Following another recent jihadist effort (thankfully thwarted) to destroy a Christian church in France, the essayist Fjordman commented:
"The differences between the Middle East and Europe are growing smaller every day."
Following another jihadist attack (thankfully, only jihadists were killed) on a Texas gathering of courageous artists and other defenders of free speech, it seems that the differences between Europe and the US are getting smaller every day.
The catalyst on both continents, Old World and New, is the same. It is Islam. To put our shared plight as succinctly as possible (borrowing from Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders), the more Islam there is in a society, the less freedom there is.
Now for the reality check.
When a group of people peacefully gathering for an afternoon to discuss or protest or otherwise exercise their lawful rights to free speech regarding Islam and its noxious prophet require thousands of dollars' worth of security to protect their lives from jihad killers (and thank goodness, otherwise the slaughter would likely have far exceeded the death toll of the Charlie Hebdo/Jewish market attacks), freedom, in the Western sense of the word, no longer exists. The "public square" is a war zone.
That means that the liberty that is (was) the foundation of our republic is not "threatened," but rather has already been engulfed by the advance of Islam, its law, its culture, into our society. (Airport security is another tip-off.) Here -- not in the Middle East, not in the Turkish, Pakistani and other Islamic sectors of the EU -- it is now accepted that silence buys safety, that submission to sharia is the norm. By this process, Dar al Harb (House of War) becomes Dar al Islam (House of Islam/Submission), and without a fight.
Not so for the artists, writers, spectators and one politician, Geert Wilders, who participated in Geller's cartoon-contest-homage to Charlie Hebdo, and voluntarily placed themselves on the front lines of a very real fight for liberty against followers of Islam's creed of violence, repression, and exploitation of women, children and non-Muslims (as exemplified by the example of its prophet). A low-ebb marker is the extent to which their fellow-citizens in media and politics prefer to embrace "dhimmitude" through sharia-compliance rather than support the defense and defenders of their own God-given liberties.
Call it the Islamization of the mind. The total (?) absence of Bosch Fawstin's winning image (above) on your favorite news show or newspaper in its coverage of what is reported to have been an ISIS-linked attack is just one measure of how far this Islamization has advanced in your world -- not Europe's, not the Middle East's -- and, I suppose, how very much Islamic jihad is now a part of the American "fabric" (maybe that's what Obama meant).
Of course, things can get worse -- but, in the psychological sense, probably not so very much more, short of mass conversion.
There are more useful criteria. Afshin Ellian, once a refugee from Khomeini's Iran, now a Dutch professor and writer, several years ago put it this way:
"If you cannot say that the Islam is a backward religion and that Muhammad is a criminal, then you are living in an Islamic country, my friend, because there you also cannot say such things. I may say Christ was a fag and Mary was a whore, but apparently I should stay off of Muhammad.”