vrijdag 22 februari 2008

More on Kosovo, the muslims, etc.

Have a very ambivalent relationship to the Marxist blog Lenin's Tomb blog. Particularly as Richard Seymour is so wrong-headed about so many things - Israel, Palestine, etc. This said, he's a clearer thinker than a whole pub full of left-liberals in Euston, so to speak, and his analysis of the Kosovo issue is well worth reading.

Some of the opponents of Kosovan independence on the right see the whole issue through a muslim vs. christian prism. See Taki Theodoracopulos and John Zmirak. Now, I see their point, but the conflict remains primarily national. You want to kick out the other ethnic group so they won't ever come back, you go for their churches and their graveyards (or indeed mosques, as happened when the aggression came from the opposite direction during the Bosnian war).

There's a tendency from the US right and from European "Eurabia" ideologues such as those at the Brussels Journal and the Gates of Vienna blog to see everything through that prism: muslims are coming, having much more babies than procreation-fatigued white Christian Europeans, and if we continue, we'll all bow down in the direction of Mecca and you won't be able to get a decent piece of pork anymore in thirty years or so. To think of it, we may already be there in case of the pork. Try finding a decent bit in any restaurant or eating-stall in suburbs of Stockholm. It's all chicken or godawful Döner kebab or lamb. I want my gyros made of juicy, greasy bits of pork, not chicken. But I digress.

I don't believe that the youth that are rioting in Copenhagen in what is the last of a long series of European suburbs boiling over are motivated to any enormous extent by Islam. But what shocks me far more is the vapid, vacuous reaction from the (white, non-Muslim) political class. In the Netherlands, there has been something close to panic over a supposed short anti-Muslim film that a right-wing populist MP is reportedly making, as well as about aforementioned MP (Geert Wilders) in general, in a way that merely shows the impotence and aimlessness of the ruling coalition in the face of an Islamic threat that hasn't even materialized. In Denmark, a socialist MP has made headlines by responding to the islamist Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the following words:

Therefore let us together send them a clear message: Your benighted state of idiocy has no place on earth, because in the long run nobody wants to live in captivity, ignorance and your pathetic clumsiness (...) To those who feel attracted by HuT and who meet resistance in their life — as every human meets resistance in life: Get out of the role of victim. Get out of the Middle Ages. Have the courage to use your common sense. Acknowledge the historic superiority of democracy, acknowledge the authority and equality of women, acknowledge sensibility and knowledge as the foundation to meet other people. Then, everything is going to be all right.

Which may have given them a hard-on at Gates of Vienna but sounds like a combination of chest-thumping and hollow platitudes to me. What it does not pronounce is any serious ideological alternative to islamism. "Democracy" and "equality of women" do not amount to such a thing. Mind you, I sort of agree with the equality of women part (I'm not sure about democracy) but all of the values mentioned are merely rules of the game to make the fight between ideologies and viewpoints go smoothly. As an ideology itself, it's hollow.

And then there is the tiresome hubbub about the Danish cartoons again. Which weren't even particularly funny the first time they appeared. And, let's call the thing by it's name, racist. That does not mean their publication should have been forbidden. But, for goodness' sake, if someone publishes a crude caricature of your ethnicity's stereotypical features - complete with turban, hooked nose, bushy eyebrows, and scimitar at the ready - you have the right to take offense.

What I'm wondering is why the West's answer to somewhat-religiously motivated rioters seems to be confined to unfunny cartoons, incoherent populist politicians, egomaniacal ex-muslims, culturally semiliterate secularists, and, oh, panic panic panic? Is this how Europe should meet its own discontents? We ask our immigrant populations to assimilate - to what?

In the end, people will gravitate to something that grants them dignity. That gives them the idea that they are part of something much bigger than themselves. The thing about Western liberal secularism is precisely that it cannot do that. That it's by its very nature atomizing, individualistic, hostile to any transcendent ideals and meaning. Islam however seems to be able to do it just nicely. What are the "Eurabia" ideologues going to confront it with? Christianity? Christians are a small minority in West European countries. Nation, fatherland? But that's all been hollowed out by the EU project - and there are good reasons why precisely these concepts have been suspect in the minds of generations of Europeans. Socialism or other messianic ideologies? Dead as the druids. On the political spectrum, there are no serious alternatives to some moldy Blairite social-democrat nannyism, from Sweden to London. We're a continent without a heart.

So if those on the far right worrying about "Eurabia" are right, "Eurabia" will become a reality because Islam as a motivating ideology, as a centre of gravity, will prove to be more vibrant and forceful than anything the secular West can confront it with. And that would be that.

2 opmerkingen:

mattghg zei

there are no serious alternatives to some moldy Blairite social-democrat nannyism, from Sweden to London. We're a continent without a heart

Agreed; although I rather get the impression that at least Blair actually believed in his "third way" - for a while, anyway. Whereas ISTM that the dominant ideology in Western Europe now, for my generation at least, is really just equal parts hedonism and cynicism which only pays lip-service to the above. And the Islamists are wise to this, too.

John Maszka zei

Hello,

I'm doing research on how American foreign policy affects popular support for terrorism. My theory is that America’s hegemonic activity fuels popular support for terrorism, but I need data to support that hypothesis. I plan to conduct a large international survey in order to collect that data. Before I conduct the survey, however, I need to devise a survey instrument that is non-biased (non-western, non-white). I strongly believe that the biggest reason that America is losing the war on terror is that we aren’t listening to the people that matter the most—everyone else. The same principal applies to my survey: it won’t do any good if I’m not asking the right questions.

So I’m asking for your help.

I’ve put together a pre-survey questionnaire to help fashion a survey that hopefully will ask the right questions― one that takes race, religion, and gender issues into consideration rather than just making the same old geopolitical assumptions that political scientists in my field tend to make. I’m particularly interested in incorporating the views of women, non-whites, and people living outside of America and Western Europe. The final survey will go out once the pre-survey data has been collected and analyzed.

The survey can be accessed at

http://www.johnmaszka.com/SURVEY.html

Please take a moment and fill out the survey.

Thank you!
Take care,

John Maszka