Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The European Solution

For Europe, absent a real effort in the Moslem world to defeat the jihadi effort to define Islam their (bloody-minded) way, the ultimate solution to jihadi violence will be very ugly.

Stratfor writes that isolation and expulsion is the likely solution to jihadi violence from European Moslems:

But while the Europeans have particular issues with Islam, and have had them for more than 1,000 years, there is a more generalizable problem. Christianity has been sapped of its evangelical zeal and no longer uses the sword to kill and convert its enemies. At least parts of Islam retain that zeal. And saying that not all Muslims share this vision does not solve the problem. Enough Muslims share that fervency to endanger the lives of those they despise, and this tendency toward violence cannot be tolerated by either their Western targets or by Muslims who refuse to subscribe to a jihadist ideology. And there is no way to distinguish those who might kill from those who won't. The Muslim community might be able to make this distinction, but a 25-year-old European or American policeman cannot. And the Muslims either can't or won't police themselves. Therefore, we are left in a state of war. ...

The European inability to come to terms with the reality it has created for itself in this and other matters does not preclude the realization that wars involving troops are occurring in many Muslim countries. The situation is complex, and morality is merely another weapon for proving the other guilty and oneself guiltless. The geopolitical dimensions of Islam's relationship with Europe, or India, or Thailand, or the United States, do not yield to moralizing.

Something must be done. I don't know what needs to be done, but I suspect I know what is coming. First, if it is true that Islam is merely responding to crimes against it, those crimes are not new and certainly didn't originate in the creation of Israel, the invasion of Iraq or recent events. This has been going on far longer than that. For instance, the Assassins were a secret Islamic order to make war on individuals they saw as Muslim heretics. There is nothing new in what is going on, and it will not end if peace comes to Iraq, Muslims occupy Kashmir or Israel is destroyed. Nor is secularism about to sweep the Islamic world. The Arab Spring was a Western fantasy that the collapse of communism in 1989 was repeating itself in the Islamic world with the same results. There are certainly Muslim liberals and secularists. However, they do not control events — no single group does — and it is the events, not the theory, that shape our lives.

Europe's sense of nation is rooted in shared history, language, ethnicity and yes, in Christianity or its heir, secularism. Europe has no concept of the nation except for these things, and Muslims share in none of them. It is difficult to imagine another outcome save for another round of ghettoization and deportation. This is repulsive to the European sensibility now, but certainly not alien to European history. Unable to distinguish radical Muslims from other Muslims, Europe will increasingly and unintentionally move in this direction.

I'm not as pessimistic as Stratfor is about the potential for the Arab Spring to transform Islam--eventually. But in the short term, they are right.

I also think they are right about what Europe can do to fight the threat even though they have not taken steps to ghettoize and deport Moslems.

There is a strain of thought that Moslems are not immigrating to Europe to assimilate but to colonize. And while the demographic trends surely lead to that result if present trends continue, I have no reason to expect present trends to continue. Neither does Stratfor.

I wrote, in 2008:

I've always felt that Europeans will not sit back and let unassimilated jihadi Moslems take over their continent. With a bloody history, Europeans will fight back and win. And they will be brutal about it if they feel desperate enough.

Remember, this isn't the first era to believe that Europe is too weary for large-scale organized violence.

Honestly, Stratfor's analysis is the first time I've seen this ugly solution to the jihadi problem raised--notwithstanding the injustice it would involve to peaceful Moslems who aren't part of the jihadi problem. Don't forget that in Europe, the period between World War II and the Cold War-which tends to be glossed over--was a period of massive and violent ethnic cleansing.

Unfortunately for us, as Stratfor also notes, the jihadis won't be unhappy about this result since it will radicalize the expelled and those in the Moslem world who see Europe doing this.

And if Europe is unwilling (and lacks the capability) to fight jihadis anywhere but in Europe, we will be left holding the jihadi bag elsewhere to cope with a weakening of the reform faction of Islam.

So we should hope, as President Obama recently called for, that Europe does a better job of assimilating Moslems into European society. Stratfor isn't terribly convinced that this is even possible, but in the long run I'm not that pessimistic.

In my post that I quoted, I hoped that there might be signs of assimilation that would make the need to get ugly (even if not up to Holocaust levels of genocidal ugly) moot--Europe absorbed barbarian invaders before, as I noted as an aside in this long post focused on the EU.

Even if it is possible, that takes time. Is there time?

UPDATE: Related:

The threat from Islamist terrorism is serious and growing, but let’s not exaggerate by suggesting that an ISIS-like state is about to take over Europe or North America. That’s not going to happen. If nothing else, the widespread revulsion against the Charlie Hebdo killings–which drew monumental crowds into the streets of France–shows that the West has plenty of fight in it and is not about to roll over for its enemies.

"Eurabia" isn't a realistic threat.

That doesn't mean it isn't important to help the Islamic world win their civil war in a way that delegitimizes the jihadis. Otherwise, the way Europe defends itself could be ugly.

UPDATE: If the Euro elites are counting on the (one day) EU empire to contain European aggressive instincts, they're going to need a Plan B.