Against Islam, the ideological gloves must come off

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 08.56.04For the moment, writes Dalrymple,

it will have to be accepted as a regrettable fact that there are substantial numbers of young people in European countries susceptible to the siren song of idiot Islamism.

Obviously,

there must be properly directed surveillance of susceptible types.

But

surveillance will never be enough: criticism of Islam itself must be free and unconstrained and relentless. For example, in the very small town in France near which I live some of the time, there was a demonstration against terrorism. The small and generally well-integrated population of Maghrebis there was conspicuous by its absence. Of course, citizens are free to demonstrate or not demonstrate; but it is at least possible that some of the young Maghrebis did not demonstrate because of fear of denunciation, of accusations of apostasy.

Mohammedans

live in fear of one another more than in fear of others, at least in the modern world, and this is because of a fundamental incompatibility of Islam with the modern world.

The accusation of apostasy in Islam is

potentially fatal to the accused. So long as this is so, so long as Muslims fear to adopt another religion or publicly proclaim their atheism or detestation of Mohammed and Islam, intellectually justified or not, the religion is incompatible with our notions of what our polity should be.

The prevalent

insincere (and cowardly) homage to Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance

must cease. No religion

that makes apostasy a punishable crime is tolerant. On the contrary, it more resembles a criminal conspiracy, at least when the punishment is severe. This is so no matter what proportion of Muslims are decent people (the people of Egypt, for example, have often struck me as among the most charming and hospitable in the world, as did the Syrians in the good old days of uncontested secular dictatorship), or how troubling or hurtful they find the thought.

Aux armes, citoyens! And let your arms, says Dalrymple,

be intellectual ones as well as a good intelligence service.

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