If we cared to look for the root cause of what’s happening in Europe — happening primarily without “violent extremism” — the answer is very simple: Islamist leaders have adopted a strategy of voluntary apartheid in their quest to Islamize the West.
The strategy has been championed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Its chief jurisprudent, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, urges Muslims to relocate to Europe, Australia, and North America. There, they should live among other Muslims, conduct their affairs in accordance with sharia (the law of Islam), and pressure Western governments to accept the primacy of sharia in Muslim enclaves — enclaves that will grow and spread and connect. By convincing “Western leaders and decision-makers of our right to live according to our faith — ideologically, legislatively, and ethically,” Qaradawi reasons that Muslims would “traverse an immense barrier in our quest for an Islamic state.”
Equally adamant is the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the bloc of governments from the world’s Islamic countries. The OIC purports to speak as a sovereign on behalf of the Muslim ummah. In 2010, it released its now annual report on — what else? — Islamophobia. The report conjures an imaginary tidal wave of anti-Muslim bias while overlooking both the predominance of Muslims in global “violent extremism” and the West’s pandemic of official solicitude toward Islamic leaders. “Muslims should not be marginalized or attempted to be assimilated, but should be accommodated,” the report proclaimed. “Accommodation is the best strategy for integration.”
The best strategy for whom? Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, goes even farther, inveighing that “assimilation is a crime against humanity.” With progressives in charge and see-no-Islam in vogue, Erdogan remains the West’s favorite “moderate” Islamist, despite the fact that he rejects the term “moderate Islam” as an insult. “Islam is Islam,” he snaps, “and that’s it.” Meanwhile, he warns Germany’s leaders not to pressure their large immigrant population of Turkish Muslims to become German. The message to Muslims is clear: Integrate? Yes. Assimilate? Never.
That is the plan, and it’s making extraordinary progress with a minimum of violent extremism. As Soeren Kern elaborates, in England Islamist organizations are now pressing to turn twelve British cities into Islamic emirates: autonomous Muslim enclaves governed by sharia law, independent of the national justice system. They call one proposed emirate “Londonistan” — surely not to honor Melanie Phillips, who wrote a book by that title, but confirming nevertheless the phenomenon she so brilliantly diagnosed. In these cities, non-Muslims are serially harassed, women are threatened (and worse) for failing to don the veil, and visiting officials such as former home secretary Jon Reid are heckled, “How dare you come to a Muslim area?”
In France, the government now posts on its official website the list of 751 Zones urbaines sensibles, the Muslim enclaves considered no-go zones. Non-Muslims are on notice: Enter at your own considerable risk. The police no longer go in. The nation no longer exercises sovereignty. The same pattern is seen in Brussels, Rome, Amsterdam, and the Ruhr: As the number of Muslims increases, so does the number of enclaves. The police will not enter without police escorts, which often means the police will not enter, period. As one police chief told the German press, the governments may deny it, but everyone knows these no-go zones exist, and “even worse, in these areas crimes no longer result in charges.” The Muslims are “left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.”
These are the wages of a myopic concentration on the physicality of violence coupled with an irrational denial that the violence — jihadism — is only is part of an ambitious plan to govern in accordance with sharia. Violent jihad is not wanton. It is part of a strategy to implement sharia as the foundation of a fundamentalist Muslim society. That is why sharia is worth studying. The idea is not to kill non-Muslims; it is to overcome resistance. Sometimes that is done by “violent extremism,” but it is just as effectively done by demoralizing the police. It is even more effectively done by infiltrating the councils of government policy.