The Corner

Re: What’s the Answer?

Derb’s pessimistic post (even by his own impressive standards) concludes as follows:

The mass immigration of Muslims, in particular, seems like a really bad idea.

I’ve been mulling this one ever since Jonah got into a bit of back-and-forth in the wake of Fort Hood as to whether Islam itself is the problem.

Years ago, apropos a Spanish-language payphone in Vermont, I said I couldn’t understand why any country would voluntarily become bilingual. If you happen to find yourself in one for historic reasons, you make the best of it. I like anglophones and I like francophones but, if I were designing a jurisdiction from scratch, I wouldn’t include large numbers of both on the same patch of land. Not because they’ll be killing each other but because it’s a significant impediment to civic cohesion — because, for most people, it will mean you can’t share the same jokes, the same cultural allusions. In Quebec, they used to call it the “two solitudes” — which is a good way of putting it: parallel societies.

Islam is bilingualism on steroids. When the community reaches the size it’s now at in Yorkshire or Malmo or Rotterdam, it has the ability to self-segregate and you wind up on the road to “two solitudes,” parallel societies. (That partially explains the second- and third-generation disassimilation Derb references.) For example, we think of Amsterdam-to-Detroit as a flight between two Western cities. But if you’re Muslim it’s a flight between two outlying provinces of the dar al Islam — the fast Islamifying Amsterdam and Dearborn, Mich.

As I said, if you happen to find yourself in a bilingual society (which, as in Canada, is really two unilingual societies), you make the best of it. But I cannot see why any society would choose to become bilingual. Likewise, if you’re in Nigeria or southern Thailand or Kashmir, you make the best of it. But I can’t understand why any society would lightly volunteer to become semi-Muslim — which is what in effect Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, et al have done. And, once you’ve done so, like Derb says, what’s the answer?

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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