Thursday, June 24, 2010
A meditation on political science and "Sharia Courts"
The feature picture today may be unpleasantly ugly, but it is a fitting image and metaphor for the grim and ghoulish eventuality of what portends for any accommodation of Islam, and of Muslims, within the West. As repellant as it is to look at, it is emblematic of the ugliness we the West have to face in the mirror before, apparently, we will begin to change our disastrous attitude and policies about Islam.
According to a recent Jihad Watch notice, a Norwegian politician, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre rejects the idea of "Sharia courts" in these terms:
We must have a common fundament and a set of values anchored in universal principles of law if we are to succeed...
Practices not part of Norwegian culture shouldn't be able to obtain legitimacy from alternative court systems...
These locutions of "must" and "should" in this context are curious.
The laws of a polity are not about "must" and "should": those kinds of terms belong in the sphere of ethics, not laws. Laws, strictly speaking, pertain to a sphere based in ethics, but beyond ethics: Laws have moved beyond "you must do this because it's good" or "you shouldn't do this because it's bad", to the level of "if you do X society will punish you". The Ten Commandments are not an invitation to debate further: it signals the end of the discussion. Thou Shalt Not, period. The Decalogue brooks no further dialogue.
Now, Norwegian Foreign Minister Støre's locutions might make sense if he were speaking of the meaning of any given particular law, or any given particular moral principle whose translation into future law is being debated. But he's not. He's speaking of the laws themselves -- or more precisely, of the legal sphere itself. He is thus confusing categories. A polity's laws as a whole, considered as the systemic embodiment of the polity itself -- as distinguished from any particular law -- are not up for debate within that polity. The only form that "debate" can take in terms of the polity's laws as a whole, would be revolution or coup d'etat or the extraordinary measure of the emergency imposition of martial law.
It is on this level, then, that people -- including people who should know better (such as Foreign Ministers) -- glibly conceive of the fantasy of "Sharia courts" within a non-Islamic polity. This glib conceit is erroneous whether it is advocated, or whether it is rejected. Both the advocates and opponents are misapprehending the proper categorical issue: A "parallel court system" is, categorically speaking, impossible. It would be a polity within a polity -- a nation within a nation: a state within a state.
There is no such thing in modern Western political science, or perhaps in any, or most, political science of other civilizations, other eras, of a state within a state. There is, in fact, only one civilization (if one can loosely call it that) where such a concept of a state within a state is conceivable and was practiced: Islam. And the alien "state" or "nation" that was politico-legally accommodated within the formal polity was the body of people categorized as dhimmis. In the dhimmitude system, however (and not surprisingly), the extra-legal body-within-a-body did not derive its special laws from itself, but had its laws conferred upon it by the host polity. The underlying principle of separation-within-a-unity was established; however, it was not a politico-legal symbiosis of equals, or of co-dependents, or of two spheres neither of which impinges on the other: it was definitely a unilaterally dependent situation: the polity of dhimmis were parasitical upon the host polity -- but only at the formal indulgence of that host polity as expressed explicitly in the host polity's own laws.
The misapprehension of many Westerners with regard to the prospect of such "Sharia courts", thus, is no mere categorical slip due to illiteracy of legal philosophy and political science: it points to a deeper ignorance of the problem of Islam. These fantasy "Sharia courts" that naive Westerners imagine could be realized would not be spheres subservient legally to the Western host polity's laws: that would be the mirror-image of Islamic dhimmitude. And since Western polities (and Western persons) are not allowed by PC MC to be in a superior relationship to non-Westerners, this would be an impermissible legal-cultural relationship, if it were articulated with coherent clarity. To the degree that this fantasy's fundamentally incoherent and vague substance can be understood, it conceives of essentially two polities existing as one -- a "double state" so to speak, legally and politically equals, yet one: a zygote that, one supposes, is supposed to grow organically into a unified political entity (as the human zygote of ovum and sperm cell grows into a single person). This may work biologically, but when translated into politics -- particularly when one of the two polities enshrines laws that in numerous ways are outrageously antithetical to the laws of the host polity -- it will create not a new life, but a monster.
Furthermore, not only are Islamic laws, considered singly, outrageously antithetical to the laws of any Western polity; the Islamic legal system itself is antithetical to the Western legal system, insofar as Islam rejects as a blasphemy and as a capital crime the Western idea that man creates laws, and mandates the eventual conquest and transformation of any politico-legal sphere that does not submit to Allah and to Muhammad. The "parasitic" system of this fantasy zygote, then, has an internal DNA, so to speak, that encodes the necessity for it to destroy its host and to then dominate -- at that point allowing its formerly dominant host the option of becoming a subservient parasite itself, under dhimmitude, as a dependent shell of its former self, or be destroyed through massacres.
At any rate, such a monster is an impossibility in the Western system, because of the nature of political science. There is no such thing as a "double nation" -- a polity that fuses two polities. Such a new entity would have to be created de novo, as the result of a revolution. It cannot simply materialize through the glibly illiterate imaginations of an ill-educated citizenry.
A Western polity can only politico-legally accommodate a "Sharia court" in imaginative fancy, extra-legally, through casually forgetting the nature of its own laws and legal system. As the old legal saw goes, "Ignorance of the law does not excuse" -- i.e., just because a person didn't know that what he did broke the law, that will not exempt him from punishment. On a grand scale, then, any Western polity that tries to proceed in realizing such a fantasy as a "Sharia court" may get only so far before those more literate tap them on the shoulder and say, "Um, excuse me, but we can't do that." As bad as PC MC is, I have faith that the West is sufficiently healthy to be able to realize, in time, that Islam cannot be accommodated in this way -- not merely that Islam "should not" be accommodated in this way, but simply and literally that it cannot, without breaking the mold of the nature of the Western polity (or, of course, the alternative: becoming conquered by Muslims and thus transformed into an Islamic polity).
The next step in literacy after that would be to realize that such a fantasy accommodation (or its practical alternative, Islamic conquest) is the only way Islam can exist as Islam within the West -- and that those Muslims who seem to be more or less integrating into our sociopolitical fabric are simply, in that respect, not following Islam -- either out of sheer ignorance of their own Islam, or out of sinister motives of infiltration in the hope that someday they will be strong enough to conquer.
For the last 60 years since the immigration of Muslims into the West has been unprecedentedly massive (and continues without abatement currently), the West has had the luxury of imagining that the two "civilizations" can co-exist in a variety of ways -- either that masses of Muslims can simply integrate into the West's politico-legal system, or that fantasy "Sharia courts" can be created -- because the issue has not been pressed in a sufficiently concrete way. We are only beginning to see signs here and there of the issue being pressed, but so far those who bury their heads in the sand are massively encouraged to continue doing so; and make no mistake, even a politician like Norwegian Foreign Minister Støre who rejects "Sharia courts" is in denial about the danger of Muslims, for he rejects "Sharia courts" precisely in the context of continuing to expect, and support, the integration of Muslims into Norwegian society.
And our Westerners in denial have extra motivation because of their PC MC sentimentality about Muslims as ethnic peoples whose accommodation becomes de rigueur according to the unofficial laws of PC MC which carry a far worse penalty than mere monetary fines or jail time: the accusation (or even the mere perception) of "bigotry".