Saturday, 28 February 2015


Removing kebab one slice at a time. 

Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo shootings, I wrote about a probable response to Europe’s long-running problem of hosting an alien – and inherently hostile civilization in its own civilizational space. The article, The Chinese “Solution” to the Islamic Problem, published at Counter-Currents, looked at how other political entities, namely the Soviet Union and China, dealt with “troublesome religions.”

Initially adopting a militant atheist stance, communists in Russia later gave up attempts to stamp out religion. They perhaps realized that religions are rooted in basic human psychological needs and have an otherworldly focus, making them extremely difficult to stamp out by conventional state repression (or even logic). Instead, following the destruction of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 1931, Stalin decided to co-opt Russian Orthodoxy to the increasingly conservative and nationalistic purposes of the Russian state, something we see continuing in Putin’s Russia.

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour dynamited by the Communists in 1931.
The Chinese, too, realized that it was easier to modify religions so that they harmonized with state interests than to stamp them out. In Communist China, all Christian worship had too be conducted through state-approved churches. Patriotic values and respect for the “socialist motherland” were instilled side-by-side with the worship of Christ. The primacy of the Roman Pontiff was also denied for Chinese Catholics, as it conflicted with Chinese sovereignty. With the rapid growth of more evangelical forms of Christianity in recent years, China is now trying to double down on its policy of co-opting religion in the interests of the state.

In my article I pointed out the obvious applicability of this approach to Europe’s Muslim problem:
“What then would be more natural than for our elites in Europe to finally attempt something analogous to what has been done in China, but with particular emphasis on Islam, which is, of course, a far greater threat to Europe than Christianity is to China? This could be done by nationalizing Islam in some way and bowdlerizing it, forcing each mosque to teach 'European values' side by side with the more anodyne elements of the Islamic faith. These 'European values' could include those values that the liberal part of our society find particularly attractive, such as gender equality, homosexualism, non-violence, tolerance, animal rights (anti-halal), and a respect for atheistic science. Other key European values that might be promoted could also include traditional monogamy.”
When I wrote this, I was sketching out a long-term dynamic that would evolve over the coming decades as Europe struggled to deal with the contradictions it had created by its naive policy of mass immigration. I hardly expected to see legislation confirming this trend within mere weeks. But this is what seems to have happened with the latest news out of Austria.

There, parliament has just passed a bill that amends the country’s 1912 law on Islam. This law recognized Islam as one of the official religions of the state at a time when Austria was an Empire that included Bosnia. After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, this law had little relevance in the truncated Austrian state until the post-war economic boom saw an influx of migrant workers from Islamic areas.

The new amendments to what has essentially been an outdated law, will ban foreign funding for mosques and imams, many of whom are paid by Turkey, and require a standardized (and presumably bowdlerized) German version of the Koran to be used.

Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache.
The Austrian government is an uneasy “grand coalition” of the centre-left (Social Democratic Party) and centre-right (Austrian People's Party), holding in check the populist nationalist Freedom Party of Austria. At the last parliamentary election the SDP got 29.26% and 57 seats in parliament, the APP 25.98% and 51 seats, and the FPA 17.54% and 34 seats.

Although ostensibly aimed at curbing Islamic radicalism, the changes in the law are no doubt aimed at preventing the build-up of support for an “unacceptable” nationalist alternative, such as the Freedom Party of Austria (in last year's EU elections they increased their vote to around 20%). Whether this strategy works will depend to a large extent on the future demographics and behaviour of Austria’s Muslims.

As Dota's recent article Enter the Muslims pointed out, not all Muslims are culturally the same. With Austria's Muslims coming mainly from Turkish and Bosnian backgrounds, it can be assumed that they are more secularist, moderate, and less prone to terroristic excesses than, say, Britain’s Pakistani Muslims or France’s Algerian Muslims. But, then, it would only take a small terrorist outrage, possibly in response to this “oppressive” law, to remind Austrians of the long-term existential threat posed by any kind of Islam in Europe, and to send the voters swinging towards the still relatively mild nationalism of the Freedom Party of Austria.

An earlier successful Austrian policy of dealing with Islamic invasion.

Connected articles:
The Failure of the Cultural Death Camps
The Lights are Going Out All Over Europe
The Continuation of Germany

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