The Houellebecquian Moment has not arrived
Muslims are wasting our energy on hooliganism when it could be instead used to develop true communal strength
As I write this post, events are moving quite quickly. But what is clear at the moment is that the killing of a young French Algerian youth named Nael has lit seething immigrant tinder nationwide, from Paris to Lyon to everywhere in between. Like the Michael Brown protests in the US, whether Nael was an angel or not seems to not really matter. It has all resulted in apocalyptic scenes of looting amid burning cars and burning buildings dotting my Twitter feed. Right on cue, Eurabia scare rhetoric has reappeared almost instantly; far-right populists like Zemmour secretly hope that this is an inflection point, a catapult for his future ballot box attempts.
Now, I am not just a Muslim, but I am also inextricably an American. So, at a very base animal level there’s no way I can’t help but smile when France takes a thrashing.
But then I remember: I am no longer a foolish teenager.
I remember how every protest I have ever seen in my life—from Occupy Wall Street to the Arab Spring to the Syrian Revolution to the various color revolutions to the Indian Farmers’ Protests to the Pakistani Azadi Marches and so many more—they have all failed, consuming hundreds of thousands of lives.
The internet did not make revolution more possible. It did not bring more opportunities for freedom. It has enabled a Skynet Total State that can and will subvert, psy-op, and crush any and all threats.
So my initial reaction to all of this is to wonder: why exactly do people—and Muslims especially—keep falling into the trap of rage protests against regimes? And what might be the alternatives?
The irony, of course, is that the meme of a glorious people’s revolt upending an ossified regime was first apotheosized in the French Revolution. So whether consciously or unconsciously, if we think revolution can bring any good, it is because we have been drinking backwashed French kool-aid. That protests keep happening around the world is not an indication of their efficacy. It is an indication of the desperation and pain and anger and revenge impulse felt by people who—whether justly or unjustly—feel wronged, and that to act on these feelings is less painful and costly than to not act on them.
Perhaps it is that they feel they might be one of the glorious few that witness a New Age, and for that reason, they must go out and fight the man. Most of them, however, are just hooligans looking to loot. When the dust settles, most will just end up jailed, surveilled, or dead.
So, whether you are a so-called “based” Islamist Muslim or a boomer Euro Islamophobe, let me be clear: The Houellebecquian Moment has not arrived.
La Grande Mosquée d'Eiffel
One dost—clearly an accelerationist—suggested to me that these protests will “force Europe to choose between globohomo or Islam.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, beloved dost, but The Houellebecquian Moment has not arrived. What is The Houellebecquian Moment (THM for short)? It is that sought-after inflection point when the West culturally degenerates to a point of no return, such that the Farangi turns to Islam as his only savior, that sanest and most tolerable way out of the Abyss. It is the great hope of the Islamist and the great fear of the Crusaderist. It is a weird fantasy-nightmare very divorced from actual ground realities.
Yes, multiculturalist policies let in millions of Muslim migrants and Europe is wracked by systemic crises. But this does not mean that THM has come and Europeans are ready to embrace Islam. And besides, these multiculturalist policies had a number of policy motivations: the need for labor, liberal self-flagellatory guilt over colonialism, exasperation at the prospect of having only objectively shite food options around, stuff like that. But that does not mean that the European Left loves Islam or has tired of the modern project. Bringing in the migrants was conceived as precisely part of accelerating the modern project through “globalization,” taught to us as an unquestionable good. The European Right, by contrast, has been openly hostile to mass migration since time immemorial, seeing European identity in a proud rejection of the Saracen horde. So they’re not on board either.
THM has additional pre-requisites, none of which are even close to being met.
For one, Western elites—and the intelligentsia and professoriate—would have to ideologically embrace Islam afwājan, in droves. I hope to devote an entire post to this topic in the future. For now, just accept my claim that the elites in any society must embrace an idea if it is ever to take deep root, and that we are nowhere near that right now.
One might wonder: could such a wondrous thing ever happen? The answer is that it absolutely could. Recall that it only took the past twenty to thirty years to get these very same elites converted almost entirely to globohomo, fully dedicating their lives in jihād fī sabīl al-Lāt under the shade of the rainbow flag. They are more fickle and sheep-like than we think; Muslims have just not been able to crack their code yet. I believe one of the main reasons we have been unable to do this is because Muslim proselytization (da’wah) in the West is often pointed at the destitute and disadvantaged in society and couched in terms and frames unappealing to the modalities of modern pomo Western academia. Moreover, Uncle-driven Islamist movements were intellectually deficient and spiritually bankrupt, often rejecting sufism as the reason for the civilization decadence which led to the inhitāt (the decline of Muslim civilization)—an idiotic reading. That is enough on this point for now; I will muse more on this topic in a dedicated post later.
THM will also require that Muslims must develop a reputation for uprightness (istiqama) and magnanimity (karamat al-nafs) and impeccable comportment (adab) and several other appealing qualities (sexual vigor, vibrant culture, etc). Unfortunately, whatever good social capital European Muslims built up over the past several years in this regard is now quite literally going up in flames. Again, idiotic.
What is going to happen now is that the European Left will have no choice but to engage in some real soul-searching post-riots, and it will almost certainly result in a rightward shift only to the benefit of the anti-Islam European right. Your average French Muslim will now be subject to even more policies designed to craft a “French Islam” that produces exemplary citizens loyal to the Republic. If you thought French laicite was harsh before, the French are probably just getting started—especially if Zemmour and friends gain more ground. I hope I’m wrong on this.
How dumb and unavoidable was all of this? Why waste such vital energy on the short-lived catharsis rage brings? I sometimes think, what if we never listened to all these loopy decolonial Islamist uncles who told us the best thing Muslims could do was to attend leftist protests while becoming DAKTAR or MUHENDIS just like mummy and deddy wants? What if instead we encouraged our children to study actually useful subjects like advanced engineering for weapons and defense, cyber technology, fiqh, kalam, arcane and esoteric ruhani operations, etc? We would have a huge cadre of well-rounded professionals marching through the top institutions in the world today amassing both zahiri and batini power, and for a cause they love.
But hey, why do hard stuff like study and be a pious Muslim when you can just wrap a keffiyeh around your neck and steal groceries.
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