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July 29, 2010


I agree with Brendan's first two items. That Goldline scam is particularly disgusting because it takes advantage of less knowledgable Americans who are trying to behave prudently. With his level of popularity, Glenn Beck could certainly find less sleazy sponsors.

That "quote for the ages" looks to me like a severe case of denial. Pehaps it should be called "de-Nyhal." Apparently, in Brendan's world, it's so obvious that integrating Muslims into western society is problem-free that worrying about it is behaving with historic foolishness.

Unfortunately, Islamic countries typically have nothing like the kind of civil liberties and tolerance for others that we take for granted. Non-Muslims are typically mistreated.

Western countries have been experiencing serious difficulties with the integration of Muslims. In some European countries it's dangerous for Jews to walk down the street. Critics of Islam, such as Theo Van Gogh, have murdered. Other critics, such as Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, avoid murder by hiding or by having armed guards at all times. Female genital mutulation is widespread. Islamic French young men routinely riot, burning cars at random. "Honor killings" of daughters or sisters are not unual.

It's not an exaggeration to say that Muslims are destroying the fabric of society in parts of Europe. Countries known for their tolerance haven't figured out how to integrate an intolerant group.

Fortunately, we've not seen that level of problems here in the US. However, we're not problem-free. Hirsi Ali requires bodyguards even when she's in the US. Nor have we been free of Islamic terrorist attacks, although more of these attacks have occurred in other countries.

I hope the speaker quoted by Brendan is over-reacting to the potential threat here. I hope we can continue to integrate Muslims into American society without experiencing Europe's problems. However, simply mocking anyone who expresses concern isn't going to produce a solution.

I would add that although Muslims have not destroyed the fabric of American ideals and values, they have already had a pernicious effect on free speech. American media has a tradition of publishing things even if they offend some group. That practice has been changed by a combination of political correctness and the threat of Islamic violence.

E.g., our newspapers showed pictures of Piss Christ and the Holy Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung. However, during the controversy over the Danish cartoons, the Philadelphia Inquirer was the only major newspaper to publish the actual cartoons.

More recently, the Comedy Channel refused to let South Park run a segment mildly offensive to Muslims, even though that show routinely offends every other religion and ethnic group.

I wish smart people like Brendan would look for solutions to this problem, rather than spend their energy pretending the problem doesn't exist.

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