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Jewish World Review Feb. 26, 2003 / 24 Adar I, 5763

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager
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Which will the world's future be: Muslim, European or American? | The world's future is being decided at this time.

Such moments are extremely rare in history. And when they have occurred, they have between two, not three, competing ideologies.

But there are now three ideologies competing to shape the future of mankind. They are militant Islam, Western European secularism and socialism, and American Judeo-Christianity and capitalism. The first is being spread both peacefully and violently, the second is being spread peacefully, and the third is not being spread.

Though most people ignore the fact, almost all of the world's believing Muslims believe that all of mankind should be Muslim. This, in and of itself, is not troubling -- after all, most Christians would like the whole world to be Christian, and most Westerners would like the whole world to democratic. What is troubling is that if only 10 percent of these Muslims are prepared to use violence to impose their religion on others, we are talking about 100 million people.

This is the reason about one million non-Muslim Sudanese have been killed in the last 15 years -- because they are resisting the violent imposition of Islam by the Islamic government in Khartoum. This is the reason for the Muslim-Christian violence in Nigeria -- Christians there, too, are resisting the violent imposition of Islam. And this is the reason for Islamic terror -- to weaken those countries, particularly the United States and Israel, that stand in the way of an Islamic takeover.

The second ideology seeking to dominate the world is secularism and socialism as practiced in Western Europe and supported by educated elites around the world. This is a primary reason for the anti-American demonstrations in Western Europe and in the United States. They were far more against America (especially the America of George W. Bush) than they were against war. Most of these people could not care less about the wars of the world. They have been silent throughout the mass murder of Sudan's blacks, during the genocide in Rwanda, during China's crushing of Tibet, and during Saddam's wars against Iran, Kuwait and Iraq's own Kurds. American and European "peace" activists have found those atrocities and wars quite boring.

Western European socialists and their American (and Canadian, and Latin American) supporters are as passionate about secularism and socialism as believing Muslims are about Islam. And they want to dominate the world as much as militant Muslims want Islam to. Their vehicles are the United Nations, the European Union, international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocols, and international institutions such as the International Court.

Regarding the American way, there are serious impediments to its success.

First, while the first two ideologies -- Islam and socialism/secularism -- dominate many countries, the third ideology only dominates one -- America. There is no other country that claims to be Judeo-Christian and no other that has such strong support for capitalism and small government (the opposite of socialism). Therefore, while both the militant Muslims and the socialists/secularists have supporters around the world, American values have few. That is why America goes it alone -- with the partial exceptions of Israel and Britain, no other society has the same values as we do.

Second, neither Judeo-Christian nor capitalist values are secure in America. Many Americans, including almost its entire intellectual class, are as hostile to Judeo-Christian and non-socialist values as the militant Muslims and European socialists are.

Third, almost no one is teaching the next generation of Americans (as almost no one taught the present adult generation) what is unique, let alone superior, about American values. Our children are overwhelmingly educated by people who believe in Europe's values, not in ours.

As neither China nor the rest of Asia, nor Africa, nor Latin America are offering an ideology that can dominate the world, either Europe's, or the militant Muslims', or America's way of life will prevail.

But the American way can only prevail if Americans believe in it. That is why, as important as the military and ideological battles against militant Islam are, the most important battle is the ideological one within America. But with America's universities, unions, professional associations, mainstream news media, and one of its two major parties ideologically aligned with Europe, and with big businesses constantly undermining Judeo-Christian values, the battle within America itself for America's unique values is far from won. And given that only America offers a viable alternative to both militant Islam and secularism/socialism, if we lose the battle here, humanity has a very dark future.

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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to visit his website and here to comment on this column.


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© 2002, Creators Syndicate