Steyn on the Commonwealth
The formal observances of Canada's 150th birthday have included a sesquicentennial viceregal gaffe and a pair of commemorative prime ministerial socks. But of course what most Canadians like to do when we're not trapping beaver and huffing poutine is celebrate diversity. And so it was that at the Canadian Tire store in Scarborough a "Scarborough woman" went full Allahu Akbar in the paint aisle, but, touchingly, instead of just slashing at her "fellow Canadians" with the traditional machete of her own cultural inheritance, she also embraced Canadian values by clobbering her victims with a golf club as if berating the caddy at nearby Cedar Brae. Global News reports:
The "Scarborough woman" is one Rehab Dughmosh, which sounds like a treatment centre for aging hardcore groupies who've put their back out but is in fact the name of the perpetrator. The allegedly alleged perpetrator, I should say. Ms Dughmosh, speaking through an interpreter and the folds of her head-to-toe body bag, made a brief statement to the court:
Well, that's easy for you to say. Her Honour was not entirely persuaded:
Joe Warmington's Toronto Sun column is full of fascinating details. For example, the lavishly funded Canadian bureaucracy cannot reliably state whether or not Rehab Dughmosh has any Canadian citizenship to revoke, or where she came from:
Good luck with that. Mr Warmington quotes socks symbol Justin Trudeau:
It comes to something when a golf-club-wielding Arabic-cursing body-bagged jihadist crone unable to speak the language of "her" country and attacking patrons of a suburban shopping mall in furtherance of the global caliphate nevertheless has a better grasp of citizenship than a western prime minister. But, alas, such is the case. Citizenship is not conditional on "good behaviour", but it is conditional on what Rehab Dughmosh calls "allegiance". In traditional ethnostates such as, say, Denmark, that didn't used to be a big deal: your family had been Danish for a thousand years, you felt Danish, you lived Danish, so naturally your allegiance was to Denmark - "naturally" as in it's so natural you don't even think about it. That's why we call adopting citizenship "naturalization" - because, by the end of it, it's supposed to feel natural. Naturalization requires a transfer of allegiance, which is why in Canada you take an oath to the Queen and in America, just to underline the point, you're also called upon to "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen".
That should just about cover it.
Except that it doesn't. Because to the post-modernists of the western political class "allegiance" is a fusty concept. They don't believe in it, so they don't see why Ahmed off the boat from Misurata should be expected to. Perhaps the weirdest moment for me in the Munk Debate last year, between Nigel Farage and me, on the one hand, and, on the other, Louise Arbour and Simon Schama, was this exchange:
Professor Schama appeared to concede that point, but Mme Arbour was apparently stunned by it, and returned to it later, very emphatically:
Mme Arbour is a former Supreme Court justice but she's missing my point: a Canadian passport may make you a Canadian citizen, as a point of law, but it does not make you a Canadian, as an actual, living, breathing reality. Body-bagged from head to toe, speaking neither English nor French, Rehab Dughmosh has renounced her allegiance to Canada and proclaimed instead her allegiance to the Islamic State, which happens to be Canada's enemy, which in the pre-Arbour era would be what we quaintly call "treason". Why does Mme Arbour presume to know better than Ms Dughmosh about where the latter's allegiance lies?
A few days ago, a sniper with Canada's special forces broke the world record for longest confirmed kill, picking off a Soldier of Allah at 3,450 meters - which is over two miles. That's phenomenal and unprecedented, and the JTF2 guy who did it deserves all the honours the Canadian state can confer on him. On this 150th birthday I only hope we can continue to produce more men like that.
But what's the point if, for every ISIS barbarian you pick off at 3,450 meters, back on the home front you're importing hundreds and thousands of loons who support him and share his world view, day in, day out. There are more "British Muslims" fighting for al-Baghdadi than for the Queen. Thousands more: they feel their allegiance to the Caliphate in a way that they do not for Britain. Likewise with Rehab Dughmosh: she feels her allegiance to ISIS, and not for Canada. Never did. Pace the socks symbol Trudeau, making citizenship conditional on "good behaviour" - ie, non-treason - does not "devalue citizenship for everyone". Tolerating ISIS fighters holding UK and Canadian and Belgian citizenship is what "devalues citizenship for everyone". Rehab Dughmosh's Canadian citizenship devalues that JTF2 sniper's Canadian citizenship.
That's true in the broader sense, too. Ms Dughmosh and those "British" ISIS volunteers feel their true allegiance; they live and breathe it. If you accept them, as Mme Arbour does, as Canadian and UK and French and Swedish citizens, "no arguing with that", you devalue your own citizenship to the point where its purchase on you starts to weaken and dissolve. I look at the feeble, passive reactions to jihadist provocations in Manchester and London and Paris and Brussels, and wonder: how many of the west's citizens feel British or French or Belgian? It's the shrunken reductive definition of "citizenship" advanced by the likes of Trudeau that devalues it - and (a somber thought for this 150th Dominion Day) perhaps fatally.
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from Steyn on Canada, June 28, 2017
It's not about terrorism, but the ideas that animate it
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