EUROPE’S FECKLESS LEADERS FAIL TO CONFRONT RISING ISLAMIST THREAT

Will Europe Refuse to Kneel like the Heroic French Priest?: Giulio Meotti, Gatestone Institute, July 30, 2016— Imagine the scene: the morning Catholic mass in the northern French town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, an almost empty church, three parishioners, two nuns and a very old priest.

Is Europe Helpless?: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016 — At last count, members of the European Union spent more than $200 billion a year on defense, fielded more than 2,000 jet fighters and 500 naval ships, and employed some 1.4 million military personnel.

‘Mere Islam’ and the Munich Massacre: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, July 25, 2016— A German-born 18-year-old of Iranian descent named Ali Sonboly went on a shooting spree last Friday. 

Why Borders Matter — and a Borderless World is a Fantasy: Victor Davis Hanson, Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2016— Borders are in the news as never before.

 

On Topic Links

 

French PM: It Is Urgent to Reconstruct French Islam, Expel the Threats from Within: Jewish Press, July 31, 2016

VIDEO — Daniel Pipes: Jihad Awakens Europe: Gatestone Institute, July 15, 2016

Marion Le Pen: 'Either We Kill Islamism or It Will Kill Us': Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, July 26, 2016

Redeeming the Plains of Ninevah: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, July 29, 2016

 

WILL EUROPE REFUSE TO KNEEL LIKE THE HEROIC FRENCH PRIEST?

Giulio Meotti       

Gatestone Institute, July 30, 2016

 

Imagine the scene: the morning Catholic mass in the northern French town of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, an almost empty church, three parishioners, two nuns and a very old priest. Knife-wielding ISIS terrorists interrupt the service and slit the throat of Father Jacques Hamel. This heartbreaking scene illuminates the state of Christianity in Europe. It happened before. In 1996 seven French monks were slaughtered in Algeria. In 2006, a priest was beheaded in Iraq. In 2016, this horrible Islamic ritual took place in the heart of European Christianity: the Normandy town where Father Hamel was murdered is the location of the trial of Joan of Arc, the heroine of French Christianity.

 

France had been repeatedly warned: Europe's Christians will meet the same fate of their Eastern brethren. But France refused to protect either Europe's Christians or Eastern ones. When, a year ago, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, suggested transforming empty French churches (like that one in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray) into mosques, only a few French intellectuals, led by Alain Finkielkraut and Pascal Bruckner, signed the appeal entitled, "Do not touch my church" ("Touche pas à mon église") in defense of France's Christian heritage. Laurent Joffrin, director of the daily newspaper Libération, led a left-wing campaign against the appeal, describing the signers as "decrepit and fascist". For years, French socialist mayors have approved, in fact, the demolition of churches or their conversion into mosques (the same goal as ISIS but by different, "peaceful" means). Except in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter of Paris, and in some beautiful areas such as the Avignon Festival, France is experiencing a dramatic crisis of identity.

 

While the appeal to save France's churches was being demonized or ignored, the same fate was suffered by endangered Eastern Christian being exterminated by ISIS. "It is no longer possible to ignore this ethnic and cultural cleansing", reads an appeal signed by the usual combative "Islamophobic" intellectuals, such as Elisabeth Badinter, Jacques Julliard and Michel Onfray. In March, the newspaper Le Figaro accused the government of Manuel Valls of abandoning the Christians threatened with death by ISIS by refusing to grant them visas.

 

Go around Europe these days: you will find not a single rally to protest the killing of Father Hamel. In January 2015, after the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French took to the streets to say "Je suis Charlie". After July 26, 2016, the day an 85-year-old priest was murdered in a church, nobody said "We are all Catholics". Even Pope Francis, in the face of the most important anti-Christian event on Europe's soil since the Second World War, stood silent and said that Islamists look "for money". The entire Vatican clergy refused to write or say the word "Islam".

 

Truth is coming from very few writers. "Religions overcome other religions; police can help little if one is not afraid of death." With these words, six months after the massacre at the magazine Charlie Hebdo, the writer Michel Houellebecq spoke with the Revue des Deux Mondes. Our elite should read it after every massacre before filling up pages on "intelligence failures."

 

It is not as if one more French gendarmerie vehicle could have stopped the Islamist who slaughtered 84 people in Nice. Perhaps. Maybe. But that is not the point. Ritually, after each massacre, Europe's media and politicians repeat the story of "intelligence failures". In the case of the attack in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, the story is about a terrorist who was placed under surveillance. The "intelligence failure" theory is a fig leaf to avoid mentioning Islam and its project of the conquest of Europe. It is the conventional code of conduct after any Islamist attack. Then they add: "Retaliation" creates a spiral of violence; you have to work for peace and show good intentions. Then, in two or three weeks, comes the fatal "we deserve it". For what? For having a religion different from them?

 

We always hear the same voices, as in some great game of dissimulation and collective disorientation in which no one even knows which enemy to beat. But, after all, is it not much more comforting to talk about "intelligence" instead of the Islamists who try, by terror and sharia, to force the submission of us poor Europeans? Europe looks condemned to a permanent state of siege. But what if, one day, after more bloodshed and attacks in Europe, Europe's governments begin negotiating, with the mainstream Islamic organizations, the terms of submission of democracies to Islamic sharia law? Cartoons about Mohammed and the "crime" of blasphemy have already disappeared from the European media, and the scapegoating of Israel and the Jews started long time ago.

 

After the attack at the church, the French media decided even to stop publishing photos of the terrorists. This is the brave response to jihad by our mainstream media, who also showed lethal signs of cowardice during the Charlie Hebdo crisis. The only hope today comes from an 85-year-old French priest, who was murdered by Islamists after a simple, noble gesture: he refused to kneel in front of them. Will humiliated and indolent Europe do the same?                          

 

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IS EUROPE HELPLESS?                                                                                                      

Bret Stephens                                                                                                         

Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016

 

At last count, members of the European Union spent more than $200 billion a year on defense, fielded more than 2,000 jet fighters and 500 naval ships, and employed some 1.4 million military personnel. More than a million police officers also walk Europe’s streets. Yet in the face of an Islamist menace the Continent seems helpless. Is it? Was France helpless in May 1940?

 

Let’s stipulate that a van barreling down a seaside promenade isn’t a Panzer division, and that a few thousand ISIS fighters scattered from Mosul to Marseilles aren’t another Wehrmacht. But as in France in 1940, Europe today displays the same combination of doctrinal rigidity and loss of will that allowed an Allied army of 144 divisions to be routed by the Germans in six weeks. The Maginot Line of “European values” won’t prevail over people who recognize none of those values.

 

So much was made clear by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who remarked after the Nice attack that “France is going to have to live with terrorism.” This may have been intended as a statement of fact but it came across as an admission that his government isn’t about to rally the public to a campaign of blood, toil, tears and sweat against ISIS—another premature capitulation in a country that has known them before. Mr. Valls was later booed at a memorial service for the Nice victims. It would be heartening to think this was because he and his boss, President François Hollande, have failed to forge a strategy to destroy ISIS. But the public’s objection was that there hadn’t been enough cops along the Promenade des Anglais to stop the attack. In soccer terms, it’s a complaint about the failure of defense, not the lack of a proper offense.

 

Then there is Germany, site of three terror attacks in a week. It seems almost like a past epoch that Germans welcomed a million Middle Eastern migrants in an ecstasy of moral self-congratulation, led by Angela Merkel’s chant of “We can do it!” Last summer’s slogan now sounds as dated and hollow as Barack Obama’s “Yes we can!” Now Germany will have to confront a terror threat that will make the Baader-Meinhof gang of the 1970s seem trivial. The German state is stronger and smarter than the French one, but it also surrenders more easily to moral intimidation. The idea of national self-preservation at all costs will always be debatable in a country seeking to expiate an inexpiatable sin.

 

Thus the question of whether Europe is helpless. At its 1980s peak, under François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl, the European project combined German economic strength and French confidence in power politics. Today, it mixes French political weakness with German moral solipsism. This is a formula for rapid civilizational decline, however many economic or military resources the EU may have at its disposal. Can the decline be stopped? Yes, but that would require a great unlearning of the political mythologies on which modern Europe was built. Among those mythologies: that the European Union is the result of a postwar moral commitment to peace; that Christianity is of merely historical importance to European identity; that there’s no such thing as a military solution; that one’s country isn’t worth fighting for; that honor is atavistic and tolerance is the supreme value. People who believe in nothing, including themselves, will ultimately submit to anything.

 

The alternative is a recognition that Europe’s long peace depended on the presence of American military power, and that the retreat of that power will require Europeans to defend themselves. Europe will also have to figure out how to apply power not symbolically, as it now does, but strategically, in pursuit of difficult objectives. That could start with the destruction of ISIS in Libya. More important, Europeans will have to learn that powerlessness can be as corrupting as power—and much more dangerous. The storm of terror that is descending on Europe will not end in some new politics of inclusion, community outreach, more foreign aid or one of Mrs. Merkel’s diplomatic Rube Goldbergs. It will end in rivers of blood. Theirs or yours?

 

In all this, the best guide to how Europe can find its way to safety is the country it has spent the best part of the last 50 years lecturing and vilifying: Israel. For now, it’s the only country in the West that refuses to risk the safety of its citizens on someone else’s notion of human rights or altar of peace. Europeans will no doubt look to Israel for tactical tips in the battle against terrorism—crowd management techniques and so on—but what they really need to learn from the Jewish state is the moral lesson. Namely, that identity can be a great preserver of liberty, and that free societies cannot survive through progressive accommodations to barbarians.                                                            

 

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‘MERE ISLAM’ AND THE MUNICH MASSACRE                                                                                        

Raymond Ibrahim                                                                                                                      

Frontpage, July 25, 2016

 

A German-born 18-year-old of Iranian descent named Ali Sonboly went on a shooting spree last Friday.  He reportedly targeted young children; a number of adolescents were among the nine he murdered. This incident is a reminder that the ongoing terrorization of the West is not limited to the Islamic State (“ISIS”), “extreme” Wahhabi or Salafi interpretations of Islam, or terrorists posing as refugees entering the West. Ali Sonboly was none of those things.  He was born and raised in Germany and, based on his name and Iranian heritage, was most likely of Shia background.

 

But he was a Muslim.  He screamed Islam’s ancient war cry “Allahu Akbar” during his rampage.  It’s also telling that he launched his attack on the one day of the week that many calculated Islamic attacks on non-Muslims occur: Friday. And that is the grand lesson of the Munich massacre.  Mere Islam—to borrow from C.S. Lewis’ famous book about the many commonalities shared by most Christian denominations—is responsible for the ongoing terrorization of the West. If you doubt this, simply turn to a recent study.  It found that everyday Muslims of all sects, races, and sociopolitical circumstances—not just “ISIS”—are responsible for persecuting Christians in 41 of the 50 worst nations to be Christian in: Shia Iran is the ninth worst nation, “Wahhabi” Saudi Arabia is 14th, while “moderate” nations like Malaysia and Indonesia are ranked 30 and 43 respectively. The common denominator in all these nations is ISLAM—without qualifier.

 

Even ISIS’ abhorrent treatment of Christians and other non-Muslims is only an extreme reflection of what Muslims in general are doing to non-Muslims all around the world.  See “Muslim Persecution of Christians,” reports which I’ve been compiling every month for five years this month, and witness the nonstop discrimination, persecution, and carnage committed against Christians by “everyday” Muslims—from the highest authorities to the basest mobs.  Each monthly report (there are currently 58) contains dozens of atrocities, any of which if committed by Christians against Muslims would receive 24/7 blanket coverage.

 

While the media concoct any number of lies to dispel the Islamic nature of the Munich attack—the usual strategies, especially talk of “grievances,” are already being employed —the fact remains: for all the differences and tensions between Europe’s native and Muslim populations, the Christians being persecuted by Muslims are often identical to their persecutors in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language. There is no political dispute, no land dispute. Nor do these disempowered and ostracized Christian minorities have any political power—meaning there are no Muslim “grievances” either.

 

So why are they hated and hounded? Because they are Christians—that is, non-Muslim infidels—and that’s the real reason Western people are being terrorized by Muslims, most recently (or at least as of this writing) in Munch. Ugly or not, this truth, that mere Islam—not “ISIS,” “Salafism,” “Wahhabism,” or “Shiism”—promotes hate for and violence against non-Muslims will never be remedied until those in positions of leadership first acknowledge it.  And, with the notable exception of Donald Trump, they are very far from doing so.                                                        

 

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WHY BORDERS MATTER —                                                                

AND A BORDERLESS WORLD IS A FANTASY                                                                       

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                     

Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2016

 

Borders are in the news as never before. With Muslim refugees flooding into the European Union from the Middle East, and with terrorism on the rise, a popular revolt is taking shape against the so-called Schengen Area agreements, which give free rights of movement within Europe. The European masses are not racists, but they now apparently wish to accept Middle Eastern immigrants only to the degree that these newcomers arrive legally and promise to become European in values and outlook—protocols that the EU essentially discarded decades ago as intolerant. Europeans are relearning that the continent’s external borders mark off very different approaches to culture and society from what prevails in North Africa or the Middle East.

 

A similar crisis plays out in the United States, where President Obama has renounced his former opposition to amnesty by executive order. The populist pushback against unchecked immigration from Mexico, Central and South America gave rise to the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump—predicated on the candidate’s promise to build an impenetrable border wall—much as the cascade of asylum-seekers into Germany has fueled opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel.  

 

Driving the growing outrage in Europe and North America is the ongoing elite push for a borderless world. Among elites, borderlessness has taken its place among the politically correct positions of our age — and, as with other such ideas, it has shaped the language we use. The descriptive term “illegal alien” gave way to the nebulous “unlawful immigrant,” then “undocumented immigrant,” “immigrant,” or the entirely neutral “migrant” — a noun that obscures whether the individual in question is entering or leaving.

 

Today’s open-borders agenda has its roots not only in economic and political factors — the need for low-wage workers who will do the work that native-born Americans or Europeans supposedly will not, and the desire to flee failed states — but also in several decades of intellectual ferment, in which Western academics have created a trendy field of “borders discourse.” What we might call post-borderism argues that boundaries are mere artificial constructs, methods of marginalization designed by those in power, mostly to stigmatize and oppress the “other” — usually the poorer and less Western — who arbitrarily ended up on the wrong side of the divide. “Where borders are drawn, power is exercised,” as one European scholar put it. This view assumes that where borders are not drawn, power is not exercised — as if the Middle Eastern immigrants pouring into Germany do not wield considerable power by their sheer numbers and adroit manipulation of Western grievance politics.

 

Dreams of a borderless world are not new, however. Plutarch claimed in his essay “On Exile” that Socrates considered himself not just an Athenian but instead “a citizen of the cosmos.” In later European thought, Communist ideas of universal labor solidarity drew heavily on the idea of a world without borders. “Workers of the world, unite!” exhorted Marx and Engels. Wars broke out, in this thinking, only because of needless quarreling over obsolete state boundaries.

 

The solution to endless war, some argued, was to eliminate borders in favor of transnational governance. H. G. Wells’ prewar science-fiction novel “The Shape of Things to Come” envisioned borders eventually disappearing as transnational polymaths enforced enlightened world governance. Such fictions prompt fads in the real world, though attempts to render borders unimportant — as, in Wells’ time, the League of Nations sought to do — have always failed. Undaunted, the Left continues to cherish the vision of a borderless world as morally superior, a triumph over artificially imposed difference.

 

Yet the truth is that formal borders do not create difference — they reflect it. Elites’ continued attempts to erase borders are both futile and destructive. Borders — and the fights to keep or change them — are as old as agricultural civilization. In ancient Greece, most wars broke out over border scrubland. The contested upland eschatia offered little profit for farming but possessed enormous symbolic value for a city-state to define where its own culture began and ended.

 

Throughout history, the trigger points of war have traditionally been such borderlands — the methoria between Argos and Sparta, the Rhine and Danube as the frontiers of Rome, or the Alsace-Lorraine powder keg between France and Germany. These disputes did not always arise, at least at first, as efforts to invade and conquer a neighbor. They were instead mutual expressions of distinct societies that valued clear-cut borders — not just as matters of economic necessity or military security but also as a means of ensuring that one society could go about its unique business without the interference and hectoring of its neighbors.

 

Few escape petty hypocrisy when preaching the universal gospel of borderlessness. In 2011, open-borders advocate Antonio Villaraigosa became the first mayor in Los Angeles history to build a wall around the official mayoral residence. His un-walled neighbors objected, first, that there was no need for such a barricade and, second, that it violated a city ordinance prohibiting residential walls higher than four feet. But Villaraigosa apparently wished to emphasize the difference between his home and the street, or was worried about security, or saw a new wall as iconic of his exalted office.

 

While elites can build walls to insulate themselves, the consequences of their policies fall heavily on the nonelites who lack the money and influence to navigate around them. The contrast between the two groups — Peggy Noonan described them as the “protected” and the “unprotected” — was dramatized in the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush. When the former Florida governor called illegal immigration from Mexico “an act of love,” his candidacy was doomed. It seemed that Bush had the capital to pick and choose how the consequences of his ideas fell upon himself and his family — in a way impossible for most of those living in the southwestern United States.

 

More broadly, those who deride borders are unwilling to address why tens of millions of people choose to cross them in the first place, leaving their language fluency and native soil — at great personal risk. The answer is obvious: migration, as it was in the 1960s between mainland China and Hong Kong, as it is now between North and South Korea, is usually a one-way street, from the non-West to the West or its Westernized manifestations. People walk, climb, swim, and fly across borders, secure in the knowledge that boundaries mark different approaches to human experience, with one side perceived as more successful or inviting than the other.

 

Western rules that promote a greater likelihood of consensual government, religious tolerance, an independent judiciary, free-market capitalism, and the protection of private property combine to offer the individual a level of prosperity and personal security rarely enjoyed at home. As a result, migrants make the necessary travel adjustments to go westward — especially given that Western civilization, uniquely so, has usually defined itself by culture, not race, and thus alone is willing to accept and integrate those of different races who wish to share its protocols…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed]

 

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On Topic Links

 

French PM: It Is Urgent to Reconstruct French Islam, Expel the Threats from Within: Jewish Press, July 31, 2016—“Through its history and its geography—open as it is to the Mediterranean and Africa, and through its immigration, France maintains very strong ties with Islam,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, wrote in a lengthy article in the Journal du Dimanche Sunday. “This is the second-largest religion in our country. Millions of French Muslims live here without necessarily identifying themselves as an Arab-Muslim culture.”

VIDEO — Daniel Pipes: Jihad Awakens Europe: Gatestone Institute, July 15, 2016—At least 84 people were murdered yesterday in France's third major Islamist terrorist attack in less than a year. In our latest video, Daniel Pipes talks about Europe's crossroads: Will Europeans succumb to Islamization, or will they rise to fight radical Islam and hold onto Western values? How it looks so far…

Marion Le Pen: 'Either We Kill Islamism or It Will Kill Us': Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, July 26, 2016—Marion Maréchal Le Pen, the 26-year-old niece of France's Front National leader Marine Le Pen has urged her fellow countrymen to join the military in a series of tweets following the beheading of a priest in Normandy this morning.

Redeeming the Plains of Ninevah: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, July 29, 2016— Here is a parable for our times: George Lord Wiedenfeld, a British peer and a distinguished publisher, was a penniless five-year-old when British Quakers and other Christians fed and clothed him, and helped him reach the UK from Vienna after Hitler seized Austria in 1938.