Another week, another atrocity committed in the West by ISIS or a lone-wolf Muslim. This time, it was the slaughter of the innocents with a suicide bomber self-detonating at an Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom.
At the time of this writing, there are 22 dead and dozens wounded -- many of whom were children. Saffe Rose Roussos was one of those killed. Her image leads this article. She was only eight.
ISIS has followed up on the attack with jubilation and the claim that, “This is only the beginning.”
Our world has been permanently changed by the attempt to create a multicultural utopia in the West. Whether in Europe or in America, the intelligentsia and the elite continue to demand that they have seen the truth, that all people can live peaceably together so long as we are tolerant and have the right laws in place.
The West has been tolerant, that is for sure. Not long ago, we were defending ourselves at the Gates of Vienna from a Muslim invasion. Now, we welcome Muslims with open arms and generous welfare policies. Any pushback to the open immigration policies is labeled Islamophobia, racism, bigotry, etc. But what cost do these changes bring?
In the mere 15 years or so since the West ramped up its acceptance of Muslim immigrants, we have seen Islamic terrorism become nearly a weekly occurrence. London. Paris. Brussels. San Bernardino. Stockholm. Berlin. Orlando. Nice. And on and on. If you doubt the fact that these attacks are happening with incredible frequency, take a look at these lists: Islamic Terrorist Attacks in Europe and Islamic Terrorist Attacks in America.
Now, there are those who will argue that all of this terrorism is the fault of the West and our imperialism over the years. While I have no doubt that some of the West’s recent follies in the Middle East have given some Muslims cause for revenge, Western colonialism or imperialism isn’t a sufficient explanation for all of the other Islamic violence in Africa, India, China, or South East Asia. Nor does Western imperialism explain all of the intra-Islamic violence that occurs with even more horrible frequency in the Middle East.
On the same day Manchester was bombed, a military-run hospital was bombed in Bangkok, Thailand with 20 injured by the Muslim group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN). The day after the bombing in Manchester, there were street battles between Philippines government forces and Islamic groups in the city of Marawi. There was also a smattering of terrorist attacks in the Middle East.
It seems as though wherever an Islamic culture encounters a non-Islamic culture, violence occurs. Samuel Huntington noted the rise of “fault line wars” in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996),
“The overwhelming majority of fault line conflicts, however, have taken place along the boundary looping across Eurasia and Africa that separates Muslims from non-Muslims. While at the macro or global level of world politics the primary clash of civilizations is between the West and the rest, at the micro or local level it is between Islam and the others.”
Huntington further argues that Muslims are far more likely to be involved in “intergroup violence” than any other civilization’s people and supports his conjecture with quite a few statistics. He also gives six reasons for why Islam is so violent, which you can read about here. The point that should be taken to heart is that the representatives of Islamic civilization have been and continue to be more violent than their non-Muslim peers.
In our drive to create a multicultural, tolerant West, we have forgotten that culture matters and that there are significant differences between cultures. Samuel Huntington called out this willful blindness by the intelligentsia in the West, as well:
“It is sheer hubris to think that because Soviet communism has collapsed, the West has won the world for all time and that Muslims, Chinese, Indians, and others are going to rush to embrace Western liberalism as the only alternative. The Cold War division of humanity is over. The more fundamental divisions of humanity in terms of ethnicity, religions, and civilizations remain and spawn new conflicts.”
How right he was ... in 1996.
The West, whether one wants to admit it or not, is founded largely upon the Christian ethos. The Christian ethos gave us the belief that the individual has dignity and certain “natural rights” as well as the university, the separation of church and state (see the battles between Pope Innocent IV and Emperor Frederick II as well as Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV as examples), modern science and medicine, incredible art, music, and architecture, and so on. That Christian ethos was synthesized, too, with the governing philosophies of Ancient Greece and Rome, resulting ultimately in the Constitution of the United States and the West’s free, democratic societies.
As for the civilization of Islam, it had some achievements in math and a few other areas, but arguably its greatest success was the conquering of much of the Christian and pagan world in the 600s and 700s, and then replacing those cultures with Islam. It does not have the incredible history of science, art, philosophy, individual rights, etc. as the West. At its core, Islam has a very different view of the individual and the role of government and religion than the West.
The results of the fundamental cultural differences between the West and Islamic civilization are there for all to see … if we’re willing to open our eyes.
Now, some will argue that it is not all Muslims who are violent and that many Muslims live peaceably in the West. That is true now, but what if Islam becomes the majority population of a region or country?
According to the Pew Research Center, here is what Muslims want in majority Muslim countries:
“Overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law (sharia) to be the official law of the land, according to a worldwide survey by the Pew Research Center. But many supporters of sharia say it should apply only to their country’s Muslim population.”
The survey has a lot of interesting data points. But the desire to have a religious law be the law of the land, even with caveats for non-Muslims, is quite a statement. In the West, Christianity has never offered a universal system of laws that countries should implement. Rather, Christianity has merely attempted to provide the moral reasoning behind certain laws, but it does not prescribe a set of specific laws as a part of its religion. Throughout the West’s history, there have been tremendous debates and battles to balance the powers of church and state. It was not always done well, but the history is there.
When we talk about culture, we must understand that it is not just about art and music and how people dress, but something much deeper. The word culture comes from the Latin cultus, which means “care, worship, devotion, training/education”. It is no accident that culture includes the word “cult”. Ultimately, culture defines the way in which people view the world around them, how they see meaning and purpose in life, their values lived out.
Because culture is the reflection of worldview, multiculturalism cannot work in a democracy. Our government and its laws are not random abstractions picked for unknown reasons. No, our government and its laws reflect the worldview and beliefs of us, the people. The laws selected are backed by the force of government -- by violence. In a democracy, where the will of the people is supreme, the majority’s values will create and apply the laws.
If the majority believes that sharia is wrong, sharia will be suppressed. That puts the government and society at odds with the minority who believes sharia should be law. Arguably, much of the unrest in the West between secularists and Muslims is a result of this truth.
Sharia is not just a way of living like Christianity is for Christians or Buddhism is for Buddhists, it is a way of living and a set of laws. That difference makes it nearly impossible for a Muslim to fully live out his sharia beliefs in a non-Muslim majority country. In various Western countries we may allow prayer and proselytizing, but we do not allow honor killing or female genital mutilation.
While many in academia and media call for tolerance, the truth is that we cannot be tolerant enough to allow a Muslim to fully live out sharia. To be fully tolerant of Islam and sharia logically requires the complete toppling of our constitutional Republic and enshrining sharia as the law of the land.
The great weakness of democracy is demographics. If a group of people that believes they can be tolerant of all cultures declines in population while a group that believes its intolerant culture should be the law of the land sees its population grow, there will be great clashes. Within a generation or two, Muslims will likely be the majority populations in many major cities in Europe and even in countries such as Germany. When that happens, will they share in the belief of multiculturalism and tolerance, or will the majority shape the democracy to reflect their beliefs?
If the polling from Pew is correct, the latter is the most likely result. Islamic civilizations simply do not have a history of developing governments with limited powers and inalienable rights for individuals, as has happened over centuries in the West.
I know it’s uncomfortable to question the idea of multiculturalism and to appear intolerant of another culture or religion. We have been propagandized to feel enormous guilt when we do so, often labeled Islamophobic or racist. But the reality is that we must have a very serious conversation about the practical limits of tolerance and immigration.
We cannot ignore the growing terrorism and slaughter of innocents that has resulted from open borders and a desire to prove that all peoples and beliefs can live in peace together under one government. We must be willing to measure the changes, to weigh the future ramifications of current policies, and to consider what kind of America we want to live in and pass on to future generations.