Morning Report: June 4, 2006

Islamist counterattack. Islamist forces are stepping up their campaign of terrorism in the Middle East, Europe, and North America. Cultural identity hangs in the balance - and depends, paradoxically, on universalism.

Melanie Phillips on Londonistan. Melanie Phillips in the New York Post:
Because British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been such a staunch friend to the United States, Americans assume that - unlike Europe - Britain generally is on side. They could not be more wrong. The dismaying truth is that Blair is an aberration in his own country. Instead of fighting radical Islamism, virtually the entire British political, intellectual and security establishment can't even bring themselves to name the threat.

* When the London suicide bombings occurred last July, the response was to blame, not Islamist terror, but "Islamophobia."

* When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently ratcheted up his nuclear defiance, the response in Britain was horror - not at the Iranian nuclear threat, but at the risk that America might now be more likely to attack Iran.

* When the Danish cartoon jihad erupted across the world, the British media stood out from the rest of Europe in refusing to republish the drawings.

THROUGHOUT British society there runs deep hostility to America, Israel and the war in Iraq.

London was dubbed "Londonistan" because, during the 1990s, Britain allowed its capital to be turned into the principal hub of Islamist radicalism and terrorism outside of Saudi Arabia. But Londonistan is more than the physical presence of Islamist extremists: It is also a state of mind. ...

In the past, the strategy was to integrate immigrants into the majority culture. No longer. The doctrine of multiculturalism holds that all groups have equal status. Except they are not in fact equal, because the majority is said to be inherently racist and illegitimate - so there can be no majority culture into which immigrants are encouraged to integrate.

Read the whole thing at the link. (New York Post)

Terror ring busted in Canada. Pajamas Media has the latest updates on the Toronto terrorists. National Post: 'TORONTO - A Canadian counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of 17 people accused of plotting bombings in Ontario is linked to probes in a half-dozen countries, the National Post has learned. Well before police tactical teams began their sweeps around Toronto on Friday, at least 18 related arrests had already taken place in Canada, the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Denmark, Sweden, and Bangladesh. The six-month RCMP investigation, called Project OSage, is one of several overlapping probes that include an FBI case called Operation Northern Exposure and a British probe known as Operation Mazhar.' The Intelligence Summit reposts an article by Michelle Shepherd at the Toronto Star explaining how the bad guys were caught: 'The chain of events began two years ago, sparked by local teenagers roving through Internet sites, reading and espousing anti-Western sentiments and vowing to attack at home, in the name of oppressed Muslims here and abroad. Their words were sometimes encrypted, the Internet sites where they communicated allegedly restricted by passwords, but Canadian spies back in 2004 were reading them. And as the youths' words turned into actions, they began watching them. According to sources close to the investigation, the suspects are teenagers and men in their 20s who had a relatively typical Canadian upbringing, but — allegedly spurred on by images of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and angered by what they saw as the mistreatment of Muslims at home — became increasingly violent.' Read the original article at the link. Also from the Star: The three tonnes of ammonium nitrate offered to the would-be terrorists was part of an undercover RCMP sting operation. CBC: 'The 12 men and five youths accused of plotting to build bombs to set off in southern Ontario were supporters of al-Qaeda, law enforcement officials alleged Saturday.' Plus Ultra has some observations about "broad strata of society". (various)

Names of Toronto terror suspects.
Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto;
Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga, Ont.;
Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga;
Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Mississauga;
Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga;
Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston, Ont.;
Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston;
Jahmaal James, 23, Toronto;
Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Toronto;
Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, Toronto;
Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, Mississauga;
Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga.
Five youths who cannot be named under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act

With the exception of two men, who are aged 43 and 30, the alleged terrorists are all in their teens and early 20s. They include men of Somali, Egyptian, Jamaican, and Trinidadian origin. All are residents of Canada and “for the most part” all are Canadian citizens, police said. Of the adults arrested, four are from Toronto, six are from nearby Mississauga, and two are from Kingston in eastern Ontario. The men range in age from 19 to 43. The Mississauga suspects are Zakaria Amara, 20, Asad Ansari, 21, Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, and 19-year-old Saad Khalid. Those from Toronto include Fahim Ahmad, 21, Jahmaal James, 23, Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, and 25-year-old Steven Vikash Chand, alias Abdul Shakur. The Kingston suspects were identified as 22-year-old Mohammed Dirie and 24-year-old Yasim Abdi Mohamed. (various)

Debka: School for glide-bombers moved. Debka: 'Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command is distinguished by an unusual specialty: motorized hang-gliders, hot-air balloons and remote-controlled model planes developed for border-defying suicide attacks into Israel. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources reveal that – at Tehran’s behest - the extremist PFLP-GC has placed this aerial terror unit at the disposal of Hamas’ Ezz-e Din al-Qassam in the Gaza Strip. A team of instructors was smuggled into the territory in early May, along with German-made remote-controlled model planes adapted to delivering explosives and motorized hang gliders piloted by suiciders carrying explosives. They are currently engaged in assembling the craft, instructing Hamas operatives in their use and teaching them to make their own motorized hang gliders. ...' Full article at the link. (Debka)

Flemming Rose on victimology. Already cited once in MR but worth a second look, Flemming Rose of Jyllends-Posten writes on Europe and victimology: 'Europe's left is deceiving itself about immigration, integration, and Islamic radicalism today the same way we young hippies deceived ourselves about Marxism and communism 30 years ago. It is a narrative of confrontation and hierarchy that claims that the West exploits, abuses, and marginalizes the Islamic world. Left-wing intellectuals have insisted that the Danes were oppressing and marginalizing Muslim immigrants. This view comports precisely with the late Edward Said's model of Orientalism, which argues that experts on the Orient and the Muslim world have not depicted it as it is but as some dreaded "other," as exactly the opposite of ourselves -- and therefore to be rejected. The West, in this narrative, is democratic, the East is despotic. We are rational, they are irrational.' Today's link is to RealClearPolitics. (Flemming Rose in RealClearPolitics)

GayPatriot on MPA. GayPatriot:
We as gay Americans are responsible to improve the perception and clout about us by the rest of society. Unfortunately our representatives to the world (Log Cabin, HRC & NGLTF) are too busy following a Leftist, Anti-American agenda that runs counter to the views of most Americans. It is the Gay Left Death Spiral and we are the losers.

Back to our fearless leaders in Congress and the White House though…. .Come on…aren’t there more important things to worry about? Mr. President, instead of wasting time with using legal American gays as a political tool…. how about issuing an executive order and start drilling in Alaska due to the nation being at war? You should have done that on Sept. 12, 2001 anyway. And I think that action would help your poll numbers more than choosing gays as a political issue in 2006.

Finally… to my readers…. I am comforted to know that when I read most other mainstream conservative blogs and publications (not including religious-based ones), I see that most true conservatives agree that this MPA folly is a waste of everyone’s time.

GP also includes the full text of President Bush's speech; go read the full post at the link. I will give my own response to the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) in a separate post on Dreasms Into Lightning.

Briefly noted. Michael Rubin on bad news for Arab [and Iranian] freedom; CTB has a long and copiously linked article on Canadian terrorism; and a crimefighter comes out. (That cape! Those boots! Morning Report is slaciously reminded of someone ... but we'll let that go.)

Commentary. The IRI's counteroffensive (mentioned here and here) appears to be in full swing. Meanwhile, the West tries to figure out what, exactly, it stands for. The essay by Flemming Rose is especially timely.

In an earlier post at Dreams Into Lightning, I wrote on the romance of self and other:
Some Westerners have a need for there to be a mythic Other. It’s not so important who this Other is, in fact its’s better if we don’t get to know him/her too well. What matters is the role this figure plays. Often it’s that of the Noble Savage: wild, untamed, everything we imagine that we are not, and cannot be, but wish to be. And don’t the Arabs fit this picture perfectly? They live in tents, they ride camels, they have a fiery temper, they are exotic, swarthy, and Semitic ... and, oh yes, they’re not Jews! That’s the best part. (You know the old saying: An Arab when he’s dirty is picturesque; a Jew when he’s dirty is a dirty Jew.)

Who would want to spoil this rustic scene? Mention freedom, human rights, democracy ... oh, shock and horror! You want to make the Arabs just like Americans?! You want to turn the Middle East into a world of shopping malls? You have to respect their culture! Don’t you see? Those people are HAPPY living like that.

This argument is advanced not only by twenty-something leftists who can imagine no greater horror than the appearance of a Starbucks in their trendy neighborhoods; no, you can also hear this from respectable “intellectuals” who write erudite essays on the subject. Who is the Other? Well, the Other could be almost anyone you want.

As Flemming Rose puts it:
We are rational, they are irrational.

This kind of thinking gave birth to a distorted approach to immigration in countries like Denmark. Left-wing commentators decided that Denmark was both racist and Islamophobic. Therefore, the chief obstacle to integration was not the immigrants' unwillingness to adapt culturally to their adopted country (there are 200,000 Danish Muslims now); it was the country's inherent racism and anti-Muslim bias.

A cult of victimology arose and was happily exploited by clever radicals among Europe's Muslims, especially certain religious leaders like Imam Ahmad Abu Laban in Denmark and Mullah Krekar in Norway. Mullah Krekar -- a Kurdish founder of Ansar al Islam who this spring was facing an expulsion order from Norway -- called our publication of the cartoons "a declaration of war against our religion, our faith, and our civilization. Our way of thinking is penetrating society and is stronger than theirs. This causes hate in the Western way of thinking; as the losing side, they commit violence."

The self/other mystification is perhaps more pronounced in Europe than in the United States. It is tempting to assume that indigenous Europeans, unlike North Americans, are not immigrants or the recent descendents of immigrants, and find it harder to treat immigrants just as they would treat other Europeans - as Flemming Rose suggests.

But there is a difficulty with this analysis. The United States is not all of North America. What are we to make of Canada? I don't have any easy answers to this; I think it is something that needs close attention.