The Right Coast

February 05, 2006
Mark Steyn
By Mike Rappaport

It is one of the mysteries of the universive that Mark Steyn can have so much sense (and be so funny) while others like the New York Times have so little. Well, we often can't figure out God's plan, but must simply observe it and enjoy what we can of it.

Steyn captures much of the problem with the Arab Middle East in a single paragraph:

Even if you were overcome with a sudden urge to burn the Danish flag, where do you get one in a hurry in Gaza? Well, OK, that's easy: the nearest European Union Humanitarian Aid and Intifada-Funding Branch Office. But where do you get one in an obscure town on the Punjabi plain on a Thursday afternoon? If I had a sudden yen to burn the Yemeni or Sudanese flag on my village green, I haven't a clue how I'd get hold of one in this part of New Hampshire. Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they'd have.
And it takes him only two paragraphs to explain what is wrong with the West bending over backwards to be sensitive to hoodlums who wouldn't know sensitivity when it comes to people they dislike if it hit them in the face:

Very few societies are genuinely multicultural. Most are bicultural: On the one hand, there are folks who are black, white, gay, straight, pre-op transsexual, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, worshippers of global-warming doom-mongers, and they rub along as best they can. And on the other hand are folks who do not accept the give-and-take, the rough-and-tumble of a "diverse" "tolerant" society, and, when one gently raises the matter of their intolerance, they threaten to kill you, which makes the question somewhat moot.

One day the British foreign secretary [who promotes a double standard] will wake up and discover that, in practice, there's very little difference between living under Exquisitely Refined Multicultural Sensitivity and Sharia. As a famously sensitive Dane once put it, "To be or not to be, that is the question."
See also Tom's post on Steyn below.

Update: Another Mark Steyn column, at the National Review, is titled: "If the Koran permit, you must acquit."