One of my favorite adages goes like this: Any damn fool can learn from his own experience, what you want to do is learn from other people’s experience. Actually, you could say that the ability to learn from other people’s experiences is the only thing that makes human progress possible.
The Europeans have had a lot of bad experiences. A few of them we have learned from; most, sadly, we haven’t. But let’s just focus on one issue for a moment: immigration. Europeans decided some years ago that it would be a good idea to import lots of North African and Asian Muslim immigrants. They didn’t think it made much difference whether these immigrants were compatible with them culturally, or even whether they were interested in assimilating. Nor were they overly concerned about the employment prospects of the immigrants and their descendants, especially in the long term. Every European who voiced reservations about this policy was labeled “far right.” So any potential opposition was easily squelched.
This afternoon, two Muslim terrorists lay in wait for a British soldier in broad daylight in southeast London, armed with knives and a machete. Accounts are somewhat confused; as usual, the Daily Mail is first with the details, which may or may not prove to be accurate. The attack took place only 200 yards from the soldier’s barracks, in front of a large number of witnesses. At least one witness says the two Muslims first ran into the soldier in their car, then jumped out and attacked him with their knives and machete. Some accounts say they beheaded the soldier, but I am not sure this has been confirmed.
The blood-soaked terrorists hung around for quite a while afterward. Some accounts say it took as much as 20 minutes for the police to arrive; others say the police came quickly. The terrorists didn’t flee. Rather, they filmed themselves and chatted with passers-by, apparently waiting for policemen to arrive on the scene so they could attack them, too. Along the way they yelled “Allahu Akbar”–naturally–and made various threats against Great Britain on behalf of Islam. But they did not attempt to harm anyone else.
When the police arrived, the two terrorists charged them. One of them apparently had a gun, as well as the knives, so the police shot them. I believe they may have survived, unfortunately. It seems remarkable that with hundreds if not thousands of ordinary citizens passing by, the terrorists were able to strut around unmolested, boasting of their murder. Here in the U.S., it would likely be different. But in the U.K., private ownership of guns is illegal, which means that only terrorists and other criminals are armed, and normal people are helpless.
Driving home from the airport tonight, I listened to a radio account of the attack which said that radical Islam is suspected as a possible motive. Well, of course, reserve judgment: don’t take their word for it!
What has been going on in Sweden is less spectacular but cut from the same cloth. “Youths” have been rioting in Stockholm and its suburbs for the last two nights. Their excuse is the fact that Stockholm police shot a Muslim who was attacking them with a knife. This is what Stockholm has looked like for the last couple of days:
The Swedes lack any coherent language to describe the disaster that has befallen them:
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt blamed the violence on “hooliganism” and appealed for calm after the riots spread from northwestern to southern Stockholm.
“It’s important to remember that burning your neighbour’s car is not an example of freedom of speech, it’s hooliganism,” he told news agency TT.
Swedish liberals–Sweden is like Minnesota, they still have liberals there–think the police may be at fault:
Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has reportedly acknowledged “social exclusion” as “a very serious cause of many problems.” She’s promising that Stockholm’s police will forge closer ties to troubled local communities.
Social exclusion! How might that come about? Maybe if they forced all junior high school students to chant “Allahu Akbar!” in unison, Sweden could achieve social cohesion.
At one time, it was believed that the U.S. was better at assimilating immigrants than European countries. It was true, actually, for most of our history. But it isn’t true any longer. Immigrant children who attend public schools are taught multiculturalism, which is shorthand for the evils of America. We no longer make any serious attempt at assimilation; the very concept is foreign. Just imagine any public school teacher talking about “Americanism.” So today we have this equivalence:
For what it is worth, the guy on the right was considerably more lethal. But the motivation was the same: Islam. It seems rather obvious that any nation’s immigration policy should be based on the world as it actually exists, not on the world as we might like it to be. Perhaps there is a lesson here for Congressmen to consider as they contemplate the left’s latest exercise in wishful thinking.
UPDATE: Great minds think alike. I would note, however, that my point goes well beyond the issue of Islam: