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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > What are we to do about Islam? Speech by Douglas Murray at the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference 2006

What are we to do about Islam? Speech by Douglas Murray at the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference 2006

March 5, 2006


What are we to do about Islam? A speech to the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference on Europe and Islam

By Douglas Murray

Why will European intellectual and political leaders not stand up to radical Islam? Douglas Murray - the author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It - suggests that it is because these leaders are in the grip of a virulent infection. The infection is relativism. A culture which is imbued with relativism, argues Murray, can in the end find no reason to fight for its own salvation. Europe can only save itself, argues Murray, if it unambiguously stands up for its values and rediscovers absolutism in the defence of these values.

What follows was delivered by Douglas Murray as a speech in The Hague to the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference on Europe and Islam in February 2006. The views expressed are those of Douglas Murray, not those of the Social Affairs Unit, its Trustees, Advisors or Director.

In 1938, when German troops had again crossed into territory that was not theirs, the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Munich to see Herr Hitler. In his understandable desire for peace, Chamberlain agreed terms, gave up not just some ground, but the entire nation of Czechoslovakia, and returned to London. There he was greeted by Winston Churchill with uncompromising words. Churchill told him:

You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war.
Much of the threat we face today bears no similarity to the Nazi threat of the thirties. We do not face vast militarized units, we are not seeing the absorption of nations into a military superstate, and we can be all but certain that we will not in our lifetimes again see the mass mobilization of Europe's citizenry. By all these things we are comforted.

Yet we have, in Europe and the West, a deep and growing problem, and because this problem only occasionally resembles the problem last time, it is all too easy to assume that what we face now is not a problem. Were troops in blackshirts or jackboots to come marching back through our cities today, not a European country would stand for it. The recent reactions from the governments of Europe to the lunatic of Tehran's pronouncements demonstrate this. It was only when he spoke abhorrently of the holocaust that European leaders finally seemed to sit up and take notice. We should take some pride in this fact: there are still things that cannot fail to wake Europe, and lines beyond which we will not be taken.

But we must also be careful. Not everyone who hates us is as stupid or suicidal as President Ahmadinejad. In fact very few of the enemies of freedom today give us such unambiguous expressions of their ideological position, and when they do, few do so in a manner so likely to tempt us into action.

The conflict which we are now in – which we have been most visibly engaged in for five years, but which had in truth opened far earlier - is not a conflict which looks familiar to the people of Europe. It barely resembles conflicts of their past. And just as this war does not much look like earlier wars, so victory in this war will not look like earlier victories. This poses a problem: what will victory in the war on terror – the war against Islamic extremism - look like? How will we know when it is over? How will we know when we've won? The only, and deeply imperfect, guide may be time - the length of time in which we are not hit, seriously threatened or cowed. If we are to have victory then it will emerge as an almost imperceptible victory: it will be a diminuendo towards victory. Only historians will then be capable of determining which battles were vital, which significant, and which illusory triumphs of their time.

The flip-side of this is that defeat in the war on terror – the war on Islamic extremism - will not happen in a familiar manner either. Defeat will not look as defeat would have looked last time. It will rather, I suggest, consist of a gradual accretion of hurts on our society, a wearying accumulation of often minor humiliations: death by a thousand cuts. Rather than waking up one day and finding troops rolling into our cities, we will simply become aware, with a growing sense of numbness, that what we had has slipped away, that what we relied on for support and succour has eroded and washed beyond our reach. If we end in darkness this time, it will be because we shuffled, rather than fell, into it.

In this situation, Churchill's comment to Chamberlain throws us some light. For once again, albeit in very different circumstances, the West faces a threat to its way of life. Once again it is a threat which the peoples of Europe, in their estimable desire for peace, would rather was not there. And because of that wish, vast swathes of Europe have decided it is not there. Busily they preoccupy themselves with changing the subject and ignoring the elephant in the living room.

In their efforts to avoid war, Europeans are once again choosing dishonour. They refuse to cut back their welfare budgets or significantly increase their defence spending, and they still refuse to enforce the measures required to cease or reverse the disastrous effects of mass immigration. Indeed, there is no indication that Europeans are going to alter their path today any faster than they did in the 1930s. As in the 1930s, Europe is tired of war. So when war has been launched upon it, Europe pretends it is not war, and fails to fight back. Indeed it is worse than that. A Transatlantic Trends survey carried out in 2003 revealed that fewer than half of Europeans believe that any war at all – even one in the national interest - can be considered just. Yet in their effort to avoid confrontation now, Europeans are making a worse confrontation down the line more likely: in their effort to pretend-away the risk, the risk is swelling. The word for dishonour this time is Dhimmitude.

This problem starts as a philosophical and moral problem, but it has now become a deep practical problem for Europe and its survival. As Saul Bellow wrote in his foreword to Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind:

We live in a thought-world, and the thinking has gone very bad indeed.
This now needs addressing. And it should be addressed by people like those here today because just as this conflict started as a conflict of ideas, so it will begin to be ended by ideas.

My position – the neoconservative position – on the solution is rooted in the supposition that the answer to the problem of Islam and the West does not lie only at home. I - and neoconservatives in general - hold that the answer to the current crisis in Islamic-Western relations lies not only in a realistic tackling of our domestic crisis, but in a putting onto the right track of the fundamental problems of the Islamic world - the reasons, after all, why so many Muslims come to the West in the first place. Foremost among those reasons are the fact that (with the exceptions of the fledgling democracies of Iraq and Afghanistan) their own historical lands are presently run by despots, crackpots and crime-syndicate families. Until the Middle East and other Islamic lands have a greater measure of freedom, the West can barely be surprised that even fairly hardline Islamists will continue to be desperate to join the welfare-wagon in the West.

I mention this because I believe that to even begin addressing the problems of Islam and the West we must recognise that in today's world it simply is not possible for countries to exist in a bubble. Let's knock that fantasy on the head right away. Our fate – as we were reminded on September 11th – is fundamentally intertwined with that of failed states, tyrannical states and rogue states. When a single plane ride can take you from Amsterdam to Baghdad or a mobile telephone help you to arrange an event in a country you never visit, only the most foolish person could continue to believe in isolationism. To take just one example of how our fates interlink: the Afghan anti-Taliban leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud, was murdered two days before 9/11; his killers were Algerian men with Belgian passports carrying visas for entry into Pakistan which had been issued in London. Our economies globalised – and we won out economically: but the jihad globalised too.

I also mention this international angle because in talking about the battle we are currently in – the first stage of a war which the Pentagon and others are now looking at as a 30-year conflict – we should regard our military abroad as our first line of defence, as well as our first line of offence. In approaching the problem of Islam and what to do with it in our own midst, we cannot be blind to the problem of how to deal with the swamps in the Middle East which produce those who hit us and those who urge them on. So there are two fronts to this war – the foreign front and the home front. By looking at it this way we can not only analyse where we may be winning but also where and why we may be losing.

On the battlefield this enemy is defeated every time. There has not yet been one military confrontation with this enemy which has been anything less than a rout of that enemy. But just because Al-Qaeda and their sympathisers perform badly in battle, does not mean they cannot win the war. It does not mean that they cannot win the battle of ideas, winning total victory by the side door without having to waste all that money on bullets, missiles and whatever type of IED is "hot" in Afghanistan this season. If you doubt this, then just think back on the so-called "defeats" which we are meant to have suffered since 9/11. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, 100,000 civilians alleged to be dead by a fanciful survey courtesy of The Lancet magazine. What did our enemy do to win these victories? Absolutely nothing. It all came from within.

And I think this must please them. Because sitting around in Guantanamo, getting fed well by the Great Satan sounds like a much more attractive way to wage jihad than squatting in some Afghan camp, hoping your Kalashnikov un-jams in time to fire at those Daisy-Cutters. And not only is it a nicer proposition, it's also a more successful one. After all, who's had more victories against the Western alliance? The guy holed up in a war he's not armed for, or the guy holed up in Guantanamo who's been given all the ammunition the jihad needs by enemies within?

Put it another way: if you were Osama bin Laden at this moment, why would you leave the comfort of your own cave? Why risk turning on your mobile phone, dialling friends and family in order to plan the next mission, when the West is doing a nice job of self-destructing without you? Why bother beating on the infidels when the infidels are busy beating on themselves. Half a dozen low-ranking troops abuse Iraqi detainees and before you know it the Western elites claim (like Robert Fisk did in Britain's Independent) that the West now has no moral authority and no right to act. And more and more Europeans nod sagely and agree how awful we are. Angela Merkel gets three hours with the President and uses her time to stand up for those poor little mujahideen holed up in Guantanamo who didn't fight by the Geneva conventions and so I believe shouldn't be treated as if they did.

The Lancet's false guess at 100,000 civilian casualties in Iraq, led to the immediate offloading of responsibility for those alleged deaths from Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq and Ba'athist remnants straight onto the so-called "Occupying Forces". Cue chest-beating, self-flagellation and every other masochistic pastime of the European left. Granted Mr Zarqawi probably doesn't take The Lancet, but – as we know from members of his group (including one Briton) who've been lifted in Iraq – Zarqawi and co know very well what we are thinking, what we are doing and how to make best use of both. They know very well, for instance, that we're more likely to be chased from Iraq or Afghanistan by press-created public-opposition at home than by the head-hackers of the Jordanian criminal's gang. This is the only regard in which this war does resemble Vietnam. During the Tet Offensive the American military was killing the enemy at ratios of 30-40 for every GI lost. That, under any calculation, should be thought of as a victory. But it was not counted as a victory. Tet is still popularly believed to have been a loss, an impression created solely by the popular press and communist-sympathisers in America and Europe hoping for a big loss for the home side.

Our enemies are aware of these weaknesses in our set-up – weaknesses which Leo Strauss, like Tocqueville would have pointed out as among the innate flaws of liberal democracy on which we must keep a concerned and wary eye. Bin Laden is aware of these fissures: he has taunted us for them, in their manifestation at Mogadishu and elsewhere. What Bin Laden and co know is that at the present moment if you give the West a nudge in the right direction it'll finish the job for you on a kind of auto-self-destruct. When two Americans and one British hostage – Kenneth Bigley – were kidnapped in Iraq in 2004, the two Americans were killed pretty much immediately. It was Bigley – the Brit – who was kept alive for weeks. Why? Because whereas the American press would have stood defiant, the British and European press, right on cue, turned it all around from a story about a murderous gang kidnapping one of our own into a story about Tony Blair and why he'd sent troops into Iraq in the first place. Bigley was kept alive until the pressure on the Prime Minister had reached its peak, and then Zarqawi's gang decapitated him anyway. This is the pattern. If you're a low-level jihadist and you carry out a beheading of an innocent from Europe, then as an added bonus the European press will give you the scalp of their elected leaders.

And you can do the same thing in more peaceful ways, by, say, threatening not to eat Danish pastries until the European Commissioners throw their hands in the air and ask if there's any concession - or sweetener - they can give you to change your mind. As I say – it's guaranteed that modern Europeans will finish the job much better than any two-bit thug or terrorist could have done. Which if you're Osama bin Laden means you can just hang around in your cave watching old Michael Moore films and taking notes for your next home-movie. Because this is the root of the problem that we must grapple with: in the war against Islamic fundamentalism, against Islamist militarism, our troops are winning comprehensively on the field of foreign battle; but we are losing this war at home.

The best indicator of just how much we're losing this war is the creeping increase of dhimmitude - from the general public (who display it occasionally) to our leaders (who now display it routinely). In any circumstances this would be bad, but what makes it so dangerous now, is that in the current war the enemy is, as a demographic and political fact, massed not just on foreign shores, but within the gates of our cities. The collision of forceful Islam with European spinelessness and dhimmitude is fatal for our free societies.

The effects of dhimmitude have been superlatively explained to us by Bat Ye'or and others, but it's worth reminding ourselves of how its modern manifestations work. They arise in subtle ways: a British judge apologises for inadvertently bringing a Muslim to court to answer criminal charges on what turns out to be a Muslim religious festival. Or the French government pretends some riots have nothing to do with Islam, yet visit mosques and send imams onto the streets to dispel the allegedly secular rioters. Dhimmitude rises when people think the feelings of a threatening minority matter more than cherished native traditions of free-speech, when the phony-rebel heroes of the film industry cancel screenings of Submission after Theo van Gogh's murder because they got scared. It occurs in tiny little ways, like non-Muslims referring to "The Prophet" when he is not their prophet, and where they would scorn anybody who referred to "Jesus Christ, the Son of God" as a de facto statement.

Dhimmitude begins in such small ways, but it is growing into a big problem. The enemy's victories on our turf during the war on terror – the only place where they have won any victories - have been almost fantastically lightly won. Could anyone have believed before March 11th 2004 that only a dozen bombs would be needed to cause a change of government in a European democracy? Who could have guessed that killing two hundred Spanish civilians at a crucial moment before an election would bring in not a righteously angry leader - an uncompromising opponent of terror - but a sympathetic socialist who has spent his time in office so far offering up concessions to Islam, and degrading his country's native Catholic Church? Who could have guessed that with little more than the most basic tactics of intimidation, an alleged hardliner like Mr Sarkozy would advocate the abandonment of France's secular traditions and the giving of unique funding and privileges to Islam? Or that, with only loud-mouthed pressure from his Muslim electorate, the British Foreign Secretary would condemn Danish cartoons, but not a demonstration calling for the beheading and mass-murder of the British people?

Who would have thought that after four bombers blew up buses and trains across London last July, the British government would appoint a bunch of Islamists to explain why it happened and then sit and take it as the afore-mentioned "experts" tell them that the fact that Britain was attacked was Britain's fault – oh, and the fault of the Jews of course. If Churchill had sat down in 1940 and asked "Why do they hate us", or appointed a panel of Nazi-apologists to tell him why Britain deserved to be attacked by Nazis, then I can be pretty sure I wouldn't be here today. But nevermind the spirit of Churchill, where is even a hint of self-worth, pride - or even survival instinct? Two and a half millennia ago, Pericles reminded the people of Athens of

all the advantages that are to be gained by warding off the foe.
Today many of the free descendants of those Athenians seem only to want to be reminded of the advantages gained from closing their eyes, keeping their heads down, and making sure they don't upset the Muslims.

So what is going wrong? Why is it that time and again the liberal West is crumpling before the violence, intimidation and thuggery of Islam? Why are we so at risk from something which should by rights be a simple matter to deal with?

The answer is that we inhabit a continent with twin problems. The first problem arises from a reinvigorated and re-emergent Islamic fundamentalism. Militarily, this is relatively easy to deal with, and in foreign lands there is a solution to the problem. But the reason why it is causing such difficulties at home is because this resurgence comes at a time when our societies in Western Europe are too weak-willed, tired and degenerate to act decisively. In this weak state, batting off even a minor infection can prove impossible. There is a metaphor here which the Canadian-born writer Mark Steyn cited recently, when he wrote:

Radical Islam is an opportunist infection, like AIDS: it's not the HIV that kills you, it's the pneumonia you get when your body's too weak to fight it off.
If you do not believe this, then note how Islam is progressing in the West. It is not gaining the concessions and the victories it is by attracting people to its belief-system. It is gaining concessions from the weak-willed, badly educated and ignorant men and women who currently hold intellectual sway over Europe – people who would rather die than appear politically incorrect, and would rather sacrifice their society than be absolutist in defence of it. At the heart of this problem is the primary disease - the AIDS of the West – the disease which has made the opportunist infection of Islam so deadly. That disease is relativism. It is the belief that all cultures are equal even while one culture (our own) is ridden over daily and even while another (Islam) is becoming uniquely violent. The belief that all things are relative has led to an inability among the cultural elites of Europe to stand up for what is right, or even to stand up for their own, because right does not exist in their vocabulary, and in the moral armoury of a self-flagellator, self-defence is the only inexcusable vice.

This crisis in European thought found its high-point in the philosophies of the '68-ers and the French nihilists, Foucault's blessing of the Iranian revolution standing as the consummate demonstration of the gravitation of European intellectuals back towards totalitarianism. They may, like Baader-Meinhof and the Red Brigades, have come at it the other way round, but Derrida and Foucault ended up the helpers and lapdogs of tyrants as surely as Martin Heidegger did.

"But this is about philosophy", people will say, "not about how to stop Islamists killing us". But it is about that, for the nihilistic philosophies of Europe seeped from those who argued them into the heads of those who dared not disagree with them, or who saw – in good faith – the attractions of non-judgementalism. In its attempt to be post-historical, enlightened and rational, Europe found itself incapable of rationalising its own survival. It lost all sense of natural right. It became irrational. Today the effects of the rejection of natural right are practically felt. A society like France's in which revolution and rebellion are ingrained into the national psyche in the wake of '68 can now find no honourable way of crushing rioting and disorder on her own streets. A culture which celebrates rebellion as well as relativism ends up finding no reason not to tolerate its own destruction. And so it will be destroyed. Anyone who thinks that Islamic populations in the West are going to convert to relativism before we are all converted, or subjugated, to Islam is living in a fantasy.

Relativism has one over-riding consequence, and that consequence is the history of Europe over the last forty years. Giving equal attention and respect to all-comers, not only can relativists (the politically correct) not defend their own, they end up drawing a parity across cultures, faiths and behaviours which diminishes the good, and elevates the malignant. When we stare in disbelief at tolerance of the intolerable and the slow turning of that tolerance into acceptance and then acquiescence in evil, we are seeing Europeans acting out the last stages of nihilist philosophy. It is a way of looking at – and acting in – the world which will ruin Europe if we do not rid ourselves of it. Ridding ourselves of our rotten thought-world is the first step (and one in which everyone can take part) towards protecting ourselves from the threats which face us. It is one of the practical ways in which citizens can fight a war which is so far waged and triumphed in only by our military.

Without such a concerted effort, those among Europe's young who are attracted to the Islamic faith will grow. For converts are at present attracted to Islam because they see in it a rigidness they do not at present see in other faiths. They are attracted to a faith which brooks no compromise because they have been brought up in a society in which everything is compromised.

These converts are, though, I believe, nothing more than a sub-strand of "Last Men" – the "Last Man" notion we see in Nietzsche and Fukuyama - the man who lives at the end-stage (though not necessarily the end-time) of human progress. Living under the system of representative governance – always the end-point of human aspiration - there is yet a type of Last Man who cannot bear the lack of struggle, cannot live without struggle and who as a result struggles for the sake of struggle. When there is nothing left to struggle against, he struggles against liberty, against democracy and against freedom. Now the majority of struggling Last Men are presently found among the left who support dictators over democracies, those people whose relativism has brought them full circle back to a support for authoritarian tyranny. But a much smaller section of Last Men are the converts. When we hear of Western converts from Last Men to Muslims, we are witnessing the breaking away of people who never wanted to be part of the system they were fortunate enough to live under.

But I confess that I cannot see the life of the burka and sharia appealing to many brought up outside of Islamic societies. The exceptions, where extreme Islam is able to get a grip, only really occur among those who already have serious deficiencies and inadequacies - convicts, criminals and the unstable such as the Belgian woman Muriel Degauque who last year travelled to Iraq and blew herself up in a thankfully unsuccessful attempt to kill American soldiers. It's worth reminding ourselves what a surreal and spectacularly sad case that is. We have now lost hundreds of troops from the coalition of the willing, who have given their lives in the noble and selfless cause of freeing Iraqis from brutality and tyranny. And here was a girl also from the free West, travelling to Iraq under the hallucinatory power of fundamentalist Islam not to free people, but to impose on them a tyranny which she herself had never experienced. She left a free country to go out and impose tyranny on a people struggling for freedom. A more pathetic and wicked example of the rebellious Last Man can hardly be imagined.

But there are other aspects at these strange crossroads where Islamic fundamentalism and Western freedom meet, and where the misguided can all-too easily wander down the wrong track. As I say, most people are not going to join the army of oppression - but they do not have to join it for that army to win. The most public losses in this war are being created by people at home who are non-Muslims. And these are the people against whom we should be most on the attack – the people who are transforming the actions of minor jihadists into undreamed of successes. It is only because such people have made the body as a whole weak that radical Islam is having the effect that it is now having on Europe.

So it is worth reminding ourselves of the basics of the problem. No European country's Muslim population is currently higher than 10% - which ordinarily would be alright – not ideal, but alright. What makes it a problem is not only that native European birth-rates are falling, but that Western relativists are acting as a megaphone for the Muslim minority, making the volume of that minority exponentially greater and more threatening. This megaphone effect - the unequal power which Islam currently wields, and the power it will increasingly wield as it grows, courtesy of immigration and higher than average European Muslim birth-rates – is cause for great worry.

Anyhow – I promised to propose some of the solutions to this problem, not just spend my time and your patience attacking French thinkers. So what are the answers to our predicament? How do we stop the further humiliation of Europe, and its eventual morphing into an entirely different continent?

The first thing to do is to address the problem at home unsparingly. It is late in the day, but Europe still has time to turn around the demographic time-bomb which will soon see a number of our largest cities fall to Muslim majorities. It has to. All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop. In the case of a further genocide such as that in the Balkans, sanctuary would be given on a strictly temporary basis. This should also be enacted retrospectively. Those who are currently in Europe having fled tyrannies should be persuaded back to the countries which they fled from once the tyrannies that were the cause of their flight have been removed. And of course it should go without saying that Muslims in Europe who for any reason take part in, plot, assist or condone violence against the West (not just the country they happen to have found sanctuary in, but any country in the West or Western troops) must be forcibly deported back to their place of origin. There is no earthly reason why Belgium should be home to the liar, thug and militant Abou Jahjah and his ilk. Such people have brought our societies nothing, and we owe them nothing. Last summer, when one of the "failed" 21st July suicide bombers in London was caught in his hideout after the "unsuccessful" attack, he emerged with his hands in the air shouting, "I know my rights". I submit that if you try to blow up men, women and children for the crime of travelling on the underground train in London that you have no rights. Where a person was born in the West, they should be deported to the country of origin of their parent or grandparent. This must become a Europe-wide policy and I hope the great work of the current Dutch Interior Minister leads the way. I for one much look forward to hearing how the spoilt little welfare jihadists get on with the welfare system in Pakistan or the right to demonstrate in Saudi.

The point here is that the whole deal under which Muslims live in our societies must change. At present we ask "why do they hate us", "what did we fail to give them", and suchlike. It is time the West woke up to the fact that the militants in our midst – however large a percentage of the Muslim population – will never like us. And we should not want to be liked by them - so we should stop flattering and playing up to them. Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. We in Europe owe – after all – no special dues to Islam. We owe them no religious holidays, special rights or privileges. From long before we were first attacked it should have been made plain that people who come into Europe are here under our rules and not theirs. There is not an inch of ground to give on this one. Where a mosque has become a centre of hate it should be closed and pulled down. If that means that some Muslims don't have a mosque to go to, then they'll just have to realise that they aren't owed one. Grievances become ever-more pronounced the more they are flattered and the more they are paid attention to. So don't flatter them.

Abroad we must continue our work at taking the war to the terrorists. We are winning that war, and we should extend that war. Iran, Syria and any regime which sponsors or supports terrorism must be made aware that their days are numbered. We must remind the malignant that this war and this era will be dictated on our terms - on the terms of the strong and the right, not the weak and the wrong.

But as I mentioned, the problem, the reason why the war at home is not working as well as it should is because of the underlying disease of the West. We could decide with our immune system low that we should simply cut off all contacts with the outside world, try desperately to ensure that no malicious viruses – however small – get through to us. We can go some of the way to doing that, but there is a much better option. That option is to strengthen our societal immune system, to re-energise and build-up ourselves as a society – to kick off the degraded lazy thinking and action which have characterised Europeans and European policy for too long.

And we must become absolutist – absolutist in defence of our societies, our traditions, our heritage, culture, freedoms and democracies. There is only one way to destroy relativism, and there is only one way to conquer the rise of Islamic militancy and that is to be uncompromising and absolutist. If people want certainty then let us give it to them here. Ignorant people will still say, "Ah, but I'm not sure what European culture is". Well that's their fault, not the fault of European culture.

Many people of an older generation tell me that Europe is lost, that there is nothing we can do to save it. I do not believe that, and I think this may be a generational thing. After all, it is people of my age who will have to put up with an Islamic or dhimmi Europe. We do not want that, and so we must come up with solutions to stop it coming about. If we do not do so now, some awful Le Pen like figure will try to deal with it badly and far more bloodily down the line. Let us act now so that that does not happen.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In a tape-recording played at his recent trial in Milan, Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed was heard, amid his celebrations of the murder of Nicholas Berg, to say:

Rome, we are entering Rome, Rome, if God wishes we are entering, even entering Rome… Rome, Rome, we are opening Rome with those from Holland. Rome, Rome, if God wishes, Rome is opening. It will be. It will be.
There is, I suggest, only one answer to that – which is to say: Not an inch:
the gates of Rome will not open an inch. You will not get Rome, you will not get London, you will not get The Hague or any other city that is ours. On this there is no room to give, no compromise, no discussion to be had.
Only when we make it clear where we stand will our enemies - and those who have come to Europe who are our friends – know where they stand too.

We owe it to ourselves to do this. But we also owe it to our past. I can think of no greater betrayal than for this generation to give up so lightly what our forefathers fought for at such a great price. Whatever we – the free peoples of the West – choose, let us be certain, and let us make it plain – that it will not be submission, it will not be dhimmitude and it will not be dishonour.

Douglas Murray is the author of Neoconservatism: Why We Need It. He delivered this talk in The Hague to the Pim Fortuyn Memorial Conference in the Netherlands in February 2006.

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