The Road to Skandanistan
by EDWARD CLINE
February 21, 2012
One shouldn’t wonder much about why Norway, Sweden, and Demark are willing to submit, like "Britainistan," without so much as an audible whimper, to their steady Islamization, to their becoming de facto departments of a growing international caliphate. All three countries are welfare states that welcomed Muslim immigrants by the planeload over the decades to perform the work which entitlement-obsessed and welfare benefits-seduced Scandinavians no longer wished to perform. “Islamophobes” they were not. And still aren’t, even though their skyrocketing crime rates are directly attributable to immigrant and second-generation Muslims.
All three countries are governed by leftist elites, by political parties that redistribute other people’s money and spread the wealth around a lot. The Left has made an alliance with Islam, which wants to spread its creed around across the board and impose its ideology on non-Muslims by guile or force. There are, however, two camps of the Left. There is the Left that hates the West as much as do the Muslims, and will do anything to destroy it, even if it means its own dhimmitude and demise under Sharia law and submission. One could not imagine another group in that part of the globe more dedicated to the destruction of their own country. “We will be multicultural and non-judgmental, even if it means our own deaths. It is the right thing to do. We will be virtuous, even if it means accepting penance for our culture being superior to Islamic culture.”
It is an instance of passive nihilism in the guise of the high moral ground. The only catch is that, ultimately, this high ground must lead to Norwegians having to walk in the gutter in deference to Muslims on the sidewalk.
And there is the Left that is afflicted with the intellectual cerebral palsy of egalitarianism, moral relativism, and multiculturalism. Its members cannot and will not oppose the invasion of their own countries by Islamic hordes. Members of this group are the three countries’ intellectual elites, which, as such, advise and inform the political Left. Together with the political elite, this group holds Islam and Muslims as sacrosanct and untouchable by the least criticism, serious or satirical.
Muslims, however, do not reciprocate when it comes to Norwegian or Swedish or Danish cultural values, or women, or property or freedom of speech. They are protected by actual or de facto censorship and political correctness. For all their relativist language, it is almost as though these intellectuals have conceded the assertion by Islamic intellectuals that Muslims are in every way superior to non-Muslims. It is useless to point this out to these “thinkers,” because they will only flip the coin and reply, “Heads, we’re at fault. We shouldn’t be so culturally imperialistic in our own country.”
Bruce Bawer, in a Wall Street Journal article on February 7, “After the Oslo Massacre, an Assault on Free Speech” (the full article was reprinted in Canada’s National Post) recounted the July 22, 2011 bombing and massacre committed by Anders Behring Breivik, a Norwegian who opposed the government’s immigration and multiculturalist policies, and his own prediction last year that a backlash would be mounted, not against raping, looting, and anti-Semitic Muslims, but against Norwegians who spoke out or wrote about the irreconcilability between Western values and Islam.
“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! […]
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.
Imagine if Colonel Travis had drawn a line in the sand at the Alamo, and asked any of its defenders who would not only surrender the Alamo, but help the invading Mexicans overcome the fort, to step forward over the line. One supposes that is the new Norwegian notion of courage.
Consider this: Criticizing Islam is now a punishable offense in several European countries. In the past few months alone, a Danish court fined writer Lars Hedegaard for talking about Islam’s treatment of women in his own home, and activist Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf was found guilty of lecturing about Muhummad’s marital history in what an Austrian court considered an inappropriate tone.
And, in Austria, a man was fined for allegedly “mocking” a nearby mosque’s muezzin by yodeling, and a retired French actress was hauled into court for placing an ad in the paper that warned potential Muslim job applicants that she had a dog. Another man spoke ill in his own home of the Muslim treatment of Muslim women, and was taken to court.
Norwegian intellectuals claim that because Breivik was “inspired” by what he read in various anti-jihadist bogs that criticized Islam, they all contributed to Breivik’s criminal state of mind and so therefore their authors are just as culpable. This position underscores the notion that men’s minds are merely passive receptors of ideas that cause men to act, that ideas themselves are intrinsically potent, like sugar or cholesterol, and should be regulated to prevent events such as the Oslo bombing and massacre.
This notion also applies to Muslims, as well. If Muslims weren’t offended or insulted or made the special attention of critics and authorities as likely terrorists (a.k.a., “discrimination,” “racism,” “bigotry”), there would be a halt to bombings and rapes and murders committed by Muslims, and we would all be living in a multiculturally copasetic world. Muslims, Lutherans, Catholics, and Jews would all be holding hands and dancing around a Maypole.
But it is the Muslims who benefit from such rationalizations, not their victims or their critics. Muslims are implicitly granted the privilege of saying whatever they please without risk of reprisal or censure, because they are a protected group posing as “victims.” And there is no evidence that gagging their critics leads to a cessation of Muslim crime. In fact, state or politically-correct self-censorship causes a rise in such crimes, because there is no attendant risk in committing them. Their imams or mullahs will come to their defense, as well as the infidel egg-heads and “journalists” who report the news with socks in their mouths.
Bawer offers evidence of the campaign against critics of Islam in Norway and beyond. It is an episodic sequel to Julien Benda’s The Treason of the Clerks. Benda noted that French intellectuals,
… whose function is to uphold eternal and disinterested values, such as justice and reason, whom I call the intellectuals, have abdicated their role for the sake of practical interests.
Those “practical interests,” as far as Norwegian intellectuals are concerned, being to assault freedom of speech and to call for the demonization of its advocates and practitioners. Standing up for freedom of speech is simply not “practical.” As for the “disinterested” values of justice and reason, these IQ-challenged cultural and political Quislings are clearly not interested in them. Bawer presents some of the disgraceful capitulations by Norwegian “clerks.”
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.”
Cartoonists, Austrian yodelers, and retired French actresses are a greater menace than roving gangs of Muslim youth? Bruce Bawer is a graver threat than a suicide bomber? Just how many women have they raped, disfigured, or beaten to a pulp? How many have they killed on Spanish trains, or London subways, or in skyscrapers, or in Bali nightclubs? One must really question, not only the condition of a poisonous stasis of Muslim minds, but the mental health of intellectuals who defend Muslim crimes out of a perverted sense of justice.
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 the contrary, it is intellectuals like Lars Gule who must take a good look at themselves, and ask themselves whether or not they are still human. They must ask themselves: If Anders Breivik’s mind was so influenced by the statements of people like Robert Spencer and Steve Emerson, not to mention by Hitler and other tyrants, why have I not turned into a homicidal maniac? I have read the same things, too, yet here I am, without the least impulse to plant bombs or shoot those whose words I hate. But that kind of realization would be repressed, for Gule sounds like a wannabe reeducation camp warden who would like to “help” them get their minds and words sanitized.
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.”
Bawer does not note it, but it apparently took Messrs Eriksen, Bangstad and Ishaq a whole month – between the massacres of July 22 to August 22 – to gather enough collective chutzpah to openly call for censorship and the suppression of all speech not approved by the government (or by Muslims).
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, Bawer’s appellation, witch hunt, is eminently appropriate. A witch, after all, it is claimed, uses magic potions, spells, and curses that cause others to be wicked and sinful. Obviously, to Doving and his ilk, Breivik was influenced by the things he read (and the things he read comprised a chaotic potpourri of legitimate and irrational statements about Islam), things that cast a spell on him and drove him to acts of terrorism. So, to prevent others from being victims of such anti-social behavior, and for the public’s security, those things must be banned, the writings of those who influenced Breivik must be “investigated” and cast into a memory hole so they never “do harm” ever again, and the authors of those writings be held accountable for their “hateful” or “hatemongering” speech.
And never, ever accuse Muslims of hate speech, or the defamation of other religions, or intolerance, or anti-social behavior. Don’t even look at a Muslim the wrong way. It will earn you a dunking, or a beheading, or a rape, or a bomb.
Bawer concludes his article:
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 leftwing 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.
Bawer was probably thinking about Fjordman and Hans Rustad, two outspoken Norwegians against multiculturalism and the Islamization of Norway who became the first scapegoats of the Left in its search for explanations for the Breivik massacre and bombing. About the laying of responsibility for Breivik’s actions, The Gates of Vienna, in December 2011, in a long commentary on the Oslo massacre and on the opening baying of bloodhounds in the witch hunt, had this to say about both the Left’s intellectuals and the Norwegian news media:
Are the media in Norway seriously trying to convince us that they have no culpability in influencing Breivik to commit these crimes by publishing critical articles about non-western immigrants, but that Fjordman and Mr. Rustad who have simply been linking to the newspaper articles published by the same media somehow are? That is logical fallacy, and it simply doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. If they keep insisting on trying to pin the blame on Fjordman and Mr. Rustad then they have to stand up and accept equal responsibility, which of course they will never do.
Samuel Johnson is alleged to have quipped, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Egalitarianism, moral relativism, and multiculturalism began as “good intentions” adopted by the champions and enforcers of the welfare state, which is a political system that relieves some men of their lives, liberty, and property to redistribute them to men who want no liberty but need property. Norway, Sweden and Denmark are welfare states that also wish to relieve men of their freedom of speech. Their political elites and their intellectuals have for decades paved the way to a hell they don’t wish to acknowledge or see, and are willing to blind everyone else to.
And America’s own political elite and intellectuals are laying the same paving stones to hell for this country.
Edward Cline is the author of the Sparrowhawk novels set in England and Virginia in the pre-Revolutionary period, of several detective and suspense novels, and three collections of his commentaries and columns, all available on Amazon Books. His essays, book reviews, and other articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Information Ethics and other publications. He is a frequent contributor to Rule of Reason, Family Security Matters, Capitalism Magazine and other Web publications.