Many commentators writing about the threat of Islamic Fascism note the relative lack of confidence Western intellectuals, leaders and institutions display in the face of the enemy, whose confidence is at an all-time high. It is this, more than any other factor, that leads many to predict the worst. One can take being beaten. Seeing one's government, for example, order female commissioned officers of the United States to wear the Burka is something entirely different.
There are two stories in the British press this morning that reveal, once again, the utter moral exhaustion of our own institutions. First, from the excellent reporter David Rennie of the Telegraph
comes this striking report from France:
Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day.
As the interior ministry said that nearly 2,500 officers had been wounded this year, a police union declared that its members were "in a state of civil war" with Muslims in the most depressed "banlieue" estates which are heavily populated by unemployed youths of north African origin.
It said the situation was so grave that it had asked the government to provide police with armoured cars to protect officers in the estates, which are becoming no-go zones.
The number of attacks has risen by a third in two years. Police representatives told the newspaper Le Figaro that the "taboo" of attacking officers on patrol has been broken.
Instead, officers--especially those patrolling in pairs or small groups--faced attacks as soon as they tried to arrest locals.
Senior officers insisted that the problem was essentially criminal in nature, with crime bosses on the estates fighting back against tough tactics.
The interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is also the leading centre-Right candidate for the presidency, has sent heavily equipped units into areas with orders to regain control from drug smuggling gangs and other organised crime rings. Such aggressive raids were "disrupting the underground economy in the estates", one senior official told Le Figaro.
However, not all officers on the ground accept that essentially secular interpretation. Michel Thoomis, the secretary general of the hardline Action Police trade union, has written to Mr Sarkozy warning of an "intifada" on the estates and demanding that officers be given armoured cars in the most dangerous areas.
He said yesterday: "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their 'comrades' free when they are arrested."
He added: "We need armoured vehicles and water cannon. They are the only things that can disperse crowds of hundreds of people who are trying to kill police and burn their vehicles."
However, Gerard Demarcq, of the largest police unions, Alliance, dismissed talk of an "intifada" as representing the views of only a minority.
Mr Demarcq said that the increased attacks on officers were proof that the policy of "retaking territory" from criminal gangs was working.
Mayors in the worst affected suburbs, which saw weeks of riots and car-burning a year ago, have expressed fears of a vicious circle, as attacks by locals lead the police to harden their tactics, further increasing resentment.
As if to prove that point, there were angry reactions in the western Paris suburb of Les Mureaux following dawn raids in search of youths who attacked a police unit on Sunday. The raids led to one arrest. They followed clashes on Sunday night when scores of youths attacked seven officers who had tried to arrest a man for not wearing his seat belt while driving. That driver refused to stop, and later rammed a police car trying to block his path.
The mayor of Les Mureaux, Francois Garay, criticised aggressive police tactics that afterwards left "the people on the ground to pick up the pieces".
The police, of course, are left twisting in the wind in the face of conflicting orders from the Interior Ministry and those of the local authorities, who are overwhelmingly Socialist and overwhelmingly feel that there is a grievance out there, somewhere, that can be appeased in order to make the Muslim rioters feel a part of French society. Good luck with that.
And from Britain itself, we get this report, from the good old Sun
THE decision to excuse a Muslim cop from guarding the Israeli Embassy was last night branded "the beginning of the end for British policing".
PC Alexander Omar Basha told chiefs he was unable to carry out duties at the London embassy--a top terror target--due to moral grounds after Israeli bombings in Lebanon.
Top brass granted his request last week, but Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair last night ordered an immediate inquiry after our story broke. He said: "Having learned of this issue I have asked for an urgent review of the situation and a full report."
Critics slammed the decision. Ex-Met Flying Squad commander John O’Connor said: "This is the beginning of the end for British policing.
"If they can allow this, surely they'll have to accept a Jewish officer not wanting to work at an Islamic national embassy? Will Catholic cops be let off working at Protestant churches? Where will it end?
"This decision is going to allow officers to act in a discriminating and racist way."
Mr O'Connor added: "When you join the police, you do so to provide a service to the public. If you cannot perform those duties, you leave.
"The Metropolitan Police are setting a precedent they will come to bitterly regret. Top brass granted his wish as they were probably frightened of being accused of racism. But what they've done is an insult to the Jewish community."
Another angry policeman said: "This decision beggars belief. It goes against everything the police should stand for--providing a service to the public no matter who they are."
PC Basha, attached to the Met's Diplomatic Protection Group, asked for special dispensation not to work at the embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens, Central London. The officer, in his late 20s, has taken part in recent anti-war protests.
The Israeli Embassy was attacked in 1994 by Palestinian fanatics with a 50lbs car bomb, injuring 19 and causing millions of pounds' damage.
But one senior source said: "PC Basha objected to the posting on moral grounds--because of the Israeli bombing of Lebanon and the resulting civilian casualties of fellow Muslims."
Superintendent Dal Babu, chairman of the Association of Muslim Police said he had spoken to the officer concerned.
He said: "What we need to do is just really put this entire issue in perspective. This is about the welfare of an individual and not about a moral issue.
"I think we are going down a very, very slippery road if we start having postings based on individual officers' conscience.
"As police officers we have to deal with some very, very difficult situations and we need to be objective and make sure that we police all members of the community fairly. We can't pick and choose."
ANOTHER Muslim removed from the DPG after his security clearance was rejected is trying to sue the Met. Vetting revealed PC Amjad Farooq had a close acquaintance with alleged links to an extremist Islamic group.
The request was granted, of course. And hundreds of other similar requests and special dispensations have been granted, outside the light of publicity. This one was halted and is now being looked at only because The Sun caught wind of it and is raising a fuss. The key here is the gut instinct, the first reaction of officialdom in face of such an absurd request: it was to cave and cave entirely.
The key problem here is one of civilizational identity. No one will say it, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the Muslims rioting outside Paris are not in any real sense of the term French. And this British bobby is not, in fact, British.
Oh, legally they are. And there is nothing anyone can do about that. But how about where it matters? In their hearts? In their souls?
Would the French rioters lay down their lives defending the Republic against an Islamist insurgency? In their heart of hearts, do they feel the beat of eternal France? Or is that Mecca that is the center of their existence? What do they feel when they hear the Marseillaise
And PC Basha? Where does his loyalty lie? To the Queen? To the Met? To Her Majesty's Government? To the British people? Or to his Ummah
Let's face facts here: his actions speak volumes, as do the actions of the Parisian rioters.
But, as usual, the intended audience has gone willingly deaf and wishes to not hear. To not be bothered with unpleasant realities that call our central pieties into question.
It is a cosmic joke of historic proportion that our so-called artistic avant-garde, so badly needed right now to preform their cultural role and attack these central pieties to reveal them for what they are, are frantically spinning in support of their illusions. Equally comical is the thought of anyone in the Republican or Democratic Parties in the United States being up to the task, especially seeing how busy they are right now with some very important business.
In other news, from the Seattle Times
It's Saturday evening, the end of a hot day, and a group of women and children have gathered at North Seattle's Meadowbrook Pool for their monthly swim.
Most of the pool staff has left, except for two female lifeguards, who on this day will be on duty for the next two hours.
The women and children--all Muslims--have been swimming in private once a month at Meadowbrook as part of a program organized by the North Seattle Family Center.
Because Islam requires Muslim women to fully cover themselves in public, swimming in pools or the ocean is largely off-limits for many.
But across the Puget Sound area, that's starting to change as public and private pools at times are sending home their male staff members, covering up their windows and allowing women of faith to swim alone and in private.