Europe reacts: What do we do about our Muslims?Interesting? People are starting to wake up but will we see an intelligent response led by sane leadership or will it be fertile grounds for a demagogue? David Pryce-Jones warns about the growth of Britain’s fascist party which has picked up seats in the last election because of the failures by the UK’s main three parties to confront the Islamic threat.
We can no longer avoid admitting that Western civilization is under assault, said Ezio Mauro in Italy’s La Repubblica. How naive we were four years ago when, “with easy compassion,” we proclaimed, “We are all Americans.” The truth is that the Islamic fanatics aren’t targeting America alone, but all Western democracies. We look at a television image from London of a body lying on a stretcher, “and we feel that it could be us, for we, too, are civilians, we, too, are Westerners.”
Now do we see what we’re up against? asked Magdi Allam in Italy’s Corriere della Sera. Many in the West “refuse to recognize the aggressive nature” of Islamic terrorism. The apologists see terrorism as reactive, a “plausible if illegitimate response” to Western slights. Those who insist on blaming the West have it half right—Western countries are at fault not for being too harsh with Muslim countries abroad but for being too lenient with their Muslim populations at home. Britain was a prime example of a country that let radical Islamists “live in separatist communities, fostering religious hatred.”
In Italy as well, the Islamists have been coddled for far too long, said Vittorio Feltri in Italy’s Libero. Italy funds the construction of mosques and takes down public displays of Christian imagery “to avoid offending a culture that considers ours inferior.” Why are we continuing to “show tolerance to those who have none?” It’s time we admitted that we are living in a state of emergency, “or better, a state of war.” Wartime demands extreme measures. It may be necessary to “destroy the bridges of friendship with a people that produces terrorists.”
Unfortunately, misguided British government policies that simultaneously make the country a haven for Muslim extremism while stoking white, working-class resentment with their perceived favoring of the larger Muslim community only exacerbate this problem. … Inexorably, those who privilege Muslims on the one hand, and Islamists on the other hand, are combining to shift public opinion toward the counterresponse of violence, which is to say fascism. Wedded to their parliamentary democracy, the British have always rejected foreign political imports like communism and fascism. No fascist party member has ever won a seat at Westminster, and today's fascists, the British National Party (BNP), fare no better. Under the impact of rising Islamism, however, and invigorated by the well-meant but foolish patronizing of Muslims by the authorities, the BNP has now acquired a few seats on local municipalities.Bat Ye’or warned about Europe’s swings from far left to xenophobic fascism. Many countries have laws making Islam a protected religion exempt from criticism. This only leads to discussions in private far from the open air that forges an accurate and balanced perspective. Laws and cultural taboos – like political correctness – beget that which they fear, irrational hatred.
Since Islam is new to most people in the West, the knee jerk response to stifle criticism with charges of bigotry, fails to allow the natural investigation, deliberation, and on-going debate required for a sane assessment. An open inquiry cannot start with a conclusion – for example: stating that Islam is as good as other religions and has been hijacked. We need an honest inquiry open to wherever the facts may lead. A positive prejudgment is a prejudice as much as a negative prejudgment.