ANALYSIS: TRUE. Angela Merkel is doing more damage to the future of the West than Donald Trump.
Like most other commentators, I agree that Mr Trump’s remarks were nasty and dangerous – nasty because they libel millions of decent people, dangerous because they could drive such people to think: “If you hate and fear us, we must hate and fear you.”
But there is another reason why he has caused such a stir. Like all skilled populists, Mr Trump is touching (or rather trampling) on a real problem. If, after all, he had replaced the word “Muslims” with the words “Hindus” or “Christians” or “Jews”, everyone would immediately have concluded that he was, as well as nasty, mad. Politically, that would have been the end of him.
Alas, there are two true things lying behind his idiotic policy suggestion. The first is that the problem is about Muslims. The second is that our “elected representatives” do not know what to do about it.
The above-mentioned Ayatollah Khomeini also said “Islam is politics”. He meant that Islam tells you how to rule, and therefore any unIslamic way of ruling is illegitimate. . . .
Such ideas have become powerful in the West, partly because of arithmetic: we now have a great many Muslims in our midst – far more here, proportionately, than in Mr Trump’s country, and more in France than here. The risk of violence rises with the total. Even if it is true that 99 per cent of Muslims would not hurt a fly, when you increase the numbers you inevitably get more of those who would. People are, therefore, right to worry more about mass immigration from, say, Syria, than from, say, Poland.
But, even with high numbers, the problem would be much less severe if our leaders and institutions had greater cultural confidence. If they upheld a robust belief in the Western way of life, reflected in what our schools taught, what the BBC broadcast, what rules of citizenship were insisted on, and what was considered injurious to our values, then the doctrines of Islamism would be better resisted.
When you have a ruling class that doesn’t believe in — or even much like — the fundamental values of the nations it rules, things tend to work out poorly.