Sunday, August 20, 2006

Britain's cultural cowardice

Britain's loss of nerve is one of the main reasons it has become a global centre of Islamic extremism. For decades, successive British governments have regarded multiculturalism as an article of faith. The idea that Britain should become a joyous melting pot of different cultures and religions living side by side in mutual toleration and respect is a noble vision. But it's not working out that way. Instead, the benefits of immigration are being lost through a failure to control numbers and a reluctance to pursue policies that might promote integration. As a result, Britain has a huge Muslim population, much of which is increasingly alienated from mainstream society. "Londonistan" is no longer just a safe haven for foreign extremists. Today, it nurtures home-grown terrorists, many born in Britain, educated at British schools and attending British universities.

The July 7 bombers were British. So was Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted for his role in the 9/11 attacks, was a student in London. Some of those arrested last week converted to Islam in the past year. That suggests the problem is escalating.... why do young Muslims embrace terrorism rather than democratic politics? How can people born and educated in Britain feel so alienated from its culture and values? The snag is that many never fully engage with British culture and values. Muslims make up the majority in many towns and in most big cities there are large Muslim enclaves. Even if the multiculturalists were to change their minds on the need for integration, it would be too late. Muslim leaders are demanding more separation from mainstream society, not less.

They want bank holidays for Muslim festivals and sharia law courts to rule on family matters. They may well get it. They are helped by the remarkable ambivalence of the liberal Left towards British culture and values: to Christianity, British history, free markets and free trade. Above all, the Left is deeply suspicious of the institutions in which those values are embedded, starting with the family and extending via churches, schools, businesses, clubs, right through to parliament and the monarchy. To the Left, Britain's social institutions are bastions of privilege that must be remodelled or destroyed to make way for multiculturalism. The resulting cultural war has left British society brutalised and infantilised, and wide open to attack. Why should British Muslims respect a culture that has no respect for itself?

More here



A huge double standard for Israel: "The outrage of so many outraged people outrages me. On the scales of world opinion, some Muslim corpses are light as a feather, and others weigh tons. Two measures, two weights. The daily terrorist attacks on civilians in Baghdad, killing 50 people or more, are checked off in reports under the heading of miscellaneous, while the bomb that took 28 lives in Qana is denounced as a crime against humanity. Only a few intellectuals like Bernard-Henri Levy or Magdi Allam, editor of Corriere della Sera, find this surprising. Why do the 200,000 slaughtered Muslims of Darfur not arouse even half a quarter of the fury caused by 200 times fewer dead in Lebanon? Must we deduce that Muslims killed by other Muslims don't count--whether in the eyes of Muslim authorities or viewed through the bad conscience of the West? This conclusion has its weak spots, because if the Russian Army--Christian, and blessed by its popes--razes the capital of Chechen Muslims (Grozny, with 400,000 residents), killing tens of thousands of children in the process, this doesn't count, either. The U.N. Security Council does not hold meeting after meeting, and the Organization of Islamic States piously averts its eyes. From that, we may conclude that the world is appalled only when a Muslim is killed by Israelis...."

Terrorist attack in Germany: "According to reports circulating throughout the German media today, two suitcase bombs placed by two unidentified men very nearly went off on regional trains in Dortmund and Koblenz at the end of July. A deadly simultaneous bombing was only averted because the bombs were technically defective. Had they detonated, German authorities believe that a mass casualty event similar to the recent attacks in London could have been the result."

Sam Pender has an amusing article up about the Democrat foreign policy. A site linked to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council sets out a policy that is only a slightly reworded version of a well-known neocon policy! There can be no doubt that the Left are utterly bereft of ideas these days. Aside from their antiquated idea that the government should control everything, they have nothing positive to say.

Are capitalists bamboozling the poor?: "For lack of a better term I am dubbing it Woods's Law: whenever the private sector introduces an innovation that makes the poor better off than they would have been without it, or that offers benefits or terms that no one else is prepared to offer them, someone -- in the name of helping the poor -- will call for curbing or abolishing it."

The minimum wage: A denial of freedom and duty: "In an interview conducted by Faithful America, a website affiliated with the National Council of Churches, a man named Dan expresses some of the hardships faced when working for a minimum-wage job. 'A lot of times you don't get to pay your bills,' he says. 'A lot times you just stick them back, you're usually in debt. You usually don't ever get them paid.' This sort of picture of the hard-working but struggling family man is consistently invoked in political debates about the minimum wage."

The no-sense doctrine: "The TSA's more established security system, Screening Passengers by Observation Technique, or SPOT, relies on human intelligence instead of the artificial kind. Teams are trained to scrutinize passengers for more than 30 questionable behaviors, according to the Journal: 'They look for obvious things like someone wearing a heavy coat on a hot day, but also for subtle signs like vocal timbre, gestures and tiny facial movements that indicate someone is trying to disguise an emotion.' This apparently is unacceptable for civil libertarians. 'Our concern is that giving TSA screeners this kind of responsibility and discretion can result in their making decisions not based on solid criteria but on impermissible characteristics such as race,' the ACLU's Gregory T. Nojeim told the Journal. In other words, while our enemies are coming up with ingenious ways to murder Americans, we're coming up with ingenious ways to search for our enemies in the nicest manner possible."

Abolish the TSA, save lives: "The TSA has been a farce from its inception. It exists not to prevent terrorists from bringing down a plane but to prevent passengers from realizing the government can do little to thwart such a catastrophe. Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., was chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in May 2005 when he explained why the TSA squandered $4.5 billion on malfunctioning equipment; he also inadvertently admitted that the agency is merely window-dressing for the Feds: 'After 9/11, we had to show how committed we were by spending hugely greater amounts of money than ever before, as rapidly as possible.' It worked. Forcing folks to remove their shoes and submit to pat-downs convinced many Americans that the TSA is an effective bureaucracy, unlike all others in their experience."

I have just posted here a movie review sent in by a reader, who thought that the movie had considerable libertarian interest. The movie is "King Arthur"



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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