This is a combination of several very different stories. First, Jill notes a further exchange about Islam between Mark Steyn of “white women must have eight babies each” fame and Ralph Peters, that seems to be all about legitimizing the idea of a European massacre of Muslims.
While Peters says gleefully that Europeans are going to slaughter Muslims one day and Steyn laments the fact that the fascists in Europe are too old, let me take a less idealistic view of what’s going to happen. Consider this the first part of my book to go public:
The Europe of 2020 was very different from the Europe of 2003, in which most people hated the United States more than they did Al-Qaida and the two most important states, France and Germany, were shrilly anti-American. Increasing Muslim immigration produced increased anti-Muslim sentiments in many countries, especially France, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. The governments hardly even tried to promote integration, and the greater visibility of anti-immigration politicians entered a positive feedback loop with resentment and cultural separatism among immigrants. In 2005, Algerian immigrants and their descendants rioted in France, fomenting a virulent epidemic of anti-Arabism; but that riot paled in comparison to what happened six years later, when Moroccan immigrants rioted in Amsterdam over a proposed moratorium on immigration, tearing the fabric of Dutch civil society apart and then incinerating the remains. The post-2005 fears of Arabs had materialized, the European mainstream reasoned, and now was the time for decisive action that would restore tranquility in Europe.
Given that climate, it was not surprising that there emerged new restrictions on civil liberties, including broad bans on disturbance of the peace, stifling regulations of assembly and protest, stringent restrictions on immigrations and on the rights of immigrants, and increased state surveillance of potential troublemakers. At the same time pro-Americanism resurged in France and Germany, as did cultural conservatism, to a lesser degree. At the time the United States ruled Iraq and Iran, and talks of an invasion of Syria floated in neo-conservative circles; with fierce rhetoric about women’s rights and freedom of speech and freedom of religion, the United States won the support of many desperate Europeans. While Britain was still recovering from having been the last country other than the United States to withdraw from Iraq, France participated in the United States’ invasion of Syria in 2013. Now Germany and France were the two most pro-American major countries in the world, and Russia was beginning to assert itself as the third.
There’s not going to be a holocaust, not because Europeans are too morally weak to murder millions, but because the way Western European anti-Muslim racism works, the government can’t intervene on anyone’s side. Floating the idea of a holocaust in Europe is like floating the idea of a return to slavery in the US. It’s nice to dwell on, if you’re a sadistic racist, but it only goes to show how detached from reality sadistic racists are.
In 1919, Hitler noted that “Antisemitism based on purely emotional grounds will find its ultimate expression in the form of the pogrom. An antisemitism based on reason, however, must lead to systematic legal combatting and elimination of the privileges of the Jews.” Current European racism is based on (pseudo-)reason rather than emotion.
The other story is due to Gordo, as usual, and takes place in India. India is a democracy, but like the democracies more familiar to people in the West, it has its share of equal rights problems: women outside the upper class are treated like chattel, low-caste people are being discriminated against even though Gandhi formally abolished the caste system upon independence, and the language rights of the two thirds of the population whose native language isn’t Hindi are generally not fully respected.
Now a new report documents just how pervasively Muslims receive inferior education, jobs, and bank credit, and have a literacy rate six percentage points lower than the general population’s. The government wants to institute affirmative action, which already exists to prop up low-caste Indians but not Muslims. Naturally, the opposition party, which unlike the European right isn’t above encouraging pogroms, is aghast.
But one of the reactions of the left slightly bugged me, for nothing more than an irritating word use.
The latest findings have prompted fresh debate. In an editorial in The Indian Express, an English-language daily, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, the president of the Delhi-based Center for Policy Research, suggested that the government’s panel had revealed “the hollowness of our concept of republican citizenship.”
“What is at stake,” Mr. Mehta said, “is not just uplifting this or that group, but the very idea of India itself: whether it has the capacity for transcending the cant, indifference and identity traps that have brought us to this pass.”
The rhetoric about identity traps is exactly what I think, but the part about the “concept of republican citizenship” slightly irks me, simply because of the French connection. France bills itself as a country of republican citizens who are loyal only to the nation; as such, its legal system sweeps discrimination under the carpet, because to do otherwise would be to acknowledge that France’s self-perception is flawed. India is not like that; its conception of how to deal with ethnicity is more similar to this of the US and Canada, and would probably have their levels of racism if it had their amount of money and level of infrastructure.
(This is filed under race rather than religion because it has nothing to do with the practice of Islam and everything to do with racial discrimination against a very visible minority in Europe and a minority the nationalists have especial loathing for in India)