Turning a blind eye to the dangers within
This is a central issue for the West. We still tend to trust our academics and politicians. This needs to move to the Reaganesque "Trust but verify," I think. Regarding Islam, the basic approach of many of the Western intelligentsia is fundamentally flawed.
Mr Stein makes many useful points. He provides informative footnotes and challenges popular thought. In short: This is exactly what a proper academic is supposed to do. Contrast this with most of what we see and hear regarding Islam today from the "learned analysts".
He discusses the following issues around the close affinity between politically and philosophically Left minded groups with those who are in reality their implacable enemies - Sharia compliant Muslims:~
- Firstly, the astounding denial of reality by the intelligentsia preventing them from simply accepting the self-definition of Sharia observant Muslims (in denying that such Muslims believe what they say they believe, the intelligentsia is of course performing a violent act of Cultural Imperialism. But they'd never acknowledge that);
- the problem of the anti-West training of many Imams in the West;
- the unwillingness of many Muslim leaders to accept the slightest responsibility for the Muslim community's behaviour or beliefs for Muslim atrocities;
- the simplistic, Marxist class-based epistemology of "oppressor and oppressed" preventing a genuine appreciation of the real problem;
- a general inability to bring themselves to criticise the Sharia based practices of FGM, honour killings, the rapes of infidel women and girls in Britain and Germany or indeed Sharia's general subjugation of women ("I might be called a racist!";
- Finally, he discusses the formation of a direct alliance between the Intelligentsia and barbarism in the form of Sharia advancing anti-intellectuals.
Might I suggest that we overcome our growing tribalism and unite to face this obvious threat before we entirely forget what we all have in common?
The whole article makes a lovely summation of the problems that we in the West are facing right now in getting a hearing and in getting reality based policy into place to deal with a real existential threat.
I include here the telling final paragraph:~
Rather than rallying the West to overcome Islamic terror, the Western intelligentsia would have their countries tamely accept a growing swell of Muslim migrants from whose ranks Islamists could draw upon. On January 30, 2016, a Green Party stalwart, Dr. Stefanie von Berg, in addressing the Hamburg City Council, declared: “Our city will change radically. I hold that in 20, 30 years there will no longer be a German majority in our city … And I want to make it very clear, especially to those right wingers. This is a good thing.”
If such a supine acceptance of the undermining of indigenous Western populations continues, Western civilization will be overthrown not but superior military might but by a lack of will on the part of the West to withstand threats to its existence.
I hope he has our attention.
Currently, the West is being confronted with foreboding challenges by Islamic States and Islamist groups of one kind or another, all of which view Western democracy and the Western way of life with abhorrence. Perversely, no matter how provocative and despicable the behavior and pronouncements of such entities, the general response of the prevailing Western intelligentsia and some of their governments ranges from sheer indifference and/or disbelief to a search for offenses committed by their own countries in “provoking” an anti-Western animus and, finally, to the actual proffering of assistance to the Jihadists.
While the majority of individual Muslims in the West are decent, law-abiding citizens, the nature of their communal structures and leadership gives rise to concerns that are briskly swept under the carpet. Many, if not most, mosques are officiated by imams trained abroad in madrasas that inculcate a belligerent attitude to Western values and lifestyles, which, in turn, gives rise to Islamic extremism. To the Muslim communities’ credit, Islamist groups have usually been small in size, drawing on only a limited number of active adherents. The Islamists do, however, pose serious security threats and are potentially capable of inflicting appreciable harm.
What compounds the problem is the fact that too few Muslim community leaders are genuinely utterly and unequivocally appalled by any manifestation of Islamic terrorism, no matter who the slain and injured happen to be. In the wake of the slaying on October 2, 2015, of a NSW police department employee by a young Muslim gunman, the Grand Mufti of Australia rationalized the incident as being due to “racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitization, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention.” Needless to say, the Grand Mufti made no reference to any features within his own Muslim community that could possible engender terrorism.
Such an analysis chimes in with the prevailing views of left-inclined intellectuals who assume that, in the West, Muslims are invariably victims of racism and Islamophobia. What deeply troubles the intellectual elite is that even the slightest disapprobation of any feature of Muslim society is taken as a breach of the spirit of multiculturalism, calling into question the notion that all cultures and societies are equally valid and are entitled to respect. Of all communities, the intellectual elite are particularly protective of and sensitive to the needs of the Muslim one, which they perceive to be especially exposed to wanton discrimination and harassment. One might add, that in virtually all advanced countries, the Muslim community is a strong supporter of left-wing parties and is ardently wooed by them.
If the Western elite are reluctant to concede that murderous actions have and are being undertaken by terrorists deriving direct inspiration from the Koran, it should come as no surprise that they also tend to turn a blind eye to other unsavory modes of behavior practiced in Muslim circles. Take the case of female genital mutilation that, according to the World Health Organization, has been inflicted on “more than 200 million girls and women alive today,” including Muslim women living in Western countries. In the UK, for instance, hospitals treat at least fifteen cases per day. Although female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK since 1984, there has yet to be a single conviction. One would have thought that the feminist movement would have risen in protest against such practices, but with few notable exceptions, such as the organization Womankind Worldwide, Western feminists have generally manifested complete indifference. As far as an icon of the feminist movement, Germaine Greer, is concerned, attempts to outlaw the practice amount to “an attack on cultural identity.”
Likewise, there is a general lack of concern and even cover up of the plight of women molested in the West by Muslim men. The situation is currently most acute in Germany and Sweden where the police, government and media make every effort to suppress reports of such incidents. Typically, the victim is blamed for either walking alone at night or wearing what in Muslim eyes are provocative clothes. Jacob Augstein, a columnist for the German magazine Der Speigel, would have it that migrants who assault German women and children are simply rebelling against German power structures for they are inferior to their victims in “language, nationality, education, social status, wealth, legal certainty and self-confidence.” Germans who dare to criticize such assaults are racists.
Sadly, not only adult women have been targeted, but so too have girls, some as young as nine. It has recently been disclosed that, over a period of sixteen years, in the UK city of Rotherham, more than 1,400 girls had been routinely sexually assaulted by Muslim gangs. But in fear of being “labelled as racist,” both the police and the Rotherham City Councilors turned a blind eye to the transgressions. What all this boils down to is that normally decent people guided by the tenets of multiculturalism vigorously upheld by the tyranny of political correctness, would far sooner jeopardize any care and protection of vulnerable female children than be seen by “decent society” to be casting aspersions on any segment, good or bad, of the Muslim community.
As deplorable as is the process of turning a blind eye to or tolerating Islamic behavior at variance with Western values, nothing is more egregious than Western radicals actually allying themselves or showing sympathy with Islamic Jihadists. On September 21, 2001, in Britain, a country depicted by the Economist as being “the heartland of the leftist-Muslim partnership,” a formal alliance was formed between extreme leftists of various hues with the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) linked to the international Muslim Brotherhood. (The MAB’s spokesman, Azzam Tamimi, had expressed to the BBC his personal willingness to become a suicide bomber.) What makes for such an improbable association between ardent atheists and religious fanatics is their common detestation of open Western democracies, of capitalism, of Jews and of America and Israel in particular. Rather than rallying the West to overcome Islamic terror, the Western intelligentsia would have their countries tamely accept a growing swell of Muslim migrants from whose ranks Islamists could draw upon. On January 30, 2016, a Green Party stalwart, Dr. Stefanie von Berg, in addressing the Hamburg City Council, declared: “Our city will change radically. I hold that in 20, 30 years there will no longer be a German majority in our city … And I want to make it very clear, especially to those right wingers. This is a good thing.” If such a supine acceptance of the undermining of indigenous Western populations continues, Western civilization will be overthrown not but superior military might but by a lack of will on the part of the West to withstand threats to its existence.
1. The Australian, November 17, 2015.
2. Judith Bergman, Gatestone Institute, January 5, 2016.
3. World Health Organisation, Fact Sheet, February 2016, appearing on http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/
4. Soeren Kern 2015 op cit.
5. As quoted by the BBC News November 25, 1999.
6. As quoted by Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, March 5, 2016.
7. Martin Evens, “Rotherham council ignored child abuse by Asian gangs because of 'misplaced political correctness', report concludes.”
8. “Muslims and Socialists: With Friends Like These.” The Economist, February 8, 2007.
9. Ghaffar Hussain, “An unlikely Alliance,” The Guardian, September 30, 2008
10. “Muslims and Socialists: With Friends Like These.” The Economist, February 8, 2007.
Prior to his retirement, the author had been an associate professor of economics at Sydney’s Macquarie University. He is the author of “Israel Since the Six Day War: Tears of Joy, Tears of Sorrow.”