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Why They Surrender

Reader comment on item: Britain's Encounter with Islamic Law

Submitted by Tom (United States), Apr 2, 2008 at 15:38

In the 1987 mini-series, "Amerika," in which the US has been conquered and occupied by the USSR, Col. Andrei Denisov tells his American mistress that he can't understand how, if freedom really was something to be highly prized, Americans could lose it so easily.

The same question might be asked today of the countries capitulating to Islamism, the encroaching substitution of values based on a single faith for those based on reason.

I am new to this fight; but it seems to me that the strength which Islamism displays in Western societies draws upon our lack of understanding of what makes our culture superior to theirs. Multiculturalism, and post-modernism in general, deconstruct what they see as mere pretensions to objective values upon which this superiority is based, so that each of us has come to believe, in greater or lesser measure, that we have no right to prefer one culture over another, that any and all cultures must be accommodated on their own terms. Thus, our tolerance becomes the support and justification for their intolerance, a self-contradiction if ever there was one.

There are two things that we can all agree on: first, that each human being is equal in dignity to any other; and, second, that no human being is, or can ever be, omniscient. Given these two premises, a civilization based on reason trumps a civilization based on a religion. For, if no human being is omniscient, any human being may be wrong; and, if any human being may be wrong, then law, the precondition for civilization, must be by consensus, not handed down by monarch or deity.

It is inevitable that government exists only by the will of the governed. A people cannot be controlled unless they consent to be. The only question is, how much suffering will they endure before taking matters into their own hands.

We Westerners must rise up and say, "No more." We must stop this creeping tide before it becomes a tidal wave. In order to do this, we must understand why the Muslims scholars who support terrorism are wrong, why global domination by Muslims is wrong, why Western civilization is superior to Islamic domination. It is not enough to feel these things to be true; we must know the reasons -- not in order to answer the arguments of the Muslims, but to strengthen our own hearts and our resolve.

It is because we allowed ourselves to forget these things, through a litany of moral failings, that we are vulnerable to this onslaught today. We must reconstruct the crumbling supports upon which our civilization was built. This is not done by turning our countries into armed camps, and taking other draconian security measures. It is done by education. Without understanding, without knowing in our hearts, that freedom is better than slavery, we will lose it -- if not to this foe, then to another who comes after.

The infrastructure of Western civilization is crumbling. Its repair lies in our hearts and minds. Let us rediscover why we are great.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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