Pan-Islamism challenges idea of nation state

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Trip_Wire, Aug 14, 2006.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Pan-Islamism challenges idea of nation state

    By Mark Steyn

    Here's how an early report by Reuters covered the massive terrorism bust in the United Kingdom. They started out conventionally enough just chugging along with airport closures, arrest details and quotes from bystanders, but then got to the big picture:

    " 'I'm an ex-flight attendant, I'm used to delays, but this is a different kind of delay,' said Gita Saintangelo, 54, an American returning to Miami. 'We heard about it on the TV this morning. We left a little early and said a prayer,' she said at Heathrow.

    "Britain has been criticised by Islamist militants for its military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prime Minister Tony Blair has also come under fire at home and abroad for following the U.S. lead and refusing to call for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict between Israel and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas."

    Is there a software program at Western news agencies that automatically inserts random segues in terrorism stories? The plot to commit mass murder by seizing up to 10 U.K.-U.S. airliners was well advanced long before the first Israeli strike against Hezbollah. Yet it's apparently axiomatic at Reuters, the BBC and many other British media outlets that Tony Blair is the root cause of jihad. He doesn't even have to invade anywhere anymore. He just has to "refuse to call for an immediate cease-fire" when some other fellows invade some other fellows over on the other side of the world.

    Grant for the sake of argument that these reports are true — that when the bloodthirsty Zionist warmongers attack all those marvelous Hezbollah social outreach programs it drives British subjects born and bred to plot mass murder against their fellow Britons. What does that mean?

    Here's a clue, from a recent Pew poll that asked: What do you consider yourself first? A citizen of your country or a Muslim?

    In the United Kingdom, 7 percent of Muslims consider themselves British first, 81 percent consider themselves Muslim first.

    And that's where the really valid Lebanese comparison lies. Lebanon is a sovereign state. It has an executive and a military. But its military has less sophisticated weaponry than Hezbollah and its executive wields less authority over its jurisdiction than Hezbollah. In the old days, the Lebanese government would have fallen and Hezbollah would have formally supplanted the state. But non-state actors like the Hezbo crowd and al-Qaida have no interest in graduating to statehood. They've got bigger fish to fry. If you're interested in establishing a global caliphate, getting a U.N. seat and an Olympic team only gets in the way. The "sovereign" state is of use to such groups merely as a base of operations, as Afghanistan was and Lebanon is. They act locally but they think globally.

    And that indifference to the state can be contagious. Lebanon's Christians may think of themselves as "Lebanese," but most of Hezbollah's Shiite constituency don't. Western analysts talk hopefully of fierce differences between Sunni and Shiite, Arab and Persian, but it's interesting to note the numbers of young Sunni men in Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere in recent weeks who've decided that Iran's (Shiite) President Ahmadinejad and his (Shiite) Hezbo proxies are the new cool kids in town. During the '90s, we grew used to the idea that "non-state actors" meant a terrorist group, with maybe a few hundred activists, a few thousand supporters. What if entire populations are being transformed into "non-state actors"? Not terrorists, by any means, but at the very minimum entirely indifferent to the state of which they're nominally citizens.

    Hence that statistic: Seven percent of British Muslims consider their primary identity to be British, 81 percent consider it to be Muslim. By comparison, in the most populous Muslim nation on the planet, 39 percent of Muslim Indonesians consider themselves Indonesian first, 36 percent consider themselves Muslim first. For more than four years now, I've been writing about a phenomenon I first encountered in the Muslim ghettoes of the Netherlands, Belgium and other European countries in the spring of 2002: Second- and third-generation European Muslims feel far more fiercely Islamic than their parents and grandparents.

    That's the issue: Pan-Islamism is the profound challenge to conventional ideas of citizenship and nationhood. Of course, if you say that at the average Ivy League college, you'll get a big shrug: Modern multicultural man disdains to be bound by the nation state, too; he prides himself on being un citoyen du monde. The difference is that, for Western do-gooders, it's mostly a pose: They may occasionally swing by some Third World basket-case and condescend to the natives, but for the most part the multiculti set have no wish to live anywhere but an advanced Western democracy. It's a quintessential piece of leftie humbug. They may think globally, but they don't act on it.

    The pan-Islamists do act. When they hold hands and sing "We Are The World," they mean it. And we're being very complacent if we think they only take over the husks of "failed states" like Afghanistan, Somalia and Lebanon. The Islamists are very good at using the principal features of the modern multicultural democracy — legalisms, victimology — to their own advantage. The United Kingdom is, relatively speaking, a non-failed state, but at a certain level Her Majesty's government shares the same problem as their opposite numbers in Beirut: They don't quite dare to move against the pan-Islamists and they have no idea what possible strategy would enable them to do so.

    So instead they tackle the symptoms. Excellent investigative work by MI-5 and Scotland Yard foiled this plot, and may foil the next one, and the one after that, and the 10 after that, and the 100 after those. And in the meantime, a thousand incremental inconveniences fall upon the citizen. If you had told an Englishman on Sept. 10, 2001, that within five years all hand luggage would be banned on flights from Britain, he'd have thought you were a kook. If you'd told an Englishwoman that all liquids would be banned except milk for newborn babies that could only be taken on board if the adult accompanying the child drinks from the bottle in front of a security guard, she'd have scoffed and said no one would ever put up with such a ludicrous imposition. But now it's here. What other changes will the Islamists have wrought in another five years?

    Absent a determination to throttle the ideology, we're about to witness the unraveling of the world.
  2. Pan Islamism - its a busy week at Rodgetts!
  3. Mark Steyn? Enough said...
  4. This would be the Mark Steyn who thinks free national health care and keeping control of guns are generally bad ideas?
  5. &
    Can't attack the message so you attack the messenger?
  6. You mean the same Pan-Islamism that didn't work when a Caliph was actually around?
  7. Oh please. His articles have been debunked many a time on this very forum.

    Heres an example:

    Hezbollah dont campaign for any sort of Caliphate, read all their bloody literature if you dont believe me. In fact neither do AQ although they mention it a lot. The only Islamic group that explicitly campaigns for a Caliphate is Hizb-ut-Tahrir which is a non-violent political movement.

    Steyn just makes this crap up as he goes along, with Islamophobes like you lapping it all up unquestioningly.
  8. Great. The "Islamophobic" card. And so soon, too!

    Please explain to me why I should be favourably disposed towards an ideology whose main text demands that I be treated as a second-class citizen, amongst other things?
  9. There is no mainstream Pan-Islamic movement. The Sunnis and Shias happily bash the cr@p out of each other. Comparing Arabs and Iranians is like comparing Greeks and Turks, let alone comparing Arabs and Pakistanis (whom the Arabs regard as second-class citzens).

    As to this little gem:

    Ask anyone of any religion the same question, and you will probably get a similar answer. Whether it is Muslims in this country despairing of the vomit-soaked chav-ridden mainstream culture of the UK, or fundamentalist Christians in the US who oppose abortion and homosexuality, most will put their God above their country. US citizens make a "pledge of allegiance" which refers to "one nation under God." Why get hung up about this? I would be more concerned if the respondents saw themselves as followers of Hizbollah or the Mahdi Army rather than British.
  10. You dont.
  11. I've heard that, according to some teachings, I could be burned for eternity and poked in the bum with sharp things if I don't go to church every Sunday! By comparison, those whose faces fit will get to ascend a celestial staircase to the Pearly Gates.

    Talk about being treated as a second class citizen....
  12. I don't quite understand your response, it doesn't make sense. Assuming that you are doubting that the Koran demands second-class treatment for nonbelievers:

    But the Koran teaches that I should be (9:29). It also teaches that I should be fought against, in a physical way, by believers (9:5 amongst others) .

    It also teaches that I will have appalling things happen to me in the afterlife, but I couldn't give a damn about that. that does not impact me in the here and now.
  13. His ideas have been criticised and whined about occasionally here, but never debunked. perhaps you could tell everyone exactly what the legitimate political (or any other) agenda is that these psychopaths are following? You seem to be remarkably sympathetic to them.
  14. I am waiting for the small nimber of extremists post hurry up please?
  15. The Qu'ran doesn't completely damn us Christians:

    "Those who believe (in the Quran), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians, any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the work righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." Surah 5:69

    "nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say, we are Christians: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant." Surah 5:82