I have just read a wonderful book called ‘Islamophilia‘ by the equally wonderful Douglas Murray. It is only available in e-book format. It took just a couple of hours to read, which is the kind of book I like! (If we enjoy reading, why do we always want to get to the end of a book and are disappointed to find that we are only a quarter of the way through? Beats me.)
The book is about how a professed love for Islam has spread during the past couple of decades among western politicians, curators of science exhibitions, film makers, actors, writers, academics, church leaders and heirs to the throne. These people saw what happened to Theo Van Gogh and Salman Rushdie and suddenly came over all effusive about the ‘Religion of Peace’.
After 9/11 George Bush bent over backwards to claim that Islam was ‘peaceful’, as did Tony Blair. How both men knew this is not clear, especially when Muslims themselves have been arguing over the correct interpretation of their holy books for centuries. David Cameron and Boris Johnson also claimed in the wake of the Lee Rigby murder that Islam had nothing to do with this. Both claim to know what Islam is really all about while Muslims themselves are still not clear on this. However, if David and Boris are right and the peaceful interpretation of Islam – the one that ignores all the horrible bits – is the correct one, then there are an awful lot of what Robert Spencer calls ‘Misunderstanders of Islam’ around, especially among the imams and fundamentalists i.e. precisely the Muslims who know the teachings of the Koran inside out.
Personally speaking, I would be willing to bet that any of the Muslim murderers, as well as the Ayatollah and Bin Laden, know the Koran and its teachings a damn sight better than either our Prime Minister or the Mayor of London. I have read Ayatollah Khomeini quote passages from the Koran and his interpretation is not a distortion of Islam’s message: Islam does indeed view non-Muslims as mildly sub-human and there is a duty for Muslims to both defend and spread their religion, by force if necessary.
The problem with the idea of defending your religion is that some Muslims always feel like they are being attacked. Even if the rest of humanity were to withdraw to another planet these Muslims would still feel that they were being victimized. Muslims must surely win the prize for the religious group with the biggest chip on its shoulder. Have you ever heard a group moan so much? Even as they are placing bombs on British trains they feel they are merely defending their religion from infidel aggressors. Some sections of the western media have sometimes been complicit in encouraging this idea, as I discuss here.
Of course, not every Muslim feels like he is under siege or heeds the call to defend and spread his religion by force. I suppose we should be thankful for this. Yet this in no way alters the teachings of the Koran or what many preachers preach. When one such hate preacher spews his vitriol all over his devout followers, it would be nice to believe that once in a while one of those peaceful Muslims we are always hearing about stands up and tells the preacher to stop dragging his peaceful religion through the mire. Does this ever happen? I have no idea but I’ve never heard of it. Peaceful Muslims seem awfully quiet to me.
Anyway, I believe that Dave and Boris are indulging in a little wishful thinking when they claim that Muslim violence has nothing to do with Islam. In doing so they perhaps hope to calm the frayed nerves of Britain’s non-Muslims and convince Muslims, by simple repetition, that their religion is indeed as pure as the driven snow. No need for any soul-searching here, your religion is just fine. Carry on as before.
But back to Islamophilia. Prestigious science foundations give huge grants to Islamic projects that then re-write the history of science. One such project created an exhibition that claimed that pretty much everything good that has ever been invented, done or thought since the 7th century can ultimately be traced back to Islam. This lavishly-funded exhibition, with Ben Kingsley taking a starring role in the introduction, is then shown in the most reputable science museums of the western world where thousands of school children are taught how great Islam is and how we all owe it so much. Greece, Rome and our Judeo-Christian heritage are mere drifting asteroids compared to the giant sun of Islam.
Film directors change plots so that the villains are neo-Nazis rather than Muslim terrorists. TV series like Spooks had one episode where the baddies were Islamic terrorists. There was such an uproar that they never made that mistake again. After that there was one episode where it appeared that Muslims were this time the villains, only for it to be revealed that these were Mossad agents disguised as Muslims. Those crafty Jews. They would do anything to implicate poor innocent Muslims.
TV Channels refuse to show anything that might inflame Muslim sensibilities, which is pretty much everything. TV programs deemed too critical of Islam are shelved because the broadcasters can’t risk their offices being fire bombed. Publishing houses decide not to publish a book when Muslims start threatening violence, despite their not actually having read the book in question.
Two writers, Martin Amis and Sebastian Faulks, both made the mistake of criticising Islam a few years ago. Less than 24 hours after giving the critical interviews both men had fully retracted their comments and spent the next few days writing grovelling apologies in various newspapers and assuring Muslims how much they respected both the greatness of the Prophet Mohammed and his revealed religion.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was in favour of Sharia Law being introduced in Britain, while Prince Charles regularly fawns over Islamic societies everywhere, telling them how much he admires their religion and how we in the West must learn from Islam. He will soon be the head of the Church of England once his mother dies. If I belonged to the CofE I’m not sure I would want the leader of my church telling me I should look to another religion for guidance.
Pope Benedict made the mistake of saying a mildly negative thing about Islam. For this he was criticised by Muslims, who then naturally rioted across Africa and the Middle East, killing some Christians. I mean hey, what else could they do? But the Pope was also criticised by others of the Catholic faith, including the cardinal who is now the present Pope. I think we can safely assume that there won’t be much criticism of Islam coming from the Vatican any time soon.
Even the wonderful Richard Dawkins is not immune to such pressure. When asked on Al Jazeera if he thought the god of the Old and New Testaments was as bad as Dawkins had described him in his book ‘The God Delusion’, Dawkins said that he did. Yet when asked if he thought that Allah was equally bad, Dawkins excused himself from answering claiming that he didn’t know as much about Allah as we did about Yahweh so he couldn’t really say.
This seems fair enough to me. Since Richard Dawkins grew up in a Christian environment it is hardly surprising that he knows more about the Christian god than Allah. And the awfulness of gods may be beside the point. It strikes me that Christianity is a more peaceful religion than Islam, not because our god was nicer than theirs, but because Jesus was less bloodthirsty than Mohammed. Can you imagine Jesus beheading anyone? No. Can you imagine Mohammed beheading anyone? We are told in the Koran that he did just this.
And even if Richard Dawkins was just being sensibly evasive that’s okay with me. I would much rather have him side-stepping questions and alive than meeting them honestly head-on and dead and it seems he feels the same way. And there is a difference between being asked for an opinion which you then evade and offering up a eulogy of your own free will. And at least Dawkins has the honesty to admit that refusing to criticise Islam has nothing to do with respect and everything to do with fear. It would be nice if other people would admit as much.
Douglas Murray puts this newly found love for Islam among the good and the great partly down to fear, partly down to a genuine desire not to offend, and partly down to the fact that many people just know so little nowadays, even famous people. You could tell some people that Mohammed invented the wheel and the telescope and they would think this quite feasible. When you have no knowledge of history, science or anything else, you are easy prey to people who believe that their faith represents the fount of all wisdom and won’t be happy until you believe it too.
It has often been pointed out that most Muslims are peaceful and luckily this is true. However, to pretend that 9/11, the London Bombings, the Madrid bombings, the murder of Theo Van Gogh, the murder of Lee Rigby, the rioting over cartoons, the rioting over what the pope said, the death threats to novelists and teachers with teddy bears all have nothing to do with Islam is ridiculous. I think Rod Liddle of The Spectator has it right when he says:
We have attempted to pacify ourselves, following the savage murder of Drummer Rigby, by deploying a dichotomy: Islam (and ordinary Muslims) versus this thing ‘Islamism’. Islam is a noble and peaceable faith which we must all respect, whereas Islamism is a corrosive and aggressive political ideology, and the two — weirdly — have nothing to do with one another. This is a patent nonsense, a delusion, and while it may work as a form of crowd control, it will not help us win this battle. It is indisputable that the vast majority of British Muslims were as disgusted by the events in Woolwich as the rest of us were — although I suspect a markedly smaller proportion would have been properly disgusted in, say, Gaza or Isfahan or Riyadh or Karachi. That, however, is not the point. The problem is that so-called ‘Islamism’ is already half-formed within the tenets, the texts, the ideas of Islam; within the ideology of how it sees other people, those who are not Muslims, and what one should do with them.
(Full article here)
The truth is that none of us wants to have our throats cut or be blown to bits by this one group of people who are perennially offended and are growing in strength and numbers each day. The number of Muslims in Britain has doubled in the past decade. The Muslim population in France it’s about 12%. These countries are now ruing the day they ever let Muslims in. Well, the natives are. The Muslims aren’t, despite still complaining about everything.
The best thing to do would be to take a stand now while non-Muslims still have the upper hand. However, this is dangerous when no one with any clout will stand by you. Politicians, actors, writers, journalists, church leaders, university professors and princes not only swoon over how great Islam is, but also accuse those who dare to criticise Islam of ‘racism’ and ‘Islamophobia’. And this despite the fact that Islam is not a ‘race’, and Islamophobia doesn’t exist. After all, a phobia is an irrational fear of something and there is nothing irrational about wishing to keep your head joined to your shoulders.
Since the people that matter have given in so cravenly to Islamists at every turn, I see no reason to believe that they will suddenly do a U turn and come over all tough. I actually think that Europe is lost already, and with such cowardly people at the helm and even populating the continent, perhaps it deserves no better. However, I do feel sorry for the people who gave their lives in two wars with the idea that they were protecting Britain and other European countries from the supporters of an evil ideology. I’m sure if they had known how things would eventually turn out and that a couple of generations hence our leaders would simply hand over our country to invaders without a fight, then I’m sure they would wish they hadn’t bothered. They could simply have allowed Hitler to march into wherever he wanted and everyone could have made their own accommodations under the new order, as we will all soon be doing anyway.
There are several ways this could go. One is that Muslims will simply become more numerous in Europe through having more children and continued immigration. Even without further immigration they will soon form a very large minority. It isn’t even necessary for them to become a majority. They already punch well above their weight in terms of influence in the countries they have moved to. Their demographic is young while native Europeans are an ageing bunch. If Europe was hoping for a gentle slide into old age like Japan, then it is likely to be disappointed.
Another scenario is that Muslims will start to become more westernised and gradually integrate into western life. Radical Muslims will become less radical and will feel more British and will stop planting bombs and beheading soldiers. Then rather than Europe becoming Islamised, Muslims will become Europeanised. However, young Muslims seem less inclined to integrate than did their parents or grandparents and so this is unlikely to happen.
Another scenario is that Europe stops all immigration from Muslim countries and persuades the Muslims now living in Europe to go back to their ancestral countries. Europe would have to offer money as compensation for the relocation. This is an ugly solution but no uglier than any of the others. The continued difficulty of integrating a group of people that often despises the people amongst whom they have chosen to live is hardly a beautiful solution in itself.
And the other alternatives are no less ugly. The idea of living in an Islamised Britain strikes me as the ugliest of them all. There is absolutely no reason why Britain or any other European country won’t start to look like every other Muslim-run country in the world after Muslims have taken over. Think that Gloucester will still look like Gloucester after Muslims have been in charge for a few decades? Think again. Personally I have no desire to live in a northern European version of Pakistan, Malaysia or Indonesia, though I may have no choice in the matter.
And when people bang on about how the majority of Muslims are peaceful, do they mean the majority of European Muslims or the majority of Muslims in the world? How about the Muslims in Syria? And Libya? And Egypt? And Pakistan? And Palestine? Somalia? Turkey? Iraq? Afghanistan? I know, I know, those last two countries were paradises before the Americans blundered in and spoilt everything.
Yet if Muslims are so peaceful, why is it that almost every Muslim country in the world is a hotbed of violence and conflict where no sane person would choose to live? Why is immigration always from Pakistan to Britain, always from Somalia to Sweden rather than the other way around? Yes, Sweden and Britain are richer than Pakistan and Somalia. And why is that? Could it have something to do with Islam? Of course not. Could it then have something to do with genes? Of course not again. Then let me guess. Is it Western oppression and exploitation? Bingo!
Of course there are several rich Muslims countries, but they are only rich because they are sitting on most of the world’s oil. If it wasn’t for the West they would still be sitting on it and unable to get it out of the ground. After all, when was the last time someone living in a Muslim country actually invented or developed something important? 800 years ago? At all other times in history the strongest nations would simply have marched into the Middle East and taken the oil they needed. Instead the West now chooses to pay for the oil it needs and in doing so finances the anti-western Wahabism and terrorism that could bring about the downfall of the West. There’s irony for you.
Christopher Hitchens pointed out that 9/11 could be the biggest mistake the Islamists have made. Until then they were silently moving into western countries and no one was alarmed apart from the few experts who knew a little about Islam and its history. Until 9/11 most people knew nothing about Islam and cared even less, me included. Most people would have assumed that anyone warning about the dangers of importing large numbers of Muslims into Europe was just one more example of racist bigotry. Yet with every new Islamist outrage, western people are beginning to realise – now that it is almost too late – that it is not a great idea to have a large population of often hostile foreigners living in your midst. Had 9/11, 7/7, 11 March in Madrid and all those other happy days on the Islamist calendar not happened, Muslims could have taken over the sleeping West without so much as a single head being chopped off.
There is really only one good thing that can come out of this clash between Europe and Islam. If Europeans somehow manage to hang on to their continent then they will come out of the struggle both stronger and more culturally confident than at present. Since the 1960s Europeans have become soft and child-like, passing responsibility for many aspects of their lives to their governments. They believed all they were told by the new multi-culti, Politically Correct elites in their universities and in their parliaments. They were swamped by mass immigration and anyone dissenting from this policy was labelled a bigot and a racist and that could often be the end of his career, especially if he was a politician. Anyone who spoke the truth, like Enoch Powell, was vilified and hated.
Now that it has become clear that we can trust neither our leaders, our media, our so-called teachers nor our writers with our country, then people might start relying on themselves like they used to before the welfare state made us all into docile, domesticated farm animals. This strikes me as being a good thing. A new breed of Europeans, like the young French organisation Generation Identitaire, is perhaps already rising.
Brave people like Douglas Murray, Pat Condell, Sam Harris, Mark Steyn, Geert Wilders, Melanie Philips, Bruce Bawer and others are examples of how people should be responding to the threat from Islam. Yet if people can’t find it in themselves to criticise Islam then at least they should refrain from lavishing praise on it. They should also desist from attacking people like Douglas Murray who are brave enough to defend what, by rights, all of us should be defending.