How many of our fellow citizens understand this? You already know my answer. Here’s Victor Davis Hanson:
Despite all of [the] extraordinary presidential outreach, the West remains under constant terrorist threats and episodic attacks, often from Muslim youths who were offered sanctuary in places such as Belgium, France, Massachusetts, and California. There are a number of reasons why jihadists prefer to target Westerners. The West is wealthy, sensual, and liberal, and it offers the chance of global publicity to killers. Muslim immigrants from the Middle East prefer the higher standard of living in Paris than the abject poverty at home. But they also hate how such affluence insidiously tempts their own religious fundamentalism. They do not praise Europe for its generosity, but rather blame it for its decadence. The West is obsessed with mandated equality. The Muslim immigrant — who often arrives without education, language facility, or money — easily learns how to blame his relative poverty on his hosts. He is rarely reminded that not being relatively well off in Frankfurt or Boston is still far better than being unsafe and poor in Yemen or Chechnya.
America asks little of its immigrants. U.S. policies allow illegal entry en masse. America does not insist that newcomers learn English, and it largely prefers the trendy multicultural salad bowl to the time-tested assimilationist melting pot. As a result, there are entire communities where recent immigrants and their families prefer to guilt-trip, rather than show affinity toward, their adopted countries. The West is also lax. A jihadist knows that he has a good chance of reentering the U.S. or Europe from the Middle East without detection. If he’s caught, the penalties are far less severe than they would be if he tried to start a terrorist cell in China or Russia. Extenuating claims of multicultural victimhood would not work in either autocracy.
Many Westerners are more scared of being labeled as illiberal or nativist than they are of being unsafe. Islamic terrorists sense that Westerners are increasingly materialist rather than spiritual. Europeans in particular are becoming more secular. Their birthrates are declining. And they seem to believe more in satisfying their appetites than in finding transcendence through children and religion. As a result, jihadists trust that they can cull a handful of Westerners every few weeks from an otherwise indifferent herd. Their only challenge is to keep the harvest of Westerners down to a few dozen and not to get greedy in their bloodlust. Terrorists seem to believe that as long as they avoid another 9/11-like massacre, they can continue to take lives and insidiously weaken the West without awakening it from its morally indifferent slumber.
And they may be right.
Read more: VictorHanson.com