The Coming Civil War

The coming civil war in the West will be fought in the parliaments and the streets, will certainly begin in Europe, and may, one hopes, end there before it spreads.

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Police guard mosque, Ajaccio, Corsica. 25 December, 2015.

There will be fighting between native Europeans and immigrant, largely Muslim populations. The first skirmishes have already started, as in Ajaccio, Corsica on December 25, 2015.

Muslims attack firemen and police. The following day, after a rally in support of their first responders, at which some of the injured appeared, some Corsicans trashed a Mosque. The full security force of the French State, as well as its media and academic components has come down against the protestors and on the side of the immigrants against “Islamophobia.”

Here we see the fissures that will define the conflict. The most important fight will be in the minds of the native European population. Nothing indicates any substantial part of the Muslim population joining the forces of secularism. Rather, they will sit it out while the Europeans, and other Western nations, deicide where they stand. The ruling class has demonstrated that it will not listen, so the choice will come down to acceptance, or resistance.

I see this divide in my own circle of family and friends. In a family of very progressive

Police hold back Corsican demonstrators in front of Arab populated housing project. Saturday, December 26, 2015.

Police hold back Corsican demonstrators in front of Arab populated housing project. Saturday, December 26, 2015.

Obama supporters, one spouse is worried about Islam. The other asked me what I thought about the probability of ISIS terrorism in the US. At the time, I said it was low. Events proved me too optimistic, yet the woman who asked me this question, clearly concerned, will not hear anything against Islam, and is joined in this obduracy by their gay son

I’ve been a little coy with the references here. This is a same sex union. One of the spouses clearly understands that such as she and her family are in the sights of Islam, and while hopeful for “reform” and an ascendance of “moderate Muslims” is reaching out to learn more about the threat.

Yet for her partner and one of their sons it it is as if to criticize Islam is to somehow betray liberal and progressive values. They prefer to support Bernie Sanders and worry about the Koch brothers.

At a Christmas dinner here in Bali with European friends the same division arose, to the point where it was best to pour more – lots more – drinks and calm everyone down. The husband is firmly committed to the European idea, proud of the welfare state. No dependent he, a good earner all his life, he happily pays taxes  in his home country and makes his contributions to social programs. While he shakes his head at the inroads of Islam in Indonesia, he’s always been committed to pluralism, and the idea of a Europe incorporating new strains of ethnicity is something he has, and does support.

Recent events have shaken his confidence that assimilation and integration would take place, bringing a Europe that is still itself but renewed. His wife, however, has seen the videos CNN never shows: the vast columns of young men surging through the European countryside. She is terrified.

They spoke of parents who had always been liberal now sounding “almost racist.”  And being “racist” is the worst thing one can be.

Not long ago, I ran into a British guy I’ve worked with on and off over the years. We never before discussed politics, but as a university educated teacher of English abroad, he’s from a demographic that doesn’t include many Tories.

Out of nowhere, a torrent of rage and despair at what Britain has become, and anger at those who seem to feel that this invasion is payback for the white man’s sins.

Such discussions, I’m sure, are now common between families and friends, in millions of homes. Many will have to go through a wrenching reappraisal of their values, and perhaps make common cause with people at whom they have long looked askance, even despised. A coastal progressive lesbian finds herself agreeing with Franklin Graham; an urbane European finds he may have to agree with the Front Nationale.

It is a realignment I have already gone through, but my change was not quick, nor was it pleasant. I had two immigrant grandparents. I knew many fine immigrants, some legal, some not, and in the 80s supported Reagan’s amnesty. One night, the first Christmas season after the law passed, I found myself in a miles long traffic jam headed North along the Mexican coast, most of the vehicles with California plates, as the newly legalized Mexicans returned from their holidays.  I didn’t mind the delay; I celebrated it, and the change it represented.

I can no longer do so.

Our liberal values have served us well. Recent decades have seen an end to institutionalized discrimination and a vast expansion of opportunity for all. Now superseded by an anti-assimilationist ethos, a denigration of Western Civilization, and the introduction of Islam, they must be reexamined, reformulated, and thoughtfully applied

An increasing number of secular conservatives, liberals, and libertarians have realized is that Islam is antithetical to our values. Thus, having truly bettered our societies by discarding the idea of judging groups of people, we now find that we must judge one group, and find it wanting.

This is a war that will divide families, end friendships, and raise discourse from Sunday dinner discussion to matters of life and death.

Parents against children.

Brother against brother.

Civil war.