During recent travels in Europe I have noticed the growing ideological conflicts between establishment figures and their supporters on the one hand and a resurgent nationalist coalition united by the ever present threat of terrorism. A similar polarisation in the United States is pooling the liberals of the centre, the left and the neo-conservative right, against those who supported and mostly still back Donald Trump, defined by their antagonists as either members of the alt-right (even when they are not fascists) or populists.
In both continents, the fulcrum of the battle is the matter of large-scale immigration and cultural norms, mostly Afro-Asian and Muslim in Europe, largely Latin American and Far Eastern, but also Middle Eastern in the US.
At the core of the opposing, loose but combative coalitions are two ideologies: globalisation and nationalism respectively, further divided by the rise of a third and alien force: Islamic militant radicalism.
Above the shallow arguments and often violent clashes, there is a far more thoughtful and critical debate. The globalists are guided by the Anglo-American concept of universal multi-cultural “living together”, which will eventually merge all identities into a single market and secular consumer culture. There are many variants of that theory, from the strategic plan to universalise American values and rules, by military means if needed, promoted since the 1990s by US Professor of Strategy and Consultant to the Pentagon, Thomas Barnett, to the “happy globalisation” touted by French corporate leader and technocrat Alain Minc (son of a Communist party member), a mentor of President Emmanuel Macron.
That ideal, rooted in Karl Popper’s concept of the “Open Society” and pushed by the Soros Foundation, by engineering the breakdown of borders and encouraging mass immigration, is espoused by the so-called New Left, which has replaced its old ideal of worldwide proletarian rule with a peculiar mix of socialist welfare system and socio-moral libertarian political correctness quite compatible with the current form of capitalism.
Another French financier, Jacques Attali has conceptualised the image of the human being of tomorrow as a transnational permanent individualistic migrant moving around the planet with his virtual electronic office in a continuous pursuit of temporary jobs as a consultant of fortune.
All these promoters of a borderless technological Utopia are challenged—in the twin meanings of the word—by the chronic occurrence of international terrorism, which flies in the face of their futurological theories while using the very cyber-electronic tools they promote.
The radical Islamist plan adopted by Al Qaeda, ISIS-Daesh, and implemented increasingly by local cells of volunteers and “self-radicalised” individuals, is inspired by the strategies devised in their day by the founders of the Islamic Brotherhood for the conquest of power through a secret network, but in lieu of organised guerrilla warfare, which has proven unsuccessful against powerful modern armies and police forces; terrorism in multiple forms, including its suicidal version, has become almost the only weapon of the radicals. Globalised terrorism fights and yet somehow unwittingly supports globalised techno-financial centralisation like a virus, which helps to develop stronger drugs.
The leadership of the self-styled takfiris (combatants) has singled out a few basic principles in the Holy Quran, the Sunna and the Hadith in the Hanbali interpretation revived by the Wahhabis. Although the western intelligentsia and the moderate Muslims often qualify it as insane, the logic of the Al Qaeda/ISIS ideological family is simple and ruthless. It emphasises the following tenets and requires total adhesion from its followers:
* All men are born Muslim and those who have become kafirs (unbelievers) due to the societies they live in must be brought back to the true faith by persuasion or force.
* Islam is a complete system of government and social management for the world, which cannot be combined with human-centric concepts such as electoral democracy, political parties, religious freedom, secularism, acceptance of atheism, pluralism, multiculturalism, moral subjectivity, homosexuality, gender fluidity and so on.
* The Islamic caliphate in the past ruled much of the then known world and must recover the lands it lost while reasserting the integrity of Muslim law and practice in the territories which are nominally Muslim (Dar ul Islam).
* All deviations from the original practice of the Prophet and his companions (Salafa) must be wiped out and the “true faith” restored.
* The modern world is ruled by a Satanic, Godless hedonistic philosophy, which makes man’s desires the only rule, provided he has money to satisfy them.
* Islam is incompatible with this perverse system and is God’s weapon to fight and destroy it by all means available.
* The community of believers (Ummah) is one and indivisible, contrary to the widespread opinion that there are “many Islams” divided by history, culture and geography. The loyalty of Muslims is to the Ummah and not to tribes, nation-states, a global secular government or anything else.
* Jihad, the holy or righteous war against infidels, whether they are juridically Muslim or not is the weapon given by God to restore his rule and it is incumbent on Muslims who desire salvation, promised by Him if they sacrifice their bodies in this endeavour.
This worldview is inaccessible to secular “scientific” minds brought up in the spirit of scepticism and relativism. Thus we witness almost daily in the news the bemused and disbelieving reactions of western elites and people who claim not to understand why the followers of that doctrine go on the rampage to kill innocent and anonymous bystanders. As a result of an unwillingness to face reality, the global elite and mainstream society have almost uniformly adopted an attitude of denial, often claiming that such or such terrorist act was caused by personal frustrations, economic deprivation or mental derangement and was not related to any political or religious objective. Even less pertinent is the attempt by some well meaning non-Muslims to argue that the belief system of extremists has nothing to do with their religion, which they claim to know better than its native practitioners. Yet in effect what those idealists do is selectively interpret an unfamiliar creed and retain what they like about it while ignoring what they find disturbing or incompatible with their own views.
Yet more and more people realise that those politically correct reactions are ineffective and can even prove suicidal. As Imam Yusuf Al Qaradawi, a prominent scholar and preacher close to the Muslim Brotherhood, famously said about the West: “Your democratic laws force you to accept us, our Islamic laws will enable us to conquer (or convert) you.”
Khalid Sheykh Mohammed, the Al Qaeda mastermind who was held in secret detention for many years by the Americans is known to have spoken about the “peaceful invasion” that would enable Muslims to take control of European societies after changing their composition and character. Those religious ideologues are quite clear that legislation based on human rights can be used to their advantage by preventing those bound by it from effectively controlling and stopping the tide of immigration. The international Tamkeen Project revealed by a Muslim student leader is intended to “acclimatize Europe to Muslim religious law and lifestyles”, not make local Muslim citizens conform to the laws of the land. The radical strategists perceive the weakness of amorphous and pluralistic, money-driven polities, moved by a combination of sentimental humanitarianism and short-sighted utilitarianism to which they oppose the steely resolve, the patience and the willpower of their fighters hidden in the mostly passive mass of the immigrant communities, estranged from and resentful of the nations in which they live and generally unwilling or unable to expel the extremist virus in their midst.
Part II will be published next week.