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Banning minarets to save the West

“The only snakes I know of,” muttered the black lotus street peddler in John Milius’ “Conan,” “are those of Set and his cursed towers. Their evil has spread to every city. Two or three years ago it was just another snake cult. Now … they’re everywhere.”

Architecture is technology. What we build reflects both our ability to create and what is in our minds as creators. Gothic Christian cathedrals, for example, can be recognized for their imposing spires and arches (which indicate increased technical skill on the part of the builders while showing us their desire to reach toward heaven in their construction). The flying buttress isn’t just a means of distributing weight; it’s a technical expression of the desire to construct an edifice large enough, grand enough, to befit a house of God.

The religion of Islam likewise has its architectural – and therefore technological – signatures. Specifically, the minaret (“beacon,” in Arabic) is, according to ReligionFacts, “an element of Islamic religious architecture … the tower traditionally used … to call the faithful to prayer five times each day. Minarets are always connected with a mosque, sometimes by an elevated passageway.” Over the weekend, the people of Switzerland voted overwhelmingly to ban the construction of such minarets in their country. As the handwringing and cries of intolerance – not to mention dire predictions of “vengeance, boycotts, [and] retaliation” – rose both in and out of Switzerland, Amnesty International bleated that such a ban infringed on the European Human Rights Convention, while a spokesman for France’s Union for a Popular Majority said he wasn’t sure “that minarets are needed in order to practice Islam in France.”

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So what’s behind the ban, supported by 57 percent of Swiss voters but condemned as intolerant and hateful by everyone from the Swiss government (officially) to various left-of-center political concerns throughout Europe? The obvious answer is that people in Switzerland, across Europe and notably in France – where stagnating birthrates and a breathtaking influx of Muslim immigrants are swamping these nations with a newly powerful Islamic presence – are terrified. They’re terrified because suddenly their countries are awash in adherents to a religion that glorifies death, subjugates women and threatens with violence anyone who dares to oppose it. Like the fictional towers of the snake cult of Set in “Conan,” the minarets of Islam are rising over the formerly free people of these Western cultures, and these individuals are aghast and afraid of what awaits them.

Citizens of Paris and other French towns saw this firsthand when throngs of violent Muslims burned businesses, schools and vehicles for day after day in 2005. France’s 5-million–strong Muslim population is the largest in Western Europe, and when these immigrants aren’t “feeling excluded” or otherwise expressing a sense of entitlement, they’re lashing out violently at those they believe don’t properly fear their faith. Politically correct news media often refuse to call these outbursts what they are – terrorism by adherents of Islam.

In Great Britain, the subjects of the crown are finding out the hard way that their legacy of civil rights and protections under secular law means little or nothing in the face of marching Islamic oppression. Just this weekend, while the Swiss were voting to ban minarets, The National newspaper reported that a shadow legal system, operating with or without tenuous official sanction, has established no less than 85 Shariah law “courts” in Great Britain. The judgments dispensed by these religious kangaroo courts, accused at the very least of “sometimes giving the Muslims who turn to them illegal advice on matrimonial and divorce issues,” may soon hold the force of U.K. law, as Muslims in the U.K. push for greater official acceptance of their Shariah code.

The fact that these same Muslims feel they must explicitly point out they’re not “asking for the flogging of people for drinking” or for “stoning for adultery” should worry Westerners in general and citizens of the U.K. in particular. If such facets of Shariah law, as practiced in nations whose populations even now live under their medieval yoke, truly “have no place” in discussions of Shariah law’s acceptance in the U.K., then why bring them up at all?

The fears expressed by Swiss, French and British citizens – and the rise of “right-wing” nationalist parties in response to these fears – are perfectly understandable. These populations face an invasion by an oppressive theocratic society whose harsh laws these invaders seek to impose on the societies they hope to subsume. James Arlandson, writing in American Thinker in 2005, points out that Shariah law (the imposition of which is logical and predictable when a country’s Muslim population increases dramatically) condones and explicitly permits physical abuse of wives at the hands of their husbands, mandates physical mutilation of criminals (the cutting off of hands, for example, as practiced in Saudi Arabia), proscribes homosexuality under pain of execution, and of course (as previously mentioned) demands that adulterers be publicly stoned to death. Oh, and anyone who leaves Islam or who criticizes the Prophet, the Quran or Shariah law itself must also be put to death, according to this legal code, which further commands active subjugation of non-Muslims in the form of jihad (“holy war”).

This is not the society in which any sane, reasonable human being wishes to exist. This is not the future we as Americans want for our children – and clearly, this is not the future a majority of Europeans want for their children. As Americans, we do and should defend freedom of religion, but a religion that denies freedom to others should be opposed. If resistance to Muslim oppression begins with denying the construction of minarets – with denying the cultists of Set the technology of their snake towers – then so be it.

Where and when do we draw a line in the sand before the scimitars of the crescent moon? We draw it here, and we draw it now. Should we start with the towers?

Do we dare not consider it?