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Walker's World - The West's Big Threat

It should be noted the Blankley's book was written before the suicide bomber attacks on the London Underground on July 7 this year. These attacks were carried out by British-born and British-raised Muslims, whose free health care and education and had been financed by generous British taxpayers who had somehow assumed that the immigrants would automatically absorb British habits of tolerance and free speech and democracy along the way.

Washington (UPI) Oct 05, 2005
In the grim scenario that opens this dramatic, hard-hitting and important book, the growing demographic and political influence of Europe's Islamic minorities leads the continent's Muslim leaders to demand four promises from the European governments.

The European Union and its member states acquiesce, and a new American President instantly severs all military, intelligence and policing ties with the Europeans "in the interest of fundamental national security." The Dow Jones instantly drops 1,200 points in the expectation of the oil price reaching $200 a barrel.

The first of the four demands is that the Muslim community would have veto power over any European foreign policy decision that might affect a Muslim nation. The second is access to any police investigation of a Muslim, including suspected terrorists, anywhere in Europe.

The third is a judicial commission, to include Muslim leaders that would repeal any laws "giving offense to Muslims living in Europe." The fourth would be an immediate repeal of all laws and practices restraining immigration.

Tony Blankley, editorial page editor of The Washington Times and a prominent conservative thinker, sees this prospect as so eminently possible -- and so perilous for American security -- that he insists: "Whatever we might think of Europe's foreign policy machinations, it is a matter of our own national security that we achieve the strongest possible alliance with the strongest possible Europe."

"A defense of the West without the birthplace of the West -- Europe -- is almost unthinkable," he writes in 'The West's Last Chance; Will We Win The Clash of Civilizations?' (Regnery Books, $27.95).

"If Europe becomes Eurabia, it would mean the loss of our cultural and historic first cousins, our closest economic and military allies, and the source of our own civilization. It would be a condition Americans should dread and should move mountains to avoid," he writes.

It should be noted the Blankley's book was written before the suicide bomber attacks on the London Underground on July 7 this year. These attacks were carried out by British-born and British-raised Muslims, whose free health care and education and had been financed by generous British taxpayers who had somehow assumed that the immigrants would automatically absorb British habits of tolerance and free speech and democracy along the way.

The British, ironically, thought themselves to be one of the European countries that might be less at risk from militant Islam, despite British support for the Iraq war. There are only 1.6 million Muslims in Britain's population of 60 million, compared to some 6 million Muslims (mostly of North African origin) in France.

Many of Britain's Muslims have assimilated remarkably well; Muslims of Indian and East African origin, about a quarter of the total, can claim to be the most successful community in the country, with a higher proportion of millionaires, graduates and doctors that the British themselves.

But many have not assimilated, and while only tiny proportions of British Muslims tell pollsters that they support terrorism, much larger proportions accept the Wahhabite, Deobandi and other extreme forms of the religion that provide at least a philosophical base for the jihadists.

Few now question the dangers of Islam's rise in Europe. This is no longer a political issue. Tony Blankley is a staunch conservative. But Francis Fukuyama, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and the author of the celebrated essay, 'The End of History,' is a centrist in the liberal tradition, and he argues that Islam in Europe "is the biggest challenge to Western liberal democracy."

The question is what is to be done about it. Europe is trying to curb immigration, but that runs against the economic need for young workers to make up for the collapse in European birthrates. Europe is trying to tighten its anti-terror laws, but that runs against a strong post-Hitler suspicion of police states and arbitrary powers, and against a prevalent moral philosophy that combines guilt about the colonial era with anti-racism.

Blankley's answer is to declare war, quite formally, on Islamic extremism, and then to wage that war with the same intensity and ruthlessness as the United States waged World War Two. He sees the same need for powers to censor the media, to intern without trial or sequestrate suspects and communities (like the Japanese-Americans), to secure America's borders and adopt racial profiling.

"The challenge for America and the West is that we must try more or less simultaneously to shield our nations from the Islamists; strengthen our own cultural vigor, laws and military capacity; and shrewdly intervene in the Islamic world to establish healthy economic and political connections," he writes. "These include creating a free and self-sufficient Iraq and Afghanistan, and perhaps if the Israelis and Palestinians establish a lasting peace, pouring capital investment into the West Bank to promote mutual prosperity."

Put like that, it sounds simple. It isn't. The Iraq operation hardly looks like a "shrewd intervention" and the suspicion grows that the West does not really understand what it is doing in Iraq or in promoting democracy in Egypt or Saudi Arabia. As for pouring investment into the West Bank, the West tried that throughout the 1990s in trying to make the Oslo peace deal succeed.

Blankley sees Europe virtually ending immigration, and quite probably starting forcible deportations, within this decade, and he may well be right. Buy he also sees some kind of Christian religious revival under way in Europe that will gird the old continent spiritually and morally for the great struggle to save Christian civilization, and here he may be indulging in some wishful thinking.

Curiously, he does not consider any changes in the native European birthrate, and recent rises in the Swedish, British, French and German birthrates suggest that something in the breeding habits may be changing. Much more generous family allowances and childcare provision seem to be having a modest effect.

And if this to become the struggle for the survival of a civilization that Blankley maintains, harsher measures such as restricting rights to divorce and abortion and contraception, or giving fathers of families automatic preference in hiring, might conceivably become politically acceptable.

It is striking that such strong measures, some of which would seem to fit the broader agenda of American conservatism, receive no play in Blankley's book. This may be because he has written with an intriguing combination of passion and restraint; passion about the scale of the danger, and restraint about his own political views. Perhaps he is trying to make coverts of some of those centrists and liberals who would approach any book by a conservative with caution.

If so, he does a fine job, in a well-argued and thoughtful book that tries to alert readers to the stakes in what is becoming the most urgent and critical issue of our times.

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Washington (UPI) Oct 04, 2005
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