PJ Media

Revisiting the Neighborhood

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On February 15, 2013, I posted an article at Front Page Magazine titled “Saving the Neighborhood” that dealt with an invitation the democratic advocacy organization Act! for Canada had extended to British lawyer Gavin Boby, a specialist in town planning law and director of the Law and Freedom Foundation. I referred in that article to Boby’s lecture at the Ottawa Public Library on the consequences of allowing mosques to be built in municipal neighborhoods without adequate public consultation and supervision, an event whose reverberations have not yet died away and are unlikely to do so in the foreseeable future as mosque construction continues unabated. (Of the approximately 1200 mosques operating the U.S., for example, nearly 80 percent were built after 9/11; there are no official data for Canada, but it is estimated that there are at least 1000 mosques in the country, a lowball figure.)

Also known as the “mosque buster” — a designation, be it said, not of his choosing — Boby has devoted his time and expertise pro bono to advising the residents of municipal boroughs on the legal recourse at their disposal to prevent local mosque construction. In cases that Boby researched, the presence of mosques had led to the blighting of the quality of life in such residential areas, usually beginning with what he calls the “parking jihad,” as Muslim congregants occupy parking spots and private driveways on Friday worship and holy days, seriously limiting residents’ mobility, freedom and private property rights. Such disruptions would invariably metastasize. Residents walking their dogs would find themselves molested. Eventually, various forms of vandalism would occur — broken windows, severed TV cables, and the like — to force down the already depressed market value of homes, which were then bought up by Muslim interlopers. Such cases have been meticulously documented by Boby and justify the pursuit of legal impediment against the domestic proliferation of mosques, often camouflaged in civic application forms as “Islamic cultural centers” and “inter-faith community centers” to deceive the unwary and the credulous.

As Boby explained in a talk delivered to the Q Society of Australia on September 12, 2012, in Melbourne, a mosque is not like a church, synagogue or temple; it is “a center of power used for political and military purposes.” Studies have shown that a large majority of mosques act as recruitment hubs for jihad, foster the imposition of Sharia law, and labor to drive a sanctified wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims. For Islam, which makes no distinction between church and state, between the things which are God’s and the things which are Caesar’s, between synod and politburo, is not a religion like Christianity or Judaism; it is a political movement garbed in the trappings of a religion, or alternately, a religion whose primary agenda is the conquest of the world through political, cultural and military means.

What Boby is attempting to accomplish — to educate and empower beleaguered residents of generally poorer working districts to maintain the preferred character of their neighborhoods — is both legal and ethical, as well as humane and empathetic. There is nothing “racist” or “bigoted” or “fascist” about his endeavors — epithets that dubious Islamic organizations, clueless do-gooders and liberal charlatans readily lob in his direction.

Most towns and communities have zoning bylaws that prescribe what can and cannot be erected in the areas under their jurisdiction. The village I have lived in for many years, for example, is strict in this regard, forbidding the construction of any building, commercial, religious or private, over three stories high, and even halting the construction of a palatial dwelling that reached for a fourth. No one claimed that the town council was biased against the wealthy or the architecturally ambitious. Similarly, if a town or borough wishes to prevent the construction of a mosque — or church or pub or stupa or spud hut or casino or soup kitchen — that would transform the character of a neighborhood in a way it finds undesirable, it is legally permitted to do so under existing zoning regulations. Boby is not advocating, as has reportedly happened in Angola, that Islam should be banned and all mosques closed or dismantled to forestall a Sahelian future (the report has been disputed, but, as of this time, does seem to be accurate); he is, rather, arguing for citizens’ rights in preserving the nature, morale and typical features of the places they reside in, should they choose to do so.

The acid irony is that most of those hostile to informed citizens like Boby and his compatriots are affluent ideological accommodationists, socialist poobahs and progressivist conservatives dining on the calipash of slow intellection. They need never worry about mosques stippling their upscale turf, whose driveways would not be blocked, whose dogs would have the romp of the neighborhood and local parks, whose windows would not be broken, and whose telephone lines and satellite dishes would remain intact. Among this privileged cohort we find a clutch of political officials and administrators tainted by political correctness, media lefties, assorted members of the liberal elite, infatuated academics who live in “the glebe,” “moderate” Muslims who rarely attend religious services but approve of neighborhood mosques, and court Jews who pride themselves on their “social justice” credentials (though I am tempted to call these more craven of my co-religionists courtesan Jews) — in effect, pseudo-intellectuals like the emulsified tandem who published an editorial in the Ottawa Citizen, titled “Mistaking Islamism for Islam,” protesting Gavin Boby’s presence among us and serving to mobilize a posse of offended Muslims to petition the library to annul the presentation. And, naturally, the journalists were out in force to interview the assembly of aggrieved Muslims, though none saw it as their duty to attend the lecture or to interview Boby.

Apart from the convenient fact that such people are exempt from the trials and outrages that afflict the less advantaged classes, they exhibit no understanding of the political and historical trajectory of Islam, the nature of the Koran and the Hadith, and the contagious influence of the mosque. They have eagerly embraced the propaganda of the Islamic camp and its enablers, namely, that Islam is a “religion of peace.” This is a giant step toward ultimate surrender to an alien dispensation, guaranteed by what Larry Kelley in Lessons from Fallen Civilizations calls the 8th Law of History (Kelley enumerates ten such Laws): “When a civilization accepts the propaganda of the enemy as truth, it has reached the far side of appeasement and capitulation is nigh.” The truth being obscured is that Islam is a religion of perpetual war — “the truth of Islam is in its killing fields,” writes Daniel Greenfield — and anyone who doubts this has not read the history of Islam or delved into the pages of its canonical texts, theological, philosophical, political and jurisprudential. Boby, for his part, is perfectly aware of these larger and deeper issues, but has chosen to fight on a more limited, cadastral front by reducing the number of mosques that conquer territory piecemeal, one neighborhood after another.

Most of those attempting to neutralize Boby and his allies believe with Daniel Pipes that radical Islam can be countered by something called moderate Islam. They are afraid that unsparing criticism of, or principled resistance to, the spread of Islamic doctrine and culture will drive the moderates into the arms of the extremists — as if opposing violence creates even more violence, an inversion of reason so preposterous as to resemble a neurological fugue. They are terrified of being labelled as “Islamophobes.” They wish to be seen as lovers of diversity, as enlightened thinkers, as noble representatives of an advanced civilization. They do not realize that, after they have slept for the next twenty years like Rip Van Winkle, they are heading for a grim awakening. As indeed, unless we come to our senses, we all are. And by then our firearms will be pretty well useless, like Rip’s, “the barrel incrusted with rust, the lock falling off, and the stock worm-eaten.”

Of course, there are moderate leftists, like the usually astute Nick Cohen, who wish to retain a balanced perspective apropos Islam but wind up tumbling into a miasma of muddled thinking. In an article for the UK Spectator of 20 November, 2013, Cohen aptly condemns “liberal-leftists harshly for their failure to stand by their principles and fight movements which are sexist and homophobic,” but faults the right for treating Islam as a monolithic entity, and especially for refusing to recognize that “the main target of radical Muslims are liberal Muslims and ex-Muslims.” Cohen is rather irritatingly off base — one would have expected better of him. To begin with, this last statement is, for the most part, historically untrue. The overwhelming majority of Islam’s victims in the chronicle of its bloody conquests throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe were non-Muslim; after all, there were too few, if any, “liberal Muslims” and “ex-Muslims” to oppress and eradicate. Secondly, at the present time, the divisions within the Muslim umma between the various sects form part of an ongoing Islamic civil war, which is really not our affair except when it impacts our interests or security. Our concern should be for our own, our families, communities and countries. What Muslims persist in doing to one another is their business, unless we happen to be leftists who indulge in orgiastic forms of sentimental enthusiasm and identify with everyone in the world except their neighbors.

Nor can we say that there is an actual “war” taking place between “radical Muslims” and “liberal Muslims,” as Cohen would have us believe, certainly nothing remotely on the scale of the savage conflict we observe in Syria between schismatic Muslim groups and tribal factions. The horrendous figure of 115,000 casualties does not constitute a toll of “liberal Muslims” and “ex-Muslims.” They are Shias and Sunnis and Alawites and Kurds, both militants and civilians, none of whom are being targeted because they are “liberal” or “ex.” Cohen is making a deliberate category error in this regard, or merely spouting nonsense.

Moreover, what Cohen opportunely forgets is the undeniable fact that competing Islamic schools, cults and communities are generally united in their campaign against the West. Sunni-hating Shias kill Westerners. Shia-hating Sunnis kill Westerners. Both are inflicting hecatombs upon Christians. And as Kenneth Roberts points out in  Political Islam, canvassing the reactions of Muslims to jihad across the spectrum of Islam both in Islamic countries and in the West, with a few scattered exceptions “moderates” cannot be relied upon to protest or organize against the violence committed in the name of their faith against their neighbors and fellow citizens. Cohen’s conclusion damning the right is disingenuous and unconscionable: “Their behavior is one of the most glaring and depressing trends of our age.” I suspect it is Cohen’s behavior, typical of the left, that is one of the most glaring and depressing trends of our age. And I cannot but wonder how he would react if a mosque were to go  up in his neighborhood and he soon found himself having to barricade his property or complain to an indifferent, cowardly and politically correct constabulary. Boby’s activism might then seem less reprehensible.

Again, as Daniel Greenfield points out, in the theoretical divide between “extremists” and “moderates,” non-Muslims “remain unequal no matter which theocracy is in charge. And either way they remain fair game in their own countries.” This state of affairs is inevitable since “Islamic societies are built around Islamic law that makes non-Muslims second class citizens.” The same disparity exists in the various Muslim enclaves that have begun to pepper Western civil society — which is precisely the political and cultural grotesquery that Boby and those like him are fighting.

A young British girl returns to her home town to see if the rumors of Muslim infiltration of towns and neighborhoods are true. The scene that she witnesses horrifies her beyond words: hordes of chanting Muslims in burqas and djellabas who accuse her of walking naked (she is wearing a decorous summer dress) and of being hell fodder, and who are carrying placards calling for Sharia, damning Britain to eternal hellfire, and claiming that British law is trumped by the Koran. Luckily she was not assaulted, as was Tommy Robinson, punched by an imam through the open window of his car when driving through the same area, the now infamous Luton. (There are at last count 19 mosques in Luton, with another six in the planning stage.) Try flying an American or Israeli flag or decorating a Christmas tree in Muslimized Dearborn, Michigan. Threats and harassment predictably follow and innocent citizens fear for their safety. What most liberals fail to understand, Greenfield regrets, is that even Islam’s “diluted forms are still violent, oppressive and reactionary” and intent on creating an increasingly dhimmified populace. Indeed, “the Megamosque and the plane hijackers are two means of reaching the same goal.”

Megamosque construction and plane hijackings are sensational events, drawing close attention to themselves and so more liable to muster some response to the dogma and project they express. No less and possibly more effective in the long run are ostensibly innocuous and under-the-radar strategies like the charade of “interfaith dialogue,” the celebration of Islamic History Month touting the manifold achievements of a sanguinary and imperial faith, TV sitcoms featuring the harmless and amusing escapades of delightful Muslim families, concessions for Muslim religious and cultural practices like special prayer areas, gender segregation in public spaces, school recognition of holidays and forced indoctrinations by school authorities, and so on. Trading for the most part on the sanctimony and naivety of the pushover class known as the Western intelligentsia — recent polls indicate that the lay public is beginning to catch on — the method is subtle, the underlying purpose is cunningly fugitive, and the “means” are multiple and deceptive.

One can include the minimosque in the same exemplary category. It is probably the most insinuatingly effective weapon in the Islamic arsenal that threatens the faltering integrity of a once virile and self-confident culture. Weakening the host culture against the assault on its cohesiveness and longevity are the elitist, self-proclaimed guardians and promoters of what they regard as cultural propriety, aka the multicultural swindle that erodes national coherence. The scourge of Islamic supremacist doctrine and practice, operating under the phony rubric of “religious freedom,” should be resisted at every turn. In the absence of martial heroes like Charles Martel and Jan III Sobieski, we have little choice today but to rely not only upon the (hopefully) growing resentment of the laity and the noble words of a few dissident intellectuals, but particularly on the courage and expertise of legal paladins like Gavin Boby, who understand the menace we confront and are willing to challenge it.

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com elements.)