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Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Burkini flap

You've probably heard by now that after the truck massacre in Nice six weeks ago, a few French towns on the Mediterranean decided to strike back by banning burkinis on the beach. (And that after the resulting outcry, the statute has been rescinded.)

It seemed from the start to be a ridiculous, and ridiculously ineffective, way to strike back against Islamic terrorism.

First, if a woman wants to wear a more modest outfit on the beach, that should be her prerogative. Forcing Muslim women to wear traditional Western bathing suits in public makes many of them feel as uncomfortable as it would American female tourists if they were forced to go topless on French beaches since that's the local custom.

Secondly, clamping down on Muslim women is a little misdirected, since it's Muslim men who commit the vast majority of terrorist acts.

Thirdly -- and most importantly -- if you want to stop Islamic terrorism, there's only one way to do it: stop Muslims from immigrating. The vast majority of Muslims want Sharia law, and when they reach a critical mass in the West, they're going to start demanding it. And the vast majority of Muslims feel far more loyalty to their fellow Muslims and to their country of origin than they do to the Western country they emigrate to.

Exhibit A: more Muslims in Great Britain have joined ISIS than have joined the British military.

So why import more people who are almost certain to be Benedict Arnolds-in-spirit-if-not-in-deed?

Banning the burkini is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone.


Anonymous said...

Gee,you mean by stopping Muslim immigration, you can stop Islamic terrorism? If the great minds of the western world didn't think of that, how long did it take you to come conceive that idea? I thought giving them special programs and telling them how great and peaceful they are is the best way to combat terrorism. What are you, some type of racist?


John Craig said...

Spartan --
Ha, yes, unfortunately all of the powers that be -- let's call them great but thoroughly dishonest minds -- have decreed that native Europeans must suffer.

Unfortunately, even if immigration were to completely stop tomorrow, that wouldn't entirely stop terrorism, witness all of the homegrown born-in-Europe, radicalized-by-the-internet-or-local-imam terrorists who've sprung up.

Luqman said...

It is a distraction, even Muslims dont care about burkinis (no one I know had even heard the term before). It sort of reminds me of the way Americans react to black violence etc. by clamping down on guns, as if there is a white and asian shooting epidemic too. As they are doctrinaire leftists, the kind of answer you mention is not even in the frame. It is inconceivable. To me it even seems like it is set up to fail as it will inflame both the lefty+muslim alliance and ordinary french citizens.

When ordinary people see stuff like this I think they are turned off, even though supposedly most French people agree with the ban. They need to keep the focus on the attacks, the ideologies and ghettoization of North Africans, Arabs etc. and wont.

The vast majority of Muslims are not interested in sharia law as envisioned by jihadist groups. The term just covers all aspects of life, all the way down to personal law, and to say `I dont want it` sort of invalidates your religion. There is no sharia in any country, even Saudi Arabia only practices sharia penal law within the context of their own relatively recently jury-rigged system. Even a group that wants a different personal law for itself should probably be looked at with a baleful eye, but political sharia is a bogeyman not too different from burkinis. The organizations who push for it, peacefully or otherwise, are failures even in the Muslim world. No one seems to be too concerned that hasidics practice their own personal law (and often communal practical talmudic law on the down-low), and for good reason.

In my experience, a significant proportion of second and third generation Muslims do not feel particular loyalty to their country of origin. That is a problem as some tend to replace that by subsuming their identity entirely within their religion. They further absorb a victimized politics and mentality from around themselves to craft identities of violent resentment coupled with anomie. This is not the case for everyone, it strongly depends on ethnicity. No one is particularly worried about Malaysian international terrorists for instance.

John Craig said...

Luqman --
You're right, the way things are set up right now, immigration is not about to be stopped. It may be slowed, and there is growing sentiment for it to be stopped, but that probably won't happen.

People in the US are generally unaware that the Hasidics practice their own communal Talmudic law. Who's going to publicize that? The New York Times?

I think -- and I'm sure I have less firsthand knowledge of this than you do -- that there is some loyalty to country of origin after the first generation. Look at Omar Mateen in Orlando, phoning the police during his rampage to tell them that the bombing of Afghanistan must stop. I guess the second generation takes its cue from the first, and his father had maintained strong ties.

You're right: no one worries about Malaysian, or Indonesian terrorists. Jihad doesn't seem to be built into the culture there the same way.

Anonymous said...

I was just down at the pawn shop, they were playing THE LION KING on the TV behind the counter, the nice young lioness was saying:
Scar was the TRAITOR LION ENEMY and an obvious villain, don't vote for Scar, mmmkay


John Craig said...

I never thought of that comparison, but i's a good one. And it seems particularly apt for Obama, since Jeremy Irons played Scar as a simpering, lying evil gay man.

Anonymous said...

John--maybe you can straighten me out on this factoid that I think about a lot-but no one seems to ever mention. While most muslims are not terrorists, ALL radical Islamic terrorists are Muslim-essentially 100%. What am I missing? It would only make perfect sense to me that there should be a ban or at least "extreme vetting" on all muslims who are trying to enter this country. Brian

John Craig said...

Brian --
You don't need to be straightened out, you understand -- and just summarized -- the situation perfectly.

The really shocking fact about all this is that even though the vast majority of Muslims in the West are not terrorists, and strikingly high percentage of the non-terrorists agree with the aims of the terrorists, and refuse too condemn them.

Check out this post, which cites the results of some of these polls:

Steven said...

A study by demos in 2011 found that 81% of British Muslims said they were proud to be British, compared to 79% for the general population. I guess the issue is more what their vision of Britain is than whether they are patriotic.

Its uncertain whether there are more British Muslims in ISIS than the British military but its probably untrue. When Trump said that, the official government figure was 500-600 had left Britain to join ISIS while there were 640 Muslims in the British military.

About 50 died, a couple of hundred returned, some additional ones also went to join other rebel groups with the aim of overthrowing Assad, so ultimately the number currently there fighting for ISIS is guesswork.

I imagine that British Muslims identify with and feel loyalty to both Britain and also their parent's country and the ummah- Muslim religious community. I don't know what their greatest loyalty is to or even whether they think of it as x vs y rather than complimentary. I would think the latter.

Muslims generally have a dim view of British foreign policy and see the invasions of Muslims countries as unjust and harmful (the illegal invasion of Iraq didn't help in that regard). Not wanting to be a part of invasions and occupations of Muslim countries isn't the same as being against Britain- they may just not want to do something they believe is wrong and to people they identify with and feel some duty to also.

I don't want the number of British Muslims to rise to the point where they are, say, 30-50% of the population because of the threat of terrorism and because having that kind of division in your country could be a recipe for conflict. I'm not in any way advocating more mass immigration of Muslims but having lived around and interacted with Muslims I believe they are mostly friendly and okay, even surprisingly ordinary. They might have more socially conservative views- in fact they have many attitudes that the Christians population of this country had not that long ago (as well as maybe one or two pernicious ideas they never)- but they are mostly peace loving. The last (only one ever I know of) major Islamic terrorist attack here was in 07 and there are millions of them so they must be pretty non-violent.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Great Britain seems to have a lot of Pakistanis living there, as well as Indians, some of whom are Muslim, and both of those groups are different -- and generally more peaceful -- from Syrians and Somalians and some of the other more recent immigrants. When I was single, back in the early 80's, I briefly dated a girl who was a Muslim Indian, and she didn't have a terrorist bone in her body. But she was from, as I said, a different group.

Steven said...

yep there are millions of Pakistanis and Indians here on account of the British empire.

Syria is obviously a war zone and Somalia was a failed state but I'm not sure that means the people are more prone to violence in general, aside from whatever issues they have at the moment.

There are thousands of Somalis in my city. A lot came since 91 but there been some Somali presence since the 19th century. You don't hear anything about them but I think they have gangs n stuff.

John Craig said...

Steven --
My understanding -- and I can't give you the numbers to back it up -- is that the Somalis who've settled in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area have been prone to Islamic radicalization and joining ISIS. (Again, I don't have numbers on that, it's just a vague impression.)

Mark Caplan said...

Anonymous wrote: "ALL radical Islamic terrorists are Muslim-essentially 100%"

Obama gets around that obvious fact by labeling the Islamic terrorists perverts -- they have a perverted interpretation of Islam. Thousands of years of history aside, according to Obama, no religion condones violence against innocent persons. So the terrorists are not true Muslims. The following is one of many quotes that came up with a Google search: "We are not at war with Islam — we are at war with people who have perverted Islam" (White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, 2015).

Regarding the burkini, French secularists see the burkini as Islamic terrorism against women. In many Muslim societies, a woman who gives offense by dressing in a manner not condoned by the religious enforcers may be raped or beaten with impunity.