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A Prophecy for the Future of Europe

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The 2009 French film A Prophet, directed by Jacques Audiard, is one of the best prison/crime films (it contains elements of both) I have seen in a long time. In its gritty realism, it is a throwback to the greatest prison films of bygone eras. I’m thinking of classics like A Man Escaped, Escape from Alcatraz, Papillon, or even the 1985 Runaway Train.

These disappeared after the Tarantino age was ushered in with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and after that, prison and crime films, with their slick, fast-paced cinematography, jumbled morality and glamorous characters, came to resemble long music videos more than dramas. (The 2004 British film Layer Cake is a prime example of this type of film.)

A Prophet, however, shows criminals and prison life as I imagine they are really like: dirty, ugly and unpleasant, inhabited by people who have to be both brutal and cunning just to survive from one day to the next. In this sense, the film is a great success, and that alone would make it worth viewing. Many other people have sung its praises as well, and it won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009.

There is another layer to A Prophet, however, and that is primarily what I would like to discuss here. It is also the story of the rise of a criminal mastermind from nothingness to absolute power, similar to the paradigm we’ve seen before in The Godfather films and Scarface. Mixed with this is a none-too-subtle parable about the position of immigrants in France, and, by extension, Europe, in both the present and the future.

Alarm bells should immediately ring when Wikipedia quotes a French interview with director Audiard about the film in which he said that he was “creating icons, images for people who don’t have images in movies, like the Arabs in France,” even though he added to this that it “has nothing to do with [his] vision of society.” I’m sorry, Monsieur Audiard, but I don’t believe that you simply wanted to make a movie about Parisian criminals.

My discussion requires that I give a quick summary of the film’s plot, so if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to know the story before doing so, turn back now. The film begins as 19-year-old Arab Malik El Djebena is being thrown into a prison in Paris. The prison is run by two gangs of inmates: one consisting of the Muslims; and the other, which is much more successful and wealthy, run by Cesar Luciani, a Corsican crime boss who is still running his empire from inside the prison, along with his Corsican cohorts.

Malik, weak and defenseless, is at first easy prey, and he is attacked and robbed by fellow Muslims shortly after his arrival. Typically, the Corsicans will have nothing to do with the Arabs, but an Arab prisoner arrives who they know intends to testify against them. Not having any allies in the Muslim section of the prison, they recruit Malik by offering to give him protection in exchange for murdering the witness.

Malik carries out the assassination, and thereafter becomes a servant to the Corsicans, who protect him but treat him with contempt and hold him at a distance. At the same time, the other Muslims regard Malik as a traitor for working with them, and as a result he is kept safe but isolated.

This situation continues for some time until most of the Corsicans are freed, leaving Cesar with only a handful of followers. After this he is forced to rely to a much greater extent on Malik, but gives him occasional, brutal reminders not to think that he can live without Cesar’s continued protection. Still, Malik’s life begins to improve considerably, and he is able to have many goods brought to his cell from the outside, including White prostitutes. Eventually, because of his good behavior in the eyes of the prison authorities, he is allowed to begin taking day-long leaves out of the prison, and Cesar uses him as a messenger to negotiate deals with his own bosses in Paris, becoming even more indispensable to him.

Meanwhile, Malik finally befriends one of the Muslim prisoners, Ryad, who finishes his sentence and helps Malik, in spite of Cesar’s threats, to set up a hashish smuggling operation which begins to win Malik contacts among the Muslim inmates. We later learn that Ryad is dying of cancer, but he continues to help Malik to build his network in return for Malik’s promise that he will care for Ryad’s wife and family after he dies.

Malik continues to become more and more important to Cesar’s operations, and simultaneously begins to win the respect of the Muslim gang leaders both inside and outside the prison, as they recognize that Malik occupies a unique position, being the only person to straddle both sides of the underworld. Things come to a climax when Cesar, suspecting that his Italian boss is plotting against him, asks Malik to arrange for the Don’s assassination during one of his leaves outside the prison.

Malik agrees, and initially the Arabs and the Corsicans plan to carry out the attack together, but the two groups despise each other and cannot cooperate. On the day of the attack, Malik deserts the Corsicans, and he and Ryad successfully carry out the hit on their own. Knowing that the remaining Corsicans in the prison will now turn on each other, Malik deliberately returns from his leave late and is thrown into solitary confinement – for forty days and forty nights. By the time he emerges, all of the Corsicans apart from Cesar himself have either been killed or sent to other prisons.

In the last part of the film, Malik is returned to the prison population, and we see him come out into the yard, which has traditionally been split between the Corsicans and the Muslims, only now, Cesar sits by himself. Malik is welcomed by the Muslims as their new leader, and he takes his place at the center of their group.

Cesar signals for Malik to come and speak with him, but Malik ignores him. Getting desperate, Cesar finally attempts to cross over to the Muslim side, but some of them stop him and beat him up before he can reach Malik. Realizing he has lost, Cesar staggers back to his side of the yard.

Shortly thereafter, Malik completes his sentence, and on the day he is released, he is met by Ryad’s wife and children. As he walks home with them, we see several vehicles pull up behind them, discreetly keeping their distance, and we realize that it is Malik’s new security detail. The film ends, the transfer of power now complete.

The subtext of this story should be easy to read without much analysis. If we view the prison as a microcosm of Europe, Cesar and the Corsicans represent the White European establishment, while Malik and the other Muslims represent the disenfranchised immigrants. Malik suffers repeated humiliation at the hands of the Whites, and even does their dirty work, but he is really just biding his time. He slowly builds his power base, and after he gains their trust, he uses it against them, and manages to displace them in the prison that formerly belonged to them.

There is even a giveaway line in the middle of the film, when Cesar remarks to Malik that at one time the Whites were in the majority in the prison, but that they are rapidly becoming outnumbered by the Muslims. Indeed, if present trends continue, the story of A Prophet is very likely going to be the story of Europe in the twenty-first century. Muslim immigrants will tolerate the system as long as they have to, but as soon as they have the strength and are in a position to do so, they will surely shove their hosts aside and suck whatever remains of Europe dry, leaving the descendants of the original inhabitants of Europe to simply watch and mourn while it happens – those who don’t switch sides, that is.

As Greg Johnson has expressed it, the new masters of Islamic Europe will be like teenagers who steal a car: they’ll take it for a joy ride, drive it until it crashes, and then move on to the next car. Why? Because, fundamentally, it’s not theirs. Why should they be concerned with what happens to the culture of Homer, Goethe, and Baudelaire?

While it is very possible that this tale was born from the imaginations of ethnomasochistic French liberals, I don’t find much in this parable with which to disagree. Whatever their motivations, the filmmakers have caught the essential truth of what is happening in Europe today.

It is worth noting that one of the measures of Malik’s success is his screwing of White whores, and there is also a quick shot of a White woman embracing a Black man on a Paris street during one of Malik’s leaves. The ability of non-Whites to dominate White women through sex, thus robbing us of future progeny which we can call our own, is among the trophies of their success, as we’ve been seeing for a long time in our own country.

And, interestingly, it is not any of the Muslims who deliver the death blow to the White power base in the prison. Rather, the Whites do themselves in, rather as we have seen continuously among the European nations over the past century. Non-Whites will just need to step in once the Whites have finished killing themselves off.

Similarly, in the film, the process begins when Cesar admits an outsider to serve his own purposes, believing that he can keep him under control, just as the elites of the United States and Europe began to admit non-White immigrants in large numbers out of economic expediency and with little thought that the future might bring something altogether different from what they imagined. So, again, I challenge Audiard’s claim that his film has nothing to say about European society. Furthermore, this film could easily be remade in America with a Latino in the main role, and the message would remain the same.

One criticism the film has received from some quarters is in its treatment of Islam, and in particular the references to Malik as a prophet. I myself, given the film’s title, had assumed that eventually, Malik was going to undergo some sort of religious awakening, but it never happens. At no point in the film does he evince any interest whatsoever in his Muslim heritage.

We get occasional glimpses of more devout Muslim inmates in the background, and at one point Malik brings some of his hashish profits to a mosque (only because he didn’t think it was worth the risk to keep it himself, we learn). On another occasion, high on heroin, he sees another inmate spinning in the style of the whirling dervishes and chanting the names of Allah, and imitates him, working himself into ecstasy. But it never goes beyond this, and Malik’s actions could hardly be described as those of a good Muslim.

Still, the film draws a number of deliberate parallels between Malik and the lives of the Prophets of Islam. Malik, we learn, is illiterate, just as Muhammad was. Malik is kept in solitary confinement for forty days and nights, just as Moses and Jesus had fasted and prayed for the same length of time in isolation before being granted divine revelations. Muhammad also received many revelations through dreams, and Malik himself has a dream of deer running across a road. When he is in a car driving through a forest with a Muslim gang leader, he recognizes the area from his dream and warns the driver seconds before he hits a deer, henceforth becoming known as “a prophet.”

But if he’s not a religious leader, in what way is Malik a prophet? Is it really just a tasteless joke, as some critics have claimed?

I would say no, and the reasons for this have to do with my own views on Muslim immigration into Europe, and not Muslim immigration into the United States, I hasten to add, which I do not view as a threat of the same order. Many Rightists conflate Muslim immigration into Europe and America as if they are the same thing, but the fact is, they are not. The truth is that Muslims in the United States comprise less than 1% of the population, while Hispanics account for over 16%, and they are coming into the country at a much faster rate, both legally and illegally, than Muslim immigrants are. This is beside the fact that the majority of Muslims in Europe are poor and uneducated, while Muslims generally come to the United States to receive education and enter the middle class. The situations are simply not comparable. So, personally, I think those who believe that we have to protect ourselves from shariah law before it overtakes America, and who are trying to pass legislation to this effect, are wasting their time. The threat of immigration to America is real, but comes from different sources.

As a traditionalist, I respect Islam in its genuine forms, primarily Sufism, as a manifestation of the supreme, metaphysical truth. Unlike many of my political colleagues, my own problem with Muslim immigration has little to do with the religion itself, and I think A Prophet successfully illustrates my own thoughts on the matter.

There are some traditionalists, particularly followers of the teachings of René Guénon or Frithjof Schuon who have converted to Islam themselves, who view Muslim immigration into Europe as a positive thing, since they believe that Europe, having lost its own sacred traditions, will be resacralized by being reintegrated into a spiritual culture, regardless of the fact that it is a foreign tradition.

Even Ahmed Huber, the Swiss German banker who, rather like Malik, occupied a unique place where the worlds of Islamic fundamentalism and the European Right met, contended that, eventually, Muslim immigration into Europe would give rise to a unique form of “European Islam.” Muslim scholars, including the Scots convert Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi and the Swiss Egyptian Tariq Ramadan, have likewise predicted the rise of such a thing.

On the surface, this might seem like a good idea, since it is undeniable that Europe is in desperate need of a return to spirituality. Unlike Guénon or Schuon, however, I believe that a religion has to be connected to one’s racial and cultural makeup, and the mere fact of a system of beliefs being associated with the Primordial Tradition is insufficient by itself. A “European” Islam would remain as inherently anti-European, no matter how many concessions it makes, as Christianity has always been, and surely its impact would be just as destructive as the last attempt to alter the spiritual foundations of our people was.

However, even this is not the main issue for me. The fact is, as we see in A Prophet, the culture of the majority of Muslims in Europe is not the high-minded Sufi Islam of Martin Lings or Seyyed Hossein Nasr (two prominent contemporary traditionalists). Mostly, it does not even rise to the purely exoteric, black-and-white level of political Islamism.

The culture of Muslims in Europe is a ghetto culture, a culture of the lowest form of materialism, which is the only thing that can emerge from generation after generation of poverty, ignorance, resentment, and petty violence, all the while being encouraged in this by their cheerleaders among the ethnomasochistic liberal elites. It is no more “Islamic” in the true sense than the culture of urban Blacks in America is reflective of African culture.

There will be no restoration of spirituality or traditional values, European or Muslim. What I imagine would emerge from their triumph would be something like the city of Detroit over the past half-century, in which the underclass came to power only to set about stripping down and selling off anything of value with no thought for the future, quickly reducing the entire area into a depressing wasteland that is beyond recovery, and bearing only the faintest traces of having once been something better.

This is the true prophecy that Malik offers us: a vision of the brutal rise of a criminal-minded underclass which is interested in nothing but its own survival and material enrichment, and one which will have little regard for the welfare of its former overlords. I do not blame immigrant populations for being this way. They come to the West to seek a better life, which is only natural, and it cannot be denied that their lives here have been rough and humiliating.

However, we cannot let understanding of their plight to any degree lessen our resolve to protect what is rightfully ours. As John Michell once wrote, every people is given a space in which to realize itself. Europe, at least for the time being, still has its space, and the Muslims have theirs (apart from Palestine). There should be no shame in asserting ourselves, even though many of us, under the influence of negative and culture-destroying ideologies, have come to feel shame about it.

Therefore it remains to be seen if Europe will actually resign itself to having reached the end of its natural life cycle, or if it still retains enough vitality to bring about a restoration of some sort. But the hour is getting late, and there is much to be done. And Malik and his cohorts are already dreaming of their prophecy with their eyes wide open.

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13 Comments

  1. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Christianity is still alien to Europe after 2000 years? An alarming idea but one I don’t automatically dismiss. Despite my upbringing, I am still troubled by dreams of endless forests and icy winds. But what would be our Higher Tradition then? Can Paganism be revived? I haven’t been impressed by what little I’ve seen – once the chain of initiation is broken then it’s already too late. Or will the People of Europe be given their own Revelation as the Sons of Ishmael were? Guenon, Schuon, et al said there would be no more Revelations in this Aeon, and that things were winding down rapidly with the end of this Humanity in sight.

    C.S Lewis was trapped between Christianity and “Northerness”. He reconciled the two by believing that Joy in the Elements should be part of Christianity. The terrible vulnerability of Christianity to racial obliteration he didn’t see or at least didn’t acknowledge. He did fight Political Correctness in Academia with all his strength – but was ultimately defeated. No fool, he felt the future of Britain was bleak, but how bleak he had no idea.

    Your conception current European Islam as a Kali Yuga religion is apt. But why is Islam everywhere so weak spiritually? So open to terrorism? Conditions so bad that Muslims want to come to the West in vast numbers? Can Colonialism alone explain it? Or does Islam itself have fatal flaws just like Christianity? Perhaps any Revelation begins to become invalid ( materially, not spiritually) as it encounters new conditions – ones that the Founder never experienced.

    How may Egyptian Muslims are drawn back to a pre-Muslim Egypt? How many Iranian Muslims are tormented by “Persianess”?

  2. Posted September 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Aryan Iranian: It won’t come to pass if Europeans themselves choose not to accept it. But I agree that the situation up until now has been very bleak.

  3. Posted September 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Jaego:

    I realize that asserting that Christianity is not truly European is controversial with many people. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to go into this in the review, but of course I am aware that Christianity underwent a long process of “Europeanization,” absorbing many elements of the earlier pagan religions. However, in essence I feel that it is still un-Aryan because it destroyed the natural hierarchical order which prevailed in Europe in favor of the doctrine of equality, which has led us to where we are today. Admittedly, I believe that a forced Islamicization of Europe will be far worse than the coming of Christianity was, since Christianity was adopted through gradual conversion and assimilation rather than through a fast, major demographic shift, whereas Islamicization will uproot European civilization at every level.

    What is better than Christianity? That’s a good question. Personally, I have opted for the Vedic tradition (Hinduism) as the only living Aryan tradition, apart from Zoroastrianism, which doesn’t accept converts. A case could also be made for Buddhism. I also have respect for Asatru and those movements which are attempting to revive European Heathenism, even if, by their own admission, this is problematic. Guenon and Evola certainly didn’t believe it was possible to authentically revive a dead tradition, as you point out.

    As for why Islam is, in your words, so weak spiritually, I don’t see it as being any weaker than any of the other living traditions in the modern world. Indeed, I see it as being stronger than most of them. Catholicism strikes me, as it did Guenon, as being on the verge of losing its connection to Tradition. Show me where the living mystical tradition in Catholicism is today. Sufism is still quite alive and well. As for why the Muslim world in general (certainly not all of it) is in a poor condition, colonialism was certainly a factor, but the fact is that most Muslim countries have been governed for decades by secular nationalist regimes which have been both oppressive and backed by the United States. So it would be difficult to really pin the sociological condition of the Muslim world solely on their religion. It remains to be seen if the Arab Spring is really the solution to these problems or just an indication of the strings falling into new hands. Personally, I feel that any living tradition can adapt to change, even though it is certainly true that mistakes can be made in this regard, since even the holiest of men in any religion are still only human.

    I don’t know if there are any Egyptians who pine for the return of their pre-Islamic traditions. I imagine there must be some. R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz would doubtless have known them. As for Iran, there is still a significant minority of Iranians who adhere to their ancient traditions – the Zoroastrians. Until the Islamic Revolution in 1979 it is my understanding that Iranians were quite proud of their pre-Islamic heritage (in fact that was one of the reasons that Khomeini hated the Shah). See Henry Corbin’s work for information on certain continuities between pre-Islamic Persian traditions and Iranian Sufism. Indeed, this must persist up to the present day. The Iranian government even voiced its dissatisfaction with the depiction of Xerxes in “300” a few years ago, so clearly it’s not the case that there are no links there.

    • White Republican
      Posted September 28, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

      John Morgan,

      Have you read Ibn Warraq’s Why I am Not a Muslim? It includes a chapter on Islamic imperialism which discusses how the pre-Islamic heritage of Islamicized societies was often disregarded, as well as how some thinkers in Islamicized societies have resented Islamic cultural imperialism.

      Incidentally, I believe that the neo-pagan author and editor Christopher Gérard was responsible for publishing the French translation of Ibn Warraq’s book through L’Âge d’Homme.

      A large part of the Nouvelle Droite’s critique of Christianity might be even more applicable to Islam.

      The French sociologist Gustave Le Bon noted that religions change greatly when passing from one people to another. In La Vie des Vérités (Paris: Ernest Flammarion, 1914), he wrote of such changes (pp. 50-51):

      “The theologians who are attached to the letter of dogmas and who only demand of the faithful the practice of rites do not perceive these changes and remain persuaded of the invariability of their doctrines, whatever the people who have embraced them. However a religion, from the sole fact that it is practiced by different races, is entirely transformed.

      “The Buddhism of India, for example, and that of Japan and China no longer have any relationship. The difference between them is such that the scholars who studied Buddhism in the latter countries for the first time believed that they had encountered a new religion.

      “Islam has undergone analogous transformations in passing from Arabia to India. The most monotheistic of cults has become extremely polytheistic there. Among the Dravidian populations of the Deccan it differs from Brahmanism only by the adoration of Mohammed. In Algeria, the Islam of the Arabs and that of the Berbers also form two quite distinct religions.”

      Laurent Murawiec makes a comparable point somewhere in The Mind of Jihad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), which I’ve recently started reading.

  4. David Mulch
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    It is pretty much a given that any creation for the mass media must be classified as meaningless entertainment by its creator. That goes for everything from Von Thronstahl to the Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.
    I don’t know that I would call Christianity anti hierarchical in and of itself. Certainly the Catholic church of the Middle Ages, the Protestant churches of the Renaissance and Constantin’s Orthodox Church cannot be seen as such. The Pentecostal Christianity of the Third World is not Our Faith. Such hysterical throngs will soon be more numerous than the illiterate unwashed Muslim mobs running amok in the Middle East. So what, starvation looms. Then there is liberation theology or: The bible according to Karl Marx. The “modern interpretation” can screw anything up.

    It should be obvious that Islam is in the throws of a peasants’ revolt and loosing. Keep in mind these states have been both pro American and anti American at various times. By turns they are secular and Islamist. But they have always been socialist. It seems silly not to assume that everything, especially religion, does not contain the seeds of its own destruction. To not expect false prophets and masses that cannot govern themselves even within their own station is to not believe in the Kali Yuga.

    One should also expect to only find nuggets or remnants within any given religion. This is especially true in relation to doctrine. The Elect, for instance, are absent from current protestant doctrine despite being essential to protestantism and Jeffersonian Democracy. These ore the voters. That being said, searching far and wide involves returning to One’s Own and correcting flaws within an established form like an established religion. The same goes for political parties or other institutions.

    Malik seems to fit as well as describe the Kali Yuga in relation to Europeans and the imported peasant/usurpers. His path to power is paved with “oblivion” or Heaven on Earth He sells destructive levels of intoxication to Muslims and Europeans. The Marxists have liberated the masses from religion; thus opium has become the opiate of the masses. This is is actually more advanced in far removed anti Western societies like Afghanistan and Somalia. Thus Malik would be quite literally a false profit. This seems to describe every gangster film after 1970. Even the Sopranos involves drugs and the narrative of decline. If Malik rises as far as possible, then he will be a laborer with the trappings of royalty

    There is also the small matter of the Nobility confronting the Marquis de Sade after he had hired a chamber maid for the purpose of stripping her, beating her, chaining her, whipping her, cutting her, burning her, all before getting down to the business of rape and sodomy. She complained about this. Needing to find an objective standard, his fellow Nobles convicted him of doing these things on a feast day. Thus one day he harangued the crowd into storming the Bastille. In other, words, elites decay and must be replaced. Established orders decay and collapse. Objective standards cause criminal syndicates to work together when one must destroy the other. Objective standards cause rising mobsters to be treated as model prisoners and paroled.

    One of their Grandfathers would have killed de Sade on the spot, if not in a formal Trial by Combat. But, having lost the Martial Spirit as well as their function the end was certainly near

    This state of affairs sometimes necessitates solitude and generally requires a degree of asceticism. Even Objectivists agree. Thus true Quakers and Suftis, etc., seem to argue that the hierarchy is corrupt rather than that there shouldn’t be one. There is the Waldgang. There is also Riding the Tiger. Isolated cabins connect everyone from John Muir and Francis Parker Yockey to Martin Heidegger and Jack London. Nietzsche and Spengler seem to have preferred attics that were open to the elements.

    Any Race, any Class, any Religion that cannot abide by its own subjective standards is finished. No system yet devised has yet freed anyone from the need to discriminate and make a priori judgements based solely on what it found within itself and stick with them.

  5. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Good points John. I would simply suggest that if Christianity errs on the side of other worldliness then Islam errs on the side of militancy. Later generations can and do try to make ammendments that made them workable, but they will always be open to Fundamentalists who call for a return to the basics. And in the case of Islam, the results are devastating for other Cultures since the militancy is prescribed in the Koran. This is not the case with Christianity – the militancy here is a later addition. Christ did say go out and teach all men – but nothing about conquering them militarily. I don’t think he would have approved of this kind of ammendment.

    I deeply respect Sufism but simply cannot reconcile it with some of the attitudes prescribed by Mohammad and the Koran. I’ll keep studying, but as of now I’m with Robert Spencer. An uncomfortable place to be but that’s how I see it.

  6. Posted September 28, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    White Republican,

    I’ve never read Ibn Warraq for the simple reason that I’ve read that he approaches Islam from a skeptical humanist perspective. Skeptical humanists are opposed to all religion, not just Islam, or at most they seek a type of religion that has been modified to sit comfortably with liberal-democratic values. Those types of analyses don’t hold any interest for me.

    Regardless, there is certainly some truth to the idea that the Muslims disregarded the pre-Islamic traditions of those societies they conquered. However, it’s not entirely black-and-white. As I’ve been living in India for most of the last three years, I’ve encountered many stories from the Mughal period of Muslim rule of acts of cruelty perpetrated against those who would not convert, as well as desecration of Hindu temples. However, at the same time, it is equally true that there were many Muslims in India who were very respectful of the indigenous culture. Certainly Akbar the Great was highly respectful toward Hinduism and the other religions of India, and even gave money for the construction of temples and churches in addition to mosques. The Muslims ruled India for centuries, so surely if they were completely intolerant than India would not still be a majority Hindu nation today.

    As for what Le Bon wrote, there is certainly truth in his words. In Christian churches in India you will see people make offerings and burn incense to Jesus, just as is done in Hindu temples. And Islam in India tends to be much more liberal than you would find in the Gulf Arab states, for example, which is undoubtedly a result of its contact with Hinduism. However, that may have been much more true in 1914 than it is today. In recent decades, with the rise of Islamism, there has certainly been radicalization among elements of Indian Islam, and there is much more pressure today for Indian Muslims to bring their practices into line with Wahhabi Islam as promoted by the Saudis. The majority of Muslim women in India wear the niqab, which covers the face apart from the eyes, and that’s something you don’t even see in all of the Arab countries. The ongoing conflict with Pakistan next door has also contributed to make Indian Muslims more militant.

    I do agree that the New Right’s critique of Christianity could also be applied to Islam.

    • White Republican
      Posted October 1, 2011 at 4:52 am | Permalink

      I had been thinking of qualifying my reference to Ibn Warraq’s Why I am Not a Muslim by commenting on the perspective of the author and the flaws of his book, but decided against this. I don’t have the book on hand to verify details, I’d prefer to keep my comments short, and I trust readers to exercise critical judgment. It’s a book I recommend for want of something better.

      I find Ibn Warraq’s liberal perspective irritating, but not his atheism, for I’m an atheist myself. However, I will say that I’m closer to atheists such as Gustave Le Bon, Georges Batault, Louis Rougier, H. L. Mencken, and Revilo P. Oliver rather than atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. I find the “new atheists” generally obnoxious. They hate religion because it often conflicts with liberalism. They promote the superstitions and pathologies of liberalism with evangelical fervor.

      Perhaps I could quip that I’m an atheist in theological matters and a polytheist in philosophical matters. I’m sympathetic to Dominique Venner’s conception of European spirituality, and I intend to get his latest book, Le choc de l’histoire: religion, mémoire, identité.

      • Posted October 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        White Republican,

        Your points are well taken. I am a traditionalist myself, not an atheist, but regardless I would agree with what you say about Dawkins and company. They embody exactly the kind of person whom Guenon critiqued in his books, in that they are so absolutely convinced about the virtue of liberal democracy that they believe that we have reached the pinnacle of human civilization, and that everything that existed prior to modernity was a horrid dark ages.

        It may interest you to know that Arktos will shortly be publishing an English version of the Venner book.

      • White Republican
        Posted October 3, 2011 at 5:08 am | Permalink

        It’s good to hear that Dominique Venner’s Le Choc de l’Histoire (The Clash of History) is going to be translated into English. It promises to be of great interest and value for people on our side. So far, it seems that only one of Venner’s books has been translated into English, namely Frontier Pistols and Revolvers.

        The controversy involving the “new atheists” is a dismal spectacle. I’m inclined to regard the “new atheists” as obnoxious as their opponents. The “new atheists” often favor the “new moral order” that Éric Delcroix describes in Manifeste libertin (Paris: L’Aencre, 2005). The clearest example of this relationship might be that of Christopher Hitchens. The “new moral order” is a materialistic and globalistic cult. It originated in the United States, was imposed on a subjugated Europe, and now seeks to dominate the rest of the world by diverse means, including corruption and the bombing of refractory populations. It justifies itself in the name of “human rights,” “democracy,” and “freedom.” It combines individualism and cosmopolitanism in their most radical and destructive forms. It is what Roger Garaudy has aptly called “the monotheism of the market.”

        Some atheists seem to define themselves more as anti-Christian rather than as non-Christian. In The Socialist Phenomenon (New York: Harper, 1980), Igor Shafarevich commented that many socialists could more accurately be characterized as “god-haters” or “theophobes” rather than as “atheists” due to their savage hostility towards religion. I think there have been some atheists for whom the idea of god excites fierce hatred rather than indifference or skepticism. Such an attitude is quite irrational if one does not believe in gods.

        I’m more of a non-Christian than an anti-Christian. I’d prefer to define my views primarily in terms of independence of Christianity rather than opposition to Christianity.

  7. Posted September 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    David,

    I recognize that the situation regarding Christianity and hierarchy is very complex and nuanced. I didn’t feel it was appropriate to go into all of that in this essay, however. Certainly, today, the churches all seem to be in a dreadful condition. Even the Catholic Church only retains a few positions that are inconsistent with liberal democracy.

    I agree with everything else you wrote in your extremely thoughtful response, for which I thank you.

    • David Mulch
      Posted September 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      cool. Not that concerned. by the way I view hinduism as an ancient /established religion.

      I’ve come to view neopaganism, at least in europe as a reaction against the State Churches being rather agnostic and or commuunist. What do you think?
      The “New” Religion just strikes me as seven bridges too far when the landuige of the one(Christianity) is the best if not the only way to rxplain the others. currently I thimk of Christianity as the supeerior narative. This also works from the standpoit of being on top of the prior religion.
      The intriguing thing about the Norse Panteon is that there is a Father Odin/Wotan and a Son Thor/Donner. Thor goes arround being the nice guy. Wotan shows up unannounced putting an end to th incorrect ambitions of men. the others neatly fit in as patron saints or angels especially the Vakyries

      • Greg Johnson
        Posted September 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        In the future, please check the spelling and capitalization of your comments.

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