The Economist’s ‘Soft-Pedaling Islam’ is an Instance of Racism
by Lev Tsitrin
Bruce Bawer’s marvelously-written “The Economist & Soft-Pedaling Islam” replete with inimitable irony and yet filled with deadly-serious thought, made me think of the root of the “progressive,” elitist attitudes which Mr. Bawer brilliantly summed up as the clash of perceptions, the unregenerated observing with alarm how “sprawling Muslim families on lifelong welfare are draining the treasuries of Western Europe. Muslim imams rule ever more imperiously over sharia enclaves in major cities from Manchester to Marseilles to Munich” while the high-minded elitists from The Economist objecting that “Islam shouldn’t trouble our little minds – that any problems incorrectly associated with it have nothing whatsoever to do with Islam itself; that most of those problems are, when you examine them dispassionately, our fault in one way or another; and that in the long run everything will be just fine … and sooner or later, inevitably, dollars to doughnuts, all those gazillions of Muslim immigrants in the West – or their children, or maybe their grandchildren – will go off the dole, pour into the workforce, and, at long last, provide Western European employers with a vast and wonderful supply of cheap labor” made me wonder of the root of that attitude.
And in the end, I think that the Editors of The Economist and their ilk are racists, pure and simple.
For what is racism after all, but the idea that the others are inferior to us, that they are more stupid than we are, that they won’t do what we would do under the same circumstances?
So let’s consider a textbook example of what “we,” — some of the most heroic and famous “we” at that, the Pilgrim passengers of the Mayflower — did. Per Wikipedia , “Without the help of local Indigenous peoples to teach them food gathering and other survival skills, all of the colonists may have perished.”
Given that the Pilgrims owed their very survival to the “local Indigenous peoples” it would be logical to assume that the Pilgrims would have assimilated — but as we all know, nothing of a kind happened; not only did the arriving Europeans not adopt the language, culture and religion of the natives — but they felt duty-bound to convert the natives to their faith, Christianity, and to make them, as much as possible, adopt the European mores. Nor did prosperity moderate the Pilgrims — the witch-hunts that followed a few generations later had nothing to do with prosperity or lack thereof.
(It is a strange, Marxist idea that the mindset of a wealthy person is somehow different from that of a less wealthy, that once one comes into money, he will moderate his behavior. I am yet to meet a passionate stamp collector whose passion for rare stamps got moderated by his getting a huge inheritance, or a habitual church-goer who “moderated” and became an atheist after winning a lottery. The strange idea that money changes one’s habit of mind is behind West’s attempt to co-opt, or “moderate” the Communist China by making it the workshop of the world, or Islamist Iran by enriching it via the nuclear deal. Both attempts came out of this bizarre belief in moderating power of wealth, and both blew up in the face of the West: neither China, nor Iran — countries addicted to Communism and Islamism, moderated their behavior; if anything, infusion of cash made them much more belligerent. After all, would a drug addict stop taking drugs when given tons of money? No, he will simply have the means to get more — and will get more. The religious moderation of Europe, when it came after the age of Enlightenment, was a result of an intellectual effort that sowed doubt in the veracity of the religious dogma, not because Europeans became richer. The similar process may of course happen to Moslems — but only as a result of confronting and debunking Islamist dogma, not by giving Moslems more money.)
Now, fast-forward four hundred years and watch history repeat itself — the new Pilgrims, the Moslems, landing on British, French, Swedish, Danish, German, etc. shores, and, just like the American Indians of old, the new natives offering them help — welfare benefits and social services that European welfare state gives its needy. A thinker of a caliber of the Editor of The Economist would reasonably expect that the new arrivals would assimilate — that they would learn the language, seek out a job, send their kids to regular schools — in a word, become like natives.
But they don’t, and they won’t. Just as the Europeans four centuries ago, Moslems come armed with the real True Faith, they come not to assimilate into the native population, but to assimilate the natives. Europe opened itself up for Moslem colonization just as America opened up for European colonization centuries ago — so why expect that Moslems would behave any differently than the Europeans did — unless one is a racist, thinking that Moslems are more stupid than Europeans? Of course, contrary to what the elitist (but in reality, racist) Editors of The Economist and the politicians who allowed Moslem immigration think of them, Moslems aren’t any less intelligent than the Europeans are. Just as Europeans brought True Faith of Christianity to the New World of America, the Moslems brought the True Faith of Islam to the New World of Europe. The new natives — Brits, French, etc, are to be brought into the fold of Islam just as American Indians were to be brought into the fold of Christianity centuries ago.
Those who object to Moslem immigration are, to their great credit, not racist — they project their own experience and history on the Moslems, they see and treat Moslems as equals, and so they do not see how or why Moslems would possibly assimilate, since they themselves wouldn’t. Those who think that Moslems will assimilate — like European politicians and Editors of The Economist plainly don’t see Moslems as their equals. This is why they are unable to project European experience on Moslems; to them, Moslems are inferior to Europeans. Hence, the Editors of The Economist and their “progressive” ilk are racists, pure and simple. That I think adequately explains the strange phenomenon of The Economist ‘s blindness to reality so brilliantly described by Mr. Bruce Bawer.