Long-time readers will remember Rasmus Paludan, the Danish Counterjihad activist who likes to mount extraordinarily provocative actions against Muslims, often involving the desecration of the Koran. He founded Stram Kurs (“Hard Line”), a political party that came close to winning seats in Parliament during the last elections.
In recent weeks Rasmus has found himself in hot water for allegedly engaging in inappropriate sex chat online with teenage boys.
I’ve met Rasmus a couple of times. The most recent occasion was two years ago, when I sat in on an interview with him that Vlad conducted on a river beach in Quebec (the final video installment was posted here). Prior to that, back before Dymphna died, he had interviewed me at length. I don’t think I ever posted that video, and I kind of doubt YouTube has allowed his channel to remain up.
Since the allegations against Rasmus emerged, various people have repudiated him, which is the general custom under circumstances such as these. Most prominently, Alternativ för Sverige (Alternative for Sweden) has cancelled his participation in one of their upcoming public events in Sweden.
Generally speaking, I’m not one to repudiate my professional associates. I know the custom is to “distance oneself” from anybody who is accused of inappropriate or illegal behavior, but I refuse to do that unless there are absolutely compelling reasons. If Rasmus has broken the law, I assume the Danish legal system will in due course prosecute him. Personally, I’ve never had any problems with him. If he really does have a taste for chicken meat, I saw no sign of it. But then, as a septuagenarian geek, I wouldn’t be likely to, would I? All I know is that he is absolutely fearless in the face of imminent threats to his physical well-being by Muslims, and for that reason I respect him.
I must note that child sexual abuse and kiddie porn are the most commonly used means to neutralize someone who has become an extreme political inconvenience. It’s easy enough for an intelligence service to insert child pornography or other incriminating pedophilia-related material on a laptop or phone. As I understand it, such black ops are conducted fairly frequently, with the late Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky being a notable example.
An allegation of pedophilia is something from which a public figure can never really recover. It doesn’t require a “preponderance of the evidence” — never mind “beyond a reasonable doubt” — to convict someone in the court of public opinion; all it takes is a simple assertion about kiddie-fiddling in a prominent media outlet, and your career is basically at an end.
We live in a debased age, so there aren’t many ways that prominent people can be shamed out of public life. A “Me Too” allegation is one, but an alleged affinity for child pornography is even more effective. Someday, when the NAMBLA people get their way and pedophilia is normalized, even that will become ineffective. Until then, however, when a pedophilia allegation against you is published, the umpire jerks his thumb, and that’s it — you’re out of the game.
I bring all this up because the Swedish news outlet Fria Tider has used the occasion of the allegations against Rasmus Paludan to call for the effective cancellation of the entire Counterjihad movement. Mind you, this isn’t the mainstream media we’re talking about — Fria Tider (“Free Times”) is one of Sweden’s most prominent anti-immigration alternative media outlets.
The entire editorial is posted below. The author has set up so many straw men and hewn through their flimsy necks that it would not be productive for me to try to counter them all. I’ll just discuss a few of the more prominent ones.
The first and most egregious point is that Fria Tider has chosen to resurrect the decade-old calumny that Anders Behring Breivik was representative of the Counterjihad. To do so the writer is required to ignore Mr. Breivik’s own public admission that his association with Islam critics was a feint designed to divert attention from his real allies, who were the neo-Nazis. As a matter of interest, the Swedish “anti-racist” foundation Expo was one of the few media outlets that was willing to publish the news, so Fria Tider’s failure to acknowledge it constitutes a clear failure to do due diligence on the topic.
Another trope in the editorial is to suggest how much public outrage there would have been in Denmark if Rasmus (or Kurt Westergaard) had made fun of the Holocaust instead of Islam. This is an invocation of the “all religions are basically the same” principle, under which Islam must be treated with the same respect accorded to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc.
One of the core tenets of the Counterjihad, however, is that Islam is not like any other religion. Not only is it absolutely intolerant of other religions, it actively seeks to forcibly convert others to Islam, and demands that those who refuse to convert be killed. There is no other major religion on the planet that adheres to such a doctrine, and for that reason it is the duty of all non-Muslims to resist the incursion of Islam into our societies.
It strains credulity to think that the Fria Tider editorialist is unaware of this basic doctrinal difference, so I can only assume that he or she is willfully ignoring it.
There are some points in the piece that I agree with. For example, the writer asserts that mass immigration from the Third World is always problematic, whether or not the invaders are Muslim. This is something I have maintained for well over a decade — I think my first posts about the predatory Assyrian Christian criminals of Södertälje were published back in 2007. There may be some Counterjihadists who believe that Islam is the only negative aspect about mass immigration, but I don’t know any. Just about everybody acknowledges that an “animist” from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who takes lodgings in a Western society is all but indistinguishable from a Muslim in his penchant for criminality.
That’s enough for straw men. The reader is invited to read through the editorial and find more scarecrows.
One final note: The word “liberals”, as used in this piece, does not have the same connotations that it does in an American context. I’m not sure what the best translation of liberaler might be, perhaps “free-thinkers” or something similar.
Many thanks to LN for translating this editorial from Fria Tider:
Let counter-jihadism stay on the other side of the strait, in Denmark
August 30, 2021
What is freedom? Is it best defined in classically liberal, negative terms — as freedom from state coercion — or is it in left-liberalism’s positive promise of freedom concerning material happiness that the answer lies? In any case, the answer does not exist in Denmark’s de facto state ideology — counter-jihadism — which stipulates that freedom is to be allowed to draw Muhammad and pee on the Koran in Malmö.
It is not easy to understand the Danish obsession with Islam. But in brief, in 2005, Denmark was hit by a riot among Islamists around the world after the newspaper Jyllandsposten published cartoons of Muhammad. In principle, the entire Danish establishment supported the publication and the recently deceased cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was provided with lifelong bodyguard protection at taxpayers’ expense.
Unfortunately, the debate has basically stayed there. It is as if the Danes believe that all problems with mass immigration of low-performing and/or criminal individuals from the Third World can be attributed to the fact that they are Muslims. Or that the lack of freedom of expression in the Western world is due to the fact that Muslims live here.
But an immigrant Somali shepherd does not become a rocket scientist because he converts to Christianity; everyone understands that. And the Western liberal establishment will not stop restricting freedom of expression if Muslims return home. Everyone also understands that. For example, what do you think — as Iran’s then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad formulated the problem the year after Jyllandsposten‘s publication — that the Western establishment would have done to the newspaper if it had instead published cartoons that made fun of the Holocaust?
Liberals, of course, do not want to discuss such things, but continue to pretend that all immigration-related problems are due to Islam. And in many countries the liberal establishment has been provided with a kind of undergrowth on this issue, consisting of a strange crowd of extremists — the so-called counter-jihadist movement. They think about the same as the power elite — Anders Breivik went to the Pride Parade, as you know — but have added harsher rhetoric. As the movement attracts people with mental health problems, there are also many powder kegs waiting to explode.
Such a powder keg detonated last week. Ekstrabladet revealed on Friday that the 39-year-old Danish counter-jihadist Rasmus Paludan had stayed up all night and had extensive sex conversations with underage boys that he gathered around him on Discord, a chat app that is mostly used by computer-playing young people. Paludan is the party leader for Stram Kurs, a party that was a hair’s breadth away from entering the Folketing in the last election on a counter-jihadist platform.
The Swedish party Alternativ för Sverige (Alternative for Sweden) began a collaboration with Paludan last autumn but announced on Saturday that they will not have anything to do with the Dane in the future.
This is good. As someone pointed out on Twitter, figures like Paludan fit better in the Center Party. But the question remains: What did Paludan have to do with the AFS to begin with?
It has long been known that Paludan has a screw loose. When he applied for a demonstration permit for Koran burning in Sweden last year, he stated that the purpose of the demonstrations was to “mock and humiliate Islam”. Of course, a person in spiritual balance has no need to mock and humiliate the religion of others. Paludan’s burning of the Koran is indiscriminate and distasteful, a narcissistic provocation that mainly aims to put himself at the center of attention for a while.
A quick search on the Internet should have caused more alarm bells to ring. Paludan has pursued strange lawsuits, quarreled with police, harassed a student, been banned from visiting and says himself that he has a brain injury that allows him to behave strangely sometimes. All this can be read on Wikipedia. Even before Paludan’s inappropriate contacts with children were revealed, it was clear that a serious political party should not deal with him.
The same, of course, applies to counter-jihadism in general. The current portrays Islam as a deadly threat to the “free” world and the root of almost all its problems. According to counter-jihadism, the Western world is embroiled in a life-and-death battle with the Muslim world — a conflict of fate that can only end with one side destroying the other. Counter-jihadism is critical of mass immigration, but in principle only targets Muslim immigration. The disadvantage of immigration is mainly that liberal values are threatened, not that Swedes are being pushed out. According to the counter-jihadist, the fact that Muslim immigrants can make Jews feel insecure in Malmö is a major problem. That the city is no longer Swedish is not.
It is a bizarre worldview that is consistently based on false premises. Islam is certainly not an unproblematic religion, but to portray it as a serious threat to the Western world is just ridiculous. That Europe has opened the gates wide for mass immigration from the Third World has nothing to do with Islam. It is above all the result of the mass media here for decades issuing propaganda for immigration and concealing its downsides. Muslims lack control over the media in the West and cannot steer reporting in the direction of immigration in the way that has happened.
The social problems that mass immigration has brought with it are not primarily due to Islam. The fact that immigrants from Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East are responsible for a large part of the crime probably has more to do with innate personality traits such as low intelligence, lack of impulse control and high aggression than with their religion. Even Christian immigrants from those parts of the world are severely overrepresented in serious crime.
The repeated military conflicts between the West and the Muslim world are also not something Islam can be blamed for. These are usually unnecessary wars of aggression based on lies and initiated by the West, led by the United States. What did the United States — or for that matter Sweden — get out of devoting the entire 21st century to war in Afghanistan?
Analyzing a problem correctly is a prerequisite for solving it. Counter-jihadism, with its monomaniacal fixation on Islam, is therefore a dangerous delusion.
Internationally, the heaviest names in counter-jihadism are the Americans Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. The latter in particular has made herself known for her extreme positions — she advocates, among other things, that Israel should respond to an attack from Iran by atom-bomb attacks on European cities. In Sweden, opinion leaders such as Per Gudmundson, Ingrid Carlqvist, Mats Skogkär and Dick Erixon can be included in the counter-jihadist union, as can the artist Lars Vilks and the SD leader Richard Jomshof. As a party, however, the Sweden Democrats have — wisely enough — distanced themselves from counter-jihadism over the past ten years and joined a more general conservative analysis.
Counter-jihadism has been in decline for quite some time in our country, but experience from abroad shows that the movement can become a problem if it is allowed to grow. But unlike in Denmark, there is no voter support to be found in counter-jihadism. Here you cannot breach the parliamentary barrier by peeing on Korans in Malmö. And we should actually be happy about that.