On the Civilizational Struggle With Islam

Crisis Magazine, by William Kirkpatrick, April 4, 2017:

In February, female members of an official Swedish delegation to Iran donned headscarves and long coats so as not to offend their Iranian counterparts. At about the same time, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front Party, cancelled a meeting with Lebanon’s Grand Mufti after he insisted that she wear a headscarf. “You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti,” said Le Pen, “but I will not cover myself up.”

The contrast neatly captures two different responses to the ongoing Islamization of Europe. Le Pen represents resistance, and the Swedish delegation represents appeasement. So far, the party of appeasement holds the upper hand. Shortly after her gesture of defiance, the European Parliament voted to lift Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution (as a Member of Parliament) for tweeting images of Islamic State violence. Like the Swedish delegates’ gesture of obeisance, this too is an act of appeasement. It signals to the Muslim world that Europeans will take it upon themselves to punish those who criticize Islam.

There may be cases where appeasement works to placate an enemy, but it never seems to work against an implacable foe. In May, 1938, while competing in Berlin, the English national football team gave the Nazi salute when the German national anthem was played. They did this, reluctantly, on orders from their own foreign office. It was one of numerous futile gestures of appeasement offered up to Hitler.

Some historians have suggested that Hitler could have been stopped if the Allied Powers had confronted him earlier before he had time to build up the Wehrmacht. That’s probably true. The best time to fight a war is while you still have a good chance of winning it. This applies also to the ideological struggle now going on between the West and Islam. Of course, “struggle” might not be the best way to describe a conflict in which only one side is fighting. Indeed, Western authorities often join in Islam’s war against the West. By passing laws against “Islamophobia” (Canada) and by prosecuting critics of Islam (as in Europe), the West is strengthening the hand of its foe.

Instead of appeasement, what is needed is an ideological counter-attack. And the best time to launch it is now—now while it is still possible to make one’s case without being fined or jailed. Now is the right time from another perspective, as well. The sheer volume of Islamic violence is difficult to ignore. As a result, more and more people now realize that criticism and challenge of Islam is fully justified. They realize that it should be Muslims who are put on the defensive, not the so-called “Islamophobes.”

Imagine if Catholics were committing violence on the same scale as Muslims, and doing it in the name of Jesus. Would the Catholic Church be afforded the kind of kid-glove treatment now given to Islam? Would Catholic clergy be let off the hook for the crimes of tens of thousands of Catholics who cited Catholicism as their motive? Not likely. The Catholic Church would be put on the defensive—and rightly so if, indeed, the Church had a well-developed doctrine of jihad as does Islam.

In a sane society, Islam and its representatives would be put on the defensive, not critics of Islam. Instead of exonerating Islam of responsibility for Islamic terror, non-Muslims should pressure Muslims to justify the tenets of Islam that call for violence. Islamic authorities should be pushed back on their heels and kept there.

Just as non-Muslims can no longer deny the immensity of Islamic violence, neither can Muslims. Yet, absent any outside pressure, they can ignore it. This is a good time for Muslims to do some soul-searching about the beliefs that, in the words of Egyptian president El-Sisi, “make the entire umma [Muslim community] a source of concern, danger, killing and destruction for the whole world.” But if no one (with a few exceptions such as El-Sisi) asks them to question themselves, whatever doubts Muslims may have about their faith will be brushed aside. If Western leaders persist in lauding Islam as a great religion, it will be taken as confirmation that Islam is indeed the supreme religion that the imams say it is.

Muslims won’t attempt to reform Islam unless they believe there is something wrong with it. If we want to see reform, we need to drop the “great faith” pretense, and confront Muslims with the troubling realities of their beliefs. Now is the time to put Islam on the defensive because the window of opportunity for doing so will soon close. It is already dangerous to question or challenge the Islamic belief system. The time is coming when it will be supremely dangerous to do so.

Right now, the West is worried about the danger of provoking Islam. But there is a greater danger. By refusing to confront and challenge Islam’s ideology, we allow an already confident Islam to grow more confident and stronger—two characteristics that make it all the more attractive to lukewarm Muslims and potential convents. The West’s walking-on-eggshells strategy is aimed at preventing a confrontation with Islam, but it may only serve to delay a confrontation to a point in time when the West is too weak to stand up to Islam.

The West will continue to have the military edge for a good time to come, but possessing weapons is one thing, and possessing the will to use them is another thing altogether. The West is strong militarily, but weak ideologically. It lacks civilizational confidence. It is not sure if it has anything worth defending. While Islamic countries have been busy raising a generation of devout warriors, the West has raised a generation of social justice warriors who are convinced that their own civilization deserves to be eliminated.

Conviction and confidence are potent weapons. Soldiers need them, but so also do civilians. They need them all the more today because much of the campaign against the non-Muslim world is being conducted on the civilian level—through stealth jihad and lone-wolf terrorism. If that twin-pronged campaign is successful then war may not be necessary. Western citizens will simply go quietly into the long night of dhimmitude.

It’s a loss of civilizational confidence that causes the West to crumple whenever Muslims press for another concession. Burqas in public? Well, OK. Muslim prayer rooms in public schools? It would be insensitive not to allow it. Laws to prevent criticism of Islam? That’s only reasonable. Polygamy? If you insist. Taken one by one, these mini-conquests are not decisive, but cumulatively they work to remake the culture. And one day you wake up to realize that it’s too late to do anything about it.

In a way, this culture war with Islam is more difficult to fight than a battlefield war. The whole direction of our culture in recent decades presses us to yield to the multicultural other, and to assume that in any dispute, he is right and we are wrong. If Islam’s cultural jihad is to be halted, that mindset must be rejected, and Islam must be put on the defensive. Apostasy laws. Blasphemy laws. Cruel and unusual punishments. Harsh discrimination against women. Child marriage. There’s something very wrong here. And Muslims should be made to know it, and made to feel ashamed of it. We should want Muslims to be uncomfortable with their faith—uncomfortable to the point that they begin to doubt it. As Mark Steyn put it, “There is no market for a faith that has no faith in itself.”

The reason that the apostasy laws and the blasphemy laws are there in the first place is because Islam is a fragile belief system. It rests on the uncorroborated testimony of one man. The system cannot stand up to questioning and, thus, questioning is not allowed. The West should take advantage of this fragility and raise the questions Muslims will not ask of themselves. Why don’t we? Is it out of respect for another religion? Yes, there’s some of that, but increasingly, it seems, we remain silent out of simple fear. We fear that ideological war will lead to real war. But it’s worth remembering that in the 1930s a similar reluctance to challenge a similar ideology did not prevent war. On the contrary, the reluctance to face up to Nazi ideology only guaranteed that war would come.

A new analysis by MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) concludes that the Trump administration’s get tough policy is already having a pacifying effect on Iran. After its failed missile launch on January 29, Iran was “put on notice” by the administration. According to the MEMRI analysis, the effect on Iran was almost immediate: “a halt to long-range missile tests,” “a halt to provocations against US Navy vessels,” “a halt to public threats to burn and sink U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf,” and “a near total moratorium on hostile anti-U.S. statements” such as the slogan “death to America.”

The get-tough attitude seems to have—temporarily at least—made Iran less belligerent, not more. Could a get-tough attitude improve our chances of winning the civilizational struggle with Islam? Perhaps some of the slogans that apply to real war also apply to ideological war: “weakness is provocative,” “if you want peace, prepare for war,” and, as Osama bin Laden said, “when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.”

One of the chief reasons for waging a war of ideas is to avoid real war. The Cold War was in large part an ideological war. And Western success in establishing the superiority of its ideas and beliefs did much to prevent the Cold War from turning into a hot war. The Cold War analogy, by the way, is not a stretch. The communists pursued their objective with a religious fervor worthy of today’s Islamists. Indeed, the chief twentieth-century exponents of jihad such as Sayyid Qutb and Maulana Maududi borrowed heavily from the Marxist-Leninist playbook. While they rejected the atheism, they found the idea of an all-encompassing state to be very much in line with the goals of Islam. Like communism and Nazism, Islam is meant to be a system of total control. Keep that in mind the next time a priest or politician declares his solidarity with the Muslim faith. Don’t let the fact that Islam is a religion keep you from realizing that it is also an ideological opponent every bit as oppressive and determined as were the Nazis and the Soviet communists.

One more thing. The point of ideological warfare is not only to cast doubts in the mind of the enemy, but also to convince your own citizens that they possess a valuable heritage worth defending. To a large extent, that conviction has been lost in the West. And no amount of armaments can replace it. If it ever comes to actual war or to daily attacks by lone wolves, or to a combination of both, Western citizens had better know what they believe, why they believe it, and why it is worth defending. Islam has a mission. We must have one too.

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

France: “Terrorism researcher” says “invasive counterterrorist operations…may be contributing to jihadist radicalization”

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, April 23, 2017:

“’Invasive counterterrorist operations and tough tactics by the general police have [already] led to alienation in some sections of the community and may be contributing to the increasing problem of jihadist radicalization in France,’ said terrorism researcher Frank Foley. Several purportedly arbitrary arrests in counterterrorism raids have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country.”

“Hence, a Le Pen win — and a further marginalization of Muslims — could also be a victory for the Islamic State’s recruitment strategy.”

This analysis is nothing short of insane, but it’s quite common. Establishment “terrorism experts” and the media elites said the same thing when Trump was elected. But step back for a moment and think about it. They’re saying that Muslims who are law-abiding, loyal citizens of a secular republic will be so enraged by police tactics that “have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country” that they will join the jihad that they otherwise would reject and abhor and actively oppose. If they can switch sides that easily and quickly, were they ever really on the side of France and the West in the first place?

These analysts are saying that if Le Pen is elected and institutes strong anti-terror measures, Muslims will be “marginalized” and “radicalized.” All right. Hollande was elected last time, propelled into the presidency by the Muslim vote. Yet France still suffered an escalating series of jihad attacks. Why were they feeling “marginalized” then, when their candidate won and followed exactly the recommendations that are made in this article — don’t fight terrorism too strongly, or you’ll only create more terrorists? Hollande only allowed for “invasive counterterrorist operations” after several devastating jihad massacres, not before. So what caused those jihad massacres? What excuse and method of blaming the West will they come up with to explain that?

These “terrorism experts” are essentially counseling surrender: Don’t fight back, it will only make them angrier.

“France’s terrorism problem divided the country. The election could make it worse,” by Rick Noack, Washington Post, April 23, 2017 (thanks to Darcy):

PARIS — For a few days over the past two years, terrorism helped to unite some parts of French society. Following large-scale attacks, the French rallied behind their deeply unpopular President François Hollande, making his approval ratings repeatedly skyrocket for short time periods.

But the times of political unity are long over.

In Sunday’s first round of the presidential election, following a divisive campaign, French voters will have their choice between 11 candidates and their vastly different approaches to counterterrorism. Even before Thursday’s attack at the Champs-Elysees in which one police officer was killed, a majority of French said in polls that they wanted harsher sentences for terrorists and more powers for security services to prevent attacks.

Sunday’s vote is the first presidential election since the wave of terrorist attacks in France started in early 2015, and two of the four leading candidates are in favor of counterterrorism laws that have been criticized as draconic. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and conservative contender François Fillon have vowed to introduce sweeping legislation to expand police powers if they get elected. Centrist contender Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to increase security measures also attempts to calm the fears of voters, although it remains far less extensive.

Tougher measures might not automatically lead to more safety in France, however. Experts are warning that the opposite could be the case. In reality, a further crackdown on terrorism in the way it has been practiced so far, they say, could end up exposing the country further and making it more vulnerable to attacks.

“Invasive counterterrorist operations and tough tactics by the general police have [already] led to alienation in some sections of the community and may be contributing to the increasing problem of jihadist radicalization in France,” said terrorism researcher Frank Foley. Several purportedly arbitrary arrests in counterterrorism raids have created a perception that all Muslims are now under a general suspicion in the country.

A Le Pen victory in particular might “lead to a dangerous escalation of the situation in France,” Foley said.

Le Pen has, for example, vowed to proceed with large-scale deportations of Islamists. And following Thursday’s attack, both she and Fillon stated that France was “at war” with radical Islam.

Some say that such harsh rhetoric has only incited sectarian tensions.

“Le Pen’s recent remarks deliver a representation of Islam, which could easily be perceived as incompatible with secular democracy and indirectly play into the hands of radicals,” said Dounia Mahlouly, a French terrorism scholar with the International Center for the Study of Radicalization. The Islamic State and other groups have been trying to isolate Muslims within Western societies for some time to make them more prone to radicalization. Hence, a Le Pen win — and a further marginalization of Muslims — could also be a victory for the Islamic State’s recruitment strategy….

Western Leaders Confuse Endangering the Innocent for Compassion

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, April 3, 2017:

In London, the Prime Minister (and the previous Prime Minister) and many members of Parliament say the recent jihadi attack in Westminster has nothing to do with Islam, and call for embracing the Islamic community.

In Germany, Angela Merkel has opened German borders to people from sharia-adherent jihadi nations, has defended jihadis as being “un-Islamic” and, in the face of towns being overrun by jihadis, she has doubled-down on her posture.

In France, establishment leaders continue to denounce Marine Le Pen’s call for a truthful dialogue about the threat from Islamic refugee populations, and a call for French pride and liberty as being bigoted and closed-minded.

In Canada, similar malaise sweeps the land as leaders fight for who will bend over backwards farther to appease and please their Islamic residents and immigrants.

In the United States, the previous three Presidents and five or six recent Secretaries of State have belched out comments that Islamic teachings are contrary to those of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Abu Sayef, Boko Haram, or any of the other hundreds of jihadi organizations on the planet despite the fact they all claim to act in the name of Islam and all of their actions are supported by core Islamic teachings and sharia.

Leaders of North American and European Jewish organizations unwittingly stand with Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood leaders because they “know” what its like to be singled out and wrongly targeted for persecution and bigotry.

The same is true in European and American churches where pastors of all denominations throw the Apostles Creed out the window in order to be liked by their “Muslim neighbors” under the guise of “Jesus told us to love everyone – even our enemies.”

Since both government and church leaders hold that love and compassion should be our guide – a noble and just pathway – we must contemplate this from an objective, rational, and reasonable perspective.

Does compassion towards a group of people whose doctrine and belief system call for the destruction of yours take precedence over protecting the innocent in society?

Do muslims who do not believe in or want to abide by sharia constitute a “different version” of Islam? Since objectively, muslims who are speaking out against Sharia are unanimously threatened with death, we must take this into consideration if our thought process is to be considered reasonable.

Did Jesus merely command his followers to be “gentle as doves” which has been extrapolated by some Christian leaders to mean soft-hearted and soft-minded like fools, or was there more to it?  “Wise as serpents” maybe?  Has the bar for what is right and just become only those things that make our enemies “happy” or is there more to love than that?

These are relevant questions because the fate of Western society hangs on the answers.

From the perspective of Western civilization, the government has a role to play as does the Church in civil society.  In neither case is the intentional destruction of innocent civilians an acceptable trade off for surrendering authority and power to an enemy whose stated goal is the killing of innocent non-muslims. We are called to lay our lives down for others in pursuit of righteous causes, not to allow evil to destroy what is good.

That requires us to know objective good and objective evil.

As Sir Winston Churchill said:  “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the
religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas was clear as well:  “Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning.”

It appears the fate of Western civilization is in the hands of the people.  Citizens of free nations will either once again stake a claim in liberty and truth and risk everything for its future, or they will risk being extinguished by the cancer called Islam spreading across the globe.

France: The Great Wall of Calais

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, September 23, 2016:

  • Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph.
  • In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles.
  • “Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe.” — David Sagnard, president of France’s truck drivers’ federation.
  • “They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. … They can easily find work outside the formal economy…” — Natacha Bouchart, Mayor of Calais.
  • “The asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in… they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not.” — James Glenday, ABC News.

Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain.

Dubbed “The Great Wall of Calais,” the concrete barrier — one kilometer (half a mile) long and four meters (13 feet) high on both sides of the two-lane highway approaching the harbor — will pass within a few hundred meters of a sprawling shanty town known as “The Jungle.”

The squalid camp now houses more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are trying to reach Britain. The migrants at the camp are mostly from Sudan (45%), Afghanistan (30%), Pakistan (7%), Eritrea (6%) and Syria (1%), according to a recent census conducted by aid agencies.

Construction of the wall — which will cost British taxpayers £2 million (€2.3 million; $2.6 million) and is due to be completed by the end of 2016 — comes amid a surge in the number of migrants from the camp trying to reach Britain.

Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by theTelegraph. This amounts to more than 10,000 so-called “lorry drops” — when illegal migrants hiding in the back of trucks jump out after reaching the UK — this year.

In 2015-16, more than 84,000 migrants were caught attempting illegally to enter Britain from the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, according to Home Office figures cited by the Guardian. On just one day, December 17, 2015, around 1,000 migrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain. Police, who used tear gas to disperse them, said the number seeking to cross the Channel in a single day was “unprecedented.” Many of the migrants who are turned away move to “The Jungle” and try over and over again.

Migrants at the camp have been using felled trees and gas canisters to create makeshift roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain. When the trucks come to a stop, migrants climb aboard to stow away as the vehicles head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.

UK-bound migrants are building up to 30 barricades a night to stop vehicles travelling through Calais, according to French officials. Teams of traffic police now spend every night trying to keep the roads around Calais clear of migrants and their debris.

In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, has described the main route to the port as a “no-go area” between midnight and 6am.

Hundreds of migrants roam the highway near Calais, France, trying to stop trucks headed for Britain, in an attempt to stow away on board. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Xavier Delebarre, who is in charge of France’s northern road network, said the migrants have “tools, electric chainsaws that can be bought anywhere for fifteen euros.” He added:

“There is a strategy in their concerted attacks. They launch simultaneous assaults, and also diversions. Migrants build barricades by piling different materials on the road, including branches, as well as mattresses and trash. They set it on fire, and then put gas cylinders in the fire, which is very worrying. They create traffic jams to storm the trucks, so they can board them to try to get to England.”

On September 5, hundreds of French truck drivers and farmers (who complain that fields around the migrant camp are full of rubbish and human excrement) blocked off the main route in and out of Calais, in an attempt to pressure the French government to close “The Jungle.” The blockage brought to a standstill the route used by trucks from all over Europe to reach Calais and Britain.

Antoine Ravisse, president of the Grand Rassemblement du Calaisis, a coalition of local businesses, said the protesters wanted assurances from the French government that the roads in Calais will be made safe again. He said:

“The main image of Calais today in the newspaper and on TV is very negative, all about the migrants and attacks on the highway. The first point is we want the highways safe again. It’s unacceptable that today in France you can’t travel without fear and without the certainty that you won’t be attacked.

“We apologize to our British friends — our economy depends very much on the business we do with England. We apologize to all the families but some of them have experienced very bad times and dangerous times and they will agree it can’t go on.

“We are standing here and we will wait until we hear something back from the government. We are not moving until we hear from the government.”

David Sagnard, president of FNTR national truck drivers’ federation, said:

“We have to do this. We have to escalate things, because for months now the situation has been getting worse and worse. Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe.”

The problems in Calais are a source of increasing tension between France and Britain.

The Treaty of Le Touquet, signed between France and Britain in 2003, allows for so-called juxtaposed controls, meaning that immigration checks are carried out before people board trains or ferries, rather than upon their arrival after disembarkation. France, for example, maintains an immigration checkpoint at the Port of Dover in Britain to check the passports of all travelers bound for France.

Conversely, British border police check the passports of UK-bound travelers at checkpoints at Calais and Dunkirk. Travelers without proper documentation are removed from cars, trucks, ferries and trains and left behind in France. Migrants denied entry into Britain can apply for asylum in France or go elsewhere.

Some French politicians are blaming Britain for the problems in Calais. Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said Britain’s “black market economy” and “cushy benefits system” were responsible for drawing migrants to her town. She said:

“They want to go to England because they can expect better conditions on arrival there than anywhere else in Europe or even internationally. There are no ID cards. They can easily find work outside the formal economy, which is not really controlled.

“Calais is a hostage to the British. The migrants come here to get to Britain. The situation here is barely manageable. The UK border should be moved from Calais to the English side of the Channel because we’re not here to do their jobs.”

Xavier Bertrand, president of the Calais region, said: “It’s all England’s fault. The main reason we have so many problems is because of the English. Either they change their rules, or we hand them back their border.”

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is a candidate for presidential in elections in 2017, has said the Le Touquet treaty should be renegotiated and that Britain should be required to process asylum claims in the UK. During a campaign speech, he said:

“I demand the opening of an asylum processing center in Britain for those who are in Calais, so that the British do the work there. The British should organize charter flights to send home people they do not want.”

It was Sarkozy himself who signed the treaty with Britain in 2003 when he was the French interior minister.

By contrast, British authorities view “The Jungle” as primarily a French problem. In the words of correspondent James Glenday:

“Firstly, the camp is in France…. Secondly, the asylum seekers could apply for protection in France or the European country they first landed in. Lastly, they only reached Calais by crossing French borders. France is part of the borderless Schengen Area of the EU, whereas Britain is not.”

A European law known as the Dublin Regulation requires anyone seeking asylum in the European Union to do so in the first EU country they reach. In other words, according to EU law, French authorities should send most of the migrants in Calais back to Italy or Greece, where they first entered the EU, rather than to Britain.

The Dublin Regulation, however, has been in disarray since August 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel suspended the requirement for asylum seekers from Syria. The move, which allowed Syrians reaching Germany to stay while their applications are being processed, has resulted in a collapse of the EU’s refugee system — and has encouraged even more migrants to make their way to Germany.

Authorities in France are worried that any changes to the Le Touquet treaty could attract thousands — possibly tens of thousands — of additional migrants to Calais. This would play into the hands of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration National Front party, and one of the most popular politicians in France.

A recent poll showed that if the French presidential election were held today, Le Pen would win the first round with 29%, compared to 20% for Sarkozy and 11% for the incumbent, French President François Hollande.

Not surprisingly, Hollande has ruled out making changes to the Le Touquet treaty. He has also said that the decision by British voters to leave the EU will have no bearing on the treaty, which is a bilateral agreement. He said:

“Challenging the Le Touquet agreement on the pretext that the UK passed the Brexit does not make sense. What should perhaps be seen is how the UK and France could better work together to improve the situation of these immigrants.”

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve recently pledged to dismantle “The Jungle” with the “greatest determination.” Migrants at the camp are to be relocated throughout the rest of France.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

The Trial of Marine Le Pen in France

1-Marine_Le_Pen_trialCitizen Warrior, Oct. 23, 2015:

Marine Le Pen is the president of the National Front, the largest political party in France. She was ranked the 71st most influential person in the 2011 Time 100, and again in the top 100 in 2015. She is now in court, charged with inciting religious hatred. Read the following, which was edited and excerpted from an article in the New York Times, and see what you think about her “religious hatred:”

OCT. 20, 2015 — With pugnacity and self-assurance, the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen defended herself in a courtroom on Tuesday against charges of inciting religious hatred against Muslims, provoking cheers of “France for the French” from supporters in the courthouse halls afterward.

Drawing on French anxiety over the migrant surge in the east, an electoral campaign in which Ms. Le Pen’s National Front is seen as having momentum, and her own charisma, she turned what was meant as an accusatory stage into a full-throated platform for her views.

The context was unusual, but the hard line taken by the populist leader was not: France’s Muslim immigrants are an alien force threatening French values.

Far from being a provocation, at Tuesday’s hearing she described a notorious speech she made five years ago comparing Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation as an “exhortation to respect the law” on behalf of “those who have been abandoned, the forgotten ones.”

“There are people with police-style armbands at these prayers,” Ms. Le Pen continued. “I’m scandalized. This is an abandonment by the state.”

She was in court under France’s tough hate-speech laws for the speech she made to supporters in this city five years ago, which touched on two of the most tender nerves in the French collective psyche: the Nazi occupation and the country’s relationship with its Muslims.

Nobody had yet so publicly compared the Muslim presence to the Nazis, and the speech provoked an uproar, a slow-moving investigation by judicial authorities, and prodding by rights groups.

Locked in 2010 in a fierce battle for control of her party, she delighted activists by launching into the subject of mass Muslim prayers in the street…

“If you want to talk about the occupation, let’s talk about that, by the way, because here we are talking about the occupation of our space,” she said in 2010. “It’s an occupation of entire stretches of territory, of neighborhoods where religious law is applied. This is an occupation. Sure, there are no armored vehicles, no soldiers, but it’s still an occupation, and it weighs on the inhabitants.”

Anti-racism and Muslim rights groups filed a complaint and demanded an investigation. But it took the lifting of her parliamentary immunity by the European Parliament in 2013 for the case to move forward, spurred on by the human rights groups.

The case finally came to trial on Tuesday. A final judgment is expected on Dec. 15, and Ms. Le Pen could face a fine of over $50,000 and up to a year in prison.

Read the whole New York Times article here: Marine Le Pen, French National Front Leader, Speaks at Her Hate-Speech Trial.

Media and politicians don’t really know how to deal with criticism of Islam. They don’t know if it’s wrong or not. What will ultimately change public opinion (and therefore the kind of politicians we have in office) is a greater number of voters who understand the problem of Islam. How is this going to happen? It’s up to those of us who already understand it to share what we know with others as skillfully as we can. If you get objections you have difficulty answering, find an effective response here: Answers to Objections.

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

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