Some central and east European countries are being criticized by more “progressive” Western nations for not wanting to take in Muslim refugees.
Chief among them is Hungary, specifically in the person of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Western media are characterizing him as “xenophobic,” “full of hate speech,” and Europe’s “creeping dictator.” Sounding like the mafia boss of the Left, the Guardian simply refers to him as a “problem” that needs to be “solved.”
Orbán’s crime is that he wants to secure his nation against Muslims and preserve its Christian identity. According to Hungary’s prime minister:
Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity…. We don’t want to criticize France, Belgium, any other country, but we think all countries have a right to decide whether they want to have a large number of Muslims in their countries. If they want to live together with them, they can. We don’t want to and I think we have a right to decide that we do not want a large number of Muslim people in our country. We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries, and I do not see any reason for anyone else to force us to create ways of living together in Hungary that we do not want to see….
The prime minister went on to invoke history—and not in the politically correct way, to condemn Christians and whitewash Muslims, but according to reality:
I have to say that when it comes to living together with Muslim communities, we are the only ones who have experience because we had the possibility to go through that experience for 150 years.
Nor was Hungary alone. Much of southeastern Europe and portions of modern day Russia were conquered, occupied, and terrorized by the Turks—sometimes in ways that make Islamic State atrocities seem like child’s play. (Think of the beheadings, crucifixions, massacres, slave markets, and rapes that have become IS trademarks—but on a much grander scale, and for centuries.)Orbán is referring to Islam’s conquest and occupation of Hungary from 1541 to 1699. Then, Islamic jihad, terrorism, and Christian persecution were rampant.
Still, to Western progressives, such distant memories are lost. In an article titled “Hungary has been shamed by Viktor Orbán’s government,” the Guardian mocks and trivializes the prime minister’s position:
Hungary has a history with the Ottoman empire, and Orbán is busy conjuring it. The Ottoman empire is striking back, he warns. They’re taking over! Hungary will never be the same again!… Hence the wire; hence the army; hence, as from today, the state of emergency; hence the fierce, unrelenting rhetoric of hatred. Because that is what it has been from the very start: sheer, crass hostility and slander.
Similarly, the Washington Post, after acknowledging that Hungary was once occupied by the Ottomans—though without any mention of the atrocities it experienced—wondered how “it’s somewhat bizarre to think this rather distant past of warlords and rival empires ought to influence how a 21st century nation addresses the needs of refugees.”
So-called mainstream media ignore the fact that blended in among the thousands of refugees are operatives from the Islamic State, which is currently reliving the “Ottoman days” in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, and which plans on reliving them in Hungary and southeastern Europe. Already, Muslims trying to force their way into Hungary—and Slovenia, which is also resistant to Muslim migrants—are shouting Islam’s ancient war cry, “Allah Akbar!”
As for the other, “regular” Muslim refugees, many of them will never assimilate and some will abuse and exploit the weak—particularly women and children—and enforce Islamic law in their enclaves. That’s exactly what Orbán was referring to when he said “We do not like the consequences of having a large number of Muslim communities that we see in other countries.”
In response, anti-Muslim sentiment has grown among Buddhist majorities, followed by the usual Western media criticism. To be sure, those “other countries” are not limited to Europe. For example, in Myanmar (Burma), non-indigenous Muslim minorities are behind the same sort of anti-infidel mayhem, violence, and rape.
Thus popular Buddhist leader Ashin Wirathu, whom the media refer to as the “Burmese bin Laden,” staunchly opposes Muslim presence in Myanmar: “You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” says the monk in reference to Muslims: “I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers.”
Reminiscent of Hungary’s Orbán, Wirathu also warns that: “If we are weak, our land will become Muslim.” The theme song of his party speaks of people who “live in our land, drink our water, and are ungrateful to us”—a reference to Muslims—and how “We will build a fence with our bones if necessary” to keep them out.
To this, the NYT scoffs, arguing that “Buddhism would seem to have a secure place in Myanmar. Nine in 10 people are Buddhist… Estimates of the Muslim minority range from 4 percent to 8 percent.”Again, sounding like Hungary’s Orbán, Wirathu’s pamphlets say “Myanmar is currently facing a most dangerous and fearful poison that is severe enough to eradicate all civilization.”
Justifying Muslim presence in non-Muslim nations on the basis that far outnumbered Muslims can never be a problem is par for the course. After expressing puzzlement at Orbán’s stress on history, the Washington Post stressed “the fact that Muslims comprise less than 1 percent of the country’s [Hungary’s] population.”
This media canard ignores Islam’s unwavering Rule of Numbers: whenever and wherever Muslims grow in numbers, the same “anti-infidel” violence endemic to Muslim-majority nations grows with them.
Consider the words of Fr. Daniel Byantoro, a Muslim convert to Christianity, discussing the ramifications of Islam’s slow entry into what was once a non-Muslim nation but today is the largest Muslim nation:
For thousands of years my country (Indonesia) was a Hindu Buddhist kingdom. The last Hindu king was kind enough to give a tax exempt property for the first Muslim missionary to live and to preach his religion. Slowly the followers of the new religion were growing, and after they became so strong the kingdom was attacked, those who refused to become Muslims had to flee for their life… Slowly from the Hindu Buddhist Kingdom, Indonesia became the largest Islamic country in the world. If there is any lesson to be learnt by Americans at all, the history of my country is worth pondering upon. We are not hate mongering, bigoted people; rather, we are freedom loving, democracy loving and human loving people. We just don’t want this freedom and democracy to be taken away from us by our ignorance and misguided “political correctness”, and the pretension of tolerance. (Facing Islam, endorsement section).
Indeed. Nations as diverse as Hungary and Myanmar—and leaders as diverse as the Christian Orbán and the Buddhist Wirathu—are well acquainted with Islam. Accordingly, when it comes to the Islamic influx—whether by the sword or in the guise of refugees—instead of judging them, Western nations would do well to learn from their experiences.
Otherwise, they are destined to learn from their own personal experiences—that is, the hard way.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen fellow at the Middle East Forum and a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.