Monday, July 11, 2005

The Israelification of Europe - Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn argues in the New York Sun, here, that Europe stands at risk of gradually becoming the new Israel with respect to the Muslim world:

I mean by Israelification: the jihadists understand that Europe is up for grabs in a way that America isn’t. Israel/Palestine is,in the old joke, the twice promised land — a western democracy and a disaffected Muslim population exist in (for the most part) two solitudes but claim the same piece of real estate. As it happens, that’s also how more and more Muslims see Europe.

And as their numbers grow it seems likely that wily Islamic leaders in the Middle East will embrace the cause of the rights of European Muslims in the same way that they claim solidarity with the Palestinians. When France began contemplating its headscarf ban in schools, it dispatched government ministers to seek the advice of Egyptian imams, implicitly accepting the view of Islamic scholars that the Fifth Republic is now an outlying province of the dar al-Islam. As the Zionist Entity can testify, that’s not a club you necessarily want to be signed up for.

Few European leaders have a clue what to do about this, but, as that French headscarf law and Britain’s Incitement to Racial Hatred bill and Dutch responses to the murder of Theo van Gogh all underline, mediation between what Tony Blair called on Thursday “our way of life” and Muslim values has already become a central dynamic of European political culture — a remarkable achievement for a minority few Europeans were more than vaguely conscious of pre-9/11. Meanwhile, across the borders pour not primarily suicide bombers or suitcase nukes, though they will come in the end, but ideology — fierce, glamorous and implacable. That’s the final irony of the Israelification of Europe: distressing as it may be to Continental anti-Semites, in this scenario they’re the Jews.

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