Radical State

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Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Abigail Esman, an award-winning author and journalist who has written extensively about Islam in the West for various international publications, including The New Republic, Foreign PolicySalon.com, WorldDefenseReview.com and Forbes.com. Also an art critic, she is a contributing editor at Art + Auction magazine and the author and coauthor of books on art and contemporary culture. She worked with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the project that ultimately became the film “Submission,” (originally planned as an art exhibition). She has been called “one of the best writers we have when it comes to jihadism in Europe.” Her new book is Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West.

FP: Abigail Esman, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Congratulations on your new book.

Let’s begin with what inspired you to write it.

Esman: Thank you Jamie for having me here.  It’s good to be back at Frontpage.

In many ways, my book wrote itself.  It is as much memoir as it is political expose, and so much of it simply came out of living in the Netherlands over the past twenty years, witnessing the changes, being alert to what was happening in the Muslim community and the way Holland had, at first, ignored it, and then began to confront the problems that so many had so long pretended weren’t there.

Working with Hirsi Ali had a great influence as well — the time we spent together in Holland and New York, the insights she shared with me, and the passion we shared to fight Muslim extremism both in the streets and in the homes.  Over the years since 9/11, I’ve also been writing a column for World Defense Review and writing for various magazines about the issues. The more I learned, the more I uncovered, the more I realized that America was utterly oblivious to what was actually going on, and to the struggles between the political far right and the far left that was leaving democracy itself abandoned.

“How Jihad is Winning Over Democracy in The West,” which is the subtitle of the book, is really about that; how our reaction to Islamic extremism and Muslim culture in the West is defeating the very principles for which we stand. And through our own reactions, and our own ways of handling the issues, we are handing the jihadists their victory.

FP: What changes have you seen happening in the Netherlands over the last two decades? What has happened in the Muslim community?

Esman: Well – to really answer these questions, of course, took me over 200 pages. But to sum it up briefly: the changes have come from the growth of the Muslim population in the Netherlands and the coming of age of those who were, when I first arrived, mere infants. Now they are in their teens and early 20s.  They have become increasingly radicalized. Many have a hard time determining whether they are Muslim first and Dutch second, or Dutch first and Muslim second; and the way they answer that question determines everything about their approach to the world, the extent to which they assimilate into Western society or don’t, and how inclined they are to find their identity in radical Islam.

Many of the ways in which Holland addressed the arrival of their Muslim guest workers in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s also helped to create an environment that nurtured this kind of radical Islam.   Because the Dutch didn’t expect them to remain permanently, they made no effort to introduce these new arrivals to their culture, to teach them the language, to incorporate them into their society.  Rather than force them to assimilate, they allowed — even encouraged — immigrants from Turkey and (especially) Morocco to continue to live according to the mores of their homelands.

By allowing “family unification” programs that permitted immigrant families to bring relatives to the Netherlands, they unwittingly also encouraged forced marriages between Dutch-born Muslims and young spouses from the land of origin.  Most of those who have arrived as “import spouses” are illiterate or at best, poorly educated, ill equipped for employment, unwilling to adjust to Western culture, and — in most cases — extremely religious.  They have either found solace and community in local mosques or been targeted by recruiters sent out from the more extremist mosques, where they, too, become radicalized.

In many cases as well the import grooms set about oppressing their Dutch-born wives, forcing them to stay at home, where they are beaten, abused, and raped.  The children born in such marriages are also frequently neglected, abused, and tend to drop out of school. They become angry, resentful, and — again — easy targets for recruiters for radical Islam and terrorist groups.

Granted, this does not describe the majority of Muslims in the Netherlands; but it does describe a frighteningly large number of them.

FP: Why did Holland ignore these developments for so long?

Esman: Answering this question really requires explaining the history of European guest workers, who largely came to Holland from Morocco and Turkey — and giving a sense of the Dutch mentality overall. These are also addressed in my book; but simply put, a lot of it revolves around the fact that the Dutch are particularly proud of what they call their “tolerance” — which, in fact, isn’t tolerance at all. It’s actually a benign — and sometimes not-so-benign — indifference. It is an attitude of “do what you want, just don’t hurt me” — a viewpoint that many people see as being open-minded, but which, in effect, is both selfish and narrow-minded.

In the case of handling the Muslim immigrants, it meant, basically, that these immigrants were not asked to take part in Dutch society: to learn the language, to become familiar with and accept social mores and notions of equality of the sexes — to live, essentially, as Westerners. Couple that with the enormous guilt that hangs over the heads of a country that killed more Jews than any other European country (except Poland) during the Holocaust, and you have a society that simply cannot handle, cannot respond to, the conflicts between an oppressive religion and a Western, Enlightenment culture.

Hence, for instance, when authorities first encountered the issue of honor killings, the reaction was basically, “that’s their religion and we know what can happen if you discriminate against religion.”  That changed when Hirsi Ali arrived.

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  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    Great interview.

    Not only the attitude "Do what you want, just don't hurt me" is selfish and narrow-minded. This attitude means nihilism and negation of morality and of the (Judeo-) Christian foundation of the West in general. As a result we see:

    a) Deprecation of the own culture (which in fact is the most superior);
    b) Erosion of the own foundations because of abandoning the Biblical moral and by accepting abomination as a norm – from one side;
    c) Letting in the most unfitting foreigners hostile to the host country, therefore adding erosion from the other side;
    d) General confusion between the concepts of good and evil.

    The above is only a part of explanation why…

    "They do not want to know that there are, in fact, Muslims in America preaching the overthrow of the American government and Americans' way of life."

    The more materialistic explanation is in the effects and power of petrodollars:
    http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm

  • ObamaYoMoma

    They have either found solace and community in local mosques or been targeted by recruiters sent out from the more extremist mosques, where they, too, become radicalized.

    Her analogy is utterly absurd. It makes it sound like there are two different versions of Islam, one that is moderate and one that is radical. If there are indeed two kinds of Islam, one that is moderate and one that is radical, then someone show me the Korans that are considered to be moderate and the Korans that are considered to be radical, especially since the texts of the Koran are considered to be immutable.

    Or if it is that so-called moderate Muhammadans as opposed to so-called radical Muhammadans reject the principle of abrogation, or the principle whereby when Koranic verses come into conflict, the latter issued verses takes precedence over the earlier issued verses, then please site those schools of Islamic jurisprudence that reject the principle of abrogation. Nevertheless, the reality is all schools of Islamic jurisprudence uphold the principle of abrogation.

    It also makes it seem like there is a sort of radicalization process that Muhammadans must first undertake before they can become officially recognized radicalized and extremist Muhammadans.

    It also ignores the fact that the jihad ideology in Islam, which is the holy obligation for all Muhammadans to wage jihad for the spread of Islam, couldn’t be anymore mainstream within Islam as it is taught and advocated by every sect within Islam and by every school of Islamic jurisprudence in both Sunni and Shi’a Islam.

    Granted, this does not describe the majority of Muslims in the Netherlands; but it does describe a frighteningly large number of them.

    Of course, it never does! This is the standard prerequisite and obligatory politically correct disclaimer that is a requirement of modern day polite multicultural society, as after all, Islam is a Religion of Peace™ being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists and we must not breach those political correct parameters lest we be branded as being intolerant.

    Why did Holland ignore these developments for so long?

    If you want to find out the real reason why, read Bat Ye’or’s book, “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.” If you want to read a bunch of mumbo jumbo, then read Esman’s book.

    When have you seen anyone talk to the radicalized Muslims in America?

    And which ones are those and how do we distinguish those radicalized Muhammadans, or those Muhammadans that had to first undergo some sort of imaginary process of radicalization before becoming officially full-fledged radical and extremist Muhammadans, from the so-called peaceful and moderate Muhammadans that according to you practice some sort of fictitious Islam that doesn’t exist?

    • Abigail

      >>They have either found solace and community in local mosques or been targeted by recruiters sent out from the more extremist mosques, where they, too, become radicalized.

      Her analogy is utterly absurd. It makes it sound like there are two different versions of Islam, one that is moderate and one that is radical. <<

      Just one example of where these comments go awry: I did not say anything about two versions of Islam. Please pay attention and read what is said before you contest it.

    • Luke Sacher

      Religion is total crap- all of it, in any shape or form. Myth. Superstition. For imbeciles. The Pope, Luther, Buddha- take your pick- all pure unadulterated nonsense. Wake up you morons! This is all there is! Enjoy it while you can! There is only one question to ask- would you like it to happen to you? If the answer is no, then don't do it!

  • Abigail R. Esman

    Might I suggest that before anyone who is unwilling to present himself by his own real name go about insulting my work or my vision, let alone my book, he actually READ my work, specifically said book?

    Just a thought.

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      ObamaYoMoma did not insult your work, but just criticized your views as expressed in this interview. He criticized your views from very well informed standpoint. I completely agree with his arguments – and my name is real (whichever troubles it may or may not invite).

      • Abigail

        Alexander, when someone calls my book (which quotes Bat Ye'or favorably, and which has been reviewed extremely well by Robert Spencer and Steven Emerson, both of whom also speak from an extremely well-informed standpoint) "mumbo-jumbo," it is not only insulting to my work and my book, but ignorant. And "other reviewers," fwiw, besides Spencer and Emerson — including Glazov himself — have agreed with me, with my book, and with my work, glowingly. More reviews are also coming soon in Daniel Pipes' MEF, equally strong. I stand by what I said.

  • http://southernrunner.blogspot.com loseyateefa

    "The first fundamental principle for the creation of a successfully visible Islamic society is to be separate and distinct." from Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration. by Solomon and Al Maqdisi. They are only allowed to live in non-Muslim lands if they are purposely there to spread Islam. But there are stages of spreading which is dependent on the numbers game. When in a tiny minority, you would be discreet and not make a fuss. But you breed!!! and then a decade or so later, you have the power of numbers and can begin to make your presence known. And this is what we're seeing now. The explosion of Muslim organizations in America have mostly occurred in the last few decades. This is so common sense. But what does history prove will be the next stage? The sword. The little bombs are practice. 9/11 was a misfire and way ahead of their schedule. they would have made so many more advances stealthily had they not brought our attention to their existence.
    This author makes some good points, but she doesn't understand Islam like Obama YoMama does. Islam only exists to bring the entire world to submission to the god of hell, we call satan.

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      I like this statement:

      "9/11 was a misfire and way ahead of their schedule. They would have made so many more advances stealthily had they not brought our attention to their existence".

      In fact, there had been several big misfires, like in London, Madrid, Moscow, Beslan, Bali…

      As Dr. Pipes wrote, "lawful tactic of Islam" is potentially much more dangerous than the terrorist tactic. The lawful Islam has penetrated already everywhere. Its agitators in fact complain against their terrorist comrades, who undermine and betray this march of the silent conquest.

      Ye, the terror-prone brothers with their impatiens do a lot of harm to the so successful covert Islamic offensive…

  • http://mypage.direct.ca/l/lbouchar/ SeaMystic

    ISLAM, IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION!

    THE FLAME OF FREEDOM SPEAKS.

  • http://mypage.direct.ca/l/lbouchar/ SeaMystic

    CHECK THE "BAN ISLAM" PETITION:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/MYSTIC/petition.htm

  • USMCSniper

    An Islamic army operating in North America
    This is the disturbing conclusion of a comprehensive, 5-year investigation conducted by professional multi-state licensed investigators of the Northeast Intelligence Network and investigative journalists of Canada Free Press (CFP). Our findings are the result of extensive covert surveillance operations, field investigations, numerous interviews, and research into paramilitary training and activities by Islamic "extremists" living and working among us in North America. They have been cited in various publications and books such as The Day of Islam by Dr. Paul Williams, reports authored by federal and state law enforcement agencies, and have recently warranted casual mentions in a number of major media venues. Many who once believed that terrorist training camps could not possibly exist in the U.S., or thought their existence to be that of urban legend, or a fabrication of "neocons" are beginning to realize that the vast expanse of the U.S. and Canada offers near perfect conditions for such camps to be operating without detection.

  • Mackie

    ObamaYoMama:

    You defeat yourself and your points by being critical of a book you have not even opened to read. Yes you are right on a lot of Islamic Issues. But this interview was quite short and it did not focus on any specifics on the Quran,abrogation,the 164 jihad versus, or for that matter there was no specific discussion of the surahs,the sira, or the hadiths in this short interview. Your pre-judgement of a book you have not even read is not only insulting but it wreaks with arrogance of knowledge that does not play well in a discussion format.

    • http://hereticscrusade.blogspot.com Guy DeWhitney

      Well Said!

  • flyingtiger

    Poland did not kill jews in WW II. Poland ceased to exist after September 1939. The Nazi occupation government did. I find it hard to believe that the Netherlands killed more Jews than the Germans. Can anyone prove or disprove this?

    • Mackie

      Flyingtiger:

      The Dutch were blamed for the deaths of around 104,000 Jews because they deported them to Poland. Keep in mind that this was all done when the Netherlands was occupied by the Nazis'. Studies do show that 3 million Jews were killed in Nazi occupied Poland as opposed to around 160,000 in Germany. Keep in mind this is only geography and the culprits who are fully complicit is the Nazi regime orchestrated by Himmler via Hitler.

    • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

      I must disappoint you, flyingtiger. Although I hear you that Poland ceased to exist in September 1939, and even acknowledge partial validity of this statement, you are wrong (or misinformed) in your main statement. It was exactly citizens of Poland who actively and massively helped Nazis to murder Jews. Moreover, Poles did it before Nazis – and after the Nazis were expelled by the Soviets. There are several very tragic accounts of such pogroms against several hundred Jews surviving Nazi extermination camps – only to be murdered during pogroms when they returned to their Polish villages.

      To be just, not only Polish citizens enthusiastically collaborated with Nazis in murdering Jews. Ukrainians, distinguished themselves too. But nobody had overdone Poles in this respect. Nazis expected this and that is why they built so many such camps in Poland. I am sorry for communicating to you so sad truth.

  • jacob

    And I stick to what YOSHIRO SAGAMORI once wrote in the JERSALEM POST "

    "EVERY PRACTICING MUSLIM IS A TERRORIST…

    IT IS WHAT HAS BEEN HAMMERED INTO HIS BRAIN FROM CRADDLE TO
    GRAVE AND IT IS WHAT HIS "RELIGION" EXPECTS FROM HIM"….

    And I dare anybody to prove her wrong …
    And if it is not "Politically Correct",…….. tough..!!!

  • geddy

    People that know and understand prophecy know that islam is the religion of satan foretold thousands of years ago. America will in fact fall, soon and quickly. islam is hate, murder, rape and the destruction of a man's soul. To worship a pedophile that raped, murdered and abused young boys ruins all of a person's humanity. Like a puss filled sore, islam with continue to fester snd spill.

  • Kevin Stroup

    There is no moderate Islam. Islam is what it is: an ideology based upon crushing all competing ideologies leaving only Islam. What part of kill the infidel do people not understand?