A commenter in an earlier article here responded to someone arguing that Muslim immigrants should never have been treated as ‘immigrants’ in Britain but as ‘guest workers’ the way the Germany treat Turks in their country, making them much easier to deport when the powers-that-be decide it is time for them to go. His reply was:
…but removal of those guest workers is one hell of a job isn’t it?
Quite so. Moreover it seems obvious to me that a significant number of Muslims in Britain have successfully integrated into British society just fine and I see no reason to pretend otherwise. Yet clearly we do have a major problem with an equally significant number of Muslims who have not assimilated, show no sign of doing so and are manifestly a source of recruits for Al Qaeda.
Endlessly blathering on about how “Islam is a religion of peace” or alternatively to call for expelling ‘Muslims’, simply because they are Muslims, is the sort of wilful blindness and one size fits all collectivism of a sort I would rather leave to socialists of both left and right. Anyone who values western liberal civilisation needs to think a little harder than that, avoiding both atavistic collectivism and a head-in-the-sand refusal to see we have a serious problem that will not go away on its own.
If what we are trying to defend is a pluralistic tolerant society, then we have to make sure that the message is not just “throw the wogs out!” but rather “You are welcome here if you are willing to assimilate to a sufficient degree.”
But how does one define what that ‘degree’ is exactly? I am not talking a Norman Tebbit style “cricket test” but rather a willingness to tolerate ‘otherness’. We do not need Muslims to approve of alcohol or women in short skirts or figurative art or bells or pork or pornography or homosexuality or (particularly) apostasy. We have no right to demand that at all and obviously not all Anglicans approve of some of those things, so why require that Muslims must? No, what we do have the right to demand (and that is not too strong a word) is that they tolerate those things, which is to say they will not countenance the use of force to oppose those things even though they disapprove of them. In fact it is not just Muslims from whom we must demand such tolerance.
If we can get them to agree to tolerate those things, then it does not matter if Muslim women wear burquas because as long as they are not subject to force, a woman may elect to say “Sod this for a game of soldiers!” and cast off that symbol of misogynistic repression… and if she does not do so, well that is her choice then… but she must have a choice. They do not have to look like us (I do not hear calls for Chinatown to be razed to the ground), they do not have to share our religion(s), or lack thereof, but they do have to tolerate our varied ways and if by their actions or words they show they do not, we have every right to regard them as our enemies and take action to defend ourselves.
For decades the supporters of multiculturalism have used tax money and government regulations to actively discourage assimilation of immigrants into the broader society, preferring to see communities develop which favour ‘identity politics’ better suited and more amenable to their own collectivist world views. And now we are paying the price for that. We will not be able to defend ourselves physically or preserve our liberal society unless we stop tolerating intolerance, and that includes not just fundamentalist Islam but also the anti-western bigotry of the multiculturalists.