Flashback to a friend

I’m still reading Melanie Phillips’ Londonistan, an extremely well-written book about a most depressing subject — the Islamic push to take over Britain, all aided by the British ruling classes. Reading it also reminds my that my sojourn in England managed to miss this whole political and social movement, which picked up steam a few years after I left. When I lived there, there was a visible Muslim population, but the ruling classes hadn’t yet decided on a series of policies that gave this minority group — one already blessed with a strong sense of grievance, entitlement and victimization — massive political power. To me, the cast of characters is unfamiliar.

What is familiar is the behavior Victor Davis Hanson describes, using the three pouty Princesses on the airplane as his starting point:

Radical Islamists love to scream about the “decadent” West. Everything from our operas to our attitudes about women outrage these loud pious critics.

As part of their condemnation, fundamentalist Muslims say they put a higher premium on family values and reverence for the past than crass modern Americans and Europeans do. But that is hardly true.


Recently on a British Airways flight to London, members of Qatar’s royal house were outraged that its princesses had been seated next to male passengers who weren’t related to them. Was this a clash of civilizations?

Not quite. The entire entourage was, in fact, returning from an all-day shopping spree in Milan, Italy. The angry members of Qatar’s royal house may claim outrage at gender equality, but they seem to have no problem with the libertine West when it comes to splurging their kingdom’s wealth on luxury items.

This type of hypocrisy in the Muslim world is not limited to supposedly devout oil-rich Gulf sheiks who cherry-pick Western sin. Terrorists — with one foot in the 7th century and the other in the 21st century — want it both ways, too.

The dichotomy between beliefs and actions reminded me forcibly of a young woman I knew when I lived in England, a most delightful young woman.  She came from a devout Muslim household, but one upper class enough that she was expected to go to college, as she did.  At home, she was required to go about fully veiled.  Although her parents expected her to finish her education, they had already arranged a marriage for her, to an older man in Pakistan whom she’d never met.  When at home, she complied completely with her parents dictates in all things.

At college, though, she was a wild woman.  She drank more heavily than most people I knew (and this was England, after all, land of heavy drinkers), and was promiscuous to the point of sleeping with 3-4 different men a week.  She was sowing her wild oats big time, all in preparation for the day when she would be handed over to an elderly Pakistani stranger, and her education, beauty and liveliness would be locked up forever.

Muslims are doing their best to make us miserable but my long ago friend is a good reminder that they’re just sharing the wealth, ’cause it’s not easy to be a Muslim.


9 Responses

  1. I have been meaning to pick up a copy of Londonistan.

  2. Oops, hit return too quickly. The book sounds quite interesting and by all accounts it does appear that the British are willingly jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  3. They say the West is decadent. But they are the ones with multiple wives and get to do the S and M stuff with praise from their cultures.

  4. Young women like your friend are enriching certain plastic surgeons who have a specialty in “hymen repair”, lest the blushing bride be stoned to death after her wedding night as a result of her activities while overseas……

  5. OK, I don’t think that the comments on this post have been providing the moral high ground for the post “A matter of tone”.
    There’s internal inconsistencies to the culture that are not addressed as long as there is enough (oil) wealth. As a mathematician, I have little faith in internally inconsistent systems. It will fall like Frege after Russell’s Paradox.
    Erm. I mean, when people have to deal with eachother, rather than using their means to send children abroad and buy separate homes for each wife, then they may interact differently. Of course they know it’s coming, but they’re railing against the inevitable by trying to stave off the normalization of other values. The onslaught of progress may be slowed but not arrested.

  6. Keiki, I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying in comment 5. I can assure you, though, that I never use scatalogical or sexual references in my blog, nor do I attack people based solely on their race or sexuality. I think all of these topics may, for various reasons, be open for discussion, but I hope I keep my language clean and the focus of the discussion on substantive issues. Occasionally some of my commenters get a little rowdy but, for the most part, the tone here is off strong opinions, intellectual rigor, and clean language.

  7. Hi. My first note on 5 was not the about post. It’s that the comments (which are not written by you) focus on odd sex things. It’s not that they’re beyond the pale, just that they’re not the points with which I’d choose to lead.
    The second statement was a change in direction, and needed a segue, maybe “There’s stronger points that can be made about why this culture doesn’t make sense.”
    My bad; my comments are tossed out onto your page in a fairly freeform fashion, and I ought to have been more clear.

  8. Funny you should mention that – the friend who introduced me to the pleasures of fine Scotch whiskey was a Muslim from Libya. He confirmed that gay sex was rampant in his country and small boys exploited as an outlet for sexually repressed men. He also, incidentally, told me soto voce the he admired Israel as a place where Arabs had more rights than they did in his country.

  9. There is a time-honored tradition of portraying one’s opponent as driven by sexual deviancy, not to the point of action, but rather as evidence of some twisted pathology. It happens on both the right and the left, but focusing on the left, I’m reminded of the general in Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove who was obsessed with preserving his “precious bodily fluids”. It’s a classic line.

    So when someone accuses you of “carrying a boner” while you engage in your “idealogical crusade”, they’re doing their best to smear you with a claim of deviancy. You’re a female with a long history of incredible decency, so the only thing I can think is that this fellow uses this particular deviancy attack quite often. One could claim that he has an, ahem, irresistable compulsion to do so. 🙂

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