Friday, October 22, 2010

European Islamophobia

Not long ago, in Anti-minarets Switzerland, Stefan Metzeler (Pro Libertate, ISIL, Institut Constant de Rebecque) was attempting in comments to justify the xenophobic and racist hatred most Europeans feel toward immigrants. I promised I was going to answer to him but never did. I discovered however a longer essay which covers some of the topics I would have covered quite well.

islamophobia

Here are some choice quotes from his 6 consecutive comments (reproduced here because although I do not share them and they are actually critical of my own views, they are nonetheless shared by many, if not most Europeans).
  • This was the most IGNORANT, RIDICULOUS article I've ever read by someone claiming to be "libertarian". I myself am Swiss and ANARCHO-CAPITALIST and I know the entire Islam issue inside out, which clearly the author of this article does not!
  • For starters, let me correct this unbelievable and pathetic LIE about Switzerland being “xenophobic": Switzerland has 22.5% legal foreign residents, probably more than any other country in the world.
  • No one is against "foreigners" here. We've had many votes demanding a limitation for immigration, all of which were rejected with large majorities. Swiss people voted on allowing the free circulation of Europeans.
  • As Libertarian, you should (but apparently don't) know that Islam is the most profoundly FASCIST and OPPRESSIVE ideology that ever existed. It is infinitely worse than Communism and Nazism, because contrary to these, it does not ever need to be "right" and to "work".
  • Now no Libertarian can be retarded enough to believe that freedom can grow under hostile attacks, especially when there is not even a defensible front line.
  • Islam never makes a falsifiable claim. For both, Communism and Nazism, there are methods to decide if they "work" (according to their own terms) or not. In Islam, there is nothing like it.
  • One cannot be a Muslim without accepting that there is an eternal war against non-Muslims. Of course a person can claim to be a Muslim but not really believe any of this, but if his mental defection becomes known, he is at great risk.
  • Anyone who thinks that it is even remotely possible to achieve co-existence between liberty and Islam is either totally ignorant or a fool. Anyone who doesn't see that is exactly like those who didn't understand the threat of Communism or Nazism in the 1920/30s.
  • Given the evolution of the population of Europe, it is a mathematical certainty that - without any drastic and so far totally unimaginable change - Muslims WILL become the majority population of Europe within the next 50 years.
  • Muslims exploit the Western tradition of freedom to impose Fascism. Intentionally! Most Muslim immigrants are NOT individuals who migrate for their own benefit, but they are TROOPS sent to invade a hostile territory, a fact that has been openly admitted by several Muslim leaders. They even BRAG about it!
  • Don't ever forget that Nazis were actually ALLIED with Muslims in WWII. There were Muslim SS battalions which showed such cruelty that even some German SS officers were disgusted. (Not all German officers were evil, not even in the SS - e.g. Rommel was fundamentally a good person who happened to fight for the wrong masters).
  • In short, anyone who doesn't get this development and supports Islam - especially out of a principle of "tolerance" - is digging his own grave. Many classical liberals understood the threat of Islam very well, e.g. Chateaubriand, Constant de Rebecque, Voltaire and Goethe
  • Swiss people sometimes have a very good intuition for what is right and wrong and for what threatens our freedom. That's why they rejected joining the EU - twice - and only accepted joining the UN on the second vote after 20 years and only by a margin of 400 votes; a really stupid move, too!
  • The prohibition of minarets was absolutely not the question. The referendum was really about whether or not Swiss people reject Islam per se and the answer is very clear: Swiss people do NOT want to live with or under Islam.
  • Expel any immigrant who commits a crime against person or property or fraud to obtain social security payments (which is exactly what the "sheep" initiative demanded, a perfectly legitimate and libertarian approach); that would get rid of very large numbers of Muslims; 70% of all prisoners throughout Europe are now Muslims

Recently, Sweden has brought to power an anti-immigrant far right party, while its Social Democrats recorded the worst election results in a long time. The Laserman, some sniper who went shooting immigrants in the early 90s seems to have been given birth to a new phantom, as more immigrants are being shot in their cars and homes. On ICARE, a book is presented.

Pepe Escobar writes this essay (linked below in full as ICARE) about not only Switzerland, but also Sweden and European xenophobia in general.

Mad against foreigners? Mad against politicians? That's soooo last century. The new groove is mad against Islam. It does not matter that immigration to Europe has been in decline for years; still "they" have to become like "us". An aging, fearful, reactionary Europe is terrified that The Other, issued from younger or more dynamic regions of the world, is catching up. Asia - not Europe - is the future. A melancholic weekend in a tourist/trash-infested Venice turned into a replica of its Las Vegas mirror provided me the graphic illustration; I did feel like Dirk Bogarde in Death in Venice - and so must feel countless Europeans.

(..)

There's hardly a way to evade a direct link between the historically very low score of the Swedish social democrats and the also historic rise of the extreme right. For American, Asian, Middle Eastern observers this may sound utterly suicidal; how could the Swedes possibly reject an old-school welfare state that assures to everyone the Holy Trinity of health, education and a good pension? So if the ultra-civil Swedes were not rejecting their model, what was it? Maybe the answer is in a book first published in Italy in 2008 by Italian linguist and essayist Raffaele Simone, whose subtitle literally translates as "Why the West is not leaning to the Left".

In the extremely well-argued book, Simone proves that the European Left is intellectually dead; it simply has not understood the drive of hardcore capitalism (which he defines as "arch-capitalism", or "the political and economic manifestation of the New Right"); it has not understood the correlated primacy of individualism and consumerism; and it has refused to discuss the phenomenon of mass immigration. From France to Denmark, from Italy to Sweden, it's easy to see how savvy populists skillfully deploy those European values of free speech, feminism and secularism - oversimplifying issues to the point that their take seems logical - as ammunition against mosques, minarets, headscarves and, of course, "sub-intelligent beings". And then there are local realities. The majority of those voting SD were protesting against overwhelmingly Muslim immigrants, a great deal of them jobless, who come to Sweden, get fat government benefits and remain idle. Sweden is nowhere as tough on immigration as Denmark, Norway or Holland.

(…)

Talk about an European summer of hate - from minarets banned in Switzerland to burqas banned in Belgium. The populist extreme right has been part of coalition governments in Italy and Switzerland for many years now. And they are represented in the parliaments of Austria, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The National Front in France had 9% of the vote in last spring's French regional elections. But now everywhere it feels like a Lamborghini let loose. Geert Wilders' Freedom party in Holland has turbo-charged Islamophobia to the point of almost paralyzing Dutch governance. The elegant, eloquent, peroxide-blonde populist Wilders wants to ban the Koran - which he has compared to Hitler's Mein Kampf - and impose a "headscarf tax" (how come no government thought about this in the Middle East or in Pakistan?)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy - now facing his own, self-provoked May '68 remix in the streets over his pension reform - tried to seduce (once again) the National Front by expelling planeloads of Romanian gypsies. Austrian extreme right stalwart Heinz-Christian Strache, running for mayor of Vienna less than two weeks ago, took no less than 27% of the vote. And Barbara Rosenkranz, who insists anti-Nazi laws should be abolished, came second in Austria's presidential race. The Islamophobic, anti-immigrant Northern League of Umberto Bossi in Italy is part of the government in Rome and not accidentally the country's fastest-growing party, now controlling the ultra-wealthy provinces of Veneto and Piemonte. During the latest election campaign, La Lega supporters handed out bars of soap to be used "after touching an immigrant".

A long opinion, but well worth your time!

Sources / More info: ICARE, flickr, bbc-laserman, yt-islamophobia

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