Monday, December 07, 2009

European "elites"

Ross Douthat, as you likely know by now, is paid to write a single column each week (no link, find it if you dare). Apparently, this is so the NY Times can feature a "voice of young conservatism," or something. It's pretty pathetic. I will leave the usual weekly takedown to DH Riley, but I was struck by this:

The immigrants came first as guest workers, recruited after World War II to relieve labor shortages, and then as beneficiaries of generous asylum and family reunification laws, designed to salve Europe’s post-colonial conscience. The European elites assumed that the divide between Islam and the West was as antiquated as scimitars and broadswords, and that a liberal, multicultural, post-Christian federation would have no difficulty absorbing new arrivals from more traditional societies. And they decided, too — as Christopher Caldwell writes in “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe,” his wonderfully mordant chronicle of Europe’s Islamic dilemma — that liberal immigration policies “involve the sort of nonnegotiable moral duties that you don’t vote on.”

Better if they had let their voters choose. The rate of immigration might have been slower, and the efforts to integrate the new arrivals more strenuous. Instead, Europe’s leaders ended up creating a clash of civilizations inside their own frontiers.

Millions of Muslims have accepted European norms. But millions have not. This means polygamy in Sweden; radical mosques in Britain’s fading industrial cities; riots over affronts to the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark; and religiously inspired murder in the Netherlands. It means terrorism, and the threat of terrorism, from London to Madrid.

It would seem that Ross, voice of young conservatism, is too young to remember the IRA or the Basque separatist movement.

The column, I suppose, is "inspired" by last week's vote to ban minarets in Switzerland, a country long known for its tolerance. No word yet on what Ross thinks of banning Jewish cemetaries.



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