Reader JDM has kindly translated parts of an article from last Friday’s Jyllands Posten. The full article requires a subscription; however, with the help of the Danish blog Uriaposten, JDM has been able to supply portions of the piece in English.
First, an explanatory note from the translator:
It seems that France is not the dhimmi monolith that we’ve been led to believe. The interview with Chahdorrt Djavann together with the following interview seem to indicate either a growing or a previously unknown side of French society. I will note for the thin-skinned that this interview displays a typically modern European perspective (i.e., fairly anti-religious). I think this perspective gives some good hints on the direction that Europe will follow in dealing with Islam. In some ways I wonder if our respect for religious feelings in the USA may make our same struggle more difficult.
And now the article itself:
The West Must Stop Tormenting Itself
Rather than accuse itself of all sorts of ills, the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner encourages Europeans to be proud of the values that the rest of the world desires.
In his latest book, Pascal Bruckner accuses Europeans of being a bunch of masochists who, with guilty consciences because of the sins of their forefathers, have taken to self-loathing instead of standing up to our enemies, among them the Islamists.
“It is always the intolerant who demand tolerance. Or people with no respect for others who demand respect. My point is that people have to stop feeling guilty. We have done nothing for which we should be critical and we bear no responsibility for the crimes of our forefathers.
“We must not be ashamed of or values. We need to understand that our values are good and that they have aided in our survival under the worst totalitarian regimes that have ever existed — fascist, communist, and Stalinist. Our values are coveted by millions of people outside of Europe. We must not, therefore, in the name of tolerance back down when confronting enemies of tolerance,” says Pascal Bruckner.
Nowadays, Pascal Bruckner warns, the world is in the middle of an ideological war which deals with the integration of a great religion like Islam into the modern secular society. In this war, it is important to choose sides. And it is important not to be caught in traps like the word “Islamophobia”, which is used to discourage and silence critics of Islam.
“The word Islamophobia is a lie and a construct. One doesn’t find words like Christianophobia or Buddhophobia. Racism, however, exists against Arabs, blacks, whites, Jews, and Pakistanis. To criticize a religion has nothing to do with racism. Religions are ideas that are shared by millions of people and one has the right to criticize them and discuss them. This is not racist.”
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When a certain portion of the left talks about respect, it is in reality showing its contempt. It thinks that Muslims are so inferior that they will never be our equals; consequently, they cannot have the same rights as us. While freedom is good for us, Muslims have chosen the stoning of women, female circumcision, and forced marriages.”
“Everyone knows that the veil [scarf] is not neutral. It is an instrument used to make women feel shame if they show their hair. It implies that a woman’s face is a sexual organ, that her hair is satanic. The logical conclusion is that every woman who is unveiled is a whore. That was what happened in the [French] schools… until the prohibition of the veil.
It is important to not give even a millimeter of our principles. The law is the same for all, whether one is Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, or atheist. There cannot be special rules for Muslims. Muslim boys and girls must be educated in the same schools and treated in the same hospitals as all others. Public swimming pools must not be divided up for boys and girls. There must be no room for discrimination, neither positive nor negative. It is necessary that Muslims accept that God’s law is inferior to those of society. God does not rule society. This principle is not up for discussion.”
Western masochism is an overreaction to our spirit of critical inquiry that causes us to punish ourselves so much that the final result is a self-loathing.
“[People in Europe] are tired of being faulted, as well as threatened. They are tired of living in constant anxiety of [terrorist] attacks. Of course, I have been attacked for being a reactionary, but not by many. It is as if I am part of a movement that I am also instigating. People have had enough.
JDM also supplies us with this snippet from Chahdortt Djavann, the author whose interview we featured last week. It is from another Danish newspaper, Weekendavisen, and he apologizes for the lack of a link:
When the Cartoon Crisis was at its worst, she was asked by French TV to comment on the cartoons from Jyllands Posten. It happened on Antenne Plus, a live program so she could not be cut off. What did she think about the cartoons? They were wonderful except that they weren’t caricatures, but realities, updated realities, because obviously Mohammed should have a bomb in his turban instead of carrying a scimitar, that would be too old-fashioned. She stated this without blinking and straight into the living room of millions of French viewers. The show’s host was taken aback, but the show was live. Afterwards, the show’s producers said that further appearances by this shameless women would be perhaps limited.
Djavann maintains her duty to be blasphemous. Why? Because she has a religious opponent and experienced this opponent’s actions in the ten years she wore the veil. And because she feels that Europeans must wake up while there’s still time: you are not tolerant, you’re ignorant.
These days, she is a member of a government advisory council. There is also a French mullah on this council. “Why aren’t boys veiled?”, she asked with a smile. The mullah cleared his throat and answered that the truth of the Koran states that because girls are unclean from birth it is only natural that they be veiled. Against this level of stupidity, blasphemy is a duty.
France — the new Denmark?