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See: Project Rebuttal: What the West needs to know about Islam

Refuting the gross distortion and misrepresentation of the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad and Islam, made by the critics of Islam

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List of all Issues | Summary 1 | Summary 2 | Summary 3‎ — completed, 28th June 2013


February 10th, 2013

Issue 86

Issue 86 [@ 1:32:09]: Serge Trifkovic – “In order to defend itself against the onslaught of global Jihad which is coming in the century ahead, I have no doubt of that, the West would need to redefine itself and to say what exactly is the geographic and cultural space to be defended and in the name of what? Defending it in the name of a tepid lukewarm ideology of multiculturalism is impossible. Multiculturalism and postmodern liberalism are not worthy dying for, they are not something that can inspire people to do what their ancestors had done at Poitiers and walls of Vienna in 1683. What global Jihad has in its sight is simple minded commitment of millions of peoples to not only spread a faith but also better themselves at the expense of the infidel in the first instance through immigration and later on if necessary by other means.”

Rebuttal 86: Trifkovic, while taking the baton of this hate relay from Spencer tries to drive home the peg of their invention of a ‘global Jihad’ in the mind of the audience. Their manufactured term ‘global Jihad’ was refuted in the Issue 84 before.

If the audiences pay close attention to the documentary they will eerily note that its arguments of a manufactured fear and hate are pages borrowed from Nazism, with the difference that before it was the Jews for Nazis, now Muslims for this documentary and its experts (see Rebuttal 77).

In his rancor Trifkovic feels threatened by non-Caucasians, so was Hitler by the Jews. The difference is that the latter just did not lament like the former – “Defending it in the name of a tepid lukewarm ideology of multiculturalism is impossible” and instead actually tried the ‘Final Solution‘ which Trifkovic can only dream of against Muslims.

Trifkovic further laments – “Multiculturalism and postmodern liberalism are not worthy dying for, they are not something that can inspire people to do what their ancestors had done at Poitiers and walls of Vienna in 1683”, while he forgets European experiment of Holocaust when his co-thinkers then went all out against the Jewish monetary control:

Prior to the beginning of World War II, during a speech given on January 30, 1939 (the sixth anniversary of his accession to power), Hitler foretold the coming Holocaust of European Jewry when he said: “Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!” [Wikipedia]

Trifkovic in his hostility visibly sounds xenophobic and paranoid as if he is a spooky reincarnation reminiscent of Hitler himself. He and his cronies of the documentary want to undo what West achieved in human liberties and freedoms after centuries of trials and tribulations and is still struggling to find its soul.

The racist views of Trifkovic and this documentary can be found in its own disparaging usage of the word ‘Multiculturalism’, whereas it stands for:

While multiculturalism has been used as an umbrella term to characterize the moral and political claims of a wide range of disadvantaged groups, including African Americans, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, most theorists of multiculturalism tend to focus their arguments on immigrants who are ethnic and religious minorities (e.g. Latinos in the U.S., Muslims in Western Europe), minority nations (e.g. Catalans, Basque, Welsh, Québécois), and indigenous peoples (e.g. Native peoples in North America, Maori in New Zealand). [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Clearly Trifkovic’s xenophobic view about Multiculturalism can be summarized as follows:

The greatest challenge to multiculturalism may not be philosophical but political. At the start of the twenty-first century, there is talk of a retreat from multiculturalism as a normative ideal and as a set of policies in the West. There is little retreat from recognizing the rights of minority nations and indigenous peoples; the retreat is restricted to immigrant multiculturalism. Part of the backlash against immigrant multiculturalism is based on fear and anxiety about foreign “others” and nostalgia for an imagined past when everyone shared thick bonds of identity and solidarity. Nativism is as old as migration itself, but societies are especially vulnerable to it when economic conditions are especially bad or security is seen to be threatened. In the U.S. the cultural “others” are Latino immigrants, especially unauthorized migrants. Since September 11, Muslim minorities have also come under new scrutiny in the U.S., and concerns over security and terrorism have been invoked to justify tougher border control. The number of Muslim immigrants in North America remains relatively small in comparison to Western Europe, where Muslims have become central to scholarly and popular debates about multiculturalism. The concern is not only over security but also the failures of multiculturalism policies to integrate and offer real economic opportunities to foreigners and their descendants. [Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Trifkovic laments that the human thought, social structure and the cultural values in the West are spread on a spectrum between Multiculturalism and Postmodern Liberalism, which in his view are too tolerant and too weak to confront his delusion of a ‘global Jihad’ and that the West is too liberal to answer his call to arms. Without defending Modernism, it is not too surprising that what Trifkovic laments about is the same which Stalin and Hitler opposed, at least in the artistic expression:

After the rise of Joseph Stalin, the Soviet Communist government rejected modernism on the grounds of alleged elitism, although it had previously endorsed futurism and constructivism. The Nazi government of Germany deemed modernism narcissistic and nonsensical, as well as “Jewish” and “Negro”. The Nazis exhibited modernist paintings alongside works by the mentally ill in an exhibition entitled Degenerate Art. Accusations of “formalism” could lead to the end of a career, or worse. For this reason many modernists of the post-war generation felt that they were the most important bulwark against totalitarianism, the “canary in the coal mine”, whose repression by a government or other group with supposed authority represented a warning that individual liberties were being threatened. Louis A. Sass compared madness, specifically schizophrenia, and modernism in a less fascist manner by noting their shared disjunctive narratives, surreal images, and incoherence. [Wikipedia]

At least, Postmodernism that Trifkovic brings up is a an ism confused in itself:

Postmodernism – A general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality. For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.

Postmodernism is “post” because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody – a characterisitic of the so-called “modern” mind. The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning. As the philospher Richard Tarnas states, postmodernism “cannot on its own principles ultimately justify itself any more than can the various metaphysical overviews against which the postmodern mind has defined itself.” [PBS.org]

Has Trifkovic ever paused to think as to who preached these and other isms in the West? They evolved naturally in the West when it rid itself of the shackles of its historically inhumane religious, social and governmental structure of the West itself, as found in the definition of ‘Liberalism‘ in Merriam Webster dictionary:

– a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity
– a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard
– a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)

Incidentally, Trifkovic picked only two of the isms, the Multiculturalism and Postmodern Liberalism, whereas West has, and is still grappling with hundreds of isms to understand the role, limits, purpose and differentiators of a human in a society (see this list of 234 ismslink). Ironically, the ‘West’ has still not discovered ‘the ism‘ that will provide it with a lasting model. The ever evading ism of the West is factually the ‘Islam – What the West Needs to Know’, not of this documentary but the Islam which is ingrained in human goodness, which is essentially a brief ism, sample of which was delivered as a farewell address by an ‘unlettered’ man about 14 centuries ago:

“Ye people! Hearken unto my words, for I know not whether in another year it will be vouchsafed to me to find myself amongst you in this place.”

“Your lives and properties are sacred and inviolable amongst one another, as this day and this month are sacred to all, until ye appear before your Lord. And (remember) ye shall indeed appear before your Lord, who shall demand from each of you an account of his actions.”

“Ye people ! Ye have rights over your wives and your wives have rights over you. Treat your wives with kindness and love; verily, ye are responsible for them to Allah.”

“Usury is forbidden. The debtor will return the principal, and a beginning will be made with the loans of my uncle Abbas, son of Abdul Muttalib.”

“The aristocracy of old time is trampled under my feet. The Arab has no superiority over him that is not an Arab, and he that is not Arab has no superiority over the Arab. All are children of Adam, and Adam was made of earth.”

“Ye people! Hearken to my words and understand them. Know that all Muslims are brothers, one of another. Ye are one brotherhood. Nothing which belongs to another can be lawfully possessed by any, unless freely given out of good will. Guard yourselves against committing injustice.”

“And your war-captives! See that ye feed them with such food as ye yourselves eat ; and clothe them with the stuff that ye yourselves wear; and if they commit a fault which ye are not minded to forgive, then part with them, for they are the servants of the Lord and are not to be harshly treated.”

“I am leaving to you two noble things; so long as ye cling to them ye shall not go astray: the Book of Allah and the Tradition of His Prophet.”

“Let him that is present tell it unto him that is absent : for it may be that he who shall be told may remember better than he who hath heard it here.”

“O ye that are assembled here! have I delivered my message and fulfilled my word ?” The assembled congregation cried out with one voice: “Yea, verily thou hast.” A sudden glow flashed upon the face of the Prophet, and with eyes filled with grateful tears he raised his trembling hands towards heaven and said thrice : “O Lord! I beseech Thee, bear Thou witness unto it.” [Farewell Pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet Muhammad]

The Battle of Poitiers that Trifkovic alludes to is the same as Battle of Tours fought in October 732 between the Frankish and Burgundian forces under Austrasian Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel, against an army of the Umayyad Caliphate led by ‘Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, Governor-General of al-Andalus. Calling this battle as turning point of Muslim advance is claiming glory in hind sight where there was factually none, but a raid by Spanish Muslims into France that was repulsed. France and its adjoining Gaul, England, Spain, Portugal were play grounds of intrigues, raids, conquests and defeats by fiefdoms throughout history and as recently as World War II. So was the Battle of Tours which was just another blip in the same history. See this link for ‘List of wars involving France’ which runs into hundreds, if not thousands. Trifkovic in the documentary has repeatedly tried to claim this battle as high water mark for Muslim tide into Europe, which is rebutted by modern historians. These counter views are outlined in Wikipedia and reproduced below:

Alessandro Barbero writes, “Today, historians tend to play down the significance of the battle of Poitiers, pointing out that the purpose of the Arab force defeated by Charles Martel was not to conquer the Frankish kingdom, but simply to pillage the wealthy monastery of St-Martin of Tours”.

Similarly, Tomaž Mastnak writes: “ Modern historians have constructed a myth presenting this victory as having saved Christian Europe from the Muslims. Edward Gibbon, for example, called Charles Martel the savior of Christendom and the battle near Poitiers an encounter that changed the history of the world… This myth has survived well into our own times… Contemporaries of the battle, however, did not overstate its significance. The continuators of Fredegar’s chronicle, who probably wrote in the mid-eighth century, pictured the battle as just one of many military encounters between Christians and Saracens – moreover, as only one in a series of wars fought by Frankish princes for booty and territory… One of Fredegar’s continuators presented the battle of Poitiers as what it really was: an episode in the struggle between Christian princes as the Carolingians strove to bring Aquitaine under their rule.”

The Christian Lebanese-American historian Philip Hitti believes that “In reality nothing was decided on the battlefield of Tours. The Moslem wave, already a thousand miles from its starting point in Gibraltar — to say nothing about its base in al-Qayrawan — had already spent itself and reached a natural limit.”

The view that the battle has no great significance is perhaps best summarized by Franco Cardini (it) says in Europe and Islam – “Although prudence needs to be exercised in minimizing or ‘demythologizing’ the significance of the event, it is no longer thought by anyone to have been crucial. The ‘myth’ of that particular military engagement survives today as a media cliché, than which nothing is harder to eradicate. It is well known how the propaganda put about by the Franks and the papacy glorified the victory that took place on the road between Tours and Poitiers…”

In their introduction to The Reader’s Companion to Military History Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker summarise this side of the modern view of the Battle of Tours by saying “The study of military history has undergone drastic changes in recent years. The old drums-and-bugles approach will no longer do. Factors such as economics, logistics, intelligence, and technology receive the attention once accorded solely to battles and campaigns and casualty counts. Words like “strategy” and “operations” have acquired meanings that might not have been recognizable a generation ago. Changing attitudes and new research have altered our views of what once seemed to matter most. For example, several of the battles that Edward Shepherd Creasy listed in his famous 1851 book The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World rate hardly a mention here, and the confrontation between Muslims and Christians at Poitiers-Tours in 732, once considered a watershed event, has been downgraded to a raid in force.”

Trifkovic now and Spencer before also portrayed Vienna in 1683 as another turning point for Islam against Christianity, which is far from the facts on the ground. Ottomans were essentially supporting their allies, the Transylvanians, and both were routed at the hands of Muslim Lipka Tartar cavalry from Poland that came to aid of Viennese. This was addressed in the earlier Issue 51.

References:

Final Solution‘ – Wikipedia
Multiculturalism – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Modernism – Wikipedia
Postmodernism – Public Broadcasting Service.org
Liberalism‘ – Merriam Webster Dictionary
Philosophical Isms – The Phrontistery
Farewell Pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet Muhammad – by Professor Ebrahim Kahn, p.145-9, Islamic Review, May 1930
List of Wars involving France – Wikipedia
Battle of Tours – Wikipedia

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