He could have taken his article to this conclusion but perhaps he thought the baggage that would come with it would distract from his intended points. In order for my ‘friendly amendment’ to make sense, it is important to understand what “multiculturalism” really means. Multiculturalism is not a recent ideology. Only the name is new. Most of you are far more familiar with it as “separate but equal”. Wikipedia says:
Multiculturalism is an ideology advocating that society should consist of, or at least allow and include, distinct cultural and religious groups, with equal status.
Separate but equal … segregationism. Multiculturalism as an ideology is diametrically opposed to integration and assimilation. Some have noted a difference in the formation of terrorists in America as compared with Europe but without necessarily attributing it to America’s still comparatively high cultural emphasis and expectation of newcomers to assimilate.
The absence of significant terrorist attacks or even advanced terrorist plots in the United States since Sept. 11 is good news that cannot entirely be explained by increased intelligence or heightened security. It suggests America’s Muslim population may be less susceptible than Europe’s Muslim population, if not entirely immune, to jihadist ideology. In fact, countervailing voices may exist within the American Muslim community.
So what does this have to do with Richard Miniter? He wrote an excellent article published in The American Legion Magazine reviewing several researcher’s findings on what traits terrorists have in common.
Miniter says [my underscore]:
Terrorism is an extension of politics by deadly means. Its goals are inherently political, not economic. The chief aim of most significant terrorist campaigns – from the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka to al-Qaeda – is to force a government to yield sovereign control to the terror group over some slice of territory. … These are not economic goals, but political ones.
I emphasized that point because wherever control is extended, whether in the banlieues of France, by withdrawal of troops from other regions by Spain, or communities anywhere in the first world where policing is stymied and made ineffective by a cultural barrier, terrorists have achieved their goal and are ready to extend their ambitions.
In his review of the studies, Miniter makes a list of three phases in the making of a terrorist.
Alienation. Sageman’s sample reveals that 80 percent are in some way totally excluded from the society in which they live. They are foreign students who do not fit in, or they are immigrants to Europe who do not assimilate. Seventy percent of the terrorists in Sageman’s sample joined a terror group when they were living outside their home countries.
This is where multiculturalism excels. By preventing pressures for, and benefits of assimilation, multiculturalism creates and entrenches precisely the metrocosms where terrorism best germinates. Healthy societies embrace newcomers. While sometimes sloppy or crude, this social embrace is always far better in the long run than encapsulating aliens in a cocoon of ‘respect’. This misguided segregation and self censorship is the surest way to leave people from other cultures feeling alien and unwelcome.
Personal bonds. Eighty-eight percent of terrorists in the Sageman study are related by blood, marriage or friendship to other terrorists. Sixty percent worship at one of 10 mosques worldwide or attended one of two now-closed schools in Indonesia. “You’re talking about a very select, small group of people,” Sageman concludes.
Like this one, perhaps? Once a mindset of terrorism has caught flame, it needs protection and encouragement to develop. It benefits from cultural isolation with highly constrained outside contact and networks independent of the host culture. There must be cultural barriers in place that confine bonding and loyalties to the like-minded. Terrorism cannot thrive in a diverse and interactive community where the structure of the society compels interaction with the larger community. We see this also in some communities in the US where it is considered preferable to shield a violent criminal than to ‘snitch‘ to the outside police.
Group dynamics. Once a network of friendships evolves into a cell, certain group dynamics take over. Cell members feel they cannot betray their friends. The suicide bombers in Spain are a perfect example, Sageman writes. “Seven terrorists sharing an apartment and one saying, ‘Tonight we’re all going to go, guys.’ Individually, they probably would not have done it.
Once the mindset is established and the ambition is formed, it needs to grow, protected, so that it can finish its material and spiritual phase of preparation. It must be located in a place wherethe law and law enforcement is held at bay and, when it cannot be, is at least unable to recognize or understand the dynamics and significance of what little it does see. Terrorism comes from a social group that seals itself against outside discovery and investigation.
Multiculturalism allows each layer of protection to exist like a matryoshka doll. The inner most doll is the terrorist with each of the outer dolls representing another of the necessary shells protecting it. It is this final phase at which most of our interventions are occurring. It should be small consolation to us that we are catching terrorists only after they leave the protection of the many shells and begin taking position for their attack, when we are simultaneously harboring the incubation of a steady supply of them as a consequence of our multicultural policies.
We need to recognize Multiculturalism for what it is. “Separate but equal” in a politically correct wrapper.