The Dangers of Denial

In 2004, I wrote a book that was published only in French, La Perfidie de l’Histoire,  It was a scholarly book, but I had a basic political objective: to warn about the impact of mass Muslim immigration into France and western Europe. My publisher, Olivier Véron, took me around to some editors of French journals. I especially remember Revue des Deux Mondes, the French equivalent of Foreign Affairs, and Le Figaro. Since my book was about the predictable hazards of Muslim mass immigration, I couldn’t get anywhere with them, not even a critical review. Jacques Chirac was president of France, not exactly a friend of the US, The editor of Revue said to me, “I’ll have you know that we in France. consider America the Enemy!” 

Two years later I was a principal lecturer at  an international conference at Jesus College, Cambridge. My title was “The Huntington Thesis and Jewish-Christian Understanding Past and Future.” The Huntington thesis to which I referred was the Harvard professor’s reflections on the “clash of civilization” that would follow the end of the Cold War. Again, I dealt largely with the problem of Muslim immigration. Huntington argued that the clash would be long and bloody. If Huntington’s thesis was valid, it would be the height of political folly for the Europeans to permit the entrance of millions of Muslims into their midst, many of whom would prove to be hostile and unassimilable. Huntington even wrote that “Islam has bloody borders.” 

The group in attendance at the conference was predominantly European, left-wing European. There was a representative from the World Council of Churches, a Jewish convert whom I thought was particularly obnoxious, not because he was a convert, but because of the passion with which he defended Muslim immigration. After I spoke, Betty and I realized that we were suddenly being treated as pariahs. For the rest of the conference we felt most comfortable taking our meals alone. I had committed an apparently unpardonable offense by suggesting that mass Muslim immigration into Europe was a tragic mistake. Too many Muslim immigrants had no intention of adopting European values. Did I oppose all Muslim immigration? Of course not, but I did believe that a disciplined selection process was imperative and, as I later wrote, men and women were being admitted en masse. When the conference book was published, my essay was predictably omitted.

One cannot say that the attack on Charlie Hebdo was the result of Muslim mass immigration. One can, however, say that France was caught off guard and that it was in denial in the face of the very real dangers that confront western, shall I say, Judeo-Christian, civilization for at its most hostile, the roots of Christianity are to be found in Scripture. Islam can sustain no such claim. 

Unfortunately, France is not the only vulnerable western nation.Earlier today, I was asked by a friend, “Will it happen in Germany?” Of course, all western countries are vulnerable. This was a cooly planned, deliberate, strategic attack. The jihadis were telling the west , “This is what happens when you offend Islam.” Throughout the western world, lots of editors, reporters, and  writers, with wives and children must be taking notice. There are plenty of Muslims who are more than willing to die, if they must, to advance the conquest of Islam by individual and small=group attack. The attackers really don’t care if they die. They are expendable and they rejoice in it.. Unfortunately, too few of our people in the west, especially our political class, have ever heard of, much less understood, Hegel’s “Dialectic of the Master and the Slave” in his great work, The Phenomenology of the Spirit (Geist). When Osama bin Laden told the West, “We in Islam love death; you in the West love life,” he intuitively understood Hegel, according to whom The Master becomes the Master because he is willing to risk his life in combat, preferring death to slavery; the slave values his life and surrenders to preserve it. The jihadis have lots of men willing to go to their death attacking the enemy knowing that loving death and being willing to die in combat is the path to victory for their umma, their sacred community, if not themselves.  There will be lots of such attacks, lots more.