Daniel Pipes has a piece in the NY Sun today on the systemic challenge to Israel posed by the Jewish state’s Muslim citizens. His column suggests to me how wrong Mary Eberstadt was in her recent article in Policy Review, which Stanley linked to the other day, whose upshot was that the intense political issues of today (chief among them the concern over immigration) serves as scapegoats for a public unwilling to face the threat of Islamism.
On the contrary, the phenomenon that Pipes outlines in his piece actually shows us that Islamic terrorism is not the West’s chief problem, deadly though it has been and will continue to be. The existential challenge faced by all Western countries isn’t bombs, but rather multiculturalism in its various forms, which threatens our respective national identities, and thus our sovereignty and democracy itself. (John Fonte called the threat “transnational progressivism” in his perceptive piece from a few years back.) The specific form of the threat varies — in Europe, the linked phenomena of pro-EU advocacy and pusillanimity in the face of domestic Muslim chauvinism; post-Zionism in Israel (which was Pipes’ topic); and post-Americanism here, which most directly manifests itself in the push for amnesty and against immigration-law enforcement. But the will-to-power by the Other is the same, whether from Mexican illegals in L.A., Moroccan jihadists in Amsterdam, or Muslims with Israeli citizenship.
It is obviously true that the challenge to America’s coherence and sovereignty is the decaf, lo-calorie version of what Israel and Europe face, both because our challengers are less alien (nominally Christian Latin Americans, many of whose predecessors we have successfully assimilated in the past) and because our own sense of self is stronger, certainly stronger than that of most European countries, anyway. But that simply means we are in a better position to prevail, not that we face a different threat.