A sometime writer on Islam named Denis MacEoin recently posted in the comments section here his intention to unsubscribe to the Jihad Watch/Dhimmi Watch Daily Digest because of his distate for some of the comments posted. Of course, I regard some of them with distaste myself, as I have noted on many occasions, but comments continue to be largely unmoderated — until such time as funding permits me to hire a full-time moderator — and hateful rants posted by non-Muslims no more reflect my own views than hateful rants posted by Muslims.
In any case, Jihad Watch Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald has written a response to Mr. MacEoin’s complaints, which I thought worthwhile to post as a separate article since it contains much that is useful to help us all keep our focus where it should be.
In order to keep up that subscriber base which is so important for our advertising revenues — Robert tells me we may lose the Tiffany account, and others whisper that both BMW and the Absolut Vodka people are not so sure that they want to continue advertising in Jihadwatch for much longer, so let me do a little damage control by reminding one and all of our virtues.
In the first place, many items of news posted at Jihadwatch/Dhimmiwatch are never reported in the American press, or reported much later. This gathering of so much material, from such wide and disparate sources, showing a worldwide phenomenon, prompted by the same texts and tenets, but expressing itself in local violences and aggressions — is valuable.
So too are many of the postings, which offer analysis that is often useful, and personal testimonies from non-Muslims, from Nigeria, to Indonesia, from Spain to Egypt. It is true that not every posting is a masterpiece of understatement. Sometimes, out of sheer frustration at the refusal of so many to see what is staring them in the face, or at the organized hypocrisy of, for example, the E.U. or the U.N. or the Arab League, posters give vent to a fury that sometimes is American in its hyperbole rather than English in its litotes. We all have our favorite figures of speech. Mine are paronomasia and hypallage. What are yours?
In any case, this is a come-one, come-all forum, largely unmonitored. Readers can winnow the wheat from the chaff themselves.
Denis MacEoin knows that the academic study of Islam is a school for scandal. The Saudis and other rich Arabs have in essence bought up the “Islamic studies” field, sometimes by setting up “centers” in Bradford, or Durham, or Exeter, or Georgetown, and if not the Saudis, then Kuwaitis or representatives of assorted emirates and sheikdoms (better watch this, because The Ruler of Bahrain elevated himself to the “Prince” and now he has given himself a promotion to “King of Bahrain,” much to the amusement of J. B. Kelly and others with experience in the Gulf). St. Antony”s rests on the money left by Anton Besse, an Adeni Jewish trader who would not be pleased by the use to which his legacy has been put, at least in the Middle Eastern section of that St. Antony”s gallimaufry.
MacEoin wrote “New Jerusalems” a dozen years ago. It was a good book about Islam and Rushdie, and is listed in the bibliography to Ibn Warraq’s “Why I Am Not a Muslim.” He had to leave Durham, so the story goes (he can certainly set us all straight) because he was teaching about Islam in a way that did not satisfy the Saudis, and the Saudi paymasters ran everything, as they do in so many places, and not merely in academic life.
Now that MacEoin makes his living as a writer — of thrillers under the name “Daniel Easterman” and also “Jonathan Aycliffe,” — he surely pays attention to words. Why would he regard as “racist” attacks on an ideology, a belief-system? What does that have to do with “racism”?
Mr. MacEoin/Easterman/Aycliffe may retain some residual defensiveness about Islam, in the matter of those “esthetic” apologists for Islam, who are willing to go far in deploring, especially in private, much about Islam and Muslims, but for some reason continue to act as Defenders of the Faith to one degree or another. Eric Ormsby of Montreal, and Robert Irwin of the TLS both come to mind. One finds Al-Ghazali fascinating, and yet judging by his essays in The New Criterion, has realized that Western cultural riches far outstrip whatever once entranced him about the study of Islam. Irwin’s translations of classical Arabic poetry keep him somehow tethered to the reservation — though his leash is long enough for him to have gone and taken a huge bite out of Edward Said, and one hopes he will complete a study of that dangerous and silly man. Both know more about Islam than they allow themselves to recognize — Irwin keeps assigning books on Mughal India, to Francis Robinson or William Dalrymple, which virtually insures not only apologetics, but apologetics of a Barbara-Cartlandish swoon-over-Mughal-court-intrigue-and-lovers-and-luxury sort. Maddening.
No one likes to have given a decade or three of his life to studying something that required mastery of a difficult tongue, and that in the end proves to be far less interesting than one’s native language or culture. Most of the sincere students of Islam find that there is not much there there, so they try to make it interesting for themselves, and part of making that thing interesting is to deny the essentially primitive and aggressive and mind-stunting nature of the belief-system of Islam. Almost everything of interest that has come out of high Islamic civilization was created despite, not because of, the strictures of Islam. Mughal miniatures, the science of Al-Rhazi, the ratiocination of Averroes or Al-Farabi and others who were hardly orthodox in much of their thought. That is worth remembering.
One hopes that the man who wrote “New Jerusalems,” even if he noisily unsubscribes, will occasionally peek in now and again. After all, it is not Jihadwatch that caused him to lose his academic post. It is not those at Jihadwatch who are helping to deliver England and the rest of European civilization into the plausible hands of Tariq Ramadan and others of that ilk.
One suspects that Mr. MacEoin/Easterman has a touch of the anti-American bug, and finds fault because this site is largely run by and from America. He might be surprised at at how many Europeans read this site, take comfort in it, and derive both profit and pleasure in what it offers — as the ample evidence of emails suggests.
And it is mainly in Europe that one now senses most keenly the slipping-away of European civilization, not because of the innate and self-evident wonderfulness of the belief-system of Islam, but simply because the Muslim immigrants, with their large families, are outbreeding the locals, and when one adds the constant attempts at Da”wa, that appeal to the economically and psychically marginal, one realizes that even a belief-system as crude and primitive as this, with Manichaean division of the world between Believer and Infidel, dar al-Islam and dar al-Harb, may well destroy a far more worthy civilization. It has happened before in history.
Would Mr. MacEoin/Easterman/Aycliffe agree that almost every Englishman, Frenchman, Dutchman, Italian, German, Spaniard would agree, if asked, that he would gladly undo the Muslim migration into Europe over the past few decades? For the result is clear to all. The presence of Muslims beyond a handful (i.e., more than 1% of the population), has caused indigenous Infidels to lead lives that are far more constrained, unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous than they would be, had the unchecked Muslim migration into Europe been, in a timely way, stopped or never allowed to start in the first place.
Before permitting such Muslim migrants in, European rulers engaged in no serious study of Islam, no reading of its canonical texts (Qur’an, hadith, sira). A generation of real scholars of Islam had died out, and they were hardly replaced by those whose agendas consisted of promotion of the Arab side of the Arab-Israeli dispute, and successful attempts at suppressing any real understanding or study of Islam.
Now, at this and other websites, one is being asked to take seriously what those texts are all about, and to understand that Muslims take them seriously, and it is those texts — not “poverty,” not resentment over “colonialism,” not a thousand other absurd excuses — that explain Beslan, and killings in Amsterdam, and explosions in Bali, or Jerusalem, or Baghdad, or Madrid, or Washington, or New York — it is Islam itself. The texts which people memorize from an early age, and hear recited everywhere, including in the khutbas at Friday Prayer, and along the street, and in daily conversation — in short, in everything they read or hear or see, there is Qur’an, and hadith, and sira. A fantastic hold over the minds of men — as if every bit of the advertising Western man is subject to was all devoted to Islam, to Muhammad and to his Companions. And this strange, fascistic, Total Explanation of the Universe, with its accompanying Scapegoat for Everything (the Infidel), has a strange appeal for the psychically and economically marginal, for Islam is now the vehicle to express alienation, hatred of The System, Capitalism, The Man, Amerika with a “k,” and so on.
And Da’wa is supplemented through the weapon of childbirth — demography as destiny. While the Infidel population increases at the rate of 1 1/2% in Europe, the Muslim population increases at the rate of 7 1/2% — or five times the Infidel rate. Figure out how long it will be before first France, then Holland, then England and Germany, will have 30% or 40% or 50% Muslims — and what will that mean? Little wonder that so many Europeans come to this website, and have taken to reprinting both articles and postings from it, on websites in French, or Dutch, or Swedish.
What is one to make of such phrases as Mr. MacEoin has allowed himself — a “cesspit of racism” etc. Charitably, one could assume he is attempting to mimic what he takes to be, wrongly, the House Style. There is no House Style. But at least everyone who comes here long ago learned to see through the Muslim misuse of that all-purpose curse, “racism.”
Mr. MacEoin writes that “you need people like me to contribute to your discussions.” Just who are “people like me”? And why, exactly, does Jihadwath need them? What is it Mr. MacEoin could so easily contribute, if only he felt like it, but now he doesn’t, because this website is full of such crass and crude remarks, that it would simply be infra dig for the writer of the kind of books he now writes (for a list of those thrillers, google “Daniel Easterman”) to stoop to such pandering to popular and vulgar prejudice. Thank God someone is not letting the side down.