From the medieval city walls of Carcassonne, to which our recent holiday took us, the French for centuries could view Moorish Spain. Queen Isabella of Castile and her husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, finally expelled the last Moorish occupiers in 1492.
After leaving Carcassonne we began seeing disturbing scenes on television. Night after night they continued: we were watching a national crisis unfold. The situation worsened, although crescendo of two weeks ago seems to have (temporarily) abated. Meanwhile, there have been copycat incidents in Belgium and Germany.
Writing on this page after the July 7 bombings in London ("One nation, one culture" and later "The case for assimilation") I said that they partly had their genesis in the failure of Britain's official multiculturalism policies and particularly in the failure of those policies regarding Britain's large, and growing, Muslim community.
Like the British bombings, the French Muslim uprising has been (mainly) carried out by Muslims who are citizens. But, significantly, it is a product not of failed policies of official multiculturalism (French governments, to their credit, have resisted such policies) but of failed integration-assimilation policies.
The usual apologists have been lecturing us on the reasons for these French events. However, there is one obvious reason they seem reluctant to mention. That is the cultural incompatibility involved between the French people and the huge numbers of Muslim immigrants who, with their large families, are rapidly turning France into an Islamic country.
In those two earlier articles, and in greater detail in the spring issue of National Observer, I argued that the London bombings differed from all earlier, similar outrages. Whereas the latter had involved attacks on Western countries by Islamist non-citizens or, in the case of Indonesia, attacks on Westerners by Indonesian citizens, the London bombings had been directed against their fellow citizens by British Muslims.
Now, just as the London bombings showed that official multiculturalism policies don't work, so the French uprising shows that, in the case of Muslims, integrationist-assimilationist policies don't work either.
This should not be surprising. Despite all the pratings of our politicians, religious leaders, the ABC-SBS, the Fairfax press and academe about the need for inclusiveness towards our own Muslim population, the fact is that Islam is an exclusive culture, not an inclusive one.
The only terms on which it welcomes others are its own: namely, conversion to Islam. Otherwise, you are at best a second-class citizen or at worst a candidate for extinction.
The French Muslim uprising, I predict, will be the first of many throughout Europe in the years ahead, depending on the extent to which Muslim enclaves are (or have been) allowed to establish themselves. Specifically, it shows that, where immigrant communities are concerned, Muslims are different, particularly Muslims in significant numbers.
The reaction of the French authorities to these events has consisted of a torrent of words, little effective action to protect citizens or their property, and eventually some hastily scrambled together policies of appeasement. Of course, those policies won't work - they never do.
I referred earlier to multicultural industry apologists. One is Phillip Adams who, provoked by my articles, launched an even more than usually rabid attack on me in The Weekend Australian Magazine of October 15-16. Starting with an apocryphal anecdote that had me "pushing the Treasury line" at the 1985 tax summit (10 months after I had left the Treasury), he accused me of advocating that "Christianity should be compulsory" (bizarre); of deeming "racial and religious mixing" to be "the source of all social ills" (even more bizarre); of making "an energetic attempt to resurrect racism and reinstate it as national policy" (specifically disavowed); of calling for "the mass expulsion of Muslim immigrants" (false); and so on. And I say nothing of the foam-flecked personal abuse.
Adams is not worth even this limited response, but his article typifies the line adopted by multiculturalism industry apologists lacking any arguments. Another line, from a more competent member of that fraternity, was advanced by Gerard Henderson (Sydney Morning Herald, 1/11/05). Rejecting my proposal that Australia should call a virtual halt to Muslim immigration, he argued that "it is inconceivable that an immigrant nation so close to Indonesia" would do so. Certainly we should do our best to maintain good relationships with Jakarta, but anyone who thinks that cause will be advanced by allowing Muslim immigrants to go on entering Australia should think harder.
Meanwhile, there is little sign that our Federal Government is facing up to any of this. So I am thinking of founding the Queen Isabella Society. Any takers?