from Jihad Watch
Fitzgerald: Is Present-Day Jihad Caused By Spontaneous Combustion?
"The temporary lull in Islamic ambitions after the fall of the Ottoman caliphate has now spontaneously recombusted into nuvoIslamic [sic] ambitions for a world caliphate ala Al Qeda, Iran's Ayatollahs, Saud supremacy, etc" -- From a reader's comment on my article here.
It was not "spontaneous combustion" that brought back, in a big and most dangerous way, the pursuit of Jihad, which by now has gone beyond such original local victims of the post-war period as Israel and India. It now targets non-Muslim peoples all over, both in the Muslim-ruled lands, where they have steadily been persecuted, humiliated, and their numbers have declined, and in the lands of Dar al-Harb, where the Muslims who have innocently and far too negligently been allowed to settle in large numbers have taken advantage of every benefit the generous Infidel nations provide. These include the kind of education and medical care unobtainable in the Muslim lands. Muslims have also taken advantage of the edifice of human rights guarantees in order not to promote but rather to subvert the very legal and political institutions that gave birth to those rights, and have helped to maintain and even expand them.
The Return of Jihad is a result of the fact that Muslims became both more powerful, and more aware of their power and their ability to spread the message of Islam more fully to fellow Muslims -- and to disrupt, and demoralize, and confuse, and even bully non-Muslim peoples and states that remained, militarily, far more powerful.
Three developments that very largely explain this. I have gone over them many times before, but there is always a need to repeat the theme, until it sinks in.
The first is the tremendous transfer of wealth to the oil-and-gas-rich Muslim countries, almost all of them Arab — more than twelve trillion dollars since 1973 alone. That Money Weapon, the Jihad of Wealth, has paid for mosques, madrasas, campaigns of Da’wa, campaigns of propaganda by Western hirelings who are supposed to protect Arab and Muslim interests, and do so, not only by conducting insidious campaigns against obvious targets of Jihad (for example, Israel), but also in targeting individuals who show a willingness to stand up against Islam (e.g., Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali).
These campaigns also promote the continued power of these same Arab and Muslim states by trying to prevent a serious effort to curtail the use of oil. The Saudis hate the phrase “energy independence” — it happens to be a politically useful phrase for those who wish to encourage the use of other forms of energy and energy conservation — and are paying everyone and his brother to write Op/Eds about what the Saudi shills sweetly call “energy interdependence.” This latter phrase is a sly way to insinuate the idea that 1) it will be impossible to get off oil and 2) don’t even try and 3) Saudi Arabia is your friend and don’t tell anyone otherwise or there may be hell to pay.
That is an idle threat, by the way, for the Saudis are hopelessly dependent on the sale of oil, and hopelessly dependent for the running of their economies, and for their political survival, on the West itself. The reverse is not true, no matter how many well-connected Western hirelings tell us otherwise — including former American diplomats and C.I.A. agents (think of the likes of Raymond Close and James Akins). And Saudi money not only pays for thousands of mosques, and imams of the most extreme Wahhabi bent, but it also pays for madrasas, and teams of lawyers to help expand both in the face of local opposition from zoning boards or a worried populace. It also pays for tame journalists, and for academics of the venal esposito sort, and for chairs named after King Abdul Aziz, and whole departments or even centers, for “Islamic Studies” of one phony sort or another. For more on that, see Esposito’s fiefdom, which he continues to connect, shamelessly, to Georgetown. Or see the “Centers” at Exeter and Durham in Great Britain.
For especially delicate matters, however, the Saudis have learned to stand back and let more acceptable-sounding Arab countries be the front men, offering the financial support. Take the case of Tariq Ramadan. A full-time propagandist for Islam, Tariq Ramadan in colubrine fashion pretends there is some brand-new never-seen-before “European” Islam that will somehow develop in Europe, but the contents of which, and the difference between “European” Islam and the Islam to be found everywhere else, is never made clear, because no such difference exists. This “European” Islam is supposed to quiet the growing disquiet of Europeans at the Muslim immigrants who have turned out, in their attitudes and their behavior, unsurprisingly, to be akin to invaders in their midst.
When his contract in Geneva was not renewed, and when the jig in France and Switzerland was up, thanks to such studies as Caroline Fourest’s “Frere Tariq,” Ramadan knew it was time to move on, one step ahead of the Infidel posse. He tried to move to America, having convinced the Interfaith Racketeers, the Peace-and-Justice boys, Scott Appleby and company, spending that endowment of BigMac Money like there was no tomorrow, to invite him. But the American government, in a fit of actual intelligence (two kinds), prevented Ramadan from entering the country. So he moved on to two places. He somehow persuaded the good burghers of the Netherlands to give him a paid position and also landed at St. Antony’s College, Oxford — a college for graduate studies only, and one with a perfectly legitimate operation in East European and Russian Studies, along with a perfectly illegitimate operation in Middle Eastern Studies, at least as long as Albert Hourani was alive and running things, with no courses and no waiting. That’s the D.Phil., not to be confused with the American or continental Ph.D. All kinds of Arabs, especially those working on such fascinating topics as “the construction of a ‘Palestinian’ identity — see Rashid Khalidi for one good example — picked up their degrees from what was, in many ways, a unique diploma mill, undercutting the prestige that, many decades ago even an “M.A. Oxon.” once commanded.
Keep firmly in mind that the vast wealth from oil and gas that the Arabs and Muslims received was not the result of their own efforts. In fact, without the accident of geology, and the discovery of such oil wealth and of the means to transport and distribute and then use it — all done by the Western Infidels — the Arabs and Muslims would still be economically weak. That is their natural condition, because of Islam itself. And only the bonanza of oil helped them to become rich.
It is Islam itself that, absent the bonanza of natural resources such as oil, virtually ensures Muslim underdevelopment. There are a handful of exceptions, that is, Muslim-ruled states where some economic development does take place. There are a few places without oil where a non-Muslim minority — Chinese and Hindus in Malaysia, Chinese in Indonesia, Christians in Lebanon — serves as a catalyst and engine for the economy, helping local Muslims to act in ways that without such a non-Muslim presence would be far more difficult to achieve. For Islam discourages hard work. The Arabs, in particular, were used to living by raiding, the razzia (and where there were non-Muslims, on the Jizyah). But the Islamic work ethic is non-existent not only because of the traditional reliance on such raids, one Muslim tribe or group against another or all Muslims against all non-Muslims, but because inshallah-fatalism discourages hard work.
The second major development, mostly unrelated to the first but overlapping with it in time, is that the countries of Western Europe, for different reasons, allowed different populations of Muslims into their midst. They did this, in West Germany, with Turks who were supposed to come, earn money, send those earnings home, and eventually voluntarily be repatriated to Turkey. In Great Britain, in the late 1940s, a bill was passed that made it easier for members of the Commonwealth countries to enter Great Britain. And in the late 1950s a trickle of Pakistanis came, and then more, and then more, with the results we all see. In France, after the end of the Algerian War in 1962, hundreds of thousands of Muslim harkis arrived, that is, Arabs who had fought with the French and who would suffer greatly from FLN reprisals if not rescued. But then, following that, the French allowed in single Algerian males, for the same reason that the West Germans had allowed in single Turkish males. And just as the Germans changed that policy to allow in wives (sometimes “wives” meant “plural wives”), so too did the French, under Giscard d’Estaing, decide to deal with the perceived anti-social or even seemingly sociopathic behavior of some Algerian males by allowing in their wives, and their children, and then other wives. And the result is grim history.
And in Spain there were predominantly Moroccans, and in the Netherlands Moroccans and Turks, and in Scandinavia Arabs and Kurds, and in Italy Somalis and Egyptians and assorted maghrebins, and so on. And everywhere it was the same story, the same impossibility of integration, the same deep hostility, on the part of the Muslims, no matter how much solicitude was shown them, how many benefits made available to them. And no matter how much access they had to a more advanced, more generous, more just, better-ordered society, they did not exhibit, because they did not feel, any gratitude to the Infidels and the Infidel nation-states that made all this possible. Instead, they felt resentment — resentment that they, the Muslims, the “best of peoples,” were not on top, that they, the Muslims, “the best of peoples,” did not have the position that Allah so clearly intended them to have, that they, the Muslims, the “best of peoples,” did not have their demands met, did not have their commands obeyed, and their prohibitions observed.
And while the very first generation of largely-illiterate, and possibly still a little scared, immigrants sometimes worked, that very temporary work ethic soon went by the board. The level of Muslim unemployment rose. It was caused not by discrimination but because Muslims have found ways to easily go on the Western dole, and to receive free education, free medical care, free or subsidized housing. They supplement, where necessary, such benefits with crime. Nearly 60% of French criminals in prison are Muslims, and similar, or even higher percentages, can be found in some other European countries. And for some crimes — such as rape — Muslims constitute 70-80% of the rapists, even in Scandinavian lands where they represent 2-3% of the population.
They have made demands, and they will continue to make demands, for all sorts of changes in what is done. Sometimes it is for single-sex municipal swimming pools. Sometimes it is for prayer-rooms in schools and airports, or footbaths in both, or guaranteed times off of work. Sometimes it has to do with demands for the building of huge mosques and madrasas, or for speaker systems to broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer. Sometimes it is for changes in school curricula, so that Muslims will not have to endure lessons on, say, the Infidel Kings of France, or the history of Christianity in Europe, or about European anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, or to be asked to read important writers if those writers — say, Victor Hugo (at this website’s search box, insert “Victor Hugo” and “Hugh” for more) — or Voltaire. And of course Muslims try to influence each country’s foreign policy, to make it more distant from America, more hostile to Israel, and more compliant with the demands of Muslim polities and peoples.
The third change that has made the Jihad possible is that of technological advances, the fruit of the advanced non-Muslim countries, both West and East, that have then been appropriated by Muslims and used to advance the cause of Islam. The illiterate villager in a remote part of Afghanistan learns, when the village acquires a radio transmitter, more about the message of Islam, and is possibly whipped up against the Infidels. That is one example. The villager — or urban dweller — in the Shah’s Iran, could listen to audiotapes of the Ayatollah Khomeini, audiotapes that he recorded during the months he lived in France, at Neauphle-le-Chateau. Then his loyal followers made hundreds of thousands of copies for distribution all over Iran. There are recruitment tapes for Al Qaeda that proudly show beheadings, of Nick Berg or Daniel Pearl, or British or Italian or American soldiers. There are the tapes that show, with equal glee, to the monotonous Arabic intoning of Qur’anic verses, American soldiers in tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles making their way along a road when suddenly, as in a comic book, BLAM!, and the vehicle hits an I.E.D., and the scenes of mayhem and death that follow are registered by some Muslim who has been ready to record the whole scene. Then that scene, and many others, go onto videotapes, or onto the Internet, to be seen by many other Muslims who are not offended, but inspired, by the gory displays of Infidel anguish and torment at the hands of those Muslim “warriors” — including the “warriors” who slit the throats of helpless, often completely innocent captives, such as Nick Berg. Berg went off naively to Iraq to help the Iraqis, having been raised with one kind of nonsense from his father, and having further believed another kind of nonsense about the wonderful “Iraqi people” whom we were helping, that was being put out early on by the American government, hellbent on misunderstanding the nature of the people of Iraq (not the same as “the Iraqi people.”)
All of these things — audiotapes, videotapes, the Internet, satellite television (see Al-Manar, see Al-Jazeera) — have been products of the advanced non-Muslim world. But the primitive Muslim world has money, from an accident of geology, and that money helps the funding of those who participate directly or indirectly in violent Jihad, as well as those who conduct Jihad through other, non-violent, often more effective means.
And that is the answer.
Not “spontaneous combustion” — which is merely a lazy getting-out of the duty to study, and to comprehend. That kind of phrase is of a piece with such expressions of frustration and unwillingness to figure out the causes of things, as “well, the Arabs and the Jews have been killing each other for centuries, so I guess they always will” or “no one can figure out why the Middle East is the way it is, I guess, so let’s forget it” or “I’m just getting sick and tired of the Arab-Israeli problem,” or, from a well-known commentator who becomes unaccountably lazy when he senses that the topic at hand requires a more attention and understanding of Islam than he, at least, is prepared to acquire, this remarkable and telling expression of peevish frustration on the part of one who refuses to do the work necessary for intelligent analysis and understanding: “Does anyone else feel, as I do, an almighty weariness with the Levant and its intractable problems, its immemorial rancors, its savage rivalries, its unappeasable grievances?” (He makes no mention of Islam, nota bene, a knowledge of which would, if intelligently brought to bear, explain that Levant, with its “intractable problems” and “immemorial rancors” and “savage rivalries” and “unappeasable grievances.” Now you can find, and place Your Very Own Example Here.
Leave “spontaneous combustion” to that lawyer and landlord in Dickens’s “Bleak House,” the deeply alcoholic Mr. Krook, who is among the bit characters embroiled in the coils of that endless case in Chancery, Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, that goes on until the last farthing in the legacy has been used up on legal fees. The poetic license of Dickens — which has been renewed every year since his death — allows him to indulge, for the sake of fiction, in such things.
The rest of us do not possess that license, and are in other lines of work, and have different kinds of understanding. Here, we are devoted to understanding what makes certain large masses of people, in thrall to a primitive ideology, tick. Then we wish to discover what threats result from their beliefs and their newly-acquired powers, financial and military and demographic, and what we must consider as alternative ways of containing — not finding a “solution,” which is not the right way to think about the matter, but lessening the threat — the power of Islam, and limiting its presence in the Western world, or indeed in the non-Western, but non-Muslim world as well.
To simply attribute such a world-shaking menace as the Return of Islam and the revival of Jihad to something one breezily calls “spontaneous combustion” does not further the common understanding. Leave that phrase to Dickens. He can handle it. He can make poetic use of it. We others, we imperiled mortals, at least right here and right now, can’t.
Posted by Hugh
on September 13, 2009 7:24 PM |
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