Sunday, August 13, 2006


Mark Steyn has written yet another insightful column, and this one touches upon an issue being discussed on this blog I believe. In it he discusses what he terms pan-Islamism. Here's the crux of the argument:
The pan-Islamists do act. When they hold hands and sing "We Are The World," they mean it. And we're being very complacent if we think they only take over the husks of "failed states" like Afghanistan, Somalia and Lebanon. The Islamists are very good at using the principal features of the modern multicultural democracy -- legalisms, victimology -- to their own advantage. The United Kingdom is, relatively speaking, a non-failed state, but at a certain level Her Majesty's government shares the same problem as their opposite numbers in Beirut: They don't quite dare to move against the pan-Islamists and they have no idea what possible strategy would enable them to do so.
I do have one small issue with the column. Steyn notes that 81% of British Muslims primarily identify themselves as Muslim, while only 7% identify primarily as British. This does sound bad, but then again, if asked I'd probably identify myself as Catholic before American. Now, obviously Catholics - contrary to popular belief - do not seek to take over the world and stamp out the infidels, so the rest of civilization need not much fear Catholic identity. Also, I'd wager that though I would answer that I am a Catholic first and foremost, I have much wamer and fuzzier feelings towards America than British Muslims feel towards Britain.

All in all, I think Steyn's observations are basically correct. But that one statistic does not necessarily trouble me in the sense that I think religious people should identify with their religion first over their country, though - again - Steyn's right to worry.


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