's gamble that they can keep the colossal Chinese rate of economic growth going for another generation, absorbing the immense mass of unemployed in new businesses (the unemployed in China are estimated to be anything up to fifty or a hundred million) and stabilize the Chinese state on the income from taxation. If that fails, China might collapse into another of its civil wars, which are historically her reaction to change; but a civil war in a country of 1.4billion and with the atom bomb simply does not bear thinking about.

(That is why I was alarmed by [profile] bufo_viridis' offhand reference to the likelihood of China invading and taking over Taiwan by force. This would be a disastrous step; even supposing for a second that the US and Japan would not become involved in such a war, Taiwan is a virtually independent country that is one of the world's top ten economies. Its investments abroad, and foreign investments in it, are enormous. Its sudden destruction in a surely bloody and expensive war - Taiwan is armed to the teeth, as far as its small size allows it to be - would be a worldwide economic disaster; and China itself would suffer as much as anyone. The after-effects might be just as bad, if China's export markets suddenly start feeling mistrust towards it. Altogether, I can imagine no foreign-policy development more likely to stop the great Chinese growth in its tracks and endanger the great Chinese gamble.)
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I thought that the article here enclosed was so good that I would like my friends and readers to have a look at it. Of course, if you don't feel as I do, sorry for wasting your time.
Read more... )


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