Islam and assimilation

It’s an often overlooked fact that the perpetrators of global terror, from the 9/11 hijackers to the bombers of the London tube, have been “globalized” types:  well-traveled, well-educated, often multilingual, able to swim unnoticed in Western waters.  In other words, not peasant zealots with a craving for medieval simplicity.  These people loathe us from knowledge, not ignorance or misunderstanding.  They know who we are, and they find us unacceptable.

The West, in turn, tends to look for hopeful signs in this generational struggle, and to mistake the ability of Islamic immigrants to adopt the worst of popular culture for “assimilation.”  This is an immense and fatal fallacy, which has best understood and chronicled, to my thinking, by two very different writers:  Theodore Dalrymple at City Journal and Mark Steyn (at pretty much anywhere one cares to look).  Steyn’s latest column, “Don’t Worry, They’ve Got Baseball Bats,” takes up the theme.

the move-along-folks-no-jihad-to-see-here crowd point to the rioters’ fondness for drugs, caterwauling rappers, casual sex and hideous western leisurewear as evidence of how culturally assimilated they are. Why, they threatened their victims with baseball bats!

Hold it right there for a minute. That’s how we define “assimilating” into western society at the dawn of the 21st century? If a fellow deals a little coke while wearing pants with a gusset located at calf height while singing along to the re-mix of “Slap Up My Bitch”, we say, hey, he seems to be fitting in very nicely? No need to worry about him getting any wacky ideas down at the madrassah, he’s an impeccably secular pluralist Peugeot-torcher.[…]

If by “cultural imperialism”, you mean movies and pop songs, America�s very successful. If by “cultural imperialism”, you mean the export of a core identity that transcends national citizenship, then political Islam’s the big globalization success story. Under the western rap tracks and drug habits and fashions, the core identity of these young men is Muslim.

Read the whole thing.


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