The Corner

Politics & Policy

EU Official: Idea of Clash Between Islam and the West Has Misled Our Policies

The European Union boasts of a High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security. The countries within the EU have separate foreign policies and diplomatic staffs, so the institution of a single representative is an exercise in the fantasy that is the EU’s hallmark. The first holder of this office was Catherine Ashton. The appointment of this unknown woman was a function of British internal politics at their grubbiest. Her qualification was to have been treasurer of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, a movement that did its utmost to damage not just the national interest but Western resistance to Communism. She was quite skilled at turning up for photo-ops with genuine foreign ministers, and fortunately had nothing to say of her own.

The Ashton term in office ran out, and the appointment of her successor is a prime example of EU internal politics at their grubbiest. In November 2015, Federica Mogherini got the job in a process of mystery completely concealed from the public. She was quite as unknown as Ashton. Who proposed her? Was there a vote? Her qualification was to have been in the Italian Communist Youth Movement whose purpose was to 

dismantle Western resistance altogether to a Soviet take-over.

A FEPS conference is a typical EU fantasy — who knows what those initials stand for or why the conference was held and who financed it. Mogherini chose this arena to say that the idea of a clash between Islam and the West has misled our policies. “Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe’s history, in our culture,” though she turns her rhapsody into comedy by continuing, “in our food.” In sober fact, for centuries from the battle of Tours and the fall of Constantinople down to 9/11 the containment of Islam has been a continuous aspect of Western history. And what exactly is the place of Islam in our culture?

Examples, please. She surely is not thinking of the innumerable Westerners in all walks of life who have wondered how to accommodate Islam, but got nowhere. She comes to a conclusion that is as astounding a flight of fantasy as any, “Islam is a victim itself.”

Ashton, come back, you may be forgiven.

David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

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