This post is the fifth of a multipart article where I interview a subject named "Reinhard". Reinhard is a member of FOMI - Svenska Forum Mot Islamisering (information in English; FOMI in English).
Questions are numbered and in italics, and Reinhard's responses are in plain text. Some of these questions refer to questions and answers found in the first, second, third and fourth parts of the interview; see also the administrative questions.
34. In Question 28 you paint Islamic culture as essentially the opposite of a culture that respects women's rights. In Question 27 you paint Swedish culture as one that emphasizes compromise over confrontation. Are those fair summaries? In Question 19 you state "today’s Swedes are suffering from the consequences of a choice made by the political elite of the previous generation." Why does Swedish society, and in particular the feminist movement, not speak out against features of Islamic culture that are perceived as discriminating against women? Is it because they are afraid of confrontation? Is it because they refuse to admit their own mistakes? What explains this appearance of hypocrisy? Or, do they speak out against it, and I am not aware of this?
Your summaries are correct. In Sweden we have two ideologies which regulate what can be said and indeed believed: the ideology of multiculturalism, and its running dog, the ideology of political correctness which stifles all debate about multiculturalism. Since Swedes generally don’t like to argue and be perceived as causing trouble, it becomes far too easy to silence critics by calling them racists. Feminists do not support immigrant women who are subjected to honour violence, since in order to do so, the feminists would have to search for the roots of that violence; but since those roots are to be found in the culture of the immigrants, then owning up to this fact would make the feminists appear to be racists. And since feminists are motivated by a desire to do good, and pride themselves on being good people, they would never do anything which might make them appear to be racists, who are bad people. These dangerous ideologies of blind acceptance and self-censorship thus hamstring the efforts of feminists who are trying to get to the bottom of honour violence.
Feminists also seem to be acting in the same way as communists and others who behave like religious fanatics in defending their beliefs and world-view. Why is the left not fighting against Islamic imperialism? Because according to their world-view, USA is always the aggressor. The feminists are likewise unable to get past their belief that all immigrants are by definition good people and the victims of the patriarchy/West/white male establishment. They would never admit to making a mistake in this, since they sincerely believe that they are committing no mistake. They are right; they are not racists; they will refuse all proof to the contrary, no matter how convincing, since to admit that they were wrong, would force them to abandon their entire world-view. The situation has indeed become absurd, but is somewhat alleviated by dissident feminists, many of whom have their background in Muslim countries, who are pointing to specific problems in Islamic culture which need to be discussed in public. (And since these dissidents are immigrants, according to the logic of multiculturalism, they can never be racists, and thus people are forced to hear them out.)
35. In a similar theme, why does a society that views itself as secular not at least question such strongly-held religious beliefs as can be found in some places in the Islamic world, even right within its own political borders? Why does such a society, which seems to pride itself on not having had a war in two centuries, not denounce violence when committed by certain elements of the Islamic community within areas subject to its own jurisdiction and against its own citizens, the very people this society has sought to liberate? Are Christians fair game because they will likely turn the other cheek, while Muslims are deferred to, because they might take off one's head? Please correct any assumptions that I implicity make that you feel may be in error.
All of this has to do with political correctness and the quasi-religious belief among some that USA/the West is always to blame, and that Muslims are always the victims. To concede that Muslims, either in Muslim states or in Sweden, can be the aggressors, would be perceived as racist (specifically, ”Islamophobic”). bin Laden is reacting against US oppression, the Palestinians are forced to commit suicide bombings because of the evil Israelis, etc. The tactic to blame the victim has worked wonders in Sweden, which is traditionally a left-leaning country. All attacks on the West, and even attacks on Sweden, are our own fault. There was a lack of condemnation of Islamic jihadism in the wake of 9/11 which was truly horrifying. Almost everyone seemed to be arguing along the lines of "Well, they had it coming". Needless to say, attitudes such as these have often had the unintended effect of galvanizing the anti-Islamic resistance and causing more people to join the fight.
Swedes espouse secularism but to insist that Muslim immigrants adhere to a secular code of conduct, would be to impose demands on them, and that is impossible, since immigrants are always victims; they can’t find jobs because we don’t give them the opportunity. (Anyone who even suggests that they might in fact be unwilling to assimilate, is immediately branded a racist.) Verbal attacks against Christians and Christianity are accepted since Christians are a majority. Muslims are a minority and therefore good people. If anyone from the majority criticizes any minority, he is at fault, since regardless of what he says, he is a member of the oppressive majority. Of course, the obvious fact that Muslims can resort to violence when they feel that they are under attack, ensures that people are more loathe to criticize Muslims than any other immigrant group. Physical intimidation goes hand in hand with political correctness: they complement each other perfectly, and can indeed be seen as two sides of the same coin.
36. Your turn: What are your thoughts on the dynamic between modern Western society, with what appears to me to be a waning Christian influence, and modern Islamic society, with what appears to be a waxing influence harkening to violent elements of its past?
It is impossible to say if Christianity has really declined in Western society; I suspect that it will soon return as more people start reacting against the "spiritual void" in the West. The great danger is that people who need to believe in something will turn to Islam because it appears to be a "real" religion which doesn’t compromise on its values. In the West we are taught to believe that war is bad in itself and that it must be avoided at all costs. I personally believe that there can be justified wars, specifically if they are fought in self-defence. Being forced into submission is a worse alternative than war; peace without liberty is worth nothing at all. The challenge facing the West today comes from a revitalized Islam which, due to its oil money and certain Islamic successes (the Iranian revolution, the defeat of the Sovjets in Afghanistan, etc.), is rekindling its ancient imperialistic imperative and acting on it. Why is there for instance such a strong movement in the Islamic world today to reinstate the caliphate? Well, because the caliph can call for jihad and invade non-Muslim countries, and this is something that the Islamists want to do, since they know that according to orthodox Islamic theology, the entire umma sins if no one engages in jihad to subjugate non-Muslims. All Muslims are in effect sinning since no one is offering the kafirs the choice of conversion, dhimmitude or war, in accordance with Muhammed’s instructions (as per Qur’an 9:29).
This imperialistic imperative has never been deemed theologically invalid within Islam. Since the Ottomans’ defeat at Vienna in 1683, it has not been actively pushed, since the umma has been dominated militarily by the West. Today the situation is reversing, with the Islamic world starting to dominate the West through terror, the oil weapon, da’wa (Islamic missionary activity), and demography. Islam as a global entity has started to feel in control of things; it has its weapons and soldiers, and is now returning to the "jihad-mode" which defined Islam from the 7th through 17th centuries. Christianity and Western civilization has been moving constantly away from violence; Islamic culture is moving backwards, and trying to revive its violent past. This is the great threat that the West faces today: not from jihadists per se, but from Islam as a whole, which is returning to its violent, orthodox teachings. My great fear is that the West in its present state, abhorring violence, will not be equipped to deal with an opponent which glorifies violence in the name of higher powers. In a fight between culture and barbarity, the barbarian will always win, since he does not hesitate to be ruthless. History has borne this out countless times.
However, the absolutely worst thing which can happen, is that Islamists keep pushing until the West finally pushes back. There has always been a violent streak to Western civilization; when it has felt threatened, it has reacted with everything from isolated assassinations to large-scale ethnic cleansing and genocide. Less than 20 years ago, we saw ethnic cleansing taking place in Europe, and 60 years ago, we saw a genocide being perpetrated on an industrial scale. If the West decides to push back against the Islamists, then that defence, no matter how justified in its intentions, risks devolving into attacks on civilian Muslims. The scenario of all-out religious war and ethnic cleansing within Europe’s borders might seem improbable, but is certainly not impossible. It is our duty as civilized people to make sure that this never happens. We fight in order to prevent an atavistic return to our violent past. In effect, we fight to protect civilian lives – Western as well as Muslim. Therein lies a possible bridge between the anti-Islamic movement and the Islamic world. We do have common interests, and we can only benefit from pursuing them. Only one thing is certain: if we do nothing at all, we will soon be facing a new dark age.
This concludes the interview with Reinhard.
Thank you very much, Reinhard, for taking so much time, and going to so much effort, to so comprehensively answer these questions and suggest directions for follow-up.
Please stay tuned to Stop Islamic Conquest for Yankee Doodle's comments on this theme.