The very idea that any western free-world organisation – “Liberty Victoria”, which was formerly the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties – supposedly dedicated to the cause of political and intellectual freedom would give a ‘Voltaire Award’ – presumably intended to honour persons notable for the practice and defence of free thought and free speech – to one of Australia’s slyest and most sinister apologists for Islam (that is, for a cult whose core tenets include the command to kill blasphemers and apostates) reads like a story out of the ‘Onion’. So much so that after read Mr Monk’s op ed I went to google to ascertain whether the story was real. And it is.
Here is the organisation’s website.
you will find the ad for the Award Dinner, which includes some extravagant praise of our sleekly-besuited Mr Waleed Aly whose book ‘People Like Us” is exposed and answered, relentlessly and in detail, by Vicky Janson in a book entitled “Ideological Jihad”. Janson gave her riposte that title because ideological jihad – the jihad of the pen and the tongue – is what Mr Aly is up to, so far as Ms Janson could determne from a close and careful reading of ‘People Like Thus”.
But now to Mr Monk’s article, which appeared today, and garnered a staggering number of Comments, many of them from readers even better informed and more grimly realistic than himself.
‘Waleed Aly Must Step Up On Muslim Free Speech at Voltaire Award’
‘On July 23 Waleed Aly will be presented with the Voltaire Aware for free speech from Liberty Victoria.
‘It would be rather charming were he to give a speech on that occasion reflecting on Voltaire’s play “Mahomet”, which depicted Islam as based on false miracles, personal ambition, and ruthless fanaticism.
‘For some time Aly has been the go-to person for commentary on Islam and avoiding what is widely dubbed “Islamophobia”.
‘It is safe to say he does not share Voltaire’s assessment of Islam.
And it isn’t just “Mahomet”. I wonder whether Mr Monk himself has ever stumbled across Voltaire’s devastating one-paragraph critique of Mohammed and of the Quran which appears in a letter written by Voltaire to Frederick II of Prussia in December 1740? Let’s hear it, now.
“..But that a camel-merchant should stir up insurrection in his village; that in league with some miserable followers he persuades them that he talks with the angel Gabriel; that he boasts of having been carried to heaven, where he received in part this unintelligible book [that is, the Quran – CM]. each page of which makes common sense shudder; that, to pay homage to this book, he delivers his country to iron and flame; that he cuts the throats of fathers and kidnaps daughters; that he gives to the defeated the choice of his religion or death: this is assuredly nothing any man can excuse, at least if he was not born a Turk, or if superstition has not extinguished all natural light in him.” Every line of this description – apart from the omission of the option of Dhimmitude, that condition of humiliation, degradation and constant fear, which is the third choice (apart from Islam or death) that is offered by conquering Muslims to defeated Jews and Christians – is accurate, reflecting the content of the canonical Islamic texts.
Imagine if someone not under the spell were to quietly book a ticket to attend that dinner at which Mr Aly is to receive his award, and were to bring with them on the night, printed out on slips of paper, perhaps even in the original French, that deadly paragraph from Voltaire’s Letter, to be passed around at the psychological moment. – CM
‘Yet Voltaire remains a figure for our time, and free speech on the subject of Islam has become extraordinarily problematic.
‘Imagine Mahomet being produced in Paris today!
Indeed. Or in New York. Or London. Or Berlin. Or Rome. Or Montreal. Or Sydney. Imagine. Imagine the screams, the riots, the threats, the hand-wringing, and the bleating of the politicians and pundits. – CM
‘The truth is, if we truly want to buttress a tolerant, multicultural society, we have to confront more honestly the underlying realities that generate “Islamophobia”, however awkward this may be, especially for those such as Aly who are stranded between Islamic culture and secular society.
Stranded? Aly is no helpless victim of circumstances. He knows exactly what he’s doing; running interference for the Jihad; furthering the process of Islamisation. Mr Monk needs to read ‘People Like Us’ chapter by chapter in conjunction with Vicky Janson’s “Ideological Jihad”. It would give him a whole new way of seeing the likes of Aly. – CM
‘The occasion of the Voltaire Award for free speech is an opportunity for Aly to make this clear.
Clarity is the last thing that Aly is about. I predict that his speech upon receiving the award will be a confection of nonsense-and-lies with flowery nothings; and, for those conversant with the habitual doublespeak of Islam, veiled and not-so-veiled threats. – CM
‘In April Aly was interviewed at length by Robert Manne under the rubric “Islam: What Are We Afraid Of? Waleed Aly and Robert Manne in Conversation”.
Thing I’d like to see? – “Waleed Aly and Dr Mark Durie in Conversation”. Now that I would pay to watch. Manne is intelligent and has begun to do his homework – he has recently written quite a sensible article on the Islamic State – but he has a long, long way to go before he knows what he is dealing with. Whereas Durie does know. He would eat up Mr Waly for breakfast.. nicely and politely and ever-so-gently. He would ask all the questions that Waly doesn’t want Infidels to ask and he would not be fooled for one second by any amount of Islamic sand-throwing. – CM
‘Their conversation was lucid, temperate, and fascinating. In some ways, it was a model of intellectual discourse in civil society.
‘The problem is, they did not answer their own question, to say nothing of answering it as Voltaire would have done.
‘Aly observed correctly (correctly??? – CM) that Islamist terrorism had got only worse since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and especially since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Hmm. What if one were to say, instead, that the Jihad – the assault of Muslims in many places upon other-sect and deemed-insufficiently-Islamic Muslims, and upon Infidels both within and without the Dar al Islam (the lands already ruled and ruined by Muslims) – had ramped up noticeably since the spectacularly mass-murderous Muslim assault upon the heart and centre of the world’s most prominent Infidel nation, the USA, on September 11 2001? Conor Cruise O’Brien, in an article published in 1995, six years before 2001, entitled “The Lesson of Algeria: Islam is Indivisible”, had already noticed a resurgence of Jihad.
From that article – “What is going on today in the Muslim world is not the advent of some aberrant thing called Islamic fundamentalism, but a revival of Islam itself – the real thing – which Western ascendancy and Westernised post-Muslim elites no longer have the capacity to muffle and control. The jihad is back. The jihad is at present raging in many parts of the world...”. Remember, O’Brien wrote that in 1995.
And now, back to Paul Monk. – CM
‘He (Aly) distinguished thoughtfully between European, American and Australian reactions to Muslim immigration (it depends; if Muslims are few and weak vis a vis the circumambient infidels they tend to throw their weight around a bit less, which means in turn that the surrounding Infidels are less likely to recognise them as a threat, whereas the more numerous and strong they are, the more aggressively they behave and the more intelligent members of the host society start to become alarmed; the Muslim colonies in Europe, now, are very large and expanding and are behaving with more and more flagrant aggression, which in turn is causing the most aware and informed Europeans to react with rational alarm, whereas the Muslim colonies in America and Australia have, up till very recently, been somewhat smaller and more circumspect and many Infidels both Aussie and American have either not noticed them or if they have, have not recognised them (that is, Muslims) as dangerous, not unless they have taken the trouble to examine and reflect upon events in Europe and elsewhere and then… extrapolate. – CM)
and made intelligent points about Islamic State, Iraq, Syria, and the debacle of the briefly promising Arab Spring.
Promising? Really? See the article by Conor Cruise O’Brien, already linked above. Anyone who read that, and paid attention, way back in 1995, would not have been surprised either by September 11 2001, or any of the subsequent mass-murder jihad attacks on the soil of assorted Infidel polities as disparate as Spain, Russia and India, or by the chaotic disintegration of Syria and Libya. – CM
‘He described the short rule in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood as “a disaster”.
‘However, neither he nor Manne raised serious questions about Islam itself, simply gliding over it as “one of the world’s great religions”; the fear of which is, implicitly, irrational, phobic, ignorant and, in Aly’s words, hardly worth engaging with.
Ah, yes, “one of the world’s great religions’. People tend to forget that something can be ‘great’, in the sense of having a large number of adherents and a lot of temporal power, or control a lot of territory, without being good (as we westerners and other sorts and conditions of Infidels understand ‘good’). A murderous thug, rapist, robber and fraudster may be big and strong; but nevertheless, he belongs in jail. James Freeman Clarke, in the 19th century, wrote a book called “Ten Great Religions”, one chapter of which was devoted to the subject of “Mohammed and Islam”. Yes he classified Islam as ‘great’. He did not, however, regard it as good. To get an idea of what Clarke – after due and proper study of the texts and the excellent and cool-headed scholars and historians already then available – I quote, from section 7 of that chapter, “It (Islam) makes life barren and empty. It encourages a savage pride and cruelty. It makes men tyrants or slaves, women puppets, religion the submission to an infinite despotism”. – CM
‘They described Islamic State as a rogue operation whose atrocities had nothing to do with Islam (really? – CM) but were aberrant even by the standards of Al-Qaida.
‘Aly compared beheadings by Islamic State to the Jacobin Terror in 1793 France, but didn’t mention beheadings in the history of Islam.
Or in the founding and canonical texts of Islam. Such as Quran 47.4 which commands Muslims to “strike at their necks”. – CM
‘Neither mentioned movements towards Islamisation – from North Africa via Turkey to Indonesia – or the disturbing phenomenon of Muslim ‘militants’ murdering journalists and others for mocking Islam.
Not ‘movements towards Islamisation’ but, rather, the movement that Conor Cruise O’Brien, back in 1995, saw already in operation. In the article I linked above O’Brien observes “We are facing an Islamic revival”. – CM
‘Consequently they failed to explain why there would be any reason to feel uneasy about or even hostile to the growing presence of Islam in the West.
‘One might have expected at least passing reference to the many centuries of confrontation between Europe and an expansionist Islam up to the late 17th century.
No: “to the many centuries – from the 7th to the 17th century – of European self-defence against Muslim imperialist aggression.” – CM
‘But the only confrontation discussed was the Western invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11.
One wonders what might happen if someone raised, with Mr Aly, the subject of the wars of liberation of the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Greeks, the Bulgarians, the Romanians and the Serbs, all of whom were at some period subjugated by Muslims but all of whom by mighty efforts subsequently threw off the Ummah’s iron yoke; or, more recently, the subject of the restoration of India and Israel as free and sovereign Infidel states on lands that for centuries had been ruled, and ruined, by Muslim imperialists. – CM
‘Clearly this is an immensely sensitive subject (why should it be thus regarded? – CM) and it is easy to lapse into polemic about it, inflaming rather than tempering debate.
‘If, however, we are to answer the question “Islam: what are we afraid of?” we cannot avoid raising certain characteristics of Islam that do in fact give cause for concern to many people in the West, and many of those (especially Christians and other non-Muslim indigenous minorities – CM) trapped in Muslim-dominated states.
‘We know far more than Voltaire did (I am not so sure that Mr Monk or Mr Manne know or understand anything like as much about Islam as Voltaire did – CM) and what we know is not reassuring.
Understatement of the year. – CM
‘Karen Armstrong has portrayed Mohammed as “a prophet for our time”.
“But the classic Muslim sources (Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Kathir, Waqidi, al-Tabari, going back to the 8th and 9th centuries) make clear that he was a very dubious figure even in his own time.
“He founded a religion at the point of a sword, plundered infidels, arranged for the murder of his critics (even poets), massacred or expelled communities of Jews in Arabia, condemned apostates to death, was an unscrupulous polygamist, and taught that women were inferior to men.
And he married a six-year-old girl and took her to his bed when she turned nine (in lunar, not solar, years). – CM
‘The Muslim sources themselves are completely explicit on all these points. It is simply dishonest to pretend that none of this is true or to pass it off on the basis that Christianity and even Judaism also have their dark or dubious characteristics.
Mr Monk: surely you understand that there really can be no moral equivalence between Jesus (who, by the way, was born from a Jewish matrix) and Mohammed. The imitatio Christi produces a Father Damien and a Mother Theresa and a Mother Mary MacKillop and a Corrie Ten Boom and a Brother Roger of Taize; the imitatio Mohammedi – a strict devotion and adherence to the Sunnah – produces the Islamic State, and Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab, et cetera, ad nauseam. –CM
‘The modern world (Voltaire being a leader) fought its way free of Judeo-Christian dogmatism and error through trenchant criticism of religious claims and practices.
Mr Monk: can you cite any religious practice, explicitly taught and approved by the New Testament, comparable in horror to Islamic practices such as wife-beating, polygyny, vengefulness, the stoning to death of women for (rather broadly defined) sexual misconduct, and the amputation of the hands of thieves? The Bible – and that includes the Jewish scriptures, the TaNaKh contains the Golden Rule. The texts of Islam … do not; they contain a dualistic rather than a universal morality. Islam rejects both reciprocity and Agreement whereas reciprocity and Agreement (Covenant, the keeping of Covenant) are core themes in the Hebrew as in the Christian scriptures. – CM
‘There are no good grounds for sparing Islam similar critical treatment; all the more so because we are seeking (why??? – CM) to integrate into Western societies millions of human beings who happen to be Muslims.
Millions of human beings suffused with Islam. And therefore we are getting Jihad: in Fort Hood, in Boston, in Garland, Texas, in San Bernadino, in Orlando Florida; in London and Madrid and Paris and Brussels and Copenhagen. Because… got Muslims? Got Jihad. – CM
‘Outside the west, the problem is much worse.
‘In wide swathes of the Muslim world, other religions are persecuted (that is: “adherents of other faiths are persecuted, and often killed, or force-converted, raped, enslaved en masse” – CM) and apostates are hunted to death with judicial sanction.
‘Blasphemy is violently attacked and Muslim “heretics” hounded.
‘Homosexuals are condemned to death. Women and girls are denied freedom and education.
‘The Jews are viciously denounced on racist and religious grounds, quite apart from the political issue of Zionism.
And all of these attitudes and practices flow directly from the content of the founding texts of Islam and the example of Mohammed. – CM
‘What are we afraid of, then?
‘A world in which, from Bangladesh to West Africa, a savage version of Islam (sic: ‘resurgent Islam, the Islam of the Quran, Sira and Hadiths and the classic Islamic jurists, or, in short, plain old bog-standard Islam‘ – CM) is being championed by armed groups; in which the Indonesian Ulama Council has issued fatwas denouncing secularism, pluralism, and liberalism as “sipilis” (syphilis); in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year publicly lionised historic Muslim conquests and called for the reconquest of Europe by Muslim immigration.
And the moment it was known that Erdogan had praised those past invasions and conquests and called for a reconquest, Turkey should have been kicked out of NATO and told point blank that membership of the EU would be forever denied to it; and all persons of Turkish nationality resident within Europe and not possessed of European-country passports should have been expelled. – CM
‘All these things cause unease and fear. Should they not?
‘We need to address them honestly and intelligently, not dismiss fear of Islam as phobic or bigoted.
‘It would have been good had Manne asked Aly questions about these difficult matters, and had Aly addressed them.
‘In accepting his Voltaire Award, Aly needs to step up and champion freedom of speech in the Muslim world, and freedom to criticise Islam itself, including the Prophet (sic: ‘including the so-called ‘prophet’ – CM) – as Voltaire himself did.’
But Aly won’t. Not in a million years would Walid Aly do either of those things. – CM