.... Such striking, even disturbing, findings should be an eye-opener to the powers-that-be and civil society at large in the West. Yet, much of the political establishment, the mainstream media, and academia have been distinctly reluctant to seriously address this profoundly important issue.
Indeed, their default position is that of the minority that is favourable to, or not unduly concerned by, Islam’s role in the West. So how to explain what can accurately be described as a ubiquitous visceral hostility to Islam and Muslims?
The kernel of an explanation lies in the fact that the majority think that Islam is incompatible with Western democracy and the Western way of life. This judgement is based upon observation of the many millions of Muslims who have settled in North America and Europe in recent decades.
This judgement is coupled with the mass media and the internet showing the reality of Muslim countries across the globe; a reality hardly appealing to the majority of Westerners. Indeed, a seldom remarked fact is the magnetic appeal of the secular West to Muslim migrants, whose strong religious identity might be expected to encourage their migration to other Muslim countries.
[COMMENT ONE] As a (borderline) Muslim myself, I have to say, you’re analysis is extremely insightful. It’s the ‘guilt-tripping’ that traps the common believer in the web of the clergy. Fear of divine punishment etc. Historically, the Islamic clergy silenced free-thinkers, but alas this is not possible in the West. The vast and varied Western interest in Islam applies existential pressure to the Ivory Tower of the clergy. Critiquing Islam – this notion itself – is their kryptonite.
[COMMENT TWO] Yes, this seems to be one of the more significant differences between Islam and Judaism/Christianity in the present age. Biblical criticism, undertaken by Christian and Jewish scholars, has been a thing now for quite sometime (I think it got under way in the late 19th century). Whereas an analogous deconstruction of the Qur’an is still forbidden, and could even get the person attempting it murdered. Thus, Islam is still tied to its own mythology in a way that Judaism/Christianity are not.
[COMMENT THREE] There’s no shortage of strongly felt and clearly stated rejection of Islam in these comments and the article reports near uniformity of majority opposition to Islam in independent polls. This is not news, but much needed plain speaking.
What is amazing is the almost complete lack of response by the nominally democratic governments of the western world to these views and the manner in which polled majority opinions are now criticised and branded as ‘populist’ (bad!) by the government / legal / media ‘elites’ that control which part of our news is reported. As an example I find it disturbing that in the UK the first report I see of the last four months of poll results mentioned in paragraph 4 comes via Quillette not the national media. Where’s our democracy gone?
The UK has a history of tolerance of immigration and subsequent integration. The rate and nature of recent immigration combined with the denigration of prior national culture and the denial of a resultant problem is storing up trouble. Decades of far left and fundamentalist liberal legislation from nominally Labour or Conservative governments, under the banners of diversity and equality, have isolated immigrants into competing pressure groups and set each against the other and all against the state.
There are ways of living with Islamic immigration, but I suggest they start with the recognition of the primacy of the national majority culture of the host nation, continue with the management of immigration rates and geographic distribution, and rest with temporary guest status for anyone unable or unwilling to integrate.
[COMMENT FOUR] Fewer cut-outs from modernity are needed. Faith based schools must have a World Religions multi -year course taught with everything from Ahmadis to Zoroastrians taught. Quebec already does this. Kudos to them. While we are at it ALL schools and all home schoolers must teach this course too!
Importing bad ideas leads to bad outcomes. If an applicant for resettlement or immigration espouses in their embassy interviews for migration that Female Genital Mutilation or Sharia are values they like or if they agree that any religion should get special privileges then their application should be denied even if they are angel investors with millions of dollars and want to create jobs.
Muhammad is a hero for all Muslims and all of Islam. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said though, “Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.” [Quillette] Read more