I want to recommend two interesting things to read as a prelude to my core post. The first read comes from a reliably good source: Rusty Shackleford. Over at The Jawa Report, he looks at the banality that exists side by side with the evil that is North Carolina’s recently arrested home grown jihadists. It makes for chilling read.
The second good read, again about Islam, comes, most surprisingly, from a normally terrible source on the subject: The New York Times. There, in today’s book review pages, you will find an honest and admiring review of Christopher Caldwell’s carefully researched Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, about the Islamisization of Europe. I hope the paper’s editors read their own book reviews. They might learn something from this one, especially when it comes to the dangers of stifling discourse through a rancid combination of politically correct thought and fear of Muslims.
As to both of these, I’d like to make a larger point. During Passover, Jews ask the question “Why is this night different from all other nights?” At this juncture in history, it’s very important to ask a similar question: “Why is this religion different from all other religions?”
Why, when religious Jewish women cover their heads, do I shrug and say, “Well, that’s their religion,” while when more and more Muslim women show up with heads covered, I get a frisson of fear? The answer is not that I’m a philo-Semite or an Islamaphobe (although both statements are probably true). Instead, it lies in the fact that the Jews do not have as their goal a world in which all women are forced to wear head coverings. Even if Jews reached critical mass in America, they would not do what is done in countries in which Muslims have reached critical mass: throw acid in the faces of or rape or murder women who don’t conform to their religious dress codes.
Why, when Hispanics sneak into this country illegally am I merely upset about their breaking the law and sucking up resources, while even legal Muslim immigrants frighten me? The answer is not that I have an unreasoning fear of Muslims, while I’m willing to give Hispanics a pass. There’s nothing unreasoning in my fear of an immigrant group that does not desire to assimilate into American society but wants, instead, to destroy it. Nor is there anything unreasoning in my fear of an immigrant group that, when it achieves critical mass, engages in religiously driven violence against the others in the society. Nor are either of those fears fantasies. The point of my reference to the Caldwell books is that those fears, which are still abstract in America, are fact in Europe.
Why, when certain immigrants cling to their unique cultures, do I think it’s charming or irrelevant, but when Muslims cling to their unique cultures it frightens me? Could it be because Muslim doctors refuse to wash their hands, either because women aren’t supposed to show their arms or because none of them are supposed to touch (although I’m sure Mohammed meant “imbibe”) alcohol — a problem becoming increasingly chronic in the British health care system? Or could it be because Muslim grocery store clerks, rather than getting a more religiously appropriate job, sue that they won’t have to handle ham, which is an American cultural staple? Or could it be because Muslim culture is deeply misoygynistic, something that reveals itself in honor killings all over the globe — not to mention a desire to make women, all women, not just Muslim women, wear tents. I’m sure you have examples in stored in your own memory banks so I won’t go on. The point is that this is a religion that, once it enteres a country, wants things done it’s own way. Rather than seeking to benefit from the host country’s good qualities, it seeks to destroy those things and subordinate everything to Islam.
Thinking about it, to call Islam just a religion is almost a misnomer. Islam is a way of life and politics that transcends mere worship. When Islam takes over, every facet of life is subject to its dictates. One is either a slave to Allah, or a slave to Allah’s worshippers. Islam does not accept pluralism. Things that are quaint or bizarre in other religions are deeply threatening when the religion is Islam.
Keep yourself educated. Hate-filled rhetoric is counterproductive. But fact-filled rhetoric is something one hopes will help innoculate us against the deadly scourge of an Islamic takeover — because Islam is not a religion like any other.