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Mark Steyn: No Smoke Without Fire
Steyn Online ^ | 10/24/2007 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 10/24/2007 10:39:05 AM PDT by mojito

These stories turn up so routinely you hardly notice them anymore:

Vancouver’s hookah-parlour owners are celebrating after winning an exemption Thursday from a proposed new bylaw that will ban smoking on most sidewalks in commercial districts, in bus shelters and even in taxis passing through Vancouver.

In giving the bylaw unanimous approval-in-principle, Vancouver city council members bowed to arguments that hookah lounges provide an important cultural space for the city’s Muslims and granted them a temporary exemption.

Can that be right, even in Canada? Infidels can’t smoke but Muslims can? Apparently so. As the Vancouver Sun report continued, Emad Yacoub “said hookah lounges are essential for immigrants from hookah-smoking cultures, because it helps them deal with the depression common for newcomers and gives them places like they have at home.”

Once upon a time English and Irish and French immigrants to Vancouver used to find “places like they have at home” – pubs and bars and so forth. But not anymore. In fact, if you’re at the Legion Hall and can no longer light up a fag (whoa, relax, I’m just talking about cigarettes, not another lively Muslim cultural tradition), you might be forgiven for getting the impression that fewer and fewer places seem like home anymore.

It’s good to know the state is still prepared to trust adult citizens to be able to weigh the health risks of smoking against the “cultural” value (ie, the pleasure), even if they have to convert to Islam enjoy the right. Veterans, barflies, cigar aficionados and free-born Canadians in general can no longer enjoy this responsibility. But Muslims, uniquely, can.

Well, not entirely uniquely. For as The Vancouver Sun also reported:

The one foggy point in the new bylaw was whether it will apply to crack cocaine and crystal-meth smoking.

Ah, right. If you’re taking a limo from Squamish to Richmond, you can’t light up a Craven A. But, if you do feel the need the smoke, just stop off at the nearest crack house or meth lab. It’s good to know that some aspects of infidel culture are still celebrated in Vancouver.

At casual glance, this decision by the city council breaches one of the most fundamental principles: equality before the law. Either smoking is illegal, or it’s not. But it can’t be illegal for some citizens, and not for others. But, of course, most of us don’t give that casual glance to this story, or to the gazillions that like it that bubble up at the foot of the “News In Brief” section every day of the week across the western world. And, of those who do give it a casual glance, the general blasé reaction was pithily distilled by one correspondent of mine as follows: “We’re rich enough to afford to be stupid.” Yeah, sure, it’s idiotic but it’s harmless. Don’t get your panties in a twist. Ours is such a wealthy, powerful, confident culture it can jab untold numbers of screwdrivers into its own head, and still survive. Death by a thousand cuts is not for us, even if (or just because) the cuts are self-inflicted.

I wonder. In Vancouver city council’s action, what was once dimly discerned is made explicit. An Englishman or Irishman has no culture. Indeed, Canada has no culture, save what others bring to it. Which is the logical reductio of multiculturalism: If coming to Canada causes “depression” among “newcomers”, it behooves us to bring Canada into line with “places like they have at home”. Instead of the immigrant assimilating with the host society, the host society assimilates with the immigrant. Which makes sense, given that he seems to value his inheritance more than Canada values its own. And so we confront the limits of political correctness. It’s fine for a pliant citizenry sedated by decades of propaganda, but not for Muslims or crackheads who don’t yield quite so easily. When the nanny state runs up against the unnannyable, it crumples like a cheap roll-up.

When I wrote my book about Europe and demography, dissenting critics wanted to argue about the rate of change – specifically, the date at which Islam becomes a majority on the Continent. It won’t be 2025 or 2050, they scoff. It might not even be by the end of the century, as Professor Bernard Lewis says. Maybe. Maybe not. My book has very little to say either way about the precise day on which Islam claims 50.00001 per cent of the European population. What matters is the point at which it becomes the key determining feature of a society’s political disposition. And that day will not be 2100 or 2050 or 2025, but, as we see in Vancouver, some time rather sooner.

Let us zip across the Dominion, to Etobicoke, a corner of Toronto I know well. Or I thought I did. The other day a reader sent me the list of candidates for the Etobicoke North riding in this month’s provincial election. They are as follows:

Shafiq Qaadri, Liberal Mohamed Boudjenane, NDP Mohamed Kassim, Progressive Conservative Jama Korshel, Green Teresa Ceolin, Family Coalition

“Teresa”? What kind of cockamamie name is that for an Etobicoke politician? This is the first riding in Ontario in which every major party is running a Muslim candidate. But not the last. To the casual observer, this would seem to be statistically improbable. Etobicoke is not 80 per cent Muslim, nor even 50 per cent Muslim. Yet every major national party already feels obliged to defer, in its candidate selection process, to Islam’s political muscle. I write in my book that, historically, Islam has never needed to be a statistical majority in order to function as one. At the height of its power in the eighth century, the “Islamic world” stretched from Spain to India yet its population was only minority Muslim: Islam conquered and ruled an empire of non-Muslim subjects. But, a millennium and a bit on, it’s not even necessary to conquer – not when everyone’s so eager to concede pre-emptively, all in the name of “tolerance”. As Douglas Farrow told a conference at McGill recently, tolerance is a negative: it implies a kind of passivity. “You can’t build a society on that negative principle,” he says. But you can rot and enfeeble the one you have, and in its ruins something new will be built.

Let’s zip east another few thousand miles, from Etobicoke to Brussels. The mayor of the city is a rather dreary Belgian leftie called Freddy Thielemans. He is the head of the governing Socialist Party. Of his 17-member caucus, ten are Muslim. Again, Brussels is not majority Muslim. Sure, the most popular baby boy’s name is Mohammed, but then, in western Europe, it would be easier to list the cities where it isn’t. Yet Brussels, the capital of the European Union, already has a Muslim-majority governing party.

It’s been faintly surreal following the recent ructions about the usual instabilities of the Belgian state: Is this it? Are the ancient differences between the Walloons and Flemings about to tear the kingdom apart? Etc, etc. The traditional warring tribes of Belgium are irrelevant to its future. Brussels will be a Muslim city, and so will Antwerp, and Ghent, and even my mum’s quaintly parochial Flemish backwater of St Niklaas. And the disputes of the future will be between Belgian Turks and Belgian Algerians, or Belgian Sunni and Belgian Shia, or some other variant thereof.

Twenty years ago, in The Closing Of The American Mind, Allan Bloom wrote, “As an image of our current intellectual condition, I keep being reminded of the newsreel pictures of Frenchmen splashing happily in the water at the seashore, enjoying the paid annual vacations legislated by Leon Blum’s Popular Front government. It was 1936, the same year Hitler was permitted to occupy the Rhineland. All our big causes amount to that kind of vacation.”

Yes, indeed. “Tolerance”, “multiculturalism”, splashing in the shallows – or so we think. Those Muslims who frequent Vancouver hookah parlours because they’re “depressed”, because Canada is not like “home”, won’t have to be depressed much longer. Here, as in much of the west, the state is happy to dismantle its own inheritance. And in the vacuum of multiculturalism it’s those groups most fierce in defence of their culture who will build the future.

“The decline of the West,” wrote Samuel P Huntington, is still in the slow first phase, but at some point it might speed up dramatically.” What is the point at which it becomes irreversible? If you’re on a river heading over the falls, it’s not the moment when you plunge over the precipice and are dashed on the rocks below. That’s the great visual dividing line – Joseph Cotton in Niagara: one minute his boat’s horizontal, next it’s heading straight down. But the critical point happens way back upstream. It’s still flat, it’s still the river not the distant falls, but what you thought were the placid shallows has, in fact, a strong silent running current and, before you even know it, you’re being swept along.


TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: canada; dhimmitude; eurabia; freedom; islam; liberalism; marksteyn; multiculturalism; smoking; tolerance; vancouverbc
Canada: a little piece of Europe in North America.
1 posted on 10/24/2007 10:39:06 AM PDT by mojito
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Marking for later


2 posted on 10/24/2007 10:42:49 AM PDT by eureka! (Is power so important to the Democrats that they are willing to betray our country? Sadly, yes.)
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To: mojito

The cities are turning into complete dungheap up here. Smaller towns and the rural areas have remained much the same. Personally I don’t feel welcome in my own home town anymore.


3 posted on 10/24/2007 10:43:45 AM PDT by Catholic Canadian ( I love Stephen Harper!)
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To: mojito

(chuckle)


4 posted on 10/24/2007 10:43:49 AM PDT by Badeye ('Ron Paul joined 88 Democrats.....")
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To: mojito

In Vancouver, it’s not tobacco that is being smoked in those hookahs.


5 posted on 10/24/2007 10:44:25 AM PDT by SoldierMedic (Rowan Walter, 23 Feb 2007 Ramadi)
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To: Catholic Canadian
The cities are turning into complete dungheap up here. Smaller towns and the rural areas have remained much the same.

Why, that's because cities are "progressive."

I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts, but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere, and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue & freedom, would be my choice.
-Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush Monticello, Sep. 23, 1800

6 posted on 10/24/2007 11:07:15 AM PDT by Max in Utah (If your neighbors habitually trespassed, wouldn't you want a nice tall fence with razor wire on top?)
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To: Max in Utah

Toronto is a prime example. 25 years ago it was wonderful, clean, safe. It has now degraded into a third world sh*t-hole of street beggars, gangs, drugs, prostitution, you name it, anything goes. The lefties love it though, because, like pigs, they love living in muck.


7 posted on 10/24/2007 11:12:32 AM PDT by Catholic Canadian ( I love Stephen Harper!)
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To: mojito
At casual glance, this decision by the city council breaches one of the most fundamental principles: equality before the law.

That is a fundamental principle of law under Enlightenment legal theory, but it isn't, actually, a fundamental principle of law as interpreted by the Left from Marx to Foucault. Rather the opposite. Under the assumption that law is nothing more than the expression of a power relationship between a privileged and an oppressed class, there is by definition no equality before it. That is the genesis of the "special rules for special people" codocil that is so frustrating to those who actually believe in multiculturalism's nominal equality of cultures. They are anything but; there is only the one on top and all the rest.

That has always been a cynical and profoundly distorted interpretation of Western law, but it is a precise description of Sharia, wherein the respective power classes are clearly delineated as Believer and Dhimmi. For those who wonder where the commonality between multiculturalism and radical Islam lies, this is the big one, and it explains the willingness of many on the Left to adopt a tiered system of political rights. They think we're already in one.

There is, of course, the difficulty that the actual class definitions of privileged and oppressed, i.e. "rich" and "poor" in the lexicon of the Left, are vague and ill-defined, collapsing under any serious scrutiny. Under Sharia they are anything but. This isn't merely a difference in interpretation, it's a difference in fact.

One might, for example, contrast the theoretical institutional oppression of women according to feminist cant with the physical coercion of the burqa under Sharia. Given a sufficiently academic approach they may be thought of as all the same thing, but they aren't. Insisting that they are for purposes of ideology can take us into a very nasty place indeed.

8 posted on 10/24/2007 11:20:48 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: mojito
Mark Steyn makes a good point. Tolerance becomes an excuse or rather an evasion for not living up to your own values. If you don't defend your own values, someone else's values will take their place. Nature abhors a vacuum. We may not be living in an Islamified World now but we are well on the way towards it in much of the Western World.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

9 posted on 10/24/2007 11:25:10 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Catholic Canadian

If Canada is so depressing, let them return to Crapistan.


10 posted on 10/24/2007 11:28:40 AM PDT by steve8714
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To: Billthedrill
"That has always been a cynical and profoundly distorted interpretation of Western law..."

Distortion of the law is the goal of anarchy. This is not an innocent mistake.

11 posted on 10/24/2007 11:30:05 AM PDT by Earthdweller (All reality is based on faith in something.)
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To: Billthedrill
Canada has already set an exceptional precedent in this regard: it’s called Quebec. If Francaphone Canadians can have special laws and special rights, why not Muslims?
12 posted on 10/24/2007 11:50:14 AM PDT by mojito
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To: mojito
Its interesting Muslims get consideration (as well as attention) denied to Christians in Canada.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

13 posted on 10/24/2007 11:51:48 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: mojito
In fact, if you’re at the Legion Hall and can no longer light up a fag (whoa, relax, I’m just talking about cigarettes, not another lively Muslim cultural tradition),

Steyn always has something that makes me laugh out loud. He is also a joy to listen to- I can imagine him speaking this and have no doubt his timing would be excellent.
14 posted on 10/24/2007 11:58:57 AM PDT by philled ("CNBC?...You might as well be doing ham radio at that point."-- Dennis Miller)
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To: steve8714

It is funny how watching how miserable they look in February...heh heh.


15 posted on 10/24/2007 11:59:13 AM PDT by Catholic Canadian ( I love Stephen Harper!)
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To: SoldierMedic
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
16 posted on 10/24/2007 12:08:25 PM PDT by -=SoylentSquirrel=-
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To: Max in Utah
I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts, but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere, and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue & freedom, would be my choice. -Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush Monticello, Sep. 23, 1800

Repeat...repeat...repeat.

FMCDH(BITS)

17 posted on 10/24/2007 12:09:17 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: mojito

bttt


18 posted on 10/24/2007 12:25:57 PM PDT by isaiah55version11_0 (For His Glory)
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To: mojito; GMMAC; Clive; exg; kanawa; conniew; backhoe; -YYZ-; Former Proud Canadian; Squawk 8888; ...

19 posted on 10/24/2007 4:38:19 PM PDT by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
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BOOKMARK


20 posted on 10/24/2007 4:44:44 PM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: mojito

You can’t even smoke in bars in Ireland so get over it.


21 posted on 10/24/2007 5:10:47 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: Catholic Canadian

I know what you mean. I think that’s the reason I bought my motorbike- it’s a cheap way to get myself out of the city, if only for a day. Anything more than 30 minutes’ riding time from my house is a completely different world.


22 posted on 10/24/2007 6:41:05 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: mojito
But the critical point happens way back upstream. It’s still flat, it’s still the river not the distant falls, but what you thought were the placid shallows has, in fact, a strong silent running current and, before you even know it, you’re being swept along.

Beautiful. . .from Mr. Huntington and thanks to Mark for sharing. . .

There are other analogies of course; that speak to our malaise. The analogy of the 'frog settling into 'resting phase' with heat underneath pan. . .and then. . .just a comotose 'sleeping'. . .followed by death and then only an observer's 'who knew?'

The catalyst for change began with the Left's political correctness designed to 'remake' us. . .program us. . .transform us; subtley - 'slowly and surely' - into suicidal swimmers; or just make us as sleepy and dopey. . .and as comotose; as a frog simmering on med high.

23 posted on 10/24/2007 6:56:58 PM PDT by cricket
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To: Max in Utah
I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts, but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere, and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue & freedom, would be my choice. -Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush Monticello, Sep. 23, 1800

Good one; and a wisdom that easily describes as well. . .Liberals and their 'Liberalism'.

A 'pestilence' indeed. . .and yes, they too, 'nourish the arts et al'. . .and as their influence grows; our collective health, virtue and freedom, diminishes. . .

24 posted on 10/24/2007 7:09:13 PM PDT by cricket
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To: mojito

Time for some enterprising individual to open a hookah bar that serves booze and has nothing but pork products on the menu ;-)


25 posted on 10/24/2007 7:10:26 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: mojito
Canada has already set an exceptional precedent in this regard: it’s called Quebec.

Actually, it was never that bad- the language laws are quite stupid but most people there DO get equal treatment under the law. The fact that they have always been so fiercely protective of their culture is now serving them well; they are the first jurisdiction in North America that is openly debating the issue of accommodating the jihadis.

26 posted on 10/24/2007 7:14:06 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Is human activity causing the warming trend on Mars?)
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To: goldstategop
Tolerance becomes an excuse or rather an evasion for not living up to your own values. . .

Very true. . .

. . .but then, actually; while we ascribe 'tolerance' as a Lib value; the truth is they have none. Tolerance requires it's own boundary of sorts; the one they are supposedly ignoring. . . Perhaps, what they really exhibit is not tolerance - at least, as we know it. In truth, what we might be observing is just a moral vacancy of Reason.

Without 'discernment'. . .maybe these Libs ARE, the sound of one-hand, clapping. . .if only as an evil twin, might clap that is. . .)

Whatever. . .these people - 'slug-like'; without real 'substance'. . .without moral definition; just might find 'tolerance' as relevant and as useful to them; as eleven fingers, might be to the rest of us.

27 posted on 10/24/2007 7:50:47 PM PDT by cricket
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To: goldstategop; cricket
p.s. of sorts. . .see an error in my thinking here. . .

we KNOW that Libs do not 'tolerate' anyone who does not subscribe to their view of the world; soooooo; forget what I just said - earlier. . .They may not be tolerant; but we know they are IN-tolerant. . .still they are like a 'collective of evil-twins'. . .and I cannot tolerate them

28 posted on 10/24/2007 7:57:14 PM PDT by cricket
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To: mojito

The Great Shiite North?


29 posted on 10/25/2007 9:18:39 AM PDT by Dr.Deth
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