Stratfor, the premiere geopolitical think tank rapidly growing in esteem and influence throughout the western world has done something interesting in terms of the ‘anti jihad’.
Typically, Stratfor looks at Islamic immigration into the western world as fundamentally no different than any other historical wave of immigration. They feel that negative reaction to Islam and the west is a consequence of shrinking economies and that there is no real difference in terms of effects on the west by Islam as there was by any other wave of immigration which ultimately integrates while perhaps changing the flavour of the host countries a little bit.
However even Stratfor has to admit that a cartoon published in Denmark can have massive geopolitical consequences across the world and recently Stratfor noticed that a mere rumor of handling a Muslim holy book in a way immigrants don’t like in Greece was the cause of week long riots.
Today, Stratfor released an analysis of Sarkozy’s statement on mandatory Muslim dress for women saying that there is no place in a secular France for signs of submission to men as the Burka shows.
While I disagree fundamentally with the stance Sarkozy chose first lets look at the Stratfor analysis to the best of my ability while still sticking to the two paragraph quote limit the copyright allows. First, it is noteworthy that this is a party line crosser. That is to say, one can easily cross party lines when talking about this dress code without necessarily being a cross dresser. Communists and left wing feminists are right with conservatives on the issue of the burka in France. A six month study has been commissioned by the French government to determine if a ban is to be implemented.
Ultimately, Stratfor’s concern is what sort of backlash will be felt from Muslim groups and nations as a consequence of Sarkozy’s speech to the joint sessions of Parliament in France. From Stratfor:
Indeed, reports are already surfacing of foreign criticism of Sarkozy’s speech. These have included a statement from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an organization representing the interests of more than 500 Muslim groups across the United Kingdom (but not as linked to the British government as the French Council is to the French government). The MCB said Sarkozy’s comments that women are forced to wear the burka were offensive and that governments should not determine what individuals wear. The MCB also said that France should take the lead in enhancing cooperation among Muslims and non-Muslims rather than increasing the rift.
Outside Europe, Sarkozy’s statements have met with opposition from Muslim countries, particularly those with conservative Muslim populations. The Saudi press has openly expressed its distaste with Sarkozy’s policy. Meanwhile, The Times of India has reported on Indian women speaking out against the idea of the ban. While only a small percentage of Muslim women wear the burka, which moderate Muslims consider a repressive garment, Sarkozy’s tone could make Muslims see the step as the beginning of more anti-Muslim moves.
Stratfor then goes on to try and link anti immigration parties as being overall ignored continent wide in Europe and discrediting any anti Islamic sentiments as essentially parochial and not different than any other anti immigration feeling typical of economic down times.
Obviously at Vlad we disagree. Islamic terrorism and effects on European cultures have nothing to do with economies being good or bad but we agree that bad economic times will enhance anti immigration sentiments as well as hard looks at social welfare spending.
While we at Vladtepesblog admire Stratfor greatly and read the website and the books they produce religiously (pun fully intended) I think they miss the mark on this by a large margin. Islam is not the same as other waves of immigration and Islamic governments will try and effect European policies to be more in line with Islam and sharia law. They will use whatever clout they can including fossil fuels and terrorism as well as state sponsored mosques across the globe spreading the message of anti western values and intolerance of non Muslim ideals.
As Christopher Hitchens so brilliantly and accurately said in a recent article:
“It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally. They are frequently in the grip of archaic beliefs and fears that would make a stupefied medieval European peasant seem mentally sturdy and resourceful by comparison.”
It is a mistake Stratfor makes I feel, to assume that Islam is a rational actor in the game theory sense as excellent a model as it typically is, fails with fanatic religion which defines irrational. Iran has stated clearly that to destroy Israel for no reason other than for its own sake, as part of the nature of Islam itself would be worth it if they lost millions of their own people in retaliatory strikes. This for a tiny nation which poses not only no threat to Iran, but should Iran seek to gain trade relations with Israel could enhance the quality of living prosperity and mobility of Persia’s own people considerably. This would suggest that typical game theory approaches to relations with Islamic states may not apply. Hatred of Jews, any autonomous region not governed by sharia law within what is widely perceived as ‘Dar Al Islam’ (The Islamic dominated part of the world) and the need to continuously fight for Allah, to increase the sphere and influence of Islam in the world is central dogma. There is no model of Islam in Europe that can have meaning or predictive value without taking these things into account.
As to Sarkozy, the issue is one of choice. if someone wants to wear a burka as a symbol of their choice to submit to their religious ideals then so be it. In a free society this should be a non issue. Many people may chose to submit to a partner or a set of principles as part of a lifestyle choice from orthodox anything to sexual prefrences such as ‘sub dom’ relations. The issue is one of choice. How do we know that woman choose to do this? How can we know she is not enslaved by the males of her family which is typical in Islam? This would be very difficult to determine. Our choice is that Islam is made illegal much as Shinto was. At least political Islam. Then if women wish to wear burkas at home or even on the street that is fine so long as its not in public facilities or offices etc. This is not an easy issue to resolve. If it was, it would have been already. Sarkozy’s speech may well have been an attempt as Stratfor claims, to distract from an awful economy where much of France’s young unemployed are Muslims and resentment towards them grows. As likely it was a genuine attempt to deal with a near insurmountable problem of freedom and western liberal democratic values and a seventh century organized crime racket where women are property at best and non gang members have no status as human beings. The fact that Islam is over a billion strong and is called a religion, in no way should deviate from its being perceived as what it is organizationally. Perhaps the worlds first MAFIA.
Eeyore for Vladtepesblog:
This report is worth reading in its entirely in any case despite the fact we do not agree with some of its principle ideas. Stratfor never fails to present valuable information and important analysis. Subscriptions can be bought at their web site at www.stratfor.com.