Posted tagged ‘Diversity.’

A Week of Terror and Diversity in Europe

March 24, 2017

A Week of Terror and Diversity in Europe, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, March 24, 2017

On Saturday, Ziyed Ben Belgacem pays a visit to Orly Airport in Paris. He grabs a female soldier from behind and grapples for her rifle while holding a pellet gun to her head. He warns the other soldiers to drop their rifles and raise their hands.

He shouts, “I am here to die in the name of Allah … There will be deaths.”

He’s mostly right. It’s the plural part he gets wrong. The soldier goes low. Her friends shoot him dead. But he’s not entirely wrong either. There will be deaths. Even if they aren’t at Orly Airport.

French Police go on to investigate the motive of the Tunisian Muslim settler. His father insists that he wasn’t a terrorist. The media rushes to blame drugs for his attack. It reports widely on the drugs in his system rather than the Koran found on his body. No one asks if he was on drugs or on Jihad.

Ziyed Ben Belgacem had been in and out of prison. He was known to the authorities as a potential Jihadist and had been investigated for “radicalization” back in 2015. He had been suspected of burglaries last year and had been paroled in the fall. The system had failed all over again.

Prince William and Kate had been in Paris meeting with victims of the Bataclan Islamic terror attack. They returned to the UK, but media reports emphasize that the latest attack wouldn’t change their plans. But the UK was no refuge from Islamic terror. Not even Westminster Palace was.

On Wednesday, Khalid Masood, a Pakistani Muslim settler, rents a car in a town near Birmingham from an Enterprise rent-a-car shop sandwiched between a Staples and a beauty salon offering walk-in eyebrow waxing. Over a fifth of Birmingham is Muslim and by the time the bloodshed was over and Masood was in the hospital, police raided a flat over a restaurant advertising “A Taste of Persia”.

Because diversity is our strength.

Masood’s victims were certainly diverse.  The men and women he ran over or pushed off Westminster Bridge included Brits, Americans, Romanians, Greeks, Chinese, South Koreans, Italians, Irish, Portuguese, Polish and French. That is the new form that diversity takes in the more multicultural cities.

The victims are diverse. The killers are Muslim.

Prime Minister May spoke of it as a place where “people of all nationalities and cultures gather to celebrate what it means to be free.” But not all nationalities and cultures. Some come there to celebrate what it means to kill infidels for the greater glory of Allah. Just as some pray for London and others pray for the flag of Islam to fly over Westminster Palace.

Khalid Masood, like Ziyed Ben Belgacem, had been in and out of prison. Like France’s Tunisian Muslim terror settler, the UK’s Pakistani Muslim terror settler had been investigated for “violent extremism”.

Nothing came of it.

For thirty years, Masood went in and out of prison. And one fine day he rented a car and began killing. He was on the radar, but nothing was done. And now some are dead and others are wounded. And the politicians who could have prevented it give their speeches and celebrate the magnificent diversity that filled hospitals with the citizens of a dozen nations.

“As I speak, millions will be boarding trains and aeroplanes to travel to London, and to see for themselves the greatest city on Earth,” Prime Minister May declared, throwing in a pitch for tourism. “It is in these actions – millions of acts of normality – that we find the best response to terrorism.”

Come to London. Stroll and see the sights. You probably won’t get Allahuakbared to death. And if you do, the best response is a million acts of normality, apathy and denial.

Mayor Sadiq Khan vowed that after a brief vigil, it would be “business as usual”.

He was right.

On Thursday, Mohammed, a Tunisian Muslim tries to drive a car through a pedestrian mall on a major shopping street in Antwerp. It was right around the anniversary of the Brussels bombings in which Moroccan Muslim settler terrorists had killed 32 people and wounded 300.

And a year later it was business as usual.

On Wednesday, King Philippe had dedicated a memorial in Brussels titled, ‘Wounded But Still Standing in Front of the Inconceivable’. “We have to stand up and say ‘no’ to those acts that are not believable, that are not bearable,” its sculptor insisted.

But the seventh King of the Belgians had a somewhat different message. “It’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to make our society more humane, and more just. Let’s learn to listen to each other again, to respect each other’s weaknesses,” he said. “Above all, let us dare to be tender.”

The Tunisian Muslim driving into a pedestrian mall did not dare to be “tender”. He didn’t respect the weaknesses of a society that tolerated him.

Belgian soldiers deployed for the anniversary spotted him. The police gave chase.  Pedestrians scurried out of the way. The Muslim settler from France was taken into custody for endangering the public. It is hoped that the arrest was made in a properly tender fashion.

Police found a riot gun, knives and fake passports in his car.

The Antwerp police chief said that Mohammed had been known to the police and had been involved in the illegal possession of weapons in France. But official reports blamed the drugs and alcohol in his system. Like fellow Tunisian Ziyed Ben Belgacem, he wasn’t a terrorist, just a drunk and a junkie.

The police urged everyone to keep calm and return to normalcy. Everything was being done to ensure the safety of Antwerp residents and tourists.

Business as usual.

Meanwhile the Antwerp Town Hall had gone from flying British colors in solidarity with the victims of the London attack to worrying over an attack at home.  Just as William and Kate had come from terror in France to terror at home.

British authorities claimed that they foiled a dozen terror attacks last year. There are arrests for terror plots in France and Germany. Every week there is either a terror plot or a memorial for the last terror attack before we are told to go on with our million acts of normalcy.

Some days the terrorists screw up. They pick what they think is an easy target, but she refuses to let go of the rifle. Or they overestimate how much alcohol and cocaine they need to nerve themselves up to kill and die. Other times they get it right. Or right enough. And the news flashes around the world.

Somewhere along the way it wasn’t life that became normal, but terror. And the insistence on normalcy just normalizes the terror. A week with three terror attacks across Europe is no longer extraordinary. We have come to expect that there will be men trying to stab and run us over from Paris to Antwerp to London. And we have come to expect another Islamic terror plot targeting Kansas City, Miami, Columbia, New York, San Bernardino, Boston, Tampa, Dallas, Rochester, Springfield and any city.

We don’t know when or where the next attack will come. But we know whom it will come from.

The question is what are we going to do about it? We can pretend to be baffled the next time some Jihadi with a rap sheet taller than the London Eye and longer than London Bridge goes on a killing spree. We can nod our heads while the politicians throw a vigil and encourage a million acts of apathy.

Or we can end the flow of future terrorists and deport the existing ones.

Because they can’t run us over if we don’t let them in. They can’t bomb us if we don’t let them stay.

We can listen to King Philippe and “dare to be tender”. Decades of such tenderness are what led us here. Or we can dare to make the hard choices that will make us and our children safe for generations.

Saturday. Wednesday. Thursday. How many more days will it take?

The “Speech-Denialists”

June 2, 2015

The “Speech-Denialists,” The Gatestone InstituteDaniel Mael, June 2, 2015

  • In denying the average college student the opportunity to hear, think, question and learn, these minority organizations violated the basic principles of a liberal arts education and what higher learning should presumably be about: challenging assumptions and talking openly about issues that might cause discomfort.
  • Both micro-sensitivity and political correctness require at best, obfuscating information, and at worst, silencing it.

On college campuses, teachers, students and sometimes even administrators seem to have become ever more eager to block any idea with which they disagree.

Often it appears as if their first impulse is to demonize the individual or organization presenting the offending idea, rather than to address the substance of the argument and open a discussion in the “free marketplace of ideas.”

On the campus of Lake Superior State University, wall postings “deemed offensive, sexist, vulgar, discriminatory or suggestive will not be approved.” The campus code of conduct states that if students fail to comply, they may be disciplined — a rule that was named “Speech Code of the Month” for May by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

1092Lake Superior State University’s campus code of conduct states that wall postings “deemed offensive, sexist, vulgar, discriminatory or suggestive will not be approved.” (Image source: Bobak Ha’Eri/Wikimedia Commons)

Increasingly, individuals and groups, perhaps unknowingly betraying the spirit of classic liberalism, seek to shame or ridicule dissenting opinion into silence. Both in politics and on college campuses, it seems as if aggressive shaming has replaced the art of persuasion as the favored means of argumentation. Substantive, non-politically correct discussion is now at a premium.

In her recently published book The Silencing, life-long liberal and Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers documents the escalating efforts of people claiming to be liberal to silence dissent on issues they regard as contentious. The tactic follows what Powers calls the “authoritarian impulse to silence.”

On issues ranging from campus “speech codes” to feminism, these self-described liberals are unwilling to entertain the notion that a well-intentioned individual from the other side of the aisle might have a different remedy for the problems of the day.

When feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute gave a lecture on the campus of Oberlin University on the topic of campus sexual assault and due process, protesters labeled her a “rape denialist” and claimed that they felt “unsafe.” Perhaps we should begin calling such protesters “due-process denialists.”

When the subject is religion, these “liberals” maintain a disingenuous double standard. “While the illiberal left seems to hold a special animosity to Christianity,” Powers notes, in a remark that could also apply to Israel, “it is strangely protective of Islam, despite the fact that orthodox Muslims oppose same-sex marriage.” Not only are Muslim attitudes toward gay marriage overlooked or roadsided completely, but if anyone dares to discuss the issue of minorities in the Muslim-majority world, they are labeled “racist,” “Islamophobic,” or other slurs at arm’s reach.

Meanwhile, critics are unrelenting in their animosity toward observant Christians’ views of homosexuality. “If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” Senator Marco Rubio recently told CBN News. “Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

Last year, at Brandeis University, when I sought to bring a human rights display highlighting the oppression of LGBTQ individuals in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the initiative was blocked in a flood of administrative bureaucracy. The member of the administration with whom I met was clearly not thrilled by the idea.

Meetings with a gay rights group and the Muslim Students Association (MSA), however, were just as telling. Hoping to solicit partnerships in the initiative, I explained to leaders and members of both organizations that the project was not about Islam, but about how, on a routine basis, certain governments murder people who identify as LGBTQ. Members of the gay rights organization expressed concern about “Islamophobia,” while members of the Muslim Students Association expressed concern about “homophobia.” The initiative was rejected. Both groups evidently prioritized the emotional and intellectual comfort of the campus community over drawing attention to the plight of innocent LGBTQ individuals in the Muslim world.

In denying the average college student the opportunity to hear, think, question and learn, these minority organizations violated the basic principles of a liberal arts education and what higher learning should presumably be about: challenging assumptions and talking openly about issues that might cause discomfort. It is still puzzling why the LGBTQ club and the MSA are not at the forefront of defending other members of their respective groups, regardless of where they may live.

Both micro-sensitivity and political correctness require at best, obfuscating information, and at worst, silencing it. It is incumbent upon those who recognize the dangers of the ever-expanding “speech-denialists” in the “political correctness” movement to put up a fight — figuratively, of course.