by Ramin Mazaheri

Look, we are just butting heads here, we Muslims and Europeans.

Constantly arguing over whose ideology and culture is superior.

And all the while the 1% of families who own 99% of the world’s wealth are just looking down and laughing at us as they read their stock tickers.

And that 1% is multicultural, multiracial and practices multiple religions. They don’t care about European or Muslim or whatever – they care about money: yours.

But for us 99% the clash of civilizations is happening…or has happened, or will happen, or will not happen – who knows?

With such confusion reigning, let’s do what two seemingly irreconcilable parties often do – turn to a mediator.

Our cultures have ceased helping, so let’s turn to a totally different culture: I propose China.

Yes, China. They do have a UN veto, and they don’t just give those away.

“China’s a biased country – they have plenty of native Muslims,” shouts Brussels. Indeed, 20+ million: more than Europe if you exclude Turkey.

“China’s a biased country – they’re scared if we take over they’ll lose pork and gambling,” shouts Riyadh. Indeed, as well. China seems very fond of those two.

No cultural mediator could be perfect. However, China is not a country.

China is a continent – it just never took credit for it like Europe did. It never even got a grudging “sub-continent” designation like India.

China has nearly 60 ethnic groups, 8 major linguistic groups and hundreds of dialects. This is after the societal unification brought about by Communism, so imagine what it used to be like?

They know all about Warring States periods and Three Kingdoms becoming many kingdoms, and too many Han here and not enough Turkic tribes there.

We know they know about building walls.

So I propose we let the Chinese mediate on the question of how Europe should treat its Muslim communities, and how Muslim communities in Europe should treat Europeans.

“Not fair, you are already thinking in a binary-yet-interactive fashion so you yourself are biased!”

Shut up Paris! Quit playing the devil’s advocate for your own amusement!

Let the mediation begin!

Ahhhhh so…China discuss this long ago. You still here?! Heap great disgrace!

Therefore if a great country gives way to a smaller country,

It will conquer the smaller country.

And if a small country submits to a great country,

It can conquer the great country

Therefore those who would conquer must yield

And those who conquer do so because they yield

(Rustling breezes, gurgling brook, someone playing a reed flute)

This is the 2nd part from Chapter 61 of the Tao Te Ching, written around 500 BC and still being misunderstood by hippies today.

In China’s most humble opinion, this is the most relevant passage of the chapter to our discussion, so let’s start there.

Being barely able to grasp the meaning of the Tao as humble China already is, China is going to assume a lot of this poem is already obvious to you. But you are paying China to mediate, so….

The “Great Country”, here, is Europe.

They are economically advanced – cough cough imperialism cough cough – and their dominance cannot be denied.

And Europe is after all…located in Europe. It is, therefore, full of “Europeans”. That is really the main point – China really likes to examine the fundamentals, please to excuse us.

In each of the European countries you have a dominant group, with a long and impressive culture. In nearly all the countries the culture is not as long or impressive as China’s…but China has digressed foolishly here.

You also find a dominant religion (Christianity of some form) and a dominant ethnic class (Latin, Anglo Saxon, Celtic, Slavic, etc.)

Ahhhh, but did the immortal Tao counsel Lao Tzu to write: “A great country says what’s what, so shut the hell up about it”?

Not at all, the Tao guided Lao Tzu to write:

Therefore if a great country gives way to a smaller country,

That very notion is a very different starting point from what China reads from the very un-Tao-ed European mass media, or their governments, or the drunk at the local bar when there are no Browns around.

China suggests – please to try hard to follow – that “great” Europe “gives way” to the “small country”.

The “Small Country” here…being all those minorities of Roma, Muslims, Africans, Coptic Egyptians, Black animists, Eritrean atheists, etc. within Europe.

China does not mean this in the opening of the gates to more refugees, necessarily, because China is concerned about the major lack of social harmony in Europe today.

China is advising the Great Country to give way culturally, to live in harmony with the Tao and thus each other.

China notes that the Great Country has many more natural advantages over these Small Countries – demographic advantages, national homogeneities, social advantages – that it should hardly be worried about losing its “national identity”.

Conquering means the smaller “integrates” into the greater

And this has already proven to be a workable model.

China notes that in France there are many Blacks and Muslims who are 100% proud to be “French”, and rightfully so. France has much to admire. The great country let them in and assimilation was mastered by many: the smaller country was conquered.

Supreme good fortune – nothing was unfavorable.

The great country should always conquer eventually through the natural process of absorption. With any proper absorption – as with food – it eventually becomes part of the main organism.

You are what you eat. If you reject what you eat often enough…you must be sick. Maybe you have dysentery and will eventually die. It is serious. Please do not use China’s toothbrush.

But this takes cultural digestion takes time and cannot be forced. Europe did not already conquer so many members of the Smaller Country by thinking it can eat foreigners whole and easily spit out whole Europeans.

If you ease back and watch the show and enjoy your Great Country feeling of fullness – all will be well in the end.

So what can we infer that the Tao Te Ching does not advise, in this cultural context?

The Great Country should not be aggressive at all – it should be satisfied and secure in its own dominance. A lack of aggression translates into tolerance, patience and generosity for the small.

China senses something is sticking in the craw of in perhaps Europe’s most difficult…yes London?

“All I’m reading is about ‘Great Country’ responsibilities – what about the responsibilities of the ‘Small Country’?”

Why are you so impatient? Most unharmonious. But let’s move on to lines 3 and 4

The cycle has waxed into waning

And if a small country submits to a great country,

It can conquer the great country

Indeed, “submitting” is what China now advises for Europe’s Muslims – the Small Country.

China knows there are some immigrants who move to a place and never learn the language or make new friends. They choose to remain isolated in their own immigrant communities and seemingly live exactly as they did before.

The plus side is – they seem perfectly content, are hard workers and commit no great crimes.

China knew a non-Muslim English journalist here (a journalist!) who lived in Paris for 15 years and said he could only order a baguette in the French language – his wife did all the talking. China reports that this guy is hilarious, was a big success and should not be stoned to death for his stubbornness or lack of language skills.

China must note – for those who don’t actually know immigrants at all, and China knows them very well – the ones who don’t submit are only a small part of the very first arrivals.

The reason is – usually all they do is work at some lousy job!

They are tired, LOL. They are tired from working to pay for their kids’ food; they are tired from cooking and cleaning. If they want to see their immigrant friends in their little spare time, or just watch TV, then give them a break!

“Old dogs can’t learn new tricks,” these people believe. Fine, let’s move on from them.

China notes that the ones who do submit to the dominant culture are truly living and are immeasurably enriched.

China knows one goofy journalist in Paris who can’t imagine living in France without having adopted their language and customs, or not having befriending French people. China says this guy has replaced many of his ideas and habits for French ideas and habits, and he is better for it.

China notes that this guy already had plenty of room for improvement.

The 2nd generation – China must say here – always submits to the Great Country to a great extent. They have to – they go to the schools, where peers and teachers ensure it. They also grow up watching the local TV, movies, music, etc.

In Europe you now have 3rd generation and 4th generations of Muslims. In a few more generations – like the Normans in France – they’ll be 90% “French” and only 10% other. Are the Normans so bad? Are the Muslims as bad as invading Vikings?

Of course not. Exaggeration is an extreme, and so the Tao naturally changes from irony to seriousness.

But even Vikings had principles

However, China warns that to force submission on matters of deepest principle is inherently against the way of the Tao.

That is going too far. If one submits or subverts their own morals simply to please the Great Country – such a person clearly is not operating with the Tao, yes? This a weak person, greatly at fault.

So Great Country Europe cannot force Muslims to take a drink if it violates their morals. They cannot force women to feel they are being immodest – that would cause them to feel great shame quite unnecessarily.

The Great Country must yield when there is no one hurt or no laws broken. China does not advise writing new laws which they know the Smaller Country will break! This is needless antagonism, and cannot but turn out poorly.

And China notes that for the Small Country, Muslims, to conquer means acceptance by the Great Country.

The Small Country will conquer by gaining acceptance for some of their minority ways which they feel it would be immoral to compromise.

If Muslims submit – integrate in a sincere fashion – then China is confident that they will convince the Great Country that the submission need not be total.

Such submission is slavery, something Europe renounced, yes?

China does not understand how Europe’s feelings could even get hurt by simply seeing a hejab or a Brown sheepishly turning down a drink.

China says: you are too sensitive. China believes that Europe’s pride is hurt – they feel they have been colonized by the United States.

China cannot give any advice here…because China does not have this problem. Hahahahahahaaha!

China will never have this problem…as the US will submit to us! Hahahahahaahahahaha!

Who says the Chinese have no sense of humor?!

Yes, Europe’s pride has been hurt because they are no longer the #1 colonizer – the student has surpassed the teacher. And when the pride of a Great Country is hurt it looks for a scapegoat – a Small Country – because it is not admitting self-blame, which would enable it to correct its internal position in way which is in accordance with the harmonious Tao.

China knows that if we ever hope to absorb the Small Country of the United States – so very small to us, so young, sensitive and amusing – we know what we have to do: Look to the Tao Te Ching and give way to the smaller country.

Otherwise, those ignorant, hillbilly, Trump-loving capitalist savages will give us much indigestion! You think millions of Muslims are bad – imagine millions of Americans in Europe! Muslims aren’t so bad now, eh?

But to properly absorb the smaller, if it is wise, China will return to lines 5 and 6:

Therefore those who would conquer must yield

And those who conquer do so because they yield

So you see China already has a plan

Not just a mediation solution, but a plan.

A plan for taking over the US, and a plan for taking over Europe!

China says to the Great and Small Countries of Europeans and Muslims: “Get your act together and seek mutual harmony cuz we are coming babyeeeee!”

This is why China advises all Europe to seek harmony immediately.

But China is communist. China has suppressed a lot of religions – and the Tao is our version of the Holy Spirit – when our communism was new and ignorant. Perhaps we have forgotten these teachings, you say?

Let’s say that is indeed true. China would like to point out that our modern Communist Revolution won, and we gained plenty!

China is still growing and has made huge strides in decreasing inequality and increasing solidarity, while Europe is in total economic disarray, even after profiting from 2 centuries of imperialism in the Muslim world and 4 centuries of imperialism in the New World.

China reminds Europe to read a newspaper once in a while: the European Union and Eurozone is neo-imperially feeding upon its Smaller Nations, as it once did with China.

China notes that the Small Country Muslim communities are broke and receive very little of these neo-imperial spoils. They also certainly have no political power to organize these capitalist and counter-revolutionary machinations which clearly violate the Tao up the yin-yang.

China stresses: Communism is a truly modern ideology, much more modern than nationalism, and it promotes ethnic unity 100%. You wouldn’t have this crisis under communism, for certain, and the average European could concentrate on its real enemy – capitalism.

China notes, with total serious: Join communism and there is only a true, modern brotherhood between us…and no China forced to conquer you.

China feels the time for judgment has come in this mediation

Europe must first return to lines 5 and 6. They require meditation.

Therefore those who would conquer must yield

And those who conquer do so because they yield

Perhaps you should take a break? Maybe go outside and look at the moon? If it is daytime perhaps you can glance at the sun, noting its munificent magnificence shining down.

Have you done that? Is the meaning clearer?

Here is China’s decision:

China is telling Europe: hey, if you want Muslims to fit in: stop harassing them. They are here and they are only your underclass, so stop trying to take away their morality, too – their religion. That is going too far, so change. Be a bit more generous and humble!

China is telling Muslims: hey, stop your crying or go home. You have to learn the new ways in the new country and change. If your old country is so great – you certainly have a valid passport which allows you to return there. Be a bit more generous and humble!

China doesn’t want to gloat but…

China has communism and the Tao! It’s a good time to be Chinese!

And now we humbly now cites the following and final four lines of Chapter 61:

A great nation needs more people;

A small country needs to serve.

Each gets what it wants.

It is fitting for a great nation to yield.

(Rustling breezes, gurgling brook, young woman with an enormous hat pads by in sandals)

That’s how it is!

These lines mean:

“Europe is great so it truly needs more people. These people are coming from small, poor countries, and so they need to serve in order to improve their station. Each side will get what it wants…if Europe acts without fault and yields first, in acceptance.”

China is now happy to serve you all an enormous fortune cookie we have baked for your honor and enjoyment! The huge fortune cookie was needed to fit the preceding paragraph, which is your fortune to meditate on.

Your lucky numbers are 6, 17, 22, 37 and 42.

The cookie is halal of course! Hahah, just kidding – China is worldly enough to know that those rules don’t apply here. Just making with the food and the fun – everyone likes that! China is now serving rice wine, but our Uighur delegation says they are high enough off God.

Must be nice to be Uighur, then, but make mine a double!

Just kidding, I’ve been given the honor to moderate – want to do my best to promote harmony.

Also I have much work to do: China needs more people, as we a great nation.

See you all in Europe soon!

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 61

A great country is like low land:

It is the meeting ground of the universe,

The mother of the universe.

The female overcomes the male with stillness,

Lying low in stillness

Therefore if a great country gives way to a smaller country,

It will conquer the smaller country.

And if a small country submits to a great country,

It can conquer the great country

Therefore those who would conquer must yield,

And those who conquer do so because they yield

A great nation needs more people;

A small country needs to serve.

Each gets what it wants.

It is fitting for a great nation to yield.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

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