Azzam Tamimi insists on telling the truth: of course there is no such thing as “European Islam.” There is no different text of Qur’an and Hadith and Sira stamped “European edition.” Islam does not offer different versions of its immutable texts, the texts that inhibit free and skeptical inquiry, or any possible interpretive escape, a thousand years after the Gates of Ijtihad swung shut with a thud.
How Tariq Ramadan, with his phony but plausible to some (some, such as Olivier Roy and Gilles “Always Wrong” Kepel, the boys who just want to have fun, and want to be fooled about Islam), must be tearing at his hair. For this business of creating a “European Islam” — carefully undefined, as it must be — is the shtick of Tariq Ramadan.
And now along comes Tamimi, and queers the pitch.
Oh well, Tariq Ramadan can still try to get into the United States, where he really wants to be in any case. After all, it’s the hardest nut to crack in one sense, but then there are all those sweet scott applebys to supply grants, and to defend you against the know-nothings of the CIA and FBI (not to mention all those people — chomskys and zinns and the usual suspects, rounding up themselves to sign the indignant and impassioned letter of support for Tariq Ramadan — who will make him as welcome as they possibly can).
Yes, that’s it. Forget about that “European Islam” stuff. It won’t wash. Light out for the territories. Go west, young Ramadan. Go to America, where so many are waiting to give you grants. Start with the Kroc Center, but don’t end there. Knock up the Carnegie Foundation, now handing out money left and right to anyone who can put the words “Islam” and “Reform” together in a sentence, thanks to Vartan Gregorian’s nostalgia for his childhood in Tabriz and his own failure to understand Islam through the glow of his memories. The new man coming aboard is if anything even worse, heading some damn program on Islam and its self-amelioration, all music to the ears of Infidels who don’t want to believe, can’t bear to believe, the evidence not only of their senses but of their minds — if only they allowed those minds of theirs to study Islam, its doctrine and its 1350 years of practice.
Yes, here it is: American Islam. The brand new kind of Islam, so different from Islam in the Middle East, and in Pakistan, and in Bangladesh, and in Malaysia, and in Indonesia. So different from the Islam in Algeria, and the Sudan, and northern Nigeria. So different too from the Islam in Europe, the Islam practiced by Muslims in Bradford and London, in Madrid and Amsterdam, in Hamburg and Cologne, in Marseille and Paris, and in so many places.
American Islam is so very different. Isn’t that the theme of so many articles in The New Duranty Times and in The Boston Globe these days, with smiling faces of young people, so normal, so attractive, at Dearborn High, and with all those impressive statistics about their educational level, and their income level? Oh yes, only the undereducated, only the poorer Muslims, we are now told despite all the contrary evidence, are the danger — and anyway that just doesn’t happen in America. The American “melting pot” is so very different from the European countries that have apparently done everything they can, and for decades, to make the lives of Muslims hard, to reject them, to make them feel “humiliated” despite the fantastic benefits — the free health care, the free education, the nearly-free housing, the constant solicitude for Muslim sensibilities at every level of government and in the press. Somehow it hasn’t worked.
So we will be hearing a lot more about “American Islam” as the savior of Islam and of those Infidels from here on out. The farce of “European Islam” will come to an end, and as the curtain comes slowly down on Europe, it will rise on a new farce, just booked, here in the United States.
Of course there is no “American Islam” as there is no “European Islam.” There is for America and Europe no special magic or immunity from Jihad and the tenets of Islam that prompt Jihad and that inculcate hostility toward Infidels. Because Islam itself is so clearly based on the division of the world between Believer and Infidel, that division will be found arising from the teachings of Islam in Dearborn, or in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, or in Falls Church, Virginia, or in Houston, or in Columbus, Ohio. No, it will be the same Islam, the Islam of Shi’a and Sunni, and within Sunni Islam of all four schools of jurisprudence — the Islam in which Jihad is a duty, sometimes collective and sometimes individual, to remove all obstacles to the spread of Islam, to ensure that Islam does spread, using all of the instruments of Jihad (of which combat, or qital, is only one, and at present not the most effective), so that Islam dominates everywhere, and everywhere Muslims rule. It will take time. Muslims are patient.
Are Infidels capable of the same patience in throwing back the menace of Islam? This is a menace not only to the physical security, even the lives, of Infidels, but also to the civilizational legacy that they inherited and to which further contributions might be made, but could never have been made, and will never be made, within an Islam-dominated society.
A farce, but not by Feydeau.