Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer (right) with Bat Ye’or, the pioneering scholar of Eurabia, at the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference in The Hague, February 19, 2006
I have been meaning ever since I returned from The Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference in The Hague last week to write about many things that happened there, but have been overtaken by ever onrushing events and haven’t had a chance. Nonetheless, I still plan, in dribs and drabs, to set down some sort of a record, however incomplete, of what took place there. You can read about a trip I took to a museum, along with Bat Ye’or, Ibn Warraq, and David Littman, here, and Douglas Murray’s incisive account of the Conference here.
Anyway, the first night we were in The Hague there was a reception for us at the American Embassy. The new Ambassador, Roland E. Arnall, hadn’t arrived yet, but I had a pleasant conversation with our host, Deputy Chief of Mission Chat Blakeman. Blakeman introduced me to an official of the Dutch Ministry of Integration, who spends her days in dialogue with Dutch imams and other Muslim leaders. We began a wide-ranging discussion about the nature of the jihad threat and the proper response to it. In the course of this I asked her how many Muslim leaders she encountered who were ready to lay aside attachment to the Sharia, accept the Dutch governmental and societal structure and the parameters of Dutch pluralism, and be willing to live in Dutch society as equals to, not superiors of, non-Muslims indefinitely. She told me that there were only very few, but insisted that we had to work with those few, and indeed had to place our faith and hope in them, for otherwise the future was impossibly bleak. I asked her if she had read the Qur’an. She told me no, she hadn’t, and wouldn’t, because she didn’t want to lose all hope — and because whatever was in it, she still had to work to find some accord with the Muslim leaders, no matter what.
I urged her to ask the imams with whom she spoke questions that made their loyalties clear, insofar as they would answer them honestly. I urged her to ask them whether they would like to see Sharia implemented in the Netherlands at any time in the future, and whether they were working toward that end in any way, peaceful as well as violent. I asked her to ask them whether they would be content to live as equals with non-Muslims indefinitely in a Dutch pluralistic society, or whether they would ultimately hope to institute Islamic supremacy and the subjugation of non-Muslims.
She couldn’t ask them those questions, she told me. Such questions would immediately put their relationship on a confrontational plane, when cooperation was what they wanted, not confrontation. But, I sputtered, you”re not getting cooperation as it is. The confrontation is already upon us. What is to be gained by pretending that it isn’t happening?
I don’t envy this articulate and intelligent young lady her job. But her remarks reminded me of a message I received not long ago, after I had criticized former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid’s bit of Wall Street Journal puffery about how Islam is really a religion of peace. A reader took me to task for “suggesting that Islam is irredeemable in some sense.” He asked: “if we assume this to be true, what is to be done. What would Mr. Spencer suggest that this or any American president do to deal with this reality. Wahid was thought to be a step in the right direction when he was president of the extremely large population of Indonesia, but if he is not much more than a “˜trumped-up counterfeit,” where do we go from here.”
Where do we go from here? We go to reality. We stop deceiving ourselves and allowing ourselves to be deceived by others. If Wahid was being disingenuous about the teachings of Islam, then he doesn’t offer Westerners hope. He offers them a weak reed that will collapse when they need it the most. Why? Because Muslims who are attracted by the siren song of jihad will see through his pleasing platitudes and recognize how slim a case he really has with reference to the Islamic texts. Westerners can be fooled by him, and Muslims can’t. The young lady in the Dutch Ministry of Integration, despite her best efforts to ignore or deny this reality, kept coming up against it: she found that only a small minority of Muslim leaders in Holland were at all interested in working toward integration.
Eventually the Dutch Ministry of Integration and other administrative bodies in the Western world are going to have to come to grips with the implications of that fact, and with the implications of other facts about Islamic jihad that so far they have preferred to pretend did not exist. What would I suggest that the President do about this reality? I would suggest that he acknowledge it as a reality. That he address the nation and the world, and tell them that the United States is going to lead the resistance to jihad and Sharia supremacism in the name of equality of rights and dignity of all peoples. That any state that oppresses non-Muslims or denies them equality of rights in any way will receive no American aid whatsoever. That any state that allows the idea that Muslims must make war against non-Muslims until they either convert to Islam or submit to the Islamic social order will be no friend of the United States. That the idea that the U.S. Constitution should one day be replaced by Islamic Sharia, whether by violent or peaceful means, will be understood within the United States as seditious.
The Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference was one small effort to bring Dutch officials, and ultimately the West at large, to confront the realities of our world that the world is doing all it can to deny. Bat Ye”or spoke about how European officials themselves had brought Eurabia into being by encouraging immigration while eschewing assimilation at the insistence of the Arab League. Only now are Europeans realizing that their culture, their soul, has been sold by their leaders for oil, and the jihad is upon them.
It is a reality so bleak that it is no wonder that most officials prefer fantasy. But they won’t be able to maintain their comfortable illusions much longer.