Written by Henrik R. Clausen
In a major undertaking, the British organisation HOPE not hate has produced a mapping of the so-called "Counterjihad Movement", a common denominator for a loosely connected network of activists, writers and bloggers opposed to the Islamization of Western societies.
The complete report can be read as a well organized web site here: Counter-Jihad Report
It is probably no coincidence that the report is issued just as the court case against Anders Behring Breivik is to open in Oslo, Norway. Quite appropriately, the signature picture of the page has ABB pointing a rifle towards a selection of top Counterjihad persons.
The massive crime committed by ABB has catapulted the Counterjihad movement into public attention, and as the image seems to indicate, much blame has been heaped upon various Counterjihad luminaries. More on that later.
First, HnH must be commended for obviously committing major resources to the mapping. While the Counterjihad movement is known to be broad and of great diversity, knowing that at least 144 organisations and 63 individuals across three continents can be counted as part of the movement is impressive. Looking at the individual organisations listed, one finds great diversity in names, ethnicity and approaches. A selection in no particular order includes:
While the list is long, it is by no means exhaustive. Many more are speaking out against the intolerant and deeply reactionary ideology of fundamentalist Islam and its impact on the lives of Muslims as well as non-Muslims, against maltreatment of women or the plight of apostates from Islam. Worthy activists and organisations that should be added to the HnH list include:
There are many more out there, easy to find. HOPE not hate say they have listed over 300 sites and persons, but just over 200 appear as entries in their report. Following the links in the Internet sites they have listed, one easily finds many thousands other individuals, blogs and organisations speaking out against the threat that Islam poses to democracy and human rights.
Friends of mine, in Italy and in particular in the US, have made suggestions and requests to be added to the list above, which is hereby done. Unfortunately I have no means to also add them to the HnH report, but HnH does provide a convenient sign-up form, which can be found here. With some dilligence on part of the Counterjihad activists, it should be possible to make their catalogue grow by an order of magnitude or more.
When one goes through the lists, a striking feature is the diversity of people and approaches. People from all walks of life, and with all kinds of experiences, are writing and speaking about Islam, Sharia, Sharia Compliant Finance, violent and non-violent Jihad, discrimination against women and non-Muslims, female genital mutilation, terrorism and its funding, persecution of gays, Christians and apostates, anti-Semitism, and other problems following the trend towards Islamization.
Counterjihad personalities on the HnH list are of all ethnicities and confessions, including Jews, Arabs, Asians, Africans, Iranians – Christians, atheists, Hindus, even the odd Buddhist or moderate Muslim. Politically they are quite diverse, ranging from not politically engaged at all, to major European political parties like PVV (Netherlands), FPÃ– (Austria), DPP (Denmark), FrP (Norway) and more.
Some of the politically engaged support the classical European welfare state, while others tend to have libertarian leanings, in line with the US Tea Party movement. Very few are socialists. HOPE not hate labels the members of the Counterjihad movement 'Neoconservatives', not defining what specifically they mean by that. As Daniel Pipes noted in August, 2009, that doesn't apply to him, and it is doubtful whether those listed by HnH would accept that label.
The Counterjihad label as such, as far as can be determined, originated at Gates of Vienna, which advertises an annual series of Counterjihad conferences, starting in Brussels, 2007.
Since the initial conference, many other activities have taken place under that label. Gates of Vienna recently published a historical account of key activities in eight parts:
The use of 'Counterjihad' at Gates of Vienna does not imply any exclusive right for that blog to use the term. It has been picked up by others like the 1389 Blog, Pamela Geller and many others, resulting in a full 386,000 Google hits on the term. In practice, anyone who opposes the Islamic Jihad and its implications for freedom can use the term at will, with no central authority to object to that.
In order to understand and appreciate what the Counterjihad network is about, one needs to first understand the meaning of Jihad. Possibly the shortest workable definition of Jihad is:
The effort undertaken by Muslims to make Islam rule supreme
Now, Jihad (Amazon topic list here) is commonly understood to be violent, such as terrorism, riots, Intifada and the like, but that is a misinterpretation, based on the most visible but possibly least significant part of the Jihad, the use of violence to intimidate non-Muslims into submission. Jihad is only violent as needed.
When Islamic demands are accepted and implemented without resistance, violence and terrorism does not follow. Thus, an entire democratic society can (in principle) become subverted by Islam without the use of terrorism. Countering this is what the Counterjihad is about.
Imposing Islam and Sharia law on a society is generally not good for civil liberties. One may look at history to see how that plays out, as described for instance by Bat Ye'or in Islam and Dhimmitude Generally speaking, a fully Islamic society holds Muslims as the supreme people, with all non-Muslims being considered second-rate citizens with no inalienable rights.
This system, which is not unlike the historical Apartheid regime in South Africa, was in force in the Islamic world for most of its history, for instance in the otherwise relatively pluralistic Ottoman Empire.
Now, from a strictly logical point of view, being against the Counterjihad would imply that one is for the Jihad, just as -(-1) = +1. That may or may not be the intention of HOPE not hate or their friends at Searchlight, but is a position worth keeping in mind when the Counterjihad network is 'exposed'.
For all the organisations and people listed by HOPE not hate, they do miss a very substantial subject, namely the large body of literature concerning Islamic Jihad and protecting democracies from it. While some titles are mentioned in context with their respective authors, the simple yet useful act of providing reference links has been skipped by the report authors.
There probably are thousands of titles on the subject of Jihad and the risks for freedom and democracy, in English as well as in other languages. Below follows a random selection:
Also several Counterjihad movies have been produced.
On top of that body of more formally published material comes articles by the tens of thousands, readable all over the Internet. While Fjordman might be the best known Counterjihad essayist, there are thousands of others, writing on matters local or global, theological or practical, topical or timeless, as they see fit in the circumstances they live in and the knowledge they have. The volume of material is immense, using St. Google to navigate the wide variety of texts out there.
HOPE not hate can usefully amend their report with a section on Counterjihad literature and films.
In brief: Nothing
Breivik has not been involved in setting up any of the Counterjihad blogs, networks, activities, nor has he authored or co-authored any books or articles on the Jihad. After 9 months of intensive search, no actual involvement in the Counterjihad network has been found. Breivik left a couple of comments at Gates of Vienna, sent a few emails to Fjordman (getting terse responses), and periodically commented more extensively at Document.no, where he could write in his native Norwegian. Nowhere did he reveal his plans or his criminal intentions, and had he done so, he would have been reported immediately to the relevant authorities.
No Counterjihad activist, blogger or author has, as far as is known, expressed any endorsement or sympathy for the mad, criminal acts he committed. Yet the mere mention of 'Breivik' is now being used to smear human rights activists if they dare speak out against the dangers of Islam as a political system. Unfortunately, HOPE not hate is contributing to this by coupling Breivik to the Counterjihad movement he never was, and never could have been, part of.
While having an overview of the Counterjihad movement is good, we encourage HOPE not hate to edit out the Breivik references from the report, in words as well as in graphics.