For all the frantic hate that the Islamists are directing at Western civilization, what they have managed so far is really no more than a fleabite on the vast body of that civilization. The number of us that they have managed to kill pales into insignificance compared with the road toll, for instance. And that is why we have so far tolerated them. We know that they do not seriously threaten us -- at least so far. So for 99% of us life goes on in its accustomed way.
I was moved to that reflection by my own experiences last night. I went to a classical music soiree in a private home here in Brisbane. Being a Sunday night, the roads had very little traffic on them so I zipped from my place to the venue in my little Toyota Echo in about 15 minutes. No Muslims were encountered on the way!
Unusually for me, I was a bit late, so as I walked up the stairs to the house I could hear the marvellously elaborate, ordered and complex music of one of Bach's Brandenburg concertos, which was a great environment to walk into. It was being played by a string quartet of young people but most of the audience were on the elderly side. After the Bach came a movement from one of Beethoven's string quartets -- which sounded quite chaotic after the ordered majesty of Bach. Then we had some songs and arias, mostly sung in the original Italian. Then there was some excellent piano and solo violin music, including more Bach.
I was pleased that the songs were in Italian. Italian was one of my matriculation languages and I have always thought it to be a particularly beautiful language. Translations of Italian songs certainly lose something. Fortunately, I know something of both main languages of music (German and Italian) so I can appreciate singing in both languages without too much trouble. Italians find Germans very alarming but, perhaps partly because I am a member of the world's dominant Anglo culture, I happily get on with both Italians and Germans. Neither bother me and both have valuable strengths.
Although the audience at the concert was wholly Anglo, both the Han and the Ashkenazim were represented among the musicians -- as one expects at a classical concert in Australia these days. Both the Jewish violinist and the Chinese pianist were exceedingly competent -- again as one expects. Both Han people and the Ashkenazim fit effortlessly into Anglo civilization and tend to raise the level of it in so doing. If only we could replace every ten Muslims by one Chinaman, the world would be a vastly better place.
So life went on for me in its normal pleasant way, as it did for 99% of Westerners. People did of course talk about the sadly twisted Muslims but they had no impact other than that. If the Muslims ever do succeed in making a serious nuisance of themselves to large numbers of us, though, I am confident that they will be dealt with effectively. If we all felt really threatened by them, their end would be swift.
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