With Muslim refugees fleeing the charnel house into which the new wave of fundamentalist Islam has turned parts of the Middle East, why are the oil-rich sheikdoms not doing anything to help resettle their co-religionists in the Gulf States?
The answer is as simple as it is obvious. Despite a plethora of flimsy excuses, the sheikdoms would rather have the refugees go to Europe and the West where over the next generation they will contribute to the transformation of what will once have been Christian Europe into another Islamic slice of the globe.
Islam is a triumphalist religion. Every piece of land once belonging to Islam always belongs to Islam. Osama bin Laden was as concerned with Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” as the Christian “occupation” of Andalusia (Spain).
The Muslim invasion of Europe was stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683, an event that marked the beginning of the decline of the Ottoman Empire. Even five generations earlier, Suleiman the Magnificent was also stopped at Vienna (1529) on his way to conquering Europe. From the time of the Prophet of Islam, Muslims saw Europe as potential conquests.
Islam is not unique in its doctrine of expansionism. What is unique is the attempt by the Western chattering classes to deny historical reality.
Westerners are ashamed of their age of imperialism, their embrace of such ideas as manifest destiny and white man’s burden. But the history of all peoples is a history of expansionism and conquest, whether that of the various American Indian tribes, the reign of Shaka Zulu, or the age of Moslem conquest, subjugation, and empire.
Islam cannot defeat the West on the battlefield. But it can defeat the West by exploiting the West’s own weaknesses.
The West no longer believes in itself, its destiny, or its exceptionalism. It makes no difference if the West is truly exceptional. What is necessary is for a society to have a set of symbols and beliefs that engender national cohesion. Nationalism is not a sin. It is a component of the unity that provides social and political cohesion. It is also a component that in a modern society evolves. Without the capacity to adapt, no society can survive.
Every democratic society needs to stand up and take pride in their history, national ethos and culture, and look forward to their preservation and advancement over time in the quest for greater freedom, not destruction.
When the institutions that are the repositories of the culture are committed to its denigration and extinction, then a society faces not its strengths for tolerance but its demise for its failure to value itself.
When the flag is desecrated, when soldiers are disrespected, when those who hate the West are permitted to vent their hatred in a public and threatening manner, when we value those who rampage through our cities over those who uphold our laws, then we are a society facing internal dislocation.
If we do not respect ourselves, our culture, and our democratic way of life, then who will?
The basic question about any social policy is not whether it benefits those who desire it, but does it benefit us and other Western countries as democratic nations. When we are intimidated by accusations of racism and xenophobia so as not to be able to ask those questions, then we are intimidated into acquiescing to our own cultural demise.
This is not to say there should not be compassion for refugees seeking asylum in good faith; it is to say that our policy in dealing with the problem should also take into consideration compassion for our continued existence as a free people that value our political and cultural identity. Certainly, the West can provide aid to refugees and subsidize their resettlement in some part of the Islamic world that is not spiraling into chaos.
Does taking in large numbers of refugees who believe in the superiority of a theocratic culture of submission advance or impair the future of democratic institutions? Will these people ultimately be acculturated into Western values or seek the continued embrace of their own?
Those are questions every democratic society that wishes to survive needs to ask. Multiculturalism only works when a transcendent value unites the cultures of many. “One out of many” (E Pluribus Unum) is the motto of our society. We will not exist if we fail to recognize that “the many” take precedence over “the one.”
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought. This article originally appeared in The Hill and is reprinted with permission of the author.