Draft manifesto: Together facing the new Islamic jihad

Since I have been so critical of the leftist, secularist manifesto against Islamism, “Together facing the new totalitarianism,” that was published last week (see this and this and this and this and this), it occurred to me that I ought to offer my own version of such a manifesto. Accordingly, below is the original, secularist manifesto as it appears in Jyllands-Posten, and below that, a preliminary draft of what I think a true and proper manifesto ought to say. I invite criticism and suggestions. The ultimate aim is a document that could be signed by a significant number of prominent persons and published in a mainstream newspaper. However, in looking for support for such a manifesto, I will not weaken the criticisms of Islam and of modern liberalism. We cannot hope to defend ourselves against Islam unless we speak the truth about it, and about our own beliefs that are leading us to surrender to it.

First, here is the manifesto that was signed by, among others, Hirsi Ali, Ibn Warraq, Salman Rushdie, and Bernard-Henri Levy:

MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

* * *

And now, here is my draft of a traditionalist, non-leftist version:

MANIFESTO: Together facing the new Islamic jihad

After having overcome Nazism and Communism, the Western world now faces the return of a much older tyrannical threat: Muhammedanism.

We, citizens of the West, call for resistance to the jihadist religion of Islam and for the preservation of Western civilization and Western liberty.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the true nature of Islam and the mortal threat it poses to our most basic liberties and to our very existence as societies and peoples. The struggle to defend ourselves from this threat must be waged on several fronts. On the ideological front, we must expose the authentic, authoritative, and unchangeable doctrines of Islam, which are the true cause of Islamic aggression. On the civilizational front, we must realize that this is not merely a “clash of civilizations,” a phrase that implies that the West and Islam are involved in some mutual conflict in which each is equally at fault. Instead, we must recognize that the aggression and the threat come solely from Islam, and further, that this aggression is not directed only at the West, but at all non-Muslim societies, since Islam commands the subjugation of the entire earth to Islamic law.

However, while the aggression comes from Islam and is directed at all non-Muslim societies, the West is uniquely vulnerable to that aggression because of the modern Western belief in the equal freedom of all human beings and the equal worth of all cultures. These beliefs lead Westerners to open their countries on an equal basis to all peoples, regardless of whether or not they are assimilable to Western culture; to despise their own civilization, because its very success offends the equalitarian imperative; and, for the same reason, to ignore and cover up any unattractive, oppressive, or dangerous characteristics of non-Western cultures and belief systems, particularly Islam. Therefore the struggle to preserve the West from Islamic tyranny must also be a struggle against the extreme form of liberalism that has become the dominant belief system of the West. As long as the guiding ideal of the West remains the radical liberal belief in the non-discriminatory tolerance and acceptance of the Other, including the tolerance and acceptance of Islam, the West will remain defenseless before the Islamic jihad.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 09, 2006 11:31 AM | Send

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