The article below is from the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, and concerns the formation of an explicitly Islamic political party in Spain. The author expresses alarm and dismay about this event, and seems to believe that the Spanish party is the first Islamic party in Europe. But this is hardly the case — Islamic parties already exist in other Western European countries, some of them going back several years.
Reinhard of FOMI has compiled a list of seven Muslim political parties (assuming the “anti-Zionist” party founded by the “Swedish” poet Mohammed Omar counts as Islamic):
Although I agree with everything reported in this article, I fail to share the author’s pessimism.
Yes, the formation of such parties will indirectly encourage Islamic terrorist organizations and their sympathizers. And yes, separate Islamic parties will hinder integration in their respective countries. But the “integration” of Muslim immigrants is already a bitter joke.
And Europe needs to become separate from Islam, so the establishment of separate Islamic political parties is a good first step in that process. It will help demonstrate that Islam is incompatible with Western culture, since Muslim demands will move out into the open during election campaigns for everyone to see, instead of sneaking in quietly via the Socialist parties that run most major European cities.
Muslim parties will clarify political realities in Europe, and a party’s electoral performance will provide a useful gauge of the degree of Islamization in a particular country.
So let’s hear it for Hizb’ullah, the Party of Allah!
And now the article from Corriere della Sera. Many thanks to Gaia for the translation:
Why the Spanish Announcement is Worrying
If Islam becomes a Party
Democratic politics is structured towards a short term horizon. The nature of the democratic system obliges politicians to concern themselves solely with problems that beset the present. Other problems — already envisaged but only becoming troublesome tomorrow or the day after — are not taken into consideration. Unlike the best medical practice, democratic politics does not care about prevention. If this were not the case, the news that just arrived from Spain would have provoked great arguments within the political classes of all European Countries, including Italy. The news — as would have become unavoidable sooner or later — is that there is already a Muslim party flexing its muscles in the public arena, and ready to introduce itself with its manifesto in the electoral competition of a European country. It is known as Prune, a party founded by a famous Moroccan intellectual, Mustafá Bakkach, who has been a resident in Spain for many years.
Its officially-stated intention is to aspire to Islam in order to contribute to the moral regeneration of Spain. In reality, it will try to defend and to diffuse the Muslim identity. It will have its electoral baptism in the administrative elections of 2011. If it succeeds, as is possible, it will raise a wave (as the migratory flows and demography show us) that will cross the whole of Europe. The imitative effect will be powerful, and Muslim parties will probably be formed in many European countries. At that point, the road of hoped-for “integration” of many Muslims who reside in Europe will become much steeper and problematic. Why? Because choosing a Muslim party is an identity choice, a choice of separation, of ghettoization. It could also be said, paradoxically, that when Muslims parties are born it will become possible for every European country to gauge the real rate of Muslim integration. Because it is obvious that the integrated Muslims (of whom, fortunately for us, there are already very many), that live quietly with their faith and do not have identity-religious issues with the European society in which they reside and work, will not vote for these Islamic parties. However many others will vote for them, either out of spontaneous adhesion (in the name of an experienced separation of identity) or because of pressure from the Muslim environments in which they live.
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The Spanish Muslim party, as well as every future European Muslim party, will naturally declare (not that there is any reason to believe the contrary) that they are non-violent. They could not risk (which would result in the failure of their political plan) links or contamination with either active or dormant terrorist cells in Europe. But this does not, however, mean that the ideology of the Muslim parties will be not be traditionalist/fundamentalist.
It will be the ideology of the so-called Muslim Rebirth, impregnated with anti-Western — and with respect to European mores, illiberal — values. It will be a matter of illiberal forces that will use politics in order to create new spaces, resources, and means of indoctrination and propaganda. For this, their very entry into the European political-electoral market will block or at least delay over a long time period the integration of many Muslims.
What to do? Democratic politics cannot easily be defended from the trap that has been laid. But the possibilities of success or failure of the Muslim parties in the several European countries will depend on a number of conditions.
The smaller or greater opportunities available for every single Muslim in gaining employment and of being able to obtain for himself and his family conditions of well-being will be important (but not to be underestimated is the aspect of identity). These will include also, and perhaps above all, the institutional characteristics of various European countries. Those that can defend themselves better, I believe, are the democracies endowed with majority electoral systems (which render very difficult the entry of new parties) compared to those who use some form of proportional representation.
Great Britain has committed colossal political errors concerning Muslim immigration. Its doctrine of “multiculturalism” has resulted in delivering to Islam, and also to the more radical form of Islam, important portions of its cities’ territories (to such a point that today Great Britain must even face the phenomenon of the numerous British citizens, speaking the English language, who fight in Afghanistan with their Taleban co-religionists). However, those errors are perhaps still reversible. In fact, the majority system renders very difficult the entry into the British political scene of a Muslim party. However, in the case of countries where proportional representation is the norm, entry is relatively easy and the politics of alliances and coalitions typically associated with this system guarantees influence and power even to small parties, a circumstance that the future Muslims parties will undoubtedly be able to take advantage of. From a longstanding, and non-repentant, supporter of the majority system, the above represents a further reason for adopting it.
— Angelo Panebianco, 18 November 2009