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The Western World (Europe, Oceania, Japan, Israel and North America) is so often compared against the dusty wastelands of the Islamic world that a casual observer might think this disparity was an isolated one. It isn’t.

It is a vital truth that the Western world is not only a preferable environment to Planet Sharia, but to all other environments on Planet Earth.

I am writing this post as a self-conscious chauvinist. To me, there is simply no comparison between the relaxed, liberal manners of European culture and the chaotic, antiquated or eccentric alternatives offered by the third and second worlds.

Even those civilisations we can count upon as friends, like China, Africa, Indochina, India and Latin America are dizzyingly inferior to our own. We enjoy very special advantages confined to our range of habitation – advantages hewn violently over centuries, the glistening produce of bravery, rebellion and innovation.

Outside of this luxurious reserve, primitivism and bigotry can be found almost everywhere. In non-Muslim African countries, for example, girls from certain tribes have their breasts ironed flat to delay puberty and sexual development. The process is said to be mind-scarringly painful and is usually performed by the girls mother or grandmother. In democratic India, one particular ‘caste’, the Dalit, are considered ‘untouchable’ due to a perceived (wholly imagined) ancestral wretchedness. Members of this caste are condemned to the most menial professions and forbidden from inter-marrying with members of ‘superior’ categories. Likewise in Brazil – the land of toted post-racialism – the darker you are, the less likely you are to get on in life. With race an impossible concept (due to centuries of mixing) simple colorism – every bit as nasty as race prejudice – wears its clothes.

A majority of non-Western countries, including non-Muslim countries, approve of arranged (forced) marriages. This hideous idea means that young people never get to enjoy the romance of dating, seduction and sexual discovery, but are simply tacked on to a family friendly to their own. Those who rebel against the tradition and date outside their tribe or caste are subject to acid attacks and honour killings.

Speaking of violence, in Mexico (sunny, happy, vacation-friendly Mexico), neighbour of the great United States of America, there are more beheadings per year than in the entire Middle East. I’ll repeat that – in Mexico, there are more beheadings per year than in the entire Middle East. This unbelievable slaughter occurs only a slim river away from the peace and affluence of suburban Texas. By itself, this speaks volumes about the sharpness of contrast under discussion.

Despite the position of the far-right, the West isn’t actually a biological mass. Multiracial, Japanese and Jewish experiments have achieved (or even surpassed) the European standard. In the same spirit, Immigrants to the West can become naturally Western if they so desire, including people from the most Neanderthal backgrounds. Ayaan Hirsi Ali can no longer sensibly be compared to the inhabitants of pre-wheel Somalia, for example. She has become a Westerner, understands this and displays joy and gratitude for it. We all should, however native we consider ourselves.

As to the secret ingredient of the West (the cause of its distinction), I would nominate the legacy of Anti-Traditionalism; the breaking by axe of the formaldehyde jars preserving ancient mistakes. Westerners realise that the solemnities of royalty are a pantomime. We also can’t be impressed by ten-limbed, Elephant-headed deities, Chinese tea-making ceremonies that last 10 hours, competitively obedient wives, Buddhists staring at walls, insect-worshipping Jains or anything else that is completely out-of-place in a century of awesome material potential. The secret of Western success is a devotion to the real.

And only the real is of any worth; only it can be truly inspiring- the shimmer of the sun on skyscraper glass; the colourful stacks of wares at supermarkets the size of football fields. How luxurious and sane our countries have become. We should be prepared to kill millions to protect this.

For me at least, as far as modernity is concerned, the choice is ultimately not the West or Pakistan, but the West or nothing at all.

D, LDN.

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