Five Signs of Hope (Maybe) for Europe

Prince-Charlesby :

Every now and then readers of this site, while thanking me for my coverage of the Islamization of Europe, have kindly asked if it’s possible for me to provide an occasional break from the endlessly depressing accounts of jihad and appeasement and dhimmitude and, quite simply, report on some good news for a change.

Point taken. Here, in recognition of the hopeful message of Christmas and the New Year’s promise, is a year-end dose of tidings of – well, not great joy, but at least possible positive turnarounds on various fronts.

1. BRITAIN: Walking back a dhimmi policy

The Marks and Spencer story. This one went through the whole cycle (from proud corporate declaration of spineless dhimmitude to meek apology therefor) with incredible – and gratifying – rapidity.

Just a couple of days before Christmas, a customer of the posh London retailer told the Telegraph that a Muslim clerk had refused, albeit politely, to ring up her bottle of champagne because the item offended the clerk’s religious convictions. Confronted with this story, a spokesperson for M&S affirmed that, indeed, out of respect for Islam, the store had a policy of allowing Muslim workers to refuse to serve customers purchasing (for example) alcohol and pork, and to pass these haram customers on to other, less discriminating employees.

Result: a huge public outcry, including a Facebook page promoting an M&S boycott. Within hours, M&S was not only apologizing for its wrongheaded policy but (amusingly) insisting that, in fact, it had no such policy at all, and that in the champagne incident the store’s actual policy had not been properly followed.

2. FRANCE: Walking back a dhimmi report

Here’s another example of outraged reactions to dhimmitude having a real effect. Earlier this month, Le Figaro revealed the contents of a new report – commissioned by France’s socialist prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault – which recommended a veritable blizzard of revolutionary acts by the government, from renaming streets and squares after immigrants to prohibiting the mention of transgressors’ ethnicity in the news media. Among much else, school curricula would be dramatically transformed to make them radically multicultural. Accepting the report on November 13, Ayrault promised that the recommendations would be acted upon tout de suite.

Then the protests started pouring in. “It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture,” charged Jean-Francois Cope, head of the opposition UMP party, “but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others.” Geoffrey Didier, also of UMP, called the report “a crime against republican assimilation and another step in the communitarian strategy of the Socialist Party.” And National Front leader Marine Le Pen denounced it as “a “declaration of war on the French who are calling for an end to the policy of mass immigration and the reaffirmation of our republican laws and values.” The nationwide outrage led one commentator to describe Ayrault as having “shot himself in the foot.” Confronted with the reaction, Ayrault did a snappy about-face, saying meekly: “Just because I get a report doesn’t mean it’s government policy.”

3. BRITAIN: A Prince who May or May Not Be Snapping out of It

Over the years, Prince Charles’s gushing praise of Islam, his enthusiastic participation in Islamic ceremonies, and his occasional references to his own purportedly serious study of the religion have fed speculation that he was either a secret Muslim or was well on his way to becoming one. (A 1997 article in the Middle East Quarterly, entitled “Prince Charles of Arabia,” carefully sifted through the evidence for this proposition.) As recently as 2010, Charles gave a speech extolling Islamic “spiritual principles” as environment-friendly.

How surprising it was, then, to hear the Prince of Wales saying in a speech earlier this month that “we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately attacked by fundamentalist Islamist militants.” Underscoring that he had been trying for twenty years “to build bridges between Islam and  Christianity,” he lamented that “we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so, and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution, including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.” Refreshingly, he made no apparent attempt to draw a false moral equivalency, to put the crisis down to the usual “interreligious tensions”: no, Charles actually said that Muslims were persecuting Christians, and condemned it outright.

This doesn’t mean he’s now a hero of the counterjihad resistance, but it’s something.

Read more at Front Page

Victimized by Muslims? You Deserve It

Picture-4-448x350By :

Late one night two years ago, only days before Christmas, two burglars wearing ski masks climbed through an open window into the Oslo home of Arild Opheim and Elin Ruhlin Gjuvsland. The noise they made woke Elin first. She saw a shadow through the bedroom door. Next thing she knew, the two intruders were on top of her and Arild, holding them down on the mattress and saying, in English, “Don’t look. Sleep. If look, we kill.”

The thugs tied up the couple – both of whom have worked for years as journalists and program hosts for NRK, the state TV and radio broadcasting system – and gathered up various items, including computers and telephones. Arild and Elin also handed over their bank cards and pin codes. The men were “very aggressive” – one of them struck Elin in the head with a blunt metal object. But they also attempted, as the couple explained last Friday on the TV talk show Skavlan and in a Dagbladet op-ed, to “win sympathy by telling their story.”

In a mixture of Spanish, Arabic, and broken English, they maintained that they “weren’t evil people” but were “in a desperate situation. They wanted to be able to reside and work and lead a normal life in Norway. But their asylum application had been rejected. Now they had no other choice than to rob us and to get money to return home.” In order to get back home “see their families,” they “needed 20,000 kroner” – about $4000. “They’d had a tough life, while Norwegians had it good.” Arild and Elin, said one of the crooks, deserved what they were getting.

(In fact, no rejected asylum seeker in Norway needs to rob anybody to get home. The Norwegian government pays all the expenses for such repatriation. And then some.)

Soon after the traumatic episode was over, both of the perpetrators were nabbed by cops. One of them, an 18-year-old Algerian who’d lived in Spain for several years, was sentenced to a year and seven months in jail and ordered to pay 60,169 kroner to Elin and 26,847 kroner to Arild. His confederate was arrested in Denmark and placed in a “youth prison,” from which he escaped; he’s now on the lam. As for Arild and Elin, the whole nightmarish experience made them, in their own words, “skittish and careful.” It caused them to think “ugly thoughts about immigrants.” Elin “couldn’t even stand hearing small children speaking Arabic.” Eventually they decided to write a book.

It’s now out, entitled Uninvited Guests. On Skavlan, they said that writing it was their salvation. For after that terrible night, you see, they were in peril – in peril of something far worse than just losing their lives. They were in peril, quite simply, of viewing themselves, and being viewed by others, as racists.

Read more at Front Page

EU Unveils Crackdown on Free Speech

1370580514-450x300By Bruce Bawer:

The first thing I ever wrote about Islam was an essay for Partisan Review entitled “Tolerating Intolerance,” which was published a few months after 9/11. My argument, in brief, was that Islam is not just a religion but an ideology that teaches an extreme and violent intolerance – and that Europeans had a right to protect the freedom of their societies by implementing well-informed immigration and integration policies. Now the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), founded in 2008 and consisting largely of former European presidents or prime ministers, has issued a report whose thrust is – and I quote – that there’s “no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” But the
argument of the report – which was presented to the European Parliament in late September and takes the form of a “Model Statute for Tolerance” that the ECTR hopes to see enacted by all EU member states, is light-years away from the one I made all those years ago in Partisan Review. The ECTR’s concern is not with addressing the importation into Europe of Islamic intolerance but, rather, with addressing the purported intolerance of Europeans toward (among other things) imported Islam.

If you want an idea of where the ECTR is coming from, check out a recent article, “Divided We Fall: Intolerance in Europe Puts Rights at Risk,” by Benjamin Ward of Human Rights Watch. Here’s how Ward starts out:

An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighbourhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders of Turkish immigrants in Germany. An ideologue driven by hatred of “multiculturalism” kills 67 mostly young people on a Norwegian Island….It may be comforting to see these incidents as isolated, disconnected or driven by local events. But the truth is more discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe.

Never mind intolerance by Muslims. Even to speak of that intolerance is to be, well, intolerant. Ward slams Silvio Berlusconi for suggesting in 2010 that reducing immigration into Italy would lower crime rates, and vilifies Angela Merkel for saying that Germans “feel tied to Christian values” and that immigrants “who don’t accept them don’t have a place here.” Ward’s picture of a continent where the principal threats to life and liberty are nativist bigots who torment innocent gypsies and slaughter peaceable Muslims is a fantasy. But Ward’s not alone in promulgating it. On the contrary, this funhouse-mirror picture underlies every current attempt by the EU and its affiliates to shut down free speech, including, as Soeren Kern reports, “the EU’s ongoing work towards a new ‘Equal Treatment Directive,’” which is the malignant framework within which the ECTR’s report was presented.

“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” The sentence is immediately succeeded, in the ECTR’s “Model Statute,” by the following statement: “This is especially important as far as freedom of expression is concerned: that freedom must not be abused to defame other groups.” The report goes on to prescribe comprehensive guidelines for the surveillance, monitoring, prosecution, and punishment of such “abuses” of “freedom of expression.” As European Dignity Watch, a Brussels-based NGO, puts it in a blistering commentary, the ECTR’s “understanding of tolerance” is “highly problematic,” with the term itself being defined “vaguely” (as “respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group”) and employed in a way that is riddled with “double standards.” Nor could the ECTR’s recommended edicts be much more sweeping: it proposes that speech be subjected to controls of a sort unheard of in the modern West, that groups be placed above individuals, that European law recognize the concept of “group libel” and punish it as a crime, that the burden of proof be reversed in cases of allegedly “intolerant” speech about groups, that certain “vulnerable and disadvantaged groups” be given “special protection” (“some animals,” wrote Orwell, “are more equal than others”), that juveniles found guilty of speech crimes against groups “be required to undergo a rehabilitation program designed to instill in them a culture of tolerance” (re-education camps, anyone?), that schools and the media be pressured to indoctrinate “tolerance” (as defined, needless to say, by the ECTR), and that an elaborate enforcement and judiciary apparatus in the form of National Tolerance Monitoring Commissions and “special administrative unit[s]” subordinate to European nations’ respective Ministries of Justice.

Read more at Front Page

 

9/11: Twelve Years Later

9-111-450x337By :

9/11 was a moment of utter moral clarity that has been succeeded by twelve years of moral chaos. Twelve years of duplicity, flim-flam, double-dealing, humbug. Twelve years of timorousness, incompetence, impotence.

Thousands of lives have been sacrificed in vain; inconceivable amounts of money have gone to waste. America’s financial security and its international standing have been imperiled. And all for one simple reason: because, from the very beginning, the powers that be, in both political parties, chose to lie about the nature of the enemy we were up against.

In the years before World War II began, Winston Churchill spoke up again and again in the House of Commons about the danger that the Nazis represented. His colleagues responded to his eloquent, passionate warnings with ridicule. He was considered a bore, a nag. Some of his fellow Tories viewed his preoccupation with Hitler as an embarrassment. But he didn’t waver. He knew whereof he spoke, he saw what was coming, and he did what he saw as his duty.

On September 11, 2001, only a couple of hours after the planes struck the World Trade Center, President Bush went on TV and promised the nation that we’d get the “folks” who did this. “Folks”? Would Churchill ever have called the Nazis “folks”? The tone was wrong, right from the start. Tone matters.

In the same TV address, Bush asked everyone to join him in a moment of silence. But it was not a time to bow one’s head in silence. It was a time to be enraged, to speak the facts firmly and clearly, and to plan appropriate retributive action. It was time for a moment of truth.

But nobody wanted to speak the truth.

Three days later, Bush was at the National Cathedral for an “interfaith service of prayer and remembrance” that had been jointly planned by the Cathedral and the White House. An account of the service at the Cathedral’s website recalls that the participants “spoke English, Hebrew, and Arabic” and “stood side by side—Jew, Muslim, Christian.” At the service, the Dean of the Cathedral offered up a prayer to “God of Abraham and Mohammed and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Muzammil H. Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said a prayer. “Today,” pronounced Bush, in his comments at the service, “we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity. This is a unity of every faith, and every background.”

And there, in that service, just a few days after 9/11, you can see it all – the seeds of everything that has been so terribly, tragically wrong about the last twelve years. I remember watching Siddiqi pray on TV that day and thinking: “OK, who is this guy?” The Investigative Project on Terrorism has sinceanswered that question at length. Siddiqi’s group, the ISNA, is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his mosque hosted a lecture by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the man behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In a 2000 speech, Siddiqi said that “America has to learn that because if you remain on the side of injustice, the wrath of God will come.” In 1996, he told followers that “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.” He’s also praised jihad as “the path” to “honor” and expressed support for the death penalty for gays in Muslim countries.

And yet there he was, in that pulpit, at that service. His presence there was an obscenity; to invite his participation was an act of either utter ignorance or sheer dhimmitude. But it was only the first of many such acts. It was the template for the post-9/11 era, the new American order, during which we were told by everyone, from our president on down, that the 9/11 terrorists had hijacked not only airplanes but their religion as well, which, of course, was a religion of peace. That, we were told, was what Islam means: peace. Those of us who knew better and who dared to say so were vilified as bigots, even as the likes of Saddaqi were celebrated as noble bridge builders.

Read more at Front Page

 

Scandinavian Rape, Scandinavian Blinders

rpBy Bruce Bawer:

The Norwegian Royal Palace, located in the heart of Oslo, is surrounded by a pleasant little park called Slottsparken. It contains lawns, flower beds, and a rippling brook spanned by a footbridge. Behind the Palace is a small cabin where members of the palace guard spend their down time napping and watching TV.

A less charming feature of the park is that it’s also been the setting of several rapes – no fewer than five of them between June and October of 2011 alone. Things got so bad that the Radisson Hotel – which is just across the street from the park, a minute’s walk from the Palace – began to provide its guests with rape alarms to wear when going out for a stroll.

A newspaper profile of one of the 2011 Slottsparken rapists provides a pretty representative picture of the kind of individual who commits most of these crimes. The perpetrator was a young Iraqi man who came to Norway in 2003 as an asylum seeker. His asylum application was rejected, but – as is standard practice – he was allowed to stay anyway. Three years later, he brutally raped an 18-year-old girl outside Oslo’s City Hall and was sentenced to four years in prison. In 2009, after his release, a deportation order was issued; he challenged it in court; in 2010, he lost his case. Nonetheless, he was again allowed to stay. A year later, still in Oslo, he raped a woman outside the Royal Palace.

A Muslim asylum seeker; a rap sheet; a meaningless deportation order: in today’s Scandinavia, these are among the standard bullet points on many a rapist’s résumé.

Yes, as I’ve noted before, Scandinavian policing could be better. Much better. Especially in Oslo, where the force is woefully undermanned and underfunded. Seeing officers at work, you can get the impression they’re still being trained out of a manual from half a century ago, when Oslo was as sleepy, well-behaved, and foreigner-free as Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. Last September, an Oslo rape victim complained publicly that the cops had waited six months to take witness testimony from her thirteen-year-old son. Such stories are common. And not just in Oslo: this languorous approach to law enforcement is a familiar phenomenon throughout the Nordic countries, where the only real crime, it can sometimes seem, is to display a sense of urgency about anything.

But Scandinavia’s rising rape figures aren’t the fault of the police. As everyone without blinders on knows by now, this is a story about failed immigration policies and about Islam, which teaches contempt for infidels – especially unveiled women. As Scandinavia’s Muslim population has risen, so have the rape statistics.

When I wrote two years ago about the rape crisis in Oslo, its rape statistics had eclipsed those of Stockholm and Copenhagen, earning it the title of Scandinavia’s rape capital. Since then, however, the incidence of rape in Sweden has climbed precipitously. Daniel Greenfield reported in January that “Sweden now has the second highest number of rapes in the world, after South Africa, which at 53.2 per 100,000 is six times higher than the United States. Statistics now suggest that 1 out of every 4 Swedish women will be raped.” (Another recent study also puts Sweden at #2, but has Lesotho in the #1 spot.)

Over the last seven years, the number of rapes in Sweden has nearly tripled. During the first seven months of this year, a thousand rapes were reported in Stockholm – a 16 percent jump from last year. In three hundred cases, the victims were girls under age 15. This month the Danish paper Den Korte Avis reported that rape is now at least five times more common in Sweden – where public discussion of immigration problems is essentially verboten – than in Denmark, where the subject has been openly debated for years (leading to mild reforms that have prompted bien pensant Swedes and Norwegians to slam Danes as racists).

There’s overwhelming anecdotal evidence that rapists in Sweden – like those in Denmark and Norway – are disproportionately Muslim. The Swedish government collects statistics on such matters, but won’t release them. If it’s taboo in Sweden to discuss the country’s rising Muslim population, Den Korte Avis observed, what’s even more taboo is linking it to the rising number of rapes. An independent study, however, concludes that 85 percent of rapists in Sweden are foreign-born – primarily from North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

As Scandinavia’s rape crisis has intensified, new features have emerged. For one thing, it’s spread from the cities to the provinces. There’s been an uptick in kinds of rape – such as gang rape – that were hardly ever seen in Scandinavia before. Today’s rapes, moreover, tend to be more violent than yesterday’s.

Read more at Front Page

Notes on ‘Counterjihad’

Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller

Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller

By :

“Counterjihadist.” If you had told me a couple of decades ago that this would be one of the many labels that would someday be attached to my name with some regularity, I would hardly have known what to say. Counter what? What jihadist?

But then these are strange times. On the evening of September 11, 2001, you might’ve expected responsible-minded, in-the-know public servants, journalists, and academic Islam experts throughout the Western world to start giving their respective publics a crash course (as it were) in Islamic jihad, so as to ensure that absolutely everybody understood exactly why those men wanted to take down those buildings. Instead, the President of the United States, the Karen Armstrongs and John Espositos, and virtually the entire Western media were quick to begin issuing fervent assurances that the terrorists were a fanatical minority who’d hijacked not only airplanes but Islam itself. Similar assurances followed hard upon every major terrorist act in the succeeding years. Those of us who knew better – who recognized that the terrorists were doing exactly what the Koran ordered them to do, and who believed that it was vitally important for everyone in the West to understand this – began to see our names yanked to a term that identified us not as people who were seeking to educate and inform but as antagonists of something to which every one of us, after all, should be opposed.

Think of it. If there was going to be such a term, every freedom-loving person in the Western world should’ve been eager to see the word “counterjihadist”  appended to his or her name after 9/11. The attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, after all, were jihadist acts. Ditto the later assaults on London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai, and so on. How can you not be against all that, and proud of it? But no: the Western cultural elite managed to turn “counterjihadist” into a dirty word. One of the weirdest things of all, perhaps, is that when what is now known as the “counterjihad movement” is mentioned by those who despise it, the topic of jihad itself is usually nowhere in sight. It’s invisible. It’s irrelevant. It’s as if we critics of jihad were opposed to an entirely imaginary enemy – like mermaids or leprechauns.

2.

Back in the day, anti-Communists had a similar problem. I’m old enough to recall the obloquy heaped upon them by bien pensant types – professors and high-toned journalists who considered active, vocal opposition to Communism the most lowbrow of pastimes. Yes, whereas today’s counter-counterjihadists act as if jihad is a figment of counterjihadists’ fevered imaginations, the anti-anti-Communists (a label they wore with pride) at least acknowledged – albeit in a bland, bored way – that Communism existed. Sometimes they even admitted that it wasn’t all that terrific. But by focusing their animus on anti-Communism, and remaining all but silent about the evils of Communism itself – indeed, by insisting that the very application of words like “evil” to Communism (à la Ronald Reagan) was infantile and hyberbolic – they drove home the idea that overt anti-Communism was worse – by which they meant less intelligent, less sophisticated, less worldly – than Communism itself. Indeed, even as self-identified Communists in America and throughout the West held positions of trust in the academy, government, the arts, and elsewhere, anti-Communists came to be viewed as fanatical, paranoid conspiracy theorists who, in the phrase of the day, saw “a Communist under every bed.” Even now, the Hollywood Ten, a group of directors and screenwriters who in 1947 were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about their Communist Party affiliations, are considered heroes of American freedom, even though it is a matter of public record that all ten of them turned out, in fact, to be Stalinists, dedicated to destroying American freedom; meanwhile, director Elia Kazan – a former member of the Party who named names” because he recognized Stalinism as a genuine menace to American freedom – is still remembered as a fink.

So it is today with Islam. The “counterjihadists”  are the villains – the hysterics, the fools, who see a Muslim under every bed, with a bomb in his turban. Meanwhile the good guys are the counter-counterjihadists – the journalists, activists, and others who make a career of slamming Islam’s critics, whom they frequently represent (especially over here in Scandinavia) as “conspiracy theorists.” For just as the anti-Communists of yesteryear were viewed not as sober, well-informed students of life behind the Iron Curtain but as obsessive, ignorant haters, we counterjihadists are viewed not as people who’ve read the Koran and studied Islamic societies and subcultures but as semi-literate morons and bigots – and, according to one particularly noxious meme that has spread far and wide in the last couple of years, mindless disciples of what our enemies caricature as the mad ramblings of Bat Ye’or. (Never do any of these mud-slingers ever try to explain why so many writers and scholars around the world – people with a variety of professional and personal backgrounds, and with long records of thinking for themselves and of observing the world with their own eyes – all chose, apparently more or less at once, to become, supposedly, disciples of the same person.) It should be a matter of national shame for Britain that when its government banned Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from its shores, it was doing the bidding of the counter-counterjihadists of Hope Not Hate – who, despite their manifestly Stalinist methods and sympathies, are treated by U.K. authorities as reliable ideological gatekeepers, even as the truth-telling Spencers and Gellers are tagged as anathema.

Read more at Front Page

 

Also see:

The Rise of European Islamo-Fascist Police

whitechapelgayfreezone-401x350By :

Here’s another Arabic word that both you and I would prefer not to have to know but probably should: mutaween. It means “religious police” or “morality police.” In Saudi Arabia it’s an officially constituted entity whose officers are fully empowered to arrest and punish anyone who violates sharia law – which, of course, can mean anything from committing various sexual acts to being caught taking a sip of water during Ramadan. The Saudi morality police made international headlines in March 2002 when they physically prevented dozens of girls from escaping a burning school in Mecca because they weren’t properly covered.

After that horrific incident, which resulted in fifteen deaths, people around the world congratulated themselves on not living in such a backward culture. And yet the Islamic morality police, far from being confined to Saudi Arabia – or even to the Muslim world – are an increasing presence in Europe and elsewhere.

To be sure, Islam’s moral cops in the Western world aren’t officially sanctioned. They aren’t even necessarily an organized force; many, if not most, of them are self-appointed monitors of public morality. And compared to their counterparts in Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and the Gaza Strip, they’re amateurs. But hey, you’ve got to start somewhere. Given time, and given enough leash by the real police and others in positions of public trust who prefer to look away from this deplorable state of affairs, these amateurs will increasingly resemble their Saudi models. In the meantime, they already wield real power. Authentic refugees from the Muslim world – non-Muslims or secular Muslims who fled to the West precisely to avoid such surveillance and control – are very aware of that power. So are an increasing number of natives of Western countries who live in largely Muslim neighborhoods – and who are increasingly being reminded that their ways of life conspicuously violate sharia strictures.

Consider the situation in Oslo, where things are bad, though not quite as severe (yet) as in many other European cities. Zahid Ali, an actor and stand-up comic, recalled in a 2010 interview that he’d been living with Oslo’s morality police for twenty years, ever since his early teens. “If he smoked on the street in Oslo,” reported NRK, “his mother, father, uncles, and aunts know about it before he got home” – because the news had been passed to them via Pakistani cab, bus, and tram drivers, a class of people whom Ali described as the “largest intelligence service” in Norway. Ali, now a familiar face on Norwegian television, said that members of the morality police in the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Grønland now routinely stopped him on the street to tell him: “I don’t like what you’re doing! I hate you! I’m going to kill you!” The threats, which he said had grown steadily worse over the previous five or six years, were usually delivered in Punjabi, and when Ali replied in Norwegian, his tormentors grew even angrier. (“If I answer in their language,” he explained, it means that “I’ve accepted their culture, accepted that they’re right.”) Ali said he took the threats seriously enough to avoid Grønland whenever possible.

Read more at Front Page

 

Islam, Rape and Theology

islamr-364x350By :

Five days before 9/11, a famous Norwegian social anthropologist (and Norway may well be the only nation on Earth where there is such a thing as a famous social anthropologist) instructed her countrywomen that the way to bring down the high number of rapes – most of which, even way back then, were already being committed by “non-Western immigrants” – was for them to stop dressing in a manner that Muslim men found provocative. Norway, she lectured, was steadily becoming “a multicultural society,” and Norwegian women, if they didn’t want to wind up being brutally ravished in an alleyway by some Pakistani gang, should choose their wardrobes appropriately. Period.

That anthropologist, whose name is Unni Wikan, didn’t score any points that day for heroically championing women’s equality, but she was, at least, being honest. The rise in rapes in Norway – as throughout Western Europe – was almost entirely a product of Islamic immigration. That was a fact she didn’t attempt to disguise.

Then, however, came 9/11. And in the years since, there’s been a desperate effort by bien pensant types throughout Europe to deny that the ever-increasing incidence of rape on the continent has anything whatsoever to do with Islam. Some try to dismiss or explain away the numbers entirely; others grudgingly acknowledge them, while fiercely denying that there’s any Islamic connection at all; some, while admitting that a disproportionate number of rapists are immigrants, attempt to blame the problem on ethnic European racism, the idea being that immigrants grow so frustrated over their mistreatment that they resort to rape.

All of which is absurd to anyone who’s remotely aware of Islam teachings about sex and of the high incidence of rape in Muslim societies that is a direct consequence of those teachings. We’re talking about a religion that treats the male sex drive as a virtually holy phenomenon, and that allows men to have multiple marriages and divorce at will, even as it demands that females deny themselves even the most innocuous sorts of human contact in the name of preserving family honor – and that punishes a single infraction with death. In the view of Islam, when a man rapes an immodestly dressed woman, the rape isn’t his fault but hers; and when a Muslim rapes an infidel in the “House of War,” it’s recognized as a form of jihad. As forgiving as Islam is of virtually every imaginable heterosexual act that might be committed by a Muslim male, it’s equally unforgiving of a Muslim woman who happens to be caught alone, doing nothing whatsoever, with a male who’s unrelated to her, or who, for that matter, commits the inexcusable sin of being raped.

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em?

burqa-women-450x170By Bruce Bawer:

“Don’t be stupid, be a smarty –
Come and join the Nazi Party.”
– Mel Brooks, “Springtime for Hitler”

What to do? Late last Sunday night, a 23-year-old woman in Oscarshamn, a town of 17,000 people that’s about halfway between Mecca and Medina – sorry, I mean Stockholm and Malmö – was on her way home when she was stopped by three young men of foreign origin. “Are you Swedish?” they asked her. When she said yes, they hit her so hard that she fell to the ground. Then, looking down at her, lying there at their feet, they said: “Welcome to Sweden. It’s our country now, not yours.”

The brief account I read of this incident closes with the information that the police have labeled this a “hate crime.” Gee, ya think? Presumably there’s no place on their checklists for “soft jihad.”  (Although I’m sure there was nothing soft about the punch that knocked that young woman to the pavement.)

One thing these “soft” jihadists have going for them is that what they’re engaged in is, quite simply, so audacious that –  unless you’re prepared to open your mind up to the immense and terrible reality of it – it can seem almost farcical. “It’s our country now, not yours”? It has the absurd ring of a pathetic claim made by some schoolyard punk. Except that those three punks in Oscarshamn aren’t alone. They’re certainly far from the first of their kind in Europe to make such an arrogant pronouncement. And as the years go by, that bold assertion, echoed increasingly in the streets of a growing number of European towns and cities, comes ever closer to being the plain and simple truth.

It may be that that 23-year-old woman would’ve known better than to walk home alone late at night if she were living in certain parts of Stockholm or Malmö, but that she assumed it was still safe in Oscarshamn. Perhaps she figured: well, it won’t be safe here in five or ten years, but for now…?

This is the current European calculus. I’m reminded of a gay guy I met in a West Hollywood bar one night in the mid 1980s. He had, he told me, recently moved to L.A. from New York. “Why?” I asked. I was stunned by the fatuity, the deadly self-deception, of his reply. He had left New York, he said, to get away from AIDS: “It’s not so bad here yet.”

I’m also brought to mind of the Australian writer Nevil Shute’s haunting 1957 novel On the Beach, which became a 1959 film starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner. Fallout from a nuclear war has killed almost everybody on earth, leaving alive just a few million people in the southern hemisphere – in Australia, New Zealand, and at the southern tips of South America and Africa – who can do nothing but wait for the air currents to do the inevitable job of bringing the radiation their way, too. Over the course of the novel, one by one, from north to south, the cities of Australia die out. The film is splendid, but the novel paints an even more haunting portrait of the human race helplessly facing its own extinction.

Of course, the difference between Shute’s characters and real-life Europeans today is that the latter aren’t helpless. They could act. But they feel helpless. They hear the cry ring out, in one place after another: “It’s our country, not yours.” And how do they respond?

Last week three news stories neatly summed up the ways in which all too many Europeans are responding. From Brussels came the report that the European Parliament is expected to act in a few days to lift the immunity from prosecution that Marine Le Pen enjoys as a member of that body. Why? So that she may be put on trial for criticizing Islam. A British Tory member of the European Parliament, Sajjad Karim, spoke out in favor of the measure, explaining that there’s “a red line between freedom of speech and inciting racial hatred.”

What exactly did Le Pen, head of the French National Front, say to bring on this effort? In a December 2010 speech, she observed that the sight of masses of Muslims spontaneously taking over streets and blocking traffic in order to pray together – a spectacle that is increasingly familiar in Paris and other French cities, and that is destined to become an everyday event in other European cities before very long – recalled the Nazi occupation of France. “There are no armoured vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation all the same and it weighs on people,” Le Pen declared. It is for this bit of truth-telling that she now faces the prospect of a trial.

That’s one way, then, to respond to the jihadists’ victory cry – to haul their opponents into court. Another approach is to keep the critics of jihad from entering your country in the first place. On Friday the BBC reported that British officials – who for years have refused to deport any number of high-profile advocates of Islamic terrorism, and on multiple occasions have allowed the most atrocious of foreign-based jihad apologists (such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi) to sully their shores – were appalled at the news that Islam critics Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer planned to come to Britain to speak at a June 29 event in memory of jihad victim Drummer Lee Rigby. Home Secretary Theresa May, the BBC noted, was considering denying Geller and Spencer entry into the U.K.; Home Affairs Committee Chairman Keith Vaz, describing them as “incendiary speakers,” made the usual fraudulent, fainthearted noises about the “incitement of hatred.”

Read it all at Front Page

They’ll Take Sweden

Sweden-Riots-450x273By :

Night after night last week, as the tumult in Stockholm not only continued but kept spreading to more and more neighborhoods and then to other Swedish cities, the media in that country, by and large, kept pretending that it was all about things like unemployment and social marginality, all of which were supposedly aggravated by Swedish racism (and, especially, by the insufficiently respectful attitude of police officers toward immigrant “youths”); meanwhile, the foreign media, which, as the disorder persisted, found it increasingly difficult to pretend that all this wasn’t happening (the New York Times finally ran a four-sentence Reuters item about the bedlam on Thursday), largely echoed the domestic disinformation.

Of all the reports I looked at, the one that most effectively epitomized the asinine, mendacious approach of the Western media to this latest nightmare was a piece from Reuters that had no fewer than eight names attached to it. I would strongly recommend that you read the whole thing; in fact, I would suggest that it be taught in future history courses as a prime example of the high level of duplicity of which the early twenty-first-century Western media were capable when confronted with raw displays of Islamic power on their own turf. Credited to Niklas Pollard and Philip O’Connor, with “additional reporting” by Johan Ahlander, Mia Shanley, Patrick Lannin, and Simon Johnson, writing by Alistair Scrutton, and editing by Janet McBride, the Reuters piece was headlined “Sweden riots expose ugly side of” – no, not of “European immigration policies” or “Islam,” of course, but of the “Nordic model.”

Yes, it’s all the fault of the “Nordic model”: the roots of the Stockholm unrest, Reuters (and virtually every other major Western news organization that deigned to report on the disturbances) would have us believe, lay “in segregation, neglect and poverty,” in years of “fruitless job hunts, police harassment, racial taunts and a feeling of living at the margins.” And so on. Which means, I suppose, that 9/11 revealed the flaws of the American model, and the car-burnings in French suburbs reflect the weaknesses of the Gallic model, and the explosions in Madrid were all about the failings of the Spanish model, and the savage murder of Lee Rigby in London last week…well, you get the idea.

The dispatch from Reuters suggested that Sweden’s “lowered taxes” (which are still absurdly high) and “reduced state benefits” (which are still staggeringly bounteous) are responsible for rising economical inequality and segregation, and thus for the pandemonium in the streets. An Ethiopian-born woman interviewed by Reuters maintained that Swedish kids won’t play with her daughter “because she’s dark.” (There was no mention, needless to say, of the real problem in an increasing number of Scandinavian schools, namely the systematic harassment, and worse, of ethnic Swedish kids by their immigrant-group classmates.) On late-night trains from downtown Stockholm to the suburbs, the Reuters team told us, you’ll see “exhausted-looking Arabic or Spanish speaking immigrants returning home from menial jobs”; an “Asian diplomat” lamented that immigrants in the Swedish capital “are mostly selling hotdogs.”

Read more at Front Page

The Media’s Character Assassination of Lars Hedegaard

pic_giant_030613_SM_hedegaard-450x328By :

It’s starting to look like the Book of Job. For years, he’s been demonized in his nation’s media for criticizing Islam. In 2011 and 2012, he was put on trial – not one, twice, but three times – for violating a Danish law that makes it a crime to insult or denigrate a religion. Last month, a guy came to his door dressed as a mailman and tried to kill him; his survival seems nothing short of a miracle.

You might think that in the wake of this assassination attempt, Lars Hedegaard would get some respect – or at least solidarity – from the Danish media. But you could only think that if you were unaware of the aftermath of the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, whose bodies weren’t even cold when Dutch journalists set about smearing them even more enthusiastically than they had before, essentially blaming them for their own deaths. Many of Lars’s fellow Danes, to be sure, did rally round him after his close call. But in large part, the Danish media’s reaction was depressingly predictable. As I noted just last week, a couple of morally challenged employees of the newspaper Ekstra Bladet actually tried to follow a moving van to Lars’s new home, apparently so they could print the address; fortunately, the police foiled their effort.

Alas, that wasn’t the end of it. On Sunday, Deadline, a program on the state-owned TV channel DR2, aired a half-hour taped interview with Lars by reporter Martin Krasnik. Krasnik’s introduction, tacked onto the beginning of the show later, was not promising. In a manifest attempt to paint Lars as an extremist, Krasnik mentioned Lars’s hosting of Geert Wilders at the Free Press Society and Anders Behring Breivik’s citation of Lars in his “manifesto.”

Read more at Front Page

See also:

In Defence of Lars Hedegaard (counterjihadreport.com)

The Islamization of Copenhagen

Bit by bit, it’s getting worse.

 

By Bruce Bawer

Bit by bit, it’s getting worse.

In recent years, life in the city of Copenhagen has hardly been free of, shall we say, problems related to Islam. But for the most part, the worst of it has been confined to Muslim neighborhoods such as Nørrebro. And residents of Copenhagen have at least been able to console themselves that conditions in their city were nowhere near as bad as those right across the Øresund Bridge in the now notorious Swedish burg of Malmö.

Well, as an editorial in Jyllands-Posten acknowledged last week, “conditions such as those in Malmö…are beginning to appear in Copenhagen.”

In a news story that appeared on the same day as the editorial, Jyllands-Posten reported the latest example of these “conditions”: both the Israeli ambassador to Denmark, Arthur Avnon, and the head of Copenhagen’s Jewish community are now advising Jews in that city to stop wearing yarmulkes and Stars of David and speaking Hebrew loudly in public – even in neighborhoods that they think of as “safe.” Asked about this advice, Police Commissioner Lars-Christian Borg told Jyllands-Posten that Jews – and gays, too – should stay away from parts of the city where there is a recognized “risk of clashes and harassment.” (Nice euphemism for “Muslim neighborhoods,” that.)

The Jyllands-Posten editorial bleakly toted up other examples of what they described as the city’s increasing readiness to adapt to the ever-worsening situation in the Danish capital: Copenhagen’s Jewish school “looks like a small fortress,” supplied with an elaborate security system and police protection, a constant reminder to the children that there are people who wish to do them harm; the head of the Danish-Palestinian Friendship Society, who is also a leading figure in Denmark’s ruling Socialist People’s Party, recently opined that Hitler should have killed even more Jews than he did, and went unpunished and all but entirely uncriticized for it; Copenhagen’s mayor called on Jews not to display too many Israeli flags at a recent multicultural festival, an admonition that was generally regarded as sensible: “why pick unnecessary fights?” Why “provoke”? Once again proving itself to be morally head and shoulders above virtually every other major newspaper in Europe, Jyllands-Posten called on Danes to recognize just how dangerous it is to respond in a passive and accommodating way to Muslim hatred, and urged them to  stand up to it before it’s too late.

Read more at Front Page

Going Undercover in Sweden’s Mosques

by Bruce Bawer, Front page:

You may recall that back in 2007, the series Dispatches, produced by Britain’s Channel 4, sent reporters into several mosques in that country with hidden cameras and microphones.  The result was a program entitled Undercover Mosque, which – for those who didn’t already suspect that fishy stuff was going on behind those walls – was mind-blowing, confirming pretty much every claim made by the critics of Islam that had been furiously rejected by imams as sheer Islamophobia.  Among other things, Channel 4 caught preachers on videotape rejecting Western law and integration into Western society; asserting the intellectual inferiority of  women and the acceptability of marrying pre-pubescent girls; and calling for the murder of Jews, Hindus, gays, Muslim apostates, and British soldiers.

If you remember that program, you may also remember what happened afterwards.  The British police investigated the mosques, but decided they didn’t have enough evidence to charge them with anything.  At which point the cops did a 180 and reported Channel 4 to Ofcom, the UK’s answer to the FCC, for allegedly editing its footage in such a way as to misrepresent the preachers’ views.  The good news is that Ofcom eventually rejected the charges; the bad news is that, once again, the critics of Islam became the heavies, the Muslims the victims.  And despite Undercover Mosque‘s explosive revelations, nothing much changed as a result of them.

Now, to its credit, and to the astonishment of many, Swedish television has done its own version of Undercover Mosque.  The 60 Minutes-style series Uppdrag: Granskning (Assignment: Investigation) sent two women in burkas into ten Swedish mosques.  One of them carried a hidden camera; the other pretended to be a woman whose abusive husband had taken a second wife and who wanted to know the answers to these questions:

  • Is a man permitted to marry more than one woman?
  • Is a woman permitted to deny her husband sex?
  • Is a man permitted to hit his wife?
  • If so, is she permitted to call the police?

Again, for those who have been following these matters for years in North America and Europe, the results of this investigation will not come as much of a surprise.  But in Sweden, where the media try their best never to approach these matters in a remotely honest way, this episode of Uppdrag: Granskning provided a rare taste of media candor.

One of the ten mosques was the Stockholm Mosque, the most prominent Muslim house of worship in Sweden.  An official at the mosque, Mahmod Adam, told his burka-clad interlocutor that it’s perfectly acceptable under the Koran for a man to take four wives, so long as he can support them and treat them equally.  “Understand?” he asked.  “Yes,” she replied meekly.  In response to which he told her, sharply, “You’re supposed to listen!” – in other words, “Shut up!”

The faux wife went on to tell Adam that her husband hits her if she so much as opens her mouth – and that he cites the Koran in his defense.  Adam replied that her husband is allowed to smack her on the arm – and that under no circumstances, in any case, should she call the police on him.  His final advice: to show her husband more affection.

Elsewhere the advice was similar.  At the Örebro Mosque, Abdur Kadir Salad told the woman not to call the police because she’d end up getting a divorce and breaking up her family – and Muslims don’t want that, for Islam is about building families, not breaking them up.  At the Islamic Center in Malmö, same advice: no police, because “they can take your kids.”  At another Malmö mosque, the message was unambiguous: “Never, never consider calling the police.”  Even if he hits her twenty or thirty times?  Smacking himself on the arm, the imam said forcefully: “This is not hitting!”

On to Uppsala, where Abdul Wadod – who, amusingly, looked not unlike Sasha Baron Cohen with a beard – told the woman that when her husband hits her, she shouldn’t call the cops; she should apologize.  Apologize?  Yes.  He cited what he called “a very fine hadith,” which, according to him, says in effect that a good wife responds to spousal abuse by telling her husband: “I’m sorry, I just can’t sleep until you’re satisfied with me.”

That was the overall pattern.  There were exceptions.  “It doesn’t matter if he ends up in prison,” said the counselor at the Islamic Cultural Center in Rinkeby when asked about how to deal with domestic violence.  “You must report him to the police.”  (Curiously, of all the mosques, this is the one that has the reputation of being the most conservative; I couldn’t help wondering if he’d figured out that his visitor was wearing a wire.)

The final score: at six out of the ten mosques, the woman was told that it was her duty to submit to sex with her husband.  At six, she was told not to report spousal abuse to the police; at two others, the advice she received was vague or contradictory; only at two mosques was she told to go to the police.  And at nine out of ten, she was told that her husband has the right to take four wives.

All of this advice, as Uppdrag: Granskning duly noted – and as the mosque employees certainly understood – is in explicit violation of Swedish law.  And these mosques, as was pointed out on the program more than once, receive generous financial support from the Swedish government.

Read more

Netherlands Sliding into the Abyss

Posted By Bruce Bawer In Daily Mailer,FrontPage

 

In a new interview in the Dutch magazine Panorama, Geert Wilders talks about a variety of things, including his forthcoming book about Islam, which will be published in the U.S. in April.  In it, he says, he’ll document the fact that “Islam is a dangerous ideology” and that “Muhammed really is one of the big bad guys” of history, whose negative influence continues to be felt today.  Yes, Wilders acknowledges, there are genuinely moderate people who call themselves Muslims, and if they want to call themselves Muslims that’s fine with him – but there is no such thing as a moderate Islam.

What, asks the interviewer, is his great fear?  Answer: that “if we don’t put an end to Islamization, it will slowly but surely insinuate itself into our society, at the cost of our freedom.  And bit by bit things will go the wrong way.  That’s why I’m extending this warning.  Otherwise someday our children and grandchildren won’t have freedom any more.”  To which the interviewer replies: “And if people say: come on, Geert, it’s not really so bad, is it?…What do you say then?”  “I say: it’s worse than you think.”

It’s hard to believe that in the year 2011 there exist Dutchmen – outside of the perennially clueless cultural elite, that is – who are still able to believe that things aren’t “really so bad.”  But, alas, there are.  There are.

To be sure, thanks largely to pressure from Wilders and his Freedom Party, the last few years have seen reforms in Dutch immigration and integration policies.  But has it been too little, too late?   For the unfortunate fact is that one set of indicators after another continues to head south.  Take a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and produced by Risbo, a research institute at Erasmus University.  It shows that of males in the Netherlands’ “Moroccan community” between the ages of 12 and 24, no fewer than 38.7 percent have come to the attention of the police at least once during the last five years in connection with some offense – mostly violent crimes and thefts.

The winner in this dubious sweepstakes is the historic city of Den Bosch, about fifty miles south of Amsterdam.  In Den Bosch, just under half of young Moroccan males between 12 and 24 – 47.7 percent, to be exact – have police records.  (That’s up from 45 percent last year.)  In a long list of other cities – Zeist, Gouda, Veenendaal, Amersfoort, Maassluis, Oosterhout, Schiedam, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Ede, Leiden, and The Hague – the figure also topped 40 percent.  In every municipality that was studied, incidentally, the scores for Moroccan youths far outstripped those for ethnic Dutch kids, among whom an average of 13 percent of boys in the same age cohort had come in for similar police attention during the same period.

One person who knows a good deal about the Dutch Moroccan youth milieu is filmmaker Roy Dames, who spent eight years – imagine! – working on Mocros, a documentary about young Moroccans in Rotterdam.  (The film opened on November 10 in Amsterdam and Nijmegen, and will be aired on Dutch TV early next year.)  In an interview with the Dutch edition of Metro, Dames, whose previous work includes documentaries about criminals, prostitutes, alcoholics, and homeless people, says that he “wanted to make a documentary about the Moroccan boys in the street, the street kids that you see everywhere.  In 2002, when I started Mocros, Moroccan boys had a poor image. They still do.  Many Moroccan boys are kicked out of school, cause trouble in the streets, and are in danger of leading a life of crime.”

The ones he’s been following around all these years with his camera now average about twenty-three years old.  They’re on welfare and get “an occasional job.”  One of them has spent some time in prison.  It’s not easy to get them to open up, he says, because they “live in a culture of silence and shame” in which pressure from family, friends, and community “is enormous.”

Spending all these years in the company of these youths hasn’t exactly protected Dames from their not-so-chummy side.  At one point he was filming a (shall we say) uncongenial encounter between thirty of his young subjects and some hapless “youth workers” when suddenly the boys “turned on me” aggressively.  Dames jumped in his car and sped off just in time – and had to put the project on hold for six months.  (Apparently it took that long for the kids to cool down.)

One gathers that while Dames has a certain degree of sympathy for at least some of these kids, he also doesn’t pull any punches, and shows things how they are – which is not pretty.  (A snotty little review in De Telegraaf gripes that the film, intentionally or not, will confirm all the prejudices of ethnic Dutch viewers – and the reviewer ends with that line, as if to make it clear that the last thing he wants to do is to explore the disturbing implications of this observation.)

It seems significant that the profile of Dames appeared in the Dutch edition of Metro, of all places.  Metro is a chain of urban newspapers that can be picked up for free in subway stations and other such places (the Dutch trains are always full of discarded copies), and over the years I’ve noticed that the Dutch and Swedish editions of Metro are – scandalously – often the only places you’ll find news stories that are too politically incorrect for those countries’ “real” media to touch.  Apparently Dames’s documentary falls into that category.  Mocros has received “little attention in the media,” he laments, because “the Dutch press is politically correct” and would prefer not to have a “real debate” about the issues raised by films like his.

Well, we knew that already – heaven knows Geert Wilders does.  But after the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, the hounding of Ayaan Hirsi Ali out of the country, and the prosecution of Wilders – all because they dared to express their opinions about Islam – and given the increasingly out-of-this-world statistics such as those included in the Risbo report, one wonders exactly what it would take to persuade the Dutch media that it’s time, at long last, to permit a truly wide-open, no-holds-barred discussion of Islam in the Netherlands.  One fears that by the time some of the media moguls realize it’s time to let ‘er rip, it’ll already be much too late.