Category Archives: Jyllands-Posten cartoons crisis

Islam: global force for a new totalitarianism

Emblem of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Emblem of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Dalrymple wonders whether Islam is

an intrinsically totalitarian religion.

It is worth remembering, he says,

how few of us gave any attention to it as a serious political force only twenty years ago.

He suspects that

the downfall of the Soviet Union and the consequent destruction of the possibility of socialistic nationalism as a means for poor or desperate countries (poverty and desperation not being the same thing) to escape their predicament, stimulated the rise of Islam to the position of latest utopian pretender.

There had been Islamists before the downfall of the Soviet Union,

but they offered only one bogus solution among other bogus solutions. After the downfall, Islam had the field to itself, apart from liberal democracy, which is inherently messy and unsatisfying for the lazy and impatient.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 08.03.02Islamism, Dalrymple points out,

is a real threat, made far worse by the cowardly response to it by most Western governments, including that of the United States.

Take the Danish cartoon crisis, which, Dalrymple notes, was highly

significant for our civilisation and way of life in the long run. There the British and American governments failed the test miserably; de facto, they gave aid and succour to the Islamists.

As for the neo-atheists, they are right to see the threat of theocracy in Islamism, but

in attacking all religion, they are like the French government which banned not only the wearing of the headscarf in schools, but the wearing of all religious insignia, despite the fact that wearing a Star of David or a crucifix has and had a completely different social signification from wearing a headscarf. In the name of non-discrimination, the French government failed to discriminate properly: and proper discrimination is practically the whole business of life. If there were large numbers of Christians or Jews who were in favour of establishing a theocracy in France, who had a recent record of terrorism, and who terrorised each other into the wearing of crucifixes and Stars of David, then the banning of those insignia would have been justified too.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 08.06.20The wearing of the headscarf should be permitted again

when Islam has become merely one personal confession among others, without the political significance that it has now.

In attacking all religion so indiscriminately, the atheist authors are

strengthening the hand of the Islamists. In arguing that for parents to bring up a child in any religious tradition, even the mildest of Anglicanism, is to abuse a child, with the corollary that the law should forbid it, they are giving ammunition to the Islamists, who will be able with justice to say to their fellow-religionists, ‘See, it is all or nothing. If you give the secularists an inch, they will take a mile. No compromise with secularism is possible, therefore; cleave unto us.’

To suggest

that all forms of religion are equal, that they are all murderous and dangerous, is not to serve the cause of freedom and tolerance. It is to play into the hands of the very people we should most detest; it is to hand them the rhetorical tools with which they can tell the gullible that our freedoms are not genuine and that our tolerance is a masquerade. It is to do what I should previously have thought was impossible, namely in this respect to put them in the right.

All the qualities of Neville Chamberlain except his fundamental decency

Dalrymple on Jack Straw, denouncer of the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons

Dalrymple on Jack Straw, denouncer of the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons

Islamic vice advanced by Western gutlessness

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 07.45.02The problem, writes Dalrymple,

lies at least as much with us as with them. By our cowardice, often inadvertently, we support and encourage Islamism. There are many stories of Christmas decorations being taken down, no reference to Christmas being made in case it should offend, etc., when no demand from the Muslim population that these things should be done has been made. It is an anticipatory cringe that encourages the extremists to push a little harder at what they think is a half-open door.

A fine US example of this genre, he notes, is the bowdlerisation of Yale University Press’s book on the Jyllands-Posten Mahomed cartoons affair.

Many Islamist terrorists, Dalrymple points out, have gone through a libertine phase. Muslim men in the West very often immerse themselves in libertinism, but if at all reflective, may come to discover that

libertinism is not the answer to life’s dissatisfactions, and will then find a ready-made utopian ideology at hand, one which emerges from their own background and is therefore a source of pride to them.

A man with all the qualities of Neville Chamberlain except his fundamental decency

Dalrymple on Jack Straw, denouncer of the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons

‘£5,000 a day, that’s what I charge’: Dalrymple on Jack Straw, denouncer of the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed cartoons.

New-look Little Mermaid (warning: satanic content)

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 20.02.51Dalrymple chuckles at the cartoon pictured right, which is from Le Canard enchaîné. He notes that the verb relouquer

brings to mind reluquer, which means to ogle — doubtless a play on words.

He also likes the ‘Mahomet overwhelmed by the fundamentalists’ cover of Charlie Hebdo (‘It’s hard sometimes, being loved by these cretins’).

From the outset of the Danish cartoons crisis, Dalrymple points out, the French

have vigorously defended the right of free expression, unlike the British and Americans, whose pretence that they ‘understand’ Muslim outrage has fooled no one and given the fanatics the (correct) impression of weakness and lack of conviction — and thus encouraged them.

Le Canard enchaîné and Charlie Hebdo have

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 19.44.37with Voltairean aplomb published a series of cartoons mocking the Islamists and their beliefs as they deserve, with a courage and frankness almost entirely missing from the British and American media. They have inflicted a humiliation on the Islamists, in the best possible way, by exposing their intellectual nullity to withering scorn.

Moreover,

no one can accuse the two papers of racism, xenophobia, or any of the other crimes of lèse-PC, since they criticise and mock everyone (who deserves it) without fear or favour.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 20.40.44The French emerge

as far stauncher and more fearless and unapologetic defenders of freedom than the Americans or the British. They have stuck to an important principle without calculation of immediate interest or even short-term consequences.

The French

find the equivocations of the Anglo-Saxons strange, spineless, and reprehensible, and in this instance they are absolutely right.

(2006)

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 20.39.47

Praise for Libération and the Guardian

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 22.17.25The Financial Times disgraced itself, but other European newspapers’ response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings has been admirable, Dalrymple writes.

Libération has bravely given the magazine space in its office; the next edition of Charlie Hebdo will print 1m copies, 25 times its normal run. And in Britain, the Guardian has announced a donation of £100,000 to Charlie Hebdo.

The actions of Libération and the Guardian stand, Dalrymple points out,

in marked contrast to the pusillanimity displayed by George W. Bush during the Danish cartoon crisis of 2006, and by Barack Obama in 2012, when he criticized Charlie Hebdo for being offensive to Muslim sentiment.