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The deep Crisis of the West
Norway seen through the prism of 22 July
24.02.2012. Bruce Bawer’s book The New Quislings - How the International Left Used the Oslo Massacre to Silence Debate About Islam, is interesting for a particular reason: very few American writers have observed Norway from within over a long period. (Bawer has lived in Oslo since 1999). His reflections on 22/7 should be interesting for both Norwegians and and an international opinion, writes Hans Rustad, editor of Document.no. Some further excerpts of his analysis:
Norway’s public sphere is still a tribal affair, and hard to penetrate. A heavy dose of political correctness goes perfectly well with tribalism, and gives it a sense of purpose and self-righteousness. Foreign journalists have a difficult task trying to dechiffer what is going on. They are left to scratch the surface, and may be forgiven for thinking that it is authentic.
That may be one of the reasons why Bruce Bawer has been a non-person in Norway up til now. One reads about foreigners in Japan who are told “you are getting to know us a little too well”, and Bruce Bawer may be unwelcome for the same reason. The powers that be don’t like prying eyes. They want affirmation, not criticism.
Is Bawer up to the job? Yes and no. Bawer’s forte is that he is an American, which means he knows and cherishes liberty, freedom. It is ingrained in Americans. Norwegians cherish independence, but freedom as a political concept is a different thing. The independent-minded Norwegian has lost much of his freedom because he did not care enough about political freedom. That is the sad story repeating itself in much of Europa today.
Bear in mind: after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet bloc, there was appointed a commission that concluded that surveillance of communists and the new left, maoist or reformist, was illegal. The police trespassed and encroached upon the right to political dissent by registering political views. That Norway had a marxist-leninist party who openly advocated overthrow of the political system by force if necessary – selfdefense in ML-jargon – did not matter. Thus totalitarian ideology was rendered harmless and accepted as normal. This formed a template for the future: with the rise of islam in Norway, it was met with the same overbearing tolerance and refusal to consider if there might be a clash of values.
This normalization of totalitarianism also had a security aspect: since it was forbidden to register opinions, the same applied to religious conviction. This tolerance was taken to extremes: it was not forbidden to be a member of Al Qaeda in Norway. Even preparations for terror had to be in concert with at least two persons, in order to be illegal.
During the radical years – the legitimacy of the state, of the democratic system, was questioned. It is simply not true that the marxist-leninists only talked. Their movement was a whole package: ideology, a strategy for seizing power, both through mobilization and armed resistance. The all out character of the fight meant that it was correct to be prepared for all circumstances. Everything was possible: down to theft and burial of dynamite. Just in case. The maoist party also had its own security wing that spied on political adversaries, not just on the right side, and the police. The softly socialist party, SV, on the other hand spied on the security police, and compiled lists with names of their officers and cars.
For people on the left this was considered perfectly normal resistance against the class enemy. That this was subversion, that it questioned the legitimacy not only of the state, but democracy itself, was beyond most members, and still are. The past has been quietly buried, many members have made careers in the media, and cultural life.
These skeletons are still in the cupboard, and the result is that Norway in some sense reminds one of a film by Chabrol, Truffaut or Bunuel: The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie. This generation of 68′ers have raised kids that have taken their parents version for granted. No revolt against the revolters. The parents insist on being both antiauthoritarian and authorities. Which makes for schizophrenia.
This Janus-face is part and parcel of the trumpeted New Norway. Emancipation with a heavy hand. A tolerance for intolerance, but only the intolerance of oneself, or the intolerance of the Other, not the intolerance or prejudice that ordinary people harbor: Again schizophrenia.
Bruce Bawer happened to be drawn into this maelstrom. He suddenly was in the limelight, and fights back. He has a Norwegian friend, and a two year old nephew in Telemark. The book is written to safeguard his future, Bawer tells us. He cares about Norway.
But Bawer has an important point: the media and commentators showed no restraint after 22/7, but started what is correctly called a witch hunt.
No wonder Bawer was provoked. But he spends too much time elaborating on personal attacks. It is true: people like Sindre Bangstad, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Jostein Gaarder, Aslak Sira Myhre, Lars Gule et al showed no restraint. They openly called for dissenters to be muzzled.
There is a fight going on about the soul of Norway: in a morbid sense Anders Behring Breivik is a lost child of the 68-generation, and they do not recognize him, and wants to stamp out any connection, relevance or relationship. But in a sense this generation is chasing its own tail. They are obsessed by samess – they can only recognize what looks like and thinks like themselves. And this shadow, this horrid monster scares them stiff. They want to quash his ideas, they think it is his ideas that are dangerous, and that they can reeducate the public by denouncing anybody who harbors ideas similar to his. But this simplistic notion of the relationship between word and deed are in many ways too similar to their own violent past; with its embrace of violent liberation, especially abroad, but also at home.
Norway is on the wrong track.
That the media and commentariat are insisting that Breivik is normal, is a worrying development. 22/7 is about to evolve into something we cannot foresee. A runaway train.
Read the entire article at Document.no.
23.02.2012. A South African family is desperate to remain in the US, its members claiming they cannot return home because, as Afrikaners, they will be subject to racial discrimination, according to Times Live (emphasis added):
The family's legal representative has been contacting US academics in a bid to get a scholarly opinion that would bolster the asylum application.
The family, described by the law firm as "white Afrikaner farmers", is among dozens of South Africans who, over the past decade, have applied for asylum abroad for a range of reasons, including fear of persecution and violent crime. Some of the applications have been successful.
When contacted for comment, the family's lawyer, Rehim Babaoglu, said the family was too afraid to be identified.
"They were shocked to hear that a reporter was seeking information and they have no comment. They definitely don't want to participate because of privacy and safety concerns," said Babaoglu.
But Professor Mark Behr, of Rhodes College, in Memphis, Tennessee, and Dr Dennis Laumann, of the University of Memphis, have rejected requests that they help the family.
"I am not interested in assisting Afrikaners claiming discrimination in a non-racial, democratic, post-apartheid South Africa," wrote Laumann.
"In my scholarly opinion, there is absolutely no basis for their allegation - whatever evidence they may present."
Behr - who is an award-winning South African author - said he did not believe the law firm would find "any fair-minded scholar" to support the family.
"If the people your firm seeks to represent are in any way victims of racism, it is, sadly, only a racism of their own making, in their own minds.
Continue reading in Times Live. See also iol news.
Has left Britain with a toxic legacy
13.02.2012. Multiculturalism's principal effect has been to harden the lines between ethnic groups, writes Alasdair Palmer in The Telegraph. Here are some excerpts from his article:
Continue reading in The Telegraph.
Almost every serious politician now recognises that Honeyford was correct to maintain both that multiculturalism is a recipe for the segregation of communities and that it would work against the development of a single set of basic values that could bind members of British society together. But while multiculturalism may have been abandoned as government policy, its legacy is everywhere.
Its principal effect has been to harden dividing lines between ethnic groups. This is not just a matter of whites living in different areas from non-whites, but also of (for example) Pakistanis living in one neighbourhood, Bangladeshis in another, Sikhs in a third, and so on.
The highest levels of segregation recorded anywhere in the UK are those between Indians and Pakistanis in towns in the north of England. Those towns also exhibit a markedly higher degree of segregation between blacks and Asians than between whites and blacks. This suggests that the explanation for the division is not white racism, but rather the lack of a common culture that would allow different groups to share anything significant. The isolation of communities helps to perpetuate beliefs and practices that are opposed to British values.
But ministers, judges, and officials are reluctant to insist that the first condition of British citizenship for any immigrant should be to adopt British values – such as speaking English, accepting all citizens’ equal rights, and recognising that the only procedure for deciding on legitimate political authority is free elections to Parliament.
As we dither on this, multiculturalism continues its divisive work. And it will soon be too late to do anything about it: Britain will have permanently fractured into factions united by nothing except mutual incomprehension and antipathy.
Bruce Bawer in Wall Street Journal
08.02.2012. Excerpts from Bawer's article After the Oslo Massacre, an Assault on Free Speech -
Norway's left seeks to silence Islam's critics by linking them to a mass murderer in WSJ:
In Norway,” I wrote in these pages on July 25, “to speak negatively about any aspect of the Muslim faith has always been a touchy matter . . . . It will, I fear, be a great deal more difficult to broach these issues now that this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.”
This statement was harshly criticized by Norway’s multicultural left. How dare anyone speak of such issues at a time like this! It was as if the concerns I had raised were abstract or narrowly political.
On the contrary, Islam’s rise in the West is a subject that needs to be discussed frankly, without euphemism or disinformation. The survival of secular democracy, individual liberty and women’s rights depends upon it.
Sadly, my prediction turned out to be far more prescient than I could have imagined. In the weeks and months following Breivik’s rampage, dozens of high-profile Norwegian leftists stepped forward to claim that critics of Islam shared responsibility for his crimes—and to call, darkly if vaguely, for action.
On July 28, for instance, novelist Jostein Gaarder, author of “Sophie’s World,” and social anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen, writing in the New York Times, linked Breivik to “right-wing” Islam critics, including me. “Mr. Breivik,” they wrote, “has now shown that those who claim to protect the next generation of Norwegians against Islamist extremism are, in fact, the greater menace.”
Lars Gule, former head of the Norwegian Humanist Association, agreed. “It is obvious,” wrote Mr. Gule in VG, Norway’s largest daily, on Aug. 1, “that certain groups, persons, and communities have contributed to Breivik’s warped view of reality, and these people need to take a good look at themselves. If not, others must help them.”
On Aug. 22, Norway’s newspaper of record, Aftenposten, ran an op-ed coauthored by Mr. Eriksen and three others—social anthropologist Sindre Bangstad, philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen and Bushra Ishaq of Norway’s Anti-Racist Center. Titled “Hateful Utterances,” it called for tighter limits on free speech in the wake of July 22.
“Certain hateful utterances,” the authors insisted, “are legally and morally unacceptable.” Rejecting “free speech absolutism,” and criticizing the United States for “go[ing] the furthest in protecting the right to expression—including hateful expression,” they argued that “Norwegian editors as well as politicians” needed to make it clear that “it is not a human right to express oneself in public; and that certain hateful utterances . . . are not acceptable.”
Anthropologist Runar Døving agreed, declaring flatly, in a Sept. 2 interview with the Norwegian weekly Morgenbladet, that criticism of Islam should be censored. Mr. Døving admitted that his view of the public square was “authoritarian”—the expression of certain ideas, he said, should simply not be allowed—and that he was “entirely in favor of what many people are now describing as a witch hunt,” because “there needs to be an investigation of what was written before July 22″ so that we can “see the connection between words and actions.”
Indeed, a witch hunt is under way in Norway. In the name of multicultural tolerance and social harmony, some of the most powerful members of the country’s left-wing intelligentsia are seeking to silence Islam’s critics by linking them to a mass murderer who has become the most despised individual in modern Norwegian history. This campaign has been carried out on a scale, and with an intensity, that is profoundly unsettling. It should be firmly resisted by everyone who treasures freedom of expression and recognizes it as the cornerstone of human liberty.
Original in WSJ, via Document.no.
Ibn Warraq’s defense of Western civilization
04.02.2012. Bruce Thornton is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of classics and humanities at California State University Fresno. Writes Thornton in City Journal about Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate’s Defense of Liberal Democracy, by Ibn Warraq:
Occasionally, the mainstream media will let slip something that reveals the incoherence of multiculturalist orthodoxy. Not long ago, the New York Times reported on an Indian casino in California that had begun purging its rolls of members deemed insufficiently Indian. At the end of the story, an official from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, himself an Indian, remarked: “The tribe has historically had the ability to remove people. Tolerance is a European thing brought to the country. We never tolerated things. We turned our back on people.”
Such honesty about the Western origins of goods like tolerance is rare these days among the media, academic, and popular-culture purveyors of multicultural “diversity.” For them, other cultures are just as good as, if not better than, the West’s—but at the same time, these cultures allegedly endorse Western ideals such as tolerance, gender equality, human rights, political freedom, and the other universal boons to which people everywhere aspire. They deem it Eurocentric or racist to assert the superiority of the West because it originated those goods, even as they castigate the West for its racist, sexist, imperialist, and colonialist crimes. But as Ibn Warraq shows in his thoughtful and compelling new book, the ideals that even multicultural relativists profess have their origin and highest development in the West.
Ibn Warraq is the pen name of a Muslim apostate who left his native Pakistan and now lives in the United States. His first book, Why I Am Not a Muslim, earned him death threats and a pseudonym. Over the years he has published frequently on the unique goods of Western civilization, particularly “liberty and individual dignity,” contrasting these with the intolerance and close-mindedness of traditional Islamic culture. Why the West is Best continues the argument, laying out the defining ideals and virtues that have propelled Western civilization to global dominance.
Warraq’s prologue summarizes, in his view, the values that make the West superior: “rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, human rights, [and] liberal democracy.” These principles, Warraq continues, are not restricted to Westerners but have universal application. They are “the best and perhaps the only means for all people, no matter what race or creed, to live in freedom and reach their full potential.”
Warraq also rebuts the charge that the West has been uniquely evil, that its record of slavery, racism, colonialism, and imperialism has made it history’s arch-villain. As Warraq notes, racism and slavery are universal human evils, but “it was the West that first took steps to abolish slavery; that took legal measures to end institutionalized racism; and that voluntarily withdrew from its colonial possessions and abandoned any imperial ambitions.” He dispatches the widespread lie that the West is responsible for the African slave trade. Africans themselves kept slaves and provided the unfortunate people purchased by Europeans. Indeed, in 2000, the president of Benin apologized for his country’s participation in the slave trade. And Warraq reminds us that Muslim Arabs “engaged in the slave trade for thirteen centuries and shipped far more black slaves across the Sahara and the Red Sea than were sent across the Atlantic” during the four centuries of European slave trading.
As for racism, Warraq quotes a thirteenth-century Persian Muslim’s view that “the ape is more reasonable and more intelligent than the Zanji”—meaning black Africans, still called “slaves” in Arabic today.
Such curiosity about the “other,” Warraq writes, is unique to the West. In contrast, Muslim cultures display little interest in learning from other cultures, with the notable exception of technical expertise. This close-mindedness—reinforced by Islam’s claim to provide a complete guide to existence—is a major factor in the political and economic dysfunctions afflicting many Muslim nations. It stands in stark contrast to “the way that Western intellectuals, writers, historians, and politicians have themselves chronicled the follies of the West, challenging Westerners to rethink their ideas and alter their policies and social behavior.” Out of such self-reflection has come the material and moral progress that abolished slavery and institutionalized respect for human liberty. For the Muslim Middle East to improve, as Warraq says, it needs an “enlightenment” that would introduce “critical thinking about the Islamic religion and culture.”
Warraq recognizes that Western civilization is threatened not just by external rivals, but also by self-loathing Western ideologies such as multiculturalism and the “promiscuous pluralism that ends in moral relativism.” These ideas go beyond self-reflection to justify “special accommodations” for minorities (like Muslim immigrants) that contradict values such as personal freedom and equality before the law. Warraq advises us to stop appeasing our enemies, do a better job of translating into Arabic and other Muslim tongues Western books that define our core values, and return to teaching our children an accurate history of the West.
We should not be surprised that it takes an immigrant from a country sorely lacking in the social, intellectual, and political goods Warraq discusses to document the glories of the West. Why the West is Best is a timely, passionate reminder of how fortunate we are, and how fragile is our good fortune.
Read the entire book review in City Journal.
ANC responsible for genocide against Whites
03.02.2012. South African farmers in Transvaal Agricultural Union lodge formal genocide-complaint at International Criminal Court, The Hague, 2 February 2012, according to Censorbugbear Reports:
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT. BRUSSELS. South African farmers represented in the Transvaal Agricultural Union have lodged a formal genocide-complaint against the ANC-government for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, announced TAU deputy-chairman Henk van de Graaf today.
“The farm murders are not ordinary crimes but fit into the context in which the ANC-regime wants to rid itself of especially its Afrikaner- and other white farmers purely for political reasons. This is in other words, a genocide and a crime against humanity.’
This was the shocking message by the South African Henk van de Graaf, the deputy-chairman of the Transvaal Agricultural Union. He was addressing the European parliament’s international conference, attended by more than 50 European parliamentarians and other high-level functionaries from Great-Britain, France, Italy, Flanders and Austria.
“The farm-murders are encouraged in a deliberate atmosphere of violence created by the ANC-regime against its (white) farmers. The ANC is for instance constantly telling unproven stories about farm-workers being poorly treated – even though the evidence is always sorely lacking for their claims.
Farmers also are unjustly and without any kind of proof, arrested and accused of crimes: one statement by (suspended) ANC youth leader Julius Malema was: ‘Shoot the Boers, they are all rapists’. The ANC is also constantly claiming that ‘the whites own 80% of all the land – when in fact the private-farmland ownership only was 33% ten years ago in 2001 – and has been rapidly dropping ever since. Meanwhile the extent of the farm murders indicates that this is a genocide: with the Transvaal Agricultural Union verifying 1,554 murders, this statistic is very understated, said Mr Van de Graaf. Thus far in January 2012, a total of 17 Afrikaner people were murdered – of whom at least six on farms.
“The Afrikaners are calling on the world to help stop the genocide, the farm murders, in South Africa. To this end the Transvaal Agricultural Union has lodged a formal genocide complaint at the International Criminal Court,’ he concluded.
Euro-MP Philip Claeys, who hosted the conference, said ‘we will do our utmost to continue to place this problem on our agenda over the next months,’ said at the conference’s conclusion.
For additional pictures, links, and details, go to Censorbugbear Reports. See also related articles:
Chop off hostage captain’s arm to elicit $3m ransom
02.02.2012. Somali pirates have started to cut off their hostages' limbs in a bid to extract even greater ransoms from the owners of the ships they capture. The horrific new tactic was used last Friday on the Vietnamese captain of a ship being held in the Somali pirate lair of Haradhere. Chao-I Wu's right arm was cut off after negotiations to pay a $3million ransom for his fishing ship, the FV Shiuh Fu-1, broke down. Afterwards, the pirates allowed Mr Wu's fellow crew members to call their families and describe what had happened. Continue reading in Daily Mail.
HonestThinking comments: This is the fault of cowardly politicians and other decision makers. They could have put an end to Somali pirates' ambitions when this scourge was in its early beginnings. Alas, they refused to do so, pointing to 'humanistic principles'.
A pirate who attacks a civilian vessel has voluntarily given up his right to live. He deserves no mercy, and should be eliminated before he is able to harm innocent crew members. In failing to ensure that all such pirates were met with superior fire power, these 'humanist fundamentalists' have ensured the above tragedy. More will undoubtedly follow.
We are governed by cowards, fools, and hypocrites, and this is the result of their folly.
«Do the Right Thing and Publish Breivik’s Comments»
02.02.2012. Excerpts from an article by Fjordman about the behavior of the two largest newspapers in Norway, viz. Do the Right Thing and Publish Breivik’s Comments:
As a matter of fact, the police investigation has revealed that ABB used many different email accounts and nicknames and left comments on dozens of very different websites, in addition to being extremely active in online games such as World of Warcraft, where he lived in a virtual reality of heroic warfare. Interestingly enough, that apparently includes the online discussion forums of VG and Aftenposten, by far Norway’s two largest newspapers. For some reason, though, they have been suspiciously quiet about what he actually wrote there.
Aftenposten didn’t just temporarily shut down their online debates following the terror attacks, as many Norwegian papers did at that time, but after the identity of the terrorist became known took the drastic step of deleting their entire discussion forum and removing it from the Internet on a permanent basis. This is such a radical move that it resembles panic. It leaves an outside observer wondering: What exactly are they hiding?
VG didn’t remove their own debate forum, but they haven’t said a word about what Breivik wrote there, either. Perhaps they might as well have written that “While he was working on his gruesome terror plan, Anders Behring Breivik repeatedly posted angry comments on VGDebatt.”
I don’t consider this behavior acceptable, for a number of reasons. First of all because it is immoral of these newspapers to publish sensitive information about persons who have recently experienced extremely traumatic events, while they themselves won’t even publish some simple discussion comments.
Most importantly, these newspapers and the press in general are always the first to call for “full openness” from everybody else. What happened to practicing what you preach?
I hereby call on editor-in-chief Hilde Haugsgjerd of Aftenposten as well as editor-in-chief Torry Pedersen of VG to follow the example set by the website Document.no and publish all comments Anders Behring Breivik made in the online discussion forums of their own newspapers.
The public has a right to know. If these newspapers refuse to do this, they and the Schibsted media conglomerate, which owns both of them, should tell the public exactly why they refuse to demand from themselves what they demand from everybody else.
Read the entire article at GoV.
Tougher rules announced
02.02.2012. Thousands of migrant workers will be asked to go home after a few years in Britain under policies to be made public this week. Immigrants from outside Europe who do not have valuable skills or high earnings will lose their right to live permanently in this country. Ministers indicated yesterday that a ‘transformation of immigration policy’ will leave room for only the ‘brightest and best’ to build new lives in Britain. Continue reading in Daily Mail.
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