Muslims, writes Dalrymple,
are not deceived by pusillanimous, odious, unctuous, and fatuous expressions of understanding for their feelings that have emerged from official circles, in a vain and cowardly attempt to defuse the situation by a precipitate though insincere abandonment of the best values of the Enlightenment.
know perfectly well that the West does not respect them, and that the only way they can cut a figure is by terror. Technologically, scientifically, artistically, philosophically, economically they are nullities: but they know how to be vicious, and that makes up for every other defect. If the world will not listen to their tedious religiose lucubrations, it will at least pay heed to their bloodcurdling threats. Each expression of pseudo-understanding is music to their ears: they know that threats of mass decapitation and killing in the streets have worked. It is an open invitation for more of the same.
The Western democracies, says Dalrymple,
have demonstrated a lack of resolve comparable only to that of Chamberlain and Daladier in the face of Hitler.
When, he says,
we see the freedom that the Enlightenment wrought challenged in so intellectually primitive and thuggish a way, we realise how very much we owe the Enlightenment. You don’t really appreciate something until you have lost it.
The problem of the Muslim world is that
it wants the material fruits or benefits of the Enlightenment without the Enlightenment. A considerable proportion of the large migrant population from Islamic countries to Europe has wanted this too, which is why many such migrants are notably less successful in their adopted countries than their Hindu, Sikh, and Chinese counterparts. Muslims have been trying to square this circle for well over a century, since they first became aware of how retarded they were by comparison with a civilisation that theirs once more than equalled. Like the inhabitants of the ghetto, they want the respect of the rest of the world without wishing to do the things necessary to obtain it.