Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism, by George Weigel, Doubleday, 208 pages, $18.95

We westerners are also deceiving ourselves about the Muslim threat to our civilization by embracing a mushy style of multiculturalism that has replaced our former tradition of robust assimilation of immigrant populations. Europeans are guilty of the same deadly sin. As a result, Weigel sees a distorted notion of tolerance at work that, over time, will reduce non-Muslim citizens of countries like the Netherlands and Denmark to second-class citizenship.

The Dutch Moroccan who murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh as part of a personal fatwa retains the right to vote from prison. Dutch children, on the other hand, are forbidden to display their country's flag on their backpacks because immigrants might view it as a provocation.
Already in France, he claims, there are dozens of "ungovernable "suburbs where cops fear to tread and consequently French law has been usurped by Sharia law, which is enforced by local Muslim clerics. Similar enclaves exist in Great Britain, he says.

Weigel's book, styled as a call to action, chides us for taking false comfort in the mantra that most Muslims are not terrorists. While the mantra is literally true, he argues that the terrorists enjoy the tacit sympathy of many of their brothers in faith, "not only in the Middle East, but throughout western Europe, in Canada, and in the United States."
His prescription is for patience and resolve and, most difficult, an acceptance of substantial sacrifice in a war of ideas and weapons against an enemy, the Jihadists, who will never be appeased and are dedicated to putting our civilization to the sword. This is a thoughtful, compelling little book, filled with brilliant analysis that is crucial to comprehending the jihadists' threat against the world.

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