Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Mark Steyn suggests that the deconstruction of traditional British culture in favor of multiculturalism not only contributed to the British bombings, but will make eradicating terrorism that much more difficult. (hat tip: Counter Trey)
So, if Islamist extremism is the genie you're trying to put back in the bottle, it doesn't help to have smashed the bottle. As the death of the Eurofanatic Ted Heath reminds us, in modern Britain even a "conservative" prime minister thinks nothing of obliterating ancient counties and imposing on the populace fantasy jurisdictions - "Avon", "Clwyd" and (my personal favourite in its evocative neo-Stalinism) "Central Region" - and an alien regulatory regime imported from the failed polities of Europe. The 7/7 murderers are described as "Yorkshiremen", but, of course, there is no Yorkshire: Ted abolished that, too.
Sir Edward's successor, Mr Blair, said on the day of the bombing that terrorists would not be allowed to "change our country or our way of life". Of course not. That's his job - from hunting to Europeanisation. Could you reliably say what aspects of "our way of life" Britain's ruling class, whether pseudo-Labour like Mr Blair or pseudo-Conservative like Sir Ted, wish to preserve? The Notting Hill Carnival? Not enough, alas.
Meanwhile, Frida Ghitis argues that it is difficult to ask Muslim leaders to denounce suicide bombing when Western leaders are unwilling to do so.
How could a young British Muslim growing up in Leeds, England, come to believe that a suicide bombing is an appropriate way to express a grievance? Very simple. He would watch the news. He would listen to the way that British thinkers respond to bombings of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists and to how terrorist attacks in Iraq are described.
In much of Europe, suicide bombings targeting Israelis do not receive anything remotely resembling the blanket condemnation demanded of Muslims after July 7. This is not to argue that Israeli tactics must be embraced or that the objectives of Palestinians must be rejected. But if the British want to tell the world -- especially people living within their borders -- that terrorism is wrong, they have to declare without nuance and equivocation that attacks designed and executed for the deliberate purpose of murdering civilians for political goals are morally wrong and ompletely unacceptable -- always -- no matter who the victims, the perpetrators, or the political views of either side. That is plainly not what has happened until now.
The intellectual struggle over these issues is really just beginning in the UK. There are many parts of Europe, and North America too, where it has not yet even begun.