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Raped in Oslo

The number of rapes in the Norwegian capital Oslo is six times as high as in New York City. I’ve written about the issue of rape and Muslim immigration so many times that I am, quite frankly, a bit tired of the subject. But as we all know, problems don’t disappear just because you are tired of talking about them, so here goes.

There has been an explosive increase in the number of rape charges in the city of Oslo, but both the media and the authorities consistently refuse to tell us why. They did do so, however, in 2001, when two out of Norway's three largest newspapers, Aftenposten and Dagbladet, reported that most of these rape charges involve an immigrant perp, which again mostly means Muslims. Both newspapers have since then conveniently “forgotten” about this, and have never connected the issue to Muslim immigration although the number of rape charges has continued to rise to historic levels. They are thus at best guilty of extreme incompetence, since their former articles about this issue are still available online.

Norway’s Minister of Justice from 2001 to 2005, Odd Einar Dørum, mentioned the problem in 2001 but has later gone quiet about the issue. The reported number of rapes in Oslo is now six – 6! – times as high per capita as in New York City, yet the media keeps warning against Islamophobia.

According to Aftenposten, the clinic (voldtektsmottak) at the emergency hospital known as Legevakt has never had so many rape victims to treat. Its ability to care for them all is being severely tested. The number of reported rapes has skyrocketed this year.

Two out of three charged with rape in Norway’s capital are immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. The number of rape cases is also rising steadily. Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, in 2001 said that “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

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Is Islam Compatible with Democracy? part 2

According to Salim Mansur, associate professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, "Democracy is in a cultural sense an expression of the liberal modern world that situates the individual as the moral center of politics and society. (...) It is the idea of the inalienable rights located in the individual, rights that need to be protected, nurtured, and allowed the fullest unhindered expression that makes democracy so morally distinctive from other cultural systems. From this liberal perspective, the common error about democracy is to view it as a majority system of governance. In a democracy based on individual rights, on the contrary, it is the protection of the rights of minorities and dissidents that reflect the different nature of politics within the larger context of democratic culture."

This definition is opposed to an illiberal democracy, which is "similar to what Samuel E. Finer, a professor of politics and government, wrote about in Comparative Government as 'façade democracy,' a bowing of the head to the idea of democracy by the tiny elite of those in power as a means to enhance their legitimacy and perpetuate their authority."

One great obstacle to establishing democracy in this cultural sense in Muslim countries is that Muslims have been taught from birth that non-Muslims can't be expected to enjoy the same kind of rights as Muslims do.

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece entitled "Reviving Mideastern Democracy: We Arabs Need the West's Help to Usher in a New Liberal Age." It was written by Saad Eddin Ibrahim, chairman of the board of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo, who has been jailed several times for his pro-democracy work in Egypt. Mr. Ibrahim thinks the prospects for democracy in the Middle East are surprisingly good:

"In previous decades, authoritative voices said that Germany, Japan, Slavic countries and even Catholic societies would never, could never, be democratic. I am not speaking of popular prejudices here, but of high-level scholarship and expert consensus. Batteries of learned naysayers honestly believed that there was something about German, Japanese or Slavic culture, or about Catholicism, that was fundamentally and unchangeably hostile to democracy and democratic values. . . ."

But in the words of the celebrated 14th century historian Ibn Khaldun himself: "in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force." In Islam, says Ibn Khaldun, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with "power politics," because Islam is "under obligation to gain power over other nations" (Muqaddimah, trans. Rosenthal, p. 183).

As Robert Spencer commented, "Those are not words of openness, tolerance, and democracy. And they are still widely held in the Muslim world."

Ibn Khaldun wrote about Christians: "We do not think that we should blacken the pages of this book [Muqaddimah] with discussion of their [Christian] dogmas of unbelief. In general, they are well known. All of them are unbelief. This is clearly stated in the noble Koran. To discuss or argue those things with them is not up to us. It is for them to choose between conversion to Islam, payment of the poll tax, or death."

According to the book The Legacy of Jihad (page 29), "In The Laws of Islamic Governance al-Mawardi (d. 1058), also examines the regulations pertaining to the lands and infidel (i.e., non-Muslim) populations subjugated by jihad. This is the origin of the system of dhimmitude. The native infidel population had to recognize Islamic ownership of their land, submit to Islamic law, and accept payment of the poll tax (jizya). Al-Mawardi highlights the most significant aspect of this consensus view of the jizya in classical Islamic jurisprudence: the critical connection between jihad and payment of the jizya. He notes that "[t]he enemy makes a payment in return for peace and reconciliation." Al-Mawardi then distinguishes two cases: (1) Payment is made immediately and is treated like booty, however "it does, however, not prevent a jihad being carried out against them in the future" (2) Payment is made yearly and will "constitute an ongoing tribute by which their security is established." Reconciliation and security last as long as the payment is made. If the payment ceases, then the jihad resumes."

There are also other limitations on dhimmis. In 2005 it was announced that the first Christian church in Qatar since the 7th century was to be built on land donated by the reform-minded Emir. The church will not have a spire or freestanding cross, in accordance with traditional dhimmi laws where Christians are forbidden to display crosses. Clive Handford, the Nicosia-based Anglican Bishop in Cyprus and the Gulf, said: "We are there as guests in a Muslim country and we wish to be sensitive to our hosts ... but once you're inside the gates it will be quite obvious that you are in a Christian center." Christianity was eradicated from most Gulf Arab states within a few centuries of the arrival of Islam.

Even in Malaysia, one Muslim majority country frequently hailed as "moderate and tolerant," hundreds of Hindu worshippers watched in horror as workers, mostly Muslims, brought down the roof of their temple and smashed the deities that immigrant Indian workers had brought with them. "We are poor and our only comfort is our temples and now we are losing that also," Kanagamah said in Tamil, the language spoken by ethnic Indians who form eight percent of Malaysia's 26 million people and mostly follow Hinduism.

"The demolitions are indiscriminate, unlawful and against all constitutional guarantees of freedom of worship," according to human rights lawyer P. Uthayakumar. He said temples are demolished by the authorities as illegal structures but the same authorities make it impossible for devotees to get a permit. He cited the case of a Catholic church nearby which got a permit to build a church after 30 years of trying. "What does this say about freedom of worship?" he asked. Well, it says that Muslim authorities are still operating according to the classic provision of the dhimmi laws, that non-Muslims must not build new houses of worship or repair old ones.

According to Sita Ram Goel, Imam Hanifa "had recommended that Hindus, though idolaters, could be accepted as a 'People of the Book' like the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians, and granted the status of zimmis. The Muslim swordsmen and theologians in India happened to follow his school of Islamic law. That enabled them to 'upgrade' the 'crow-faced infidels' of this country to the status of zimmis. Hindus could save their lives and some of their properties, though not their honour and places of worship and pilgrimage, by paying jizyah and agreeing to live under highly discriminative disabilities. The only choice which the other great Imams of Islam - Malik, Shafii and Hanbal [the founders of the four Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence] - gave to the Hindus was between Islam and death."

From Western apologists we often hear that the "communal strife" on the Indian subcontinent is "mutual." If this is the case, why is it that in Pakistan non-Muslims have been all but wiped out, and the few remaining Christians and Hindus suffer continuous harassment and abuse. The population of Bangladesh was about thirty percent non-Muslim a few decades ago. Now that number is down to ten percent. Contrast this decline with the fact, due to higher birthrates, the number of Muslims within the Republic of India has actually increased during the same period. Do these statistics indicate "mutual hostility" or simply persecution of infidels?

In Pakistan's Sindh province there is an alarming trend: Muslims kidnap Pakistani Hindu girls and force them to convert to Islam. The worried resident Hindu community has resorted to marrying off their daughters as soon as they are of age. Alternatively, they migrate to India, Canada or other nations. Recently, at least 19 such abductions have occurred in Karachi alone.

"Have you ever heard of an Indian Muslim girl being forced to embrace Hinduism? It's Muslims winning by intimidation. It's Muslims overcoming a culture by threatening it, by abducting young girls so that an entire community moves out or succumbs to the Muslim murderers," human rights activist Hina Jillani says. Hindus and Christians in Pakistan are looked down upon. "That is why they have to take up inferior jobs; their chances of rising in any field are low."

The Muslim superiority syndrome runs deep. In Milestones, the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb writes about "a triumphant state which should remain fixed in the Believer's heart" in the face of every thing. "It means to feel superior to others when weak, few and poor, as well as when strong, many and rich."

"When the Believer scans whatever man, ancient or modern, has known, and compares it with his own law and system, he realizes that all this is like the playthings of children or the searchings of blind men in comparison with the perfect system and the complete law of Islam. And when he looks from his height at erring mankind with compassion and sympathy at its helplessness and error, he finds nothing in his heart except a sense of triumph over error and nonsense. (...) Conditions change, the Muslim loses his physical power and is conquered, yet the consciousness does not depart from him that he is the most superior. If he remains a Believer, he looks upon his conqueror from a superior position. He remains certain that this is a temporary condition which will pass away and that faith will turn the tide from which there is no escape."

Underlying this Muslim supremacist mentality, there is also the idea of Arab supremacy. Again according to Qutb, "What are the Arabs without Islam? What is the ideology that they gave, or they can give to humanity if they abandon Islam? The only ideology the Arabs advanced for mankind was the Islamic faith which raised them to the position of human leadership. If they forsake it they will no longer have any function or role to play in human history."

Of course, there are those who would dismiss Sayyid Qutb as "an extremist," since his writings such as Milestones and especially In the Shade of the Qur'an have inspired countless Jihadists since his execution at the hands of Gamal Abdel Nasser's regime in 1966. But Qutb's ideas about Muslim supremacy are on firm Islamic grounds.

According to Hugh Fitzgerald, "within Islam, a supposedly universalist religion where all Muslims in the ummah are equal, there is a special place for the Arabs." The Koran is written in Arabic, and "was delivered to, given to, revealed to, the Arabs, that best of people. That best of men, Muhammad, was an Arab, and so were the Companions. The Qur'an itself should ideally not be read in any language other than Arabic (the Arabic in which it was written, not in any simplified or updated version). Qur'anic recitation is in Arabic. The students in Pakistan or Indonesia or elsewhere who pass their young lives memorizing Qur'anic passages are essentially memorizing Arabic, a language that they do not know at all, or understand most imperfectly. Yet it is 7th century Arabs, real or imaginary, who must serve as a guide to existence. (...) In Saudi Arabia there is apartheid: the signs 'Muslim' and 'Non-Muslim' are everywhere. But 'Muslims' are further divided into Arab (first class) and non-Arab (second class). This has not escaped the attention of the many Muslim non-Arabs who live in Saudi Arabia -- or at least not the attention of all of them."

This Arab supremacy is underestimated by infidels as a weapon against Islam: "Part of weakening Islam is to show many Muslims that Islam was simply an Arab invention and export, a poisoned chalice that has lain low higher, and superior civilizations. This is likely to resonate especially in Iran among those who have had their fill of the Islamic Republic of Iran -- that is, every thinking and morally aware person in Iran."

In Morocco, activists complain that Berber influence in political and economic life remains limited. "We're not Arabs, bring out the real history," chanted hundreds of Moroccan Berbers during Labor Day marches with slogans in their Tamazight language and banners written in Tifinagh, the Berber script. Berbers are the original inhabitants of North Africa, before the Arabs invaded in the seventh century. The Moroccan constitution says the country is Arab and Islam is its religion. The proportion of Berbers is not officially known but independent sources say they represent the majority of the population. The total population of Berbers in the world is estimated at twenty-five million, mainly concentrated in Algeria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Tunisia.

Islamic ideas about inequality are already being exported to the West. Two men were killed in a row involving a group of second generation immigrants in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2005. According to imam Abu Laban (who was later responsible for whipping up hatred against his country of residence because of the now famous cartoons of Muhammad in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten) the thirst for revenge could be cooled if 200,000 kroner were paid by the family of the man who fired the shots. 200,000 Danish kroner is approximately the value of 100 camels, a number based on the example of Muhammad himself. The idea of blood money originates from the Koran, 2.178: O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness.

Politiken, a left-leaning, intellectual newspaper championing multiculturalism in Denmark, argued that the principle of blood money might be worth considering. Luckily, they were met by an outcry from angry citizens. There are at least two major problems with this Islamic "justice." The first is that it is settled between families, tribes or clans, not in a justice system administered by the authorities where it is a matter concerning the individuals involved, not the entire clan. We had similar tribal vendettas in the West at one time, but we left this practice behind a long time ago, as Muslims should have done. The biggest problem will come if this tribal system were to undermine the Western justice system to the extent that Westerners, too, would revert to tribal law in order to protect themselves.

Many commentators in Denmark failed to understand the worst part of the blood money concept. Not only is it pre-modern and anti-individualistic, but the compensation to be paid is fundamentally inegalitarian. Muslim men are the only full members of the Islamic community. All others have fewer rights due to their religion, their sex or their slave status.

The rates for blood money mirror this apartheid system. A Saudi court has ruled that the value of one woman's life is equal to that of one man's leg. The court ordered a Saudi to pay a Syrian expatriate blood money after he killed the man's wife and severed both his legs in a car accident six months earlier. The court ordered $13,300 compensation for the man's wife, and the same amount for each of his legs. Under Islamic law, the life of an ex-Muslim is worth nothing at all. He is a traitor, an apostate, and can be killed with impunity.

In the April 9, 2002 issue, The Wall Street Journal published the concept of blood money in Saudi Arabia. If a person has been killed or caused to die by another, the latter has to pay blood money or compensation as follows:
*100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man
* 50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman
* 50,000 riyals if a Christian man
* 25,000 riyals if a Christian woman
* 6,666 riyals if a Hindu man
* 3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman

In a Saudi school textbook, after the intolerance was supposedly removed, the 10th-grade text on jurisprudence said: "Blood money for a free infidel. [Its quantity] is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, whether or not he is 'of the book' or not 'of the book' (such as a pagan, Zoroastrian, etc).

Blood money for a woman: Half of the blood money for a man, in accordance with his religion. The blood money for a Muslim woman is half of the blood money for a male Muslim, and the blood money for an infidel woman is half of the blood money for a male infidel."

As Ali Sina says, "According to this hierarchy, a Muslim man's life is worth 33 times that of a Hindu woman. This hierarchy is based on the Islamic definition of human rights and is rooted in the Quran and Sharia (Islamic law). How can we talk of democracy when the concept of equality in Islam is inexistent?"

He thinks that the Islamic system of government is akin to Fascism:

• It is marked by centralization of authority under a supreme leader vested with divine clout.
• It has stringent socioeconomic control over all aspects of all its subjects irrespective of their faith.
• It suppresses its opposition through terror and censorship.
• It has a policy of belligerence towards non-believers.
• It practices religious apartheid.
• It disdains reason.
• It is imperialistic.
• It is oppressive.
• It is dictatorial and
• It is controlling.

According to Sina, "Islam is political and political Islam is Fascism."

At Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, Muslims are displaying their superiority syndrome.

The largest student group on campus, the Muslim Students' Association, has monopolized use of the multifaith room. Eric Da Silva, president of the Catholic Student Association, said the group looked into using the room for mass but was told by RSU front desk staff that the room was "permanently booked" by Muslim students. "No one is trying to take away the space from the Muslims, we just don't want to be stepping on their toes," said Da Silva. He stressed that the group found another space to hold mass and the conflict was quickly resolved. The space, which was divided to separate males from females, had rows taped on the floor for prayer and Islamic decorations adorning the walls, was only accommodating to Muslims. A Canadian Federation of Students task force tackling cultural and religious discrimination was brought to campus by members of the MSA, but it only addressed the problem of Islamophobia.
Raymond Ibrahim, a research librarian at the US Library of Congress, warns in the Los Angeles Times against giving in to Muslim supremacists:

"In the days before Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the Hagia Sophia complex in Istanbul, Muslims and Turks expressed fear, apprehension and rage. 'The risk,' according to Turkey's independent newspaper Vatan, 'is that Benedict will send Turkey's Muslims and much of the Islamic world into paroxysms of fury if there is any perception that the pope is trying to re-appropriate a Christian center that fell to Muslims.' Apparently making the sign of the cross or any other gesture of Christian worship in Hagia Sophia constitutes such a sacrilege. Built in the 6th century, Hagia Sophia - Greek for Holy Wisdom' - was Christendom's greatest and most celebrated church. After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts from Arabs, Constantinople - now Istanbul - was finally sacked by Turks in 1453, and Hagia Sophia's crosses were desecrated, its icons defaced."

The Turks didn't have to worry. The Pope behaved in perfect dhimmi fashion during his visit to the formerly Greek, Christian territory now known as Turkey. Ibrahim believes that "The West constantly goes out of its way to confirm such convictions. By criticizing itself, apologizing and offering concessions - all things the Islamic world has yet to do - the West reaffirms that Islam has a privileged status in the world."

This blindness to the threat posed by the ingrained Islamic Superiority Syndrome has huge consequences when trying to export "democracy" to Islamic countries such as Iraq.

In September 2005, the patriarch of Baghdad for the Chaldeans told Iraqi officials about Catholic bishops' fears that the constitution "opens the door widely" to discrimination against non-Muslims. Article 2.1(a) stated: "No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam." The bishops' statement concluded: "This opens the door widely to passing laws that are unjust towards non-Muslims." Glyn Ford, British MEP, joined former Tribune editor Mark Seddon and Andy Darmoo, head of Save the Assyrians, to sound the alarm on behalf of Assyrian Christians: "Prevented from voting in the elections, in recent months many have had their land occupied and stolen, their churches firebombed and their families attacked. Isn't it time that the international community began championing the rights of Assyrians and other minorities before it is too late?"

A group of Muslim men seized a seven year old Mandaean boy, from an ancient Gnostic sect in Iraq, doused him in petrol and set him alight. As the child was being burnt to death the Muslims were running around shouting, "Burn the dirty infidel!" "Many women physicians have been killed, women in the police forces, reporters and journalists," Rajaa al-Khuzai, president of the Iraqi National Council of Women said. Now "women are very easy targets," especially high-profile women such as herself, she added. This oppression of women and non-Muslims is in full accordance with Islamic sharia and was depressingly predictable.

Although Christians made up less than four per cent of the population they formed the largest groups of refugees arriving in Jordan's capital Amman in the first quarter of 2006. In Syria, forty-four percent of Iraqi asylum-seekers were recorded as Christian since December 2003. They were fleeing killings, kidnappings and death threats. "In the schools the children now say that a Christian is a kaffir [infidel]." The Catholic bishop of Baghdad, Andreos Abouna, was quoted as saying that half of all Iraqi Christians have fled the country since the 2003 US-led invasion. Some warned that in twenty years all Christians in Iraq will be gone. "It was easy for the Americans and the British to have supported us when the churches were bombed - it was a historic opportunity - but they did nothing. If they had supported us financially, for example, we could have protected all the Christian families in Mosul."

U.S. President George W. Bush said he would accept it if Iraqis voted to create an Islamic fundamentalist government in democratic elections. "I will be disappointed, but democracy is democracy."

Is it really equivalent, Mr. Bush?

This brings us back to Plato's criticism of democracy as just an advanced form of mob rule. And without any constraints, checks and balances, that definition is correct. Benjamin Franklin said that "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" This is why he and the other Founding Fathers wanted the USA to be a constitutional Republic, not a pure democracy.

It is strange that the United States wanted to export to Iraq a naïve concept of democracy, one that provided too few rights and guarantees for individuals and minorities, one that their own Founding Fathers had specifically rejected for precisely that reason. And this did not even include an assessment of Islam, in which harassing and persecuting minorities and suppressing individual liberty is a matter of principle.

Non-Muslims and women in Iraq are now paying with their lives for that naïve mistake.

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The Latest Dhimmi News From Norway

Fjordman has translated this article from today’s Vårt Land. Following the translation is his commentary.

Editor Vebjørn Selbekk of the small Norwegian Christian newspaper Magazinet was scheduled to sign books at a bookshop in Oslo this Saturday. Now the book signing has been cancelled because the bookshop fears terror attacks.

Selbekk is topical with his book Truet av islamister (Threatened by Islamists) about the conflict that followed after the newspaper Magazinet reprinted Jyllands-Posten’s cartoons of Muhammad. But now there won’t be any book signing event, for security reasons. “I’m disappointed. This is prostration in front of forces we should not give in to,” Selbekk says.

Svein Andersen, the head of his publishing company Genesis, has during his 23 years in the trade never experienced anything like this. “The head of the bookshop said she was worried about the security of the employees and the customers, and that she unfortunately had to cancel the event. This is outrageous and frightening,” Andersen says, who thinks this is a blow to freedom of speech. “If Islamists are allowed to decide which books should be published in Norway, cookbooks with recipes for fillet of pork will be banned,” he says.

Comments by Fjordman

And why not? A person who visits kindergartens to read fairy tales experienced that, in stories by Asbjørnsen and Moe — the Norwegian equivalent of the Brothers Grimm — the word pig had been replaced with fox. When she discovered the same thing happening in another kindergarten, she wondered whether this was a new policy. In Sweden previously, the wording of several older books for children such as Pippi Longstocking has been changed to make them more “culturally sensitive.”

Bruce Bawer, the author of the recent book While Europe Slept, describes on his blog how Velbjørn Selbekk, the editor of Magazinet, had firmly resisted pressure by Muslim extremists who made death threats and by the Norwegian establishment. But then Norway’s Minister of Labor and Social Inclusion Bjarne Håkon Hanssen hastily called a press conference at a major government office building in Oslo. There Selbekk issued an abject apology for reprinting the cartoons. At his side, accepting his act of contrition and asking that all threats now be withdrawn, was Mohammed Hamdan, head of Norway’s Islamic Council, accompanied by a number of imams. It was a picture right out of a sharia courtroom, with the Muslim leader declaring Selbekk to be henceforth under his protection.
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In a Friday sermon on February 3, 2006, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, exhorted worshippers to show rage to the world in response the cartoons depicting Muhammad. The sermon was aired on TV. The day after, the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria were set ablaze by an angry mob. A few days later, a delegation led by Mr. Mohammed Hamdan of Norway’s Islamic Council and a senior pastor representing Oslo’s bishop then visited Qatar to meet Mr. Qaradhawi. The trip recieved support from the Norwegian government. Yousef Al-Qaradhawi then accepted the apology that Velbjørn Selbekk had issued on February 10.

Walid al-Kubaisi, a Muslim dissident living in Norway, warned that Yousef Al-Qaradhawi was more dangerous and influential than Osama bin Laden, and that the Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, Qaradhawi followed when he was young, want the West to submit to sharia. Al-Qaradhawi has boasted that “Islam will Return to Europe as a conqueror.” It should be mentioned that both Norway and Denmark are members of NATO, and that destroying an embassy is pretty close to an act of war.

In contrast to the Selbekk case, Mullah Krekar, the former leader of the Islamic terror group Ansar al-Islam, still lives in Norway, even though he has pretty much openly threatened the country with terror attacks, has called Osama bin Laden “the jewel of Islam” and bragged that Islam will conquer Europe. He has written a book about himself, which was published by a man called William Nygaard, who was shot at and almost killed in the early 90s for having published the Norwegian translation of Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses. A Norwegian NGO called the Freedom of Expression Fund supported the translation and publication of Osama bin Laden’s speeches.

Later in 2006, Minister Bjarne Håkon Hanssen from the Labor Party called for increased immigration to Norway from Pakistan because this wuld be good for the Norwegian society. The majority of Muslims in Norway voted for the Labor Party in the 2005 general elections, which the left-wing coalition won by a very slim margin. 83 percent of Muslims voted for Leftist parties.

There have been calls for translating Norway’s national anthem to Urdu because this would be good for integration. Kristin Halvorsen, the leader of the Socialist Left party, began her election campaign in the Pakistani countryside, and praised all the “blood, sweat and tears Pakistanis in Norway have spent on building the country.” She is now Norway’s Minister of Finance. The deputy leader of the Socialist Left party has stated that he wants to abolish private property rights.

Samira Munir, Norwegian politician of Pakistani origins and champion of the rights of Muslim women, later found dead at a suburban railway station outside Oslo in November 2005, claimed that there was widespread cooperation between the Socialist parties and the Muslim communities. “The heads of families and the mosques would decide how entire groups of immigrants would vote. They made deals such as ‘How much money will we get if we get our people to vote for you?’“

Trond Giske, Minister of Culture and Church Affairs from the Labor Party, met with Mohammed Hamdan, the head of Norway’s Islamic Council, a few months after the cartoons incident and announced that government subsidies for the Islamic Council would be raised from 60,000 kroner a year to half a million. That’s more than a 700% increase in a single year. The government would also meet more frequently with the Islamic Council to “improve dialogue.” Its leader Hamdan smiled after having talked with Mr. Giske for about one hour. “We’re pretty pleased with the meeting. For us it’s important to improve contacts with the government so that we can get to know each other better.”

Mohammed Hamdan participated during a meeting with members of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas at Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament, in the summer of 2006. According to him, he was only an interpreter, but his brother Osama Hamdan is a member of parliament for Hamas in the Palestinian Territories.

Meanwhile in Oslo, the number of rape charges during the summer of 2006 was more than twice as high as the year before. Both the authorities and the media have failed to give any explanation for this unprecedented rape wave, although they reported in 2001 that two out of three rape charges involved immigrant perps. Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, in 2001 said that “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was that “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

I think Norwegians are adapting quite well so far.

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The Trouble With Irshad Manji

Irshad Manji is a self-proclaimed Muslim reformist and author of the book The Trouble With Islam. As refugees from Idi Amin’s Uganda, her family in 1972 settled outside of Vancouver, Canada, where she grew up.

Irshad ManjiI will give Manji credit for asking some sensitive questions. According to her, “Far from being perfect, the Koran is so profoundly at war with itself that Muslims who ‘live by the book’ have no choice but to choose what to emphasize and what to downplay. (…) What if it’s not a completely God-authored book? What if it’s riddled with human biases? (…) Having been hastily approved, what if the ‘perfect’ version was less than perfect? It stands to reason that the Koran has imperfections. The rapidity of Arab empire-building would have crystallized priorities, making religion a servant of colonization and not the other way around. Might some verses of the Koran have been manipulated to meet political timetables and goals?”

Yet her philosophies are not always consistent, and one sometimes gets the impression that she treats Islamic texts as merely a fashion accessory. Manji says that “I do not pray in the conventional Muslim way. I did that until my mid-twenties but I realised that this was nothing more than an insignificant ritual. And finally, I refuse to do the pilgrimage to Mecca as long as Mecca excludes Jews and Christians for being on its soil. I don’t need to be religious in order to feel very comfortable to be a Muslim.”

She also proposes that to “the hardier souls among Christian, Jewish, and Muslim university students, interfaith direct action could mean organizing an “Abrahamic hajj” [pilgrimage] to Mecca. If Mecca is too special to be pollinated by the presence of non-Muslims, I have only one question: Why?”

Well, actually this dates back to Muhammad himself, as stated in strong hadith, that no two religions should coexist in the Arabian Peninsula. If she wants to overrule this, it raises a host of questions, none of which she gives a satisfying answer to: Should we ignore the hadith in general, even those classified as strong? This is problematic since she relies on quotes from hadith elsewhere in her book. Or should Muslims ignore the Sunna of Muhammad? It gets more complicated by the fact that there is a prohibition of non-Muslims entering Mecca even in the Koran 9:28: “O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque.” Only the Hanafi school of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence interprets this verse as referring solely to the pre-Islamic Arabian pagans, and not to all unbelievers.

She wants a reformation in Islam, returning it to its ‘clever, fun-loving roots.’ According to the London Times, “Manji thinks Muslims should take tolerant parts of the Koran and ignore the hellfire. Does this, I ask, include Koranic references to ‘lewd acts’ of homosexuality? [Manji is openly lesbian] She offers counter examples of its tolerance but they seem faintly absurd — should it matter what a bunch of people over a millennium ago made of homosexuality, or indeed anything else? She, not unlike the fundamentalists, picks and chooses the bits that suit her.”
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IjtihadIn the eyes of Irshad Manji, “The problem with Islam today, in a word, is literalism. Literalism is a commitment to strict exactness of words or meanings in reading or interpretation. (…) Christians have their Evangelicals. Jews have the ultra-Orthodox. For God’s sake, even Buddhists have fundamentalists. But what this book hammers home is that only in Islam the literalism is mainstream.” Her solution to this is to re-discover ijtihad, the Islamic tradition of critical thinking and independent reasoning, to update Islam for the 21st century.

According to her, “Islam was not always so close minded. During the ‘Golden age’ — between the 9th and 11th century — there existed a tradition of critical thinking in the Muslim world.” She later expands this timeline, claiming that “Between the 8th and 14th centuries, Muslim civilization led the world in innovation precisely because it let all manner of outsiders in — despite the threats they posed to order. The result? Several hundred years of creativity in agriculture, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, commerce, math, even fashion. It’s when the empire became insular to ‘protect’ itself that the motivation to remain robust, and the talent to do so, disappeared.”

But as Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch points out, “The more one looks closely, at this or that supposed achievement coming out of ‘Islamic civilization,’ the less one finds that can be attributed to Muslims (rather than to Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, or those whose families were just a generation or two away from their original, non-Muslim origins, which was still their cultural sustenance), the more those achievements seem to be non-Islamic in origin. The Dome of the Rock is a Byzantine martyrium — there is nothing especially Islamic about it. (…) But a good-sized city in Italy contains more art work than all of Islamic civilization ever produced. As for calligraphy, those versed in the importance of calligraphy in Chinese art, and in the products of East Asian calligraphers, are the ones most competent to judge whether the examples of Arabic (chiefly Qur’anic) calligraphy that exist really can — or cannot — hold a candle to what, in China, Korea, Japan, have been achieved.”

Manji presents ijtihad re-interpretation as something bold and new for the 21st century, but it is in fact neither bold nor new. The French occupation of Egypt, led by Napoleon from 1798 to 1801, and the general advancement of European power of the age, triggered the first modern reform movements in the Islamic world in the 19th century. Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani was a political agitator who had a significant impact on Islamic thought of the time. One of Afghani’s favorite themes was that Islam needed a Martin Luther, and perhaps he saw himself as one. Some scholars reject his claim to being an Afghan and think he was a Persian Shi’ite. Whatever his origins, he acted as a pan-Islamic preacher and travelled widely, from Egypt to London, Paris, Istanbul, Russia, Iran and back again. In Paris, Afghani engaged Ernest Renan, the French philosopher, in a famous debate concerning Islam and science, where Afghani argued that science could find excellent growth conditions in Islam.

Jamal ad-Din al-AfghaniIn 1871 Afghani went to Cairo, where he attracted a following, among them Muhammad ’Abduh. ’Abduh was later to become a leader of the movement to revitalize Islamic teachings. A mufti, religious legal counsellor, for Egypt from 1899, he also lectured at the famous al-Azhar University, by many considered the leading institution for learning in Sunni Islam, and introduced reforms in its curriculum. ’Abduh’s works include the Treatise on the Oneness of God, a polemic on the superiority of Islam to Christianity in its receptivity to science. ’Abduh advocated the idea of salafiyya (pious forefathers), that early Islam was rational but had been stifled by the rigidity of later generations. He interpreted certain things mentioned in the Koran, such as jinns, to agree with modern discoveries.

Both al-Afghani and ’Abduh stressed the importance of ijtihad, argued that “the door to ijtihad” had not been closed by medieval jurisprudence and that it was a right as well as a duty to apply the principles of the Koran and the Sunna to the problems of their age. Refusal of this duty meant being guilty of taqlid, imitation. ’Abduh meant that individual ijtihad was permitted, but that it should operate within the framework of what was not laid down clearly in the Koran or sound hadith, and should thus be applied where these sources were silent or only stated a general principle. According to him, when Islamic law is fully understood and rationally implemented society flourishes; when it is misunderstood or rejected society decays. ’Abduh’s imagination was fixed on the Golden Age of Islam and the wisdom of the early believers or “Elders” (salaf).

Syrian scholar Rashid Rida became ’Abduh’s biographer and a leading champion of his ideas after meeting him several times. According to him, the true essence of Islam could be found in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and in the practices of the first generation of Muslims, before corruptions began to spread. The Islamic umma was at the heart of the world’s civilization as long as it was truly Islamic and can be recreated if Muslims return to the Koran.

The state of Saudi Arabia has its earliest roots in the 18th century, when regional ruler Muhammad bin Saud joined forces with reformer Muhammad Abd Al-Wahhab, who wanted to purify Islam by returning to the original principles established by the earliest generations of Muslims. For more than 150 years, the fortunes of this new political entity were subject to both advances and setbacks, but during the first quarter of the 20th century they managed to capture what is now Saudi Arabia, including Mecca and Medina. Rashid Rida welcomed the revival of Wahhabism, which he saw as similar to the Salafism of ’Abduh, in the Arabian Peninsula, the policies of its leader ’Abd al-Aziz ibn Sa’ud and establishment of Saudi Arabia.

Rida held very traditional ideas about Jihad, which he viewed as a duty for Muslims, but one that could be fulfilled only when they are strong, and they cannot be strong until they acquire modern technology. Muhammad ’Abduh gave a series of lectures on the Koran which Rida later expanded. These lectures appeared in the periodical Al-Manar. After ’Abduh’s death in 1905, Rashid Rida continued Tafsir (Koran commentary) al-Manar, published in 1927.
Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood from 1928, frequented the circles of Rashid Rida in his youth and adopted much of his general outlook.

While studying in Cairo, he became familiar with the thoughts of Muhammad ’Abduh, under whom Banna’s father had studied at Al-Azhar. But ’Abduh’s disciple Rida influenced him even more through his writings in the magazine Al-Manar, which Banna tried to carry on after Rida’s death in 1935. Banna, too, believed that the Islamic decline relative to the West could be reversed only by returning to the original teachings of Islam, and supported with modifications ’Abduh’s ideas about Salafism.

Sayyid QutbBanna’s organization has influenced many leading Muslim thinkers. Sayyid Qutb was a central member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb wrote many of his works, which have later influenced Jihadists such as Osama bin Laden, while in jail for being a member of the Brotherhood. The expansive website is owned by the highly influential scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who followed Hassan al-Banna during his youth and is now considered the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Banna’s grandson Tariq Ramadan is a powerful self-appointed “modernizer” of Islam. Writer Caroline Fourest thinks that “Ramadan is a war leader” and the “political heir of his grandfather,” and that his discourse is “often just a repetition of the discourse that Banna had at the beginning of the 20th century in Egypt.” Ramadan has stated that the decadent West will give way to an Islamized West and centuries of Islamic world dominance.

Why doesn’t Irshad Manji discuss the impact of Afghani, ’Abduh, Rida and the other reformers who advocated ijtihad already in the 19th century when she is trying to recycle the concept in the 21st century? Either she simply doesn’t know very much about them, in which case here knowledge of Islamic history is so poor that it is hard to take her seriously. Alternatively, she is silent about the issue because she knows that although ijtihad has being going on for a long time, it has produced very few tangible results so far, other than indirectly contributing to creating the “fundamentalist” organization per excellence, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Manji also praises the tolerance of the so-called Islamic Golden Age: “It’s layered, but at rock bottom, tolerance served as the best way to build and maintain the Islamic empire. (…) Didn’t we have a healthy precedent to emulate – ugh, imitate – in the way Muslims worked with Jews and Christians during the golden age of Islam?” But later she says that “I realized that Muslim tolerance of Jews and Christians has always been fragile. During the golden age, tolerance often resembled low-grade contempt, not acceptance.”

Not only does she paint a too rosy portrait of the treatment of Christians and Jews, she is suspiciously quiet about the treatment of other non-Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists etc. who hardly have any rights at all in Islam. Why? Are they not human? Has she read K.S. Lal’s The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India? If she is familiar with Bat Ye’or’s work on dhimmitude, which she quotes, how can she still go on with talking about the tolerance of Islam? In the essay Andalusian Myth, Eurabian Reality, co-authored with Andrew G. Bostom, editor of the book The Legacy of Jihad, Bat Ye’or dispels the myth of the alleged “tolerance” of medieval Spain under Islamic rule during the so-called Golden Age:

“Al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. (…) Society was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy, followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the mullawadun converts and, at the very bottom, the dhimmi Christians and Jews.”

When the Arab Muslims, a collection of backward, nomadic warrior tribes, conquered Egypt, Syria and Iran, they took control over some of the world’s largest centres of accumulated knowledge. If Muslims succeed in conquering much of Europe, this will probably be hailed in the future as a Second Golden Age of Islam. But it wouldn’t be a golden age of Islam, it would be the twilight of Europe, just as Islam’s much-vaunted “Golden Age” was in reality just the twilight of the conquered pre-Islamic cultures, a faint echo of times past.

Manji writes that: “‘Operation Ijtihad’ centrals around liberating the entrepreneurial challenges of Muslim-women through micro-business loans. These are a sort of micro-investments. The whole idea here is to give women the resources to start businesses, so that they will earn their own assets, and with those assets they can teach their own children. They can start their own schools, what’s happening now in some parts of Kabul. The bottom-line to all of this is that when women have their own assets, they can read the Koran by themselves. Then they will discover verses in the Koran that imams will never tell them about. For example, the Koran says that women have the right to negotiate the conditions of marriage. But women are never told about those verses. This would allow them to interpret them themselves. (…) Imagine if the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, and other rich allies launched Operation Ijtihad by recasting part of their national security budgets as micro-enterprise loans to creative women throughout the Muslim world.”

I’m not against micro-credit per see. I know Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and others have had some success with this. But I am deeply skeptical of having non-Muslims paying for this, if the objective is supposed to be an Islamic Reformation.

Islamic texts encourage terror to a far larger degree than other religions according to Danish linguist Tina Magaard, who spent three years on a research project comparing the original texts of ten religions. “The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with.” Moreover, there are hundreds of calls in the Koran for fighting against people of other faiths. “If it is correct that many Muslims view the Koran as the literal words of God, which cannot be interpreted or rephrased, then we have a problem. It is indisputable that the texts encourage terror and violence. Consequently, it must be reasonable to ask Muslims themselves how they relate to the text, if they read it as it is,” she says.

I’m not a feminist, and I’m not buying the assertion that Islamic aggression will disappear once women re-interpret the Koran. The problem with Islam isn’t the patriarchy, it is the violence in its core texts. Exactly how are the more than 100 Jihad verses of the Koran, the dozens of aggressive military raids by Muhammad and his companions as contained in the Sunna, the hadith and the Sira going to go away because they are read by women?

What about the Koran 8:12: “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all finger tips of them.” Or 5:33: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.” Do these verses only need a women’s touch to advocate peace?

Azam KamguianIf women will make a difference, it will be in bringing Islam down, not in reforming it, which I seriously doubt whether is possible. Iranian ex-Muslim Azam Kamguian states that “Islam is a set of beliefs and rules that militate against human prosperity, happiness, welfare, freedom, equality and knowledge.” According to her, “When I came to the West in the beginning of the 1990s, I was faced by the fact that the majority of intellectuals, the mainstream media, the academic world, and many feminists, in the name of respecting other cultures and religions, were trying to justify Islam by dividing it into fundamentalist and moderate, progressive and reactionary, Medina’s and Mecca’s, folksy and non-folksy, poisonous and edible. For people like me (…) it was suffocating to listen to and to have to refute endless tales to justify this terror, atrocity and misogyny.”

Wafa Sultan, a Syrian woman now living in Los Angeles, made waves after she appeared on satellite TV channel Al Jazeera to debate an Algerian cleric, an appearance that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, and watched by millions on the Internet. According to her, what is going on is “a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. (…) The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.” She does not believe that Islam can be reformed, but rather has to be transformed: “Muslim women have everything to gain by a transformed Islam and nothing to lose.”

Yet Sultan has met little enthusiasm for this in the West: “I haven’t received the kind of support I expected from women in the US. Recently, I gave a speech at the University of California, and during the question period, an American woman told me she didn’t believe the things I was saying about Muslim men’s treatment of women. She said: ‘Muhammed was the first man on earth to give women rights.’ I responded, ‘Would you please tell me what some of those rights are, so I can tell Muslim women to be aware of them?’ She said, ‘I don’t know, but I was invited to a mosque in LA, and that’s what the mullah told us.’ Can you believe how naive these women are?”

According to Irshad Manji, “Muslims share in Western civilization. They acted as midwives to the European Renaissance, all the while employing Jews, Christians, and others, who, in turn, borrowed heavily from Greek, Byzantine, and surrounding traditions. Our global responsibility now is not to determine who owns what identity, but to convey to future generations what we all owe each other.”

This is an old and tired myth. The Byzantine Empire, which upheld the Greco-Roman civilization for a thousand years after the Roman Empire collapsed in the West, played a crucial part in the transmitting the classical heritage to Renaissance Italy, especially after the Ottoman Muslim conquest and the many Greek scholars fleeing to the West. It is interesting to notice how closely Manji’s view on this mirrors that of Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan has said that Europe doesn’t have a Judeo-Christian past, that “Islam is a European religion” and that today’s Europe will give way to an Islamized Europe.

On pages 160 – 162 of her book, Manji writes that: “September 11 is a searing reminder of what can happen when we hive ourselves off from the problems of ‘others,’ the lesson being that good global citizenship has colossal benefits for domestic security. Regardless of whether Westerners want to accept this fact, Westerners have to accept it. And we have to accept it now because Arab Muslims are experiencing a baby boom. (…) Whoever denies these kids economic and civic participation will incite a degree of chaos capable of convulsing much of the planet. The Arab baby boom is as much the West’s problem as it is the Middle East’s. (…) Why wait until millions more Muslims show up at Australian, German, and North American checkpoints? Isn’t it a basic matter of security that Muslims heading to these places arrive already knowing that Islam can be observed in ways that complement pluralism rather than suffocate it? (…) the West can’t advance without immigrants. (…) In short, the West needs Muslims.”

Do we? Muslim immigration costs vast sums and has seriously destabilized our nations. She wants us to continue Muslim immigration while France is already close to a civil war because of Muslim immigration. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi told an Africa-Europe conference on migration that “Political borders, official papers and identities set for every group of people are new, artificial things not recognised by nature. Land is property of everyone, and God commands all human beings to migrate on earth to seek a living, which is their right.”

Sigurd SkirbekkFrankly, I’m sick and tired of the entitlement mentality displayed by Muslims, be that Gaddafi or Manji. Professor Sigurd Skirbekk at the University of Oslo points out that we rejected the Germans when they used the argument of lebensraum as a motivation for their foreign policy. So why should we be obliged to surrender our countries as lebensraum for the excess population of the Arab world? We have every right to preserve our own cultures. We should run much stricter immigration policies, and if we do need immigrants, only accept non-Muslims. I don’t see any reason why we should allow a single believing, practicing Muslim to get permanent residency in our countries. And we invest in India, China and other countries because we believe they have a future. It’s the duty of Muslims to fix their problems, not ours. We’ve done enough, and what we have done hasn’t helped. If anything, Muslims have become more demanding and aggressive.

Muhammad ’Abduh, Rashid Rida and other early reformers, even Wahhabists, hailed the Golden Age of Islam and wanted to return to the “true Islam” of the earliest generations, just as Manji is doing. Jihadists want the West to give money to Muslims and keep the doors open for continued Muslim immigration. Muslim reformists such as Irshad Manji want the West to give money to Muslims and keep the doors open for continued Muslim immigration. So, what’s the big difference here?

The best thing I can say about her book is that Manji is incoherent and vague. She does admit some problems with Islam, and she should be credited for questioning the Koran, but she stops short of dealing with the full implications of this. Her historical knowledge is poor and she ignores some tricky issues. In my view, she brings absolutely no new insight into the question of whether or not Islam can be reformed. Irshad Manji wants to recycle an idea that has been preached since the 19th century, which Westerners should pay for when we are bleeding from the cost of Muslim immigration and while rich Arabs are sponsoring terrorism in our countries. Thanks, but no thanks. The most annoying aspect of this is that her writings have got much more attention than more deserving candidates. Buy a book by somebody who actually understands Islam, such as Understanding Islam and the Muslim Mind by Ali Sina, books by Ibn Warraq, or Wafa Sultan’s upcoming book.

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How the West Was Lost

Is Islam compatible with democracy? This is a question I address elsewhere. We also have to ask ourselves, however, whether the conditions needed for a properly functioning democratic system are currently present even in the West. I’m not always sure about that. In a functioning democratic state, the state passes laws in accordance with the wishes of the people, and also strives to uphold these laws. In Western Europe in particular, the state does neither, as most laws are passed by unelected EU bureaucrats and not elected national parliaments, and as the streets are increasingly ruled by gangs and criminals.

When Arne Hjemaas from Fauske in Norway discovered who was behind a series of burglaries in August and September, he gave the information to the police. “We knew where the burglar was and where the stolen goods were. He had stolen so much from us and from other firms that he had hired a garage to store everything,” Hjemaas said, but the police did nothing.

Finally, Hjemaas and his brother decided to pick up the goods and hand the burglar over to the police. “Unfortunately, it ended in a fight. The man was armed and aggressive. This is not stated in the police documents. The police have documented the burglar’s bruises, but not mine. Our actions led to recovering stolen goods for us and others.” Later, Hjemaas was told that the man was supposed to be apprehended the day before, but the officer who had been assigned the mission had to attend a funeral. Now, Hjemaas is about to be prosecuted for violence and risks four months in jail.

Alexander Boot, a Russian by birth, left for the West in the 1970s, only to discover that the West he was seeking was no longer there. This led him to write the book How the West Was Lost. I don’t agree with everything Boot says. He places a lot of emphasis on the importance of religion, which is fine, but I disagree with his criticism of post-Enlightenment civilization in general. Still, he is articulate and original, which makes him worth reading anyway:

“Parliaments all over the world are churning out laws by the bucketful. Yet, they fail to protect citizens so spectacularly that one is tempted to think that this is not their real purpose. […] Governments are no longer there to protect society and the individuals within it. [...] For that reason a crime committed by one individual against another is of little consequence to them.”

The law also increasingly denies citizens the right to protect themselves and their property, with the United States as an important exception, at least for now. This despite the fact that Switzerland, with the heaviest-armed population in the world, has low crime rates. In the first two years after a complete ban on handguns was introduced in Britain, gun crime went up 50 per cent and is still growing.

According to Boot,

“While killing is still frowned upon, other violent crimes, including assault and even attempted murder, often go not only unpunished but even unprosecuted in many Western countries. Unless, of course, they are committed in self-defence, something the state abhors as this diminishes its control over the life and property of its subjects. […] The burglar is in the same business as the state: redistributing wealth. Burglary is a form of income tax, and the burglar merely collects the excess that has evaded the tax collector’ net. […] A burglar is a victim, not a criminal, grew up needy and downtrodden, we, society at large, are to blame for his plight.”

Citizens no longer respect laws because they know the state does not do so either. According to Boot, this is caused by the loss of religion:

“Without God laws are arbitrary and can fall prey either to evil design or ill-conceived political expediency, which is another way of saying that without God law is tyranny. […] Religion, for all the misdeeds committed by it or in its name, was the foundation on which Western culture and civilization had been erected. Destroy the foundation, and down comes the whole structure with a big thud. […] The unsavoury Spanish inquisitors, for example, are variously estimated to have carried out between 10,000 and 30,000 executions during the three-and-a-half centuries they were in business.”

That’s pretty bad, but still not more than a monthly output in your average Socialist regime. And Alexander Boot does not buy into the excuse that Marxism has been misunderstood:

“Any serious study will demonstrate that Marx based his theories on industrial conditions that either were already obsolete at the time or had never existed in the first place. That is no wonder, for Marx never saw the inside of a factory, farm or manufactory. [...] Whatever else he was, Marx was not a scientist. […] Marx ideals are unachievable precisely because they are so monstrous that even Bolsheviks never quite managed to realize them fully, and not for any lack of trying. For example, the [Communist] Manifesto (along with other writings by both Marx and Engels) prescribes the nationalization of all private property without exception. Even Stalin’s Russia of the 1930s fell short of that ideal. In fact, a good chunk of the Soviet economy was then in private hands [...] Really, compared with Marx, Stalin begins to look like a humanitarian. Marx also insisted that family should be done away with, with women becoming communal property. Again, for all their efforts, Lenin and Stalin never quite managed to achieve this ideal either. So where the Bolsheviks and Nazis perverted Marxism, they generally did so in the direction of softening it.”

Boot also has some critical words about the Western political system, especially since he believes that the loyalty of Western political elites “is pledged to the international elite that increasingly supersedes national interests.”

“The word ‘democracy’ in both Greece and Rome had no one man one vote implications and Plato used it in the meaning of ‘mob rule.’ The American founding fathers never used it at all and neither did Lincoln. [...] a freely voting French citizen or British subject of today has every aspect of his life controlled, or at least monitored, by a central government in whose actions he has little say. He meekly hands over half his income knowing the only result of this transfer will be an increase in the state’s power to extort even more. [...] He opens his paper to find yet again that the ‘democratic’ state has dealt him a blow, be that of destroying his children’s education, raising his taxes, devastating the army that protects him, closing his local hospital or letting murderers go free. In short, if one defines liberty as a condition that best enables the individual to exercise his freedom of choice, then democracy of universal suffrage is remiss on that score.”

He believes that democracy, the government of the people, by the people and for the people, has been replaced by glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word. The impulse behind Political Correctness consists of twisting the language we use, enforcing new words or changing the meaning of old ones, turning them into “weapons of crowd control” by demonizing those who fail to comply with the new definitions. Glossocracy depends upon a long-term investment in ignorance.

“Like the Russian intelligentsia of yesteryear, the glossocratic intelligentsia of today's West is busily uprooting the last remaining vestiges of Westernness. The press is one gardening implement they use; education is another.”

One example of how language is power is given in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:

“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’”

According to Boot,

“A semi-literate population is a soft touch for glossocratic Humpty Dumpties insisting that words mean whatever they want them to mean. […] Laws against racism are therefore not even meant to punish criminal acts. They are on the books to reassert the power of the state to control not just the citizens’ actions but, more important, their thoughts and the words they use to get these across. […] It is relatively safe to predict that, over the next ten years, more and more people in Western Europe and North America will be sent to prison not for something they have done, but for something they have said. That stands to reason: a dictator whose power is based on the bullet is most scared of bullets; a glossocrat whose power is based on words is most scared of words. At the same time, real crime is going to increase. […] A state capable of prosecuting one person for his thoughts is equally capable of prosecuting thousands, and will predictably do so when it has consolidated its power enough to get away with any outrage.”

This is unfortunately already happening. In Canada, Mark Harding was sentenced to 340 hours of community service slash indoctrination under the direction of Mohammad Ashraf, general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America in Mississauga, Ontario. Ashraf made it clear that during the sessions nothing negative could be said about Islam. “He said he was my supervisor, and if I didn’t follow what he said, he would send me back to jail,” recounted Harding.

Harding was convicted because of a June 1997 incident in which he distributed pamphlets outside a public high school in Toronto, listing atrocities committed by Muslims in foreign lands to back his assertion that Canadians should be wary of local Muslims. The pamphlet said: “The Muslims who commit these crimes are no different than the Muslim believers living here” and that “Toronto is definitely on their hit list.”

Harding stated that after his case became public, he no longer felt safe, due to threats from Muslims. When he entered court for his trial, a large crowd of Muslims chanted “Infidels, you will burn in hell.” Judge Sidney B. Linden's 1998 ruling against Harding was based on Canada’s hate-crimes law. The judge determined he was guilty of “false allegations about the adherents of Islam calculated to arouse fear and hatred of them in all non-Muslim people.”

In June 2006, Canadian police arrested a group of Muslim men suspected of planning terror attacks against various targets including the Toronto subway, and possibly of beheading Canadian Conservative, pro-Israeli PM Stephen Harper. An intelligence study warned that a “high percentage ‘ of Canadian Muslims involved in extremist activities were born in Canada.

In Britain, after Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, was cleared for stirring up racial hatred by calling Islam “a wicked, vicious faith.” Gordon Brown, by many considered PM Tony Blair’s likely successor, immediately pledged to strengthen hate speech laws: “I think any preaching of religious or racial hatred will offend mainstream opinion in this country and I think we have got to do whatever we can to root it out from whatever quarter it comes.”

The issue here is not whether you agree with the BNP, the issue is that a politicized police force is used on behalf of the Labour government to harass political rivals and silence critics of their Muslim voters. Moreover, at the same time as the state is using legal harassment against critics of Islam, Islamic sharia laws are spreading in Britain.

Just like in Norway, where the authorities fail to protect their citizens against criminals but prosecute those who do what the authorities fail to do, so in Britain the state is harassing those who point out the fact that the state is incapable or unwilling to uphold the laws and the borders of Britain. The British see this, which is probably why they are increasingly leaving. And in Canada, you get convicted for “racism” for making predictions about the threat posed by Muslim immigration that later turn out to be perfectly accurate.

Theodore Dalrymple writes about a book entitled A Land Fit for Criminals, written by David Fraser, who has served as a probation officer for more than a quarter of a century. According to Dalrymple,

“For the last 40 years, government policy in Britain, de facto if not always de jure, has been to render the British population virtually defenseless against criminals and criminality. […] No Briton nowadays goes many hours without wondering how to avoid being victimized by a criminal intent on theft, burglary, or violence. […] As Fraser pointed out to me, the failure of the state to protect the lives and property of its citizens, and to take seriously its duty in this regard, creates a politically dangerous situation, for it puts the very legitimacy of the state itself at risk. The potential consequences are incalculable, for the failure might bring the rule of law itself into disrepute and give an opportunity to the brutal and the authoritarian.”

The democratic states of the West are losing the ability to protect their citizenry, and are in some cases turning into enemies of their own people. That is a situation that cannot and will not last forever. If left unchecked, these developments could have more serious consequences than most of us would like to contemplate.

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     "A tolerant society is not a suicidal society... Openness can never be open-ended."

Geert Wilders - MP of Netherlands