Sunday, June 09, 2013

Manfred Kleine-Hartlage on 'Islamist' Violence

Manfred Kleine-Hartlage
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In an article, "London, Gewalt und der Islam" (May 27, 2013; title translated: "London, Violence, and Islam"), which can be found on the website Korrektheiten, the German blogger Manfred Kleine-Hartlage offers his explanation for Islamist violence. He claims that it stems directly from Islam, and he offers an argument, which I summarize in English from the German original:
If a murderer were to cry out "Heil Hitler" and quote Mein Kampf as justification, no one would doubt that the murder would have something to do with right-wing extremism. But if a murderer cries out "Allahu Akbar" during his murderous act and quotes the Qur'an as justification, many people rush forward in their political correctness to claim that the brutal act of course has nothing to do with Islam. In the wake of the London Woolwich murder, however, perhaps we should ask what exactly this kind of terrorism does have to do with Islam. Such a question is necessary even though a mere minority of Muslims carry out such attacks, for the attacks are nevertheless shockingly high in number. Islamic communities produce such minorities with high regularity whenever Muslim are locked together with non-Muslim groups in the same social space, especially in the same state, or whenever the Muslim group is numerically strong enough to raise a claim to power, or whenever Muslim power is not bindingly codified in circumstances of Muslim coexistence with groups not covered by Sharia. Every functioning society is based on a highly complex, implicit system of norms and values, rules and assumptions, through which we are socialized. We are, therefore, as little conscious of these as we are of the grammatical rules of our language, though we nevertheless use our own language correctly. This also holds for Islam, and the Islamic value system is characterized by the following features. Allah created mankind to be a Muslim. Whoever is not Muslim goes against human nature. Not to be Muslim, from an Islamic perspective, is therefore to pervert human nature. Infidels are thus inferior in rights and values, and are therefore obliged to submit to Muslims, and may be compelled to do so. Infidels can only lay claim to "rights" if they have been entitled to these in a submission agreement. By their very infidelity, they are rebels against Allah and have no intrinsic rights. Those groups who decline the invitation to convert to Islam must be fought against and conquered by the Muslim Ummah. Against peoples and states that penetrate Islamic territory, every single Muslim is obligated to jihad. All this, in particular the inferiority of non-Muslims, is not about theory. It has been practiced for 1400 years and has remained the reality for many generations in Islamic countries. Islamic societies, parallel societies in the West included, are not known to be libertarian laissez-faire societies where everyone does what he wants. They have powerful social sanction mechanisms that ensure that no one gets out of line. But these sanctions are not regularly enforced with respect to violence against non-Muslims. Why not? Because non-Muslim inferiority is part of the Islamic value system. Even if such violence against non-Muslims is theoretically disapproved of by the majority of Muslims and endorsed only by a minority, such violence against non-Muslims never sees the level of outrage among Muslims as that which that can be triggered with a Mohammed cartoon: the cartoon is against Islam, the violence only against infidels. The slaughter of London did not come from nowhere. It did not happen by chance. It is the product of a system.
In short, Kleine-Hartlage argues that even though most Muslims are nonviolent, Islam itself produces violence, so there is no real difference between Islam and Islamism. Such is the concise expression of Kleine-Hartlage's more developed opinion. The man seems to be an intelligent individual, but I'm not sure about his qualifications. Of himself, he says: "Ich bin Diplom-Sozialwissenschaftler in der Fachrichtung Politische Wissenschaft (Gerhard-Mercator-Universit├Ąt Duisburg 1996)," which means, "I have a master's degree in social science with a concentration in political science (from Gerhard Mercator University, Duisburg 1996)." His expertise would thus appear to be self-taught.

Other than these things, I know nothing about the man.

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