Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy policy  |  Site map

« Would Iran Actually Use The Bomb? | Main | Iran Caught In Another Lie - Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Director Of Operations Arrested In Iraq By U.S. Forces »


January 26, 2007

On The West's Cowardess In The Face Of The Islamists: Henryk Broder's 'Hurray We're Capitulating'

The essay's sobering message: "The West seems to have no trouble offending the Muslim world these days. What should we do about it? We might as well surrender. After all, we're already on our way."

Der Spiegel excerpts passages from Henryk Broder's new book on the Western response to radical Islamism published by Wolf Jobst Siedler Verlag in 2006. The book spent a number of weeks atop the Der Spiegel bestseller list, and although it hasn't yet been published in English, Der Spiegel provides a translation on their English-language site (Hat tip - Captain's Quarters). With penetrating frankness, the excerpts compel us to recognize that Western dhimmitude is taking us down a path to sharia law and the loss of our civilization as we know it. Once the entire book is available in English, we're certain find it to be an even more alarming warning of where we now stand in the face of radical Islam, and where we're headed if we don't make some rather drastic changes in our dealings with the Islamists.

The essay is in three parts:

Part I: The West And Islam

[...] Ten years ago, in the spring of 1996, the world still seemed more or less okay. The towers of the World Trade Center dominated the Manhattan skyline, the American president had an affair with an intern, the Helmut Kohl era was coming to an end in Germany, and intellectuals killed time by debating over whether Francis Fukuyama was right in claiming that we have reached the "end of history" and whether capitalism had truly triumphed or socialism had merely lost the first round. In those days few were aware of the fine distinction between Islam and Islamism.

One had to look very closely to recognize the first signs of a brewing crisis. In Berlin, the Rote Grütze theater group was performing an enlightening piece called "Who Said Anything About Love?" To advertise the play, posters depicting a young man and a young woman, naked and full of innocence, were handed out in schools.

The schools had no qualms about displaying the posters, until a school official from Berlin's Tiergarten district requested a permit from the city's education authority. The agency turned down the request, arguing that the poster could hurt "the feelings of non-Christian pupils." The education authority was acting preventively and with what amounted to exaggerated concern for a cultural minority that had yet to be integrated into permissive German society. No Muslim pupils had complained about hurt feelings, nor had their parents expressed concerns about immoral harassment.

That was 10 years ago. Today everything has changed, except the resolve not to hurt the feelings of Muslims. The issue today no longer revolves around a group of Berlin pupils with an "immigration background," but around 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide -- many of whom are thin-skinned and unpredictable. At issue is freedom of opinion, one of the central tenets of the Enlightenment and democracy. And whether respect, consideration and tolerance are the right approach to dealing with cultures that, for their part, behave without respect, consideration or tolerance when it comes to anything they view as decadent, provocative and unworthy -- from women in short skirts to cartoons they deem provocative without even having seen them.

The controversy over the 12 Muhammad cartoons that were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 and led to worldwide protests and unrest among Muslims was merely a taste of what is to come, a dress rehearsal for the kinds of disputes Europe can expect to face in the future if it does not rethink its current policy of appeasement. As was the case in the 1930s, when Czechoslovakia was sacrificed in the interest of peace under the Munich Agreement -- a move that ultimately did nothing to prevent World War II -- Europeans today also believe that an adversary, seemingly invincible due to a preference for death over life, can be mollified by good behavior, concessions and submission. All the Europeans can hope to gain in this asymmetric conflict is a temporary reprieve, a honeymoon period that could last 10, 20, or maybe even 50 years. Anyone on death row breathes a sigh of relief when his execution is postponed to some indefinite time in the future.

The controversy over the 12 Muhammad cartoons that were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 and led to worldwide protests and unrest among Muslims was merely a taste of what is to come, a dress rehearsal for the kinds of disputes Europe can expect to face in the future if it does not rethink its current policy of appeasement. As was the case in the 1930s, when Czechoslovakia was sacrificed in the interest of peace under the Munich Agreement -- a move that ultimately did nothing to prevent World War II -- Europeans today also believe that an adversary, seemingly invincible due to a preference for death over life, can be mollified by good behavior, concessions and submission. All the Europeans can hope to gain in this asymmetric conflict is a temporary reprieve, a honeymoon period that could last 10, 20, or maybe even 50 years.

Part II: Cowardice, fear and an overriding concern about the trade balance

Objectively speaking, the cartoon controversy was a tempest in a teacup. But subjectively it was a show of strength and, in the context of the "clash of civilizations," a dress rehearsal for the real thing. The Muslims demonstrated how quickly and effectively they can mobilize the masses, and the free West showed that it has nothing to counter the offensive -- nothing but fear, cowardice and an overriding concern about the balance of trade. Now the Islamists know that they are dealing with a paper tiger whose roar is nothing but a tape recording.
Part III: Self deception at least offers some succor
All the events of last spring are only a foretaste of something much bigger, something still unnamed. And when it ends, those who have managed to escape will ask themselves: Why didn't we see the handwriting on the wall when there was still time? If Muslim protests against a few harmless cartoons can cause the free world to capitulate in the face of violence, how will this free world react to something that is truly relevant? It is already difficult enough to see that Israel is not merely battling a few militants, but is facing a serious threat to its very existence from Iran. All too often it is ignored that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already taken the first step by calling for "a world without Zionism" -- a call that pro-Israel Europeans only managed to condemn with a mild, "unacceptable." How would they react if Iran were in a position to back up its threats with nuclear weapons?
Be sure to read all of the the Der Speigel excerpts, which Captain's Quarters aptly calls a bracing essay on Western fecklessness.
Broder makes the point that the very silliness of the Prophet Cartoon controversy should have alerted us to the power play from the radical Islamists. While the Danish tried to stand up for free speech, most Western nations couldn't wait to scold them for their insensitivity. Instead of scolding the Islamists back over the absolute lunacy of rioting over a few drawings, political leaders in Europe and the US issued worried pronouncements over their respect for Mohammed and the bad manners of those darned Danes.

At least in the US, we mostly realize that we're facing a larger and protracted conflict, even if we're less than united on confronting our enemies. Broder castigates Europe for willfully denying that the conflict exists. Political and cultural leaders insist that they can appease the radical Islamists by apologizing and making demonstrations of sensitivity towards Muslims. In the meantime, they rush to highlight every nuance of statements by terrorist groups like Hamas, and Broder specifically points out the celebration over Hamas' supposed recognition of Israel last year -- when it turned out that they had done no such thing.

Our enemies have learned that we have no stomach for confrontation. We have grown so content within our material success that we view all conflict as economic problems to be solved through concessions and compromise. Broder wonders what Europe and the West will sacrifice next for appeasement. Who will be the next Czechoslovakia -- France?

Back in a 2005 post we included these excerpts from Tony Blankley's September 12, 2005 piece in the Washington Times, "An Islamist threat like the Nazis.":
Last November, an Islamist terrorist's butchering of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who had made a movie revealing abuse of Muslim women, aroused deep fears in Holland and across the Continent.

The public anger, which included the burning of mosques in traditionally tolerant Holland, is evidence that the European instinct for survival has not been fully extinguished.

But that survival instinct is threatened by the multiculturalism and political correctness advocated in media and academe -- and institutionalized in national and European Union laws and regulations for half a century.

Europe's effort at cultural tolerance since World War II slowly morphed into a surprisingly deep self-loathing of Western culture that denied the instinct for cultural and national self-defense.

If Europe doesn't rise to the challenge, Eurabia will come to pass. Then Europe will cease to be an American ally and instead become a base of operations (as she already is to a small degree) against us.

Looking at current events involving Muslims and radical Islam that unfold around the world daily , through the prism of the Der Spiegel excerpts from Henryk Broder's new book, the honeymoon period that could last 10, 20, or maybe even 50 years Broder refers to just may be a bit too optimistic. The West, and especially Europe, needs to shake ourselves out of our dhimmitude and realize that we had better respond to the Islamist threat boldly and effectively, now. Later is going to be too late. And lest we snooze too long in America, what's been going on in Europe for years is now begining to happen here.

Update: The only criticism of Broder'sI have to offer is that he appears to lump all Muslims and the Islamists together. It's important to recognize that all Muslims are not Islamists; this having been said, and given the very few Muslims that speak out against the Islamists, it is very hard to know how to distinquish between them.


Cross posted by Hyscience



Posted by Richard at January 26, 2007 7:04 AM





Helpful Sites