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"Islam" and "islamism", a view from Europe

Reader comment on item: America's Crash Course on Islam

Submitted by François Eiffel (United Kingdom), Sep 12, 2007 at 09:06

Dear Mr Daniel Pipes,

I am moved to write to you regarding your article about America's Crash Course on Islam and with respect to "islam" and "islamism".

I am a French expat living I the UK, and I view France almost as an "occupied territory". I am not optimistic for the future. I see the current situation not as a sudden clash of civilizations, but as the continuation of a 14 centuries war that islam wages on – essentially - everything outside itself.

Despite the UK's contribution to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am not yet sure that it will remain a "western" country for much longer. I dread the plans of our conniving European politicians. It seems that the EU as a whole is in a hurry to become Eurabia, a future that it has conceived without taking any account of its citizens' opinion or well-being.

Indeed, when it comes to that, there is a difference between "old Europe" (including France, Belgium, Spain, Holland, Belgium, and even Italy) and the new EU countries, formerly under soviet domination. I hope that Poland, Romania or the Czech Republic will resist. Hopefully countries that have known one totalitarian regime are more likely to resist a new one. These countries also have a stronger christian identity that may lend them a sort of unity.

What I want to say is that you cannot imagine, from the USA, how difficult it is, in Europe, to talk about the reality of islam. We are already in danger with every sentence we utter. The thought police is always present, trying to hide the truth about islam under the guise of "antiracism". All this while anti-white/anti-European racism is rife and self loathing is encouraged for anyone who is not part of the minority (essentially, everyone who is not muslim).

In this context, it is extremely difficult to denounce the inherent bigotry prescribed by the quran. It is dangerous to state that Muhammad was a murderer, a thief, a slave owner or a paedophile – all historical facts – let alone to suggest that – as I believe – he was a fake prophet, in the sense that he probably did not even believe in his own religion himself.

I hope that America will put up more of a fight. And I say this with a sense of shame: France was not able to resist Hitler and owes its freedom largely to the USA, and yet today anti-americanism is rife in France (because of Iraq). Anti-Semitism is also on the rise, driven by the traditional muslim attitudes to Jews and the collusion with the political left.

As during WWII, we have a few people who resist, and a lot of traitors (I include most politicians in the traitors category). And we still have a lot of ignorance of islam. A lot of people who sincerely think that muslims are peaceful, gentle people who are discriminated against (which muslim organizations use to play the victim role and obtain always more concessions from our politicians, starting with dhimmi in chief Nicolas Sarkozy, who wants to help build mosques with taxpayers' money, not to mention everything else!)

I feel that one thing that does not help at all, is to establish an artificial distinction between "islam" and "islamism".

This makes the remaining ignorant people think that there are indeed two different things. That islamism has a different nature from islam.

Not so.

In our language, "islamisme" was initially just a "francization" of the term "islam". Pretty much an equivalent of "christianisme" or "Judaïsme". It was used in this way in the encyclopaedia of Diderot and D'Alembert in the XVIIIth century.

Therefore, musulman (muslim) is also a synonym of islamiste (islamist).

Certainly, humans cannot be reduced to a religious belief. Human beings are capable of empathy, humour, and just downright… humanity, regardless of the culture they were born in. My point is not to say that all muslims are terrorists.

However, I refuse to use different words for different degrees of islam. Because this gives the false impression than there are two distinct sets of beliefs, two ideologies. This is not true. There is islam, period.

It is islam that considers women inferior by nature.

It is islam that prescribe the killing of Jews and other infidels (and in Iranian shiism in particular, where killing Jews is deemed necessary for the return of the hidden imam).

It is islam that condones slavery.

It is islam that condones stealing from infidels.

It is islam that prescribes, condones or excuses all these things, and more. It's not "islamism".

In the 1940s, I am sure that most Germans were also capable of empathy, humour and just downright… humanity, regardless of the party they voted for.

However, supporting an ideology comes with a responsibility and the indigenous European people and the American people have a right to know the truth.

There is nothing in so-called "islamism" that is not contained in "islam".

And freedom does not exist without truth.

Osama Bin Laden is a frighteningly accurate impression of Muhammad. The murder of Theo Van Gogh, the threats on Salman Rushdie, Robert Redeker, Danish cartoonists or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, are strikingly similar to the murders of Kaab Ibn Achraf, Abu Afak et Asmâ Bint Marwan on Muhammad's orders.

In fact, Theo Van Gogh's murder is pretty much what criminologists and policemen would call a "copycat killing".

Only with a 14 century gap between the originals and the copy.

Please let's use words correctly. Moderate islam really means the same as moderate islamism. A moderate muslim really is the same as a moderate islamist. The difference is in degree, not in nature and we should therefore differentiate with adjectives, not nouns.

There were also moderate communists, but only one communism. I guess there must have been some moderate nazis, who supported Hitler politically but did not believe he'd eventually do what he did. But there was only one national socialism.

Likewise, there is only one islam.

Or, as Anne-Marie Delcambre eloquently put it: L'islam n'a pas deux visages (Islam does not have two faces).


(Anne-Marie Delcambre is a French islamologist, a person of incredible culture, intelligence and courage, one of the few people in Europe who still tell the truth under their own name. She writes for the www.libertyvox.com website and on the corresponding forum).

I feel that for the crash course to be successful in America, it has to be made clear that islam itself is the problem (or "the prophet and the quran", as Ayaan Hirsi Ali put it).

I suppose you don't realize how dark the prospects are for western Europe. It may be that when an open military conflict starts, Europe will be cut through the middle, like in the days of the Berlin wall. It may be that the USA attack France (and Spain, Germany…), and this time it won't be in order to free western Europe, but to destroy it. Obviously I dread this, but I can hardly express how bad our situation is. Please know that some of us remain on the side of freedom. Whatever our traitor politicians do or say, America is once again at the center of western civilization and our last hope. Our hearts are with you. You still have a certain freedom of expression. Please use it, use it fully, make the best of it.

Freedom is a value that we share, a western value, and as you know, it's not a value of islam, not by a long way.

Thank you for your work and for your courage Mr Pipes.

François Eiffel / F. Eiffel / FFL.

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