Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald offers a tribute to Olivier Roy and other like-minded “respected scholars”:
“Olivier Roy, a respected French scholar of Islam, says Muslim silence is a ‘classical psychology of immigrants’ — wanting to be ‘normal’ and become mainstream. ‘For them, integration means to be recognized as citizens. They don’t want to be recognized for their specificity.'” — from this silly AP article dissected by Robert here
What gives the writer for this singularly jejune AP piece the authority to insist that Olivier Roy is a “respected French scholar of Islam”? He’s not respected by all kinds of people who know about Islam. Bernard Lewis thinks little of him, and I heard him telling this to someone. The intelligent scholars of Islam at the Universite of Aix-en-Provence, possibly the most solid program in Islam in France, do not think much of Olivier Roy. All kinds of people find him only marginally better, in his repeated misunderstanding, over at least a decade or two, of the nature of Islam and the menace of French Islam, than that other pontificating sociologist, Gilles “Always Wrong” Kepel.
Don’t tell us so-and-so is an “expert” or “respected.” Tell us only that so-and-so “teaches” X or “has written” on Y or “has studied” Z. None of this argument from authority stuff here. We’ll decide, after we study what X or Y or Z says, whether or not X or Y should be respected. Should I be impressed that Cornel West is a University Professor at Princeton? Should I be impressed that Jeffery Sachs has written 5 books, or 8 books, or 12 books, while someone else has written half as many, or possibly none at all? Should I be impressed that Professor Hamid Dabashi is the Kevorkian Professor at Columbia, the very same school at which Jacques Barzun taught for nearly fifty years, and in the same department, practically, as those two great scholars of Islam, Professor Joseph Schacht and Professor Arthur Jeffery? No. No. No.
What about Olivier, respected or possibly, man, “disrespected” right here by me and my posse? What shall we say of his observations in the AP article? What do you think of his attempt to make us believe that the problem with Muslim immigrants is nothing special, nothing worrisome, nothing out of the ordinary, just what all immigrant groups have always exhibited or endured? Do you think that the Muslims in France now, in their behavior and attitudes, are merely one more group in a world they never made, who simply want to become “normal” and “mainstream”? Is that what they are taught in mosques and madrasas? Is that what they acquire, from the general attitudes of Muslims, even those who never attend a mosque? Is that how most of them think, or begin to think as they become a generation or two removed from those who came to France from elsewhere, and have been born there, and speak French, and have that linguistic and cultural barrier torn down by the remarkable efforts of the French state and its pedagogic civilizing mission?
Are they, in other words, as Olivier Roy claims, merely trying, perhaps a little uncertainly, a little awkwardly, to integrate fully into French society? (Help them, help them, French people, have patience, help them to find their way!) Are they merely trying to accept its laws, its customs, its institutions, to embrace with an immigrant’s touching enthusiasm the essence of being French? (Who can forget those immortal maserpieces by Leo Rosten, “Hyman Kaplan” and “The Return of Hyman Kaplan,” both set in a night-school of English for all kinds of immigrants in New York, circa 1930?) So, are they just like the Portuguese, say, who came to France in the 1950s? Or the Indochinese who came in the 1960s and 1970s? Is it merely a case of immigrants trying to be “normal” and fitting in, and not quite succeeding, and nothing more?
This difficulty has nothing whatever to do, in other words, with the actual contents of the Qur’an and Hadith, nothing about the figure of that Perfect Man Muhammad, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil? Nothing about what they have been taught, in every possible way, at every possible turn, to think about Infidels, with whom, for now, they must live, and whom, for now, they must endure until such time as the goal of Islam — to remove all obstacles to its dominance and to the rule of Muslims, which accords with the natural Allah-given and Allah-driven order of things — comes to pass?
And let’s look outside France for a minute. We have Spain to look at. How do the Muslim immigrants behave in comparison, say, to all those Ecuadorians now in Spain? Oh, you will say– but those Ecuadorians are fellow members of the Hispanidad. Not fair. Alright then, how do they compare, the Muslim immigrants, with the black African Christians? With the Eastern Europeans? With the Chinese who can now be found all over Europe?
And the same question must be asked of the Muslims in Italy. How are they doing, as compared to, say, those Filipinos who now make up the army of GOLF, or maids, nannies, domestic help of all kinds? Why is it that the Filipinos fit in, even if they do not know any Italian, while Somalis, for example, many of whom do know Italian, or even Libyans (ditto), remain such a problem for the Italians? In Germany, which has received all kinds of immigrants, from the former Yugoslavia, from the former Soviet-bloc countries of Eastern Europe, from the former Soviet Union, and also large numbers of Muslims from Turkey and, to a lesser extent, assorted Arab countries, why is it that most of the problems with crime, with hostile behavior in schools (including, as in France, the refusal of Muslim students to obey or to study certain topics in the required curriculum) are linked to Muslim students?
Scandinavia? See the essay at Jihad Watch by Fjordman for more on the crime rates of Muslims in Scandinavia. Compare the behavior of Muslims in Malmo, Sweden, or in Denmark (where Muslim immigrants joined in not merely opposing, but in whipping up hatred and death threats made against Danes among Muslims outside of Denmark), or in Norway, with the behavior of the non-Muslim immigrants — say, Chinese, or Hindus, or Bulgarians, or anyone else.
Belgium? Holland? Switzerland? It doesn’t vary.
No. Olivier Roy, the “respected French scholar of Islam” Oliver Roy, refuses to recognize the peculiar problem that the belief-system of Islam poses to Infidels. He refuses to recognize that at the heart of this belief-system, which owes its origins, at least in its present form, to the need for a “faith of our own,” a faith for the Arabs that would both promote, and justify, their conquest of far more advanced, wealthy, settled populations of Christians and Jews, in the lands that were their first conquests.
Olivier Roy will not see, cannot allow himself to see, just as the willfully blind author of this AP piece cannot see, that something important here is being missed. That something important is that belief-system’s uncompromising division of the world between Muslim and non-Muslim, between Believer and Infidel, who are engaged in a struggle that will not end except in the final triumph of Islam. For it is the duty of Muslims to participate in the struggle to spread Islam, until Islam dominates everywhere, and everywhere Muslims rule.
Of course it is understandable why the “respected French scholar of Islam Olivier Roy” could not possibly bring himself to recognize this, just as Gilles Kepel could not. Nor could any of the other “experts” who have for years been enablers to those successive French governments that did nothing to stop, and everything to encourage, Muslim migrants from entering France. This has gone on with government after government failing to study the matter of Islam, failing to appoint real, as opposed to the Kepel-Roy variety of experts, to study what problems large numbers of Muslims pose to the political and social cohesion of France, to its institutions, to the continuity of its history, to the physical safety of French Christians and Jews and even French Hindus and Buddhists. For France also has a duty, of sorts, to those immigrants who arrive and who assume that the advanced Western society of which they would willingly be a part, will protect them from those who would willingly destroy that society.
He’s part of the problem. He can’t admit it. Nor can Chirac, Dominique de Villepin, or Giscard d’Estaing, who fell for that policy of letting the Algerian and other maghrebin workers “be reunited with their families” (i.e., their numerous wives, their endless children), which was accepted as a way to end the otherwise inexplicably sociopathic behavior of those Arab immigrants.
We can see the results. We can draw conclusions about those who refused to permit, as the philosopher (perhaps I should add, for those who like to be told what to think, “respected” or “world-famous” philosopher) Jacques Ellul noted back in the 1980s, any criticism of Islam to be voiced. We can draw conclusions about those who mocked anyone who knew about Islam, including Jacques Soustelle. Soustelle was the “respected” scholar of Mexico who made the fatal mistake of not being quite enthusiastic enough about handing Algeria over to the Arabs. And he was not quite willing to dismiss as a shameful episode, the 132 years of French rule, with its hospitals, universities, publishing houses, modern agricultural techniques, that gave Algeria exactly 132 years of civilization between, to borrow a phrase from Nabokov, “two eternities of darkness.”
We can draw conclusions about Olivier Roy as well, for he was one of those who never saw the problem, would not see it, still cannot allow himself to see it. And so he is one more of those who can be pushed to the side, seen as part of the problem, as Yesterday’s Man.
“respected.” “scholar.” “Islam.” “French.”