Opening Wide the Gates of Vienna
Posted By David Solway On July 25, 2013
The debate over the nature of Islam continues to fester not only between liberals and conservatives, left and right, but among conservatives as well. It is one of those issues that remain divisively controversial, even among those who share a common or similar political orientation. There is no ultimate consensus on the horizon and there will probably not be a decisive verdict until civil disruption and social mayhem can no longer be ignored or dissembled—what we might designate, taking a page from Janet Napolitano, as “Muslim-caused disasters.” But for the time being, the discussion seems clearly to favor those who maintain that Islam is a “religion of peace” that has been “hijacked” by the extremists within its ranks, a conclusion promoted by politicians seeking votes, professional multiculturalists, brain-dead Hollywood celebrities and producers, and a vast and corrupt media conglomerate that lost its bearings back in the diversity-crazed Sixties when minority hiring and a concomitant “fractious ethnic politics”, as William McGowan put it in a 1993 article for City Journal, became the rules of the game.
Sometimes the pro-Islam argument is rendered a little more intricate to introduce distinctions that lend a scholarly patina to the dispute. Clare Lopez, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, writes of a member of the anti-Muslim Brotherhood community who nevertheless regards “Islamist ideology as a mere ‘Sharia Hypothesis’…that has no demonstrable connection to classical Islam” (personal communication). For this conflicted individual, as for so many of his likeminded counterparts, Islamic doctrine does not form the basis for Islamic terrorism. Frequently we are told that Islam does not constitute a solid bloc of theological conviction and practice but is many different things, a protean religion subject to myriad interpretations. The split between Shia and Sunni would seem to reinforce this notion, except for the lamentable fact that both wings of the faith are united in their desire to restore the Caliphate and to subdue the West to its hegemony.
Often a historical thesis is added to the mix, that is, Islam enjoyed its benign and enlightened periods over the long course of time and flourished as an emancipatory culture in Abbasid Baghdad, Umayyad Cordoba, and during portions of the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately for this pleasant perspective, major historians of Islam like Ignaz Goldhizer, Robert Irwin, Serge Trifkovic, Ibn Warraq, Bat Ye’or and Andrew Bostom, among a constellation of others, have scuttled this urban myth so thoroughly in their painstakingly researched volumes—revealing the lapses and misconceptions that vitiate much of the work of such experts as Bernard Lewis and Malise Ruthven—that there is no longer any excuse for continuing to believe in Islam as a civilizing force.
At the outset, it should be obvious that one cannot begin to understand Islam, or at least come to some reasonable approximation of what Islam entails, unless one has read the Koran. Most of those interlocutors with whom I have discussed the question of Islam—Western liberals and conservatives, who twist themselves into knots to avert the accusation of “Islamophobia”—simply have not done so. They have read desultory commentaries by various ostensible pundits or perused newspaper editorials or watched the TV News, that is, they glean their information chiefly from tainted sources. Some have actually read books about Islam, usually presenting laundered versions of the faith, but when I ask them what they make of the pivotal ayah in Koran 2:193, for example, they are at a complete loss. Islam is a religion of imperial conquest, and the Prophet’s marching order is clear and inescapable: “Fight against them until there is no more fitnah (temptation, tumult, disbelief) and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.” There is no way to interpret this passage as anything other than a divinely inspired summons to perpetual war leading to the establishment of a universal Caliphate—a command devoutly adhered to by the so-called “extremists.”
Reading the Koran is only a start. Those who wish to enter the intellectual fray equipped with a modicum of credibility should also gain some familiarity with the ancillary literature, both canonical and exegetical. Reformist Muslims will already possess the requisite erudition, but unfortunately the tendency they evince is to cherry-pick mainly those earlier, generally superseded passages in the Koran that impart a rosy hue to their argumentation, or they set about assiduously re-interpreting and contextualizing whatever tropes and injunctions are manifestly indigestible, as I contended in a recent article for this site. Their efforts are understandable since they cannot surrender the faith that cradles their needs and susceptibilities, despite its dogmatic and ingrained resistance to beneficial change. Thus they must find ways to accommodate what they know to what they want.
But there are other facts apart from the scriptural that need to be considered. Those who defend or support Islam against the claim that it is an inherently violent, aggressive and sanguinary faith disregard or are ignorant of the concept of a frequency of distribution of extreme events. As Paul Austin Murphy points out in an article for American Thinker, as if in confirmation of Samuel Huntington’s statement that the borders of Islam are bloody, Islam is the key ingredient in the civil wars and sporadic conflicts raging in the Philippines, Thailand, Nigeria, Kenya, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kashmir, India, Indonesia, the Sudan, Lebanon (and Syria, of course), Ethiopia, Chad—to name only some of the trouble spots.
Islam has also breached the West, sectors of major cities having become Sharia enclaves and no-go zones, and civil violence, rapes, “grooming,” murders, riots, and the takeover of municipal residential zones proceeding on a daily basis. 91% of honor killings worldwide are committed by Muslims. The argument that Muslims represent only a minority of the immigrant population in the West, and the radicals among them merely a tiny fraction of that sliver, does not stand up to examination. Muslims are the fastest growing demographic in many host nations and constitute a statistically significant proportion of the population in countries like France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom, where they exercise power and influence through voting patterns, subtle behind-the-scenes pressure, infiltration of various governing bodies and physical menace.
It is precisely here that Raymond Ibrahim’s principle of the “rule of numbers” comes into play. In his own words, it is a “rule that expresses itself with remarkable consistency: The more Muslims grow in numbers, the more Islamic phenomena intrinsic to the Muslim world—in this case, brazen violence against ‘infidels’—appear.” As the Muslim immigrant population reaches critical mass, violence increases exponentially, in ratios meticulously tracked by Ibrahim. Relatively peaceful when the numbers are small, the Islamic cohort becomes incrementally and progressively belligerent as the numbers rise. “The question is,” he concludes, “how long will leftist media and politicians refuse to face reality, including by propagating the false “grievance” claim, which, once Muslims reach enough numbers—as is projected for Europe—will be discarded for the full-blown jihad?”
The incendiary developments on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a way station for Tunisian, Libyan and Moroccan refugees, is, in the words of journalist Enza Ferreri, “a window into Europe’s future.” In 2011, she writes, “according to a report of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, “[a]pproximately 60,000 irregular migrants arrived [in Italy] as part of the 2011 influx from North Africa,” primarily from Tunisia and Libya. Around 50,000 of these came to Lampedusa.” During the flux of arrivals and departures, she continues, when these illegals would be settled elsewhere in Italy and in Europe, “there were many times when the number of newcomers was higher than that of the locals. On those occasions, when natives were outnumbered, there were tales of local women having to be accompanied everywhere to protect them from immigrants’ unwanted attention, sacked shops, apartment doors forced open, people returning home to find Tunisians sitting at the dining table eating and, after the intruders’ departure, some householders even discovering faeces inside saucepans.”
Many of these aliens, Ferreri writes in The Gates of Vienna, “are not refugees [but] economic migrants in search of…welfare benefits in Europe.” They constitute an invasion that has destroyed the island’s economy and devastated its social structure. The harbors are blocked with transit boats so that local fishermen often find themselves deprived of access to their livelihood. The reception center was burned to the ground by a mob of disgruntled illegals. Residents keep their children indoors and barricade themselves in their houses during the night. No matter. The pope on his July 8, 2013 visit to Lampedusa mourned “the globalization of indifference” to the plight of Third World migrants, describing the island as “the frontier of the desperate.” Blind to the irony of his portrayal, the Holy Father got the frontier right, the desperate wrong. EU asylum regulations privileging “refugees” over natives have turned the island into a simmering volcano. The Lampedusan experience is Europe’s sinister destiny, as the island microcosm projects on a vaster scale to the continental mainland. One recalls Oriana Fallaci’s horror in The Rage and the Pride at the spectacle of public squares in Florence, having become Muslim encampments, reeking of urine and ordure.
This is indeed the Europe of the future, and, in many different regions and cities, it is also the Europe of the present. Jean Raspail’s prophetic vision in The Camp of the Saints of a collapsing Europe swamped by millions of Muslim boat people, havoc in the streets, churches mutating into mosques—a novel much reviled when it was first published in 1973—is gradually and perhaps irreversibly coming to pass. Those of us who believe that America and the remnant Commonwealth are exempt will be in for a nasty surprise. And it matters little which political stripe or kit of ideological sympathies characterize the enablers of Islam. For the facts are in. The gates of Vienna have been opened wide. What Islam could not accomplish in 1683 by military assault, it is now in the process of achieving via immigration, accompanied by spasmodic bouts of terror and with the eager complicity of Western intellectuals, submissive politicians, befuddled clergy and a debauched media apparatus.
Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin. The writing is on the wall.
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