In the years since 9/11, Westerners have been hard put to find a comfortable space from which to contemplate Islam. We are stuck between the stereotypical poles of agitprop: The first claims the Islam is jihad 24/7, the second that Islam is the “religion of peace.”
The first assertion seems to ring truer to us; it was not Methodists who brought down the Twin Towers, and it was not Englishmen who danced in the streets that September day. The second claim, of pacifism, is much harder to fathom. In order to find it, we must trace back the millennium and more since Mohammed’s visions to find any mention of peace on earth within Islam’s cultic structure. Even then, “peace” was evanescent.
We see little peace in Muslim countries. Besides their eternal bloody internecine conflicts, there are no democracies, no tolerance for other religions, and no science or technology except what has been borrowed or stolen. The words “bellicose” and “belligerent” come to mind when one considers the spawn of Islam — entities like Hamas or Hizbullah or the Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim organizations in the West play the victim role to the hilt. Thin-skinned, hyper-vigilant, and suspicious groups like CAIR evoke little more than impatience or ridicule. They demand a Shari’ah existence in a democratic environment; it’s never going to happen. Nor will their demands for unequal treatment meet with eventual success. Certainly they may win a skirmish here and there, especially hand-in-hand with America-hating groups like the ACLU. In the long run, however, Islam’s run-in with modernity will mean the end of the current fantasy that fanatical Islam rehearses repeatedly. This doesn’t mean the secular culture, the overlay, will disappear. It will simply adopt Western ways.
Islam as a polis understands two terms: the Tribe and the Umma. This perspective is fatally limited because it does not give individual Muslims the flexibility or political maturity to make decisions based on enlightened self-interest. When there are only two choices, and those options are at both extremes, then the real choice is simply survival. The notion of individual liberty is not merely anathema; it cannot even be conceptualized under this system.
No system of thought or religious belief can be considered in isolation. First the system must be understood in terms of its own history, and then it has to be assessed in contrast to what stands against it or what enhances it. Finally it must be considered in terms of its own vision of the future, and how that vision reflects or contradicts the other systems operating concomitantly in the world.
It is well known that certain Muslims have found fascism attractive. Fascism is simply a subset of Utopian imperialism dating back to the French Revolution, fast-forwarding past the failed Soviet fantasy to stop at the present-day idea of a European transnational entity.
Socialism, in some of its forms, shares a vision with Islam of elitist imperialism: the common many, ruled by the wise and benevolent few. These few, allowed to operate as they see fit, will bring lasting peace and a definitive end to bloody conflict.
It is not difficult to understand how Europe would be tempted by this easy answer to conflict, nor how its alignment with Islam occurred. Centuries of bloody wars have exterminated or propelled into exile the best and the brightest from the continent. They are gone. The remnant bought the stale-dated Marxist idea because there was no vibrant vision to fill the vacuum created by the death of God and the birth of the Random Generator. Thus the European Union could be thought of as “Soviet Lite”, a comfortable — almost stuporous — existence, where personal security obliterates concern for future generations. Erik Erikson’s final stage in the human lifespan has been eliminated under this scheme. This phenomenon is what allowed 15,000 elderly people to perish in the August heat of France.
Is it any wonder, then, that Europe has morphed into Eurabia? The hordes of Turks, Africans, Pakistanis, and Arabs were brought in to do the dirty work when times were good, or given “asylum” by credulous European governments. Blind to the unintended consequences, Europe signed its own treaty for the elimination of Europe qua Europe. In its place we have Eurabia.
Europe has little experience with mass immigration except at the point of a sword. On the whole, it does not seek to “naturalize” its foreigners, as America has done since her inception. The process of assimilation in the U.S. has often been bloody and unjust, but it has proceeded apace for all these generations. It is how things are done here.
Europe has no such template. Each country has its own superior tribe which runs things. Any unions are fragile and built on fantasy or fleeting self-interest. Who is taking bets on how long it will be before Belgium fractures along its cultural fault lines? Brussels, in fact, is the perfect capital for the European Union, since it is also the capital of a country cobbled together from leftover pieces, with a wedding-cake monarch perched on top. Who, besides its bureaucracy, takes the entity known as Belgium seriously?
Europeans don’t assimilate foreigners; they tolerate them. In many cases they are slow to grant citizenship, and show little comprehension of what it means to have pockets of undigested tribes within their borders — borders they are blindly scrabbling to eliminate.
The EU would be in trouble even if it didn’t have its Muslim immigrants to contend with, or the nightmare remnants of its former colonial subjects crowded into ghettoes without jobs and without hope. But it does have those millions of [pick your favorite verboten hate-speech epithet for foreigners] and it spends stupendous amounts of money trying to buy some kind of peaceful coexistence with people it neither likes nor respects. Meanwhile these [favorite epithets] are planning what, exactly? You saw the French university students rise up and march against the idea of giving “those people” a more level playing field in the economy. Those fortunate few put on the best recent example of an “I’ve-got-mine-and-the-hell-with-the-rest-of-you” display.
Now complicate it further: loose cannons in the form of nuclear weapons in the hands of renegade terrorists who, on principle, reject treaties or restraint or the notion of borders. These terrorists — anarchists at heart — aren’t stupid. You can’t say they don’t play with a full deck. The situation is much worse than mere stupidity: they do indeed possess a complete deck of cards, but it’s not the same deck we have, and the only rule in their game is that there are no rules.
For some, “It’s the Umma, Stupid!” For others — and we harbor many of these in our midst — it’s Schadenfreude at the opportunity to witness the destruction of their hated nemesis, America, and any other countries evil enough to align themselves with the United States.
There is no way to predict when or where the conflagration will begin. But we know for certain that it is only a matter of time. Our leaders still play politics as usual; they are hamstrung by outdated rhetoric and posturing — useful perhaps in another era, but lethal now.
The tipping point may have been reached — one cannot say until after the fact. Will it be failure in Iraq — a failure devoutly prayed for by many Americans who need to see us fail in order to justify their own belief system? Will it be Iran’s unleashing of the nuclear-weaponed apocalypse that proceeds to immolate others, like a group of carefully-placed dominoes? Will it be the delirious fantasy vision of watching an entire American city suffer the same fate of the Twin Towers while its enemies dance in the streets?
As difficult as it is to predict the point at which it all begins to dissolve, it is even more difficult to forecast the American reaction — not response, but reaction. Response implies some considered approach. In extremis, one reacts, and that is what Americans will do.
The first and most vulnerable targets will be those within our own borders who have jeered at this country, who have labeled us unjustly, who have looked down from the heights of Olympus and found America wanting in so many of the virtues it considers important: tolerance for the deviant and undeserving, and the assigning of victim status to anyone with a grievance and a thin skin. These are the people who will be most at risk in a global nuclear environment, an environment they helped to create.
If not merciful, their dethroning will at least be swift.