Map of the ancient caliphate.
Sunday, September 4, 2011


Tom Kratman’s novel Caliphate is set in a future in which Europe has succumbed to Islam and is dominated by a Muslim majority that forces dhimmis (Christians (nazrani) and Jews (non-existent?)) to pay the jizya (tax). They are opposed the American empire, and by other nations. Kratman breaks the story into a main narrative that covers a ten year period in the 22nd century, and a smaller story that covers an almost 20 year period (from 2003 to 2022) in the 21st century.

Europe, according to Kratman, and to Mark Steyn and some others, is doomed by its demographics. Europeans no longer reproduce in sufficient numbers to replace themselves. Population is kept up largely through immigration from Muslim countries, but despite their presence in the West, they refuse to assimilate to Western ways. This is evidenced by the demand for sharia courts to operate as alternatives to the regular civil and criminal courts. Some might see this as similar to the use of canon law in Western countries. But canon law pertains purely to religious matters relating to the discipline and beliefs of members of the faith, and does not extend to matters of civil or criminal liability. If a Catholic divorces and wishes to remarry within the church he or she has the civil right to do so, but must seek religious (canonical) approval of an annulment before doing so. The two do not necessarily conflict. Sharia law, however, has different rules of evidence, and differs in penalties from those imposed by civil or criminal law in most Western countries. So accepting sharia is a pretty big step.

Another major factor, in the view of Kratman, Steyn, and others, is the multiculturalism and moral relativism that cannot accept that Western values are good, and that our culture is worth preserving. So basically Europe is pretty much toast at this point.

Do I agree with this pessimistic assessment of the future of Europe? I think the events of this past summer pretty much show that Britain and Europe are pretty much gone, and will vanish in the near future.

Kratman’s story centers around Petra, her brother Hans, and the Americans who become involved in her story. Petra is sold at the age of six when her family is unable to pay the jizya. Hans is forced to join the janissaries, and despite there being “no compulsion in religion,” forced to convert to Islam. Petra is sold to a family where she is well treated, and becomes the friend and beloved companion of Besma, the daughter. Besma’s step-mother, as usual with step-mothers, does not care for Besma, and gets at her through Petra. The woman’s son and his two friends rape Petra orally, vaginally, and anally. The sharia court finds that she lured them on, and she is sold to a brothel.

America had apparently elected Hilary Clinton in 2008, when the book was written, and was attacked in 2015. She failed to retaliate and an extremist candidate became president. He did nothing for a few years, and then made demands upon the Islamic world. When those demands were turned down, he unleashed nukes upon major Islamic cities. Survivors emigrated to Europe.

America consequently has been in a state of permanent war for almost a hundred years. It has given up many civil liberties, and it is in the process of ethnic cleansing in the Philippines, and other peripheral areas. Canada, as it should have been in 1812, is integrated into the US, and quebeçois types are rounded up and shipped to the cooler parts of the American empire.

Among the freedoms given up is freedom of religion, and of assembly. Islam is redefined as a hostile political movement, and persecuted on those grounds. This actually brings up an interesting point, just how much of a religion is Islam? Heresies in Christianity center around such things as the nature of the eucharist, the relation of the human and divine in Jesus, and any number of other things. The big split in Islam, however, is the Sunni-Shia split, and that’s over the succession in the 7th or 8th centuries to the caliphate. That’s an exclusively political question. How does the Sunni-Shia split reflect any concern with the worshipper’s relation to God or Allah? So is Islam a religion or a political movement disguised as a religion? In either case, under present law, it would be protected by the First Amendment.

Hans towards the end of his training as a janissary is required to assist in the execution, by crucifixion, of five nazrani, including a Catholic priest. The priest’s death proves the truth of Tertullian’s comment “Semen est sanguis Christianorum.” Hans begins to compare the Koran with the Bible, particularly the New Testament, and finds Jesus superior to Mohammed.

It should be noted that there is a lot of sex, which, while not pornographic, is fairly intense, and there is a good deal of violence. Sometimes, as in the description of Petra’s gang rape, the two are combined. That is perhaps unavoidable, and gently minded readers may not care for it.

There is also a fairly negative portrayal of Islamists. Kratman makes the point that there are Muslims who are not extremists, and who do not believe in mistreating women, but he is unsparing in his portrayal of the extremists. He also makes the point that a prolonged war, such as the one that we’re in right now, will erode civil liberties, and the basic respect that is due to even our enemies in war. (Of course, there are no doubt those who believe that point has already been reached.)

The book is fast paced and well thought out. You come, I think, to care about the fate of Petra, Hans, and Besma (Petra’s friend), and the others. As I said the graphic violence and sex may offend some, but if you can get past that, you’re in for a good time of politically incorrect storytelling.

Next up will be another Kratman, Countdown: Liberators.