Below is a guest-post by Free Hal, a first-time contributor from the UK. Under the assumption that the welfare states of Western Europe cannot avoid collapse sometime in the next few decades, his essay explores the possibilities for rolling back Islamization within the context of a post-democratic Europe.
Rolling back Islam in Europe, without violence
by Free Hal
“In the last few years it has become obvious that we are living in the twilight of the Western democracies.”
— Baron Bodissey
“I think it’s clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government”
— Thomas Rainsborough (1610 — 1648)
Following the European elections, some commentators are starting to discuss the implications of rolling back Islam in Europe.
I have a clear message to all Muslims in our societies: if you subscribe to our laws, values and constitution you are very welcome to stay and we will even help you to assimilate. But if you cross the red line and commit crimes, start thinking and acting like jihad or sharia we will expel you the same out of our countries.
Wilders is specific. As El Inglés has noted, Wilders’ plan implicitly revokes Muslim citizenship, by making it conditional on good behaviour.
But Geert Wilders is serious about enforcing assimilation. On Danish TV, he said:
“if you commit a crime, if you start thinking about jihad or sharia, then it’s very clear, we will send you away, we will send you packing, we will strip you of the Dutch or Danish nationality,” he said. “It is a red line. Abide by the rules, you are welcome to stay, and if you don’t we will send you away the same day.”
Asked how many Muslims Wilders thought were responsible for causing problems, Wilders said: “Millions, tens of millions.”
Geert Wilders concludes the interview (at 8:13 minutes) by saying how many would be liable to expulsion:
“Like I said, if I talk about the numbers, 70% of the prisons, many people wanting to implement sharia of the caliphate — are denouncing democracy — you are talking about millions now, and unfortunately it will increase if we don’t stop the immigration and if we don’t start acting against people who act against our free societies and our values and our rule of law.”
People are increasingly prepared to discuss the implications of the conflict that Europe’s elites are brewing up. It is a relief to be able to talk openly, after a long time when even trivial measures like immigration adjustments, or public library stocks, have been derided as dangerously rightwing.
I would like to use this increase in openness to suggest that state attempts to roll back Islam in Europe will either fail or result in carnage. I examine the approaches of Geert Wilders in this Danish interview, and El Inglés’ approach in two articles, “Surrender, Genocide… or What?”, and “To Push or to Squeeze?”. Then I offer a method which can roll back Islam without ethnic cleansing or genocide.
Geert Wilders’ approach
He was not exaggerating that “millions, tens of millions” of European Muslims would be liable for expulsion. Will his approach work?
Suppose a European government adopted the mild integration measures advocated by Christopher Hitchens or Melanie Phillips (restrictions on immigration, “sending messages” about “Islam-ism”, rejecting Sharia finance, etc.).
If the other side don’t respond, then the next step is to try to stop the growth in European Islamic populations. This is much harder in practice than in theory. Islamic demographic growth comes mainly from higher birthrates and the importation of spouses. The state can’t realistically prevent Muslim births. And it is unrealistic to expect democratic European states to prevent ‘family reunification’.
Stopping a European Pakistani from visiting Pakistan, marrying his cousin, and bringing her back to Europe, would require the cancellation of an entrenched legal right. And for reasons of ethnic discrimination. No government could do this and retain its democratic and diplomatic credentials.
And such a prohibition could be circumvented. Suppose a European Muslim visits Pakistan, where he marries and impregnates his cousin. Do you then exclude his child? If so, then suppose the European Muslim is the woman. She marries her cousin in Pakistan and gets pregnant there. Do you prevent the baby returning with her to Europe? If so, then what if she gives birth in Europe — do you deport the baby?
– – – – – – – – –
A government prepared to go that far would be more likely to countenance simple expulsion. Simple expulsion is much more likely in the context of collapsed European state authorities. The warlords and dictators who would probably follow such a breakdown are unlikely to adopt costly and sophisticated administrative measures out of squeamishness about physical force.
On the other hand it is difficult to envisage democratic European governments reducing immigration at all, because they need a stream of young immigrants to keep the welfare pyramid scheme going. Welfare schemes are what most Europeans vote for. A government that threatened the welfare state would be quickly replaced, and welfare implosion is more likely than Muslims aggression to be the trigger for European breakdown. It will be interesting to see how Geert Wilders squares his approval of the welfare state with his aim of reduced immigration.
My point is that a government that wants to radically slash immigration is unlikely to be one that depends on promises of welfare and is, therefore, unlikely to be a democracy. On the other hand, undemocratic regimes opt for simple expulsion, not immigration reform.
So, suppose European Islamic numbers expand. What then?
The next step is Geert Wilders’ proposal to expel people who “think or act like jihad or sharia”. The aim is to force European Muslims to assimilate.
I don’t think Wilders’ approach would work, for three reasons.
First, there would be too many ways to evade the policy.
How do you identify people who think like jihad or sharia? The policy would simply force European Muslims, following the principle of taqiyya, to lie low until their numbers are greater. And even if you could weed out all disaffected Muslims, you would have to repeat the process every generation because basic Islamic tenets are unlikely to change.
Nor would it be possible to stop mainstream political parties courting Muslim votes with sharia-friendly promises.
Second, the aim is impracticable.
The legal minefield of making Muslims’ citizenship conditional on good behaviour will mean re-writing key portions of the Dutch constitution.
For example, Article 1 [Equality]: “All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race, or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted.”.
Or Article 6 [Religion, Belief]: “(1) Everyone shall have the right to manifest freely his religion or belief, either individually or in community with others, without prejudice to his responsibility under the law.”
It will also mean secession from the EU (breach of human rights and Single Market law). No bad thing, you may think. But a sudden breakdown of the EU would probably break European state authorities, and the Europe-wide economy, and there is no way to control the effects of that. It is hard to see how a post-PC Europe, so long stripped of the language to discuss ethnic issues, with fragmenting state authorities and free-falling economies, could apply such methods with the necessary restraint.
Third, it will be ineffectual.
If the Dutch prison population (pdf) is in the region of 15,000, and the average Dutch prison sentence (pdf) is roughly six months, then Wilders’ approach, unhindered, would lead to a maximum deportation of about 20,000 people during the first year or two. But fewer after that, because recidivists will have been expelled and the remainder will keep off the grass.
The measures will otherwise be simple to avoid: don’t rant about sharia, don’t blow up buses, don’t carry jihad banners, don’t tell an official your views. The Islamic enclaves will continue to grow, as separate as now.
So, suppose Geert Wilders’ approach fails to secure genuine assimilation. What do you do?
The next step is to make life in Muslim enclaves so horrible that people inside stop reproducing and leave. This is what an angry Europe will very likely end up doing, sparked by the collapse of its welfare states.
In both essays, El Inglés presents the three main methods for reducing the Muslim population of Europe:
1. through pressuring them, in whatever fashion, to decide to relocate (Option 1);
2. through deporting them (Option 2); and,
3. through large-scale violence which, taken to an extreme, would constitute genocide (Option 3).
In “Surrender, Genocide… or What?” he sees a simple choice for European states:
“I therefore predict that Europe is being swept into a position where it will be forced to choose between relying overwhelmingly on option three and surrendering.”
El Inglés modifies this view in “To Push or to Squeeze?”, and predicts that:
European countries seeking to de-Islamize will move into Option 1 (Standard), supplemented as described above by small amounts of Option 2. As this proves insufficient (which it will) these tactics will segue into Option 1 (Enhanced) — [i.e. “using far more inconsiderate and uncivilized means to tighten the squeeze on Muslims, including means that are well beyond the pale at present in any polite discussion of the problems resulting from Islamization”]. In some countries more and more Option 3-type violence will be incorporated.
Put simply, this is a choice between genocide and ethnic cleansing. In “Surrender, Genocide… or What?”, El Inglés thought, correctly in my view, that a drive to get Muslims to leave Europe would either fail or end up in genocide. In “To Push or to Squeeze?”, after reflection, he thinks ethnic cleansing should be enough to do the job.
The reason I think “ethnic cleansing” is appropriate shorthand for El Inglés’ “Option 1 (Enhanced)” is that it is the forced removal of an ethnic population from an area. Ethnic cleansing usually involves large-scale bloodshed, which is why it is generally reviled. I think El Inglés is describing ethnic cleansing at the lower end of the scale.
I mean no disrespect to El Inglés. Like him, I don’t debate the morality of ethnic cleansing right now, just the efficacy: will it work?
The term “ethnic cleansing” began in the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990’s. There, tactics were simple — killing and detention to scare unwanted populations over the nearest border.
I think ethnic cleansing would fail in western Europe for the reason El Inglés gave in “Surrender, Genocide… or What?”: ethnic cleansing isn’t feasible by aeroplane.
First, the methods outlined in “To Push or to Squeeze?” include: draconian legislation banning the hiring of illegal immigrants, reduced access to public services and quality of public infrastructure, refusal of re-entry for Muslims, assiduous deportation of Muslim criminals, and violent attacks by non-state actors. However, many of those problems are features of daily life in, say, Pakistan and Algeria. In the former Yugoslavia, the choice was a choice between one second-world territory and the next. The choice for Europe’s Muslims would be between a wealthy and over-generous western economy and a third-world hole. Anyone who has experienced Lahore will wonder if it is possible to make conditions in Paris or Luton so bad that Pakistan seems alluring.
Second, there’s the problem of Islamic territorialism.
Palestinian self-destructiveness, the creation of Pakistan in 1948, the 1971 Pakistani genocide in Bangladesh, and now Darfur, all suggest that Muslims are prepared to live in misery, and see large numbers of Muslims die, rather than cede control of territory to non-Muslims. It would be simple for Islamic countries to refuse refugees, which they will surely do to prevent the loss of European enclaves.
The refugees themselves would have to contend not only with the poverty, grime and disorder of Muslim countries but also the shame of defeat. Arab states go to some lengths to prevent Palestinian refugees from entering, and the treatment of those Palestinians who get through is callousness itself.
This internalised shame alone could make it impossible to ethnically cleanse European Muslims. You would have to make Islamic enclaves worse than Muslim homelands by a wide margin to overcome the prejudice that refugee Muslims would face on return to the old country. This could only be achieved by systematic violence.
Third, systematic violence won’t work.
The cost to the European country would be too high. Violent ethnic cleansing suffers from the problems that El Inglés recognises in (International Condemnation, Severing of Diplomatic Ties and Trade Links, Refusal of Airlines, Surge in Terrorist Activity, and Massive Riots). The accompanying instability would also scare investors and crash financial markets.
The airport bottleneck would be easy to block, with a handful of suicide bombers, perhaps financed by Islamic states. Muslims have a peculiar propensity for killing their own. A few downed planes will convince remaining Muslims that it is more dangerous to leave than to stay. There is no way to prevent this.
Fourth, ethnic cleansing assumes a functioning self-control on the part of European states which simply won’t be there.
In addition to ethnic division, European states face fiscal breakdown, the collapse of welfare, and chronically dependent populations. This is an explosive cocktail. Swathes of Europe might revert to warlords and dictators.
It is historically unwarranted, to put it mildly, to assume that European authorities will be in a position to keep order, let alone finely calibrate the pressure on Muslim enclaves. Reflect on European history for two minutes, and the results of ‘non-electoral discontinuities’: the French Wars of Religion, the Italian Wars, the Dutch Wars of Independence, the Thirty Years War, and the appalling persecutions of the Jews. There is a regrettable propensity to descend to violent extremes.
This is the main reason why I disagree with El Inglés’ that low-level ethnic cleansing might work. I don’t think the means will be there to apply it, and I don’t think it would be seriously tried.
Would it be right?
Ethnic cleansing would be wrong for two reasons.
First, I don’t think you can justify genocide, even if you claim to be saving western civilisation.
Second, Europe’s history is characterised by extreme highs of creativity, and extreme lows of ethnic violence. The methods for saving European civilisation might cause some to ask if it is worth saving.
It is difficult to recruit people to a cause that you can’t persuade them is right. People won’t want to dirty their hands with it, especially the people you need to lead a cause.
This moral choice has to be made early on. If you start with low-level ethnic cleansing (Option 1 [enhanced]), you must be prepared to go further if necessary — you can’t give up half way. What if it doesn’t work — what next? Can you go that far?
For myself, I would not be prepared to participate in a really violent population transfer, and certainly not genocide, for the selfish reason that I don’t want it on my conscience, even if it means is the loss of western civilisation. This admission may condemn me as a weakling, but my guess is that there are others like me.
I don’t want to decry El Inglés’ flair, nor his willingness to break dangerous taboos. And I agree with him that Europe’s relationship with Islam is unravelling, pointing to a violent breakdown of democracy.
Which is why I think it is important to find non-violent means to resolve Europe’s ethnic divide. I appreciate that this prospect sounds impossible, and perhaps disappointing to some.
So I will proceed straight to my proposal now.
The solution may seem strange. I propose it because I see Europe’s ethnic divide as a partial cause of the end of democracy which we are seeing on the continent.
The solution I propose is self government — a system of organising society without the state.
Crime flourishes when there is no functioning state authority, a situation that is likely in Europe in the coming decades. Trade stops because contracts can’t be enforced. Poverty and danger prevail.
If that happens, people can provide order for themselves by entering into private legal pacts regulating behaviour — sets of rules requiring them to stick to agreements, not to steal, and not to kill, etc.
A private pact serves two purposes: first, signatories can keep trading because people know they can be forced to stick to their bargains; second, the criminal rules in the pact enables signatories to live with others because others can get them punished if they commit crimes against people who observe similar rules. The model is one of reciprocity.
People who don’t sign up to a pact are vulnerable. They are poor because they can’t trade, they can’t trade because people can’t force them to keep to their bargains, people can’t force them to keep to their bargains because they haven’t signed up to an enforceable contractual code. They are vulnerable to the crimes of anyone stronger or craftier.
If you think this is a fanciful scenario, ask yourself what the alternative is? What do you do if the state authorities collapse — turn into Somalia? Don’t think Somalia exaggerates the depths that Europe will sink to under the triple whammy of fiscal collapse, ethnic division, and welfare dependence.
Rolling back Islam without violence
I refer to this system as “self-government”. I don’t deal with its economic, social and civilisational benefits here, but its ability to roll back Islam without violence.
Discrimination without coercion
A self-governed people are free to live by any prejudice they like, unlike the citizens of a state. This is because the rules of a legal pact are based on individual choice, not on state compulsion.
Under the state, you have no choice but to obey — democracy doesn’t change that. This compulsion means that, to avoid killing liberty, the state has to set limits to its omnipotent power: Bills of Rights, Human Rights, Fundamental Declarations. A democratic state without those limits goes the way of Iran.
But a self-government system doesn’t need such restrictions because, unlike a state system, it claims no sovereignty over people other what is voluntarily given to it. And the subscriber can cancel it if he chooses. Don’t like the part of a proposed pact? Don’t join. Don’t like a something in the pact you’re signed up to? Then leave.
This means your pact can contain as much prejudice as you want, a bit like your living room. If you refuse to let left-handed people sit on your sofa, who is harmed except you? You may end up lonely and sad, but if someone feels humiliated, they don’t have to go into your living room — they had no right to go in there anyway.
Similarly, a private code can exclude any religion or group it pleases. Those excluded don’t have to submit, because they don’t have to join. They can set up their own pact.
The principle of consent is a natural safeguard at the heart of a self government system. No-one can claim sovereignty over you that you haven’t given them. Discrimination may not be pleasant, but it doesn’t lead to fascism because it isn’t backed by compulsion. For example, neo-Nazis might choose to live in isolation and poverty, but their hatred will only harm themselves.
The point here concerning the Euro/Islam rift is that Europeans can choose to exclude Islam from the areas they own, without reverting to fascism.
A self-government pact could include a rule outlawing Islamic practice and symbols on land owned by its members. It would have no jurisdiction over those who don’t belong to it, and Muslims can practice what they choose on land they own. In the same way that I can prohibit the practice of Islam in my living room — a Muslim can still practice it in his own house. In fact, a self-governing territory is likely to restrict Islam because, for all the official liberal platitudes about the benefits of this aspect of multiculturalism, most ethnic Europeans perceive Islam as having contributed no benefit and much harm to modern Europe and will prefer to live without it.
Is this fascist? Such discrimination is deep and wide already, in people’s choices over where to live. The most PC official reports show that Europeans won’t live with Muslims, and Muslims won’t live with Europeans — the official phrase is “parallel lives”. Whatever the euphemism, the separation is stark. Visit the Islamic area of any European capital. The suddenness of the transition can be shocking, and you can almost identify the kerbstone that marks the boundary.
Are the members of the public fascists for making that choice? If so then both sides are equally un-PC because Muslims are no more keen to live with ethnic Europeans than ethnic Europeans are to live with them. If so then you are condemning most of the population.
I am not responsible for the existing widespread ethnic division — there is plenty of that without my help. My aim is to resolve it without violence.
The boundaries of a self- government system are fluid and shifting as people join or leave, bringing their territory into it. Self-government is based on consent, and expands by agreement. It imposes law on new land by the choice of the people who own it. If I own an acre of land, the law which prevails there is the law of the pact I sign up to. I am the owner, this is the law I subscribe to, and if you enter then you must accept it.
States expand by force. If, as seems likely, Europe descends into another dark time after its welfare democracies capsize, the authorities will clear Islamic areas by force. But under a self-government system non-Islamic areas can expand by commercial means — members can buy up Islamic-owned land piece by piece, shrinking the Islamic enclave as they do so.
As a prelude, self government does away with Europe’s welfare states, which have done so much to attract parasitic patterns of immigration and then to encourage segregation, whilst rendering native populations dependent.
Islamic areas will fare badly without the welfare. Badly educated, tribally fragmented, hostile to innovation, highly criminalised, they will quickly revert to poverty. The ugliness of life in destitute Islamic enclaves will encourage the sale of Islamic lands to self-governing non-Muslims, at which point those lands become inaccessible to Islam. Non-Muslims might buy up entire blocks as their former local authority owners disappear. Wealthy non-Muslims may put together counter-Islamic expansion funds for this purpose.
Islamic societies, being tight-knit, fast growing, and insistent on rights, are well suited to territorial state politics, under which areas are settled, controlled, and then expanded. But their economic and intellectual backwardness, and aversion to contractual freedom, make them poorly suited to control based on contract and agreement. Commercially able Europeans could simply buy up Islamic enclaves piece by piece, whereupon the new owners’ laws prevail.
This method doesn’t rule out the use of force where necessary, e.g. in response to an attack from a Muslim enclave. Suppose an Islamic leader were foolish enough to launch a raid on a neighbouring non-Islamic borough. The non-Islamic borough could authorise bounty hunters to extract reparation by seizing, say, ten blocks from the Islamic enclave. I don’t advocate this because, beside the suffering of war, there is the instability and capital flight which armed conflict generates.
Or suppose an Islamic enclave were to make itself a bridgehead for attack against surrounding areas, fed by Arab weapons, fighters and oil-money. There would be nothing to prevent a self-governed territory re-taking the Islamic enclave by force. Again, I do not advocate this because war is always disastrous, and expansion by consent is always preferable. It is far better to work in a peaceful, orderly way, even if it means loss of life on your own side, because the aim is not to lash out but to prevail, and that aim is worth sacrificing for.
My point is that the self-government system I describe is flexible. It can push back against Islam using consensual means (purchase of land), it can defend itself and, if absolutely necessary, go on the offensive.
The state, on the other hand is inflexible. Its methods always boil down to coercion at some point. This is why European political elites are so averse to criticising the presence of Islam, and talk such witless nonsense to pretend it is a benefit: the only alternative open to the state is forcible ethnic cleansing. If that seems attractive to you in your moments of anger at repressive PC orthodoxy, reflect on the disasters such methods have darkened our continent with so often in the past. You cannot rein in mass killing once you have unleashed it, and the things you hold beautiful will probably get killed also. Is that worth it to you for the dubious satisfaction of lashing out?
The benefits of self-government
The benefits are many, but in the present context they are six-fold.
First, as set out above, the rollback of Islam can take place relatively peaceably.
Second, it allows non-Muslims to live in freedom, order and prosperity even while that rollback is accomplished. Europe doesn’t have to go to its dark side.
Third, it avoids the atrocities which have so often stained the towering values of our culture. As Europe’s bizarre flirtation with Islam comes to its sordid end, liberal critics of Europe will make sweeping generalisations about Europeans being genocidists. The solution I propose here will deny them that opportunity.
Fourth, and most significant, European state authorities are unlikely to survive. They face insuperable problems, besides the ethnic divide our elites are building up. So a good rule of thumb is to be suspicious of any anti-Islamisation plan which assumes the continued existence of the state authority. If I am right that the trigger for Europe’s breakdown will be the collapse of its welfare states, then its state authorities will collapse just as the violence mushrooms.
Fifth, the forces of freedom don’t need to be in a majority to prevail. The clock is not ticking for self government. This is in sharp contrast to democracy, where you have to be in the majority to prevail. Wilders is right that it is five-to-midnight for European democracy. But a self-government system can prevail at any time: if it is big enough to defend itself it will expand — economically, numerically, ethically and culturally. It will attract productive people, and it will expand, no matter how large the Islamic population.
Sixth, perhaps the greatest benefit is the psychological benefit. Europe goes on the front foot again. Freedom and civilisation can win, with a method that we don’t have to be ashamed of. We can cease apologising, and move forward.
It is essential to look for non-state systems which will allow the base values of European civilisation to continue, if only because statist methods amount to nothing if the state is no longer there.
The underlying reality is that we are facing the beginning of the end of the age of democracy. There is no obvious way to save it in Europe. The self-government system I have outlined may simply be the next stage of civilisation.
The system of self-government proposed here would allow civilisation to keep going in the wake of the breakdown of democracy in Europe. It can solve the problems of ethnic division, and roll back the tide of Islam in Europe. And it can do so in a way which avoids ethnic cleansing and genocide.