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Saint Who?


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Multicultural Europe is not Mubarak’s Egypt, but, north of the Mediterranean as much as south, the official state ideology is insufficient. The Utopia of Diversity is already frantically trading land for peace, and unlikely to retain much of either. In the “Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets” — the heart of London’s East End, where one sees more covered women than in Amman — police turn a blind eye to misogyny, Jew-hatred, and gay-bashing for fear of being damned as “racist.” Male infidel teachers of Muslim girls are routinely assaulted. Patrons of a local gay pub are abused, and beaten, and, in one case, left permanently paralyzed.

The hostelry that has so attracted the ire of the Muslim youth hangs a poignant shingle: The George and Dragon. It’s one of the oldest and most popular English pub names. The one just across the Thames on Borough High Street has been serving beer for at least half a millennium. But no one would so designate a public house today. The George and Dragon honors the patron saint of England, and it is the cross of Saint George — the flag of England — under which the Crusaders fought. They brought back the tale from their soldiering in the Holy Land: In what is now Libya, Saint George supposedly made the Sign of the Cross, slew the dragon, and rescued the damsel. Within living memory, every English schoolchild knew the tale, if not all the details — e.g., the dragon-slaying so impressed the locals that they converted to Christianity. But the multicultural establishment slew the dragon of England’s racist colonialist imperialist history, and today few schoolchildren have a clue about Saint George. So the pub turned gay and Britain celebrated diversity, and tolerance, and it never occurred to them that, when you tolerate the avowedly intolerant, it’s only an interim phase. There will not be infidel teachers in Tower Hamlets for much longer, nor gay bars.

The “multicultural society” was an unnecessary experiment. And, in a post-prosperity Europe, demographic transformation is an unlikely recipe for social tranquility. If Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right, more than a few Europeans cut off from their inheritance and adrift in lands largely alien to them will seek comfort in older identities. In the Crusaders’ day, the edge of the maps bore the legend “Here be dragons.” They’re a lot closer now.

– Mr. Steyn blogs at SteynOnline.


Contents
November 14, 2011    |     Volume LXIII, No. 21

Articles
Features
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Anthony Daniels reviews After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, by Mark Steyn.
  • Steven F. Hayward reviews Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America, by Joseph A. McCartin.
  • David Pryce-Jones reviews Jerusalem: The Biography, by Simon Sebag Montefiore.
  • Stephen Smith reviews Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, by Richard White.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The Way.
  • Richard Brookhiser turns the page.
Sections
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .