|Once a Natural Ally|
Via First Things -- Princeton's super-prominent professor, Robert George, speaking as a Roman Catholic rather than as a proponent of pure public reason, offers this interesting essay, Muslims, Our Natural Allies.
George's idea is that American Muslims and Christians in the U.S. have a common political interest in promoting social conservatism. Is there any practical evidence of a tendency to cooperate? He notes: "A majority of American Muslims voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election." On the other hand, Roman Catholics gave Bush a minority of their votes in the same election. By George's test, maybe we should be asking whether Roman Catholics are our natural allies? Just to make the picture murkier, American Roman Catholics and American Muslims both gave Barack Obama a majority of their respective votes in 2008 and 2012. Perhaps there is a natural alliance between them, but it is not for social conservatism.
In any case, George is obviously wrong about Muslims' being social conservatives' natural political allies in the U.S. Muslims are natural allies of the muscular secularists in America for much the same reason that Christian minorities are natural allies of secular governments in the Middle East. In the U.S. context, Muslims are natural allies of the U.S. Left because the Left opposes Christian civil society, which naturally rankles Muslims, and privileges ethnic minorities over the majority, which naturally benefits Muslim immigrants. Majorities of American Roman Catholics continue to vote for leftist governments in the U.S., despite their social conservatism, for similar ethnic reasons. If George wants to prove that American Muslims will ever give a majority of their votes to social conservatives over their Leftist benefactors, why doesn't he try winning over a majority of his co-religionists first?
Now, none of this is true in the international context. As Tony Blair announced here, global leaders have decided that their secularist governments should band together to use state power to "combat" bad religions that undermine the Harvard-Divinity-School-approved values of "humanity common to all faiths." Orthodox Muslims and Christians, anyone with traditional moral positions, have much, much more to fear from the secularists' agenda than from each other. Christians and Muslims are much more likely to find practical common interest with Muslims and Christians outside their own countries than inside them.
So, what does George get right? Muslims are not the Enemy.
|How We Used to Identify Our Enemy|
Yes, exactly. But who has done this thing? Before we can determine who are real natural allies are, we might want to be better informed about who our real enemy is. If, for example, this is correct about who our enemies are and what we need to fight them, then George's comments are wrong about our natural allies.