FIGAROVOX/CHRONICLE – The major Western countries suffer both from a lack of internal cohesion and from an accumulation of inconsistencies in foreign policy.
From a Western perspective, the Islamist attacks in Europe (Spain et Finland) and the resurgence of the racial question in the United States left their mark on August 2017. The bloody events in Barcelona, Turku and Charlottesville brutally remind us that the West has faced a double challenge for a generation.
Because the major Western countries suffer both from a lack of internal cohesion and from an accumulation of inconsistencies in foreign policy.
Internally, the model of integration by European states of their immigrants worked well throughout the XNUMXth century with populations of very different origins. But there is one major exception: this model seems powerless to properly integrate populations of Muslim faith. How to explain it? By the lack of separation of politics and religion in Islam? By the rejection, since the twelfth century in Sunnism, of any effort of critical interpretation of its sacred texts, the consequence of which is the application to the letter of precepts that regulated the life of the Bedouins of the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century? For other reasons? The existence of an initial cultural gap to be crossed by the immigrant is not a satisfactory explanation. The Jews of the Russian Empire who immigrated to France or the United States from the end of the XNUMXth century had grown up in a totally different civilization: they nevertheless integrated perfectly into French and American societies.
As it is rightly considered that it is up to the immigrant to adapt to the societies in which he enters and not to the societies to adapt to him, one often forgets to consider the situation of the host countries. It must be recognized that our contemporary European societies have difficulty in attracting many young Muslims. Europeans of a certain age and heritage testify to a Christian civilization that flourished. But it is today deserted by the younger generations, immersed in a disheveled consumerism. If you are a young Muslim and you do not feel comfortable in the world of big box stores, Disney World, reality TV and fast food, and you are looking for an ideal, what options do you have? ? The communism? He went bankrupt. Christianity? The majority of Europeans have abandoned it. What remains, for minds that are admittedly uncultivated, is the fantasized Islam of the first caliphs. The young Muslim immigrant comes to think, as the Muslim Brotherhood proclaims, that “Islam is the solution”. The solution to all his own problems, as well as to all those of the society around him. Sharia becomes the only possible way to the good government of men. We must at all costs return to the customs of our pious ancestors (the “salafs”). The infernal machine is launched: a jihadist is a Salafist who has decided to go through with his commitment. How else to explain the hatred shown in Barcelona young terrorists Moroccans whom Catalonia had so generously welcomed?
American society also lacks cohesion. It has never been so divided. Young whites are in open rebellion against the cult of minorities and the globalized economy that the university and media elites are trying to impose on them. They can no longer bear to be despised for what they are and made to feel guilty for what their grandparents were. They form such a solid electoral base behind Trump that no one can swear that the president will not be reelected in 2020.
Authoritarian regimes around the world have moved from indifference to contempt for the Western democratic political system. If there is a common thought between Presidents Xi Jinping, Putin and Erdogan, it is that the West is weak, that it no longer believes in anything and that it could collapse at any moment like a castle of maps. In Beijing, Moscow and Ankara, the leaders believe that European cohesion will not resist the migratory surge for long and that the racial question irrevocably weakens American society. Their contempt – certainly unjustified given their own weaknesses – is further fueled by the inconsistencies in Western foreign policies.
It has been almost sixteen years since the West sent their soldiers to Afghanistan, in order to "rebuild" and "democratize" it. In vain. In his speech on August 21, 2017, President Trump recognized the failure of this attempt at "nation building". Rightly, he castigated a pakistan which takes American aid with one hand and offers sanctuary to the Taliban with the other. But, no doubt out of respect for all the sacrifices already made by the West in its war in the Kingdom of Insolence, he said nothing about the absurdity of seeing the Americans endlessly waging war against the Afghan Pashtuns.
Westerners have embarked on costly wars in the deserts of the Hindu Kush, Mesopotamia and the Sahel. Wars that they will never win, for lack of being ready to resort to the cruelty of the colonial expeditions of the XNUMXth century. Since the beginning of the new millennium, the West has been in the wrong fight. He forgot to defend his own populations against creeping and hidden external aggressions, to embark on thunderous distant military expeditions à la Jules Ferry, who praised the “civilizing mission of colonization”.
Defending its populations: what does that mean? Two examples. Commercially, the West has proved incapable of countering Chinese technological plunder. The small countries of the European Union have just blocked the Merkel-Macron plan for greater EU control over Beijing's investments in high-tech companies. Culturally, they have not been able to block the penetration into Europe of such a dangerous ideology as Islamism.
The great fault of the West in this new millennium has been to believe that there would be no violence if it welcomed all the cultures of the planet into its home, and if the whole planet adopted its principles. policies, which he considers "universal".
Source: © Le Figaro Premium – Renaud Girard: “The double challenge facing the West”