Monday, August 30, 2004

There's a reckoning still to be reckoned, and there's going to be hell to pay

Damian Penny points out the bind France finds itself in at the moment: appeasement, apparently, hasn't worked. That's the problem with feeding that particular alligator - short of total surrender, there's always going to be something else radical Islam will demand. This week it's governmental acquiesence in promoting an obnoxiously forward show of faith; next, it'll be adapting the Code Napoléon to better reflect shar'ia law. At some point in the not too distant future, the demand will be recognition of Islam as the official state religion. I know it seems like mildly paranoid hyperbole at the moment, but I have no doubt of the latter. Unlike Damian, I wasn't against the headscarf ban at all. Though hypocritical in that especially French manner, it was a reasonable line to draw - if only for the individual-rights angle, attempting to prevent raised-ignorant Muslim girls from being pressured into making a public show of faith. There is something sick and twisted about the uniformity and submission demanded of women by Islam, and I see no conflict between religious freedom and disallowing the most visible sign of that oppression. Worship whoever you want, however you want; just don't try to say with a straight face that that worship actually requires manufacturing real-life Stepford Wives. There's a point where the right of the individual to be an individual trumps the right of a society to enforce cultural mores. The particulars aside, France is most certainly utterly screwed. Revoking the ban will hand the Islamofascists the same kind of symbolic victory as the Spanish election; unlike some of us, they're capable of thinking in the longer term, and can see the pattern of minor cultural skirmishes that could very well end in the defeat and subjugation of secular western civilization. Maintaining it will likely get the two kidnapped journalists killed, forcing the French intelligentsia to face up to the unlovely truth: all their machinations in opposing the US turn out to count for absolutely nothing to the mad and barbarous megalomaniacs. At the end of the day, maybe France will learn a painful lesson from this, and start cleaning up its own messes before snidely denigrating American efforts to reform and democratize the Middle East. But I doubt it.

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