Sunday, February 27, 2011
Tout va Très Bien Madame la Multiculturalisma
France's President Sarkozy has stated that multiculturalism has failed, insisting that Muslim immigrants merge into the "national community". German President Angela Merkel made virtually the same statement earlier at her party's convention. British PM David Cameron went further saying that Islamism had taken root because multiculturalism had diminished a collective English identity. All three leaders are conservatives and language like this has been greeted with applause by their base. But there is really very little to cheer here. Announcing the failure of multiculturalism in Europe of 2011 is as relevant a disclosure as the comic French song, Tout Va Très Bien, Madame La Marquise, in which the groom informs her ladyship that her husband had committed suicide after losing his money and burned down the estate, by telling her that everything was alright except for a minor mishap with her horse. Multiculturalism may be the post-national left's favorite nag, but the failure here is much greater. It is mass migration from the Muslim world that is the problem, and any policy that only addresses the consequences, rather than the cause, is bound to be a failure.
Of the three leaders, Cameron was the only to lay out something close to a policy. But his muscular rhetoric sounds suspiciously like the pre-election Sarkozy. And conservative British pols have developed a habit of talking tough about Islam one minute, and pandering to it shamelessly for votes on the other. Before becoming Prime Minister, Cameron went to live with a Muslim family and announced that, "Not for the first time, I found myself thinking that it is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian way of life, not the other way around."
Has Cameron suddenly realized that the extended Muslim family with its rugs and hospitality masks less appetizing cultural problems, particularly when it comes to the treatment of women, or is he trying to stay ahead of a public backlash. Sarkozy certainly is. His popularity is low. Meanwhile LePen's daughter is behind a revived party, without her father's Nazi sympathies and anti-semitism, that may take away enough votes to make a difference. Merkel is also unpopular and needs a red meat issue that will distract the voters from Greece and Portugal. And so for all that European leaders are talking about the threat of Islamic separatism, and the Palestinization of Muslim communities with their No Go zones, honor killings and riots, they are still speaking the language of integration.
Integration. Process the millions of Muslims through British, Germany and French schools and make sure that they know the national language, rather than the urban patois that has become the lingua franca of a changing Europe, showing up in rap albums and TV shows. Teach them how wonderfully tolerant we are, bridge the gap by celebrating their culture, and maybe even making room for a little Sharia law on the side. Tie the knot and there'll be a happy integrated nation, which marries the Middle Eastern values of hospitality and the British values of not beheading your daughter.
The problem with this new anthem of 'Tout va Très Bien Madame la Multiculturalisma' is that multiculturalism isn't the problem, it's the symptom. The British, French and German systems haven't failed, they have had a chance of success. It would have been possible to integrate a few thousand Muslims per country, but not a few million. Certainly not people who have no definition of integration, and whose cultural and religious assumptions are so far apart that they cannot integrate without losing their identity.
But even this need not have been a complete and absolute disaster. 3 million Nepalese might have made their own separate communities, as they have in towns such as Reading, without it leading to a civil war. The natives would have complained of the smells, the foreign languages and the strange signs. Of entire English towns in the hands of strangers. And it would have ended at that. But Muslims are a special case for three unfortunate reasons.
First, they hold an enduring grievance toward Europe for everything over the last 1000 years. Considering the troubles in Northern Ireland between peoples far more closely related by culture and blood, who in their right mind thought that it would be a good idea to import millions of foreigners who still resent the loss of Spain, the Crusades and colonial governments with nearly equal ferocity, and imagined that it would all go smoothly.
Second, their culture is tightly integrated with their religion, and their religion has a long history of expanding through conquest. A history both ancient and recent. It took enormous arrogance to import millions of members whose civilization still employs violence as a religiously sanctioned tool for promoting the faith, and then act as if they could be integrated with a good lesson plan.
Third, many Muslim countries have enormous wealth and influence, and have used it to promote Islamism and tear down the defenses of Western nations. Imagine if the Soviet Union had possessed enormous oil wealth or if Japan in the 80's had decided to use its wealth to aggressively promote a cultural takeover. That is what we are dealing with here.
All this talk of integrating Muslims disregards them as a civilization, and treats them as if they were delinquents. Cameron's talk of youth falling into extremism suggests that he thinks of them as if they were children from a broken home falling through the cracks of the system and shooting up heroin on council estates, rather than young men acting in accord with the values of their own religion.
The Muslim terrorists of Europe are neither impoverished nor marginalized. They are doctors, architects and university students who have taken the full benefit of what the countries have to offer them, and gone to war to win it all. They are brats acting out, but soldiers engaging in a war of conquest. A simple fact that all the integration prattle obscures.
The difference between the so-called extremists and the moderates, is that the extremists want to conquer Europe by force, and the moderates through demographics and culture. The extremists want to blow up Europe. The moderates want to integrate it. And their lesson plans have gotten much further into the European, Canadian, Australian and American child-- than the lesson plans of the Western integrators have into the Muslim child.
Cameron has rightly identified a portion of the problem. But his solution is asinine. You do not create a vigorous culture worthy of respect by passing a law and making it so. A culture that merits respect can only be created by the measure of its accomplishments. The decline of English culture parallels the physical recession of the nation, its power, its industry and its achievements. (And that is a fair warning for America, which is headed down the same path at a slower pace.) A lesson plan on King Alfred the Great, will not make England great, and will not earn Muslim respect, let alone their integration. Most nations have their own grand histories and their own tales. But unless they still have greatness within them, these are nothing but matters of trivia.
Talk all you want of greatness, but great nations colonize, they are not colonized. All a UK Muslim needs to do in order to gauge where the future lies is look at the native birth rate, at the Muslim birth rate and at the immigration statistics. And then he can safely relegate King Alfred the Great, Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill to the realm of obscure trivia from a vanishing nation. After all Byzantium too was great in its time, but now it's a giant Muslim marketplace.
The Middle East was once the cradle of civilization, today it is a heap of dirt with a smattering of oil, olive groves and vast dirty slum carrying the names of once legendary cities. The region was full of cultures and civilizations that were once great, before being trodden under the boots of maddened Bedouin fanatics. Today only two, the Jews and the Persians, exist as independent nations. And it would not take all that long to turn Europe into the new Middle East.
The integrators imagine that they can halt that process with a reading of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' or by banning the burqa, but the tide of history is not turned so easily as that. The great men of England's own history could tell Cameron that. It is not history that makes nations great, but the way in which they carry on that history into the present. The way in which they realize that history in the present day.
Say what you will about Muslims, but they are realizing their history in Europe today. While they reenact the old battles, their foes are tempting them with social services funding. European governments want Muslims to join their republican secular states. Muslims want Europeans to join their caliphate. And it is not difficult to see who will that particular contest if things go on as they are.
Reporting the failure of multiculturalism is a touch of Tout Va Très Bien, Madame La Marquise by the integrators who are comically understating the scope and the nature of the problem. Europe's problem is not multiculturalism, but that it has been invaded and it has forgotten how to fight back.