69 million page views

Response to Kierkegaard: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Reader comment on item: Christianity Dying in Its Birthplace
in response to reader comment: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Submitted by Reuben Horne (Australia), Sep 18, 2005 at 01:09

Dr Pipes.
Rarely do I respond to reader comments that contradict the bulk of others however Kierkegaard has captured so eloquently the morbid introspection that is tearing the west to shreds that in this instance one is merited. A short answer to Kierkegaard's central thesis would be simply no. We cannot get along. This is because of Islam and not Christianity, Islam and not democracy, Islam and not racism or bigotry.

Dr Pipes focuses primarily with his essays on Islamic attempts to deal with modernity citing three major movements: secularism, Islamism and a hodge podge of the two. However only in passing are the west's attempts to deal with modernity dealt with. These are ultimately as corrosive and perhaps even more dangerous than Islam itself since it was not by force that Muslims have manoevred themselves into such a powerful position in the west it was something that was allowed to occur and this suggests an underlying problem with us and not them.

The presence and the free operation of fundamentalists and Islamofascists in the west is an entirely new phenomenon. In the distant past whilst being unpossessed of the insight to deal with the many social problems of medieval society or master our moral selves to adjust its inequities in any real or substantive sense we at least had the political pragmatism to recognise the threat expansionist Islam posed. We launched a Crusade and turned back the tide - and of course we have been apologising and backpeddling over it since. In fact we have backpeddled so far that a giant mosque resides in Rome effectively turning over any strategic advantage that we gained and illustrating that once and for all we might as well have not launched the crusades.

Western society has talked itself into a corner with our own "isms" - Multiculturalism and relativism. Under these mantles we have chosen to breed into the minds of ourselves and our children the notion of the complete and absolute equality of all cultures and peoples. This is despite the fact that experience has shown that neither notions are correct. People are not equal - the principle of the egalitarian democracy is that you treat everyone equally, the project of socialism on the other hand is that you attempt to make everyone equal. Socialism has been the driving force behind much of the wests welfare policies and it has had the anomalous effect of rewarding and elevating mediocracy and sometimes even criminality. The more murderous, mediocre and rebellious the subclass of minority the greater our efforts to appease it and the more money we hurl into improving and advancing its condition and interests. Our's is a society that appeases those who are motivated by grievance and there is no class more aggrieved than the Muslim. The fact that these grievances are self generated, the result of false history, the reaction to even greater atrocities perpetrated by the Muslims themselves is entirely irrelevant in our skewed judgement. A single act of terror in London and apart from the flaccid almost nostalgic dusting off and waving around of the largely ignored doctrine of the "Rule of Law" our response has been to shower the Muslim religion with benefits.

On the matter of the Doctrine of the Rule of Law I recently corresponded with the Prime Minister of Australia about it. I told him that the innumerable statements made by Muslim Clerics around Australia that held pretensions of overthrowing the Government and enshrining sharia law was not something that was protected by any abstract freedom of speech and I demanded that these people be expelled - a notion he had held pretensions of bringing into legislative force (see Daniel Pipes earlier article "Islamists - Get Out"). Further I pointed out that the idea of Multiculturalism as they had defined it was by and large inconsistant with the Doctrine of the Rule of Law. For the lawyer the doctrine involves a series of propositions as to what constitutes a good law. These include: nonretrospectivity (not being able to pass a law that prohibits conduct that occurred in the past), the publication of laws (there cannot be a secret law) and equality of application (all laws must be applied equally to all citizens). This last propostion (equality of application) is all but dead in Australia - citing a recent example from an indigenous community dealing with the anal rape of a minor. The girl in question was "promised" under aboriginal tribal law to the man who raped her. Because of this Australia's strict sexual assault laws were applied with a level of leniency hithero unthinkable the man in question recieved a single year in jail instead of a life sentence. A confused prominent Aboriginal leader Mundine saw this as racism - he could be excused - I think from the verdict that everyone is a little confused especially jurists. It is an example of an application of multiculturalism superceding the Rule of Law - tribal laws are just as valid as our laws and so must be taken into account in sentencing.

The reply to my missive about the above matters came from not the Prime Minister but the Minister for Multicultural Affairs John Cobb. It stated that it was government policy to revoke the visas of troublemakers, reiterated the fictions that the government clings to about muslims and repeated the word "Multicultural" in a number or sentences and contexts. It also said they would not expel Australian Citizens who were born here regardless of their beliefs (where /is/ senator Macarthey when you need him?). The tone of the letter rather than being an aggressive attack on my views was defensive and even wounded. Perhaps it was overtly abusive of me to have referred to the Prime Minister and his cabinet as "useful idiots" for their Islamic apologism in the sense that Lenin used the term (an idea that is not mine but I took from an earlier editorial penned by someone else - thanks to that person). In fact this characterises the reaction now of the post post modern multi kulti. They are aware that they have done something horribly wrong with the direction they have taken our society in - but instead of learning from their mistakes they embrace a kind of sad inevitability. I win my debates and arguments without the "vituperative ad hominem calumnies" that Dr Pipes suffers but the victories are ignominious ones - like as though a horrible family secret had been brought up to end the conversation in my favor.

Broadly speaking the Doctrine of the Rule of Law for an immigrant elevates the secular concerns of state above the religious concerns of the immigrant in so far as the governance of the state is concerned - it says that they will respect the laws of the state and support it. Greivances will be dealt with through the machinery of the state and change (if any) will be effected through democratic and legitimate channels. Putting this in context I can recall a muslim leader affiliated with SBS on the public Broadcaster ABC radio denying that this doctrine even existed saying it was vague and ephemeral and that the Prime Minister, the Education Minister and the Treasurer who had all cited it could not ennumerate what it was. This proposition was accepted by the audience despite the fact that Australia has one of the most educated cabinets at present in living memory.

The doctrine no impediment upon the operation of sharia law with respect to civil matters however both parties to a dispute would have to be agree to be bound by Sharia law and it would not have any legislative force beyond this agreement. Plainly however classes of person disadvantaged by the operation of Sharia law would not agree to be bound by it. We can see this in the muslim womens groups opposition to the giving of legislative force in Ontario to Sharia family law which led to the idea being passed over. I would expect something on that to be posted on Daniel Pipes website rather soon. Rather than a triumph of human rights and western values I think that most of the prominent Muslims males in the Ontario Islamic community leadership would see it as a sign that they have been infected with the same rot our society has been. I can't say that I am sympathetic to them. It is an interesting question that will not be raised at the next publically broadcast Islamic forum - "If Islam and sharia is so wonderful then why do these women in Ontario who have personal experience with it from the inside object so utterly to giving its laws legislative force?"

What is it about Kierkegaard's ideas that I object to? They are a product of the not so distant times after all. He seems to embrace the idea of comparing Christianity's history to the contemporary nature of Islam. Not just that but the most objectionable parts of its history, its failure to recognise Arab Christians when most of the power in Christendom was in the Catholic Church, the Crusades, Inquisitions blah blah blah. The contemporary Catholic church of which I am a member is a manifestly different creature to the one that he describes. Care is taken to teach its members that all Christians are our brothers and sisters. Kiekegaard's abuse of it smacks of the same tired old anti-catholic nonsense that constitutes the last respectable prejudice in America. If I have misgivings about it they are centered around its failure to assert itself and its total embrace of suicidal pacifism in the face of blanket Islamic cultural and physical aggression. It fails to extend its influenence to protect its parishoners from the growing darkness. However I take great hope in Pope Benedict's fairly neutral remarks about Islam as opposed to the obscene naivety of his predecessor.

Those who simply want to retreat from the field such as Kiekegaard will use such arguments often to impune all religions. Lets abandon all the standards and institutions around which we gather since merely occupying a position is trouble - adopt the ultimate relativism. This is an awfully good philosophy if everyone shares it. However in our society relativism has simply left a vacuum that now Islam is expanding to fill. Can we blame these people who so openly hate us for simply taking advantage of our blindness? Of our having talked ourselves into a corner? It would be easier to simply abandon the philosophy of ultra relativism that is put forward by Kiekegaard and people like him and reaffirm our identity. At best this idea of letting things slide, blaming all religion and retreating from the field is completely lazy. At worst its proponents are the architects of our downfall.

Relativists often market themselves in the context of having adopted a historical perspective on contemporary events. They supposedly see broader truths and embrace the wider realities of human existence, and are very much like the journalists I described earlier who see themselves as "citizens of the world". This is all well and good if one is writing about events that have occurred in the past but increasingly these people are attempting to apply their views to foreign and public policy of the present. Their historical revisionism has done enough damage asserting that the west has no history to be proud of and therefore no moral legs to stand on. Now they seek to spread that poison to our actions trying to effect a positive change in the human affairs of the future. Nothing we do has value and so nothing really matters to these people. Despite being utterly unsuited for the role these nihilists have moved into numerous positions of authority all over the west. Well I /disrespectfully/ submit that their value is no greater than that of keeping the chairs that they sit in warm. It is not appropriate to have ideologues and nihilists governing a society and a people that they hate - not at any level - lower, middle or upper management.

I for one will not allow despair in the face of this buffoonery to force me into inaction (even if the only result of my more recent activities was only to hurt the feelings of the Right Honorable John Cobb Minister for Multicultural Affairs). I will continue to express my views and write my editorials. I am proud to be a member of a community involving a great many erudite and eloquent people whom Dr Pipes has managed to bring together in the one place to discuss Islam and related matters. The fact that such people exist and are willing to vocalise and transcribe their opinions fills me with hope for both the west and democracy. The worst thing we could do is take the lazy path of relativism and simply assume our actions and the opinions we express have no value and will inevitably wash away in the tide of history as Kiekegaard would suggest.

Good job Dr Pipes and keep writing everyone!
Reuben Horne.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Response to Kierkegaard: Can't We All Just Get Along? by Reuben Horne

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)