A while ago, Dalrymple wrote concernedly about massive immigration to London, and even more about the British response. He went so far as to compare Britain unfavorably with France.
“…is not an ideological state; it has no foundation myths that are easy to identify with…”
According to Dalrymple, French ideological rigidity through the laws may be quite useful in handling the ideological rigidity of the terrorists, and perhaps other not fully assimilated Muslim immigrants. The French have their own brand of integration, after all (making new Frenchman), particularly since the revolution. Eventually too, the enforcement of laws and the ideals of liberte, egalite, fraternite, have the force of the State behind them.
Evidently, some Muslims in France are being raised to believe Islamic laws of blasphemy trump those of the French Republic. Add large ghettos and relatively less social mobility, economic opportunity, and integration, and you’ve got potentially serious problems. Among them, the anti-semitism that Muslims often treat as their birthright, compacted under such pressure, simmering in neighborhoods large enough where a lot of customs from the home countries linger, mutual suspicions and conspiracy theories abound, and where Islam itself can be at odds with post-Enlightenment, post-revolutionary France.
“Multiculturalism, that is, is not compatible with the founding Enlightenment mythology of France; assimilation, not integration, is the goal “
And hey, listen, I don’t want to get between the British and the French, but there’s this:
Why do Frenchman piss on the sides of highways?
Through American eyes, the French revolutionary esprit seems to manifest itself in different ways, bubbling up into eddies of libertinism, the-intellectual-as-rock-star, that particular brand of French colonialism, deep mistrust of authority, the monarchy, the aristocracy, the Catholic church etc. which the Charlie Hebdo folks kept alive.
On that note, here’s a drunk Serge Gainsbourg letting his intentions be known to Whitney Houston.
Well, the French did simply ban the burqa by law, so maybe Dalrymple had a point.
And what about the Anglo-American view?:
Another take: Walter Russell Mead discussed his then new book entitled God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World.
Maybe there are other options besides Fukuyama’s Hegelian end point of history, and Huntington’s Clash Of Civilizations with regard to our current dealings with the Islamic resurgence and its anti-modern, anti-Western, theocratic impulses (liberal internationalism and Obama’s foreign policy have certainly created problems, but there are underlying issues the West will face):
Mead argues that religion, government, free-trade, capitalism, sport, and especially naval power have shaped our two cultures which have thus shaped the world (an [economic] model he suggests originally came from the Dutch).
Likely worth your time.
Related On This Site: It seems like one point of discussion is what kind of Western ideas lead the debate: Some Quotations From Leo Strauss On Edmund Burke In ‘Natural Right And History’…Paul Berman At The New Republic: ‘From September 11 to the Arab Spring: Do Ideas Matter?’…french Liberte?: Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others…
Yes, Edmund Burke opposed the French Revolution: Sunday Quotation: Edmund Burke On The French Revolution..