Leaving Islam




Is It Too Late to Learn?

By Jacob Thomas


When the troubles in France continued and spread, I decided to scan French newspapers that are available on the Internet. I chose Le Figaro as my source, a right-of-center daily. The editorial of Monday, 7 November 2005 had this heading: “La France au pilori,” being paraphrased means: France Held for Ridicule.”  

The editor referred to two contrasting attitudes manifesting themselves among foreign newspapers dealing with the crisis. One attitude being sincere, while the other very critical and unsympathetic. Without naming them, he said that several American newspapers began to compare Paris with Baghdad , and the suburban area of Seine-Saint Denis with the Gaza strip. The critical attitude is the dominant one among foreign commentators, with some claiming “that France is now paying for her arrogance.”  

Articles dealing with the French situation in the US papers and magazines are multiplying, and I don’t want to bore you with more details. Sufficient to say that by late Monday afternoon, Le Figaro informed its readers that Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, has announced that with the approval of President Chirac, the 1955 law will be invoked. It would allow the mayors in the affected areas to declare curfews “whenever necessary.” Furthermore, 1,500 policemen will be added to the 8,000 force in order to stop the violence and the terrible destruction of property around Paris .  

What I would like to emphasize in these lines is the fact that these events were predictable. The mayhem that is going on not only in Paris, but all over the country, needed only one incident, such as the death by electrocution of two young Muslims who were fleeing from the scene of an attempted crime. While many point to the French crisis as a result of a failure of integration, I would like to stress that ultimately Muslim immigrants do not and cannot integrate into French society, or anywhere else. These words may sound extremely pessimistic, but they have the weight of history and the sacred Islamic texts to support them.  

By the end of WWI, Britain , France , the Netherlands , and Spain controlled most of the Muslim world. They administered lands stretching from the East Indies ( Indonesia ) in Asia to Morocco in North Africa . These areas, with the exception of India , were entirely Muslim. European administrators of these lands were assisted, quite often, by scholarly men versed in Islamic history, and quite aware of the unique nature of Islam.  

Of all the Europeans, the French learned first-hand in Algeria that Muslims will never adapt to European civilization. Beginning in 1830, and especially after conquering all of Algeria in 1848, France tried hard to make the country truly French. In fact, the French annexed Algeria , and declared it to be part and parcel of France itself. But all that was to no avail. Soon after the end of WWII, the Algerian uprising began, and it took the lives of around one million Algerians before France conceded its failure in its “civilizational enterprise” and decided to pull out of the country. Around one million French and European settlers in Algeria had to leave and find a new home in France . That failure of France in Algeria should have served as an example of the impossibility of assimilating Muslim immigrants into French society. But that lesson was not learned. The same may be said about other European countries that invited Muslims from North Africa, the Middle East , and S.E. Asia. While other groups of African and Asian immigrants have done a good job of integrating into the host countries, to date Muslims in Europe live in their own areas. Even those living in France and even after they acquire French citizenship, keep their final allegiance to the Islamic Umma.  

Several factors have been adduced for the failure of Muslims to succeed in becoming normal parts of the host countries, such as poverty, racism, lack of education; but none of these refer to the basic reason for that failure. The basic reason is the very nature of Islam. It is unlike all other major world religions; I’ll never tire saying that Islam is much more than a religion. Islam is a unique complex of religion plus state plus culture in an indivisible entity.  

Furthermore, I would like to draw attention to the classical Islamic worldview that divides the world into two major camps: Daru’l Islam (the Household of Islam), and Daru’l Harb (the Household of War.) From 632 to around 1950, Muslims lived almost exclusively within their own realms. They did not immigrate. Where they lived, they ruled. Their faith thrives only when enforced by the arm of the state. Let’s never forget the historical fact that the founder of Islam began by proclaiming his faith in his home city of Mecca , and got nowhere. It was only after migrating to Medina and joining his preaching with political and military action that he finally gave birth to the Islamic Umma.  


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