ISLAMISM - What Future?
courtesy by: Good Offices Group of European Lawmakers, cp 2580, 1211 Geneva 2
research contributed by: EDA & Federal Archives, Bern; ETH Zurich; Irina Gerassimova, UN Library Geneva
url: ¦ .../jihadrevisited.htm¦ .../slm.htm ¦ .../jaffa.htm ¦  .../a1.htm ¦ .../annan.htm ¦ .../iran.htm
tks 4 notifying errors, comments or suggestions to: ¦ +4122-7400362

18 Jul 11    Exiled Islamists Watch Rebellion Unfold at Home, NYT, SOUAD MEKHENNET et al.
16.Jan 11   Britische Verrenkungen um kriminelle Muslime, NZZ am Sonntag , Martin Alioth
17.Dez 10   Islam: Wachstumsbremse Koran, Bilanz, Leo Müller
17.Dez 10   Die mächtigen Männer des Islam-Banking, Bilanz, Leo Müller
30 Jul 10    Is Islamism Islam's Cure or Curse?, Foreign Policy, Iconoclast, comment
30 Jul 10   As Some Young Muslims Turn to Radicalism, Concern Grows, NYT, Souad Mekhennet
23 Jul 10   The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group's revisions: one year later, Magharebia, Camille Tawil
21 Jun 10   Al-Qaeda losing supporters in jihadi groups across Arab world, Al-Shorfa , Camille Tawil
2 Jun 10   Al-Qaeda in Iraq faces prospect of becoming a marginal group, Al-Shorfa , Camille Tawil
29 May 10   Former militants battle within Libya to discredit al-Qaeda, WP, Sudarsan Raghavan, comments
10.Apr 10   Wider den Jihad: Bekehrung libyscher Islamisten, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Victor Kocher
30 Mar 10   Libya closes the case of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group,, Camille Tawil
23 Mar 10   Libya frees more than 200 Islamist prisoners, BBC
22.Aug 08   Generationen des Zorns, NZZ, Volker Perthes
15.Aug 08   Der Kampf um die Bedeutung des Islam, NZZ, Sadik Jalal al-Azm
7.Aug 08   «Wenn du deinen Gegner und dich selber kennst . . .», NZZ, Bruce Hoffman
30.Jul 08   Die Gewalt neutralisieren, NZZ, Abdelwahab Meddeb
21.Jul 08   Weder «Kampf» noch «Dialog» der Kulturen, NZZ, Olivier Roy
29 Apr 07   Islamic Democrats?, NYT Magazine, JAMES TRAUB
19 Sep 06   It’s Muslim Boy Meets Girl, Yes, but Please Don’t Call It Dating, NYT, Neil MacFarquhar
20 Aug 06   Shifting Sands - And Now, Islamism Trumps Arabism, NYT, MICHAEL SLACKMAN
11. Juni 06  Männerrat der Religionen, NZZ am Sonntag, Sibylle Stillhart
5 June 06   Why the EU Needs to be Destroyed, and Soon, Fjordman
4. März 06  Rat der Religionen: Neuer Gesprächspartner, swissinfo, Etienne Strebel
21 Nov 05   The Second Fall of Rome, Fjordman
1 Aug 05   Rape: Nothing to do with Islam?, Fjordman, Comments

August 01, 2005

Rape: Nothing to do with Islam?

I got some comments, among others from Norwegian blogger Bjørn Stærk, to my posts about the Norwegian government covering up the number of rapes committed by immigrants. The Swedish government is probably even worse, but Sweden is in many ways collapsing. Although he agreed that the statistics should be published, he questioned whether these rapes have anything to do with Islam. It is true that mass rapes of "the enemy's women", in part to humiliate the enemy's men, is not unique to Islam. It has been done at times of war by the Vikings, the Mongols, the Germans and the Russians during WW2, and all the way up to the Balkans in the 1990s. That's also my point. The number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations are so extremely high that it is difficult to view them only as random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. This happens in most Western European countries, as well as in other infidels countries such as India. In Bradford, England, Channel 4 pulled a documentary about Pakistani and other Muslim men sexually abusing white English girls, some as young as 11. Writer Theodore Dalrymple thinks that "thanks to their cultural inheritance, (Muslim) abuse of women is systematic rather than unsystematic as it is with the whites and blacks." In France, grotesque reports about systematic gang rapes of French or "too Western" Muslim girls keep coming in. At the same time, European jails are getting filled up with Muslims imprisoned for robberies and all kinds of violent crimes, and Muslims bomb European civilians. You can see the mainstream media are struggling to make sense of all of this. That's because they can't, or don't want to, see the obvious: This is exactly how an invading army would behave. Rape, pillage and bomb.

I disagree that this has nothing to do with Islam. Muhammad himself had forced sex (rape) with several of his slave girls/concubines. This is perfectly allowed, both in the sunna and in the Koran. If you postulate that many of the Muslims in Europe view themselves as a conquering army and that European women are simply war booty, it all makes perfect sense and is in full accordance with Islamic law. And Muslims do follow their medieval religious laws, even today:

Robert Spencer on rape and jihad
What does rape, then, have to do with these religious conflicts? Unfortunately, everything. The Islamic legal manual ‘Umdat al-Salik, which carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates: “When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.” Why? So that they are free to become the concubines of their captors. The Qur’an permits Muslim men to have intercourse with their wives and their slave girls: “Forbidden to you are ... married women, except those whom you own as slaves” (Sura 4:23-24).

After one successful battle, Muhammad tells his men, “Go and take any slave girl.” He took one for himself also. After the notorious massacre of the Jewish Qurayzah tribe, he did it again. According to his earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad “went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of Banu Qurayza] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” After killing “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900,” the Prophet of Islam took one of the widows he had just made, Rayhana bint Amr, as another concubine.

Emerging victorious in another battle, according to a generally accepted Islamic tradition, Muhammad’s men present him with an ethical question: “We took women captives, and we wanted to do ‘azl [coitus interruptus] with them.” Muhammad told them: “It is better that you should not do it, for Allah has written whom He is going to create till the Day of Resurrection.’” When Muhammad says “it is better that you should not do it,” he’s referring to coitus interruptus, not to raping their captives. He takes that for granted.

Here's what Vice Director of Jihad Watch, Hugh Fitzgerald, whom I rate in league with Ali Sina and Ibn Warraq as among the best commentators of Islam in this age, has to say about the issue (scroll down):

'For her to be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown good conduct'

For non-Muslim women, they are in every respect -- the way they walk, the way they talk, those bedroom eyes we all know so well -- simply asking for it, and Muslim men have every right to do what they wish.

It is not understood that Western women are not so much regarded by most Muslims as individuals, but as "their women," the women who "belong" to hostile Infidels. They are booty, to be taken, just as the land of the Infidels someday will drop, it is believed, into Muslim hands -- by demographic conquest rather than military conquest. It has worked in many parts of Africa; and if Muslims fail to reproduce even faster than they do, there is always the expedient of killing the remaining Infidels.

All over France there are cases of rapes, by MUslim gangs, of French girls. In Australia, in 2000, Bankstown and Greenacre (in Sydney) had a succession of gang-rapes, in which the victims testified to the particularly gruesome details of being assaulted by a dozen or more men at a time, screaming at them for being "Aussies" or "Christians." It made a big splash in Sydney, when the cases came to trial in 2002. Alan Jones, an Australian commentator, noted: "Let's not mince words here -- these are racist attacks against ordinary Australian girls carried out by out of control Muslim Lebanese...." The girls themselves all testified to the fact that the attacks were full of observations about, not race, but religion -- and the confusion of Jones here is understandable. The Western world is still groping to understand something of which it had been so remarkably and indeed, in some ways so fortunately unaware; it is the attitudes engendered toward Infidels -- a Frenchman who is beaten to death for trying to retrieve his daughter's stolen bicycle, a mother and her year-old-child assaulted on an RER train near Louvres, the thousands of assaults which are a modern version of the rape and pillage that Muslim conquerors were permitted whenever they conquered Infidel lands. This is not mere crime, but ideologically-justified crime or rather, in Muslim eyes, attacks on Infidels scarcely qualify as crime.

Have we forgotten the mass rapes, at the hands of Muslims (Turks, Kurds, and in the Syrian Desert, Arabs) of the Armenian women, those helpless "giavours," in the first full-scale massacres in modern times, those of 1894-1895, and then the genocidal campaign that began in 1915 and went on for years? Have we all forgotten what happened to the Assyrian Christian women during the Assyrian massacres of 1933, when -- just a few months after the British left -- Muslim Iraqis had a high old time with their helpless Christian population? What about the rapes of the Christian women, kidnapped in Ramadi, Iraq last year -- never to be returned to their husbands, and now the permanent property of the Muslims who kidnapped them? Shall one recall what happened to the Christian Maronites in Damur, at the hands of the PLO? What about the Copts, in Egypt? Or, during the Algerian War the mass rape of Christian and Jewish women by the FLN (scarcely given enough attention in Alastair Horne's reticent "A Savage War of Peace" but given much more by such writers as Jacques Soustelle, the great ethnographer of Mexican culture, and a perceptive analyst of the Algerian situation and the real nature of Islam -- akin, in his way, to Andre Servier).

The figures on Muslim rape of Western women in Europe are astounding. In Denmark and Norway, between 65% and 70% of all rapes are committed by Muslims, who as yet still less than 5% of the population. One local judge in Norway actually exonerated one rapist by accepting his defense that the victim's dress was taken by him to mean that she was egging him on. Her dress was nothing special to Norwegians, but the judge found it to be unbearably provocative to this poor Muslim immigrant. A curious argument, is it not? Even if she had been dressed a la Gisele Bundchen doing a shoot for Victoria's Secret -- and she of course was not -- rape is not an acceptable response.

The argument now seems to be: Western mores are offensive. Western women are cheap and offensive. We Muslims are here, here to stay, and we have a right to take advantage of this situation. It is our view of the matter that should prevail. Western goods, like the land on which we now live, belong to Allah and to the best of men -- his Believers. Western women, too, essentially belong to us -- our future booty. Western laws may "apply" but not in any sense that really counts or that we reocgnize. We recognize Islamic law, the sharia, and according to that we are simply exhibiting the attiudes toward Infidels that are drummed into us, that are right and according to the laws of Allah. Why should we act differently? Oh, and if we happen to act, as some of the Islamic websites tell us we can act, in accordance with the local laws -- but only insofar as they do not contradict Islam -- that is only because of darura, the doctrine of necessity -- and that necessity, that darura, is of course only temporary.

In other words, when in Rome, if you are Muslim, do any damn thing you please and justify it by saying you didn't realize you were in Rome, or what the Romans did, and anyway, the Romans are Infidels so who cares what they do, or expect. A fascinating attitude. The sooner this is fully grasped by Infidels, the fewer victims, ultimately, there will be.

posted by Fjordman @ 10:04 AM

At August 01, 2005 3:17 PM, erp said...
fjordman. Wow!

You said it all ... and very eloquently. Your command of English is impressive and you use to great advantage.

What do you think it would take to get your fellow Northern Europeans to wake up?

Northern Europeans have permitted Islamists to not only disrupt their peaceful and orderly society with murder and mayhem, they also pay them from the public treasury, so they needn't be concerned with seeking gainful employment but can spend their days in coffee shops reinforcing their religion of hate and violence.

Savages rape their wives and daughters on the instructions from Allah and husbands and fathers do nothing. The government officials elected to serve the people are reluctant to enforce the law of the land lest they be criticized for being judgmental and insensitive.

Either the gene for protective husband and father has been surgically altered when little boys are born or decades of pacifism and socialism have deadened, if not destroyed, their inborn animal instincts, sometimes referred to as testosterone, to protect their families?

I don't let the women who stand by wringing their hands off the hook, they are visible on the comment threads here on your blog, but I believe that they are even more victimized by the decades of appeasement propaganda than the men in your society and will be perfectly useless in any movement to protect their children, their homes and their society from a scourge far worse than the bubonic plague.

I never thought I'd have a point of agreement with Islam, but I'm afraid I must join these avatars in their utter contempt for European men.

At August 01, 2005 5:46 PM, Irene Adler said...
Small correction to your otherwise excellent English: It should be "Western mores" not moeurs.

At August 01, 2005 5:56 PM, Fjordman said...
Irene: The mistake was actually made by Hugh. I just copied the text as it was written.

At August 01, 2005 6:15 PM, Fjordman said...
"I'm afraid I must join these avatars in their utter contempt for European men."

I still want to place A LOT of the responsibility squarely at the altar of Feminism. European women have systematically weakened any traditional sense of masculinity in their own sons for decades, and are now reaping the effects of this. It is also the women who are most positive to immigration and multiculturalism, thus facilitating the Islamic invasion of Europe. Western women are undermining their own freedom and security, as well as that of their daughters. I'm not impressed with women who spend thousands of years to achieve the kind of freedoms they now enjoy, and then flush it down the toilet the first chance they get. I will be happy to share some of the blame with naive and clueless European women who demonize "xenophobic" men who want to limit Muslim immigration. Are women simply more naive then men?

At August 01, 2005 7:49 PM, Ole said...
from Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:
"Main Entry: m[oe]urs
Pronunciation: m[oe]r(s)
Function: foreign term
Etymology: French
: mores : attitudes, customs, and manners of a society ."
I guess it's used when you want to sound elegant.

At August 01, 2005 9:46 PM, erp said...
"Are women simply more naive then men?" In a word, yes, and they're more emotional and changeable and different in a lot of other ways as well. The excuse that men wimped out and went against their nature and biology because that's what women said they wanted, won't wash. Sorry.

Deep down women want to be swept off their feet by the strong handsome prince no matter what feminist literature and harridan screeching say. That doesn't mean to say women want to be raped as an Islamist might interpret those words. Women want their nests protected and their men needn't be cave-men brutes in order to do that, but even the most civilized and rational man who learns his wife or daughter was raped must feel enraged and seek to punish the rapist, if not with his own hands, at least with the force of the law. To stand meekly by is simply wrong and I cannot fathom the mindset of such a man.

Both men and women were sold a bill of good by the moonbat lefties. It's like the old Richard Pryor joke. When caught in the act, he asks his wife: "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?" For decades now, you believed them instead of what your own eyes and minds told you was right. You allowed yourself to be convinced that being discriminating or judgmental was the worse of crimes and allowed your centuries old traditions of peace and tranquility to be turned on its head rather than say the simple truth that some people are bad and even evil.

You allowed yourself to be convinced that human nature was wrong, and that equality between men and women didn't mean equality of intelligence and capability which demanded equality in education and career opportunities, but an actual equality in all things.

This led to the nonsensical farce and fiction that women scarcely five feet tall and weighing less than a hundred pounds could be firefighters and do an equal job of men a foot or more taller and double their weight. Of course, the reality is they can't and extra pressure is put on the men who have to pick up the slack.

The fact is that our biology is very different from male biology. Notice, I said different, not better not worse. We’re fitted out by biology (God, if you like) with the necessary apparatus and hormones to propagate the race and the maternal instinct to nourish our children until they are grown up and ready to repeat the process.

Your biology has fitted you out to produce the other half of the hormones necessary to create the next generation, but that's only a small part of your responsibility, you have also been fitted out with the building blocks of muscle which you need to build the strength necessary to protect us, but there's another wrinkle there as well. Those same hormones are what impels men to rise to occasion when needed to fight and defend their homes.

Without this automatic response, men are truly pathetic creatures whining about not knowing what women want. Pick up a Woody Allen video if you'd like a picture of what you will have become if you try to deny that part of your nature. Not a pretty picture.

At August 01, 2005 10:46 PM, Fjordman said...
"The excuse that men wimped out and went against their nature and biology because that's what women said they wanted, won't wash. Sorry."

What kind of crap is that? Biology is an important part of who we are, yes. So is culture and upbringing. Western men and Muslim men share the same biology. Why do you think our behavior is different?

Men are raised by women. Western men today have frequently been raised by mothers expressing an openly hostile attitude to anything male and maleness in general. Are you trying to tell me mothers don't matter at all? Give me a break!

It is a fact that women vote more than men for the "softest" parties when it comes to dealing with Muslim immigration. Which means women vote for their own enslavement.

I'm not impressed.

At August 01, 2005 11:16 PM, PD111 said...
I'm not sure of the direction of the debate so far. It seems that we are wandering off into the world of what constitutes the nature of men and women. This aint going to get us anywhere.

Now it may well be true that women like the idea of a man who protects them, and hence the drift of some women into islam or having muslim boyfriends. This is, in my view, irrelevant. What is not acceptable is that there is a strong suspicion, that Sweden and other Scandinavian governments are hiding the the whole truth about rape crime. It may also be true that governments have told statisticians NOT to collect any data that could prove to be "embarrasing" in the future.

Let the truth be published. If the data has not been collected, then ask WHY? After all, governments do collect data to indicate where they should channel resources.

If the truth comes out - and it is as Fjordman fears it is, and society does nothing, then I'm afraid that is how the cookie crumbles; or more appropriately, Sweden crumbles.


At August 01, 2005 11:30 PM, Fjordman said...
"Let the truth be published. If the data has not been collected, then ask WHY? After all, governments do collect data to indicate where they should channel resources."

The government knows quite a lot about what's going on. To hide something like this from the public is treason. Period.

You're right: We wandered off from the original topic. I think those responsible for hiding the statistics should be forced to resign, and the numbers should be published. The fact that Swedish and Norwegian media haven't demanded this so far is embarrassing, and a sign that the entire democratic society is in trouble.

At August 02, 2005 12:02 AM, erp said...
"Western men and Muslim men share the same biology. Why do you think our behavior is different?"

Because you drank the kool-aid.

At August 02, 2005 1:08 AM, PD111 said...
erp posted: "Western men and Muslim men share the same biology. Why do you think our behavior is different?"

Upbringing and social mores.

You may well be right, but we have a social problem here that needs a political and legal solution. We just cant wait for social mores or upbringing to change. That will take decades, and it will be too late by then.

At August 02, 2005 1:13 AM, PD111 said...

Apologies.I thought you posted what I quoted.

It is for this reason that I use italics to indicate a quote, and from whom.

At August 02, 2005 1:55 AM, erp said...
"Western men and Muslim men share the same biology. Why do you think our behavior is different?"

Because you drank the kool-aid.
Sorry pd111, your're right I should have indicated that the remarks inside the quotes were originally made by fjordman.

Thanks for for the heads up. Following these few rules makes the comments much more readable.

At September 06, 2005 8:26 AM, Mike H. said...
erp, how does one convince a woman to do what she should do? The last time I tried to argue from a male perspective I wound up on everyone's s**t list permanently. If a guy stands up to another male, his wife or girlfriend jumps in his case. How does one deal with that? Our culture prohibits the caveman style yet if a woman doesn't want to listen the man is turned off. How does he convince her? I had three children, that didn't make it to birth. I wasn't in the decision process for the abortions because the law wouldn't allow me to be in it if she didn't want me in the process. How does one combat the law that women and their sychophants have constructed?

At September 20, 2005 4:16 PM, brian_0007 said...
What one might find of interest is that in both Denmark and Norway, 68% of rapes are perpetrated by Muslim immigrant men. When we narrow that group into those who are generally between the ages of 15-45, we refer to a very small proportion of the subset of Muslims, who are then responsible for the majority of violent sexual crime. Relate this to the fact that the same group has a highly defined and repressive view of women. If we weren't referring to a "religion," as such, we would be addressing a condition considered clearly socially deviant, asocial, highly criminal and dangerous. Were this group not bonded by a common “religion,” we would see a social outcry demanding the incarceration, or deportation, of the responsible thugs. It's far more troubling that we have this deviant group shrouded in a religious garb that makes them politically and socially difficult to segregate. In this light, more preferable might be the word "ideology," rather than "religion." This seems justified as Al Qaida while waving a Koran, declares war on all hundreds of millions if Shiite Islamic “brothers.” Indeed, the issue is one of a globally imperialistic ideology, who simultaneous condemns freedom for over 50% of it’s own Islamic people – women. Their mobility, education, suffrage, professionalism, clothing and ability to enter into the sociopolitical infrastructure and any position of decision making is banned - under the guise of a moral structure which supposedly protects them, and prevents men from the evils of women’s sexual enticements. Men, as a result, become rabid, imprinted soldiers of an ideology that lauds anger, hate, violence, etc., and seems to have it’s simple anchor in sexual frustration, simple ignorance and manipulation. Instead of expecting anger management as a function of logic and decision making, as most religions preach, Islam as an ideology allows and almost promotes anger, theft, lying, kidnapping, rape, extortion, murder, suicide and oppression to accomplish it's political and ideological expansion. Hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised young people become associated with Islam as soldiers, feeling they now belong to something greater than themselves. While promoting a moral high ground which has a natural appeal, acts of criminal and psychopathic behavior become ideologically acceptable. This simple model is what makes Islam in the hands of manipulative clerics, so dangerous, and so successful. Unfortunately, over 50% of those under 30 years old want to leave the tyranny and political oppression of the Middle East for the West. Once in the West, the pangs of cultural longing often results in a closer emotional connection to Islam than was the case before they immigrated. Fear, limited job access, limited familial promotion of Western education and values, in combination with growing xenophobia, drive these same disenfranchised immigrants into the arms of waiting clerics. The clerics then build their ideological armies and fortunes on this group, like spiders on flies. The same group addresses the clerics with respect and reverence not otherwise possible, and the synergy and cycle of social deviance and terror is complete. To not address the problem as a major threat is a major mistake, not dissimilar to the threat of Nazism in the late 1920´s. Then too, it was impossible to imagine that the horrors we now know occurred, were possible. It boggles the mind that 2/3's of all rapes in Norway and Denmark - and presumably Sweden as well - are perpetrated by this single group, without greater sociopolitical reaction. Rape is a horrible crime. Add the issues of economic crime, drugs, youth gangs, and huge sums of money in abuses of social transfer income, etc. The common threat is the theft of an ill proportionate amount of state and community resources – without a return on money invested. What makes the abuse so comic, is the open and blatant agenda to overturn Western legal and political systems. What makes the abuse so frightening is the lack a viable political & legal solution.

At November 09, 2005 7:32 PM, ibrahim said...
lets get this clear. these immigrants are not in any way an army invading or fighting against the west.
the muslims are here to either earn money or for education.
the simple fact that they have moved to another country doesnt make them start a war against that country.
and also since when is raping women justified? you cannot justify it.
i wont even go into the war rape thing because the source you used is a website set up by ex-muslims whose material is poisonously anti islamic.

At November 13, 2005 4:28 AM, OB1SR said...
i would only commit about one thing here, Muhammad himself had forced sex (rape) with several of his slave girls/concubines, in all ancient history you cannot prove that, islam permits having slaves ? give me a break man, islam has never permitted such things, it even freed all of the slaves from the christian arabs when islam appeared the first time, read about islam from true muslims and learn it well, and know about the prophet muhammad even better before spouting anything wrong here.

true muslims are those who follow the true teachings of islam, those who stand against terrorism, those who give humans their rights, those who love and live in peace, those who are sufficient with what they have, asking no more of their god other than the true prize.

those who you know nothing about and come here to talk ill about them.

if you say a muslim terrorist , i say an infidel.

November 21, 2005

The Second Fall of Rome


I read from time to time that the European Union is compared to the Roman Empire. Most of these comparisons are not very apt, but here is one that I find intriguing. Julius Caesar was assassinated because he wanted to crown himself king, and openly threatened and challenged the established order in the Roman Republic. Not a popular move among the powerful elite in the Senate, who reminded Caesar that Rome had become a Republic precisely because they had rebelled against the "tyrant" kings of old.

His successor Octavian, better known today as Caesar Augustus, had seen what happened to Julius Caesar. Although no less ambitious, he was smarter than Caesar. He understood that openly overthrowing the old order would trigger a lot of resistance from the established power elites. He is considered the first and one of the most important Roman Emperors (27 BC to AD 14), but he downplayed his own position by preferring the traditionally oligarchic title of princeps, usually translated as "first citizen". He also preserved the outward form of the Roman Republic. He thus paid lip service to the old elite of the Republic, and veiled the changes to make them seem less threatening and upsetting to the public. He was king, but did not call himself king.

Some might see a parallel to present-day EU. Up to 80 per cent of national laws come from Brussels, and many of them are made in secret, as in dictatorships such as North Korea and Cuba. What is then the point of holding national elections, and is Western Europe still truly democratic? Just as in Octavian's Rome, the real power has been moved elsewhere, but the old order is retained as a democratic fig leaf in order not to upset the public too much.

Of course, this is where the similarities end. Octavian's rule marked the beginning of the most powerful and dynamic period in Roman history. That is hardly the case with the EU today. The Jihad-riots in France look more like the fall of the Roman Empire several centuries later, when the barbarians immigrated in huge numbers and caused the now weakened civilization to collapse in large parts of Western Europe. The population movements we are witnessing now are the largest and fastest in human history. In Europe, they can only be compared to the period often referred to as the Great Migrations, following the disintegration of the Roman Empire. However, during the 4th and 5th centuries, the total human population of the world was in the order of 200 million. Today, it is 30 times larger than that, and still growing fast. We also have communications that can transport people anywhere on earth within hours, and media that show ordinary people how much better life is in other countries. On top of that, the Romans didn't have human rights lawyers advocating that millions of barbarians be let into their lands. Is it a coincidence that the last time we had migrations like this was when large parts of the European continent suffered a complete civilizational breakdown? Is that what we are witnessing now? The second fall of Rome?

The situation becomes even worse when we enter another factor: Islam. The Islamic world is at war with pretty much everybody, everywhere. Both Thailand and the Philippines, countries where the Muslim population is not much larger than it is in some Western European countries, are facing war. Countries such as France, Holland and Sweden could soon reach a point where the Muslim population will create something akin to civil war, as it already has in the above mentioned nations. Even though this conflict may start out as civil wars in a handful of countries, it could spiral out of control and spread to much of the continent, dragging in foreign fighters from the Arab world. The Islamic world is now at war with most of the major powers on the planet at the same time, from the USA to India and from Russia to Western Europe. It is a real possibility that we will get a full-blown world war because of these events. If so, I don’t think this will happen 50 years from now, but within the coming generation.

As Mark Steyn points out, the Jihad in the streets of France looks increasingly like the early skirmishes of an impending Eurabian civil war, brought on by massive Muslim immigration and multicultural stupidity. And it is by no means limited to France. Law and order is slowly breaking down in major and even minor cities across the European continent, and the streets are ruled by aggressive gangs of Muslim youngsters. At the same time, Europeans pay some of the highest tax rates in the world. We should remind our authorities that the most important task of the state - some would even claim it should be the only task of the state - is to uphold the rule of law. Since it is becoming pretty obvious that this is no longer the case in Eurabia, we have to question whether these taxes are legitimate anymore, or whether they are simply disguised Jizya paid in the form of welfare to Muslims and our new Eurocrat aristocracy. Although not exactly the Boston Tea Party, perhaps the time now has come for a pan-European tax rebellion: We will no longer pay taxes until our authorities restore law and order and close the borders for Muslim immigration.

Historian Bat Ye'or, who first coined the term "Eurabia", thinks that Europe's ties with the Arab-Islamic world are now so firmly entrenched and established that Eurabia is an irreversible fact. Europe will cease to be a Western, democratic continent, and will become an appendix to the Arab world, a civilization of dhimmitude employed to spread Jihad and further the cause of Islam on a global basis, while the original, non-Muslim population are held hostage in their own countries out of fear of Muslim violence.

I must admit there are certain parts of Europe that do seem to be beyond hope, or very close to it. ALL of the largest Dutch cities are projected to have a Muslim majority within a generation, as will several English, French, Belgian, Scandinavian and Spanish cities. I foresee several possible scenarios:

1. Eurabia.

The EU continues its transformation into a continent-wide organization with clear totalitarian leanings, and a very pro-Islamic stance. Europe's fate is sealed when Turkey is allowed into the Union, and becomes its largest member. Freedom of speech will be shut down, and any criticism of Islam banned. Eurabia will become a global center for Jihad activities, as the dhimmi taxpayers and infidel Western technology give a boost to the Ummah. For this reason, the Americans, the Israelis, the Indians, the Russians and maybe even the Chinese will have to crush Eurabia by brute force, as it will represent a grave security threat to them.

Muslims will be heavily concentrated in the major cities, and the dhimmi native population will retreat into the countryside. I believe something similar took place in the Balkans during Ottoman Turkish rule. The old nation states will thus slowly die, as their major cities, which constitute the brain and "head" of its culture, are cut off from the rest of the body. Europe's decline into Eurabia will be speeded up by the fact that millions of educated natives with the means to it will move to the USA or other nations. This trickle of Eurabian refugees will eventually be slowed down by the authorities in the now totalitarian Europe, as it will erode the tax base. Native Europeans will simply be banned from leaving. There will be no war in Western Europe, as its civilization is already dead and very few will bother fighting for it. Islam isn't destroying Europe, Europe has destroyed itself. Just as a patient with AIDS may formally die from flu or even a common cold, the real cause is the long, slow decay of his immune system. It resembles euthanasia on an entire civilization: Europe is tired of living. Islam just puts it out of its misery.

The only violence will be sporadic Islamic terror attacks to induce fear, and occasional Muslim mob assaults in European streets to remind the dhimmis who is boss. It is conceivable that the center of European civilization will move from Western Europe to Eastern Europe, but even Eastern Europe will be put under severe pressure from Muslims, both in the Middle East and in the West. Islam is nonsense and a failure at producing a stable and civilized society, but it is a highly successful warrior creed, specialized at plundering others. The basic rule is that the areas Muslims have taken into possession remain in Islamic hands, while the native population and culture is slowly eradicated. If this holds true for us today, then parts of Western Europe are already lost, and will indeed become Eurabia as Bat Ye'or predicts. There are not too many instances I know of where areas once under the sway of Islam have been reclaimed by infidels. The most obvious is of course Spain and the Iberian Peninsula, where the Reconquista took quite a few centuries. I know the Sikhs have kicked Muslims out of Punjab, India. Parts of present-day Israel could be counted, although Arabs and Muslims are trying very hard to wipe Israel off the map. And maybe some of China's Western provinces could be included. Islam has not been eradicated there, but it is visibly retreating as Chinese authorities are suppressing any signs of rebellion and sending in large numbers of Han Chinese immigrants into the area.

What these examples have in common is that both the Christians in Spain, the Sikhs in India and the Jews in Israel were fighting Islam with powerful religious convictions of their own. The Chinese are not usually very religious, but they have an equally strong, even ruthless nationalism and belief in their own civilization. If history is any guide, today's decadent, bored, post-religious and post-nationalist Europe will be no match for Islam, unless it rediscovers a belief in its own culture and a will to defend it. This will have to happen soon, or the Islamic demographic conquest of much of the continent will be an irreversible fact, anyway. The result of this will then either be Eurabia or a Pakistanization of Europe, the way we have already seen for generations in the Balkans. This is not paranoia, just a basic understanding of what Islam is and a careful reading of history.

2. War.

Personally, I think this alternative is at least as likely as the above "Eurabia" scenario. It also contains several sub-scenarios, partly depending upon when the eventual war starts, and partly on whether there is still some Western pride and resistance left in Europe underneath the self-loathing and Multiculturalism:

The Pakistanization of Europe.

Muslims aren't numerous enough to control the entire continent. In the event of war, there will be mutual ethnic cleansing and Muslims will seize parts of Western Europe. For instance, a belt stretching from parts of Germany via Belgium and Holland to France, but maybe even regions within certain nation states. All of Europe will not be lost, but some parts will, and many others will be deeply damaged by the fighting. Many of our cultural treasures will burn. How things will go from there is difficult to predict. Perhaps this new "Pakistan" in the heart of Europe will be the source of constant instability and the staging ground for Jihad incursions into infidel areas, just as Pakistan is to India now. Perhaps we will see a slow reconquest of this area, possibly taking generations or even centuries.

Of course, it could be more than one Muslim region. Kosovo and in part Bosnia are functioning as Islamic bridgeheads in Europe at this moment. From British India there were 2 Pakistans created West Pakistan (present Pakistan) and East Pakistan (present Bangladesh). There was also an attempt to create a South Pakistan (present Andhra Pradesh state - then called Hyderabad state) but it was put down militarily. There could be several mini-Pakistans created all over the place. In fact present day Kosovo walks, talks and looks like a mini-Pakistan. The "zones" in France sound suspiciously like Muslim "mohallas" in India although the situation is not as bad as in France. Half a million Kashmiri Hindus live in refugee camps in New Delhi near the centers of the government and everybody ignores them. The votes of 150 million Muslims are more important than half a million Kashmiri Hindu refugees who have no political power. You might see similar situations in Europe - for example the French living in refugee camps in Paris near the city centre and the French leader go around spouting Arabic/Urdu poetry - and the regular people in France ignore them because it is too unpleasant to face reality.

Reconquista - The Second Expulsion of the Moors

Muslims strike too early, before they are ready to seize control over major chunks of Europe. It is possible to view the Jihad riots in France in this light. They overestimate their own power, and underestimate the strength that, despite everything, is still left in Europe. It will start, as these things always do, before anyone is ready. Everyone, the Islamists, the proto-dhimmis, the neo-nationalists, the sleepwalking middle class, thinks they have more time than they do. It may start more or less by accident, like WWI, through the act of a fringe player unaware of the forces involved or the stakes of the game. As WWI began with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, this war (which will be just as important and culturally destructive) may begin with the murder of a symbolic but politically unimportant figure. Or a reverse scenario is possible. A nationalist or rightist murders a prominent Islamic figure, sparking a wave of Islamic terror across Europe. Another possibility is a mega-attack, a chemical weapon or simply a massive suicide bomb or wave of bombs that succeed beyond the bombers plans and kills thousands and/or destroys symbolically important targets, a cathedral, a museum, the Channel. The fearful public then demands harsh government action. Some governments act; others are paralyzed and are incapable of taking action causing citizens to defend themselves. The Islamists are not centralized. They cannot always control the actions of their diverse cells or lone fanatics. Sooner or later someone will go too far.

Once a full-blown civil war starts in one country, it can, and probably will, spread to other countries. We are now witnessing an example of this, as smaller "sympathy riots" have been staged by Muslims in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Denmark following the unrest in France. Given the European Union's borderless nature, it is unlikely that war will be limited to one nation only. This will create a domino effect, and Muslims will be expelled from Europe yet again, after major bloodshed and millions of dead across the continent. It will start out as a Yugoslavia scenario with several cities becoming large Sarajevos. Muslims will find themselves, as in Serbia, victims of nationalism and revived Fascism. Perhaps some areas will be completely cleansed of Europeans and run along Taliban-like codes but these will not survive long amid a Continent gripped by the fury of war and national/religious passions. They will lack the economic base to wage an effective war. Their lines of supply from Islamic countries will be tenuous at best. This will result in the collapse of the EU and perhaps the UN as well. The Arab world will support the Muslims and will prolong the war, but they won't win it. Turkey may wage war against several European nations and/or Russia, but they will lose, too.

This situation could trigger the rise of neo-Fascism and neo-nationalism, and maybe the downfall of European democracy. The strengths that allow Islamofascism to succeed in its struggle with brittle, liberal democracies will prove of little use against a resurgent European nationalism. This is, of course, bad news for those of us who grew up in and care for liberal democracy and enjoy the freedom and prosperity it provides. European neo-nationalism will most likely be hostile to US interests and downright anti-Semitic. None of this will be pretty. The violence will be up-close and quite personal. Europe’s neo-nationalist future will be one filled with paranoia and fanaticism and blind, desperate struggle. Much of value will be lost.

Global Civil War

Europe has been the primary staging ground for one cold and two hot world wars. It could become a major battlefield in an Islamic world war, too. Or perhaps we could call it the Multicultural world war, just as WW2 was a Fascist war and the Cold War was a Communist war. A world war is already simmering, with Muslims clashes against Russia, Europe, Israel, China, India, the USA and Southeast Asia. Once the fighting starts in Europe, it could spread outside the continent and ignite a world war. This is the scenario of "global civil war". It would become the worst and most destructive war in human history, involving nuclear weapons on both sides. It could completely destroy the Middle East and North Africa, deeply damage Europe, the Indian continent, and parts of Southeast Asia, and inflict serious casualties on the USA, Australia and Africa. Its secondary and economic ripples will be felt on all corners of the planet, including the ones least involved in the actual fighting, such as Latin America and East Asia.

What we are seeing in the West are the opening salvoes of the continuation of the Jihad against Christendom that was brought to a close at Vienna in 1683. The new onset has come about as a direct consequence of allowing Muslim immigration to the West. Muslims are mandated to the Jihad and it is foolish of us to expect that they will refrain from doing so. It is our foolishness that gave them the opportunity to do so from within. Muslims and their religion are not yet ready to accept pluralism, democracy and free thinking. Democracy is in fact incompatible with Islam, as many Muslim imams have openly stated. That is their interpretation of the Koran. It should therefore come as no surprise to us, that Muslims in the West are waging Jihad against us. In their eyes, if we didn't realise that this would happen, the fault lies with us and not them. And they're right.

I do not think our societies, geared as they are to free and open thought, can continue with this continuous assault on freedom. If this assault is not brought to a halt soon, then free society will start to perish, and with that the economy. It may not be evident immediately, but perish it will in the fullness of time. If the current trend of increasing conflict continues, then we are irrevocably headed in the direction of a major armed conflict with the Islamic world. This is also going to lead to a civil war within Europe of unimaginable proportions. Europe's civil wars (WW 1 and 2) have not exactly been powder-puff affairs. Each day brings news of events that seem to bring us to that inevitable reckoning. We do not wish to fight for religion but we are being engaged in a religious conflict, quite against our will. Our politicians find it difficult to imagine that we are in a religious conflict. So passé - that sort of thing went out of fashion in the Middle Ages. It is all so pointless and avoidable. Time is short, and we need to act now to avert a human tragedy.

As poster DP111 says, we will easily win a full scale war with the Islam. What worries me is that in the event of a nuclear event in the West, we will rapidly go for the THIRD CONJECTURE option. Over the last two years I have stated on LittleGreenFootballs and Jihad/Dhimmi Watch that our inevitable large scale nuclear response, will also shatter the foundations of our own civilisation. Our Judeo-Christian civilisation has a built-in guilt complex, and we will not be able to sustain the shock of our victory bought at such expense. That is why the war option is not really a good one unless, unless we can re-define what this war is about. However, if we do NOT carry the war to the enemy with a correctly defined moral and political purpose, we will not be able to have public backing for the war. The Jihad in the meantime will continue, for in the eyes of the Jihadis and the Muslim world, they have a clear moral and religious purpose, and divinely sanctioned to boot.

3. A Second Renaissance - Western Rebirth in Europe

Although I must admit that I find this scenario to be the least likely at this point, we should discuss the possibility of whether the Islamic threat will force the West to rethink its values and regain its strength. Can this be done, and how would this take place? Is it possible to avoid both major war and Eurabia or is this wishful thinking by now? The growth of Eurabia is closely tied to the growth of the EU. Perhaps we could derail Eurabia by dismantling the EU? Is there something we can do to avoid the breakdown of European democracy, either to an increasingly totalitarian Eurabia or to a resurgence of neo-Fascism?

The Jihadis have a clear moral purpose, and thus we, too, have to define an even more powerful moral argument as to why our cause is more just, more moral and better - not just to our public, whose unwavering support we need, but to many Muslims around the world. Hugh Fitzgerald from Jihad Watch recommends the containment option: Islam cannot be reconciled with Western ways, which means that we need physical separation as much as possible. Separation recognises, that at this moment in time, Islam and democracy are irreconcilable. Thus a separation leaves hope for the future for everybody. A war, which is where we are headed, will stop their progress, as well as cause a split within humanity that will be hard to patch up. The basic impulse of Islam is to expand into Infidel territory. Unable to do so, it will collapse quite quickly in historic terms, and thus release the 1.2 billion souls in its enslavement and bring about true freedom for them. What more can one ask for. To regain our moral purpose, we can thus cast our struggle against Islam as the emancipation of a billion slaves from a Fascist ideology. Which is indeed what it is.

“Eurabia” Defined, by Andrew G. Bostom

This political agenda has been reinforced by (and now mirrors) the deliberate cultural transformation of Europe. Euro-Arab Dialogue Symposia conducted 20 to 25 years ago, i.e., in Venice (1977) and Hamburg (1983), included recommendations, below, that have been successfully implemented, accompanied by a deliberate, privileged influx of Arab and other Muslim immigrants, in enormous numbers:

• Coordination of the efforts made by the Arab countries to spread the Arabic language and culture in Europe and to find the appropriate form of cooperation among the Arab institutions that operate in this field. • Creation of joint Euro-Arab Cultural Centers in European capitals which will undertake the diffusion of the Arabic language and culture. • Encouragement of European institutions either at University level or other levels that are concerned with the teaching of the Arabic language and the diffusion of Arabic and Islamic culture. • Support of joint projects for cooperation between European and Arab institutions in the field of linguistic research and the teaching of the Arabic language to Europeans. • Necessity of supplying European institutions and universities with Arab teachers specialized in teaching Arabic to Europeans. • Necessity, when teaching Arabic, of emphasizing Arab-Islamic culture and contemporary Arab issues. • Necessity of cooperation between European and Arab specialists in order to present an objective picture of Arab-Islamic civilization and contemporary Arab issues to students and to the educated public in Europe which could attract Europeans to Arabic studies.

In the wake of the continuing French intifada, Bat Ye’or’s analyses have profound implications for Western Europe - which may be incapable of altering its Eurabian trajectory; her research may be even more important for the United States if it wishes to avoid Europe’s fate:

Th[e] Eurabian ethos operates at all levels of European society. Its countless functionaries, like the Christian [devshirme]-janissary slave soldiers of past Islamic regimes, advance a jihadist world strategy. Eurabia cannot change direction; it can only use deception to mask its emergence, its bias and its inevitable trajectory. Eurabia’s destiny was sealed when it decided, willingly, to become a covert partner with the Arab global jihad against America and Israel. Americans must discuss the tragic development of Eurabia, and its profound implications for the United States, particularly in terms of its resultant foreign policy realities. Americans should consider the despair and confusion of many Europeans, prisoners of a Eurabian totalitarianism that foments a culture of deadly lies about Western civilization. Americans should know that this self-destructive calamity did not just happen, rather it was the result of deliberate policies, executed and monitored by ostensibly responsible people. Finally, Americans should understand that Eurabia’s contemporary anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism are the spiritual heirs of 1930s Nazism and anti-Semitism, triumphally resurgent.

posted by Fjordman @ 11:26 AM

At November 21, 2005 2:46 PM, Axis of Islam said...
I believe the civil war scenario is the most likely. While Europe does suffer from ennui, I do not believe the final transformation to Eurabia will be done with a whimper.

Europe must not fall.

John Sobieski

At November 21, 2005 8:24 PM, CJB said...
The civil war scenario is the most likely because, as you note, it will begin before anybody really notices, and because it includes variations of all the other possible scenarios.

The process toward dhimmification of Europe begins with the introduction of Sharia law, first in "limited cases" & then in limited regions. These "sharia communities" will be established within national regions such as the Parisian Muslim suburbs, or the industrial regions of Malmo or Rotterdam.

Some Europeans will adapt to their dhimmi status, too cynical of their own culture to fight back. Some Europeans however, will reject this development and advocate expulsion. The Europeans who fight back will include right-wing extremist groups, such as Le Pen's National Front, and those who would not normally think of themselves as racist or fascist: Christians. Violence & ethnic cleansing will involve both Muslims & non-Muslims population transfers between "sharia communities" & ethnic European communities. Cross border terrorist raids will be mounted from the Sharia communities. Counter attacks will be launched, and before the editors of Le Monde look up from their morning coffee and notices, civil war will be burning across Europe.

At November 22, 2005 1:46 AM, Imperial Knights of Bacchus said...
Howdy Fjordman!

I might be just a bit more optimistic than you. I do not believe that our continent is doomed. If we believe that, and give up even before we have tried to fight then we have given the Evil ones the victory at no cost. That must not happen.

I feel that the times we live in now in many ways have much in common with the pre-WWII years. Those who see the danger of Islam are labelled as racists, and ridiculed. With few exceptions, the Danish PM Fogh Rasmussen being one of them, the political leaders around Europe to day are all Chamberlains in our time. “Peace in our time”.

Like our own government in the pre war years, seeking pacifism and avoiding spending money on the military so they should not provoke the Nazi dictator… Our politicians today are vague when addressing problems everybody knows about, and gives in to demands just to avoid confrontations.

This is not just a problem with our politicians, but also our state church, with people like Einar Gelius are giving into demands. Gelius have even suggested to turn churches in to mosques (read Aftenposten, or my blogg), and our bishops have called for a more liberal and open immigration policy, as it is not open enough already.

60 years of living in the shadow of a communist dictatorship, socialism, and two world wars have institutionalized us in sleep pacifism and no aggression, even in self defence. However I do feel that tensions are high. We might not have reached a “critical level” of tension yet, but when that happens, I believe a tiny spark will cause an outbreak of violence, a war.

I do not believe that war… which might now be unavoidable (and I favour a war) will be the cause to the collapse of Europe. A Eurabia will not be in the interest of the remaining free world, and not at least for the USA. We will need to be liberated, either by ourselves alone or with help. We must not forget that our new allies in Eastern Europe so far have close to zero Muslim population, and that the conquest of Europe not is the final goals for the Muslims. They want world domination. If Europe would fall, that would take them much closer to their goal.

What I find most interesting thou, is how the western European nations will handle the crisis when a warlike situation will surface. Will they be able to have a loyal military that will fight, or will the armies disintegrate and militias surface to do their job… The governments might be too perplexed to fire against what they see as their own “citizens”. A temporary fall of democracy might happen…

But like Europe managed to rise from the ashes after the last war, we should again as before manage to survive like the bird phoenix.

High Mage
Imperial Knights of Bacchus

At November 22, 2005 9:15 AM, Cosmophant said...
Fjordman: The Jihadis have a clear moral purpose, and thus we, too, have to define an even more powerful moral argument as to why our cause is more just, more moral and better - not just to our public, whose unwavering support we need, but to many Muslims around the world. Once we have such a clear moral purpose, then indeed we can go to full scale war...

Samuel Huntington says: "The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."

So I say, we only need moral good enough to make us do the best in applying organized violence.

Lawrence Auster thinks: "Any hope that we can save ourselves rests on the assumption and hope that the world will be abandoning its liberalism"

The only hope for the West?

All hopes for the future assume the end of liberalism

So Fjordman, when you talk about "powerful moral arguments" it sounds to me that you are searching for another universal and sophisticated idea along the line of liberalism. I say, it's best to take away all such ideas and stay with the naked simple survival. Consider that regardless of the powerfulness of the moral argument, any group of white people strongly defending themselves will be called Nazis by their enemies, since this is completely demoralizing (and sohpisticated powerful moral arguments do not bite back).

So this is the deal that would work, I figure. Our moral argument is to save our lives and the lives of our sons and daughters, and fathers and mothers. Also, we do not like people who call us Nazis, so we'll kill everybody who call us Nazis until there are no more left of them (as I see it, it's the only way to oppose this effectively, any kind of "powerful" idea will be too weak).

Above I assume the situation of separatism, with broken-down national states (no better way to get rid of liberalism than to get rid of its institutions), Muslims controlling the cities, Westerners on the country-side as armed citizenry.

For Europeans the solution is to stop thinking globally, and start acting locally.

At November 23, 2005 1:44 PM, oskar said...
Some comments regarding the civil war scenario:

I think developments in Bosnia/the Balkans can be quite useful in in understanding this. B

asically, the problems there began when muslims all of a suddenly began seeing themselves as a "people" with a right to their own nation, or at least a nation where they would be the controlling majority.

Even though the Serbs had the sense to fight this they were stabbed in the back by the US and the West Europeans, who, blinded by the ideals of multiculturalism, didn't see why the Serbs didn't want to live in a state dominated by muslims (and founded and ruled by a hard-core muslim like Itzebegovic).

Next time a civil war/unrest erupts in Europe (or the US for that matter) because muslims demand their own state/jurisdiction I hope we have the sense to fight back!

At November 27, 2005 1:52 AM, M said...
Great essay. The danger of Eurabia may well be the catalyst for a true European Union of the future. AN EU that recognizes the distinct cultural diversity of its various peoples within the matrix of Pan-Europa. Europe has experienced two world wars in one century. She understandably wishes for the ideal of peaceful multiculturalism to triumph. It's too bad that this idealistic intention does not account for the monomaniacal jihad mentality within Islam.
Civil War will come to Europe within five years or less.

At November 27, 2005 3:08 AM, lindsey said...
"AN EU that recognizes the distinct cultural diversity of its various peoples within the matrix of Pan-Europa. "

So, you're saying you want to live in the Matrix? Wow. When it comes to the EU, the only way to safeguard freedom there is for the EU to become just a free trade pact. Preferably, there would be a free trade zone including Japan, Aus, US, Europe, etc.

At November 29, 2005 6:42 AM, Martell Isabella said...
Fjordman; you are the King! "The second fall of Rome" was a brilliant essay. Let it be said that many here in America love Europe, European cultures, and of course, Europeans-we are,largely,of European descent ourselves by blood and culture. Western civilization must not slip into a medieval tyranny of Islamo-fascism. Stand up to them, we'll be there.

At December 13, 2005 4:17 AM, Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...
It is hard to express terror of picture so realistically you painted in your essay.I live in Canada,however,Internet gives to me possibility to be at home in Europe.Now at ends of my days I want to cry,where is Europe of mine youth,ideas.Country without communism,people in worse shape than when there was common enemy.I try to wake up few people I know and to make them to see danger,you so artfully describe in "Second fall....
Coldness of no interest of people who do not see and do not want to see danger around the corner waiting .........
I hope there is going to be generation of Europeans or army across the Atlantic Ocean to save and to wake up Europe.
"Fjordman" is going to be on top of mine browser.
Thank you.

At December 15, 2005 6:00 PM, Odin said...
Excellent essay. Good to find you on the net. I'm an American living in Oslo. Based on the national news here and my conversations with people here, I have to say war is inevitable. It is incredibly sad to see this culture destroyed from the inside out. I came here because of the beauty and intelligence of this culture. A short 10 years ago there was so much less violence and crime. I think Europe is in denial, America is fighting the war right now, and Europe will not join till it is almost too late.
It is incredible to talk to Norwegians that view America as the enemy in this conflict, while Islamic saboteurs are plotting against them using Norway's free society and using the countries own money. Sadly, the only hope I see is the islamic fanatics attacking enough cities, so that Europe cannot deny what is happening. Simialr to Pearl Harbour, there will be no more dodging the facts that the enemy will not be subdued by talk. They can't be thrown out, they are citizens, the only cure I see is cutltural survival based on a common idea of maintaining your own values and agressively defending these values at every turn. The only way this will occur is after some big attacks. In Madrid they were cowards, in France, denial, in Århus, too nice probably. I welcome this war, I love America and I love Norway, they are both worth preserving!! So the sooner the better, bring it on.

At December 29, 2005 12:09 AM, yaman said...
Biggotry presented in paragraph form is oh so much more intelligent sounding.

    4. März 2006 - 10:02

Die Spitzen der christlichen, muslimischen und jüdischen Religionen bilden künftig einen Rat.
Rat der Religionen: Neuer Gesprächspartner

Etienne Strebel

Am 15. Mai dieses Jahres gründen in Bern die obersten christlichen, muslimischen und jüdischen Vertreter des Landes den Schweizer Rat der Religionen. Mit dessen Hilfe sollen auch schwierige Situationen, wie zum Beispiel der Mohammed-Karikaturen-Streit, friedlich und konstruktiv gelöst werden.

"Die geopolitische Situation holt auch die Schweiz ein. Die Globalisierung der Religionen ist ein Faktum. Auch in der Schweiz haben wir verschiedene Kulturen und Religionen", begründet Markus Sahli, zukünftiger Sekretär des Rats der Religionen, die neue Institution gegenüber swissinfo. "Und da der Islam die drittgrösste Religionsgemeinschaft in der Schweiz ist, scheint es uns angemessen, eine Plattform zu schaffen, um auch mit dieser Religions-Gemeinschaft im Gespräch zu sein."

Breite Abstützung mit Spitzenvertretern

Die Idee für den Rat stammt von Thomas Wipf, dem Präsidenten des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbundes (SEK). Er soll auch dessen erster Vorsitzender werden.

Bischof Kurt Koch wird die römisch-katholische Kirche und Bischof Fritz-René Müller die christkatholische Kirche vertreten. Alfred Donath nimmt als Vertreter des Schweizerischen Israelitischen Gemeindebundes (SIG) Einsitz im Rat.

Die muslimische Seite ist durch Farhad Afshar, Präsident der Koordination islamischer Organisationen Schweiz, und Hisham Maizar, Thurgauer Arzt und Präsident des Dachverbandes islamischer Gemeinden der Ostschweiz und des Fürstentums Liechtenstein, vertreten.

Nicht alle Religionen vertreten

In der Schweiz sind noch weitere Religionen aktiv, wie die evangelischen Freikirchen, Orthodoxe, Buddhisten, Hindus. Diese sind nicht im geplanten Rat der Religionen vertreten.

Sahli: "Im Moment ist das tatsächlich so. Wir haben jedoch das Mandat so formuliert, dass weitere Religionsgemeinschaften mittelfristig einbezogen werden können."

Die evangelischen Freikirchen seien jedoch für die Ökumene und den interreligiösen Dialog teilweise nicht so offen wie die Landeskirchen, ergänzt er.

Wie erreicht man extreme Kreise?

Was kann der Rat unternehmen, um extremistische Muslime oder ultrarechte Christen zu erreichen? "Bei den muslimischen Extremisten müssen wir das natürlich unseren muslimischen Partnern überlassen. Und wir gehen auch davon aus, dass das stattfindet", sagt Sahli.

Für Sahli stellen extremistische Kreise in der Schweiz eine ganz kleine Minderheit dar, auch jene unter den Christinnen und Christen. "Hier trifft man Extremismus, wie man ihn in anderen Ländern sieht, schwerlich an."

Über die Gründe kann Sahli auch nur spekulieren: "Es könnte an der historisch gewachsenen Verschiedenheit der Kulturen liegen. Wir sprechen in der Schweiz verschiedene Sprachen, haben unterschiedliche Mentalitäten und verschiedene Konfessionen."

Er erinnert an die Spannungen zwischen Katholiken und Protestanten im 19. Jahrhundert. "Wir haben historische und kulturpolitischen Erfahrungen, dass es einen Ausgleich, einen Kompromiss braucht."


Der Rat verfolgt keine kultischen, sondern religionspolitische Zwecke. Für die Initianten ist wichtig, dass der Rat in gewissen gemeinsamen Anliegen als Gesprächspartner des Staates auftreten kann.

Der zukünftige Präsident Thomas Wipf sagt, die Glaubensgemeinschaften seien mit zwei Entwicklungen konfrontiert: dem religiösen Fundamentalismus und der Gleichgültigkeit.

Der interreligiöse Dialog könnte helfen, den eigenen Glauben als Quelle der Hoffnung wieder zu entdecken, in ethischen Fragen die spirituelle Dimension des Menschen zu berücksichtigen und gesellschaftlich einen Beitrag zum friedlichen Zusammenleben der verschiedenen Glaubensgemeinschaften zu leisten.


Markus Sahli kann sich vorstellen, dass der Rat der Religionen - würde er bereits existieren - in der Krise um die Mohammed-Karikaturen betont hätte, dass sowohl Presse- wie auch Religionsfreiheit in der Schweiz wichtige Grundwerte sind. "Natürlich muss es eine gewisse Balance geben zwischen diesen Werten. Die Pressefreiheit darf jedoch nicht dazu missbraucht werden, um religiöse Gefühle zu verletzen und Glaubensgemeinschaften unter der Gürtellinie zu provozieren."

Agnell Rickenbacher, Sekretär der Schweizer Bischofskonferenz, ist überzeugt, dass sich Irritationen wie der Karikaturen-Streit künftig vermeiden lassen, wenn man sich erst besser kenne.

Und Farhad Afshar erwartet gemäss der NZZ am Sonntag, dass sich Juden und Christen in einem solchen Fall künftig für die Muslime einsetzen: "Im Rat der Religionen können sich Muslime, Christen und Juden ihr gemeinsames Hauptziel in Erinnerung rufen, nämlich, dass es eine Verpflichtung zum Frieden gibt."


Der Rat der Religionen hat folgende Ziele:
Beitrag zum Erhalt des religiösen Friedens in der Schweiz
Verständigung unter den Teilnehmenden über die gemeinsamen Anliegen
Vertrauensbildung zwischen den Religions-Gemeinschaften
Dialog zu aktuellen religionspolitischen Fragestellungen
Ansprechmöglichkeit für Bundes-Behörden in diesen Fragen.


Die Religionszugehörigkeit der Bevölkerung in der Schweiz (2000):
Katholisch: 42%
Protestantisch 35%
Christkatholisch 0,18%
Christlich Orthodoxe: 2%
Andere christliche Gemeinschaften: 0,19%
Juden 0,24%
Muslime: 4,26%
Andere Religions-Gemeinschaften: 0,8%
Keine Religions-Zugehörigkeit: 11%
Keine Angaben: 4,33%.


Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund (
Schweizer Bischofskonferenz (
Christkatholische Kirche der Schweiz (
Inforel ( (

NZZ am Sonntag    11. Juni 2006,

Fehlende Vertretung der Schweizer Frauen
Männerrat der Religionen

Mitte Mai wurde der Schweizer Rat der Religionen gegründet. Sein wichtigstes Ziel ist die Integration der muslimischen Gemeinschaft. Doch unter den beiden islamischen Vertretern herrscht Uneinigkeit. Und die Frauen der Schweiz sind in dem Rat überhaupt nicht vertreten.
Von Sibylle Stillhart

Für Thomas Wipf, den Präsidenten des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbunds (SEK), ist die Mitte Mai erfolgte Gründung des Schweizer Rats der Religionen «ein Meilenstein». Das sechsköpfige Gremium, in dem Spitzenvertreter der monotheistischen Religionen vertreten sind, sieht sich offiziell als Ansprechpartner für die Bundesbehörden und will den «religiösen Frieden» im Land wahren. Nebst dem reformierten Pfarrer Wipf werden sich Bischof Kurt Koch, Fritz-René Müller, Bischof der christkatholischen Kirche, Alfred Donath, Präsident des Schweizerischen Israelitischen Gemeindebundes (SIG), sowie die beiden muslimischen Vertreter Farhad Afshar und Hisham Maizar zweimal jährlich treffen, um über «religionspolitische Fragen» zu diskutieren.

Augenfällig ist, dass eine religiöse Minderheit - die landesweit rund 350 000 Muslime - gleich zwei Vertreter im Religionsrat stellt. Noch während der Aufbauphase sei klar geworden, dass nicht nur eine Person «den in sich noch nicht einigen Islam» im Gremium vertreten solle, sagt der Initiator Thomas Wipf. Deshalb habe man sich für zwei Repräsentanten entschieden. Tatsächlich geht es dem Rat in erster Linie um die Integration des Islams. Die Delegierten der etablierten Religionen stellen sich gewissermassen als Katalysator bei der Eingliederung der Muslime zur Verfügung.

Die Muslime sind in der Schweiz immer noch kaum organisiert. Geht es um politische Anliegen der islamischen Gemeinschaft, tritt Farhad Afshar, ein Soziologe mit iranischen Wurzeln, ins mediale Rampenlicht. Afshar vertritt einen konservativen Islam, beantwortet Fragen von Journalisten aber nur ausweichend. Vieles bleibt im Gespräch mit ihm schleierhaft. Als ihn die «Weltwoche» nach seiner Meinung über die Steinigung befragte, die die Scharia etwa bei Ehebruch vorschreibt, drückte er sich lange um eine klare Antwort. Farhad Afshar präsidiert die Koordination Islamischer Organisationen (Kios), was repräsentativer klingt, als es ist. Die Organisation umfasst neben ein paar kleineren Vereinen die drei Kantonalverbände in Zürich, Bern und Basel. Für wie viele Muslime Afshar steht, ist nicht klar: Seiner Meinung nach sind nur fünf Prozent der Muslime in der Schweiz organisiert. So gerechnet, vertritt er allerhöchstens 20 000 Menschen.

Wer spricht für wen?
Neu betritt die nationale Bühne nun Hisham Maizar, ein Arzt aus dem thurgauischen Roggwil. Der Palästinenser mit Schweizer Pass steht nach eigenen Angaben für eine «ausgewogene» Haltung, was seine Religion betreffe; er sei dialogbereit, sagt er, reiche auch säkularisierten Muslimen die Hand zum Gespräch. Auch er will für möglichst viele Muslime sprechen. Deshalb hat er diesen Frühling die Föderation Islamischer Dachorganisationen ins Leben gerufen - einen schweizweiten Verbund, dem 10 von 14 muslimischen Dachorganisationen in allen vier Sprachregionen angehören. 130 der 300 muslimischen Vereine - kantonale, aber auch regionale Verbände - sind in der Föderation dabei.

Dass im Rat der Religionen Farhad Afshar die Schweizer Muslime repräsentieren wird, war von Anfang an klar. «Uns war wichtig, dass im Gremium nationale Exponenten dabei sind», sagt Thomas Wipf. Doch bereits während der Aufbauphase wandten sich Delegierte muslimischer Regionalverbände an den Initiator, um einen zweiten Sitz im Gremium zu beanspruchen - offenbar konnten sie sich nicht mit Afshars Ansichten identifizieren. «Ich führte mehrere Gespräche mit verschiedenen muslimischen Vertretern», so Wipf. Erst nach Interventionen von islamischer Seite wurde Hisham Maizars Föderation ein Sitz im Rat eingeräumt.

Es ist offensichtlich, dass die beiden muslimischen Exponenten im Rat der Religionen nicht besonders gut aufeinander zu sprechen sind. Farhad Afshar sagt, er unterhalte ein reines «Arbeitsverhältnis» mit Hisham Maizar. Dieser wiederum bestätigt, dass er mit seinem Glaubensbruder nicht immer einer Meinung sei - gegen «konstruktive Auseinandersetzungen» aber habe er nichts einzuwenden.

Die momentane Missstimmung ist keine ideale Ausgangslage für einen Dialog der Religionen. Unglücklich ist weiter, dass es sich beim Religionsrat um ein reines Männergremium handelt. Frauen - immerhin knapp mehr als die Hälfte der Schweizer Bevölkerung - haben darin keine Stimme. Will man aber die Integration der Muslime tatsächlich vorantreiben, müssen zwingend gesellschaftspolitische Konflikte besprochen werden, die vor allem die weibliche muslimische Bevölkerung betreffen.

Beispielsweise sorgt im gesellschaftspolitischen Diskurs immer wieder das Kopftuch der Muslimin für Aufruhr: Erst kürzlich fragte sich die CVP in ihrem «Muslimpapier», ob es der Integration diene, einer muslimischen Lehrerin den Hijab im Schulzimmer zu erlauben. Ebenso ratlos ist die Lehrerschaft, wenn muslimische Eltern ihre Töchter vom gemischten Schwimmunterricht oder vom Klassenlager dispensieren wollen.

Vernachlässigte Themen
Was die Befreiung vom eigentlich obligatorischen Schwimmunterricht für muslimische Mädchen angeht, sind sich Afshar und Maizar einig: Beide berufen sich auf das Bundesgerichtsurteil, das einem Mädchen den Dispens aus religiösen Gründen erlaubt. «Es ist ein oft geäussertes Anliegen vor allem traditioneller Muslime, dass ihre Kinder nicht am gemischten Schwimmunterricht teilnehmen müssen», sagte Hisham Maizar unlängst dieser Zeitung. Es sei der Wunsch der Eltern, ihre Töchter unversehrt in die Ehe zu bringen.

Dass solche Fragen dann im Rat der Religionen tatsächlich zur Sprache kommen, bezweifelt Saïda Keller-Messahli, die Präsidentin des Forums für einen fortschrittlichen Islam, eines aufgeklärten Gegenpols zu den religiös orientierten Organisationen. Dabei müssten zwingend heikle Themen auf den Tisch kommen, sagt sie. Viele Bestimmungen des Islams stünden im krassen Widerspruch zu den Menschenrechten. Keller-Messahli interessierte etwa, wie es um das Selbstbestimmungsrecht der muslimischen Frau stehe oder welche Stellung eine geschiedene Frau innerhalb der muslimischen Gemeinde habe. «Auch muss über Homosexualität innerhalb der Religionen gesprochen werden.» In islamischen Ländern werden homosexuelle Menschen häufig noch mit dem Tod bedroht.

Keine Frauen
Auch die katholische Theologin Doris Strahm, die sich im Religionsrat «überhaupt nicht» vertreten fühlt, befürchtet, dass brennende Themen, wie etwa die Gleichstellung der Frau in der katholischen Kirche, gar nicht angesprochen werden. «Es ist empörend, dass nur Männer in der Öffentlichkeit die Religionen repräsentieren und über religionspolitische Fragen diskutieren», sagt Strahm, die sich seit Jahren im interreligiösen Dialog engagiert und jüngst das Buch «Damit es anders wird zwischen uns - Interreligiöser Dialog aus der Sicht von Frauen» herausgegeben hat. Dabei werde die religiöse Basisarbeit vor allem von Frauen geleistet. Sie glaubt nicht, dass die gewählten Amtsträger tatsächlich die Bedürfnisse und Anliegen von Frauen vertreten werden. Gut möglich, meint sie, dass hier Männer einmal mehr ihre Definitionsmacht in Sachen Religion zementierten.

Sowohl der jüdische Vertreter, Alfred Donath, wie auch der Initiator Thomas Wipf bedauern, dass keine Frau im Rat vertreten ist. Sie beteuern aber, dass kritische Punkte im Gremium angesprochen würden. Für den reformierten Pfarrer Thomas Wipf ist die Gleichstellung von Mann und Frau eine Selbstverständlichkeit. Auch für Donath ist es klar, dass die Landesgesetze gegenüber religiösen Vorschriften Vorrang haben. So leisten beispielsweise Juden am Sabbat Wehrpflicht, wenn sie nicht beurlaubt werden, sagt er. Dass sich bei gewissen Vertretern mancher monotheistischen Religionen die Einsicht, dass Staat und Religion mit Vorteil getrennt sind, noch nicht durchgesetzt habe, sei ihm bewusst. «Gerade in diesen Punkten könnte das Gremium aber die Möglichkeit bieten, sich einander zu nähern», sagt Donath.

Das erste Treffen des Rats ist auf nach den Sommerferien anberaumt. Das Thema ist der Umgang mit religiösen Symbolen in der Öffentlichkeit. Gemeint ist der umstrittene Minarettbau im solothurnischen Wangen.

June 05, 2006

Why the EU Needs to be Destroyed, and Soon


by Baron Bodissey    The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna. He has published another essay today related to this one (at Brussels Journal): Is the Nation State Obsolete?

I know many Americans, and Europeans, too, have more or less written off Western Europe as lost to Islam already. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think this too sometimes, but I do see encouraging signs of a real shift of public opinion beneath the surface. Judging from information such as the extremely high number of Germans hostile to Islam, I still believe, or at least hope, that Europe can be saved. But this hope hinges on the complete and utter destruction of the European Union.

The EU must die, or Europe will die. It’s that simple.

Bat Ye’or in her book Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis is right in pointing out that ordinary Europeans have never voted for this merger with the Islamic world through massive Muslim immigration and Multiculturalism. This is closely tied to the rise of the European Union, which has transferred power away from the people and the democratic process to behind-the-scenes deals made by corrupt, Eurabian officials and bureaucrats. Several observers have noted that there is a serious disconnect between the European elites and ordinary citizens. This has been made possible largely because of the EU.

I have heard the term “neo-Feudalism” being used of the EU. There are definitely certain elite groups in Europe who have never really accepted the loss of power to “the mob,” and think that everything that’s wrong with Europe is because of “populism,” what others call democracy. These are also the people who created Eurabia and “forgot” to consult the public about these plans. The EU should be viewed that way, as a de facto, slow-motion abolition of European democracy, disguised as something else. The real force behind the EU is to cede national sovereignty to a new ruling class of bureaucrats, a new aristocracy and a throwback to the pre-democratic age.

I’m really worried about a complete collapse of the democratic system here. It has already been weakened by the EU, the UN etc. for a long time, and now we also have direct physical threats by Muslims to freedom of speech. Ordinary Europeans are no longer in control of our own fates. Sweden has for instance in reality ceased being a democratic country, in my view. We need to recapture this, or Europe is finished.

In an interview with Paul Belien of the Brussels Journal in February 2006, former Soviet Dissident Vladimir Bukovksy warned that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union, an EUSSR as some people call it. In a speech he delivered in Brussels, Belgium, Mr Bukovsky called the EU a “monster” that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a fully-fledged totalitarian state.

“I am referring to structures, to certain ideologies being instilled, to the plans, the direction, the inevitable expansion, the obliteration of nations, which was the purpose of the Soviet Union. Most people do not understand this. They do not know it, but we do because we were raised in the Soviet Union where we had to study the Soviet ideology in school and at university. The ultimate purpose of the Soviet Union was to create a new historic entity, the Soviet people, all around the globe. The same is true in the EU today. They are trying to create a new people. They call this people “Europeans”, whatever that means. According to Communist doctrine as well as to many forms of Socialist thinking, the state, the national state, is supposed to wither away. In Russia, however, the opposite happened. Instead of withering away the Soviet state became a very powerful state, but the nationalities were obliterated. But when the time of the Soviet collapse came these suppressed feelings of national identity came bouncing back and they nearly destroyed the country. It was so frightening.”

Bukovksy replied negatively to Belien’s question whether the member countries of the EU didn’t join the union voluntarily, and that the integration thus reflects the democratic will of Europeans. “No, they did not. Look at Denmark which voted against the Maastricht treaty twice. Look at Ireland [which voted against the Nice treaty]. Look at many other countries, they are under enormous pressure. It is almost blackmail. It is a trick for idiots. The people have to vote in referendums until the people vote the way that is wanted. Then they have to stop voting. Why stop? Let us continue voting. The European Union is what Americans would call a shotgun marriage.”

In 1992, Bukovksy had unprecedented access to Politburo and other Soviet secret documents. According to him, some of these documents “show very clearly” that the idea of turning the European common market into a federal state was encouraged in agreements between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a joint project which Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988-89 called our “common European home” “Of course, it is a milder version of the Soviet Union. I am not saying that it has a Gulag.”

“The idea was very simple. It first came up in 1985-86, when the Italian Communists visited Gorbachev, followed by the German Social-Democrats. They all complained that the changes in the world, particularly after [British Prime Minister Margaret] Thatcher introduced privatisation and economic liberalisation, were threatening to wipe out the achievement (as they called it) of generations of Socialists and Social-Democrats – threatening to reverse it completely. Therefore the only way to withstand this onslaught of wild capitalism (as they called it) was to try to introduce the same socialist goals in all countries at once. Prior to that, the left-wing parties and the Soviet Union had opposed European integration very much because they perceived it as a means to block their socialist goals.” From 1985 onwards, “the Soviets came to an agreement with the left-wing parties that if they worked together they could hijack the whole European project and turn it upside down. Instead of an open market they would turn it into a federal state.”

In January 1989, during a meeting between Gorbachev, former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone, former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, American banker Rockefeller and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Giscard d’Estaing is supposed to have stated that: “Europe is going to be a federal state and you have to prepare yourself for that. You have to work out with us, and the European leaders, how you would react to that, how would you allow the other Eastern European countries to interact with it or how to become a part of it, you have to be prepared.” As Vladimir Bukovksy points out, this was 1989, at a time when the [1992] Maastricht treaty had not even been drafted. “How the hell did Giscard d’Estaing know what was going to happen in 15 years time? And surprise, surprise, how did he become the author of the European constitution [in 2002-03]? It does smell of conspiracy, doesn’t it?”

Yes, it does smell of conspiracy. This was in the 1980s, when most of the media still dismissed talk of a political union to subdue the nation states as scaremongering. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former French President and chief drafter of the awful EU Constitution, an impenetrable brick of a book of hundreds of pages without any of the checks and balances of the American Constitution, has argued that the rejection of the Constitution in the French and Dutch referendums in 2005 “was a mistake which will have to be corrected.” “The Constitution will have to be given its second chance.” He said the French people voted No out of an “error of judgement” and “ignorance”, and insisted that “In the end, the text will be adopted.” “It was a mistake to use the referendum process, but when you make a mistake you can correct it.” Mr Giscard d’Estaing indicated that the treaty could be put to French voters in a second referendum, or be ratified by the French parliament. “People have the right to change their opinion. The people might consider they made a mistake,” he said on a possible new referendum. Anybody who still questions whether Eurabia, the deliberate merger between Europe and the Arab-Islamic world described by Bat Ye’or, is “just a conspiracy theory” should read these statements by Giscard d’Estaing. Why should we be surprised if leading EU officials make behind-the-scenes agreements that affect the future of the entire continent, yet say nothing about this in public or flat out lie about their agenda? This is how the EU has been working for decades, indeed from the very beginning.

From its inception, European integration has been a French-led enterprise. The fact that the French political elite still want to maintain their leadership over Europe was amply demonstrated during the Iraq war. President Chirac famously said in 2003 after Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic backed the US position “They missed a good opportunity to shut up,” adding “These countries have been not very well behaved and rather reckless of the danger of aligning themselves too rapidly with the American position.” Jean Monnet, French economist who was never elected to public office, is regarded by many as the architect of European integration. Monnet was a well-connected pragmatist who worked behind the scenes towards the gradual creation of European unity. Richard North, publisher of the blog EU Referendum and co-author of the book The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive? together with Christopher Booker, describes how Jean Monnet for years, at least from the 1920s, had dreamed of building a “United States of Europe.” Although what Monnet really had in mind was the creation of a European entity with all the attributes of a state, an “anodyne phrasing was deliberately chosen with a view to making it difficult to dilute by converting it into just another intergovernmental body. It was also couched in this fashion so that it would not scare off national governments by emphasising that its purpose was to override their sovereignty.” In their analysis of the EU’s history, the authors claim that the EU was not born out of WW2, as many people seem to think. It had been planned at least a generation before that.

The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, widely presented as the beginning of the efforts towards a European Union and commemorated in “Europe Day,” contains phrases which state that it is “a first step in the federation of Europe”, and that “this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation”. As critics of the EU have noted, these political objectives are usually omitted when the Declaration is referred to, and most people do not even know of their existence. A federation is of course a State and “yet for decades now the champions of EC/EU integration have been swearing blind that they have no knowledge of any such plans. EEC/EC/EU has steadily acquired ever more features of a supranational Federation: flag, anthem, Parliament, Supreme Court, currency, laws.” The EU founders “were careful only to show their citizens the benign features of their project. It had been designed to be implemented incrementally, as an ongoing process, so that no single phase of the project would arouse sufficient opposition as to stop or derail it.” Booker and North calls the European Union “a slow-motion coup d’état: the most spectacular coup d’état in history,” designed to gradually and carefully sideline the democratic process and subdue the older nation states of Europe without saying so in public.

In 2005, an unprecedented joint declaration by the leaders of all British political groups in Brussels called for PM Tony Blair to push for an end the “medieval” practice of European legislation being decided behind closed doors. Critics claim that the Council of Ministers, the EU’s supreme law-making body, which decides two thirds of all Britain’s laws (and the majority of laws in all Western European countries), “is the only legislature outside the Communist dictatorships of North Korea and Cuba to pass laws in secret.” As one of the signers put it: “We still have this medieval way of making decisions in the EU; people hide behind other member states, and blame them. It increases people’s sense of cynicism, but what we need is some straight talking.” According to British Conservative politician Daniel Hannan, this is how the EU was designed. “Its founding fathers understood from the first that their audacious plan to merge the ancient nations of Europe into a single polity would never succeed if each successive transfer of power had to be referred back to the voters for approval. So they cunningly devised a structure where supreme power was in the hands of appointed functionaries, immune to public opinion.” “Indeed, the EU’s structure is not so much undemocratic as anti-democratic.”

Vladimir Bukovksy, too, warns that it looks like we are living in a period of rapid, systematic and very consistent dismantlement of democracy. “Look at this Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. It makes ministers into legislators who can introduce new laws without bothering to tell Parliament or anyone.” “Today’s situation is really grim. Major political parties have been completely taken in by the new EU project. None of them really opposes it. They have become very corrupt. Who is going to defend our freedoms?” He doesn’t have much faith in institutions such as the elected, but largely powerless European Parliament, to curtail these developments. “The European Parliament is elected on the basis of proportional representation, which is not true representation. And what does it vote on? The percentage of fat in yoghurt, that kind of thing. It is ridiculous.” “It is no accident that the European Parliament, for example, reminds me of the Supreme Soviet. It looks like the Supreme Soviet because it was designed like it. Similary, when you look at the European Commission it looks like the Politburo,” which was the real centre of power in the USSR, unaccountable to anyone, not directly elected by anyone at all.

Another former citizen of the USSR, Vilius Brazenas, has noted some of these similarities between EU and Soviet institutions, too. “When former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev visited Britain in 2000, he accurately described the European Union as “the new European Soviet.” He said this with obvious approval, since he sees the evolving EU as fulfilling his vision of a “common European home” stretching “from the Atlantic to the Urals,” as he described it in his 1987 book Perestroika. Mr. Gorbachev is a lifelong Communist.” “It is highly significant that a top-level Marxist-Leninist such as Mikhail Gorbachev could find such affinity with Western leaders about a “common European home” and then, 13 years later, approvingly note that that common home was moving ever closer to the Soviet model.” “Booker and North write that Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, known in Europe as “Mr. Socialist,” was responsible for convincing his fellow EU founding fathers that “the most effective way to disguise their project’s political purpose was to conceal it behind a pretense that it was concerned only with economic co-operation, based on dismantling trade barriers: a ‘common market.’”

Meanwhile, the vast and inflated EU bureaucracy puts its tentacles into regulating every conceivable subject in Europe in great detail, not just the percentage of fat in yoghurt. Beer drinkers in Germany were frothing at the mouth during the summer of 2005 over EU plans to make Bavarian barmaids cover up. The aim of the proposed EU directive was to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays. But the so-called “tan ban” was condemned as absurd by breweries, politicians — and the barmaids. It was eventually withdrawn. In Sweden, most clothes sold in shops contain labels with washing instructions. But the labels were viewed at the EU level as a hindrance to free trade, as it was prejudicial to foreign clothes sold in Sweden that don’t have the labels. A poll commissioned by the Swedish Consumer Agency showed that eight out of ten Swedes read the washing instructions before they wash new clothes, and six out of ten read them before they buy clothes.

These are examples of the more ridiculous or funny aspects of the EU machinery. But there is also a much more sinister side to it: The promotion of an official, “Eurabian” federal ideology promoting Multiculturalism, denouncing all those wanting to preserve their democracy at the nation state level as “xenophobes” and those wanting to limit Third World immigration as “racists.” A report from the EU’s racism watchdog said Europe must do more to combat racism and “Islamophobia.” New anti-discrimination laws to combat Islamophobia are to be enacted, as they already have been in Norway, where Norwegians need to mount proof of their own innocence if Muslim immigrants accuse them of discrimination in any form, including discriminatory speech. The EU also wants to promote an official lexicon shunning offensive and culturally insensitive terms such as “Islamic terrorism.”

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, after the ripples caused in early 2006 by the Muhammad cartoons published in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, travelled to the Middle East and made joint statements with Islamic leaders that “freedom of the press entails responsibility and discretion and should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions.” Solana said that he had discussed means to ensure that “religious symbols can be protected”. Such steps could materialize through various mechanisms, “and maybe inside the new human rights commission created in the UN”, he said. He held talks with Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of Al Azhar University, the highest seat of learning in Sunni Islam, and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. In a meeting with the leader of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Solana said that “I expressed our sincere regret that religious feelings have been hurt”, vowing “to reach out… to make sure that people’s hearts and minds are not hurt again.” Dutch daily De Telegraaf quoted the Dutch state secretary for European Affairs Atzo Nicolai as characterising the appeasing tone used by Mr Solana as “shocking.” Only a few years earlier, Mr. Solana, then Secretary General of NATO, in a speech stated that “the root cause of conflicts in Europe and beyond can be traced directly to the absence of democracy and openness. The absence of the pressure valve of democratic discourse can lead these societies to explode into violence.” The irony that he himself later was trying to curtail the democratic discourse in Europe through the promotion of Islamic censorship and speech codes apparently did not strike him.

Journalist Nidra Poller, commenting on the debate prior to the EU Constitution referendum in France, noted other incidents of this deliberate, submissive attitude among EU leaders towards Muslim demands. “The Euro-Mediterranean “Dialogue” is a masterpiece of abject surrender. The European Union functions therein as an intermediate stage of an ominous Eurabian project that calls for a meltdown of European culture and its recasting in a monumental paradise of cultural relativism… that closely resembles the Muslim oumma. Isn’t this a more accurate vision of what the Union is preparing for its docile citizens? When subversive appeasement hides behind the veil of “Dialogue,” what unspeakable ambitions might be dissembled by the noble word “Constitution”?”

Intelligent people have been warning against this development for years. British philosopher Roger Scruton, in books such a The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat and England and the Need for Nations, warns that: “We in Europe stand at a turning point in our history. Our parliaments and legal systems still have territorial sovereignty. They still correspond to historical patterns of settlement that have enabled the French, the Germans, the Spaniards, the British and the Italians to say ‘we’ and to know whom they mean by it. The opportunity remains to recuperate the legislative powers and the executive procedures that formed the nation states of Europe. At the same time, the process has been set in motion that would expropriate the remaining sovereignty of our parliaments and courts, that would annihilate the boundaries between our jurisdictions, that would dissolve the nationalities of Europe in a historically meaningless collectivity, united neither by language, nor by religion, nor by customs, nor by inherited sovereignty and law.” “The case against the nation state has not been properly made, and the case for the transnational alternative has not been made at all. I believe therefore that we are on the brink of decisions that could prove disastrous for Europe and for the world, and that we have only a few years in which to take stock of our inheritance and to reassume it.”

Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an admirer of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, has said that the EU enlargement with ten new member states, mostly former Communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, “increased the EU’s democratic deficit.” He warned that “The EU has continued – at an accelerated speed – to expand the number of pages of its legislation which now deals with almost every aspect of human life and human activities.” Mr Klaus also stressed that the nation-state “is an unsubstitutable guarantor of democracy (opposite to all kinds of ‘Reichs,’ empires and conglomerates of states).”

According to Vladimir Bukovksy, “the most likely outcome is that there will be an economic collapse in Europe, which in due time is bound to happen with this growth of expenses and taxes. The inability to create a competitive environment, the overregulation of the economy, the bureaucratisation, it is going to lead to economic collapse.” “I have no doubt about it. There will be a collapse of the European Union pretty much like the Soviet Union collapsed. But do not forget that when these things collapse they leave such devastation that it takes a generation to recover. Just think what will happen if it comes to an economic crisis. The recrimination between nations will be huge. It might come to blows. Look to the huge number of immigrants from Third World countries now living in Europe. This was promoted by the European Union. What will happen with them if there is an economic collapse? We will probably have, like in the Soviet Union at the end, so much ethnic strife that the mind boggles.” “I think that the European Union, like the Soviet Union, cannot be democratized. Gorbachev tried to democratize it and it blew up. This kind of structures cannot be democratized.”

Richard North writes that “If, against all the odds, the Constitution does go ahead, it would be like locking down the lid on a pressure cooker and sealing off the safety valve. The break-up might take a little longer, but it will be explosive when it comes.” In the book he co-authored with Christopher Booker, the authors conclude: “Behind the lofty ideals of supranationalism in short, evoking an image of Commissoners sitting like Plato’s Guardians, guiding the affairs of Europe on some rarefied plane far above the petty egotisms and rivalries of mere nation states, the project Monnet had set on its way was a vast, ramshackle, self-deluding monster: partly suffocating in its own bureaucracy; partly a corrupt racket, providing endless opportunities for individuals and collectives to outwit and exploit their fellow men; partly a mighty engine for promoting the national interests of those countries who knew how to ‘work the system’, among whom the Irish and the Spanish had done better than most, but of whom France was the unrivalled master. The one thing above all the project could never be, because by definition it had never been intended to be, was in the remotest sense democratic.” They believe this is why the EU is doomed and why it will “leave a terrible devastation behind it, a wasteland from which it would take many years for the peoples of Europe to emerge.”

I understand concerns that the destruction of the EU could cause “instability” in Europe. It will. But we will probably end up with some “instability” anyway, given the number of Muslims here that the EUrabians have helped in. Besides, if “stability” means a steady course towards Eurabia, I’ll take some instability any day. I can’t see that we have any choice. The truth is that Europe has got itself into a bad fix, again, and will have some turbulent and painful years and decades ahead regardless of what we do at this point. The choice is between some pain where Europe prevails and pain where Europe simply ceases to exist as a Western, cultural entity.

Some would hope that we could “reform” the EU, keep the “positive” aspects of it and not “throw out the baby with the bath water.” I beg to differ. I was naïve, too, once, and thought there were positive aspects to the EU. There aren’t, or not nearly enough to keep any of it.

The EU is all bath water, no baby.

Which is why, as Bukovksy says, “the sooner we finish with the EU the better. The sooner it collapses the less damage it will have done to us and to other countries. But we have to be quick because the Eurocrats are moving very fast. It will be difficult to defeat them. Today it is still simple. If one million people march on Brussels today these guys will run away to the Bahamas.”

The creation of Eurabia is the greatest act of treason in the history of Western civilization for two thousand years, since the age of Brutus and Judas. In Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy, Brutus and Judas Iscariot were placed in the harshest section of Hell, even below Muhammad. If Dante were alive today, he’d probably make some room for Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and his Eurabian cronies in the Hot Place. The EU elites see themselves as Julius Caesar or Octavian, but end up being Brutus. They want to recreate the Roman Empire on both sides of the Mediterranean, bound together by some vague references to a “shared Greek heritage.” Instead, they are creating a civilizational breakdown across much of Western Europe as the barbarians are overrunning the continent. The EU wants to recreate the Roman Empire and ends up creating the second fall of Rome.

Eurabia can only be derailed by destroying the organization that created it in the first place: The European Union.

Baron Bodissey | 6/05/2006 07:05:00 PM

Links to this post:
  Here is an article by Fjordman about how Bat Ye'or's concept of ...
Here is an article by Fjordman about how Bat Ye'or's concept of Eurabia came about. I got this from Pamela's blog "Atlas Shrugs." This is another story of France stabbing America in the back. The Eurabia Code, Part I ...
posted by James Williams @ 10/02/2006 12:44 AM
  The Eurabia Code, Part I
I decided to write this essay after a comment from a journalist, not a Leftist by my country’s standards, who dismissed Eurabia as merely a conspiracy theory, one on a par with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. ...
posted by @ 10/01/2006 11:25 AM
  Gallia Magna
This is from a long post on the Brussels Journal blog in which Fjordman outlines his view that France has long aimed at constructing 'Eurabia'. He admits that his thesis has a Da Vinci Code ring to it but he makes some good points and ...
posted by Prodicus @ 10/01/2006 5:58 AM
  Fjordman: The Eurabia Code, Part I
Here is the first of a multi-part series from the great European essayist Fjordman, in which he tests whether he can find any evidence of whether the thesis Bat Ye'or put forward in her book "Eurabia" is accurate. ...
posted by Robert @ 9/30/2006 2:06 PM
  Waiting for Churchill or Waiting for Godot?
The lastest "interfaith" UK poll indicates the rising concerns of the general population towards Islam. Similarly, various recent polls all seem to point to a growing awareness among normal European citizens about the current Islamic ...
posted by freedom @ 8/25/2006 9:34 AM
  Is the EU the culmination of a Marxist proto-5GW? You be the Judge…
Catching up on old articles… The Gates of Vienna had an article called: Why the EU Needs to be Destroyed, and Soon. The article hints of a Marxist Fifth Generation Warfare (5GW) or proto-5GW movement in Europe. The article states: ...
posted by purpleslog @ 8/07/2006 12:09 AM
  Traduction d'un article de Fjordman pour Gates of Vienna le 9 ...
Traduction d'un article de Fjordman pour Gates of Vienna le 9 Juillet 2006 L'Amiral Horatio Nelson a peut-être guidé la flotte Britannique vers une victoire célèbre à la Bataille de Trafalgar, mais il vient de faire face à un revers ...
posted by Infideles @ 7/30/2006 10:36 AM
  Fjordman: The Twin Myths of Eurabia
A new essay by the intrepid European observer Fjordman:. Bat Ye'or is the most informed contemporary scholar of the unique Islamic institution of dhimmitude, the repressive and humiliating apartheid system imposed upon those non-Muslims ...
posted by Robert @ 7/22/2006 7:45 AM
  “Let Them Eat Kebab” – The New Marie Antoinettes
Admiral Horatio Nelson may have guided the British naval fleet to a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, but he faced a far tougher foe during celebrations to mark its 200th anniversary. Organizers of a re-enactment of the sea ...
posted by @ 7/11/2006 4:08 PM
  “Let Them Eat Kebab” — The New Marie Antoinettes
The Fjordman Report The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna. Admiral Horatio Nelson may have guided the British naval fleet to a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, but he faced a far tougher foe ...
posted by Baron Bodissey @ 7/09/2006 10:58 PM
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Morgan said...
eek. dante's hell was cold.

6/05/2006 8:19 PM
Zerosumgame said...

How do you expect this overthrow of the EU to be accomplished, when they basically have total control over the military, the media, the arts, the universities and the lower schools? When they can (despite all their hypocritical screaming about Abu Ghraib and Haditha) probably use methods of espionage, intimidation, and even torture far beyond any American Administration could ever dream of using?

And if despite all this, some group manages to defeat all these obstacles and get rid of the EU, is it not likely to be another anti-Democratic group such as fascists or even neo-Nazis? A group dedicated to defeating the EU has to be pretty committed (i.e. - radical) in its own way to withstand the hardships of taking on such a totalitarian machine.

I don't exactly see your average center-left European as being up to the task.

6/05/2006 8:39 PM
al fin said...
Democracy only works when the citizens are strong enough to rule themselves. Europe has very few strong citizens left. Socialism saps the strength from the people leaving them incapable of living without the socialist state.

It looks like the EU is trying to acquire a critical mass of muslim immigrants to prevent the native population of Europe from re-seizing control over their own lives.

6/05/2006 8:58 PM
ScottSA said...
Somehow the Keltoi come to mind. Once so strong that they spanned Europe and sacked Rome itself, its sad remnants today hang on in Hibernia and the fringes of England and Brittany. I suspect the Europeans are heading for demise too, and will go silently lest they be accused of "racism" for daring to mention their own extinction.

6/05/2006 9:30 PM
Truth & Consequences said...
This is a very good article which confirms what I have known in broader terms for many years. Gorbachev always referred warmly to his idea of a "common European home" which I always understood to mean his vision of the EU as part of the Soviet Union.

The deliberate dismantling of the Berlin Wall was part of that strategy. It was actually a non-violent (at first) invasion of West Germany by the East.

As a consequence Germany has been effectively neutered as a buffer between Eastern and Western Europe--a goal specifically sought by the Soviet Union since NATO began. All the while ignorant U.S. politicians have declared themselves the winner and gone home. You have to admire the offensive's simple beauty. And the enemy (us in this case) becomes complicit in keeping it secret, for after all, what politician wants to admit that we didn't really win the cold war?

All U.S. politicians including those who want to believe Ronald Reagan "won" the Cold War, need to learn this lesson. It is NEVER that easy.

6/06/2006 12:54 AM
Papa Bear said...
al fin, re It looks like the EU is trying to acquire a critical mass of muslim immigrants to prevent the native population of Europe from re-seizing control over their own lives.

In order to rule, an unpopular regime needs a "thug class" to keep the population under control. The necessary attributes of the thug-class include:

- a propensity for violence. The primary necessary attribute of the thug class is that they be willing to commit violence in order to keep the general population in line

- a general inability/disinclination from conventional work.

- a complete alienation of the thugs from the general population. It's necessary for the thugs to not have divided loyalty, to not feel any sympathy or kinship towards the people they will be called upon to stomp

- some flaw that would prevent them from seizing power away from the ruling class. they must be manipulatable

In Europe, the immigrant Muslims may be prime candidates for the thug class

6/06/2006 9:12 AM
A. Eteraz said...
if i were european i'd hate the eu.

bunch of technocrats.

i left u a note baron on the cage post.

6/06/2006 10:19 AM
Voyager said...
The European Union has simply replaced the bilateral treaties of the past with multilateral treaties. It is designed to interlock nation states so as to make borders of secondary importance and permit high level delegated interference in each national state which would be impossible without war on a bilateral basis.

In doing so it has moved away from the world of the Versailles Conference of 1919 and its avowal of Self-Determination of peoples and back to the Congress of Vienna of 1815 and the objectives of countries like Russia and Austria-Hungary in making a World Safe FROM Democracy

6/06/2006 11:06 AM
Voyager said...
How do you expect this overthrow of the EU to be accomplished, when they basically have total control over the military

Germany stops paying...........France loses its hold over Germany...............both are inexorably taking place.

Chirac is toast with 17% support and Germany is paying 19% VAT from 2007 and losing jobs to the east subsidised with EU funds. Hartz IV is to be cut further to Hartz V.

It is hard to have your unemployment pay cut, your sales taxes increased, and your jobs moved to cheaper areas of Poland, just so you can pay the EU to store French wine and featherbed Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal

In Central Europe the Communists controlled a big military machine and Secret Police - it still crumbled in 1989

6/06/2006 11:11 AM
kepiblanc said...
Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but destroying the EU isn't that hard. I'm tempted to say : It will destroy itself. The military is no problem - just like everything the EUrocrats touch it will fail miserably. Those EUrocrats can't organize a trip to the john without getting lost or hammer a nail into a cowslip without destroying both.

From my point of view (Denmark) I see people all over Europe waking up and protest. We just can't take it anymore. Today's poll here shows that 69% of Danes demand a referendum if the politicians just carry on with the EU 'Constitution'. Actually, I hope they do : Any further talk about Turkey joining and the EU rigmarole is history....

6/06/2006 11:37 AM
Joshua said...
"The case against the nation state has not been properly made, and the case for the transnational alternative has not been made at all."

The case against the nation state is not one that can be reasoned against. It is a strange and noxious brew of transnational idealism and global interaction made second-nature by 21st-century technology. A reasoned defense of the desirability of the nation-state model doesn't stand a chance against a deep-seated or even institutionalized belief in the evilness of that model and/or the righteousness of One World United(TM), or against a perception that changing times and advancing technology have rendered that model obsolete.

When reasoned debate is not an option, it comes down to which side is most willing, able and prepared to fight for its position by any means necessary. So far in Europe, it's been a rout for the anti-nation-staters. Given European gun-control laws and policies (presumably meant for precisely this sort of scenario), unless Europe's various police and military forces join an anti-EU revolt (or at least decline to protect Brussels from a popular uprising) I don't see the tide turning in the foreseeable future.

6/06/2006 1:23 PM
Fjordman said...
I believe the CIA have predicted that the EU will fall apart within about ten years. They could turn out to be right about the EUSSR, although they missed the downfall of the USSR.......

6/06/2006 1:28 PM
Fellow Peacekeeper said...
The EU is still pretty toothless - neither EU police nor army.

Though there are efforts to create both : if there are no borders and criminals travel freely, how can local police cope? Of course borderlessness makes both EU internal police and external border guards necessary. (Think the murder of 2nd generation asian immigrant Jeshma Raithatha by a Latvian habitual criminal in the UK for an example of the first, and Spains and Italies boat people problems for the second). How can the EU have a strong common foreign policy if it cannot be enforced? Of course that demands muscle! EU army please.

Those are the real unacceptable red lines - common police that no longer answers to national powers and an army that pledges loyalty to Brussels first.

6/06/2006 2:15 PM
ScottG said...
I never trusted the idea of a "United Europe" for various undefined reasons, but one thing struck me as I was researching WWII propaganda re: the post war world. I came across some wartime advertisements from American companies saying how they were now focusing on the war, but wonderful things awaited the American consumer after the fighting. I wondered if the Germans did the same thing.

I found a few examples from German companies such as the German Ford dealers talking about the next generation of vehicles coming for the new Reich. I also read a piece by Goebbels talking about how the European Economic Community was going to operate post Axis victory. The European Economic Community, or the EEC, the forerunner to the EU! It seems that nothing has changed in Europe. So what's the difference in the EEC/EU being run by Hitler or a French/German combine? Nothing. Now I understand what a sinister idea the EU is.

When this false construct collapses, will Americans be required to send our best again to save Europe from its self murder? I know of many in the blogosphere who shout No! Me? I'm too old to go, but will my children be forced to sacrifice for Europe? I hope nothing like this happens, however, with the lack of border controls in Europe and the arrogance shown by the EU "leaders" it appears something violent may be on the horizon.

6/06/2006 7:18 PM
Scott said...
I think Voyager pretty much nails it. The ECSC began as French effort to control Germany and it worked fine for several decades.

DeGaulle vetoed British membership to prevent too much Anglo-Saxon influence and had the EC remained just the 'core group' it might have
worked. But not now. Its expansion has alienated the French from it and Germany can no longer finance the endeavor.

The EU has reached too far and its
greatest achievement, the Euro, instead of being the symbol of unity has underscored the problems of too much integration of what are still local economies. German officials speak gloomily of the costs of the Euro. Italians too are made slaves to its rigidities.
It puts one in mind William Jennings Bryants famous 'Cross of Gold" speech.

No, I think time is running out on the EU project. That is not to say that all will wither away rather it will simply revert to what it was originally sold as a Common Market.

6/06/2006 8:01 PM
Karensky said...
Boy oh boy do you folks have very important problem to deal with. As a first off, from an American perspective any constitution more than a few pages is a scam. The US constitution is three pages, later ammended, while yours is 800+ and growing. Just who is doing what to whom for what purpose here?
Second off knowing your Euro-elits from my perspective they are playing a nasty game by using the Islamos as a foil to the peasants. It boils down to this, if you don't like the way I design your life you will end up dealing with the Islamonazis or buckling under to my thinking into how you should agree with me as to how I desire you to live your life according to my enlightened view.

6/06/2006 8:52 PM
John Sobieski said...
Like so many evil institutions, the EU started out small with a limited agends (treaties for trade, commerce) and became a monster. Slay the dragon, but no one cares among the population it seems.

6/06/2006 9:07 PM
ik said...
Excellent article by Fjordman as usual,

"Sweden has for instance in reality ceased being a democratic country, in my view."

Soft vs. Hard totalitarianisms
USSR/ PRC were/are hard totalitarianisms - people living inside all know that the entire system is built on lies and work around it - but overthrowing the system is very hard and bloody

In a soft totalitarian system - majority of people living do not know because of media control/manufacturing consent ;) - but once there is awareness overthrowing the system is not so difficult

Example gedanken - if you meet 100 Swedes outside Sweden today and 100 Russians from the Soviet Union (assuming it was still around) - how many of the Swedes agree that they are living in a system built on lies/ and how many of the Soviet visitors would agree that their system is a totalitarian system? - I bet you that most of the Russians would agree right away and most of the Swedes would argue back saying you are paranoid/extremist/blah/blah

We face the exact same problem in India, the most difficult problem in a soft Totalitarian system is convincing people that they are living in a system where the elites/dacha dwellers have hijacked the system and are controlling the media to prevent the truth from being outed. This system has continued for decades - sorry to be pessimistic but EU will continue much longer because they will make sure that they do not lose media control. The other way would be economic collapse _followed_ by EU collapse. The only way I can see is to regain control of the media.

6/07/2006 2:22 AM
Fjordman said...
Ik: Maybe I'm engaged in wishful thinking and being too optimistic, but I think the internal problems of the EU are now so big that this alone could make the whole thing crumble. Economists have warned in public that the Euro could collapse within a decade. Besides, almost 70% of the people in the Netherlands, one of the founding members of the EU, are against the awful Constitution. Yes, I know, the elites will ignore it, but it shows that the old brainwashing trick isn't working quite as well as it used to. You can fool people for some time, but you can't fool everybody all of the time. People see that Multiculturalism isn't working, despite the propaganda. Notice, too, the number of Germans who dislike Islam. The welfare state system in several countries, notably France and Sweden, is now so weighed down by Muslim immigrants that it, too, could collapse within a decade.

The short version is: The problems are now becoming too big to hide. The EU and our national Multicultural elites thus have the choice between shifting from soft totalitarianism to hard totalitarianism or watch the whole thing will crumble. Maybe it will crumble anyway.

By the way: May I have your permission to "borrow" some of your comment for a later essay about the revenge of Marxism after the Cold War?

6/07/2006 10:56 AM
ik said...
go right ahead - use any of my comments from the past/present/future.

6/08/2006 2:58 AM
Phibius said...
What have y'all been smoking? EU collapse? We're just about to jack up the euro zone interest rate another 0.25% or 0.5% - I boarded a plane in Stuttgart the other day to find the business class section stretching half way down the fuselage - not exactly a harbinger of recession.

As for the whole Islam thing - yes, we've had a couple of riots, a few bombings. Big deal - compared with, say, road safety, this is a small problem. The muslims I know are busy coding java or giving aneasthetics, and go to mosques where the sermon is about as exciting as the average christian equivalent. This whole Chicken Little bit is just like the 19th century fuss over Irish emigration to the UK - funny Catholic belief system, big families, a slight tendency to plant the odd bomb. Fast forward a century, and the Irish are doctors, banks, developers, cabinet members.

Look, if you think the situation is so dire, why not visit? See where porches get born, in Stuttgart. Do the parapente in the Alps. Have a beer in a real Irish pub. Go for a stroll in the City of London.
And stop worrying.

6/08/2006 6:02 AM
Phibius said...
" Italians too are made slaves to its rigidities."

This is so funny I might actually forward it to some Italian friends. Have you any idea how much red tape they have tied themselves in? Unbelievable! No you don't, because you've not lived there - which I have. Thanks to the EU, I didn't need to worry about visas, and my company didn't need to worry about tedious export controls.

Italy is still Italy: it is just a lot easier for us to visit each other and work together.

6/08/2006 6:06 AM
Phibius said...
Oh, and other thing... let's see how far your team get against the "soft socialists" in Germany over the next few weeks :-).

Actually, you might do quite well - a lot higher on the FIFA rankings than you used to be.

6/08/2006 6:08 AM
Archonix said...
Phibius, try starting your own business some time, then you'll find out just how the EU is slowly destroying the countries that are its members. An economy is driven by small businesses, not large ones, and the amount of red tape generated by the EU is driving thousands of small companies out of business.

All the so-called benefits of the EU can be achieved with a simple free trade zone abd bilateral treaties. We don't need the toy parliament or the comissions, we don't need the councils of europe, we don't need europol or the european defence agency, nor the cap, nor gallileo, nor the Euro. We don't need any of those just to pop across the channel and buy some wine, or get on a plane to visit italy. All that needs is a trade agreement, which is the exact opposite of the EU.

6/08/2006 8:11 AM
Baron Bodissey said...

Fjordman may show up here to speak for himself, but you should know that this post was written by a European, a Norwegian who knows a lot about Europe, from the inside.

6/08/2006 8:45 AM
Fjordman said...
Phibus: Yes, I believe it is fully possible that the EU will fall apart during the coming decade. I certainly hope that will be the case, but I do think it can happen, yes.

Phibus: As for the whole Islam thing - yes, we've had a couple of riots, a few bombings. Big deal - compared with, say, road safety, this is a small problem. This whole Chicken Little bit is just like the 19th century fuss over Irish emigration to the UK

To compare the rapid Islamization of Europe, the largest change this continent has experienced in a thousand years, with the Irish is so ridiculous that I find it hard to take seriously. And - finally - tens of milions of Europeans now seem to agree with me:

Germans Negative on Islam, Poll Shows

In spite of official attempts to promote dialog among religions, distrust of Islam continues to grow, with 60 percent of Germans expecting tension between traditional German society and immigrants from Muslim countries, according to an Allensbach study commissioned by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Islam Incompatible with Europe, Say Dutch

A new poll in the Netherlands shows that 63% of Dutch adults believe Islam is incompatible with modern European life.

6/08/2006 1:57 PM
Russet Shadows said...
Out of dream for empire, the states of Europe abandoned their money, their heritage, their language, and their money. It is no small irony that they accuse the United States of doing what they themselves are doing! The old desires for empire have led to a new class of slaves and masters, and the press whitewashes the events in service of puerile anti-Americanism. The only hope for Europe lies in those countries who have recently experienced oppression and love their freedom more than federated slavery.

6/08/2006 10:03 PM
David Ben-Ariel said...
This post has been removed by the author.

6/09/2006 4:51 PM
David Ben-Ariel said...
"In a speech he delivered in Brussels, Belgium, Mr Bukovsky called the EU a “monster” that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a fully-fledged totalitarian state."

Germany is the Head of the Monster.

Germany Behind the Mask: Monster or Marshmallow?

"So long as we wear the mask, we remain hidden and continue to conceal the situation from ourselves.”

6/09/2006 5:31 PM
Rik said...
The stupid thing is: if only there was a federal state! Then at least we could - in theory - have something like American federalism. The present EU is working more towards a one-size-fits-all (a sort of Kingdom of Europa). Add to that Flemming Rose's argument about the historically grown cultural identities (as opposed to the political one in the US), and you have a disaster in the making.

6/10/2006 11:53 AM
Joern said...
Very interesting aspects and proposals.

If I imagine that the Euro partly floats in Middle East oil and the Eurabia perspective is a the other
part of an agreement made by the European elite, I could as well imagine that the American presence
in the Middle East might prevent
things in my naive imagination to
come to reality....when the Euro show it self not to be any civil weapon against globalization or against instability and certainly is not suited to serve all the nations at the same time.


Perhaps even if you do not like my profession or you have got so used to think in your own humaniora-way you will have to preserve honest international trade (in more than a theoretical way):

This means we have to have a new
international monetary system to take the place of the old one that broke down in August 1971:

Gold? - Oh no, please take good care, take very good care, indeed!

Another proposal:

If I again imagine that the international competition remains
even though reality outdo ideology
something has to be done:

From Ideology to reality -
or an example of International Competition and Welfare without Ideology:

A proposal:

The best
Joern E. Vig

6/11/2006 12:57 PM
Jens Nielsen said...
I have not maintained that European-Arabic Dialog from the 1970s describes what might come into the relation between EU and the Arabic world.

I actually recognize an euro that have to float in oil, and euro in the end just with limited administrative ruling. The so-called hard euro was abolished about 1995, and first of all, it is not wanted by the European elite.

European-Arabic Dialog:
(in Danish)

is understood if there is a payment the other way too. That is
generally politics in lager relations.
This payment the other way has been described in Danish in:

If it cried out too loud and you supplement with your phantasy and belief of this and that, our most
severe opponents will get a long needed help to their arguments, and they should not, but you need to know.
The shouting out will hit least 75 p.c. wrong. Geopolicy often have 3-4 contributory factors. That is the reason why you do not read in the mainstream media about this part of the agreement in either Europe or USA.

That the European leaders managed to secure the course of the euro
while they also secured mass-unemployment, colossal stat-debt and continuing decits without any perspective of any major changes reorganization or renewal for the European have to find an explanation.

I don't know if I imagine an axis EU-Arabia and another axis USA-Europe.

Geopolitiske skaktræk foretages kun, når flere, typisk 3-4, oplagte begrundelser foreligger. Det viser historien. Desuden har USA ikke nægtet Euro-valutaen en chance. At de europæiske ledere valgte at holde den oppe på oliehandelen og ikke på et velfungerende Europa med høj beskæftigelse – TVÆRTIMOD! - bliver det Euro, der fører direkte til ustabiliteten m.v. sammen masseindvandringen, hvor det altså ikke går an at holde på de tyske og de franske ledere, der synes at sælge alt for deres nymerkantilistiske drømme til højestbydende og blæser på de fremtidige europæiske generationer.

The best

6/12/2006 2:42 AM
Andrew said...
The Muslims will ruin Europe as they did Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. They will make everything according to the Koran. They will make Christians second class citizens.

How do I know? I am a Copt who has been forced out of Egypt because of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The European Union is a bunch of Liberal people who want to throw away their whole heritage. They must put a ceiling on how many Muslims enter the nation. Otherwise the European race will be wiped out like the Coptic race almost was and Muslims will rule Europe.

I don't know how but something must be done. The people of Europe clearly don't have a say in what is going on. They are blind to the truth and their backs are to the people of European descent.

God desiganted Europe for the land of Japheth. Europeans should rule Europe not Muslims. That is why those betrayed brave Christian Europeans stood on the hills of Tours and Poitiers to beat back the Muslim invaders.

8/09/2006 1:42 PM

    August 20, 2006

Shifting Sands - And Now, Islamism Trumps Arabism



SHE grew up in Cairo with the privileges that go to the daughter of a military officer, attended a university and landed a job in marketing. He grew up in a poor village of dusty unpaved roads, where young men work long hours in a brick factory while dreaming of getting a government job that would pay $90 a month.

But Jihan Mahmoud, 24, from the middle-class neighborhood of Heliopolis, and Madah Ali Muhammad, 23, from a village in the Nile Delta, have come to the exact same conclusion about what they and their country need: a strong Islamic political movement. “I have more faith in Islam than in my state; I have more faith in Allah than in Hosni Mubarak,” Ms. Mahmoud said, referring to the president of Egypt. “That is why I am proud to be a Muslim.”

The war in Lebanon, and the widespread conviction among Arabs that Hezbollah won that war by bloodying Israel, has fostered and validated those kinds of feelings across Egypt and the region. In interviews on streets and in newspaper commentaries circulated around the Middle East, the prevailing view is that where Arab nations failed to stand up to Israel and the United States, an Islamic movement succeeded. “The victory that Hezbollah achieved in Lebanon will have earthshaking regional consequences that will have an impact much beyond the borders of Lebanon itself,” Yasser Abuhilalah of Al Ghad, a Jordanian daily, wrote in Tuesday’s issue. “The resistance celebrates the victory,” read the front-page headline in Al Wafd, an opposition daily in Egypt.

Hezbollah’s perceived triumph has propelled, and been propelled by, a wave already washing over the region. Political Islam was widely seen as the antidote to the failures of Arab nationalism, Communism, socialism and, most recently, what is seen as the false promise of American-style democracy. It was that wave that helped the banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood win 88 seats in Egypt’s Parliament last December despite the government’s violent efforts to stop voters from getting to the polls. It was that wave that swept Hamas into power in the Palestinian government in January, shocking Hamas itself.

“We need an umbrella,” said Mona Mahmoud, 40, Jihan’s older sister. “In the 60’s, Arabism was the umbrella. We had a cause. Now we lack an umbrella. We feel lost in space. We need to be affiliated to something. Usually in our part of the world, because of what religion means to us, we immediately resort to it.”

The lesson learned by many Arabs from the war in Lebanon is that an Islamic movement, in this case Hezbollah, restored dignity and honor to a bruised and battered identity. People in Egypt still talk painfully about the loss to Israel in 1967, a loss that was the beginning of the end of pan-Arabism as an ideology to unite the region and define its people.

Hezbollah’s perceived victory has highlighted, and to many people here validated, the rise of another unifying ideology, a kind of Arab-Islamic nationalism. On the street it has even seemed to erase divisions between Islamic sects, like Sunni and Shiite. At the moment, the Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, is widely viewed as a pan-Arab Islamic hero.

“The losers are going to be the Arab regimes, U.S.A. and Israel,” said Dr. Fares Braizat of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. “The secular resistance movements are gone. Now there are the Islamists coming in. So the new nationalism is going to be religious nationalism, and one of the main reasons is dignity. People want their dignity back.”

The terms Islamic nationalism and pan-Islamism have a negative connotation in the West, where they are associated with fundamentalism and terrorism. But that is increasingly not the case in Egypt. Under the dual pressures of foreign military attacks in the region and a government widely viewed as corrupt and illegitimate, Islamic groups are seen by many people as incorruptible, disciplined, efficient and caring. A victory for Hezbollah in Lebanon is by extension a victory for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

“People will say Hezbollah achieved a very good thing, so why should we mistrust the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Hassan Naffa, a professor of political science at Cairo University.

There is a wide diversity of views and agendas under the pan-Islamic-Arab umbrella. But as is often the case in politically aligned movements, those differences are easily papered over when that movement is in the opposition. “Hezbollah is a resistance movement that has given us a solution,” said Yomana Samaha, a radio talk-show host in Cairo who identified herself as secular and a supporter of separating religion and government. But when asked if she would vote for a Muslim Brotherhood candidate in Egypt, she said “Yeah, why not?”

It was an answer she seemed reluctant — but relieved — to state. “If they have a solution,” she repeated, “why not?” A solution to what? “Loss of dignity,” said Mona Mahmoud, who is her friend.

Concepts of individual and collective identity are fluid here. During the British occupation of Egypt, a rise in Egyptian nationalism helped lead to independence in the early 1900’s. After the revolution of 1952, Gamal Abdel Nasser led the country and the region to seek unity under the banner of Arabism. That was a theme trumpeted by leaders from Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya to Hafez al-Assad in Syria to Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

But according to many political scientists and intellectuals, the glue of pan-Arabism began to weaken in Egypt after defeat in the Arab-Israel War of 1967, a decline that quickened through the 1970’s and into the 1980’s. “People think that this defeat was a punishment from God because we drifted far from the teachings of Islam,” said Gamal Badawi, an Egyptian historian.

Since then there has been a steady and visible change in many Egyptians’ relationship to political Islam. It is not that Egyptians are suddenly more religious, political analysts said. This has always been a religious country. It is that they are more apt to define themselves by their faith. On the streets, that is most evident in the number of women — an overwhelming majority — who cover their heads with Islamic headscarves, a sign not just of individual conviction but also of peer pressure.

“The failure of pan-Arabism, the lack of democracy, and corruption — this drives people to an extent of despair where they start to find the solution in religion,” said Gamal el-Ghitany, editor of Akhbar al-Adab, a literary magazine distributed in Egypt. Echoing that view, Diaa Rashwan, an expert in Islamic movements and analyst with the government-financed Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, said, “People have come to identify themselves more as Muslims during the last five years in response to the U.S.-led ‘war on terrorism’ which Egyptians frequently feel is a discriminatory campaign targeting Muslims and Islam worldwide.”

But it is not just outside pressures that have pressed so many people of this nation, and this region, toward that view. The events that helped shape Mr. Muhammad’s world view from his Delta village illustrate the way the government of Egypt also plays a role. Last December Mr. Muhammad’s uncle, Mustafa Abdel Salam, 61, was shot in the head and killed by the Egyptian police as he was going to pray at a mosque, according to witnesses, including Mr. Muhammad and other villagers. The killing occurred on the last day of voting in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, a months-long process that was marred by police officers who were ordered to block voters from getting to the polls in many districts. The government grew concerned after candidates affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood began winning in record numbers. While the brotherhood is banned, candidates affiliated with the organization ran as independents.

The government says that the police did not fire live ammunition at citizens, but many people were killed and doctors and witnesses — including Western diplomats — said that the police did fire live rounds into people trying to vote. After the election was over and Mr. Abdel Salam was buried, the brotherhood-affiliated candidate visited the family to offer his condolences and help. The winning candidate, from the governing National Democratic Party, did not visit. Mr. Muhammad said that the whole experience strengthened his conviction that “Islam is the solution” — a phrase that is the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood. “Our voice is not heard,” said Mr. Muhammad. “It is only the authorities who have a say. The smallest thing, like we go to vote, and we get beaten. So I will hold on to my religion, and that’s it.”

Mona el-Naggar contributed reporting from Egypt for this article, and Souad Mekhennet from Amman, Jordan.

    September 19, 2006

It’s Muslim Boy Meets Girl, Yes, but Please Don’t Call It Dating

CHICAGO — So here’s the thing about speed dating for Muslims.

Many American Muslims — or at least those bent on maintaining certain conservative traditions — equate anything labeled “dating” with hellfire, no matter how short a time is involved. Hence the wildly popular speed dating sessions at the largest annual Muslim conference in North America were given an entirely more respectable label. They were called the “matrimonial banquet.”

“If we called it speed dating, it will end up with real dating,” said Shamshad Hussain, one of the organizers, grimacing.

Both the banquet earlier this month and various related seminars underscored the difficulty that some American Muslim families face in grappling with an issue on which many prefer not to assimilate. One seminar, called “Dating,” promised attendees helpful hints for “Muslim families struggling to save their children from it.”

The couple of hundred people attending the dating seminar burst out laughing when Imam Muhamed Magid of the Adams Center, a collective of seven mosques in Virginia, summed up the basic instructions that Muslim American parents give their adolescent children, particularly males: “Don’t talk to the Muslim girls, ever, but you are going to marry them. As for the non-Muslim girls, talk to them, but don’t ever bring one home.”

“These kids grew up in America, where the social norm is that it is O.K. to date, that it is O.K. to have sex before marriage,” Imam Magid said in an interview. “So the kids are caught between the ideal of their parents and the openness of the culture on this issue.”

The questions raised at the seminar reflected just how pained many American Muslims are by the subject. One middle-aged man wondered if there was anything he could do now that his 32-year-old son had declared his intention of marrying a (shudder) Roman Catholic. A young man asked what might be considered going too far when courting a Muslim woman.

Panelists warned that even seemingly innocuous e-mail exchanges or online dating could topple one off the Islamic path if one lacked vigilance. “All of these are traps of the Devil to pull us in and we have no idea we are even going that way,” said Ameena Jandali, the moderator of the dating seminar.

Hence the need to come up with acceptable alternatives in North America, particularly for families from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, where there is a long tradition of arranged marriages.

One panelist, Yasmeen Qadri, suggested that Muslim mothers across the continent band together in an organization called “Mothers Against Dating,” modeled on Mothers Against Drunk Driving. If the term “arranged marriage” is too distasteful to the next generation, she said, then perhaps the practice could be Americanized simply by renaming it “assisted marriage,” just like assisted living for the elderly.

“In the United States we can play with words however we want, but we are not trying to set aside our cultural values,” said Mrs. Qadri, a professor of education.

Basically, for conservative Muslims, dating is a euphemism for premarital sex. Anyone who partakes risks being considered morally louche, with their marriage prospects dimming accordingly, particularly young women.

Mrs. Qadri and other panelists see a kind of hybrid version emerging in the United States, where the young do choose their own mates, but the parents are at least partly involved in the process in something like half the cases.

Having the families involved can help reduce the divorce rate, Imam Majid said, citing a recent informal study that indicated that one third of Muslim marriages in the United States end in divorce. It was still far too high, he noted, but lower than the overall American average. Intermarriages outside Islam occur, but remain relatively rare, he said.

Scores of parents showed up at the marriage banquet to chaperone their children. Many had gone through arranged marriages — meeting the bride or groom chosen by their parents sometimes as late as their wedding day and hoping for the best. They recognize that the tradition is untenable in the United States, but still want to influence the process.

The banquet is considered one preferable alternative to going online, although that too is becoming more common. The event was unquestionably one of the big draws at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention, which attracted thousands of Muslims to Chicago over Labor Day weekend, with many participants bemoaning the relatively small pool of eligible candidates even in large cities.

There were two banquets, with a maximum 150 men and 150 women participating each day for $55 apiece. They sat 10 per table and the men rotated every seven minutes.

At the end there was an hourlong social hour that allowed participants time to collect e-mail addresses and telephone numbers over a pasta dinner with sodas. (Given the Muslim ban on alcohol, no one could soothe jumpy nerves with a drink.) Organizers said many of the women still asked men to approach their families first. Some families accept that the couple can then meet in public, some do not.

A few years ago the organizers were forced to establish a limit of one parent per participant and bar them from the tables until the social hour because so many interfered. Parents are now corralled along one edge of the reception hall, where they alternate between craning their necks to see who their adult children are meeting or horse-trading bios, photographs and telephone numbers among themselves.

Talking to the mothers — and participants with a parent usually take a mother — is like surveying members of the varsity suddenly confined to the bleachers.

“To know someone for seven minutes is not enough,” scoffed Awila Siddique, 46, convinced she was making better contacts via the other mothers.

Mrs. Siddique said her shy, 20-year-old daughter spent the hours leading up to the banquet crying that her father was forcing her to do something weird. “Back home in Pakistan, the families meet first,’’ she said. “You are not marrying the guy only, but his whole family.”

Samia Abbas, 59 and originally from Alexandria, Egypt, bustled out to the tables as soon as social hour was called to see whom her daughter Alia, 29, had met.

“I’m her mother so of course I’m looking for her husband,” said Mrs. Abbas, ticking off the qualities she was looking for, including a good heart, handsome, as highly educated as her daughter and a good Muslim.

Did he have to be Egyptian?

“She’s desperate for anyone!” laughed Alia, a vivacious technology manager for a New York firm, noting that the “Made in Egypt” stipulation had long since been cast overboard.

“Her cousin who is younger has babies now!” exclaimed the mother, dialing relatives on her cellphone to handicap potential candidates.

For doubters, organizers produced a success story, a strikingly good-looking pair of Chicago doctors who met at the banquet two years ago. Organizers boast of at least 25 marriages over the past six years.

Fatima Alim, 50, was disappointed when her son Suehaib, a 26-year-old pharmacist, did not meet anyone special on the first day. They had flown up from Houston especially for the event, and she figured chances were 50-50 that he would find a bride.

When she arrived in Texas as a 23-year-old in an arranged marriage, Mrs. Alim envied the girls around her, enthralled by their discussions about all the fun they were having with their boyfriends, she said, even if she was eventually shocked to learn how quickly they moved from one to the next and how easily they divorced. Still, she was determined that her children would chose their own spouses.

“We want a good, moderate Muslim girl, not a very, very modern girl,” she said. “The family values are the one thing I like better back home. Divorces are high here because of the corruption, the intermingling with other men and other women.”

For his part, Mr. Alim was resisting the strong suggestion from his parents that they switch tactics and start looking for a nice girl back in Pakistan. Many of the participants reject that approach, describing themselves as too Americanized — plus the visas required are far harder to obtain in the post-Sept. 11 world.

Mr. Alim said he still believed what he had been taught as a child, that sex outside marriage was among the gravest sins, but he wants to marry a fellow American Muslim no matter how hard she is to find.

“I think I can hold out a couple more years,” he said in his soft Texas drawl with a boyish smile. “The sooner the better, but I think I can wait. By 30, hopefully, even if that is kind of late.”

Magazine    April 29, 2007

Islamic Democrats?
Correction Appended

At 2 in the morning, a few days after I arrived in Cairo last month, a text message beeped into my cellphone: “Mahmoud Ghozlan, MB Guide Bureau, is being arrested NOW.” Ghozlan was only the latest prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that commands deep loyalty in Egypt, to be hauled off by the dawn visitors of President Hosni Mubarak’s security apparatus. In recent months, leaders of the organization, businessmen thought to be financial backers and other members of the brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau have been arrested on a variety of charges. Forty members of the group have been indicted under Egypt’s emergency laws and put under the jurisdiction of a military tribunal, which is likely to give them long jail sentences.

The arrest and imprisonment of political opponents is nothing new in Egypt, which has been ruled by a succession of authoritarian leaders since 1952; secular democrats are in jail along with the Islamists. Egypt is generally rated as one of the more repressive countries in the world’s most repressive region. But two years ago, responding in part to White House pressure, the regime of President Hosni Mubarak allowed parliamentary elections to take place under conditions of unprecedented political freedom — at least initially. And the brotherhood, though a banned organization that had to run candidates as independents, dominated the contest until the government cracked down in later rounds of voting. The organization still took 88 of the 454 seats in Egypt’s lower house, the People’s Assembly, becoming, in effect, the first opposition party of Egypt’s modern era.

But it is not simply numbers that make the brotherhood a threat from the regime’s point of view. While Mubarak and his allies regularly denounce the brothers as fundamentalists bent on turning Egypt into a theocracy, the new legislators have made common cause with judges, liberal intellectuals and secular activists in calling for increased political freedom. They have steered clear of cultural or religious issues. Abdel Monem Abou el-Fotouh, one of Ghozlan’s colleagues on the Guidance Bureau, said to me flatly, “We are not a religious body.” Only one of his 15 fellow guides, he said, is a sheik, or religious authority — “and even he is political.” While many secular critics fear that the brotherhood harbors a hidden Islamist agenda, so far the organization has posed a democratic political challenge to the regime, not a theological one; and that makes it all the more dangerous.

In his 2005 Inaugural Address, President Bush traced out the logic of a new, post-9/11 American foreign policy. “For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny,” he declared, violence “will gather . . . and cross the most defended borders” — i.e., our own. Therefore, he announced, “it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” Thus was born the Freedom Agenda; and Egypt occupied the bull’s-eye on this new target. Egypt was an authoritarian state that had supplied much of the leadership of Al Qaeda. It is also the largest nation in the Arab world and, historically, the center of the region’s political and cultural life. Progress in Egypt’s sclerotic political system would resonate all over the Islamic world. The nearly $2 billion a year in military and economic aid that the U.S. had been providing since the Camp David accords in 1979 offered real leverage. And Egypt’s early experience of democratic government (from 1922 to 1952), mostly under British occupation, and its lively community of democratic and human rights activists gave political reform a firmer foundation than it had elsewhere in the Arab world.

As it happened, presidential and parliamentary elections were scheduled for 2005. Not long after his inaugural address, President Bush called Mubarak to urge him to allow independent monitors to oversee the elections and to loose the asphyxiating controls on political activity and the press. For his part, Mubarak needed to respond not only to Washington but also to a rising tide of domestic dissent — and to the continued enfeeblement of his own National Democratic Party, which performed badly in legislative elections five years earlier. He agreed to hold Egypt’s first contested presidential elections and to permit unprecedented, if carefully circumscribed, political freedom. The U.S. Agency for International Development, which in years past had allowed the regime to control the hundreds of millions of dollars it spent in Egypt, earmarked $50 million for democracy and governance; much of the money went to the training of political party activists and election monitors.

The Muslim Brotherhood was not at that time a major force in national electoral politics. Since its founding in 1928, the brotherhood had sunk deep roots in the country’s urban working and middle classes, and especially among the professions, establishing a powerful base in the “syndicates” that represent doctors, lawyers, journalists and others. The organization began dipping its toes in the water of parliamentary electioneering in the mid-’80s; in 2000 it gained 17 seats. But the group responded to the new climate of openness by fielding a much larger slate of candidates for the 2005 elections — 160 in all. Candidates from old-line Nasserist and left-wing parties ran as well.

After decades of quiet organizing, the Islamists proved to be far more popular, and more disciplined, than the isolated leaders of Mubarak’s ruling party expected. In the first of three rounds of voting, the brothers won so many seats that the regime grew alarmed. In the second round, the police restricted access to polling areas in brotherhood strongholds; the Islamists still won most of the seats they sought. In the third round, the regime pulled out all the stops: despite the presence of hundreds of American-trained election monitors, security forces beat up and arrested opposition activists and shut down voting booths. In the end, election violence would claim 14 lives. Video footage showed old women in head scarves and veils scaling ladders to reach polling places — this in a country notorious for dismal turnout. The regime had feared a surge of support for secular opposition forces like Ghad, a new party founded by Ayman Nour, a charismatic figure who also opposed Mubarak in the presidential race, or Tagammu, the traditional party of the left. These were the groups that the Bush administration’s democracy agenda was designed to promote. But they proved to have relatively little national following; few voters risked arrest to cast a ballot in their behalf.

The brotherhood quickly proved that it was not only popular, but savvy. The leaders understood that it was not in their interests to provoke a confrontation with the regime and its hair-trigger security forces. They fielded candidates in only a fraction of the districts they could have won. According to Joshua Stacher, an American scholar of Egyptian politics who lives in Cairo, a brotherhood politician who projected winning 17 seats in his governorate was instructed by his superior to come back with a smaller number. Only when he whittled the figure to seven was he told to go ahead. The brotherhood won six of the seats. Stacher also notes that when the brotherhood held a press conference (which he attended) four days after the election to introduce their new legislators, a reporter asked Muhammad Akef, the “supreme guide,” if they would be prepared to talk to the Americans. And Akef answered, “Yes, but they should forward the request to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.” He was saying both that the brotherhood was open to dialogue and that it had nothing to hide from the regime.

The brotherhood bloc took Parliament a great deal more seriously than the ruling party did. The entire 88-person contingent moved into a hotel in Cairo in order to be able to work and live together while the People’s Assembly was in session. Merely showing up changed the dynamic of this torpid body, since N.D.P. lawmakers had to attend as well lest they be outvoted. The brothers formed a “parliamentary kitchen” with committees on various subjects; the committees, in turn, organized seminars to which outside experts were regularly invited. The Islamists formed a coalition with other opposition legislators, and with sympathetic members of the N.D.P., to protest the extension of emergency rule. They stood in solidarity with judges who were protesting growing infringements on their autonomy; hundreds of protesters, including some of the brotherhood’s major figures, were arrested during several weeks of demonstrations in central Cairo. In an article in the journal Middle East Report, Joshua Stacher and Samer Shehata, a professor at Georgetown, concluded, “Brotherhood M.P.’s are attempting to transform the Egyptian parliament into a real legislative body, as well as an institution that represents citizens and a mechanism that keeps government accountable.”

Many members of Egypt’s secular opposition remain deeply skeptical of the brotherhood, which they see as the regime’s silent ally in blocking their hopes for an open, pluralist society. Egypt’s ruling elite has, in turn, traditionally worried far more about the secular opposition than about the Islamists. Anwar el-Sadat, the president from 1970 to his assassination in 1981, made peace with religious forces by initiating a thoroughgoing Islamization of Egyptian society. Sadat rewrote the educational curriculum along religious lines and amended Article 2 of Egypt’s extremely progressive constitution to stipulate that Shariah — Islamic law — was the “main source” of the nation’s laws. Mubarak, who was Sadat’s vice president, continued this practice. Some secularists fear that the brotherhood, perhaps in collaboration with the military, would establish an authoritarian theocracy. “I have no doubt that they would implement Shariah if they ever came to power,” says Hisham Kassem, a leading publisher in the progressive media. “I see them as a menace.”

But opinions are shifting. After holding a symposium on free speech, Negad al-Borai, a democracy activist and human rights lawyer, says that he received an emissary from the supreme guide. “He came and said: ‘We accept everything in your initiative as a beginning to the democratic process. The only thing we ask is that if issues arise where we wish to state our opposition according to our own views, we can have our own voice.’ ” Al-Borai readily agreed, and the brotherhood endorsed untrammeled free speech. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the Egyptian dissident most widely known in the West, says that the performance of the brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc over the last year has allayed his own concerns. The regime, he says, is brandishing the Islamist threat in order “to scare the foreigners and the middle class and the Copts” Egypt’s ancient Christian minority, who fear being treated as “nonbelievers.”

Indeed, since the 2005 election and the brotherhood’s subsequent performance, the regime has turned the full force of its repressive energies on it. Last April and May, when brotherhood members demonstrated in solidarity with Egypt’s judges, who had been seeking greater autonomy, security forces waded in, arresting hundreds of the brothers. The campaign of arrests resumed earlier this year, aiming at leading figures like Mahmoud Ghozlan, the Guidance Bureau member, as well as financiers; the government has frozen assets of brotherhood supporters said to amount to $2 billion. And there could be no mistaking the intent of the constitutional “reforms” submitted last December. Article 5, which lays the basis for the regulation of political parties, was rewritten to stipulate that “political activity or political parties shall not be based on any religious background or foundation.” This prohibition seemed to directly contradict the language of Article 2, which made Shariah the foundation of Egyptian law. How can a self-professed religious state prohibit political activity with a “religious background”? When I posed this question to Hossam Badrawi, a leading member of a group of young politicians who profess to be reforming the N.D.P. from within, he asked me in return, “If I go to Germany and I want to start a Nazi Party, would I be allowed to do that?”

“Is that a fair analogy?”

“Yes, because they don’t respect the constitution, which lays out a separate role for politics and religion.” Except that it doesn’t or didn’t, until just now.

This is the kind of language that, as Saad Eddin Ibrahim put it, is bound to scare foreigners and the middle class. President Mubarak has called the group a threat to national security. Mohamed Kamal, a political scientist who is close to Gamal Mubarak, the president’s son and heir apparent, and who now serves as the N.D.P.’s semiofficial spokesman to the Western media, says of the brotherhood: “They’re fundamentalist in their ideology. I’m not saying necessarily that they’re terrorists; they want to establish a religious state based on their interpretation of the Koran and the Shariah.” While some of their leaders “pay lip service to democracy, women’s rights and so on,” Kamal says, the grass roots are deeply reactionary.

Is that so? One night I drove out to the far northeastern edge of Cairo — a trip that took an hour and a half through the city’s insane traffic — to meet with Magdy Ashour, a member of the brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc. The caucus is heavy with lawyers, doctors and professors, but Ashour is an electrician with a technical diploma. The neighborhood he represents, al-Nozha, is a squalid quarter of shattered buildings and dusty lanes. Ashour had established himself in what seemed to be the only substantial structure in the area, a half-completed apartment building; I walked through plaster dust and exposed wiring to reach his office. Ashour hurried in from the evening prayer. He was a solemn, square-jawed 41-year-old with short hair and unfashionable glasses, a brown suit and a brown tie. He grew up, he said, in the neighborhood, and as a young man often gave the Friday sermon at the local mosque. He joined the brotherhood when he was 23. Why? “From my reading and my earliest meetings with brotherhood members,” he said through a translator, “I could see that they were moderate, that they don’t impose their religion on people, but at the same time they’re not loose with their religious principles.”

I asked Ashour if the spate of arrests had him worried, and he said that he indeed feared that the state might be seeking an “open confrontation” with the brotherhood. Might not that provoke the group’s supporters to violence? Ashour answered by citing an aphorism he attributed to the brotherhood’s founder, Hassan al-Banna: “Be like trees among the people: They strike you with stones, and you shower them with blessings.” Ashour then embarked on a brief oration: “We would like to change the idea people have of us in the West,” he said, “because when people hear the name Muslim Brotherhood, they think of terrorism and suicide bombings. We want to establish the perception of an Islamic group cooperating with other groups, concerned about human rights. We do not want a country like Iran, which thinks that it is ruling with a divine mandate. We want a government based on civil law with an Islamic source of lawmaking.” If Magdy Ashour was a theocrat — or a terrorist — he was a very crafty one.

s it has fully entered the political arena, the brotherhood has been forced to come up with clear answers on issues about which it has been notably ambiguous in the past. Some are easy enough: There seems to be little appetite among them for stoning adulterers or lopping off the hands of thieves; and all deprecate the jizya, or tax on nonbelievers, as a relic of an era when only Muslims served in the military. Some are not so easy. I asked Magdy Ashour about the drinking of alcohol, which is prohibited in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Islamic states. He was quite unfazed. “There is a concept in Shariah that if you commit the sin in private it’s different from committing it in public,” he explained. You can drink in a hotel, but not in the street. This was flexibility verging on pragmatism. I wondered if Ashour, and the other brotherhood candidates, had offered such nuanced judgments on the stump; a number of detractors insist that the group’s campaign rhetoric was much more unabashedly Islamist.

There are, of course, more fundamental questions. In the course of a three-hour conversation in the brotherhood’s extremely modest office in an apartment building in one of Cairo’s residential neighborhoods, I asked Muhammad Habib, the deputy supreme guide, how the brotherhood would react if the Legislature passed a law that violated Shariah. “The People’s Assembly has the absolute right in that situation,” he said, “as long as it is elected in a free and fair election which manifests the people’s will. The Parliament could go to religious scholars and hear their opinion” — as it could seek the advice of economists on economic matters — “but it is not obliged to listen to these opinions.” Some consider grave moral issues, like homosexual marriage, beyond the pale of majoritarianism; others make no such exception. Hassan al-Banna famously wrote that people are the source of authority. This can be understood, if you wish to, as the Islamic version of the democratic credo.

The acceptance of democracy is itself a proxy for something else — the repudiation of violence and terrorism. Here the brotherhood has a fair amount of history to answer for. The organization was established in 1928 in the wake of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s secularization of Turkey and his abolition of the caliphate, the line of religious rulers that stretched back to the Prophet Muhammad. Hassan al-Banna, the charismatic founder, aspired to revitalize the spirit of Islam among the umma, the worldwide body of believers, and ultimately to restore the caliphate and Shariah. But for all al-Banna’s emphasis on peaceful evangelizing, he also created a paramilitary wing, like Mussolini’s brown shirts, known as al-nizam al-khas — the Special Apparatus. During the ’40s, when Egyptians fought to free themselves from British rule, brotherhood operatives engaged in a campaign of bombings and assassinations. The organization was banned in 1948; soon afterward, a member of the group assassinated Egypt’s prime minister. Al-Banna denounced the deed, but he was himself murdered by government security forces. And when a brotherhood plot to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser miscarried, most of the leading figures were jailed and tortured.

In 1964, the most prominent of the jailed leaders, Sayyid Qutb, produced a tract, “Milestones,” which magnified the militant side of the brotherhood and rejected al-Banna’s faith in the merits of instruction and moral example. Islamic regimes that failed to establish Shariah were apostates, he declared no better than the infidels themselves. Egypt was, of course, just such a state. “Milestones” was read as a call to revolution. Qutb was sentenced to death and hanged in 1966, making him a martyr throughout the Middle East. Among his disciples were the radical Islamists who conspired to murder Sadat in 1981 including Ayman al-Zawahiri, now Al Qaeda’s second in command. Osama bin Laden was deeply influenced by Qutb’s works and regularly attended lectures given by Qutb’s younger brother, Muhammad. “Milestones” is now considered the founding manifesto of jihadism.

Qutb remains a heroic figure for many Egyptians. But Ibrahim Hudaybi, the young activist who sent me the text message about the arrest, pointed out to me when we met the next day that his own grandfather, Hasan Hudaybi, who replaced al-Banna as supreme guide and was jailed along with Qutb, wrote a book from prison, “Preachers, Not Judges,” designed to reassert the brotherhood’s commitment to peace and to open debate. Hudaybi was a thoroughly modern figure; we met in a coffee shop near the American University in Cairo, where he recently received his master’s in political science. He was now working as a business consultant. Hudaybi wanted to see the brotherhood deal explicitly with the legacy of Qutb, even if doing so might not play well in the hustings. Other, more senior figures I spoke to insisted rather implausibly that Qutb had been misunderstood; but all swore by the philosophy of tolerance and the program of gradual reform laid out in “Preachers, Not Judges.”

The brotherhood is an international organization. It has, however, no Comintern, no central apparatus. In Sudan, brotherhood members have formed an alliance with a deeply authoritarian ruling party. The brotherhood in Jordan and Morocco is considered relatively moderate. But in the Palestinian territories, the organization mutated into Hamas. Policy makers and academics in the West tend to be more concerned with the brotherhood’s views of Hamas than with its understanding of Shariah. And here there is little satisfaction to be had. When I asked Muhammad Habib about Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, he said, “With the continuous crackdown and ongoing war launched by the Israeli Army, which does not distinguish between civilians and noncivilians, you cannot speak about the Palestinians disregarding Israeli citizens.” Brotherhood figures do not, at bottom, accept Israel’s right to exist. Seif al-Islam, the son of Hassan al-Banna and a venerated elder of the group, said to me, in his stylized version of English: “Not any Palestine man or Egypt man feels that Jews who come from the outside have the right to stay in Palestine. At the same time, the Palestinian people on the outside cannot have a grave to bury in. This is not religion.”

The more worldly among the brotherhood’s legislators and thinkers understand that Israel is a test just as Qutb is a test, and that the Western audience matters even if it doesn’t vote. Hazem Farouk Mansour, a dentist who is the head of the foreign-policy committee of the parliamentary bloc, says of Camp David, “We accept it as an agreement, whether we like it or not.” Essam el-Erian, a clinical pathologist who is head of the brotherhood’s political committee and perhaps its most sophisticated thinker, said to me: “Look, this is a historical and ideological and religious crisis. It cannot be solved in a few years. Every part in this conflict can be put forth for dialogue.” Like virtually all of his colleagues, el-Erian urged me not to get too hung up on this or any other question of what the brotherhood might do in some unimaginably remote future in which the regime had somehow relinquished its grip on power. “We can solve the problem of our society,” he said, “to have democratic reform respected by Europeans and Americans, whatever happens to the Palestinians.”

From what I could tell, in fact, the brotherhood in its public oratory sticks to issues of political process, while voters worry about the kind of mundane issues that preoccupy people everywhere. Magdy Ashour said that few voters knew or cared anything about issues like constitutional reform. He agreed to let me sit by his side one evening as he met with constituents. None of the dozen or so petitioners who were ushered into the tiny, bare cell of his office asked about the political situation, and none had any complaints about cultural or moral issues. Rather, there were heart-rending stories of abuse by the powerful, like the profoundly palsied young man confined to a wheelchair who sold odds and ends from a kiosk under a bridge, and who was ejected, along with his meager goods, when a road-improvement project came through. (Ashour promised to go with him to the police station the following morning.) Mostly, though, people wanted help getting a job. One ancient gentleman with a white turban and walking stick wandered in as if from the Old Testament. He was accompanied by his daughter and 3-year-old granddaughter. His daughter’s husband had abandoned her, and she needed a job. Ashour explained that since the woman had a business degree, she might find work in a private school.

The old man shook his head. “She must have a government job,” he said. “She has three girls. I am too old to take care of her. She needs security.” Ashour later explained to me that while a private job might pay $90 a month and a public one only $35, the government job would carry a guaranteed $15 pension, which felt like insurance against destitution. Only a government job was considered real; Ashour himself had worked as the superintendent for lighting infrastructure for a portion of Cairo. Nasser caught the bug of socialism half a century earlier, and the government continued to dominate the economy and to sap the energies needed for private initiative. Egypt’s arthritic economy and its deeply corrupt public administration were much more salient problems for Ashour than was, say, debauchery on TV.

arrived in Cairo in the middle of a heated national debate over Mubarak’s proposed reform of the constitution. During the presidential campaign, Mubarak promised to reduce his own powers in favor of the Legislature and the cabinet and to loosen restrictions on political parties. Only trace elements of those vows remained; in fact, the reforms seemed designed to consolidate, rather than dissipate, the regime’s authority. Article 88, which had stipulated that elections be held “under the supervision of members of the judiciary authority,” now granted that control to “a higher commission marked by independence and impartiality.” Since no such bodies had been known to exist in Egypt, few figures outside the ruling party were willing to take the proposal at face value. And a new anti-terrorism provision allowed the state to set aside civil liberties enumerated elsewhere in the constitution in the pursuit of suspected terrorists. Mohamed Kamal described this measure to me as the equivalent of the USA Patriot Act, but political activists are convinced that it will be used to snuff out opposition. (The brotherhood may be the chief target, since the regime regards it as a quasi-terrorist body.) Amnesty International described the package as the gravest threat to human rights in Egypt since Mubarak took power.

In mid-March, on the day the proposed amendments were presented to the People’s Assembly, the brotherhood legislators and the dozen or so members of the secular opposition staged a joint protest. The entire group stood silently inside the gates of Parliament wearing black sashes that read, “No to the Constitutional Amendments,” and carrying signs that read, “No to Electoral Fraud,” “No to Dawn Visitors” and so on. The muezzin’s call led to an interval of prayer, and then legislators squeezed one by one through the gates, backing the scrum of reporters and photographers into a busy two-way street. Drivers honked furiously while legislators struggled to be heard over the din. I had the impression that the brotherhood hadn’t yet gotten the hang of press relations.

The entire opposition boycotted the debate; the regime, unimpressed, carried the day with the near-unanimous support of the N.D.P. and then scheduled the mandatory national referendum for the following week, presumably to prevent the opposition from mobilizing. But the tactic failed; opposition legislators urged supporters to boycott the ballot. All of the brotherhood legislators I spoke to that day said that the polling places in their constituency were literally empty. Civic groups canvassing Cairo and other major cities came to the same conclusion. Estimates of turnout varied from 2 to 8 percent. When it was over, government officials pegged turnout at 27 percent — a figure so improbable that it scarcely seemed intended to be believed. Perhaps the implicit message was that the regime didn’t care if it was believed or not.

In June 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice delivered a landmark address at the American University in Cairo in which she bluntly declared, “The day must come when the rule of law replaces emergency decrees and when the independent judiciary replaces arbitrary justice.” Egypt’s democracy activists were enthralled — though they were to become increasingly disappointed, and then embittered, as the administration offered no public response to Mubarak’s crackdown. But Rice’s call to the political barricades was carefully modulated, perhaps in order to limit the offense to the regime. Asked after the speech about the Muslim Brotherhood, Rice said flatly, “We have not engaged the Muslim Brotherhood and . . . we won’t.” In fact, American diplomats had been in regular contact with brotherhood officials over the years; Rice was declaring — in fact, making — a new policy. And that policy still largely obtains. Rice’s spokesman, Sean McCormack, told me, “We do not meet with the Muslim Brotherhood per se, as we don’t want to get entangled in complexities surrounding its legality as a political party.” He added, however, “Consistent with our practice elsewhere, we will nonetheless meet with any duly elected member of the parliamentary opposition.” In fact, American officials in Cairo included leading brotherhood parliamentarians in a group of legislators who met recently with Representative Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader of the House.

But why not engage the brotherhood openly? Is what is gained by mollifying the Mubarak regime worth what is lost by forgoing contact with the brotherhood? “Americans,” Essam el-Erian said to me, “must have channels with all the people, not only in politics, but in economics, in social, in everything, if they want to change the image of America in the region.” Of course, that principle applies only up to a point. The administration has, understandably, refused to recognize the democratic bona fides either of Hamas or of Hezbollah in Lebanon. But the Muslim Brotherhood, for all its rhetorical support of Hamas, could well be precisely the kind of moderate Islamic body that the administration says it seeks. And as with Islamist parties in Turkey and Morocco, the experience of practical politics has made the brotherhood more pragmatic, less doctrinaire. Finally, foreign policy is no longer a rarefied game of elites: public opinion shapes the world within which policy makers operate, and the refusal to deal with Hamas or Hezbollah has made publics in the Islamic world dismiss the whole idea of democracy promotion. Even a wary acceptance of the brotherhood, by contrast, would demonstrate that we take seriously the democratic preferences of Arab voters.

In general, I found the brothers deeply suspicious of American designs in the world but also curious about America itself. When I took my leave of Magdy Ashour once the crowd of petitioners thinned out, he asked if he could pose some questions of his own. “I’ve heard,” he said, “that even George Bush’s mother thinks he’s an idiot; is that true?” And, “Why did George Bush say that America is going on a Christian crusade against the Muslim people?” And finally, “Is it true that the Jews control and manipulate the U.S. economy?” These are, alas, the kinds of questions — with the possible exception of the first — that people all over the Middle East ask.

Then Ashour said that he was thinking about visiting America. I asked how he could afford such an expensive journey, and he explained that the brotherhood has offered each legislator one free trip anywhere in the world — a remarkable program for an organization said to be bent on returning Egypt to the Middle Ages. “I would,” Ashour said, “like to see for myself.”

James Traub is a contributing writer for the magazine. He is working on a book about democracy promotion.

Correction: April 29, 2007
A picture caption with an article on Page 44 of The Times Magazine today about the Muslim Brotherhood misstates the dates of the photographs. The protest with brandishing of the Koran, in the first and fourth pictures, was in March of this year, not the fall of 2006. The other two photographs were taken in February of this year (the protester surrounded by the police) and in November 2006 (the protesters holding signs), not the in the spring of this year.

Bilanz    17. Dezember 2010

Islam: Wachstumsbremse Koran
Text: Leo Müller

Nicht der Westen ist schuld am Zurückbleiben der arabischen Länder. Diese haben den Übergang in die Moderne verpasst
– nicht zuletzt wegen ihrer rigiden Berufung auf den Koran.

Der alte Mann sitzt im hellen Gewand hinter der Balustrade, eine schneeweisse Kufiya bedeckt den Kopf, sein schütterer Bart ist ergraut, vor ihm sind vier grosse Mikrofone aufgebaut. Mit erhobenem Zeigefinger massregelt er sein Publikum, seine Worte scheppern schrill aus den Lautsprechern in den Saal, die Akustik schmerzt. «Es ist wahr», schreit Prediger Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, «wir können uns die herrlichsten Dinge der Welt kaufen. Unsere Leute können die luxuriösesten Autos kaufen.» Erregt steigert er sich: «Rolls-Royce, Mercedes 500 oder 700, S-Modelle, M oder L – mit allem Luxus!» Dann leise: «Wir besitzen sie, aber wir stellen sie nicht her», sagt er, «wir produzieren keine einzige Schraube dieser Autos.»

«Wie kommt das?», fragt Al-Qaradawi in seiner Predigt vom April 2005 und erzählt von einer Studie aus einem arabischen Land, die berechnet hat, wie viel Zeit die Staatsangestellten bei der Arbeit verbringen. «Der Durchschnitt betrug 27 Minuten am Tag», ruft er. Und wieder schreit er: «27 Minuten!»

Qaradawi berichtet von einem Erweckungserlebnis aus den siebziger Jahren, als er zum ersten Mal in Deutschland eintraf und sich wunderte, dass er auf den Strassen kaum Menschen erblickte. «Die Leute arbeiten», habe ihn der Chauffeur aufgeklärt. Und schliesslich widmet er sich seinem Hauptgegner: «Wie hat es die zionistische Bande geschafft, uns überlegen zu sein, wo sie doch nur so wenige sind? Durch Wissen! Durch Technologie! Durch Stärke!»

Der 84-jährige Scharia-Gelehrte gilt in der islamischen Welt als Koryphäe. Mit einer Predigtsendung auf dem TV-Sender Al-Jazira erreichte er ein 40-Millionen-Auditorium. Seine Website IslamOnline liefert den Gläubigen die Richtschnur für das Leben. Als Präsident der Internationalen Union muslimischer Gelehrter kommentierte er die Schweizer Abstimmung über das Minarettverbot als sündige Praxis: Die Muslime in der Schweiz sollten ruhig bleiben, aber die Befürworter müssten die «volle Verantwortung» für die Konsequenzen tragen. Al-Qaradawi, promoviert an der Al-Azhar-Universität in Kairo, hat in Katar einen Lehrstuhl für Scharia-Recht aufgebaut, er soll 80 ­Bücher geschrieben haben. Al-Qaradawi wird in der muslimischen Gelehrtenwelt als Superintellekt gefeiert.

Aber seine Antworten zur Frage der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung in den islamisch geprägten Ländern sind so einfach wie seine Rhetorik. Mehr als einen Appell an die Faulenzer hat die mächtige Stimme dazu nicht zu verkünden.

Warum verharren die Ökonomien der islamischen Welt in Erstarrung und ertrinken in Korruption? Warum legen sie den Rückwärtsgang ein?

Fortschrittsbremse Koran.
Die Religionsgelehrten, allmächtige Agenda-Setter und Lehrmeister, liefern keinen werthaltigen Beitrag zur Ursachenforschung. Die Antwort würde von ihnen ­eine schmerzvolle Selbstkritik fordern, sie berührt ein grosses Tabu: Es ist vor allem die Religion der schriftgläubigen Koran-Anhänger, die den technologischen Fortschritt bremst. Es ist das archaische, sich seit einigen Jahrzehnten wieder rasant ausbreitende Scharia-Recht, das ein nachhaltiges wirtschaftliches Wachstum im Orient hemmt. Und es ist das «islamische Banking», das sinnreiche Investitionen blockiert.

Erklärungsversuche für die desaströse Lage der Region gibt es zahlreiche. Der Kolonialismus habe die freie Entfaltung unterdrückt, sagten die Dritt-Welt-Ideologen. Die Juden seien an allem Elend schuld, meinten die Proaraber – als Eindringlinge wie als Herrscher über die Wall Street. Die Geografie benachteilige die Völker, erklärten andere und konnten den Widerspruch nicht auflösen, dass die Holländer ihr Land erfolgreich dem Meer abtrotzten und die Schweiz trotz widriger Lage und ohne Rohstoffe prosperierte. Der teuflische Kapitalismus habe die Menschen fehlgeleitet, sagen die iranischen Gelehrten. Die despotischen Herrscher seien schuld, meinten die Orientalisten. Und neuerdings wird durch den Autor Thilo Sarrazin eine ethnisch-erbbiologische Vulgärdeutung wieder aktuell, die eigentlich schon vor 65 Jahren als erledigt galt. All diesen Erklärungsversuchen ist gemeinsam, dass sie das entscheidende, lebensprägende Element der islamischen Welt ignorieren – den Koran.

«Dieses Buch – es ist vollkommen, nichts ist zu bezweifeln – ist eine Richtschnur für die Frommen», steht sogleich am Anfang der Schrift, die als wörtliche Offenbarung Allahs betrachtet und als unfehlbares Zeugnis Gottes verherrlicht wird. Wer dürfte Gottes Wort verändern oder anzweifeln?

Im Koran ist alles gesagt. «Es steht geschrieben», antworten Gläubige gerne auf ein alltägliches Missgeschick – ein Fatalismus, der jedes Streben nach wirtschaftlichem Erfolg ausbremst.

«Dem Islam fehlt die Fähigkeit, sich zu verändern», sagt der französische Theologe Jean-Claude Barreau. Der Koran sei «ein archaisches Buch, das sich mit den archaischsten und langweiligsten Texten der Bibel auf eine Stufe stellen lässt», schrieb Barreau. «Die kulturelle Rückständigkeit des Islam, seine Primitivität», sagt der französische Philosoph, «wird durch die Unbeweglichkeit der muslimischen Theologie noch unterstrichen.»

Unfehlbar, universal und weltgültig erscheint der Islam. Seine Anhänger glauben nicht nur an ihren Gott, wie die Gläubigen anderer Weltreligionen im Sinn eines freien Glaubensaktes. Die Muslime bekennen sich zu der Vorschrift, dass «Gott ist». Ihr Glaube ist eine Handlung der Unterwerfung unter die Offenbarung.Islam heisst in der wörtlichen Übersetzung: Unterwerfung unter Gott.

Der Koran galt als so vollkommen, dass jede weitere Literatur mit Verachtung betrachtet wurde: Ein zweites Buch könnte Gottes Offenbarung in Zweifel ziehen. So wurde die mündliche Überlieferung der Rechtsgrundsätze verherrlicht, die Gedächtnisleistung eines Gelehrten bewundert, aber jede Niederschrift verachtet.

Die Erfindung des Buchdrucks durch Johannes Gutenberg löste in der Welt der Christenheit eine geistige Revolution aus, die Erhebung des Wissens. Der Buchdruck verbreitete sich rasant. Bereits im Jahr 1453, 50 Jahre nach dem Fall Konstantinopels, existierten acht Millionen gedruckte Bücher. Die Wissensgesellschaft war geboren. Die industrielle Druckkunst beflügelte Luthers Aufbegehren gegen die reaktionäre Papstkirche, seine Reformationsidee wiederum bescherte der westlichen Welt eine gewaltige Druckkonjunktur. Das Wissen der Antike wurde gespeichert, die öffentliche Meinung hatte einen industriellen Treiber, Rede und Gegenrede wurden zum etablierten Diskurs, die Aufklärung hatte eine starke Waffe. Wissen wurde öffentlich.

Teufelswerk Druck.
Wie reagierte die islamische Welt auf diese Revolution? Die Rechtsgelehrten stemmten sich gegen das Teufelswerk, das wohl – zu Recht – als potenzielles Werkzeug der Ketzerei betrachtet wurde. Nach der Einführung der Druckerpresse in Europa dauerte es volle 300 Jahre, bis sie auch im Orient ankam. Diesem Umstand schrieb der atheistische türkische Staatsgründer Kemal Atatürk 1925 das grosse Scheitern zu. Seine Botschaft: Seit dem 15.??Jahrhundert läuft die Entwicklung von Okzident und Orient auseinander. Für David Landes, den grossen Historiker der Weltwirtschaftsgeschichte, war die Ablehnung der Druckerpresse «der grösste Fehler des Islam». Landes erkannte in seinem Standardwerk über «Wohlstand und Armut der Nationen» diese Wegscheide der Entwicklung: «Das Übel war im religiösen Dogma begründet», schrieb der Harvard-Professor, «nichts hat mehr dazu beigetragen, die Muslime vom Hauptstrom des Wissens abzuschneiden.»

«Versiegelte Zeit», so nennt der Religionswissenschaftler Dan Diner sein tiefgründiges Werk über dieses Versagen der Entwicklung. Die Folge: Die Säkularisierung blieb aus – bis heute. Das Sakrale bleibt allgegenwärtig und blockiert jene Entwicklung, die den Westen in die Moderne geführt hat.

Was übrig blieb und fortlebte, war eine infantile Weltsicht. So beschreibt der tunesisch-französische Schriftsteller Abdelwahab Meddeb das religiöse Schrifttum, das unter der selbst gewählten intellektuellen Beschränktheit entstand. Zum Beispiel die Werke von Mohammed Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab aus dem 18.??Jahrhundert, dem Begründer des Wahhabismus, der saudischen Staatsideologie. «Ein Schreiber, der nicht einen Funken Originalität besitzt», urteilt Meddeb, «man wagt ihm nicht einmal den Status eines Denkers zuzusprechen», er sei mittelmässig und unredlich. Und über Scheich Tahtawi, einen wichtigen Islam-Gelehrten des 19.??Jahrhunderts, schreibt er: «Weder gelingt es ihm, Konfusion zu vermeiden, noch, die einzelnen Schriften in eine Rangfolge zu bringen, er unterscheidet nicht zwischen grundlegenden und verzichtbaren Werken. Er durchschaut nicht die Ordnung der Texte.» Tahtawi hatte gar keine Chance zu verstehen. Er bezog sein Wissen nur aus Enzyklopädien, und dies auch nur, weil er fünf Jahre lang in Paris lebte.

Getrübtes Selbstbild.
2002 ver­öffentlichte die Uno-Entwicklungsorganisation UNDP erstmalig ihren Arab ­Human Development Report. Um Ressentiments wegen westlicher Belehrungen zu begegnen, sassen im Autorenteam ausschliesslich Araber und Muslime. Ihr Bericht kam dennoch zu beklemmenden Ergebnissen, die das Selbstbild der Araber als Kinder einer Hochkultur trübte, die sich gerne als «Erfinder» der Algebra betrachten, obwohl diese tatsächlich Jahrhunderte vor ihrer Verfeinerung durch Araber in Indien entwickelt worden ist. Die Autoren beklagten nicht nur das Fehlen politischer Freiheiten, sondern auch das Versäumnis, die weibliche Hälfte der Gesellschaft ins Wirtschafts­leben zu integrieren. Sie entdeckten rundum eine «mangelnde Unterweisung in angemessene Fertigkeiten des Lesens und Schreibens, um dem modernen Umgang mit Wissen zu genügen».

Wissen wird in der Region immer noch in archaischer Form verbreitet. Wie im Koran, dessen Kapitel, Suren genannt, frei jeder Systematik, ohne Erzählstruktur und Dramaturgie verfasst sind und nicht einer logischen Gliederung folgen, sondern ganz simpel nach ihrer Textlänge sortiert sind. Wie in den Predigten und Schriften von Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, der jenseits einer erkennbaren dogmatischen Logik den Selbstmordterror der palästinensischen Hamas als heilige Märtyrertaten preist, während er den Al-Kaida-Terror gegen die Amerikaner ablehnt.

Die Wissensfeindlichkeit ist messbar: In den siebziger Jahren übersetzte die gesamte arabische Welt nur ein Fünftel so viele Bücher wie das kleine Griechenland. In den achtziger Jahren wurden, auf eine Million Menschen gerechnet, innerhalb von fünf Jahren nur 4,4 Bücher übersetzt. In Ungarn waren es 519, in Spanien 920. Derzeit fallen laut Buchmarktstatistiken der Frankfurter Buchmesse auf den arabischen Raum nur 0,4 Prozent der Lizenzvergaben deutschsprachiger Titel.

Auch die eigene Wissensproduktion ist gering. Während die USA im Jahr 1991 mehr als 100??000 Neuerscheinungen herausbrachten, kam der arabische Buchmarkt mit 6500 Editionen aus. Beispiel Tunesien: 10 Millionen Einwohner, 26,8 Prozent Analphabeten. 2003 wurden 1383 Bücher produziert, der Löwenanteil davon waren Kinder- und Schulbücher. Zwischen 2004 und 2008 wurde kein einziger deutschsprachiger Titel in Lizenz übersetzt. In der marokkanischen Nationalbibliografie wurden zwischen 2007 und 2009 nur 172 neue Titel angezeigt. In Jordanien existieren nur unzuverlässige Statistiken über die Buchwelt. In Ägypten wurden 2008 vier deutschsprachige Bücher in Lizenz übersetzt. Die Buchimporte sanken. Selbst religiöse Literatur, die den Löwenanteil der Produktion ausmacht, ist nicht systematisch verfügbar. In der Bibliothek der Universität von Katar, der Hochschule des Gelehrten Al-Qaradawi, kann nur ein einziges seiner Werke ausgeliehen werden.

«Es gibt keine Hoffnung», sagt der Entwicklungsexperte Abdul Aziz Al-Muqaleh, «wo der Analphabetismus nahezu jeden ernsthaften Versuch zerstört, aus dem Tunnel der Entfremdung von der modernen Epoche zu entkommen.»

2004 ging der Bericht zur Arabischen Entwicklung des UNDP der Frage nach, ob das Selbstbild der Araber als Kernland der Rechenkunst zutrifft. Ergebnis: Die mathematische Kompetenz der Studierenden in neun arabischen Ländern erreichte nur 392 Punkte gegenüber dem Durchschnitt von 467 im internationalen Vergleich.

2009 veröffentlichten Forscher, finanziert von einer Stiftung des Regenten von Dubai, den «Arabischen Wissensbericht» – wieder mit einem rein arabischen Autorenteam. Sie stellten fest, dass die «intellektuelle Trägheit» das kulturelle Leben dominiere. Die Gesellschaften seien von eindimensionalen Sichtweisen geprägt, sie würden sich dem Wandel, der Kreativität und der Innovation versagen. Unter den Gläubigen seien «bornierte Interpretationen weit verbreitet». Die Situation verschlimmere sich sogar. Nach wie vor könne ein Drittel der erwachsenen Bevölkerung weder lesen noch schreiben: «60 Millionen Analphabeten in den arabischen Ländern.» Weniger als 55 Prozent besuchten Sekundarschulen, im Vergleich zu 84 Prozent in Zentralasien. Im Irak seien während des Bürgerkrieges zwischen Sunniten und Schiiten mehr als 3000 Akademiker emigriert. Mehr als 830 Akademiker seien getötet worden – ein Krieg gegen die Intelligenz.

Weitere Berichte beschäftigten sich mit den politischen Freiheiten («finster»), der Armut («extrem»), der Unfähigkeit, sauberes Wasser zu erzeugen («belastet»), der Wüstenbildung («fortschreitend»), der Bevölkerungsentwicklung («385 Millionen in 2015») oder der Einstellung der ägyptischen Jugend zur Religion («überwältigende religiöse Empfindungen»). Das Fazit: «Insgesamt waren die arabischen Länder 2007 weniger industrialisiert als 1970. Der Ölreichtum zeichnet ein irreführendes Bild der Lage.» Im März 2009 urteilte ein Forschungsbericht der Arabischen Liga: «Die Region hat weder die Chancen genutzt, die sich aus den Öl­erträgen ergaben, noch hat sie es besser als andere Entwicklungsländer vermocht, zu den reichen Nationen aufzuschliessen.»

Auch Al-Qaradawis Wahrnehmung ist nun wissenschaftlich bestätigt. Der Zustand der arabischen Arbeitsethik sei «bedrückend», resümierte der libanesische Forscher Yusuf Sidani seine Analysen. Und sein Kollege Abbas J. Ali von der Universität in Pennsylvania entdeckte seit den achtziger Jahren trotz hohen Investitionen «keine Fortschritte» bei der Entwicklung des Talentmanagements.

Alle Studien stimmen überein: Im arabischen Kernland, der Wiege des Islam, sind die Entwicklungshemmnisse am deutlichsten erkennbar. Religionsforscher Diner macht dafür die «Versiegelung der arabischen Sprache» als sakrale Sprache des Korans mitverantwortlich. Denn die «erleuchtete Schrift» wurde nach islamischer Auffassung als göttliche Botschaft auf Arabisch empfangen. Die Verbindung des Islam zur Sprache der Offenbarung gilt daher als unzerstörbar.

Die missionierten Länder der islamischen Zone wiederum, lange Zeit von den Arabern verachtet, mussten die Schrift ebenfalls auf Arabisch studieren. Übersetzungen in ihre «gottlosen Sprachen» wurden unterbunden. Sie hatten somit das Hocharabische als sakrale und die eigene Sprache als säkulare Schrift. Das schaffte Freiräume für das Weltliche und somit ­eine gewisse Chance zur Entwicklung. So entfaltete sich die Türkei zunächst unter der laizistischen Modernisierungsdiktatur Atatürks, der die Religion aus dem politischen Leben verbannte und sogar lateinische Schriftzeichen für das Türkische einführte. Persien entfachte unter dem Schah ähnliche Kräfte. Viele Türken und Perser der älteren Generation haben in ihrer Jugendzeit den Koran gar nicht gelesen. Und dort, wo europäische Kolonialmächte nachhaltig prägend wirkten, wie in Indonesien und Malaysia, sind die Gesellschaften heute noch beweglicher.

Die Islamisierung in den ausserarabischen Missionsgebieten nahm erst wirklich Fahrt auf, nachdem Ayatollah Kho­meiny, der sich nie für Ökonomisches interessierte, 1979 in Teheran eingezogen war. Parallel mit dem Koran verbreitete sich seitdem auch das archaische Konzept der Scharia, das aus dem 7.??Jahrhundert stammt. Diese zweite Säule des Islam verbreitet sich durch den missionarischen Feldzug von «Islamic Banking» oder «Islamic Finance» rasant im Wirtschafts­leben. Mit gewaltigen Summen der saudischen Entwicklungsbank IDB begannen in den siebziger Jahren die Scharia-Lobbyisten, das Bankwesen umzukrempeln.

Scharia-Recht ist heute gültiges Landesrecht
in Saudi-Arabien, Iran, Sudan, und auch die afghanischen Taliban operieren unter diesem Recht. Ein Recht, das der Islam-Experte Bassam Tibi «in der Bedeutung von Recht» rundweg ablehnt. «Ich riskiere hierfür mein Leben», sagt der Muslim. Er ist damit nach den Rechtsgutachten führender Gelehrter, den sogenannten Fatwas, ein Apostat, für den die Todesstrafe gilt. Für ihn ist Scharia nichts weiter als ein System aus Täuschung und Selbsttäuschung: «eine islamische Eigenart, an Normen und Werte zu glauben, ohne sich daran zu halten».

Aber wie kommt es, dass Finanzkonzerne wie HSBC oder Credit Suisse und Traditionshäuser wie Sarasin einen Teil ihrer Produktpalette unter Scharia-Recht stellen, ihre Institute als trojanische Pferde zur Islamisierung missbrauchen lassen?

Sie glauben offenbar daran, dass es sich hier um eine moderne Prägung der Religionsausübung handelt, wie ihnen an den Konferenzen über Islamic Banking vorgegaukelt wird. Hier treten die Vorkämpfer der Idee nämlich sehr smart auf. Sie verkünden zur Not den Ungläubigen nicht immer die ganze Wahrheit, denn die Notlüge ist ihnen in Glaubensfragen nach islamischer Lehre ausdrücklich erlaubt. Unmissverständlich formulierte der frühere malaysische Premier, Mohamed Mahathir, das Ziel, als er islamisches Banking zum politischen Programm erhob: Es gehe um den Jihad – den heiligen Krieg.

Was das Kopftuch für die Strasse bedeutet, ist das Islamic Banking für die Finanzwelt. Richtschnur ist wieder der Koran in seiner Widersprüchlichkeit. Vers 275 in Sure 2 lautet: «Jene, die Wucherzins verschlingen, stehen nicht anders auf, als einer aufsteht, den der Satan mit Wahnsinn geschlagen hat.» Die gängige Interpretation: Wer Zins, «Riba» in der Sprache des Korans, gewährt oder Zins zahlt, kommt in die Hölle. Aber beschreibt «Riba» den Zins oder nur den Wucher? Vers 131 der dritten Sure befiehlt: «Oh Gläubige, greift nicht so gierig nach dem Wucher mit allen seinen Verdopplungen.»

Islam-Experte Tim Kuran von der Princeton University klärt auf: «Was der Koran verbietet, ist die vor­islamische Institution der Riba, nach der ein Kreditgeber seinen Einsatz verdoppelte, wenn sein Schuldner in Verzug geriet, und nach jedem weiteren Verzug die Schuld verdoppelte.» Daher also das Wort von der Verdopplung im Koranvers. Kuran beschreibt das Konzept der Islamischen Ökonomie als «nostalgische Flucht», sie wende altertümliche Lösungen für gegenwärtige Probleme an. «Wir müssen verstehen, dass die Wirtschaft des 7.??Jahrhunderts auf der Arabischen Halbinsel äusserst primitiv war», sagt Kuran. Entsprechend wird das Konzept umgesetzt (siehe «Die mächtigen Männer des Islam-Banking»).

Einfache Lösungen sehen so aus, dass die Bank dem Kunden die zu finanzierende Ware für eine virtuelle Sekunde ankauft, ihm die Ware umgehend mit einer Rechnung zu einem überhöhten Preis überlässt, den der Kunde zu einem festgelegten Zeitpunkt zu bezahlen hat. Die virtuelle Sekunde legitimiert die Transaktion und manchmal ein anderes Wort für den Zins, zum Beispiel «Gebühr» oder «Aufschlag». In den Augen von Kuran geht es um «semantische Differenzen». Ökonomisch seien das herkömmliche Zinsgeschäfte. Die Verlierer des Systems sind die Kunden, denn sie zahlen in der Regel höhere «Gebühren». Von den Islam-Bankern werden immer komplexere Varianten ersonnen, um das angebliche Zinsverbot zu umgehen. Islamic Banking ist eine Marketingmaschine geworden, die den Geldhäusern höchste Profite abwirft – daher auch das Interesse der westlichen Banken. Auch Al-Qaradawi ist im Islamic-Banking-Geschäft dabei, als Berater von islamischen Instituten in Katar und Bahrain.

Doch die strenge Regel gilt nur, wenn es gefällt. Weder in Dubai, wo das System 1975 eingeführt wurde, noch in Iran betrieben die Banken tatsächlich nennenswerte Investments regelkonform, schreibt Kuran. Und in Pakistan hielten selbst die Staatsbanken laut offiziellen Berichten nur zu 14 Prozent Schariakonforme Vermögenswerte.

«Wir müssen studieren, wie die modernen Gesellschaften funktionieren, bevor wir versuchen, sie umzugestalten» schrieb Tim Kuran. «Die islamische Doktrin ist gescheitert.» Das war 1983. Er hat recht behalten. Scharia-konforme Investments reagierten genauso anfällig wie westliche Papiere. Der Dow Jones Islamic Market Index verlor 2009 gut die Hälfte seines Wertes. Die arabische Region hat in der Finanzkrise einen Gesamtschaden von 2,5 Billionen Dollar erlitten.

Glücksspiel als Business.
Dubai, das Aushängeschild des neuen arabischen Booms, ist faktisch bankrott. Der Absturz war absehbar, frappierend war dessen Rasanz. Innert Wochen krachte das Geschäft zusammen, waren die Staatssäckel leer. «Die Planer müssen nun realisieren», sagt der Dubai-Kenner Christopher Davidson, «dass sie nie hätten erlauben dürfen, dass Immobilien, Luxustourismus und Bauindustrie zu den zentralen Säulen der Industrie wurden. Dubai hat keinen Plan B, es spielte nie mehr als ein gigantisches Glücksspiel», sagt Davidson, der Aufbau einer Wissensökonomie sei versäumt worden.

Wieder eine verpasste Chance. Für die reichen jungen Männer des Golfstaates hat sich dennoch nicht viel verändert. Sie schlendern tagsüber durch Shopping Malls, sitzen in Cafés und chauffieren ihre Luxuskarossen. Und schauen devot die Freitagspredigt von Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, dem grossen Prediger. Via Qatar TV auf einem 72-Zoll-3-D-Super-FullHD-Plasma-Screen.

Bilanz    17. Dezember 2010

Die mächtigen Männer des Islam-Banking:
Eine kleine Gruppe Scharia-Gelehrter überwacht die Regeln und kassiert.
Leo Müller

Eine Handvoll Scharia-Gelehrter überwacht im islamischen Banking die Institute. Männer wie Mohammed Elgari aus Saudi-Arabien, Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah aus Syrien und Nizam Yaqubi aus Bahrain begegnen sich in den Scharia-Boards Dutzender Finanzinstitute. Sie sind die mächtigen Herren der islamischen Finanzwelt (siehe Grafik «Das Scharia-Netzwerk» im Anhang).

Yaqubi allein sitzt in 85 Gremien, wie eine Studie des Mainzer Netzwerk-Forschers Murat Ünal zeigt. Nur fünf Scharia-Wächter besetzen ein Drittel aller Boards. Bei Versicherungen, Fonds, Banken oder bei Islamic-Market-Indizes walten sie wie Profiaufsichtsräte. Scheich Guddah zum Beispiel sitzt in den Boards aller islamischen Indexanbieter. An Weltkonferenzen der Muslim-Banker in Genf und London treten sie als Starredner auf. Für die Bankiers sind die Juristen Consultants, Beichtväter und Gesetzgeber in einer Person. Ihr besonderer Dreh: Hin und wieder drücken sie ein Auge zu, wie Yaqubi, der in den Moscheen von Bahrain predigt. Drei bis vier Prozent akzeptiert er als «Verwaltungsgebühr, die nicht gegen Scharia-Prinzipien verstösst».

Die Honorare und Regeln scheinen volumenabhängig ausgelegt zu werden. «Es gibt einen Mangel an Gelehrten, die bereit sind, so zu urteilen, wie es die Banken gerne hätten», sagt der Londoner Berater Tarek El Diwany. Mit anderen Worten: Die Herren haben überaus irdische Honorarsätze, und das ist nicht verwunderlich: An ihren Entscheidungen hängen Millionen- und Milliardenerträge. In der Branche werden sechsstellige Summen für die Board-Mitgliedschaft und Millionenbeträge für ein «Rechtsgutachten» zur Erlaubnis eines neuen Finanzproduktes genannt.

«Eine Show religiöser Autorität, die von islamischen Gelehrten aufgeführt wird», kritisiert Ökonom Mahmoud El-Gamal von der texanischen Rice-Universität, der sich seit zehn Jahren mit der neuen Disziplin beschäftigt. Er hat Dutzende Geschichten auf Lager, die davon erzählen, wie mit dem Begriff Schindluder getrieben wird – wie schon das erste Mal Anfang der achtziger Jahre. Trickreich werden alle erdenklichen Bankgeschäfte abgewickelt, die eigentlich verboten sein sollen – vom Leasing bis zum Bondgeschäft –, mit jährlichen Zuwachsraten bis zu 25 Prozent.

Das Islam-Banking hemmt die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, statt sie zu fördern. Es mag mit Kniffen noch praktikabel sein, wenn es um die Finanzierung von Handel und Transport geht, den tradierten Wirtschaftsformen, die schon der Koran kannte. Aber es leistet nichts zur Gestaltung langfristiger Investments und Projekte. Es versagt ebenso bei der Finanzierung von Start-ups wie von modernen Konzernen.

Islam: Wachstumsbremse Koran
Islam-Banking: Im Namen Allahs
Scharia-konforme Geschäfte: Scharia-konforme Geschäfte
Islamic Banking: Die Religion verstehen ist ein Schlüssel
Interview: «Islamfonds sind Value-Fonds»

NZZ am Sonntag    16. Januar 2011

«Verfügbares Fleisch»: Ex-Minister kritisiert Pakistaner
Britische Verrenkungen um kriminelle Muslime
Martin Alioth, Dublin

Der systematische sexuelle Missbrauch minderjähriger weisser Mädchen durch Banden muslimischer Männer in Nord-England galt bisher als Tabu. Die Leisetreterei gegenüber den Muslimen hat System.
Der frühere britische Minister Jack Straw hat unlängst ein politisches Tabu gebrochen. Der Labour-Politiker, der den Wahlkreis Blackburn im Norden Englands vertritt, sprach offen aus, dass die Verführung minderjähriger weisser Mädchen durch Banden muslimischer Männer ein «spezifisches Problem» einer ursprünglich aus Pakistan stammenden Minderheit sei. Er erläuterte, die Täter sähen ihre Opfer als «verfügbares Fleisch», da die jungen Frauen ihrer eigenen ethnischen Gruppe als unberührbar gälten.

Unbequeme Statistiken
Straw reagierte auf die Verurteilung einer Bande von neun Männern in Derby für Delikte wie Vergewaltigung, Geschlechtsverkehr mit Kindern, Körperverletzung und Kinder-Pornografie. Mindestens 27 Opfer im Alter zwischen 12 und 18 Jahren waren betroffen.

Den konkreten Fall bestätigte eine Untersuchung der Tageszeitung «The Times». Die Zeitung fand insgesamt 17 Prozesse seit 1997, in denen 56 Männer für diese Art von Bandenkriminalität verurteilt worden waren. Unter den 56 Tätern fanden sich nur 3 Weisse, die Mehrheit der 50 Muslime stammte aus dem pakistanischen Milieu. Die jungen Mädchen wurden jeweils mit Alkohol und Drogen gefügig gemacht; anschliessend wurden sie unter älteren Verwandten und Bekannten zum sexuellen Missbrauch herumgereicht.

Die «Times» erhielt Schützenhilfe von Mohammed Shafik, dem Leiter einer muslimischen Jugendorganisation: Die Täter dächten, schrieb Shafik, weisse Mädchen hätten eine lockerere Moral und seien weniger wert als pakistanische Mädchen. Das sei, stellte er unverblümt fest, eine Art von Rassismus und daher verabscheuenswürdig.

Straws Intervention löste indessen empörte Proteste aus. Keith Vaz, ein prominenter Labour-Abgeordneter aus Leicester, nannte die Aussagen «ziemlich gefährlich». Man könne nicht eine ganze Bevölkerungsgruppe beschuldigen – was Straw ausdrücklich nicht getan hatte. Polizeichefin Debbie Platt behauptete nach dem Prozess in Derby, der Fall enthalte keine ethnischen Elemente, da nicht alle Täter aus Südasien kämen und nicht alle Opfer weiss seien. Martin Neary, Chef der Organisation Barnardos, die sich um junge Opfer sexueller Ausbeutung kümmert, verwickelte sich in Widersprüche. Einerseits lehnte er ethnische Kategorien ab, andererseits bekundete er Erleichterung darüber, dass das Phänomen nun offen angesprochen werde.

Angst vor Rassismusvorwurf
Chef-Inspektor Alan Edwards von der West-Mercia-Division erläuterte: Polizisten und Sozialarbeiter hätten Angst, als Rassisten gebrandmarkt zu werden. Wohl deshalb verschliessen viele Engländer die Augen oder verrenken sich, um nur ja keine Beleidigungen auszusprechen. Die Polizei von Newcastle entschuldigte sich vor ein paar Jahren, nachdem sie einen Hunde-Welpen als Maskottchen für eine Rekrutierungskampagne eingesetzt hatte: Muslimische Geschäftsleute protestierten, das Jungtier auf dem Plakat verletze ihre religiösen Gefühle, weil es «unrein» sei.

Die Risiken einer nüchternen Betrachtungsweise liegen offen zutage: Vor dem Gerichtsgebäude in Derby demonstrierten Anhänger der faschistischen «English Defence League» gegen «muslimische Pädophile». Die fremdenfeindliche British National Party schürt bei Wahlen diese Ängste gezielt. Deshalb darf weder die rassistische Selektion der Opfer noch die ethnische Herkunft der meisten Täter beim Namen genannt werden. Die übertriebene «politische Korrektheit» bildet die Fragilität der britischen Gesellschaft ab.

3 Leserkommentare

Fred deBros (8. Februar 2011, 23:07)
je von einem Christlichen Vergewaltiger gehoert? Ich nicht
das erstaunt eigentlich und offenbart eine grosse Luecke, die nur Herr Tschannen allein fuellen kann.
Ich wuerde mal anfangen mit dem Studium der Geschichte Aegyptens, zB Napoleon's Befehl waehrend seiner Aegyptenkampagne, Soldaten, die so verwerfliches begehen, standrechtlich zu erschiessen.
Frage ist nur: wie kann man ueberhaupt dokmentierte Vergewaltigung als Presse-Slogans abtun, mit dem Primarschuelerargument dass das alle tun?
Hat Abu Ghraib nicht genuegt?

Daniel Andreas Marmet (26. Januar 2011, 19:32)
Rafiq Tschannen
Tatsache ist nun einmal das die Muslime die hie im chr. Abendland zu GAST sind, Nicht gewillt sind sich anzupassen (Integration???). Und es ist an der Zeit das man gewisse Missst?nde puplik macht, egal ob es f?r gewisse Leutchen unangenehm ist....

Rafiq Tschannen (21. Januar 2011, 13:17)
Muslimische Verbrecher?
Haben Sie schon je von einem Christlichen Vergewaltiger gehoert? Ich nicht, also sollte man auch nicht von einem Muslimischen Verbrecher sprechen, denn sicherlich habe alle, die solche Verbrechen begehen, ihre Religion (ob Islam, Christentum und sonst eine Religion) weit hinter sich gelassen. Solche Presse-Slogans schaden nun immer wieder allen Muslims, die 'Normalbevoelkerung', die absolut nichts mit diesen Verbrechen zu tun hat.