WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2015 – There is a major threat looming in the aftermath of the ISIS attacks in Paris: “The raucous xenophobia of far-right nationalists ever ready to demonize Muslim citizens, immigrants and refugees, and shut down Europe’s open internal borders,” say the deep thinkers of the New York Times editorial board.
God forbid Europeans should rethink the idea of “open internal borders” while hordes of immigrants stream across them, carrying a religious ideology that prevents assimilation into pluralistic democracies where individual rights are supreme and free men and women do not submit to the primitive superstitions of inferior and damaged civilizations – if they even give them a second thought.
When that second thought was given by the editors and cartoonists of the Paris satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a leftist publication whose anti-institutional milieu puts it at odds with all organized religions, the followers of one particular organized religion were less than pleased with its depictions of the Prophet Mohammad.
After Islamic gunmen slaughtered a fair number of the Charlie Hebdo staff, its new top editor Laurent Sourisseau – who survived the attack by playing dead—announced that Charlie Hebdo’s days of poking fun at Islam were over.
“We have drawn Mohammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever they want,” Sourisseau told the German magazine Stern. “We’ve done our job. We have defended the right to caricature.”
That small surrender did nothing to prevent more Islamic gunmen from traveling across France’s open borders ahead of Friday’s bloody rampage.
But the West’s intelligentsia is more concerned the civilized might push back against the barbarians, with a requisite closing of wide-open borders to the promoters of violence and censorship so incompatible with a functioning civil society.
The Times says if the French electorate adopts the “draconian [immigration] measures of the sort demanded by far-right nationalists like Marine Le Pen of the National Front [it] can only further alienate France’s Muslim population of five million.”
Is the goal here to prevent Muslim alienation or preserve and advance Western Civilization?
The Oxford Dictionary describes a nation state as one “whose citizens or subjects are relatively homogeneous in factors such as language or common descent.”
That definition certainly applies to the large and unassimilated Muslim enclaves in France.
“There are no-go areas not just in Paris, but all over France,” Robert Spence, of the website jihadWatch.org, told the Washington Times. “They’re operating with impunity, apparently secure in the knowledge that authorities cannot or will not act decisively to stop them.”
A nation state within a nation state.
Across the great Atlantic, meanwhile, the American presidential election is galvanized around the question of immigration. It has propelled GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump far ahead of his Republican rivals; those (Jeb Bush) promising to provide billionaire donors with cheap, south-of-the-border labor.
Today, governors Robert Bentley (Alabama), Doug Ducey (Arizona), Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), Dannel Malloy (Connecticut), Rick Scott (Florida), Bruce Rauner (Illinois), Terry Branstad (Iowa), Mike Pence (Indiana), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Paul LePage (Maine), Charlie Baker (Massachusetts), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Phil Bryant (Mississippi), Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania), Greg Abbott (Texas), and Scott Walker (Wisconsin) announced they will block entry into their states of the 10,000 Syrian refugees the Obama administration has pledge to bring into the U.S. over the next 12 months.
Last January, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said he had a message for us Americans: “Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.”
The American republic was founded not on race or language but the great Jeffersonian idea, gleaned from three millennia of Judeo-Christian tradition: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The long Islamic tradition of brutish totalitarianism is the irreconcilable antithesis of American freedom and values.
A land, as George Washington described it, of “good will,” where “one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”