Bruce Bawrer has a fine article in City Journal identifying the principle of Free Speech as the first to go in the Left intelligentsia’s orchestration of Western societies’ surrender to Islam.
Islam divides the world into two parts. The part governed by sharia, or Islamic law, is called the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission. Everything else is the Dar al-Harb, or House of War, so called because it will take warâ€”holy war, jihadâ€”to bring it into the House of Submission. Over the centuries, this jihad has taken a variety of forms. Two centuries ago, for instance, Muslim pirates from North Africa captured ships and enslaved their crews, leading the U.S. to fight the Barbary Wars of 1801â€“05 and 1815. In recent decades, the jihadistsâ€™ weapon of choice has usually been the terroristâ€™s bomb; the use of planes as missiles on 9/11 was a variant of this method.
What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeiniâ€™s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, KhoÂmeini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societiesâ€™ basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies.
The cultural jihadists have enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particularâ€”the 2004 assassination in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islamâ€™s oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism that followed a Danish newspaperâ€™s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammedâ€”have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy, and multicultural ideologyâ€”which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressiveâ€”people at every level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words, to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept the deferential status of dhimmisâ€”infidels living in Muslim societies.
Call it a cultural surrender. The House of War is slowlyâ€”or not so slowly, in Europeâ€™s caseâ€”being absorbed into the House of Submission.
The Western media are in the driverâ€™s seat on this road to sharia.
Read the whole thing.