Saturday, April 08, 2006

Europe's slow demise

A powerful and insightful post by Fjordman at the Gates of Vienna, a look into several of the factors that have led Europe to the brink of submission to Islam--I’m a Terrorist Groupie, Hear Me Roar!:
I have heard some people say that Western popular culture will destroy Islam. That is possible, but we need to remember that this is not a one-way street. What if the opposite happens? Sometimes the barbarians also influence the civilized people, and there is a disturbing amount of “understanding” for terrorists in Western movies and media these days. Creeps come crawling out of the woodwork, more or less cheering for the terrorists who are trying to bring society down. There are probably always people who are drawn to blood and mayhem. They would like to destroy the current political order, but aren’t capable of doing it themselves, so they end up as cheerleaders for those who are attempting to do so. Let’s call them “terrorist groupies.” I’m not just talking about the Oscar-nominated suicide bomber film Paradise Now. There are others examples of this mentality.

“V for Vendetta” is a recent movie made by the Wachowski brothers, the men behind the modern sci-fi classic “The Matrix.” It is set in Britain about a generation from now. The USA has dissolved into chaos and civil war after its involvement in a prolonged war in the Middle East. Great Britain has become a Fascist state. The protagonist, a “freedom fighter” named V, wants to ignite a revolution and brags about how blowing up a building can change the whole world. He is wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to conceal his identity, and proclaims that he wants to finish at November 5th what Fawkes tried to do in the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605: Blowing up Parliament. He gets an accomplice in this task, a young girl named Evey, played by Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman. Portman cites a popular British rhyme that is often quoted on Guy Fawkes Night:
”Remember, remember, the 5th of November The Gunpowder Treason and plot; I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.”
During the movie, we see a gay man keeping a 14th century Koran in a secret room in his house, because he enjoys “the beautiful poetry and imagery” in it. He is later executed when the authorities discover this, as the Koran is now banned and Muslims are oppressed. What beautiful imagery we are never told. “And slay them wherever ye catch them”? “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them”? At the same time, the Church is shown to be a place of filth, corruption and hypocrisy. Islam is good and “misunderstood,” Christianity is bad and oppressive. In the final scene of “V for Vendetta,” the British Parliament is blown up, with hundreds of thousands of people in Guy Fawkes masks watching and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” blasting from loudspeakers, fireworks crackling and Natalie Portman smiling.

In Hollywoodistan, gays admire the beauty of the Koran. In real life, gays are physically attacked in increasing numbers by Muslims in Europe, and death squads are targeting gays in Islamic countries such as Iraq. A gay man, Pim Fortuyn, was de facto executed for criticizing Islam, after having been demonized by Dutch media and the Dutch establishment for “Islamophobia” and “hate speech”. In Hollywoodistan, the Koran has been banned on pain of death in Britain. In real life, British PM Tony Blair has called Islam “progressive” and praised the Koran for being “practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance.” In Hollywoodistan, Muslims in London are ruthlessly persecuted. In real life, London has become the Islamic terrorist capital of the entire world, as demonstrated by writer Melanie Phillips in her book “Londonistan.” In Hollywoodistan, native Fascists kill British civilians to spread fear and terror and soften them for their goal of overthrowing democracy. In real life, the only Fascists trying to do this are Muslims, following the example of their prophet Muhammad who bragged about how he had been “made victorious by terror.”

After the Jihadist terror bombings in London in July 2005, not a single Muslim cleric has been expelled from Britain. Historian David Starkey warned that Britain was in danger of sleepwalking into a new era of religious intolerance, as in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What today might be described as thought crimes, such as expressing any sympathy for suicide bombers, would in previous eras have been termed heresy, he said. The right response to the bombings was that Britain should become more tolerant towards Islam. A Chester professor, Ron Geaves, has stated that the attacks that killed 52 people were not the acts of terrorists but “just an extreme Muslim demonstration” and that “the word terrorism is a political word which always seems to be used to demonise people.” Muslim immigration continues unabated, and open hatred towards the West continues to be preached in mosques. The BBC is busy as always in campaigning against “Islamophobia” and reminding everybody that Islam is rich in diversity and that Western civilization would have been impossible without huge Islamic contributions, which we should be eternally grateful for.

For an outsider, it is sad to see the nation that once faced down Hitler and Napoleon slowly succumb to these barbarians. It is good that smaller nations such as Denmark and maybe the Netherlands are at least starting to confront the Islamic threat, but this isn’t enough. For the sake of Europe, we need some of the larger countries to do the same thing. France is sinking into a quagmire of problems of her own, and has been leading the creation of Eurabia in the first place. Maybe the Germans could do the job, but they are still restrained by their guilt complex from WW2. We need the British on board, and so far, there are few signs of this happening. Will Britannia forever be enslaved, or will she rise to the occasion as she has done in the past?

Luckily, even though Hollywood won’t tell the truth, there are still a few people who will. Mullah Krekar, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamic leader who was granted refugee status in Norway told an Oslo newspaper that there’s a war going on between the West and Islam. He said he’s sure that Islam will win. Muslims could indeed win this, if they could just sit tight, remain quiet and continue the demographic Jihad. But too many of them behave so, well, Islamic, boast and brag about their plans. Listening to Mullah Krekar talking is like watching one of those old James Bond movies, where the villain just has to tell Bond everything about his evil plans, just in time so that 007 can prevent it. “I’m so smart and evil, you can’t stop me, bwuahahaha!” Then again, given the state of things in Al-Britannia these days, James Bond would probably have been working for the other team. “There’s a nasty case of Islamophobia going on at the Telegraph newspaper today. Take care of it, will you, 007. How do you want your Koran, Mr. Bond?” “Shaken, not stirred.”

In another movie, “Good Night, and Good Luck,” directed by star actor George Clooney, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow is shown standing up against Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy during his intense anti-Communist movement in the 1950s. I assume Clooney’s motivation for making this movie now is insinuating that the ongoing War on Terror is “just like” the paranoia of the 50s. First of all: Although there is no doubt that Senator McCarthy went too far and destroyed the lives of many innocent people, the Communist threat to the USA and the West was in fact very real during the Cold War. And second of all: Whoever decided that a new “political witch hunt” necessarily has to come from the Right?

“McCarthyism” is sometimes defined as “the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition.” Some would claim that this describes very well how critics of Muslim immigration in the West have been demonized during the previous generation, especially by Leftists. Carl I. Hagen, leader of the right-wing Progress Party, was for several decades virtually the only Norwegian politician of some stature that warned against the madness of the current immigration policies. And he was hated for it by the establishment, denounced as a racist pig, Nazi and subject to every insult in the dictionary. During the 1990s, when there were still many people who took the “Oslo Peace Process” seriously, he went in demonstrations in support of Israel and with the slogan “No money for Arafat.” The public now understands that he was right, which is why his party has grown from being a tiny protest party to being at the brink of replacing the Labor Party as the largest political party in Norway, for the first time in 80 years. Why doesn’t Mr. Clooney or other Hollywood personalities make a movie about Carl I. Hagen, Pia Kjærsgaard of the Danish People’s Party, Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh and Geert Wilders in the Netherlands or others that have been warning against the madness of Muslim immigration? They are the real victims of the “new McCarthyism.”

Glorification of anti-democratic fanatics has penetrated Western popular culture in other ways than movies. Che Guevara’s face is cropping up everywhere, from posters to t-shirts. Che is famous for helping Fidel Castro shape the Cuban revolution. Later, he was in charge of La Cabana prison, where he oversaw a military tribunal which condemned scores of counterrevolutionaries to death without trial. “Hatred,” he said, is important. It makes you, he reflected, “into an effective, violent, selective and cold-blooded killing machine.” He helped set up a police state in Cuba, and negotiated the stationing of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962. He later became furious when Moscow removed them following the Cuba Crisis. “If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all...” He spoke of “unimaginable destructiveness to defend a principle.” Yet this murderer and symbol of an ideology that killed 100 million people during the 20th century is treated as a pop icon in the democratic West.

Michel Foucault
is one of the best known and most widely read philosophers of our time, familiar to hundreds of thousands of Western University students. During and after the 1978-79 revolution, Foucault visited Iran twice and also met with Khomeini in Paris. Much of Foucault’s work is grounded in the problems of modernity in Europe. Thus he became fascinated with the Iranian revolution because it “challenged the Western model of progress.” He wasn’t the only Western intellectual who was seduced by the “revolutionary energy” displayed in Iran. The age of marriage for girls was reduced to 9 years, tens of thousands of political opponents were arrested, tortured and killed, young women were raped in prisons as a matter of routine to prevent them from entering Paradise as virgins, and barbaric, medieval laws were re-enacted for tens of millions of people. Apparently, for some Western intellectuals, anything is excusable as long as you are anti-Western and have a “revolutionary cause.”

Phyllis Chesler writes about the Culture War in academia, where both Western leftists and Islamists employ a systematic misuse of language, writing about “insurgents,” not “terrorists,” whom they describe as “martyrs,” not “killers, and as “freedom fighters,” not as “well educated evil men.” Meanwhile, hateful anti-American and anti-Israel demonstrators are described as “peace activists. She believes that Western academy has been “utterly Palestinianized.” Our Islamist opponents have turned out this propaganda non-stop around the world. As propagandists, they are “far more sophisticated than Goebbels, and far more patient.”

Yale University in the US admitted a former Taliban spokesman, Rahmatullah Hashemi, as student. He was the chief translator for Mullah Omar in Afghanistan. Female Afghan parliamentarian Malalai Joya said Hashemi was one of the Taliban’s top propagandists and called his status as a student at Yale “disgusting” and an “unforgivable insult.” Yet people at Yale fired back and said it was the critics of Yale and Rahmatullah Hashemi who were the real Taliban, and that excluding him would “ takes us one step closer into the Taliban-like suppression of views that challenge the party line.”

Robert Fisk
is a veteran British foreign correspondent. During a visit to Australia, Fisk said: “I see this immense world of injustice . . . and I must say given our constant interference in the Middle East, I’m amazed that Muslims have been so restrained.” In fact, so “restrained” are they that Fisk wasn’t sure how much they can be blamed even for the terror attacks of 9/11. He often spoke in the US, he said, and “more and more people in the audience believe the American administration had some kind of involvement”. “ …the worst I can envisage is that they know something was coming and they preferred it to happen so that their strategy could be put into place.”

Ironically, it seems as if some of the chief defenders of democracy and Western civilization now are immigrants. Britain’s first black Archbishop made a powerful attack on multiculturalism, urging English people to reclaim their national identity. The Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said “that too many people were embarrassed about being English.” “Multiculturalism has seemed to imply, wrongly for me, let other cultures be allowed to express themselves but do not let the majority culture at all tell us its glories, its struggles, its joys, its pains,” he said. He said that the failure of England to rediscover its culture afresh would lead only to greater political extremism. “What is it to be English? It is a very serious question,” he said. “When you ask a lot of people in this country, ‘What is English culture?’, they are very vague. It is a culture that whether we like it or not has given us parliamentary democracy. It is the mother of it.”

Writing about the Muhammad cartoons controversy, author Ibn Warraq quoted the great British philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty, “Strange it is, that men should admit the validity of the arguments for free discussion, but object to their being ‘pushed to an extreme’; not seeing that unless the reasons are good for an extreme case, they are not good for any case.”

“The west is the source of the liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights and cultural freedom. It is the west that has raised the status of women, fought against slavery, defended freedom of enquiry, expression and conscience,” Ibn Warraq stated. “How can we expect immigrants to integrate into western society when they are at the same time being taught that the west is decadent, a den of iniquity, the source of all evil, racist, imperialist and to be despised? Why should they, in the words of the African-American writer James Baldwin, want to integrate into a sinking ship?”

These are encouraging words, but they cannot conceal the fact that there is a very powerful undercurrent of self-loathing and guilt-obsession in the West at the beginning of the 21st century. Where does it come from?

Lars Hedegaard, writer and columnist for newspaper Berlingske Tidende, has, together with colleagues Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen, been one of the leading forces behind making tiny Denmark into a frontline country in the battle against Islam. In his book “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within,” Bruce Bawer gives an account of a meeting with Hedegaard and Brix in Copenhagen:
“Hedegaard was of the view, however, that the Danish establishment’s benign neglect of Islamic extremism must have deeper causes than snobbism or hippie nostalgia. After all, he said, the Islamicization of the Nordic countries was “the most fundamental transformation” they’d experienced in a millennium. Something so monumental, in his opinion, could not be explained simply by a few people’s foolishness or class snobbery. “Heavy consequences,” he insisted, “must have heavy causes.” The surrender of Denmark to Muslims had to be the result of some deep-seated compulsion. (…..) His theory was that Western Europe’s ongoing surrender to radical Islam had its roots in the psychic devastation of the First World War. For while that conflict marked America’s ascent to the rank of Great Power, Europeans took it as a devastating proof, Hedegaard said, “the our culture was worthless. It was basically destroyed. And that prepared the way for two sorts of totalitarianism” — Nazism and Communism — and for “atrocities of a magnitude that is hard to imagine.” Those atrocities, in turn, placed upon Europeans an unbearable burden of guilt. The Nazis, he said, “made Europe think it is doomed and sinful...and deserves what it has coming.”
Lars Hedegaard’s view seems to mirror that of French philosopher and cultural critic Alain Finkielkraut, who thinks that “Europe does not love itself.” Finkielkraut says that it’s not forces from outside that are threatening Europe as much as the voluntary renunciation of European identity, its wish of freeing itself from itself, its own history and its traditions, only replaced by human rights. The European Union thus isn’t just post-national, but post-European. What characterizes Europe today is the will to define itself, not from an ideology, but by dismissing any sense of identity. Europe is now built upon an oath: Never again. Never again extermination, never again war, but also never again nationalism. Europe prides itself in being nothing. According to Finkielkraut, Auschwitz has become part of the foundation of the EU, a culture based on guilt. But this is a vague ideology saying that “We have to oppose everything the Nazis were for.” Consequently, nationalism or any kind of attachment to your own country, including what some would say is healthy, non-aggressive patriotism, is frowned upon. To remember is to regret. Europe rejects its past. “European identity” is the de-identification of Europe. Of the past, we are only to remember crimes. This didn’t just happen in Germany, but in all of Europe. “I can understand the feeling of remorse that is leading Europe to this definition, but this remorse goes too far. It is too great a gift to present Hitler to reject everything that led to him.” This is said by the Jewish son of an Auschwitz prisoner.

Finkielkraut says that Europe has made human rights its gospel, to such an extent that it threatens European history and culture. This creates a Europe without substance. “When hatred of culture becomes itself a part of culture, the life of the mind loses all meaning.” Finkielkraut reminds us that the multiculturalists’ demand for “diversity” requires the eclipse of the individual in favor of the group. The abdication of reason demanded by multiculturalism has been the result of the subjection of culture to anthropology. “Under the equalizing eye of social science,” he writes, hierarchies are abolished. The disintegration of faith in reason and common humanity leads not only to a destruction of standards, but also involves a crisis of courage. “A careless indifference to grand causes,” Finkielkraut warns, “has its counterpart in abdication in the face of force,” and weakens the commitment required to preserve freedom.

What, in fact, is replacing assimilation? Anyone who doesn’t want to assimilate, French culture assimilates into his identity. Children aren’t speaking French, but rather a jargon composed of Arabic words and meager French. “There is always a culture that emerges victorious. In no society is there a vacuum.” Another thinker, Pascal Bruckner, agrees that Europe has made repentance for old sins, perceived or real, the central point of its identity, and something close to an obsession. And this is unhealthy, according to him. “If somebody hits you, you will think: This is for something I have done.” “Never again” and the belief that dialogue will take care of all problems are the guiding principles. We are filled with regret, but cannot fill Europe with anything positive.

This idea that Auschwitz has defined the modern identity of Europe is reflected by Spanish journalist Sebastian Villar Rodriguez in his piece “Europe died in Auschwitz:
I was walking along Raval (Barcelona) when all of a sudden I understood that Europe died with Auschwitz.

We assassinated 6 million Jews in order to end up bringing in 20 million Muslims!

We burnt in Auschwitz the culture, intelligence and power to create.(...) Because it is the people who gave to humanity the symbolic figures who were capable of changing history (Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud...) and who is the origin of progress and wellbeing.

We must admit that Europe, by relaxing its borders (…) opened its doors to 20 million Muslims, often illiterates and fanatics(…), the poorest of the nations and of the ghettos, and who are preparing the worst, such as the 9/11 and the Madrid bombing and who are lodged in apartment blocs provided by the social welfare.

We also have exchanged culture with fanaticism, the capacity to create with the will to destroy, the wisdom with the superstition. We have exchanged the transcendental instinct of the Jews, who even under the worst possible conditions have always looked for a better peaceful world, for the suicide bomber. We have exchanged the pride of life for the fanatic obsession of death. Our death and that of our children.
But why does this guilt complex also apply to Britain, which defeated the Nazis, or Denmark, which saved most of its Jews? Why do we detect some of the same currents even in the United States? And why on earth can’t Europeans give stronger support to the survivors of the Holocaust in Israel?

Yes, we have been sold out by our elites through the creation of Eurabia and the wiping out of our own cultures through Multiculturalism. But this is only half of the story. In democratic societies, even if sometimes flawed ones, this would never have been possible if there wasn’t a profound undercurrent of self-loathing present in the general public already. The trauma caused by the events of 70 years ago is clouding our judgment this time, since any talk at all about the threat posed by Muslim immigration or about preserving our own culture is being dismissed as “the same rhetoric as the Nazis used against the Jews.” Europeans have been taught to be so scared of our own shadow that we are incapable of seeing that darkness can come from the outside, too. Maybe Europe will burn again, in part as a belated reaction to the horrors of Auschwitz.

V.S. Naipaul has called India “a wounded civilization.” But maybe it’s really Europe that is the wounded civilization, the difference being that India’s wounds were inflicted from the outside, whereas Europe’s wounds are largely self-inflicted. Islam isn’t destroying Europe, Europe is destroying itself. Just as a patient with AIDS may formally die from flu or even a common cold, the real cause is the long, slow decay of his immune system. It resembles euthanasia on an entire civilization: Europe is tired of living. Islam just puts it out of its misery.

It is almost fascinating to see how self-loathing and West-bashing make scores of people in the media and the academia misunderstand and misrepresent the threat we are facing. The good guys become the bad guys and vice versa, or alternatively, we’re all equally good and bad, since all cultures are equal. Some would say that I am reading too much into a few simple movies. Perhaps. But these are the same people that claim that popular culture will destroy Islam.

Pop culture matters. It both reflects and shapes the values of a civilization. Judging from the message in too many films, almost five years after 9/11 we have hardly even begun to understand the scale of the Islamic challenge. On the contrary, many Westerners are busy demonstrating “understanding,” even sympathy, towards the enemies of civilization.

Britain in “V for Vendetta” is a totalitarian state where the authorities promise peace in return for total submission. Peace for submission, where have we heard this mantra before? I know: Islam. “Islam” means submission, and comes from the same root as “salaam,” which means “peace”. It is curious to notice that in the previous movie by the Wachowski brothers, “The Matrix,” people are turned into slaves and passive tools by living in a make-belief reality designed to pacify them and keep them in chains. In the real world, one fifth of humanity are proud to proclaim themselves “the slaves of Allah,” and consider it their mission in life to make the rest of mankind share their mental bondage.

Islam is the Matrix. Somebody better give the Wachowski brothers their red pills.
Here is (most of) my post in the Comments section:
Charles Martel wrote:
War is inevitable. Islam must be Islam and as such will continue its attacks on the West. It will not be subdued peacefully. It never has been and never will be. Liberal pluralistic democracy is incapable of defending itself against Islam. The rot and nihilism of multiculturalism has already set in.

Slobodan Milošević will be posthumously vindicated as his "atrocities" will be seen as small potatoes against the measures that will be forced upon those fighting to survive in Europe.

Islam is a civilizational perfect storm. Islam is not a religion but a fascist supremacist ideology that must be eradicated. Short of that, the only possible solution is absolute containment and separation. That will entail the forcable removal of all Muslims from Europe and the United States. As utterly impossible as this may see it will come to pass.

You are correct. As long as the false prophet and his god from hell's "revelations" are considered divine, the faithful will have to fight.

Fjordman's synthesis of the big picture in Europe is very insightful; I would add two thoughts:

First, Europe's self-loathing and rejection of its past is a symptom of a greater disease: the rejection of the "faith once for all delivered to the saints."

It was Christianity that provided the foundation for the glories of the West cited in the article. Not the least of these are codifying into Law the Equality and Dignity of Man and making possible the wonders of modern Science by means of free intellectual inquiry into a well-ordered Creation.

Second, as Europe's treatment of Jews was noted I was reminded of the promise of (the true) God: "I will bless those who bless you [Israel], and I will curse those who curse you."

How can one who has known the blessings of Christ expect good from rejecting Him? In the face of "the Scourge of God" five centuries ago (we know it today as "Islam"), Martin Luther noted that a proper response to the evil upon us is repentance and a return to faith.

Will Europe reclaim what made it great? As it continues to believe in nothing, Europe leaves itself defenseless against Islam. Some will convert to the faith of the oppressor out of persuasion, others out of fear. It is up to those who believe, as it always has been, to fight back.

On a side note, your and Pim Fortuyn's references here to NATO's treatment of Yugoslavia are timely, since I recently made a brief post at my site entitled, "Bill Clinton, the first Muslim president."