Trump, Obama, and the presidential response to terrorism

The media is having a conniption fit because Trump will not talk enough about “white supremacy” in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand:

His response to the carnage in New Zealand, where 49 people died in an attack on two mosques, is also raising fresh questions about his attitude toward Islam following a long history of anti-Muslim rhetoric — and about the extent to which the President has a responsibility to moderate his language given the rise in white supremacy movements across the world.

On Twitter and in remarks in the Oval Office, Trump was clear in condemning the killings. But he did not deliver a message of empathy and support to American Muslims, who may feel scared as security is stepped up at US mosques.

There were many Americans (this one included) who thought that Barack Obama was too hesitant to say the words, “Islamic terrorism” in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting of 2015.  (Obama would never say the words “Islam” or “Islamic” in any negative context.)

Does this mean that Obama was doing somersaults of glee after the San Bernardino  ISIS-inspired mass murder? Of course not. But let’s be frank: The guy didn’t like to talk about Islamic terrorism, as such.

Even the CNN journalist, Stephen Collinson, acknowledges that Trump condemned the killings in Christchurch. Following the Obama standard, that should be sufficient.

The larger issue is  whether Muslims and non-Muslims can live peacefully side-by-side in large numbers. Examine the evidence from the Middle East, to Europe, to New Zealand, and you don’t see much to be optimistic about.

It makes one wonder if the multicultural experiment is really worth the human suffering involved. Or would we be better to acknowledge (without pointing fingers at any particular side) that societies are most peaceful and harmonious when they are also relatively homogenous?  Remember what Robert Frost wrote: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

I’ve spent a lot of time in Japan, one of the most homogenous countries on earth, both racially and culturally. Japan is also very harmonious, and there are no hate crimes to speak of.

Mass murder in New Zealand, and the history of Islam and the West

Four gunmen opened fire at a mosque in New Zealand, killing at least 49 Muslim worshippers:

One person has been charged in connection with a “well-planned” terrorist attack that killed 49 people and injured dozens more in two New Zealand mosques on Friday, authorities said.

The New Zealand police said four people — three men and one woman — were in custody in connection with the mass shooting at both places of worship in the city of Christchurch. The charged male suspect is expected to appear in court Saturday, Police Commissioner Mike Bush told reporters at a news conference. He said the principal suspect was a 28-year-old Australian-born citizen who earlier claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said none of the suspects were on any security watch lists.

“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand,” Ardern said.

Bush clarified that police found two improvised explosive devices in one vehicle after the shooting. One was disabled and police were working to defuse the second Friday night.

Needless to say, this is tragic and horrific. And yet, we might have seen it coming.

For going on twenty years, we have witnessed extremist Islamic attacks on non-Muslims throughout the West…beginning with 9/11 in 2001, and continuing with the more recent ISIS-inspired attacks.

We have seen second-generation, supposedly assimilated Muslims riot in Paris. In Stockholm and Cologne, young Muslim males have sexually assaulted “infidel” unveiled women.

None of these things in any way justifies what happened in New Zealand.

Nevertheless, human nature being what it is, it was only a matter of time before a lone band of extremists in the West responded in kind. (Frankly, I am surprised that it took twenty years.)

Now there will be a violent backlash from Islamic quarters, of course. And another backlash from some hothead in the West. That is the way these things always go. The cycle of violence. History tells us as much.

History also tells us that Islam and the West don’t mix. Read the history of interaction between Islam and the West, from the Muslim invasions of outer (Christian) Byzantium in 638, to the Frankish atrocities in Muslim Jerusalem in 1099.

In 1990 the United States sent troops to Saudi Arabia to check  the ambitions of Saddam Hussein, who had just absorbed Kuwait. We went at the invitation of the Saudi king. But this infuriated many Muslims who objected to “infidel” troops on the holy Arabian peninsula. The ultimate result, a decade later, was al Qaeda, and the 9/11 attacks.

A few years after that, the US attempt to build “democracy”in Iraq was a failure. Iraqis, by and large, did not want democracy…or at least our version of it.

Mass Muslim migration into Europe has been an unmitigated disaster.

The lesson of all of this is that Islam and the West are best kept apart. I repeat: Islam and the West don’t mix. The multiculturalist experiment was based on the premise that you could place two mutually hostile cultures side-by-side, in close juxtaposition, and everyone would hold hands and sing Kumbaya. The headlines tell us otherwise.

As we discovered on September 11, 2001, placing large numbers of Westerners in Muslim territory results in a violent backlash. We have since discovered that placing large numbers of Muslims in the West is a recipe for violence, too.