Justin Vaisse is not yet a household name but this young man may go far. Of North African background, he has taught at Sciences Po in Paris and been a speechwriter for the French Minister of Defence. Currently at Washington's Brookings Institution, he is the leading French expert on — and the nemesis of — the neoconservatives. The fact that he is spending time in America may not necessarily affect his political prospects. After all, Georges Clemenceau did the same. Of late, he has discovered and given publicity to what he calls a new genre in American literature: Eurabia. Among the chief protagonists in this new genre he mentions above all Bernard Lewis, the greatest Orientalist of our time, and Bat Ye'or, who popularised the term "Eurabia" to warn against the Islamicisation of Europe. In view of the homeric struggle between the two sides — Lewis has been accused of appeasement, if not worse, by the other side — it seems somewhat far-fetched to find a common denominator for them, but Vaisse is a resourceful man.
Among the European protagonists of the Eurabian thesis, Vaisse mentions Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was born in Somalia and now lives in the US. I am also named, although it helps him very little that in Last Days of Europe (Thomas Dunne, 2007) I devoted several pages to my unhappiness with the very term "Eurabia" which, for a variety of reasons, I have never used and thought misleading. The great majority of Muslims in Britain are not Arab but Pakistani or Bangladeshi in origin. In Germany, the Turks greatly outnumber all other Muslims. In France, the majority is North and West African. In Belgium, Turkish and Moroccan, and so on. These are not minor, pedantic issues because traditions, culture, language and even the forms of Islam practised differ considerably in Europe. While the Arabs have tried to attain positions of leadership in the European Muslim communities, this has merely given additional impetus to tensions (and among the Arabs there is a bitter struggle between Shias and Sunnis). Arabs traditionally believe that only they are the true sons of the Prophet, giving them a feeling of superiority over other Muslims.
Vaisse has not been alone in his campaign against the prophets of Eurabia. He found several sober, level-headed and well informed experts such as Jocelyne Cesari at Harvard or Jytte Klausen, a Danish scholar at Brandeis. Dr Cesari argues that there has been in the Muslim communities a strong trend towards conservativism, but that this is not tantamount to support for terrorism. This is true and some in the West have paid insufficient attention to it. But even here a word of caution is necessary. Most of our knowledge on the mood and the political orientation of Muslim communities all over the world rests on public opinion polls, most prominently those carried out by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. How reliable, though, are these polls? To give an example: a figure of 13 per cent is usually given for those in Britain sympathising with al-Qaeda. But can it be taken for granted that those asked will reveal to strangers (who, for all they know, may be agents of the security forces) the secrets of their hearts and minds? The answer seems obvious.
To return to Vaisse's fellow experts: Professor Klausen is a happy soul. The author of Islamic Challenge (OUP, 2005), she reached the conclusion that there was no such challenge. She had interviewed some 300 professional Muslim men and women in various European countries, all middle- or upper-class businessmen, professors, lawyers and physicians, all of them reasonably content with their life and circumstances, identifying with their new countries and eager to collaborate in their social, political and economic life. There are indeed such people: the emerging Muslim elite. But the fact that these contented people are only so far a happy few seems not to have occurred to Professor Klausen. What influence do they have in their respective communities? Do the young people listen to them or to the imams? To what extent do they still identify with their erstwhile community? In Europe, most of them have moved out of Muslim ghettoes. This is not the case in India, where the Muslim middle- and upper-classes prefer to live with their coreligionists.
Professor Klausen attained fame a year later as the result of the Danish cartoon affair, having written a book about the subject. Yale University Press, the publishers, decided to delete the controversial cartoons rather than use them to illustrate the text. This, in turn, generated some protests, but Yale did not budge, and the impression was created that Professor Klausen in her book was breaking a lance for freedom of expression. Her intention, however, was to criticise the Danish government and even its society, which she thought intolerant. This was based on the belief that if integration did not work, this must have been the fault of the state, the authorities and the ethnic majority, not the religious or national minority, for it was the former that had to make the concessions.
Vaisse's and Dr Cesari's points of view were shaped largely by the French riots of 2005. The view can be summarised briefly but not unfairly as: "It's Marx, not Muhammad, stupid." In other words, the deeper causes of the unrest in the banlieues (housing estates) were social and economic, not religious fanaticism. This point of view is not entirely wrong, for if the people in the banlieues were as prosperous as Professor Klausen's happy few, it would indeed be less likely that they would engage in burning cars or in suicide missions. This generalisation should not, however, be pressed too far. Osama bin Laden and many of his intimates never went to bed hungry and did not come from poor backgrounds. For the deeper reasons, we do not find an answer in Das Kapital. How do we explain the fact that Muslim immigrants in Europe have not been doing remotely as well as newcomers from other countries? How to account for the fact that pupils in European schools from other cultures, for example China and India, have often been doing better than their classmates born in Europe — and that Muslim students have been doing much less well and that the dropout rate among them has been so high?
Optimism with regard to the prospects of multiculturalism (or more recently of integration) usually went hand in hand with optimism concerning the future of Europe and its standing in the world, and it is easy to see why. In the Last Days of Europe, I tried to point to the important social and cultural changes taking place in Europe and to the other grave dangers facing it. These arguments were neither sensational nor very original. Leo Tindemans, the former Belgian Prime Minister, had written in a position paper in the 1970s on the future of Europe that a house half finished would not last and that economic unity without a greater measure of political union would not work. Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the father of the euro, had expressed similar concerns. But the views I had expressed were not popular. They were criticised in the Economist and the Financial Times. It was not the message one wanted to hear. Only a few years have passed and one does not now see many new books or articles predicting that Europe will be the world's leading superpower and that the whole world will try to emulate the European model. The prophets of the European superpower have turned to other subjects whereas the critics of the Eurabian model have not given up so easily.
Justin Vaisse: Against the prophets of Eurabia
Before taking our discussion of Eurabia any further, there's need for a brief historical reminder. Those indignant about the use of the concept seem to be unaware that its origins are by no means Western and were not concocted in the cabals of the neoconservatives. It is a Muslim, or rather specifically Arab, concept. Among Middle Eastern public figures and writers, the idea that Muslims would be a majority in Europe goes back a long time. One early well-known example is the speech made in the United Nations General Assembly in 1974 by Houari Boumedienne, the then President of Algeria, in which he argued that in view of the high birth rate of Muslim women (and the low and declining birth rate in Europe) such a development was more or less inescapable. He was referring specifically to the "wombs of our women". Boumedienne was not among the leading demographers of his generation (nor was Libya's Colonel Gaddafi, who made a similar statement in 2006) but no special training was or is needed to observe the changes taking place in Europe's cities.
The idea he voiced has been repeated on countless occasions in speeches and on placards displayed in demonstrations in many European countries. The changing European situation has been described in great detail in books and articles in the Arab media. One recent example should suffice: an article written in May in English by Aijaz Zaka Syed (by no means an extremist) in the Saudi Arab News, observed from Brussels that "the capital of the new Europe increasingly looks like Beirut, Istanbul or any other great city in the Middle East". He is pleasantly surprised by the impact of the growing Arab and Muslim population on life in Europe, adding: "This is not just Brussels, scenes like these can be found in London and Paris, in Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam." He reports that European media have been buzzing with talk that "the Muslims are coming" and about the demographic time bomb. He advises his European colleagues not to get overexcited and wish the immigrants away but to accept the facts. Those who are invading Europe will transform its profile forever. But they are needed to rejuvenate an old and exhausted continent: "Like them or hate them, Europe has to learn to live with its Muslims."
Recent years have witnessed a flood of demographic literature, professional and less professional, about the number of Muslims already living in Europe and also projections far into the future. According to the UN, by the year 2300 Europe will be a black continent. There have been endless debates about whether to include in these statistics only new immigrants or also the second and third generation and those who acquired the citizenship of their countries of adoption. Those warning against alarmism have pointed out that the high birth rate among Muslim communities is declining and in all probability will continue to decline. This seems to be true, and it is also doubtful whether Muslims will continue to come in droves, but it is also true that the considerably lower European birthrate will probably not recover to any significant degree. It has nowhere reached reproduction rate (2.1 per family). In countries such as France, which is close to reproduction rate, the figures are probably misleading because they include births in the immigrant community. In any case, for the achievement of major political, cultural and social influence, 51 per cent is not the magical figure.
How significant are these demographic discussions? With all the differences of opinion there is some common ground. Everyone agrees that the present number of Muslim immigrants in Europe is relatively small — between five and ten per cent. But it is also true that their number among the younger age cohort is two or three times larger, which means that within one generation their percentage in the general population will be considerably higher. Five percentage points is a low figure, but if the five per cent consume 40 per cent of the social service budget at a time of severe cutbacks and provide a similar proportion of young inmates of the prisons, this is bound to generate political problems. There are certain concentrations of Muslim immigrants where the percentage of immigrants is at least one third: in Brussels, Roubaix in northern France, Malmö in Sweden, Duisburg and its vicinity in Germany, Bradford, Leicester and other towns in the East Midlands of England.
However, the demographic aspect is only part of the story, and less important than the cultural one. The history of Europe (and of other continents) is the history of migrations. Given its low birth rate, Europe can preserve its standard of living only with new immigrants-young, strong, intelligent, law-abiding, eager to work (to follow the definition of our Saudi visitor to Brussels). But where to find such paragons? Pakistan or the Middle East? Moreover, women in many Muslim communities are not permitted to work outside their home. The second and third generations of immigrants tend to be more radical than their parents. This radicalism by no means stems from deep, fundamentalist religiosity: the most radical are not the most pious believers who pray five times daily and scrupulously fulfill the other religious commandments. This is a generation of resentment, because unlike other groups they did not make it. Why did they not make it? Not because they were school dropouts, they believe, but because the dominant society discriminated against them in every way. They see themselves as the victims par excellence and their frustration turns into aggression. Their ideology is a mixture of religious and nationalist elements, combined with an enormous number of conspiracy theories, the more absurd the more popular. There is a distinct danger that out of these victims (as they perceive themselves) a new underclass is developing in some ways similar to what French 19th-century historians called classes dangereuses.
True, some of them did make it, sometimes against heavy odds. Some of these successful Muslims are showing greater toughness and realism vis-à-vis their communities than their non-Muslim counterparts. Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam, holds both Dutch and Moroccan nationality. This has not prevented him from advising those of his coreligionists who did not like it in the Netherlands to go back to their country of origin. Job Cohen, the former mayor of Amsterdam, would hardly have dared to make such a statement, not in any case before he resigned as mayor to become head of the Dutch Labour Party. Since then, he has been considerably more outspoken. Nyamko Sabuni, an
African Muslim and the Swedish minister for gender equality, suggested a medical investigation of Swedish schoolgirls to find out the extent of genital mutilation. Nothing became of her initiative but it is unlikely that any of her Swedish-born colleagues would have dared even to mention a subject like this.
The decisive issue is not the numbers but the integration of the new immigrants. About half of the newcomers — more in some countries, fewer elsewhere — have expressed their wish to adopt the values and customs of their new homes, but half are rejecting them as incompatible with Islam. The authorities in some countries (notably France and the Netherlands) claim that Muslim integration has been more successful than generally believed. No major terrorist attacks have succeeded in Europe in the last five years since the London and Madrid bombings and the murder of Theo van Gogh. However, these claims cannot always be taken at face value. In Germany, the optimism is based on an investigation of all immigrants, including the many who came from Russia. In England, glowing accounts have been published about certain state-supported Muslim schools. But on closer investigation, it appeared that they were preaching that most things British were sinful, including Shakespeare and cricket. Many dozens of young Muslims from Germany, Denmark and the UK have gone to fight the infidels (or their own brothers) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere. But the issue is not terrorism, important as it is, but integration or the "rejuvenation" of Europe.
What then of the second and third generation? A well-known Berlin imam has said that "the road to the mosque is long and the temptations are many". It is not clear what temptations he had in mind: probably not Western political philosophy but those of the flesh such as the less savoury aspects of contemporary Western civilisation — drugs, drinking, pornography. While the second and third generation of Muslim immigrants is generally more radical, this may well change over time. But it is unlikely to change soon. It may take several more generations. Islam once had a great civilisation and there could be a revival after centuries of stagnation and decline. But what kind of "rejuvenation" can Europe expect in the years and decades to come?
It will probably be impossible to keep Muslim communities residing in the West in isolation from the outside world however intense the internal pressures and ideological indoctrination. The most obvious example is gender equality. Orthodox Muslim society is opposed to it and to more sexual freedom in general, which is considered corrupt and deeply sinful. Undermining this fundamental attitude would mean undermining male domination in society and there will be tremendous resistance against it. It is not ethical purity and moral superiority that is at stake, but domination. Why some women should participate in the process of keeping their status in society inferior by wearing the niqab and in other ways is a fascinating psychological problem that certainly deserves further study. The same is true with regard to secularism in general: concessions to secularism undermine not just deeply rooted and cherished beliefs, but the rule of the mullahs, who will not easily surrender.
How far will European societies go in accommodating a fast- growing minority that not only faces great difficulties with social and cultural integration but is to a considerable extent opposed to it? Positive discrimination helped in some societies but not in others. A German minister recently stated that a Muslim prime minister was no longer unthinkable, and a Dutch minister has expressed the belief that sharia may become the law of the land. But what kind of prime minister and what version of sharia? European banking systems have adjusted their financial procedures to conform with sharia principles. But it is doubtful that even the most liberal archbishop will justify honour killings, genital mutilation and similar practices in the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, there has been growing resistance to the most striking manifestations of Muslim "otherness" in various European countries such as Belgium and France. This refers to mosques and minarets in Switzerland and niqabs, hijabs and burqas in France. The ban on wearing these in public was supported by not a few Muslims but attacked by others as a restriction of the freedom of religious practice. Wearing them is not stipulated in sharia; they are sectarian inventions and are political in motivation, designed to make it clear that the wearer wants nothing to do with the culture and way of life of the others. It is a form of protest against integration.
European societies have indeed learnt to live with their Muslims as the cities of Europe begin to look like those of the Middle East. This process increasingly affects not only outward appearances but the general quality of life as well as competitiveness and most other aspects of culture and the economy. And it is also clear that this process has an impact on the foreign policy of European governments. The discussions as to whether such changes are taking place should cease: in Arab vernacular, they are kalam fadi ("empty talk"). Debates should now focus on the future. The problem is not a "takeover" but gradual and probably irreversible changes. How far will they go? In any event, "rejuvenation" is hardly the most fitting term for this process. There is bound to be a backlash, but to maintain political and social peace accommodation might still be inescapable.
One major country is usually ignored in the discussions on Europe's future, the one with the greatest number of Muslim citizens. Russia. Books with such titles as The Islamisation of Russia appeared in Moscow well before Western Europe. The number of Muslim citizens in Russia is estimated at 25-30 million. Some, especially in the Middle Volga region, are highly assimilated; unlike in Europe, there has been a fair amount of intermarriage. Moscow is believed to have between 1.5 and two million legal and illegal Muslim inhabitants, the majority of whom have made it clear that they have no wish "to return to the Middle Ages". Others, as in the Northern Caucasus, are engaging in terrorism and guerrilla warfare against Russia, just as their ancestors did in the 19th century. The Russian government has tried to accommodate Muslims but this policy has collided with the growing xenophobia not just among the Russian Right and the Orthodox Church but with wide sections of the general population demanding "Russia for the Russians". The demands of the moderate Muslim communities, while not extreme, have been growing and are increasingly influencing Russian foreign policy; Russia is now a member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which has asked that the deputy head of the Russian state should by law be an ethnic Muslim. Since their birthrate is much higher than the Russian average, the importance of Muslims in Russian life is increasing. In a decade from now, it is estimated that one in three recruits to the Russian army will be of Muslim origin. These and other tensions are unmistakable. They might be contained, except perhaps in the Caucasus. But the real test is bound to come after the retreat of Nato from Afghanistan, when the Taliban and other such groups will be free to devote their energies to the former Soviet central Asian republics, considered by Moscow as part of its "privileged zone of influence". At present, many Russians, including some in high places, believe that they are doing the West a great favour by permitting supplies to reach coalition troops in Afghanistan. There could be a rude awakening.
If true, the number are disturbing: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani pulls down a salary of approximately $12 million per year, and that doesn't include the money that is channeled through the Nokan Corporation, the company that handles his party's business interests. Masud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan — which comprises Iraq's three northern provinces — pulls in a salary of approximately $400,000 per month, and that doesn't include his extensive business holdings, the mountaintop resort he confiscated as a family compound, the public money he has absorbed from the treasury, or payments he receives from some neighboring states.
Such salaries, of course, dwarf President Obama's. And pensions are huge and paid in perpetuity. Kurds talk about one case a couple years ago, in which the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's prime minister appointed a relative to a ministry for about a day — so the relative would draw a full pension for life.
When the Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdish governments spend such vast sums on themselves, it certainly raises question about Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan's priorities and their need for U.S. financial assistance at a time when taxpayers are already suffocating.
But We Can Explain The inconsistency: Russia Is So Tiny, And Israel Is So Big
From Just Journalism:
Inconsistent media attitudes to misuse of UK passports abroad
30 June 2010
Though many and crucial differences exist between the cases of the alleged Russian spy ring arrested in the US yesterday and the suspected assassination by Israeli agents of a Hamas leader in Dubai in January this year, the common misuse of British and Irish passports is worth noting. In the latter case, expressions of political and media outrage were abundant; in the former, not so much on either front.
An editorial published by The Guardian following the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from the UK following the Dubai affair: ‘Israel and Britain: The rule of law,’ (24 March 2010) carried the sub-head, ‘The forging of British passports is the work of a country which believes it can act with impunity when planning the murder of its enemies’. The piece described the faking of UK passports as ‘the mark[s] of an arrogant nation that has overreached itself.’ In today’s editorial, ‘Russian espionage: Spies like us,’ in the same newspaper, the alleged use of a forged UK passport failed to even elicit a mention.
The BBC, too, seems to view the fraudulent use of British passports by foreign governments in the service of illegal activities, as requiring nuance. In its coverage so far the profile given to the UK passport forgery is negligible. Of the eight articles (1) published on its news website on the subject in the last 24 hours, only three (2) even mention the issue. Paul Reynolds did draw a link between the two cases at the tail end of his piece, ‘Russian 'spies' were no James Bonds,’ identifying this common alleged use of British passports by Israel and Russia as ‘one diplomatic footnote which might be followed up by the British and Irish governments.’
BBC broadcast coverage followed the same line, treating the misuse of UK passports as a footnote. Yesterday's PM programme on Radio 4 contained a three-minute report on the story in which the introduction stated: ‘British officials say they’re investigating whether a member of the alleged Russian spy ring used a UK passport.’ In the subsequent interview with an ex-KGB agent, the subject was not revisited. Last night's The World Tonight did not mention this point in its brief coverage at all. On the channel’s flagship news programme, Today, only one of the numerous reports contained a (passing) reference to the use of a British passport by the alleged spies.
Both the BBC Six and Ten O’clock news editions contained brief mentions of the fact that a British passport may have been used by the alleged Russian spies, whereas Channel 4 News gave the allegation prominence by including it in its introduction to the story; however, this was not followed up subsequently.
Unlike the swift and strong political reaction from the UK to the suggestion that Israel had misused British passports in the Dubai affair, the Foreign Office has, as yet, not issued harsh words aimed at the Russian government. However, this only goes some way towards explaining the near total lack of interest on the part of the British media in this aspect of the Russian spy ring story.
Colin Hall, Lord Mayor of Leicester, suffered the mishap on a visit to Southfields library in Leicester on Tuesday morning.
Mr Hall was a guest at a 'Summer Showcase' organised by Global Education Leicester/Shire, a network which works with teachers and education institutions to promote greater understanding of global perspectives, a city council spokesman confirmed today.
He said Mr Hall offered his 'deepest apologies' for anyone who might have been offended when his trousers came loose and fell down at the event.
The spokesman said: 'The Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Colin Hall, attended a function at a local library yesterday where he suffered an unfortunate problem with his trousers.
"He was not wearing a belt and the trousers came loose and fell.
'The Lord Mayor has offered his deepest apologies to those attending the event for any offence caused by the accident.'
The Cunning Passageways of TWA Flight 800: An Unauthorized History
by Christopher S. Carson (July 2010)
Six months ago, authorities seized a cargo plane in Bangkok that contained 35 tons of North Korean military weapons. These included versions of the Chinese HN-5 “man-portable air defense system,” or MANPADS. The MANPADS were being shipped to Iran. The HN-5 — a copy of the Soviet SA-7— is less capable than the MANPADS Iran produces on its own. Why, you ask, would Iran be importing more primitive missiles than the ones it already makes? The only conceivable answer is that Iran was planning to provide North Korean missiles to Iran’s proxy terrorist groups, to gain plausible deniability in case the missiles were ever used or grabbed. In other words, Iran is now in the business of fronting MANPADS from a variety of sources to Hezbollah, the Islamic Courts Union of Somalia, al Shabaab, the Taliban, and apparently al Qaeda. more>>>
An acquaintance of mine, whose opinions I generally respect, once said that snobbery is a vice, but a very minor one. I am not so sure.
Like many phenomena, snobbery is easier to recognise than to define. The definition of a snob in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is inadequate. The Penguin English Dictionary does much better. It defines a snob as ‘Someone who tends to patronize or avoid those regarded as social inferiors; someone who blatantly attempts to cultivate or imitate those admired as social superiors; someone who has an air of smug superiority in matters of knowledge or taste.’ The same dictionary defines ‘inverted snob’ as one ‘who sneers indiscriminately at people and things associated with wealth and high society.’ One possible derivation of the word snob is from the Latin sine nobilitate, without nobility. more>>>
The following speech was delivered by Ms. Weatherwax to the Second Symposium of the New English Review, Nashville Tennessee Saturday 19th June 2010.
The title of my talk today comes from the song ragged heroes by John Tams – opening track of Rise Up Like The Sun, the 1978 album by the Albion Band an English folk and country dance band.
It’s a ‘calling on’ song asking “where are all the ragged heroes, buried in their suits of pine” which these days brings to my mind the cortege of coffins of repatriated servicemen coming through Wootton Bassett. more>>>
Spain?s Overseas Plazas in Africa, the Gibraltar Question and the Western Sahara; A Complicated Chess Game
by Norman Berdichevsky(July 2010)
The following is an expanded version of Dr. Berdichevsky's speech delivered to the New English Review Symposium, "Decline, Fall & Islam," June 19th, 2010.
In the Rise and Fall of Islam, several lengthy chapters are currently being played out amidst the consequences of the Spanish Reconquista, the Expulsion of the Jews, and the centuries long conflict between Great Britain and Spain. Also involved are Israel, the Palestinians, radical Arab nationalism, and Morocco and its neighbors. Five separate but related areas are involved. more>>>
by Mary Jackson (July 2010)
The following is the speech Ms. Jackson delivered to the 2010 New English Review Symposium, Decline, Fall & Islam on June 19th, 2010.
Good Evening – it’s lovely to be in Nashville. As you can tell, I’m from England, but I’m learning to speak American with the aid of a handy little dictionary. As well as the obvious differences – lift and elevator, lift and ride – I was surprised to learn that the American for “turnip” is “turnip”, and the American for “swede” is also “turnip”. For “funny bone” Americans say “crazy bone” – that seems like a bit of one-upmanship to me – and what we English call a “fish slice”, you call a “pancake spatula”. Then I looked up “tomato”, which it gave as “tomato” – very confusing. Still, I’ll get the hang of this eventually. more>>>
Scribblers into Activists: From the Enlightenment to the New English Review
by Jerry Gordon (July 2010)
The following is an expanded version of Mr. Gordon's speech delivered to the 2010 NER Symposium, "Decline, Fall & Islam," on June 19, 2010.
In this article, we review important writer activists from the Age of Enlightenment to today’s era of instant communications via the Internet.
Among the historical figures who transformed the art of pamphleteering into bold initiatives are John Peter Zenger and Thomas Paine during the Age of Revolution, Emile Zola and Theodore Herzl during the Dreyfus Affair of the Third Republic in France, and Winston Churchill and George Orwell during the Pre-World War II epoch. Gordon relates his experiences as a writer activist in the era of the Anti-Jihad movement using the tools of the internet and instant communications. The review provide details of current New English Review initiatives in radio broadcasting and publishing to create alliances and broaden its reach to a wider public audience influencing developments regarding human rights, national and international security policies. more>>>
The following is a speech delivered by Mr. Adams to the New English Review Symposium, "Decline, Fall & Islam," June 19th, 2010.
The crises of today are not unprecedented. They all have understandable and definable origins rooted in history.
In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Frodo the Ring Bearer says, “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” Gandalf the wizard replies: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” more>>>
The House of Values: Language and the Human Person
by Mark Anthony Signorelli (July 2010)
The following is a speech delivered by Mr. Signorelli to the 2010 New English Review Symposium, "Decline Fall & Islam," on June 19, 2010.
In the third book of Gulliver’s Travels, Swift’s hero visits the famous Academy at Lagado, a passage which is generally understood as a parody of the Royal Society, and the single-minded commitment to scientific methodology which that institution represented to Swift. Among the ludicrous experiments being conducted by the Academy members is one undertaken by a professor in the School of Languages, which he calls “a scheme for abolishing all words whatsoever.” more>>>
by Rebecca Bynum (July 2010)
The following is the speech Ms. Bynum delivered to the 2010 New English Review Symposium, Decline, Fall & Islam on June 19th, 2010.
Last year I spoke to the issue of whether Islam should be classified as a religion or given a separate category of its own. I concluded that because Islam does not function in society in the way we expect religion to function, that it should not be classed along with the other religions of the world. It is like the duck-billed platypus of belief systems and because Islam is so unique it deserves its own category – some Latin word combining politics and religion perhaps. more>>>
by Nidra Poller (July 2010)
The following is an expanded version of the speech delivered by Ms. Poller to the New English Review symposium, "Decline, Fall & Islam," on June 19, 2010.
Why does the decline of Islam have to fall on us? How can we shift the burden back where it belongs? Though the balance of military, technological, and economic power is overwhelmingly in our favor, we are constantly losing ground. The last great confrontation with a genocidal totalitarian war machine—Nazi Germany and its allies—caught us militarily off guard. Our democracies scrambled, tooled up, and fought to win. Today we have the best armies in the world. And they are hamstrung because our minds are disarmed. more>>>
The following is an expanded version of the speech Mr. Warraq delivered to the 2010 New English Review Symposium, "Decline, Fall & Islam" on June 19, 2010.
PART ONE: SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY
A few years ago I was invited to a conference at The Hague by Professor Hans Jansen, the great Arabist. After listening to series of grim papers all day long, Hans and I headed for the nearest bar. I was to give my talk the next day and I asked him what I should talk about. He replied, you must begin with a joke, there were not enough jokes. So I shall begin with a joke, first told me by Joe Hoffmann, which in fact is relevant to the theme of my present paper, that is, historical methodology, and the consequences of scientific research into the origins of early Islam and Christianity, consequences for the believer above all. more>>>
The Muslim Lobby as an Impediment to the US-Israel Relationship
by Raphael Israeli (July 2010)
The following is an expanded version of the speech Dr. Israeli delivered to the 2010 New English Review Symposium, "Decline, Fall & Islam" June 19th 2010.
The fifty year-old special relationship between the US and Israel (1960- 2010), which has been steady on the whole despite occasional ups and downs, has been founded on such immutable constants as common values, a strategic alliance, Christian Zionism, the influence of AIPAC and of the Jewish community, and an unshakable support of both houses of Congress to Israel since its inception. The Muslim presence in the US, which in numbers has always approximated the Jewish presence, was never as potent in the past due to the low profile and the relatively marginal impact of the Muslim community on the economic, intellectual, artistic and political life of the US. more>>>
A Tory MP has launched an effort to pass a law banning Muslim women from wearing the burka. Philip Hollobone will attempt to steer legislation through the Commons to regulate the wearing of "certain facial coverings".
He told the Press Association: "I think it's inappropriate to cover your face in public, whether it's a burka, a balaclava or anything else. We are never going to get along with having a fully integrated society if a substantial minority insist on concealing their identity from everyone else."
The MP said the British public like to smile and greet one another in the street but "you simply can't have that degree of interaction with people if you can't see their face". He got a lot of support when he said this before the election; and his constituents re-elected him.
The backbencher was one of 20 MPs drawn in a ballot for the chance to get a Private Members' Bill on the statute book. His Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill had its first reading in the Commons on Wednesday, a formality which allows the legislation to be printed. Because Mr Hollobone was only drawn 17th in the ballot, his Bill stands little chance of progress.