The other day, listening to an interview on America's National Public Radio with the mayor of Toronto, I was laughing so much I drove off the road. David Miller warmed up with a bit of boilerplate Islamoschmoozing: "You know, in Islam, if you kill one person, you kill everybody. It's a very peaceful religion. And they're as shocked as Torontonians are. And . . ."So Toronto is blessed with a mayor who mimics former Prime Minister Paul Martin in declaring Canada a country of immigrants that has no particular or normative culture and that only works because the elites are happy to deny the existence of the common national culture, with deep roots in this country, in their self-serving and anti-democratic war to pit immigrant voters against the ostensibly reactionary (i.e. too white) normative culture of Canada. This is the same mayor who talks tough every time some young gang "of colour" fire off their guns, but who has no ideas about how to address the cultural morass that makes it impossible to seriously discuss such violence and identify the cultural and social failures in certain communities that engender it. Our politicians all think the road to respect for universal human rights and knowledge of universal values is through some nihilist, self-denying, embrace of "multiculturalism". They are simply too poorly educated to know the paradox that one can only approach or know the universal through first having a solid grounding in a particular historical tradition. To deny Canadians such a tradition of their own is to sentence them to a decadence into some kind of pre-universal, polytheistic world view, where hysterical sacrificial rituals will prevail.
Renee Montagne, the anchorette, instantly spotted the ghastly breach of PC etiquette and leapt in: "Well, they sort of are Torontonians," she pointed out.
"Sorry," gulped the mayor, hastily re-smothering Muslims within the great diversity quilt. "They're shocked as every Torontonian is . . ."
Thereafter, Ms. Montagne expressed bafflement that these allegedly alleged fellows would have wanted to commit a terrorist atrocity in what was, compared to the Great Satan next door, "a very open society, very liberal immigration policy, very good social services."
Mayor Miller agreed: "More than half of the people who live in Toronto, including myself, were not born in Canada. And I think that's why Canada works."
"Although it didn't work in this case," Ms. Montagne pointed out, somewhat maliciously.
"Well, we don't expect these kinds of occurrences, exactly because of our public services, because of diversity," blah, blah. Insofar as there's any relation between jihadists and "good social services," the latter seem to attract the former -- at least in the sense that Ahmed Ressam, Zac Moussaoui, the shoe-bomber, the tube bombers, etc., were all products of the Euro-Canadian welfare system. But go ahead, pretend that these guys were upset about insufficient "social services," that they wanted to behead Stephen Harper to highlight the fact that wait times for the beheaded at the Toronto General are now up to 18 months, and they don't always reattach the right head. It's easy to scoff that a chap who can be bothered blowing up the Canadian Parliament must be insane, but, if you were a jihadist sitting in the cave back in the Hindu Kush listening to Renee Montagne and David Miller, wouldn't you conclude that they're the ones who are nuts?
Melanie Phillips makes a point that applies to Britain, Canada and beyond: "With few exceptions, politicians, Whitehall officials, senior police and intelligence officers and academic experts have failed to grasp that the problem to be confronted is not just the assembly of bombs and poison factories but what is going on inside people's heads that drives them to such acts." These are not Pushtun yak herders straight off the boat blowing up trains and buses. They're young men, most of whom were born and all of whom were bred in London, Toronto and other Western cities. And offered the nullity of a contemporary multicultural identity they looked elsewhere -- and found the jihad.
One final thought: Miss Phillips is one of Britain's best-known newspaper columnists. She appears constantly on national TV and radio. No publisher has lost money on her. Yet Londonistan wound up being published first in New York, and its subsequent appearance in Britain is thanks not to Little, Brown (who published her last big book) but to a small independent imprint called Gibson Square. I don't know Miss Phillips's agent, but it's hard not to suspect that glamorous literary London decided it would prefer to keep a safe distance from this incendiary subject.
That's how nations die -- not by war or conquest, but by a thousand trivial concessions, until one day you wake up and you don't need to sign a formal instrument of surrender because you did it piecemeal. How many Muslims in Toronto sympathize with the aims of those arrested last week? Maybe we could use a book on the subject. But which Canadian house would publish it? And would the faint-hearts at Indigo-Chapters carry it?
But the mayor is indeed a fair representative of many like minds in Toronto. Not talking about certain things (like the basis for true(r) knowledge of human realities) is the civic pasttime. Today, we hear news of some PC hysteria at Ryerson University. The school, after having decided to award the noted biomedical ethicist, Margaret Somerville, with an honourary degree, went into crisis mode when they later discovered that Prof. Somerville is not a supporter of same-sex "marriage" (her position on this question was known to me and I am only a moderate reader of newspapers). Cries came from all over to rescind the award. Homophobia they charged. (I always thought the charge of homophobia imputed an irrational denial of one's own homosexual desires, and would not apply to a reasoned opinion on the proper nature of marriage, but this is evidently not so in Toronto the good.) The university awards comittee met again and declared that if they had known about Somerville's questionable position, they probably would not have given the award, but now they are stuck... since they have to grudgingly admit Somerville a right to her opinion.
And this from an institution that calls itself a university and that wanted to award a learned woman for her work which has little to do with the same-sex "marriage" debate, an award that is now tarnished, and thus may not be accepted. It seems that if you hold one un-pc position, you are persona non grata, your right, nay responsibility, to freely speak your mind be damned.
It is such denial of free speech in the face of various pc denials of reality, such as the incompatibility of traditional Canadian freedoms with much of the historically-documented realities of Islam and Jihad, that could end up killing a lot of people, not to mention our national culture. Once again (and a little less jokingly each time) I raise the question, if Canada is to survive must it first separate from Toronto?