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01 August 2005

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ismoot

Angela,

Thanks for the comment, but my post was about the likliness of recent immigrant support for jihadi operations. Am I right in thinking from your comment that you think that recent immigrants in the US from Islamic populations are less likely to support such operations or participate in such operations than their counterparts in Europe? pl

BadTux

The notion of jihadis seeking to convert Europe to Islam strikes me as science-fictional. In the cases we've seen in Spain and England where large-scale attacks have taken place, these attacks could be linked easily to the presence of Spanish and British forces in Arabia. Osama bin Laden himself has stated multiple times that the reason he attacked the United States in September 2001 was because of U.S. forces in Arabia.

Other nations in Europe have issues with their Muslim immigrant population, and will continue to have issues for simple demographic reasons -- they aren't reproducing quickly enough, and thus are increasingly reliant upon "guest workers" such as the Turkish in Germany and the Algerians in France. The problem with "guest workers" is that they feel no connection to the country they work in. The solution is to get them away from their mono-cultural notion that a Frenchman has to be a white dude who's descended from the Franks and Latins, and move towards a melting pot type situation where non-whites are accepted as full partners. Once a man thinks of himself as a Frenchman rather than as an Algerian working in France, he is not going to attack France.

Dogs will not sh*t in their own kennel, that is why kennel training works if you're familiar with how dogs are house trained. Similarly, people will not attack their own homeland, a few nutballs like Timothy McVeigh excepted, and you see how far McVeigh's terrorism got him -- the people he hoped to inspire to rebellion instead, because they were Americans, hunted down McVeigh and his co-conspirators and turned them in to the FBI lickity split. What is needed in Europe is not further repression of their Muslim population, but, rather, an effort similar to efforts in the early part of the 20th century in the United States -- i.e., an effort to assimilate the new immigrants into the culture and values of the nation. A "melting pot", so to speak. The current European situation, where they are holding their noses and keeping their new immigrants at arm's length and treating them like sh*t because the new immigrants are brown and Muslim rather than being white and Christian, is a powder keg that can and *will* explode as the demographics of Europe continue their current trends.

Make a man proud to be an American, and he won't attack America. Make a man proud to be a German, and he won't attack Germany. Etc. That is the best way to deal with immigrant populations -- assimilate them and make them feel proud to be American/German/etc. If you treat them like cr*p, that's what you'll get back -- but that's what the Europeans are largely doing, all their whiny drivelling about their superior "tolerance" and "values" nonwithstanding. In England, "Paki-bashing" has been a longstanding sport at football scrums. In Germany, skinheads regularly beat Turkish immigrants to a pulp. In France, the French look down their noses at anybody who isn't an ethnic Frenchman. It's a powder keg, and it's going to explode one of these days, and Osama bin Laden, if he's involved at all, is involved only as a spark in the distance.

- Badtux the Sometimes-European Penguin (i.e., I've seen personally how they treat their immigrants).

BadTux

One more thing: In my current employment, I work with a lot of immigrants. Some of them are here on temporary visas and are going back to India or Poland or etc. in a few months or years. Most of them have paid their dues, gone through the horrendously difficult process, and become American citizens.

The notion of them attacking America would be ludicrous -- they are Americans. They feel like Americans. They don't feel like Indians or Israelis or Poles or whatever country they came from. They are Americans, and proud of it -- well, until recently, anyhow (one Israeli immigrant, looking at the Abu Ghraib pictures, shook his head sadly and said to me "I came here to America to get away from all that Likkud stuff, what has happened to this country? This almost makes me ashamed to be an American").

That is the primary difference between most of America and most of Europe -- we don't automatically treat people as less than human simply because they're immigrants (a few inbred mouth breathers like the "Minutemen" excepted). That is why I think it is extremely unlikely that there could ever be widespread support for al Qaeda amongst the general Muslim community in the United States... unless... UNLESS we start treating them like cr*p, like Muslims are treated in Europe.

- Badtux the Urbane Penguin

ismoot

Urbane,

We all hope you are right. pl

ismoot

Bad-Tux,

In re the "science fiction," it does not treally matter if you think this is fantasy. what matters is whether or not the the Jihadis think it is fantasy within the context of their self proclaimed mission to restore to the 'Umma all the lands it ever held or should have held.

I have been treated to the irredentist Islamist rant many times in Saudi Arabia (where the money comes from) and other places.

I think you have a difficult time explaining why some British and French born Muslims who have been cared for by the state and allowed to live in these countries in large numbers do not think themselves British or French. Having spent a lot of time among those communities in both countries I would dispute your contention that they have been badly treated. pl

BadTux

Ismoot, there is a different between being "badly treated" in the sense of being regularly physically abused, and being treated as a second-class citizen. Think of, say, the treatment of black Americans in the late 1960's. The result was an increasingly violent set of urban riots that were primarily quelled with a guns-and-butter approach (i.e., cracking down on them with increasing harshness, but also ramping up on welfare payments et. al.). Yet on a historic scale, black Americans in the late 1960's were better off than they had ever been
before.

In short, there are conditions for violent extremism that make a population prone to support violent extremists, the primary one being that they feel disenfranchised and powerless, they feel that they've been bottled into a ghetto and not allowed full access to the American Dream (or French Dream or whatever). The way we resolved the issue of black extremism in the late 1960's is probably instructive here. We didn't start subjecting all black people to searches before they were allowed onto buses and planes. We did not send soldiers into the streets of urban America to burst through doors and haul black men at random to some gulag where he would be tortured and held without charges for months at a time. We did not make further efforts to make blacks feel like second-class citizens. Rather, we used intelligence -- by the end, if four black radicals were together, three of them were in the pay of the FBI -- and honey -- we made the lives of the black people, the "sea" that these radicals swam in, so much better, and gave them so much more rights compared to before the 1960's, that they saw more promise in participating in the American Dream and more possibility of achieving it (thanks to affirmative action and other such programs that were instituted in that era), and thus did so rather than attempting to destroy it.

In the end, while Europeans give lip service to the notions of tolerance, diversity, etc., lip service is what it remains. Turkish guest workers in Germany (which I'm most familiar with) are treated much like Mexican illegals in the American Southwest -- i.e., two-legged cockroaches, to be barely tolerated because they provide useful services, until recently not eligible for citizenship and thus with no stake in Germany. It is instructive that when I visited our factory in Bingen, there was not a single brown face in sight... good-paying factory jobs are reserved for ethnic Germans, cockroaches need not apply, born in Germany or no.

- B

ismoot

B

Ok. but that doesn't really address the issue of Jihadi motivation. pl

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