Over an otherwise peaceful Thanksgiving, the only news that really stood out was a terrorist knife attack in London. Two people were killed by an Islamic terrorist. The capstone of the attack was a dramatic and improvised takedown of the terrorist by some locals, who used a fire extinguisher and . . . a narwhal tusk. In the end, police shot and killed the attacker.
Of course this is not London’s first brush with Islamic terror. In 2017, a similar stabbing attack occurred at London Bridge, killing a policeman. Manchester suffered from a bombing attack during an Ariana Grande concert in 2017. In 2013, terrorists beheaded a British soldier in broad daylight. In 2005, London endured a spate of bombing attacks, in which 52 were killed.
While the United States and Europe have focused their anti-terrorist efforts in the Middle East, breaking up networks and training camps, decapitating terrorist leadership, and scattering the ISIS caliphate in Syria, at the same time they have exponentially expanded their own risks through short-sighted immigration policy. Like the rest of Europe, the U.K. has permitted a large, hostile, and self-segregated Islamic community to form and expand through immigration from former British colonies, particularly Pakistan.
These communities have little in common with the U.K. of yesteryear. Even when not disposed to terrorism—and terrorists admittedly are a small minority even within this minority community—the habits, criminal proclivities, and attachment to British values of these immigrants are not the same as traditional Britons. The newcomers are changing the U.K. in various negative ways, just as the post-1960s wave of immigrants have changed continental Europe and the United States. Islam, with its austere and comprehensive system of laws and values, is particularly distant from Britain’s liberal values.
While opinion is mixed, British support for immigration remains rather robust. The diversity ideology has been pounded thoroughly into the heads of the British people. Having given up their empire as an unjust and exploitative venture, they are apparently ready to give up their country as well.
One of the victims, Jack Merritt, was a handsome and earnest young man in the prime of his life. He also came from a liberal family and had promoted liberal views of racial disparities in the British criminal justice system in his academic work. His death at the hands of one of those he spent his brief years championing is rather ironic and sad.
Ignoring the Costs of Diversity
Wisdom often comes late, but certain ways of thinking prevent learning at all, both for individuals and nations. Facts are deflected or completely ignored based on a quasi-religious set of conclusions about the world. The blank-slaters don’t want to hear about genetics. The creationists don’t want to hear about fossils. The ideology of diversity and open borders has the same quality, as it is unwilling to consider the costs of immigration. The case for diversity is mostly hortatory and made in moral terms, where commitment to diversity shows the good will of the believer.
Thus, the diversity mantra is repeated often, but explored little. Rather, the manifest problems of diversity—such as riots or terrorism—are simply proof of insufficient commitment. Opponents of diversity are not taken seriously, often being recast as mental defectives. When violence previously unknown to the London of yesteryear results, the perpetrator is recast as a type of avenging angel. It would not happen, they say, if only the newcomers were made to feel more welcome.
The recent attack is emblematic. A British-born son of Pakistani immigrants, Friday’s attacker had been flirting with terrorism since he was a teenager and was convicted of a terrorist conspiracy charge to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2012. He was only sentenced to 16 years, and was released on parole after serving less than eight. He promptly went back to work.
It used to be common knowledge that long sentences and public hangings were the primary means of stopping criminal violence, whether rooted in ideological, pecuniary, or psychological motives. Instead, the cult of rehabilitation dismisses the ancient wisdom that certain men are not able to be rehabilitated reliably, just as the cult of diversity does not allow a society to consider the benefits of a widespread common background and outlook.
Jack Merritt, the young man who spent so much of his life fighting for diversity, was in fact its victim. Some have wondered whether he reconsidered his belief system as he was betrayed by it, but I would be doubtful. Though it’s not entirely logical, conclusions are often more stable than one’s premises. The Left’s all-encompassing belief system is characterized by more and more strenuous efforts to blame native Western peoples in proportion to the misbehavior of non-Western newcomers.
The False Freedom of Open Borders
Just as the false knowledge of diversity prevents the acquisition of usable knowledge about human differences, the false freedom of open borders increasingly reduces the real, historical freedoms that “enriched” peoples once enjoyed.
Jersey barriers, prolonged security searches at airports, government monitoring of speech and social media, coupled with self-censorship, have all combined to smother the proud inheritance of the English people, their historical liberties. As these real impositions increase, they (and we) are told how much life is improved from the vibrancy and cuisine and perspective of the newcomers. Perhaps. But any assessment of diversity that only accounts for the benefits, while ignoring the costs, is a rigged game.
Another kind of knowledge is needed, one equally rooted in the moral and spiritual, as the quasi-religious beliefs undergirding the diversity cult. Do Western peoples have a right to exist? Are they allowed to protect and preserve themselves as a people, maintaining the character and freedoms of the nation their forefathers created and have enjoyed? Only when these questions are answered in the affirmative can real knowledge begin to arise about how to respond effectively to the West’s bloody “enrichment.”