Friday, February 10, 2006

It is not the people, but their ideas that we must concentrate upon.

The United Kingdom, and by extension the rest of Europe is facing two distinct threats to its culture and liberties. Those these twin threats are very different on the surface, and have little in common, though there are aspects that are deeply intertwined. The threats are Europeanism, and Jihadism.
One point must be clear at the outset, the threats may be carried by individuals, but our strategy should not be directed at individuals, rather the ideologies that form those individuals. That is not to say of course that on a national and international security perspective we should not hunt down the jihardist terrorist cells and their financial and logistical backers, or that we should not use what remains of the democratic process to stand against those who would subsume the nations of Europe in a post democratic superstate, but rather we should concentrate our strategic resources on the ideological and intellectual underpinnings.
The problem that we face is not to ask ourselves why the eurofanatics want to destroy our culture, or why the Jihardists are so violent, which they are probably no more so than any other group of people, but to understand the way in which over the past 70 odd years both groups have put together ideologies that are both so successful and so inimical to our way of life. Mere hatred of them, rather than their ideologies may be comforting, but is itself a greater threat, as it can blind us to the real dangers that they present. This sort of attitude is dangerous to us because it suggests that we can blame the other rather than take a hard look at ourselves and in some cases see how in attempting to defend ourselves from these external threats we are introducing those very things that make those threats most likely to succeed. The two most dangerous ideologies of the early 20th Century were Nazism (or National Socialism) and Communism, but the fight that needed to be won, was not a fight against individual Germans but against the Nazi ideology, nor was it against individual Russians, but against Communism.
The key similarity is the capture by our opponents, of the academic and intellectual high ground. Our government and media, by necessity, take advice on both subjects from experts. And these experts are those that have been trained in our institutions of higher education. It is hard to blame an minister or a journalist, if due to time constraints and the pressure of deadlines they defer their serious thinking to those who have spent their life's work studying these areas of public policy. Generations of graduates and post graduates are pouring from our academic institutions, and they are the ones qualified to work in those areas of public life most vital to our national interest, journalism, the diplomatic corps, the security forces, think tanks and so on. It is those that dominate the funding and dissemination of knowledge to these people who call the intellectual tune, and thus have the greatest effect on public policy making in both sectors.
In the case of Europeanism, it is easy to see the wholesale capture by the integrationists of academic study of Europe. An important but not in any way exclusive aspect of the way that the Europeanists have dominated the academic discussion is in the Jean Monet Programme. As the European Commission's own website makes clear,
"The Jean Monnet Action and the Support for Study and Research Centres have the objective to stimulate knowledge of the European integration process through teaching, reflection, debate, applied research and the activities of Centres of Excellence, Jean Monnet professors and researchers."
The depth of this programme is made clear later in the same website,
"Between its launch in 1990 and 2004, the Jean Monnet Action has funded some 2500 projects in the field of European integration studies, including 100 Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence, 650 Jean Monnet Chairs and 1700 Permanent Courses and European Modules.
The Jean Monnet Action now covers 55 countries throughout the world and nearly 750 universities offer Jean Monnet courses as part of their curricula. The Jean Monnet Action also involves a network of 1800 professors, reaching an audience of 250.000 students every year."

That of course is not even half of it, that is just one program. There is the Comenius programme targeting high schools which is designed to, “enhance the quality and reinforce the European dimension of school education”. Of course this massive indoctrination campaign does not stop at the borders of the European Union, because there after all important and influential voices to be found out beyond its borders, so it is hardly a surprise to discover that both Harvard and Yale in America and McGill in Canada amongst others have Monnet professorships.
So what about the capture of our understanding of the Middle East, Arabic and Islamic studies, were is the evidence of capture there? The key body in the United Kingdom for academic research in this are is based at Durham Univeristy, and is The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). This body, was established in 1973, a key moment. This was just at the time that the Wahibi government of Saudi Arabia realised its power over the West during the oil crisis. Since that time thousands of Middle East experts have graduated through its doors. Today its major academic prize is the King Faisal Award in Islamic Studies; its scholarships are provided by the Sunni Al Sabah family of Kuwait. Its website currently boast of a talk given by Dr Ghazi al-Gosaibi, the Saudi Ambassador, described as a “well known poet”. Well that at least is true, and the poetry he is best known for is his verse extolling a female Palestinian suicide bomber which ends,
“When Jihad beckons, no fatwa is sought
Fatwa on the day of Jihad is blood”.

As BRISMES states itself, its members, “are drawn from universities, FCO, the British Council, NGOs, the media and other interested groups and individuals”, Exactly the people that can most effectively alter the national intellectual and strategic debate.
The silken ligature that links all this is the Meda Programme. This is EU system by which the countries of Europe fund the domination of European academic study into Islam by those chosen by the Islamic world. According to the governing document of the programme, it will “concentrate particularly on the networking of universities and researchers, local communities, associations, political sciences foundations, trade unions and non-governmental organizations, the media, private business and cultural institutions in the widest sense.”
According to research revealed by Bat Y’eor, this is a one-way street, with massive technical exchange going from Europe to the Islamic world and with the educational establishments of Europe such as the Euro-Arab Business School in Granada and the European Foundation in Turin hovering up Islamic academics.
Alongside this deliberate attempt to effect the academic world there is the MED-Media programme which is trying to do the same in the field of audio-visual media. One case is the Council for the Advancement of Arab British Understanding (CAABU) and explicitly pro Palestinian anti-Israeli body that which has on its board a former director of the media training programme, described elsewhere as not expecting the “Anglo-Saxon brutalist objectivity” for journalists, which I guess is short hand for the truth.

Overall for us in Britain and Europe in general to be able to make a decent informed decision both about foreign policy and about our relationships with our nearest neighbours we first have to deal with our massive blind spot. Whilst our groves of academe are funded and supported by those who would control our thoughts, they will manufacture those who, through no fault of their own will be unable to see these key subjects objectively. It is a massive task, but one made easier by events such as the European No votes last year and the Danish cartoon affair which have had the effect of waking he population, if not academia, up.

1 comment:

ken said...

quite right good post