The strategist’s warning

George Friedman, the head of StratFor, sheds additional light on the long-term European situation:

Europe’s hidden secret: The Europeans do not see Muslims from North Africa or Turkey as Europeans, nor do they intend to allow them to be Europeans. The European solution to their isolation is the concept of multiculturalism — on the surface a most liberal notion, and in practice, a movement for both cultural fragmentation and ghettoization….

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.

The fact that the Europeans view nationality in a fundamentally different matter than Americans is hardly hidden. They have never bought into the myth that paperwork determines nationality. I’ve lived in Europe for more of my adult life than I’ve lived in the USA and I’ve been pointing this out to my American readers for years.

Forget nationality. One of my neighbors had lived in our town for 30 years and she still considered herself, and was considered by the other townspeople, as a resident of the next town over. As for us, we have been “gli americani” for more than 15 years; for the last decade “nostri americani”. And this is despite our being fully integrated into the community, speaking the language, attending the church, and so on.

Now, imagine how those townspeople regard even second- or third-generation Muslims, who look, act, think, believe, and behave differently. To believe that they will be able to distinguish radical Muslims from non-radical Muslims, much less bother to do so, defies all credibility.