Thursday, April 24, 2008

Liberty Disappearing Under Mohammed's Turban

Recently, at the invitation of Dr Innes, I lectured at The King's College on John Locke's understanding of the individual human person as the central idea of modern, Western liberalism. The idea of designing government around the nature and rights of the individuals to be governed is one we in the West, particularly Americans, now take for granted, largely because of the brilliant institutional articulation of this idea put forward by our Founding Fathers. Focusing on individuals and their rights, while still inculcating the other bedrock liberal principle of tolerance among these rights-bearing individuals, is one of the amazing tight-rope walks between concepts in tension by which free government is characterized. Though the importance of the individual is not an idea original to modernity, the compromise that tolerance for religious beliefs in civil society represents made a way for true belief to coincide with broad political freedom.

Tony Blankley has a piece today, "Rising Euro-Muslim Tensions," pointing out the attack on both of these liberal principles by aggressive Islamism. All across Europe, craven and weak-willed leaders are bowing and scraping before non-Western immigrants who demand, in the very name of individual rights and tolerance, accession to their doctrines which deny those very principles.

He warns that while the official government response may be to give away the farm, large segments of Western populations will not stand idly by and watch as a thousand years of prescriptive rights and liberty are subsumed under Mohammed's turban. Governments across Europe will have only themselves to blame for the violence to come, if they continue to disregard their principle responsibility to protect individual rights.

As Locke taught, the state of nature lies just under the thin veneer of civil government. Stable, Western societies are about to be reminded, by those who would take it from them, of what a delicate balance and what a hard-won achievement, is their way of life.

Blankley's important column is here:

1 comment:

pcsolotto said...

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