The Corner

What’s The Urdu For “How Did We Ever Allow This”?

If you think America has a problem with immigrants who don’t want to

learn English, pity poor Britain. From a typically good <a

href=”http://wwwtelegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2005/08/27/do2701.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2005/08/27/ixopinion.html”>column

by former Telegraph editor Charles Moore today:

Language is, in a way, our best-shared, most flexible

institution, containing what is common while enabling what is

individual. Not to be able to speak English well is to be cut off from

almost everything else that composes Britishness. David Cameron, who

wants to be the next Conservative leader, made a good speech this week

about Islamist terrorism, in which he pointed out that many of our

citizens cannot speak it at all. He quoted a Home Office figure that

only 26 per cent of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis here are fluent in

English (the equivalent in America is 68 per cent). If that is true,

it is terrifying.

I’d wager that the fluency level among such immigrant women is much

smaller. As Theodore Dalrymple keeps asking, where is the feminist

anger at this?

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