Gilles Kepel: Keep Those Muslims Satisfied, Keep Europe For Them A Big Rock Candy Mountain
by Hugh Fitzgerald
“Islamic Scholar: Europe May Be Heading Toward Civil War,” by Chris Tomlinson, Breitbart, September 11, 2016:
A French scholar of Islam has a dire warning for Europe, claiming that the third generation of young Muslim men are being increasingly radicalised and may lead the continent into a civil war.
“Radicalized” for Gilles Kepel means “Wahabist” or “Salafist” Muslims, the bad kind, as opposed, in Kepel’s fantasy world, to the perfectly harmless mainstream Muslims.
Professor of political science at one of France’s most prestigious universities,…
So listen up, please, to what Gilles Kepel has to say.
…Sciences Po, Gilles Kepel, claims that the current wave of Islamic terrorism in Europe is not so much a war of Western civilization against Islam, but a war within Islam itself.
This is nothing new, it’s Gilles Kepel’s standard line, and in fact many others claim the same thing.
The result is an entire generation, adherents of the extremist Wahabist and Salafist movements, who want not only to take over Europe, but to eliminate more moderate Islamic opposition, reports Die Welt.
In what ways does this “more moderate Islamic opposition” distinguish itself from “extremist Wahabist and Salafist” Muslims? Doesn’t normative Islam uncompromisingly distinguish between Muslim and non-Muslim, and in Islamic states, non-Muslims must either convert to Islam, or submit to a host of onerous requirements, of which the best known is the payment of the Jizyah, or be killed? Kepel attributes to “Salafists” alone doctrines which are part of Islam. Don’t ordinary Muslims “want to take over Europe” – and for that matter, the rest of the non-Muslim world, so that this giddy globe is a place where Islam everywhere dominates, and Muslims rule, everywhere?
Prof. Kepel foresees that the growing number of Muslims, who are forming what he calls the “Jihad Generation”, will likely continue to commit acts of terror in European cities.
To call young Muslims the “Jihad Generation” is to misleadingly imply that Jihad is not a permanent and central part of Islam. And his prediction that says that the members of that generation “will likely continue to commit acts of terror” hardly impresses; why ever would they not continue to commit acts of terror, when the Qur’an, that uncreated and immutable text, tells them to do so? And they will commit those acts not because they have been made into “Salafists” or “Wahabis.” Being a Muslim will do. Nor does it take a professor at the “prestigious” Sciences Po to predict more Muslim terrorism: more Muslims in Europe means more Muslim terrorism.
“The goal of the terror is not to provoke political change, but rather to incite hatred toward Muslims from the rest of society, which he believes would eventually radicalise enough Muslims to the point that Europe could enter into a full-blown civil war.”
This is the heart of Kepel’s argument: his insistence that Muslim terrorists are committing these attacks not to “sow terror in the hearts of the Infidels” as the Qur’an instructs, and thereby to demoralize and weaken them so that they will ultimately yield to Muslim demands, but in order to “incite hatred” against Muslims “from the rest of society,” that is, from non-Muslims. For that “hatred” would ineluctably cause those nice, ordinary, moderate Muslims who are now in Europe by the millions to become “Salafists.” Apparently, there is no possibility of those Muslims, no matter how nice, moderate, etc. they may be, to actually sympathize with the non-Muslims under constant attack, and to make common cause with them. In Kepel’s moral universe, the very worst things Infidels can do is to show any “hatred” for those Muslims who are attacking them. That’s exactly what the Salafists want, he insists, because then those “moderate” Muslims will turn into Salafists.
So in the world of Gilles Kepel, what should non-Muslims do? Well, certainly not respond too vigorously to terrorist attacks. Because, you see, that’s exactly what the Salafists want. So keep the welcome mat out for Muslims. Don’t vote for those “extreme, nationalistic” parties that only make Muslims mad. If you must talk about Islam, just keep saying that real Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, that it’s all the fault of those who have (perverted, twisted, misunderstood) a great religion. Keep whistling in the dark, don’t get your knickers in a twist over Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan, the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, the Hyper Cacher Market. Don’t give the impression that these terrorist attacks by the “Bad Muslims” have made Europeans any less welcoming to the ordinary, non-radicalised, unthreatening Muslims.
If you get upset about attacks in Nice and Paris and Magnanville, or Munich and Hamburg, or London or Amsterdam or Madrid, you’re just doing the terrorists a favor; if you call for more security measures, you are practically a recruiter for “Salafists,” because, of course, no Muslim could possibly have any other reaction to Infidel mistrust than to promptly embrace Salafism. It’s simply impossible for the “good Muslims” to see things through the eyes of the Infidel victims, and agree that they have a perfect right to be alarmed.
The long-term goal of the Jihad Generation is to destroy Europe through civil war and then build an Islamic society from the ashes, Prof. Kepel said.
Well, at least he’s got that right – the long-term goal of Muslims (and not just this “Jihad Generation” he has concocted, as if Jihad is not a permanent feature of Islam) is certainly to create in Europe a society where Muslims rule.
The strategy is similar to the expansion of Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, and Libya where the terrorist organisation was able to use the chaos of civil war to slowly build its forces, grow in power, and rapidly seize territory.
While Prof. Kepel says that most Muslims do not actively participate in terrorism or with terrorist groups, he says that the growth of Salafism among young people, combined with a sense of entitlement and lack of job prospects, means that third-generation Muslims will be far more likely to join radical groups.
Certainly Muslims do have a “sense of entitlement,” but Kepel fails to explain why. It’s because they are Muslims. They read in the Qur’an that they are the “best of peoples” (3:110), while non-Muslims are the “vilest of creatures” (98:6). They know that in a just – i.e. Islamic – society, non-Muslims would have to pay the Jizyah. They take as by right the full panoply of benefits – free medical care, free education, free or subsidized housing, family allowances – European societies offer them. Though Kepel claims that “lack of job prospects” makes them more likely “to join radical groups,” he does not address the obvious question of why they ought to be guaranteed employment if they possess neither relevant training, nor willingness to be trained; nor do they exhibit an eagerness to work when in Europe they can receive so much for free. Their rates of unemployment far exceed the rates for any group of non-Muslim migrants, and certainly far more than the rates for native non-Muslims. But Gilles Kepel does not mention any of this. As for that Muslim “sense of entitlement,” which non-Muslim migrants do not appear to possess, Kepel appears to believe that in order to prevent “radicalization” (Salafism, Wahabism) of young Muslims, that “sense of entitlement” must not be rejected as preposterous but, rather, satisfied. And as to the “lack of job prospects,” another reason for young Muslims to “radicalize,” Kepel doesn’t waste any time on figuring out why it might be that Muslims, lacking training in skills relevant to the job market, unwilling to take jobs beneath what they believe they deserve, and many without a work ethic comparable to that exhibited by other, but non-Muslim, migrants (Chinese, Vietnamese, Hindus), would naturally have problems finding jobs – that is, if they really wanted them in the first place.
Salafism as an ideology is dangerous, Prof. Kepel maintains, because it preaches that Westerners are “unbelievers” and encourages a path toward violence.
It’s not “Salafism” that “preaches that Westerners are ‘unbelievers’”; it’s Islam. And it’s not just “Westerners” who are unbelievers, but all sorts of people, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, who have been on the receiving end of Muslim attentions for centuries. And it is not “Salafism” but Islam that “encourages a path toward violence.”
Islamic intellectuals [!] are also not doing enough to combat the Salafist ideology, according to Prof. Kepel. The scholar stated that mainstream imams have a duty to reject Salafist teachings and while some do, he says the vast majority are silent on the issue.
Shouldn’t Gilles Kepel ask himself why “mainstream imams” do not reject Salafist teachings? Is it because there is no deep opposition between mainstream Islam and Salafism, and no textual authority to invoke against Salafism? The “mainstream imams” who remain for Gilles Kepel so disappointingly silent, know this, but he apparently still does not.
Salafist preachers have become the target of raids in parts of Germany in recent months as the government is finding more and more preachers with links to Islamic State such as notorious preacher Sven Lau.
There is also a fear among law makers and police that the increasing number of young migrants crossing from the Middle East and North Africa may be even more susceptible to Salafist teachings as their expectations of an easy life in Europe are not surely met.
Well, then, if they are even more susceptible to Salafist teachings “as their expectations of an easy life in Europe are not surely met,” then we Infidels know what we must do to stay safe: just meet the expectations of young Muslims for an easy life in Europe. Detto, fatto.
Gilles Kepel predicts civil war in Europe. Apparently, to judge by his interview in Die Welt, it will not at first be between Muslims and non-Muslims. It may start as a civil war between those non-Muslim Europeans who are determined to keep their societies from succumbing to Islam, and other non-Muslims, especially those in government, who are perceived as not effectively opposing the islamicizing of their own societies. Kepel worries about “the rise of an extreme, nationalistic, right-wing ideology among Europeans as just as much a possibility” as the triumph of Islam. Of course, he applies those scare words – “extreme, nationalistic, right-wing” – indiscriminately, to those who oppose yielding Europe to Islam. What is “extreme” about not wanting to lose your own country, your own civilization, to an ideology that, as John Quincy Adams wrote, promises perpetual war: “Between these two religions [Christianity and Islam], thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant…While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men”?
Does Gilles Kepel recognize that it is possible to like or love or be sympathetically interested in one’s own native land without being “nationalistic,” a word that can no longer be used neutrally, but which has become a term of opprobrium, and that labelling people as “right-wing” for being intelligent patriots, not wanting to lose their country to Islam, is idiotic? Perhaps Kepel is unaware of just how many certifiably left-wing people have gone after Islam hammer and tongs. I am thinking particularly of the great Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, whose book The Rage and the Pride had such an effect in Italy, precisely because she was the most famous journalist, and well-known for her leftist sympathies, opposed to the Vietnam War, the Greek colonels, and so on and so obviously forth. But then she spent a lot of time in the Middle East, interviewing Arafat, Qaddafi, Khomeini, even spending time with the PLO, and took the measure of Islam, which she detested, and she was alarmed at the Muslim invasion of Europe, of Italy, of her native Tuscany. There is nothing “extreme, nationalistic, right-wing” about tens of millions of people who have properly informed themselves about the ideology of Islam and the history of Muslim conquest and subjugation of many different lands and peoples, and are consequently horrified by what is going on in Europe today. Oriana Fallaci expressed that horror in lapidary form:
Europe is no longer Europe, it is Eurabia, a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense… I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true. There must be some human truth that is beyond religion… I am disgusted by the anti-Semitism of many Italians, of many Europeans… Look at the school system of the West today. Students do not know history! They don’t know who Churchill was! In Italy, they don’t even know who Cavour was!… Servility to the invaders has poisoned democracy, with obvious consequences for the freedom of thought, and for the concept itself of liberty… State-run television stations contribute to the resurgent anti-Semitism, crying only over Palestinian deaths while playing down Israeli deaths, glossing over them in unwilling tones… The increased presence of Muslims in Italy and in Europe is directly proportional to our loss of freedom… The Muslims refuse our culture and try to impose their culture on us. I reject them, and this is not only my duty toward my culture-it is toward my values, my principles, my civilization… The struggle for freedom does not include the submission to a religion which, like the Muslim religion, wants to annihilate other religions… The West reveals a hatred of itself, which is strange and can only be considered pathological; it now sees only what is deplorable and destructive… President Bush has said, “We refuse to live in fear.” Beautiful sentence, very beautiful. I loved it! But inexact, Mr. President, because the West does live in fear. People are afraid to speak against the Islamic world. Afraid to offend, and to be punished for offending, the sons of Allah. You can insult the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Jews. You can slander the Catholics, you can spit on the Madonna and Jesus Christ. But, woe betide the citizen who pronounces a word against the Islamic religion.
Extreme? Nationalistic? Right-wing?
Or was Oriana Fallaci, rather, someone who knew her history, understood the achievements of Italy and Europe and the West, and recognized her “duty toward” her own “values, principles, civilization”?
And what does Gilles Kepel recommend to head off a possible civil war in Europe by preventing the “radicalization” of Muslims of the “Jihad Generation”?
He says that “the growth of Salafism among young people, combined with a sense of entitlement and lack of job prospects, means that third-generation Muslims will be far more likely to join radical groups.”
“And they may be even more susceptible to Salafist teachings as their expectations of an easy life in Europe are not surely met.”
So there you have the solution.
Satisfy that sense of entitlement of young Muslims, no matter what it is.
Make sure there is a jobs programs and a guarantee of employment for Muslims only.
And finally, do not disappoint those Muslims who have expectations of an easy life in Europe, but meet those expectations – for Muslims only – and just to be safe, and then some.
Gilles Kepel offers Europeans nothing except a warning not to be “extreme, nationalistic, right-wing.” But he offers to buy off Muslims in Europe, satisfying their every preposterous expectation, and thinks that that will prevent Europe’s Muslims from asking for ever more. It’s a lunatic prescription, and a despairing one. Let’s hope it’s not the last word on the subject, but from Gilles Kepel, a professor at the “prestigious” Sciences Po, let it be his last word. He’s delighted us long enough.