Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Two steeples good, four minarets bad
I have been pondering the meaning of the Swiss vote on banning further construction of minarets, a proposition which passed by 57.5% of those who voted. The website, Gates of Vienna, has an excellent summary of official reaction to it, both in Europe and in Muslim countries.
One thing that has struck me observing the European scene for the past couple of years is how out of touch the ruling elites, political and media, are with the sympathies of the European people they are supposed to represent or understand. The rising election fortunes of political parties whose mandate is to stop further Islamization of Europe in several EU countries is one sign. Now this direct and unfiltered vote from what is normally considered Europe's best example of a peaceable state puts another nail in the coffin of disconnect.
Each time something that might upset Muslims happens the elites fall all over themselves rushing to ensure Muslims that they are still valued. This is followed sometimes by the condemnation of "the people" for being xenophobic.
Given the chance to express themselves by a direct vote like this or by a representative vote for an extremist party the proletariat is telling the elites that they do not wish to see their European heritage and culture replaced by an Asian one. Moreover, the more the elites push multiculuralism on the people as a policy which allows the Asian culture to grow, the more the Europeans push back. There is evidence that many pockets of Islam in Europe do not desire to integrate and accept European norms. Likewise, there are many Europeans who do not wish them to integrate. The multicultural experimentation of the European elites is running into serious trouble.
Seventy years ago the Europeans turned their backs on another religio-culture, the Jews. Nobody had done more to try to integrate themselves into European culture and society, and to make themselves visibly indistinguishable from the majority, than the Jews. In no sense did they represent a competing culture and religion. Yet, they were rejected by Europeans when the political atmosphere became charged and extremist and European identity was in play.
Here you have a competing religion and culture that, to a large extent, does not waste its time trying to become European in the sense of embracing European values, customs or clothing.
The elites need to do more to ensure the proles that they have an answer to the perceived threat from the morlocks, and worry less about assuring the morlocks that the proles are under control.