I finished reading Lee Harris' new book, The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West (2007) a while ago but I've been having trouble deciding how to talk about it in my blog. It's what they call "controversial" - meaning some people won't like the facts he tells us or the logical implications he draws from those facts.
Not every culture cherishes freedom. The increasingly conservative, not to say Islamist, Muslim populations of Europe are poised to become the majority in many European countries. Many people find this alarming.
Harris reminds us that every baby is born a savage. He or she must be taught to become a thinking being. It is important, Harris points out, to teach our children the value of the political philosophy we in the US share with the countries of western Europe from which our political ancestors came. Too often we teach them to criticize our political system and fail to point out to them that it is by far the freest the world has ever known.
The important word here is "logical." Using the appalling demographic statistics for birth rates of the Russians, French, Italians, and other Europeans, combined with the birth rates of immigrants in those countries, Harris concludes that the philosophy which defines Western civilization is at risk.
This is a well-written and persuasive book.