Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Europe's Muslim problem

There is an editorial in today's Washington Post which begins well, but ends in nonsense. Here is the good part:

A YEAR AGO this week, riots erupted in mostly Muslim suburbs of Paris and other French cities, underlining the alienation of a subculture that makes up 8 percent of the country's population but has suffered from chronic unemployment and discrimination. One year later, that alienation -- and the threat of violence that comes with it -- appears to have worsened, not only in France but across Western Europe. French police are facing what some call a "permanent intifada" in Muslim neighborhoods, with nearly 2,500 incidents of violence against officers recorded in the first six months of the year. Some of these now take the form of planned ambushes: On Sunday a gang of youths emptied a bus of its passengers, set it on fire, and then stoned the firefighters who responded.

In Britain, the London bombings of 2005, which were executed in part by native-born Muslims, have been succeeded by this summer's arrest of another group of native extremists who allegedly plotted to blow up airliners. Two Lebanese residents of Germany were accused of trying to bomb passenger trains. The threat of violence by Muslims angered by perceived insults, whether from the German-born pope or the director of a Mozart opera, has become more frequent.

Europeans are slowly growing more aware that a major part of the global struggle against Islamic extremism must take place in their own countries -- and not just in faraway Afghanistan or Iraq. . .
As I said this is the good part. Muslims in Europe are not only not assimilating very well the problem is getting worse. Young Muslims who were born in European countries to parents who were also born in Europe are less assimilated than their grandparents who were born and raised in North Africa or the Middle East.

European nations import Muslims to do manual labor not to compete with native Europeans in the professions. To that end employment offices in European nations will assist college educated and qualified Muslim professionals find work as grocery baggers, but not physicians, attorneys or college professors. If they want to do that kind of work they are told to go home.

European nations provide little sense of identity to Muslim immigrants and their children. Into this vacuum steps radical Islam. Mosques funded by Saudi Arabia teach radical Whabbi Islam in all its hatred of the West. Some young Muslim men become radicalized and join terrorist cells like the London bombers. Others cherry pick elements from Islamic culture which serve their selfish interests. Theodore Dalrymple writes of young Muslim men in Britain who could not recite an Islamic prayer to save their lives, but practice the brutal domination of women, sometimes including having multiple "wives" and justify it by the Koran and the example of Mohammed.

Now for the stupid part:

. . . But their governments, media and political elites still appear to be a long way from coming to grips with the challenge. Rather than seeking to address the larger alienation of mainstream Muslims, European leaders often appear to do the opposite -- by challenging the culture of Muslims and defending gratuitous insults of Islam.

So by insisting that Muslim men follow the law and not murder their daughters for shaming the family by thoughtlessly allowing themselves to be raped or by defending the right of magazines to publish cartoons are furthering the alienation of Muslims?

I think not. The Koran tells Muslims that the faithful are destined to rule the world. All non-Muslims have an absolute duty before God to either convert, accept dhiminitude or die. There are no other options. Muslims are taught that a nation which has a Muslim community of any size is Muslim property. They are told that they welfare payments and other government benefits which they receive are an acceptable form of the jizra, the head tax which non-Muslims must pay for the privilege of staying alive.

The Islamic religion itself is a primary factor in the alienation of Muslims. As long as Islam is granted a privileged status and its communicants are allowed exemptions from the standards of behavior which other members of society are held to Muslims will be encouraged to see themselves as a -- superior -- class apart.

One recent but hardly isolated example came from Britain's House of Commons leader, Jack Straw, who criticized Muslim women for wearing veils and said he asked those who visited his office to remove them, on the grounds that they impede "communication." It's hard to believe that veils are the biggest obstacle to communication between British politicians and the country's Muslims; and it's even harder to imagine Mr. Straw raising similar objections about Sikh turbans or Orthodox Jewish dress. True, the Labor Party MP was reflecting -- or maybe pandering to -- the concern of many in Britain about the self-segregation of some Muslims. But veils -- which are also under government attack in France and Italy -- are not the cause of that segregation, much less of terrorism. Attacks on Muslim custom by public officials are more likely to reinforce than to ease the community's alienation.

Making them wear the veil is not the worst thing that Islam does to women, but it is the visible symbol of all the degradations which Muslim women are forced to endure. When the Canadian government entertained a stupid proposal a few years back to allow Canadian Muslims to set up sharia courts within the Islamic community to handle the affairs normally dealt with by Canadian family courts the parliament was deluged with letters from Muslim women begging them not to subject them to the tyranny of the mullahs.

Mr. Straw and other European politicians could contribute far more to combating radical Islam if they focused on those who actually foment intolerance among European Muslims -- as well as those in the mainstream community who promote prejudice against Arabs and South Asians and their descendants. Muslims in Europe should be invited to embrace the countries where they live on their own terms. They should be expected to respect laws and freedoms. But politicians would do better to work on dismantling the barriers Muslims face in getting educations and jobs rather than those that distinguish Islam from the secular majority.

True assimilation is not embracing a nation of your own terms. It is adapting yourself to a nation so that it may embrace you on its terms. Muslims, if they are to remain true to their faith, cannot respect the laws and freedoms of the countries where they live. They are commanded by their founding prophet to bend the entire globe to the will of Allah, by persuasion if possible but by force if necessary.

The part about helping Muslims get better educations and jobs would be a good idea, except for the fact that educational opportunities are already widespread in Europe, at taxpayer expense. And as for jobs the welfare states of Europe deny opportunities to everyone. Most of Europe is suffering from chronic double-digit unemployment brought about by confiscatory taxation and labor laws which make hiring new workers a dangerous gamble.

It is highly unlikely that Europe can solve its problems with unassimilated Muslims. To correct the problem would require to do things which they find anathema. Ending their experiment with socialism with the enthusiastic embrace of capitalism. Putting aside their cultural guilt over their colonial past. Reconnecting with their Christian roots. Abandoning their suicidal adherence to milticulturalism and moral relativism and recovering a sense of pride in their own history.

As I said, things which the European elites would find anathema.