Category Archives: Mohammedanism

Het Molenbeekprobleem

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 18.58.41Dalrymple schrijft:

We zaten op onze vlucht naar Parijs te wachten toen de annulatie van de volgende vlucht naar Brussel werd omgeroepen. Geruchten deden snel de ronde, maar de werkelijkheid bleek erger te zijn dan iemand verwachtte. Enkele uren later reden we in een taxi weg van de luchthaven Charles De Gaulle. Een radiozender wist te vertellen dat er twintig doden waren, een andere beweerde vierendertig. Eén van de zenders kondigde aan dat die avond de Eifeltoren in de Belgische kleuren zou worden verlicht. Wellicht zal er een tijdje een moratorium liggen op de Belgenmoppen in Frankrijk. Het gevoel van solidariteit is oprecht. Het is dan ook nog maar vijf maanden sinds de gruwelijkheden in Parijs.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 18.59.33Onze chauffeur was een moslim van Noord-Afrikaanse origine. Hij was duidelijk een integere man, welwillend en eerlijk. De chauffeur was woedend op Uber, dat zijn inkomen halveerde. Wat de abstracte economische argumenten ook zijn in deze zaak, het was moeilijk om geen sympathie op te brengen voor deze man. Maar het waren de terroristen die hem meer bezighielden. ‘Het zijn allemaal criminelen’, zei hij. ‘Ze hebben allemaal in de gevangenis gezeten.’ Hij sprak geëmotioneerd. ‘Het zijn mensensmokkelaars, bandieten.’ Ik wilde er nog aan toevoegen dat het allemaal liefhebbers zijn van rapmuziek, maar ik zweeg, ook al speelde er tussen de nieuwsberichten door barokmuziek op zijn radio. ‘Dit heeft niets vandoen met religie’, sprak hij. ‘Ze gaan meteen van de misdaad naar het terrorisme.’

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 18.57.21Het leek me het beste – opdat ik de man waar ik sympathie voor koesterde niet zou ontstemmen – om te zeggen dat dit maar ten dele juist was. De islam is niet de hele oorzaak, zeker, maar kan er ook niet los van gezien worden. Uiteindelijk blazen de talrijke verarmde christelijke Congolezen in België zichzelf niet op in een metro of de luchthaven. ‘We oogsten wat we hebben gezaaid’, ging hij verder, ‘met al die bemoeienissen in Libië en Mali’. Opnieuw zag ik slechts een vaag verband, en als er al één was, dan vond ik dat niet echt flatterend voor de moslimmigranten. ‘En hoe hebben ze Molenbeek zo laten evolueren dat het een plaats werd waar het extremisme kon bloeien?’

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 18.58.59Inderdaad, hoe? En wat te doen nu het er is? Tijdens mijn bezoek aan die Brusselse wijk enkele jaren terug kon ik de gevaren al duidelijk vaststellen. Een man zoals Salah Abdeslam, de gearresteerde terrorist, zal zich daar als een vis in het water hebben gevoeld, om met Mao te spreken. Het was een perfecte schuilplaats daar, tussen de sympathisanten en de rest van de gemeenschap die men tot stilte kon intimideren. Deze sociale wereld was ondoordringbaar voor de staatsdiensten. Een kennis vertelde me dat de Belgische overheid er niet in slaagt daar belastingen te innen, hoewel het er wel lukt om de sociale gelden uit te keren uit de staatskas.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 18.57.06Hoe houd je de vorming van getto’s zoals Molenbeek tegen en wat doe je eraan eens ze er zijn? Het antwoord van de taxichauffeur was eenvoudig: dwing ze om ergens anders te wonen. Een simpel plan, maar in de praktijk heel moeilijk. Het Europese Hof van de Mensenrechten veroordeelde onlangs Duitsland, omdat het die exacte plannen koesterde. Nadat een miljoen Syrische vluchtelingen en migranten in het land werden opgevangen, wilde de Duitse overheid de vorming van islamitische getto’s voorkomen door de immigranten te spreiden over het hele land. Het Hof oordeelde dat dit tegen de fundamentele mensenrechten van deze migranten inging, en dus verwerven ze het recht om enkele — of vele — Molenbeeks te vormen.

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Stumbling blocks to Islam’s accommodation with the modern world

Gibb's 1962 study

Harland Gibb’s 1948 survey

Two large ones, Dalrymple writes, are

  • equality before the law
  • the freedom openly and publicly to apostatise and argue in opposition to the religion

Dalrymple points out that Mohammedanism has

a very violent history, even according to its own sources, which may be expected to paint such violence in a favourable light, a fact so obvious as to hardly be worth pointing out. This is so whether or not other religions and doctrines have also had violent histories. Islam (in the words of Gibbon, in the context of the spread of another religion) did not spread merely by the convincing evidence of the doctrine.

The character of Mohammed

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 08.53.23Dalrymple writes that even as portrayed in Muslim apologetics, the character of Mohammed

is at the very least questionable when viewed from any other standpoint than that of an a priori belief in his moral perfection, and there should be no limitation of discussion of it.

Dalrymple points out that Mohammed (the representation at right is from the north wall frieze of the Supreme Court chamber, Washington, D.C.),

connived at armed robbery, mass murder and the abduction of women.

Of course, Mohammed was

behaving in a way that one would expect of his time and place, and it may be that, on the whole, he sometimes behaved better than his peers. But that is not the point: it is nothing short of a moral, intellectual and indeed political disaster if his conduct is taken as a model for all time.

Islam has nothing to say to the modern world

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 14.25.23For the second time in living memory, writes Dalrymple,

we find ourselves obliged by historical circumstances to examine doctrinal philosophies that, from the abstract intellectual point of view, are not worth examining. They belong, rather, to the history of human folly and credulity: which is itself, of course, an inexhaustibly interesting and important subject.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 14.43.06The first was Marxism; the second Islamism. Which of us, Dalrymple asks,

would have guessed thirty years ago that an inflamed and inflammatory Islamic doctrine would soon replace Marxism as the greatest challenger to liberal democracy? The vacuum left by the collapse of one totalitarian doctrine is soon filled by another.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 14.44.55Dalrymple hopes that Islamism

will pass from the world stage as quickly as it arrived on it. In the meantime, however, it can cause a great deal of havoc, and will not disappear spontaneously, without opposition, much of which must be conducted on the intellectual plane.

Yet

Western intellectuals have failed to examine Islam and its founder in the same light as they would examine any other religious doctrine of comparable importance.

Dalrymple believes that all forms of Islam are

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 14.47.53very vulnerable in the modern world to rational criticism, which is why the Islamists are so ferocious in trying to suppress such criticism. They have instinctively understood that Islam itself, while strong, is exceedingly brittle, as communism once was. They understand that, at the present time in human history, it is all or nothing. They are thus more clear-sighted than moderate Moslems.

The problem with Islam may be rooted

Image (latterly effaced) of Mohammed on frieze, Birch Memorial Clocktower (1917), Ipoh, Perak

Image (latterly effaced) of Mohammed on frieze, Birch Memorial Clocktower (1917), Ipoh, Perak

in its doctrines, its history and its founder.

Mohammed

connived at armed robbery, mass murder and the abduction of women. Of course, autres temps, autres mœurs, and it may be that, on the whole, he sometimes behaved better than his peers.

He was

a political genius: he understood what motivated men, and he developed a system of belief and practice, of social pressure and ideological terror, that meant that Islamisation once established was irreversible, at least until the present day. Leonid Brezhnev’s doctrine was that a country, once communist, could not become non-communist; how puny, historically, was the communist achievement beside that of Islam!

Part of private quarters (1578) of Sultan Murad III

Part of private quarters (1578) of Sultan Murad III

Islamic civilisation has many attractive qualities . At least at its summit, the Ottoman civilisation was

exquisite, and in the decorative arts was Western Europe’s superior for centuries.

But the quality of a civilisation

does not establish the truth of the doctrines current in it, nor the suitability of those doctrines for living in the modern world.

Judged by the abysmal standards of fifteenth century Europe, Islam

looks quite tolerant; but judged from the modern, post-Enlightenment perspective, it looks primitive.

Its attitude towards polytheists and atheists is

doctrinally abominable.

Islam

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 14.46.00has nothing whatever to say to the modern world, and as yet has no doctrinal means of dealing constructively with the inevitable diversity of human religion and philosophy, beyond the violent imposition of uniformity or second-class citizenship.

Can Moslems of moderate temperament find some way of reconciling their faith with the exigencies of the modern world?

The problem is that this reconciliation cannot be a mere modus vivendi; it has to be intellectually coherent and satisfying to last. Personally, I am not optimistic. Islamism is a last gasp, not a renaissance, of the religion. But last gasps can last a surprisingly long time.

The weak and vacillating West

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Evil: the threat

And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out….slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. (Qur’an, 2:191)

Dalrymple writes that Islam, which was

the basis of great civilisations in the past,

has emerged

as the next potential totalitarianism.

Weak: the West's response

Weak: the West’s response

Islam in the modern world may be

intellectually nugatory,

but a large proportion of humanity is Muslim and

an aggressive and violent minority has emerged within that population with apparently very widespread, if largely passive, approval.

The leadership of western countries has, of course, shown itself to be

very weak and vacillating in the face of this, or any other, challenge.

Showdown with the kuffār

Just as Marx says that

a showdown between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is inevitable, leading to the triumph of the former and the subsequent establishment of a classless society,

so the Islamists think that

a showdown between believers and infidels is inevitable, leading to the victory of Islam, which will eliminate all religious conflict.

A brittle edifice

Dalrymple notes, however, that behind all the Islamic bluster about

the certain possession of the unique, universal and divinely ordained truth for man

is an anxiety among Mohammedans

that the whole edifice of Islam, while strong, is brittle, which explains why free enquiry is so limited in Islamic countries. There is a subliminal awareness — and perhaps not always subliminal — that free philosophical and historical debate could quickly and fatally undermine the hold of Islam on various societies.

Muslim moral, economic and social sordor

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Milestones, 1964, founding text of Islamo-Trotskyism

The pain of being in possession of the highest truth yet finding oneself sunk in squalor

The only deliverance, writes Dalrymple, lies in Islamo-Trotskyist permanent revolution, of the kind espoused by Sayyid Quṭb سيد قطب, until the whole world accepts Mohammedanism.

  • All that is not Islamic must be hated and contemned
  • Mohammedanism is the one true religion
  • All that existed before Islam was mere جاهليةǧāhiliyyah or ignorance
  • Real as against pseudo-peace necessitates the acceptance everywhere of Mohammedanism
  • Islam in one country is untenable, just as, for Trotsky, socialism in one country was untenable
  • No consideration whatsoever is due the polytheists
  • A merciless war against the polytheists not only can, but must, be fought