Primordial

While I was born and raised in the U.S., my parents were born and raised in Egypt. Even though they were Christians (Copts), it was only natural that they would adopt an “Islamicate” worldview, that is, a worldview based on Islamic culture and society, though obviously not Islamic dogma. As a result, while I share and appreciate the Western worldview, so too am I intimately acquainted with the Islamic world’s weltanschauung.
This is a worldview typified by cynicism and stoicism: a belief that humanity is intrinsically opportunistic, selfish, and warlike; that might not only makes right, but almost should; that those in the right do not apologize or appease, but rather assert; a survival-of-the-fittest mentality; and, above all, sheer contempt for perceived weakness and equivocation, or, in Islamic parlance, emasculate behavior. Let’s call this a worldview based on “primordial politics.” Anyone who has spent time in the Islamic world or held sincere conversations with people from there — Muslim or Christian makes no difference — will know this to be true. In short, the worldview of the average person from the Islamic world is the antithesis of the postmodern, “therapeutic” worldview of the liberal West, where “feelings,” “mutual respect,” “toleration,” and the ability to “express oneself” are paramount. This is only natural: people bred in harsh environments (e.g., the vast majority of the Islamic world) are not impressed by soft or sublime words. It bears repeating that these qualities are not so much due to Islam per se; rather, they have an ancient lineage and have permeated almost every major civilization, including the West (e.g., the “neocons”). It is the postmodern, liberal worldview that is aberrant to human history, that is a dot in a long continuum of realpolitik. Living and dying in the height of our era — human lives are so short — it is easy to overlook the evanescence of this epistemology. Islamic civilization, on the other hand, whose essence is trapped in the medieval era (thanks primarily to the concept of sunna), is by far the staunchest champion of primordial politics.
Raymond Ibrahim

Outlook

Events have already forced Irish Premier Brian Cowen to carry out the harshest assault yet seen on the public services of a modern Western state. He has passed two emergency budgets to stop the deficit soaring to 15pc of GDP. They have not been enough. The expert An Bord Snip report said last week that Dublin must cut deeper, or risk a disastrous debt compound trap… Education must be cut 8pc. Scores of rural schools must close, and 6,900 teachers must go. The Garda (police), already smarting from a 7pc pay cut, may have to buy their own uniforms. Hospital visits could cost £107 a day, etc, etc. “Something has to give,” said Professor Colm McCarthy, the report’s author. “We’re borrowing €400m (£345m) a week at a penalty interest.”
No doubt Ireland has been the victim of a savagely tight monetary policy given its specific needs. But the deeper truth is that Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the US, and Japan are in varying states of fiscal ruin, and those tipping into demographic decline (unlike young Ireland) have an underlying cancer that is even more deadly. The West cannot support its gold-plated state structures from an aging workforce and depleted tax base.
As the International Monetary Fund made clear last week, Britain is lucky that markets have not yet imposed a “penalty interest” on British Gilts, given the trajectory of UK national debt – now vaulting towards 100pc of GDP – and the scandalous refusal of this Government to map out any path back to solvency.
The imperative for the debt-bloated West is to cut spending systematically for year after year, off-setting the deflationary effect with monetary stimulus. This is the only mix that can save us. My awful fear is that we will do exactly the opposite, incubating yet another crisis this autumn, to which we will respond with yet further spending. This is the road to ruin.
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Right and wrong – not 'norms'

According to Denis MacEoin, author of Sharia Law or ‘One Law For All’?, sharia courts operating in Britain may be handing down rulings that are inappropriate to this country because they are linked to elements in Islamic law that are seriously out of step with trends in Western legislation that derive from the values of the Enlightenment and are inherent in modern codes of human rights. Sharia rulings contain great potential for controversy and may involve acts contrary to UK legal norms and human rights legislation

Civitaspress release
Whoa! Two things are being confused here. The only grounds we may have against Sharia courts, as for anything else, is that they are wrong. Not that they are ‘inappropriate’ or ‘out of step’ but that they are wrong.
1. We can say that they are wrong when they break the law. If we think that those operating these ‘courts’ are breaking the law we may either invite the police and Crown Prosecution Servant to decide whether there seems to be a case, and then to charge these people and bring the case to court, or we may bring a civil case against them ourselves. The court may then find whether or nor they have broken the law.
2. We may use our conscience to judge whether they are wrong. We can continue to maintain that they are wrong even if no law seems to say so and even if we receive no confirmation from the courts that interpret the law. We can say publicly that they are wrong (no one may stop us from expressing this belief) and we add that they break God’s law (we may give ‘religious’ reasons for our view).
But these ‘courts’ are not wrong because they are ‘out of step’, or offend our sensibilities or because it seems possible that they may offend anyone else. We should insist on talking about right and wrong and that we can all make this distinction between legal and moral. This ‘norms-values-rights’ discourse is going to get us all into trouble.
Civitas should attempt to bring some of these cases of ‘conflicting jurisdictions’ to court. It could suggest which legislation it believes such Sharia courts break.
About Sharia itself see No to Sharia Law in Britain