THE BACK PAGES

Just to be clear, folks, it’s a novel

There’s an emerging sub-genre of Islamotopian fiction, and it's not my fault

MARK STEYN June 9 2008
THE BACK PAGES

Just to be clear, folks, it’s a novel

There’s an emerging sub-genre of Islamotopian fiction, and it's not my fault

MARK STEYN June 9 2008

Just to be clear, folks, it’s a novel

steyn

There’s an emerging sub-genre of Islamotopian fiction, and it's not my fault

MARK STEYN

The Dominion of Canada. It was nice while it lasted: “Nineteen Regular Army divisions, one dozen divisions of the Army National Guard, plus the Second and Fourth Marine Divisions, rolled across the border just before dawn on 11 May, 2020.

“Despite the gallant resistance put up by the main elements of the Canadian Forces, notably the Royal 22nd and Twelfth Armored, which died in defense of Quebec City, the Royal Canadian Regiment and Royal Canadian Dragoons, shattered in the forlorn defense of Ottawa, and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and Lord Strathcona’s Horse, butchered in detail in a hopeless defense of the long western border, Canada—rather the thin strip of well-populated area that roughly paralleled the border with the United States—fell quickly.”

Oh, dear. Only 12 years of “Canadian values” to go. If you want to put in for your hip replacement now, they may just get to you before the tanks roll. It’s going to be mighty expensive once the Princess Margaret Hospital is renamed for whichever Halliburton subsidiary winds up running it. The author of the above passage, Tom Kratman, adds:

“It is both interesting and sad to note that it was only those most despised by the government of Canada, and its ruling party, who actually proved willing to defend that government. Those who had most despised their own forces, and who had themselves signally failed to fight, soon found themselves the center of attention of a country-wide sweep.”

Hmm. Do you think he means Grits and Dippers and Péquistes and whatnot? Hey, at least they don’t wind up at Gitmo:

“Almost as quickly they found themselves in various well-guarded logging and mining camps in the cold, cold lands of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories...”

Oh, well, could be worse. Don’t ask me how. The lurid and loving description of the fall of the peaceable kingdom comes from Mr. Kratman’s new novel. No, it’s not about Canada. Although the author specializes in military science fiction, a U.S. invasion of the friendly neighbour to the north doesn’t require a lot of imagination—unless, that is, the Canucks win, and the beaten demoralized Yanks wind up retreating across the 49th parallel vowing never again to be so foolish as to take on the genetically augmented warriors of big government: “All those stories about more MRI machines in Philadelphia than in the whole of Canada,” sighed President Chelsea Clinton Obama. “Why didn’t we figure out, if they’re not spending the budget on MRI machines, they must be doing something else with it. To think we swallowed that hooey about the ‘Toronto General’ and the ‘Royal Victoria’ being just hospitals...” She was about to fire the CIA director but at that point Field Marshal Khadr of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Mounted Division entered the Oval Office on a SARSbreathing winged moose...

Alas, no. Mr. Kratman’s novel is called Caliphate, and is set more or less a century hence in a Muslim Europe at war with an imperial America. The fall of Canada’s little more than a bit of backstory to explain how things got that way. On the press release, the publisher includes a recommendation from the technothriller writer John Ringo describing Caliphate as “Mark Steyn’s America Alone with a body count.”

Gulp. That’s not the kind of quote that’s terribly helpful right now. Insofar as I understand the complaints against Maclean’s before the various “human rights” commissions, it’s that my hate speech could lead to body counts all over Canada, and now here comes Tom Kratman to pretty much prove the point. The thesis of my book is that the Western world is becoming more Muslim, and that this will change the nature of our societies. But an emerging sub-genre of Islamotopian fiction is beginning to delineate some of the options. Robert Ferrigno has just published Sins of the Assassin, the second novel in his trilogy set circa 2040 in the Islamic Republic of America. He recently took time out of his hectic schedule of book promotion south of the border to profess bewilderment at finding himself part of a “human rights” case up north. As evidence of my “flagrant Islamophobia,” the Canadian Islamic Congress claims I “asserted” the following:

1. America will be an Islamic Republic by the year 2040—there will be a Muslim/Islamist takeover;

2. As a result of the Muslim takeover, there will be a break for prayers during the Super Bowl, the stadium will have a stereotypical Muslim name, and the fans will be forced to watch the game in a Muslim prayer posture;

4. As a result of the Muslim takeover there will be oppressive religious police enforcing Islamic/Muslim norms on the population, important U.S. icons [such as the USS Ronald Reagan] will be renamed after Osama bin Laden, no females will be allowed to be cheerleaders, and popular American radio and television talk-show hosts will have been replaced by Muslim imams...

Er, no. I didn’t “assert” that any of the above will happen. Robert Ferrigno did—in the plot of his splendid novel, Prayers for the Assassin. As Mr. Ferrigno put it, “It’s as if that hall monitor saw the two of us walking to class and decided that it was Steyn with the squeaky shoes. Sorry pal, c’est moi.” The author was as perplexed as any citizen of any free nation should be at the idea that the plot points of a work of fiction—a creative art form, an act of imagination—apparently constitute a hate crime in Canada. But he took particular umbrage at being described by the Canadian Islamic Congress plaintiffs as a “recognized Islamophobe.” “For the record,” he says, “I am neither Islamophobic nor recognized.”

He’s right. The hero of his trilogy—and, as the Islamist enforcers at the CIC apparently aren’t on top of this whole fiction-type deal, I should explain that the “hero” is the chap that you the reader are meant to identify with—is a Muslim: Rakkim Epps, a veteran of the Fedayeen, “a small, elite force of genetically enhanced holy warriors.” He’s a cynical fellow—Joel Schwartz in The Weekly Standard recently described him as a kind of Muslim Bogart, which is the right general territory; he’s Philip Marlowe crossed with certain cabinet ministers I’ve met from Islamic countries—decent fellows under no illusions about the societies they serve. Ferrigno’s second novel puts Rakkim undercover in the part of the old United States that didn’t go Muslim—the southeastern “Bible Belt,” a wild raucous land of rough liquor and cartoon religiosity in which the biggest tourist attraction is the daily re-enactment of the Waco siege. Mr. Ferrigno’s Belt sometimes feels like a televangelist theme park writ large. So, if

AS THE NOVELIST PUT IT, ‘IT’S AS IF THAT HALL MONITOR SAW THE TWO OF US WALKING TO CLASS AND DECIDED IT WAS STEYN WITH THE SQUEAKY SHOES. SORRY, PAL, C’EST MOI.’ Christian groups were as willing to bandy around accusations ofChristophobia, they’d have as much to work with as the Canadian Islamic Congress does. And, to one degree or another, both inheritors of the old United States—the Islamic Republic and the Belt—are societies in decline, living off the accumulated capital of a lost past.

If you’re minded to spot Islamophobia in everything, Tom Kratman’s Caliphate may offer easier pickings. His Islamic Europe is in serious decay—a land of rutted tracks and crumbling ruins. His protagonist is a postCIA undercover operative in Germany who hooks up with a Catholic cutie sold into slavery and then into an elite brothel. Ferrigno is stronger on character and motivation, but Kratman’s dystopia is a brisk page-turner full of startling twists and bad sex. I don’t just mean the pneumatic bouts of hooker sex; even the good sex comes off as bad. Whether or not Mr. Kratman is an expert in this field, I cannot say. But he’s a professional military man who retired as lieutenant-colonel and was director, Rule of Law at the U.S. Army War College, so he’s certainly up to speed on the military and geopolitical conceits of the book. What I found most intriguing was not so much the 22nd-century thriller but the short 21st-century interludes between chapters, featuring the great-grandparents of Petra, the child prostitute at the heart of the novel. Robert Ferrigno inaugurates his dystopia with a big bang—simultaneous nuclear detonations that precipitate America’s embrace of Islam. Tom Kratman also has bombs, but his 21st-century episodes attempt, in an impressionistic way, to capture a subtler societal transition. These scenes are set in the Germany of the here and now, beginning with an Iraq war demonstration and the aftermath of the London Tube bombings. And then slowly and subtly the recent past turns into Kratman’s imagined future, as the remorseless Islamization of Europe accelerates.

We’ll be seeing a lot more novels like this— although perhaps not in Canada, if the Canadian Islamic Congress and their dopey enablers in the “human rights” commission succeed in their campaign to get fictional plots rendered actionable. But, even if they do, the Islamization of Europe goes on. It’s a lopsided valse macabre between two leftfooted dancers. “Why are you so certain everything’s going down the tubes?” Gabi, a young German of conventional anti-American post-nationalist views, asks her Muslim boyfriend as he decides to get out of Europe.

“Because my people could f-k up a wet dream,” Mahmoud answers. “And I’m beginning to think that yours can, too.” M