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The secret life of Eurabia - click opera
February 2010
 
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Mon, Jan. 9th, 2006 03:29 am
The secret life of Eurabia

They say: "Eurabia... is essentially a political project for a total demographic and cultural symbiosis between Europe and the Arab world, where Israel will eventually dissolve. America would be isolated and challenged by an emerging Euro-Arab continent that is linked to the whole Muslim world and invested with tremendous political and economic power in international affairs." (Interview with Bat Ye'or, who coined the phrase, in Front Page magazine)

I say: Eurabia is a silly, hysterical meme being broadcast by right wingers. But it's interesting to me insofar as it sums up right wing fears (of Islamic immigrants "swamping" Europe, etc etc) the same way my own meme "Angrael" sums up left wing fears (of Anglo-Saxon countries becoming Israel-style "security states", etc etc). They're both conspiracy theories, and lots of facts can be cited to "show" that the future belongs to one or other scenario. Mainly, though, they're political scare stories designed to shift policy in ways we want to see it shifted.



They say: "It's the demography, stupid... the West is in danger of extinction... Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries... the EU's population will be 40 percent Muslim by 2025." (Mark Steyn in The New Criterion)

I say: Jesus God, what neo-Spenglerian crap! Steyn's stats on demographics are refuted usefully here by Pearsal Helms. Nevertheless, it's fascinating to tie this in with my Fashion Muslim action. In the view of these anti-Muslim Paul Reveres I am already one of the fallen, the corrupted! Look at the facts: I'm a white European, but I've already been married to a muslim, I wear muslim clothes, and my favourite record is "Musique Arabo-Andalouse" by the Atrium Musicae de Madrid, a reconstruction of the utterly lovely sounds resulting from the cultural fusion that happened when large parts of southern Europe really were under the control of the moors! And it's funny to imagine Hajj preparations as the lead story on the BBC News website in 2025!

They say: "Dhimmi was the name applied by the Arab-Muslim conquerors to indigenous non-Muslim populations who surrendered by a treaty (dhimma) to Muslim domination. Islamic conquests expanded over vast territories in Africa, Europe and Asia, for over a millennium (638-1683)... Dhimmitude is not exclusively concerned with Muslim history and civilization. Rather it investigates the history of those non-Muslim peoples conquered and colonized by jihad. (Dhimmitude.org) "Dhimmis, 'protected people,' are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, are part of the law that global jihadists are laboring to impose everywhere, ultimately on the entire human race." Dhimmiwatch

I say: By a cunning act of sleight-of-hand -- by proposing a sci-fi future in which the present tables of dominance and subordination are turned -- muslim minorities are presented as the majority and today's majority suddenly become the enslaved minority, the dhimmis. We're supposed to recoil in horror from this image of future oppression by today's oppressed, and enact appropriate legislation and/or genocide to prevent it. But what if we like what Islamization does to European cities? What if we think that Kreuzberg's Turkish markets actually contain the real spirit of medieval Europe (they're the closest thing you'll find to a Brueghel painting in Berlin)? What if we enjoy the very vitality that fills rightists with apprehension, the sex drive that puts the birth rate in Islamic countries bordering the EU at twice the rate of EU nations?

They say: Dhimmitude in Britain: Muslim women exempt from ID card photos!

I say: This "Boo hoo, it's not fair!" attitude ("why are they allowed to cover their faces on ID cards, and we aren't?") leads to accusations of "asymmetrical multiculturalism", identified by right wingers as a weakness of the liberal position. Why do we encourage minorities to celebrate their ethnic specificity while making it taboo for the indigenous majority to do the same? Why are we tolerant even of the intolerance of others? The answer is that power changes everything. It is because we're the majority that we must indulge minorities but not indulge ourselves. Deconstruction theory tells us that every binary has a dominant and a repressed element. There can be no "fairness" in treating those elements as if they were equal, and even less in proposing, through sci-fi scenarios like "Eurabia" and "dhimmitude", that the repressed element is somehow about to become the dominant one. Multiculturalism needs to be asymmetrical because power imbalances make asymmetry the reality.

Some Norwegian fascists speculate: "Europe's fate is sealed when Turkey is allowed into the Union, and becomes its largest member. Freedom of speech will be shut down, and any criticism of Islam banned. Eurabia will become a global center for Jihad activities, as the dhimmi taxpayers and infidel Western technology give a boost to the Ummah. For this reason, the Americans, the Israelis, the Indians, the Russians and maybe even the Chinese will have to crush Eurabia by brute force, as it will represent a grave security threat for them. Muslims will be heavily concentrated in the major cities, and the dhimmi native population will retreat into the countryside. I believe something similar took place in the Balkans during Ottoman Turkish rule. The old nation states will thus slowly die, as their major cities, which constitute the brain and "head" of its culture, are cut off from the rest of the body. Europe's decline into Eurabia will be speeded up by the fact that millions of educated natives with the means to it will move to the USA or other nations. This trickle of Eurabian refugees wil eventually be slowed down by the authorities in the now totalitarian Europe, as it will erode the tax base. Native Europeans will simply be banned from leaving. There will be no war in Western Europe, as its civilization is already dead and very few will bother fighting for it." (From the blog of Fjordman, a fearsome fascist of the fjords.)

I say: Well, mostly I laugh with a laugh so huge it fills the fjords. But also I'm quite interested, because I like zany sci-fi. For instance, I also learn from one of Fjordman's guests that G.K. Chesterton outlined a similar scenario in a novel called The Flying Inn. "In this novel - written almost 100 years ago - Chesterton postulates a (then) future Britain where an attempt is made to impose Islam on the English by a mixture of da'wa, stealth invasion and collusion by a treacherous political and business elite." The theme also informs some contemporary art. Robert Gligorov's "Eurabia Place de l’Etoile" shows the Arc de Triomphe dressed up as the sacred black stone of Mecca, the kaaba. And Gregor Schneider's "Cube Venice" does the same for the Piazza San Marco in Venice.



They say: "Europe becomes more and more a province of Islam, a colony of Islam. And Italy is an outpost of that province, a stronghold of that colony. In each of our cities lies a second city: a Muslim city, a city run by the Quran. A stage in the Islamic expansionism." (Oriana Fallaci in her new book "The Strength of Reason," "La Forza della Ragione" in Italian.)

I say: Okay, shut up, you fascists, I'm bored now!

84CommentReply

cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)

Momus, you always hit the nail. I was actually worried that you had left your interests in European politics since the election of Germany last year. What do you think of the results of the election?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)

I thought Schroeder was pretty good, the way he pretended he wasn't going anywhere right up until the last minute, forcing the desperate Merkel to hand all the important posts over to the SDP in exchange for the chancellorship she so desperately craved. Now she's a bit like the Queen of England: we'll see her a lot, but she won't have much to say.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)


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luxetumbra
luxetumbra
lux
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)

Multiculturalism needs to be asymmetrical because power imbalances make asymmetry the reality.

Kwame Anthony Appiah had a very good piece in the New York Time Magazine last week about this very issue. (I personally am of the "When in Rome" school.)


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
Unconvincing postmoderninst blather

While I'm not sure if I buy the right's paranoia here, I find this to be unconvincing postmodernist blather.

"Deconstruction theory tells us that every binary has a dominant and a repressed element."

So, do poststructuralist non-elucidative vacuous hermenuetics reinforce the competitive discourse of the post-neo-capitalist cultural dialectic?

There is a very real danger that the future will belong to fundamentalists. However, I view the right (especially the American right) as part of the fundamentalist axis. I fear both Islam and American militant Christianity, and I think that liberals need to extract their heads from their posteriors and start fighting both of these.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Unconvincing postmoderninst blather

At last, a voice of reason.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
So, does an oppressed group ever stop being oppressed?

If we accept the premise that multiculturalism needs to be asymmetrical in order to protect the oppressed groups, it becomes very important to have an unbiased heuristic for determining when a group ceases to be oppressed. Who decides? The group itself? A majority vote of the entire state or civilization? You? Me?

Related to this is the question of how to identify an oppressed group. And the question of how to identify a new oppressor group. These last questions might be the most important of all, if you care about remediating oppression before it becomes entrenched.


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montecristo
montecristo
Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion)
Mon, Jan. 9th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Sometimes the answer IS simple

Stop treating people as a group and treat them as individuals.


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luxetumbra
luxetumbra
lux
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm curious

I think it's this djelaba.


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chipuni
chipuni
Brent "Chip" Edwards
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I'm of European descent (mother from Estonia, father's father from germany), living in the Bay Area, California. I live next to Fremont, which has a very large Afghani population. the Bay Area as a whole has a large Hispanic population and good-sized Asian population. And all that I see is...

...it's been a great blessing to have so many different groups here. Period.


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stanleylieber
stanleylieber
Stanley Lieber
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: false dichotomy

But if you would all just live the way I want you to...


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henryperri
henryperri
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 09:06 pm (UTC)

Like all socialists, you are naturally disposed against Western Civilization. All of the culture that it cherishes you see as a symbol of oppression. Your taste in art has been decided completely by your political alliances; this is why you write pieces on pop art exhibits and video installations instead of art by someone like Rodin--because it's subversive of Western culture.

You make it pretty clear that you would like to see the fall of Europe and America. And yet, like many other socialists who talk so much hot air, you continue to live only in Westernized countries. You like the Turkish market, but only in the context of the free market.

I don't know how seriously I take the demography problem in Europe. The latest issue of the New Criterion (for whom Mark Steyn writes) is focused solely on this issue. Let make it clear, however, that deep down, this is not an issue of oppressor vs. oppressed; this is the case of one system being more tolerant than the other and hence more desirable. You're crazy if you think, under a sharia, that you could write essays critical of the government and songs about coming on girls.


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aberranteyes
aberranteyes
I'm Mister Cellophane
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)

Like all socialists, you are naturally disposed against Western Civilization.

And your evidence for this would be what, exactly?

You make it pretty clear that you would like to see the fall of Europe and America.

And he makes this clear where, exactly?


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peristaltor
peristaltor
The Peristaltic Testator
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)

I too am bored with the fascist blathering. So much so, I don't worry too much about radical expansion. Why didn't the Moors push north past Spain? Too cold to bother conquering. Why didn't the Caliphates press East into China? Probably because of the Islamic prohibition on pork -- in case you haven't noticed, the Chinese do love their swine flesh. As the phrase describes, both parties reached an impasse.

I do find the exemption on ID photos troubling, as this represents in every respect the same mitigating force on religious expansion as cold rain and pork fried rice. I doubt the exemption will stand the test of the courts and/or practical application.

What wonderfully interesting insights you present. Do continue.


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king_chiron
king_chiron
Chiron
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)

The Moors did attempt to push northward into France, but were stopped by the Franks, not because it was "too cold to bother conquering."


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rfmcdpei
rfmcdpei
Randy McDonald
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)

The same people who complain about Eurabia now would have complained about Jew York City this time last century.


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pop__kandy
pop__kandy
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)

For what it's worth, Steyn's specious statistics were also debunked by this science journalist / blogger here.

And one perspicacious political blogger has written up probably the longest, most comprehensive catalogue of Steyn's paid wingnuttery here.

It really makes you think - there seems to be a network of such people, and is their explicit purpose not just to rally the base with fearmongering, but to draw out liberal ire in a sort of "flypaper strategy" whereby logical arguments and reasoned discourse are twisted against the people who say them?

The shame is really that Steyn's a smart guy, a witty writer and a decent theatre critic, but who stoops to quote Ann Coulter while trying to position himself as heir to the William F. Buckley, intellectual-conservative tradition. Can't have it both ways...


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aberranteyes
aberranteyes
I'm Mister Cellophane
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)

Steyn [...] stoops to quote Ann Coulter while trying to position himself as heir to the William F. Buckley, intellectual-conservative tradition.

As far as I can tell, the Coulters and Steyns and Ben Shapiros and other pro-braindeath types are the heirs of the Buckley tradition, or at least are the people who claimed the field after the actually-intellectual conservatives abandoned it.


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montecristo
montecristo
Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion)
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC)
Go look in the mirror

If you want to know why the fruitcake right keeps winning, even thought they are fruitcakes, it is because the opposition has become intellectually inbred to the point of stupidity.


Why do we encourage minorities to celebrate their ethnic specificity while making it taboo for the indigenous majority to do the same? Why are we tolerant even of the intolerance of others? The answer is that power changes everything. It is because we're the majority that we must indulge minorities but not indulge ourselves. Deconstruction theory tells us that every binary has a dominant and a repressed element. There can be no "fairness" in treating those elements as if they were equal, and even less in proposing, through sci-fi scenarios like "Eurabia" and "dhimmitude", that the repressed element is somehow about to become the dominant one. Multiculturalism needs to be asymmetrical because power imbalances make asymmetry the reality.


That's one of the most intellectually vaccuous pieces of prose I've read all week. Neo-Marxian clap-trap.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Go look in the mirror

It might have been nice if you'd actually tried to engage with the point it makes, rather than simply telling us it's "claptrap". The point it makes is that treating people with hugely different amounts of power the same way is not fair.

"Asymmetrical multiculturalism" is Eric Kaufmann's phrase, and you can read more about it in this entry, if you're interested.


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lyrane
lyrane
menschheit
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)

The thing none of those catastrophe theories seem to take into account is that European ethnocentrism is as strong if not stronger than that of new immigrants. Europeans still hold all the cards financial, political, and in regards to the police. In their sense of their own liberal superiority, they will relinquish little, if any, of this power.

Also, these theories seem to deny the liberalization of Islamic culture that is taking place for some youth of the inner cities (as seen in the art coming out of Berlin) and could imply that Europe will eventually experience the "melting pot" effect like America did in the late 19th century. And yes, America is perhaps the sum of its Irish, German, Italian, African and Hispanic parts combined with the original British element, but in the long view, things worked out okay. It's been more than a hundred years and hey, the Irish haven't caused a religious war, the Germans haven't done anything but perfectly integrate, the Italians haven't brought a fractured political system, the Africans haven't brought ethnic wars (although this is probably because us whites, you know, destroyed all memory they had of their ethnicity), and the Hispanic, the most recent subjects of anti-immigration fear-mongering, haven't tried to put Texas or California under PRI control or Catholic law. Perhaps this is somewhat optimistic of me, but I think that yes, there are awful conflicts going on with new Islamic immigrants in Europe, but, given a decade, everybody will realize that getting along is really the best thing for themselves. It won't be as perfect an integration as Italians to the US, but I don't expect the be seeing the coronation of the Imam of Canterbury anytime soon.


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henryperri
henryperri
Mon, Jan. 9th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)

Here's the difference. When ethnic groups came to America in the 19th and early 20th century they HAD to assimilate, as there was nothing to fall back on. There did not yet exist the kind of government safety net that subsidizes a non-working underclass. The Present wave of immigrants in Europe are allowed to idle on the government's dole and the result is a deep-seated resentment and sense of entitlement. They're not made to feel as if they play any part in society and the apperance is that they're being swept under the rug.

Of course, the real purpose of these handouts is to assuage the guilt of the liberal European who is educated just enough to be self-conscious about his ancestors' past but too intellectually shallow to explore the socioeconomic effects of his policies.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Jan. 8th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
ART CHART

Momus

i think a long time ago you linked to a website that was an art gallery directory telling about current shows and hours and etc. do you remember this. i'm i crazy. i remember being surprise how good the site looked? please let me know if you remember? thanks


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