Friday, July 01, 2005

Camel Economics

Outsiders frequently tend to view Scandinavia more or less as one country. It is true that these countries have much in common, but the differences that do exist should not be underestimated. When it comes to reactions to Muslim immigration, they are actually quite significant. Sweden is perhaps the most suicidal dhimmi nation in the Western world, and is pretty much disintegrating at this very moment. Neighboring Finland hardly has any immigrants at all. In comparison, 85 % of MPs in Norway recently passed a law saying that Norwegians are guilty of discriminating against immigrants until proven otherwise. At the same time, the authorities are covering up a disturbing amount of rapes committed by immigrants, and the fact that native Norwegians may become a minority in their own country in a couple of generations if the current immigration continues. As a contrast, Denmark is probably the one Western nation where the debate surrounding Muslim immigration is most mainstream and open. What's more remarkable is that it started even before 9/11 or the killings of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh. Since coming to power nearly four years ago, PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s centre-right government has imposed some of the toughest regulations in the EU on asylum seekers. Denmark has tightened its immigration rules to make it harder for fundamentalist Muslim clerics to settle in the country. In a historic ruling, the Danish Supreme Court decided to expel two young Turks from Denmark even though they have lived in the Scandinavian country their entire lives. Several European countries are looking to Denmark for inspiration on dealing with immigration problems. In the Netherlands, already several elements of the tough Danish family reunification rules have been copied. The apparent success of the “Danish model” is being studied closely in Britain and other EU countries. Even Queen Margrethe has said that Islam is challenge that Danes will have to meet, and that "there are some things that should not be tolerated even if it is not politically correct to say so."

Unfortunately, all this does not mean that Denmark’s problems are over. The toughening of immigration and integration policies has also encountered strong opposition. Unknown attackers set fire to the immigration minister's car. Rikke Hvilshoj, her husband and two young children were rescued from their house. A group calling itself "Beatte Without Borders" has said it carried out the attack, condemning the government's "racist immigration policy. During the election campaigns in February 2005, Islamic leaders urged the country's 170,000 Muslims to vote against the ruling centre-right coalition. Schools in larger cities’ disadvantaged neighbourhoods say they are pressed to their limits by the flow of young immigrants, some of whom are spreading violence from schools to taxi drivers. Muslim extremists have declared that the Danish PM and Defense Minister are legitimate terror targets because of Denmark's participation in Iraq, and Islamist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir are doing aggressive recruitment efforts among young immigrants. Members of Denmark's moderate Muslim community say they are reluctant to speak out with critical observations of their religion, fearing social isolation, threats and violence. A Jewish man was attacked for reading from the Koran. An imam infuriated the nation during a Friday prayer session by insisting that Muslim girls should cover themselves from head to toe and condemning women who use perfume. Even though British newspaper the Guardian accused Denmark of "flirting with fascism" when the immigration restrictions were introduced, according to leading Islam-critic Lars Hedegaard and others, they are not nearly enough. Recent events indicate that he's probably right in his assessment.

Two men have been killed in street shootings in a row involving a group of second generation immigrants in Copenhagen. An injured gang leader was subsequently freed by a group of masked men from the State Hospital, where he was under police surveillance. Integration Minister Hvilshøj rejected a proposal from Imam Abu Laban that blood money be paid to the family of a man who was killed. Since the shooting of a 24 year old and the wounding of his older brother, there has been much speculation about when revenge would be taken. But according to the Imam, the thirst for revenge could be cooled if 200,000 kroner were paid either by the family of the doorman who fired the shots or by the Islamic community. He said the practice of paying blood money to the family of a deceased person was normal in Muslim societies. Hvilshøj said such action could harm the entire integration process in Denmark. With the Islamic religious community as mediator, the family of the doorman, who fired the killing shot and who is now in prison, is being pressured to move from Copenhagen by the family of the dead man. But the agreement has been met with sharp criticism by experts in criminal law who say it is unlawful coercion and in contravention of the Danish sense of democracy. Only the courts of law can resolve murder cases in Denmark. Meanwhile there is growing fear amongst politicians that the immigrant environment in the Nørrebro area in Copenhagen, which has been unofficially declared an “Islamic state” by some of its residents, is developing into a parallel society where ancient traditions threaten Danish law.

200,000 Danish kroner is approximately the value of 100 camels. Some baffled commentators at first thought it was said tongue-in-cheek when Imam Abu Laban wanted the equivalent of 100 camels to be paid for a man’s life. That’s probably not the case. Ahmad Abu Laban is involved in an international group of Muslims who are known for supporting the anti-Western Islamist struggle of the school of global Jihad. He also tried to block the re-election of the right-wing government in Denmark in the previous election.

The idea of blood money originates from the Koran, 2.178:

O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. And for him who is forgiven somewhat by his (injured) brother, prosecution according to usage and payment unto him in kindness. This is an alleviation and a mercy from your Lord. He who transgresseth after this will have a painful doom.

This principle of qisas, “an eye for an eye” in the case of homicide or injury, is taken very literally. A man in Iran was recently sentenced to have his eyes gouged out, after he had destroyed another man’s eyes by throwing acid in his face. However, in accordance with Sharia the family and relatives of a murder victim can choose to claim diyya, blood money, from the murderer, or pardon them, instead of allowing the execution to go ahead. In the case of homicide, the diyya for an adult Muslim man is valued at 100 camels. This is provided the victim's kins agree to accept the blood money. Indemnity (diya) is the payment of blood-money to the next-of-kin or the injured party, as opposed to retaliation (qisas), in which the killer is put to death or has a like injury inflicted on him/her. It depends upon what the family of the deceased or the injured party wants.

The number of 100 camels is based on the example of Muhammad himself, as recorded in sound hadith:

Allah's Apostle did not like that the Blood-money of the killed one be lost without compensation, so he paid one-hundred camels out of the camels of Zakat (to the relatives of the deceased) as Diya (Blood-money).

According to Imam Malik, founder of one of the four law schools of Sunni Islam, diyya is:

one hundred camels for a life, one hundred camels for a nose if completely removed, a third of the blood-money for a wound in the brain, the same as that for a belly wound, fifty for an eye, fifty for a hand, fifty for a foot, ten camels for each finger, and five for teeth, and five for a head wound which laid bare the bone.

Even though camels are the basic unit for calculating blood money, many jurists stipulate that you can pay an amount equal to the worth of 100 camels in other livestock, silver, gold or even cash:

According to Abu Hanifa, Malik, and one of the two views held by Ash-Shafi`i, Diyyah has three equal options; i.e. camels, gold or silver. Ahmad and the two disciples of Abu Hanifa added two more options; i.e. cows and sheep. The texts of the Sunnah clarified that the amount of Diyyah is one thousand dinars. Every dinar now weighs 4. 25 grams and thus the total calculation of the Diyyah would be 4250 grams paid in gold for the blood heirs of the victim. This amount can also be paid in cash according to the gold price.

Imam Abu Laban in Denmark is thus on perfectly sound Islamic grounds in claiming that 200.000 Danish kroner, equal to 100 camels, should be paid to the family of the deceased. Politiken, a left-leaning, intellectual newspaper championing multiculturalism in Denmark, argued that the principle of blood money wasn’t that stupid, and might be worth considering. Several legal experts and University professors claimed that the Islamic concept of blood money wasn’t too different from the Western notion of paying compensation to victims, and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Luckily, they were met by an outcry from angry citizens. The ruling Liberal party foreign spokesperson Troels Lund Poulsen urged politicians not to waste time but to boycott discussions with Abu Laban or any other Imams who hold similar opinions. Many wondered what kind of primitive culture had been allowed to settle in their land, and mocked the “camel economics” where a person’s life was equated with a certain number of camels. Apart from the apparent 7th century time warp Muslims seemed stuck in, many commentators missed out on the worst part of the blood money concept: The compensation to be paid is not the same for all people.

The only full members of the Islamic community are Muslim men. All others have fewer rights, due to their religion, sex or slave status. The rates for blood money mirror this apartheid system. A Saudi court ruled that the value of one woman’s life is equal to that of one man’s leg. The court ordered a Saudi to pay a Syrian expatriate blood money after he killed the man’s wife and severed both his legs in a car accident six months earlier. The court ordered $13,300 compensation for the man’s wife, and the same amount for each of his legs.

The fact that a Muslim woman is valued the same as a Muslim man’s leg is appalling. What’s even worse is that the life of an ex-Muslim is worth nothing at all. He is a traitor and can be killed with impunity:

Muhammad is reported to have said: "The blood of a Muslim who testifies that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah is not lawful to shed unless he be one of three: a married adulterer, someone killed in retaliation for killing another, or someone who abandons his religion and the Muslim community.'' There is no blood money for killing an apostate.

Ali Sina puts it this way in his essay "Is Political Islam Fascism?":

In the April 9, 2002 issue, The Wall Street Journal published the concept of blood money in Saudi Arabia. If a person has been killed or caused to die by another, the latter has to pay blood money or compensation, as follow.

100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man
50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman
50,000 riyals if a Christian man
25,000 riyals if a Christian woman
6,666 riyals if a Hindu man
3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman

According to this hierarchy, a Muslim man's life is worth 33 times that of a Hindu woman. This hierarchy is based on the Islamic definition of human rights and is rooted in the Quran and Sharia (Islamic law). How can we talk of democracy when the concept of equality in Islam is non-existent?

Ali Sina is right: This kind of thinking is alien to Western notions of individual freedom and equality before the law. The two systems are completely incompatible and cannot coexist. At the same time, Denmark, Germany, England, France and the United States are faced with ghettos, where Sharia, the Islamic law, is in a process of takeover. The question arises: Who integrates whom? The "Encyclopedia of Islamic Law" defines Sharia as the "straight way", directly created by Allah's wisdom. This wisdom is eternal and comprises spiritual powers without error. In the long run, Western constitutions are unacceptable to Muslims. They would impose an undue and incompatible obligation: obedience to a man-made law. The "best community", however, knows one loyalty only: to Allah's law and his prophet.

Scandinavians were once involved in blood feuds, too. It's called the Viking Age, and we left it behind a thousand years ago, as should Muslims have done. We have no particular urge to return to a primitive tribal society. Yet too many of our "new countrymen" seem to insist on bringing one into our living room. Muslims make up less than 4 % of the population in Denmark, one of the toughest countries in Western Europe when it comes to confronting Islam. The fact that many of them, some even born and raised in the country, can still flaunt such blatant disregard for the most fundamental principles of our society should have alarm bells ringing all over Europe. Time is long overdue for some brutal honesty: Islam cannot coexist with Western society. All its basic tenets are hostile to every single idea on which liberal democracy and Western civilization are founded. Islamic culture cannot be integrated into the West any more than fire can be integrated with water. If Muslim immigration is allowed to continue, Muslim parallel societies will destroy our countries from within. We need to face this painful truth and act accordingly, or lights will soon go out over much of Europe.


At July 01, 2005 3:34 AM, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Scandinavians used to own slaves, too. They were called "thralls" (that's the English word, but it's derived from the Old Norse, which must have been very similar). Somehow they managed to change, and move beyond that stage.

Yet Islam cannot; it remains a medieval culture. I wonder why...

At July 01, 2005 9:19 AM, Blogger Freerider said...

Fjordman- your article is 100% correct. I remember you saying that muslims are still people which they are. What ideas or methods would you use to change the situation in Scandinavia.

My response is war. remember min kompis, freedom is not free.

At July 01, 2005 5:01 PM, Blogger Evan said...

I can sense the passion you put into this; collecting all those links and data must have been quite a bit of work.

But are there no examples of Muslim assimilation into Europe? People who visit France regularly tell me that on the streets they see many Arabs, including Arab women, who are fully secularized. Are separatism and incipient Islamic microstates in the heart of the West really the only plausible near future? Grim if true, but is it?

At July 01, 2005 10:00 PM, Blogger Don Miguel said...

I found out in 1983 what my wife is worth in Morocco when an offer was tendered for a dozen camels. Another guy who sold leather goods offered his entire inventory for her! Very funny in hindsight, but not appreciated at the time.

At October 08, 2005 5:46 PM, Blogger Joern said...

'Camel Economics' is nothing compared with



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