All our weapons — free speech, reason, forbearance — are for dealing with people who are sort of like us. The existential crisis comes when we find ourselves dealing with people who are in no way like us. Do we oppose them by being even more like ourself than before (more speech, more reason, more forbearance), or do we have to become like them?
Israel has been fighting this existential battle for decades. It’s not just about bombs, it’s about keeping your own decency when locked in combat with an indecent other. And today, the Anchoress reminds me that the Catholic Church fights this endless battle as well.
UPDATE: This comment, from ex cathedra, was too good to leave hiding below the fold:
You mention reason and free speech as weapons. This is true. But we do not use them as weapons. The o verarching self-censorship of political correctness prevents our leaders from confronting, challenging, debating Muslims. Since they are a non-white group, they cannot be confronted by whites: the whole thing becomes a name-calling game about bigotry and racism. It gets reduced to group ego, which goes by the bogus name of sensitivity, etc.
If we did use our arsenal of argument, challenge, reason, fact…and were not afraid to call out Muslims in public, then we might have a chance. But anyone who does that becomes an “Islamophobe”.
The same phenomenon is true for any group that has Designated Victim status in liberal culture. Blacks, gays, women, Latinos, etc. This cultural Marxism inside our liberal discourse has made cowards of those who supposed to be the champions and guardians of our way of life.
The problem, of course, is that there is no longer any “we”.