Europe: 2050 AD.

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The respected polling and research company Pew released the results of a very interesting study last week. Using a model of demographic projection based upon current trends, the authors have approximated the religious make-up of every country in the world in the year 2050.

Here (in no particular order) are some of the key facts.

In 2050…

– The Muslim population of Britain will make up 11.3% of the general population.

– In the Netherlands, Muslims will make up 9.4% of the GP.

– In Italy, Muslims will make up 9.5% of the GP.

– In Germany, Muslims will make up 10% of the GP.

– In France, Muslims will make up 10.9% of GP.

– In Sweden, Muslims will make up (and I found this staggering) 12.4% of the GP.

In the other countries of Western Europe, the percentage hovers somewhere between 4% and 10%. Eastern Europe is predicted to remain largely homogenous.

How do you feel about those numbers? I’m very interested in your responses.

Of course, as to whether this landmark study will serve to bolster our position or else infuse it with a new caution depends entirely on the pre-existing bias of its interpreters. Many of the most important questions raised by it are heavily subject to distortion by value. (Exactly how many Muslims is ‘too many’? – Are the swelling number of Hindus similarly problematic? – and so on).

From my perspective the figures are only mildly surprising. The figure for France, I will admit, is lower than I had presumed, while the figures for Sweden and Britain are much higher. Overall, the problem has very slightly changed its pattern of emphasis, but not altered significantly in its potential.

I suppose that all we can do with a study of this kind is to project our imaginations forward and try to judge the future. In attempting to do so, I think I mourn for Sweden more than anywhere else. The destiny I imagine is so out of kilter with Sweden’s history, with its character and with all its ancestors worked for that it seems freakishly unfair. This never needed to happen. There is nothing natural or inevitable about a Nordic country having a Muslim minority. Geographically and geo-politically, Sweden is blessed with isolation from most of the troublespots of the world. The fact it has been so altered is the result of traitorous policies that must one day be answered for.

Some might (and will) say that 12.4% of a population is not large enough to exert an effect on the majority, but I fear such people are simply wrong. African-Americans, the most influential cultural group in the US are only 13.2% of its national population. American Jews, another powerful element in the country’s national life, are 3%. 12.4% is a perfectly sufficient foothold for cultural transformation.

I have a feeling that even the parts of Europe that remain free from Muslim settlement will be negatively altered in character by all this. Gone will be that funny, cheese-eating euro-liberalism we used to mock so affectionately before the conquest found its feet. It’s replacement will be banal, repetitive, proletarian hate.

What the Pew organisation has forewarned us of is not quite the ‘end of the world’, but it is the end of the one we value and have sought, in vain it now seems, to protect.

D, LDN.

The Question of Kosovo.

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Although considered by Western Powers to be ‘resolved’, the military conflict between Serbs and Albanians over the territory of Kosovo continues with great intensity at every sub-political level. On internet forums in particular, poetically restrained and level-headed comments like the following are uploaded almost every day:

“Fucking Anal-banian goat-herding Turks! Get the fuck out of Europe, you filthy Muslim mongols! We should fucking genocide you.” – “Serbian monkey filth, bending over and taking Russian Slavic dick. How does Putin’s cock taste, fucking bitches.” – “Albanian Pakistani Arab goat monkey Turk swine! Don’t act fucking Italian, Turkish filth!” – “Funny Slavs called us Turks! Slavs were Turkish slaves! That’s why they are called SLAVS! You are lower than sand monkeys, Slavic Serbo-degenerate peasants.”

And so on…

Needless to say, these crazed ejaculations are degrading to their authors and wholly unbefitting of European affairs.

How did this happen? How did two neighbourly European countries become charged with an enthusiasm for genocide?

The answer is the Islamic religion and the chaos caused by its introduction onto a Christian continent.

The Ottoman Empire’s European domain was maintained in the same way that it was created, with the sword and the heavy-hands of the state. In occupied Albania, proud, inassimilable Europeans were treated like second-class citizens in their own countries, and only converted subjects were entreated with privilege and the favour of the authorities. After many patriotic residents, repulsed by the Islamising trend, fled to the safety of Western European countries, the orthodoxies of Islam slowly became the norm in Albanian society, with the nation all but Islamised in two centuries of occupation.

From that moment on, Albania has been a geopolitical oddity on the European continent; an oddity whose accommodation has proven beyond the wiles of various European statesmen. It is undoubtedly true that Albania is a European country, and DNA tests on the general population have confirmed that is native to the land. But what is more difficult to decide is whether Albania is a part of the European cultural community.

This confusion would lie dormant for many centuries, eventually only coming to the fore as a result of tensions with the Serbs.

Serbian nationalists claim Kosovo as a hallowed territory in their national history. It was the sight of a destructive battle ‘The Battle of Kosovo’ in 1389 in which Serbian troops sought to repel an Ottoman invasion. Since that date, the territory has been romantically evoked by Serbian nationalists in poetry, music and literature.

When the territory eventually was secured by the Ottomans (after the Battle described above), the region was overwhelmingly Serbian. By the fall of the Ottomans in the 19th century however, the region was markedly more cosmopolitan, with Muslim Albanians now comprising a large proportion of its inhabitants.

This miserable time for Serbia was later horribly exacerbated by the long dictatorships of the Nazis and Soviets. After the fall of the latter, the region of Kosovo once again became a matter of racial dispute.

The Serbs, seeking to carve out a new state along the lines of their historic homeland naturally wanted to reverse the injustices of the Ottoman period. The Albanians, having benefited immensely from their centuries of favour with the Muslim authorities, naturally wished for the region to remain Albanian. When the conflict became bestial and corpses piled up in the forests, the US intervened on the side of the Albanians, leading to the quasi-independent state of Kosovo.

The trend for Counter-Jihadis, for obvious reasons, has been to back the Serbs and I don’t see any reason to depart from this consensus. The state of Kosovo is as illegitimate as any other entity created by force during a period of imperialism. When the Nazis carved out lebensraum from occupied Poland, throwing out the rightful inhabitants and transplanting the towns and villages with foreigners, this was understood by every fair-minded observer to be a wrong in need of righting. The Ottomans, given their treatment of the Armenians and Slavs, should be considered a fascist empire alike that of the Germans. Their Islamist project in the Balkans was designed to gain a synthetic foothold in Europe, from which to launch a later conquest. We must reject this with a united voice and a common energy.

D, LDN.

Maajid Nawaz’s Striptease Should Surprise Nobody.

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For many years now, the Pakistani Muslim commentator Maajid Nawaz has been advanced in the media as a model of Islamic reform. Once a crazed Islamist and member of the terroristic faction Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Nawaz suddenly lurched into ‘moderation’ in 2007, having become ‘disillusioned’ with both the means and ends of the Islamist project. His confessional ‘Radical: My Journey Out of Islamic Extremism’ was roundly commended by the Liberal media, and Nawaz is now a paid-up candidate for the Liberal Democrat Party.

Given this reputation, one can imagine the surprise in Liberal circles when yesterdays news broke and was promptly shared around the internet. In case you haven’t heard, a video has been released showing Nawaz – now a self-described ‘Feminist’- enjoying a striptease, during which he violates conventions by groping the woman performing the tease, eventually following her out of the booth to continue the harassment.

Getting a strip-tease is nothing illegal, but it’s fair to say that real ‘feminists’ are not altogether keen on the practice. We are thus prompted to wonder whether this was merely an aberration or in fact a revealing reversion to religious type. My guess is the latter.

Despite his warm words and political gestures in favour of civilisation, Nawaz remains a believing Sunni Muslim. Since his religion anti-sexual, he shuns access to the tact and subtlety that come as the reward of a modern imagination. He is sexually unpredictable for this reason. You cannot shake off the neurosis of faith by changing political direction.

Toxic beliefs, whether or not they are watered down, always find a way of exposing themselves. Moderate Muslims are useless to the counter-jihad cause, for latent within them are all the evils they claim to have overcome. 

To call yourself a Muslim, moderate, liberal or orthodox, you must believe certain things. Prime among them is faith in the divine authorship of the Qur’an and its infallibility. This means you stand by passages describing women as secondary to men. There is no way around that. The passages are very clear and cannot be explained away as poetry or metaphor. To be a Muslim, you also have to believe that the conduct of the Prophet is noble, moral and worth emulating. This includes numerous practices deemed to be immoral and unlawful in modern Western society.

The source of Muslim dysfunction is therefore innate in the system of belief itself, in its articles of faith and the conduct of its holy figures.

While Ex-Muslims have the potential to be our best friends,’moderate’ Muslims like Nawaz fail to recognise the source of the problem and must be rejected for that reason.

D, LDN.

4 Things Britain Can Learn from Spain.

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I’ve been working in Northern Spain for more than 4 months now. I shall be returning to England very shortly and so in the past weeks I’ve been thinking about how this country compares to my own. There are many things the UK gets right that Spain gets wrong, but to list these would be impolite to my hosts. Here instead are four things Spain does that Britain should do too…

1. Build Real Cities.

One of the greatest failures of modern British planning is the way the capital city has been allowed to dwarf the rest of the country economically, culturally and politically. The 2nd city of Britain is a glorified housing estate. The 3rd city (Manchester) is merely a scaled down version of London. Below that, most English cities are simply large towns.

Compare this to Spain, where at least 5 cities – Bilbao, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Seville – qualify as ‘major’. This gives Spain a wonderful balance, something sorely lacking the UK.

2. Cook Real Food.

British cuisine is an international punchline. To deny this only makes the laughter more emphatic. Spanish cuisine is simple, yet wonderfully varied. Let’s add more seafood to our diet. It extends your lifespan and is immeasurably more delicious than chips.

3. Don’t Fight High-Speed Railways.

There is currently a very silly controversy raging in Britain regarding the construction of a high-speed rail link between Birmingham and London. While I don’t know of many reasons why a Londoner would wish to go to Birmingham, high speed trains are an essential part of a modern national infrastructure. Don’t fight the future. It always wins.

4. Lift the 5pm Shutters.

There is no reason for society to shut down at 5pm. It is depressing, anti-social and economically destructive. If you want young Brits to stop getting drunk in parks, put pressure on businesses to stay open longer. In Spain, the happy part of the day begins when ours finishes.

D, LDN.

Making Britain Safe for Apostasy.

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Imagine being a Muslim atheist in Britain. Though it sounds self-contradictory, there must be thousands of such people living alongside us in every corner of this country, typically in a condition of self-hatred and misery.

Try to empathise with them even a little and you can readily appreciate their plight. Imagine what it’s like to be trapped in a culture of stupidity that will kill you if you try to leave. Imagine being forced to suppress your own rationality and to oppose those you agree with. Imagine suffering the swelling hatred of the native majority and feeling the hot persecution of those who should rightly be your friends. Imagine the prospect of having to sever ties with your family, friends and ethnic origins just to embrace the modern way of life.

I feel immense sympathy for these people. They didn’t ask to be born into a degraded life. It was their own random misfortune.

What can we do to better facilitate their liberation? There is no riskless panacea or faultless manifesto to employ, but we must do something, or we risk abandoning our ideals completely and becoming simple xenophobes. 

As far as I can see, there are three core motivations that inspire Muslim atheists resident in the West to remain linked to their faith of birth. Other motivations (and there are many others) are usually children or siblings of these.

1. Distrust of the Islamophobic Community / racial pride.

2. Family ties.

3. Retribution.

Let’s deal with them in order.

If you were a Western Muslim atheist wishing to leave Islam, you might be deterred from doing so by the thought that Islamophobes are vulgar, racist and stupid. Despite your atheism, you might be averse to giving such idiots ‘what they want’. Islam, for good or ill, is watermarked in your ethnic identity and cannot be cleanly excised. In short, you would rather be a proud Turk or Arab, than a shy, quivering uncle tom.

I can fully appreciate this. Though far from the majority, there are obviously racists in the EDL, in SION and in other like-minded organisations; the kind of people who don’t have any religious opinions at all, but merely an active dislike of Turks, Arabs and Pakistanis. What proud Muslim atheist would want to shake those hands? – Would want to go from being a first-rate Pakistani or Turk to being a second-rate Westerner?

The solution to this is to place a heavy emphasis on the corrosive effects Islam has had on the ethnic cultures now dominated by it. Explain to the Pakistani that Pakistan was once peaceful and Buddhist; to the Arab that the Arab world was once an illustrious collection of ancient glories; to the Iranian that Iran was once the Persian Empire, and so on. Remind them that everyone on earth is too good for Islam. It degrades anyone who embraces it and depresses their natural talents.

Secondly, the Muslim atheist is understandably averse to severing ties with his family, who in most cases remain wedded to the Islamic faith.

The solution to this is naturally more difficult. How can we offer a replacement kinship for such people? As daunting as it seems, we can but try. It is often remarked upon that Counter-Jihad has become something of a sub-culture in recent years. Our enemies make much beef of this, claiming it as evidence for our collective delusion. But on the contrary, this pleasant fraternal atmosphere can help greatly to accommodate those who remain addicted to the communal warmth of religion and traditional culture. Try to make use of that.

The last deterrent factor is by far the most important. According to the Hadith (a religious authority in Islam second only to the Qur’an), the penalty for leaving Islam is death. The apostate is to be killed without mercy or regard for secular law.

This can be dealt with via politics. We must lobby and petition the government to ensure apostates are supplied with police protection and given special consideration in  housing and work. No apostate, having abandoned Islam, should be left to the mercy (or lack of it) of their community. They should be helped to move elsewhere with restraining orders placed on those relatives who seem likely and willing to fulfil the religious sentence. While this sounds over-the-top and beyond the rightful expectations of national charity, it is in fact the same protection we supply to beaten wives, witnesses to murder and any other citizen proven to be vulnerable to extrajudicial homicide. Why should apostates be treated any differently?

People of my viewpoint are often accused of being racist. Though it is a tedious and unwarranted slur, it is worth combating. The best way to do this is to look past the imposed surface of a Muslim and offer a hand of friendship to the person beneath it.

D, LDN.

The New Atheism: A Clarification.

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I wrote a post last week that seemed (and was) hostile to the school of thought labelled as ‘New Atheist’ – more explicitly, the works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens.

Specifically, I criticised these personalities for repeatedly lying about Hitler’s religious convictions – for claiming, as they do, that the Fuhrer was a believing Catholic, when his real views were closer to rational unbelief.

I don’t want to write the same article twice, so if you’re interested in my argument, please scroll down to ‘Hitler Was an Atheist’ in last week’s bunch. On this occasion, I’d like to clear up my position in regard to the ‘New Atheism; and atheism in general, lest my previous words have failed to communicate my true opinion.

I’ll start by restating that I am the son of a Church of England minister, and (as it goes for most vicar’s sons) the experience has often led me to an extreme and reactive rationalism, inspired by (among other figures) Nietzsche and Sartre, the traditional heroes of the thinking Western adolescent.

At the time of my enrolling in University, I was so convinced by atheism that I rarely thought about it. As far as I was concerned, the debate was dead, and all that remained to do was for the rising generation to destroy any legacy of Christian thought; to liberate the West from its dusty idols, arbitrary loyalties and primitive moral worldview.

Since then, I’ve not gone back on my view of the cosmos, the historicity of religious texts, or the facticity of evolution. But what I have done is read more about the human animal and the role that religion plays in sustaining him, in reminding him of things he might otherwise forget.

I remember at college coming up with what I considered to be a bold new scientific theory: the idea that there is an ‘optimal IQ range’, below which the human behaves in a destructive or abusive fashion to others, and above which the human being malfunctions, seeks to destroy himself or otherwise rebels against natural law. The ‘theory’ (if it can be so dignified) was drawn from the observation that high-IQ people tend to neglect the fundamental practices of nature, most notably the need to reproduce, to avoid suicidal thinking, and to maintain connections with the rhythms of their fellow man.

In retrospect this seems slightly daffy. There are clearly benefits to high intelligence and not just for the individual possessed by it. But that said, I still believe there is something vital in the wisdom of the less able, in their commitment to the essentials of life.

This very week it was reported that by 2070, the number of Muslims will overtake the number of Christians to make Islam the largest religion on Earth. This has to do with three synergetic factors. First, Muslims still believe in reproduction. Secondly, Europeans and Latin Americans no longer reproduce at the required pace and quantity. And thirdly, Europeans are becoming more disjointed and secularised, leading to a collapse of the only cultural coalition large enough to compete with the spread of Islam.

This has less to do with theology than with natural priorities. Religion, though it may on occasion go against science and progress, nevertheless tethers the human mind to very important primal truths. To sever the European from his traditions is to sever him from the destiny those traditions were laying out for him.

According to Richard Lynn, Japan is the most intelligent country on Earth, yet it is turning into a high-tech nursing home. Sweden is similarly dying. Norway is dying. Germany is dying. Italy is dying. Even China is dying.

And that last example is an especially illustrative one. China has been forcedly atheist for over fifty years. In that period of skyscraper building, the birth rate has steadily but surely declined. This has been helped by – but cannot be wholly explained by – the ‘one-child policy’ that (in any case) accompanies the confident atheism of Communism.

Outside of reproductive issues, the abandonment of Christianity by Europeans has another global effect. The more impressionable and cultureless races, most notably the booming population of Africa may be increasingly drawn to confident religions like Islam and turn away from the tired out, apologetic religion of their former colonial masters. The wonderful civilising effect of European Christianity may vanish and plunge great swathes of the world into barbaric darkness.

To repeat my general position – none of these concerns imply religion is true or science false. All I recommend is to consider the void that comes after religion and weigh its benefits against those of history.

D, LDN.

Whither Great Britain?

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Who do you think won the leadership debate last Thursday? Whatever answer you give, there will be a newspaper that agrees with you.

According to the Leftist media, Miliband walked it. According to the centre-right, Cameron walked it. According to the far-left, Sturgeon triumphed, for the farther right, Farage won and so on… The only thing this confusion can really tell us is that nobody won, and that the election campaign continues much the same.

Most of the attention in this debate was on Nigel Farage, a fact he was surely aware of and which can best explain his sensationalist approach. In a mortifyingly misjudged aside, the UKIP leader at one point chose to fling his net on foreigners suffering from the Human Deficiency Virus, a comment that was later trending on Twitter and there attracted much celebrity condemnation.

On the Left, Nicola Sturgeon, the brassy and bold leader of the SNP, greedily gobbled up the cheap goodwill that is the plentiful reward of the politically incautious. Freed from the heavy burdens of responsibility, consistency and conviction, Sturgeon promised to stop cutting government spending and use borrowed money to lavish gifts on the Scots and only the Scots (not wholly unlike the politics of the Arabian peninsula).

Me? I wasn’t convinced by any of them. In fact, looking back over my 31 years, I don’t think I’ve ever been less certain of my political allegiance.

I don’t think I ask for too much in a political party. My manifesto is short and relatively simple: Stop importing terror threats, and deport those already here. Preserve the welfare system for those most in need. Protect the NHS. Legalise handguns for those with no criminal record. Teach patriotism, health and positivity in the classroom, just like the Americans do. Build up our armed forces to at least 500,000 men. Provide community service sentences for all non-violent crimes. Make prisons hellish for those who commit violent crimes. Draw up a new constitution for the country, including within it a statement guaranteeing freedom of speech.

These priorities are far from radical and – if properly communicated – would find a very general audience.  As for their realisation, I won’t be holding my breath.

D, LDN.

Bad Rubbish: If ‘Brits’ Go to Syria, Let Them Stay There.

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Yet again, Muslims with British passports have sought to cross the Turkish border into 6th century Syria with the intention of joining the international jihad.

According to the newspapers, these three ‘youngsters’ have now been apprehended by the Turkish authorities and are now awaiting deportation ‘back’ to the United Kingdom, where they will be treated (bizarrely) as ‘traitors’ and be tried in a court of European law.

This is obviously ridiculous, and all the comments beneath the articles in question are willing to say so.

“We don’t want the cretins back!” – said one.

“Keep them there. They’ve made their decision. If you make your bed, you lie in it!” – said another.

And this is altogether the right way to think about these matters. If you, a passport-holding British citizen, are willing to join a society filled with headless dissenters, thumbless thieves, invisible women, raped Yazidis and crucified Christians, you are not welcome, you were never welcome, and you will never become welcome in this United Kingdom.

D, LDN.

The Islamic World War.

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With news of Saudi F-15 warplanes carrying out airstrikes on Shia positions in Yemen, the formation by Egypt of a United Arab military force, Sunni militants seeking the violent overthrow of a pro-Iran regime in Syria, and bubbling tensions in Bahrain and Iraq, you would be forgiven for thinking an Islamic World War is on the near horizon. You may well be right.

Having simmered and spat for over a decade now, Sunni-Shia hostilities seem to be rushing to the surface in every country in the Dar es Salaam. Despite the likely cost of such a civil war, no Western policy seems capable of arresting it, and the process has an energy detached from all economic or political consideration.

Before looking at where we, in the West, should stand on all this, let us first look at the military, or civilizational balance between the two sides.

The Shia Coalition.

1. Iran.

According to outside analysis, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a military capacity roughly on a par with Saudi Arabia, with the latter’s technical edge sanded down by the former’s weight of numbers. Unlike Saudi’s quarter-million standing force, Iran’s army can marshal up to 900,000 soldiers (excluding state militias) and there is a wealth of dated yet still operational equipment from the Soviet Union for them to employ.

2. Iraq.

Despite the fact the two countries were once bitterly at war, it is increasingly naïve to consider modern Iraq as a separate political entity to Iran. Politically and diplomatically, the countries are in lockstep with one another, and the true source of Iraqi policy is now Tehran. All this means in practice is that Iran’s military-age population has increased by about 20 million and its oil reserves by 100%. If this integration continues, Iran will be a regional superpower, possessing or having influence over the greatest store of extractable oil in the world.

Iraq is yet to develop regular armed forces capable of acting independently

3. Southern Lebanon.

The Southern part of Lebanon (and to a limited extent, the national capital, Beirut) is currently occupied by Hezbollah, a Shia terrorist group loyal to Iran. At war, Hezbollah has proven to be surprisingly capable and it remains armed to the teeth due to historic weapons transfers from Russia, via Iran and Syria.

Hezbollah has between 4,000 and 65,000 fighters.

The Sunni Quintet.

1. Turkey.

By far the most militarily powerful country in the Islamic World, the Republic of Turkey is also increasingly aware of its position as a bulwark of the Sunni coalition. Having wrecked its alliance with Israel, elected an Islamist government, abandoned attempts to break into Europe, and made no attempt to resolve the conflict with the Kurds, Ankara appears readier than ever to play a part in a regional conflagration.

Turkey has already offered Saudi Arabia logistical aid in combating the Shia rebels in Yemen, and has vocally condemned Iranian activity in the region as a whole. The nation has pre-existing links with a variety of Sunni countries, including Egypt and Syria.

Of course, Turkey’s anti-Iranian sentiments may be due to more than religious conviction. Ankara is famously terrified by the aspirations of the Kurds, an Iranic people who possess strong links to Pan-Iranic Nationalists in Iran. Further complicating this is the fact that at least a quarter of Iran’s population are Turkic Azeris who routinely complain about Persian supremacism in the Iranian state.

Turkey can marshal roughly 1 million soldiers.

2. Pakistan.

The only Islamic country to possess an independent nuclear force, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan must be taken into account in any analysis or projection. Virulently anti-Shia, riddled with extremism and perennially unstable, Pakistan has been warmly embraced by Sunni supremacists like Osama Bin Laden, and the country remains an invaluable ally for the Saudis, who are said to be close to securing a nuclear weapon from the Pakistani stockpile.

Pakistan can marshal over a million soldiers.

3. Egypt.

The state of Egypt and its future direction is hard to judge. Despite being over 85% Sunni and the historic birthplace of radical Islam, the government in Cairo claims (for now) to be intent on a pro-Western path of secular reform. Only time can tell us whether this is possible or sincere, but if it isn’t, then the Sunni side of the conflict would benefit immeasurably, Egypt having the second most powerful military in the Islamic world (1.3 million soldiers).

4. Saudi Arabia.

The spiritual, financial and historic executive of the Sunni world, Saud Arabia has the world’s fourth largest military budget and the largest known oil reserves on Earth. Saudi investment companies own a considerable slice of Western meta-economy, granting Riyadh considerable diplomatic influence over the modern world. Saudi’s standing army numbers around 250,000 soldiers, but there are plans to increase this.

5. The Gulf.

The states of the Gulf, namely, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar are among the richest nations on Earth, and possess small but very high-tech militaries. Gulf foreign policy is usually harmonious with that of the Saudis.

Combined, the number of active soldiers in the Gulf States is 105,000.

The Balance.

Sunni Quintet Military Forces – 3,655,000 – the larger Sunni world having 80% of the world’s Muslim civilian population.

Shia Coalition Military Forces – 930,000 – the larger Shia world having 15% of the world’s Muslim civilian population.

As should be obvious from this analysis, the Sunnis resoundingly outgun and outnumber the Shia. Indeed, if Iran was to fall apart or be drawn into a self-destructive war with Israel, the Shia would be left almost defenceless and vulnerable to outright genocide.

With that being said, a war as large as this can cause a lot of destruction before an inevitable outcome is reached.

Where Should We Stand?

Who should we side with in this developing conflict? In my own view, we should pick no side at all. A mad, religious conflict of this type has no relevance to the Western world, and neither the Sunni or the Shia have behaved in a such a way as to merit our allegiance.

Who will we side with? Well, given oil politics and the economic structure of the world, the West seems predestined to back up the Sunni-dominated order of the Middle East. The Saudis, Qataris, Kuwaitis, Egyptians and Turks are currently allied with the EU and America, while all the Shia states (save Iraq) are considered enemies. This will mean a short but destabilising war, ending in a Sunni victory.

Along the way, America may use the aggression of Iran towards Sunni states as a green light for action against the Ayatollahs. Israel may feel compelled to act against Hezbollah. A direct confrontation between ISIS and the Iranians may occur in Syria and central Iraq. Nevertheless, the end result can be foreseen in photographic detail, a Muslim world unchanged in its fundamental poverty.

I’ll close with an obvious but vital reflection: As all this blood is pointlessly shed in faraway lands, we should remind ourselves how luxurious it is to live in a 21st century civilisation; a condition far from perfect, but one that is infinitely preferable to the alternative.

D, LDN.

Never Forget Armenia.

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I write this post in part to heartily recommend a book ‘The Burning Tigris’ by the scholar Peter Balakian, which has so gloomed my imagination for the past week. Its subject-matter must be reflected on if we are to stand any chance of understanding our current predicament.

Though the numbers continue to be debated – both dispassionately and for crude political reasons – few can deny that the Armenian people were subjected to a nightmare by the Ottoman Empire in the first decades of the Twentieth Century, or that this massacre or genocide has things to tell us about the European future if we fail to uphold our geo-cultural integrity.

Whether 300,000 or 1.5 million, the Armenian population dropped sharply in numbers as the Ottoman Empire entered its final collapse. The Young Turk barbarians, seeking to carve out a single homogenous Turkic state out of a multi-cultural empire, felt they had no choice but to remove the elements most hostile to their design. Naturally, this meant those who did not wish to be subsumed by an Islamic majority. Naturally this meant the Armenians.

An ancient people, and a very important one at that, the Armenians were among the first to adopt Christianity as their national religion, and some argue the faith’s later spread would have been greatly retarded had they not converted when they did. Some of the oldest and most ornate churches stand in Armenia and the Christian faith has dominated its affairs for over 1500 years. To the grinning lust of Jihadi eyes, this made them a symbolic target as well as a political one. They were a spot missed by the Islamic conquests, and a disgracing patch of dissent in a sea of barbaric consensus.

When we speak of the Islamic conquest, we are not speaking of a single, continuous event but of two massive Blitzkriegs, each of them centuries apart. The first is most familiar. Acting on Muhammad’s sayings, the Arabs of the Arabian peninsula stormed the ancient world, converting the nations of the Middle East and North Africa before petering out in France.

Much later, the Turks, a Mongolian people who had laid down roots in Anatolia, picked up the muddied banner of Jihad and pushed into South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia. By the time both storms had passed, the Armenians, by some miracle of fortune, had survived.

Their Turkish political overlords had failed to extinguish and were now intimidated by their ethnic self-awareness and deeply held Christian beliefs. The Ottomans arrested Armenian intellectuals and outlawed the expression of Armenian identity (as they do now to Kurds). In that grimly familiar process, physical persecution is always the final policy.

The majority of the Armenians who died in the genocide were resident in what is now Turkish territory. Most of the early fatalities were military-age males, judged to be a threat to Turkic supremacy and ongoing nationalist reforms. Later in the campaign, men, women and children alike were driven into the unforgiving Syrian desert and left to die.

There is ample evidence to suggest Adolf Hitler took inspiration from the Turks when designing his own sick project. The world’s inaction when civilians were disposed of in frightening numbers, suggested to the devils of the world that anything was possible with a black heart and an iron will. Pure evil begat pure evil.

Until very recently, the history of Modern Armenia has been one of different tyrannies. The Ottoman Empire and Soviet Union held the nation in bondage for much of the Twentieth century. The free Armenia that stands today deserves our most energetic solidarity and respect.

D, LDN.

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