Friday, May 02, 2008

Dhimmitude

Under Sharia (Islamic law) a Jew or Christian is known as a 'dhimmi'. This status affords the person some protection under the law. Pagans, for example, may be summarily killed. A dhimmi has to be tried. Unfortunately, their testimony is inadmissible in an Islamic court so it isn't necessarily a fair trial, but there you are.

Ever since I finished Tom Kratman's rather good novel Caliphate (And blogged on it twice), I've been reading up on Muslim-non-Muslim relations. I had been somewhat skeptical about how messed up an Islamic state could be. Unfortunately, he has soft peddled how illiberal Islam truly is.

I still do not believe that there will be a wave of jihads or that most Muslims want such a thing. But if they win the reproduction race in Europe, then Sharia may be a reality for some or all of Western Europe.

I also still believe that freedom is corrosive to tyranny. One of the reasons that you only find Commies in Cuba and Ann Arbor is that prolonged exposure to the marketplace of ideas tests the merits of any ideology. The Soviet Union collapsed because of the vision of two men and the destruction of its underlying ideology.

Unfortunately, Europe is in the grip of the negative ideology of post modernistic despair. This has led to a massive erosion of liberty there (and less so, here) as well as enervating the will of Europeans to resist bad ideas. Lacking any real sense of community (because nationalism is bad) and with less of a sense of family (because the State has assumed those functions) than previously, the Europeans have been rendered atomistic, with little desire to work for the benefit of others, and narcissistic.

Demographically then, Europe is doomed. However, there is always the possibility that the demographics may turn around. On a primal level, women have babies because of hope. If Europe rediscovers hope, then there may very well be more children.

2 comments:

Perpetua said...

There is a body of research showing how women were convinced to return to the home and have babies after WWII.
I recently watched the film The Best Years of Our lives from 1946 and thought that this was an example.
Of course, the people doing this research thought this was a bad thing/ a propaganda move against women's empowerment. But it was a good move for the culture. And women are MUCH worse off under Islam.

tom kratman said...

They're worse off, Perpetua, but often not in quite the way we think. For example, we tend to obsess about honor killings of women in the Islamic world. They happen, clearly but also rarely, on a per capita basis. On the other hand, physical abuse of women - quite despite, say, the Saudis' open regulation of such things as the size of the stick you can beat your wife with - is also quite rare. Why? Well, most girls have living fathers and brothers who love them. Yes, they'll kill them for "honor" offenses but they still love them. (Yes, it's a weird culture.) A man beating his wife for no reason is also offending against the honor of the family she came from _and_ beating the little girl they love. It's a good and quick way to get very dead, courtesy of the girl's brothers. This tends to mitigate a lot of the evils of the culture, vis a vis women.

Polygamy? Surprisingly - at least it was a surprise to me when I was there - most of them don't really approve of it. It's permissible, yes, and preferable to keeping a mistress as rich men in the west often do, but they think that, as a practical and theological matter, it doesn't work, that a man normally can't treat two wives as the Koran requires.