What Is To Be Done?
by Hugh Fitzgerald (March 2008)
Is it somewhere written that the countries of the advanced West are required to admit Muslims into their lands, or to continue to endure their large-scale presence, no matter what new information may come to light, and greater understanding as a result, of the meaning and menace of Islam? It is by now quite clear, to all who are paying attention, that there is something deeply worrisome about that ever-increasing presence of Muslims in the Bilad al-kufr (Lands of the Infidels). And it is clear to those who are a bit swifter of apprehension than others that this has led to a situation that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for the indigenous Infidels (and for other, non-Muslim, immigrants) than would be the case were there no such large-scale Muslim presence.
Is it impossible to halt all Muslim immigration to the West? To return Muslim non-citizens promptly to their countries of origin? To impose restrictions on money coming from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to fund those mosques and madrasas all over the Western world? To do nothing that would openly demonstrate an unwillingness to change our legal and political institutions in response to Muslim demands or a Muslim presence? To do nothing that would, instead, demonstrate the opposite, that is a steely and well-informed and public refusal, to modify our own institutions and understandings, in order to meet demands from Muslims for changes, demands that, even if not met at first, will always and everywhere continue to be made, and made by appeals both cunningly couched in whatever language is appealing (the appeal to “true diversity” for example), or if that doesn’t work, in the language of threats of violence, and of actual violence. Is it impossible to create the conditions where True Believers in Islam, with all that that implies, may have to make a choice between remaining in the Lands of the Infidels, where a "full Muslim life" will only with great difficulty be lead (and there are ways to let the "whisperings of Shaytan" become louder), and sticking with Islam by remaining in, or returning to, Muslim lands.
Islam is not mainly, or merely, a "religion" as we understand that term. It is a Total Belief-System. If we come to see it as the threat it is, to the legal and political institutions that have been created over time, the institutions that we have inherited, and that we have a duty to preserve, then we will be far more willing to consider, and then to take, the kind of measures that have been taken, within recent memory, when a tolerant and advanced people had had enough, had experienced enough, and decided they were under no obligation to continue to endure, for the sake of some theoretical "standard of tolerance" that, after all, is merely a human construct, that they were free to accept or to modify, and not to cling to as a suicide pact. and should not be considered a suicide pact, and indeed did handle such a perceived threat by acting as they did, in the case of the Czechs, with those quintessential Europeans of the civilized old school, Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes, when they passed, and then put into force, what came to be called the Benes Decree.
Awareness of such things would go a long way to opening eyes to what makes sense. For example, more people should be reminded of the case of the Czechs, with those quintessential Europeans of the civilized old school, Jan Masaryk and Eduard Benes, and the decision, in 1946, to expel the “Sudeten Germans” who had lived, for hundreds of years, along what was then the border separating the Czechs from the lands of Deutschtum, and who had before the war been willingly used by Hitler to whip up Western opinion against the Czechs, and who, during the war, were to a large degree supporters of the Nazis and of Germany, and were like all Volksdeutsche given the same rations, and treated in other ways the same, as the Germans themselves, and not as the non-German peoples of Occupied Europe.
Knowledge of history helps. So do does the study of literature, as it used to be conceived, requiring attention to words, an attention still to be found in the way in which literature is taught in European high schools, for whatever else their problems, Eurepean teachers have not yet begun to emulate the fashion, or possibly mania, of American teachers, in focusing the attention of students on the racial, ethnic, sexual backgrounds of authors, rather than on analysis of the words themselves.
Literary study, rightly conceived and conducted, can help encourage the right use of language and the exercise of the muscle of imagination, valuable for themselves, and needing no further justification, but useful, it should be recognizing, in understanding, and in articulating, the permanent meaning and current menace, of Islam. The study of history helps students to apprehend the movements that matter, of longue duree, to recognize durable continuities, and to recognize, and worry about, what happens to people, and to peoples, when they fail to apprehend a threat in time.
But the two areas of study that have suffered the most from modern mental fashions are, precisely, Literature and History.
The tesserae need to be fitted into their proper slots, and individual items need to be seen as part of the larger pattern, and responded to in the same way. When we hear the unhappy news that Hezbollah is planning a terror attack on America in retaliation for the killing of Imad Mughniyah, we realize that this means only that our government will order some people to be on a “heightened state of alert” and that, wherever a particular plot is uncovered, those directly involved – a half-dozen plotters – will be picked up.
And thought is given as to how to re-assure, in every way, the Muslims now living in America, and to re-assure non-Muslims in America that Islam itself has nothing to do with the perceived behavior and attitudes of Muslims, nothing to do with the nth plot by the nth-to-the-nth-degree plotters. No one suggests, as they would have in previous wartimes, in prevous wars, that a a pre-emptive sweep of Dearborn and other such areas is, given the perceived threat, both necessary and legitimate. By "sweep" I mean a determined effort to locate all non-citizens in such areas likely to harbor Hezbollah supporters or admirers (and supporters and admirers of other groups conducting the same kind of violent Jihad), and to remove them from this country. The reaction to such a sweep by the Presidential candidates would be telling, and should be known now, and not after the election.
Other measures can be taken to make sure that it is well understood that any attacks in this country will lead to a steady deterioration in the position of those who either have openly declared that they share the ideology of the attackers, or who, it is reasonable to assume, share that ideology. And what is that ideology? It is, of course, that of Jihad. In other words, all those who believe in the duty, and necessity, either of participating in, or supporting in any way those who participate in, the "Jihad" or struggle to remove all obstacles, anywhere, to the spread, and then dominance, of Islam, for these people pose a permanent danger to the legal and political institutions of this country, to free expression in art and free inquiry necessary to science, and furthermore, pose a physical threat to Americans that cannot and will not be tolerated.
Those Muslims who claim to be completely opposed to the idea of "Jihad" as it has been widely understood, and acted on wherever possible, over the past 1350 years, should understand why those familiar with Islam look upon their assertions with a skeptical eye (and those who are the defectors from Islam, such as Wafa Sultan and Ibn Warraq, are the most skeptical of all), given that by continuing to describe themselves as adherents of a Total Belief-System that makes "Jihad" a central duty, they hold themselves out as Believers in every respect. And part of a Believer’s duties is that of accepting the duty, central and not tangential, to engage in Jihad to tear down all obstacles to the spread, and then the necessary and inevitable dominance, of Islam.
Those Muslims who do not agree that they have such a duty, and whose Islam is more a matter, not of belief, but of inherited cultural baggage – people are born into it, into states and societies and families suffused with it, and do not realize that in non-Islamic societies they are free to leave Islam, and some find themselves defensive about the faith, and willing to misstate its contents, or to participate in campaigns intended to confuse or distract Infidels, campaigns that often require those “moderate” semi-disbelieving Muslims to offer assurances that they surely know are false, but out of embarrassment or filial piety, keep on making. Those who continue to insist that they are “moderate” Muslims need to do something, anything, to alleviate the fears of non-Muslims. Misrepresenting what is so clearly in the texts, and that form the tenets, of Islam, is not the way to alleviate those fears.
They can start by forthrightly stating the uncomfortable truths about the ideology of Islam, even as they distance themselves from it, and do what they can to undermine Jihad as a duty. If done with conviction, that may, at least in some part, relieve some non-Muslims of justifiable, perfectly reasonable, assumptions and suspicions.
For anyone who continues today to call himself a Muslim (not a "cultural Muslim" and not a "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslim), can be held to know the contents of the texts (Qur'an, Hadith, Sira), and therefore the tenets of Islam, and the attitudes and atmospherics of states, societies, families suffused with Islam (many Infidels have been educating themselves, and it is getting harder and harder to hide the truth from, at least, that ever-expanding number of people in the West), and has an affirmative duty, as the lawyers say, to distance himself, not by denying what Islam teaches (and especially the manner in which the world is divided, in Islam, between Believer and Infidel), but by acknowledging what it teaches and insisting that this particular "Muslim" is entirely opposed to such teaching.
Still, one has to make allowances for:
1) Ignorance of the real history of Muslim conquest -- as with the mass killings of tens of millions of Hindus.
2) Ignorance of the actual mechanism of conquest and then, more importantly, of the islamization over time of the conquered populations and of the arabization that frequently accompanied it.
3) Filial piety, including memories of sympathetic older relatives who were quietly pious and did not seem to wish harm to anyone -- such as the parents, for example, of Magdi Allam, who writes about them so touchingly.
4) The desire to spare oneself knowledge of certain truths that would call into question the entire value of what has been, in so many ways, central to one's sense of self, or rather of the self immersed in the umma, or collective, or community of Believers. How difficult it is for those who are essentially not in free societies, subject to the constant din of Islamic propaganda, in lands suffused with Islam, where this total belief-system offers a simple explanation of the universe, a complete regulation of life, and thus a comforting way to organize and make sense of the universe.
5) Among Arab Muslims, their ethnic identity reinforces a desire to protect, to defend, not to question, Islam -- and that can be true of non-Muslim Arabs -- the "islamochristians" -- as well.
These are explanations, not justifications. But they should give slight pause to those who insist that every Muslim everywhere surely must know exactly what the texts and tenets are all about, and should be denounced, therefore, with the same intensity as one would denounce the ideology.
But certain things will have to be done, for those who think they can continue to live within the Infidel lands, where our way of life -- of taking planes or trains or busses, for example -- has already been altered, for the worse, by the threat that comes from Muslims, acting according to unambiguous Muslim texts, attempting to participate in Jihad, not by using non-violent instruments -- Da'wa, demographic conquest, the Money Weapon (which have the same goal, and in the end are even more dangerous to Infidels)-- but rather, violence, the violence of qitaal, or combat, now held by many Muslims to legitimately describe what we non-Muslims have no difficulty describing as "terrorism."
Let it be understood that with every act of attempted or completed terrorism in this or another Infidel country, the position of Muslims in that country becomes ever more tenuous. Collective punishment, you say? No, not any more so than the treatment of enemy aliens during any war. If one wishes to disassociate clearly and convincingly from the ideology of the enemy, there are many obvious ways to do so. One is to work to help the authorities locate, and investigate, and prosecute, all those who are likely to be dangerous, or those who encourage others to engage in violence. It isn't hard to work with, rather than to work against, those attempting to protect the people of this country. Failure to do so, when one is well-placed to do so, should be carefully noted, carefully taken in.
Here is a partial list of measures that should be undertaken immediately:
1. Education of Infidels, so that they are well aware of the contents of the texts of Islam -- Qur'an, Hadith, Sira.
2. Education of Infidels, so that they understand how, over 1350 years, those texts have been received, and acted upon, by Believers.
3. Education of Infidels, so that they know a good deal about the history of Islamic conquest, and subsequent subjugation of non-Muslim peoples in the lands conquered -- a subjugation that, no matter what the land, or the kind of non-Muslims conquered, the result was always the same.
4. Education of Muslims within Infidel countries, so that they will understand that the failures of Muslim societies -- political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral -- are the direct result of Islam itself.
5. An end to all Muslim immigration to Infidel lands.
6. Imposition of tests for naturalization that require a detailed knowledge of the history and cultural achievements of the Western country in question -- see "Going Dutch" for one, admittedly exaggerated-for-effect example.
7. Inclusion, in the test for naturalization, of a loyalty oath, swearing sole allegiance to the political and legal institutions of the particular Infidel nation-state. In the case of the United States, allegiance to the Constitution would be considered adequate. Subsequent proof of perjury would, in the law, be considered valid grounds for stripping a naturalized citizen of that citizenship.
8. Making any support, direct or indirect, for Jihad -- defined as the "struggle" to remove all obstacles to the spread and dominance of Islam, including but not limited to the political and legal institutions of the host country – illegal.
9. Preventing any foreign funds from entering the country to be spent for the building or upkeep of mosques or other institutions connected to Islam, or for campaigns of Da'wa.
10. Curtailing in the prisons campaigns of Da'wa, on the grounds that the evidence shows that those who convert contain a high proportion of people who subsequently present a threat to society.
11. Refusing to bow to any Muslim demands for changes either in schools or in workplaces to accommodate Muslim rituals or Muslim ideas of what is fitting, from the hijab (where banned, as in France) or for extra time off for prayers in the middle of the work-day. This is not the sort of accommodation that Infidels, in Infidel lands, should be expected to make. In other words, the policy should be No Changes For Islam.
12. Reciprocity in the current number of mosques. Taking into account the absence, for tens of millions of non-Muslims in Muslim-ruled lands, of churches, Hindu temples, and other houses of worship, the policy should be to reduce the number of mosques in Western lands until there is a change in the Muslim lands. Reciprocity is a concept most people can understand and justify.
13. Reducing benefits so that large families (likely to be Muslim) cannot continue to be formed by those who assume they will be supported by the state. Muslim women will be expected to work in the same numbers as non-Muslim women, and will no longer be supported by the Infidel state (that is, Infidel taxpayers) to be breeding machines.
14. Enforcement of the laws against polygamy will be increased. Those practicing polygamy will be subject to being stripped of citizenship and returned to that Muslim state from which they, or their closest relatives, came. Since so many Muslims in Western Europe continue to observe, in Muslim enclaves, the mores of the countries that they, or their parents, or their grandparents, came from, the argument that they cannot "go back" can be dealt with. There is no obligation for the countries of Western Europe to live with the colossal error of their immigration policy.
15. There will be not the slightest concession made to Muslim sensibilities on the subject of aspects of Islam, including Muhammad. Those who wish to live in an environment where Islam is to be free of criticism are free to move to Muslim countries. There are many dozens of them. They control vast land areas, and vast natural resources. This is not a case of a tiny people having no place to go.
16. Efforts should be made to publicize the most celebrated defectors from Islam, to publish and distribute their books, to make much of them. This should be done both for the education of Infidels, and for the conceivable education of those who, born into Islam, may be persuaded to leave it.
The countries of North America and Western European countries can do much to make the practice of Islam, and campaigns of Da'wa, harder to support, and to make those Muslims who are intent on adhering to this ideology so dangerous to non-Muslims think again about remaining in the Western world. Benefits can be limited. Foreign sources of aid can be cut. The general atmosphere of continuing refusal to yield, and of ever-increasing Infidel awareness of the texts of Islam and the history of Muslim conquest, will naturally create conditions of suspicion and hostility that are not, to the well-informed, either wicked, or baseless but, alas, entirely reasonable.
Hugh Fitzgerald's Articles at New English Review:
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