Sunday, January 21, 2007

Batty and Bat Ye'or

Via many circambulations, I landed on an almost one year-old article in The Brussels Journal, titled "Eurabia Scholars Gather in The Hague", by Paul Belien. Paul who? Paul Beliën (to spell it correctly, pronounced as 'Ba-lian') is someone you're unlikely to have heard of unless you move in far right Flemish secessionist circles of Vlaams Belang or even more extreme Flemish fringe groups and assorted one-man-bands. Some of these recently invited David Duke to share his wisdom [ahem] with them.

In
Paul's profile he claims he "is married to Irish-born Dr. Alexandra Colen, a former lecturer in linguistics at the universities of Ghent and Antwerp, and an MP for the Flemish-secessionist party Vlaams Blok since 1995", but that's merely nostalgia on Paul's behalf: because Vlaams Blok was found in contempt of the 1981 Belgian law on racism and xenophobia, the party was disbanded and reformed under the slightly more respectable banner of Vlaams Belang.

In Belgium, Beliën is an obscure ultra-rightwing fringe nut and laughing stock of most on both the right and left of the political spectrum. Beliën naturally subscribes to the conspiracy theory regarding the 'Islamisation of Europe', as well as the 'Belgianisation of Europe'. Paul has also called in the past for a US-style right to carry arms in Europe, so that the righteous can defend themselves against the 'Muzzies'. He also advocates privatised health care, is opposed to gay civil unions and has his kids home-educated, presumably to protect them from 'contamination'. Paul, in short, is batty, very very batty.

And here's Paul on a meeting of minds [several snips]:
Yesterday I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a very special person. If you did not know the tiny, unpretentious and vivacious grey-haired lady whom I had the privilege of sitting next to you would never guess that she is one of the most formidable personalities of our time. When I drove to The Hague I did not know I was going to meet her, but I knew her name – or rather the pseudonym which she generally uses: Bat Ye’or. It is Hebrew for “daughter of the Nile.” She was born in Cairo but her family was expelled from Egypt and stripped of their Egyptian nationality in 1957 because they were Jewish.

Bat Ye'or, "one of the most formidable personalities of our time"? Compared to you Paul, anyone is formidable, of course.
Bat Ye-or was in The Hague attending an international gathering of Western Jihad experts. The group included Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, David G. Littman, the Dutch and Flemish Arabists Hans Jansen (University of Utrecht) and Urbain Vermeulen (universities of Leuven and Ghent), and others.

Count on Pipes, the über-Islamophobe, not to miss this appointment. The thing with Pipes is that you get the impression that what he knows about Europe would snugly fit on the back of a small stamp, yet he considers himself an expert on the subject, mainly in regards to phantasmagorical concepts like Eurabia, the kind of BS that sells 'books' to ignorant Americans.
Bat Ye’or convincingly argues that the transformation of Europe into Eurabia is the result of a deliberate strategy that was foolishly set in motion by French Gaullists who wanted to create a European-Arab counterweight to the United States. Today the European Union is continuing this policy, which aims to create a united Mediterranean continent based on a symbiosis between the Northern and the Southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. In her Eurabia book she meticulously describes how this strategy has been implemented during the past 35 years and how the promotion of Muslim immigration to Europe constitutes part of this plan.

Why is it that small minds always rely on some nefarious conspiracy theory? And let's all blame the French, naturellement...
She points out that after the Eastern enlargement of the EU, the Arab countries were worried that less European funds would be available for the Maghreb countries. They made Europe promise that EU funds to the Southern shores of the Mediterranean would not diminish, but also that immigration from Arab countries would not be stopped in favour of immigration from Eastern Europe. This is the real reason why the Polish plumbers are not welcome while people from the Maghreb still continue to flock to Europe.

Polish plumbers aren't welcome in Europe??? Tell that to the rightwingers from The Daily Hate Mail and assorted chip wrappers, because they seem to be expecting a veritable deluge of Romanians and Poles. Some have even jocularly suggested we should hire Poles as border patrols to stop the tide of Balkans...
I had been invited to The Hague by Daniel Pipes. I discovered that the most famous of the conference participants were not registered at the hotel under their real names and a (plain clothes) guard was watching over them. Apparently, a gathering of people for a scholarly exchange of views on the preservation of Western liberties, can no longer take place in the free West without security measures.

There's no pleasing these guys: give them some security and they moan. Don't and they call for guns...
Europeans are fast becoming second class citizens in their own countries. It is tempting to flee a continent that has already to a large extent become Eurabia, and hide in the relative safety of the United States. However, Europeans should stay put and resist the attempts to turn Europe into dhimmi-land. “It is possible that some Muslims are offended by the Danish cartoons,” says Daniel Pipes. “Nevertheless, all the media should have published them. While the Rushdie affair was about freedom of speech, because it was an intra-Muslim affair, the cartoon affair is about the defense of the identity of the West and whether we allow them to impose their values on our society.”

Yes, that mass-exodus of Europeans to the safe and 'Muzzie-free' land of the brave, home of the free...

Pipes, you're a nutcase. But you've found your niche: together with Paul, Bat and other crackpots.

4 Comments:

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Mad Zionist said...

Gert:

Pipes is a moderate. Only in socialist Eurabia would he be considered a rightwing radical. Ye'or is a reformed leftist who finally saw the light, but certainly no extremist by any rational measure.

I think paleo-Europe is getting what they asked for by encouraging the islamic menace to infest her borders, but let's not pretend it's a stunnning revalation that the continent is in the process of being over-run by islam. Old news, here, and hardly controvercial or shocking anymore.

Virtually all educated, objective followers of international politics have known about Europe's impending collapse to islamic domination for many, many years now. What's next, a highly controversial report about whether looking both ways before crossing the street can help save lives?

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger Gert said...

MZ:

All political positions are relative to one's own. Compared to you, anyone is either a moderate of a 'radical leftist'.

Europe is Socialist? I've always felt you run hopelessly behind the times and this is just another confirmation. Many Americans (but far from all) get thoroughly confused between concepts like social justice, social movements, Socialism, Communism and, of course, Marxism. In their confusion and incomprehension they lump it all together, brave followers of Uncle McCarty as many still are. Most European countries have very centrist governments, either slightly to the left or slightly to the right. Many have proportional representation and rely on coalition governments, which don't make these systems very conducive to totalitarian rule.

As regards the Eurabia charge, if you lived here or had bothered to visit, you would see what a complete load of tripe this really is. Historically and geographically, Europe is indeed closer to the Arab world than the US or Asia. But in terms of sheer numbers of Muslim immigrants Europe hardly surpasses the US e.g. (look it up if you don't believe me).

The 'Eurabia croc' is believed and disseminated by the usual crowd: Pipes, Horowitz, Belien, Bat Ye'or, Phillips et al, as well as a relatively small band of followers whom you could also make believe that the Earth is flat. Their ideas come from a very old 'ideal' (one you also subscribe to): "One Country, One People". What a pity that the most fervent followers of this ideal also managed to perpetrate the greatest crime in human history and write the blackest page in Europe's history books...

Of course, if you're a US citizen that consumes his news from certain cable channels only, you will get a very skewed view of what goes on in the world. These 'tailored news sources' are very good at pulling isolated incidents out of context to try and prove points. You apply that tactic also on your own blog. Quel surprise...

 
At 6:31 PM, Blogger Mad Zionist said...

Thank you for the compliment implying that I'm the furthest boundary by which the right can be measured. So, what part of socialism do you disagree Europe subscribes to? I'm truly curious.

OT, did you see that your good friend Beak unilaterally withdrew from my blog? Reconciling with Greg and allowing you to offer dissent on my board apparently drove him over the edge.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Gert said...

MZ:

Europe does embrace some social values more than the US: we do provide more extensive worker protection, have publicly funded health care systems and similar systems, which to many Americans come across as manifestations of "Socialism".

You can't really understand this without looking at the historical backdrop of Europe: the Old Continent did once (not that long ago) toil under the yoke of a feudal system, culminating in 19th century laissez-fair liberalism, which created living and working conditions for most ordinary people, which in today's terms would be completely unacceptable. It is from these conditions that the first movements for social reform emerged: firstly mainly atheists but soon joined by the church as well. The old-style Liberal parties across Europe soon found themselves faced with Labour parties, as well as tearaways from their own ranks (in Britain: the Tory party). Henceforth a number of social programs were put in place, leading up to what some rather simplistically refer to as 'the welfare state'.

The US is a much younger nation which never in its history felt the oppression of such feudal conditions and has felt therefore less need for such reforms. But whenever things have gone wrong in the US's economic system, modest reforms (see e.g. The New Deal) were also put in place. And what is the Civil Rights movement, other than a benevolent force for social reform?

In Europe the big ideological battle between Left and Right has been over for quite some decades now: it's difficult (e.g. in Britain) to get much more than a cigarette paper between a typical 'conservative party' and a typical 'labour party' in terms of political ideas or ideology: all have squarely moved to the centre, because that's where the votes are.

Economically, our systems are essentially free market economies, perhaps with slightly more state control and regulation to avoid past excesses.

The view on the American Right (at least some part of it) of "Socialist Europe" is very much an anachronistic Cold War remnant and not all relevant or accurate.

As regards Beakerkin, I've already commented before over at yours and will not add further to the controversy (well, storm in a teacup, really).

 

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