“…There is a vast gulf in Arab societies between an elevated self-esteem based on an alleged superiority in religion and civilisation and, on the other hand, the constant denial of this superiority by the grim reality of curtailed liberties, intellectual atrophy and institutionalised corruption.
This simple but demanding liturgy describes the different historical trajectories that have been followed by the Western-Christian and the Arab-Islamic civilisations from their beginnings. Though following a similar early trail, their different histories have produced radically different human experiences.
Islam and the West are two very different life-ways that are not sufficiently adaptable to live in amity as a mixed society. It would be very difficult for the Islamic faith to “soften” its belief system to allow a civil collaboration that causes least distress or disturbance. Because of the West’s much more open nature it might not be able to protect its laws, traditions and customs with sufficient strength and certainty to satisfy enough of its citizens who wish to maintain that open nature. Already too much of that has been conceded—though in good faith—over past decades as immigration from the Islamic countries of the Middle East and South Asia has unfolded; but the present flood of immigrants and refugees into Europe is vastly more serious, and is causing considerable distress and disruption to both the immigrants and the hosts. Those fleeing their homeland will pay with their lives, money, health and lost expectations—with a welcome in Europe quickly disappearing—while those receiving the multitude must deal with the costs and burdens of the task, and its dangers, to the growing anger of its voters, both at the ballot box and on the streets.
Mary Robinson, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, expressed the opinion that Europe’s approximately 500 million people could readily cope with a few million uninvited immigrants; this is a simplistic view of a large and complex problem. The difficulties associated with the peaceful absorption of the mass of people presently kicking at the doors of the West must not be underestimated. Population growth, the wealth disparity that is accompanying globalisation, the political inequality between the West and much of the rest of the world, and the chaotic violence and sectarian murders that so typifies much of Islam—all will serve to magnify both the manner and the numbers of refugees seeking to gain entry to more ordered parts of the world.
Already large numbers of Muslims have settled in the West; in many cases they have been resident for two or three generations. Many of them still remain as “exiles”, and largely disconnected from their hosts. Further immigration from their homeland will most likely add to that lack of belonging.
The weakening of the bonds that hold the nations of the West together will, very likely, become evident, the outcomes of which will be entirely unpredictable. Multiculturalism is a redundant ideology.
All are blind on our ways into the future …” The Incompatibility of Islam and the West