The Uses and Abuses of Islam
by Mark Gullick (September 2014)
For Western Muslims with an interest in the return of the Caliphate, these seem the best of times. While earlier Mohammedan hordes had to go through the onerous exertions of fighting and dying to invade the West, today’s more sedentary Mussulman can simply sit back in his host country, pull up a wife, and let Western governments do the rest. In Britain, with its growing Muslim enclaves in inner city ghettoes, prisons and local councils, these micro-caliphates must surely link arms before long, Allah willing.
When it comes to the warm welcome of appeasement, nothing is too much trouble for political elites from Cyprus to Alaska. From generous welfare funding to the banning of marches and speakers critical of Islam, from blind eyes turned to grooming gangs to deaf ears cocked to inflammatory speech, Muslims merely have to post a request into the suggestion box, and a progressivist useful idiot acting in the sacred name of multiculturalism will make it so. And, thanks to what Muslims must view as mein host, being a Mohammedan means never having to be alone. Co-religionists arrive in the West daily by the plane-load, while our political gauleiters ignore jihad in favour of informing us that Islam is responsible for everything from the plough to the Large Hadron Collider.
But might not the governments of the West – always looking, as they are, for global lebensraum for their Socialist, wealth-transfer ideology – be concealing a wily agenda, one in which Islam plays a vital if ignorant part?
Western governments, from the neo-Communist kommissariat of the EU to Obama’s posse of community organisers, are fascinated by the power of Islam. Why can’t they come up with a simple portmanteau word, as the Muslim Brotherhood did with ‘Islamophobia’, and use it to stifle dissent? Perhaps this is why the West is treating Islam as something akin to a corporate brand consultancy. What if Islam is something other to the political class than a special-interest group to be flattered and pawed for the resource of its voting bloc? Why are Western governments falling over themselves to welcome the Islamic world, and what might the uses and abuses of Islam be? Here are some suggestions.
1. To assuage white Western guilt by self-denigration. Certainly, the hair shirt is ever-present in the wardrobe of Western opinion formers. Roger Scruton writes of ‘oikophobia’, or a hatred of home. Guillaume Faye, French nouvelle droitiste, thematises Western ‘ethno-masochism’. Online essayist Takuan Seiyo warns against the ‘mea culpists’. Orwell is, as always, accurate with his famous observation that the British intelligentsia would be more likely to steal from the poor-box than stand during the national anthem. One of the few culturally relevant Popes, Ratzinger, claimed that Europe’s hatred of itself was ‘pathological’. But surely there is a limit to self-flagellation. Have our politicians really imported an aggressive ideology and its quarrelsome adherents simply to make themselves feel better about their past? It stretches credibility.
2. To import a ready-made voting bloc; bring them in, feed them the addictive opium of state benefits, and they will vote for you in perpetuity. Possibly, but immigrants of any persuasion are not needed to ensure ideological continuity in government. Firstly, there is a readily available dependent underclass already in position. Secondly, although this theory is popular with critics of the Liberal-Left, it doesn’t really stand up, given that the difference between Western political parties is paper-thin, a truth currently favouring Nigel Farage and UKIP. In the UK, at least, a vote for any of the three traditional main parties is a de facto vote for more non-assimilable Muslim im migration. There is, in reality, just one political party in the UK with three main departments generating insignificant squabbles which they then parade as ideological difference.
3. Genuine fear. A moratorium on Muslim immigration plays for higher stakes than that of other groups. And, once established, Islam keeps turning the screw. Did the UK fast-food chain Subway cave in to Muslim demands when they removed pork and bacon from product ingredients in 200 of their stores and, if so, can you blame them? A good business model can come unstuck if a couple of menu items cause your retail outlets to be bombed. Subway were merely putting into practice the excellent advice of anti-Christian conceptual artist Grayson Perry. When asked why his work mocked Christianity but did not mock Islam, Perry replied that he didn’t want his throat cut. One need not ask the opinion of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose editors printed a cartoon Mohammed on their cover shortly before their offices were blown up. Past generations of artists had to fear the Lord Chancellor’s green pen. Now, the ghost of Theo van Gogh keeps order among the artistic community. And don’t be fooled by Cameron’s occasional stern but ultimately toothless gesture of concern about Islamic intimidation. This is largely to head off a potential backlash from the Orwellian proles if Islam is seen to be too privileged. This is the one thing British government genuinely fears; not the radicalised mosque but the radicalised pub.
4. Managing dysfunction leads to big government boosterism. More immigration, particularly of those peoples who are aggressively opposed to integration and even quasi-imperialist in their aims, will lead inevitably to social problems in the form of civil unrest, over-stretched resources, increased administrative requirements, the imposition of cultural requests, and extra infrastructure. In this way, big government creates adverse circumstances requiring bigger government to resolve them.
5. Preparation for world government. Conspiracy theory, but not impossible. Islam certainly complements Socialism. It denigrates free will. It demands ideological lockstep. It denies freedom of expression. It despises Jewry. The association of extreme Socialism with an all-encompassing ideology is certainly consistent with history, as Nick Cohen charts in What’s Left? And, as Pamela Geller puts it, ‘the left traditionally aligns itself with the totalitarian ideology of the day.’
Certainly, Islam is proving very useful to Western governments intent on closing down dissent. Make criticism of Islam illegal, as the EU openly intends, and Obama heavily implies he would prefer, and criticism of government may not be far behind. We must remember that our politicians cannot see the argument against curtailing freedom of speech largely because their own ability to speak freely is powerfully circumscribed by media far more interested in ‘gaffes’ than in intelligent debate and informative reportage.
Cameron and his ilk are fond of stressing that the West can learn from Islam, but there is one lesson it knew all along, and finds only a refresher course in the Holy Qu’ran: taqiyya. This Islamic principle, which tolerates lies and dissembling in the cause of Islam, is simply Western political practice refound in a non-Occidental political constitution. With this passport, Islam is useful to Western elites – both governments and their media courtiers - because it brings with it both the opportunity to criminalise dissent, and the connected and continuing practice of lying to the populace, so essential to political control. As Theodore Dalrymple writes in The New Vichy Syndrome;
“Hypocrisy and dissimulation are what keeps social systems strong; it is intellectual honesty that destroys them.”
Free speech is the vanguard of intellectual honesty, which cannot exist without it. Islam could not be more opposed to either, which may explain what must be, to its leading ideologues, an unexpectedly swift beach-head in the West.
British Imams should not congratulate themselves too soon, however. Once their role is over as authoritarian canaries in a coalmine whose owners lack the confidence to ban free speech outright, they may find themselves left in the dark.
Mark Gullick has a PhD in philosophy and lives and works in London, England. Visit his weblog: Postcards from Traumaville.
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