Saturday 14 November 2015

As I Was Saying

So it turns out at least one (but I've read elsewhere two) of the suicide bomber/murderers in Paris had a passport that indicated a young man who had arrived in Greece with a party of refugees/migrants.

And meanwhile I am thanking God that my Polish friend--whose wedding in Poland I was at last month--and her French husband, who are now living in Paris, are safe.  (The husband used that new gizmo on Facebook to say so, too.) They were not able to go to the cinema or join any kind of crowd today, and when they tried to go for a walk in the park, the police shooed them out. So last I heard they were sitting in a flat with nothing to do. How all very 1944. 

So if any more American readers want to send me emails saying I'm not a Christian because I observe that Poland doesn't want to be a stop on the Islamic migrant highway, today would not be a good day to do that.

Update (November 18): Apparently men are travelling around Europe with Syrian passports that turn out to be fake. Naturally nobody thinks real, honest-to-God refugees are themselves terrorists. It's just that there are terrorists (and economic migrants) travelling with the honest-to-God refugees, and it's hard to tell them apart, especially when they're carrying fake Syrian passports. 

My own position, if you care, is that refugees should be carefully screened, monitored and divided up among disparate towns so as not to add to the parallel societies springing up in European cities. Tight security and then integration, that's the ticket. Make it clear that integration does not mean dressing like a Kardashian or even having to read about them.

Multiculturalism works in Toronto because no one or two migrant group dominates all the others. (The two top groups, "English" and "Chinese", do not throw stones at others who walk into "their" neighbourhoods. My own neighbourhood back home has Babel-like diversity, but nobody punches women in the street for being attractive, which is a definite plus.)


  1. The mother of a catechism student of mine insists that the Paris attack has 'nothing to do with religion'. No idea how she has come to that conclusion.

  2. She was trying to get a high from her own moral goodness. Imagine her spraying the inside of a paper bag with aerosol and then fixing the bag around her face. Inhale.... Ahhhhhh!!!!

  3. Now that it appears that most of the assailants were French and Belgian citizens, will you now urge Poland to back out of the EU so they can prevent French and Belgians from entering the country?

    Also, it turns out that the Syrian passport found at the scene was stolen or fake. A German interior minister suggests that ISIS might have left that passport there to "deliberately turn public opinion against migrants."

    You took that carefully worded Reuters article and twisted it to support your own world-view. In doing so, you played into the terrorists' hands. Great journalism there.

    1. This is stunningly disingenuous, Sarah. Those 'French and Belgian citizens' are recent Muslim men who are either migrants or children of migrants from MENA (Mid East or North African) nations.

      There have been substantive difficulties integrating such MENA Muslims in every western nation they have migrated to (including Australia), and sadly a tiny minority have carried out terrorist acts to show their displeasure with the politics of their host nation.

      The problem is not French or Belgians entering Poland, or anywhere. It is the tiny minority of violent radicals within France & Belgium, etc seeking to change nation's positions by terrorist acts.

      How to solve that is not easy, but it is hardly fair to blame Seraphic for expressing one option - that nations be a bit more careful about who they let in to their country and how they house them, so as not to form more ghettos of discontent that breed such terrorists.

      Southern Bloke.

  4. Well, when I wrote this piece, the press was reporting that up to two of the terrorists had come over with crowds of refugees. It had not yet been reported that the passports were stolen or fake. The German minister knows just as much about it as I do. You'll notice I said "indicated."

    I would not presume to tell Poland what to do, not being Polish. A number of Poles are in fact urging Poland to back out of the EU and these Poles would not want the kind of French and Belgian citizens of African and West Asian origin to settle in their country. Not every country has built itself on mass migration. Mine has. Before the United Empire Loyalists streaming up from the USA, there weren't many non-natives living in Ontario.

    You haven't asked, but I think my own birth country should take as many genuine refugees as possible. It would be great if they gave first place to the most persecuted among them--the Yazidis and Christians--but we can't expect miracles.

    My worldview includes the notion of borders and the right of citizens to expect their governments to control their borders and to not destabilize the population with sudden influxes of foreigners, for whatever reason. What works for Canada--and I am satisfied that we police our borders very well--does not necessarily work for everyone. One of the strengths of multiculturalism in Toronto is that it IS so diverse. It also helps that the biggest ethnic group after "English" is "Chinese." The Chinese are amazing at both preserving their culture and integrating into host communities.

    I'm not sure what you mean by playing into the terrorists' hands, unless you are just repeating the opinion of some other journalist you read online. If you have privileged information about what the terrorists' aims were, you should contact the police.

    1. Heather in Toronto18 November 2015 at 22:01

      Terrorist groups, whether radical Islamists or Basque separatists or whatever, generally have the aim of provoking a negative response from the society that they view as the enemy. You commit an atrocity in order to provoke a crackdown in order to be able to show evidence of oppression to the people you want to be your supporters. The more you can drive the wedge between "us" and "them" and show that "they" are opposed to "us" the more supporters they can recruit. It's monstrous and insane, but it's a calculating kind of insanity.

    2. As I was saying on another website, rebel groups fighting to take over new territory are always glad to get rid of the people already living there, if those people are in any way opposed to them. So it's in their interest to encourage dissidents to leave. No doubt some of them, somewhere, will rejoice if the migrants are rejected by non-Muslim countries, in the hope of forming new recruits, but is that likely to be their only or their most frequent response? Anyway, it's clear that ISIS is not having any difficulty winning recruits from among Muslims who are also European citizens. So I don't think that particular argument holds much water.

      Alias Clio

  5. And incidentally I am STILL dismayed that instead of rescuing the Middle Eastern Christians--for whom I lobbied my Member of Parliament--the EU has encouraged illegal migrants just to march through Turkey, risk their lives and the lives of their children on rickety boats across the Mediterranean to Greece or Sicily and then go wherever they like. If you can't see what a game-changer that is, I can only assume you've never been to Europe, much less care about it.


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