The following guest-essay concerns the deep illogic that underlies the official policies of Western political leaders towards Islam. It was written by Nick McAvelly of The Frozen North, who also blogs at Patriot’s Corner.
The Gathering Storm
by Nick McAvelly
As my intention is to write something useful for discerning minds, I find it more fitting to seek the truth of the matter rather than imaginary conceptions. Many have imagined republics and principalities that have never been seen or heard of, because how one lives and how one ought to live are so far apart that he who spurns what is actually done for what ought to be done will achieve ruin rather than his own preservation.
(Machiavelli, Niccolo (2009-01-01). The Prince (Vintage Classics) (p. 55). Random House. Kindle Edition.)
We are living in crazy times. It is a matter of public record that the Islamic State has been established in the Middle East, that it is being funded by other Islamic states, and that the most appalling and bestial crimes against humanity are being committed there every day, as Muslims in the Islamic State religiously cleanse the area they intend to turn into an Islamic Caliphate. The British public are fortunate enough to have respected academics like Michael Burleigh writing in the national press explaining that much of the deadly hatred that runs through the Islamic world has its roots in the Shia-Sunni split. It should therefore be possible for British citizens to develop an informed understanding of what is happening in the Middle East.
However, we have recently been treated to the astonishing spectacle of British politicians talking about the Middle Eastern theatre in what is becoming a global war.
These politicians have no expertise in the areas of either religion or philosophy, and are not qualified to talk about either subject. Despite their ignorance, several British politicians have made the quite incredible claim that the Muslims fighting for the Islamic State in order to establish and Islamic Caliphate and Islamic terrorists such as Mujahid Abu Hamza and Ismail Ibn Abdullah are not Muslims. As any undergraduate philosophy student will tell you, this is as fine an example of the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy being committed as any of us will ever see.
One of the reasons that an acknowledgement of the truth about the Islamic State would be problematic for British politicians is that they would have to deal with the fact that they have allowed uncontrolled immigration to our shores for many years now, against the will of the vast majority of British citizens, and many of those immigrants belong to the ummah, the worldwide community of Muslims.
On the face of it, controlled immigration need not be problematic. After all, everyone likes different food, different literature, different music. And if anyone deserves a break after the way they were treated during the war, the Polish people do. The Poles who have come to live in the UK tend to be hardworking people, and the Polish nation has a solid Christian background, so by and large it is not difficult for the Polish men and women who have come here looking for a better life to integrate into British society successfully. However, reality being what it is, this will not always be the case.
“What is clear is that values can clash — that is why civilisations are incompatible. They can be incompatible between cultures, or groups in the same culture, or between you and me.”
(Berlin, Isaiah (2012-12-31). The Proper Study Of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (p. 10). Random House. Kindle Edition.)
As Isaiah Berlin pointed out, not all cultural values are compatible. Specifically, the assertion that the doctrines and practices of Islam are compatible with the traditional values of Great Britain is not supported by the evidence that is available to us. Let us consider, for example, the work that has been done by the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom:
“USCIRF STATUS: Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern
“BOTTOM LINE: Despite some progress during a turbulent political transition, the Egyptian government has failed or been slow to protect religious minorities, particularly Coptic Orthodox Christians from violence. It continues to prosecute, convict, and imprison Egyptian citizens, including Copts and dissenting Muslims, for ‘contempt’ or ‘defamation’ of religion. The newly-adopted constitution includes several problematic provisions relevant to religious freedom and related human rights.”
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2013-04-23). United States Commission on International Religious Freedom: Annual Report 2013 (Kindle Locations 1038-1042). Penny Hill Press Inc,. Kindle Edition.
“USCIRF STATUS: Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern
“BOTTOM LINE: Religious freedom violations in Pakistan rose to unprecedented levels due to chronic sectarian violence particularly targeting Shi’i Muslims. The government continues to fail to protect Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus. Pakistan’s repressive blasphemy laws and anti-Ahmadi laws are widely used to violate religious freedoms and foster a climate of impunity.
“EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FINDINGS: The government of Pakistan continues to engage in and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of freedom of religion or belief. Sectarian and religiously-motivated violence is chronic, especially against Shi’i Muslims , and the government has failed to protect members of religious minority communities , as well as the majority faith. Pakistan’s repressive blasphemy laws and other religiously discriminatory legislation, such as the anti-Ahmadi laws, have fostered an atmosphere of violent extremism and vigilantism. Pakistani authorities have not consistently brought perpetrators to justice or taken action against societal actors who incite violence. Growing religious extremism threatens Pakistan’s security and stability, as well as the freedoms of religion and expression, and other human rights, for everyone in Pakistan. In light of these particularly severe violations, USCIRF recommends in 2013 that Pakistan be designated a ‘country of particular concern,’ or CPC. Since 2002, USCIRF has recommended Pakistan be named a CPC, but the State Department has not followed that recommendation. Pakistan represents the worst situation in the world for religious freedom for countries not currently designated as ‘countries of particular concern’ by the U.S. government.”
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (2013-04-23). United States Commission on International Religious Freedom: Annual Report 2013 (Kindle Locations 2656-2668). Penny Hill Press Inc,. Kindle Edition.
If all Islamic doctrines taught nothing except peace, love and tolerance, then all countries run in accordance with shariah law would be peaceful, and all Muslims who live in those nation states would love all members of minority religious groups, act peacefully towards them and never discriminate against them in any way. The consequent in that statement is refuted by reality. Islamic countries such as Egypt and Pakistan, for example, are not peaceful, and it is a matter of public record that many Muslims living in those countries discriminate against members of minority religions. It follows that, where the subject term is “Islamic doctrines and practices” and the predicate term is “doctrines that are peaceful, loving and tolerant”, the A proposition (All S are P) is false.
If anyone speaks out about the human rights violations that have occurred in Islamic countries like Egypt and Pakistan, all they are doing is making a series of descriptive statements about past events. There is no problem with that.
Nor is there a problem with someone making the conditional statement: If we adopt the same principles and practices, then we can expect to see the same results. That is a straightforward logical observation. If it rains, then we’re going to get wet.
The fact is that much of what we see in nation states that are run in accordance with shariah law is not good, not peaceful and definitely not tolerant. That point can, and must, be made on behalf of minority religious groups in Islamic countries.
It must also be said that replicating those conditions elsewhere would not be a desirable outcome for anyone who currently lives in a free, democratic society and who believes in the importance of human liberty.
This observation has already been made by British politicians and the mainstream media in the UK. In what was labelled a ‘Trojan Horse Operation’, Muslims working in the British education system tried to infiltrate several schools and establish a curriculum based on Islamic doctrines and practices. In an astonishing breach of PC, this was deemed to be unacceptable by the political elite, and it was reported accordingly by journalists working for the national press.
There are Islamophiles in our society who insist that it is not true that all Muslims are jihadists or ‘extremists’, as if this assertion was enough to settle all discussion of Islamic doctrines and practices. This straightforward observation is, in logical terms, an assertion that, where the subject term is Muslims and the predicate term is jihadists or Islamic ‘extremists’, the A proposition (All S are P) is false. And of course, this A proposition is false. After all, the Muslims responsible for the ‘Trojan Horse’ infiltration of British schools weren’t Islamic ‘extremists’. They were simply devout Muslims who wanted to establish Islamic doctrines and practices in British schools. The fact that these people exist means that Muslims who are not jihadists or ‘extremists’ can believe in Islamic doctrines that (according to the British political elite and the mainstream media) are not compatible with traditional British values. The Islamophiles’ assertion that the A proposition (All S are P) is false is therefore irrelevant.
An additional problem that Islamophiles living in our country face is that although that A proposition may be false, it does not follow that the corresponding I proposition (Some S are P) is false. The assertion that all cats are marmalade coloured is false, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any marmalade cats, or that there isn’t one living at Chartwell right now, in accordance with Winston Churchill’s wishes.
Unfortunately, where the subject term is Muslims, that term is not distributed, and the predicate term is ‘men who have committed acts of violence and terrorism’, the I proposition is true. And the frequency with which that I proposition is shown to be true by radical individuals arising from within the Islamic community should be of concern to everyone, especially those within that community who disagree with the motives of the men who commit violent acts in the name of their religion.
The plain fact is, there are indeed Muslims who engage in horrific behaviour and justify it by citing the teachings of Islam. This should surprise no one because, as Shashank Joshi acknowledged in the Telegraph on 14th September 2014, “the practice of beheading is invoked in the Koran”. The Islamic terrorist Mujahid Abu Hamza, for example, explicitly cited surah at-taubah, the ninth surah of the Koran but one of the last to be written, as he explained to a passer-by why he had participated in the brutal murder of a British soldier on the streets of the nation’s capital.
David Cameron revealed the depths of his intellectual and moral cowardice when he asserted that there were absolutely no Islamic teachings that justified the actions of Lee Rigby’s killers. Cameron’s statement is an E proposition (No S are P) which is refuted by Shashank Joshi’s observation in the Telegraph, and which ignores the recorded statement of Mujahid Abu Hamza. Once Cameron had successfully revealed his ignorance about Islam to the British public, he popped off to Ibiza for a few days in the sun with the wife.
By leaving the country, Cameron avoided having to comment when three Muslim prisoners in Full Sutton Prison in Yorkshire attacked an ex-serviceman now working as a prison warden. Nor did he have to say anything when a Muslim convert called Alexandre Dhaussy was arrested in Paris and charged with stabbing a French soldier in the throat. And the silence of British politicians was deafening when barely a week after the murder of Lee Rigby, a Muslim convert (who had changed his surname to Islam) was arrested for threatening to kill Prince Harry.
The Prince has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has, in all likelihood, sent many jihadists to the afterlife. If he ever fell into the hands of Islamic fanatics like the pair who murdered Lee Rigby, one can only imagine what would happen to him.
The political elite appear to have been blinded to the fact that cultural values will inevitably conflict, and that Islamic doctrines and practices in particular are not compatible with life in a free, democratic society. The political class have been in thrall to the fabulous belief in a multicultural utopia. And they have done everything in their power to create such a utopia in our country. But inevitably, their social engineering project has failed.
“One belief, more than any other, is responsible for the slaughter of individuals on the altars of the great historical ideals — justice or progress or the happiness of future generations, or the sacred mission or emancipation of a nation or race or class, or even liberty itself, which demands the sacrifice of individuals for the freedom of society. This is the belief that somewhere, in the past or in the future, in divine revelation or in the mind of an individual thinker, in the pronouncements of history or science, or in the simple heart of an uncorrupted good man, there is a final solution.
“This ancient faith rests on the conviction that all the positive values in which men have believed must, in the end, be compatible, and perhaps even entail one another. ‘Nature binds truth, happiness and virtue together by an indissoluble chain’, said one of the best men who ever lived, and spoke in similar terms of liberty, equality and justice.
“But is this true? It is a commonplace that neither political equality nor efficient organisation nor social justice is compatible with more than a modicum of individual liberty, and certainly not with unrestricted laissez-faire; that justice and generosity, public and private loyalties, the demands of genius and the claims of society can conflict violently with each other. And it is no great way from that to the generalisation that not all good things are compatible, still less all the ideals of mankind.
“But somewhere, we shall be told, and in some way, it must be possible for all these values to live together, for unless this is so, the universe is not a cosmos, not a harmony; unless this is so, conflicts of values may be an intrinsic, irremovable element in human life. To admit that the fulfilment of some of our ideals may in principle make the fulfilment of others impossible is to say that the notion of total human fulfilment is a formal contradiction, a metaphysical chimera.”
Berlin, Isaiah (2012-12-31). The Proper Study Of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (pp. 237-238). Random House. Kindle Edition.
“Utopias have their value — nothing so wonderfully expands the imaginative horizons of human potentialities — but as guides to conduct they can prove literally fatal. […] So I conclude that the very notion of a final solution is not only impracticable but, if I am right, and some values cannot but clash, incoherent also. The possibility of a final solution — even if we forget the terrible sense that these words acquired in Hitler’s day — turns out to be an illusion; and a very dangerous one.”
Berlin, Isaiah (2012-12-31). The Proper Study Of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (p. 12). Random House. Kindle Edition.
The incredible notion that the more Muslims there are in Britain, and the more British politicians kowtow to them and give them what they want, the more compatible with our own values the principles and doctrines of Islam will become, is absolute nonsense. If the doctrines of Islam are logically incompatible with freedom and democracy, then nothing will alter that simple truth. The political elite in Britain have been striving to implement their own final solution to the question of how human beings ought to live together, and even if one grants that their intentions were good, it is now an undeniable truth that all they have managed to do is lay the groundwork for what could turn into the cruellest and most destructive global conflict in the history of mankind.