Yes I Miss BlairEspecially after reading this.
There is no general failure to integrate. In the U.K., for example, we are not talking about Chinese or Indians. We are not talking about blacks and Asians. This is a particular problem. It is about the failure of one part of the Muslim community to resolve and create an identity that is both British and Muslim. And I stress part of it. Most Muslims are as much at ease with their citizenship in the U.K. as I am. I dare say that is true in other European nations too.Yup, the failure to integrate is concentrated in one community which makes more and more claims in support of this very failure. If anything, the claims expect us to integrate with them, a ludicrous idea, as the notions promulgated are so primitive.
However, some don't integrate. But when we talk about this in general terms, without precision, for fear of "stigmatizing" Muslims, we alienate public opinion and isolate the majority of Muslims who are integrating and want to be as much part of our society as any other group. Then, because we won't identify the problem as it is, a subterranean debate takes the place of an open one, and that debate lumps all Muslims together. So in the interest of "defending" the Muslim community, we actually segregate it by refusing to have an honest debate about what is happening.
Concerns about illegal immigration have a lot to do with the notion that the system can be gamed, played, or swindled by some who are hostile to the host community they seek to penetrate. Ensuring that there are rules, strictly enforced—and in Europe's case, these could be pan-European as well as national—is not anti-immigrant. It is, in fact, the only way to protect the idea that immigration, properly controlled, is of enormous benefit.Islamist claims are so extensive they need simply to be rejected. Blair of course later has to claim that the Islamists are not preaching a true Islam. From what I can see they are truer to this silly religion than the moderates are.
We will not defeat extremism (and the fear it then produces in our societies) until we defeat its narrative. This narrative is Islam as a victim of the West, locked in an inevitable cultural conflict with it.
Still, to a degree he calls a spade a spade.
h/t Harry's Place, which also features this wonderful little video: