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(Manuskriptet Ibn Warraq´s tale i København den 8 marts byggede på, altså ikke de  eksakte   ord. Se andet af relevans for prisoverrækkelsen her. Tal i teksten indikerer litteraturhenvisninger.  Se også nedenfor Lars Hedegaard: “We live in strange times indeed”.)

By Ibn Warraq

I. Totalitarian Aspects
Current discussions and disputes about the character of radical Islam would benefit from some attention to and awareness of earlier assessments on the part of important Western scholars and thinkers. Some of these conflicting assessments are reminiscent of past disputes about the nature of communist systems which had divided Western intellectuals. There used to be a deep disagreements between those favorably disposed towards communist systems and movements, and those critical of them. A similar divide exists today in regard to radical Islam, though perhaps not quite so deep. In both cases central to the disagreements has been the question: to what degree beliefs and ideologies determined policies or behavior? How closely did ideas shape actions?

It should be noted that at the present time there is no Islamic totalitarian system in existence that would correspond to the classical definitions of totalitarianism developed by Hannah Arendt, Carl Friedrich and Zbigniev Brzezisnki,1 among others. Iran, a highly repressive theocracy comes closest. There are, however discernible totalitarian tendencies within the militant, radical Islamic movements and groups and their ideology.

Those who at earlier times attributed totalitarian characteristics or propensities to Islam include Charles Watson, G. H.Bousquet, Bertrand Russell, Jules Monnerot, Czeslaw Milosz, Carl Jung, Karl Barth, Said Amir Arjomand, Maxime Rodinson, Manfred Halpern, and Hitler, among others. (foto © Trykkefrihedsselskabet)

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Charles Watson, a Christian missionary in Egypt, in 1937, described Islam as totalitarian by showing how, “by a million roots, penetrating every phase of life, all of them with religious significance, it is able to maintain its hold upon the life of Moslem peoples”.2 G.H.Bousquet, formerly Professor of Law at the University of Algiers, and later at the University of Bordeaux, one of the foremost authorities on Islamic Law, distinguishes two aspects of Islam which he considers totalitarian: Islamic Law, and the Islamic notion of Jihad which has for its ultimate aim the conquest of the entire world, in order to submit it to one single authority.3

According to Snouck Hurgronje another great scholar of Islamic Law, and longtime Professor of Arabic at the University of Leiden, Islamic Law has aimed at, “controlling the religious, social and political life of mankind in all its aspects, the life of its followers without qualification, and the life of those who follow tolerated religions to a degree that prevents their activities from hampering Islam in any way”.4 The all-embracing nature of Islamic Law can be seen from the fact that it does not distinguish between ritual, law (in the European sense of the word), ethics and good manners. In principle this legislation controls the entire life of the believer and the Islamic community, it intrudes into every nook and cranny: everything, to give a random sample, from the pilgrim tax, agricultural contracts, the board and lodging of slaves, the invitation to a wedding, the use of tooth-picks, the ritual fashion in which one’s natural needs are to be accomplished, the prohibition for men to wear gold or silver rings to the proper treatment of animals is covered.

Bertrand Russell in The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, published in 1920 wrote,

“Bolshevism combines the characteristics of the French Revolution with those of the rise of Islam….Marx has taught that Communism is fatally predestined to come about; this produces a state of mind not unlike that of the early successors of Mahommet….Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world”.5

Jules Monnerot in his 1949 study, Sociologie du Communisme6 – called Communism the Twentieth-Century ‘Islam’. He wrote that the ultimate aim of Soviet Communism was

“the most absolute tyranny ever conceived by man; a tyranny that recognises no spatial limits… no temporal limits … and no limits to its power over the individual… and allows no greater freedom in mental than in economic life. It is this claim that brings it into conflict with faiths, religions, and values…”.

“Communism,” continues Monnerot, “takes the field both as a secular religion and as a universal State7; it is therefore more comparable to Islam than to the Universal Religion….This merging of religion and politics was a major characteristic of the Islamic world in its victorious period. It allowed the head of State to operate beyond his own frontiers in the capacity of commander of the faithful (Amir al-muminin)…Religions of this kind acknowledge no frontiers. Soviet Russia is merely the geographical center from which communist influence radiates; it is an “Islam” on the march, and it regards its frontiers at any given moment as purely provisional and temporary. Communism, like victorious Islam, makes no distinction between politics and religion, but this time the claim to be both universal State and universal truth applies not only within a civilization or world which co-exists with other different civilizations, other worlds, but to the entire terrestrial globe”.8

In The Captive Mind, Czeslaw Milosz devoted a chapter to how people in totalitarian societies develop means to cope with all the contradictions of real life. One cannot admit to contradictions openly; officially they do not exist. Hence people learn to dissimulate, never revealing their true beliefs publically. Milosz finds a striking analogy of the same phenomenon in Islamic civilization, where it bears the name Kitman or Ketman [Persian word for oncealment].9

Islam has also been compared to Nazism, sometimes Fascism, usually used synonymously. For example, Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, was asked in the late 1930s in an interview if he had any views on what was likely to be the next step in religious development. He replied, referring to the rise of Nazism in Germany, “We do not know whether Hitler is going to found a new Islam. He is already on the way; he is like Muhammad. The emotion in Germany is Islamic… They are all drunk with wild god. That can be the historic future.”10

Karl Barth, also writing in the 1930s, reflected on the threat of Hitler, and his similarities to Muhammad:

“Participation inn… the only worthy and blessed life, is what National Socialism…, promises… to those who will of their own accord share in this experiment. Participation in… the only worthy and blessed life, is what National Socialism…, promises… to those who will of their own accord share in this experiment. And now it becomes understandable why, at the point where it meets with resistance, it can only crush and kill—with the might and right which belongs to Divinity! Islam of old as we know proceeded in this way. It is impossible to understand National Socialism unless we see it in fact as a new Islam [emphasis in original], its myth as a new Allah, and Hitler as this new Allah’s Prophet.”11

Albert Speer, who was Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and War Production, wrote a memoir of his World War II experiences while serving a 20-year prison sentence imposed by the Nuremberg tribunal. Speer’s narrative includes this discussion which captures Hitler’s racist views of Arabs on the one hand, and his effusive praise for Islam on the other:

“Hitler had been much impressed by a scrap of history he had learned from a delegation of distinguished Arabs. When the Mohammedans attempted to penetrate beyond France into Central Europe during the eighth century, his visitors had told him, they had been driven back at the Battle of Tours. Had the Arabs won this battle, the world would be Mohammedan today. For theirs was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword… Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament. Hitler said that the conquering Arabs, because of their racial inferiority, would in the long run have been unable to contend with the harsher climate and conditions of the country. They could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire. Hitler usually concluded this historical speculation by remarking, ‘You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”12

Manfred Halpern (1924-2001) was a politics professor at Princeton for nearly forty years. Born in Germany in 1924, he and his parents fled the Nazis in 1937 for America. He served in the U.S. military during Wold Waw II. After Germany’s surrender, he worked in U.S. Counterintelligence, tracking down former Nazis. In 1948 he joined the State Department, where he worked on the Middle East. In 1963, Princeton University Press published his Politics of Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa, an academic treatment of Islamism, which Halpern labeled “neo-Islamic totalitarianism”:

“The neo-Islamic totalitarian movements are essentially fascist movements. They concentrate on mobilizing passion and violence to enlarge the power of their charismatic leader and the solidarity of the movement. They view material progress primarily as a means for accumulating strength for political expansion, and entirely deny individual and social freedom. They champion the values and emotions of a heroic past, but repress all free critical analysis of either past roots or present problems….

“Like fascism, neo-Islamic totalitarianism represents the institutionalization of struggle, tension, and violence. Unable to solve the basic public issues of modern life—intellectual and technological progress, the reconciliation of freedom and security, and peaceful relations among rival sovereignties—the movement is forced by its own logic and dynamics to pursue its vision through nihilistic terror, cunning, and passion. An efficient state administration is seen only as an additional powerful tool for controlling the community… Like fascist movements elsewhere, the movement is so organized as to make neo-Islamic totalitarianism the whole life of its members”.13

Maxime Rodinson (1915- 2004), the eminent French scholar of Islam, and by common consent one of three greatest scholars of Islam of the 20th century, also regarded Islamism and fascism comparable. As a French Jew born in 1915, Rodinson learned about fascism from direct experience; his parents perished in Auschwitz. Rodinson also responded to Michel Foucault and his uncritical endorsement of the Iranian Revolution, discussed below. In a long front-page article in Le Monde, Rodinson was critical of those who “come fresh to the problem in an idealistic frame of mind.” He noted that

… “the dominant trend is a certain type of archaic fascism. By this I mean a wish to establish an authoritarian and totalitarian state whose political police would brutally enforce the moral and social order. It would at the same time impose conformity to religious tradition as interpreted in the most conservative light.”14

In 1984, Said Amir Arjomand, an Iranian-American sociologist at SUNY-Stony Brook, also pointed to “some striking sociological similarities between the contemporary Islamic movements and the European fascism and the American radical right…. It is above all the strength of the monistic impulse and the pronounced political moralism of the Islamic traditionalist and fundamentalist movements which makes them akin to fascism and the radical right alike.”15

The striking convergence of these observations by commentators of varied nationalities and disciplines, writing in different periods of time is relevant for present day assessments of radical- political Islam.

II. Christian Apologists of Islam
Arguably the critics of radical Islam, such as quoted above, have been outnumbered by Western commentators far more favorably inclined. The first modern apologists of Islam were Christian scholars who perceived a common danger in certain economic, philosophical, and social developments in the West that made them more receptive to the Islamic world view. These trends included the rise of rationalism, scepticism, atheism, secularism; the Industrial Revolution; the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism and materialism. Sir Hamilton Gibb writes of Islam as a Christian “engaged in a common spiritual enterprise”.16 Another author Norman Daniel wrote: “Both Christianity and Islam suffer under the weight of worldly pressure, and the attack of scientific atheists and their like.”17

Christian scholars did not to wish to offend Muslim friends and colleagues. William Watt, curate of St.Mary Boltons, London, and Old St Paul’s, Edinburgh, ordained Episcopalian minister, and one of the most influential Islamic scholars in Britain of the last fifty years, and Sir Hamilton Gibb saw skepticism, atheism and communism as the common enemy of all true religion. They followed Carlyle in hoping for spiritual inspiration from the East. In his article Religion and Anti-Religion, Watt can barely disguise his contempt for secularism. “The wave of secularism and materialism is receding…most serious minded men in the Middle East realize the gravity of the problems of the present time, and are therefore aware of the need for a religion that will enable them to cope with the situations that arise from the impingement of these problems on their personal lives”. Watt reveals a mistrust of the intellect and a rejection of the importance of historical objectivity and truth: “This emphasis on historicity, however, has as its complement a neglect of symbols; and it may be that ultimately ’symbolic truth’ is more important than ‘historical truth'”.18 In his “Introduction to the Quran”, Watt abandons notions of objective truth in favor of total subjectivism:

“… the systems of ideas followed by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and others are all true in so far as they enable human beings to have a more or less satisfactory ‘experience of life as a whole’…, none of the great systems is markedly inferior or superior to the others…In particular the Quran is in this sense true. The fact that the Quranic conception of the unity of God appears to contradict the Christian conception of God does not imply that either system is false, nor even that either conception is false. Each conception is true in that it is part of a system which is true. In so far as some conception in a system seems to contradict the accepted teaching of science – or, that of history…that contradiction raises problems for the adherents of the system, but does not prove that the system as a whole is inferior to others.”

“The non-Muslim scholar”, continues Watt, “is not concerned with any question of ultimate truth, since that… cannot be attained by man. He assumes the truth [my emphasis, I.W.], in the relative sense just explained, of the Quranic system of ideas.”19 Under such conditions, the scholar is not likely to be critical of anyone’s “belief system” as long as it meets his or her “spiritual needs”.

The attitude exemplified by Watt was exposed and attacked by Julien Benda in his classic “Betrayal of the Intellectuals”. He wrote,

“But the modern ‘clerks’ [intellectuals] have held up universal truth to the scorn of mankind, as well as universal morality. Here the ‘clerks’ have positively shown genius in their effort to serve the passions of the laymen. It is obvious that truth is a great impediment to those who wish to set themselves up as distinct… What a joy for them to learn that this universal is a mere phantom, that there exist only particular truths, ‘Lorrain truths, Provençal truths, Britanny truths, the harmony of which in the course of centuries constitutes what is beneficial, respectable, true in France”.20

Watt would add “a Muslim truth, a Christian truth, and so on; or as he put in Islam and the Integration of Society, “Each [great religion] is valid in a particular cultural region, but not beyond that”.21

The sentimental ecumenical tradition established by scholars such as Watt and Gibb continues to this day. We can follow the gradual introduction of this tradition in the pages of the journal The Muslim World, founded in 1911 to promote the work of Christian Missionaries in the Middle East. Since 1938 it has been published by the Hartford Seminary. The first issues of the journal were highly critical of aspects of Islam such as Charles Watson’s description of Islam as totalitarian (cited above) which appeared in 1937. Its first editor was a committed Christian and a considerable scholar, Samuel Zwemer [1867-1952].22 In 1929 he was appointed Professor of Missions and Professor of the History of Religion at the Princeton Theological Seminary where he taught until 1951. He had an almost perfect command of Arabic and a thorough knowledge of the Koran. By the late 1940s, however, the journal began publishing articles very favorable to Islam, and by 1950s its pages were dominated by scholars such as Watt. It is now co-edited by a Muslim and a Christian – converting Muslims to Christianity is no longer considered respectable by Liberal Christians who instead bend over backwards to accommodate Muslims- as for example calling on all Christians to use the term “Allah” instead of God23 : gestures not reciprocated by the Muslims.

There is the more recent case of John Esposito, a Catholic, and Professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is also the director of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the same university. While studying for his doctorate at Temple University, Esposito came under the influence of the Islamist, Ismail R.Faruqi, “Palestinian pan-Islamist and theorist of the ‘Islamization of knowledge’, around whom had developed a personality cult.”24 Esposito tried to present Islam and Islamism in western categories thereby hoping to create a more favorable attitude to them in the West: why not place Islamist movements in the political category of participation, or even democratization?”25 Esposito then went on claim that Islamist movements were nothing other than movements of democratic reform! It was sheer “Orientalist” prejudice that prevented Westerners from seeing this. Esposito wrote that Americans would “have to transcend their narrow, ethnocentric conceptualization of democracy” to understand: Islamic democracy that might create effective systems of popular participation, though unlike the Westminster model or the American system”.26

Esposito, and his close collaborator, John Voll asserted with great confidence that every Islamist state or movement was either democratic or potentially democratic. John Voll appeared before a congressional committee in 1992 pleading on behalf of Sudan, which Kramer describes aptly as “a place without political parties, ruled by a military junta in league with an Islamist ideologue”. For Voll the Sudanese regime was “an effort to create consensual rather than a conflict format for popular political participation”, and in his opinion, “It is not possible, even using exclusively Western political experience as basis for defintion, to state that if a system does not have two parties, it is not democratic”.27 In Martin Kramer’s summation: “… American congressman were instructed by the president-elect of MESA [Middle East Studies Association] that a country with no political parties, presided over by a coup-plotting general, ridden by civil war, with a per capita gross domestic product of $200, still might qualify somehow as democracy.”28

Just months before 9/11, Esposito wrote, “focusing on Usama bin Laden risks catapulting one of the many sources of terrorism to center stage, distorting both the diverse international sources and the relevance of one man.” Still earlier he had predicted that the 1990s would “be a decade of new alliances and alignments in which the Islamic movements will challenge rather than threaten their societies and the West.” In 1994, he claimed that Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, was only a community-focused group that engages in “honey, cheese-making, and home-based clothing manufacture.” He saw nothing sinister in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat’s call for Jihad, it was, according to Esposito, comparable to a “literacy campaign”.

After 9/11, Esposito blamed America first. “September 11,” he said, “has made everyone aware of the fact that not addressing the kinds of issues involved here, of tolerance and pluralism, have catastrophic repercussions.” Even more disgracefully, Esposito refuses to acknowledge that the application of the Shari’a, or Islamic law, leads to a highly repressive society such as the former Taliban – ruled Afghanistan, present-day Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Sudan. Freedom House ranks these countries as the worst offenders of human rights in the world. Furthermore, each one of these countries has been linked to the export of international terrorism. And yet, Esposito writes that “contrary to what some have advised, the United States should not in principle object to implementation of Islamic law or involvement of Islamic activists in government.”29

III. Michel Foucault: An Emblematic Figure
Michel Foucault deserves extended discussion both on account of his misperceptions of Islam and the prominent place he has occupied in Western intellectual life in the last few decades. His uncritical admiration of the Islamists in Iran, from 1978 onwards, recalls the tradition of the intellectuals of the Left who, at first, denied Stalin’s Reign of Terror, and then minimized the atrocities, and finally acknowledged them in private but refused to denounce them in public. Robert Conquest gives the example of Sartre, who thought the evidence for the Stalin’s forced labor camps should be ignored or suppressed in order not to demoralize the French proletariat.30 More recently many intellectuals who used to sympathize with various communist systems argued that the atrocities they committed had nothing to do with Marxism, or even Marxism-Leninism, which remain respectable systems of thought.

Michel Foucault visited Iran twice in 1978, just a few months before the Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Tehran in triumph in February, 1979, and wrote about his impressions in the Italian daily Corriere della sera, the French daily Le Monde, and the weekly magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur. Many of his admirers tried to pass off his Iranian writings as temporary aberrations, variously described as “misreadings”, “errors”, “folly”, “miscalculation”, or “a fumble”. But these writings were and remain emblematic of the kind of left-wing thinking that mixes postmodernism, third worldism, and illiberal inclinations.31 Far from being aberrations, Foucault’s analyses, and endorsement of the Iranian Revolution were in total harmony with and related to his general philosophical positions and critiques of modernity.

Michel Foucault remained profoundly ignorant of Islam – its theology, history, its Holy Book, the Quran, Shi’ism and its particular history in Iran. The slightest acquaintance with any of the latter would have saved him and his reputation from his blunders and naive pronouncements, and illusions. He considered Khomeini an “Old Saint”, and wrote “there will not be a Khomeini Party; there will not be a Khomeini government”. He insisted:

“One thing must be clear, by ‘Islamic government’ nobody in Iran means a political regime in which the clerics would have a role of supervision or control…. With respect to liberties, they will be respected to the extent that their exercise will not harm others; minorities will be protected and free to live as they please on the condition that they do not injure the majority; between men and women there will not be inequality with respects to rights, but difference, since there is a natural difference. With respect to politics, decisions should be made by the majority, the leaders should be responsible to the people, and each person, as it is laid out in the Quran, should be able to stand up and hold accountable he who governs”.32

Even a cursory glance at Khomeini’s book Islamic Government, published a few years before he came to power, (where he noted “all of Islam is politics”) might have sobered Foucault up. Even in October, 1978 Khomeini did not disguise his hatred of non-Muslims, and it was clearly his intention to establish an authoritarian state based on Islam and the Koran. Thus it is hardly surprising that practically every prophesy in the statement quoted turned out to be false. All the non-Muslim minorities – Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, and Bahaiis – suffered persecution, destruction of their places of worship, harassment, accusations of blasphemy, forced conversions, and summary executions. More than 200 Baha’is have been killed since 1978, thousands imprisoned. They are regarded as apostates and “unprotected infidels”, have no legal rights, and are not permitted to elect leaders of their community, are denied jobs, and rights to inherit property. More than 10,000 Baha’is have been dismissed from government posts since 1979. All Baha’i cemeteries, holy places and community properties were seized soon after the 1979 revolution, and none have been returned; while many sites of historical significance to Baha’is have been destroyed.

Women are always the first ones to suffer whenever Islamic Laws are promulgated and enforced. Foucault dismissed feminists’ warnings as to the direction the revolution was heading, describing the feminists as westernised and hence inauthentic, and regarding such criticisms of Islam as “Orientalist” –in the pejorative sense. He seemed incapable of grasping the nature of Islamic Law as it related to the rights of women. The limitations of their rights are enshrined in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which explicitly reduces women to second-class citizens. In the segregated health care system many women receive inadequate attention as there are not enough well-trained women doctors and nurses. A rape victim is liable to be executed or stoned to death for fornication.

Liberals of the Cold War era and the Postmodern Left of 21st Century, exemplified by Foucault, have many points in common. First, both disdain the very idea of objective truth, and thus are committed to the doctrine of relativism. James Burnham in his “Suicide of the West” quoted the American philosopher Thomas V.Smith (1890-1964) who was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, Illinois State Senator (1936-1938), and also Congressional Representative, (1938-1940). He wrote, “this inability finally to distinguish truth from falsity, good from evil, beauty from ugliness, is the propaedeutic for promotion from animal impetuosity to civilized forbearance. It marks the firmest foundation for the tolerance which is characteristic of democracy alone”. T.V.Smith cites Justice Holmes as a major source of the influence of this doctrine of relativism.” Professor Smith attacks all classical theories of objective truth, and declares: “No one of these theories can adequately test itself, much less anything else”.33

Foucault, like many postmodernist philosophers, also favors relativism and like T.V.Smith, finds the Enlightenment notions of rationality and objective truth “coercive”. In an interview, that he gave in late 1978, Foucault underlined the “otherness” of the Iranian people, since they are not Westerners, the Iranians “don’t have the same regime of truth as ours…”.34

James Burnham wrote, “When the Western liberal’s feeling of guilt, and his associated feeling of moral vulnerability before the sorrows and demands of the wretched become obsessive, he often develops a generalized hatred of Western civilization and his own country as a part of the West”35 Foucault was exultant at the prospects for an Iranian Revolution precisely because he saw the Islamist movement as an “irreducible form of resistance to Western hegemony”,36 and as a rejection of a European form of modernity. When he was attacked for his article quoted above, Foucault claimed in self-defense that he had also written that some of the pronouncements of the Islamists were “not too reassuring”.37 But, in reality, what Foucault was warning us and the Islamists themselves against was not the dangers of clerical authoritarianism, but the dangers of a liberal democracy!

Foucault’s postmodernist and post-structuralist attacks on the West inexorably led to an uncritical admiration of Islamism, despite, and in some cases because of, the latter’s rejection of liberal democracy, women’s rights, and human rights in general. He called the industrial capitalism of the West as “the harshest, most savage, most selfish, most dishonest, oppressive society one could possibly imagine”.38

When confronted with Iranians who were less religious than the Islamists, more leftist, or otherwise “western”, Foucault always dismissed them as less authentically Iranian.39 He refused to acknowledge that there were staunch secularists among the opposition to the Shah, and even brushed aside the reservations of Ayatollah Shariatmadari for an Islamic Republic. The Iranian Revolution as it was unfolding under his very eyes was, for Foucault, an expression of an undifferentiated collective will.40

Along with an uncritical admiration of Islamism, Foucault indulged exactly in what his disciple, Edward Said, pejoratively called Orientalism: the highly romanticized, and idealized perception of a putatively exotic East. Foucault reflexively preferred what he considered the premodern social order in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, over the modern, rational, Western one. He devalues “rationality” and condescendingly implies that Orientals were superior to Westerners precisely because of their incapacity for rational thought.41

Islamic Terrorism and Its Apologists
Christians in a fog of ecumenical sentimentality deny that the “real” Islam has anything to do with so-called “Islamic Terrorism”, or that Islam as practised in Iran was not the real Islam,57 rather like the Communist fellow travellers of the 1930s, who claimed either that Marxism had nothing to do with Soviet Communism, or that the communism as practised in Russia was not the real communism. Instead everything is blamed on the West, Imperialism, the Crusades, Poverty, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Israel. Similar beliefs are voiced by those on the Left. As Christopher Hitchens wrote:

“Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction… is the Left. From the first day of the immolation of the WTC, right down to the present moment [2004], a gallery of pseudo-intellectuals has been willing to represent the worst face of Islam as the voice of the oppressed… Suicide murderers in Palestine… described as the victims of ‘despair’. The forces of al-Qaeda and the Taliban represented as misguided spokespeople for anti-globalization…. thugs in Iraq… pictured prettily as ‘insurgents’ or even, by Michael Moore, as the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.”42

The editor of the British Leftist weekly, the New Statesman wrote, what Nick Cohen called, “its most notorious leader since the white-washing of Stalin in the Thirties. Mohammad Atta [one of the perpetrators of 9/11] didn’t bother to blame the workers in the WTC for their own deaths, but the [New] Statesman like many other journals of the left was prepared to find incriminating evidence on his behalf”. Here is the New Statesman’s notorious editorial:

“American bond traders, you may say, are as innocent and as undeserving of terror as Vietnamese or Iraqi peasants…Well, yes and no, because Americans, unlike Iraqis and many others in poor countries, at least have the privileges of democracy and freedom that allow them to vote and speak in favor of a different order. If America seems a greedy and overweening power, that is apparently because its people have willed it. They preferred George Bush to both Al Gore and Ralph Nader. These are harsh judgments but we live in harsh times.”43

Mary Beard, a Cambridge Classics don, began with the obligatory, and insincere dismay at the horror of it all, “the horror of the tragedy was enormously intensified by the ringside seats we were offered through telephone answering machines and text-messages” and then continued,

“but when the shock had faded more hard-headed reaction set in. This wasn’t just the feeling that, however, tactfully you dress it up, the United States had it coming. But there is also the feeling that all the ‘civilized world’ (a phrase which Western leaders seem able to use without a trace of irony) is paying the price for its glib definitions of ‘terrorism’ and its refusal to listen what the ‘terrorists’ have to say.”44

The words terrorists, terrorism, and civilized world are in scare quotes, already an indication that she does not think “they” are terrorists or that “we” are civilized. The irony was that intellectuals like Mary Beard were incapable of listening to what the terrorists were saying, that they had nothing but contempt for liberal democracy. But the Left refused to accept reality, instead, embraced the “root cause” fallacy. It was an extraordinary failure of the Liberal imagination, unable to fathom the motives of a death cult. As Francis Wheen put it, “Like generals who fight the last war instead of the present one, socialists and squishy progressives were so accustomed to regarding American imperialism as the only source of evil in the world that they couldn’t imagine any other enemy”.45

Here is what Bin Laden said about the WTC atrocity of 2001: “The values of this Western civilization under the leadership of America have been destroyed. Those awesome symbolic towers that speak of liberty, human rights and humanity have been destroyed. They have gone up in smoke”. He did not say that the towers were a symbol of capitalism but of “liberty, human rights and humanity”.46

Most politicians, journalists and academics soon after 9/11 argued that the root cause of terrorism was poverty. James D. Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank, claimed that the war on terrorism “will not be won until we have come to grips with the problem of poverty and thus the sources of discontent.” George W.Bush concurred, “We fight against poverty, because hope is an answer to terror. … We will challenge the poverty and hopelessness and lack of education and failed governments that too often allow conditions that terrorists can seize.” Al Gore, at the Council on Foreign Relations, put forward the argument that it was anger that fueled terrorism in the Islamic world, and it was due to “the continued failure to thrive, as rates of economic growth stagnate, while the cohort of unemployed young men under 20 continues to increase.”47

But poverty, while a regrettable condition, is not the root cause of Islamic fundamentalism.48 The research of sociologists such as the Egyptian Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the economist Galal A.Amin, the observations of journalists like the Palestinian Arab Kahild M.Amayreh, and the Algerian Berber political leader Saad Saadi all lead to the same conclusion that present day Islamists activists are typically young men from the middle or lower middle class, highly motivated, upwardly mobile, and well-educated, often with science or engineering degrees.49 Supporters of militant Islamic organizations are more often the urban rich rather than the rural poor. Neither wealth nor a flourishing economy protects against the rise of militant Islam. Kuwaitis enjoy high incomes but Islamists usually win the largest bloc of seats in parliament. Many modern militant Islamic movements increased their influence in the 1970s, just as oil-exporting states enjoyed very high growth rates.

Generally speaking, Westerners attribute too many of the Arab world’s problems, “to specific material issues” such as land and wealth.50 Islamists themselves rarely talk about poverty. As Ayatollah Khomeini put it, “We did not create a revolution to lower the price of melon.”51 Islamists need the money to buy weapons, and to fund propaganda. Wealth is merely a means, not an end.

Nor is the existence of Israel the major cause of Islamic terrorism. As Benjamin Netanyahu put it “The soldiers of militant Islam do not hate the West because of Israel, they hate Israel because of the West.”52 As early as 1995, Netanyahu had warned,

“[it] is impossible to understand just how inimical – and how deadly – to the United States and to Europe this rising tide of militant Islam is without taking a look at the roots of Arab-Islamic hatred of the West. Because of the media’s fascination with Israel, many today are under the impression that the intense hostility prevalent in the Arab and Islamic world toward the United States is a contemporary phenomenon, the result of Western support for the Jewish state, and that such hostility would end if an Arab-Israeli was eventually reached. But nothing could be more removed from the truth. The enmity toward the West goes back many centuries, remaining to this day a driving force at the core of militant Arab-Islamic political culture. And this would be the case even if Israel had never been born.”53

Or as Wagdi Ghuniem, a militant Islamic cleric from Egypt said “suppose the Jews said ‘Palestine – you [Muslims] can take it.’ Would it then be ok? What would we tell them? No! The problem is belief, it is not a problem of land.”54 In turn Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Does anyone suppose that an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza would have forestalled the slaughter in Manhattan? It would take a moral cretin to suggest anything of the sort; the cadres of the new jihad make it very apparent that their quarrel is with Judaism and secularism on principle, not with (or not just with) Zionism.”55 More recently Bernard Lewis said “the only real solution to defeating radical Islam is to bring freedom to the Middle East. Either ‘we free them or they destroy us’.”56 But what of the born-free Muslims in the West who are Islamists, such as the four 7/7 bombers in London? Freedom did nothing for them.57

Nor is American foreign policy the cause. United States foreign policy toward the Arab and the Muslim world has been one of accommodation rather than antagonism. During the Cold War, the US supported Muslims against communists. Recent United States military action in the Middle East has been on behalf of Muslims, rather than against them. The US protected Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from Iraq, Afghanistan from the Soviets, Bosnia and Kosovo from Yugoslavia, and Somalia from warlord Muhammad Farah Aidid. United States foreign policy has nothing to do with the deaths of 150 000 Algerians at the hands of Islamist fanatics.

Islamic beliefs are the root cause of Islamic hostility towards the United States and the Western world. American foreign policy has nothing to do with the stoning to death of a woman for adultery in Nigeria. It has everything to do with Islam, and Islamic Law. The theory and practice of Jihad – Bin Laden’s foreign policy-was not concocted in the Pentagon, it is derived from the Koran and Hadith, Islamic Tradition. But Western Liberals and Humanists find it hard to accept this; they lack the imagination to do so. Western Liberals think everyone thinks like them, that all people, including the Islamic fundamentalists desire the same things, have the same goals in life. Western Liberals are used to searching for external, environmental explanations for behavior that they cannot comprehend; Hitler’s behavior cannot be explained as a reaction to the Treaty of Versailles76 or the economic situation in Germany in the twenties or thirties. The Islamic fundamentalists are utopian visionaries who wish to replace Western style -liberal democracies with an Islamic theocracy, with a system that seeks to control every aspect of individual life. French philosopher Christian Godin recently pointed out that Islamic totalitarianism is potentially far more dangerous than either the Nazi or Communist variety, since the latter, although they wish to exterminate those seen as obstacles to their political projects are committed to their own preservation. Islamic fundamentalists do not consider self-preservation of great importance and cherish martydom.58

The number of people who have written about 11 September, 2001 without once mentioning Islam is extraordinary, all the more since we must take seriously what the Islamists say to understand their motivations, to understand 11 September and similar events. The four major influences on the rise of Militant Islam in the 20th century have been the Egyptian Hasan al- Banna, (the founder of Muslim Brethren), Sayyid Qutb, the Indo-Pakistani Maududi, and the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini. Every one of them reiterates the same message, derived from classical writers like Ibn Taymiyyah, and ultimately from the Koran and Hadith, namely, that it is the divinely ordained duty of all Muslims to fight non-Muslims in the literal sense until man-made law is replaced by God’s Law, the Sharia, and Islam conquers the entire world. As Maududi put it:

“In reality Islam is a revolutionary ideology and programme which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. ‘Muslim’ is the title of that International Revolutionary Party organized by Islam to carry into effect its revolutionary program. And ‘Jihad’ refers to that revolutionary struggle and utmost exertion which the Islamic Party brings into play to achieve this objective….

Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a State on the basis of its own ideology and program, regardless of which Nation assumes the role of the standard bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State.”59

One survivor of the Holocaust when asked what lesson he had learned from his experience of the 1940s in Germany replied, “If someone tells you that he intends to kill you, believe him.”60 Unfortunately, many liberals, lefitists, and humanists, even after September 11 have yet to learn this lesson. One may note here that many leftists are not just self-critical, they identify with their nations’ enemies; just as Whig radicals empathized with Napoleon, Kim Philby and his cohorts made the Soviet Union their adopted homeland, and the hard left Israeli academic Ilan Pappe identifies with Hezbollah.

It is instructive to note what the two groups of apologists of Islam, the Christian authors discussed and the Leftists, have in common. Both have recourse to cultural relativism to justify their non-judgmental attitudes towards radical Islam, both share an unwillingness to confront reality or even to deny it, and a willingness to blame Western civilization, institutions and values. As James Burnham pointed out, both these groups practiced a form of moral disarmament.61

These attitudes lead to selective indignation. The Left refuses to criticize the murders committed by Islamists in Algeria where more than a hundred thousand Algerians have been killed by other Algerians, or the massacres of Christians and African Muslims by the Arab Muslim forces of the Islamic government of the Sudan, and the killings in Iran. Again, as Burnham wrote: “The guilt of the liberal is insatiable”.62 Instead of moral outrage sparked by the atrocities of the Islamic terrorists in September, 2001, we have the attitude summed up by Nick Cohen as “Kill Us, We Deserve It”, the title of a chapter in his book, What’s Left. How Liberals Lost their Way, published in 2007.

Conclusion
“My feelings about Das Kapital are the same as my feelings about the Koran. I know that it is historically important and I know that many people, not all of whom are idiots, find it a sort of Rock of Ages and containing inspiration. Yet when I look into it, it is to me inexplicable that it can have this effect. Its dreary, out-of-date, academic controversialising seems so extraordinarily unsuitable as material for the purpose … How could either of these books carry fire and sword round half the world? It beats me.”63 [John Maynard Keynes, “Letter to George Bernard Shaw”, December 2, 1934]

A host of writers have remarked that what drew so many intellectuals to revolutionary Marxism was that “what once had appealed in the name of God crossed over to the banner of History….Marxism was a secular religion”.64 There is an apparent similarity between the mindset of the Marxist and the religious believer, the Koran and Das Kapital seem to attract the same sort of people. To say the least, both types derive great satisfaction from having access to readily available doctrines which seem applicable in a wide variety of situations and lend themselves to be quoted. Mary Ann Weaver observed, “A number of my former professors from the American University of Cairo were Marxists 20 years ago: fairly adamant, fairly doctrinaire Marxists. They are now equally adamant, equally doctrinaire Islamists.”65

It is not easy to explain the tolerant, and often sympathetic attitude towards Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism on the part of the European Left, American Liberals, and Latin American Marxists all of whom are secularists, believers in the separation of church and state, champions of women’s rights and advocates of a scientific worldview. The most obvious explanation may be found in their shared hatred of America. There are other affinities as well between the former apologists of Communism and the modern apologists of Islamic fundamentalism.

Anti-Americanism is linked to the idea of moral equivalence that was popular during the Cold War as applied to the United States and the Soviet Union. Arguably, its antecedents and early manifestations go back to earlier centuries when many Westerners found “the Other” equal, if not superior to, Occidentals. In modern times, moral equivalence can be traced to the period following the First World War. Étienne Mantoux, in his posthumously published work, The Carthaginian Peace, or the The Economic Consequences of Mr Keynes66 argued that the Western democracies during the 1930s suffered from a ‘guilt-complex’. Keynes was an early representative of moral equivalence when he proposed that the Treaty of Versailles, following the First World War defeat of Germany, was a ‘breach of engagements and international morality’ that was just as reprehensible as the Germany invasion of Belgium.67 As Andrew Roberts explains further, “Versailles was held to prove to Americans that Europeans were… all equally revengeful, equally Machiavellian, equally imperialistic; that the entry of America in the last war had been a ghastly mistake… an Allied Victory [in a future war] would probably be no better than Versailles and a German victory could certain be no worse’.”68

During the Cold War, “it was argued that in fundamental moral respects the democracies and communist states were already much alike, a position that simultaneously denies the virtues of the democracies and the vices of the totalitarian systems of the East”.69 The Guardian, a London daily, wrote in October, 1983, “There are plenty around who are already prepared to see the U.S. as no better than the Soviet Union in the standards of its international behavior. There are many more, however, who still expect superior standards of the U.S., who are shocked and bewildered at the spectacle of Americans engaging in an act of aggression quite as blatant as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which was deplored in such fine-sounding words”.70

After 9/11, intellectuals, like Noam Chomsky, and buffoons, such as Michael Moore, journalists such as Robert Fisk, and liberal politicians, such as Edward Kennedy, once more fell back on “moral equivalence.” Senator Kennedy, commenting on the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib said: “Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam’s torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management.” Saddam, who killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, and tortured thousands of others, thus became morally equivalent to a handful of soldiers humiliating a handful of Iraqi prisoners. Amnesty International described the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as “the gulag of our times.” As Brandon Crocker put it, “I wonder what that makes North Korea. At Amnesty International they still can’t resist comparing the United States to the Soviet Union and in ways as ludicrous as ever. Amnesty International would have us believe that there is no difference between Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and an al-Qaeda fighter…”.71

Moral Equivalence between Christianity and Radical Islam is equally questionable especially given the fact Christian religions readily accept the separation church and state and since the Crusades had no doctrine comparable to Jihad. Of further importance is that Christianity has absorbed many principles of the Enlightenment, and Islam has not. The doctrine of Moral Equivalence arises readily in a culture already infected with moral and cultural relativism.

Western apologists of communist systems and radical Islamic movements despise their own society and therefore are receptive to the appeals of movements or political systems which share their moralistic rejection of their own social system and cultural heritage. Estrangement from their own societies makes them particularly susceptible to the alleged virtues of such movements or systems when located in the Third World that is by definition non-Western and perceived as victimized by the West. Although the ideology of radical Islam is in many ways incongruous with traditional leftist values, such dissonance is overlooked because of the shared, animating hostility to the open, liberal, secular and pluralistic character of Western societies. Under these circumstances the unappealing features of Islamic values and practices are given the benefit of doubt inspired by the prevailing non-judmental, multicultural perspective that reserves harsh judgment only for Western societies. Giving a pass to the misdeeds inspired by Islamic radicalism and fanaticism will be with us as long as groups of Western intellectuals remain convinced that their own societies have been responsible for most of the ills and injustices of the world.

de 71 litteraturhenvisninger på linket:

Trykkefrihedsselskabet  marts 2008

Ibn_Warraq_073.jpg

**********************************************

The 2008 Free Press Award
for Ibn Warraq

Lars Hedegaard’s presentation Speech
Copenhagen, March 9, 2008
We live in strange times indeed.

In Europe – and to some extent even in the US – we are faced with a class of intellectuals or pseudointellectuals who are now in almost complete command of academia, the church, many state institutions and vast sections of the press and who hold that Europe as a civilisation and as a culture is worthless. That everything we were taught when I went to school must be swept away because it is racist, capitalistic, imperialistic, xenophobic, oppressive and condescending towards other parts of the globe and the vast majority of mankind.

These days our elites claim that all evil in the world stems from the pernicious influence and machinations of the West and its running dogs abroad. Just a couple of days ago I heard on Radio Denmark – which is a major provider this anti-Western ideology – that Israel is to blame for the fact that Palestinian men beat their wives. It must have been a real treat to be a woman in those parts before 1948.

But this is what is now being taught in our public schools and our institutions of higher learning, in the churches and in the press: The West is worthless and the sooner we are replaced by a race of noble savages, the better.

In such an environment it is interesting and indeed encouraging that European culture is now getting help from a number of people who were not born into that culture but came to us from abroad. And who for that very reason know better than any of us who grew up here precisely what it means to live in cultures that are not influenced by the West.

These writers and thinkers and intellectuals in the truest sense of the word have now become the indispensable defenders of everything that we have given up.

I am talking about people such as Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Chahdortt Djavann, Taslima Nasrin, Parvan Darabi, Shabana Rehman, Kenan Malik, Irshad Manji, Wafa Sultan, Brigitte Gabriel, Bat Ye’or. I could go on.

These people and scores of others of similar background have become the true Western and European intellectuals, and none more that today’s guest of honour, Ibn Warraq, whose latest addition to a distinguished oeuvre has the telling title: Defending the West.

An what a learned tour de force it is. In addition to being an exposé of Western values and virtues over 2,500 years of history, this remarkable book completely dismantles the edifice of Edward Said, whose book on Orientalism had become a bible in our universities.

Among other major works by Ibn Warraq I especially like the edited work What the Koran Really Says with a sterling introduction by Ibn Warraq and with many other contributions that pull the rug from under what passes for Koranic scholarship in many Western universities these days.

But the book that has made the greatest impression and which I believe will have a lasting impact on the development of the clash of civilisations is Ibn Warraq’s first book, Why I Am not A Muslim (1995), translated into Danish in 2004.

It has been said that if you only have the time or the inclination to read one book about Islam in your life, this is the one to turn to. And I entirely agree.

Why I Am not a Muslim has been tremendously influential, and it is difficult to imagine where we would be today without it.

It is an achievement that well merits our Free Press Award, which I shall now present to Ibn Warraq.

It is herewith awarded for the third time to an author for courageous and unwavering defence of free speech.

With the diploma comes a piece of art created by the Danish artist Helle Klint.

Læser jihadister Cervantes?

Det uendelige potentiale for krænkelser – Mikael Jalving har fundet racisme og spot og hån af et forfulgt mindretal i Don Quijote:

Hør blot åbningen af kapitel 5, hvor Muhammed får én over snuden:

“Da han nu ikke kunne komme ud af stedet, benyttede han sig af sin sædvanlige metode, nemlig at ty til en af de episoder han havde læst om i bøgerne, og i sit vanvid kom han i tanker om den med Balduin og markisen af Mantua, dengang Karlot sårede den førstnævnte i skoven, en historie som ethvert barn kan udenad, de unge ikke er ubekendte med, og de gamle elsker og endda tror på, selv om der ikke er mere sandhed i dén end i Muhammeds mirakler.” (min [MJs] kursiv)

Muhammeds lære kan med andre ord sidestilles med folkelige skrøner og godnathistorier. Den går vist ikke længere hverken i Mekka eller Middelfart i dag. […]

Men det bliver værre endnu. I kapitel 9 møder vi denne passus en passant. Don Quijote taler her om en konkret histories sandfærdighed eller mangel på samme:

“Den eneste grund til at rejse tvivl om dens sandfærdighed skulle være at forfatteren er araber, for arabere er løgnagtige. Men siden de er os så fjendtligt stemt, er det mere sandsynligt at han har underspillet end overdrevet historien.” (min [MJs] kursiv) Skal Don Quijote forbydes?

Litteratur kan heldigvis ikke udryddes, men hvad med Europas unikke kulturarv? Hvad med fresker og kalkmalerier der afbilder Muhammed? Er alt dette ‘jahiliya’, værdiløs ikke-islamisk kultur? Pointen jeg antyder er ikke at der er konsensus blandt islams toneangivende lærde om dette spørgsmål (omend jeg vil være dybt skeptisk om hvor vidt nogle af dem anser vores kulturarv for værdifuld og vil gøre noget for at beskytte den), men at vores kulturarv er ekstremt sårbar og umulig at beskytte. Der behøves kun nogle jihadister som anser kirker og fresker for at være værdiløs jahiliya, og en dunk … er jeg alarmistisk? Hvad er argumenterne da imod at dette kan og vil ske i de kommende årtier? (LFPC)

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  • Hip Hop

    Derfor er det også en nødvendighed, at der stadig produceres kulturel kapital, der indeholder religionskritik af islam.

    Bidragyderne er vidt forskellige. Men både Hera, Vilks, Westergaard og Wilders bidrager til den fond af kapital, Vesten skal tære på, når islamisterne for alvor får held til at korrumpere magtapparatet. Hvad de i øvrigt er godt i gang med, når de kan få kunstudstillinger censureret og lovlige film fjernet fra nettet.

    Men nogle få hædersmænd og -kvinder har ikke givet op og fastholder en vestlig funderet religionskritik i forhold til islam.

  • Hip Hop

    Ros til Jalving for et flot indlæg i Berlingske, hvor han stiller det nødvendige spørgsmål:

    Hvor langt vil vi gå ad appeasement Politikens slagne vej?

  • Vi – eller rettere de europæiske ledere og det store flertal af befolkningerne der håber at virkeligheden forsvinder hvis man stikker hovedet i busken – vil fortsætte ad denne vej indtil det ikke længere er muligt, hvad grunden til dette så vil være. Kapitulationen over Wilders’ film er total, og udstiller vores regeringers moralske kollaps, samtidig med at næsten 100% af debatten handler om Wilders’ slette karakter og filmens kvaliteter og mangel på samme. Der er en elefant til stede i lokalet, og alle pludrer bare videre.

    For mig er det sigende, at selv i lande som Holland og Storbritannien og Sverige, hvor de ting vi kun er ved at se starten på er en del af hverdagen, selv her er der ikke nogen massiv modstand mod dhimmitude, ingen større partier, stuerene eller ej, fascistiske eller demokratiske, der repræsenterer et oprør mod udviklingen.

    Dette siger mig at tingene også vil blive værre herhjemme – utryghed, voldtægter, bandevold osv. – uden at der sker en skid. Der kommer ikke en gradvis optrapning af assertive tiltag (og hvad skulle disse være på nuværende tidspunkt?), ingen opsigelse af internationale konventioner, ingen deportationer af jihadister, ingen fratagelser af statsborgerskaber. Der er muligt at fjerne menneskers selvopholdelsesdrift. Angst for stueurenhed overtrumfer overlevelsesinstinktet.

    Så hvor langt vi (incl. os som ikke ønsker det) vil gå, bliver så langt som til det punkt hvor vi begynder at sælge ud af vores demokratiske arvesølv og samfundets sammenhængskraft, for at kunne bilde os ind at dette vil afvende det uafvendelige. Accept af dele af sharia først, accept af sharia i enklaver/ghettoer, osv., samtidig med at vi stadig skal betale overførselsindkomster.

    Dette er i hvert fald et glidebanescenarie som jeg ser det, men utallige andre muligheder eksisterer selvfølgelig afhængig af hvilket ’skud i Sarajevo’ der kan sætte et forløb i gang. Jeg tror bare ikke på en gradvis opvågnen af de europæiske befolkninger, for så skulle dette være sket for længe siden.

  • mike

    Rolig nu Finsen, vi vinder, folket vågner.

  • Hip Hop

    “Rolig nu Finsen, vi vinder, folket vågner.”

    Jeg er bange for, at vi taber. Folket snorksover.

    Selv når volden (to gange!) rammer Peter Myginds egen søn Julius, gør Peter Mygind straks gerningsmændene til ofre for udefra påførte omstændigheder (se Nyhedsavisen).

    Det eneste håb er, at Julius Mygind efter to gange at have stiftet bekendtskab med denne vold vokser op og bliver mere klartskuende end sin far, der sidder fast i denne offer-tankegang, der undskylder alt fra et overfald på hans egen søn til 11. september.

  • Jeg mener nu, at “pessimisme er en luksus, vi ikke har råd til.” Fx er det temmeligt sikkert, at en agitation for fx ophævelsen af 24-årsregelen er politisk selvmord. Også den “diskursive”(undskyld, jeg er RUC’er:-) åbning i forhold til de radikale islamister, der kan “gå af Helvet til”, synes jeg er et godt tegn.

    VH
    Jacob

  • Krystian Kowalczyk

    I just wanted to say: excellent article. So many important points were addressed by Ibn Warraq in this article; it really should be in wider circulation. Particularly here in America where the Leftists have an irrational love affair with the Muslim faith. Ibn Warraq is a true Western intellectual, one to be proud of.

    Too bad the soft-minded liberals of this generation don’t realize that the friendly neighborhood Somali has no love for them other than to use them as a crutch to export intolerant and totalitarian Sharia law here. It is already happening, and these extremists are snickering behind Western backs because most of us are blind to their agenda.

  • I am limited to the English language, unfortunately.

    The expanding discussion about Islam and the movement away from apologetics (defensiveness) to unlimited criticism is healthy and necessary. The growing expose’ of the Islamic totalitarian base is a warning to all countries and peoples and must supercede the Christian (and other religion’s) discussants’ illogical support for treating Islam as a differentiated philosophy. Ibn Warraq, particularly, and other modern Islamic critics, must be encouraged to air their brilliant analyses, and supported for their courage to express them, in spite of the danger of Fatwahs against them.

    As a part of my response I must comment on the superficial statement by Krystian Kowalczyk which is evinced in many observations made by those who consider themselves to intellectual conservatives: to lump together all opposition to the researched tracts on Islamic totalitarianism as being the spawn of “the soft-minded liberals” is to confuse the critical issues which require global exposure. There is too much at stake here to cast brickbats at ill-defined opposition critics.

    However, let me share why this process is empty-headed. I am a liberal, a global citizen and a Freethinker; when I lived in South Africa I openly opposed Apartheid, earning me police attention and the accusation of being a communist (the same type of criticism thrown into the mix by American conservatives whose “pinko, red menace,” and other empty, ignorant name-calling leads no-where). I support peace and peaceful resolution and I oppose traditionalism, war and violence (which may make me naive, but not stupid). I now live in the United States, where American conservatism exposes itself as illogical, hatemongering, anti-intellectual and a threat to freedom. My political/philosophical/social/religious alignment and makeup is mixed, my objectives are precise, and I believe Islam to be a world threat. In a word, as a liberal my outlook is complex and to lump me and leave me on the “left” (another empty name) is to miss what I, and others like me, could offer to issues.

    The expansion of Islam in Europe is my immediate concern, particularly in the UK (where I was born) and France. This means my active opposition to people like Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the fool who suggested that “parts” of the Sharia could be incorporated into British civil law, and to immigration laws which allow the growth of the Moslem communites to a point where projections suggest they will be in the majority in both countries in 30 years, and able, then, to change to the Sharia without a shot fired.

    To put all of this in context: Islam projects violence, militant control, the suppression of women, and a slide into the past to a place where Christianity promoted and maintained religious violence, militant control, the suppression of women and everyone else, and the destruction of the arts and all creativeness, during the Dark Ages. Ibn Warraq, Salmon Rushdie, and others must be supported. To expand the view slightly I quote Ibn Warraq from his essay, ‘The Koran’, in Christopher Hitchins’ ‘The Portable Atheist’:

    “I emphasize these atrocities [in Indonesia – my comment] as a counter to the sentimental nonsense about the ’spiritual East’, which, we are constantly told, is so much superior to the decadent and atheistic West; and as counterexamples to the belief that religion somehow makes men more virtuous. Europeans and Asians, Christians and Muslims have all been guilty of the most appalling cruelty; whereas there have been thousands of atheists who have not only led blameless lives but have worked selflessly for the good of their fellow humans.” (pp 444).

    We would all be far better off without religion. Islam is the napping, growing monster now, but all religions must be carefully watched. In America, the threat is growing Christian Fundamentalism (defined as a formal religious movement begun in the early years of the 20th Century whose danger to the globe is the result of its adherent’s belief of “the last days” or “end-of-time” theology) whose church growth objectives now include Africa and South America. The greatest, and most immediate threat from these Christians at the moment is their alignment with extremist Jewish groups who want to build the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem. Members of both of these religious groups support the violent destruction of the Islamic Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the Temple Mount. If this happens there is little doubt that such violence would ignite the third world war.

    “Millions of Christians in the United States are concerned with the future of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif. Some pray for the day that Christians, Jews, and Muslims can share in peace the site considered holy by all three religions. Others plan for the day that the Muslim shrines and places of worship on the Haram al Sharif are destroyed and replaced with the third Temple of
    Solomon that some messianic Jews want to build on the site.”

    So we should not lose sight of other projected religious violence and their predicted possible horrors. While Islam is totalitarian and a great threat as it peacefully invades Europe, all other religions are a threat to world peace, too. If India’s Hindu extremists managed to get into their atomic weapon stockpile what would the results be? If Pakistani Islamic extremists get into their county’s new atomic weapons where would the missiles go? Perhaps Bombay? Our continued peaceful global existence is as tenuous as the safety of Asian river communities in the Monsoon, and much less predictable.

  • Chris,

    Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. As for language, you may get useful results through the Google Translate engine, if any passages in Danish seem relevant to you.

    There’s just time for a quick reply to a few of your comments right now, however, I’ll look into the rest later.

    “We would all be far better off without religion”.

    This question may generally be off topic for the general scope of this blog, however, I would certainly dispute your claim: There is no such thing as “without religion,” religion in the general sense of an overarching paradigm guiding one through life. Atheism is a religion in this sense as well, being a belief in certain answers to the unknowable. “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too”? Please consider this: Who is most likely to succeed in a clash between civilizations: People with “no religion,” or people who project their atrocious deeds into a divinely sanctioned context? People who despise their own culture for genuine or perceived evils in the name of their own religion, or people for whom questioning their own religion would have them killed or ostracized?

    As for

    “In America, the threat is growing Christian Fundamentalism (defined as a formal religious movement begun in the early years of the 20th Century whose danger to the globe is the result of its adherent’s belief of “the last days” or “end-of-time” theology) whose church growth objectives now include Africa and South America. The greatest, and most immediate threat from these Christians at the moment is their alignment with extremist Jewish groups who want to build the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem. Members of both of these religious groups support the violent destruction of the Islamic Mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the Temple Mount. If this happens there is little doubt that such violence would ignite the third world war”.

    This is setting up moral equivalence where none exists. Super brief summary: Muslim millennarians can point to their own mainstream theology, current dogmatism, and history.

    Fundamentalist American Christians cannot.

    The demographics are in favour of Islam, not in favour of American fundamentalists.

    Indeed, the numbers of atrocities perpetrated by these two groups do not compare at all. May I suggest looking up the tally at thereligionofpeace.com. We are talking about 11,000+ acts of violence for Islam since 9/11.

    American fundamentalists do not enjoy worldwide support, and they are not part of a state (or crime) financed global movement.

    Muslim extremists do, and Muslim extremism is.

    Please go to jihadwatch.org and search for “moral equivalence” there for further discussion of this issue.

  • Peter Buch

    I´ll try in danish – excuse me mr. Morton:
    Vinder eller vindere i civilisationers konfrontation er den eller de der bruger de forhåndenværende midler bedst, disse være mandskab, taktik, strategi og modstander(-es) forhold. Der behøver ikke tages særlig hensyn til religiøs status eller ideologier disse indgår som et punkt blandt mange i den bedømmelse af forholdene enhver med fornuft ville udføre, håber jeg.
    Præmisset for ovennævnte er her sat til at vindere ikke er bundet af andet end de egenskaber og midler vedkommende har til rådighed.

  • Krystian Kowalczyk

    Chris,

    Your ad hominem attacks expose you as a “react and judge” type of personality.

    “I am a liberal, a global citizen and a Freethinker”

    Those are merely code words for clueless. Your precious SA is dying because of people like you. Where’s the new day of glorious integration in your beloved SA under the ANC? Why aren’t you still there? My guess is that it wasn’t because DeKlerk had it in for you…(hint, hint, JoBurg murder capital of world, Boer genocide, etc)

    “I now live in the United States, where American conservatism exposes itself as illogical, hatemongering, anti-intellectual and a threat to freedom.”

    And I, of course, am an example of this? You are off the mark by miles. Anyway, patriotardism (‘neo-conservatism’) in the USA is not conservative by any fair measure (deficit spending, immigration inundation, warmongering, playing to the worst aspects of people, etc).

    “I support peace and peaceful resolution and I oppose traditionalism, war and violence”

    In other words, you deny human nature: to wit, that we are violent brutes. Nietzsche had some choice words for you ‘progressives’. BTW, you OPPOSE tradition? Where do you people come up with this idea that organically-evolved traditions are poison?

    “In a word, as a liberal my outlook is complex and to lump me and leave me on the “left” (another empty name) is to miss what I, and others like me, could offer to issues.”

    You just can’t stop talking down to people, can you? Leftist = fanatical devotee of modernism and all of its ills (i.e. capitalism and communism are false dichotomy, they are both facets of modernism, both “leftist”). Doesn’t that describe you? A belief that “almighty reason” can cure all ills (among those “ills” all tradition and all that we hold dear?!)

    Let me clarify my position so that you don’t lob any more fallacious attacks. I am not a liberal in any fashion. I am a nationalist, a man who is concerned for the future of my people. I am not “illogical, hatemongering” or “anti-intellectual.” But I have long since moved past the starry eyed assumption that the liberal/cosmopolitan paradigm is sustainable or even desirable (oh yes, I was like you once).

    We live in a hard world. It makes some of us into hard people. But I will not be blindsided by reality, as you will be.

  • Krystian Kowalczyk

    BTW, I do not in any form sanction the mass murder of innocents in the Gaza strip, or anywhere else. I mistrust Muslims for other reasons. But I am not a monster. I do not believe that anyone should be denied human rights. Just because I do not think Muslims belong in Western countries doesn’t mean that I support their senseless eradication.

  • Janne

    Hvis Peter Myginds søn var at opfatte som jorden og miljøet, så skulle miljøbevidste teater farmor Mygind nok få sagt fra overfor voldsmændene, der hvor Peter Mygind ikke formår eller evner det.

  • Janne

    Min kommentar var til Hip Hop 8:53

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