I’m still reading Melanie Phillips’ Londonistan, an extremely well-written book about a most depressing subject — the Islamic push to take over Britain, all aided by the British ruling classes. Reading it also reminds my that my sojourn in England managed to miss this whole political and social movement, which picked up steam a few years after I left. When I lived there, there was a visible Muslim population, but the ruling classes hadn’t yet decided on a series of policies that gave this minority group — one already blessed with a strong sense of grievance, entitlement and victimization — massive political power. To me, the cast of characters is unfamiliar.
What is familiar is the behavior Victor Davis Hanson describes, using the three pouty Princesses on the airplane as his starting point:
Radical Islamists love to scream about the “decadent” West. Everything from our operas to our attitudes about women outrage these loud pious critics.
As part of their condemnation, fundamentalist Muslims say they put a higher premium on family values and reverence for the past than crass modern Americans and Europeans do. But that is hardly true.
Recently on a British Airways flight to London, members of Qatar’s royal house were outraged that its princesses had been seated next to male passengers who weren’t related to them. Was this a clash of civilizations?
Not quite. The entire entourage was, in fact, returning from an all-day shopping spree in Milan, Italy. The angry members of Qatar’s royal house may claim outrage at gender equality, but they seem to have no problem with the libertine West when it comes to splurging their kingdom’s wealth on luxury items.
This type of hypocrisy in the Muslim world is not limited to supposedly devout oil-rich Gulf sheiks who cherry-pick Western sin. Terrorists — with one foot in the 7th century and the other in the 21st century — want it both ways, too.
The dichotomy between beliefs and actions reminded me forcibly of a young woman I knew when I lived in England, a most delightful young woman. She came from a devout Muslim household, but one upper class enough that she was expected to go to college, as she did. At home, she was required to go about fully veiled. Although her parents expected her to finish her education, they had already arranged a marriage for her, to an older man in Pakistan whom she’d never met. When at home, she complied completely with her parents dictates in all things.
At college, though, she was a wild woman. She drank more heavily than most people I knew (and this was England, after all, land of heavy drinkers), and was promiscuous to the point of sleeping with 3-4 different men a week. She was sowing her wild oats big time, all in preparation for the day when she would be handed over to an elderly Pakistani stranger, and her education, beauty and liveliness would be locked up forever.
Muslims are doing their best to make us miserable but my long ago friend is a good reminder that they’re just sharing the wealth, ’cause it’s not easy to be a Muslim.