Sunday, February 12, 2012

On The Clash of Cultures (Part II)

As discussed in our previous post, when culturally distinct groups reach sufficient demographic density they
seek to recreate the social life of their nations of origin. In this case a Dutch Muslim Party includes the
"criminalization of blasphemy" in its platform, which contradicts the well established Dutch tradition of freedom of expression. It is quite ironic that some people seek to undermine the very culture and policies that made the Netherlands such an attractive place to live and work.

New Muslim Political Party Formed in the Netherlands

Recently the Partij voor Moslim Nederland
(Party for Muslim Netherlands),  which already
enjoys a significant presence in various
municipal governments in that country,
announced that it intended to run candidates
for the Dutch Parliament. An article in Forbes
listed the party's major principles,  which included
limits on "offensive" speech about religion;
the criminalization of blasphemy and of the
destruction of religious texts; immediate admission
of Turkey to the EU; an end to support for Israel;
and the free and unimpeded importation of Muslim
brides from abroad.

Whether to work within existing parties, or to
concentrate onforming and building up separate
Muslim parties, has always been a key strategic
question for the soft jihadists of Europe.
Though there are Muslimsin Norway who are
prominent members of several large traditional
parties, the country now has a Muslim party too.
 Founded in 2009  as the Independent Labour Party,
it was obliged later that year to  change its name
to the Samtidspartiet (Contemporary Party)
because of official concerns that it might be
confused with the Norwegian Labor Party.
When outlining the party's goals, its founder,
Norwegian-Pakistani Ghuffor Butt, focused on a
desire for lower taxes, gas prices, and the like
-- making it sound like rather a libertarian party
for Muslims.Formerly a cinema director, producer,
and political journalist in Pakistan, as well as an
actor in some twenty Pakistani movies,  Butt ran
-- and, as far as I know, still runs -- a successful
store in Grønland, a largely Muslim district in Oslo, 
that sells Bollywood films.

Yet lest these credentials suggest he was a
"liberal" and "modern" Muslim, Butt made it
clear, in answer to a Dagbladet journalist's
questions, that his party's other objectives
included lifting the ban on hijab in the police
force, establishing exclusively Muslim
schools and hospitals, instructing
immigrant-group children in
their parents' native tongue rather
than in Norwegian, easing residence-visa
rules using taxpayer money to fund the
building of mosques and pay the salaries
of imams, punishing those who had
reprinted the Danish Muhammed cartoons,
withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, 
and prohibiting homosexuality.
(Later, presumably loath to offend some
of his allies on the left, Butt made
phone call to Dagblade to  walk
back the bit about gays: while homosexual 
conduct is forbidden by Islam, he said, the
party did not intend to change Norwegian law
on the subject. (Yeah, right.)

"If Norwegians didn't drink alcohol, have
premarital sex, and eat pork,"  Butt told
Dagbladet,"they'd be the world's best Muslims."
He also suggested that Mossad was responsible
for 9/11 and echoed the popular myth that Jews
hadn't shown up for work at the World Trade Center
that day.

It is interesting to note that the official launch
of this putatively Norwegian political party took
place in Pakistan -- yet another apparent indication
of the way in which many Norwegian-Pakistanis
view their  relationships to their old and new
homelands.As Butt explained, it  was easier to
reach Norwegian Pakistani voters in Norway this
way because they didn't watch Norwegian TV: 
thanks to satellite dishes,  theisets are tuned
to the Pkistani channels on which he was planning
to do interviews. "In three years, Oslo's mayor will be
Norwegian-Pakistani," he predicted (wrong so far),
and expressed the hope that within fifteen years a
"second-generation immigrant" would be Norway's
prime minister.

Then there's the U.K., where Muslims established
the Islamic Party of Britain in 1989 only to dissolve
it in 2006 after limited success in local elections.
The party received widespread attention when
one of its functionaries,  in answer to a reader's
question on its website,  said that gays should
be put to death for "public…lewdness." 

The party is no more, but it lingers on, after a
fashion,in the form of the socialist Respect Party,
to which it had intimate ties.  Based in the
immigrant-heavy city of Manchester,
run by two peoplenamed Salma Yaqoob and
Abjol Miah, and founded in 2004 in opposition
to the war in Iraq, the partyn-- which has what
one might call a"special relationship"
with the Muslim Association of Britain,
the Muslim Council of Britain, and the
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain
(Marxist-Leninist)-- calls for a higher
minimum wage, higher taxes on the
rich to fund welfare programs, 
stauncher  support for Pakistani,
and a tough stance toward Israel;
though it presents itself as a part of the
left,it has soft-pedaled women's rights and
gay rights to garner Muslim votesIts most
famous member us the Hamas-loving
international gadfly George Galloway,
who represented the party in
Parliament after his expulsion
from Labour.

And let's not forget Spain, where in
2009 Muslims formed the Partido Renacimiento
y Unión de España (PRUNE),  which -- though
it calls explicitly for a "moral and ethical regeneration"
of Spanish society,with Islam as the
motive force-- denies that it's a Muslim party. 
A similar situation obtains in Germany, 
where a party called the Alliance
for Innovation and Justice, founded 
in 2010, also claims  It's not a Muslim
institution,  despite its overwhelmingly
Muslim membership, its clearly Islamic
ideological orientation, and its intimate ties
with the ruling party in Turkey.

So it goes. In those places in Europe where
Muslims, have reached a certain percentage
of the population, it's not surprising to see 
Muslim parties cropping up, fielding candidates, 
and, eventually, winning elections -- first for local
offices, then for seats in Parliament.

One challenge facing all such parties,
however, is that of convincing Muslims that
separate party is the best way for them to
gain power. Indeed, while it's important to
keep an eye on these still relatively small 
parties, at present the far more significant
problem is the readiness of the large,
established parties that,  in order to win
Muslim votes, are quick to betray
their founding principles -- and to sell out the
interests, rights, and security of members of
constituencies (such as gays and Jews)
that are increasingly being dwarfed by
ever-ballooning Muslim populations
The possibility of those Muslim votes 
being siphoned off by newer, smaller
parties with aggressively Islamic platforms
can only encourage the major parties 
to shift their own agendas in even more
Muslim-friendly directions.

It's all part, needless to say, of the complex,
subtle -- and ominous -- workings of soft jihad. 
Which is why he decision of the Party for
Muslim Netherlands to dive into the 
parliamentary fray is a development
worth taking note of. For it's no isolated
but part of a much larger 
and constantly shifting picture
-- that of the steady, and seemingly
inexorable, political Islamization of Europe.

By Bruce Bawer

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