Saturday Night Fever

In case you missed the Crusades, the Battle of Lepanto or, indeed, turned up at the gates of Vienna just as they were doing the washing up, fear not because all is not lost. Just as you were wondering about a more gentle introduction to the clash of civilizations, the Polish Defence League (described as far-right, but have the terms far-right and far-left had any real meaning since the French revolution?) has launched what it terms as “patriotic patrols” in bars and night clubs in Poland with the aim of protecting Polish women from being catted up by Muslims.

The Polish Defence League, whose self-appointed mission is to showing the true face of Islam and act against the Islamisation of Europe,” began these “patrols” in December in cities which include Warsaw, Poznan and Krakow. Apprently, according to the PDL’s (the initials from the Polish are PLO which has a certain irony, you might think) website they are there to observe how Muslims behave and to intervene. Not being denizen of night clubs I cannot speak from personal experience but according to the PDL on any given evening in hundreds of places across the country incidents occur which involve the “seduction of our female compatriots.” The PDL sees itself as involved in a fight for the future of Poland and its women. It is worried that these women, unwittingly charmed by these exotic men, could end up with her children very badly in the Islamic world which is “advancing on us with great strides.”

The PDL, which when I checked today had 3,995 fans on its Facebook page, warns women during its patrols about the threats of becoming involved with Muslim men. Actually, Poland has one of the smallest Muslim populations in Europe. With current estimates of a population of between 20,000 and 40,000 surely they’d be hard pushed to find enough men of the right age to be able to attempt to seduce Polish maidenhood in hundreds of place across the country. But perhaps I am simply missing the point and the biggest danger is posed by Muslims coming Poland from elsewhere. Could they even be immigrants from other EU countries, the free movement of folk within the EU being something the Polish government is particularly keen to defend, of course, even if the PDL is not.

More puzzling, it is not entirely clear how the PDL on their patrols “defending the honour of Polish women” actually establish that man is a Muslim. Apparently, according to the website, on a visit to one club in Warsaw when the “activists” observed what they describe as “Muslims” dancing with Polish girls they simply walked between the dancers and parted them which they considered was much more effective than simply talking to the women concerned. Such intervention are not always successful and perhaps the Polish women concerned, are quite happy with their choice. Indeed, ask a Polish woman what she thinks about Polish men and watch her roll her eyes and change the subject. The fact is – and all generalisations are dangerous – that for many Polish women, it would seem, Polish men are sartorially and mannerly challenged Neanderthals who simply lack the savoir faire to treat them as women should be treated. No wonder, given the choice, when the dancing starts Mohammed al Travoltim is preferred to Jan Trovaltski. And no wonder, according to the Polish ministry of justice an increasing number of Polish men claim to be discriminated at work because of their sex.

Welcome or not, Polish women should be thankful that their honour is being defended by Polish men. In the United Kingdom events have taken a more sinister turn. When it comes to Muslim or Asian women who have the temerity to strike up a liaison with a man of whom her family disapproves, the only “honour” thought about is that of the family and all too often it ends badly, very badly, for the woman concerned. Needless to say, in far too many cases, the authorities, paralyzed by bogus concerns of political correctness, have been too slow to protect the women concerned.

Be that as it may, things are not entirely lost for Polish men. An EU-funded (surprise, surprise) advertising campaign aimed at enticing Chinese holidaymakers to Poland has been launched by the Polish National Tourist Office. The promotional film, to be screened on both Chinese television channels and on the internet, shows a Chinese woman enjoying a holiday in Poland in the company of Polish men and, at one point, they even hold hands. Perhaps if Polish women can look to the exotic, so can Polish men.

“In disco veritas” as Pliny the Elder didn’t say, there is a serious point to all this. In another post on an international anti-Islamist web site, the PDL warns Muslims, in English: “In Poland, there will be NO sharia law. NO head banging or shouting Allahu Akbar in the streets. NO insulting our religion and our culture. NO burning cars like in France. NO burning down police stations. NO imposing your ways on us. NO calling us the sons of apes and pigs. If you do, we will be the ones waging jihad…on YOU!”

Clearly, we have reached a point when we need a radically new approach if widespread civil conflict is to be avoided. Even the EU Commission has now recognized the dangers of extremism. Cecilia Malmstroem EU home affairs commissioner said this week: “The risk of radicalisation leading to violent extremism in the EU is growing, and ideology-motivated attacks cause more than just loss of life and economic damage – they divide communities across the EU and fuel extremist views.” She gave as examples the killing or beating of Roma people in Hungary by “Nazi gangs”, a failed suicide bomb attack on Christmas shoppers in Sweden in 2010 and the murder of leftist rapper Pablos Fyssas in Greece last year, allegedly by a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. As I have written here before we need a rational discussion of all the issues. It is not the answer each time a legitimate concern is raised for politicians simply to answer without further thought, for example, that all immigration is good or Islam is a religion of peace when the evidence points otherwise. Folk are not stupid. When politicians ignore the concerns of ordinary folk they are driven into the hands of extremists which, if history has taught us anything, is a very bad thing indeed.

So there you have it. Either we tackle the root causes of this particular “Saturday Night Fever” or “Staying Alive” together will become even harder.

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