“Islamophobia” has made the news again. Thanks to Fitna—the anti-Islam film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders—the usual suspects are wringing their hands about “intolerance,” “xenophobia,” and “racism” directed at Muslim immigrants. Wilders is not alone in his disdain for the unimpeded Muslim migration into Europe and North America—from columnist Mark Steyn’s run-in with Ontario’s “Human Rights Council,” to the Muhammad cartoon imbroglio in Denmark, Western opponents of Islamization have grown increasingly assertive in recent years. In response, European Muslims and white elites who “embrace diversity” have stepped up their efforts to end this debate by criminalizing criticism of Islam.
Steyn and Wilders deserve our praise for their brave iconoclasm. Nevertheless, their work, and the work of many other prominent “Islamophobes,” sets a dangerous precedent. The utility of attacking Islamic immigration specifically, rather than the broader subject of Third-World immigration, is obvious. The drawbacks of such a strategy are less apparent, but could ultimately undermine the immigration restrictionist movement. Hating the tenets of Islam is not going to save the West, and more white patriots must wake up to this fact.
Like many written works opposed to the Islamization of the West, Fitna made the tiresome “Muslims are like Nazis” argument by displaying anti-Semitic remarks made by Muslim leaders, and pro-Hitler signs carried by Muslim protesters. It also graphically depicted examples of Muslim terrorism, Muslim violence against women, and Muslim intolerance for homosexuality. None of this is news. Every image in Fitna has been shown before. Fitna demonstrates, however, why the nature of Islam has been an apparent boon for immigration opponents: much of Islamic doctrine is anathema to the “tolerant” and “progressive” contemporary West. Islam is, after all, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, “homophobic,” and at odds with most aspects of modernity. By focusing on the most backward elements of Islam, Western patriots are able to take a stand against Third-World immigration while skirting charges of “racism.” Given the terrible consequences that befall anyone who speaks honestly about race, this is understandable. I contend, nevertheless, that this approach is patently dishonest, and may not be as useful as many immigration restrictionists think it is.
There is presently no dearth of books and websites critical of mass Muslim immigration. Writers like Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald seemingly spend every waking minute sounding the anti-Islam alarm on websites such as Jihad Watch, Dhimmi Watch, and New English Review. The ever-irascible David Horowitz is now leading the charge on American campuses against “Islamofascism”—whatever that is. Like Steyn and Wilders, these writers and activists primarily emphasize the degree to which Islamic values are incompatible with Western values, and frequently add the caveat that this “isn’t about race.” My sincere hope is that the emphasis by most immigration restrictionists on religion, culture, and ideology, rather than on blood and soil, is based on necessity rather than true conviction. The rise of Islam is but one negative consequence of the Third World’s invasion and slow-motion conquest of the West, and Western patriots do themselves a great disservice by taking such a myopic view of the immigration issue.
In their failed efforts to stay in the good graces of our left-liberal managerial elites, many immigration restrictionists posthumously embraced libertine cultural-leftists like Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, and furiously excoriated the conservative author Dinesh D’Souza for daring to suggest that Christians and traditional Muslims can find common ground on some cultural issues. In order to attack Islamic immigration in a politically-correct fashion, the restrictionists have been all too willing to declare their allegiance to the gay-rights and radical feminist movements. Are these really the Western values we are most keen on protecting? Is the West only worth defending because of its high level of tolerance for sexual deviants? I certainly do not think so, and I suspect most anti-Islamists do not either. Unfortunately, their dishonesty will not get them very far.
The “Islam-is-not-progressive-enough” approach to the immigration issue would be more acceptable if our willingness to recite leftist cant was bringing more leftists to our side. That, unfortunately, does not appear to be happening. When contemporary left-liberals are forced by circumstance to choose between their devotion to multiculturalism and their devotion to feminism, secularism, radical environmentalism, or any other fashionable “ism,” they always err on the side of multiculturalism. The leftist elites are not ever going to ally themselves with white patriots on the issue of immigration. That being the case, we should not waste our breath trying to appease them by feigning devotion to progressive pieties. Pandering to the left on cultural issues will lead only to the further deracination of white European culture; it forces immigration opponents to perpetually demonstrate that they are, in fact, more tolerant than the Muslims they wish to restrict from their continent, and ultimately undermines the perceived legitimacy of all forms of cultural conservatism.
The emphasis on Islam and Islamic culture may actually do us more harm than good. The implicit assumption of many of the anti-Islam writers is that if Islam is reformed, Islamic immigration will no longer be a problem, and we can go ahead and leave the floodgates open. Mark Steyn (who also incessantly repeats, “It not about race; it’s about culture”) is once again a case in point. He contends that all our problems will be solved by the Bush Doctrine, which will ostensibly change the nature of the Islamic world. For you see, once the more insidious effects of Islam have been ameliorated, and the Koran is reinterpreted to allow for free elections and women’s suffrage, all will be well and we can stop worrying about the Arab, Turkish, and South Asian exodus into Europe and America. This is dangerous nonsense. This type of “Islamophobia” not only does nothing about the immigration issue, but provides the impetus for further military incursions into the Middle East—which are doomed to fail and will only increase the emigration of Muslims from their homelands.
It is time for the anti-Islamists to face reality. Islam is not like Nazism, Communism, or any other homegrown Western ideology, nor does it make sense to treat it as such. In some important ways, Islam is far weaker and less threatening than either of those twentieth-century bogeymen. In other ways, however, it is much, much more dangerous. The danger, however, has nothing to do with Islamic doctrine.
When considering Islam’s weakness, it is important to note that the odds of an Islamic Revolution in an advanced European nation are all but nonexistent; there is no Muslim leader capable of pulling off such a revolution, nor would any European country long accept such a leader if he managed to take power. Nor is there much danger that sizable numbers of white Europeans will convert to Islam. There is furthermore no powerful Muslim army capable of conquering all or part of Europe or America by force—despite the nonsensical neoconservative blather about terrorists “following” us home from Iraq. At least in terms of the framework from which we viewed conflicts in the last century, Islam is weak, even pathetic.
That being said, Islam poses a threat to Europe far greater than Hitler or Stalin. The thing to remember about Nazism and Communism is that they were, in their essence, Western ideologies. They rose and fell in a Western context, and when the dust settled from the Second World War and the Cold War, Germany and Russia were still Western countries with majority Western populations. If Islam dominates Europe, it will be because Europe is no longer dominated by white Europeans. Muslims will not rule Europe unless traditional European majorities are displaced and replaced by Arabs, Turks, blacks, and Asians. If that happens, Western Civilization is finished. Forever. And it doesn’t matter how Islam reforms from that point on. Muslims could tear out every offensive page from the Koran, and this fact will remain. We do not have to hate the Mohammedan races, or waste our time proving we are better or more tolerant and enlightened than they. We do have to unequivocally declare that they will never be allowed to dominate any European country, no matter what they believe.
Although there are many aspects of Islam I find quite disagreeable, Europe would not be better off if it was being overrun by African Christians or Indian Hindus. Problems would manifest themselves in different ways, but they would be there nonetheless. The United States is a perfect example of this essential fact. Latin Americans are as Christian as they come, yet waves of Hispanics entering both legally and illegally are in the process of fundamentally changing the United States, in a negative way, forever. We are right to oppose this Völkerwanderung just as vehemently as we oppose the one presently destroying Europe, even though Islam is not a factor in the American case at all. Sometimes, it is about race.
There is nothing inherently wrong with pointing out the most dangerous aspects of Islam, and I commend those writers and activists who risk their careers, and in some cases, their lives, to do so. We should nevertheless not lose sight of the more important issue. The displacement of white Europeans by Third World immigrants is what should disturb us—no matter what their religion. It is considered impolite (and in some places, illegal) to speak frankly about race. Unfortunately, that is what the immigration debate is really about, and the utility of using religion as a rhetorical proxy for race has reached its limits.
TOQ, vol. 8, no. 2, Summer 2008