At the gym I watched CNN, an hour of complete mindlessness with Christiane Amanpour, trying to find, trying to understand, trying to come to grips with, what it is, what could it be, what might it be, that makes some “young Muslims” — a tiny tiny minority of them, contemplate suicide bombings of the kind involved in the plot just revealed in England.
There were “experts” on Islam and “experts” on terror. The first “expert” explained at as long as “young Muslims” (the British equivalent of the “yoots” in “My Cousin Vinny”) were exposed to “pictures” of what was going on going on in “Palestine” — yes, what is going on in “Palestine” or rather Israel (and by the way, why are there not Jewish plotters planning to get revenge on so many countries that have abandoned Israel, thrown it to the Arab and Muslim wolves?) — and in “Iraq” and in “Chechnya” and in “Afghanistan” and, continued the “expert,” as long as these yoots believed that Islam was being attacked, Islam was under siege, their rage would continue to grow.
There was more in this vein. There was a Muslim, a friend of two brothers who had been picked up for their part in the plane-bombing plot, who kept saying that “all communities — Christians, Jews, Muslims, all of them” have their “extremists” and all of them occasionally get out of control, and in any case he went on and on about how there was nothing, absolutely nothing, except indignation at the terrible things being done to Muslims that could conceivably explain these Muslim plans and plots and mass murders, past, and passing, and to come.
And among those “experts” was Lawrence Wright, who proceeded to explain that the “Arabs and Muslims” in the United States were not a worry. They were so much better integrated, because — well, because they were, because 70% of them earned over $50,000 and so many of them had college degrees and so on. It was as if none of the information that has been so widely disseminated about how “disproportionately” the well-educated or rather, well-degreed and well-off Muslims are represented in the ranks of Muslim terrorists had never reached him. Nor has it reached the other fellow who came after, who said that “Lawrence Wright is absolutely correct” in his explanation of why the “Muslim community” in the United States is so much less threatening.
Not a single person appeared to think that the true explanation was other: there are at most 3 million declared Muslims in the United States, with a population of 300 million. Of those, 2 million are Black Muslims, a group whose practices, and attitudes, lead them to be regarded as not real or full Muslims by the real, Pakistani or Arab variety. That leaves at most 1 million Muslims out of a population of 300 million. And far more of those 300 million are believing Christians. And there are also many more Jews than there are in Great Britain. Furthermore, American attitudes are not colored by any diseased guilt over some Empire, nor are Americans quite so inclined to be influenced by the pro-Arab lobbies and agents that long ago took over the Foreign Office, but have also, in the past few decades, successfully infiltrated into the upper reaches of the BBC and many of the main newspapers. America, thank god, remains different.
But the main thing, of course, is merely that Muslims are not as numerous as they are in Great Britain. Out of a population that is 1/5 the size of that in America, Great Britain has 1.5 times as many Muslims (that “Muslim friend of two brothers picked up” predictably exaggerated their numbers, claiming there are “2.2 million Muslims” in Great Britain). In other words, in proportion to the non-Muslim population, Muslims in Great Britain are seven times as numerous as Muslims are in the United States. And the same obtains in other European countries, where the Infidel governments and the most farseeing citizens are tearing their hair out at the thought that this problem was entirely the result of negligence, of ignorance of the belief-system of Islam.
Oh, she looked, Christiane Amanpour. Indeed she did. She tried to elicit answers from that Muslim frien of those Muslim brothers. She asked first one expert on “terrorism” , and then another, and another, and another, to find out what it is that “makes them do it.” She sought the answer here, she sought the answer there, she sought her answer everywhere. But that Answer proved as elusive for Christiane Amanpour as did, for the French, that demmed elusive Pimpernel, played long ago, in a different England, by that elegant immigrant, who had no trouble “integrating” into England despite his Hungarian Jewish background, a certain Leslie (Steiner) Howard.