The recent success of Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands has caused European and, to a lesser extent, North American leftists a certain amount of discomfort, and a silently growing segment of the population a significant amount of joy. The Islamification of Europe through what the brilliant Mark Steyn has called “creeping sharia” has finally met its first formidable and successful political challenge – in spite of its long-standing threats and fatwas against the man of the hour.
I’ll be quite straight-forward about it; I’m with Geert, at least on the big issue he confronts. Those who label him as a racist, and his position as one of “hate”, are engaging in character assassination. A symposium at FrontPage Magazine addressed the Wilders phenomenon. One of the contributors, Roger L. Simon, stated:
I believe that consciously or unconsciously those who brand him as excessive, or even racist, are living in fear that he may be right. They have to hate Wilders, because if he is correct, their whole world disintegrates. Who would want that?
I don’t hate Muslims. Not wanting to be ruled by sharia law, be reduced to second-class status, have my freedoms curtailed, and watch my fellow female citizens be subjugated isn’t about hatred of Muslims, but love of Western and Christian civilization and those who inhabit it and benefit from it along with me. It isn’t a matter of indifference to me, and it shouldn’t be to you, whether or not Western or Islamic values prevail. What happens in Europe, moreover, may well happen here in the United States in the future, and will affect us in the present.
But at least since Michel Foucault traveled to Iran as a journalist during the Islamic revolution, Western leftist intellectuals who hate their own civilization have been fascinated – according to one book on Foucault, seduced – by the anti-Western aims of radical Islam. We may hear that this irrational, obtuse, and self-destructive “tolerance” of the worst tendencies of Islam and the more widespread problems associated with mass, rapid immigration is all about upholding our ideals of equality, fairness, freedom, etc. In reality it is about something else entirely. As an author for The Brussels Journal put it,
The extreme Left didn’t succeed in staging a violent revolution in the West, so they decided to go for a permanent, structural revolution instead. They now hope that immigrants can provide raw material for a violent rebellion, especially since many of them are Muslims who have displayed such a wonderful talent for violence and destruction. The Western Left are importing a new proletariat, since the previous one disappointed them.
Such is the nature of the alliance between the secular left, and Islam. We see it even more clearly in the chumminess between leftist dictators such as Hugo Chavez and the president of Iran.
Back in Europe, the feminists will have to remain quiet, or Gordon Brown might call them bigots too. They might learn something of what it has been like to be a part of the native lumpen-proletariat, which competes with immigrants for jobs, or the conservative middle classes, which compete with them for culture. The guilt-ridden academics and vote-pimping politicians, mostly male, mostly white, have decided that diversity is more important.
Where are the Christians? In Europe, they appear to be almost a non-entity. Maybe they do this and that here and there – but I’m a casual American observer of European politics. They don’t show up on my radar, which means whatever they do isn’t significant enough to make international waves, or even ripples. Well, ok, sometimes it is.
I don’t include the stories I regularly read of nominal Christians either capitulating to, or in some cases, joining the madness. These people will be, and probably deserve to be, destroyed by Islam. Nor do I count most “Christian Democrats.”
And yet, something may be occurring finally for the embattled Christians of Europe. In his speeches, Geert Wilders often invokes the idea that Christians and Jews have a stake in his fight against Islamification – though Wilders himself is an atheist and devout secularist. Why make the appeal unless Christians are out there, somewhere, contemplating the possibility of doing something?
For the sake of hope and argument, I will assume they are. What should they do? Should they grasp Geert’s outreached hand, keep to themselves, or pull a Foucault of their own and consider allying with Islam against the secular ruling elite?
Because I don’t know about or understand all of the particulars of European politics, I’m not offering this as advice to European Christians, but merely as a sort of hypothetical scenario. In recent discussions here at TAC, between Tim Shipe, myself, and others, Tim floated the merits of a Christian-Islamic alliance against secularism. I think he was being rather tongue-in-cheek, though, when he wrote,
if abortion and legalization of gay marriage is our only true meeting ground for orthodox Catholics in the political realm, then Muslims would seem to be closer allies to us than the liberal and conservative secularists/libertarians who seem to have the upper hand in our society these days
He was attempting, in other words, to force what I think is a caricature of some conservative Catholics into a bind. On the other hand, given the nature of the entire discussion, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Tim, or someone who thinks along similar lines, really would choose Islam over secularism (and to be clear, an increasingly “conservative” brand of secularism a la Wilders, not the dominant leftist brand) as a potential ally.
It is a seductive argument: Muslims have “family values”, they oppose various threats to life recognize by Catholics, as well as many forms of perversion. From at least one angle Christians have more of a cause to ally with Islam than the secular left did/does.
I offered up some arguments against this view, and for accepting Geert’s invitation, and I will re-state them here.
Islam, whether by force, conversion, or a higher birth rate, or all of the above, will not simply “co-exist” with Christianity; it will seek to dominate it and oppress it. It doesn’t matter if we both think gay marriage is a bad idea, for an infidel is an infidel. Yes, Islam has tolerated Christian minorities historically, but only selectively. Sometimes it has sought to completely wipe them off the map. Ask the Christians of Lebanon; that 40% of the Lebanese population is all that remains of a once predominantly Christian Middle East, and only because they defend their culture and their religion against Islam with armed militias.
Islam won’t co-exist with secularism either, of course. As soon as it can, it will wipe secularism off the face of the planet. Thousands of jihadists flocked to Afghanistan to fight the “godless Soviets” before they turned on the Great Satan, and they haven’t forgotten how much they hate atheism. But most of the secular leftists don’t plan on having children anyway – they plan on wiping themselves off the face of the planet in order to save it.
But let’s say a considerable chunk of secularists with still-functioning brains wake up. They don’t want to become Christians, but they really don’t want to live under sharia law. They stop melodramatically overreacting to the “Christian right”, which has never really done anyone any harm, and start waking up to the dangers of Islamification. I think this will happen, and is happening, by the way.
Christians can safely ally with them, I believe. As I told Tim, because even conservative secularists will never value procreation as much as Christians do,
If the world were comprised of nothing but wavering Christians and militant secularists, wavering Christians would win by default.
And imagine what committed Christians can do! Mormon Utah, where at least some religion that we might vaguely consider Christian is the dominant cultural and political force, has the highest birth and fertility rate in the United States and probably the Western world.
I’d rather live in a world in which Christians compete with secularists for influence and power than one in which they compete with Islam. If you thought secularists were intolerant of Christian evangelizing, try to evangelize Muslims in a predominantly Muslim culture. Islam is resistant to conversion, to the point of violence, sanctioned in many cases by Islamic law.
As things stand now, Islam would win the competition – Islam wants to win, and will do almost anything to win. Secularism will ultimately lose, because it isn’t a viable way of life. It isn’t interested in perpetuating itself from generation to generation, because it ultimately does not value new generations. Philosopher David Benatar has provided the latest rationalization, to add to the environmental hysteria – it may be better to not-exist than to exist, and if so, we probably shouldn’t be bringing new beings into existence to suffer.
Against this utter insanity, only Christianity can save the West. Some secularists, such as Geert Wilders, and even famous intellectuals such as Jurgen Habermas, may be growing wise to it. If more do, then we may finally see a reversal of the disastrous regime of political correctness and multiculturalism, of the suppression of Christian views in the political and cultural spheres under the false mantle of fighting “hate”, the denigration of the family and stigmatization of having really large families in particular, more restrictions if not outright bans on abortion, and so on. And so we should meet them half-way.