Gates of Vienna on what to do about Islam

The unserious and inconsistent Islam critics, who speak endlessly about how terrible Islam (or Islamism) is while remaining silent about or even supporting the immigration policies that are bringing Muslims into the West, are well known and respected. The Islam critics who take a serious and consistent position on protecting the West from Islam are still largely confined to blogs, and I will gratefully quote them whenever I find them. The following is from the same Gates of Vienna article that was discussed in the previous blog entry:

According to Srdja Trifkovic, the author of Defeating Jihad, “The tangible cost of the presence of a Muslim man, woman and child to the American taxpayer is at least $100,000 each year. The cost of the general unpleasantness associated with the terrorist threat and its impact on the quality of our lives is, of course, incalculable. (…) There is a direct, empirically verifiable correlation between the percentage of Muslims in a country and the increase of terrorist violence in that country (not to mention the general decline in the quality of life and civilized discourse).”

Sooner or later, we have to deal with the implications of this fact. The best way to deal with the Islamic world is to have as little to do with it as possible. We should completely stop Muslim immigration. This could be done in indirect ways, such as banning immigration from nations known to be engaged in terrorism. All Muslim non-citizens in the West should be removed. We should also change our laws to ensure that Muslim citizens who advocate sharia, preach Jihad, the inequality of “infidels” etc should have their citizenship revoked and be deported back to their country of origin.

We need to create an environment where the practice of Islam is made difficult. Muslim citizens should be forced to accept our secular ways or leave if they desire sharia. Much of this can be done in a non-discriminatory way, by simply refusing to allow special pleading to Muslims. Do not allow Islamic public calls to prayer as this is offensive to other faiths. Both boys and girls should take part in all sporting and social activities of the school and the community. The veil should be banned in public institutions, thus contributing to breaking the traditional subjugation of women. Companies and public buildings should not be forced to build prayer rooms for Muslims. Enact laws to eliminate the abuse of family reunification laws. Do not permit major investments by Muslims in Western media or universities.

It is conceivable that some infidel nations will copy the Benes Decrees from Czechoslovakia in 1946, when most of the so-called Sudeten Germans had shown themselves to be a dangerous fifth column. The Czech government thus expelled them from its land. As Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch has demonstrated, there is a much better case for a Benes Decree for parts of Europe’s Muslim population now than there ever was for the Sudeten Germans.

Is that racism and Fascism you say? Muslims themselves in poll after poll state that their loyalty lies with the Islamic Umma, not with the country they live in. “I’m a Muslim living in Britain, I’m not British” is the sentiment. Well, if Muslims themselves state that their citizenship is not worth the paper it is printed upon, why not take their word for it?

This is an excellent, clear statement on what to do about Islam in the West.

[Note: in my original posting of this blog entry, I said that the Gates of Vienna article was written by GOV’s co-editor “Baron Bodissey.” I thought this was the case because the article’s byline says: “By Baron Bodissey.” In fact, as explained in a box below the byline, the piece is written by the Norwegian writer Fjordman. It is more understandable, though still problematic, when a European conservative speaks of the West in terms of “our secular ways” than when an American conservative does so (Bodissey says he lives in Virginia). I have modified the following two paragraphs to reflect these considerations.]

However, while praising the article, which is written by the Norwegian blogger Fjordman, I must take exception to his remark that “Muslim citizens should be forced to accept our secular ways.” This is an example of how the very recent liberal habit of describing Western and, more troublingly, American society as “secular” has been insensibly adopted by conservatives, including American conservatives. The issue is not Islam versus a secular society. The issue is Islam versus all non-Islamic societies and all non-Islamic peoples. Traditionalist Westerners and American conservatives in particular are not defending a “secular” way of life. We are defending our respective nations and our common civilization, in all their formative dimensions—democracy and traditional culture, Athens and Jerusalem, reason and revelation, science and Judeo-Christian morality—from Islam. As I have said many times, non-believers can be conservatives, so long as they respect religion. But conservative non-believers who would expel religion, namely Christianity, from the West, or, as here, from their definition of the West, are at best standing on shaky ground.

More specifically, the issue is not whether Muslims accept “our secular ways,” but whether they accept the basic ground rules of our society. Certainly America has never described its basic ground rules as anything like “our secular ways.” It describes its ground rules as: (1) identification with and loyalty to the American nation; (2) readiness to support the nation against its enemies in time of war; (3) support of the laws and Constitution; (4) subscription to the social contract that is central to the American ethos, namely that citizens mutually recognize each other’s natural rights, both as the ground of the laws and the Constitution, and as the ground of our minimal moral obligations to each other. These have been the defining ideals and allegiances of America from the start. While some American individuals may see themselves as “secular,” secularism—the conscious exclusion of the transcendent—has nothing to do with these ideals. While Fjordman was speaking of the West in generic terms, he is including America in the West, and it is simply false to say that the criterion of membership in American society is acceptance of “our secular ways” (though the increasingly aggressive atheists in our midst would like to make it so, as shown in Maggie Gallagher’s disturbing column about a recent conference of establishment scientists who openly declare their intent to drive religion from American life). If conservatives and Islam critics, of whatever nationality, are to be effective in rousing the West against Islam, they need to become aware of and to resist these modern liberal thought patterns, and to reach a deeper understanding of the civilization they are defending.

A final note: Anyone who imagines that the American identity is defined by a common devotion to secular anything should read the editorial in today’s New York Sun, which quotes the various Thanksgiving Day proclamations of numerous U.S. presidents over the centuries. Not one of those presidents speaks of “our secular ways.”

- end of initial entry -

Fjordman writes:

Hello from Fjordman. Thank you for your link to my piece at the Gates of Vienna.

Regarding my view of religion, I am non-religious, but I am not anti-religious. When I spoke of secular ways, I meant mainly secular laws, not stealth sharia, and should perhaps have explained this better.

I do believe that the religious heritage provided by Christianity and Judiasm is a crucial part of the Western cultural identity, and I am tired of non-religious people denigrating Christianity while praising Islam. However, I am somtimes not entirely convinced whether Christianity is tough enough to stand up to Islam, especially since the Church itself has been weakened by the Western Cultural Revolution.

I think my view of religion can be summed up here:

I agree with Harris and Dalrymple: As long as there is separation between religion and state, those of us who don’t have any religious belief should prefer religions which tend to create reasonable and prosperous communities. Our traditional Judeo-Christian religions have proven this capability. Islam never has, and probably never will. As Australia’s Cardinal George Pell says, “some seculars are so deeply anti-Christian, that anyone opposed to Christianity is seen as their ally. That could be one of the most spectacularly disastrous miscalculations in history.”

Indeed it could. Maybe if Western Multiculturalists get their will, and Islam does conquer parts of the West, they will discover that the new religion is infinitely worse than the old one. Of course, by then it will be too late.

In another article I wrote:

In a quote brought to my attention by Lawrence Auster’s blog, the official doctrine of the Catholic Church (in the Nostra Aetate document of the Second Vatican Council from the 1960s) says about Islam: “The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.”

How can I defend Christianity from secularists who say that it is pretty similar to Islam if the Church and even some “conservative” theologians insist on the same absurd equivalence?

My main problem with wholeheartedly supporting the Church is that it is, at best, lukewarm in defending the West by confronting Islam. If there is such a thing as evil then Islam is evil. If the Church cannot recognize that, then what good is it? Give me some determined and armed atheists who fight for their children’s freedom rather then some lukewarm Christians who engage in dialogue with Muslims.

Although I am not a believer I respect the Christian influence on Western culture, but at the same time I am pragmatic enough to support forces that are capable of defending Europe and the West against Islam. If the Church can demonstrate that it is up to the task, I will give it stronger support. Until then, I will give it conditional support only because it gives only conditional support to the West.

LA replies:

You are equating Christianity with the liberal, humanistic, ecumenical, and just plain anti-Christian teachings of Vatican II and the post-Vatican II Church (and, though you don’t mention them, with the equally liberal versions of the Protestant churches). This makes no more sense than equating Western civilization with the Sex Pistols.

The question is not the current distortions of Christianity, distortions brought about by modern liberalism. The question is the nature of the West, the proper and historic role of Christianity and transcendence generally in the West, and the place of the secular in the West. To say that liberal Christianity equals Christianity, and therefore to say that one does not support Christianity, and therefore to say that henceforth one believes only in a secular definition of the West, is in effect to endorse the liberal distortions of Christianity that one condemns. It would be like saying, “The current multicultural dismantling of Norway represents the true Norway, therefore I renounce Norway and won’t defend it anymore,” instead of saying, “This multicultural regime is a horrible distortion of Norway and I will strive to restore the true Norway.”

Also, since modern, secular, anti-Christian beliefs are just as liberal and anti-West as modern, liberal Christian beliefs, if you were to follow your own logic consistently, you should also say, paraphrasing your final paragraph:

“I respect the secular influence on Western culture, but at the same time I am pragmatic enough to support forces that are capable of defending Europe and the West against Islam. If the secular influence can demonstrate that it is up to the task, I will give it stronger support. Until then, I will give it conditional support only insofar as it supports the West.”

But you didn’t say that. Instead you excluded the Christian and the transcendent from your definition of Western identity, while equating Western identity with “our secular ways”—secular ways which, I repeat, are at present at least as anti-West as the liberal Christian ways you rightly condemn.

James N. writes:

The real problem with citing “our secular ways” is that it is a formula for catastrophe.

“Secularism” is not a viable alternative to Islam. If the choices are barrenness and hedonism versus fertility and transcendence, and Islam is the only transcendence allowed, then the war is over already.

Why are European women marrying Muslim males? Obviously, because despite all their professions of a false ideology, they want a man.

In Europe and America, the alternative to Islam is Christianity.

Secularism has already been defeated, it just hasn’t fallen over yet.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 22, 2006 07:50 PM | Send

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