Monday, May 26, 2008

'Dhimmification' of Europe?

Apologizing to Mohammed Hamdan
(Image from VG Nett)

I've nearly finished reading Bruce Bawer's book, While Europe Slept, and I encourage people to read it. It's not a scholarly text, so you won't find citations to help you track down Bawer's sources, but what he writes accords with what I've read elsewhere.

I'll soon go on to read Claire Berlinski's Menace in Europe, Bruce Thornton's Decline and Fall, and Walter Laqueur's The Last Days of Europe, all three being about the 'challenges' facing Europe in its decline.

But before leaving Bawer entirely (though I'll return to him as I prepare my Yonsei course), I'd like to draw attention to his recent article for City Journal: "An Anatomy of Surrender" (Spring 2008, Volume 18, Number 2). This article recaps many of the points that Bawer makes in While Europe Slept.

In this article, Bawer emphasizes that the Islamists are attempting to force Europeans to accept the strictures of sharia by restricting the right to free speech, an assault that began with the Rushdie Affair:
What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Khomeini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies' basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies. (Bawer, "An Anatomy of Surrender," paragraph 2)
Bawer relates an example from a more recent crisis in Norway that followed in the wake of the controversy that had resulted from the publication of several Muhammad cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten:
With the press, the entertainment industry, and prominent liberal thinkers all refusing to defend basic Western liberties, it's not surprising that our political leaders have been pusillanimous, too. After a tiny Oslo newspaper, Magazinet, reprinted the Danish cartoons in early 2006, jihadists burned Norwegian flags and set fire to Norway's embassy in Syria. Instead of standing up to the vandals, Norwegian leaders turned on Magazinet's editor, Vebjørn Selbekk, partially blaming him for the embassy burning and pressing him to apologize. He finally gave way at a government-sponsored press conference, groveling before an assemblage of imams whose leader publicly forgave him and placed him under his protection. On that terrible day, Selbekk later acknowledged, "Norway went a long way toward allowing freedom of speech to become the Islamists' hostage." As if that capitulation weren't disgrace enough, an official Norwegian delegation then traveled to Qatar and implored Qaradawi -- a defender of suicide bombers and the murder of Jewish children -- to accept Selbekk's apology. "To meet Yusuf al-Qaradawi under the present circumstances," Norwegian-Iraqi writer Walid al-Kubaisi protested, was "tantamount to granting extreme Islamists . . . a right of joint consultation regarding how Norway should be governed." (Bawer, "An Anatomy of Surrender", paragraph 25)
What I find most disturbing about this episode concerning the restriction of Vebjørn Selbekk's free speech is that Mohammed Hamdan, the leader of those 'Danish' imams, "publicly forgave him and placed him under his protection"!

Lest anyone not understand the implications, that sort of 'protection' implies that Selbekk is already a dhimmi and that an Islamist such as Hamdan believes that Islam already rules in Norway.

Such 'protection' is contingent upon the dhimmi's continued good behavior, which entails continually acknowledging the supremacy of Islam.

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At 8:11 AM, Blogger Hathor said...

Europe had not what I would have considered a tradition of freedom itself. Less than a hundred years. Their war was not of liberation but from domination. I think that makes a difference. If for example the Germans were true advocates of free speech, why would the Nazi party be illegal.

At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts on While Europe Slept are informative and insightful. I'm guessing that there are few, if any, Korean scholars with a deep understanding of modern Islam.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"Their war was not of liberation but from domination."

Hathor, that's an excellent point, a really excellent distinction to make. I wish that I'd thought of that.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Sonagi. I wouldn't say that I have a deep understanding, but I do agree that most Koreans, even scholars, know next to nothing about Islam.

Often, they see it through a distorting lens of anti-Americanism.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:06 PM, Blogger Irf said...

sonagi, can you imagine if someone wrote a book suggesting all Koreans had nefarious intentions and were trying to take over Asia? Would you suggest someone write a book called "While Asia Slept" about the rising Korean threat?

This kind of far-Right stupidity belongs in the deep-South of the United States. There it belongs. I hope that the academic who writes this blog doesn't pollute young Korean minds with such sectarian bigotry.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Irf said...

anti-americanism, horace? What is so wrong about being anti any group? After all, you seem to feast on a healthy (anti-)intellectual diet of anti-Muslimism.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Irfan Yusuf, you're not adding much to the discussion by your insulting comments. On that point, see my response to your comment on my Milton post.

Islamism is a problem in Europe, and it cannot be ignored.

By the way, I go by "Jeffery," as you may recall.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny how right wingers are perpetually whining about freedom of speech, while they have no compulsions over the murder of millions of Muslims by secular Western regimes and their puppets.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Are the right wingers doing that, too? I hope so. I wish that everybody across the political spectrum would whinge about wanting to protect free speech. We'd have far less to worry about then.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:06 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Violence also erupted in the wake of the infamous Mohammed cartoons, first printed by the Danish broadsheet Jyllands-Posten in fall 2005. Dozens perished across the globe, consulates were set ablaze, threats of murder and kidnapping were issued, and several of the artists went into hiding.
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At 7:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

'Olivia Haris', you are mere spam.

Jeffery Hodges

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