Last month’s Counterjihad meeting in Zurich was a milestone for several reasons, one of them being the participation of a substantial contingent of French delegates. Gandalf*, who has appeared several times previously at Gates of Vienna and blogs at Vérité, Valeurs et Démocratie, gave a presentation on his proposed Alliance to STOP Sharia.
In the wake of the meeting a group of people from a number of European countries (plus the United States and Canada) began preparations for the launch of the Alliance to STOP Sharia as an umbrella group that can apply anti-sharia strategies across the entire West.
Countries with secularism written into their constitutions encounter a problem with any official effort to oppose Islamization. How can Islam be stopped when the state is enjoined not to interfere in religious affairs? In particular, the constitutions of France and the United States forbid any state meddling with religions. We Americans have the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and the French have an official policy of laïcité — the complete removal of religious matters from the purview of the government.
The Alliance, however, is completely unconcerned with Islamic religious beliefs — as far as it is concerned, Muslims may believe whatever they want. Instead, the focus is on Sharia, or Islamic law.
Last week Gates of Vienna interviewed Gandalf about the reasoning and methodology behind the planned alliance.
Q: You say that you do not take issue with Islamic beliefs or religious doctrines, but only with the body of law known as Sharia. Could you please explain the reasons for your focus on Sharia?
A: Well, let’s begin with Islamic beliefs and religious doctrines. We cannot take issue with someone’s beliefs for the simple reason that we are respectful of their human rights. In a democratic society you have the right to believe what you want; it’s as simple as that. Let me add that having issues with what’s inside your neighbour’s brain seems a very unproductive way of spending your time.
Sharia is an entirely different matter, Sharia in an occidental society is of a political nature (politics being the thing that rules society). In a Muslim society Sharia is of religious essence but we are not in a Muslim society, and we don’t have to consider their weltanschaaung in this matter.
Some people pretend to introduce something they consider as a body of laws into our society. Laws regulating individual and collective behaviour, morals, clothing, food, justice, matrimonial relations, sexual life, inheritance, citizenship status, and even what you are allowed to believe or not believe. Laws voted by nobody, laws absolutely incompatible with the principles of democracy, laws violating each and every human right you can think of, laws rejecting our basic civilisationnal concept of human dignity, and you ask why we focus our concerns on the Sharia?
Let me return your question by asking this: why hasn’t everyone in our democratic countries focused yet on the Sharia problem we are facing today?
Some clever souls say that it only concerns Muslim people, why should we care?
What is a Muslim? A new kind of citizen having different rights and obligations? A new kind of citizen denied the benefits of his constitutional rights, of his basic human rights — especially if this Muslim person is a woman?
We don’t know what a Muslim is, and to be really honest, we don’t care. But we know what a free citizen is and we know what Sharia does to people: it enslaves them in a degrading servitude. Sharia is mental slavery, that’s why we take issue with it.
Q: So, if I understand you correctly, you are completely opposed to any application of Sharia law, because it violates our human rights as well as our constitutions?
A: My answer will be yes and no.
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Yes, we are completely opposed to any kind of individual or collective behaviour (note that we are speaking of behaviour, not beliefs) promoting a political system which is non-democratic and incompatible with our citizens’ constitutional and human rights. Actively promoting a non-democratic political and social system in our society is called subversion. This is an offence.
Teaching children and citizens that they cannot use their constitutional liberties and that they have to obey a foreign law — however small this obligation might be — is intolerable. There is no such thing as a parallel law beside our own, and our opinion is that everyone who is trying to enforce a foreign law in our country, even when hiding behind a religious façade and seemingly harmless behaviours, must be stopped.
Let’s take an example to be very clear: Ramadan. It seems to be an inoffensive custom, festive and convivial — right?
Wrong: Ramadan is an obligation dictated by the Sharia. As such, if you don’t respect it, you become a kafir (a non-Muslim kind of sub-human). In an Islamic society (ruled by Sharia) you can go to jail or be mobbed by your neighbours because “you insult Islam” simply by eating or drinking something during this period.
And in a not-yet Islamic society Ramadan applies a very strong social pressure on individuals daring to take liberties with the strictures of Sharia. Our citizens of Muslim faith are suffering from that “innocent and festive custom” which allows for the counting of heads and the stigmatization of those who hope to live a free life.
Sharia victims who have internalized the rules they must obey just think it’s the “normal” way of doing things. Uneducated people just see the feast and the pastries, but it’s Sharia law, no more and no less than the stoning of women for adultery and amputation of thieves’ hands.
Sharia is a “package”; you cannot pick what you fancy and forget about the rest. That’s what we do with religions in a democratic society, but please remember that Sharia is outside the realm of democracy and outside the Western definition of civilisation.
What we see now of Sharia seems mostly harmless — halal food, a publicly displayed dress code, etc. — but it’s strongly linked with all the ugly content we don’t want to look at. Accepting one step is calling for the next. If you don’t want to go to the cellar why start to descend the stairs?
The “no” part of this answer concerns what people think is non-harmful in Sharia, wearing distinctive outfits, eating special food, building mosques, etc. In themselves each of those actions is not significant — outfits, food, buildings, what is the problem?
If there were no connection with Sharia, we would take no issue with all of that. We have no problem with Islam as a religion.
But at the present day, wearing Sharia-compliant clothing is an ostentatious sign of submission, and as such an open promotion of Sharia, a social conquest flag. Consuming halal food is another sign of submission, and a financial contribution for more Sharia in the society. And, in the mosques appearing in our towns, Sharia is often openly taught as a behavioural norm to our citizens, to defenceless children, to our neighbours.
So yes, we are definitely opposed to any application of Sharia law, any teaching of it and we believe confidently that if enough people raise their voices to demand efficient policies against Sharia, our representatives will forget their fears and will do what we elected them to do: protect our nations and our democracy.
Q: You seem to assert that a ban against Sharia will be a force for the liberation of Muslims, as well as for non-Muslims. Is this correct ?
A: Absolutely! In a democratic country each citizen is granted a full array of rights and liberties, he has the right to live his life as a free human being provided that he doesn’t threaten others’ right and liberties.
Why should we tolerate that Sharia preachers/activists actively work at the destruction of our neighbours’ rights and liberties by indoctrination, social pressure, and more often than not physical violence?
The “Muslim community” (umma) is a Sharia-derived concept binding individuals in a “community” with specific customs and obligations (sharia law). This concept has absolutely no validity — either you are a citizen or you are not; all the rest is irrelevant.
A total ban on Sharia will help to protect citizens of Muslim faith from those who insidiously try to bind them to the Sharia’s mental slavery. Our democratic societies are offering the fabulous gift of freedom to every citizen of Muslim faith willing to accept it. It’s our collective duty to maintain the conditions allowing our citizens to break the yoke of an alien and barbaric law.
Getting rid of Sharia will protect us too, because Sharia concerns non-Muslims too.
Sharia heavily promotes discrimination, hatred, deception, and violence against non-Muslims, kuffar. Sharia creates social unrest and tensions leading to urban semi-insurrectional situations when mixed with social and immigration issues.
Everyone will enjoy a better life without Sharia, everyone.
Q: Your program makes complete sense. However, our countries already have in place constitutions and laws that are antithetical to sharia. What strategy do you propose to persuade our leaders to reject Sharia explicitly? How will you compel them to enforce existing prohibitions against such undemocratic laws?
A: To answer this question some things need to be explained first.
It’s exact: our countries already have constitutions and laws that are antithetical to sharia. This simple fact should shelter us from any attempt to introduce sharia in our societies. In theory yes, but the reality is very different, as we all can see.
Information. The western democracies are suffering from a grievous lack of information.
- We are at war and we don’t even know it (remember that jihad against non-Muslims is a holy duty for everyone obeying sharia).
- We face a political ideology and we don’t even know it (most people are still mentally stuck in a “clash of civilizations”, a “religious conflict” or a “racism-related” problem).
- We can see symptoms of the growing influence of sharia and we can’t identify them as such (scarves, halal food, a withering of freedom of speech due to a latent climate of threatening and violence around sharia-related subjects, etc…).
We just don’t know what we are facing. Most people don’t know what sharia is, nor anything about its relations with the fundamental texts of Islam.
Ask around — how many people do you know who have read the Koran and the hadith or know what sharia is and what it is not?
People don’t know what sharia is. Most Muslims in our countries don’t know either, by the way. And our leaders? Why should they know better? Because you voted for them? Think twice…
This is the root of the problem: our societal inability to detect the presence of sharia and to analyze the threat it represents to our democratic societies.
Once educated about the sharia and its dangers, our leaders will be able to defend the nation against it.
At this point comes the answer to you question.
How to persuade our leaders to put the name “sharia” on our problem?
How will we compel them to enforce prohibitions against sharia?
Information is the answer. Once you know what sharia is and how to recognize it when you see it, you know what to do.
We’ll show people and leaders what sharia is and how it has already crept stealthily into our streets, where it is rapidly growing if not strongly challenged.
And when you know what sharia is, trust me, you know that you don’t want it in your country, never.
And at this point if enough of us raise our voices to say “Stop sharia now!” our leaders will hear their electors.
And if they don’t, they won’t remain our leaders much longer. Democracy is not that bad a system, you know — once people understand that their leaders are truly blind and deaf to the needs of their nation, they kick them out.
Truth about sharia: that’s our strategy. Truth is our weapon; we don’t need anything else.
|*||Not to be confused with the British blogger Gandalf, who runs the Counterjihad site Up Pompeii.|
This interview was originally published in four installments at Big Peace.