Monday, May 23, 2016

Standing Tall for Western Civ

I do not have an opinion on whether Great Britain should exit the European Union. Nevertheless, while we are pondering this question, we should recognize that Europe's most prominent leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has been doing the bidding of the incipient Turkish tyrant, Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

You  recall the story. A German comedian pronounced some rude words about Erdogan and the Turkish president demanded that Germany prosecute the man. Merkel could have stopped the process in its tracks. She acquiesced. Apparently, she was showing her sensitive, feminine side.

Yet, Erdogan has also been leading the fight against assimilation. Since Germany contains a large number of Turkish Muslims—and did so before Merkel decided to open her nation’s door to a million or so of their co-religionists—his words counted.

Andrew McCarthy has the story:

As previously noted here, Erdogan is one of the pioneers of the Muslim Brotherhood–crafted “integrate but don’t assimilate” strategy for overrunning Europe and, in time, the United States. The plan urges Muslims to relocate to the West but maintain Islamic mores while pressuring the home governments to accommodate sharia (Islamic law).

A few years back, Erdogan gave a speech to a throng of Muslim migrants in Cologne, decrying Western pressure on Muslims to assimilate in their new European homelands as “a crime against humanity.” His goal is to transport repressive Islamic standards to the West, where they will snuff out free speech and other liberties inconvenient to tyrants. The game-plan is working to a fare-thee-well, feeding the explosion of Islamic enclaves that gradually assert their autonomy from Western governance while serving as incubators of jihadist radicalization.

It’s not just that Muslim refugees do not or cannot assimilate into nations with Western values. Their leaders are telling them that it is a crime to do so. Now, explain why Merkel feels a need to submit to Erdogan?

In Great Britain, they have no such laws against blaspheming foreign potentates. So Douglas Murray took the occasion to assert the value of British freedoms. He called for a limerick contest to insult the Turkish president:

Well I’m a free-born British man, and we don’t live under the blasphemy laws of such despots. So in honour of this fact I have spent the weekend writing rude limericks about Mr Erdogan. And I would hereby like to invite all readers to join me in a grand Erdogan limerick competition. That isn’t to say that entries which come in the form of Iambic pentameters, or heroic couplets will be completely discounted. I think a work in the Homeric mode, for example, about the smallness of Erdogan’s manhood could (if suitably disgusting) stand some chance of winning. But I recommend limericks because almost everything insulting that is worth saying can usually be included within the five lines of that beautiful and delicate form.

Of course, this recalls the case of one Molly Norris in our own land of the somewhat free and home of the not-too-brave. Norris was a cartoonist who called for all her fellow cartoonists to draw pictures of the prophet of Islam. Under Islamic law such activities are blasphemous and punishable by death.

For her pains Norris received death threats. Eric Holder’s FBI did not feel that it was strong enough to protect her from the righteous rage of America’s Muslims, so it caused her to disappear… basically to go into witness protection.

It was yet another Obama administration blow for freedom of expression.

And of course, the Obama administration is so unconcerned about Muslim terrorism or aggression that it refuses even to use the word. Its primary concern is Islamophobia… though, to be fair and balanced, it now seems to care as much about transphobia.

Not so Boris Johnson; a leading conservative politician who was, until recently, Mayor of London. When Johnson entered the contest to see who could write the most offensive poetry about Erdogan, he won. Here is his limerick:

There was a young fellow from Ankara
Who was a terrific wankerer
Till he sowed his wild oats
With the help of a goat
But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

You take your political courage where you find it.

Maybe, there’s still hope for Western civilization!


Ares Olympus said...

Hurray for free speech!

Salman Rushdie showed how its done some 28 years ago with his Satanic verses, but we all know that life has tradeoffs, and if you enjoy mocking people who don't like to be mocked, then you're also saying you're willing to die for that right, and the law can't protect you against people who are willing to die for their right not to be mocked.

So we need to consider prudence in picking our battles wisely.

It is a worthy question to ask "What am I willing to die for?" When you know the answer, you don't have to blame anyone for getting what you will.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares, thank you, you've punctuated a point I've made many times previously in my comments here: Despite all activist/artist claims to the contrary, it requires no courage to criticize Christianity in even the most base, lurid and vitriolic ways. No courage. None!

Such people claim to be angry about the oppression of minority religions in particular, while simultaneously deriding theism in general. It is hilarious to watch these same people fall all over themselves in defense of the "religion of peace"... Islam.

It takes real courage to stand as a courageous infidel against the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism as a protest obscenity and blasphemy laws, and threats of gruesome violence to shut people up. That's why so few activists and artists do this, because there is something on the line if they do.

So while the Left tells us everything in life is relative, and free expression is to be encouraged (and subsidized by government), and who owns the narrative is king, and blah, blah, blah, I find it hilarious that these brave malcontents are content to piss on and insult Christianity... the religion that, in our modern era, does not fight back.

Yet they want special status for Islam because Muslims are the "underdogs" in our world. In the Leftist mind, the currency is oppression, and criticizing non-Western cultures is oppression, so Islam must be protected. Even if Salman Rushdie has to remain in hiding.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC, perhaps the Spanish inquisition can make a comeback and then Christianity can go back to being feared too? Or the southern KKK? Or Nazism?

But of course this just reminds us that Christianity is plural, not singular, just like Islam, and what we call religion is always in part culture and part politics as well. Unfortunately it looks like any political or revolutionary movement can get a free ride into self-righteous hatred in the name of religion.

Saying "Islamist fundamentalism" does help, but does that mean its okay to mock and insult "Christian fundamentalism"?

My dad talked about the "hell and brimstone eternal damnation" Christianity he grew up with, which push him into a series of feel-good cultish church for a while, like Summit Lighthouse in the 1970s which ended up in Montana stockpiling weapons in bunkers waiting for the end of the world. Positivism apparently can still end in fatalism.

Complete religious freedom is a crazy idea, and its surprising the U.S has allowed anyone to invent a religion and pay no property taxes for their cleverness. And now the IRS has given up enforcing a separation of church and state, anything goes, even if that separation was an equally crazy or at least delicate idea.

Just be careful about openly threatening your neighbors, unless of course you're big enough to control a majority of the local government posts.

It's always surprising to me that civilization can even exist. I'm just afraid its more of the good fortune of economic success in an exploitation/growth period, while when growth fails and there's less for all, its much easier for 1000 year old prejudices to reawaken to take over hearts and mind and create enemy images.

I agree liberals seem less worried that everything can fall apart, and aspire for a magical world of complete safety, like freedom of speech or freedom to expose every vulnerability is possible, without any negative consequences.

David Foster said...

AO..."we all know that life has tradeoffs, and if you enjoy mocking people who don't like to be mocked, then you're also saying you're willing to die for that right, and the law can't protect you against people who are willing to die for their right not to be mocked"

Well, if you had lived in the late Weimar Republic, would you have taken the equivalent position: that if you mock Nazis or for that matter Communists, you have to be willing to die for that right...but I guess if you mock Jews or Jehovahs Witnesses or 'the bourgeoisie", then that's okay and you will be safe?

Let me suggest that if the Weimar government had acted with appropriate ruthlessness toward political thuggery, it could have been contained within sane limits, and the Third Reich never would have happeed.

And in Europe and America today, if violence and death threats continue to be treated as lightly as they have been, then not only will we see an exponential increase in violent behavior from Islamists...but other, entirely different groups will be encouraged to follow the same path. Want to see terror attacks on art museums by Christians who feel disrespected by certain exhibits? Suicide bombings by American Indians who have been the victims of treaty violations? Government employees massacred by small businesspeople whose lives have been destroyed by regulatory insanity?