But Huntington foresaw the Islamic clash with the West as by far the most dangerous. Mainstream Western leaders and opinion-formers still regard his analysis as provocative, divisive and even Islamophobic. He states flatly that “for the West, the fundamental problem . . . is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam.” He defines Islam is a resurgent militant civilisation which is convinced of its cultural and religious superiority and of its global mission. Yet from an Islamic perspective, he admits, the problem is the reverse — a Judaeo-Christian West, convinced of its superiority, and with a universalist mission to impose its culture and where possible its rule on the rest of the world. It is an explosive mix.Prophets don't offer "comfort." They issue warnings. It is up to us whether or not we chose to heed them.
Add to this toxic stew, mass Islamic immigration into the West — more than 12 million Muslims have arrived in the two decades since Huntington wrote. He asserts that most Muslims in the West probably cannot and do not want to abandon their civilisation — their religion and culture — in order to assimilate. Every word in the Koran is directly dictated by God and therefore is true and immutable. That is why in much of the Islamic diaspora, women remain second-class citizens, gays are abhorred and there is widespread sympathy for the view that practitioners should be flogged, stoned or thrown from cliffs. And of course Jews are just plain evil. Moreover, Islam advocates God-given sharia law. Good Muslims are, by definition, enemies of the very concept of democracy, which is central to Western civilisation. If Huntington is right, the West may have to live as best it can with a large, alien, often self-ghettoised minority, whose loyalties are to their alien Islamic civilisation and not their hosts’ Western civilisation. I hope he is wrong, but fear he is right. Either way, what is intolerable is the mealy-mouthed taboo among politicians and religious leaders here and abroad against discussion of the nature of mainstream Islam. We are simply told that Islamist terrorists and “fighters” are mad or drugged and certainly not “real” Muslims.
Shortly after a Catholic priest was murdered in his Normandy church by two Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar”, Pope Francis commented that we are at war, but added that the war was “political and economic”, not “religious”. With all due respect to the Pontiff, jihadists do not yell “Nationalise the banks” or “All power to the Soviets”. These jihadists in their tens of thousands believe they are Muslims, and are prepared to die to demonstrate their belief. And hundreds of thousands — maybe millions — of Muslims around the world agree with them.
Finally there is Israel: to most Muslims, an oppressive colony, plonked down by the West in the very heart of their civilisation. Of course most readers would reject this description. But even the strongest supporters of Israel — of whom I am one — must surely accept that Israel is, thank goodness, subsidised and protected by the West. Again Huntington offers, by implication, only an endless grief.
So Israel exists, mass Islamic immigration into Western civilisation has happened, and Huntington has naught for our comfort on either front.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Huntington Was Right
Twenty years ago, a prescient Samuel Huntington predicted the world we're living in today--and identified the gravest threat to the West: