The Folly of Multiculturalism

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Rev. Margaret Cave, Dean of Coventry John Witcombe and Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Association of Great Britain Ibrahim Mogra at the start of the Coexist march at the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, London. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

PJ Media, by Raymond Ibrahim, June 19, 2018:

Exactly how beneficial to a society is multiculturalism, this word that is so celebrated in the West?

First one must first define the word: It is “the view that cultures, races, and ethnicities, particularly those of minority groups, deserve special acknowledgement of their differences within a dominant political culture.”

Note the immediate inaccuracies within this standard definition. “Races,” which indicate a people’s innate physical makeup, are conflated with “cultures” — which are neither innate nor physical, but learned and metaphysical.

This mix-up explains why for many in the West, the word “culture” often conjures at most physical, surface differences — “exotic” food or dress. In reality, cultures are nothing less than entire and distinct worldviews with their own unique sets of right and wrongs, often rooted in a religion or philosophy. Cultures bring much more than, say, the convenience of having Indian cuisine down the street.

As Anglo-French historian Hilaire Belloc once explained it:

Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it — we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today.

Put differently, all values prized by the modern West — religious freedom, tolerance, humanism, gender equality, monogamy — did not develop in a vacuum but rather are inextricably rooted to Judeo-Christian principles which, over the course of some 2,000 years, have had a profound influence on Western epistemology, society and, of course, culture.

While they are now taken for granted and seen as “universal” virtues, it’s not for nothing that these values were born and nourished in Western — not Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, or pagan — nations.

All this is missed by those ignorant of the spiritual and intellectual roots of Western civilization. This is, incidentally, why growing numbers of Western people arrogantly see themselves as the culmination of all human history and culture — “enlightened” thinkers who have left all cultural and religious baggage behind — and are thus convinced that cultures offer only minor, or superficial differences (always to be “celebrated”). They embrace notions of relativism and multiculturalism, the idea that all religions and cultures are at most “skin deep,” or more subtly, that they are destined to develop like the West, which is no longer seen as a distinct culture but rather the end point of all cultures.

In other words, if the boons of Western civilization are not a distinct product of Judeo-Christian principles, then they must be standard for and appreciable to all civilizations.

The folly of such thinking is especially on display in the context of Islam and Muslims, who in this new paradigm are seen as embryonic Westerners. Whatever a Muslim may say — calls for jihad, hate for infidels — surely deep down inside he values “secularism,” and appreciates the need to practice Islam privately, respect religious freedom, gender equality, and so on. Thus is he made “in our image” (except, of course, we forget the roots of “our image”).

Overlooked is that the Muslim has his own unique and ancient worldview and set of principles — his own culture — which in turn prompt behavior that is deemed “radical” by Western standards (falsely assumed to be “universal” standards).

Portraying what at root is a Christian paradigm as “universal,” and then applying it to an alien culture like Islam, is doomed to failure. The idea that Muslims can be true to their religion and yet naturally fit into Western society is false. The idea is built on an equally false premise: that Christianity somehow also had to moderate itself to fit into a secular society. In fact, Christian principles, which are so alien to Islam, were fundamental to the creation of the West.

Returning to the initial confusion, that cultures are often conflated with race, it bears stressing that being wary or critical of multiculturalism is in no way the same thing as being wary or critical of other races or ethnicities (that is, “racism”) but rather being wary of disunity. After all, racially homogenous but culturally heterogeneous nations are much more fractured than the reverse. One need look no further than to the United States, where “leftist” and “rightist” whites often abhor one another (as was on regular display during the last presidential election). Or look to the Middle East, where Muslims and Christians are racially, ethnically, and linguistically homogenous, but where the former are ruthlessly persecuting the latter, exclusively over religion.

In short, there’s nothing wrong and much to be celebrated if a nation’s citizenry is composed of every race and ethnicity — but only if they share the same worldview, the same priorities, the same ethics, the same rights and wrongs — in a word, the same culture. Then it will be a strong and healthy nation, perfectly capturing the meaning of E pluribus unum.

Germany’s Migrant Rape Crisis: “Failure of the State”

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, 

  • “Susanna is dead. Maria from Freiburg; Mia from Kandel; Mireille from Flensburg; and now Susanna from Mainz….” — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.
  • “Susanna’s death is not a blind stroke of fate. Susanna’s death is the result of many years of organized irresponsibility and the scandalous failure of our asylum and immigration policies. Susanna is victim of an out-of-control leftwing multicultural ideology that stops at nothing to impose its sense of moral superiority.” — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.
  • “On the day of Susanna’s murder, you [Merkel] testified in parliament that you have handled the migrant crisis responsibly. Do you dare to repeat that claim to Susanna’s parents?” — Alice Weidel, co-leader AfD party.

The rape and murder of a 14-year-old Jewish girl by a failed Iraqi asylum seeker has cast a renewed spotlight on Germany’s migrant rape crisis, which has continued unabated for years amid official complicity and public apathy.

Thousands of women and children have been raped or sexually assaulted in Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The latest crime, entirely preventable, is uniquely reprehensible in that it highlights in one act the many insidious consequences of Germany’s open-door migration policy — including the failure to vet those allowed into the country and the practice of releasing migrant criminals back onto German streets instead of incarcerating or deporting them.

The crime also exposes the gross negligence of Germany’s political class, which appears to be more concerned with preserving multiculturalism and the rights of predatory migrants than protecting German women and children from them.

Police say that Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, raped Susanna Maria Feldman, strangled her and then dumped her body in a wooded area alongside railroad tracks on the outskirts of Wiesbaden. Bashar then fled to Iraq on false identity papers.

Feldman had been missing from her home in Mainz since May 22. Her mother filed a missing person report on May 23. Police, however, did not even begin to search for the girl until more than a week later, when an unnamed 13-year-old boy, a migrant living in the same refugee shelter as Bashar, contacted the police. Feldman’s body was finally recovered on June 6.

14-year-old Susanna Maria Feldman (inset) was raped and murdered by Ali Bashar, a failed Iraqi asylum seeker in Germany. He dumped her body in a wooded area on the outskirts of Wiesbaden. (Image sources: Feldman – Facebook; Wiesbaden – Maxpixel)

Bashar arrived in Germany in October 2015, at the height of the migrant influx, along with his parents and five siblings; claiming to be refugees, they turned out to be economic migrants. Bashar’s asylum request was rejected in December 2016. He should have been deported, but after he filed an appeal, German authorities allowed him to stay.

During his three years in Germany, Bashar chalked up an extensive criminal record, including physical assault of law enforcement officers, violent robbery at knifepoint and possession of illegal weapons.

Police said that Bashar was also a suspect in the March 2018 rape of an 11-year-old girl living in the same refugee shelter where he and his family were staying.

Bashar was able to flee Germany under a false identity because of bureaucratic incompetence: federal border police failed to check if the name on his plane ticket matched the name on his identity papers.

Bashar was arrested in northern Iraq on June 8 and was extradited to Germany a day later. He is currently being held at a correctional facility in Wiesbaden.

Susanna’s murder was the fourth German teenager to be murdered by illegal migrants during the past 18 months.

  • October 16, 2016. Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old medical student from Freiburg, was raped and murdered after returning home from a party hosted by her school’s medical faculty. Her attacker was Hussein Khavari, who entered Germany in November 2015 without identification papers. He claimed to have been born in Afghanistan in November 1999. Because of his alleged age (16), he was granted asylum as an underage unaccompanied migrant and placed with a foster family.

    After Khavari was arrested as a suspect in the Ladenburger case, the newsmagazine Stern reported that in February 2014, Khavari had been sentenced to ten years in prison for attempted murder for pushing a 20-year-old woman over a cliff on the Greek island of Corfu. The woman survived the attack and Khavari was released after serving 18 months in prison, based on an amnesty for juvenile offenders. He then migrated to Germany.

    During his trial in Greece, Khavari told the court that he had been born in Iran in January 1996 and had arrived in Europe in January 2013.

    During his trial in Germany, Khavari confessed to raping and killing Ladenburger. It emerged that Khavari was born in Iran on January 29, 1984 and that at the time he killed Ladenburger, he was actually 32. On March 22, 2018, Khavari was sentenced to life in prison for rape and murder, but according to German law, he may apply for parole after serving 15 years.

  • December 27, 2017. Mia Valentin, a 15-year-old girl from Kandel, a small town in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the German border with France, was stabbed to death at a local drugstore. Her attacker was Abdul Mobin, a failed Afghan asylum seeker who claimed to be 15 years old.

    Valentin and her attacker had been in a relationship for several months, but after she ended it in early December 2017, Mobin began to threaten her. On December 15, the girl’s parents filed a formal complaint to police. Police visited Mobin on December 17, and again on the morning of December 27. Later that day, Mobin followed Valentin into the drugstore and stabbed her with a kitchen knife he had purchased at the same store. The girl died a short time later.

    Mobin had arrived in Germany in April 2016 and initially resided at a refugee shelter in Frankfurt. He was later transferred to a refugee shelter in Germersheim, a small town in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and then to a youth facility in nearby Neustadt. His asylum claim was rejected in February 2017, but he was not deported. Mobin, who was known to police after he punched a student at Valentin’s school, is being held in custody while German authorities try to determine his true age.

  • March 12, 2018. Mireille Bold, a 17-year-old girl from Flensburg, was stabbed to death by Ahmad Gulbhar, an 18-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan. He allegedly became enraged and killed her after she refused to wear a headscarf convert to Islam. Gulbhar had arrived in Germany in 2015 as an underage unaccompanied migrant. His asylum application was rejected but he was never deported.

    Bold, who lived in the same building as her attacker, had called police for help at least once before she was killed. A good friend of Bold’s family told the newspaper Bild:

    “Ahmad was a jealous rooster who always wanted to control her. They have been in a relationship since January 2016, but there were constant rows. He insisted that she convert to Islam and always wear a headscarf.

    “She wasn’t sure. Whenever she went scarfless there was trouble. Mireille told me that he fled alone from Afghanistan and had a great longing for his family. He was supposed to have a job in a civil engineering company. Once when she met with him he called her every two minutes on her phone demanding to know what was happening.”

    The attacker is being held in pre-trial detention.

As with the deaths of the other teenagers, Susanna’s murder prompted the usual barrage of political posturing and feigned outrages from German politicians and media.

The level of public outrage over Susanna’s case, however, suggests that Germany may be reaching a tipping point: the German government is finally being held to account for its role in the migrant rape crisis.

“The government should beg for forgiveness from Susanna’s parents,” said the mass circulation Bild. “The only thing that is worse than the murder of a child is the murder of a child by a criminal who should not have been in our country.”

The leader of the Free Democrats (FDP), Christian Lindner, said that the crime raises many questions: “Why are rejected asylum seekers not deported more consistently? Why could the perpetrator and his family flee under a false identity?”

“This is typical of our German security agencies,” FDP politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said. “There are simply too many gaps in this system. This has been terribly upsetting for many years.”

SPD manager Carsten Schneider said what had to be quickly clarified was “how the suspect was able to escape, and how he can be brought to court in Germany as quickly as possible.”

“The Federal Interior Minister must ensure that the existing control mechanisms are also used during entry and exit,” said Burkhard Lischka, an SPD spokesman. “With such questionable papers and in view of the destination, the Federal Police could have determined with a simple fingerprint comparison that a criminal is on the run.”

“The cruel murder of Susanna fills me with great sadness and anger,” saidEckhardt Rehberg of the CDU. “As a politician responsible for the budget, I say…the entire asylum process needs to be fundamentally reshaped. We will provide the money for that.”

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), the anti-immigration party, called for the resignation of the entire federal government. In a video posted on Twitter, AfD co-leader Alice Weidel said:

“Susanna is dead. Maria from Freiburg; Mia from Kandel; Mireille from Flensburg; and now Susanna from Mainz….

“Susanna’s death is not a blind stroke of fate. Susanna’s death is the result of many years of organized irresponsibility and the scandalous failure of our asylum and immigration policies. Susanna is victim of an out-of-control leftwing multicultural ideology that stops at nothing to impose its sense of moral superiority. Susanna is also another victim of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hypocritical and selfish welcome policy.

“Legally, Ali Bashar should never have been allowed into Germany. His asylum request was rejected more than two years ago, and he should have been deported. Bashar was known to police for physical assault, attacking police officers, and possessing illegal weapons. In March 2018, he was suspected of raping an 11-year-old girl at a refugee shelter. According to the law, Bashar should have had to leave Germany a long time ago or be arrested.

“An absurd asylum law and a grotesque asylum policy…it is lenient toward asylum cheaters and criminals but ignores the genuine concerns of German citizens.

“Ali Bashar, his parents and five siblings lived here on the taxpayer’s dime, they could not be deported, but after his Ali’s crime, they somehow found the money to flee Germany on falsified documents. No problem in a Germany with open borders.

“On the day of Susanna’s murder, you [Merkel] testified in parliament that you have handled the migrant crisis responsibly. Do you dare to repeat that claim to Susanna’s parents? Well, no. Your hard-heartedness and self-righteousness means you feel you are above offering the victims of your policies a personal word. This is unacceptable to us citizens. Will you finally accept responsibility, Mrs. Merkel? You and your entire cabinet should resign to make possible another asylum policy so that the parents in this country no longer need to fear for the safety of their children.”

The newsmagazine Stern concluded:

“The emotional reactions to Susanna’s case illustrate how Germany has changed. Already in the summer of the refugee crisis, when hundreds of thousands of people came into the country, there were warnings that the mood in the population could tip….

“The case of Susanna awakens the image of a loss of control, an overstretched state that no longer has a grip on asylum policy — especially in a society that loves law and order. There are now repeated demands for stricter laws. The current scandal over maladministration at the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees [immigration officials accepted cash bribes in exchange for granting asylum to more than 1,200 migrants] seems to emphasize the impression of a failure of the state.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Europe: Safeguard Values or Disappear

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, 

  • We no longer replace our numbers; instead we rely on immigration to compensate for the shortfall in births. This immigration is for the most part Muslim; the effect of our demographic decline is, therefore, the Islamization of Europe.
  • The response of members of the political class, at least in Italy, is to shrug their shoulders, and say, “So what?” European elites believe that religion is private. However, most Muslims do not believe that religion is private, and some are working hard to create a state in which Islamic law is the legal foundation for everyone. The effect of this is already being felt across the European continent. We have more Islamic veils and mosques, and fewer cartoons of Mohammed.
  • Without the courage to insist on safeguarding our values, and passing our inheritance on to our children, we Europeans will simply disappear — as many groups have before. With us, however, will disappear the most enlightened civilization the world has ever known.

“We have to decide if our ethnicity, if our white race, if our society continues to exist — or if it will be wiped out.” This observation was recently made by Attilio Fontana, a politician with the anti-immigrant Northern League, who is running to govern the Italy’s northern region of Lombardy. Fontana’s remarks sparked quite a political storm. He may not have chosen the most delicate words, but he was right in pointing out the potential suicide of Europe. Italy’s problem, in fact, is not the word “race”, but the empty cradles and the crowded boats which have brought in 500,000 African migrants in a relatively short time

In Milan, Italy’s financial district and second-biggest city, there are more dogs than newborns. The city has literally “lost” half its births in a mere ten years. From 2006 to 2016, the number of children born in Milan has declined from 17,000 a year to fewer than 10,000. By comparison, in 1880 Milan had a population of 350,000, and that year, 10,000 children were born. Today, Milan is inhabited by 1,362,000 people with fewer than 10,000 new births. So, relatively, 138 years ago Milan had proportionately four times as many children as today. That is how Europe’s indigenous population will die out.

A new report by the Dutch organization Gefira analyzes the future of the “incredibly shrinking Italian population“. The number of indigenous Italians is diminishing at an astonishing rate: a quarter of a million a year. This decline is expected to accelerate:

“If the official Eurostat forecast is correct, then within 60 years or, taking into consideration the current pace of migration even sooner, 50% of Italy’s inhabitants will be of African or Asian descent”.

To acquire a better understanding of the demographic future of Europe, the Gefira team developed a software for demographic simulation, called Cerberus 2.0. With no immigration and the current birth rate, Cerberus 2.0 predicts that in 2080 the Italian population will be reduced to about 27 million, and in 2100 further reduced by 60% to 20 million — the same result as Japanese statisticians predict for Japan. Despite this data, the Italian government and Eurostat expect that by 2080 there will be 53 to 60 million inhabitants in Italy. “This can only be true if the indigenous population is replenished with 25 to 30 million first-generation migrants and their offspring from Africa or Asia”. That process is underway.

Gefira explains:

“German, Spanish, Norwegian, Irish and Dutch NGOs as well as the European Navy have ferried a shocking 600 thousand non-Western migrants from Libya to Italy since 2014. This has been done with the full complicity of the current Italian authorities. The grand replacement is no accident nor is it intended to be stopped. It is a well designed, devious program without the European natives having a say”.

A similar scenario was also forecast by an Italian think tank. If current trends continue, according to a report by the Machiavelli Center, by 2065, first- and second-generation immigrants will exceed 22 million, or more than 40% of Italy’s total population.

Migrants wait to be rescued by crewmembers from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) Phoenix vessel on June 10, 2017 off Lampedusa, Italy. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The statistical projections about the alarming future of the demographic decline of the indigenous European people appear irrefutable. The vice president of the European Central Bank, Viktor Constancio, called it the “demographic suicide” of Europe’s aging society. The ten countries that are home to the fastest shrinking populations are all in Eastern Europe. By 2050, Bulgaria, Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Poland, and Hungary are likely to see their population shrink by 15% or more.

We no longer replace our numbers; instead, we rely on immigration to compensate for the shortfall in births. This immigration is for the most part Muslim; the effect of our demographic decline is therefore the Islamization of Europe. The response of the political class, at least in Italy, is to shrug their shoulders, and say, “So what?”. European elites are multiculturalist and seem to think all facts are merely relative. They also believe that religion is private and that the state requires us to maintain the same level of the population as earlier. Most Muslims, however, do not believe that religion is private; some of them are working hard for a state in which Islamic law, sharia, will be the legal foundation for everyone.

The effect of this effort is already being felt across the European continent. We have more Islamic veils and mosques, and fewer cartoons of Mohammed. Italian archbishop Luigi Negri just expressed his concern over “Islam’s tendency to break down the values ​​of Western civilization, especially that of the essential distinction between politics and religion” — a key fundamental of Western rule of law.

Our failure to reproduce is not due to poverty or genetic weakness. Milan, Italy’s demographic ground zero, is the country’s richest city. Instead, it is due to our indolence, the advent of birth control and a loss of confidence in our Western, Judeo-Christian values.

What can be done?

Religion in the West is no longer a private matter. The values of Western civilization are now being undermined in schools, universities, the media and cultural spheres. One thing is sure: Without the courage to insist on safeguarding our values, and passing our inheritance on to our children, we Europeans will simply disappear — as many groups have before. With us, however, will disappear the most enlightened civilization the world has ever known.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Also see:

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Christopher Hull: Who is Breaking Europe?

Sovereign Nations, by James Manning, March 12, 2018:

The Center for Security Policy’s interim Executive Vice President, Christopher C. Hull, Ph.D, speaks at the Sovereign Nations Conference, which took place at the Trump International Hotel.

The conference confronted the issues, debated the consequences and explored the causes of things that are destroying our liberty in the United States.  Specifically, it explored the foundation of, on one hand, George Soros‘ view of the world, in which all individuals and freedoms are ultimately subordinate to and guaranteed by government, and on the other hand, Donald Trump’s view as articulated in his Warsaw speech, with independent sovereign nations acting within constitutional constraints to guarantee rights granted by God to free citizens.

Dr. Hull’s presentation, ‘Who Is Breaking Europe?’ can be found in the video above.  In it, he argues that the answer is threefold:

  1. The European illegal immigration crisis, driven at least in part by Islamic holy war, or Jihad;
  2. Politically correct EU leaders and globalist elites like Soros, driven at least in part by cultural Marxism; and
  3. Vladimir Putin’s Russia, driven at least in part by a simple desire to weaken its adversaries by exploiting the divisions among and between them.

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For more on cultural Marxism see Jordan B. Peterson: Identity Politics & The Marxist Lie of White Privilege

Melanie Phillips on Anti-Semitism, the Left, and a World Turned Upside Down

Truth Revolt, Feb. 26, 2018:

Ms. Phillips presented an electrifying talk that ranged from her gradual political awakening to the irrationality of political correctness.

 

The brilliant Melanie Phillips — journalist, TV commentator, and author of Londonistanand The World Turned Upside Down — addressed an audience at a Wednesday Morning Club luncheon held last week at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center and celebrated the release of an updated edition of her autiobiography, Guardian Angel: My Journey From Leftism to Sanity.

Ms. Phillips presented an electrifying talk that ranged from her gradual political awakening which began while working for the leftist Guardian newspaper in London to the topsy-turvy irrationality of today’s political correctness — all delivered with her incisive clarity and dry wit.

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Science aims to destroy rational fear of Islamic invasion by drugging Europeans

Vlad Tepes Blog, by Eeyore, Sept. 17, 2017:

From the Daily Mail:

Giving people oxytocin alongside positive social pressure increases kindness toward refugees, even in those with a fear of foreigners, new research has found.

The hormone is released naturally by humans during social and sexual behaviour, and research has shown it breeds trust and generosity in others. 

Oxytocin, known as the love or ‘cuddle hormone’, together with being surrounded by charitable peers was found to boost people’s willingness to donate money to refugees in, even in those with a sceptical attitude toward migrants.

Yes, European authorities have combined George Orwell’s 1984 with Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and are now working on drugging, not the dangerous thugs into becoming good citizens, but the good citizens into submitting to the dangerous thugs.

Lessons from Europe’s Immigrant Wave: Douglas Murray Cautions America

by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
July 24, 2017

Douglas Murray has long voiced his concern about the growing influence of Muslim culture on the West. The associate editor of Britain’s Spectator, a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank on radical Islam, he has built an international reputation for his opposition to the demographic changes of the West and the threats to its traditions. In his latest book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam(Bloomsbury, 2017), he attacks all of these subjects as they relate to the current crisis of migration from the Middle East.

It is a controversial book, particularly for Americans and Jews, but one which also makes important arguments against the multiculturalist ideal. That ideal, which once led much of domestic policy across Europe and the United States, has proven not only a failure, but a threat to the values and national security of Western civilization.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism recently spoke with Murray about his book and the concerns that drove him to write it.

Abigail R. Esman: As an American, a Jew, and an immigrant myself to the Netherlands, there are aspects of your arguments against immigration and asylum that are troublesome to me. I come from a country where we are all immigrants, or our parents or grandparents were likely immigrants. You talk for instance of families where “neither parent speaks English as a first language,” yet my husband is Australian and I am American and neither of us speaks Dutch as a first language. So naturally, I come at these arguments with some concern. Are you saying, basically, close the borders?

Douglas K . Murray: It’s only for me to diagnose what’s happening – to see the truth about what is going on. Policy makers will make their own decisions. I have obviously broad views on it, which is that I think you can’t continue at the rate we have now, and I think you have to be choosy about the people you bring in. But you are right, and there are two groups of people who have had trouble with some of the basic things in this book: one is people of Jewish background, and others who come from nations of immigrants, like America. But Britain isn’t a nation of immigrants – we have been a static society with all the benefits and ills that this brings. And I think it is dishonest to say it is the same thing. I realize people who are predominantly Jewish have a particular sensitivity to it, but I think that that’s a particular issue. And why do we say one migration is just like the other It’s like saying because two vehicles went down the same road they are the same vehicle.

ARE: How is it different?

DKM: In the UK, when Jewish migration happened more than a century ago, the main thing was integration, integration into the society, wanting desperately to be part of British society. Why do synagogues in the UK have a portrait of the Queen? And after services, they often sing the British national anthem. It’s very moving. It’s an effort to demonstrate this is what we are and this is what we want to be. You’d be hard pressed to find a mosque with a picture of the queen who sing the anthem.

ARE: That element of integration is crucial, I agree. In America, in fact, immigrants in the past and often even today are eager to give their children Anglicized names: “Michael,” not “Moishe,” “Henry,” not “Heinrich.” Yet you do not see the name changes in Muslims these days. Why do you think that is?

DKM: Because there is less of a feeling to integrate. They want to stay with the country they’ve left but not deal with its economics. Some people find it flattering – that people want to move to your country – they say well, it shows what a wonderful place we are. No, it shows that your economics work better.

ARE: You also write about Muslim enclaves in Europe where “the women all wear some form of head covering and life goes on much as it would if the people were in Turkey or Morocco.” How is that different than, say, Chinatowns, or Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in America and say, Belgium, where women wear wigs and men have peyas, or sidelocks?

DKM: The example of Chinatown-like places is a good comparison. These are places that are mini-Chinas, they are enjoyed and liked by people because they are a different place. Well, if people want to have a mini-Bangladesh, that’s one vision of a society. It’s not the vision we were sold in Europe. It was not meant to be the case that portions of our cities were meant to become totally different places. In the 1950s the British and other European authorities said we have to bring people into our countries and we will get a benefit in labor. But if they had said that the downside is that large portions of the area would be unrecognizable to their inhabitants, there would have been an outcry.

And the issue of them being different from Hasidic communities – you’re right, they are similar. You can go to Stamford Hill in North London and see most of the men in hats and so on and that’s because that’s an enclave that wants to keep to itself. That raises questions: one, people don’t mind that, for several reasons – one is the recognition that Orthodox men don’t cause troubles. We don’t have cases of Orthodox men going out and cutting off people’s heads. If four Jewish men from Stamford Hill had blown up buses some years back there would be concern about these enclaves.

And also those enclaves are not growing. If it was the case that these enclaves were becoming areas where all the city was hat-wearing Orthodox Jews, then people would say wait, what is that? You can applaud that or abhor it, but it’s important to mention.it.

ARE: In the Netherlands, which has some of the toughest immigration policies in the world, people from certain countries are required to take “citizenship” courses before they can even enter Dutch borders. They have to learn the language, they have to learn about Dutch values, and that no, you can’t throw stones at Jews and gay people and that gay marriage is legal and women wear short dresses. Would you recommend other countries take on the Dutch policy of citizenship courses?

DKM: I make this point in the book. You say we could have done more and better, but the fundamental thing is that none of it was ever expected in the first place. No one ever thought that we would be in the situation we are now in. We didn’t expect them to stay. That’s a very big misunderstanding. Why wouldyou ask people to become Dutch citizens if you expect them to go home in five years? Why if you only expect them to stay in Britain for only 10 years? But then we realized they would stay and then we said, “we have to let them practice their own culture.” But for us to have acted as you suggest we would have had to know [at the time].

So yes, I think it’s a bare minimum for Europe to have the Dutch policy, even at this very late stage. I’m of the inclination that this is too little too late, but I wish everyone luck with it.

ARE: What about Yazidi women, Syrian Christians?

DKM: Again, it comes down to the Jewish question – because people think that every refugee is like a Jew from Nazi Germany. But if you were to think of a group that was facing an attempt to wipe them off the face of the earth then yes, you’d have the Yazidis. But there are people on all sides of the Syrian civil war, which are a minority of people coming to Europe – these are people fleeing sectarian conflict, but none of them are fleeing an effort to wipe them out as a people. So the lazy view, and it is quite often pushed by Jewish groups which I think is a mistake – is to suggest that it is similar to Nazi Germany. And I wish more care were taken in this.

ARE: Is this in your mind a way of stopping radical Islam? Because so many of the radicalized Muslims are actually converts. How would it help?

DKM: We know that people who convert to anything tend to be fundamentalist. But the important thing is, if you were pliable to be converted, available to be converted, then it raises the question of what kind of Islam do we have in these countries? If it were people finding Sufism, rather than hardcore Salafism, maybe it would be different. I have a friend who is a Muslim who was on a trip some years ago who told me the story of introducing a Muslim woman to one of the senior clerics at Al-Azhar and she wouldn’t shake his hand. He asked her why not. She said, “Because I’m Muslim.” So he asked her how long she’d been a Muslim, and she said “Six years.” He said, “I’ve been a Muslim for eight decades.” And then he turned and said to his friend in Arabic, “What kind of Muslims are you making in Britain?”

ARE: One thing the American Muslim community seems to have over its European brethren is its successful integration into society. Yet at the same time, some of the worst of the radicals are in fact American-born. We have people like Linda Sarsour, who wears the mantle of feminism, but who is really a Trojan horse for the Islamists. She has said things like “Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and lease any other people in authority.” What are the dangers of that kind of message?

DKM: I once spent an evening with Linda Sarsour. She is a very unpleasant, very radical girl. Filled with hate. I was the one having to defend America to Americans in an American audience against an American opponent. What she told that night was all lies, which you would tell either because you are dumb, which she isn’t, or because you want to spread propaganda, which she does.

I just think she is of a type. There are various sides to the issue that are important. There’s an “us” question and a “them” question. The “them” question is, what do people like that believe, what are they doing and how vile are they? But in a way, the “us” question is bigger. Why do we let them do this? What is wrong with America at this time in its history that an obvious demagogue like her can end up leading a feminist march [the 2017 Women’s March]? That’s an illness of America. She’s just a symptom of that.

ARE: And similarly, the Rushdie affair was effective in quashing further expression and criticism related to Islam. And Charlie Hebdo took that to an extreme. We haven’t had anything that severe, but there were the South Park threats and the attempted attack on the Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland. You blame European politicians and media for failing to recognize that those who were shouting “fire” were in fact the arsonists. This seems to be a global challenge – that any criticism or critique of Islam gets shouted down as inherently bigoted. In the U.S., the Southern Poverty Law Center places Maajid Nawaz on a list of “anti-Muslim extremists” for criticizing some tenets of the faith and advocating modernization and reform. In Europe the facts are very pessimism-causing. At the same time, though, there was certainly support for Charlie Hebdo, though you seem to deny it in your book, after the shootings. What’s the proper response to that form of a heckler’s veto?

DKM: I agree with the point. The only ways to reject the assassin’s veto is for civil society to be stronger on the question, for governments to ensure that people deemed to have ‘blasphemed’ are protected (as in the case of Rushdie) and that those who incite violence against them (such as Cat Stevens during the Rushdie affair) are the ones who find themselves on the receiving end of prosecutions. That and – obviously – ensuring that blasphemy laws aren’t allowed in through the back door via new ‘hate speech’ laws and the like.

ARE: In the chapter on multiculturalism, you describe interest groups which “were thrown up that claimed to represent and speak for all manner of identity groups.” These self-appointed voices then become the go-to groups for government. To keep the money flowing, they make the problems facing their community appear worse than they really are.” Is that a universal behavior for interest groups? We certainly see that in the U.S. with CAIR and ISNA.

DKM: Every group is vulnerable to that. With every human rights achievement, there are always some people left on the barricades. And the ones who linger on the barricades linger on without any home to go to. And you get these people who are stranded after it’s over and they have to hustle as if everything was as bad as it once was. Sometimes they are telling the truth; sometimes they wave a warning flag, but for the moment it seems particularly in America every group is claiming that this is basically 1938. It’s a tendency of every commune or group that wants awareness raised.

But it’s true, it’s especially prevalent of Muslim groups because if you keep claiming that you are the victim, then you never have to sort out your own house. And the groups that come to Europe and America, they never have to get their house in order if they spend all their time claiming they are victims of genocide and persecution and so on. And this is a familiar story.

ARE: So what would be your lesson, then, for America, especially in a book which clearly is about Europe?

DKM: Well, it is about Europe, certainly, but it’s connected to the debate America is now beginning to have. The first is to be careful with immigration. We’ve all had the same misunderstanding, the same thought that our societies are vast, immovable, unchanging things to which you could keep bringing people of every imaginable stripe and the results will always be the same. And I think that is just not the case, depending on the people who are in them. So we must take care with what kind of immigration we encourage, and at what pace, and that is something America should be thinking of, as everyone else should.

But America will have a harder time with this, because everyone in America has this vulnerability we don’t have in Europe, which is that we are all migrants. And you have the sense of ‘who am I to keep anyone out?’

ARE: I don’t think that’s the American view. I think it’s more that we all became part of this fabric, and we expect that the new immigrants will, too. But not all of them do.

DM: The whole thing actually seems to be unraveling, more than in Europe. In Europe, we don’t like to think in terms of racial terms. But all anyone in America talks about is race.

ARE: I don’t think so….

DKM: Maybe; but your vision of original sin in America seems to have become all so overwhelming. Your leading cultural figures, like Ta-Nehisi Coates, have this image of America born in terrible sin. The Atlantic’s front cover recently was all about slavery. You would get the impression that slavery only ended about 12 months ago. You are going over and over this in America – this endless sense of original sin. You are discussing reparations for slavery in 2017. You’d be hard-pressed to find publications in the UK calling for reparations to our past. Find me a mainstream publication that runs such a thing in Europe, even of WWII reparations.

So it’s symptomatic of something badly wrong at the structure of the public discussion.

ARE: Which suggests that we should do what?

DKM: What you have to listen out for is very straightforward: are the people raising such issues raising them because they want America to improve, or because they want America to end? I think this is a very central issue. Are you speaking as a critic, or as an enemy of the society in question? If you think the society can do no good, then you are speaking as an enemy. If you think there are things that have been done, that are wrong, that should be righted, campaign for them, speak out for them. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can get a posthumous rectification. But it sounds to me like a lot of this talk is from people who hate America. They don’t want to improve it. They want to end it.

So the lesson is – be careful about immigration. Be choosy. And another is a pretty straightforward one which is to work on the people who are there not to fall into the victim narratives of their special interest groups. And to focus on the “we.” I’ve always felt more optimistic for America in this regard, for the same reason I feel more optimistic than others do about France: because I think there is a very specific identity there, which it is possible to become a part of. I think it’s something other Western European countries, have not accomplished in the same way. So basically to strengthen their own identity.

ARE: Do you consider yourself a pessimist?

DKM: I think in Europe the facts are very pessimism-causing. I think it would be a strange person who would look at 12,000 people landing in Lampedusa, all young men, all without jobs, all without futures, and think, ‘That’s going to go really well. These are going to be just like the Jews of Vienna. These are going to be the receptacles of our culture.’ I don’t see it happening.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands. Follow her at @radicalstates