Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Our internal enemy

In an interview with David Thompson, Canadian Muslim immigrant Tahir Aslam Gora notes that:

Liberal Muslims are not only silenced by literalist Muslims, but also by those non-Muslims who have developed the hollow pattern of being 'fair' and 'tolerant' to every religion. The existence of 'political fairness' among large circles of non-Muslim activists is actually a much bigger obstacle than extremist Muslims because those non-Muslim activists dominate the media outlets across the world and often ignore genuinely liberal Muslim voices.
We may stop for a moment to consider just why the divide between liberal and literalist Muslims is so important to us. Does this divide threaten us? Or does the presence of such a divide in our country indicate that we somehow accommodate it? It might be considered telling that a Muslim immigrant should broach the subject.

The pending Islamicization of Europe, the discovery of domestic Muslim terrorist plots, and an apparent acceptance by even more moderate Muslim residents of Islamic theocratic objectives if not precisely the means of obtaining them, have left in their wakes an anxiety among many Canadians about the failure of Muslim immigrants to integrate into Western political culture. In fact, however, it might seem instead perhaps that those Muslim immigrants who are sympathetic to Islamic extremism are actually assimilating quite well and easily into Canadian political culture, thank you very much.

Any claim to the virtue of Western political culture that we imagine through our general disinclination to detonate and behead our opponents owes more these days, I think, to the residual effects of historically practised virtues than to any currently practised or inherent ones. It is of little use complaining about the attempt to impose the culture and law of one identifiable collective interest over others when the pursuit of such advantages has long been enshrined by Canadian legislatures and judiciaries. While it is true that an absolute equality before the law that would benefit no group at the expense of another has never wholly existed here or elsewhere, being dependent on the law's utterly strict conformity to the absolute barest minimum essential of defending inalienable and unredistributed rights without possible amendment by political processes, the legal commitment to socialism over the past century and a half has nonetheless institutionalized that inequality and formally held our rights in abeyance to government discretion in a manner that governments before would have been afraid to acknowledge. When the exercise of almost every aspect of private property and interests is made contingent upon the administration of an authority bound simply by politics, the redistributive hand of wealth, opportunity and justice is nothing more nor less than an arbitrary function that accommodates a furious and disastrous political competition for its resources and the legal privileges and immunities it bestows. As it turns out, Muslim immigrants are not so much then importing a political culture alien to ours than they are importing religiously-derived notions of the preferred outcomes of one very much like ours. What they find here is the ready-made expedience of obtaining any fabulous notion of collective privileges and immunities that one likes over the notion of furthering one's own prospects by the honest work and enterprise that suffers legal confiscation so easily.

The special head taxes and discriminatory injunctions of Islamic fundamentalism are as characteristic of the political institutionalization of hierarchies of privilege as are the arbitrary and political expropriations of property that are pervasive in the West. The particular genius of Islamic fascism is in expositing religious myths as the vehicle by which collective political enterprises are amassed to harness an already existing apparatus of popular avarice for other people's dignity and property. Only under less virulent but similarly compulsive nationalistic myths is wealth redistributed in Canada, as well as are legal privileges and immunities courted and legislated by politicians, subsidized by government grants, elevated by the courts, celebrated by the media, and actively encouraged by extra-judicial human rights tribunals. Crude and unimaginative anti-Semitism and generalized racism, for example, prevail in the less democratic but subsidized venues of political accumulation like some campuses, churches and unions. The murderousness and rapacity of Islamic extremism is not exclusively the predicate of itself, perhaps, but only the advanced but inevitable conclusion to the existence of redistributive political structures. With the exception of a very few wannabe suicide bombers, most Muslim immigrants are sitting at the table that we have prepared for them.

The outright genocidal trappings of fascism as most of us are prepared to recognize it are avoided here in some part because of the long acculturated resignation to the redistribution of collective privileges by the majority who pays for them. But a greater fortune is one to which we owe our ancestors — the melting-pots of earlier North American society incorporated so many different racial and national groups that inciting a common motive to the rest to dispossess the dignity, rights and lives of any one other group was made so much more difficult, a fortune of which we are becoming only just the accidental beneficiaries. But despite the pejorative equivalence attempted by competing prescriptive multiculturalists, melting-pots were not a policy but simply a descriptive term for the outcomes of minimal and impartial government structures that sought only to defend private property and interests instead of governing them. Having almost forsworn the practise of these virtues, the extent to which we appear to avoid the direr fates of Europe and the Middle East is more by margins of enthusiasm than by any inherent or practised virtue.

We are properly obliged to recognize the threat of murderous Islamic fascism abroad and at home, but an over-eager disposition on the part of many in North America to ratcheting up the religious qualities of Islamic fascism often takes the character of supposing inherent differences between people beyond cultural normalization by political structures. As the practised antecedents of our resistance to fascism — the defense of individual rights and property and corresponding constitutional limits to collective privilege — are erased and forgotten, inherent cultural advantage is frequently assumed as though it sprang from nowhere in particular. The integration and assimilation of Muslims into Canadian society is regarded with suspicion simply because they are Muslims, as though nihilistic and annihilative propensities were natural to them.

This is a hard position to adopt if one wishes to be consistent as a proponent of freedom or does not wish to relegate to other people a less-than-human status. In fact, large numbers of Muslims already live in Canada and the US without subscribing to the apocalyptic fascism preached in the Middle East, and to the extent that some at least fantasize about ethnic and religious-based privilege it is largely because we subsidize the takings, financially, legally and rhetorically. In spirit if not precisely form, therefore, those few Muslims coming to our shore who are intolerant of competing political claims are actually integrating quite easily and well into an already familiar political terrain, one that is wrought and perpetuated by ourselves, and only substituting their preferred outcomes.

In the absence of the welfare state and its assortment of expropriations for collective interests, most people of all races, religions and nationalities will go about their business of providing for themselves and their families and avoid violent political recourse to other people's interests for the lack of political facilitation. Stop-gap security measures such as limiting immigration or racial profiling of Muslims are compelling and it's arguable that they may even be necessary at this very moment — but only because we do not ourselves practise the virtues by which individuals may co-exist in genuine legal equality. An equal application of the law, which pre-supposes only the defense of rights and property and denies any redistribution of them, would deter any domestic terrorism or fascistic opportunism far more than any similarly aggressive security measures or institutionalized suspicion.

Recourse to authoritarian devices to combat authoritarianism is in the long run self-defeating. And demonization of muslims simply as Muslims reduces the expectation that we will have learned anything at all about how cultural advantage was acquired in the first place.


alexb said...

Cool,the libs want to give us a holiday in honor of John " Silky Pony" Edwards.

elaine said...

Yes, our internal enemy, the left. Three more muslims picked up in Germany trying to do some dammage. Two were converts to islam. It would be interesting to know what beliefs and affliations to the left, those two fuckwits held before converting to islam, and the the time line of the conversion.

I just know there are some here on the left in Canada, who are just biting at the chomp to get in on the death and destruction of islam to further their cause of destroying capitalism.

Anonymous said...

The Islamicization of Europe and the coming extinction of European culture says more about European socialist governmentalism than it does about anything in the Koran or in the hearts of its adherents.

The extreme violence foisted on innocent westerners by terrorists and the desire to dominate and convert Christians is a reaction to the extreme violence and repression committed in the Middle East by Western governments and especially by Middle Eastern tyrants backed and funded by Western governments. Not to mention the economic carnage wreaked by Western socialist governments on their own countries, not least on the immigrants who came there (at first) thinking they would be lands of opportunity. Blowback is a bitch.

Does anyone else find it odd that people who cheer on Dubya for killing "extremists" in the Middle East say nothing when Dubya walks around holding hands with a representative of one of the most violent, extremist governments in the entire region. And I think you would have to go back as far as LBJ, or maybe all the way to FDR, to find a president as left-wing and as intent on destroying free-market capitalism as Dear Old Dubya.

Elaine said...


I found this kind of interesting, and am sort of shocked that someone is looking into it. Do you suppose they will find out what anyone with a brain already knows?