Prince Charles and Camilla are on their way here to imbue us with a bit of British tolerance for Muslims. (Or, have they arrived? Oh, dear! I haven't been paying attention.) For a preview of what's in store, here's part of a backgrounder story from the BBC regarding the current immolation of the Paris suburbs at the hands of Muslim youth, the sons of immigrants from the fairly recently—shed French colonies in North Africa.
A snippet from within the middle. . .
Many countries have ethnic and religious enclaves. But in France they cause particular alarm.... [snip]
...the worldwide rise of Islamic militancy strikes fear in the heart of a country that is home to Western Europe's biggest Muslim community.
French police know that there is no shortage of potential jihadis in the country.
The assertiveness of French Islam is seen as a threat not just to the values of the republic, but to its very security.
A different view
Is such alarm justified? The view from the suburbs invites a nuanced, and ultimately sanguine, assessment.
Some groups do advocate cultural separation for Muslims — but they do not speak for many.
Well, "Isn't that special?" as Dana Carvey's Church Lady would say! The police know that "there is no shortage of potential jihadis in the country" but the "view from the suburbs invites a nuanced, and ultimately sanguine, assessment." And of course the Clintonian question of the day is, "What is the meaning of 'many'?" Or, how many does it take to totally screw—up the country?
Western civilization will have lost its figurative collective head long before losing it literally. We were once concerned about Lenin's communist noose with which he planned to hang capitalism, but I fear the Islamic scimitar will first sever its head, leaving naught by which to dangle.
Dennis Sevakis 11 02 05