Jacob Burckhardt (d. 1897), an iconic figure in the annals of Western historiography, believed it was the solemn duty of Western civilization’s heirs to study and acknowledge their own unique cultural inheritance — starting with the culture and heritage of classical Athens. Burckhardt emphasized how the Western conception of freedom was engendered in Athens, where its flowering was accompanied by the production of some of history’s most sublime literary and artistic works. Moreover, while Burckhardt affirmed the irreducible nature of freedom, and upheld equality before the law, he decried the notion — a pervasive, rigidly enforced dogma at present — that all ways of life, opinions, and beliefs were of equal value. Burckhardt argued that this conceptual reductio ad absurdum would destroy Western culture, heralding a return to barbarism. And contra the Western legacy of Athens — epitomized by freedom –Burckhardt referred to Islam as a despotic, totalitarian ideology:
All religions are exclusive, but Islam is quite notably so, and immediately it developed into a state which seemed to be all of a piece with the religion. The Koran is its spiritual and secular book of law. Its statutes embrace all areas of life … and remain set and rigid; … [imposing] this nature on many nationalities and thus [remolding] them for all time (a profound, extensive spiritual bondage!). This is the power of Islam in itself. At the same time, the form of the world empire as well as of the states gradually detaching themselves from it cannot be anything but a despotic monarchy. The very reason and excuse for existence, the holy war, and the possible world conquest, do not brook any other form.
The strongest proof of real, extremely despotic power in Islam is the fact that it has been able to invalidate, in such large measure, the entire history (customs, religion, previous way of looking at things, earlier imagination) of the peoples converted to it. It accomplished this only by instilling into them a new religious arrogance which was stronger than everything and induced them to be ashamed of their past.
G.H. Bousquet (d. 1978), one of the foremost 20th century scholars of Islamic law, explained how Islam’s unique institution of jihad war and its eternal quest to impose the Shari’a on all of humanity represented the quintessence of Islamic totalitarianism. Writing in 1950, Bousquet ( p. 104) further warned that these ancient Muslim doctrines remained alive, and relevant to the modern era:
Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles offiqh , to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer. … Viewed from this angle, the study of Muhammadan Law (dry and forbidding though it may appear to be to those who confine themselves to the indispensable study of thefiqh), is of great importance to the world of today.
Geert Wilders’ appropriate perspective on Islamic totalitarianism leads him to formulate equally direct positions — ideological and political — which he also enumerated in the March 5 speech to the House of Lords:
First, we will have to defend freedom of speech. It is the most important of our liberties. In Europe and certainly in the Netherlands, we need something like the American First Amendment. Second, we will have to end and get rid of cultural relativism. To the cultural relativists, the Shariah socialists, I proudly say: our Western culture is far superior to the Islamic culture. Don’t be afraid to say it. You are not a racist when you say that our own culture is better. Third, we will have to stop mass immigration from Islamic countries. Because more Islam means less freedom. Fourth, we will have to expel criminal immigrants and, following denaturalization, we will have to expel criminals with a dual nationality. And there are many of them in my country. Fifth, we will have to forbid the construction of new mosques. There is enough Islam in Europe. Especially since Christians in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia are mistreated, there should be a mosque building-stop in the West.
In 1978, Dufourcq was concerned (even then) that historical and cultural revisionism might precipitate a recurrence of:
… the upheaval carried out on our continent (i.e., Europe) by Islamic penetration more than a thousand years ago … with other methods.
By the early 1990s, Bat Ye’or had already observed that European Islam was adhering to its traditional supremacist orthodoxy, making no effort to eliminate doctrines incompatible with true ecumenism and core Western Enlightenment values:
I do not see serious signs of a Europeanization of Islam anywhere, a move that would be expressed in … a self-critical view of the history of Islamic imperialism … we are light years away from such a development. … On the contrary, I think that we are participating in the Islamization of Europe, reflected both in daily occurrences and in our way of thinking. … All the racist fanaticism that permeates the Arab countries and Iran has been manifested in Europe in recent years.
Muammar Qaddafi embodies such quintessential Islamic supremacism and belligerence — witness his call for jihad against Switzerland being validated by representatives of the entire Arab Muslim umma. Tangential, bizarre aspects of his behavior — obsessively highlighted by mainstream media and so-called analytical publications, alike — are conflated with this disturbing reality as a willful distraction from the jihadist threat Qaddafi’s Libyan regime has posed continuously for over four decades. Geert Wilders’ portrayal by the same chattering classes and analysts is an equally deliberate simulacrum of reality constructed with the opposite intent. The transparent agenda in characterizations of Wilders is to demonize Western Europe’s most informed and courageous politician resisting the actual jihadism Qaddafi represents, independent of Qaddafi’s mere odd behaviors. But the Swiss minaret referendum, and even more emphatically, burgeoning Dutch support for Wilders and his PVV, indicate that ordinary Europeans reject the capitulation to Islamic supremacism their cultural relativist media and political elites deliberately abet.