In prehistoric Celtic mythology the ovum anguinum, or “serpent’s egg”, was a mythical stone that had magical powers. Most of the information we have about it comes from the Roman historian Pliny the Elder, who reported that he had actually handled such a stone. He acquired his information from the Gauls, but similar stones appear in Welsh, Irish, and Scottish legends.
The ovum anguinum was created by snakes who coiled together and generated it from their saliva and secretions and then lofted it into the air with their hissing breath. If a Druid adept leapt over the conclave of snakes, he could catch the stone in a cloth without allowing it to touch the ground. The snakes in their fury would pursue him, but if he succeeded in crossing a river that the snakes were unable to pass, he could return with the magic stone.
The serpent’s egg was said to give its owner protection from injury and defeat in battle. When held against one’s chest during a dispute or litigation, it guaranteed victory.
Ah, if only I could obtain one of those for use in the Blog Wars! No one would dare to contradict me…
Alas, the ovum anguinum is no more than a Celtic fantasy. As you can see from the 15th-century woodcut at the top of this post, the stone being snatched by the courageous Druid is a fossilized echinoderm, perhaps a sea urchin or something similar. 4,000-year old troves of fossilized sea urchins used as grave-goods have been discovered in Wales. Other examples of serpents’ eggs listed by skeptical scholars include seaworn shards of ancient glass from Roman bottles that had had holes drilled in them and were used as amulets among the Celts.
No, there will be no shortcuts to victory in these heated disputes over the existence of “moderate Muslims”. I find this species to be as fictive as the ovus anguinum — and not as harmless as a fossilized sea urchin.
I recognize, however, that not everyone agrees with me.
The conversation about the “moderate Muslim” began last week with V.K. Chatterjee’s exposé of Maajid Nawaz. We could just as easily have been discussing Tariq Ramadan or Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, whose silver-but-forked tongues have done at least as much as Mr. Nawaz’ to obscure the problem of Islam. All of them have sent non-Muslims haring down a blind alley in a desperate search for Moderate Islam. Mr. Ramadan, however, has tarnished his once-pristine reputation by making certain imprudent remarks before Muslim audiences on videotape that made their way into the public record. And Imam Rauf is more familiar to Americans than to Europeans, so the focus was on Maajid Nawaz as a prototypical taqiyya-artist at his most unctuously persuasive.
A comment by Oren deepened the discussion by suggesting that we might be doing our movement a disservice with our hostility towards Maajid Nawaz. Oren’s follow-up comment the next day provided additional points that deserve consideration.
His entire comment is below. Certain sections that merit further discussion in depth have been marked in bold:
Now that you have turned my comment into a post, please allow me to respond.
First of all, let me begin by making clear that I am not a Muslim apologist, nor a “useful idiot” in the ranks of the left. I am an Israeli blogger and activist, who has been warning against the danger of the Islamization of the west for close to a decade now.
However, I quickly realized that in order to have any impact, the anti-Jihad movement must have clear objectives. What is it that we wish to achieve? Waking up the large public is an important mile stone, but certainly not the end game.
If your declared goal is simply to eradicate Jihad violence, and to prevent Sharia law from entering our legal system, then you have the potential to bring the public on board. As a part of this agenda you may advocate stopping further immigration to the west, but you will still have to suggest a reasonable solution for those Muslims already living in Europe and the US, one which the public opinion will be able to accept. The only such solution I can think of is integration. In other words, allowing them to stay, as long as they abide by western law and adopt western values.
On the other hand, if your stated goal is to kick each and every Muslim out of Europe and the US, then I’m afraid you will probably only alienate the moderate sections of society, and supply ammunition to the hard core left, which constantly tries to vilify the anti-Jihad movement as “racist”.
Let’s imagine for a second an average European, who is not very knowledgeable about Islam, but is troubled by the recent attacks in Paris, for instance. He is looking for answers, which he can’t get from the main stream media. What would such a person think to himself, were he to stumble upon your blog and find it lampooning someone like Nawaz, which he believes to be the quintessential moderate Muslim? He would probably come to the conclusion the anti-Jihad movement really is extreme, and shy away.
And so I believe that your recent piece was counter productive. I am not a psychic, and I can’t tell whether Nawaz’s intentions are pure or not (and mind you, misspelling the word Taqiyya is not a very compelling argument…). However, there are literally thousands of Islamic apologists out there who are openly preaching hatred and violence towards non Muslims, and whose intentions are proven beyond doubt. I believe we should direct our energies against them.
The above arguments display an apparent anxiety that many people in our movement share: an apprehension about alienating people in their own social class and cultural milieu who do not already support the basic arguments of the Counterjihad. In order to win over such people, we are advised to avoid the appearance of being “extremists”. Sometimes we must pull our punches and not say certain things because they will seem so distasteful, so radical, to those bien-pensants who have not already understood the catastrophic nature of the behemoth that is rapidly bearing down on us.
I’m not affluent enough to move in such circles, so I can’t testify personally to the effects of being a radical Counterjihadist in a crowd of moderates. However, others have reported their own experiences, to the extent that it is a recurring topic of conversation, one that has been discussed here more than once in the past.
The headings below are based on the bolded excerpts in what Oren had to say in the above comment.
Having an impact
The prospect of “having an impact” is a preoccupation for some Counterjihadists. But what constitutes having an impact? The answer varies from person to person. To some it means being invited to appear as a talking head on CNN or the BBC or Fox News. For others success may involve securing major funding from a foundation for their non-profit organization. Still others may long for a paid position as an advisor to a prominent political figure.
So “impact” will be determined by the “objectives” that Oren describes. And none of the examples he cites are congruent with my primary objective. Since the 910 Group was founded almost ten years ago, my main purpose and day-to-day preoccupation has been to create and extend a resilient network of Counterjihad-minded activists who are well-informed about the nature of Islam and willing to volunteer their services, using whatever talents and skills they may have, to roll back the Islamization of their countries over the long term.
That last phrase is crucial. This is going to be a long war. A very long war. I expect it to last at least two generations, which means it will continue for decades after I depart this vale of tears. What I’m working towards cannot be achieved in my lifetime. What I’ve watched being built over the past ten years will not bear fruit until after things go sideways.
Which they certainly will. And, judging by the accelerating successes of the Jihad, the days of “sideways” will arrive fairly soon. At that point it will no longer matter what the Gutmenschen think of us. Whether we are “radical” or “moderate” Counterjihadists will become irrelevant. The preoccupations of those grim days will be very different.
That’s when networks of seasoned volunteers will see service. The arena for action will no longer be on the panels of TV talk shows or on the floor of various parliaments.
It would not be prudent to describe in detail what I expect to happen, but useful skills in the days to come will not be the same as those required of, say, a presidential spokesman or a TV news anchor. We will be living in a different world.
Bringing the public on board
In my experience, to attempt to “bring the public on board” is to pursue a chimera. The general public tends not to climb on board until the crisis becomes up close and personal for them.
No matter how many ISIS atrocities are shown on television, the impact is not the same as the destruction of your neighborhood by violent Third-World gangs. Or being mugged and sent to the hospital by a Somali immigrant. Or having your daughter “groomed” and raped by a gang of Pakistanis. Or discovering the long-term effects of the construction of a mosque a block or two away from your house.
This is what galvanizes people into action. When they gain personal experience of what the Jihad means for them, suddenly they’re thinking just like us. They start reading and researching and talking to others who have had similar experiences. And the next thing you know, they’re indistinguishable from “radical” Counterjihadists.
All this can happen in the space of just a few weeks. But for most people, nothing can make it happen except the cold, hard experience of Reality.
Suggesting a reasonable solution for those Muslims already living in Europe and the US
This is the core problem for every Western country. The serious damage to our culture has already been done. It has been going on for decades — the current crisis is simply an acceleration of a two- or three-generation process. Our political leaders have been deliberately replacing their native populations with hostile foreigners, most of them Muslims. As Fjordman put it, “This is the greatest organized betrayal in Western history.”
There is no way to talk about possible (and likely) future scenarios without running into the wall of What May Not Be Discussed. El Inglés asked the question: “Surrender, Genocide… Or What?” And look what happened to us — we got booted out of Pajamas Media and cast into the Outer Darkness, where dwell the neo-Nazis and fascists and racists and all the other despised fringe elements. Here Be Monsters.
There is no way that meaningful solutions to the current mess can be suggested without something similar happening to the intelligent analyst who attempts it. Frank, realistic discussion of the options is ruled out in advance.
This is why the Moderate Muslim features so prominently in polite discourse. No matter that he is a phantasm; he is our only hope. Which leads us to…
It used to be that America required foreigners to “assimilate” rather than “integrate”. But Europe has never practiced assimilation as a matter of policy, and the United States has recently abandoned it. Both sides of the Atlantic pursue Multiculturalism instead. New arrivals are allowed and expected to retain all their foreign ways, and the elusive process of “integration” is supposed to permit them to live side-by-side with everyone else without conflict.
But this never happens. Despite all the outreach, and diversity seminars, and courses in Western “values”, the newcomers remain stubbornly foreign. This is especially true of Muslims, who remain implacably opposed to the values of their adopted society, and are more than eager to bite the hand that feeds them.
Abiding by Western law and adopting Western values
This is not going to happen. Yes, Hindus will adopt Western values and abide by the law. So will Sikhs and Buddhists. But not Muslims. Islam does not submit; it comes to dominate. The process of hijra followed by eventual domination is encoded in its core scriptures. No one who remains a faithful Muslim can pursue any other path.
We now have more than forty years of experience in Britain and France to demonstrate the accuracy of this distressing conclusion. The second and third generations of Muslim immigrants are typically more radical than their parents and grandparents. The older generations do not understand what has happened to their descendants. How did these kids become “radicalized”?
All it takes is a nearby mosque and a well-trained imam to turn “moderates” into “radicals”. Everything necessary to achieve this goal is already written in the Koran, the hadith, and the sira. All that remains is for it to be carefully explained to an interested boy or young man, and then off he goes down the road to Jihad.
As long as the mosques and imams remain in the West, there will be no general tendency to abide by Western law and adopt Western values.
Kicking each and every Muslim out of Europe and the US
This is what many Counterjihad people long for, but even a cursory glance at current realities will reveal the political impossibility of such an outcome. It just ain’t gonna happen.
Until some sort of collapse occurs, that is. And that collapse is coming. The arrival of thousands of mujahideen in Europe this year has accelerated its advance. And the central banks’ obstinate insistence on printing more money will hasten it even more.
When that happens, all the rules will change. Things that cannot be talked about now will be common topics of discussion. The possibility of removing Muslims from Europe and North America may well be considered then, and it may not involve simply physically relocating them to foreign climes.
But until those grievous days arrive, such matters may not be broached — not without the obligatory kick into that old familiar Outer Darkness.
Alienating the moderate sections of society
Ah yes, this is what we must avoid at all costs — alienating “moderate” sections of society. But which society are we talking about? Muslim? Or Western?
What would a “moderate” Westerner be?
Is a complete and utter hedonist a “moderate” or an “extremist”?
Is a believing Christian an “extremist” while an atheist is a “moderate”?
Who are we talking about here?
I find it hard to get a grip on what these “moderate sections of society” might consist of.
Supplying ammunition to the hard core Left (which constantly tries to vilify the Counterjihad as “racist”)
This is the game that we are always called upon to play. The rules were written by the Left. The playing field is Leftist turf. The referees and spectators are Leftists.
It’s a mug’s game, and we cannot win it. Winning can only occur when we admit the Left is right about Multiculturalism and immigration and racism etc blah yak. In other words, when we become Leftists ourselves.
Until we do that, we will always be called “racists” and “xenophobes” and “right-wing extremists”. There is no way around it. Those are the rules.
I’ve discussed this at length in “Declining to Play the Game”:
Don’t accept the rules.
Don’t recognize the authority of the referee.
Don’t call the toss.
Don’t even go onto the field.
Convincing uncommitted people that the anti-Jihad movement really is extreme, who then shy away
But is it really my job to convince people that I’m not extreme?
Why am I required to make people aware of some quality in me (real or imagined), rather than to do my job properly?
My job is not to convince people that this movement is not extreme. My job is not to create a good impression, or present a pleasing exterior.
This is not a popularity contest.
In point of fact, if I do my job properly, many people will conclude that I am extreme. The rules of the game are rigged that way. Those who decide how we must play will label as “extreme” my view of what is facing us — unless I don the politically correct rose-colored glasses that everyone else is wearing and see what everyone else sees.
There’s no sense in doing that.
To try to convince the world that you’re not an “extremist” is to jump the distancing stick described by Thor von Waldstein, which is part of the “salami tactics” used by our opponents:
Whoever jumps over every little distancing stick that is held out, only confirms thereby his political inferiority to the one holding the stick. He acknowledges its game rules and therefore voluntarily enters the playing field which the stick holder has laid out in advance so as to rule out a win, or even a small territorial gain.
The task of winning over people who think we’re extreme is essentially a trivial one, and not at all relevant to the job at hand, which is to face up to nature of the war that is rapidly approaching us.
The war that lies ahead will not be what we normally think of as war. It will be like 9/11, Beslan, the Bataclan, the Boston Marathon, and San Bernardino, lots and lots of them, all happening simultaneously. In addition to all the death, bloodshed, terror and general carnage, the economy of the West will be devastated. As the new wave of Jihad hits the West, the emergency services, police, forensic investigators, and judicial system will be tied down for months on end in order to “apprehend the perpetrators bring them to justice”. Lawyers, motions, discovery, stays, trials, and appeals for thousands of defendants, going on for months or years. Billions upon billions of dollars poured down politically correct rat holes. And that’s not even considering all the billions lost to commerce as ordinary people avoid airports, train stations, shopping malls, stadiums, street events, and public spaces in their day-to-day activities.
As our economies sink under the weight, Western leaders will eventually and reluctantly be forced to acknowledge that what they are dealing with is warfare, and not criminal acts. Warfare of a sort they’ve never seen before. And they will have to change their approach to how they deal with it. It will be a slow and painful process (painful for them and even more painful for us), but they will eventually have to put aside their cherished politically correct visions of Islam and accept its ghastly Reality.
One of the first PC luxuries to be abandoned will be the “moderate Muslim”.