Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Root Cause of Islamic Fascism? Follow-up

Andrew McCarthy in NRO commenting on Fukuyama's piece (discussed below) - Islam, Democracy and Assimilation:

First, Fukuyama rightly contends that this assimilation must begin with an end to fractious multiculturalism. He concludes, however, that this means the societies themselves must change, if not fundamentally than at least significantly. Countries, he declares, "need to reformulate their definitions of national identity to be more accepting of people from non-Western backgrounds."

I'm all for acceptance, but I respectfully disagree. Immigrants presumably come to a new place because it is attractive to them as is, not because they seek to reform it. More desirable would be real gate-keeping immigration policies that admitted only those of a mind to assimilate to the home culture, not the other way around. If that means people who would otherwise emigrate end up remaining in their home countries, is that such a bad thing?
McCarthy has it right. Why is it always that Western culture needs to adapt? I don't see a lot of people arguing that third world cultures need to adapt to the cultures of 1st world immigrants. Part of this is the fact that immigration is overwhelmingly one-way. People from the Middle East and the third world are drawn to the West because of opportunity. These opportunities are a direct result of Western "global" culture.

It doesn't make sense for France or any other western culture to try to adopt non-western ways because that is exactly what those 1st generation immigrants were fleeing. They're not moving to France to recreate their home culture, they're moving there because France gives them opportunities that their home culture can't. It's when the children of these immigrants grow up without the knowledge of the hardships left behind that you have trouble.

For better or worse, France is the country of the French, Germany is the country of the Germans, etc. The whole history of these nation-states is invariably tied up in the history of their people; in a sense, the country is the people. This isn't true of the U.S., which is a country as an idea. Anyone can become an American. You may become a French citizen, but you can't become French.

What we're seeing here isn't so much immigration as conquest. David Frum, also in NRO, quotes from "Islam in Britain,” a report of the UK Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, available from
The report quotes Zaki Badawi, president of London’s Muslim College, holder of the Order of the British Empire, and the widely recognized “unofficial leader, representative, and advocate of Britain’s mainline Muslims”:

”A proselytizing religion cannot stand still. It can either expand or contract. Islam endeavors to expand in Britain. … Islam is a universal religion. It aims at bringing its message to all corners of the earth. It hopes that one day the whole of humanity will be one Muslim community, the Umma. As we know the history of Islam as a faith is also the history of a state and a community of believers living by divine law. The Muslims, jurists and theologians, have always expounded Islam as both Government and a faith. This reflects the historical fact that Muslims, from the start, lived under their own law. Muslim theologians naturally produced a theology with this in view – it is a theology of the majority. Being a minority was not seriously considered or even contemplated. … Muslim theology offers, up to the present, no systematic formulation of the status of being in a minority.”

The report’s authors cite similar views from authoritative spokespeople, and conclude:

”Muslims find it difficult to assume minority status in a majority non-Muslim society. More than other minority communities, they constantly, sometimes subconsciously, strive to redress the balance and assume an expanding and dominant position in their host countries.”

For more on the roots of Islamic Terror see: Understanding Jihad