In light of Barcelona, what, if anything, do we do about immigration?

I don’t think there’s any number of Islamist terrorist attacks that will make people stop and think about the issue of immigration, which allows the entry of some people likely (or sworn) to commit such attacks. Indeed, I am leary of trying to curb refugees into Europe or the U.S., for, at least in the U.S., immigration is the lifeblood of our country. But the mere suggestion that we examine immigration or screen immigrants has become taboo, and may be ineffectual anyway given that many Muslims living in Europe or the U.S. have already lived there a while, with many being citizens.

Over at Areo, A. R. Devine does see a problem, and discusses it in his frank article “After Barcelona: Let the denial and excuses begin.” (Devine is identified as “a writer and published author. He won the Orwell Prize in 2010 for his blog, ‘Working with the Underclass,’ written under the nom de plume of Winston Smith.”) Here Devine expresses the dilemma that many of us face, as our progressive liberalism conflicts with the knowledge that a regressive religion has an extremist wing that kills innocent people and is “hostile to liberal ideas”:

The Jeremy Corbyns, Ken Livingstones, Cenk Uygurs, and Sally Kohns of this world and many of their supporters will grasp at anything but admit the truth that the Islamic faith has a problem with both violent and nonviolent extremism. When you want to talk about Islamic extremism they will bring up the fact that all religions have their extremists. This is undoubtedly true, but there is a qualitative difference between an extreme Mormon and his strange underwear collection and a Wahhabi hate preacher who believes Western women are whores who should be driven over and maimed beneath the axles of a speeding van.

An extremist Christian will go on an anti-abortion march, scream at you about the fiery depths of hell, and then go home and pray for sinners (yes, in some cases, they’ll do much worse). An extremist Buddhist will meditate too much and bore you to death about karma. An extremist Hindu will definitely kick your ass if you try to eat his cow. However, there is only one religion where its extremists (and there are many as it’s a spectrum) believe some or all of the following: gay people should be killed (happens in many Islamic countries at the hands of the state or a mob), those who wish to leave Islam should be killed or imprisoned (the law in several Muslim countries), and women should be stoned to death for sex outside marriage.

And we have invited a fair amount of individuals who hold these attitudes into Europe, courtesy of our immigration policies over the last few years. It’s not all, certainly not, anyone who says that is clueless. But it’s enough that we are seeing problems and attacks erupting around Europe. The challenge is confronting and changing these attitudes without sliding into bigotry.

Devine doesn’t offer a solution but does make two observations: that European politicians are largely ignoring the problem, and at their peril; and that there’s a general failure among liberals to discuss frankly the terrorism that’s plaguing Europe:

And because some European politicians have provided little to no screening and have not efficiently regulated the numbers migrating from the Islamic world, with each terror attack bigotry and hatred towards the genuine moderate Muslims will grow — which I utterly condemn. I worry that not dealing with this issue honestly will not bode well for sentiments against liberal and secular Muslims. So, well done to Angela Merkel and the EU for all of this.

And this:

Over the next few days, before the bodies in Barcelona are laid to rest, the legions of  self-hating Western apologists will spend most of their anger either denying the problem or blaming the West for these attacks.

I read one post on social media. It was written by the type of person who had harped on continuously about Charlottesville for the past few days. But when it came to Barcelona, they described these attacks as nothing but a footnote in the weekly news that should be given less attention. I doubt the victim’s families see the murders of their loved ones as nothing to cause a fuss about.

Or ignoring the issue. Horrible as the violence in Charlottesville was, it’s not comparable to what’s going on repeatedly in Europe (a second attack was foiled in Spain after five perpetrators were killed, but now a Moroccan man has stabbed two Finns to death and injured ten in Turku, Finland, and it’s being investigated as a “terrorist attack.”  No country in the West, it seems, is immune. HuffPo has six stories on the front page related to Charlottesville, and a buried one on Turku, but nothing on Spain. Some “Leftist” bloggers I follow who put up post after post about Nazis and Charlottesville, haven’t said a word about the attack in Barcelona.

Is it “whataboutery” to fault people for concentrating on Charlottesville and largely ignoring what’s happening in Europe? Part of that is certainly due to the well known parochialism of Americans, who are either ignorant of or don’t care much about what happens overseas. But Devine is right: part of it is an attempt to deliberately ignore religiously-inspired terrorism because it conflicts with a Regressive Left narrative: people of color are to be excused because they’ve been oppressed, and the oppression is simply the West’s (or white mens’) fault. To me, no matter what the West did—and we did intrude in bad ways in the Middle East—that’s not an excuse for the terrorist murder of innocent people. After all, the value of an American life is no different from the value of a Finnish or Spanish life. If we’re truly liberal, our concern shouldn’t stop at the U.S. border.

Yet I have no solution, and I invite readers to tell me what they’d do were they in charge of immigration to Europe or the U.S. Would you screen people? If so, how?

I asked one diehard liberal friend, who knows a bit about foreign affairs, to say what he/she thought about what to do. The response didn’t provide a solution but did raise a red flag:

“Nation states need definable, controllable borders. EU leaders implicitly refuse to recognize this. The elections in EU countries this year may be the last in which centrists (eg, Macron and Merkel) win.  But four or five years from now?”


  1. Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink


  2. Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    In the US and elsewhere, most acts of terrorism are from a countries own citizens. Maybe the title of this piece should have been “… What, If Anything, Do We do About Citizenship?”

    Basically, if we let terrorists change our behavior away from good practices to less good, they win. If out practices are counterproductive or stupid, by all means improve them, otherwise fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

    • Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Right, let’s be scientific. Are there any statistics concerning how many of these people came into the country from elsewhere as opposed to already been living there?

      • phoffman56
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        No, not right. It certainly makes sense to point out that domestic terrorism is a bigger problem. But you don’t say: ‘I’ll never work to solve any problem until after I’ve tackled and solved the biggest one’; even if, as in this case, a solution to the lesser one is pretty hard to figure out.

        E.g. with simplistic numbers, if over some period you know there will be 100 bad incidents, 90 of which are domestic, do you guys really think it’s better to have all 100 instead of ‘just’ 90 incidents, if somehow one can figure out how to avoid 10 of them, but not yet the other 90?

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      That is my observation as well, Europe is – still – very peaceful against a downward trend of separatist killings. The current jihadist terrorist spike is not abated, and it has dragged right terrorists with [Europol statistics], but Europe like the world is much recovering from the 2014 jihadist war spike [UCDP statistics].

      So here we have two common reactions:

      1. “Nation states need definable, controllable borders. EU leaders implicitly refuse to recognize this. The elections in EU countries this year may be the last in which centrists (eg, Macron and Merkel) win.”

      2. “Basically, if we let terrorists change our behavior away from good practices to less good, they win.”

      That first is nationalism speaking, the second liberalism. The homegrown jihadist terrorism is problematic to both, but closing borders is counterproductive socially and economically. So is, to some degree, not using best practices *and* adjust them to the situation.

      Some of the problems, see the Finland terrorist and certainly non-terrorist asylum deportations here in Sweden, follows from harsh migration rules (during and – especially – after the travel). Some others from the usual source of disparate access to opportunities socially and economically. I think what we should do is obvious (ease migration, work to diminish Gini index differences) but also what the late Rosling long since noted:

      It is far less costly for everyone if war is abated and asylum seekers are helped locally. Very little is done here, yet people question migration as first reaction. That is unfortunate.

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Adjusting them.

        I also meant to note that *nationalism* is still a larger problem for peace, compare the genicidal Rwanda/Yugoslavia killed peak against the jihadist was peak. So the person that wrote to Jerry “EU leaders implicitly refuse to recognize this” despite that terrorism is a minor problem (little average risk and cost, terrible as it is), has some work to do to to show they ignore borders. As opposed to use realpolitik in balancing efforts.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          Genocidal. Yikes.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        “Nation states need definable, controllable borders. EU leaders implicitly refuse to recognize this.

        The correspondent has got the wrong end of the stick. EU leaders o recognise this perfectly well, and have built significant borders around the nation of “Europa”. The queues reported several weeks ago at dozens of Schengen-border airports due to tightening security controls are part of this.
        No, “Europa” isn’t a nation state that, for example, George Washington would have recognised. Unless he’d read the recently published Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall…”, when he’d recognise it as the Roman Empire re-written. Which is what it is. Because the “pax Romana” remains the longest period of general peace and prosperity that Europe has known since … ever.
        There are a lot of nationalists who don’t see that. For example, the DUP (who are propping up the Conservatives until they collapse) were mortally afraid that increasing integration of Britain into Europe would leave them without a fig-leaf of Empire to cover their nakedness with. Meanwhile, their opponents in Sinn Fein were pretty relaxed about the province of Ulster becoming increasingly integrated into the same political entity that the rest of Eire is a province of. Now that we’ve got Brexit, those two are getting increasingly fractious, and the SNP are agitating more strongly to leave the UK and remain in Europa.
        At the moment, it’s “Jaw Jaw” ; but by promoting divisive nationalism, “War War” is becoming more credible.
        I leave the participants of the “longest undefended border in the world” and the “Border Wall states” to draw their own parallels.

  3. Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I’m still waiting to hear what act of Finnish colonial aggression provoked the latest attack.

    • David Duncan
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      The terrorist targeted women. Perhaps they weren’t covered up enough, hence leading pure minded men astray.

  4. David Castor
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    The US does vet immigrants for ties to extremists groups. This will never be 100%, but seems reasonable. I don’t know what is done is Europe. Fragmentation of law enforcement and intelligence agencies is a long-standing problem in the EU. I also think that EU will have to re-consider the Schengen zone that allows open travel across borders.

    • dabertini
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Aren’t some of the terrorists home grown citizens who become radicalized? In that case only enlightenment will work and that, sadly, will take a very long time. Better vetting, stricter laws, more anti terror reinforcements do not seem to be an option since resources are already spread thin. It is a 21st century problem that may require 22nd century solutions.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

        “… enlightenment will … take a very long time.”

        In this country, unless new immigrants resort to severe measures to isolate them, their kids (and if not them, then for sure their kids’ kids) rapidly abandon the old ways and get sucked into the churning maw of American culture.

        I mean, I can’t speak to “enlightenment” specifically, but what kid’s gonna want to go to mosque, let alone even think about strapping on a suicide belt, when he can knock back a beer and a doobie with his buddies, jump in a convertible, pop Bob Seeger in the 8-track, and bird-dog girls?

        (Ok, that may be a bit idiosyncratic on my part, based on personal experience, but still. 🙂 )

        • dabertini
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          You would be surprised. Indoctrination is, unfortunately, still with us and remember too that 43% of Americans are young Earth creationists. Not to mention the fact that it only takes one terrorist to ruin the lives many.

        • JAY
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          One would think so.

          However there have been many, many cases where the people reverted back to the old ideologically driven ways even after experiencing western liberalism.

          In a way it’s not unlike the people who revert to fundamental Christianity or Orthodox Judaism, except those choices normally don’t do serious harm.

          Islam seems to combine the religious drive for purity with the political violence drive of Maoist communism (not surprising, Islam considers itself a complete religious/social/government structure.) Both ideologies seem to ideological purity and the need to achieve it through violence.

          I remember reading an article discussing hadiths (unfortunately I don’t have the link) that essentially tell Muslims to live quietly in their settlements until they become numerous and strong enough. At that point, the command to change behavior and fight the heretics comes into play. Muslims are a much smaller minority in the US than in EU, which may explain the much smaller number of incidents.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Aren’t some of the terrorists home grown citizens who become radicalized?

        Yes. In the Barcelona case, at least one of the suspects is a Spanish citizen from the territory of Melilla, which Spain considers to be Spanish, since 1497. Refresh my memory – was that during or before Columbus’ second voyage to the Americas?

        Better vetting, stricter laws, more anti terror reinforcements do not seem to be an option since resources are already spread thin.

        More to the point, it requires either mind-reading (a technology which doesn’t exist yet, and has small possibilities for abuse by “the authorities”), or a thorough-going level of political surveillance of all by the state, also not exactly lacking in abuse potential.

    • dabertini
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Aren’t some of the terrorists home grown citizens who become radicalized? In that case only enlightenment will work and that, sadly, will take a very long time. Better vetting, stricter laws, more anti terror reinforcements do not seem to be an option since resources are already spread thin. It is a 21st century problem that may require 22nd century solutions.

    • bencbt
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Well said, Steve. This is the major threat and maybe what some terrorists want.

      • Posted August 20, 2017 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        It’s naive to think that anything we do, whether moderate or coercive, will reduce terrorism or change the hearts and minds of terrorists. The radical Islamist belief system will never be changed, at least among the existing terrorists. But future generations can be educated and influenced, as can future immigrants (illegal economic refugees, the vast majority of migrants, should be rejected and sent back home with out exception). To educate future generations, the European countries have to do what they have failed to do for decades: force assimilation on new migrants by various means, such as requiring an oath to support the state before religion; end all funding and privileges to religious schools and institutions of all faiths; prohibit all public exhibits of religion; ban any exemptions from law based on religion; ban religious symbols and clothing from public places; monitor Muslim mosques to uncover incitement to violence; require Muslim imams and leaders to distribute information on the laws and customs of the country and stress the separation of religion and state, respect for other religions; above all require the imams to preach the equality of women and issue fatwas against honor killings, FGM and child marriage. The governments must lay down the law to the Muslim community, forcefully and without compromise. In any case, single Muslim men from any country but Syria should be completely prohibited from entry and sent home. The rape epidemic in western Europe is due to the mindset of Muslim men. Rapists and child abuser should be jailed for life or exiled. If Muslim imams resist telling their congregations that they must identify potential terrorists, their mosques should be closed. None of these violates human rights or the freedom to worship.It merely asserts the right of human society to defend itself.
        Note: the failure to do this will only strengthen the violent right wing even more. Weird that European countries still dont understand why there is a backlash. The timorousness of liberals is truly a threat to
        society and human lives.

    • Gareth
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Schengen has been around for 3 decades (1985 afaik), its only in the last few years that there have been these terrorist attacks. Rolling it back has huge negative economic consequences, from interrupting movement of goods, making about 2 million daily commutes needlessly difficult, to hurting tourism. Not to mention having to rebuild infrastructure (border control posts along most major roads) that haven’t been used in a quarter century, that in some places no longer exist (one near where I used to live got converted into a supermarket). And thats ignoring the fact that there are thousands and thousands of unguarded crossings that terrorists can still use, unpaved roads in the woods are still a thing, even in the Netherlands.
      Its not something governments are going to abandon in a hurry.

      As it stands, countries are entirely free to introduce temporary border controls. About half a dozen Schengen members have done just this over the last 2 years. And it in no way prohibits police or security forces from stopping and searching people, even if they are assumed to be foreigners.

      If catching terrorists is akin to finding a needle in a haystack, then abandoning Schengen is at best a matter of shrinking the haystack a little bit, at the cost of alot of economic disruption.

      A lot of the terrorists thus far were known entities, there wasn’t a great deal of difficulty in finding these needles, so shrinking the haystack would have had no effect. Not to mention, some of them were nationalised citizens, even born, in the countries where they carried out their attacks.

      And frankly, I quite like being able to drive, on a whim, unplanned, to Belgium to buy nice beer at even nicer prices, or to shopping in Germany because some things are cheaper there, without having to announce it to the government in advance only to spend an hour or two standing still in my car waiting to cross the border.

      A certain (taken out of context) quote by Benjamin Franklin springs to mind.

      If that makes me a decant liberal, then consider me a proud decadent liberal.

    • Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      They have. Coming into a French airport, at least, from another EU country, you still go thru passport control.

      • Gareth
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but they can choose to not bother or check everyone at any time.
        Schengen isn’t just the ease of movement, its the sharing of information, and accepting that if ID is required, that a Dutch driving license is just as good as a Dutch passport.

        On an irrelevant tangent, why do we even still have passports? Can’t they be replaced with something the size of a credit card like they did with driving licenses?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

          On an irrelevant tangent, why do we even still have passports? Can’t they be replaced with something the size of a credit card like they did with driving licenses?

          Some countries still rely on paper documentation. I’ve got multiple-entry visas for two African countries on one passport and Turkey in the other passport, both of which are around a third full of single-entry visas for these and other countries.
          Get pulled over by the police in the bush of East Africa, and no matter how wonderful the technology in their vehicle, it’s not going to work, so you’re not going to be able to prove your legal status unless you can convince the officers of your bona fides. While they’re carrying side arms and AK-47s, I think I’ll stick to my paper passport, thank you.

      Posted August 19, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      It’s good to be open to people who actually want to enter your country and contribute to it. There is a duty to be appropriately selective. There should be no OBLIGATION to accept all who want to enter. A nation’s primary obligation is to its own citizens.
      (BTW recent figures from British government list 23,000 suspected jihadis in Great Britain, with only enough resources to track a small number of them.) The same situation exists in other EU countries, yet the EU authorities continue to insist that more be let in. No wonder GB decided to Brexit, they could see what was happening in Calais.

      People who want to enter for criminal (i.e. M13), cultural (expand sharia law) or terroristic reasons need to be vetted out as much as possible. There is a kind of double think among secularists, who are happy to see increasing secularism in some countries, but also are willing to allow large numbers of people with a barbaric medieval culture that opposes virtually all enlightenment values, intent on changing the land where they move to. That will pretty much outweigh the gains of secularism. Muslims are growing in France far faster than the French population, 25% of young people in France are Muslim. In another generation, there may be no more French wines.

      The ‘benefit’ to the country is also overplayed for political ends. Germany made a big show of how new workers were needed, but only about 1% of these refugees are employed, all the rest are living of taxes paid by actual working Germans.

      There is a political force to try to hide the problems. News media are restricted from listing names of criminals or even location if the crime occurred in a ‘refugee center’. It’s actually hard to get real numbers on how much trouble has come along because the numbers are locked behind a curtain of denialism. The recent spate of rapes at Swedish music festivals has resulted in calls to ban men, but we have a pretty good idea that most of the rapists were not named Olaf.

  5. Carlos N Velez
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    If the underlying problem is a specific religion, then the answer is not political. What we need is a global, grass roots effort towards changing our collective minds about the need for religion.

    Religion should be treated like substance abuse. Passing harsh laws might help a little, but ultimately counseling and gentle, individual behavioral counseling is needed to change peoples’ minds.

    Terrorists act because they believe in a magic man in the sky. Change that belief, and a change in behavior will follow.

    This change ultimately has to come from grassroots efforts in the Middle East, and that will be very difficult.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      The difficulty with identifying Islam as a solely religious problem is that many Muslims have a world view where their religion, government and culture are a single richly connected fact of life.

      In addition this ‘three in one’ world view is exclusive – no external variations are *possible* (which is probably why internal differences between Shias and Sunnies are also deeply felt).

      I’m not sure that there are solutions to the problem that the Western liberal/enlightenment will find palatable – we have our own world views too. However the first rule of problem solving is to not make it worse. Not making it worse might include tougher border control, more tightly controlled immigration, and determined application of secular laws. But mostly a recognition that even if you are ‘a brown person of a different religion’ you get no free pass for bad behaviour

      • somer
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Is ISIS Islamic?

  6. Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I might give some free dance to the idea that these attacks were a response to Western aggression if they were focused on countries that actually had a history of aggression.

    I don’t think that terrorism is the main threat though. There have been more victims of grooming gangs than terrorists in the U.K. Sweden is now the rape capital of the West. Any politician who makes the connection to Islam is forced to resign.

    Doesn’t are killed by terrorists. Thousands are sexually abused. And millions have their free speech suppressed. And that’s before you get to minor annoyances like shop staff who refuse to serve alcohol.

    Terrorism is the apex of the pyramid but the base is getting wider by the day, and that’s what’s having the greater effect on our everyday lives.

    • Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Free dance = credence. Feckin autocorrect.

      • Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        And dozens are killed, not doesn’t. I give up.

        • Tom
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Yes, here in the UK our finances are in such a precarious state that we dare not annoy any of our Gulf friends
          We are supposed to believe certain Terrorists are justified and we must blame ourselves, suppress free speech and above all keep the fantastic amount of money laundering along with the precious Oil flowing.
          But the best of it is that our Government desperately wants to believe that our increasingly home grown Muslim fanatics don’t realise this and are but merely misguided innocents.

  7. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that the author overtly identifies the Wahhabi sect. A small but very influential sect of Islam to which a large number of terrorist organizations and attacks can be traced.

    Start then by creating a family tree of Muslim sects and see how closely related to Wahhabi they are.

  8. fernando
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    [Islam] One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society. Pope Benedict XVI.

    • fernando
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Let us attend to his [Mohammed’] narration; and we shall soon find, that he bestows praise on such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilized society. David Hume.

      • fernando
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        [Muslims] forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed. Abu Bakr Muhammad al-Razi (865 – 925 AD)

        • Posted August 20, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          He lived during the time before “the Gates were closed on Ijtihad” (“…the independent or original interpretation of problems not
          precisely covered by the Qurʾān, Hadith…”)

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    … the mere suggestion that we … screen immigrants has become taboo …

    Let’s not buy into the Trumpian bullshit that immigrants aren’t screened. They are; the humanitarian refugees entering the US from Syria have long received more intense vetting than anyone else seeking entry into this country. (What would-be terrorist is going to subject himself to that, when there’re much easier ways to enter the nation temporarily?)

    A hundred years ago, nativists were sowing the same fears against European immigrants — that unless their immigration was choked off, the nation would be overrun with Saccos & Vanzettis (both of whom, btw, were tried, convicted, and executed unfairly).

    • bencbt
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink


    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      A hundred years ago, nativists were sowing the same fears against European immigrants

      You’ll note that the immigration quotas introduced in America about 100 years ago specifically allocated those quotas in proportion to the census results of 140 years ago (1880). So, for example, Irish Catholics would see their relatives get in, but not these nasty dark-skinned Sicilian Catholics.
      I wonder what could have caused that?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        My own paternal grandparents ducked in just under the rope of the Immigration Act of 1924.

  10. Jonathan Dore
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think immigration is such an important issue in this because so many of the attacks are done by 2nd- or 3rd-generation Muslims who have been deracinated from their parents’ culture without feeling that they’ve been made a part of the one they were born in. Without experiencing the multiple ways in which Islamic doctrine is filtered, softened and ignored in societies that actually have to live in it, when they turn to religion as an alternative source of identity all they have to go on are the raw texts, so it is easy for them to be radicalized by this abstracted form of religion that has none of the compromises as actually practised in their parents’ or grandparents’ home countries and lives.

    So what are we left with? Stop allowing organized religion to control or influence education (which it does to some degree or other in most of Europe, and in a different way in the US) and ensure young people from Muslim backgrounds have plentiful access to secular spaces and experiences so they become used to the idea of identifying themselves in multiple other ways that don’t revolve around religion. And be confident in asserting the desirability of living free, open lives that aren’t constrained by dogma or the prejudices of the past.

    • revelator60
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      That’s correct—many 2nd or 3rd-generation Muslim terrorists (especially in France) were initially not religious and grew up in banlieues where “multicultural” policies screened off immigrants from the rest of the country. Having few prospects, these men drifted into petty crime and were radicalized in prison. Radical Islam gave a sense of meaning to their aimless lives; a jihad against the corrupt, oppressive west allowed them to vent their rage against a society that offers little to them and transfigure their anomie into a religious crusade.

      The United States, which leans far more toward assimilation, is luckier in this respect. Though we have had our share of religiously-motivated attacks, they are dwarfed by the mass-shootings that arrive with sickening familiarity. Those shooters often act out of nihilistic impulses, but had their desire to lash out been augmented by religiously-inspired crusading, the US would be a bloodbath.

      I suspect Europe will experience less attacks after further assimilation has occurred, after the “benign” neglect of multicultural policies has been jettisoned, and after the economy improves and austerity measures are abandoned. The sons and grandsons of immigrants will not strike out at a society they feel invested in. The rise of far-right extremism and neo-Nazism in the West suggests that extremist identity politics arise when countries cannot offer economic security and stop offering a national identity that supersedes religious or ethnic ones. So the sons of Muslim immigrants turn to Wahabi Islam, while white Americans turn to white supremacy.

  11. Randy schenck
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I would not begin to tell the Europeans what they should do. The problem is much more acute there and always will be by nature of size and location. We should still be doing more to allow more in the states and vetting them as best we can. We know obviously that the male, younger people are the ones to look at closely. I have not seen many 45 year old female terrorist.

    The other thing I would keep in mind is numbers, and by that I mean numbers of incidents and deaths. We kill more than 30 thousand a year in cars and nearly that many with guns. Most of the deaths that happen every day we pay no notice. But one terrorist death gets a lot of overreaction. Hell, after 9/11 we invaded two different countries, neither of which actually had anything to do with 9/11 and also none of the people from those two countries had anything to do with it. How much has that decision cost us in lives and money?

    • JackbeThimble
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Afghanistan was where the organization that launched the 9/11 attacks was based, it definitely had something to do with them.

  12. Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    If I were in charge of UK immigration I’d only allow immigrants who were sufficiently in line with basic British values, including that of free speech (thus, for example, accepting the right to freely draw satirical and critical cartoons about Mohammed).

    I don’t see what we gain by admitting large numbers of people who hold to a religion that is fundamentally at odds with a liberal democracy (e.g. not accepting a secular state and individual liberties).

    If we want immigrants who are educated and willing to take lower-paying jobs there are plenty in Eastern Europe.

  13. Jackbethimble
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Concerning illegal immigration, Europe should emulate Australia by aggressively policing their maritime borders and by leasing land from third countries so that they have an area in which to process asylum seekers and illegal migrants without being on European soil. Once a migrant gets to Europe it becomes bureaucratically impossible to deport them because the home countries won’t cooperate. Once illegal immigration is under control the Europeans should redesign their legal immigration system to emulate canadas where immigrants are screened based on skills, education, and english language skills . this is good for the economic health of the country generally because these highly-skilled immigra nts compete with the upper middle class and bring down prices for things like health care while strengthening the economic hand of the working class which is being pressured the most by automation. Screening by education and English skills is also the best way we have to screen out fundamentalist attitudes and optimize the chances that 2nd generation immigrants will assimilate. The best predictor is the level of education of a migrant family’s mother.

    • Perluigi Ballabeni
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      You obviously have no idea of Mediterranean geography. How can you effectively control the maritime borders when tens of EU islands are just a couple of kilometres from the Turkish coast, Spain 14 km from Morocco, some Italian islands close to Africa. Canada and Australia are far away from Africa and the Middle East, Europe is their neighbour.

      The attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils were done by kids (all between 17 and 24 years old) raised in a small town in the Pyrenees. They were integrated in the Spanish society.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        “They were integrated in the Spanish society.”

        Obviously not in terms of Western values.
        The huge problem is exactly that many second generation Muslims do not have a western identity.

        • maryhelena
          Posted August 20, 2017 at 3:49 am | Permalink

          Just as one does not keep wide open ones front door it is wise not to have an open door policy for ones country. That said it’s important to keep in mind that ideas don’t recognize boundaries. Constant vigilance is required to escape the tyranny ideas can cause. That requires not only questioning Islamic ideas but Christian ideas also. Both these theologies contain ideas that are not conducive to a harmonious social/political environment. Pointing the finger at Islam might well be a case of treating the symptoms while ignoring the Christian Pauline disease.

          As far as assimilation is concerned:

          ”Europe seemed for a time to have come to the conclusion that the problems of extremism would go away if the people who pointed to them went away. Yet whether the critics were killed, chased into hiding or chased from Europe, the problem did not go away. Not least, of course, because the immigrants stayed and had no intention of going anywhere. Many heeded the explicit as well as implicit advice in the countries they had come from to remain in Europe but not to become European. At a rally in Cologne in 2008 Prime Minister (later President) Erdoğan of Turkey told a crowd of 20,000 Turks living in Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands: ‘I understand very well that you are against assimilation. One cannot expect you to assimilate. Assimilation is a crime against humanity.’ Nevertheless, he told his audience that they should get involved in politics and gain influence so that the five million Turks then living in Europe would be able to wield ‘a constitutional element’ and not just be ‘guests’.”

          Murray, Douglas. The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (Kindle Locations 2828-2834). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.


          • Eric Grobler
            Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

            “hat requires not only questioning Islamic ideas but Christian ideas also. Both these theologies contain ideas that are not conducive to a harmonious social/political environment”

            I agree, I would have thought it logical to outlaw religious schools, Christian, Muslim or Jewish.

            • maryhelena
              Posted August 21, 2017 at 3:18 am | Permalink

              Since education is a public/social good i.e. a need for a rational social society, it should be the job of a government to provide access. Theology, on the other hand, is a subjective endeavor and hence a government should not be providing funding for faith schools.
              In the UK the majority of government funded faith schools are Christian schools.

              As to banning or outlawing private, non government funded, faith schools, the question of freedom of expression would arise. Thus infringing on human rights etc….

              Bad or illogical ideas can’t be legislated away. A mind can’t be forced by the barrel of a gun. All a government can do is deny such ideas a place within the political environment….difficult as that may well be within a culture saturated with theological ideas. Constant vigilance is required to keep theology from masquerading as a social/ political ideology.

      • Posted September 24, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        The borders can be controlled by returning illegal immigrants to their points of departures, rather than rewarding them with good life in Europe.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      by leasing land from third countries so that they have an area in which to process asylum seekers and illegal migrants without being on European soil.

      Which third countries?
      (Incidentally, as I typed, another earthquake in the continuing swarm on the Turkish coast.)

      • JackbeThimble
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Turkey… look at a map.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

          I’m taking you to mean “first country” = migration target ; “second country” = migration departure point, deriving economic benefit from milking migrants ; “third country” = regional country with no significant interest, as either a target or departure point. If you’re using a different terminology, please explain it rather than assuming we can read it telepathically.
          Morocco – a significant departure point for illegal migration, and so a “second country” in the classification I assume you’re using.
          Algeria, ditto.
          Tunisia, less so but non-trivial (significant but suffering tourist industry) departure point. Shortest route Tunisia – Pantelleria(IT) is ~68km, the countries are inter-visible on a good day. Second shortest route is Tunisia – Lampedusa (IT) at 125km, but with much weaker currents.
          Lybia – major departure point (Lampedusa 295km ; Malta 350km).
          Turkey – major departure point, and also host to a couple of million Syrian refugees already.
          Egypt – Now there you might have a “third country”. No significant departures (though undoubtedly a major transit country). Convenient north-coast islands though … none.
          Israel – likewise no islands. Unlikely to want an influx of immigrants of any stripe.
          Lebanon – no convenient islands and significant internal stresses from housing around 2 million refugees in a population of 6 million. I don’t think they’re going to help much.
          Syria – active war zone. I wouldn’t look there for help.
          Turkey – a significant departure point, and host to several million Syrian and Kurdish refugees. Plenty of small coastal islands – vital to the economy for tourism. Good luck with that one.
          So – which of these countries do you think is likely to respond favourably to an approach to set up a detention camp for hundreds of thousands or millions of refugees? Go on – tell us!

  14. veroxitatis
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Many jihadists are home grown. (Incidentally, the same is true of the several hundred British Pakistani men who have recently been prosecuted or whose cases are pending for the systematic exploitation, grooming and sexual abuse of young teenage white girls.) Others will have slipped into Europe over the last 3 years of mass migration: in the case of Germany, the numbers approached 1,000,000. Many are awaiting the processing of asylum claims, others will have disappeared into the black economies of Germany or other European countries. It is clear that a not inconsiderable number have reached the UK. It is common for such immigrants to have “lost” all their documentation whilst “fleeing war zones”, as they put it. How then can we truly guard against extremists hiding amongst this mass of immigrants? The determined will always find a way.

    What we can do however is tackle ISIS, Al Queda, Boko Haram and their many offshoots as soon as we have intelligence of their whereabouts. These organisations need to be treated in the same way as pest eradication. It should not be left to individual countries to take action on the basis of historical connections, such as France in respect of North Africa. We require the sort of coalition which was put in place by Bush sen. following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq to be formed to deal expeditiously with these organisations wherever they crop up. I read recently that with the fall of the so called caliphate in Iraq / Syria many jihadis have made their way to Libya and that some 1,000 + are encamped in desert terrain South West of Sirte. These people need to be annihilated rapidly. Fortunately, such action would not involve the loss of innocent civilian life to anything like the extent of what happened in Mosul.

  15. Carey Haug
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Even though some terrorists are not immigrants, we should do our best not to let in even more people who want a theocracy. I don’t know the best way to figure out who will be a good citizen and who will not. Are there profiles of typical future jihadis such as age, gender, criminal history, association with radical mosques and imams?

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Even though some terrorists are not immigrants, we should do our best not to let in even more people who want a theocracy.

      Can we expel natives who want a theocracy too. Send them (and their families, of course) to live in a present-day theocracy perhaps?

      I don’t know the best way to figure out who will be a good citizen and who will not. Are there profiles of typical future jihadis such as age, gender, criminal history, association with radical mosques and imams?

      Oddly, I do believe that this is precisely what the police do already. Unfortunately, what you discover is that the false positive rate (people who are not jihadis, but are identified as jihadis) is quite high – and under this level of surveillance a significant number get very pissed off and actually become jihadis after being falsely accused. On the other hand, the same testing also has a significant false negative rate – people who are jihadis being identified as not being jihadis.
      High false positive rate and high false negative rate – these are not signs of a good test, whether it’s for something complex like “jihadiism”, or something simple like “square-peggery versus round-holery”.
      Question : do you have evidence to support the contention that there is any possible testing scheme (irrespective of costs and human rights) which would have a low false positive rate and a low false negative rate for this measure. Is there even a metric for “jihadism”?

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        “Is there even a metric for “jihadism”?”

        I have a theory – taking immigrants who are adherents of Jainism rather than Muhammad might reduce the tendency towards jihadism.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

          And the number of Jains wishing to immigrate is … ? (Hint – Jains are a relatively high social group in India)

          • Posted September 24, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            Well, if nobody suitable to immigrate actually wishes to immigrate, Europe may try to cope with us homegrown wretches. Why this modern urge to have immigration at all costs?

  16. anonymous
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    There was a lot of discussion about “punching Nazis” and how stopping them before it is too late justifies violence.

    Do we see the same people having the same discussion about Islam, and how Islam needs to be stopped before it takes over Western society from within and enslaves people of white Western descent (that is the quite explicitly stated goals of Islamists). No, we don’t.

    • Tom
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      This is almost certain to happen.
      Here in Britain various Governments have made great efforts to distract non muslims from doing the obvious.
      How much longer this can last will depend on further terrorist incidents.
      There are those who say meeting violence with violence is giving in to the terrorists (it’s what they want!!!)
      Others say violence succeeeds when people do nothing and are cowed.
      Do we really want an “Ulster” situation to develop by allowing terrorists to polarise our whole society and divide our towns and cities into muslim ghetoes and non muslim ghetoes?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 21, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

        Do we really want an “Ulster” situation to develop by allowing terrorists to polarise our whole society and divide our towns and cities into muslim ghetoes and non muslim ghetoes?

        Some people clearly do want that. As a step towards deporting the people from the ghettos to work camps.
        I think we’ve seen where this leads. And some people do want it. Maybe, to democratically accommodate them, we should just have some small work camps. There’s a design preserved on the outskirts of Munich. It’s even got it’s own prototype for the next step of the Solution.

  17. Merilee
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink


  18. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Devine-Rattigan [it’s no secret] out of Dublin is the sort of guy whose spew-on-the-page I can’t bear to read. His pieces are two to three times longer than they need to be. He’s got a long way to go to reach even just the feet of his hero.

    Remarks like below do my head in – what with the stereotyping & the framing a group of people as “self-hating”:

    “legions of self-hating Western apologists will spend most of their anger either denying the problem or blaming the West for these attacks”

    Un-illuminating & trite

    Nul points for the Irish entry

  19. rickflick
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    First, I think it would be reasonable to publicly acknowledge that Islam is problematic where democracies are concerned. Immigration is already pretty strictly controlled in the US. Perhaps it could be even better, with a deliberate focus on Muslim immigrants( I don’t think the first amendment should apply to those applying for immigration). I know this is close to Trump’s position, but so be it. You’ve got to face reality.

    So Muslim immigration should be limited in number to what seems reasonable to establish good integration into US culture. Vast numbers of Muslims in ghettos as Europe has managed to accumulate should be avoided.

    Refugees should be given preference to the extent that seems feasible. A program to ease acculturation into Western democratic society should be mandatory for Muslims. This should be aimed at teaching government and morality as it is understood in the west.

    After all this, there will still be a handful of jihadists who make their home in the US and a few of those will actually commit violent acts. We have to live with that and accept the relatively small loss. But, that’s the best we can do to limit the bad effects of a bad religion.

    • Perluigi Ballabeni
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      But most of the terrorists in France and now Spain were raised in thse countries. They went to, mandatory, public schools, they were acculturated. The dozen kids of Barcelona and Cambrils grew up in the Spanish mountains and never went to Siria, nor they were part of a jihadist group but were nonetheless planning a massive bombing attack in Barcelona that would have killed hundreds of persons.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        I suspect the Muslim population in parts of Europe are too high to counter with acculturation. Beyond that, I can only suggest that there will be a level of terrorism that we will have to live with. It’s either that or throw all the good out with all the bad. Not a very acceptable way to go.

        • DiscoveredJoys
          Posted August 20, 2017 at 4:11 am | Permalink

          Yet if you assert that there may be a level of terrorism that we will have to live with then others can equally assert that there may be a level of racial vigilanteism that we will have to live with.

          Both positions seem flawed to me.

          • rickflick
            Posted August 20, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

            I really don’t know how you accomplish 100% elimination of terrorism, unless you are imagining a distant time when “the world will live as one”.

    • Posted September 24, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, it is very important for the USA to learn from Europe’s mistakes.

  20. John Coelho
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Countries that have almost no Muslims have virtually no Islamic terrorism. However, a sophisticated immigration policy would be in line with a larger one of winning over the more moderate Muslims to an open liberal world view. Ex Muslims, religious minorities from the ME and Muslim reformers in the West should sit on a board that would pass on what Muslims should be allowed into the West. Hard core fundamentalists and conservative Muslims should be kept out. Escapees with a more liberal world view should be at the top of the list. Immigrant status should be far more conditional. Muslims who show a dislike for and oppose a liberal legal framework should be thrown out. The first two generations should be on probation. Immigrants should be expected to have small families. If they have three kids, they should be taxed for the third kid. If they have more, they should be deported.

    • Perluigi Ballabeni
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Do you really believe that you can distinguish a radical islamist from a moderate muslim at the country border? How? You ask them? Like the ridiculous imigration crap you have to fill in when you enter the US where you are asked if you intend to enter the country to commit a crime?

      • John Coelho
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Clearly, if a prospective immigrant swears loyalty to our constitution and then behaves in such a way that it’s clear he is against it, then under a probationary regimen he/she could be deported.

  21. Kevin
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    If everyone on the planet gave up religion except those following Islam, immigration would be less of a problem. Those who would remain Islamic would begin to feel left behind and isolated.

    The greatest threat to Islam or any other religion is other religions. Take them away and a saucer full of motivation gets emptied before it can fill.

  22. dd
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    A non-short note:

    I am an immigrant and naturalized US citizen.

    It is critical for people actually wanting to understand the process of assimilation (now deemed a “racsit” concept) that there are 2 types of immigration:

    1. There is the physical immigration of a person from one geography to another one.

    And more critically,

    2. There is cultural immigration, which can accompany physical immigration or not. And note that many multiculturalists think that people should remain as they are. (And then for the non-immigrants to kind of look away.)

    The issue is that as you get more and more immigrant communities, many become essentially duplicates of the old country in Paris, London, Leipzig, etc etc.

    I think much of the left and women and gays in particular are going to pay a really heavy prices as the years go by for this ideology.

    I could go on…….and tell all of you gringos so much more.

    (BTW, I can’t help but think that Trump and the alt-right et alia have been a Godsend to the left allowing them a reason to act out not just political frustration due to Trump, but the very realities that their cultural ideologies are bringing about. And overwhelming rationalization.)

    • Tom
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 4:17 am | Permalink

      I agree and should Mr Trump complete this term as President (still a possibility) it is interesting to speculate that this peculiar Left ideology may annoy the electorate enough to ensure Mr Trump a second term.

  23. Posted August 19, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    respectfully: it’s leery,not leary.

  24. jahigginbotham
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    [I have not thought that much about it as my opinion does not matter.]
    But is it “whataboutery” to fault people for concentrating on America and Europe and largely ignoring what’s happening in the rest of the world?
    For example, Devine’s cutesy “[a]n extremist Hindu will definitely kick your ass if you try to eat his cow” for “an enraged mob will beat you to death on the rumor that you have butchered a cow”?
    Or even worse “[a]n extremist Buddhist will meditate too much and bore you to death about karma” for what is happening to Rohingyas in Myanmar? [See UN report from February.]
    But that kind of belies the “there is only one religion where its extremists …” bit.

    • rickflick
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      This is true. Let’s not loose sight of other areas of deep suffering. But, on the other hand, our concern is properly focused where it can make a real difference, close to home. Not that other sources of irrationality and pain do not need to be addressed, but one cannot spread oneself too thinly over the surface of the earths tragedies – think of the Sudan for instance. I think history shows us that moral improvement spreads from where it is doing better to where it is in need.

  25. Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m an Australian and I’ve been pushing a solution to this problem as it affects us.
    The problem of illegal immigrants claiming refugee status in Australia is currently a stick to beat the Liberal Party with. A couple of years ago it was a stick to beat the Labor Party with. In fact it is an ideal cause for supporters of whichever party is out of power. They can claim moral superiority without having to actually do anything about the problem. Since I despise all political parties equally I am well placed to come up with a practical solution.

    I start by suggesting that any government has a right to decide which people are welcome. Does anybody disagree with that? Does anybody think that every person who turns up has a right to come in? It’s a defensible position and might be even more so if we had a different form of government but I haven’t heard anyone espouse it.

    OK, how should we decide? Well, there is apparently an official way of deciding whether or not to grant a person “refugee status”. I don’t know anything about it and I’m sure it’s as bodgie as most bureaucratic procedures but let’s stick with it for now. Let that be the first part of the process. Now it gets interesting.

    There are some people who are reluctant to admit Muslims. I can see that there are plenty of  reasons for that. I’d have no problems letting bad Muslims in, but I’m wary of devout ones. Do you believe that homosexuality merits death? Are you in favour of mutilating young girls? Do you think that apostates deserve to be killed? Should it be a crime to burn your fantasy book? Well, fuck off then. We have to find some way of separating the sheep from the goats and excluding fanatical lunatics would be a good start. It might also be necessary to make them confirm their opinions publicly in some way. I leave it to you to work out the mechanism.

    But is it enough to just exclude devout Muslims? What about other religious dingbats? Most of their beliefs are not very dangerous but they are insane. Let’s get rid of them as well. There is no doubt that a country which discriminates in favour of atheists will have a saner, more intelligent population. And there is also no doubt that immigrants are a net gain for the receiving country. So any illegal immigrant who passes our tests (a genuine refugee who is also an atheist) is welcome. Our population will improve both in absolute numbers and in moral fibre (I’ve waited for years for a chance to recycle that expression!)

    So what do we do with all the others who don’t qualify? Aha!

    The countries with the greatest numbers of refugees are those who are next door to the wretched countries from which the refugees emanate. Turkey, for instance or Jordan or Lebanon or Rwanda.  So the Australian government says to the governments of those countries “We will take off your hands three (or four or five) refugees who pass our tests for every one who doesn’t pass that you will take from the current population of our detention camps.” It’s a good deal for both governments (though certainly a better one for Australia). It has another virtue as well: unlike the present “system”,  it doesn’t give rich illegal immigrants an advantage over poor illegal immigrants.

  26. eric
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I could be wrong, but IIRC every Islamic terrorist attack since (not counting) 9/11 has been perpetrated by individuals who immigrated over here as kids and became radicalized here, through mosques in the US or internet connections.

    Now, I don’t think we should be restricting refugees and immigrant children based on what they *might* become. So for me, at least, there is no question on ‘what to do about immigration.’ The question is how do we improve education, integration, etc. so that our children are not preyed upon by unscrupulous ideologues bent on turning them into proxy weapons of war.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Eric “I could be wrong”??? It’s a Google away & as it happens you are wrong. 50% are US-born citizens

      The “Terrorism in America After 9/11” stats on the newamerica website are these for jihadist terrorists:

      190 US-born citizen
      82 Naturalized citizen
      43 Permanent resident
      39 Unknown identity
      12 Refugee
      11 Non-immigrant visa
      11 Citizen of unknown status
      8 Illegal immigrant

      • rickflick
        Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        But, should the focus be on these unfortunate youth, or on the elders who radicalize them?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          @rickflick Jihadist radicalisation requires oxygen, fuel & a spark

          The main channels of jihadist radicalisation are mosques, prisons & the internet


          ** The Qur’an to offer a higher cause

          ** Living in ghettos of Muslims and yet isolated from their Muslim community all around them – perhaps because performing poorly at school, thieving, drug use leading to drug dealing.

          ** Being youthful & doing the traditional revolt against parents, family & society – worse for young Muslims, because no dating, no female contact outside the family, limited social freedom

          ** Being taught my family, friends & Imam that American girls are whores/sluts

          ** 1st, 2nd & 3rd generation U.S. youth often have no commonality of life experience with their family & family elders. Thus youth despise the simple goals of their elders [dad works 16 hrs a day in his corner shop retail business for 30 years, dad drops down dead from stress, diabetes & no exercise – 50 years of no fun].

          The Spark
          Wanting to be a super-hero, to be remembered as above the herd. BUT not having the mental tools nor application to be a super-hero accountant or super-hero civil engineer

          WHAT TO DO
          ** Normalise being a Muslim in the eyes of Muslims & everyone else. Sport is a one good way.
          ** Increase uptake of Muslims in ‘government’ [police, prison, armed services & security services for example] & education.
          ** Make it so good Muslims don’t fear grassing up Imams & bubbling jihadists. The best ally we can have to fight jihadist radicalisation is Muslims
          ** Break up the ghettos!
          ** Cut prison population by 90% [ish]
          ** rethink how prison works
          ** Citizenship training needs to be tougher – western values are absolutely DEMANDED in some things
          ** Wait

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            Change the way the law works

            Poor people are forced into plea bargains

            Three strikes & your out – so nick a pizza while on probation & that’s back to jail with 30 years on your docket. Might as well kill a cop eh?

            I’ve made a crap cartoon of justice above, but it’s roughly correct. Poor people understand very well that the laws & institutions in place ARE NOT THERE TO SERVE THEM. Break a leg & be out of work for three months? You in the poor house.

            A lot of cynicism, anger & fear out there about the many injustices of life that happen to smack in the face of the poor the most.

            • somer
              Posted August 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

              but we are talking about europe and britain here, not the US

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted August 21, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

                @somer You are telling me that “we” are discussing Europe? That I shouldn’t discuss the U.S.?

                Jerry writes this at the end of his post: “…I invite readers to tell me what they’d do were they in charge of immigration to Europe or the U.S. …”

          • rickflick
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

            Good points. I think waiting is the hardest. People don’t like a long set of bureaucratic changes and challenges. They want a quick fix. As soon as long term solutions are recommended and begin to be instituted, the opposing party jumps on the incumbents and blames them for having no solution quick enough to satisfy. Voters are turned off. Obama treated all problems as requiring gradual solutions while his republican opponents promised quick fixes. How does a democracy survive in that atmosphere? I’m truly worried.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted August 19, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

              Yeah. Can we have a type of democracy that accommodates & respects planning into deep time? Seems difficult to do, but we should work on ways of putting 5, 50, 500 year plans into a democratic framework. And yet they need that flexibility that’s essential for swerving around unintended consequences without losing the goal/vision.

              Religions are good at that, but without the democratic bit. Aaaargh.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

          @rickflick I have grave doubts about the continued upswing in global ‘well being’ in this century, as per Pinker’s Better Angels thesis!

          We are seeing only the beginning of mass migrations of people as regional climates adjust – the myriad effects of warming moving/shrinking agricultural centres for the various staple foods of the world. We also have great changes in trade routes coming at us [Arctic opening up]. Then wars over water rights [look at where all the river systems originate on all the continents] are inevitable.

          The planned exploitation of the Arctic Sea [it will one day be called the Arctic Ocean], the Canadian plains & the Russian Steppes can already be seen realised in road construction, Arctic naval fleets, ice breaker construction, oil pipelines, Russian reinforcement of key Baltic islands [the exclusion zone around an island are priceless from a drilling undersea mining perspective.

          Nobody in power really gives a toss about warming because they are only puppets put there by Koch brothers etc to OK the legislation for fracking, drilling & so on.

          I predict a nasty century characterised by famine in all of North Africa without any famine relief. None.

          What happens when the nuclear powers of India & Pakistan can’t depend on a timed Monsoon? What happens when the huge bread basket of the Ukraine can’t produce wheat like clockwork?

          Islam is a side issue

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            There are an astonishing number of islands dotted all around the Arctic sea off the continental coasts & ownership will be disputed.

            Just like the Chinese are doing now, in the South China Sea, we can expect an island building boom for purposes of extending sovereignty over valuable Arctic resources, the building of military runways & shipping ports offshore, forward air defence, forward missile attack & you can exclude the movement of foreign powers [trade & military] near your territory by force.

            A position as a research scientist, plumber or cook in a station on the Antarctic highlands is looking very attractive. If only those stations were self sustaining.

            • rickflick
              Posted August 20, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

              I share your pessimism. The way I see it, the only way out of this scenario is to find a technology to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and return it to previous levels. Stopping the increase won’t be enough.

  27. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    “Nation states need definable, controllable borders. EU leaders implicitly refuse to recognize this.”

    If he’s trying to suggest that the EU should ditch Schengen and go back to customs posts, bureaucracy and queues on every border – well, to borrow a phrase from Hitchens, fuck that.

    It would be as obstructive as instituting immigration controls on every state line in the US.

    It would also be utterly ineffective in countering terrorism, since the current spate of terrorism in Europe and the UK has been in large part ‘home-grown’, the thugs have lived there for years or are second-generation. They’re not international hit men who have flown in from some cave in Afghanistan for the occasion. And if they did, they’d make sure their passports were in order.

    The problem remains, how do you identify the one terrorist in ten thousand other people? There’s no easy answer to that, any more than how do you identify the one potential wife-killer from ten thousand other guys *before* he does it?


    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      If, on the other hand, he was regarding all of the EU as effectively one state (i.e. with borders at the edge of the Schengen zone) then I apologise for misreading his comment.


  28. Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Screening process:
    Show immigrants a satirical cartoon of Mo and see what reaction is forthcoming.
    This is so simple and something we in the west hold as an absurdity, well i do, to rampage and kill over a cartoon. It would involve more images coupled with questions.
    To a trained eye even the most subtle reaction would be detected and there WILL be a reaction. Those that put their hands over their eyes and nervously giggle and those where their eyes go dark and look aggressive are two points on a scale and of course everything else thereabouts. I’m sure there could be an algorithm developed by clever people that could scale the threat level as a statistical evaluation it’s better than nothing and be testable over time. A combination of both ways to evaluate prospects, intuitive and statistical?

    Adverse observable reaction:
    clearly there is work to be done but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to go rouge. Coming from a mono culture they may have never had to deal with it before and their tolerance levels to be in a liberal society needs work, the hard part… years of indoctrination and group behaviours.
    To some, where they now can be more open will go… so what, maybe even get the point of the cartoon/satire.
    Failures will be and successful conversions to liberal norms will be (you don’t hear much about them) Those successful to liberal values will be more disposed to moderating and not indoctrinating, which is the key.
    But i believe if the west go into a shell we will not overcome this radicalised anti era we are seeing from islam and just prolong it. We are still going down the road of civilising and pacifying humanity and is vital for dare i say it the planet and it’s creatures. If we take the high ground and close the gates, not show tolerance and humility and be progressive where it’s needed, then hypocrites is a label we should get used too.
    By tolerance i don’t mean bow down to any culture and lose our own but share ours and take on the better parts of others.

    • somer
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      I think Muslim civilisation has always regarded rational cultures and ideas as inherently foreign to Islam and its exclusively revelatory claims. We can’t accept that Christianity does actually have a substantial Greaco Roman rational thought element – rejected and reviled at times but always there and seen as indigenous. Moreover Islams very tight communal structure and extraordinary layers of law and proscription and actual punishment for non conformity, together with its tight control of marriage and belief via the family and women make it much more resistance to identification and integration within non muslim communities than other faiths and cultures. It expects to be dominant and too many of the children and descendants of Muslim migrants grow up to resent anything non Muslim. Most Liberals don’t seen ti understand the power of non liberal tradition to crush them, make the society so dysfunctional that it facilitates the reemergence of traditional forms of religion – a backward Christian society hostile to science living very uneasily with a large intransigent, traditionalist Muslim minority.

      I am not one of those who have ever believed in inherent social progress. It is always very fragile. Humans need to be convinced that a certain social order their kin and broader tribal group find themselves in will ultimately be more likely to safeguard the genes of their successors than any other. This requires both carrot and stick. Human history shows too much exclusionary competition for resources and even wholesale removal of rival population

  29. JAY
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    ” Part of that is certainly due to the well known parochialism of Americans, who are either ignorant of or don’t care much about what happens overseas”

    This is NOT some ‘bad American’ trait. It’s human nature. We have circles of concern, immediate family, extended family, community or those in similar interest ,… etc.

    It’s not only normal, it’s necessary. Our sense of empathy cannot possibly encompass the world, because there will always be more pain than we can handle. Our mind naturally conserves the more intense empathy for those close to us. Not only does that help our natural selection, but it helps keep us from melting down into complete depressive chaos.

  30. Tim Harris
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    ‘To me, no matter what the West did—and we did intrude in bad ways in the Middle East—that’s not an excuse for the terrorist murder of innocent people.’
    ‘Did’? We are there now! And still creating mayhem.

  31. Eric Grobler
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    To me the question is – should we allow the Muslim share of western populations to grow past a critical point?
    If we think medium to long term, would say 20% Muslims in countries like France in 2040 mean that France will loose its secular character and become socially and economically unstable.

    I find it disturbing that people do not understand how fast demographic changes can occur. (Chistians in Lebanon dropped from 70% at the start of the 20th century to below 40%)
    People see figures like France 8% Muslims, Germany 8%, Sweden 6% etc and believe that Europe can cope. The percentage of children that are Muslim is never listed and fertility rates are mostly ignored. (Fertility in Spain is around 1.3)
    (I read somewhere that 20% of children in southern france are Muslim, not sure how true that is)

    I have a German friend while very hostile to Islam as a religion regards any German that questions the German migration policy as a Nazi. He also believes that it is the moral duty of Europe not only to welcome war refugees, but also any african that cannot feed his family.

    There seems to be no room for a practical and common sense policy.

    • JAY
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Snippit from theatheistconservative blog

      If it were not for the fact that being called Racists is the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, the governing and law-enforcing authorities might be able to take action to eliminate the imminent threat of violent assault. The fact that they won’t take that action reinforces the fact that to be called a Racist is a fate too terrible to contemplate.

      Q: Is that because persons of some particular Race are carrying out these atrocities?

      A: No. Persons driven by a certain ideology are carrying them out. But that ideology must never be named, let alone examined.

      Q: Why?

      A: Because if you examine it, you will be called a Racist.

      Q: But not with any justification?

      A: Doesn’t make any difference whether it’s justified or not. If once that label is stuck on you, you are doomed.

      Q: To what?

      A: Oh, look – there’s a squirrel!

      Share this:

  32. nicky
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Added to some reasonable to good suggestions above, particularly in admitting the problem, I’d say the ‘West’ should go completely solar for our energy use (I realise we still have a petrochemical industry, but we should start somewhere). It is actually quite feasible.
    It would cut much of the life-blood of Muslim fundamentalism.
    It is only one of many measures to be taken, but has the added benefit of combating ‘global warming’.

    • JAY
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      From practical aspects of time frame, technology and infrastructure, that simply won’t happen.

      However, we are no longer dependent on the ME. With the changes in restrictions CAN produce plenty of oil and gas, and have enough to break the Russian LNG monopoly in eastern Europe. The shipments arriving there are already decreasing Putin’s financial leverage.

  33. Bruce Gorton
    Posted August 20, 2017 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    I think pointing to immigration is a misdirection – because the people committing this violence are generally not immigrants. A lot of them are born citizens, and once you include naturalised citizens the figures go up to something like 80% of all attacks.

    Refugees, the people most likely to be targeted after these attacks, account for barely any attacks.

    So the issue isn’t what we do about immigrants, the issue is what we do about Islam.

    To a large extent I think what has gone wrong is the regressive way the left has dealt with issues like racism, colonialism and suchlike by redefining terms such as racism to being “prejudice plus power.”

    The major problem with this redefinition being that it is purely and entirely a means to defend hypocrisy, as it is trivially easy to argue that any racist is in fact relatively powerless.

    It is a means of proclaiming it “punching up” when someone on the left does it – and “punching down” when someone on the right does it.

    If the metric was used consistently the man in the trailer park who called Obama a monkey in 2014 wouldn’t be racist, because he would be in a trailer park, and Obama would be president of the United States.

    Speaking of Obama when the latest attack happened he quoted Nelson Mandela, I’m going to do the same.

    “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

    Here is the thing, Mandela understood the danger in the sort of doublethink you get on the left nowadays – what happens if you don’t deal with serious issues within minority communities for fear of appearing racist.

    So there needs to be a discussion of Islam, there needs to be a discussion of spousal abuse within Islam (Many of these terrorists have records of that sort of behaviour), lets talk about the sexism inherent in the Hijab, lets talk about racism in Islamic communities (Such as what led to the Rotherham incident amongst others) – lets talk seriously about how Islam treats its apostates.

    There are any number of issues which need to be seriously dealt with if we are to deal with terrorism, and one cannot deal with them so long as you have a bunch of violent fascist thugs, who style themselves as Antifa, shutting down every discussion with the threat of further violence.

    The fact is that this discussion does not benefit the hard right, what benefits them is an unwillingness to have it – because each time these attacks happen you end up with them being able to paint the left as having their heads up their backsides.

    In South Africa we have a problem with corruption, and in order to fight for the corrupt a London PR firm called Bell Pottinger decided to stir up racial animosities – going so far as to encourage people to engage in genocide.

    They helped resurrect the fortunes of Black First Land First, which split off from the racist hate-group masquerading as a political party The Economic Freedom Fighters in order to become even worse racists.

    Oligarchic capitalism in our economy, which mostly favours whites because that is who has most of the money, was furthered by this “punching up” the Western left likes to talk about.

    Instead of defeating racism corruption was shielded, and the legacy of our first black president was nearly undone.

    The lesson there must be learned with regards to Islam, that one cannot simply ignore this sort of thing when it seems to come from “oppressed communities”.

    It doesn’t serve the people within those communities, it doesn’t serve the people outside, it only serves those who would do harm.

    The discussion has to be had, spades need to be called spades, anything else and we end up fighting over dominance, not against it.

    • Tim Harris
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 3:57 am | Permalink

      Bruce Gorton’s remarks are eminently sensible, except that, in Britain at least, it has certainly not been only the so-called regressive left, who seem to provide a nice punching bag, who are responsible for the mess. New Labour (I don’t think Blair can be called regressive) followed by the present crowd of Tories have happily encouraged the establishment and continuance of ‘faith schools’, despite the protestations of Amartya Sen; a respect for free speech and for laws to do with refugees has allowed Islamist preachers of hate towards all kaffirs to indulge in their hate-mongering with impunity (though things are perhaps better now than they were); and Britain, like the US, continues to support and refuse to criticise Saudi Arabia, which is the principal broadcaster of these seeds of hatred (what they are now doing in Indonesia, with their madrassas bodes very ill for the future).
      There surely cannot be some sort of Ferdinand & Isabella driving out of the Muslims from Europe, as the Jews were driven out of Spain (though there are certainly those who desire this). Muslims are there to stay in Europe, and so I am very pleased that there is now a Muslim mayor of London (though Donald Trump and his children, not to mention the Daily Mail and a variety of chauvinistic and dishonest groups and ‘news’ outlets, are full of vitriol). The more of such integration there can be, so that decent people like Sadiq Khan hold responsible positions, the better.
      I also recommend reading the good writer Hanif Kureishi’s account of a visit to Bradford back, I think in the 80s, where groups of white thugs beat up taxi-drivers who were from Pakistan or of Pakistani extraction… a not uncommon sort of occurrence in those days that seldom got the attention it deserved from the national press.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      You make some very interersting and valid points, but to say the “issue is not about immigrants” does not make any sense.

      The more Muslim immigrants you have the more difficult it will be to secularize existing Muslim populations, and the more ghettoized they will become.

      • Tim Harris
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        But I think you are looking at the problem only from the unexamined and (forgive me) somewhat complacent side of the majority – as Hanif Kureishi’s article shows, and as an example from what has come to be a very upper middle-class enclave, Barnes in south-west London, where I was brought up, when, again back in the eighties, the wife of the Pakistani owner of a newsagent’s and tobacconist’s, was assaulted and severely injured by some white thug, also shows, ghetto-ization is not simply a choice by recalcitrant immigrants; just as the poor black neighbourhoods in the USA are not simply the consequence of choices by black people who are supposed not to know any better: Jim Crow, sundown towns, etc – ghetto-ization is no so simple a thing.

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          ” ghetto-ization is not simply a choice by recalcitrant immigrants”
          Of course, If I had the power to sterilize white thugs I would do it.
          That is not the point. The point is we have a unique problem with Islam and increasing the Muslim population via more immigration will only make matters worse.

          I suggest we look at the issues from an objective social scientist point of view.

          • Tim Harris
            Posted August 20, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

            It is very odd, isn’t it, how one person’s ‘objective social scientist point of view’ often seems less than objective in someone else’s eyes?

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

              Good point, but we should try.

      • Bruce Gorton
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        The more Muslim immigrants you have the more difficult it will be to secularize existing Muslim populations, and the more ghettoized they will become.

        I don’t think so. The more Muslim immigrants you get, the more people you get who have lived in Islamist countries, and found it didn’t work.

        If we can break the taboos around criticising Islam, and make it clear that people are safe to discuss the issues with Islam without either A: Getting violently assaulted, or B: getting blamed for violent assaults carried out by others, I think those immigrants can provide powerful testimony in favour of secularisation.

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          I think that is wishful thinking.
          There is a reason why Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh immigrants draw less attention.

          I once asked a German if 1 million Chinese immigrants will cause less social problems that 1 million Somalis – he refused to answer the question.

          • Bruce Gorton
            Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

            I once asked a German if 1 million Chinese immigrants will cause less social problems that 1 million Somalis – he refused to answer the question.

            I’d be more worried about the Chinese. Of course I’m South African so I’m thinking about issues such as the role the Chinese and Vietnamese rhino horn trade tends to play in my country’s organised crime.

            South Africa already gets a lot of Somalis, and they mostly just open moderately competent spaza shops.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

              “I’d be more worried about the Chinese”

              How many chinese immigrants are living in South Africa?
              Is it Chinese companies that causes problems in Africa or Chinese culture/individuals?

    • bencbt
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Bruce Gorton, for what seems to me to be a reasonable and well thought-out description of the relevance of immigration. And for the additional Mandela quote.

  34. ladyatheist
    Posted August 20, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Late to the party but my two cents:

    Impugning the umbrella religion for the acts of the fringe is a losing strategy. Watching the comings and goings from extremist mosques and tracking IP addresses of visitors to extremist sites is the best way to intervene before violence happens.

    Self-radicalization via the internet is a problem that I think will apply more and more to non-Islamic terrorism. White nationalists, men’s right’s nutters, eco-terrorists, etc. I don’t like the idea of the CIA watching the internet but it seems like that will be the only way to prevent terroristic acts in the future.

    • JAY
      Posted August 20, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Certainly true, but without religion, you’d have a hard time convincing substantial numbers of people to give up their life for a cause.

      The only non religious ideology that seems to have successfully done this is communism.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 20, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        @Jay Gone To Texas 🙂

  35. somer
    Posted August 20, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    This is not about immigration but it is really salient on Western (especially UK) reaction to terrorist attacks. I think Muslims are treated somewhat differently and have much smaller presence in the US. The comments are very good too. Its about the way Muslim “community” organisations there use the victimhood pyramid of oppression used by regressives to push accommodation to Islamic mores every time there is a terrorist attack, arguing that Muslims that are more danger of having their rights curtailed after such episodes than the rest of the population.

    Islamic terror now has a comfortable place in our political life. Ben Cobley 24 May 2017

  36. Robert
    Posted August 20, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I am tired of all the EU-bashing. The EU policy regarding immigration is this: There is NO policy. It is a national issue.

    If you arrive in Italy and ask for asylum, you are not allowed to ask for asylum in any other EU country. This worked well in the past, but now the levels of immigration are extremely high. Civil war in Syria. Trouble in the Horn of Africa. Refugees from West Africa. They all arrive in either Spain, Italy or Greece. These countries just can`t handle the amount. They have to check them but don`t have the capacity to do so. So they ask other countries in the EU if they want to take some of the immigrants in.

    I think that this is a reasonable request, but people on the right think this is totally unacceptable. The political discourse is a classic left vs right issue. It is not the fault of the EU. leaving the EU is not the solution. Immigrants will still want to come to Europe and people in Europe will still be divided in how to handle the situation.

    • Posted September 24, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      It is exactly the fault of EU, because now the European Court is forcing on Poland and Hungary migrants invited by Merkel.

  37. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    [1] BBC video in below 1st link: “Barcelona attack: Ripoll, the town where suspects lived. A quiet Spanish town has found itself at the centre of the Barcelona terror investigation. Eight men from Ripoll have been linked to terrorism since Thursday’s attack…”

    ** I sense a retreat from reality among the Muslims interviewed above. A few ‘good’ Muslims must have sensed something peculiar in the behaviour of a group of young male Muslims, over the past few months, in a community of only around 1,000 Muslims [9% of the town population] & they did nothing.

    “Catalan investigators on Saturday raided the house of an imam [Abdelbaki Es Satty] in the town of Ripoll they believe may have overseen the cell which killed 14 people in twin terrorist attacks in Barcelona and the seaside resort of Cambrils. Police are trying to piece together how a cell composed of multiple sets of brothers from the same sleepy Pyreenes town came to carry out the devastating attacks, amid reports they planned to blow up the Sagrada Familia.


    El Pais, a leading Spanish daily, said they were investigating whether the imam, who apparently left Ripoll around a month ago, might be one of two dead bodies discovered in the Alcanar house. Sources involved in the investigation told El Confidencial they believed he was a “spiritual or idealogical leader” to the cell members, radicalising them and helping them to plan the attacks.”

    ** So this imam & [we suppose] jihadist radicalizer, Abdelbaki Es Satty, preached at a mosque in Ripoll

    [3] RIPOLL, Spain [Reuters]

    “They were normal guys. They didn’t pray very much. We never thought this could happen,” the head of Ripoll’s Islamic association, Ali Yassine, said. “If I had noticed something odd, I would have been the first person to call the police.” Yassine and other community leaders said the suspects were regular kids who frequented bars in the town’s cobbled centre and only went to the mosque to pray “two or three times.” They never showed any signs of radicalisation, he said.

    Ripoll’s deputy mayor, Maria Dolors Vilalta, describes the town of 11,000 people, with only four schools, as a place where everybody knows everyone. She said there was little division between Spanish locals and the close to 700 Moroccans, whose families moved here over the past 20 years, drawn by the town’s metal-working industry.

    Some of the suspects’ postings on social media point to ideas that contrast with the town’s view of them. Moussa Oukabir wrote on question-and-answer website Kiwi that if he was made king of the world he would, “kill all the infidels and only leave the Muslims that followed religion.”

    ** Looks to me as if local Muslims, crossed their fingers & looked the other way.
    ** I wonder how long Abdelbaki Es Satty was in the town before taking on the role of one of the imams at the mosque? I suspect any Muslim can just turn up in a locale & become an imam once he gains trust – not licensed or monitored in any way?
    ** The head of Ripoll’s Islamic association, Ali Yassine mentioned above had no role in OKing Abdelbaki Es Satty for the imam job?

  38. Posted August 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    As usual, some thoughts:

    1. Country borders are not immutable. Neither are countries. Maps change all the time. We still are paying for hatreds involving “immigrant” incursions from centuries ago. Example: the former Yugoslavia. And, the Chinese are taking over major swathes of Tibet, the ‘stans and Africa.

    2. Although I should, I don’t know the qualifications and restrictions for immigration into the U.S.

    I do know that certain processes take an excessively long amount of time. For example: I know a family from the former Yugoslavia. The father arrived on a work visa shortly before war broke out in his country. He was able to get his wife and young son out and to the U.S. a year or so later as political refugees. It took 11 or 12 years for his green card status to be modified.

    I have heard of a number of people arriving here as illegal immigrants who were assisted by family members living in the county legally. Some of the illegals purportedly married citizens to obtain citizenship.

    3. Building more wall along the southern border of the U’S. is ridiculous. Drug transporters as well as illegals use tunnels, hide in long haul truck trailers, arrive by boat, walk across evading the border patrol, etc.

    4. It seems totally appropriate for applicants for green cards or immigration to be screened and evaluated.

    5. Our follow up on green card holders, people arriving specifically to attend school or work, and applicants for citizenship is not thorough enough. As a result, we don’t do a great job
    of removing those who have overstayed their welcome.

    6. Targeting applicants from specific countries
    and not applying the same standards across the spectrum is wrong.

  39. Posted September 24, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I think that Muslim immigration should be greatly reduced and limited to people fleeing Islam, such as Ensaf Haidar. This is the only hope to save countries in which the Muslim population has not yet reached a critical mass. And it will facilitate the integration of existing Muslim immigrants. Now, it is only logical for these immigrants to radicalize as they see Western governments sacrificing the native population in order to appease Muslims (I’d even say, working to replace the native population with Muslims of Third World origin).

    If someone feels bad about specifically banning Muslim immigration, then maybe stop all immigration. I do not know why the most properous societies think they cannot survive without a continuous flow of people from, to put it mildly, less prosperous societies.

    EU should return illegal migrants and stop forcing its members that are still terror-free to accept the Muslims that Merkel first invited and now does not want. Her relentless efforts to spread Muslim extremism to Poland and Hungary remind me of some rogue HIV-infected individuals who enjoyed unprotected sex with people unaware of their status.

  40. Tim Harris
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    ‘Her relentless efforts to spread Muslim extremism to Poland and Hungary remind me of some rogue HIV-infected individuals who enjoyed unprotected sex with people unaware of their status.’

    This is a disgusting remark.

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