- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Perhaps the greatest secular gift to the world by Judeo-Christian civilization is its seminal concept of the individual, which it raises above the tribe or the collective. In Genesis, we are told that man is made in the image of God. Deuteronomy tells us that “each human by his own sin is to be judged” and “do not punish children for the sins of their fathers.” And, of course, the biblical life and teachings of Jesus reflect the deep importance of the individual. Thus was planted in the soil of the West our uniquely heightened respect for the individual.

It is impossible to imagine Western civilization — and particularly America — without the existence in our culture of the instinctive respect for the individual to offset the more general human instinct to be subordinated in the tribe or the group.

Conversely, there is no more dangerous incubus inserted into a Western nation than hostility or indifference to the inherent value and rights of the individual.

But radicalized Islam places little value on the individual, while holding up for supreme value the interests of the group — particularly their view of the group called Islam. And it is this aggressive, assertive insistence by radicalized Muslims in the West on subordinating our inherent rights to their collective demands that is slowly and more or less quietly forcing Westerners to take sides on the radicals’ demands. The resolution of this developing conflict — if not managed by the elites in Western countries on behalf of indigenous Western rights — will inevitably result in unnecessary violence.

A recent example of such intimidation was reported Monday in The Washington Times. Muneer Fareed, head of the Islamic Society of North America, is “demanding” that Sen. John McCain stop using the word “Islamic” to describe terrorists who are radical Islamists. He insists that Mr. McCain (and all others) just call Islamic terrorists “criminals.” “That is more acceptable to the Muslim community,” said Mr. Fareed. Mr. McCain, being tough as nails, said he has no intention of submitting to their demand and will continue to use “Islamic” to describe Islamic terrorists. But it will be interesting to see what the two Democratic candidates for president choose to do about this demand.

In Canada, meanwhile, Mark Steyn awaits trial before the Canadian and British Columbian Human Rights Commissions for the crime of committing hate speech by writing a book and a magazine article that warned against the dangers of Islam overwhelming Europe. The charges were precipitated by demands for Mr. Steyn’s prosecution by Khurrum Awan, president of the Canadian Arab Federation, and a band of fellow students who publicly marched to announce their demands. They claimed that as Muslims they had the right to influence what Mr. Steyn writes: “When you are talking about the issues that relate directly to us. When people feel insulted they should have recourse.” Amazingly, the culturally feeble, intimidated Canadian officials promptly filed criminal charges.

Similarly, a few months ago the increasing British Muslim demands for Shariah (Islamic law) were answered in the positive by the Archbishop of Canterbury. If the British government ever succumbs to that outrageous demand, Muslim women will not only lose their individual rights, but pursuant to honor-killing principals could be legally murdered by their father, husband or brother. Already, non-Muslim Brits are being banned from public swimming pools during time reserved for Muslims. (No other group can reserve such times.)

Forty years ago last weekend, British classicists and politician Enoch Powell warned that if immigrants bringing alien values and customs into Britain were allowed to continue their immigration, a sense of alarm and resentment would develop in the indigenous British population. He was ejected from British politics for giving that warning.

But this week the BBC published a poll taken precisely to measure public attitudes 40 years after Mr. Powell’s famous warning (and after 40 years of the British ruling class ignoring the growing danger): 70 percent polled think there is high tension between the races; 63 percent expect those tensions to result in violence between the races in Britain; and 60 percent think there are too many “immigrants” in Britain.

In a similar poll taken for the Davos World Economic Forum, stunning levels of Europeans fear a “threat” from Muslims with whom they “interact.” In my book, “The West’s Last Chance,” published in 2005, I warned that the European people would not be passive in the face of their culture being undercut. Unlike others who wrote on the subject, I did not think Europeans would fail to defend their nations and their culture. I warned that broad European street violence could only be avoided if their governments took the threat seriously.

These disturbing polls from the BBC and Davos should constitute another undeniable warning to the gutless, defeatist European leaders. Take action to protect your people and their cherished Western values, or the people will take matters into their own hands. And for us in America, impending European unrest should be seen as a cautionary tale.


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