THE MASSACRE IN PARIS REDIVIVUS: AND WHY GIDEON RACHMAN IS WRONG ABOUT IT
"Ever since the late Samuel Huntington predicted that international politics would be dominated by a “clash of civilisations”, his theory, first outlined in 1993, has found some of its keenest adherents among militant Islamists. The terrorists who inflicted mass murder on Paris are part of a movement that sees Islam and the west as locked in inevitable mortal combat. Leading western politicians, by contrast, have almost always rejected Huntington’s analysis. Even former US President George W Bush said: “There is no clash of civilisations.” And everyday life in multicultural western nations, most of which have large Muslim minorities, offers a daily refutation of the idea that different faiths and cultures cannot live and work together.... In Europe, even before the Paris attacks, the migrant crisis had helped to fuel the rise of anti-Muslim parties and social movements. As Germany has opened its doors to refugees from the Middle East, violent attacks on migrant hostels have risen. In France, it is widely expected the far-right National Front will make significant gains in next month’s regional elections. Anti-Muslim rhetoric is also rising in the US and has become commonplace among Republican candidates for the presidential nomination. Ben Carson, who leads in many Republican polls, has said that no Muslim should be allowed to become US president; Donald Trump has said that he would deport any Syrian refugees admitted to the US. The confluence of these developments in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia is fuelling the idea of a clash of civilisations. Yet the reality is that the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds are intermingled across the globe. Multiculturalism is not a naive liberal aspiration — it is the reality of the modern world and it has to be made to work. The only alternative is more violence, death and grief".Gideon Rachman, "Do Paris terror attacks highlight a clash of civilisations". The Financial Times. 17 November 2015, in www.ft.com.
Europe has to choose. The murder of 129 people during six separate terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 is forcing governments across Europe to consider how to deal with the so-called Islamic State. At stake is how to strike a balance between the open society and the defense of citizens. It will require steady nerves from all European governments not to bow to populist, Euroskeptic, and anti-Muslim movements that wish to batten down the hatches. This is precisely what the followers of the anti-Western Islamic State want.... Yes, it is the overriding duty of governments to protect their citizens. But if that means using fear, revenge, and weaker democratic accountability that would lead to witch hunts against refugees and Muslim communities, then the struggle against Islamic State, which wants to destroy what the West stands for, will be lost. Seventy years ago, Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper wrote his monumental The Open Society and Its Enemies. It is a powerful analysis of the forces that abet totalitarianism and fascism. It is also a powerful defense of Western liberal democracies, which by their very nature are open. This is the crossroads Europe has reached: Will Europe bow to the enemy from within by disowning its open society, or will it defend what the West represents—values and institutions based on the tolerance and freedoms needed to keep European societies open? The West can prevail. European governments and the EU can take many measures to protect their citizens, borders, and critical infrastructure. There is scope for much greater sharing of intelligence. But because these terrorist cells are homegrown, these measures alone are not sufficient.Judy Dempsey, "After the Paris Attacks: The Open Society and Its Enemies". Carnegie Europe. 16 November 2015, in www.carnegieeurope.eu Vladimir Solov'ev. Man is descended from the ape, therefore, let us love one another. When one reads the commentary by such paragons (normally speaking) of reasonable intelligence and wisdom (albeit of a somewhat bien-pensant variety) as Gideon Rachman and Judy Dempsey, one reads and re-reads the piece and scratches one's head. The massacre in Paris one week ago, occurred for a good number of reasons, and reasonable people can debate which one of those reasons are more rather than less important. With that caveat, it is hardly stands to reason, and it is in reality merely the type of thinking that Solov'ev was making fun of, to put forward the thesis that the most important thing to concern ourselves with in the aftermath of said horrific event is that we all need to be on the watch for the rise of the 'Populist Right' in Europe. The supposition being (I am endeavoring in this instance to try to put some logic in a very illogical train of thought but no matter...) I suppose is that if the Populist Right were to gain power in individual countries in Europe or concurrently, if existing Centre-Right political parties in Europe were to erroneously heed the mutterings of the Populist Right, then the current state of affairs in Europe as it relates to both immigration, anti-Muslim feelings and 'multiculturalism', et cetera would become worse! Of course that raises the question as to how Rachman & Dempsey would characterise the current state of affairs and who is responsible for it politically speaking. Obviously not the 'Populist Right', since the latter was not: a) in power; b) not in favor of the policies which almost all Western and Central European states have followed as per immigration and multi-culturalism in the past forty plus years. A long-time ago, Lord Keynes stated a truism (or what should be a truism) when he said: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" Apparently, neither Rachman or Dempsey are going to allow what occurred one week ago, to cause them or their fellow bien-pensant advocates of multi-culturalism to either change their minds or their approaches to the problems thrown-up by ISIS and uncontrollable immigration from the Third-World. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the liberal, bourgeois, bien-pensant, post-enlightenment cosmopolitan approach to all of these issues has shown itself politically bankrupt. A new approach is both needed and required. I myself detest most of the adherents and the slogans of the Populist Right (as well as the Populist Left) in Europe and elsewhere. With that being said, they do have the best of the argument in stating openly that the methods and the policies of the past have not worked and will mostly likely not work in the future. And that a new course is needed. Ideally as urgently as possible. With the employment of brass tacks in both controlling (nay stopping - completely) immigration from the Third World to Europe; with the need to employ a something approaching an iron fist in policing the existing Muslim communities in Europe in such a fashion that full assimilation or deportation should be the alternatives. What do I say then when I am told that such policies will result in the further 'alienation' of the Muslim communities in Europe? Well, first such communities are in a good sense already 'alienated', with the results for all to see. Second, when one compares the results (not slogans or bien-pensant pieties, but results), existing bien-pensant policies results-wise are inferior to results in the more authoritarian regimes of Central Asia, or the policies employed by say Israel towards it own Arab-Muslim population, wherein in both instances a mailed fist is fully employed in treating the problems of Islamic Radicalism 1. In short, what Mr. Rachman and Miss Dempsey need to do is to re-think `a la Lord Keynes their approaches to the problem highlighted by last week's massacre in Paris. Before it is too late for all of us. 1. See the results wherein it is noted that in Tajikistan has a lower level of Muslim males joining ISIS in Syria than does either Britain (and one presumes Belgium and France). See: Edward J. Lemon, "Daesh and Tijikistan". The Royal United Services Institute. (October / November 2015), pp. 68-76.