Theodore Dalrymple At The Library Of Law & Liberty-‘Group Preferences: Opiate Of The Intellectuals’

Full piece here.

Here’s a sentence you don’t come across every day:

‘Clearly the example of a transsexual Muslim airline pilot was meant as a reductio ad absurdum and not as a real or actual concern.’

With irony and/or sarcasm, you can end-up addressing an issue elliptically; the meaning easily lost or confused.

Also On This Site: So, You’re Telling Me What’s Cool?-Theodore Dalrymple At The City Journal: ‘Banksy In Neverland’

Theodore Dalrymple At The City Journal: ‘What The New Atheists Don’t See’Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain…From The WSJ Weekend Journal-Theodore Dalrymple: “Man Vs. Mutt”

From Volokh: ‘Not Safe To Display American Flag In American High School’

Full post here.

Well, this did take place in California.

Volokh:

‘Yet even if the judges are right, the situation in the school seems very bad. Somehow, we’ve reached the point that students can’t safely display the American flag in an American school, because of a fear that other students will attack them for it — and the school feels unable to prevent such attacks (by punishing the threateners and the attackers, and by teaching students tolerance for other students’ speech).’

With a larger Mexican population, Cinco De Mayo has apparently become a source of enough Mexican cultural and national pride at the school that such any display, provocative or not, of American national pride, has led to some confrontation.

Or at least the avoidance of confrontation.

So the more free-thinking Jerry Brown on display in the video below, back in the 70’s, is a far cry from the practical politics of the Golden State today:

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Victor Davis Hanson’s suggestions still sound quite reasonable:  So reasonable they’d be very difficult to implement:

‘The four-part solution for California is clear:  don’t raise the state’s crushing taxes any higher; reform public-employee compensation:  make use of ample natural resources: and stop the flow of illegal aliens. Just focus on those four areas-as California did so well in the past-and in time, the state will return to its bounty of a few decades ago.  Many of us intend to stay and see that it does.’

-A link for Michael Lewis’ article about California politics, public pensions and Schwarzenegger’s time in office.

-A map from Immodest Proposals on how to divide California.  Just some suggestions.

-California’s anti-immigration, anti-union Democrat: Full video and background on Mickey Kaus here.

Related On This Site:  Victor Davis Hanson Via Youtube Via Uncommon Knowledge: ‘The New Old World Order’

Dream big: Via Reason: ‘California’s Public Transportation Sinkhole’

A great city deserves great art extravaganzas…: L.A.’s New Public Art Piece ‘The Levitated Mass,’ Or As The American Interest Puts It: ‘A Moving Rock’

Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas: ‘California’s Kafkaesque Rent Control Laws’

California Dreamers From The Atlantic-A Brief Review Of Kevin Starr’s History Of California

The people who promise solutions to poverty and homelessness seem to be engaged in a utopian cost-shifting exercise which favors their interests and overlooks crime, violence and personal responsbility…hardly a way to balance the budget: Repost-Heather MacDonald At The City Journal: ‘The Sidewalks Of San Francisco’

Melanie Phillips At Her Blog: ‘A Hysterical And Ignorant Response’

Full post here.

Which was a response to the flak she got for this original post.

‘By banning from the country as extremists the American anti-jihadis Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, the Home Secretary Teresa May has not only made herself look ridiculous but has sent the enemies of the United Kingdom the message that they have it on the run.’

Agreed.  Poorly played, Lady Britannia.

Click through for some drama as it was conservative activists who took issue with some of what Phillips wrote in response to the Home Secretary’s actions.

There’s a reasonable and skeptical conservatism out there even if you’re in an embattled minority working against public opinion, as Phillips points out.  It strikes this American, with a broader tolerance for speech, as just plain stupid to not even let Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer in to discuss their ideas.  More speech is often the answer.

Yet, you don’t necessarily want to embrace the English Defence League as an ally without looking long and hard at that group.   Elements within it are yobbish and criminally violent, though perhaps not quite as nationalistic, fascistic, and racial-purity-Right as some groups on the Continent (and yes, the Marxist and Communist Left are fascistic as well, which form a base for much multicultural thought).

Activism can be an effective means to spread ideology (Leftists know this all too well), especially for spreading a political and philosophical ideology that a majority doesn’t favor, but those in a minority do.

We’ve seen a rise in conservative activism in America as well, sometimes copying the same methods the Left has used.

This blog is still keeping an eye on those in the British and European Left along the boundaries where a few people become something like neo-conservatives, or at least heretics and contrarians as they defend broader definitions of speech and point out the unholy marriage between Islamism and Leftism/multiculturalism and its consequences.  Lars Hedegaard, Christopher Hitchens, and Melanie Philips are worth reading for this reason.

There are many other voices with important truths to tell us.

Related On This Site:  Islamism, Immigration & Multiculturalism-Melanie Phillips Via Youtube

Why Lars Hedegaard Still MattersUpdate And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’…Morality away from a transcendent God, but back toward Hume through the cognitive sciences?: Franz De Waal At The NY Times 10/17/10: ‘Morals Without God?’

People think I’m crazy, but NPR is the manifestation and mainstreaming of 60′s idealism.  This idealism will always need money, and gravitates towards the public purse. Foundations which served other ideals naturally attract idealists. A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama

You know it’s getting bad when even a former NPR exec says it’s getting out of hand: Jack Shakely At The Los Angeles Review Of Books Reviews Ken Stern’s ‘With Charity For All’

From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism…From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

Kenan Malik In The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Twenty Years On: Internalizing The Fatwa’-Salman Rushdie

Theodore Dalrymple argues that France has the potential to handle Muslim immigration better because of its ideological rigidity, which can better meet the ideological rigidity of its Muslim immigrants…Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain

How do you reasonably deal with relativism anyways?: From Virtual Philosophy: A Brief Interview With Simon Blackburn

Repost-Eugene Volokh At The National Review: ‘Multiculturalism: For or Against?’

A Few Wednesday Links: Universities, Money, Multiculturalism And Ideology

Heather McDonald At The City Journal has a piece entitled Multiculti U on the excesses of the University Of California system.

Clearly, this is going on in colleges and universities across the country:

‘It’s impossible to overstate the extent to which the diversity ideology has encroached upon UC’s collective psyche and mission.  No administrator, no regent, no academic dean or chair can open his mouth for long without professing fealty to diversity.  It is the one constant in every university endeavor; it impinges on hiring, distorts the curriculum, and sucks up vast amounts of faculty time and taxpayer resources.’

Well, maybe it’s just more visible now, and even more visible in California.  McDonald gets some pushback in the comments, which are worth a read.

From those comments:

‘Eric Hoffer is quoted as having said something to the effect that great causes begin as movements, turn into businesses and end up as rackets. The UC 2 described by Heather is what has happened to the great causes of the sixties.’

Here’s that quote, as Hoffer highlighted the nature of all ideologies, and the reasons true-believers in ideologies spend so much time minding your business and producing so little of value on their own.  Of course, it’s good to realize there are many other things going on regarding education, including technology, the end of an era of economic dominance, student-loans, rising tutitions and colleges and universities competing upmarket with amenities and high salaries.  They deserve some of what they get, and we all suffer.

In other news, it’s good to hear the folks over at NPR, radio people with a a rather collectivist, 60’s idealist bent and a Dewey-esque vision of civil society have a new facility.

The choicest bits:

— NPR raises beehives on the roof to help pollinate its green roofs.

— The building is expected to be LEED Gold certified.

— The almost 800-person staff is extremely diverse, and they all are really glad the be in the new building.

On behalf of my fellow Americans, I have a few questions in response:

1.  Are there hippies, or any other organically-sensitive, environmentally-conscious human beings on the roof as well, to help keep the bees? 

2.  Have the bees been certified as low-emission bees and can we eat them as a source of protein?

3.  Is there some sort of diversity board or oversight committee to determine how diverse the staff actually is, and how glad they really are to be in the new building?

I hereby nominate myself as Director Of NPR Diversity Coordination, Chancellor Of Gladness, and Galactic Overlord Of Climate Change.  You’ll find me equally at home on Wall, Main and Sesame Streets, NPR.

Call me.

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Related On This Site:  Repost: Mark Cuban From His Blog: ‘The Coming Meltdown in College Education & Why The Economy Won’t Get Better Any Time Soon’…From The New Criterion: ‘Higher Ed: An Obituary’,,,Ron Unz At The American Conservative: ‘The Myth Of American Meritocracy’

Analagous to old media? What to change and what to keepFrom The Arnoldian Project: ‘Architecture, Campus, And Learning To Become’

Should you get a college degree, probably, but you also probably shouldn’t lose sight of why you’re going and divorce yourself entirely from the cost:  Gene Expression On Charles Murray: Does College Really Pay Off?…Charles Murray In The New Criterion: The Age Of Educational Romanticism

A deeper look at what education “ought” to be:  A lot like it is now?: A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Allan Bloom thought about some of this in The Closing Of The American Mind, at least with regard to what he saw as a true liberal arts education: Update And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’

Update And Repost: ‘A Canadian Libertarian Making Noise: Ezra Levant’

Here are Levant’s opening statements during his investigation:

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Levant was fighting what he saw as an infringement upon his freedom of speech by the Human Rights Commission of Alberta.  As editor of the Western Standard, Levant published the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, and found himself investigated by, in his words, “a kangaroo court.”

Originally, a letter was written by Syed Soharwardy, an imam living in Alberta, to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.  Soharwardy claimed that the cartoons were morally offensive to the religion of Islam.  Levant believed his decision to publish the cartoons was protected by Canadian law, and that Soharwardy found a path to legal action (at the expense of Canadian taxpayers) through the Human Rights Commission because no one else would take Soharwardy’s claims seriously.

One of Levant’s main concerns seems to be the the way in which someone like Soharwardy, (with unchallenged religious beliefs, and illiberal ideas of social freedom), has infringed upon his freedoms through an institution like the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

———————————————–

Heading towards a theme, here’s Mark Steyn discussing complaints brought against Macleans, Canada’s largest publication, by the President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (who sent three representatives) to TVOntario.   They were upset at the pieces Steyn had published there.  The complaints went through the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for alleged “Islamophobia” and “promoting hate:”

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Pretty heated.

Again, the focus here is not whether Islam is a religion whose followers would eventually clash with the idea of separation of church and state, and/or identify with a larger global pan-Muslim population at the expense of their adopted countries.  That’s a different debate.  We know that here in America, they are granted a space created by our Constitution for freedom of religion in the public square and no specific religious test for office.  They must follow our laws and are protected by them.  Living and working alongside one another has its benefits and I generally favor the melting pot approach.

The debate here focuses on the effect that multiculturalism, the human rights crowd, and the public sentiment behind them can have upon freedom of expression when Human Rights Commissions are allowed legal recourse to settle this kind of dispute.  This is one of the consequences of those ideas in action, and it’s not exactly liberal.  It’s the multicultural solution, and it can be absolutely chilling on speech, placing onerous financial burdens on citizens, and it can create a sort of shadow court with aims of its own (if not jurisdiction) operating alongside the regular courts.

We’re not anywhere near Choudary territory yet, but remember that Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter, had some problems with “workplace violence”.  Most multiculturalists really don’t see a problem with their approach.

***A friend points out that the illiberal tendencies of the Muslim complainants in both cases and the illiberalism of the multiculturalists is a good fit.  Just don’t be a Canadian on the receiving end.

***This also helps to confirm the libertarian contention that libertarians are the true classical liberals, and modern liberalism has followed the logic of moral relativism, a lot of Continental, New Left, neo-Marxist influences in feminism and race theory which lead to an unhealthy desire to control and be controlled by the State, which will grow larger and larger.

Also On This Site:  From The BBC-Kurt Westergaard: ‘Cartoonist Attacker In Danish Court’

Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

Virtual Philosophy has a series on free speech and some links and notes to J.S. Mill’s ‘On Liberty’ among others.  Is Mill’s utilitarianism enough?:  From virtual philosopher: ‘Free Speech: notes and links for course at Free Word Centre’

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

Repost-Eugene Volokh At The National Review: ‘Multiculturalism: For or Against?’Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In BritainFrom The Volokh Conspiracy: Multiculturalism As A Traditional American Value

From Sultan Knish: ‘The Mirage Of Moderate Islam’

From The NY Times: Review Of Christopher Caldwell’s Book “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West”

Full review here.  (updated, Fouad Ajami’s piece, which was not the original)

Book found here.

A few quotes:

“The most chilling observation in Mr. Caldwell’s book may be that the debate over Muslim immigration in Europe is one that the continent can’t openly have, because anyone remotely critical of Islam is branded as Islamophobic”

Remember the Dutch cartoonists?  Some of them were perhaps irresponsible,even inflammatory, but that was probably no less a time to offer up a reasonable and principled liberal defense of their right to publish.

Also:

“For Mr. Caldwell, the fundamental issue is also, more centrally, about irrevocable societal transformation.”

If you’ve read the book, please share your thoughts.

See Also On This SiteVia Youtube: ‘Roger Scruton On Islam And The West’

.From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

Related On This Site: A British neo-conservative type?:  Islamism, Immigration & Multiculturalism-Melanie Phillips Via Youtube

It’s the fierce critic of religion, new Atheist, and 68er Christopher Hitchens who has defended free speech most vigorously:  Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

Najat Fawzy Alsaeid At The Center For Islamic Pluralism: ‘The War Of Ideologies In The Arab World’

More On Lars Hedegaard Via the NY Times: Is Europe Waking Up?

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Theodore Dalrymple At The City Journal: ‘What The New Atheists Don’t See’Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain…From The WSJ Weekend Journal-Theodore Dalrymple: “Man Vs. Mutt”

Kenan Malik In The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Twenty Years On: Internalizing The Fatwa’-Salman Rushdie

Theodore Dalrymple argues that France has the potential to handle Muslim immigration better because of its ideological rigidity, which can better meet the ideological rigidity of its Muslim immigrants…Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain

How do you reasonably deal with relativism anyways?: From Virtual Philosophy: A Brief Interview With Simon Blackburn

080405_046 by *chiwai*.

A long time ago, and not so long ago.  *chiwai*’s photostream here.  Excellent photo.

Theodore Dalrymple At The City Journal: ‘Thoughts On Woolwich’

Full piece here.

According to Dalrymple, it is South London that produced these men, desperate for something to believe in, seeking out group membership and meaning, moral certainty and a handbook for life.  The franchise of radical Islam will continue to provide answers in the minds of men moving in and out of a criminal subculture, not entirely without opportunity, but rootless, sometimes violent and aggressive.  While looking towards Islam, the Islamist agitators give structure to express some of what was already inside and part of the milieu in which they moved:

‘The hacking to death of Lee Rigby on a street in Woolwich tells us as much about the society that we have created, or allowed to develop, as it does about radical Islam preached by fat, middle-aged clerics.’

I can’t speak for the men, but clearly they had serious problems, and Dalrymple provides a little background on both.

There are other issues which the multicultural bien-pensant worldview simply hasn’t accounted for regarding Muslim immigration, including how to properly integrate Muslims into the British economy and civil society.  It ought to be made clear that there is a civil society with laws and rules governing it, and some pathway to join that civil society.

There has to be more than just signing arrivals up for benefits in a large Welfare State, piling them and their relatives into council houses and expecting job programs to do the trick.  You will breed the same pathologies as one finds in the homegrown wards of the State, but also manage to import native customs and sometimes barbaric native traditions, while keeping London neighborhoods, cultures, and religions toxically divided.  This creates a powder keg ready to blow, and the politicians ever more mealy-mouthed and full of half-empty promises and half-baked visions of civil society.

Of course, this is pretty much what many American progressives, Leftists, multiculturalists and non-classical liberals would do over here, but many Americans haven’t quite figured that out yet.

Here’s to hoping.  And here’s to letting the Woolwich killer speak for himself.  Violence begets violence.  Islamism and multiculturalism form an unholy marriage:

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Related On This Site: A British neo-conservative type?:  Islamism, Immigration & Multiculturalism-Melanie Phillips Via Youtube

It’s the fierce critic of religion, new Atheist, and 68er Christopher Hitchens who has defended free speech most vigorously:  Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

Najat Fawzy Alsaeid At The Center For Islamic Pluralism: ‘The War Of Ideologies In The Arab World’

More On Lars Hedegaard Via the NY Times: Is Europe Waking Up?

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Theodore Dalrymple At The City Journal: ‘What The New Atheists Don’t See’Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain…From The WSJ Weekend Journal-Theodore Dalrymple: “Man Vs. Mutt”

Islamism, Immigration & Multiculturalism-Melanie Phillips Via Youtube

Here’s Briton Melanie Phillips speaking about Muslims in Britain, and also finding excessive fault with multiculturalism (~15:00 min):

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Phillips wrote a book called Londonistan, and perhaps she’s the British equivalent of a neo-conservative, having been ‘mugged by reality’ to some extent, for which she draws special ire from her former fellow travelers. As a columnist who started out for the British Left-Of-Center Guardian, and moved to the Daily Mail, Phillips targets that unholy marriage of Islamism and multiculturalism.

In the case of Britain, civil society has managed to create a space which shelters a number of Muslism immigrants operating outside of British law, sometimes bringing tribal customs and Sharia courts with them. Obviously, this is a problem.

Islamism and Islam, for Phillips, are two different creatures. There are Muslims who subscribe to the faith, and emigrate from their home countries. They come to the West for economic opportunity, political stability and all the other reasons people immigrate to the West. In the case of America, for example, they are particularly free to practice their religion, and perhaps have their religion insulted by South Park or the likes of Terry Jones.

Islamists, on the other hand, are a different matter. They range from the radicalizing Tsarnaevs, to Al Qaeda, to Anwar al-Awlaki and the Muslim Brotherhood. They subscribe to a form of Islamic ideology that sees itself in a global struggle against the encroachment of outside ideas, particularly the freedoms, culture, and influence of the West at the moment.  Islamists are reactionary, ideological, and often advocate violence. They have serious issues with modernity, demanding and seeking solidarity and soldiers for the front lines against all enemies. Islamists seek to re-establish the kinds of laws and society that would enforce strict and impossibly ideal and narrow Islamic codes. This form of Islamic idealism has many wings and various sympathizers. It’s the kind of idealism we’re battling both abroad and on our soil, sometimes effectively, sometimes not very effectively at all. Some Islamists have even imported Western fascistic and socialist ideology and fused them with their own Islamism.  A toxic brew.

Islamism is a major force throughout the Middle East and Muslim world right now, and at the very least, perhaps we can recognize that the Islamists mean harm to other Muslims as well.

So, how does Phillips think Britain should handle Muslim immigration? By highlighting terms which Britons should be quite clear about:  There are laws to follow, forms of government to understand, a language to master and traditions which they might one day be expected to defend.  This means locking horns with the multicultural Left.

The West is not merely a stop on the global benefits welfare chain.  We’re not necessarily here to offer asylum or student visas to those who don’t particularly care to be here, nor those Islamists who travel from mosque to mosque, calling for jihad.  Of course this is closer to the melting-pot approach that was once dominant in the U.S., which has since been on a slow decline due to the rise of multiculturalism here as well.   I doubt this is a coincidence.

I’d add that America is obviously more than just a well-educated university faculty, or the talking heads on T.V.  There are many other ideals, beliefs and virtues besides those like the new atheism, environmentalism, feminism and multiculturalism etc.  Such secular ‘-isms’ tend to have universal aspirations, and many of their followers believe in these ideals with a kind of secular faith, rallying around these ideas and often presuming them to be universally true. As in Europe, universities and the media are natural draws for people who want to pursue such idealism, eventually influencing the culture and politics.

If Britain can show us anything, it’s that allowing the secular ‘-isms’ to be the highest things around, right alongside Muslim immigration and Islamism, is asking for serious trouble.

Now, I don’t think Phillips has everything right (nor obviously do I have everything right, for that matter) but her voice, like that of Christopher Hitchens, and Lars Hedegaard, are interesting voices of dissent tracing paths out of the Marxist, socialist and multiculturalist European Left.  They have important truths to tell us.

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Sayyid Qutb isn’t a bad place to start to understand a little more, I’ve been told.

Michael Totten’s various interviews over the years with the Muslim Brotherhood are not inspiring.  They’re Islamist lite, perhaps, and not likely the kinds of people we can do much business with.

A great piece here: Lawrence Wright At The New Yorker: ‘The Man Behind Bin Laden’

Also, check out that sophisticated link between the Brotherhood, Muslim world and multiculturalist Europe, Tariq Ramadan.  He sure knows how to speak the language:

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***Inevitably, criticism comes from the Left that highlights Phillips’ Jewishness.  “She’s a shill for Israel” etc.  Well, there you go.  Anti-American, anti-semitic victimhood is all the rage in many quarters in Europe these days.  Where’s that getting them?

Ever closer to the ideals which they hold aloft, and which move forever out of view.

Related On This Site:  Why Lars Hedegaard Still MattersUpdate And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’…Morality away from a transcendent God, but back toward Hume through the cognitive sciences?: Franz De Waal At The NY Times 10/17/10: ‘Morals Without God?’

People think I’m crazy, but NPR is the manifestation and mainstreaming of 60’s idealism.  This idealism will always need money, and gravitates towards the public purse. Foundations which served other ideals naturally attract idealists. A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama

You know it’s getting bad when even a former NPR exec says it’s getting out of hand: Jack Shakely At The Los Angeles Review Of Books Reviews Ken Stern’s ‘With Charity For All’

From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism…From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

Kenan Malik In The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Twenty Years On: Internalizing The Fatwa’-Salman Rushdie

Theodore Dalrymple argues that France has the potential to handle Muslim immigration better because of its ideological rigidity, which can better meet the ideological rigidity of its Muslim immigrants…Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain

How do you reasonably deal with relativism anyways?: From Virtual Philosophy: A Brief Interview With Simon Blackburn

Repost-Eugene Volokh At The National Review: ‘Multiculturalism: For or Against?’

A Few More Thoughts On The Marathon Bombing: Free Speech Is Key

There are two goals I think many Americans should have in mind: We should resist the pull of the multicultural Left:  The moral relativists, the purveyors of ‘class’ warfare and those who really have trouble with broader definitions of freedom of speech.  You might know who I mean:  The intolerant ‘tolerance’ crowd, many progressives over liberals, and members of the ‘hate-speech’ crowd.  This can also include the excessive and absolutist equality-seekers, who seek new victims in a common response to injustice with positive definitions of justice and social justice.

All of these groups, in following the logic inherent in their own ideas, tend to promote policies that erode our economic and political liberties, and those liberties are closely aligned.  We have broader definitions and legal traditions of free speech in America.  These will help us greatly moving forward, as some forces on the further Left won’t necessarily defend your right to say what you really think (and they are not alone, of course, as this is the rub regarding free speech).

This stikes me as a reasonable appeal, especially to liberals in America, and liberals who love liberty and freedom of speech.  The Marathon Bombings have chillingly forced us to rethink what’s important to us.

Notice this doesn’t solve questions on how open our immigration policy should be, but it will keep the debate open from those in all quarters who seek to close it.  It will also serve to keep our economy growing (the best assimilator of immigrants, in my opinion) and help us in maintaining an open, healthy society.  Terror and fear have a way of creeping into our minds and through our actions, and every American needs to be strong enough to send the right kinds of signals to our elected officials in order to maintain liberty while responding wisely to all that threatens our security.

In the meantime, we should also work to help American Muslims, and non-Islamist Muslims more broadly resist the House Of Islam folks, the Wahhabis, the Salafists, the Islamists and the radicals.  This will be a primary challenge in counter-terrorism, to our military and security agencies, to our Middle-East foreign policy more generally.  It also may help us in finding common ground with Europe, as they are having increasing problems with Muslim immigrants and an entrenched multicultural Leftist worldview and cultural hegemony.  We don’t want cultural ghettoes full of increasingly incendiary imams alongside a multicultural establishment full of journalists, critics, and policy-makers unable to address basic issues.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome.

Addition:  A more conservative friend says to just not allow Muslims in in the first place.  I’ll give that a hearing, but I will also point out that strategically, we’ve not figured out how best to prosecute our ongoing war with radical Islam, nor the rise of Islamism.  We’re looking at long wars and occupation, or we’re looking at quick strikes and low-level conflict, drones and intelligence, special operations and constantly employing new technology to our advantage.

Another Addition: If you want to see some responses to these ideas, go to Alexandria, where it’s cross-posted.

Interesting piece from an American Muslim here.

Plot foiled on a train from NYC to Toronto?

Yes, it’s jihad.  No, it won’t fit into the ideologies of diversity and multiculturalism.   Yes, people on the right want their suspicions and nativism confirmed.

A Few Thoughts On The Marathon Bombing-From Foreign Policy: ‘Portrait Of A Chechen Jihadist’

Full piece here.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is now in custody.

R.I.P. Martin Richard, 8, Krystle Campbell, 29. Lingzi Lu, the third casualty in her early twenties and Sean Collier, 26.  Thoughts and prayers to all victims and the more than 183 injured, including police officers.

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Hopefully, this is what blogs are for, to get ideas out in the open where they can walk, or crawl their way along:

Interestingly, one of the few policy issues Washington and Moscow agree upon is terror.  Moscow has been cracking down hard, and the Chechen uprising has been striking back.  Many Russians are all too familiar with this bloody conflict.

Addition:  Well, of course Putin’s going to exploit this for his own ends, but on balance, there’s very little else on which we find agreement with Russia.  Musharraf played us too, and paid the price in Pakistan.

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This blog would like to focus on two issues surrounding the bombing:  The limits of secular humanism, multiculturalism, diversity and their political and ideological interests regarding the Marathon bombing, and a suggestion for how reasonable people could think about Muslim immigration to the U.S (a bit differently than other immigrants).

1.  Clearly, from the facts being gathered, the elder Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, was increasingly embracing his Muslim faith, refraining from alcohol, converting his wife, and seeking to live an increasingly Muslim life.  This increasingly isolated him from much of life in America.  A good Muslim man expects his wife to act accordingly, and I’ve had experiences with two other Muslim men in the U.S. estranged from their wives, and charged with assault against them (both minor assaults, not beheadings).

Muslim societies place high emphasis on male honor and duty, both in the home and in the public square where the mosque dominates.  Men meet with shame in the ‘community’ if a wife, children or other members of the family stray too far from the faith.  There are a series of social norms and traditions stemming from the faith.  It’s not up for debate if your wife wants to drive, get a job, or leave the house uncovered.  It’s law in many countries.  That law comes from God.

Men call most of the shots and enforce this law, and expect a certain amount of submission.  Beyond this, it’s also not up to any of them whether or not they will have sex outside of marriage, drink, smoke or go to strip-clubs, especially amongst the hard-liners (of course, people still do, but can be punished severely, especially if the hard-liners make and enforce the law).  This is law from God, also.  It begins in submission.  There is an Islamist resurgence going on in much of the Muslim world.

Living in Western societies makes it very difficult indeed to maintain the faith, customs, norms and traditions for many Muslim men, especially those traveling back and forth.  Something often gives.  They have to stay flexible.

I see Islam as a platform from which further radicalization can occur in a small percentage of Muslim men.  In the Tsarnaev case, I speculate that his being Chechen, and the Chechen role in places like Syria and joining the Islamic resurgence played heavily into the Marathon bombing.  It wasn’t just Islam, but it was Islam combined with his ethnic identity, his homeland and his cause.

Radical Islam was a further avenue to be explored in his case.   Al Qaeda (everywhere and nowhere) is more like a franchise, and the siren call of those radical videos echoes in certain ears.  There are thousands of others who hear this song and activate at some point, joining the front lines, ready to murder.  They can be well-educated, intelligent, and quite familiar with the West.  Al Qaeda provides them with practical training, videos, equipment and sends them off to their deaths.

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Now, in a multiculturalist society aiming for secular human ideals, simply expecting Islam to fit neatly on the shelf next to Christianity and Judaism and other religions isn’t satisfactory, as this event highlights, especially in a globalized world.

You’d think we would learn from Great Britain’s example.

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I see ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ as bounded concepts, which function like ideologies in our public square, creating political and cultural identities and allegiances.  In turn, adherents demand loyalty against common enemies beneath ideas presumed to be universal.

As someone who routinely stands up against collectivist principles which I believe have troubled relationships with the individual and with liberty, it’s become a common theme on this blog to highlight such folks (many on the Right have authoritarian impulses and can degenerate into wanting to control everyone else through mostly bad laws too, and like the Weather Underground and animal rights nuts can resort to terrorism and violence as well, but that’s for another discussion).

Islam itself is a religious and political project based on tribal and sometimes even nomadic life.  Many Muslims identify most strongly with other Muslims, and there’s fellow-feeling in the Muslim world for the cause of other Muslims.   We should keep in mind that Islam hasn’t undergone an Enlightenment nor a Reformation.  There’s a lot of tribalism out there.  There’s no central authority like Rome.  Apostates aren’t tolerated.  Some Muslims shift like the sands to new fronts, defending the faithful, taking up arms amongst outnumbered locals.  Al Qaeda is sometimes the most organized, well-trained group among them.  Some places like Somalia, Yemen, Mali, Afghanistan, the FATA region of Pakistan, harbor these terrorists who plan attacks on our soil.  That’s why we are essentially at war, using our military, security and intelligence agencies and violent force, if necessary.

We’ve got to make deals with the most stable Muslim countries out there.

Sure, there are ‘moderate’ Muslims, with families, who want jobs, who have daily lives, who are generous and hospitable.  Sure, they can be worth knowing and befriending.  Sure their religion has deep wisdom and traditions worthy of respect.  Sure, they have a long history, and legitimate grievances.  Sure there are injustices and perceived injustices to rail against.

Eventually though, there is conflict between their faith and the modern world and the West.  They resolve this conflict in many ways, and I believe the context of a multicultural society is obviously insufficient for these resolutions to occur without glossing over the violence.  We want to still maximize and maintain our freedoms and defend ourselves first.

This connects to point number two:

2.  I think the American right and the American Left get a lot wrong about this state of affairs.  This is by no means a call for any sort of incitement against Muslims in America, as most of them are assimilating fairly well, which I credit to having a more open and dynamic economy and a Constitutional Republic which has no specific religious test for office, among other things.  I also credit Muslims adopting the principles and ideals of America and the daily sacrifices we all make for each other, living alongside one another.  There’s never a shortage of ignorance.

That said, only a fool would ignore the threat to our public square which a few Muslims are posing, and which a steady stream of radicalized and radicalizing Muslims will likely continue to pose.  We are at war with a small, but active portion of the Muslim world who take their fight to our streets.  This needs to be fought against as effectively as possible (a task at which we often fail, and will likely fail again).  This threat can come from within our society, or at least from those quite familiar with it, living among us.  It can come from far away.

I’m not sure what the best way forward is, but I’m pretty sure I know how some people will react, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be sufficient.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome.

Addition:  An interesting post here utilizing Bayesian statistics. A very small percentage of Muslims radicalize.  In the wake of a terror attack, and more generally, we want as many people as possible against terrorism, including Muslims, especially those living in America:

‘People, being more suspicious of Muslims in the many, many situations when they don’t need to be, are also more suspicious in the few situations where they actually do need to be. If only we could keep those appropriate suspicions, lose the inappropriate ones, and somehow figure out how to flag white supremacists as well, we’d be in business.’

Of course, there is a rational defense of a position which has political implications.  Yet, the people most likely to know if a Muslim is radicalizing are other Muslims around him, after all.

The point I wanted not to lose in the multicultural fog is that there is a path for Muslims to radicalize, and their faith plays an important part.  Some may call it a bastardized version of Islam, but even Islam itself has not created a separation of church and state, free speech, and a broad platform of individual liberties.   It’s not called ‘radical Islam’ for nothing.  The actual numbers, however, may not warrant blanket suspicion.

Do you disagree?

Another Addition:  Thanks to a reader from the National Review: ‘Moderate Muslims Must Oppose Islamism

See Also On This SiteFrom YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & Atheism…From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

Najat Fawzy Alsaeid At The Center For Islamic Pluralism: ‘The War Of Ideologies In The Arab World’

Samuel Huntington worked against modernization theory, always going against the grain, and argued that a chasm between the West and Islam will be a primary source of post Cold-war conflict: Clash of Civilizations:  From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s Work

His student, Francis Fukuyama and once neo-conservative (likely before working with the locals against Russians in Afghanistan and sometime after we invaded Iraq) charted his own course in The End Of History.   From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel Huntington…he’s now taken that model of Hegelian statecraft home:  Francis Fukuyama At The American Interest-’The Two Europes’

So, it wasn’t an Arab Spring, but there has been an erosion of the old rituals and control of the public square….more individualization that has affected the man on the Street, according to an Olivier Roy: Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘What Did The Arab Spring Really Change?’

Kenan Malik In The Spiked Review Of Books: ‘Twenty Years On: Internalizing The Fatwa’-Salman Rushdie

Theodore Dalrymple argues that France has the potential to handle Muslim immigration better because of its ideological rigidity, which can better meet the ideological rigidity of its Muslim immigrants…Theodore Dalrymple Still Attacking Multi-Culturalism In Britain

How do you reasonably deal with relativism anyways?: From Virtual Philosophy: A Brief Interview With Simon Blackburn

080405_046 by *chiwai*.

A long time ago, and not so long ago.  *chiwai*’s photostream here.  Excellent photo.