Fareed Zakaria was born into an elite Indian Muslim family and made his way into the global elite via Harvard and Yale. He’s edited Foreign Affairs, Newsweek and Newsweek International; now he’s a host on CNN. As you can imagine, this expertise and background have given him unique insight into the inexplicable horror of the Boston Marathon bombing by two young Muslim men whose family was welcomed into United States as refugees when they were children. Mr. Zakaria has had a whole week to apply his keen intellect and experience to the problem. What has he discerned? That we haven’t done enough to “embrace” Muslims, and should take Europe, with its much larger, more hostile and separate Muslim communities, for our model:
Over the past two decades…European countries have recognized the dangers created by their indifference and have sought to integrate Muslim migrants. Governments at all levels have engaged with Islamic communities, taking steps to include Muslims in mainstream society but also to nurture a more modern, European version of Islam. In effect, many governments are now dealing with Islam as they have other religions, creating Islamic councils, providing funding for cultural activities, representation in public forums and being mindful of religious practices and holidays.
Note the use of “integrate” in place of “assimilate”. This is a long-time trend that has been gaining steam as assimilation has failed due to the sheer number of newcomers, our regnant system of identity politics and the progressive elite’s assault on the concept itself. Assimilation of immigrants is now considered either too ambitious or just so, I don’t know, last millennium in its backwardness.
Of course I’m forgetting the most important question following the bombings. How does this affect the prospects of Fareed Zakaria and his progeny? Without a separate community (and the threat of violence and general social degradation coming therefrom) Zakaria cannot claim to be our diviner of intention, and his rougher poor relations (“Muslim leaders”) cannot appropriate the role of intermediaries. All this talk of “fear” in the elite media–the average American wouldn’t know he was in its throes if the Washington Post didn’t tell him–is just wishful thinking. Your fear is desired, necessary even, and will be presumed whether you like it or not. The lad(ies) doth protest too much. This is all leaving aside that Zakaria is nearly as alien to the average Muslim immigrant as Barack Obama is to the urban black.
Fareed goes on to reassure us that if we legitimize separate Muslim communities as such and deal with them through a new generation of Muslim political leaders, occasionally somebody will rat out the terrorists before they strike:
The lesson from Europe appears to be: Embrace Muslim communities. That’s a conclusion U.S. law enforcement agencies would confirm. The better the relationship with local Muslim groups, the more likely they are to provide useful information about potential jihadis.
An attack — apparently inspired but also perhaps directed by al-Qaeda — was foiled recently in Canada for just this reason. An imam in Toronto noticed one of his congregants behaving strangely and reported the behavior to the police, who followed up and arrested the man before he could execute his plan. Before briefing reporters on their collaboration, Canada’s top counterterrorism authorities invited Toronto’s Islamic leaders to a meeting and thanked them for their help. “But for the Muslim community’s intervention, we may not have had the success,” said the official, according to one lawyer invited to the meeting.
Of course a moratorium on immigration from Muslim countries is inconceivable. What would become of Fareed’s CNN gig then?
Wait a minute, I think I’ve seen this bit before: