The Corner

And Then They Came for the Meter Maids . . .

If you’re a reader of Soeren Kern, you won’t necessarily be happy, but you won’t be uninformed either. Kern is associated with a couple of outfits: the Gatestone Institute in New York and the Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos in Madrid. His latest piece is here. He says,

Muslim immigrants in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands in Spain, have succeeded in forcing the expulsion of all female parking meter enforcement officers from a city neighborhood that is home to a growing Muslim population.

The move reflects the increasing assertiveness of Spain’s Muslim community, which in recent years has sought to impose its will over Spanish society on a variety of issues . . .

In his piece, Kern gives example after example of how the Muslim community has “sought to impose its will.” Some of the examples are mild. Others are much less so.

You know how American liberals used to mock us conservatives by saying our attitude was “America: Love It or Leave It”? (There’s a lot that conservatives don’t love about America: the teachers’ unions, the “mainstream media,” the professoriate, Hollywood, abortion on demand . . .) I would not say to Muslim immigrants to Spain, “Love it or leave it.” I might say, “How about a little assimilation?” I might further say, “Why did you leave your country to move to Spain in the first place?”

If you want things to be exactly like home, stay home. If you can’t stand the sight of female meter maids — the only kind of “maids” there is, true — stay home. (Can it be true that Morocco has no female meter personnel?)

In Britain, office workers are told to remove Winnie the Pooh figures from their desks, because Muslims are offended by Piglet. A blind man is forced to leave the bus he has always taken, because another passenger is howling about the blind man’s seeing-eye dog. It happens to the blind man again — and this time, Rosa Parks-style, he refuses to leave.

Speaking of dogs, Kern says, “Muslim immigrants were accused of poisoning dozens of dogs in the city of Lérida, where 29,000 Muslims now make up around 20% of the city’s total population.”

Didn’t anyone tell these dear people, before they moved to a Western country, that we like dogs, even love them, and that they are a huge part of our lives? That we even make movies and TV shows about them? That we build monuments to them? (There’s one in Central Park, which I pass now and then. I can’t remember the name of the dog or why we should honor him.)

Now, if you talk as I just have, people will accuse you of sounding like Archie Bunker. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a matter of fair-mindedness (and I know I can get a amen, here at NRO). (Memo to itchy-fingers: Don’t you dare write me saying I should have said “an.”)

P.S. As Kern suggests in his piece, there’s a tension on the left between defending women’s rights and excusing everything a Muslim does anywhere. This tension is interesting to observe.

P.P.S. A joke (which is no joke): What does it take for a liberal to be relaxed about clitoridectomy? A jihad against the West.

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