Author's photo: Antwerp, Belgium 2008
This week's syndicated column further unwraps the hijab and finds totalitarian ideology underneath:
When the Netherlands' Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders recently addressed voters in Almere, a Dutch city of 200,000 where his party handily won elections this week, he told them what to expect as his once-tiny, anti-Islamization party started flexing its new political muscle. Aside from lower taxes and other political staples, his plans for this city not far from Amsterdam include a ban on Muslim headscarves.
Wilders' ban would apply to "headscarves in municipal bodies and all other institutions (that) receive even one penny of subsidy from the municipality." He continued: "And for all clarity: This (ban) is not meant for crosses or yarmulkes because those are symbols of religions that belong to our own culture and are not -- as is the case with headscarves -- a sign of an oppressive totalitarian ideology."
Here, Wilders is distinguishing between the religions of Christianity and Judaism, and the religio-political ideology of Islam, noting not only the near-indigenous nature of the former, but also the encroaching totalitarianism of the latter. This is the crucial cultural argument to make if a cultural Reconquista of Europe from Islamization is to be successful.
Certainly, we have seen glimmers. Last year, Filip Dewinter of the Vlaams Belang party of Belgium led a winning campaign to ban the hijab - what he calls "the propaganda weapon of choice for the establishment of Islamic society in Europe" -- in the Flemish schools of his country, making the same vital judgment call that Wilders did.
"(He) who defends the headscarf out of reasons of tolerance and pluralism has little or no understanding of Islam," Dewinter said. "The hidden agenda behind the veil leads to segregation," a veritable apartheid-regime, he explained, with which Islam seeks to control and dominate the West. Equating the Muslim head scarf with the Christian cross or the Jewish yamulke is "therefore incorrect," Dewinter continued, identifying the headscarf as "the flag of a political ideology" in which it is not the individual religious experience that is central, but rather "the realization of a theocratic society based on sharia, or Islamic law."
Maybe that's a lot for Americans to take in, but they haven't lived through the Islamization Decades that their European cousins have. As Europe's neighborhoods, banlieues and cities have repeatedly seen, headscarf-friendly zones yield to other Muslim demands, from single-sex recreation and medicine, to a refusal to tolerate certain Western texts or foods, to the institution of Islamic banking, to the acceptance of jihadist treason in the mosques, to the entrenchment of Islamic marriage (forced and polygamous), to the ultimate recognition of Islamic courtrooms run according to sharia.
But take the French approach. After determining that the Muslim headscarf inserted religion into state-run secular schools, the French government in 2003 banned the headscarf in the public schools along with the Star of David, the yamulke, "large" crucifixes and the turban of the Sikhs. This decision made it appear as though the hijab hadn't been singled out as a symbol of a specifically Muslim way of life that seeks to extend sharia. Thus, in the name of tolerance, all religious symbols were deemed provocative. In the name of inclusion, all were banned. This is precisely how the traditional (pre-Islamic) society dismantles itself, symbol by symbol, law by law.
And this is precisely why acknowledging and affirming the differences -- "discriminating" -- between Western religions and Islamic religio-political ideology is so important. Alas, it is also unthinkable for the average post-modern, multicultural Westerner. Rather than reject the symbols of imperial Islam, he capitulates, further stripping his civilization of its own identity, further enabling the Islamization process.
Now, the French government seeks to ban the full veil, or burka, in public buildings, a measure, as a recent Harris Poll tells us, that garners support from a whopping 70 percent of French respondents. Large majorities also support a ban in Italy (65 percent), Spain (63 percent), and the United Kingdom (57 percent). (A burka ban draws 33 percent support in the United States.)
Notably, that support plummets when other religious symbols are included in the burka ban. French support drops to 22 percent. Italian (10 percent), Spanish (9 percent) and British (4 percent) support follows. (American support drops to about 1 percent.)
Defiance of the multicultural orthodoxy is more popular in Europe than anyone imagined.