Sunday, September 11, 2011

Refuse To Be Terrorized

It is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. There is a lot to reflect upon, most notably, the many thousands who lost their lives that day. It was a dark day for America, but also a day of courage, where brave men and women demonstrated that heroism and honor were well-represented amongst ordinary Americans who happened to be in New York, Washington, and onboard Flight 93.

How best to honor their memory? How best to defend against the scourge that killed them? Spencer Ackerman has it right: The best way to beat terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. To stand firm and resolute and insure that not a thread of our constitutional fabric, not an inch of our democratic tradition, not a morsel of our civic values, are sacrificed at the terrorist's altar. That's how we win, and they lose. And that's how you honor American courage.


Cycle Cyril said...

You're right that we need to stand firm and resolute but we also need to define and defeat our enemies.

If we continue to avoid an in depth conversation concerning Islam and why so many Moslems turn to Islamo-fascism we will not be able to maintain our constitutional fabric, our democratic tradition, or our civic values.

These losses can already be seen in various European countries wherein entire Islamic neighborhood become no-go areas for the police such as in Malmo, Sweden. (A close friend born in Malmo where his family found refuge from the Nazis has to move an aunt to the US because of the verbal attacks and threats of violence against her.)

Unfortunately fighting a war is not as simple as you or Ackerman make it appear.

PG said...

Oh, yes, I read that article in The Forward. How did your friend manage to move his aunt to the U.S.? Did he claim asylum status for her? I didn't think there was the automatic admission to the U.S. that there would be in Israel.

And of course, the differences between immigration to the U.S. and that to Europe, especially countries like Sweden, points up why we don't have areas full of Muslim immigrants that are at 80% unemployment.

Despite conservatives' horror at Dearborn, Michigan being over one third Muslim, it has a lower unemployment rate than the U.S. average, and of course significantly lower than neighboring areas of Michigan. The Forward notes that the Muslim neighborhood in Malmo has 80% unemployment. Shockingly, living in a crappy ghetto and being disconnected from the larger society tends to make people more likely to feel anger and turn to violence.

The Muslims who immigrate to the U.S. are mostly far more assimilated than those in Sweden, even those who are refugees like the Somali population in Minnesota. Because the U.S. offers almost no welfare benefits to new immigrants -- you must be a legal resident for several years to qualify for TANF, for example -- immigrants must be able to find employment and support themselves. This in turn makes knowing English much more necessary than in Sweden, a country with a generous safety net even for new residents.

So I find the rightwing scenario of American neighborhoods becoming like any in Europe pretty implausible. But at least now conservatives have an actually well-supported rationale for why the welfare state is dangerous to social cohesion: it doesn't force immigrants to integrate enough into their new country that they can make a living.

Cycle Cyril said...

Most of the Arabs in Dearborn are Christians from Lebanon. (I would not be surprised if they came to the US partly to escape prosecution from Moslems, like the influx of Copts from Egypt, but I have no information on that nor the time at this time to delve into that question.)

As Christians they are not likely to have scriptural edicts to hack my head off, and they tend to assimilate better.

PG said...

Most of the Arabs in Dearborn are Christians from Lebanon.

If CC is correct, I suppose it serves me right for getting information from Pamela Geller. Lazy Googling!

However, my understanding is that while the initial Arab immigrants to Dearborn were Lebanese Christians, and Christians are still the majority of the Arab population in Detroit, the younger generation in Dearborn is more heavily Muslim. The Associated Press in 2001 estimated the Dearborn public schools to be 35% Muslim, and earlier this year the mayor of Dearborn estimated his town's population as 35-40% Muslim.