To recall the line from The Third Man, this time Switzerland may gain distinction by alerting Europe to save itself. Ross Douthat goes behind the Swiss referendum banning the construction of mosques. "The European elites assumed that the divide between Islam and the West was as antiquated as scimitars and broadswords, and that a liberal, multicultural, post-Christian federation would have no difficulty absorbing new arrivals from more traditional societies." Just as Californians and other Americans have used the referendum to do what cowardly legislators failed to do on hot issues such as bilingual education and affirmative action, so the Swiss have acted.
Millions of Muslims have accepted European norms. But millions have not. This means polygamy in Sweden; radical mosques in Britain's fading industrial cities; riots over affronts to the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark; and religiously inspired murder in the Netherlands. It means terrorism, and the threat of terrorism, from London to Madrid.
Today the Swiss live more than ever under the fear of Islamic terrorism, because the secular European elites didn't recognize the threat before them. Post-nationalist elites won't be of any help here in America either.