February 15, 2003
Combating the enemy within

One of the more controversial figures in Dutch politics has been Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali immigrant who abandoned Islam and became an atheist. In combination with her high-profile remarks about Islam and the oppression of Muslim immigrant women in the Netherlands, this has earned her numerous death threats, and she even had to leave the country for a while as a result. She's still under increased protection. She used to work as a researcher at the Wiardi Beckmann Foundation, the think tank of the left-of-center Labor Party. She defected over to the right-of-center Liberal Party (VVD) and got an electable position on the party list. Since the last election, she's been a member of parliament for the VVD.

A few days before I went off on my vacation, Hirsi Ali gave an interview to the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw which really set the cat amongst the pigeons. The theme of the interview were the ten commandments, and religion played a major role in her observations. Some of the stories she told were about her childhood in Somalia, such as the time when she was beaten unconscious and had her skull fractured by an imam. She and her sister had been taunting him previously, not wanting to learn about the Koran.

I don't have the patience to translate the whole thing, but here are some of the highlights of the interview. She started off by saying that the current Christian Democrat prime minister Balkenende is not a Christian:

[Balkenende] is always talking about biblical values, but never about the things God asks us to do. Balkenende, the scientist who had to learn to refute in order to arrive at certain truths, believes that the world was created in six days? That Eve was made from Adam's rib? That's impossible. Scientists don't believe. I am convinced that Balkenende is not a Christian.

I suppose it depends on the definition of Christian that one employs. But this was not what caused all the excitement. It were her comments about Islam and Mohammed that led to the ire of Muslim organizations. In the following she refers back to a comment she'd made earlier about Muslim being "backward" or "retarded" (depending on how you want to translate the word), she said the following about the second commandment:
With the first commandment Mohammed tried to imprison common sense and with the second commandment the beautiful, romantic side of mankind was enslaved. I really think it's horrendous that so many people are left bereft of art. In that sense Islam is an outlived culture. Which is to say: unchangeable, set in stone. Everything has been written up in the Koran and there's no tinkering with it. Personally I still think that Mohammed's teachings are obsolete, but because in my new role as a politician I could not go into debate with people who'd hold it against me that I'd called them backward, I have retracted that statement. Or actually I should say that I have qualified my words: I think that Islam - the submission to the will of Allah - is a backward principle, but that does not mean that I think that the practitioners of the religion are backward too. They're behind the times. That's different. They can still move forward.

Traditional political weaseling here, but she goes on about the third commandment:
Insulting the prophet Mohammed is punishable by death. This the prophet heard himself from God, just like he heard other convenient things from time to time. Read about it in the Koran: he stole Zayned, the wife of one of his students by saying it was Allah's will. And what's worse, he fell in love with Aisha, the nine-year-old daughter of his best friend. Her father said, "Please wait until she reaches puberty," but Mohammed did not want to wait that long. So what happens? He gets the message from Allah that Aisha has to prepare herself for Mohammed. That's apparently Mohammed's teaching: it's OK to take the child of your best friend. Mohammed is, by our western standards, a perverse man. A tyrant. He's against freedom of speech. If you don't do as he says, you'll have an unhappy ending. Makes me think of all the megalomaniac rulers in the Middle East: Bin Laden, Khomeini, Saddam. Do you it's strange to have a Saddam Hussein? Mohammed is his example. Mohammed is the example for all Muslim men. Does it surprise you that so many Muslim men are violent? You're scared by the things I am saying, but you make the same mistake that most native Dutchmen make. You forget where I come from. I've been a Muslim, I know what I'm talking about. I think it's terrible that I, living now in a democratic country where freedom of expression is our greatest good, am still confronted with the posthumous blackmail of the prophet Mohammed. In the Netherlands mister Aboutaleb can read to Koran and think, "that Mohammed is great." And I can think, "that Mohammed as an individual is despicable." Mohammed says that women have to stay indoors, have to wear a veil, can't do certain jobs, don't have the same inheritance rights as men, have to be stoned if they commit adultery. I want to show there is another truth besides the "truth" that is spread with Saudi money all over the world. I realize that the women who call themselves Muslims won't understand me yet, but one day they'll remove their blinkers. We have to employ all channels of socialization - family, education, media - to make Muslim women self-sufficient and independent financially. That's going to take many years, but one day that women will realize like I did: I don't want my mother's life.

These comments about Mohammed caused a massive storm of protest from Muslim organizations in the Netherlands, including some veiled threats. Prosecutions under various laws have been threatened but nothing has come of these thus far. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's stated aim is to liberate Muslim women living in the Netherlands who are currently living under the fairly repressive conditions. I wonder whether this is the right way of going about these things. Her approach of open confrontation, indeed open attack on Islam makes sense if you think that there is no hope for reform possible without a dislodging the religion of Islam. Such open confrontation is not going persuade any moderate or secularized Muslims who might be allies in the fight against the Islamofascists. Instead, it's only going to antagonize them.

The problem is that thus far there has been little evidence of any pro-western, secular or moderate movement within Islam, certainly here in the Netherlands. The organizations purporting to speak for the Muslim immigrant populations have been very much along the mould of CAIR in the US. They show little affinitiy with the secular, western values which form the bedrock of our society. Instead they're not quite openly supportive of outright Islamofascism, but it's clear their sympathies are a lot closer to Bin Laden than the constitution of the Netherlands. Yet within the second or third generation immigrants there must surely be a significant number of those who're more attracted to our western secular lifestyle than the stultifying backwardness of fundamentalist Islam. But unless they make themselves known and their voices heard, the only signal we'll be getting from the Muslim immigrant community is that of adherence to a primitive, medieval religion and sympathy for those who seek to destroy our society and civilization. This in turn will vindicate Hirsi Ali's stance to seek frontal confrontation with Islam. It may become necessary, but to think that you'll be able to convert a significant portion of them to atheism is fanciful and not realistic. Even then the best you can hope for is to convert them to a more modern version of Islam, one which does not live in the glorious past of 1,200 years ago but at least tries to come to terms with the modern world of the 21st century. The best hope is the Turkish model, which combines a secular state with a somewhat more modern version of Islam. It's far from perfect as a model, but it's the best we have. And since there is a large Turkish immigrant community here in the Netherlands which is at least somewhat imbued with secularized thought, it's from within this group that any moderate and reasonable Muslim strand is most likely to emerge. That's why it's counterproductive at this stage to go for a full confrontation with Islam as Hirsi Ali is doing. It may yet become necessary, and perhaps I am too optimistic or naive to think that we have not yet reached that point. The alternative is worse.

Steering towards a full-blown confrontation is the Arab-European League, the AEL. The organization has its roots in Belgium and has been spreading its wings to the Netherlands as well as other European countries. Follow the links to read about the AEL and its founder, Abu Jahjah. Apparently there was a TV or radio debate with him a week or so ago here in the Netherlands. I have not seen or heard it, so I can only report what I heard about that debate third-hand. He was pitted in the debate against a number of pretty sharp Dutch debaters, such as the former GreenLeft leader Paul Rosenmuller. I generally disagree with him, but he's pretty good at debating. The general consensus about that debate is that Jahjah swept the floor with the Dutch politicians. In Dutch, a language he only learned relatively late in his life (20s?). Abu Jahjah adeptly used the very concepts of liberal democracy to defend himself against all accusations. He calls on the values enshrined in our constitution (however imperfectly defined they may be at times) such as freedom of expression and freedom of religion to justify what he's doing. He knows exactly which lines he cannot cross publicly; whereas he says he's only exercising his rights under the constitution, it's also clear that the AEL is working towards undermining it. It's the old Sinn Fein trick, building a semi-respectable facade for the world to see, while still being allied with dark forces.

Abu Jahjah is an extremely intelligent man. He can argue his case and defend himself using the vocabulary of liberal democracy while we works to undermine it. His sympathies lie clearly with the Islamofascists, but he's toned the public rhetoric down to a level where he's just another voice in the cacophony of our liberal democracy. He's perfectly aware of the weaknesses of liberal democracy and is detemined to exploit these to further his own Islamofascist aims. Combined with his intelligence, this makes him an extremely dangerous man.

The best way of dealing with idiotic and repugnant points of view (such as those espoused by the AEL and Jahjah) is to expose them for what they are. A well-informed population will be able to sift through them, consider them and reject them. The frightening scenario here is that it might not work that way. The immigrant community in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe has never made any attempt to integrate into wider society, nor has there been any effort by the governments to force them to. There's no melting pot here. There are multiple pots bubbling and boiling next to one another. Many of the immigrants from countries such as Morocco and Turkey (who form the bulk of Muslim immigrants to the Netherlands) have been living within their little parallel world in the Netherlands for decades. There is a bit more integration with second and third generation immigrants, but overall there is an astonishing degree of separation between the immigrants and the native population. And their numbers are large enough that they can't be ignored either. Within a few years, about 10% of the Dutch population will be Muslim. Another problem is that the immigrants are very different from the kinds of (Muslim) immigrants the US gets. What we have here is the bottom of the barrel, people who were at the bottom end of society even back home in Morocco. They're the worst educated of the bunch. The ruling elites in Morocco consider them utter barbarians and are just as glad to be rid of them.

Exposing them to the fresh winds of vigorous debate is going to be hard. Many don't speak Dutch, and living on the margins of Dutch society they're easy prey for the power-hungry predators of the AEL. If traditional methods of persuasion (or dissuasion in this case) do not work, what alternatives are left? A massive propaganda campaign could have an impact, but I am skeptical it can break into the majority within the group. The AEL will always have an advantage. Stopping government handouts to might increase pressure on them to learn Dutch and try to become more connected to society, but that too will not be enough.

This leaves the depressing prospect that we are very likely to end up with a substantial portion of the Dutch population under the sway of a brutal, primitive, fascist ideology. It certainly won't be the 10% of the population, but even if the AEL can muster the support of 5% it'll have the critical mass to disrupt wider society. You don't need a huge percentage to create a big problem, especially if they're willing to employ violent means to underscore their demands. This is the nightmare scenario. Accede to the demands of the Islamofascists or you'll be faced with widespread violence. Suddenly the poll over at LGF about which European country will first introduce Sharia is no longer so far-fetched. Will we accept the introduction of a parallel system of governance for Muslims, as is happening in Nigeria? It's too absurd to imagine.

There are no good alternatives. The AEL under Jahjah is going to become a powerful disruptive force, and any options for dealing with them are problematic. Will we have to destroy the village in order to save it? The best bet is still some combined education/propaganda campaign with the stick of loss of government subsidies (which I think should happen anyhow, regardless of religion). But the vast majority of these immigrants have now obtained Dutch citizenship. Sending them back would be very problematic in any case, but deporting Dutch citizen to a foreign country will raise insuperable constitutional hurdles. Using repression or outlawing certain kinds of speech or opinion are equally unconstitutional and very likely to be counterproductive anyway. The reality is that we have a large section of the population who can easily fall under the sway of the AEL and there's not too much we can do about it. The result will be increasing polarization between the growing group of immigrant who'll support the Islamofascists and the wider population. This guarantees an ugly outcome.

There might still be a chance to avert such an ugly outcome, but it will require strong and determined action. The flow of Saudi money has to be stopped; mosques cannot be allowed to spread anti-western propaganda any longer. We have to get a grip on the incubating Islamofascism within the immigrant community, and encourage the moderate. secular strands to come forward and denounce the Islamofascists. We might still be able to pull it off, but time is running out. And while I strongly defend Hirsi Ali's right to say the things she has said, I think they're counterproductive at this point. Only if and when we come to the conclusion that all Muslims are beyond rhyme or reason does it make sense to open up a full frontal assault on Islam. I hope it does not come to that.

There is another aspect that would help: a big crushing defeat for the various dictators in the Middle East. Starting with Saddam is a good beginning, but getting rid of the Saudis (who're funding much of the anti-western forces in Europe) will have to come next. Removing the external support for the enemy within has to be part and parcel of the strategy of defending the West against the threat of Islamofascism.

UPDATE: I have written a follow-up here.

Posted by qsi at February 15, 2003 01:06 AM | TrackBack (1)
Read More on Arab-European League , Ayaan Hirsi Ali , Islamism , The Netherlands

Very interesting piece. What I hear is the increasing discomfort of a civilized, good-hearted, well-meaning people at the apparent unwillingness of the muslims to integrate and, well, become Dutch. We'll be seeing a great deal more of this in the decades to come and if history is a guide, it will not end nicely.

In my opinion the problem for the Dutch and other good-hearted western nations that have allowed significant middle-eastern and african immigration is that they are under the false impression that all people are equal and that with enough education and tender loving care, these backward, obstinate, violent, ignorant people will become just like other Dutch people, only swarthier and with some charming traditions from their ancestral countries. I don't believe this will be the case, for the following reasons:

(1) These populations are proportionally growing much faster than the native population.

(2) Western democracies give the political power to the group that has the most votes.

(3) Therefore these immigrant populations will have more and more political power.

(4) These immigrant populations have no interest in adopting western ways; they simply want to practice their own cultural ways and will be glad to transform western countries accordingly as they become politically powerful enough to do so.

(5) In order for a people to respond to "education" and reasoned arguments, they must have a high enough average intelligence to be capable of modifying their behavior based on reasoned arguments. The unspoken truth is that much evidence suggests these immigrant populations may not have that level of intelligence.

I'd ask the Dutch: why are you accepting these immigrants, anyway? Isn't it acceptable to have a country for yourselves, for your people, your traditions, your language, your customs? These immigrants have countries of their own where they can practice their culture...why accept them at all? After all, you aren't emigrating to their countries and seeking to change their cultures, are you?

The bottom line is that this is a matter of ethnicity, race, and culture and the question is whether the Dutch and other western nations will wake up to this before they are robbed of their own nations by foreigners taking advantage of their good natures.

Posted by: Mark on February 15, 2003 04:27 AM

> These comments about Mohammed caused a massive storm of protest from Muslim organizations in the Netherlands, including some veiled threats. Prosecutions under various laws have been threatened but nothing has come of these thus far.

It sounds like it is unthinkable that AEL be threatened with such prosecution, but Hirsi Ali is.

Why the double standard?

I suspect that the "civil" middle ground can't survive an attack, and it is under attack. If I'm correct, your only hope is either to mirror AEL or to abandon the legally-enforced civility standards. Of course, there's no guarantee that either one of them will win either. (Actually, there's a guarantee that both will fail if the Dutch are unwilling to fight.)

Posted by: Andy Freeman on February 15, 2003 04:43 AM

Are you suggesting that you are resigned to seeing your nation and your culture destroyed rather than face "insuperable constitutional hurdles?"

I am unable to understand this kind of thinking.

If someone comes to your house and acts like a maniac, and threatens you, and pisses on the carpet, you throw him out. End of story.

Posted by: TrailerPundit on February 15, 2003 05:32 AM

Imagine what a great deal the western nations are for these middle eastern/african muslim immigrants. Their own nations are more or less hellholes of ignorance, violence, poverty, and despotic rule. A couple centuries ago people in their situation sometimes took the risk to venture across the sea to relatively empty lands where they could found a new colony and start to build a new life by carving a living out of the wilderness.

Now there are effectively no empty lands to colonize, but there's something even better: western democracies. If you can find a way there, they'll actually give you free money, food, shelter, health care, and education. Much better than some forbidding wilderness! They've spent centuries developing stable democracies and prosperous economies. Freedom, jobs, no persecution, and welfare benefits unlike anything remotely available in their native lands. Who wouldn't want to colonize such a place! And you don't even need to go to war to colonize them, simply reproduce at a high rate (using the benefits of their society to do so) and then vote yourselves into power! Meanwhile the natives stand around like uncomfortable hosts at a party crashed by a motorcycle gang, wringing their hands and asking if they would please not put their boots on the coffee table. Pathetic.

Posted by: Mark on February 15, 2003 05:46 AM

Mark, it has nothing to do with ethnicity or race. It has to do with the need of immigrants to adapt to their new homes. I am an immigrant and I adapted. I KNOW which place is my home that I would defend to the death -- and it's not the one I happend to be born in. It's the one my family chose and that made me feel welcome. Any country's immigration policy should not be based on race or ethnicity or culture. It should be based on one simple question at the border: "Why do you want to live here? How are you willing to contribute?" If the answer is "Because I love the ideals your country holds dear, and I am willing to fit in and become one of you (without losing my history)" then let them in. Your country will be all the better for it.

Posted by: angua on February 15, 2003 06:11 AM

"And while I strongly defend Hirsi Ali's right to say the things she has said, I think they're counterproductive at this point. "

These are weasel words.

I am sorry to tell you this but, it is in the nature of human societies to tolerate ever greater abuse until such a time that their survival depends on taking action. Look at us (the US). We let Saddam make an attempt on a former President's life and refused to follow up leads that suggested he supported the 1st WTC bombing in '93. We let Al Qaeda bomb our embassies in Africa and our warships in the Middle East and attempt to bomb other landmarks and airplanes with barely any response. Only when 3000 citizens were murdered on their own soil did we act.

Judging by this column, this is your future, if nothing is done to stem the tide: A series of ever increasing outrages until you just can't take it anymore and lash out in a huge catharsis, spreading death and destruction all around.

The first thing you have to do is stand up and refuse to be cowed into giving the barbarians sanction. If you do not demonstrate your disapproval, you are telling the followers of the violent thugs that there is nothing wrong with the path they have chosen. You MUST force the issue. Otherwise, change will not come.

The surest way to prolong injustice is to make things easy for the practitioners thereof. This is why it is obscene for European nations right now to be making deals with an Iranian government that is hated by its people.

Confronting evil is not coming "to the conclusion that all Muslims are beyond rhyme or reason". It is coming to the conclusion that these evil leaders are beyond rhyme or reason, and they must be stopped. It is, in fact, recognizing that most Muslims are rational people, who respond to the same stimuli as other people. They need guidance to understand the ways of their adopted countries. They need honesty and consideration of the fact that they are rational beings.

Saddam is beyond rhyme or reason. We are going to stop him. And, I guarantee that, like the Afghanis before them, the Iraqi people will welcome the US Army as liberators. (How many actual Iraqi expatriates do you see at these so-called "peace demonstrations"?)

You can't get a little bit pregnant. You cannot make accommodations with evil. Think about it.

Posted by: Reid on February 15, 2003 06:41 AM

Angua, if all immigrants eagerly adapted their new country's language, culture, habits, morals, work ethic, attitudes, etc etc etc, and if all ethnic groups and races had identical potential for contributing to a civilization except for incidental differences like skin tone, then you would be correct. However all immigrants do not adapt and all ethnic groups and races are not identical.

The most prosperous, civilized, welcoming places on earth are nations created by caucasians. Asians (for example, the Japanese) create stable, prosperous civilizations in some cases but they are strongly ethnocentric and unabashed in their determination to maintain their ethnic distinctiveness. They see themselves as a people and they wish to maintain that for their descendents. However, the non-caucasian, non-asian areas of the world have pretty much universally been unable to maintain civilizations that can hold a candle to caucasian civilization in terms of prosperity, rule of law, civil liberty, and so on.

Take Haiti, for example. A nation of blacks living on some of the best land in the world -- the jewel of the caribbean. But Haitians are some of the poorest people on earth, unable to maintain a democracy or even educate their children beyond an average of the third grade. Contrast Haiti with Iceland: a nation of scandinavians living on some of the least hospitable land in the world. Prosperous, safe, civil. Do you think the Icelanders would be well-served to admit every Haitian who promised at the border to "love the ideals" of Iceland and "fit in"? Can you see how virtually every Haitian would want to move to a country with a civilization like Iceland's? And can you see how the Icelanders have nothing to gain from letting in Haitians? If the Haitians cannot, after 200 years of self-rule, form a society any more advanced that the most primitive tribes in sub-saharan Africa, why would Icelanders have any reason to believe admitting them to their nation would improve Iceland?

The same goes for the Netherlands and islamic immigrants. If the middle eastern peoples have been unable to develop a decent, modern civilization of their own -- even one! -- then in what way are the Dutch better off by allowing any significant number of them into their countries at all? The middle east needs the productive, ambitious people to stay there and solve the problems, not emigrate to the Netherlands and set up a colony.

It is very much about race, culture, and ethnicity. The fact that the Dutch are not yet willing to admit that is a clear sign that it will have to get much worse before it gets better.

Posted by: Mark on February 15, 2003 06:54 AM

Die troll die. You disgrace this worthy post.

Posted by: wtf on February 15, 2003 07:19 AM

There is only one way to save your nation (although you've not yet passed the point of no return, you have plenty of time left to dither), and that is to round up the extremists, box them up, and ship them "home" (because obviously, their "home" is not your country).

If this means deporting 1% of the population, then so be it. If it means 5%, then so be it.

Posted by: Michael Levy on February 15, 2003 07:26 AM

We have a similar problem in America. Certain liberals think it is our responsibility to throw open the borders to any and all, because we are a "nation of immigrants". Well, northern- and western Europeans came here, passed health screenings, learned the language, worked hard, and made great contribtions to our country. Today, immigrants come here, often with AIDS and/or tuberculosis, don't learn the language, and commit crimes. This issue is on the minds of many Americans, but strangely, few politicians even mention it. We will soon be in a quandary similar to that of the Netherlands. Stand fast, Dutchmen!

Posted by: Craig on February 15, 2003 07:26 AM

Many wise words have been said here above, and thank you for that. My contribution is this:

"-It is easy to take millions of Muslims out of satanic primitive Islamic countries, but impossible to take satanic primitive Islam out of a single Muslim".

I may ad that the conclusion that follows from this truth is this:

"-Misguided Muslims only learn from guided Missiles"

The ancient and heinous Arab-Muslims habits towards Gods many animals and female hostages of Islam is many and frequent. I care to mention this example that goes back centuries and it has given the useful camel its alternative label, “Ships of the Sandy Desserts”. I am sure you have heard that expression.

“-Why are camels known as skips of the desert? Because they frequently are full of Muslim seemen”.

I fully support the only way for a secure humane future and that is a full frontal lasting propaganda attack on Islam using all media channels, combined with a wartime antifascist censorship.

I’m also in favor of removing the Kaba from the face of the Earth for all time!

This satanic little black “Kaba-stone” have darkened daily human life ever since it fell to earth about 3-4000 years ago as a meteor. Kaba's stone must be vaporized as soon as possible and I am very serious about the dangers of this satanic bedeviling object of Muslim adoration and idolization.

The added benefit is that such historical cleansing-act will immediately expose all the evil Muslims and bring them out hyperventilating from their putrid hidings so we can then deal with them appropriately. Any Muslim that has committed Hajj to Mecca’s Kaba stone must be considered a very dangerous individual. That is were we must set the boundary that defines potential “terrorists” and a destroyed vanished Kaba-stone makes future Hajji’s impossible and meaningless. No Kaba, less terrorists!

Of course this is not everything, but as close we will ever get to a “Gordian Knot” solution to the deadly Islam/Koran problem. If we like to call this a “terrorist war” then we must deal with it in a war-like fashion or next rename it our “terrorist conundrum”. God bless and thank you for reading this message!

Posted by: Karl Pentel on February 15, 2003 08:13 AM

Educate the women. Everything else you want flows from that. Encourage Hirsi Ali and make sure she has the broadest possible access into the channels of communication used by Muslim women.

Posted by: Dave Roberts on February 15, 2003 09:00 AM

"Encourage Hirsi Ali"


"and make sure she has the broadest possible access into the channels of communication used by Muslim women."

No, I don't think so. Hirsi Ali may have a valuable role, but she's too confrontational and hasn't learned (or doesn't care to practice) a fundamental rule of communication: You can't reach someone and shame them at the same time.

I totally agree that the key here is women's education and supporting those moslems that do assimilate while making sure that Moslems that _don't_ assimilate can't get in and can't bring their families if they're already in.

The Dutch I think are a rational unassuming people who are reluctant to be seen as forcing their values on others. They need to get over that and stand up for what (if anything) they believe in or they'll lose it.

Posted by: Michael Farris on February 15, 2003 09:47 AM

Three points. First, since Arab/Muslims apparently have a congenital inability to comprehend, much less participate in, the democratic process, what makes you think that they could accomplish their alleged aims (imposition of shari'a, etc.) by political means?

Second, are there not, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, large communities of Arab/Muslim descended people who *have* integrated into society and view themselves, and are viewed, as ordinary, productive, valuable citizens? If the only solution to Europe's "immigration problem" is to deport them all, where do we draw the line? Loyalty oaths? Discrimination on the basis of religion and/or ethnicity? And how is any of that compatible with a free, democratic society?

Third, why single out Arab/Muslims? There are many other groups of immigrants in Europe who have also failed to integrate -- Africans, Asians, etc. Again, how do we separate the "good" immigrants from the "bad" ones, without adopting the same sort of ethnic/tribal politics that so many immigrants have chosen to flee?

I'll close by repeating a statement I've made in the past, and that I believe with all my heart:

The polar opposite of Islamo-fascism is secularism. (Not apocalyptic end-times Christianity, which some seem to think is the only possible alternative.)

Posted by: vaara on February 15, 2003 12:20 PM

The very foundation of western political organization is the idea that all people have an equal say in governance. It is for this reason that it is extremely difficult for liberal democracies to eliminate the threat represented by some of their own. Indeed, it cannot do so without becoming something other than a liberal democracy. Yet, demographics may well force you down that alley at knifepoint.

Education campaigns and propaganda may help. It certainly is *not* helpful that you facilitate the formation of cultural ghettos by your policies (which are also reflective of the liberal ideal of respect for the differences of others). But it is more likely that such campaigns will simply provide cover for politicians to dither and delay - to "fiddle while Rome burns" (which is exactly what is happening at the UN).

I do wish to point out that Mark and Craig are all wet. It *is* true that you have little prospect of converting the great mass of the Muslims immigrating to your country but it has nothing to do with their race. Surely, Iceland would gain nothing by importing hundreds of thousands of Haitians but this is simply because the Haitians have grown up in a political culture whose very bedrock assumptions are incompatible with Icelandic - or any other free and liberal - political culture.

Craig's post is particularly vile because it reflects an utter ignorance of history. Irish, Italian, Jewish and Polish immigrants were all opposed in America at one point because they were thought to be ridden with "tuberculosis, don't learn the language, and commit crimes". America is fortunate that the great majority of our "third world" immigrants - those from Central and South America - work very hard and share with us a common religious tradition (Christianity). Like all poor immigrant groups, there is a greater share of crime in these communities (although historically less than the Irish, for example) but there is every reason to believe that, within a generation or two, we will look upon Hispanics in much the same way we now view Italians and Irish.

European immigration, in contrast, is fed by Islamic states in which the political and religious culture is not only different but, because of past historical clashes, specifically antagonistic to Western culture.

I do not envy your position my friend.

Posted by: WildMonk on February 15, 2003 03:01 PM

WildMonk is making what I believe is a common error: he looks at how the various caucasian ethnic groups migrated to the US and gradually assimilated, and that example serves as his model for what will happen when non-caucasian ethnicities immigrate. I think it would be nice if this were the case but I've come to doubt that it is. There are hundreds of studies of differences between races in intelligence that indicate real, measurable, consistent differences. It's one thing for caucasians to immigrate to a majority-caucasian country; the differences in IQ are small and the only significant differences are cultural and are subsumed in time without damage to the overall quality of the population. It's different though when other racial groups immigrate to a majority-caucasian nation. The brightest among them do well and meld in, but a large percentage are not intellectually equipped to compete in a caucasian society and they remain in ethnic ghettos, simmering in resentment and reproducing with abandon. In a nation based on one man, one vote, this is a recipe for disaster for the caucasian natives.

Look at blacks in America, for example. In the century and a half since the end of slavery, they have still not assimilated. They see themselves as distinct, and except for the very brightest among them, they have no interest in "being white" -- i.e., working hard in school, being sexually responsible, or adopting caucasian culture (language, worldview, habits, the whole bundle).

Practical issues of intelligence aside, I think it is entirely legitimate for a nation with a common ethnic heritage to want to maintain that. Look at Japan for instance: extremely racially homogenous and dedicated to preserving their culture and people. Do you condemn the Japanese for that, WildMonk? Should the Japanese encourage hordes of Haitians to emigrate to Japan and start interbreeding with the Japanese? What makes Japan, Japan, is not just a language and wearing kimonos, it is the race of the people. And they are entitled to maintain that -- that's "celebrating diversity". You can't have it if you don't maintain it. In the same way, the Dutch have a moral right to maintain their nation's racial and cultural identity without being embarrassed about it.

Apparently only the caucasian ethnicities are supposed to be ashamed to want to maintain their distinctiveness and purity. When arabs, asians, hispanics, or africans protest against the invasion of western cultural influence, liberals sympathize with them. When caucasian westerners protest the invasions of non-caucasian immigration, liberals condemn them as bigots.

Posted by: Mark on February 15, 2003 05:52 PM

I wandered over from Instapundit. This is one of the most impressive threads (reasoned arguments,etc) I've come across.

A year or two ago, I would have dismissed many of Mark's comments out of hand as rascist. However, I believe many are beginning to turn from wishful thinking (e.g. angua's comments) to face the reality staring us in the face.

There is a difference between most Muslim immigrants and other immigrants. They have no intention of assimilating and are at best, parasites.

As for the sentiment that maybe with time and a generation or two, they will assimilate, here in the US, there is anecdotal evidence that 2nd generation Muslims tend to be more fanatical than their parents. Not a good trend line.

Mark, your posts are very well written & persuasive - do you have your own blog?? If so, please post your website's address - thanks.

Posted by: Mike Z on February 15, 2003 06:57 PM

I disagree with those who say her confrontational style is a problem. Non-confrontational has gotten us nowhere. A direct attack will force someone to step forward to begin a debate.

Nothing is ever going to change until the moderate muslims distance themselves from the fundamentalists. Ali's methods will force the moderates to come forward. The problem we have now is that there are no public moderates. All we hear from are fundamentalist sympathizers posing as moderates, like CAIR.

Dialogue on point between moderates and non-muslims will force the split which is necessary before we can arrive at a resolution. Obviously, it's going to be a long process. But until moderate muslims denouce their brethren most westerners will be suspicious of all muslims, and rightfully so.

Posted by: mj on February 15, 2003 07:26 PM

At the risk of sounding like a white supremacist Iike Mark, I should point out that the EU is about to become a whole lot more "Caucasian." Poland, the Czech Republic, etc., are full of talented, intelligent "Caucasians" who are eager to contribute their skills in the greater European economy. And the Muslim population in those countries is virtuall nil.

So, assuming all the candidate countries vote for accession, this will dilute the non-"Caucasian" population of the EU significantly. And it seems inevitable that many of those "new Europeans" will make their way into the Netherlands and other prosperous Western lands.

Posted by: vaara on February 15, 2003 08:36 PM

Why does believing that ethnic groups, including mine, have a moral right to preserve themselves by choosing to exclude foreign immigration make me a "white supremacist"? Are the Japanese "japanese supremacists" for wanting to maintain their people? There's a distinction between saying you are a "supremacist" who believes your race should rule others, and believing your people should be entitled to self-preservation. Ethnic/racial self-preservation is accepted for every other racial group except western caucasians.

Posted by: Mark on February 15, 2003 10:09 PM

I concur that removal of despotic and dictactorial regimes in the Arab world, beginning with Saddam Hussein, will help the situation, in Holland, and elsewhere in the West. The Arab culture/mind responds to, and respects - physical power and accomplishment. Practical, real-world defeat of reprehensible Arab regimes, without shame or apology on the part of the west, will garner quiessence on the part of these immigrant populations. This will give time, the generations of time, that we will need to transform and convert their psychology.

A NEW BOOK has been released, available at Barnes & Noble and online - "HATRED KINGDOM" - by DORE GOLD, Israel's former ambassador to the UN. It is an extremely erudite and comprehensive book on Saudi Arabia's support for International Radical Muslim terrorism. As postulated, the second immediate step is to completely terminate Saudi Arabian support of the madrass system and the Muslim educational system in the West, wherein they further the agenda of the worst of Muslim theology - Wahhabism...and to demand that the local Muslim community be accountable for the educational agenda of their schools, especially in the primary grade ranges.

Posted by: tiburon on February 15, 2003 11:12 PM

Mark, I'm not going to dignify your comments about blacks by attempting to respond to them. But the way in which you discuss them is little different from someone like David Duke. Referring to blacks as promiscuous, wilfully ignorant subhumans is not a way to move the debate forward.

You lose.

Posted by: vaara on February 15, 2003 11:21 PM

I suspect vaara does not wish to rebut Mark's comments about blacks is because there is not an intellectually honest way to do so.

First, it is vaara's words "promiscuous" and "willfully ignorant subhumans". He did not say that. In the US at least, these are facts:

1. Birthrates for blacks are higher than whites.
2. Birthrates for unmarried blacks are higher than any other measured category.

If you wish to make the leap that "blacks are promiscuous", that is your doing.

Among other reams of facts, average SAT scores for blacks from families with incomes over $70,000 per year trail the scores for EVERY income level for whites, including whites with family incomes under $10,000.

As unpleasant as you may find these facts, they are facts. You can shoot the weatherman but it won't change the weather.

Self rightously sticking ones head in the sand does not advance the debate.

Posted by: Mike Z on February 15, 2003 11:50 PM

This summer I had an opportunity to visit with groups of Dutch citizens when the Youth Group that I led stayed at the same hostels, hotels and centers as many Dutch youth groups. It was interesting how the Dutch YOuth and Youth leaders reacted to the presence of ethnic and religious minorities in my group and the other groups.

We made no distinction between students of any background and ethnicity because there is very little difference. Generally the kids go to public schools in their neighborhoods. The few that go to private schools go to schools that have lost their original charter (religious, exclusively male or female etc)and are very similar to public schools in values.

The Dutch have a very different system. They support religious schools the same as they do secular schools. In the past they had mostly identical Christian schools in parallel with the secular public school. People chose a Christian or secular school primarily on whether or not it was located in their neighborhood. The government equally funds both public and private schools. The incoming immigrants get their schools funded by the state at schools that support their ethnicity or religion and they are very different culturally.

Generally, this is what I observed. Young white people in the Netherlands indentify with their country and have something of a national character. They are not patriotic, do not support group goals, and are generally cynical about government and the future, the EU, the Euro, and any organized programs for youth that support achievement or competition. Students of any ethnicity other than Caucasion will tell you they are from their family's country of origin (Liberia, Morrocco, Syria etc.,) although in discussion you will discover they are the second or third generation to live in the Netherlands. They also tell you they are Muslims (if they are), but do not practice their religion except to satisfy the old people. The Dutch do not believe that we are as integrated as we claim and tend to see racism and division everywhere.

American students particularly from the East and West Coast are generally tolerant and integrated. All the students (even those that are not American citizens or who have only lived in the USA 4-5 years) tell other travelers they are Americans. They are generally patriotic in a quiet way. Most do not like European arrogance and are appalled by smokers. This seems to take up a lot of discussion time (which nation has the most obnoxious smokers!).

Dutch customs of claiming their culture as only for the Dutch is amusing to the students who are entirely caucasian as it is clear they are European descendants. (What do I look like, a Hottentot?) American students find Europeans quite backward socially. American students mix and integrate with other groups and view differences as a novelty and amusing. They do not take other people's countries seriously and find the concern about languages, cultural differences and other social differences unworthy of comment. They see that they share a common music, fashion, humor, interests as the European young people. The differences to them are trivial.

American student from the midwest, Texas, and the south are generally very patriotic and will express it quite openly (the coasters for example never display American flags, seems like every Texan does!). These students seem to conform to the European's view of all Americans. These middle students are easily identified; the cynical and worldly Europeans enjoy poking fun at them for their patriotism, organization, manners etc. The American Middle kids seem oblivious to this and are completely unconcerned what any European thinks of them!

Generally the American students from all parts of the USA share a common youth culture and they have an outlook to see how similar others are to them. Students from the East and West Coasts, Middle America and (yes) Texas! seem to share a common sense of patriotism although they are not always open about it. They all speak English and somehow seem to look alike whatever their backgound and wear Similar clothes, backpacks, hair styles, and share a common poor posture) European and especially Dutch students cling to their culture and background quite tenaciously and are very concious of the differences between people.

I don't know what this means really. I think that Americans are very much more homogeneous than Europeans. Europeans are getting left behind as the world comes together into one world culture it seems to me. It is not a matter of whether it is good or bad. It just seems inevitable with opening borders, quicker and cheaper travel, good communications, and educated people. The Europeans seem unable to cope with the changes. I think that if the Europeans want to have internal peace in the future they need to start working on developing a common outlook for all their young people now.

Also, I think that the American competitiveness about school, awards, recognitions, sports, everything really, unites us. We respect our competitors and enjoy the competition and a little confrontation is ok and is not uncivilized. American students talk about colleges, SAT tests, dating, music and the same books. THe Dutch is seems to me are seeking to avoid unpleasantness now are setting themselves up for future social problems.

This is not a reseach project, just general and personal observations.

Posted by: CLS on February 16, 2003 02:43 AM

What I find different among Islamic immigrants compared to others wherever they settle is their failure to assimilate. They become Moslems living in Britain, France, Holland or the US rather then American Moslems, etc. In the current situation I have not seen Moslem 0rganziations come forward to support actions against terrorists. These organizations seem to focus on alleged crimes against Moslems such as racial profiling. Unfortunately the aircraft that were used to attack the US had people speaking not Japanese, German or Norwegian but rather Arabic. The terrorists are all Moslems. What is amazing to me is having witnessed the way the Iraqis treated Egyptians, Somilians and other unfortunate Moslems who worked in Baghdad it is impossible for me to understand why any Moslem would defend this regime. As far as immigration goes most Americans would restrict immigration or freeze it due to the many abuses that are evident. Europe's policies have exposed them to many of the same problems the US has been experiencing for years and perhaps this explains changing attitudes in Europe. The argument for diversity has always fallen flat in my mind. How have Iceland or Japan suffered by lacking diversity?

Posted by: Thomas J. Jackson on February 16, 2003 10:05 AM

Demographic-wise, the West (read: Civilization) is going to lose.

We invest in quality (education, education and more education), they invest in quantity.

Quality can defeat quantity for a very long time but sooner or later you end up swarming the quality.

The barbarians are already inside the gates.
And some Romans seem to want to let more huns in!

Posted by: GW Crawford on February 18, 2003 12:22 AM

I have grave misgivings for the future and the continued existence of the only civilsation thats worth calling. At this moment the only hope for our civilisation is the US. If the US loses, then all is lost. Its unlikely that we will lose any war but internal ignorance of Islam and its growing menace within, is what will slowly destroy the us.

You write that the time for an all out assault on Islam is not yet but if we wait longer, the Muslim population will grow larger and by then it may well be too late.

I therefore dont think there is any alternative to an exchange of populations. Muslims in the West for the terribly oppresed Christians and others in muslim countries. This cannot be regarded as ethnic cleansing but really a simple exchange of populations. The Christians in muslim countries will be saved, muslims should be happy as they can live under Islamic law, and we will be happy as we dont have to worry about terrorists within our borders. No more alerts at airports and no more worrying if a missile was going to hit an airplane as it came to land.

Posted by: J.Shearer on February 18, 2003 01:44 AM

Mike Z.

About your statistics reagarding negros I would like to say that your reasoning is flawed. First of all your generalization of negros exists from a skewed statistical basis that is only relevant in modern day US. These averages in no way decribe the negro populations in Europe or even Canada.

Point 1. Birthrates for blacks are higher than whites.

Do not forget that negros are disproporionately less wealthy than cocasians. They live in a country where 90% of the wealth exists amost 10% of the population. A disproportionately small percentage is held by negro.

Now, statistics from places like China, Africa, Mexico, and India where there are disproportionate levels of poverty compared to America you can find that populations have a tendancy to grow. Though negros in America do not seem to populate themselves as rapidly as the populations from these regions, the inverse relation of reproduction to wealth is undeniable. What reasoning lies behind this trend? In some cases it may be that individuals can afford anything better than to have sex as entertainment, in cases of extreme poverty it may just be that people have children to support them when they are aged and hopefully enough offspring will survive so that they can survive at an old age. Also you fail to realize that there are many instances of poor cocasians in the southern states that exhibit similar reproductive trends.

Point 2. Birthrates for unmarried blacks are higher than any other measured category.

Marriage is an institution of religion. It it there to signify the union of two people in the eyes of God. These are not necessarily the religious or cultural values of other peoples. Do not expect people to adhere to a philosophy of a society that has historically persecuted them or to a moral standard of a church that to current day exploits them. Which can be seen in Africa by discouraging the use of condoms, regardless of AIDS, regardless of birth rates. In fact a church that encourages more children in not just Africa, but South America and India and China and other poverse regions of the world so that they may have more christians in the world. Though the church encourages only one partner they are not as adament on that issue as they are on contraceptives.

Point 3. average SAT scores for blacks from families with incomes over $70,000 per year trail the scores for EVERY income level for whites

SATs are in no way a measure of intelligence. SATs are designed to be a test to determine the level of retained secondary school knowledge. It is in fact a test of knowledge. And if you compare the funding that is provided to 'black' schools and the funding that is provided for 'white' schools, you will find a huge discrepancy. Racial injustice in America is not a thing of the past, nor are feelings of racial superiority which is quite apparent from some of these message postings.

Posted by: MMC on May 8, 2003 02:14 PM

Negroes? What is this, Caddyshack? You people are fucking idiots. Cept for CLS. Good observations.

Posted by: elam on August 4, 2003 03:36 AM

Is there something wrong with the word negro, or just the way that I spell the plural wrong? Its a perfectly good word to indicate reference to black people but I guess you should have the same problem with cocasian then. In futrure I'll try and keep everything black and white.

Posted by: MMC on September 25, 2003 10:21 PM

Is there something wrong with the word negro, or just the way that I spell the plural wrong? Its a perfectly good word to indicate reference to black people but I guess you should have the same problem with cocasian then. In futrure I'll try and keep everything black and white.

Posted by: MMC on September 25, 2003 10:21 PM

Is there something wrong with the word negro, or just the way that I spell the plural wrong? Its a perfectly good word to indicate reference to black people but I guess you should have the same problem with cocasian then. In futrure I'll try and keep everything black and white.

Posted by: MMC on September 25, 2003 10:21 PM

Is there something wrong with the word negro, or just the way that I spell the plural wrong? Its a perfectly good word to indicate reference to black people but I guess you should have the same problem with cocasian then. In futrure I'll try and keep everything black and white.

Posted by: MMC on September 25, 2003 10:21 PM
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