October 12, 2012
Civilization is law. A civilization makes its own laws and enforces them. And it views those who do not abide by those laws as lawless savages. Who the civilized lawkeepers and who the lawless savages is a matter of perspective.
From the perspective of our rulers, law is defined by multilateral human rights commitments. From the perspective of their rulers, law is defined by the Koran and allegiance to Islamic law. Both consider their approach just and believe that their mission is to extend and universalize their legal codes. The transnationalists believe that they can integrate Muslims within their codes. Muslims believe that they can integrate transnationalists within their system.
Similar alliances between Muslims and Leftists, whether in Iran or Egypt, have always broken in favor of the Islamists. The determining factor in those countries was ruthlessness and lower class support. In a global struggle for our civilization, it will be demographics that will determine the losers and winners. If Muslim immigration can shift the demographics of a region or of our entire civilization sufficiently in favor of their creed then freedom will be as dead as a rebellious daughter in Afghanistan.
The Clash of Civilizations is at its most essential a clash of laws. Law is the organizing principle of a civilization. It determines who has what powers and what rights. It structures responsibilities and penalties to create a system that encompasses any and all possibilities that may arise within a society. Western societies have attempted to impose their laws on their own Muslim immigrants and on entire Muslim countries. Muslims are attempting to impose their own laws on Western countries through violence and demographics.
At its most naked, law is control. Those who can force others to comply with their laws are the lawmakers. Those who cannot can be rebels or philosophers.
Compliance with the law can be obtained through the higher means of convincing people that it represents an ideal. It can be obtained by convincing them that the law is in their interest. Or it can be obtained through the lowest barbaric means of pure compulsion.
Islamic law, with its manifold punishments and its ubiquitous brutalities, is rooted in the compulsion of force. Islam spread through conquest and retained its grip through empire. Its seduction of self-interest enlisted Muslim converts by sanctifying banditry and rape. The bandits became Emirs and Caliphs, and put on airs, filling their gardens with singing birds and their throne rooms with exotic treasures, but their power always derived from naked force.
The instability of the Muslim world is tied to this essential lawlessness. For all the proliferation of scholars and clerics, the second-hand legalisms cobbled together from Jewish and Greek law, the essential foundation of Muslim civilizations is in the drug-peddling Taliban raiders and the Shiite militias in Iraq and Lebanon. Islamic law is a convenience that enshrines the force of the bandit into religious law.
A Muslim regime lasts only as long as the essential tensions in its society act to tear it apart. The Arab Spring was not a tremendous step forward, but a repetition of the long history of the region where the final law is the law of force.
Tethered to the law of force, the Muslim world remains violent and unstable, and exports its bandit civilization with the same means. It imposes its laws, whether on Afghan schoolgirls or French artists, with the same measures that their barbaric tribal ancestors did over a thousand years ago. All the sophistication of Islamic legalism eventually comes down to the sharpened sword.
Western law’s universalism has a broader and narrower appeal to self-interest than Islamic law. This is the paradox that undermines any attempt to export it to the Muslim world. While universalism with its equality clause appears on the surface to have broader appeal, it actually has far less appeal, because it weakens the position of those in power while holding an appeal only to those who are not in power.
That paradox makes Western law a “slave religion” that appeals most to the oppressed. It holds little appeal for Muslim men who risk losing power over their wives and daughters. It holds little appeal for wives who risk losing power over their daughters. It holds little appeal for religious majorities who risk losing power over minorities. It holds little appeal for strong tribes and strong families who risk losing power over weaker tribes and families.
The problems exporting Western law also hold true for maintaining it in areas of America, Europe, Canada and Australia that have been overrun by Muslim immigrants. Honor killings are how Muslim men retain control of their women and how Muslim women retain control of their daughters nullifying the appeal of Western legal equality.
While Western law is trying to push forward, Muslim law is working to go backward. The Arab Spring and the No Go Zones of Europe show that when it comes to pure control, backward is more effective than forward.
The blasphemy clash is a war of laws. But those laws are more than mere technicalities. Freedom of Speech is a means of power redistribution. By making it possible for any idea to be expressed, this freedom deinstitutionalizes culture and political authority. Maintaining a monopoly on law and power is difficult when any idea can be expressed.
Blasphemy codes on the other hand are a monopolization of ideas. Blasphemy makes Islam and the dominant form of the religion unchallengable. It takes religion and law away from the people and assigns them to a specialized class of interpreters and scholars. And it makes the political system dependent on faith in the system, rather than in open government. To believe in Islam is to believe in the Islamist politician. The outcome is not a government of laws, but a system of faith, not faith in any divinity, but in the power of Mohammed and his political descendants.
Mohammed represents the Divine Right of Caliphs, he cannot be blasphemed against because he embodies the power principle that underlies Islamic law. Without Mohammed there is no Islamic law and without Islamic law, there is neither law nor government, only the nakedness of the existing power struggles without the sanctification of any higher power.
The Bill of Rights can survive the complete discrediting of Thomas Jefferson because we are not obligated to take its premises on faith. Islamic Law cannot survive even gentle mockery of Mohammed because to question the central figure is to destroy an entire edifice built on unquestioning faith.
Western governments have attempted to impose their law on Muslims by appealing to their ideals and their self-interest, and both approaches have failed. Far more Muslims believe that they have something to lose from universal rights than they have to gain from them. Add up every Muslim who can look down on someone else, even if he has to do it from the bottom rung of the ladder, and you have a compelling opposition to universal equality.
That leaves ideals and ideals come too close to faith and it is difficult to convert people with their own faith to your own faith. Western systems combine the populist mysticism of democracy with rational appeals to self-interest. Both fall flat when confronted by the denizens of medieval societies who do not accept universalist premises, either as self-interest or as mystic populism.
Muslim attempts to export their law into the West have become altogether direct. America has faced the same treatment as any domestic minority group has in the Muslim world. The gathering mobs had a very simple message, either prosecute blasphemy or face the mob.
Obama chose to drag the Mohammed filmmaker to prison rather than face the mob. And so Islamic law was complied with, if not openly, but as a covert gesture that allowed both sides to save face. This has been the usual tactic adopted by Western governments that punish blasphemy as crimes against tolerance and social harmony.
Western countries hold on to a facade of being free nations governed by reason and progressive politics, rather than medieval blasphemy laws. Muslims get to see blasphemers punished, but without the penal system acknowledging the Islamic law that serves as the basis for that punishment. The West loses its freedom while Muslims remain dissatisfied with the outcome. Through such means the transnationalists hope to integrate Muslim codes into their codes, but the effort is doomed from the start.
Law is control and Muslims have used violence to take control of the process. For the last fifty years they have turned the problem of their violence into a challenge for civilization. That challenge intensified with the attacks of September 11 and in response the integrationists have worked overtime to align Muslim codes with our own. They have been willing to compromise, but Muslims have not.
The Clash of Civilizations will come down to control of spaces, the physical spaces in which we live and the conceptual spaces that define how we live. The nervous reaction to Muslim blasphemy laws shows the extent to which our conceptual spaces have already been taken care of. The No Go Zones carve out their own alien territories, imposing their systems on our cities and the way we live.
The extent to which we maintain control of these physical and conceptual spaces is also the extent to which we remain free.
Freedom is not always taken at the point of a gun, sometimes it is taken at the very idea of the gun or at the economic and political disruption that would be caused by the idea of the gun. These are the effects that ripple through the conceptual spaces, breeding appeasement and surrender, as the system tries to integrate the foreign element, rather than spitting it out.
Our leaders are willing to pay almost any price to retain the multilateral and multicultural narrative, but as individuals, as societies and as nations, we cannot afford to lose our civil rights and our future for the sake of their Sisyphean progressivism. The conceptual spaces that they have imposed on us have no room for a world without multiculturalism and multilateralism. But to survive we must break with their discredited philosophies and their bloody cost or risk losing everything.
Law is the fundamental characteristic of a civilization. And law must be defended. To save our civilization, we must save our laws, and protect our territories, the physical territories of our cities, towns and villages, and the spiritual territories of our minds and cultures. Within those territories we must find the fortitude to defy the brute force of the lesser law that the savage would impose on us in the name of his bandit-prophet and his license to rule over those he can crush beneath his boots.
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