Who will you run to when it all falls down?
I’ve been thinking for quite some time, and even mentioned it on this blog, that the transition of the gay rights movement from “keep the government out of the bedroom” to “get the government to insist the public comes in, watches, and claps in approval” will turn out badly for them in the long term. There are already signs that the feminists and trans lobbyists are going to throw gay men under the bus in the great game of victimhood poker, particularly if their political views are not of the approved kind. Look at the vitriol being heaped on Milo Yiannopolous at the moment: being a gay Jew with a preference for black men hasn’t stopped him being branded an actual Nazi by his opponents, including some supposedly respectable media outlets.
By moving away from the principle that consenting adults ought to do as they please towards one of forcing moral acceptance of their choices onto a reluctant public via the legal system, the gays have lost a lot of natural allies in the process, those people who may or may not have approved of what they do but on the principles of freedom and liberty believed they should have been allowed to get on with it. The question they ought to now be asking is who will they turn to when they are stripped of their victim status and chucked under the bus. They’re not going to find a lot of sympathy among those who didn’t care who shagged who but cared very much that the proprietors of pizza restaurants in Indiana were being crucified by the media, politicians, and gay lobby after being goaded into uttering the wrong opinions. The mainstream, in other words.
This latest business about Trump’s Executive Order has revealed that it’s not just gay men who might face this issue in future. I have said enough times that this order was clumsily implemented and the chaos at the airports could have and should have been avoided, but otherwise it is not much more than what any other country does, or indeed any other American President has done in the past. It is not “aimed at Muslims” and with the exception of Iran it affects only those countries which are in various levels of civil war and have no functioning security apparatus with which their American counterparts can liaise. Plus it is temporary. Granted the list of countries does not reflect the citizenship of those who have carried out terrorist attacks on US soil before, but perhaps the Trump administration is looking to the future rather than extrapolating from the past.
One can expect Trump’s domestic political opponents to scream blue murder about it, because they would go into meltdown if he scrapped the US nuclear weapons programme and diverted the funds to orphanages and baby seal sanctuaries. But the knee-jerk reaction of Europeans is an interesting one. Europe has a nasty habit of getting itself into an almighty mess which the United States eventually has to pull them out of. We had two World Wars which required American intervention in Europe, then the military umbrella throughout the Cold War which kept the Russians out, and then the mess in Yugoslavia which the Europeans just watched rumble on for years until the Yanks got fed up and intervened to end it. Given the rather alarming issue of Islamic terrorism in Europe, the latest example of which was (again) in Paris two days ago, and the millions of migrants that Merkel and others have allowed in unchecked and unscreened, one would have thought Europe’s leaders might not have launched into a tirade against Trump exercising the right of the US to decide who enters and on what terms. If things unravel in Europe and the security situation gets out of hand (and I think this is highly likely) then Europe will need the cooperation and assistance of the US in dealing with it. One hopes that Americans will appreciate the distinction between Europe’s supposed leaders and its general population, but there’s no guarantee of that and the more the anti-US shrieking goes on the less they Americans will be inclined to do so. Whether we like it or not, in the absence of the willingness of Europeans to pay for it in terms of military expenditure and tough political decisions, the United States is the ultimate guarantor of European culture as we know it. Trump has already said Europe should address the former, and if Europe keeps ducking the latter while hurling vitriolic abuse at America for trying, however cack-handedly, to get a grip on Islamic terrorism one wonders to whom they expect to turn if and when everything goes to ratshit.
But it’s not just Europeans. A year or so back I knew a woman who was nominally Muslim but very Westernised: perfect English, US educated, secular in the main in that she drank, partied, etc. Only she thought Israel ought not to exist, and she said so with such casualness that I could only assume this passed for an uncontroversial, everyday opinion in her circles. I presented this anecdote on another blog recently and somebody told me a similar story of a moderate Muslim he knew in his office who had all the hallmarks of accepting Western culture only she agreed with the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. Trust between Muslims and everyone else is eroding rapidly, and this is not so much to do with the hardline terrorists as the perception – real or not, it doesn’t matter – that an awful lot of Muslims quietly agree with the aims (and sometimes the methods) of the terrorists and generally would prefer to see Muslims hold more power and influence than they currently do, and all that entails. Anecdotes like the two I mention above do little to improve things, and it is sad to say that when I have drilled down into the opinions of supposedly secular, moderate Muslims their views fall some way short of the ideals espoused by Western culture.
This latest episode on the Executive Order has revealed that further: it has been almost universally opposed by secular, Westernised Muslims who have branded it a “Muslim ban” and decided that they have more solidarity with people in Yemen, Somalia, and Libya than they do an elected American administration simply because the former are Muslim. In theory I am Christian: I certainly have a baptism certificate. However, I don’t have the slightest thing in common with other people on that basis, none whatsoever. I had very much in common with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre because I share many aspects of the French culture which the terrorists were attacking. I also have a lot in common with Israelis subject to daily rocket attacks and suicide bombings, but none of this is based in religion. I show solidarity with one side or another based on shared culture, values, and beliefs. Which is exactly what Muslims do, only I have noticed that a lot of those who claim they hold Western values dear threw their lot in with people with whom they have absolutely nothing in common in Yemen, Somalia, and Sudan except that they are Muslims and this appears to have been the driving factor. I would never show solidarity with anybody simply because they are Christian: yet a lot of supposedly secular Muslims have leaped forward to show solidarity with other Muslims, in opposition to the secular policies of a fairly elected government.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with this per se, Muslims appear to demonstrate an impressive solidarity when faced with what they perceive to be an attack on their religion. The fact that almost every possible slight by a non-Muslim is leaped on by millions and portrayed as an attack on Muslims everywhere, egged on by the useful idiots in the media and academia, doesn’t do anything to change the fact that very, very few Muslims actually speak out against the crowd and take the side of Western values and principles over solidarity with their fellow Muslims.
However, the problem will come when they find themselves on the wrong end of one of Islam’s many internal conflicts. In fact, that problem is already here: few in the West trust the Syrians to police their own ranks of jihadists because they don’t believe the Syrians have an interest in doing so. When push comes to shove, many people in the West believe Syrians, Iraqis, and others will side with the jihadists ahead of their Western host populations. Hence, people don’t want to take in migrants from the Islamic world. Had moderate Muslims been more serious about accepting Western values, adapting, and integrating chances are the Western nations would be ready to accept far more refugees from the conflict zones. Instead they have presented the West with almost two decades of clear demonstrations, one after another, that they are Muslims first and foremost and always will be, and Western values will always come second.
A lot of the secular, modern, educated Muslims who sided with Yemeni, Sudanese, and Somalian Muslims in opposition to the moderate, secular decision of an elected Western government are going to find themselves on the wrong end of a conflict internal to Islam, or possibly even external to it. Like it or not, they are going to be caught up in the actions of the hardliners either at home or in a future conflict between them and secular, Western forces. When that time comes, who will they run to? They’ve already nailed their colours to the mast, and chosen sides. Another few years of this and moderate, secular Muslims are going to find, like the gay men will shortly, that they have no allies left that are worth a damn.
I think there are going to be a lot of people in the near future desperately banging on people’s doors citing principles they abandoned long ago or never held, asking for help. And those doors won’t open, because those behind it think they’re the enemy. And half the time, they’ll be right. I think we’re fast getting to the point when people need to have a long, hard think about what they truly believe in and start saying it loud and clear.