One of the most striking things about To Kill A Mockingbird is the image the reader gets of completely powerless black people having their fate decided by white folks. A young black man is accused of rape by a white woman, arrested by white police, put in a white-run jail house. A white judge appoints a white lawyer to represent him against the white prosecutor. Some of these people are good-hearted and unhappy with this state of affairs, but that's what it was like.
I was reminded of this by the recent Sudanese arrest and imprisonment of a schoolteacher who allowed children to name a teddy bear 'Mohammed'. A Muslim regime imprisoned a non-Muslim and it took two Muslim peers, Baroness Warsi and Lord Ahmed, to negotiate her release. Why did the negotiators have to be Muslims?
The answer is simple: Islam is a fundamentally supremacist system of thought and the pattern we saw in Sudan, of a submissive and powerless non-Muslim having her fate decided by Muslims, is deeply entrenched in Islamic tradition. The word has been abused so profoundly, including by me in the past, that I have made a conscious effort to stop using it, but the schoolteacher in this case found herself in the position of a Dhimmi (emphasis added):
The term connotes an obligation of the state to protect the individual, including the individual's life, property, and freedom of religion and worship, and exclude them from the payment of zakat only paid by muslims; in exchange for "subservience and loyalty to the Muslim order", and a poll tax known as the jizya.This apparent contract is nothing of the kind. It exchanges one tax for another (one that is to be collected in a way that is deliberately humiliating for the non-Muslim), but as for the rest the extension of the rule of law to cover non-Muslims is not a concession, it's a given for any decent and civilised society. All we're left with is the imposition, by force, on the non-Muslim of "subservience and loyalty".
It is quite conceivable that politicians including the two Muslim peers are being diplomatic until the teacher, and they, are safely out of Sudan. But somehow I doubt it. I strongly doubt anyone will publicly criticise the requirement that the negotiators be Muslim. It would have been easier for a black advocate to go to South Africa during apartheid than for a non-Muslim to sway the Islamist rulers of Sudan.
Eight and a half centuries ago the crusades brought the violent, misogynistic, priest-ridden culture of Europe into contact with the Islamic world, and the result was a renaissance. The Egyptian blogger Nah·det Masr wishes for a renaissance in Egypt today. In a recent post, he suggested a new term: Izlamist:
It's not a typo; the new term is the best description of people who are trying to impose their religious point of view, jump to power, and impose their strict interpretations and Shariy'a law on the rest of us who don't subscribe to the same ideas or even don't belong to the same religion.The influence of Islam on the West today is almost wholly regressive, the opposite of renaissance. There are a number of reasons for this, and they cannot all be lain at the feet of Muslims themselves. Successive British governments followed the example of Michael Howard in recognising as representative only Izlamic extremists. Indeed, it is vital that we draw a distinction between Islam and Muslims, most of whom make the sorts of contributions everyone else does, and thereby help enrich us all. But regrettably their traditions and countries of origin are dragging us back into the darkness, even though most of them do not wish this to happen.
The new term comes from Izlam إظلام which means loosely imposing darkness
I recommend my Egyptian friend to you all, and commend his new term. I shall adopt it myself from now on. It even contains, in the unexpected letter 'z', an appropriate visual echo of the word 'Nazi'.
Some of the most active Izlamists in Britain today are the Deobandis of Tablighi Jamaat. A struggle in East London rages at the moment over their application to build a 'Mega Mosque' - a visible symbol of supremacism that is intended to dominate the site of the forthcoming Olympics and to send out a message of Izlamist triumphalism to the entire world.
The campaign against these disgusting and disgraceful proposals - the moral equivalent of erecting a giant burning cross on the site - has just launched a website. 2,500 mainstream Muslims in the locality have signed a petition opposing the mosque.
The organisers of this campaign have been threatened with death by extremists. They have shown great courage and deserve our support.