Pat Buchanan

"Naked reason," pure rationalism, permeates the Post editorial, which ignores that vast realm of sentiments, such as patriotism and love, that reside in the terrain between thought and feeling.

"The heart has reasons that the mind knows not," said Pascal.

True conservatives are people of the heart who use the weapons of the mind to defend the things of the heart.

Why would Americans be reflexively skeptical and wary of Islam?

We were born a Christian nation, an extension of Christendom. For most of us, it is part of our DNA. And for a thousand years, our ancestors fought a war of civilizations with Islam.

In the name of Islam, Muslim fanatics massacred 3,000 of us. In our media, the names commonly associated with Islam are al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

What are sins in Christianity -- adultery and homosexuality -- are capital crimes in Islamic countries. From the Copts in Egypt to the Chaldeans of Iraq, Christians are persecuted and purged in the Middle East. Few remain in the old Christian towns of Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem. Christian missionaries in Islamic countries risk stonings and beheading. Muslims are attacking Christians in Nigeria, Sudan, the Caucasus, Palestine, Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Are there scores of thousands of patriotic American Muslims, hundreds of millions of decent, peace-loving Muslims around the world?

Undeniably true.

Yet one would have to be obtuse not to understand that a Western nation that opens its doors to mass migration from the Islamic world is taking a grave risk with its unity and identity.

An apprehension about that is what Burke called the "latent wisdom" of a people.

This is not an argument for war with Islam, but for recognition that "East is East and West is West" and America cannot absorb and assimilate all the creeds of mankind without ceasing to be who we are.

Prejudice is prejudgment. And if prejudgment is rooted in the history and traditions of a people, and what life has taught us, it is a shield that protects. Only a fool would reject the inherited wisdom of his kind because it fails to comport with the ideology of the moment.

"Prejudice," wrote Burke, "is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, skeptical, puzzled and unresolved."

Without prejudice, we are tabula rasa, blank slates, upon which any ideology may be written, including what James Burnham called the ideology of Western suicide -- liberalism.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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