Below is the latest ratiocination from the popular Austrian opinion writer Andreas Unterberger. JLH, who translated the piece for Gates of Vienna, says, “It seems a little more pessimistic than usual.”
The translated article from the author’s website:
From Headscarf to Polygamy
by Andreas Unterberger
August 9, 2016
Naive politicians and even more naive do-gooder journalists act as though everything about Islam is fine, except for the occasional act of terrorism. And even these they desperately try to explain away with individualized psychobabble. Even now, they have not yet comprehended the entirety of Islam in its many real-world manifestations. These manifestations are not only potentially aggressive and aimed at dominance, they also imply an incredibly narrow social order which tries to determine every detail of human existence according to seventh-century beliefs.
In this social order, there is no room for rationality, nor science nor enlightenment nor tolerance nor pluralism nor human rights nor European traditions. Islam in many of its variants is by no means merely another transcendental attempt to explain the world, which could without problem be placed next to the diverse Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, lay, and other approaches. Perhaps the eyes of some will be opened by the latest demand of the top Islamic leader in Italy. The founder of “The Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy,” Hamza Piccardo, has demanded legalization of polygamy. And indeed, with a logical-sounding argument: Since Italy’s leftist government has officially recognized homosexual life partnerships, it would be logical to give civil recognition to the simultaneous marriages of one man to several women, so long as the participants are willing. Literally: “Muslims are not in agreement with homosexual life partnerships and must nonetheless accept a system that allows them.”
How the Islamic as well as the homophile mainstream will react to this is tensely anticipated. Probably there will be no reaction. The mainstream has always ignored the fact that homosexual partnerships in Islamic countries are often punished by the death sentence. By no means are they accepted, except where Islam is in the minority.
Where will the mainstream find counter arguments to the Islamic demand for polygamy? There are none, since gay partnerships in Europe are not only legally protected (which was right), but financially and legally privileged in numerous respects compared to other forms of cohabitation (which was absolutely wrong, even though these financial consequences were largely hushed up by the relevant lobbies.)
A disoriented culture of sentiment, guided only by the dictates of whatever minority is screaming the loudest, has no basis whatsoever for rejecting legal recognition of polygamy or incestuous relationships. It is a striking coincidence that Ö1 [Austrian Radio] nowadays has been enthusiastically promoting institutionalized threesomes.
There are four crucial counter-arguments which could and should be advanced against these developments by any liberal, and most Christian, conservative and (traditional) social-democrats Europeans.
There is no true reason for the European states to preside over wedding ceremonies. They don’t, for instance, with births. Anyone can and should celebrate as in the USA or in their own religious community. Whatever there is to be celebrated: birthdays, confirmations, forming partnerships, divorces, funerals. But then, the state need not be concerned about whether or where or how marriages/partnerships are solemnized.
Financial consequences of any kind (which are always at the expense of the community or a third party) should legitimately have one outcome: Children ideally raised by a mother and a father. That is, what we call family. In honesty, we must admit that this argument only excludes the encouragement of homosexual or incestuous relationships, but not polygamous ones, in which multiple mothers have children by the same father.
Not only is there no basis for state and society to move beyond families with children to encourage certain forms of cohabitation of two or more people, it also opens the door to fraud. But if it is done nonetheless, it would equally encourage cohabiting siblings or friends, even if sexuality is not involved.
Above all, however: A culture will only survive if it has pride — yes pride, which is different from arrogance — in its own self, and does not surrender its entire identity to a multicultural uniformity and endless relativism. Almost all peoples and cultures have this pride. Only the Europe of recent decades has given it up. All other regions, on the other hand — especially Islamic lands — enforce respect for their traditions and customs with social pressure and most also with legal and police resources. Traditions protected in this way range from veiling or removing shoes in mosques to the behavior of couples in public.
Only in Europe — as a result of left-liberal-socialist forfeiture of our values — do politics and justice believe it is necessary to renounce our own roots, our own identities, traditions, customs and values, indeed to hate them. In Europe, many people no longer realize that men should remove their hats in a church. Or that you should say hello when entering a room. Or say thank you when you are given something. Just to mention three examples that were once part of European culture.
It is true that there are some gratifying signs that European citizens once again have a strong desire for the assertion of our own values and traditions as the cornerstone of our civilization. Unfortunately, politics, justice and the media have not progressed so far. Which , logically, is a main reason for the voters’ rapid turning away from the parties of the representative democracy which specifies the laws. When and if Politics and Co. have caught up with the citizens, then much that is a part of their evolved identity can be confirmed in European countries as justifiably as it is in the rest of the West.
To name just some elements:
- Clear affirmation of the respective core national culture
- Integration of immigrants in the sense of assimilation, and not multiculti — as is done in real immigration countries
- Priority to the classic man-woman-child family
- Freedom of expression with no diktat for political correctness (or for a feudal aristocracy or ecclesiastical hierarchy)
- Yes to ringing church bells and No to muezzin loudspeakers
- Legal pushback against all manifestations of harmful tolerance, like the frequent judicial recognition of child marriages, which are forbidden among non-Muslims
- Schools regain the right to expect of students (and their parents) what they consider to be important. For instance, participation in swimming instruction, ban on religious clothing or head covering, on tattoos and many other provocations — shaking hands with the (female) teacher
Employers are regaining the right, reduced by leftist judges, to prescribe clothing for their employees up to head covering (which is a much more generous regulation than the obligation for women in many areas to also cover their heads outside of the workplace).
It could certainly be that those forces that will revive and strengthen consciousness of identity in Europe will no longer prevail. It has happened often in history that cultures have gone down and are now relevant only for archaeologists. That is true for the Etruscans and Celts, as for a number of Indian tribes and thousands of other civilizations. And only cultural historians will be able to reconstruct the trail through head-scarf, polygamy, etc., to the end of two and one-half thousand European years. World history is ice-cold and pitiless.