The battle over whether to admit Turkey into the European Union seems eternal, at least among the EU's rulers. Among the peoples of Europe, when granted the rare chance to go to the ballot box -- increasingly window-dressing as far as the EU's soft totalitarians are concerned -- there is little argument. In fact, there is bona fide consensus: NO to Turkey becoming a part of Europe. Why? Because, culturally and historically, it is not.
Tell that to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who just visited Ankara to present himself as Europe's leading booster for Turkish EU membership (a move the United States has meddlesomely supported), pandering so low a prayer rug could give him cover.
Dubbing himself Turkey's "strongest possible advocate for EU membership and for greater influence at the top table of European diplomacy," Cameron gave a speech that also attacked "those who willfully misunderstand Islam" and who "see no difference between real Islam and the distorted version of the extremists."
Of course, such a description likely irked Cameron's host, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan has repeatedly criticized those who make the distinction between "moderate" and "extremist" Islam. "These descriptions are very ugly," Erdogan said in 2007. "It is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that's it." Further, Erdogan in 2009 specifically rejected descriptions of Turkey as being an example of "moderate Islam." Enlarging on a theme, Erdogan in 2008 told Turks living in Europe that assimilation is "a crime against humanity."
But Cameron aimed to please. And no doubt he did, especially with his stunning denunciation of Israel for its blockade of Gaza, a defensive measure that Israel devised after Hamas terrorists were elected to govern Israel-ceded Gaza in 2005 and -- no surprise to any student of jihad -- decided to continue their charter-commanded war on Israel, raining down nearly 10,000 rockets onto Israeli civilians. Dubbing Gaza a "prison camp," Cameron also attacked Israel for the May shipboard battle to defend its blockage that pitted Israeli commandos, lightly armed with paintball guns and emergency sidearms, against trained fighters with ties to the Turkish government, specifically to Erdogan's ruling AKP party.
Little wonder that before the day was over -- at some point after Britain hired itself out, as Cameron put it, for the job of "paving the road from Ankara to Brussels" -- Erdogan had hailed a "golden age" of Turkish-British relations.
Of course, giving EU membership to Turkey would be a political move with more than political consequences. Demographically alone, it would accelerate those finishing touches on the Islamization of Europe as Turkey's tens of millions of Muslims entered a largely post-Christian, secular European society, bringing a weighty Islamic influence on European law. Could the total transformation to "Eurabia" be far behind?
This is the salient question that is never asked. Instead, the debate is deceptively framed as a civil rights issue, as though the EU were a pointlessly exclusive Neanderthal society, or supposedly obsolete men's club.
"We know what it's like to be shut out of a club," Cameron said, referring to Charles de Gaulle's efforts to block British entry into the European organization. "Europe can either decide to become a global actor or it can fence itself off as a Christian club," Erdogan has said.
Never mind the EU's deliberate omission of "God" or "Christianity" in its 439-page constitution. And never mind Turkey's having "fenced itself off" into the most exclusive "club" of all: the supremacist Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Turkey is also a signatory to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, a distinctly Islamic version of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is informed by Sharia (Islamic law) rather than what the West recognizes as universal human rights. The Cairo Declaration declares that the Muslim community's role is to "guide" humanity, a point that isn't "clubby" but is downright imperialist.
But there is another implication to the debate: that Western identity is merely an atavistic expression of petty insularity. Free will, free conscience -- the evolution of individual liberty -- is the fruit of Judeo-Christian civilization, one that Islamic doctrine is unable to produce.
Tragically, it is also one that Westerners are throwing away.