July 25, 2002

THE WESTERN DHIMMIS: Nick Denton is sounding almost like Pim Fortuyn:

Let’s turn the system around. In the West, it is the Muslims who are the dhimmis, the tolerated minority; they should be free to practice, so long as their Islam is a diluted Episcopalian version, expressed in a sabbath on Fridays, holidays at unusual times of the year, traditional names for children, and an annual parade through Brooklyn.

In other words, Western governments should make clear that the toleration of Muslim minorities is conditional. The West is a package deal: the prosperity that has attracted Muslim immigrants is a function of the Western tradition. Fundamentalist Islam is not, as the morally ambivalent would have it, as valid as any other system. Here’s the Western dhimma: accept the supremacy of Western humanist values — equal rights for women and sexual minorities, freedom of speech, and family law — or leave.

Leave? Isn’t that a bit harsh? Well, according to the Moroccan jurist al-Wansharisi, it is the duty of an orthodox Muslim to emigrate rather than remain under infidel rule. Bernard Lewis writes: “If the infidels were tolerant, this made the need to depart more rather than less urgent, since the danger of apostasy was correspondingly greater. Even Muslim tyranny, says al-Wansharisi, is better than Christian justice.”

Nick’s sounding more Warbloggerish than most Warbloggers. Kinda like Eric Alterman. I see this as a good thing.

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