“There is no law here…”

Creeping Sharia, via a commenter on this thread:

Richard Landes, in the post that began the discussion:

Whenever honor-shame rules assert themselves in civil society, the forces are badly matched unless the police is firm. In cases where the aggressors operate with impunity (essentially the situation in France), the pressure on civic communities will be either to get tribal (i.e., self-help justice), or to back off (which is what most français de souche are doing).
In this sense, it’s similar to the fall of the Roman Empire: tribal honor-shame, gang behavior coarsens the cultural scene and eventually brings down the rule of law as the areas where imperial writ runs retreat.
The parallel goes further. In the “experiment that got a little out of hand,” the Romans “invited” in the Germanic tribes and allowed them a legal advantage (a Frank or a Visigoths wergeld [manprice] was double that of a Roman. Similarly, the unofficial acceptance of Sharia puts the Muslim community at a tactical advantage in the daily conflicts.
This is how a civilization dies.

UPDATE: Richard Landes responds in the comments to criticisms of his Rome parallel.

23 thoughts on ““There is no law here…””

  1. I imagine it probably started with most Romans becoming either serfs or clients or some combination of the two.

  2. It is perhaps helpful to remember that the Romans didn’t go from being a Yeoman-run Republic to a feudal aristocracy run by German invaders in a generation or even several generations. They instituted large-scale slavery and serfdom, the patron/client system, and the latifundia on their own. The Germanic invaders merely co-opted the end product of the entire process.

  3. Before it gets to this point in the United States I would predict a thousand Mosques burning to the ground.

    There is no way that Islam can integrate into a Democratic Nation. The only solution is for them to change, to kill them or to capitulate to Sharia Law.

    Which of the above will occur in the United States. We are not France or the UK.

  4. jgreene – I don’t think that violence against muslims will ever occur in the US. The state will not permit it and they have the power and the weapons to save their protected minority.

  5. Majorities always rule. Minorities will only do what they are allowed to do. Ultimately, the law will only protect them if the majority allows them to. When there is no law, the minority will not act in any manner that the majority might find objectionable.

  6. Not to downplay what’s going on in France, but Landes is wrong to call tribal honor shame and gang justice “the fall of the Roman Empire” type stuff. Rome was 100% gang-run, both as a Republic and the later Empire. Family shame and honor codes were extremely enforced throughout the history of Rome, in ways that even modern Islamic fire breathers wouldn’t advocate. Death was a way of life, and your survival relied on the good graces of the father of your family and your patrons. Yes, you were better off in Rome than anywhere else at the time, but that’s not saying much. Rome is a very, very bad comparison to today’s societies.

  7. “Majorities always rule.” – No. There are plenty of examples of minority rule in history. Men willing and able to use force rule. When the Chief/Monarch/Government that fancies itself “in charge” is no longer willing to use force to exert their will, they find that they have no will and are no longer in charge.

  8. “”Majorities always rule.” – No. There are plenty of examples of minority rule in history. Men willing and able to use force rule. When the Chief/Monarch/Government that fancies itself “in charge” is no longer willing to use force to exert their will, they find that they have no will and are no longer in charge.”

    The minority that rules by force is still constrained to rule within the limits of what the subject majority will tolerate. Often that is very extreme, because it takes something extreme to rouse the majority as a group, but if the ruling minority does cross that line, they die, since they physically cannot coerce the larger group if the larger group rises en masse.

    In practice, a successful ruling thugocracy usually has a fairly good idea of what they have to do, and can’t do, to maintain their power.

  9. “Majorities always rule.”

    Minorities ALWAYS rule. In some times and places, the minority has been selected by the majority and is responsive to the majority.

    In most times and places, the ruling minority conspires with ruled minorities to keep down the ruled majority.

  10. HC,

    You are just wrong, and I use the example of Saddam Hussein in Iraq to prove my point. The Shite majority was never able to stop the worst atrocities imaginable, and it is likely Saddam or his sons would still be in power were it not for the intervention of the US. And I’m not in any way promoting the intervention of the US in Iraq, I’m just saying it took an outside power to remove Saddam.

  11. You do know that their Mosque is too crowded to allow for prayer so they pray in the street.

    but hey. keep the bigotry going.

  12. In the case of Saddam, the Bush I administration made several critical mistakes, such as allowing Saddam to keep and fly helicopters in the no-fly zone. That may have been a mistake in judgment about the strength of the Shiites or the ability of Saddam to recover quickly from a devastating loss. At least they kept Kurdistan alive even if it is now sliding into mob rule, a normal state of affairs in the ME.

  13. The guy with the biggest stick is boss? Now THAT’S a politically incorrect message. I’m gonna hold my breath, stomp my feet, cover my ears and shout WOO WOO WOO until you say it ain’t so!

  14. Anonymous – If any institution but a mosque was too crowded and spilled onto the street, there would be police there imposing order and ensuring that things happened differently than they did.

    In Chicago:
    1. There would have been police, off duty hired as security or on in uniform doing the crowd control. You can tell when it’s a cop you’re talking to.
    2. There would have been crowd control barriers and signage
    3. There would be merry hell with the zoning board if this was a regular thing and they wouldn’t be allowed to do this more than once in awhile. Crowds like this are trouble and any stores in the area would be losing money.
    4. No rights would be denied to photograph, video, or otherwise record them in public.

    Just because you’re a religious house doesn’t give you superior rights. Just because you are disturbed at bad crowd control, a violation of normal rights, and an overwheening sense of entitlement doesn’t make you a bigot.

    Stop being a dhimmi.

  15. TMLutas – I don’t know about Chicago, but in my city there would also be the fire department and it’s maximum occupancy code enforcement.

  16. Islam, this absurd theology of an immoral Bedouin, is a rotting corpse which poisons our lives …” Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) …

    I am, in priciple,Libertarian,but there is no right to mind other people’s business. Ataturk was right to execute a number of Imams. Too bad they couldn’t sustain their republic.

  17. just look at any of the germanic law codes and you’ll find the disparity of wergeld, e.g. Salic (frankish) law.

    as for Roman society being “honor-shame” driven, i agree. my point is that roman law managed to insert itself into the “self-help justice” process. the germanic tribes that moved in considered recourse to violence (you kill my brother i kill you or yours) a norm, Romans deferred, at least initially, to the law in many cases. Perhaps I shd reframe this: when you put a culture of self-help justice in the same living space as one that is ruled by law, the latter will lose, unless it changes the self-help culture.

  18. A bunch of yanks who are gross historical illiterates (the first of those things is synonymous with the second, incidentally) make a less-than-half-ar$ed, fact-free, elementary-school-level historical parallel and the conclusion is the Muslims are evil and need killing, burning, nuking, etc…

    It always comes back to ‘nuke the gooks’ doesn’t it, yanks?

    Would it make any difference to introduce some facts about ancient Rome, the history of relations between Christendom and Islam, the current state of the Islamic world, the truth about the many Muslims out there putting their lives on the line to fight terrorism.

    What would be the point when 2+2 always equals… ‘nuke the gooks’?

  19. Gee Chris,
    Do stupid limeys always post bigoted commentary? You may want to read some real history on islam to understand why the Crusades started in the first place. Did you know that muslims regularly raided your’s and other European countries for slaves centuries ago? The current state of islam doesn’t exactly inspire writing hallmark homilies about world peace. Try reading the Brussel’s Journal if you want to see what’s going on under your nose.

  20. One thing you Americans need to understand is that you don’t know anything about history.

    In terms of historical events, indoctrination in American culture is as extreme as any Communist state, and worse because American society accepts its indoctrination uncritically.

    Don’t talk about Rome, don’t talk about the Crusades, Islamic history, Mediaeval or modern history. Don’t even bother talking about your own history. You can’t understand history, because you are American.

    All Americans are raised from infancy on myths: self-serving nationalistic, cultural and historical myths (although, admittedly, they vary a little from faction to faction). I’ve never met an American – however knowledgeable in other areas – who knew anything truthful and non-trivial about history.

    Give up! Stop torturing yourselves! If you want to nuke the gooks, just say, “I wanna nuke the gooks.” That, at least, would be honest. Your inept attempts to use history to justify yourselves are embarrassing.

  21. Dear Chris,
    your rant about americans and history is amusing. i was trained as a medievalist and the first thing i learned was that european nationalisms played an inordinate role in the writing of history. (E.g., “when the Germans are willing to admit they got their myths from the Scandinavians, then we French will admit we got the Song of Roland from the Germans. how’s that for pathetic?)
    as for your amazing segue from my remarks about the muslims in europe to “kill burn nike the gooks,” that’s your little piece of folly. what i’m suggesting is that the west “hold the liine” on civil society and not allow these aggressive self-help enclaves to develop. that takes neither killing nor (obviously) nuking. it takes having pride in the accomplishment of western culture to create a free and tolerant civilization and working to maintain it.
    your rant suggests that you are a) afflicted with an irrational dislike for all americans and b) you’re an islamophobe, that is you are afraid of islam, especially afraid to criticize muslim radicals, and believe that the only proper response to their aggressions is to deny them – hence your over the top rant about my remarks.
    good luck with all your fears and prejudices. i don’t envy you or the mental universe you inhabit.

  22. Americans citizens, much to the chagrin of our “progressive” leaders, are well armed and will defend themselves from tyranny.

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