Saturday, March 26, 2016

Clash of Civilizations

It's been said that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. A mugging tends to concentrate the mind and often causes us to dispense with idealistic and naive notions about others. Something like this seems to be happening on a large scale in Europe where terrorist attacks perpetrated by members of the religion of peace are causing a lot of people to abandon some naive attitudes about Muslim immigrants, and Islam in general, and demand that, well, that something, be done. Here are some excerpts from a recent New York Times piece:
Nigel Farage, a leader of the populist, conservative U.K. Independence Party, said: “I think we’ve reached a point where we have to admit to ourselves, in Britain and France and much of the rest of Europe, that mass immigration and multicultural division has for now been a failure.”

The attacks will also put more strain on the deal brokered last week by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany with the Turkish government to restrict the migrant flow into Europe, in return for more liberal visa arrangements for travel into Europe by Turkish nationals. That deal was already being criticized as a security threat to Europe and had been questioned on humanitarian and legal grounds.

“In the public eye everything gets connected: the mass abuse in Cologne on New Year’s Eve and the attacks today,” said Rem Korteweg, a security analyst at the Center for European Reform in London, referring to the sexual abuse and robberies in Cologne on New Year’s Eve that were linked to migrants. “However different, in the public mind and for the euroskeptic populace, they’re all the same thing.”

But in Europe, the insecurity around migration and terrorism has challenged key beliefs and principles of the European Union. The Schengen area of visa-free travel across 26 countries has already broken down under the pressure of the migrant flow, with many worried that the zone may never be fully resurrected because of terrorism. Analysts say that attacks like those in Paris and Brussels make it far more likely that European governments will insist on stricter passport, visa and luggage checks at their borders.
This liberal Belgian, posting on Twitter, is probably not atypical:
I’m all for integration and tolerance, but something is rotten to the core when it comes to Muslim culture within Europe. Djihadis, fundamentalists, whatever you want to call them are either too plentiful or have too much influence. Whether that was our fault due to not giving them the tools to integrate or theirs for refusing to take advantage of those tools is besides the point.

I am done defending this culture. I am done playing devil’s advocate… Perhaps it’s time we showed the world again that when we stand as one force, we will not bend. It’s time to show that dogs without bark can still bite.
Europeans have convinced themselves for at least a generation that all cultures are equally "valid" and all religions are aiming at the same ends. They've persuaded themselves that they can admit into their national home millions of immigrants whose values are diametrically opposed to their own and that despite the cultural clash everyone will be sure to work synergistically to bring about the Age of Aquarius. Now they're discovering through bitter experience that things don't seem to work that way in the real world, that these people, or at least a substantial fraction of them (see video), passionately hate Western civilization, are eager to kill Europeans and their children, and this blow to the Europeans' worldview is disorienting.
If Shapiro is correct that's 500,000 Muslims in America who think terror against civilians is sometimes justified, and almost 700 million Muslims worldwide who want to see sharia law imposed everywhere.

There's been no word yet from President Obama as to whether he's having second thoughts after Paris and Brussels about the wisdom of admitting hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees into this country, although I doubt that he is. He's not the sort of man who entertains doubts about himself. Surely, though, there are ways of helping these wretched refugees without putting ourselves in the same situation as has Europe. Just as many compassionate Americans help the poor and homeless in countless ways without giving them the key to their house, it seems that as a nation we can do likewise.

In any case, I'm going to step out on a limb and make a prediction: If the president goes ahead with plans to allow unvetted refugees to pour into this country, and we suffer another Islamist-inspired terror attack this summer, Trump will win in November in a landslide.