The fact that one of the first European jihadists to return from Syria chose Jews as his first victims is not accidental. But it is also important not to overlook — as so many do — the new militancy directed at Christians of terrorist insurgents such as Boko Haram, al-Shabaab and ISIS.
Inna Lazareva reports on the fortunes of Christians in Bethlehem and Nazareth and, unlike the anti-Zionist narrative promoted by most of the churches, she finds a new realism among Christians about the state of Israel, which they see as their protector against Islamist persecution. Some are even ready to fight in the IDF.
It may be objected that Islam is the faith of, in Frantz Fanon’s phrase, the wretched of the earth. As such, they cannot threaten the mighty edifice of the West. We should look, rather, to Russia and China.
Both are far more formidable potential foes, militarily and economically, than any Muslim state. But neither China nor Russia boasts an inspiration to compare with Islam and its prophet.
Gibbon again: “It is not the propagation but the permanency of his religion that deserves our wonder.” Other peoples who have settled in Europe have quickly adapted; not so the Muslim communities who make up an ever-growing proportion of the younger generation.
Islam, then, is here to stay in Europe. Non-Muslims too must adapt, and we do. Christian and Jewish leaders incessantly reach out, not only to each other, but to their Muslim counterparts. Yet their gestures are rarely reciprocated.