Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oops !


A British tourist has spent a night trapped in a French town hall after mistakenly thinking she could book a room at the "hotel de ville".

A Few Moorhens In The Curate's Paddock

"The slippery slope gets steeper and more slippery by the day"

The Magistrate on Labour's new Domestic Violence legislation, where "Under the new rules an order can be made following conviction for any offence and even where someone is acquitted in order to better protect victims. Breaking the terms of a restraining order is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison."

"Of the utility and entertainment to be derived from Biography in general, not a word need be said - more especially from the Lives of those military men who have acted upon Christian principles, and while fighting under the banners of an earthly sovereign, have not forgotten that they were soldiers of the Cross"
from The life and diary of Lieut. Col. J. Blackader of the Cameronian regiment, and deputy governor of Sterling Castle, who served with distinguished honour in the wars under King William and the Duke of Marlborough, and afterwards in the rebellion of 1715 in Scotland.

A Stoke City fan, Neil Warburton, is fighting for his life after being attacked in Birmingham last weekend - a story which seems to have escaped the major media (via PragueTory)

Historian Andrew Roberts points out that the late Teddy Kennedy suggested "repatriating" Ulster Protestants to the UK mainland.

Religious faith declines :

Methodist churches, down from 14,000 in 1932 to 6,000, and closing at the rate of 100 a year ...

But not all faith :

A generation ago the churches in Britain seemed unassailable. The first mosques in Britain opened at the end of the 19th century but by 1961 there were just seven mosques, three Sikh temples and one Hindu temple in England and Wales, compared with nearly 55,000 Christian Churches... By 2005 the number of churches had fallen to 47,600. According to the organisation Christian Research, another 4,000 are likely to go in the next 15 years. In the Church of England alone, which still has 16,000 churches, 1,700 have been made redundant since 1969. Over the same period, the number of mosques in Britain has grown to almost the number of Anglian churches that have closed. The Islamic website Salaam records a total of 1,689 mosques.

Ceri Peach, of Oxford University, said in The Geographical Review: “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived. The homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat.”

Christians burned to death in Pakistan by mobs :

At least six Christians were killed in religious unrest in Punjab during the weekend, after days of tension sparked by the rumoured desecration of a Koran. Officials said the rumours which led to the unrest were false.

Saturday's attack happened in a neighbourhood in Gojra town in Punjab when six Christians were burnt to death and scores of houses were set on fire by a Muslim mob.

Attacks against minority religious groups in Muslim-majority Pakistan have been common and have often gone unpunished, says the BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad.

While we're on the subject of burning religious opponents, was Mary Tudor all that bad ? David Womersley at the SAU blog reviews Eamon Duffy's revisionist Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor. His earlier The Stripping of the Altars is a fine book.

More Catholicism : Damian Thompson wonders when a bishop who values the Latin Mass will be appointed.

"Hello, Emergency, which service please ?"


"What religion ?"

Sikh victims of crime in London are to be given the option of asking for a police officer of their own faith to work on their case. This new service from the Metropolitan Police (Met) aims to make use of the officers' specialist knowledge of Punjabi culture to help with cases like forced marriage and so-called honour crime. Officers within the Met have told the BBC Asian Network that crimes in the community have gone unsolved and unreported because of a lack of understanding of the culture by officers from a "white" background. Palbinder Singh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association (MPSA) said: "It's about understanding and appreciating difference. "I don't believe a white officer is ever going to be fully conversant with a Sikh for example. "We have got evidence in the most serious type of crimes where Punjabi culture itself is the issue, that they haven't been properly investigated."
It is obvious that when policing in any society, knowledge of the particular culture or subculture you're dealing with is an asset. But it should be the knowledge that's important, not the officer's race or religion. You can just imagine what would happen to a native police officer who stated publicly that black officers couldn't deal with white issues.

British engineering may no longer be the envy of the world, but British social engineering is thriving. You get what you ask for - as Labour attempt to use higher education as a weapon of 'social justice', so do the punters give them what they want.

Sixth formers are lying about their family backgrounds to meet university "social engineering" admissions criteria, it can be revealed.

More social engineering - just as in Burnley, in Oldham.

Five of Oldham’s 15 schools are to be shut by 2011 and replaced by two academies. In the process, the segregated communities will be thrown together. Critics call it social engineering – and so do supporters, who say we have no alternative... Altogether, twenty urban areas have been identified that could benefit from “forced mixing”.

An interesting take on the current political scene and 'how to stop the BNP' at a new socialist blog, Meanwhile At The Bar :

Labour is undergoing a catastrophic haemorrhage in its former heartlands. The wider left is in as bad a state, if not worse. This is evident not just in Labour by-election defeats in places like Crewe and Glasgow East, but perhaps more importantly in the long term in party membership. To take one example in Cumbria, membership of Workington Constituency Labour Party, was around 860 in the late 1990’s but is now approximately 140. That is a lot of canvassers to lose.

Putting aside the new Labour careerists, if you consider the core of the trades union movement and ‘old’ Labour, it is clearly ageing. This is particularly true of groups closest to the revolutionary left such as Durham Miners Association. Anyone hanging their hat on an old Labour/trades union revival to see off the BNP is certainly taking a gamble. There is not a 50 year old version of Dave Douglass out there, or a 40 year old version, nor a 30 year old version and there sure as hell is not a 20 year old version. That world has gone, and it is not coming back.

It is also the case that some of the ‘old Labour’ heartlands targeted by the BNP lack the sort of multi-cultural social scene that so undermined the National Front in the late 70s and early 80s. Instead of an easy interaction of young black and white people around music and football, many such towns either have tiny ethnic populations, or Asian communities with far lower degrees of integration, interaction and inter-marriage than we saw between white and West Indian communities thirty years ago. What will undermine the BNP culturally in old Labour heartlands?

As I've said before, we're at the start of the final section of the yet-to-be-written classic, The Breaking of the English Working Class.

"You walk around, and you want to help them. You want an economic and a social and a cultural revolution. You want to remember them as they were, full of pride and hope for the future. You want them strong, and confident. Knowing that their day is to come, but come it will, as they used to believe. But you know it isn't and you know that you cant really do anything about it.....

It is a spirit, a culture, a world that has passed. It was a fleeting moment in political history ; a moment in which it was thought that the collective could achieve more than the individual. It will never happen again. All that is believed in the 1990’s by ‘Labour’ and Conservative is that the successful entrepreneur is the ‘key player’ in the economy. There's nothing else. There are no grand ideas anymore. Nothing we can strive for, and be proud to call our own."
The above quote from Dave Douglass' site is from a review of 'Coal Was Our Life', a 90s revisitation of the classic 'Coal Is Our Life', written in the 50s by my hero Norman Dennis, Fernando Henriques and well known Trotsyist and WRP member Cliff Slaughter.

That's more or less what I was saying six years ago :

I simply can't see them (the BNP - LT) going away - because, in marketing-speak, they're meeting a need that no other party is attempting to meet.

Not a need to be racist (I'm sure that's met too, but I don't think that has a wide appeal), but a need to be proud of one's nation, to feel that you belong, have a culture, a history and a homeland.

Pupils with English as a first language are now a minority in inner London schools.

Catholic schools in the inner cities are running out of Catholics :

The Tablet, a weekly Catholic magazine, found that in Oldham, Blackburn, Wolverhampton and Birmingham there has been a sharp decline in the proportion of Catholics being educated in local faith schools. At English Martyrs in Sparkhill, Birmingham, just 36 of the 410 pupils are Catholic while the vast majority are Muslim. Most of the non-Catholic parents let their children attend assemblies although a church visit led to “friction”.

Belgian policeman are no longer allowed to check the identity of a woman wearing a burka.

But how do they know if it's a woman ?

The offenders involved in the armed robbery were described as Asian in appearance and two were wearing dark clothing and had their faces covered. The third person was dressed in a burka.

We can thank the British police and social services for the court order against 13-year old Laura Dekker, who wanted, with her parents' blessing, to sail round the world single-handed - but is now in the care of the Dutch authorities.

It emerged during the legal proceedings that the teenage girl had been placed in foster care by British police after she sailed single-handed from Holland to Britain in May. Police in Lowestoft and social workers decided that the return journey was too dangerous and placed Miss Dekker in a home until her father came to collect her. Dick Dekker, Laura's father who at the age of 12 sailed from Ijmuiden harbour across the North Sea, collected her from the home and defied the authorities by letting her make the sea crossing alone. The British police then contacted their Dutch counterparts who alerted the Utrecht social services, leading to Friday's custody decision.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Laban Pontificates ...

On James Murdoch, monopoly, and the BBC, at Biased-BBC.

UPDATE - on reflection I may have been measured but perhaps too kind to Mr Murdoch. To quote Churchill, 'one can hardly find a more perfect specimen of humbug and hypocrisy ... what is astounding is that it should be regarded with anything but scorn by men and women of intelligence in any free country'.

Another Quote of the Day

You can hardly believe that
Britain’s indigenous population is fairly advanced along the road towards long-term decline.

So the latest figures are a source of hope — showing that relatively fertile immigrants can, at least for a while, replenish the new generation of young people the country needs. In these circumstances, population fear-mongering is a kind of terrorism ...".
The ONS figures are here. Fertility is up, again. The tipping point was reached a few years back, when the long decline in native fertility, driven by the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s, was outmatched by the fertility of incomers. Expect this continuing trend to accelerate. Compound interest is a wonderful thing.

The story of immigration and the Blair years can be seen in the percentages of births to foreign-born mothers - in this spreadsheet. According to the sheet, the figures are for the whole UK, so Lord knows what the England and Wales figures are like :

1998 - 13.6%
2002 - 17.7%
2003 - 18.6%
2004 - 19.5%
2005 - 20.8%
2006 - 21.9%
2007 - 23.2%
2008 - 24.1%

Interesting times - for my old age and my children's whole lives.

Quotes of the Day

The Dumb One on the Blessed Edward Kennedy.

Mocking the dead? How low can you go?

Depends on how deep the water is, obviously.

Also this quote via Booker Rising.

"If there's any justice, Mary Jo will get a chance to face her former suitor & knee him in the balls on his way down to hell."

More, on the politics, via Booker here :

I hated Kennedy in part because I regarded him as a man who sought to discredit the very concept of self-reliance. This was an ideological hatred; I’d like to think that it never became personal in my case, but for so many of my fellow conservatives, it clearly did. This is why some folks are now taking perverse delight in Kennedy’s demise. The same things being said about Obama today in conservative circles — that he’s anti-American, that he seeks to destroy the Constitution, that he couldn’t care less about unborn children — were said about Kennedy on a near-daily basis over the past forty-seven years. These were remarks borne of frustration and fury; underneath such hostile words was a desperation, a desperation caused by the reality that Kennedy knew how to remake America in his own lefty image, and that conservatives didn’t know how to stop him.

Record GCSE Results Hailed By Bloggers ...

Ross :

"this is a testament as to how, under a Labour government, qualifications are for the many, not just the privileged few who can read."

Mr Eugenides :

To our successful cohort of GCSE students, meanwhile, I merely exhort you to enjoy your day and to ignore the naysayers who talk about the so-called "collapse" in educational standards, or "dumbing down" of exams. I am tempted to add "nil desperandum", but of course you wouldn't have any ******* clue what that means.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Promise Not To Mention Eurabia Again For Two Months

... but I can't pass over this, Theodore Dalrymple's review of Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, originally published in National Review. A few (well, many) snippets :

Indeed, in the Netherlands, multiculturalism as a doctrine began as the means by which Moroccans would be kept in touch with their roots so that they could be transplanted back to Morocco without difficulty (or opposition). But human beings are not sacks of potatoes, to be moved about without consultation or consideration; and, thanks to the European welfare state, it was better to be an unemployed donkey in Europe than an employed lion in Morocco, Algeria, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. The immigrants therefore stayed, and, the Europeans having in the meantime discovered human rights, such as the right to a family life, they were soon joined by their spouses, children, parents, grandparents, in-laws, cousins, and so forth, a process that has since become self-reinforcing...
If you were to ask a believer in multiculturalism for the tangible cultural or other benefits brought to Europe by hundreds of thousands of Somalis, not as individuals but as bearers of Somali culture, he would almost certainly be reduced to silence; for the truth is that believers in multiculturalism are not really very interested in other cultures (for such interest is very hard work): They are, rather, moral exhibitionists, out to prove the largeness of their minds and the breadth of their sympathies to others of like disposition...

On one hand, they felt that their civilization was worthless, having brought about the twin catastrophes of the First and Second World Wars; but on the other they felt that their civilization was so strong that nothing could undermine or destroy it. It was therefore for their countries to accommodate themselves to immigrants, and not for immigrants to accommodate themselves to their countries; moreover, because the Europeans had ceased to be religious, and were intellectually the most advanced people in the world, they believed that all other people were destined to follow suit very soon. The upshot of all this is that the political elites displayed no real interest in where the immigrants came from or what culture they brought with them. They thought that everything would come out in the tepid wash of European social democracy...

For Caldwell, the problem boils down to a confrontation between a civilization that has lost confidence in itself and a resurgent religion that is self-confident. The Europeans now have such a foreshortened sense of history that they suppose that homosexual marriage and an equal representation of women in parliament and the boardroom have been their core values since at least the time of Julius Caesar; the religious roots of their civilization are to them either not evident or a cause for embarrassment and apology. This means that they think it normal to apologize for the Crusades and for Muslims not to apologize for Islamic imperialism; this is a manifestation of the strange European complex of self-denigration and arrogance, according to which only Europeans are sufficiently human to do real wrong.

Dalrymple has previously expressed the view that young Muslim men will eventually integrate - in that they'll accept, enter into and enjoy the culture of public drunkenness and casual sex that is the birthright of the natives. I'm not so sure. He also reckons that most converts are male, which surprises me if true.

The majority of young Muslim men are by no means religious; they see in Islam but a pretext for the domination of women (that is why nine out of ten European converts to Islam are men; most of the women convert for marital reasons).

He should know what he's talking about. My impression - and it's only an impression from a distance - is that more females are converting. And the women are key if Islam - or any other religion - is to make headway among the natives. Without it there's only conversion by conquest.

As George Borrow put it :

She then asked me how I liked the singing of the gals who sat in the next pew to mine. I told her that I liked it exceedingly. “Ah,” said she, “them gals have the best voices in Bala. They were once Methody gals, and sang in the chapels, but were converted, and are now as good Church as myself. Them gals have been the cause of a great many convarsions, for all the young fellows of their acquaintance amongst the Methodists —

Follow them to church,” said I, “and in time become converted. That’s a thing of course. If the Church gets the girls she is quite sure of the fellows.”

(via commenters Mark and Ed West)

Conservative Pessimism

John Derbyshire interviewed at the Economist's Democracy In America blog :

DIA: Give me some examples of how conservative pessimism might translate into policy.

Mr Derbyshire: Abandonment of "nation-building" exercises. Abolition of the federal Department of Education. A 1924-style immigration freeze. Repeal of No Child Left Behind. End of all federal subsidies to "community groups". End of all federal subsidies to arts and culture. End of all foreign-aid programmes that are not plainly and obviously bribes for pro-American behaviour. Restart construction of neutron bombs. Full-bore federal-subsidised research on missile defense. Withdrawal from the UN, followed by razing of all UN structures on American soil and sowing the ground with salt. How many d'you want?

DIA: The candidate button on the cover of your book doesn't exactly look like a political winner. Do you think conservative pessimism can be sold to American voters? Do you see any candidates out there who might take up the cause?

Mr Derbyshire: No. No.

William Gazy - who I don't think is a conservative by temperament - is not much less pessimistic - an outlook possibly triggered by this :

"I liked that advert because it showed that wages for that sort of job have risen about 75 pence in 14 years. I know, because I used to do jobs like that and by the looks of things will soon be doing them again."
But is that a gleam of light on the horizon ?

A Harman government would compound the errors of the Brown/Blair years while bringing fresh stupidity to the table: She could fully bankrupt the country very quickly and bring Labour’s many hatreds and neuroses to the boil in a trice. There would be a vast new drive to go much further in implementing the policies that have made everyone hate Labour; the public sector would become a sort of Marxoid gynarchy; ‘misogyny’would be ‘stamped out’; billions of borrowed money ploughed into ‘equality’; the current underhand Labour policy of underfunding the armed services and diluting them into a ‘European Army’ would be stepped up, despite the country being at war; Labour’s policy of EU and non-EU mass immigration would be fiercely encouraged; the lobotomy of schools and education would gather greater pace; the monarchy would be closer to abolition than at any time for centuries; the police emasculation will continue apace; violent disorder and organised drug addiction will grow. As now, there will be no money but borrowed money. Taxes will soar. The journey to third world status and third world services, begun under Blair and Brown will be properly under way and steaming ahead all engines firing. The sins of the empire will be atoned for – the wet dream of every Labour ideologue – and England will be smothered. Except for the wealthy, civilised life will be a dim memory. Like now but more so, sirens, hip-hop and the Muslim call to prayer will be the soundtrack to urban living. Recycling will be encouraged at all spare moments, rather like the way that under Mao’s cultural revolution every person with a few minutes spare time had to work at digging a hole in their back yard.
For the sane man the only response will be alcohol abuse or revolt. One can almost believe that civil war would occur, and that, plus revolution, is just what this old country needs.
Alas, such optimistic visions are soon dampened as reality dawns :

"Of course, we won’t get a Harman government, we’ll get a Cameron one; and the minute that expenses-fiddling individual sets foot on the Downing Street doormat all the forces of the liberal left, so long quiet about this country’s problems and economic woes, will start shouting and carrying on as if there hadn’t been a Labour government for 13 years. The Specials will probably re-release Ghost Town..."
Have a nice day !

Late Night Music ...

Run of the mill Mayall song (the subject matter is very California 1969), but just enjoy that sax playing and the interplay with the accoustic guitar. The John Mayall/Johnny Almond/Jon Mark/Steve Thompson lineup was IMHO the best he ever had.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Even More Eurabian Fantasies

I mentioned yesterday that the Quilliam Foundation ("the tax-funded Muslim group set up to (correct me if I'm wrong) put forward the moderate face of Islam and lead the youth along the paths of righteousness") had produced their own contribution (pdf) to the Great Eurabia Debate, mostly aimed at the BNP's flavour of the Eurabia thesis.

Pickled Politics gave it a plug, pointing out that "such arguments are easily undermined using proper statistics".

Alas, the pdf, by one Lucy James, contains one statistical howler - on the 2009 BNP Euro-vote :

These were seats that were gained on the basis of nearly one million votes from the British public— 6.2% of the entire votes cast. Although the figures were actually down on 2004 (the slump in Labour party support meant the BNP’s proportion of the vote increased), the BNP have now gained official recognition in European politics.
In fact, the total BNP vote increased from 808,000 votes in 2004 to 943,000 in 2009.

Why the error on something so easily checked ? The original source seems to be this BBC report on Nick Griffin's win in the North West.

"Mr Griffin was elected to Brussels even though the BNP polled fewer votes in the region than it had in 2004 - the slump in Labour support meant its share of the vote increased."
The same thing happened in the Yorkshire constituency - a fall in the actual vote but a rise in the vote share. But the BBC report got picked up, misinterpreted (probably by people searching for aid and comfort) as applying to the whole poll, and was repeated all over left blogs and the Guardian until it was just one of those things that 'everybody knew'.

Poor girl. It wouldn't matter so much were it not that one of her criticisms of BNP literature is "some statistics appear to be just wrongly cited".

The rest of the pdf isn't bad stuff, quite interesting on the theology and the history with no obvious falsehoods. Trouble is, a lot just has to be taken on trust - for the very reason that Islam is a broad(ish) church. Yes, the Prophet did say 'no compulsion in religion'. He said a few other things too. You have to hope that the youths down the road aren't reading 'fight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them'.

She takes issue with gross BNP generalisations about 'Muslims' and 'Islam' by pointing out the diversity of same. And that's all very true. Trouble is, her attacks on the BNP seem identical, in form if not in content, to the BNPs attacks on Islam. The BNP is seen as one monolithic entity, and outliers are taken as representative of the whole, pretty much a mirror image of what she says the BNP are doing with Islam. Not just outliers - convicted bomb-maker Martyn Gilleard, cited as a 'similar incident' to Islamist terror (I know, I must have missed the Tube and airport attacks and the dozens of deaths), was a member of a different party, (I think) to the right of the BNP, the British People's Party. She also quotes a lot from William Underhill. Hmmph.

Not a bad read. Whether it'll convince anyone one way or the other I'm not sure. And I'm even less sure if my taxes should be subsidising such political campaigning. But our rulers have long stopped worrying about little things like that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Eurabian Fantasies

I noted a couple of weeks ago Kenan Malik's review of Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (other, not unsympathetic Observer/Guardian reviews here and here - Ed West's take is here) and said that the 'point-by-point refutation wasn't actually terribly pointy or refutish.

David T at Harry's also linked approvingly to this, by Newsweek's William Underhill. If this is representative of what the Septics are being told about events across the pond, maybe the US-haters are right and they ARE an ignorant bunch who know nothing about the rest of the world. It would be difficult not to be if this is all you're getting.

The first paragraph strikes the wrong note from the off :

To listen to Europe's far right, it would be easy to conclude that the continent is poised for another round of bitter conflict with a centuries-old adversary. "The first Islamic invasion of Europe was stopped at [the battle of] Poitiers in 732. The second was halted at the gates of Vienna in 1683. Now we have to stop the current stealth invasion," argues Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, which claims that Islamic doctrine encourages terrorism.

It's rabble-rousing stuff.
What kind of educated rabble do they have in the States - or Holland, for that matter ? I'll wager not one Brit in a hundred knows about the Battle of Tours and not one in five hundred about the Battle of Vienna. Even I get it mixed up with Sultan Suleiman's earlier failure before the walls of Vienna in 1529.

Why are the rabble not only a rabble, but a deluded rabble ? Well, "the rise of a Eurabia is predicated on limited and dubious evidence". For example, a 2004 estimate from the US National Intelligence Council (not an estimate I've heard of, btw) is "speculation based on speculation—and even if it's accurate, it would still mean the number of Muslims will represent just 8 percent of the European population". Even if it's right, it's wrong ! (8%, by the way, was the approximate - and absolute maximum - percentage of Muslims in Burnley in 2001 - when rioting broke out sufficient to decide the council to forcibly integrate the schools).

Not only that, but - wait for it :

"The worst of the scaremongering is based on the assumption that current behavior will continue," says Grace Davie, an expert on Europe and Islam at the University of Exeter in Britain.
Now I am frightened. After all, Mark Steyn's scaremongering includes civil war, pogroms and extermination, mass flight of populations etc etc. And 'an expert on Europe and Islam' (who she?) reckons that's only likely if things go on as they are ? Very comforting.

OK, so what will change, that things do not go on as they are ?

For the number of Muslims to outnumber non-Muslims by midcentury, it would require either breeding on a scale rarely seen in history or for immigration to continue at a pace that's now politically unacceptable.
I'm no demographer and not qualified to talk about the history of 'breeding', but what's this 'politically unacceptable' ? Surely the only people who find current levels of immigration politically unacceptable are the rabble he took a pop at in his first paragraph, and whose arguments his piece is intended to refute ?. As Ross put it in the HP comments :

If this is correct then the writer seems to be arguing that if current trends continue then the Muslim majority talk is right. In other words it will only be avoided if the objections he is seeking to discredit are heeded. Which seems like a strange way to refute something.
Back to Mr Underhill.

More likely, new controls will slow Muslim immigration. The birthrate for Muslim immigrants is also likely to continue to decline, as it has tended to do, with greater affluence and better health care.
The first point is exceeding moot. I don't see any 'new controls' at all, sir. Every government initiative to 'crack down' or 'toughen up' on immigration is purely for domestic consumption, for amusement only, government by signifier. It would be discriminatory to target Muslims as such, and there is no slow-down in immigration. Nearly 300,000 new National Insurance numbers were handed out last year to non-EU workers. As for the birthrates, it would be likely that they would indeed reduce over time - were it not for the practice of chain migration i.e. choosing your bride or groom from the ancestral village back in Mirpur or Sylhet.

This takes the biscuit :

Also, fertility rates are edging upward in some Northern European countries, which would offset some of the Muslim growth.
I hate to say it, but "fertility rates edging upwards" is the Muslim growth !

I'm not a 'Eurabian' in that I'm not hung up on exactly what the Muslim population size is likely to be and whether or not it is a majority. As any Marxist-Leninist should be able to comprehend, a smallish number of people with sufficient will can have a pretty hefty effect on a society.

Just look at the numbers of Muslims in the UK now, maybe three million tops. Not very large, is it ? Yet the relationship between the Government and this small section of the governed has been at or around the top of the UK political agenda for nearly ten years now. Stories like this, where women police in Bristol have been issued headscarves for use when entering mosques, or this, where in Yorkshire they try wearing burkhas 'to improve community understanding' are commonplace. As Salman Rushdie put it "you see it every day, this surrender". One of the things which triggered Michael Caldwell's book was his observation that the relationship between black people and the US government had been a dominant theme of US politics for the last forty years, despite black people comprising less than 15% of the US population.

If Muslim issues grab a disproportionate share of our rulers attention now, at maybe 4% of the population, what will politics be like when they're 8% - or 14% - or 24% ?

Another anti-Eurabian trumpet blast has come from the Quilliam Foundation, the tax-funded Muslim group set up to (correct me if I'm wrong) put forward the moderate face of Islam and lead the youth along the paths of righteousness. They bang the 'only 3%' drum like good-uns.

Max at Shiraz Socialist (currently my locus classicus for well-meaning, decent leftism that manages to get many important things totally wrong) welcomes the report, and adds an argument worthy of William Underhill himself :

David Thompson recalls a debate:

At some point, I made reference to migration and the marked tendency of families to move from Islamic societies to secular ones, and not the other way round. ‘This seems rather important,’ I suggested. ‘If you want to evaluate which society is preferred to another by any given group, migration patterns are an obvious yardstick to use.[']

This is key. If Muslims are abandoning the theocratic world for the godless decadent West, what does that say about Muslim support for theocracy? Why try to ’Islamise’ Europe if you are running from an Islamised Middle East?

If they didn't like our society, why would they come here ? If they like their theocracies so much, why do they leave ?

Well, maybe - just maybe, the things that they come here for aren't the things that Max or David Thompson put so much value on. Maybe they come for the same reasons we went across the globe.

I’ve heard some interesting ‘nothing to see here’ arguments recently, but the ‘they wouldn’t leave if they liked the religion so much’ argument has at least originality, if nothing else, to recommend it.

Peru, Brazil, Mexico,Virginia, 1580 :

“This is key. If Christians are abandoning the theocratic world for the infidel West, what does that say about Christian support for theocracy? Why try to ‘Christianise’ the American continent if you are running from a Christianised Europe?”

Max seems a decent sort, like David T at HP, who maintains a touching belief that everything will be OK because Muslims will stop having kids on the grand scale. Why it would be a problem if they don't, he doesn't say. But David, as a supporter of Israel, is a tad wary of a demographic trend that could mean a transformation of foreign policy in the UK and across Europe, as the Muslim vote increases and the possibility of a reversal of support for Israel looms larger.

Not that Max hasn't his limits :

"Any kind of sharia areas/sharia court proposals is something to be shot down immediately"

But Jewish Britons already have their eruvs and their Beth Din courts. How in justice can you deny them to Muslims ? And what sort of position will you be in to do the denying ?

Here's Ian Buruma, articulating the sombre sub-theme which has been running through the whole debate since 9/11 - and bringing us somehow full circle.

Do the many supporters of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders fully realise the dangers of a divided society?... If people feel rejected, one shouldn’t be surprised if they develop a hostile attitude. As the hostility increases we will get exactly what so many people are so afraid of. The distinction between believers and ideologists is blurred. Sympathy turns to action. Society as a whole is divided into camps, Muslims against non-Muslims. That’s when the blood starts to flow in the streets... whether the 40 percent of Dutch people who now say they agree with Wilders will still want any part of it is another question altogether.
That's certainly a novel way to combat bigotry, encourage moderation and cement the notion of a religion of peace. I wonder if they'll try that one over here ?

(unpleasant/abusive/bigoted comments will be deleted. Don't post them)