Ross Douthat thinks we are trapped in a relationship with Saudi Arabia and therefore our high government officials won't speak the truth about the nature of its government.
Along the other path, anyone outside Western officialdom was free to tell the fuller truth: that Abdullah presided over one of the world’s most wicked nonpariah states, whose domestic policies are almost cartoonishly repressive and whose international influence has been strikingly malign. His dynasty is founded on gangsterish control over a precious natural resource, sustained by an unholy alliance with a most cruel interpretation of Islam and protected by the United States and its allies out of fear of worse alternatives if it fell.
While I fully agree with Ross it is worth pointing out that this "most cruel interpretation of Islam" is believed by many millions of people. Our problem is not just with the government of Saudi Arabia or the Islamic Caliphate (which agree with each other on many topics) but with the religion Islam as most of its adherents see it. We are in a clash of civilizations with Islam which our elites deny. Every time another group of Jihadists carry out a terrorist attack our leaders in America and Europe sickeningly sing together "nothing to do with Islam, the religion of peace" (which puts British government minister Theresa May in perverse agreement with the Sydney chocolate store hostage taker).
So if there’s a path to greater Muslim assimilation and inclusion, it’s more likely to be pioneered in France. If Islamic radicalism is going to gain ground or mutate into something more pervasive and dangerous, it’s also more likely to happen in France’s sphere of influence than elsewhere. And if Europe’s much-feared far right is going to complete its journey from the fringe to the mainstream, it will probably happen first in Paris.
The criminality we are talking about is the kind that is making life unbearable for the population: burglaries, thefts of all sorts, assaults, violent thefts without firearms, etc. In these specific cases, 7 out of 10 of these crimes are committed by people who in one way or another have an immigrant background, either directly (first generation on French territory, with or without a residence permit) or indirectly (second generation). (Chevrier and Raufer, 2014)
Since immigrants made the difference that got Francois Hollande elected the French are in a weak position to stop the deterioration of security unless more native French turn against the left's view of immigration and oppression.
PARIS — France’s top court ruled on Friday that it was legal for the French government to strip a French-Moroccan man of his citizenship, reinforcing the country’s right to employ the antiterrorism tool as it tries to tighten its security after deadly terrorist attacks.
The Clash of Civilizations is going to deepen. We could witness a slow move toward loyalty oaths to a state with legal requirements to embrace sets of values as conditions of citizenship, even for those born in a country. Already 30 countries (mostly Muslim) require heads of state to be of a specific religion. Jihadist demands might spark a backlash among Western secularists large enough to set in motion a drive to require explicit embrace of secular values.
What's holding back this sort of thing: inability to reach a consensus on which values should be existing moral values disagreements within a state between native factions. Whose value code would be mandated? Left and right wing secularists are split on many subjects. Religious non-Muslims are split as well. But with an assortment of secular dogmas already strongly promoted by elites I think more legal codification of these dogmas could be in the the cards.
The President of Yemen has resigned Houthi rebels have taken his palace. Civil war seems likely. Partition is a possible outcome. As long time readers may have noticed, I find partition to be an excellent outcome when two groups are incompatible. It is like divorce and just as necessary. Ibrahim Sharqieh, deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center, thinks US drone attacks on al Qaeda in Yemen have helped the Shia faction make gains against the Yemeni government. The US needs the (almost now overthrown) Yemeni government for support to launch drone attacks on al Qaeda.
This situation has led to creating so many odd and weird situations where you would find for example, the U.S. and the Houthis are in the same camp fighting al-Qaeda. And that's exactly what happened almost a month ago in the city of Rada' where the Houthis who raised the slogan of death to America were fighting along with the U.S. drones, one from the air and one from the ground. So this has created and led to a complex situation and for the first time, we are seeing signs and signals about a possible civil war especially if the Houthis continue to escalate and alienate the other political parties in Yemen.
Yemen is between 40% and 45% Shia. There's no way Shiite rule in Yemen will be accepted by the Sunni majority. On the other hand, the Shiites aren't going to accept Sunni rule either. Perhaps they shouldn't live in the same country? The Shia Houthi rebels hate al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the United States.
The official added that if the Houthis ends up in full control of the government they will demand a halt to the drone campaign.
“They hate al Qaeda," said the official, referring to the Houthis. "But they also hate the United States.”
The answer is really simple: Muslim immigration.
The population of Lunel France is one third Muslim.
Immigration is doing the same thing to Britain:
Brother of Lee Rigby's killer praises Charlie Hebdo gunmen http://t.co/z1mV8CtTiZ— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) January 18, 2015
Many elite opinion shapers claim the terrorist attacks have nothing to do with Islam. Their claims are insulting. Peter Bergen thinks secularists do not take deeply held religious beliefs seriously.
The fact that the Paris attacks have something to do with Islamic beliefs cannot be wished away either by claims that Islam is simply a religion of peace, or by political correctness, or because we live in an increasingly secularized modern era that often doesn't take deeply held religious beliefs sufficiently seriously.
Europe is going down until it becomes a lot more honest and confronts the reasons why rising fear is a rational response to conditions in Europe.
Across the internet I've repeatedly come across a sentence attributed to US President Barack Obama which I thought couldn't really be true. I say this as someone who thinks Obama is a bad president. But after seeing it enough times I went searching for it and found the sentence on whitehouse.gov. Well, here is an except of Barack Obama speaking to the UN General Assembly in 2012. Anything catch your eye here?
The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt -- it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted, "Muslims, Christians, we are one." The future must not belong to those who bully women -- it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons. (Applause.)
The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources -- it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. (Applause.)
A slander, by the way, is a false statement made to damage a person's reputation. I'm curious to know what Barack thinks is slanderous among the things that get said about Mohammed.
By contrast, I agree with Ed West that mockery is essential to reform Islam (assuming its reformation into something less hostile is even possible).
Islam really is incompatible with a free society. Assuming you support a free society this is something very important to understand in light of demographic trends and immigration trends in Western countries and around the world.
British journalist Ed West:
We're told that we should respect Islam and that it must reform, but it wont reform unless it is mocked, critically examined, 'disrespected'
We're told that we should respect Islam and that it must reform, but it wont reform unless it is mocked, critically examined, 'disrespected'— Ed West (@edwest) January 10, 2015
The Danish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister blamed the cartoonists, while European and world leaders went out of their way to condemn these grossly offensive comics. The Foreign Office declared in a message to the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation: ‘The whole international community stands with them in their staunch rejection of those who distort the noble faith of Islam. We join them in celebrating the values of Islamic civilisation. Their values are our values.’
Rather than supporting a fellow European democracy with an impeccable record of freedom, ethical government and humane treatment of refugees, Europe bowed before the leaders of the most intolerant states on earth. The EU expressed ‘regret’, while Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said freedom of speech is fine, but not if it led to ‘open season’. Several continental newspapers republished the pictures in solidarity, but not a single major British publication did. Indeed newspapers warned about Islamophobia while they were themselves too scared of Muslims – they were literally Islamophobic – to publish the cartoons. Only two college magazines printed the pictures, and both editors were sacked, one of them going into hiding.
Our elites are failing in their response to Islam. A few people (Ed West included) are pointing out the folly of their ways and what we should do about it.
You can now vacation in a museum for bad ideas from the 19th and 20th century. The trip has to be structured and educational.
Moreover, those traveling on people-to-people exchanges will still need to go with a group that maintains a full schedule of approved activities.
So I'm telling you: Cuba is educational. What is communism like? Go and see. Is communism a bad idea? Walk around in Havana and see. Go out into the country and really see.
Cuba is a living museum for communism. Cuba exists to remind us in real time that communism fails as an economic system. We should be grateful to the Cubans for playing the role of economic educators with their entire lives. Given that most people know squat about history the existence of a present day reminder serves a useful function.
More recently I've reiterated this in my post Pedagogical Value Of Communist Countries.
I think tour groups for Social Justice Warriors should be organized with interviews of local incredibly poor people. Let them describe just how incredibly little they live on. Compare and contrast with the amount of money the average denizen of Detroit or Newark or any other poor area of the US has. This is all incredibly educational and the flight is not far.
A map developed by the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS), a Syrian American opposition umbrella group, shows that ISIS has nearly doubled the amount of territory it controls since air strikes began last year.
What I'd like to see: maps showing the growth of No Go zones in sections of European cities taken over by Islamists. My guess is the progress there will continual steadily for decades to come.
Adopted from South Korea because South Koreans really frown upon single motherhood. Raised in America and other countries. Now adults. So what are they doing? Some are returning home and finding mom and settling down in South Korea. They think diversity is great, but not really. Going to a place with different smells? That's insane.
Some of those leaders, including Klunder and her friend Kim Stoker, who was also at dinner that night, want to stanch the flow of Korean children entirely. “I get parents’ desperation to have children,” said Stoker, who at 41 was the oldest of the group at the table. “Accepting diverse families is great,” she said. But, she added, “I don’t think it’s normal adopting a child from another country, of another race and paying a lot of money. I don’t think it’s normal to put a child on a plane away from all its kin and different smells. It’s a very modern phenomenon.”
The Narrative. They've been raised in The Multicultural Narrative. They can't reject it outright. But they reject it for themselves anyway.
Her parents had good intentions and, Klunder says, “were loving in more ways than they were not.” But they didn’t acknowledge how central race was in their daughter’s life.
East Asia is going to continue to have some pretty pure ethnic states. So East Asians will have places to return to.
I expect to see the rise of states where the people who live in them have extremely similar personalities. Already in the United States people are migrating to live near people much more like themselves. This trend will continue and at some point groups will find ways to create sovereign states of people extremely like each other in various dimensions.
Saw a picture of the Saudi ambassador to France marching in the rally in Paris over the Charlie Hebdo attack. Wondered how many enemies of free speech marched in Paris (aside from David Cameron, François Hollande, and Angela Merkel). Others have done some counting: Check out The free-speech hypocrisy of some world leaders marching in Paris and this Twitter stream by Daniel Wickham.
Western and Middle Eastern political leaders did not march for free speech. They marched for calming down the masses and maintaining control of The Narrative. Europe will not turn from rising restrictions on speech - especially rising restrictions on speech that offends Muslims.
The mainstream big press will continue to do its part by self censoring out of fear - while denying that is its motivation. Nick Cohen describes the self censorship by the fearful press
The press really is scared.But they rationalize that they are just trying to be considerate and not hurth people's feelings. They do not feel any sense of consideration about "Piss Christ" or other images that Christians find offensive. Writing from Canada Barbara Amiel says ‘In my view there is no media outlet in Canada brave enough to allow a full and proper discussion of Islam’
As George Jonas pointed out in a 2013 column, human beings find a way of rationalizing their behaviour so that they can claim they are refraining from publishing or saying something not out of fear but because they don’t wish to offend. They convert the base notion of being scared into a noble weapon of seeing someone else’s point of view. In fact, this is one of the most insidious aspects of terrorism: we wash our brains and convert our fear into understanding.
About the Muslims who aren't keen on killing blasphemers and apostates Amiel says this about their silence:
Why endanger your own family or relatives abroad?
Indeed. Why take the losing side? It will just get yourself marginalized, imprisoned, tortured, killed. Douglas Murray says in Islam the extremists always win.
In the struggle for an enlightened form of Islam one can find many Muslim allies. But their organised history is one of repeated failure.
As I said at the outset, in the battle for the soul of Islam the extremists tend to win. There may be nothing we can do to stop this. And while the moderates and progressives will still deserve our good wishes and help where we can give it — and we should certainly wish them luck — we must also accept at least the possibility that they might lose. There was a time when this loss would just have been a loss within Islam. At one stage I hoped that the West might insulate itself from the repercussions of this loss. But I now think that hope was wild-eyed in its optimism. If Islam falls over the cliff it will do so in our embrace. Too late to disentangle ourselves, if it falls backwards here, it is now inconceivable that we will not all go over the cliff together.
We can not expect either Western political leaders or the supposedly free press to tell us the truth or act in our interest. Things are going to get a lot worse as the demographics of Western European nations shift and Jihadists become more numerous in their populations. Will a backlash ever start?
Mark Steyn points to a line by French President François Hollande:
Those who committed these acts have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.
This claim is an absurdity. Support for death for apostasy and blasphemy is very widespread in Muslim countries. The killing of Charlie Hebdo staff has everything to do with Islam and little to do with anything else.
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.
Whoever does Obama think is making false statements about Islam? Geert Wilders perhaps? The late Theo van Gogh? The late Pim Fortuyn?
We were told on Friday that ‘politicians from all sides’ had lined up to attack Ukip’s Nigel Farage for supposedly ‘exploiting’ the Paris massacre.
Mr Farage had (quite reasonably) pointed out that the presence of Islamist fanatics in our midst might have something to do with, a) uncontrolled mass migration from the Muslim world, and b) decades of multicultural refusal to integrate them into our laws andcustoms.
Rather than disputing this with facts and logic (admittedly this would be hard), the three ‘mainstream’ parties joined in screeching condemnation.
Observation: The multicultural emperor has no clothes. Discuss among yourselves.
I keep thinking about Daniel Greenfield's points about the modern empire's interests and how much these interests conflict with our own. The empire is winning. We are losing.
Nick Cohen, writing in The Guardian, passes on an interesting take on the Charlie Hebdo attack: the goal is to create a civil war in Europe so that Muslims will conclude they need a caliphate. Could it be? We hear so little about what the Jihadists want to achieve. Have they thought hard about it? Over what time ranges do they plan and act?
My friend and comrade Maajid Nawaz was a jihadi before he converted to liberalism and understands the totalitarian mind. He says that people still do not realise that radical Islamists do not just want to impose their taboos at gunpoint. They want to “create a civil war” so that European Muslims accept that they can only live in the caliphate; to encourage the rise of the white far-right so that ordinary coexistence becomes impossible. If they win one demand, as they are winning in Britain, then they will up the tension and move to another.
Cohen's piece is about self-censorship by journalists and newspapers in Britain. Britain already has a de facto prohibition against blasphemy. That prohibition is in effect out of fear.
As for civil war: If the Jihadists succeed in starting one that might wake up one or more of the European peoples to expand their Overton Window to include a real solution to their problem. Then again, maybe not.
I want a time machine so I can jump forward 4 to 5 decades to see how it turns out.
Piers Morgan seens eager to support The Narrative's standard talking points after any Jihad terrorist attack: killers not real Muslims, Islam hijacked by fringe. But he's feeling quite petulant that Muslims aren't doing more to help him defend the talking points: "If I can accept that the Paris murderers aren’t real Muslims why won’t the MUSLIM world say so too?" Hey, he's feeling frustrated. Delivering The Narrative's talking points should not cause frustration!
Further to the Left other writers will add even more talking points: repressive racist hegemonic Euro native population is mean mean mean to those outsider others and the immigrant Jihadists have perfectly legitimate grievances and it is all so understandable, poor dears.
Well, I really think we should bring real data to bear on this question. Why do Jihadists kill blasphemers? Are they fringe elements? Hijacking a religion? Out of step with the mainstream(s) of Muslim feelings? Um, no. Muslims in many countries have been polled on their attitudes on various pertinent questions. For example, a double digit percentages of Muslims favor death for apostasy in just about every Muslim country polled (Albania's 8% is the odd man out). Some of the percentages are incredibly high: Malaysia at 62%, Pakistan at 76%, Palestinian Territories at 66%, Jordan at 82% and Egypt at 86%.
Leave your religion and die. Imagine a Christian denomination embracing this idea today. Among secularists and the vast majority of Christians they'd be considered barbaric. The outrage would be deafening. But this widespread view among Muslims is not taken seriously by those who control The Narrative in the West today.
You have to figure that among those not favoring the death penalty for leaving Islam a sizable percentage of them still favor something pretty severe for apostasy. Flogging, jail time, other unpleasantness. The pollers need to ask more questions to let us see how many Muslims would meet the definition of classical liberal or libertarian. My suspicion: very few.
People who favor death for anyone who leaves their religion are really really illiberal (in the 19th century meaning of the word liberal - not the welfare state meaning). Left liberals, neoconservative liberals, libertarians, and assorted other factions in the West ought to be worried about these very illiberal groups in our midst. I say ought. But in practice I do not expect majorities of Western peoples to believe any time soon that they have a threat to their way of life growing in their nations. The belief in Liberal Manifest Destiny is so deep that its believers can't imagine how a whole religion could possibly oppose it. So the Narrative is going to beat drum for the "okay people, move along, there's nothing to see here" and it will use the occasion to lecture us about our own moral inadequacies.
That Pew link with polling data on Muslim attitudes reports even higher percentages favor Shariah Law. As a legal system it is brutal by western standards and not at all favorable to non-Muslims. Among Muslims living Western countries double digit percentages want Shariah Law.
Then there's blasphemy which is outlawed in more Muslim countries than apostasy. Blasphemy against Islam can get you a death sentence in Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. That's probably not a complete list but what I found on a Wikipedia page on blasphemy.
To a Muslim internationalist who thinks Shariah law should apply everywhere and who thinks death penalty is deserved for blasphemy the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris are vigilantism. The killers took Shariah Law into their hands just as a mob killed a Christian couple in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy. The difference in Paris is that it happened in Paris and it happened to Parisian reporters. But it was vigilantism in both cases.
What we are witnessing is Samuel Huntington's Clash Of Civilizations. Rival models of reality and morality are clashing where two incompatible cultures meet. Vigilantes from one culture attack violators of some of their culture's major tenets of faith. The leaders of our own culture do not want to admit to this clash. They want to keep growing their empire by absorbing more people. Their denial will only cause the problem to grow worse.
Daniel Greenfield has written an essay Two Empires We Must Defeat. Recommended reading. I excerpt a couple of pieces below.
The argument between the establishments of the right and the left is over two different kinds of empires. The Republican establishment in America and its various center-right counterparts abroad have attached themselves to the liberal vision of a transnational empire of international law so much that they have forgotten that this vision came from the left, rather than from the right.
Yes, the upper class Republicans and upper class Democrats are really just arguing over what sort of empire we will have. Our rulers do not maintain our government for the classical Hobbesian reason any more, to protect us from the absence of government. Rather, it is a tool for their broader ambitions.
I've been reading a lot of books about the collapse of empires lately and I think Greenfield is right. I think of Peter Turchin on asabiyah and John Bagot Glubb on the fate of empires and think the loss of common shared identity and interests is fatal to the health of a republic or of any state.
This is the empire that feeds armies of foreign immigrants through our countries. It's also the empire that pays allegiance to Islam because empires have to diversify to expand. Diversity isn't the source of our strength. It is the source of imperial expansionism which has to absorb many more peoples.
To empires, people are interchangeable. If the natives have a low birth rate and a long lifespan, then workers with high birth rates and lower lifespans are brought in to replace them. If the natives are reluctant to pay higher taxes, immigrants from countries that are fine with voting for high taxation are imported. That is how empires, not nations, do business.
This is what the political establishment in most countries believes. This is what tearing them apart.
I offer some evidence for his argument. The empire-loving New York Times just published an article In Sweden, the Land of the Open Door, Anti-Muslim Sentiment Finds a Foothold. By contrast, in November The Daily Caller ran Swedish Police Release Extensive Report Detailing Control Of 55 ‘No-Go Zones’ By Muslim Criminal Gangs and Muslim Gangs Continue To Terrorize 55 Neighborhoods, Police Powerless. The New York Times does not explain what could be causing the shift in Swedish attitudes. Meanwhile, some unspecified people keep burning cars in France. Nothing about their behavior can be allowed to interfere with the expansion of the empire which Greenfield describes.
Looking back on 2014 what was surprising? Not much. One thing stands out: crucifixions. ISIS/Daesh brought back the use of crucifixions in 2014. Talk about a blast from the past. Wow. Pictures and more pictures of the same not for the faint of heart. On the other hand, their beheading Christian children is not surprising.
I'm also a little surprised by Daesh on slavery. Daesh has been quite in-your-face about slavery being a very legitimate since it is part of Shariah law.
“Enslaving the families of the [infidels] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah,” the article says. “If one were to deny or mock [it], he would be denying or mocking the verses of the Quran.”
ISIS are trying to turn the clock back 50 years. Saudi Arabia and Yemen only abolished slavery in 1962 under pressure from Britain and the UAE did the same in 1964 with Oman following in 1970. Have these countries fallen away from the true faith?
My own practical reaction: Give every Christian and in the Middle East a weapon. Help them carve out a couple of Christian states. Do the same for Yezidi and Kurds.
What else surprised me: Hysterias of The Narrative. Megaphone mania. Not surprised that they happened. But they seem to be getting more frequent. Maybe I'm wrong and I've just become more inclined to enumerate them. I'd really like to see some stats on how often the mainstream liberal media go on campaigns to exaggerate and fabricate morality plays.
So what surprised you in 2014?
What do you think is coming in 2015?
This is something our elites do not care about: The US invasion of Iraq shafted the Iraqi Christians. The Iraqi Christian population is less than a third the pre-invasion number in part due to deaths and in part due to flight from persecution.
For the Christians, times were undeniably better under Saddam Hussein, who, they say, at least kept them safe from sectarian violence. It is the same reason that many Christians, and other religious minorities, in Syria tolerate the police state of Bashar al-Assad.
What is amazing about this: George W. Bush professes to be a devout Christian. But he shafted Christians big time.
I look at the Middle East and think the minorities (e.g. Maronites, Copts, Yezidis) deserve their own mini-states. The Sunni Arab populations will totally screw over the unbelievers. So how about a big carve-out to create pure ethnic states where each ethnicity can be safe from Salafists and other oppressors?