Black Sheep Squadron

Is Switzerland Europe's heart of darkness?

Near the end of Carol Reed's 1949 noir classic The Third Man, Harry Lime, played by a brooding Orson Welles, disembarks from a Vienna Ferris wheel and delivers the film's best-remembered soliloquy. Pondering the relative merits of a libertine society, Lime muses that Italy was once governed by the House of Borgia, yet managed to produce "Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance," while the studiously inoffensive Swiss " had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." (Which, incidentally, is of German provenance.)

Indeed, Switzerland's international reputation has long been one of neutrality, dubious banking regulations and superior watch-making; a remarkably harmonious, multilingual country with postcard vistas and little violent crime. And as such, it's often invoked as a model to be emulated. For Second Amendment defenders, the country's low murder rate negates the assumption that more guns necessitate an increase in crime; Switzerland is awash in firearms, yet manages to avoid American levels of gun violence. Many even urged the provisional government in Iraq to adopt a Swiss canton-like ethnic division. Writing in Legal Times in 2003, author Gregory A. Fossedal argued implausibly that if the Bush administration was "looking to build democracy in a divided nation," they could "learn a lot from Switzerland."

But is this harmonious ethnic bouillabaisse liable to boil over? Last week, Britain's Independent newspaper wondered if little Switzerland was, in fact, "Europe's heart of darkness." The once sedate country, the paper claimed, is now "home to a new extremism that has alarmed the United Nations." At issue is the latest advertising campaign from the Swiss People's Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei, or SVP), the country's largest political party, controlling 55 of the 200 seats in the lower chamber of parliament. A recent SVP campaign poster, attempting to marshall support for the "Federal Popular Initiative for the Deportation of Criminal Foreigners," features two sheep—both white—grazing atop a Swiss flag, while a third uses its hind legs to kick a black sheep off out of the country. The party has unconvincingly denied any racist intent, claiming that the image simply suggests that immigrants who commit crimes should, like black sheep, be ostracized from the "flock" and returned to their country of origin.

Expelling non-native criminals is hardly a novel policy prescription in Europe. But the SVP went a step further, demanding that the immediate families of criminals under 18-years-old also be deported, leading critics to compare it to the Nazi policy of Sippenhaft—kin liability. Nor is this the SVP's first brush with controversy. A previous ad campaign featured a black hand dipping into a box of Swiss passports (over 20 percent of the population is foreign born), and a recent SVP proposal to ban the construction of minarets has roiled opposition politicians and activists. (Polling data shows that almost half the population supports the minaret ban).

The Independent might express astonishment, but European antipathy (and outright hostility) towards its immigrants is hardly new, as reflected in the increasing support for anti-immigration parties across the continent. Belgium's Vlaams Belang, the Sweden Democrats, France's National Front, Denmark's People's Party, and Austria's Freedom Party have all either made alarming electoral gains in recent years or have become power brokers in coalition governments. Various Western European countries—Italy, Germany, England and France—have considered or adopted bans on various forms of female Islamic dress, like the niqab or headscarf, in public schools. A blogger at Foreign Policy sighed that the situation in Switzerland unfortunately reflects "a larger general trend of racism and anti-Semitism brewing in the region."

That Europe is "trending racist" is surely an overstatement, though many of the continent's traditional paragons of racial and social tolerance, like the Netherlands, have travelled a bumpy road towards a multiethnic society and religious pluralism. After the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and the persistent death threats against anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders and Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, many native Dutch have become noticeably less "tolerant" of Muslim immigrants. According to the New York Times, a 2005 opinion poll found that 35 percent of "the native Dutch questioned had negative views about Islam," while Dutch polling firm Motivaction found that "63 percent of respondents think Islam is incompatible with modern European life." But this, of course, is a two-way street. A study by Frank Buijs of the University of Amsterdam's Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies showed that Moroccan youth in the Netherlands are deeply skeptical of Dutch liberalism, with 40 percent of respondents saying they "reject western values and democracy."

In Denmark, a country long associated with socialism and sexual liberation, anti-immigrant sentiment has markedly increased, causing a left-wing columnist for Sweden's biggest daily to brand his fellow Scandinavians an unreservedly racist lot: "Our little neighbor is Western Europe's most prejudiced, bigoted and narrow-minded nation." A deeply unfair characterization to be sure, but the far right Danish People's Party, the country's third-largest, with approximately 13 percent voter support, is a vital bit player in the ruling Venstre Party coalition.

The depth of European skepticism towards immigration is difficult to gauge by merely charting the progress of far right parties. Across the continent, fringe parties have watched as establishment politicians appropriate portions of their message. When British political candidates collate the latest opinion poll data—suggesting deep skepticism to increased legal immigration; demonstrating a startling preponderance of illiberal attitudes amongst British Muslims—they respond with alacrity. Yesterday, the Sunday Telegraph reported that "Tens of thousands of immigrant workers will be forced to learn English before they are allowed into Britain under a plan [Labour] Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to announce tomorrow in a speech to the Trades Union Congress in Brighton..." Not exactly Enoch Powell, but Prime Minister Brown is clearly not courting the Neil Kinnock-wing of his party either.

For those in the hyperpuissance who argued that profligate social spending works counter to the goals of integration, it's difficult not to say "I told you so." When riots engulfed France's urban ghettos in 2005, many American commentators noted, with barely contained schadenfreude, that during the 1992 L.A. Riots, many in the French intellectual class viewed urban discontent as a uniquely American problem, deeply rooted in a cultural and economic conservatism. Indeed, President François Mitterrand told French state radio during the riots that in Los Angeles, "a racial and a social conflict" was manifesting itself in a country where "there is an absence of social legislation and protection...[America] is a conservative society, with a free-market economy, and we see some of the results" in the riots.

Europe, despite—or perhaps because of—its web of safety nets, is now confronting social problems long familiar to this country. And while there is no imminent danger of a far right takeover of Western European politics, the days easily contrasting a tolerant, free-spending Europe with an intolerant, inhumane America are long gone.

Michael Moynihan is an associate editor for reason.

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  • ||

    The story about Switzerland producing only the cukoo clock is a bit lame. If the Swiss did not "give us" John Calvin, whether we wanted him or not, they certainly allowed him to flourish. And JJ Rousseau, probably the most influential thinker of the past 250 years, though scarcely one of my fave raves, is definitely Swiss, as is Leonard Euler, perhaps the greatest mathematician ever (and lots of Bernoullis).

    Europe in general is reaping its willingness to fund Islamic fundamentalism and ignore its hate. "Money is the religion of the Swiss," James Bond memorably told M (I think in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," in which we learn that Bond's mater was Swiss). Dean Acheson, in his memoir "Present at the Creation," said that Switzerland traded with Nazi Germany up until 3 days before the German surrender (the Swedes had the grace to quit a whole 3 weeks before the surrender). There's plenty of scenery in the Alps, but not much compassion.

  • MikeT||

    This is only surprising to Americans who cannot conceive of how other countries might actually have no tolerance for immigrants who want to straddle the fence or not integrate. Considering how bad the Islamic population in Britain is doing at that, it is a disaster for the future of Britain if they don't contain them now. Unless you like the idea of a tribal region (Pakistan's tribal region) enclave in the heart of Britain, it's not good for the future.

    I will for the life of me never understand why so many libertarians think it is a good idea to allow free societies to be flooded by immigrants from illiberal ones.

  • Episiarch||

    The Europeans are willing to be nice and multicultural as long as it doesn't affect them too much. However, they are pretty damn proud of their ethnicity, and once multiculturalism starts to threaten that, they will react.

    For instance, the French love to sneer at the US, and we like to rip them for being pussies, but they can be pretty fucking ruthless when they want to be.

  • dhex||


    I will for the life of me never understand why so many libertarians think it is a good idea to allow free societies to be flooded by immigrants from illiberal ones.


    you'd think we'd have learned from the papist coups attempted by floods of uneducated irish and italian immigrants, breeding like rats and flooding our streets with their catholic hi-jinks.

  • ||

    I will for the life of me never understand why so many libertarians think it is a good idea to allow free societies to be flooded by immigrants from illiberal ones.

    I will for the life of me never understand why so many think that individuals should suffer the presumed sins of their society even as they leave it.

  • JMR||

    I will for the life of me never understand why so many think that individuals should suffer the presumed sins of their society even as they leave it.

    The individuals in question here are not leaving societies to escape the sins, they are leaving to spread them.

  • ||

    Dean Acheson, in his memoir "Present at the Creation," said that Switzerland traded with Nazi Germany up until 3 days before the German surrender (the Swedes had the grace to quit a whole 3 weeks before the surrender). There's plenty of scenery in the Alps, but not much compassion.

    Ummm, isn't free trade and non-involvement in foreign conflicts two of the pillars of libertarianism? Seems that what Switzerland did in WWII was quite libertarian -- and turned out pretty well for them.

  • No Name For Now||

    Albert Einstein spent part of his youth in Switzerland, if I remember correctly.

  • ||

    It should be noted that some of the racist political groups mentioned in this article have had close ties with Hans Herman Hoppe, the racist "libertarian" and clown prince of the Mises Institute. He is a major reason that anti-immigrant bigotry has risen in libertarian circles as acceptable. And those people are mild compared to his friendly relations with Junge Freiheit and other such fringe, racial, nationalist groups.

  • shecky||


    you'd think we'd have learned from the papist coups attempted by floods of uneducated irish and italian immigrants, breeding like rats and flooding our streets with their catholic hi-jinks.


    Or all those communist coups the US has had to put down from those rotten Cuban emigres on Florida, well known Castro lovers the lot of 'em.

  • from AZ||

    What is the point of this article? Simple schadenfreude over Europe's immigration crisis? Or is it that, because of (bad) liberal social policies, Europe put itself in that position: doesn't geography, history and industrial policy also play a role? Does Moynihan want to warn Americans against social safety nets? Or is he simply telling us that some Europeans can be mean?

    The truth is that if the USA had proportionally similar immigration and assimilation levels than those in Europe, heads would explode in the Tancredo crowd. Judging from the reaction of many Americans to the relatively tiny levels of immigration (legal and otherwise) we currently have, I would not feel too smug about our reaction to immigrants.

    If 40% of Latino immigrants/illegals were to profess that they "reject western values and democracy", like the Moroccan youth in the Netherlands, our politicians would go ballistic.

  • Mark Bahner||

    ...judging from the reaction of many Americans to the relatively tiny levels of immigration (legal and otherwise) we currently have, I would not feel too smug about our reaction to immigrants.



    Ummm...approximately 20 percent of all people in the U.S. are immigrants or their children.

    http://usinfo.state.gov/scv/Archive/2005/Sep/06-225066.html

    What European country has a similarly high level of immigrants?

  • Carter||

    Just think, if Switzerland had more immigrants Zurich might be almost as nice a city as LA.

  • ||

    Moynihan refers to Switzerland having "over 20% of the population is foreign born" (probably worth reading the article before commenting - although as those of the left are happy to limit debate to sneering condescension towards those who have different views I suppose this isn't really necessary). Try reading Robert Putnam's recent work on the downside of diversity and give a little thought to the issues involved.

  • ||

    Ah and now, just as so much of the western world has had to learn, the Swiss are learning that their "homeland" is being given away to outsiders. Such is life in "Liberal" democracies.

  • dbust1||

    Oh MikeP, MikeP,

    Has a muslim ever tried to kill you? Have you had a friend or distant acquaintance killed by a muslim? I do not dislike muslims invididually but collectively. If only one person in a room full of a thousand wants to kill you then you'd be an idiot to not be wary of everyone in the room. I don't care that "individuals should suffer the presumed sins of their society even as they leave it." There are adherents to the "religion of peace" that is Islam that want to kill YOU MikeP because you're not one of them. They'll cut your damn head off and film it to boot. And "presumed sins"?! Are you fucking nuts? They cut people's heads off who aren't islamic, they stone women who were raped and they hang young girls who have had "immoral contact" with men. Wake up already.

  • ||

    Yes? Yes?

    I've had a Muslim roommate. I have had Muslim teammates. I have had Muslim coworkers. My wife has had a Muslim boss.

    Let me think... Sorry... Try as I might, I can't think of any Muslim who has ever tried to kill me.

    What's your point? That it is almost a universal truth that Muslims we encounter in the US don't try to kill people?

  • dbust1||

    I'm glad to hear that you've never met a muslim that has wanted/tried to kill you. I honestly hope that you never do. I hope you never wake up from your dream world where you can trust everyone you meet even if they come from a segment of society that wants you dead because you like flying a kite or you like the taste of bacon. Ignorance truly is bliss. In the meantime, I'll keep doing what I need to do in order to keep my head physically attached to my shoulders.

  • ||

    Have you tried reformulating your diatribe by replacing 'muslim' with some other religious, ethnic, racial, or political group? Does it read pretty much the same? Of course it does, modulo the specific hysteria of the particular example.

    The fact that there are minuscule subsets of groups who think know they can get people like you to turn your society into a fear-centered, liberty-averse fortress of feigned security in no way should be held against the group in toto or against individuals in that group.

  • dbust1||

    MikeP

    Your consistent problem is that you are as quick to lump everyone into one boat (the s.s. moral equivalency) as you are to be the jackass riding on top of the moral high horse. Your statement: "Have you tried reformulating your diatribe by replacing 'muslim' with some other religious, ethnic, racial, or political group? Does it read pretty much the same?" The answer is no it does not read the same unless you are a slave to moral equivalency. The truth is not all moral codes, and/or the interpretations of those codes, are equal.

    And as for your second paragraph I can only say that fear is the most important emotion that has kept human beings alive for so long.

  • ||

    dbust1,

    I am not a moral relativist: I do not believe that all moral codes are equal.

    In particular, I believe that individualist moralities are universally superior to collectivist moralities that hold an individual responsible for the moral failings of the most extreme people he can be associated with.

  • ||

    The underlying reality is that post-WW2 capitalism/democratic socialism embraced mass immigration and multiculturalism, and the cost of that error will be paid for quite some time.

    The further mistake, taking place now, is that European governments are attempting to violently suppress patriotic sentiments. Compromise (e.g., massive reductions in immigration and deportation of criminal immigrants) would be a much wiser strategy.

    The question Moynihan ponders in his subtitle is easily answerable... nationalism is the future of Europe. People will pay a very high price to save their nation... Americans lost 5% of their population and the present-GDP equivalent of $20 trillion in the Civil War. Franco had to destroy much of Spain to save it.

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP wrote:

    "The fact that there are minuscule subsets of groups"

    Behold: the "Tiny Minority of Extremists" meme. It's been giving succor to head-in-the-sand Westerners for years now. The "Jihad is caused by poverty and oppression" meme died an ugly death when Muslim physicians attempted a recent jihad attack in the UK. (They failed and died, tee hee!) One by one, all of these stupid memes will fall when faced with enough facts.

    So, MikeP, answer us:

    Question 1: What, precisely, makes a muslim an "extremist"?

    Question 2: What percentage of Muslims are either A) extremists, or B) financiers of extremists?

  • ||

    SuprKufr,

    I would say an extremist in this context is someone who uses force or threat of force to move society the way he wants to move it. Note that Democrats and Republicans to the extent they control the government qualify handily under this definition. If you want a stricter definition, then an extremist is someone who uses force or threat of force outside the color of legitimacy offered by the society's government.

    As for the percentages, I don't actually know the exact numbers. Do you?

    What percentage of Irish and Irish-Americans needed to (1) be in the IRA or (2) be a financier of the IRA before one should condemn all Irish as evil individuals who should not be allowed to reside in western nations?

    How about Basques and ETA? American college students and SDS?

    I assume you think internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II was a good thing. How about harassment of German-Americans during World War I?

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP wrote:

    "an extremist is someone who uses force or threat of force outside the color of legitimacy offered by the society's government"

    That's quite astounding.

    1. If the government offers legitimacy to rocket attacks against schools and hospitals in a neighboring country, then the perpetrators of those attacks are not extremists according to your definition. Correct?

    2. If the government restricts the right to self-defense, then defending yourself against a predator would brand you an extremist according to your definition. Correct?

    3. Which of the 9,000+ Jihad attacks since 9/11 were outside the color of legitimacy offered by Shari'a? (Do you even know what Shari'a is?)

    MikeP wrote:

    "As for the percentages, I don't actually know the exact numbers."

    Then how do you know that it's a "Tiny Minority"?

    The purpose of this exercise is to get you to see how the "Tiny Minority of Extremists" is based solely on faith and deserves to die an ugly death.

  • ||

    1. If the government offers legitimacy to rocket attacks against schools and hospitals in a neighboring country, then the perpetrators of those attacks are not extremists according to your definition. Correct?

    Why do you think I qualified the statement by saying "the society's government"? A neighboring government is not the society's government.

    2. If the government restricts the right to self-defense, then defending yourself against a predator would brand you an extremist according to your definition. Correct?

    Uh, no. You are not using force to move society. You are using force to defend yourself.

    3. Which of the 9,000+ Jihad attacks since 9/11 were outside the color of legitimacy offered by Shari'a? (Do you even know what Shari'a is?)

    I presume that you recognize that this is now a non sequitur.

    Then how do you know that it's a "Tiny Minority"?

    This debate is about Muslims being permitted to reside in western societies. In the west extremist Muslims are a minority of a minority and they are likely to remain a minority of a minority for some time to come.

    I myself believe in the power of western rationality to entice individuals out of their anti-individualist philosophies. Arbitrarily punishing individuals for the wrongs of extremists who share some largely irrelevant attribute with them is antithetical to that tendency. Why, pray tell, do you have so little trust in western ways of behaving?

    Now, about those Irish, Basques, Japanese, and Germans...

  • SuprKufr||

    Why do you think I qualified the statement by saying "the society's government"? A neighboring government is not the society's government.

    So which society's government should be the deciding factor of who is an extremist and who is not?

    You are not using force to move society. You are using force to defend yourself.

    The two are not mutually-exclusive. One can "move society" toward a society where self-defense is appreciated, right?

    I presume that you recognize that this is now a non sequitur.

    It is not a non-sequitur. You defined an extremist as someone who uses force outside what their society's government authorizes. The mujahedin claim that they are governed by Shari'a (do you even know what that is?). Which of their attacks are outside the legitimacy offered by their government?

    Or perhaps you think that the mujahedin are NOT governed by Shari'a? Please explain.

    This debate is about Muslims being permitted to reside in western societies. In the west extremist Muslims are a minority of a minority and they are likely to remain a minority of a minority for some time to come.

    You admitted that you don't know the percentages of the numbers of Mulsim extremists, so how do you know that they are a "minority of a minority"?

    Why, pray tell, do you have so little trust in western ways of behaving?

    Because our western ways of behaving are defined as sin in their evil religion. Do you know who Shaitan is and what he represents in Islam? (Probably not!)

  • ||

    Let me try again...

    An extremist is someone who uses force or threat of force to move society the way he wants to move it and does so outside the color of legitimacy offered by that society's government. This definition of course presumes that the society's government represents the general beliefs of the society's population.

    So which society's government should be the deciding factor of who is an extremist and who is not?

    The society that the extremist is trying to change through force.

    One can "move society" toward a society where self-defense is appreciated, right?

    If you do it through force rather than politics, you are an extremist.

    Why is this definition so hard for you? A society's beliefs and standards are by definition the moderate stance of the society. Someone who is trying to change those radically is not moderate. Someone who is trying to change those through force is an extremist.

    I personally prefer the definition of extremist that would brand the 536 rulers of the US extremists, but I am guessing you would have an even bigger problem with that. so I instead provided a definition that seems to me to be pretty uncontroversial.

    What is your definition of extremist, and are any Irish, Basques, Japanese, or Germans included in it?

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP,

    Okay, I understand your definition of extremism now. Sorry for the confusion. Of course, your definition implies that the founding fathers of the USA are "just as bad" (assuming that "extremism" is bad in and of itself) as the mujahedin.

    Now, the question that you dodged.

    You admitted that you don't know the percentages of the numbers of Mulsim extremists, so how do you know that they are a "minority of a minority"?

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP,

    Sorry, I hit submit before answering your question.

    What is your definition of extremist

    I don't use that word. I prefer "predator" or "mujahid" in the case of a Muslim predator.

  • ||

    To answer your other questions...

    Yes, I know what Shari'a is. The mujahedin, to the extent they operate using force in societies that do not approve of the ways they are trying to move those societies, are extremists. Shocking.

    You admitted that you don't know the percentages of the numbers of Mulsim extremists, so how do you know that they are a "minority of a minority"?

    First, because the streets of the west are not running with blood. Second, because I have seen zero evidence that they are a majority of a minority. You got any?

    And, finally, no... I don't know who Shaitan is.

  • ||

    Of course, your definition implies that the founding fathers of the USA are "just as bad" (assuming that "extremism" is bad in and of itself) as the mujahedin.

    No, it doesn't. In particular, the founding fathers did not believe in using the government to shove society around. They saw government serving society, not leading it.

    Second, there are degrees of extremism. Soft collectivism as pushed by the governing parties of the US today is very much preferable to the raging intolerance of liberty pushed by radical Islamists.

  • ||

    I prefer "predator" or "mujahid" in the case of a Muslim predator.

    What's the Gaelic word you use for predator?

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP,

    Yes, I know what Shari'a is.

    That's a baby step away from ignorance. Do you know what Sura 9:29 says?

    The mujahedin, to the extent they operate using force in societies that do not approve of the ways they are trying to move those societies, are extremists.

    1. What about those Muslims who do NOT engage in force, but do knowingly choose to fund the mujahedin? Are they extremists as well?

    2. Do you understand why the preceding question is relevant in light of Shari'a?

    First, because the streets of the west are not running with blood.

    I can see that as well. I think the Muslim population of the USA is quite tame, but are they funding Jihad in other countries?

    How many jihad attacks occur in other countries?

    Second, because I have seen zero evidence that they are a majority of a minority. You got any?

    I wasn't asking "is there a majority of a minority", but rather, "what is the percentage", a number you don't know and merely assume because jihad attacks are reasonably far away enough from you for now. You feel safe, therefore, it's a Tiny Minority of Extremists. Correct?

    In terms of your question, we have to examine different groups of Muslims on a population-by-population basis. How "extreme" (your definition) are Muslims in the UK? How about Muslims in Saudi Arabia? How about Muslims in "restive" Southern Thailand?

    Do you care about this kind of examination, or do you prefer to regard it as a "Tiny Minority of Extremists" and be done with it?

    And, finally, no... I don't know who Shaitan is.

    It's the Muslim Devil. It's often compared to the Judeo-Christian Satan with one big difference: The Judeo-Christian version is a deceiver while the Muslim version is a tempter. All of the good things that can choose to partake in within our Western culture which deviate from Shari'a come from Shaitan. They are enticing and pull Muslims away from the path of Allah, and that is why Western culture is inherently corrupt: it is not Islamic, and the fact that it may be enjoyable is merely evidential of its "Shaitanic" nature.

  • ||

    SuprKufr,

    You may fancy yourself an expert in Muslim theology, but how much do you know about Christian theology? Your description of the Muslim devil sounds exactly like the Christian devil as promulgated in many if not most denominations.

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP,

    You may fancy yourself an expert in Muslim theology, but how much do you know about Christian theology?

    I'm an ex-Christian and was, at one point, on the paid staff of a church. I know much about Christian theology, certainly much more than I know about Islam.

    Your description of the Muslim devil sounds exactly like the Christian devil as promulgated in many if not most denominations.

    The key difference is that Shaitan is not a deceiver. The point in explaining the concept of Shaitan to you is to dispel your false belief that merely showing Muslims our superior Western ways will convince them to become more like us.

    Now, back to the questions that you're proving to be very adept at dodging:

    1. Do you know what Sura 9:29 says? (Do you even know what a Sura is?)

    2. What about those Muslims who do NOT engage in force, but do knowingly choose to fund the mujahedin? Are they extremists as well?

    3. Do you understand why the preceding question is relevant in light of Shari'a?

    4. I think the Muslim population of the USA is quite tame, but are they funding Jihad in other countries?

    5. How many jihad attacks occur in other countries?

    6. How "extreme" (your definition) are Muslims in the UK? How about Muslims in Saudi Arabia? How about Muslims in "restive" Southern Thailand?

    7. Do you care about this kind of examination, or do you prefer to regard it as a "Tiny Minority of Extremists" and be done with it?

  • ||

    1. What about those Muslims who do NOT engage in force, but do knowingly choose to fund the mujahedin? Are they extremists as well?

    It is fair to call them that. To the extent that their activities will rain wrath upon their resident societies, they should be prohibiting from engaging in them -- just as it was illegal for Americans to support the IRA.

    As much as you want to imagine some sort of millennial war of civilizations, the problems you bring up simply aren't that novel.

    2. Do you understand why the preceding question is relevant in light of Shari'a?

    Probably not. Are you personally responsible for what the US does with your tax dollars?

    Do you care about this kind of examination, or do you prefer to regard it as a "Tiny Minority of Extremists" and be done with it?

    It is certainly important for those entrusted with the defense of society to follow and recognize trends and movements to look for and root out violent elements in them.

    But in the end I do not believe one should be punished for something he did not do and likely does not believe. That is the point I am arguing here.

  • ||

    1. Do you know what Sura 9:29 says? (Do you even know what a Sura is?)

    I looked it up. I gather it is the verse that forces the tax on the People of the Book.

    4. I think the Muslim population of the USA is quite tame, but are they funding Jihad in other countries?

    Some may be. Several get prosecuted a year. Entire charities sometimes get shut down. I don't follow it all that closely.

    5. How many jihad attacks occur in other countries?

    Probably a lot.

    6. How "extreme" (your definition) are Muslims in the UK? How about Muslims in Saudi Arabia? How about Muslims in "restive" Southern Thailand?

    Don't know. Don't know. Don't know. I do know that western culture has moderated extreme postures, peoples, and individuals in the past. I see no reason that it won't do so again.

  • SuprKufr||

    MikeP,

    Thank you for engaging me.

    The reason why I asked you about others who fund jihad is because jihad is obligatory on all Muslims (Sura 9:5 -- I asked you about the wrong verse, my bad!). Those Muslims who cannot participate in jihad can be excused from it but are mandated to fund it.

    Sura 9:5 is called "The Verse of the Sword" and gives non-muslims three choices:

    1. Convert to Islam
    2. Live as a second-class "dhimmi" under Shari'a and pay the jizya (submission tax)
    3. Fight

    This is why Osama bin Laden invited Americans to Islam in his most recent message: he has to give us the invitation to Islam (da'wa) before he is permitted to attack. This is why invitations to Islam always precede jihad attacks.

    As a muslim, you are obligated to invite the kafir to Islam and fight them if they refuse to convert or pay the jizyah. If you cannot fight, then you are obligated to support jihad monetarily. This is why so many "charities" keep getting busted for funding "terrorism" -- they are performing according to the rules of their wicked, disgusting religion.

    It is not that I want to see this conflict as a "millennial war of civilizations", as you put it. I am merely seeing Islam for what it is. It is you who wants to see jihad as the phenomenon of a "Tiny Minority of Extremists(TM)" that will be quelled by Western culture. It takes but time reading about Islam and Islamic history to realize that offensive, imperialist jihad is core to the religion and that jihad attacks have never stopped throughout Islam's history. The reason why the problem seems new is because Islamic supremacy has been on the rise since the days of Sayd Qutb and the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which hundreds of other jihad groups have taken their cue and begun their peans for the return of Caliphate (which is the only way that offensive jihad can be declared and also why Osama bin Laden has framed his attacks as "defensive" actions in the past) as well as demographic invasion of the West.

    This is a huge problem that is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Unfortunately, part of the problem is that there are so many Westerners who choose to accept comforting untruths about Islam and jihad as a means of avoiding the problem. You are part of that problem, not part of the solution, and you will continue to be in that state as long as you choose to be ignorant about jihad and Islam.

    "I don't follow it all that closely", you say.

    Yes. That much is obvious. It's much easier and less disturbing to close your eyes to the war that is happening all over the Earth and kills people very day in the name of jihad for the purpose of spreading Islam and subjugating the entire world to Shari'a. That is their stated goal, stated by many, over and over again. I take them at their word.

  • ||

    You are part of that problem, not part of the solution, and you will continue to be in that state as long as you choose to be ignorant about jihad and Islam.

    Interestingly, I believe that western values of liberty and voluntary free association are ascendant. The ideas, institutions, and improvements available from that way of life are hard to keep from the rest of the world. But one thing that can do great harm to the spread of liberty is to make enemies of people who are not enemies.

    In other words, I find you and your super kufar attitude to be a bigger problem than the belief that radical or reactionary Islam does not pose a terribly tangible threat to the West.

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