Now, repeat after me:
I am not at fault.
I am not to blame.
I am not responsible for the behavior of other people. Other people have a right to fail. They have a right to accept responsibility for their failures. They have a right to evade responsibilities for their failures. None of it is my fault.
To put it another way:
I am not my Muslim brother’s keeper.
As the Western world becomes mired in guilt over the condition of the Muslim world, Daniel Greenfield offers a useful corrective. I trust that Greenfield would accept that the West and America have often, with good and not-so-good intentions, meddled in Muslim affairs. For the most part, the results have not been very constructive.
This being the case, Muslims are still responsible for their own behavior, for their own dysfunctional political and economic systems. If you want to guilt trip the West for failing to save Muslims from themselves, you are welcome to do so.
Yet, by setting down the facts of the matter, Greenfield exposes the failed reasoning that has infected Western elites. These elites fail to address the realities of the problems in the Muslim world because they are mired in their own guilt: for colonialism, for imperialism, for misguided adventures, for capitalism, for Israel, for ideal-driven wars. This is to say: anyone whose success makes Muslims look bad by comparison is at fault.
Note the narcissism running beneath the surface of these supposedly noble ideas: if we are at fault, we do not only owe the Muslim world recompense—perhaps by sacrificing a few more Swedish women to their predations—but we grant ourselves—and only ourselves-- the power and the authority to change things. This necessarily implies that Muslims lack that power and authority.
Writing in crisp prose—the better to draw attention to the facts—Greenfield lays out the issues, or, should I say, the trouble with Islam. One can easily see the correlation between his view and David Goldman’s notion that Islam is a failing and dying civilization, one that has lost out in the marketplace where civilizations and cultures compete:
In Greenfield’s words:
The vast majority of civil wars over the last ten years have taken place in Muslim countries. Muslim countries are also some of the poorest in the world. And Muslim countries also have high birth rates.
Combine violence and poverty with a population boom and you get a permanent migration crisis.
No matter what happens in Syria or Libya next year, that permanent migration crisis isn’t going away.
Later, he will say that the only way that the West can reasonably deal with the crisis will be to close its doors and to build walls.
Muslim countries have failed miserably in economic competition:
The Muslim world is expanding unsustainably. In the Middle East and Asia, Muslims tend to underperform their non-Muslim neighbors both educationally and economically. Oil is the only asset that gave Muslims any advantage and in the age of fracking, its value is a lot shakier than it used to be.
Muslim countries with lower literacy rates, especially for women, are never going to be economic winners at any trade that doesn’t come gushing out of the ground. Nor will unstable dictatorships ever be able to provide social mobility or access to the good life. At best they’ll hand out subsidies for bread.
The Muslim world has no prospects for getting any better. The Arab Spring was a Western delusion.
Growing populations divided along tribal and religious lines are competing for a limited amount of land, power and wealth. Countries without a future are set to double in size.
Evidently, the people in these cultures do not have what we call a work ethic. In the absence of such an ethic they see only one path out of their economic decline: take what others have earned:
There are only two solutions; war or migration.
Either you fight and take what you want at home. Or you go abroad and take what you want there.
Some blame it all on the Iraq War. After all, it is politically expedient for anyone on the left to do so. Greenfield responds:
Let’s assume that the Iraq War had never happened. How would a religiously and ethnically divided Iraq have managed its growth from 13 million in the eighties to 30 million around the Iraq War to 76 million in 2050?
The answer is a bloody civil war followed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and migration.
The two possible solutions: extortion or invasion:
Plan A for getting money out of the West is creating a crisis that will force it to intervene. That can mean anything from starting a war to aiding terrorists that threaten the West. Muslim countries keep shooting themselves in the foot so that Westerners will rush over to kiss the booboo and make it better.
Plan B is to move to Europe.
And Plan B is a great plan. It’s the only real economic plan that works. At least until the West runs out of native and naïve Westerners who foot the bill for all the migrants, refugees and outright settlers.
For thousands of dollars, a Middle Eastern Muslim can pay to be smuggled into Europe. It’s a small investment with a big payoff. Even the lowest tier welfare benefits in Sweden are higher than the average salary in a typical Muslim migrant nation. And Muslim migrants are extremely attuned to the payoffs. It’s why they clamor to go to Germany or Sweden, not Greece or Slovakia. And it’s why they insist on big cities with an existing Muslim social welfare infrastructure, not some rural village.
Large loans will be repaid as the new migrants begin sending their new welfare benefits back home. Many will be officially unemployed even while unofficially making money through everything from slave labor to organized crime. European authorities will blame their failure to participate in the job market on racism rather than acknowledging that they exist within the confines of an alternate economy.
It’s not only individuals or families who can pursue Plan B. Turkey wants to join the European Union. It’s one solution for an Islamist populist economy built on piles of debt. The EU has a choice between dealing with the stream of migrants from Turkey moving to Europe. Or all of Turkey moving into Europe.
Greenfield concludes that we are not guilty. And we are not responsible for the dysfunction that is destroying the Muslim world:
The West did not create Muslim dysfunction. And it is not responsible for it. Instead the dysfunction of the Muslim world keeps dragging the West in. Every Western attempt to ameliorate it, from humanitarian aid to peacekeeping operations, only opens up the West to take the blame for Islamic dysfunction.
Muslim civil wars will continue even if the West never intervenes in them because their part of the world is fundamentally unstable. These conflicts will lead to the displacement of millions of people. But even without violence, economic opportunism alone will drive millions to the West. And those millions carry with them the dysfunction of their culture that will make them a burden and a threat.
As for the airy-fairy notion—most recently proposed by the government of Angela Merkel—that the West needs to do more to help refugees assimilate, Greenfield rejects it:
If Muslims can’t reconcile their conflicts at home, what makes us think that they will reconcile them in Europe? Instead of resolving their problems through migration, they only export them to new shores. The same outbursts of Islamic violence, xenophobia, economic malaise and unsustainable growth follow them across seas and oceans, across continents and countries. Distance is no answer. Travel is no cure.