Who Are the Real Colonialists?

 

Last week, some of us got into a sort of side-conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, one in which it was suggested that Israel could be seen as a “settler-colony” of the United States because the US provides considerable aid to Israel.

The question then arose: if US aid equals colonization, there are an awful lot of colonies around the world that don’t seem to have gotten the memo that they’re part of America’s Colonial Empire … including the Palestinians themselves. Meanwhile, it strikes me that there is at least one situation in the world that does resemble settler-colonialism.

Just to make things clearer, here is the dictionary definition of the verb “to colonize:”

colonize |ˈkäləˌnīz| verb [ with obj. ]

  • (of a country or its citizens) send a group of settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it: the Greeks colonized Sicily and southern Italy.
  • come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area): a white family that tries to colonize a Caribbean island.
  • appropriate (a place or domain) for one’s own use.
  • Ecology (of a plant or animal) establish itself in an area: mussels can colonize even the most inhospitable rock surfaces | [ no obj. ] : insect borers colonize in rotted shoreline deadfalls.

Is there any reason why the huge numbers of (especially) Muslim “refugees” that entered Europe in the past few years could not be considered “settler colonists” rather than mere immigrants?

As with the colonists that arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries from Europe to the New World, some actually are refugees from war or persecution but most are military-aged men seeking their fortunes. As with the colonists who came to America, the Muslim immigrants have little interest in assimilating into the existing culture of the native population. They maintain their own languages and cultures. They return to the old countries to find spouses and to collect religious, educational and cultural materials for import and deployment in the new environment. As in the days of colonial New England, New France, and New Spain, the settlers’ countries of origin provide funding the establishment of schools and religious and cultural missions, and both clergy and educators return to what they clearly think of as “home” to be trained for the maintenance of the settlers’ faith, and the conversion of the natives.

For those olden days’ settler-colonists, the point was not to dwell peaceably among the Iroquois, Sioux, or Passamaquoddy in a multi-cultural, inclusive, tolerant society but rather to persuade and/or (as strength permitted) force natives to convert to the settlers’ ways: to establish a New England, a New France, a New Spain.

The same seems true with Muslims in Europe today. There are Islamic leaders on record as saying that their goal is not a multicultural Europe that includes and tolerates Islam; the ultimate goal is to appropriate Europe for the use of the Ummah. In the meantime, Europe’s resources are to be mercilessly exploited.

From the linked piece in Commentary: “Summing up the collective achievement so far, Bat Ye’or, the historian of “dhimmitude,” has written that “Europe has evolved from a Judeo-Christian civilization with important post-Enlightenment/ secular elements to … a secular Muslim transitional society with its traditional Judeo-Christian mores rapidly disappearing.” She calls this evolving entity “Eurabia.”

I firmly reject the notion that Israel is a “settler-colony” of the United States or any other state. Jews have dwelt continuously in Israel longer than Islam has existed, and there is no single country or even continent from which Jews have been dispatched to settle Israel on its behalf, nor one to which they could return.

However, to the extent that describing Israel as a “colony” suggests illegitimacy’ and to ask whether Israeli colonization has deprived the “native” Palestinians of “a country of their own”, a question arises: Do Europeans have the right to a continent of their own? Does Muslim immigration, settlement, cultural displacement (what else do you call it, when Danish high school students are required to read the Koran but not the Bible?) and eventual demographic replacement—in short, colonialism—constitute an assault on human rights, a cosmic injustice to be prevented now if only so that the colonial exploiters and their descendants need not be ashamed of it later?

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There are 18 comments.

  1. Randy Webster Member

    You’re using facts again, Kate. That’s a no-no.

    • #1
    • January 6, 2018, at 8:21 PM PDT
    • 18 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    I like the way you think.

    • #2
    • January 6, 2018, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. Addiction Is A Choice Member

    …But, but the crusades…

    • #3
    • January 7, 2018, at 4:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Given the violence that the Koran endorses in Dar al-Harb and taht muslim immigrants to Europe appear to have adopted, I’d say it’s more of an invasion than just a colonization. But colonization certainly fits. I think demographics drives destiny (over generational time scales), and the collapse of multiculturalism is therefore inevitable.

    • #4
    • January 7, 2018, at 6:10 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    the collapse of multiculturalism is therefore inevitable.

    And the people pushing it won’t be happy.

    • #5
    • January 7, 2018, at 6:13 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude Post author

    There were American Indian tribes who believed they could defeat their native enemies by making common cause with the settlers.

    Oops.

    • #6
    • January 7, 2018, at 8:42 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude Post author

    Oh, and…every single “settler” doesn’t have to understand him/herself as the leading edge of an imperial project. I am quite sure plenty of American settlers believed they were “just” escaping their persecutors or seeking a better life for their children.

    And it shouldn’t surprise us that the Europeans don’t recognize the threat; many American Indians didn’t either. An early English colonist wrote of the Indians “They are really better to us than we are to them. They always give us Victuals at their Quarters, and take care we are arm’d against Hunger and Thirst.”

    Like the writer of this essay in Politico, the Native Americans might have asked: “What did “we” do to “them”? We opened up our cities, our houses, our wallets. ”

    Oops.

    • #7
    • January 7, 2018, at 9:04 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Randy Webster Member

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Like the writer of this essay in Politico, the Native Americans might have asked: “What did “we” do to “them”? We opened up our cities, our houses, our wallets. ”

    Oops.

    I guess we don’t want to make the same mistake.

    • #8
    • January 7, 2018, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    “For those olden days’ settler-colonists, the point was not to dwell peaceably among the Iroquois, Sioux, or Passamaquoddy in a multi-cultural, inclusive, tolerant society but rather to persuade and/or (as strength permitted) force natives to convert to the settlers’ ways: to establish a New England, a New France, a New Spain.”

    I’m not so sure, at least about the ‘not to dwell peaceably’ bit. I imagine most settlers assumed that they’d be ‘here’ and that the savages would do their savage thing out ‘there’ (and eventually come to see that living like Englishmen would be preferable to living like how the various peoples were living), but physical closeness created irreconcilable differences.

    • #9
    • January 7, 2018, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Hypatia Inactive

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):
    …But, but the crusades…

    The Crusades ( the original ones, I mean) are nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, the Left thinks they were about oil. In fact, the wealthiest and most powerful European nobles, and plenty of commoners as well, answered the Pope’s and the Byzantine Emperor’s calls to aid Christian Pilgrims who were being denied access to Jerusalem.

    Nor were the Crusaders “colonists”. It was largely a military operation.

    Youd think the Left would love’em cuz they usually like losers…sadly the Latin Kingdom lasted only 88 years.

    • #10
    • January 7, 2018, at 5:35 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Nick H Coolidge

    Hadn’t ever thought of it this way but it does make sense. It’s not a perfect analogy but it is a good one.

    • #11
    • January 7, 2018, at 5:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Hypatia Inactive

    And Rev, Thanks for addressing the “Israelis as colonists” issue. Dershowitz destroyed this in his book The Case for Israel.

    For what sovereign, or nation, were any Jews who emigrated to Israel establishing a “colony”? The Tsar whose pogroms they were fleeing? The Sultan? Hitler? It is total crap.

    To call the Israeli Jews “colonists” just means “people we want to demonize”.

    On the other hand, Muslims have a religious duty to overwhelm, conquer and subdue. And they’re doing it, with the incomprehensible collusion of European leaders. I agree with whoever commented that this is a full scale invasion.

    • #12
    • January 7, 2018, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude Post author

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Like the writer of this essay in Politico, the Native Americans might have asked: “What did “we” do to “them”? We opened up our cities, our houses, our wallets. ”

    Oops.

    I guess we don’t want to make the same mistake.

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    Like the writer of this essay in Politico, the Native Americans might have asked: “What did “we” do to “them”? We opened up our cities, our houses, our wallets. ”

    Oops.

    I guess we don’t want to make the same mistake.

    Well, that would be one conclusion, wouldn’t it?

    I think the key is simply relative numbers. A problem of scale.

    A huge number of Irish immigrants arrived in Boston in the 19th century—though not as huge a number, relative to the native population, as the recent influx of migrants into Europe. Christopher Caldwelll notes by way of comparison in his Reflections on the Revolution in Europe that the Irish immigrants “destroyed the Protestant culture in [Boston] one of the most important cities in the history of Protestantism. The destruction occurred not only because the Irish arrived, but also because New England Yankees chose not to live in an Irish-run city…”

    The same thing is happening, and will continue to happen, in the cities in Europe where the “refugees” settle and concentrate, transforming Leicester and Malmo into Muslim cities at least as much as Boston became an Irish city.

    Naturally, the effect of the Irish in Boston was mitigated by the vast amount of America that Boston is surrounded by. (America can soak up a lot of people, though even here, the smaller the “lumps” being added to the melting pot, the less time it takes for these to blend in.) It was also mitigated, albeit to perhaps a lesser extent, by the fact that the Irish and the Protestant New Englanders shared a common language and at least some common cultural reference points. Not to mention that unskilled manual labor was still in high demand.

    And even then, it was hard and costly, and took decades, or even longer, to settle and normalize.

    With the best will in the world on all sides, it would be incredibly difficult to assimilate millions of middle eastern and African immigrants into Europe. That is, even if the immigrants actively wanted to become European the way my Danish grandparents wanted to become American, and even if every European native was thrilled to have them there.

    • #13
    • January 7, 2018, at 7:25 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude Post author

    TBA (View Comment):

    “For those olden days’ settler-colonists, the point was not to dwell peaceably among the Iroquois, Sioux, or Passamaquoddy in a multi-cultural, inclusive, tolerant society but rather to persuade and/or (as strength permitted) force natives to convert to the settlers’ ways: to establish a New England, a New France, a New Spain.”

    I’m not so sure, at least about the ‘not to dwell peaceably’ bit. I imagine most settlers assumed that they’d be ‘here’ and that the savages would do their savage thing out ‘there’ (and eventually come to see that living like Englishmen would be preferable to living like how the various peoples were living), but physical closeness created irreconcilable differences.

    The virtually endless permutations possible when we think about all the different kinds and sizes of settler groups, when they arrived, which tribes they interacted with, what shape those tribes were in, how devastated had smallpox been in the given region, etc. etc. makes mine an extreme generalization! I am sure there were some English colonists who thought “well, there’s room for everyone,” and certainly more than a few who thought that, if Indians were capable of doing so (you know, given their non-whiteness) they’d all want to become European just as soon as they were given the chance. In the linked piece (#7) there are plenty of examples of Europeans either affirming the capacity of Indians to achieve virtual Europeanness, others saying “naah, they’re hopeless” and still others who seemed to recognize that maybe Europeanness didn’t actually compare all that well with Indian-ness.

    The same is surely true of native Europeans regarding their new Muslim neighbors… and vice versa.

    Even if you subtract the violence problem (!) and assume everyone involved is kind, generous, patient and well-intentioned…this would be an incredibly difficult undertaking.

    • #14
    • January 7, 2018, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Stina Member

    Well done post, Kate :)

    • #15
    • January 7, 2018, at 9:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Paul Dougherty Member

    Maybe Israel is analogous to Utah as a colony?

    • #16
    • January 8, 2018, at 12:15 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude Post author

    Paul Dougherty (View Comment):
    Maybe Israel is analogous to Utah as a colony?

    How so?

    • #17
    • January 8, 2018, at 6:48 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude Post author

    There is a difference between English colonists to New England and, say, Iraqi immigrants to Germany: the former could continue to be loyal to and interested in England specifically. The Iraqi immigrant continues to be loyal to and interested in the Ummah. This explains why the Israel-Palestine issue gets so much attention from non-Palestinians. It’s not that it is some unusually unjust case that all right-thinking persons should recognize. Rather, it is a proxy war for the Ummah v. the West. So a Sudanese or Afghani or Iraqi immigrant can get whipped up into a frenzy over the plight of the Palestinians in a way that he won’t be about intra-Ummah oppression. Similarly, the generous patrons of European mosques in Saudi Arabia aren’t just looking after the spiritual needs of expatriate Saudis. They are planting gathering places (a lot of them) for all Muslims, including the converts. If the immigrants are colonizing Europe, they do so on behalf not of Iraq or Somalia or Syria, but rather on behalf of Islam, which is not only a religion but an all-encompassing and totalitarian political ideology.

    Colonial settler’s political power does not have to wait until a majority is achieved. A minority of Muslims have been able to silence criticism of (or even scholarship about) Islam in the West— cartoonists no longer draw Mohammad, and scholars publish under pseudonyms and/or police protection if they publish at all. Because the acceptance of same sex marriage (of which, by the way, I generally approve) calls into question any legal restriction based in long-standing tradition, Muslim polygamy is now also tolerated, with the welfare states providing both welfare benefits and chain-migration-rights for second and third wives. Native-born officials in Sweden and Germany have reacted to sexual assaults and rapes by advising women to dress more modestly. All of this suggests that Sharia has already begun to insinuate itself into the cultures of Europe.

    • #18
    • January 8, 2018, at 7:18 AM PDT
    • 3 likes