When the mayor of Paris threatened to sue Fox News for “slandering” her city by reporting on Muslim-dominated “no-go zones,” liberal media outlets forgot their own years of reporting on those zones to bash their hated right-leaning cable news adversary.
Among the longtime observers who pushed back against no-go zone denialism is author Mark Steyn, who has mentioned these hostile, unassimilated communities in his columns and books for years.
Steyn appeared on Canadian host Ezra Levant’s program to discuss no-go zones and the Islamization of Europe on Thursday:
Steyn makes a crucial point about how Islamization thwarts the healthy assimilation process of immigrant communities, leaving them permanently alienated from host cultures they perceive as weak and spiritually unsatisfying. The resulting “hole in the heart,” as Steyn describes it, is a void radical Islam eagerly rushes forward to fill. The degree of alienation present in these no-go zones is horrifying. We can debate what percentage of a community’s population is accurately represented by the angry and dispossessed people who make outsiders reluctant to travel into a hostile district, but the practical result, no matter how informally it might be understood, cannot be erased with happy thoughts or media spin.
In his decade-old book America Alone, Steyn related an incident that illustrated the informal, but very real, understanding that non-Muslims are not welcome in certain Muslim-dominated districts:
When Martine Aubry, the Mayor of Lille, daughter of former Prime Minister and EU bigwig Jacques Delors and likely Presidential candidate in the post-Chirac era, held a meeting with an imam in Roubaix, he demanded that it take place on the edge of the neighborhood in recognition that his turf was Muslim territory which she was bound not to enter. Mme Aubry conceded the point, as more and more politicians will in the years ahead.
Steyn quoted another passage from America Alone with a certain no-go flavor in a blog post on the day the Charlie Hebdo killers were brought down by French police:
Four years after 9/11, it turned out there really is an explosive “Arab street,” but it’s in Clichy-sous-Bois. Since the beginning of this century, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They’re losing that battle…
If Chirac, de Villepin and co aren’t exactly Charles Martel, the rioters aren’t doing a bad impression of the Muslim armies of 13 centuries ago: They’re seizing their opportunities, testing their foe, probing his weak spots. If burning the ‘burbs gets you more “respect”, they’ll burn ’em again, and again. In defiance of traditional immigration patterns, these young men are less assimilated than their grandparents. And why should they be? On present demographic trends, it will be for ethnic Europeans to assimilate with them.
The tendency of Western authorities to pretend Islamist tendencies are an insignificant ripple in the deep pool of peaceful Islamic thought was indicted by Steyn in that January 10 blog post: “The louder the perpetrators yell ‘Allahu Akbar’ and rejoice that the Prophet has been avenged, the louder M Hollande and David Cameron and Barack Obama and John Kerry and the other A-list infidels insist there’s no Islam to see here. M le Président seems to believe he can champion France’s commitment to freedom of expression by conscripting the entire nation in his monstrous lie.” The subsequent push by French politicians and American editorial writers to pretend the banlieues don’t exist fits neatly into that thesis.
The subject of no-go zones came up last week, during one of Steyn’s regular appearances on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show:
I’ve walked around the East End. I’ve walked around, for example, past what used to be a famous gay pub on, just off the Commercial Road that is no longer there, where what they call the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets is, now holds sway. A couple of years ago on Holocaust Memorial Day, a group of Jews were touring the old Jewish West End, where fellows like Lionel Bart, the composer of Oliver, came from. And they were greeted by youths of a certain persuasion who pelted them with stones, and a Canadian tourist and an American tourist wound up being taken to the hospital. That’s Jews stoned on Holocaust Memorial Day in the East End of London.
Likewise, there are no-go zones in parts of Birmingham in the Midlands, where in nothing flat, a city that was 0% Muslim 50 years ago now is 22% Muslim. They’re the demographic energy in the city. A senior British police officer was talking about this. He was saying, he wasn’t calling them no-go zones. He was putting it in a sort of positive way, that these communities prefer to police themselves, as it were. And that’s why we just leave them to get on with it. And one consequence of that is that nobody who isn’t a member of those “communities” likes to go there. But those no-go zones are not as advanced as they are in France, but they are real and they are growing in British cities.
They’re true in Sweden. I walked through Rosengard in Sweden. And I was warned by the two lovely, leggy Swedish blondes I was having a cup of coffee with twenty minutes earlier not to go there at dusk. And you go there at dusk, and it’s all fiercely bearded young men and covered women who came from Muslim countries where they didn’t have to be covered, but they emigrate to Sweden, and suddenly, not to get into any trouble from those bearded, young men, they’re forced to go covered. Those no-go zones are real in almost every country in Western Europe now.
But we’re supposed to believe they’re not real, because they don’t have big “KEEP OUT OR DIE, INFIDEL!” billboards denoting their perimeter, and they’re not labeled “Muslim No-Go Zone #23” on the official maps of major European cities. The whole debate turned into one of multi-culturalism’s frequent “I See Five Lights” tests, where we’re supposed to signal our submission to intellectual torture by formally disavowing the evidence of our lying eyes. It’s not likely to prove an effective antidote against an aggressive ideology whose appeal flows from conquering weaker cultures. Conquerors do not regard the willfully blind as difficult opponents.
One other location that should be highlighted on any map of no-go zones is Rotherham, in South Yorkshire, England. Rotherham was more precisely a didn’t-go zone. Over 1,400 girls, as young as 11 years of age, were sexually abused in Rotherham over the course of 16 years by a “grooming gang” of mostly Pakistani Muslim men. (In fact, the UK Daily Mail reports that, as more victims keep coming forward, Labour MP Sarah Champion recently said she thinks the final total will be well over 2,000.) The girls were threatened with harm, and harm to their families, if they spoke out… but some of them did contact the authorities, only to be roundly ignored due to politically-correct blindness. The fear of being called out as racist or bigoted paralyzed local authorities.
Even after a bombshell report made the dimensions of the Rotherham horror clear – including gang rape, human trafficking, and such disciplinary measures as dousing a young girl with gasoline and threatening to strike a match unless she kept quiet – resignations and reprimands came at an agonizingly slow pace. In fact, the Daily Mail quotes one of the victims saying in December that she thinks the grooming gangs are still in business, perhaps worse than ever, but slightly more circumspect about hiding their activities from marginally less blind authorities. “I’m still seeing my abusers driving young girls in their car. They’re untouchable,” she complained, adding that six months after the scandal broke, “we’ve had no arrests, we’ve had no charges, evidence is still being lost.”
The refusal to assimilate ultimately requires a certain degree of indulgence from the host society. Insularity is difficult to enforce against a confident surrounding culture. The legal principles and economic policies of a nation have a great deal to do with how directionless and alienated young people from all racial and cultural backgrounds feel. There are no-go zones and won’t-go splotches of politically correct blindness on the map because they are tolerated, and that won’t change if politicians and the media insist on ignoring them.