Nidra Poller had a bit of technical difficulty getting this one to us, so it is a bit delayed, but I believe it is still a timely riposte to yet another display of courage against the errors of nobody in particular by the intrepid Ralph Peters:
Ralph Peters stepped down from his pedestal the other day to hit the blogosphere up “˜side the head and soar back up to the heights of the New York Post. He wanted us to know that he doesn’t have to stoop so low. Le Monde used the same technique recently to deride blog-revelations of fauxtography and Hizbullah-staged news during the July-August war against Israel. The material had already been circulating for over a month (except in the French media) when Le Monde squeezed out an article about one or two of the minor hoaxes only to shoot down the blogs that had done the footwork. Photo editors from reputable media and wire services were quoted as saying that the bloggers don’t understand anything about photos, war, media, camera angles, and smoke. It makes sense? The photo editor who didn’t notice the photoshopping is smarter than the blogger who did.
By all rights the following rebuttal should be published in the New York Post but I”m offering it to Jihadwatch. Do I have to decline my pedigree before entering the ring?
Peters has a grudge against certain ideas that he doesn’t dare confront in honest debate, so he goes after them with journalistic jihad, shooting crude Qassams at anonymous targets–this time it’s “a rash of pop prophets–” and enlisting the battalions of History on his side.
“The historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened””even when the threat’s concocted nonsense””they don’t just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity.”
For example, the Shoah? Would that be the “concocted nonsense” threat? Then what exactly does it prove about Europe’s likely reaction to a real, supposed, or concocted Muslim threat? To Peters it’s obvious: Europeans felt threatened by the Jews, they tried to exterminate them; they feel threatened by Muslims, they will try to exterminate them!
Doesn’t recent history prove that when Nazism took the initiative Europeans followed suit and they all got together and exterminated Jews. Today, when Islam takes the initiative, Europeans follow suit, and they might all get together and try to exterminate the Jews again. When speculating on what might happen, history doesn’t prove anything”¦until after it has happened.
We who live in Europe and follow events closely day to day cannot be sure which way this wind is going to turn. Peters” hyped up diatribes, arm-thrashing, nasty looks, and kicks under the table are useless and wearying. What we need is keen observation, close attention to concrete facts, less emotion and more rationality. It is not easy. The situation is dramatic. There is a temptation to adopt a style and impose it on a wide variety of facts and incidents, toning everything down to NY Times false sophistication or revving it up to constant fever pitch.
Peters wants to shout down a bunch of people he won’t name, who are not shouting at him; they are simply reporting what they observe. Infatuated with his own examples, he piles them up higher and higher, without noticing that the first block was placed on a bumpy slope. By the time the whole thing collapses, he has finished his article, filed, and patted himself on the back.
If you are going to speculate on what Europeans will do to or about Muslims, you have to remember that European Muslims are Europeans. Can you spend a week in Europe without noticing that there are no apartheid states? Keith Richburg claimed, in a Washington Post article published during the November 2005 uprising, that if you sat in a trendy bistrot in the Marais you wouldn’t know “those” populations even existed. This is simply, concretely, factually, statistically, obviously not true. Then why did he say it? To prove a point.
True, France is not a land of opportunity, France does not welcome and integrate foreigners the American way; it is not a kindly, friendly, open-hearted country and yet many Muslims do integrate, lead successful careers and normal lives, work, earn money, live in nice apartments. Others live in dismal neighborhoods, suffer from discrimination, and are handicapped by their own personal deficiencies, but that is not the whole story. Before dragging history into the picture, you have to look at the current reality, the concrete details.
Historical precedents cannot be mechanically applied to the demographic transformation that has occurred with massive Muslim immigration in the short period since 1970. European countries are confronted with an unprecedented inflow of a population whose culture and values are radically different from the host country and often hostile to the indigenous population.
It is naÃ¯ve to keep talking about what the Europeans are going to do with “their– Muslims: The Europeans who are eventually going to do something to, for, or about Muslims are, increasingly, Muslim. Loved or hated, integrated or excluded, they are French, Dutch, British, German, Belgian, etc. This is a reality that can not be ignored.
Peters has to imagine far-fetched scenarios of mass expulsion or mass murder of Europe’s Muslims because he claims they can’t become French or Dutch or Italian or German, and he denies that France, Holland, Italy, or Germany can be Islamized.
Everywhere in the world today Islam is in conflict with “infidels.” This conflict is not, as Peters suggests, exterior to Europe’s Muslims. Bin Laden, Nasrallah, and Ahmadinejad are not naughty outsiders who spoil things for the home boys; they are heroes to many European Muslims. And in the United States, Muslims with college degrees, dressed in expensive suits, running profitable businesses are also involved in that struggle, some on the side of jihad, some against it.
Yes, European welfare states are stagnating and would do well to take some lessons in economics from the United States. But the Europeans who cling to their generous welfare benefits include Muslim immigrants, legal and illegal. Unskilled workers earning subsistence wages cannot provide for large families; the welfare system takes up the slack. It is illogical to argue at one and the same time that immigrants are being lured into Europe to do the dirty work and that they suffer from catastrophic levels of unemployment””40% in some French banlieues. Besides the fact that Europe doesn’t have enough jobs to offer, children of those who were willing to do the dirty work want more and better but don’t necessarily make any effort to obtain it. And many of them become resentful and violent.
Whether non-Muslim Europeans turn vicious or cave in, whether Europe’s Muslims take over or ship out, none of this proves that Eurabia is a myth. Eurabia is not the end point, it is neither the conquest nor the destruction of European Muslims, it is the policy that led to this geopolitical dilemma. Serious scholars have described and documented that policy, reliable observers report on its countless ramifications in everyday life here in Europe. Those who claim that the massive influx of Muslims into Europe occurred by chance, or as a natural flow of population have to support their argument with facts. They cannot make it come true by slapping together, as Peters does, a grotesque heap of misconstrued historical examples and lurid predictions and throwing it at those who have helped us understand the mechanisms of Eurabia.
In his opening salvo, Peters accused the “pop prophets” of telling us “before you know it, the continent will be come “˜Eurabia,” with all those topless gals on the Riviera wearing veils.” The topless are still in the majority, but we do see French women– 2nd and 3rd generation “immigrants”– sitting demurely on the beach in hijab while husbands and children frolic in Mediterranean waters. You don’t have to be a prophet to see them, just an honest observer.