Thursday, December 30, 2010

Queen Beatrix on Islam

In an obvious allusion to social problems with Islam, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stated in her 2010 Christmas speech: "The danger is that what unites us gets obscured and differences are magnified. Then walls of supposed oppositions are raised and positions hardened."

Within the outlines of such a platitudinous court speech, Her Majesty seems to be saying that the rise of Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, and "Islamophobia" in general, promotes polarization. Whereas all human beings essentially share roughly the same needs and aspirations, the warners against Islam ("Islam bashers") will create artificial separation walls. It is in this sense that most observers viewed the royal speech, Geert Wilders included. In a first reaction, he twittered that the twelve recently arrested Somali terror suspects "in the Netherlands certainly were not looking at what unites us."

But there is another possible reading. The whole structure of Islam itself, rather than "Islamophobia", is set up precisely to erect "walls of supposed oppositions" between people. The wall between “Henk and Ingrid” (typical Dutch names) and “Ahmed and Aisha” is not the handiwork of the critics of Islam but of Islam itself. Apart from some superficial features of language and geographical origin, there is essentially little difference between both couples. It is only Islam that condemns the former to disenfranchised subordination (dhimmitude) in this life and afterwards an eternity in hell, while the latter are to inherit the heavens later and the earth now.

This difference is not real, it exists only in the imagination of Islam believers, it's an "supposed opposition”. But Islamic law does lay down that this imaginary opposition gets a very tangible impact, namely all kinds of inequalities between Muslims and non-Muslims. The believers arrogate to themselves rights that they deny to the unbelievers. This self-righteousness, which is the self-proclaimed essence of Islam, erects "walls of supposed oppositions". Would the Queen, speaking on behalf of the Dutch people, have had that analysis in mind?


CHAKRAM said...

Hope she was mean what we interpreted.

Susan said...

Very well said. Thank you for this.

ramesh said...

In just a few paras u have captured the fundamental problem with Islam. Islam, even more than its fellow Semitic faiths – Judaism and Christianity – stresses on the exclusive rights and privileges of its followers (especially the males) and correspondingly, the inferior or dhimmi status of the followers of other faiths to the point of completely dehumanizing them.

B.N.Gururaj said...

When the Muslims are in minority, they plaintively plead for special rights. When they become dominant minority, they use their as political leverage in democratic set ups. When they become majority, others are Dhimmified. If this is not building walls what else is? As Dr.Elst has put it, walls are put by Islam, not by others.

Even the supposed equality amongst Muslims is only theoretical. Arab Muslims are the first class citizens in the Ummah. Every other Muslim is a second class Muslim. Emulating the rigid tenets of Islam of Desert is now being considered as true Islam. As Anwar Sheikh put it, this is Arab Imperialism masquerading as Religion.

CHAKRAM said...

Susheel said...

I would like to share and discuss a few points with you about the caste system. In particular, why don't we believe that caste, as a unit of endogamy, existed long before the emergence of Hinduism ? And I would like to argue that so-called 'Varna system' has no sociological importance just as 'Four ages'-Chaturyuga' have no historical significance. Would also like to share some citations. How to contact you?

Koenraad Elst said...

Feel free to contact me at

Of course jati endogamy is an age-old tribal institution existing among non-sanskritized tribals in and outside India, long before becoming part of the expanding Vedic society as "castes".

Karthik rajan said...

what i don't understand is whether learned people like queen beatrix are saying such things out of political compulsion , or , out of a genuine interest to somehow integrate islam into the civil society even though it is very clear that islam neither supports democracy nor freedom of speech which the western world is championing so much. Beats me !!

omK said...

Elst you like politics and
An article of islam, it's a piece of cake for a blog. Well done.