Wednesday, July 20, 2005


"It Was Not Supposed To Be Like This"

Courtesy of Tim Blair, this remarkable admission, by Pamela Bone of Australia's The Age, of the need to take terrorism -- and the cultures that foment it -- more seriously:
It is almost certain now that last week's attacks on the London underground were carried out by young British men of Pakistani background. British intelligence estimates that 10,000 to 15,000 Muslims living in Britain support al-Qaeda.

It was not supposed to be like this. The idea was that tolerance and liberalism towards migrants would in turn make migrants tolerant and good citizens. Instead, Britain became a haven for terrorists. Did the bomb blasts in the London Underground mark the death of multiculturalism?
Well, I'm glad to see that we have your attention! No, this does not necessarily mean the death of multiculturalism -- as Pamela Bone points out later in her editorial, different cultures blend well and non-violently in other places. America has seen its share of immigrant violence, to be sure, but hardly any anti-American terrorism.

Perhaps the difference is in what 'multiculturalism' means. Does it mean, as in America, that you may bring your culture with you but that you are expected to behave in public as an American? Or does it mean, as in Britain, that you may transplant your home country and pretend, like some macabre Accidental Tourist, that you've never left home at all?

(We do indeed struggle with these issues in America. But the default assumption is not that we must bend over backwards to accomodate the immigrants; if anything, we expect, in most cases, for them to accomodate to the majority that's already here. For example, not long ago there was a court case, in Florida I believe, in which a young Muslim woman sued for the right to wear a veil for her drivers-licence photograph. Unless I'm very much mistaken, she lost... and for good reason. Not only does a veiled photo make the driver's licence useless as an ID, it's ridiculous on the face of it. Driving is not a universal right, and more than one Muslim country forbids women to drive altogether. Be grateful, in other words, that the United States allows you to drive, anywhere you want, wearing what you like, veiled or unveiled. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can always let someone else do the driving.)

By all means, read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Mary Madigan, writing at, has more to say about liberals waking up to the dangers. She also compares terrorism to piracy, rather interestingly, and points out that we stamped out piracy successfully... by the same sort of means we'll need to stamp out terrorism.

(Can we stamp out terrorism? Yes, we can. It will take decades, and it will require the determined cooperation of all of terrorism's potential victims, which is all of us. But yes, we can. As Bill Whittle eloquently explained: the terrorists, sowing death all around them and not afraid of death themselves, cannot be deterred. But they can be defeated. And the people they depend on for survival can be deterred.)

By all means, check it out.


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