Steyn on Britain and Europe
On Friday I appeared on Michael Graham's radio show to discuss, among other things, the appalling revelations from Rotherham, a drab town in South Yorkshire in which over the course of a decade and a half some 1,400 girls (as young as 11) were "groomed", drugged, raped, traded and, occasionally, doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight. All the while, the entire apparatus of the state, from the political class to the police to the "child protection" agencies, looked the other way - for fear of appearing "racist" or "Islamophobic". The BBC describes the predators' actions as "brazen", which it certainly was. They would turn up at children's homes, select the ones they wanted, and drive off with them:
So the individuals who presided over this regime destroyed the lives of 1,400 people in their care, and have paid no price for it. Indeed, some have been promoted, and put in charge of even more children: Sonia Sharp, who was head of child services in Rotherham, is now in an equivalent position Down Under for the entire state of Victoria.
Meantime, the fear of being perceived as "racist" prevails even in the news stories about how terrible it is that nobody did anything. As James Delingpole explains, if you have to get specific about the perpetrators, the preferred euphemism is "Asian", a word that in Fleet Street doesn't mean Chinese or oriental but persons deriving from the Indian sub-continent. This is, apart from anything else, grossly unfair to Hindus. The men who raped and tortured these girls were, in Rotherham as elsewhere, mostly Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. And their victims were not.
And the queasy reluctance among the fearless knights of the media to state the truth anywhere north of the 20th paragraph helps explain why this happened, and why it will happen again.
In After America, I have a little passage in which I look back at the early 21st century from a decade or two hence. You'll note the reference to Yorkshire and "young men in northern England":
Talking with Michael Graham, I said this is the same story as those young "American" lads from Minneapolis volunteering to go to Syria and Iraq and saw the heads off anyone who gets in their way: These are young Muslim men for whom life in the west merely intensifies their revulsion to it. We wonder how it is that a seven-year-old boy raised in the Sydney suburbs can suddenly be all over Twitter holding up the trophy head his "Australian" dad has just sliced off. But for a certain segment of the population decapitation has gone mainstream: In France, according to an ICM poll, one in six people "support" ISIS. Likewise, in Rotherham, child sex slavery went mainstream - accepted as a feature of life by the police, the bureaucracy, the local council...
Old-school thugs - Mubarak and even Saddam - felt obliged to lie to the world: no, no torture going on here; we're civilized men, just like you. But, as in Rotherham, the ISIS lads are "brazen" about it - they're in your face about offing your head. And it's worked for them: The more they post decapitated victims on Twitter and Facebook, the more followers they get in the "civilized" world. In an ill advised choice of words, the Prime Minister David Cameron said, "We need to tackle the ideology of Islamist extremism head on" - because trying to do it with your head off doesn't seem to be working out for those poor fellows in Mosul.
But what does "head on" mean? I was listening to Congressman Peter King on the radio the other day discuss the issue of American and other western Muslims sallying forth to fight for ISIS, and his warnings about jihadists with western passports being able to move freely within Europe and North America made a lot of sense. But I had the uneasy feeling, as with Cameron, that the upshot would be a world in which, in five or ten years' time, it will be more difficult and burdensome for law-abiding persons to fly from London to New York a two-day business meeting or from Toronto to Athens for a week in the Greek islands. In other words, the political leadership of the western world will attempt to micro-manage the problem through the panopticon security state.
Underneath the watchful eyes of the digital panopticon, however, the Islamization of the west will continue. Not every Muslim wants to chop your head off. Not every Muslim wants to "groom" your 11-year-old daughter. But these pathologies nest within Islam, and thrive at the intersection of Islam and the west. As long as Islam is your biggest source of population growth - to the point where Mohammed is now the most popular boy's name in Oslo - you're not "tackling" the issue, and certainly not "head on".
In a bizarre column even for the post-Conrad National Post, Afsun Qureshi suggests the best thing you could do to lessen the likelihood of being set upon by Muslims is to learn to recite the shahadah, "a testimony to the identity of Allah as the one true God, and Muhammad as his prophet". She might be right. Wearing a burqa might help, too. Or the shalwar kameez. On the other hand, most of those Syrian men paraded through the desert in their BVDs to their rendezvous with death knew the shahadah, and a fat lot of good it did.
To recite the shahadah when you're accosted on the streets is to accept the basic premise of your attackers - that Islam now has universal jurisdiction. There's way too much of that already. In essence, the entire establishment of a South Yorkshire town accepted that the cultural mores of Islam superseded whatever squeamishness they might otherwise have about child rape.
That's not a small concession. As recently as the 18th century, 25 per cent of all unmarried females in Britain's capital city were whores; the average age of a prostitute was 16; and many brothels prided themselves on offering only girls under the age of 14. In the 1790s, a "good man" could stroll past an 11-year-old prostitute on a London street without feeling a twinge of disgust or outrage; he accepted her as merely a feature of the landscape, like an ugly hill - as the burghers of Rotherham appear to have accepted it. A century later, there were still child prostitutes, but there were also charities and improvement societies and orphanages - and the Victorian innovation of a "social conscience".
The morality of the Victorian era was hard-won. Today happens to be the 255th birthday of William Wilberforce, the backbench Member of Parliament, about whom I have a word to say in my forthcoming book. As he wrote in 1787, "God Almighty has set before me two great objects: the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners."
We know about the first of those great objects: Wilberforce did more than any other single human being to help eradicate slavery from most of the world. The latter goal, which we'd now call "changing the culture", was perhaps even tougher. Then as now, the Church of England was feeble and fainthearted and, for the most part, no more use than those Aussie Anglicans who've publicly pledged this week, in the usual one-way multifaith mush, to "love Muslims". Yet Wilberforce pulled off his "reformation of manners" - to the point where we, children of the 20th century, now mock our 19th-century forebears as uptight prudes, moralists and do-gooders. In fact, 19th-century Britons were for the most part no better or worse than their great-grandparents. As I suggested to Michael Graham on the radio, most people don't think in terms of "good" or "evil", they go along with whatever the prevailing mores are.
So now, in the new multiculti Britain, the child sex trade is back, as part of the rich, vibrant tapestry of diversity - along with Jew-hate, and honor killings, and decapitation porn. The solutions to the internal contradictions of multiculturalism are (a) David Cameron's expanded security state; (b) Afsun Qureshi's universal prostration before Islam; or (c) an end to mass Muslim immigration. The last is too obvious for any viable western politician ever to propose it.
That leaves Wilberforce's "reformation of manners" - on a scale he never contemplated, and with a self-segregating community extremely resistant to outside influence. Meanwhile, leaders such as David Cameron keep hoping that somehow all these excitable young men with their surplus energies will embrace "British values", without ever being able to say what these "British values" are, other than the stuff Yorkshire schools teach as the source of all the evils in the world - imperialism, racism, colonialism, etc. And even as we dither, in Rotherham and elsewhere, Islam is already reforming our manners. As I wrote the other day, slowly, remorselessly, we are becoming them.
from Steyn on Britain and Europe, August 29, 2014
Just about the only part of my career I truly regret was the time I spent at the BBC, who very kindly fired me back in the Nineties. Otherwise, I'd have a lot more time to regret. Notwithstanding two years of headlines re Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and others, not everyone at the Beeb in my day was a paedophile - or at least I don't think so...
As I was saying: "Ukip â€” like Nigel Farage's bar bill at ten in the evening â€” will climb a lot higher yet." And so it did...
In the new Britain, quoting Winston gets you arrested
Who will rid Dutch liberals of this turbulent blond?
"Neo-Nazis" and "anti-government people" on the march!
Behold the infidels - bystanders in their own fate: Steyn on an act of savagery in a London street - and the appalling aftermath
The picture on the right is from the Nineties, and I'm rather fond of it, because I manage to look both goofy and shifty but Mrs Thatcher's cool is undiminished. I don't know why the harp was there...
Steyn salutes a great man...
I scrammed out of London a few days before the Olympics began, but after getting an earful on what the locals make of it. On the whole, the residents of that great city would rather the honor of hosting the world's most disruptive sporting event had gone to some joint that needs the publicity more – Alma Ata, or Ouagadougou, or Oakland. In 21st century London, traffic moves at fewer miles per hour than it did before the internal combustion engine was invented without the added complication of fleets of Third World thug bureaucrats and the permanent floating crap game of transnationalist freeloaders being dumped on its medieval street plan. Nevertheless, having drawn the short straw of hosting the Games, Londoners felt it a point of honor that the city be able to demonstrate the ability to ferry minor globalist hangers-on from their favorite whorehouse in Mayfair to the Olympic Village in the unfashionable East End in time for the quarter-finals of the flatwater taekwondo.
The last of the 20th century's Big Ideas is dying before our eyes: The sick man of Europe is ...Europe
My weekend column is on London ablaze and a society summed up by the relevant chapter title in my new book ("The New Britannia: The Depraved City"). The scenes we've witnessed this last week ought to prompt some serious soul-searching by liberal elites. I nearly said "paternalist," but, as Tocqueville noted, the word paternalism implies that your object is to raise your charges to adulthood, whereas the children of dependency are maintained by government in a state of permanent and increasingly ...
Mark's Most Wanted
© 2014 Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc. All rights reserved.