Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Population Bomb That Isn't

Of all the conspiracy theories attempting to explain why Europe's leaders have decided to commit ethnic suicide by opeingn the floodgates to unlimited Muslim immigration, one that crops up rather a lot is demographics. According to this narrative, Europe's population is aging and having too few children. The continents generous pension and social security systems rely on an ever growing population to provide working age tax payers to fund it. In the absence of this mass immigration can be used to plug the hole.

Mark Steyn explores this in the excellent book America Alone. It's persuasive, and the numbers are stark. Going off the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) measure, each woman needs to have at least 2.1 babies to maintain a steady population. Looking at a list of countries by TFR the EU average is 1.59 with Greece at 1.3, Germany and  Italy at 1.4. Britain a relatively healthy 1.9, but still pointing towards long term population decline. By contrast Niger leads the world in baby production with a TFR of 7.6, beating Somalia (6.6) quite comfortably with Mali and Chad tied for 3rd on 6.3.

The list goes on in that fashion. By these figures the world is becoming more African and more Islamic at a fairly alarming rate while Europe is failing to produce enough people. So Africa and the Middle East have too many people, Europe has too few. Surely the answer is obvious, and the huge cultural shift that will come of importing over a million Muslims a year is just something we'll have to learn to live with?

No. Like most attempts to use broad and simplistic statistics to explain complex problems this is hugely misleading.

A very unscientific walk up a European street will show you this. Many couples do have 2 or 3 children. Some have more. Some stop at 1. The vast majority of these will live to be adults and a good deal of them will have children of their own. There are still Europeans being born.

According to the BBC, who would love us to believe the population decline narrative, there were 698,512 live births in 2013, and 26.5% of those were to mothers born outside the UK. Hugely significant, but not quite panic stations. 73.5% of 698,512 is 513,406 British babies born in England and Wales that year. With a life expectancy of 81.5 years that gives a steady state population of 41.8 million, compared to the current 56 million. A decline, but hardly a death spiral.

In fact with a fairly crowded country with a seemingly religious aversion to building new houses or roads, a 30% decline in population might not be a bad thing. Yes we would have to deal with the pension and social security problem, but we will have to deal with those anyway. There is really no need to add a load of aggressive Muslims into the equation.

Steyn's explanation is that the post-religious, rudderless, secular liberal societies run by self-indulgent baby boomers and passed on to their eternally adolescent offspring are simply not motivated to have children. Perhaps a better explanation is that as people have more control over their reproduction, something really quite recent in demographic terms, certain groups have shown themselves to be a sort of evolutionary offshoot. This still ties in with the selfish boomers hypothesis but recognises the fact that they are only one component of the population.

Of course whatever the explanation, importing the wrong sort of people to make a dysfunctional system work is sheer insanity. If the alternative was extinction then it probably wouldn't really matter, but the actual alternative appears to be a country of around 40-45 million people, the sort of levels we had in the 1970s. Only they would be better housed and wealthier. They might have to pay higher taxes for a few years and they might have to make their own pension provisions. But they wouldn't have to live with the pleasures of mass third world immigration and creeping Islamisation.

Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Missing the Point - Pickles Letter to Muslim Leaders

What on earth is wrong with our government? This is a letter from Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, addressed to 1,000 Muslim leaders.
Firstly, the claim that a ‘great faith’ has been ‘hijacked’ and that this extremism is not a true representation of Islam. In what possible sense is supremacist violence against non-believers a hijacking or misrepresentation of Islam?  It is quite clearly not only allowed but exhorted in many sura of the quran, and was practiced by Mohammed himself with great enthusiasm.

Most notoriously in surah 9:29

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

What's peaceful about that? The jizyah incidentally is a special tax imposed on non-Muslims by Muslim rulers.

Secondly the idea that 'British values are Muslim values' is deeply offensive. It appears to be subordinating British values and implying that they are essentially derived from Muslim values. This simply is not the case. What Muslim values does Britain hold?

But even taking this as a clumsy way of saying that Britain and Islam share some values, what exactly are they? They certainly don't seem to relate to free speech, freedom of religion, equality before the law or anything else I would recognise as being a British value. Nor would I recognise subjugation of women, hatred of Jews or killing of apostates as relating to any British values.
Thirdly, what exactly is Islam’s message of peace and unity? Where is this message in any Islamic scripture, jurisprudence or scholarly interpretation?
Finally, is it really necessary to describe the EDL as thugs espousing vitriol? To what vitriol is referring to? What thuggery does he mean? It appears that Pickles sees Muslims as the victims here, which of course is exactly what many jihadists would like people to think. 

Where does this notion of Islam as a peaceful religion come from? Who advises Eric Pickles on these things? Does he listen to any counter arguments?

Our government appears to be utterly blind to the dangers of radical Islam, because of it's pathological refusal to understand it. In 2013 we very nearly used the British military to attack Assad in support of a fundamentalist insurrection backed by Al-Quaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Only a narrow defeat for Cameron in parliament prevented this.

We appear to have learned absolutely nothing from this, and still insist on dealing with this problem through empty platitudes and the blind hope that all Muslims and Muslim groups who haven't actually committed acts of terrorism are basically on our side. 

This basic failure to understand our enemy means we are constantly being manipulated into allowing, encouraging and funding a jihad against ourselves waged by people who seek to fundamentally alter our society for the worse. Until we have a far deeper understanding of political Islam we will continue to do so.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Difficulty of Reforming Islam

Amongst those who have come to the realisation that Islam is not in fact a religion of peace at all, there are a strand of optimists who think it can somehow be reformed in the way Christianity was reformed in the middle ages. American reformist Muslim Zuhdi Jasser appears to be of this belief.

Reform is clearly necessary. 1.5 billion Muslims are not just going to disappear, and after 1,400 years it's deeply ingrained in the culture of huge chunks of the human race. It is not, like fascism or communism just going to evaporate or collapse under it's own weight.

It's almost impossible to overstate the difficulty of reforming Islam though. Reforming Christianity already took several centuries and much bloodshed. It's important though to understand how Islam is inherently anti-reform. One of the fundamental premises of Islam as a religion is that Mohammed was the final prophet and that the 'People of the Book' - the term the Quran uses for Jews and Christians - had over the years perverted and forgotten important parts of the message given to them by previous prophets,

In a sort of divine 'for the last bloody time' God decided to dictate his commands word for word, via the angel Gabriel to the prophet Mohammed and this became the Quran. Not only is it unchangeable, perfect and complete according to every extant Islamic tradition, but it was actually brought about by our bad habit of reforming previous revelations. How then, can you significantly alter the meaning without undermining the very purpose of the book?

The way in which a phrases in the bible such as "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" can readily be taken as an example in a certain historical context and applied to warn followers against hypocrisy or over zealous moralising. The direct, divine command in the Quran to "slay the non-believers where you find them" has no historical context. It is just that, the word of God as revealed to Mohammed.

To reform this will require either a fundamental shift more profound than anything experienced by Christianity, or a gradual withering to replace the ideological components with a vague cultural Islam which largely ignores the actual teachings of Mohammed.

Either of these could take centuries and have huge overspill for the rest of the world. The important thing at this stage is to understand this and have our own strategy for protecting our culture and security at home and our interests and allies abroad.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Narrative Must Survive

Why is it so difficult to accept that Islam has deep rooted problems? We have 14 centuries of evidence and a core text which gives explicit sanction to every single action of Islamic State and all the actions of the various Islamic extremist groups. Yet still we stick with this ridiculous notion that it's all some sort of a misunderstanding. That an essentially peaceful religion is being twisted by a small number of fanatics.

There's a line in the film Full Metal Jacket which so brilliantly sums up the main attitude behind this brilliantly. When confronted with a young private who appears to have doubts about the war he explains that they are helping the Vietnamese because "inside every gook there's an American trying to get out." In a politically incorrect way, this articulates the very politically correct conceit at the core of the multicultural dogma - that our western values are universal human values, and only entrenched tyranny and ancient prejudice is preventing the world from living up to them.

The reality is a little more complex. Even if this is true on a genetic level, deep cultural values are ingrained in people from the moment they enter the world, and clearly not everyone aspires to the secular, western lifestyle. The tyrannies are as much a result of the culture as the culture a result of the tyranny, and thus the prejudices become self-reinforcing.

In this way 'diversity' tends not to lead to a united whole where everyone converges on a central idea and maintains superficial differences, but quite the reverse. People converge on superficial ideas while the deep rooted differences actually grow as they regard each others cultures with horror and recoil into self-propagating isolation.

In this way Muslim communities across the western world are more isolated than they were 30 years ago. Young Muslims born in western countries are more radical than their parents. Young women are more likely to wear hijabs and young men more likely to join IS. The entire narrative and ideology behind peaceful coexistence with curry and real ale has fallen apart.

A collapsing narrative of this type is difficult to process. The film Goodbye Lenin! captures this beautifully, following an East German family attempting to hide the collapse of Soviet Communism from their bedridden mother. It is something that people have a deep emotional attachment to and when defending it logically fails they will swear black is white rather than change their premises.

Thus David Cameron can say with utter certainty that Islam is a religion of peace just days after the Paris atrocity, sanctioned by a man with a Doctorate in Islamic studies and perpetrated by devout Muslims shouting 'Allahu Akbar.' Thus the media greeted with delight the advert in the Telegraph taken out by the Muslim Council of Britain condemning the attacks in the loosest terms. Thus the entire body of incredibly detailed research by the likes of Robert Spencer and Daniel Pipes, along with the pronouncements of Muslim scholars themselves can be completely ignored in favour of vague platitudes.

The narrative must survive, even if it is wrong, because if it fails then all manner of assumptions which rest upon it also fail.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Secretary of (Islamic) State

US Secretary of State John Kerry made a telling remark recently about just how far down the Sharia road the Barak Hussein Obama administration is. Responding to the Paris attacks of the 13th of November he contrasted them with the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January:

“There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, ‘Okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.’"
Absorb those words. A sort of legitimacy to mowing down cartoonists and back office staff in a magazine office because they published something that offended them. He backpedalled on the word legitimacy fairly quickly, but his meaning is quite clear. The west must bend and moderate it's values to accommodate Islam.

Viewed as the inane mewlings of an outgoing 'progressive' Secretary of State this is one thing. However, that would be the wrong way to view it.

People have a misconception that sharia law in the west means beheadings and stonings. Sharia does mean these things in it's most extreme form, but that is just one aspect. It's like equating secular law with incarceration. 

Sharia is a legal system outlined in the Quran and developed over 1,400 years of Islamic jurisprudence. It covers how Muslims should live but also how non-Muslims must act, and how the two should interact. It is shamelessly supremacist, relegating non-Muslim dhimmi to second class status by treaty. Those who seek peace without converting to Islam are subject to a raft of restrictions and impositions. Converting to Islam removes these rules. 

The key point for Kerry's comments relates to the principle that the dhimmi, as such conquered people are known, is the well established principle that those who criticise Islam have broken their treaty obligations and are no longer protected.

The west is developing it's own form of Sharia, not by a formal pact but on a case by case basis where overt criticism of Islam or the defence of western values is seen as an afront to Islam.

A better lens through which to view this insane comment is to see John Kerry as some vanquished local priest in the medieval Levant. His church crumbling and his congregation dwindling. His response to another random outburst of sectarian violence against Christians is to try and restore order and safety at any price. To remind Christians that it's their fault for breaking the terms of the pact. 

He still notionally proclaims the truth of his faith, quietly, out of earshot of the Muslim rulers. But the message is clear. We must change to accommodate their violent intolerance. We know the rules, and we can't complain too much when they enforce them.

It is a sad and pathetic attitude for anyone in a free western country to have. For one of the most powerful political leaders in the most powerful of western countries it is appalling. What hope does anyone have of defending free speech when such a figure gives 'legitimacy' to the Charlie Hebdo attacks?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Five Days

Five days. That's how long it took for someone to come out with the phrase that rightly deserves to be a parody of political cowardice and duplicity as regards violent Islam. The phrase of course is 'Religion of Peace.' I am amazed anyone can say it with a straight face.

"It cannot be said often enough that these butchers of IS are no reflection of the true religion of Islam, which is a religion of peace."

And it gets even stranger

"But we do have to recognise that whether these terrorists are in Tunisia, Paris or London, they spout the same bile that they claim comes from the religion of Islam.

That is why we have to take apart what they say and prove that's not the case."

What if when you take apart what they say you find that what they say exactly corresponds very closely to Islamic scripture and Islamic jurisprudence? A possibility he appears to have already ruled out, which is a strange starting point, unless he claims to know more about Islam than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of IS who has a PhD in Islamic Studies and has dedicated years of his life to better understanding the religion. Of peace.

An Unlikely Islamophobe

The excellent website of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) posts translations of items from the media of the Middle East, and often comes up with interesting things. One recent article in particular stands out as being especially illuminating.

Adnan Hussein, the Editor if Iraqi daily newspaper Al-Mada wrote this excellent article in response to the attacks in Paris.

Discussing the causes of terrorism, he nowhere mentions the iniquities of global capitalism or the legacy European colonialism. He doesn't even mention the muddled American led intervention in his country. He uses no empty platitudes about a religion of peace.

Instead he lays the blame firmly at the door of radical Islam and the all pervading culture of teaching this insane creed to generation after generation of Arabs and Muslims.

Had he written this article in a western newspaper he would have been derided as a racist and an Islamophobe. As an Arab Muslim saying this he is simply ignored.

Why do we insist on maintaining this bizarre insistence that Islam is nothing to do with terrorism?