The Meaning of the Myth


Like Communism, Islam relies on a domestic fifth column -- the Allah-worshiping Rosenbergs, Philbys, Blunts, and Hisses -- to subvert the civilized world. It also relies on an army of fellow-travelers, the latter-day Sartres and Shaws in the ivory towers, on “liberal academics and opinion-makers" -- as the late Sam Francis once put it -- who "sympathize with Islam partly because it is a leading historical rival of the Western civilization they hate” and partly because they long for a romanticized and sanitized Muslim past that substitutes for the authentic Western and Christian roots they have rejected.

Those roots must be defended, in the full knowledge that those who subscribe to Islam and its civilization are aliens, regardless of their clothes, their professions or their places of residence. They sense Western weakness and expect that if Islam supplies the only old religious tradition left standing 50 years hence, it may attract mass conversion. That would indeed be the end of the West, its final surrender to the spirit masterfully depicted by Jean Raspail in the preface to the 1985 French edition of his Camp of Saints:

The West is empty, even if it has not yet become really aware of it. An extraordinarily inventive civilization, surely the only one capable of meeting the challenges of the third millennium, the West has no soul left. At every level -- nations, race, cultures as well as individuals -- it is always the soul that wins the decisive battles.

The story that Raspail tells is rooted in a “onstrous cancer implanted in the Western conscience.” One word, "Srebrenica," embodies it perfectly. Its roots are in the loss of Faith, and in the arrogant doctrine -- rampant in “the West” for three past centuries now -- that man can solve the dilemma of his existence by his unaided intellect alone.

If that loss is not reversed, the game is over anyway -- proving yet again that where God retreats, Allah advances.

Before 1914, both the West and the Muslim world could define themselves against each other in a cultural sense. What secularism has done, since replacing Christianity as the guiding light of “the West,” is to cast aside any idea of a Christian social, geographic, and cultural space that should be protected. Islam, “extreme” or “moderate,” has not softened, however. The consequences will be very serious unless Muslims are either “westernized” -- that is to say, made as willing as Christians to see their religion first relativized, then mocked, and its commandments misrepresented or ignored -- or else Christianized, which of course cannot happen unless there is a belated, massive, and unexpected recovery of Western spiritual and moral strength.

As things stand now, the West faces two clear alternatives: defense, or submission and acceptance of sacred Arab places as its own. The latter is the visceral preference of the Western elite class, and "Srebrenica" is its totem.

Islam should not be blamed for being what it is, nor should its adherents be condemned for maintaining their traditions. We should not "hate" it, nor ban it, if it reforms itself to the standards of a civilized, that is, non-Muslim society. If it does not happen -- and miracles are always possible -- it should be banned, of course. The Kuran’s exhortations to the believers to annihilate the non-believers, to confiscate their land and property, to take their women and enslave their children are clear and unambiguous, and the fruits have been ghastly. In the present state of Western weakness, such Muslim firmness may appear attractive to the legions of cynical nihilists and lead further millions to the conclusion that we should all become Muslims, since our goose is cooked anyway, spiritually and demographically.

Those of us who do not cherish that prospect should at least demand that our rulers present that option fairly and squarely. To pretend, as the ruling elite does, that Islam is “a religion of peace,” rather like Episcopalianism, is stupid or deeply dishonest.

Islam might have been made much less threatening if the West had not conciliated or sponsored its most threatening exponents. Islam was exposed to a devastating collapse in credibility within the Arab world itself in the middle of the twentieth century. The forces of secularity were very strong indeed. But America opposed them at every turn because they were socialist or communist or simply not “in the national interest.” America gave whole-hearted support to the worst nation on earth: Saudi Arabia, a veritable hotbed of raw barbarity that makes Kim Jong Il look eminently clubable. As the economies of real states falter and haltr, the Saudi petrodollars are poured into establishing violent fanaticism as the big alternative.

“As a man thinketh, so is he.” The real problem of the Muslim world is not that of natural resources or political systems. Ernest Renan, who started his study of Islam by praising its ability to manifest “what was divine in human nature,” ended it -- a quarter of a century and three long tours of the Muslim world later -- by concluding that “Muslims are the first victims of Islam” and that, therefore, “to liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him.”

Islam is a collective psychosis seeking to become global, and any attempt to abet such madness is to become part of the madness oneself. The purveyors of "Srbrenica" are worse than criminal: they are mistaken.