How to win an argument with a conservative - call them racist, heartless and stuffy

11:50 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Any budding Leftist commentators hoping to fight the Culture Wars - or maintain the Culture Occupation, as our side lost years ago - could do worse than have a look at the latest piece of mass immigration-denial coming from the Guardian.

Francis Davis, who is a vague acquaintance and by all accounts a decent man, has penned a denunciation of our very own Damian Thompson, entitled “Thompson is wrong about immigration”, in response to a piece Damian wrote in the Catholic Herald about Christopher Caldwell’s book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.

While Caldwell has struck a chord with liberals who now accept, or at least suspect, that we can have a rigidly policed multicultural society or we can have a democracy but we can’t have both, the true believers increasingly cling to mantras, junk history and name-calling.

Davis’s article is a textbook guide for anyone wanting to defend the discredited creed of mult-culturalism - destined to follow its cousin Communism into history’s dustbin - against any sceptic. Here’s how you do it:

One – accuse them of being heartless about their fellow humans, making them, therefore, an inferior moral being to yourself.

At the outset – perhaps by mistake? – he gives the impression that the plight of 70 migrants drowning at sea, while nine ships passed by within sight, is just one of those things. He takes a mild swipe at the Italian Catholic bishops, while admitting that their statement did, in fact, strike the right tone. Bouncing on, he criticises the church’s campaign for regularisation of immigrants, and Islam’s “adversarial quality”. Anyone who disagrees with him, he suggests, must be a modernist grounded in the liberalism of the 60s. For this friend of Catholic traditionalists, this is the ultimate put-down.

In fact Damian Thompson’s article does nothing of the sort. He says the drownings were tragic – what else is he supposed to say? He could mark the article’s publication with the release of an Elton John-style tribute song to the victims of the tragedy and he’d still be called heartless, because if you’re opposed to mass immigration you’re going to be smeared. Never mind that it is Europe’s insanely lax immigration rules, with their promise of amnesties in the land of gold across shark-infested waters, that cause these drownings. Just because someone opposes mass immigration, it does not mean they don’t sympathise with the plight of immigrants.

Two, dust off some pseudo-history:

First, it is worth remembering that the philosophical base of most mainstream Catholicism emerges from the thought of St Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. In turn Aquinas built much of his theology on insights gleaned from translations of Greek philosophy undertaken – and saved – by Muslim scholars. The roots of European culture have long been intertwined with Islam, and to positive effect.

This is a common belief among Guardian-readers and other haters of Europe, but untrue. As Dr Suha Rassam writes in Christianity in Iraq, “neither the Persians who lived in Iraq, nor the Arabs that ruled the state, were conversant with Greek. In fact, translation of Greek philosophical works to Arabic was almost exclusively performed by Christian scholars. Qanawati enumerates over sixty translators, all of whom were Christians, except for one Sabian and one Jew.”

The assertion that Islam is part of European history and culture is one thing, dubious though it is, but to back it up with a liberal historical myth is quite another.

Three, call them “Crusaders” (”dusting off crusaders’ crosses will not do”), second only to Nazis in Guardian demonology. It is a strange accusation for an opponent of the Eurabia theory to make – the Crusades were launched in response to the Islamic conquest of the Middle East, so to suggest that anti-immigration commentators are taking up the Cross is to imply that such a conquest is taking place in Europe.

Four – completely ignore the argument, and especially avoid any statistics. The central claim of the article, and the book on which it is based, is that current levels of immigration are unprecedented and dangerously unstable; the most recent figures suggest that over 10 per cent of children born in the UK last year were Muslim, and that this number is increasing at a still rapid pace. If Davis has read Caldwell’s book, he shows no sign of it.

Five – accuse conservatives of blaming the immigrants themselves.

Second, in the Thomist tradition, nation states are never an end in themselves but always defined against a greater “common good”, an eternal benchmark, as to what constitutes justice. This is why Pope John Paul II argued that a starving person who migrates in order to feed his family breaks no (moral) law.

Damian never suggests otherwise. Nor does Caldwell. Nor does any serious opponent of mass immigration.

Six - since conservatives argue that immigration, crime and social disorder are serious issues and spoil our quality of life, a common tactic is to suggest the people making this point are uptight, cowardly or otherwise uncool, and need to get out and mingle more, go to a street party and have a couple of Red Stripes.

Lastly, Damian Thompson needs to move from Notting Hill to Bethnal Green to learn a bit more about Britain.

Davis, incidentally, lives in Oxford.

Seven - mantras, don’t forget the multi-cultural mantras, which must be repeated until they become true.

Muslims in this country are a young, vibrant, diverse community with much to offer the nation.

Vibrant is just an estate agent’s euphemism for “violent”, but I’m not sure why liberals always use the word “young” to describe immigrant communities when that is exactly the point sceptics are making – immigrant groups are young, yes, and the future belongs to the young (and their offspring). Bethnal Green, incidentally, is 50.1 per cent Muslim.

Eight – legitimise mass immigration by creating a historical precedent.

In parts of the country they face intense poverty and the harsh ignorance of the regions in which they have settled. In this regard they share a historical experience with the Irish before them. In the 19th century thousands crossed the Irish sea to find jobs, brought their religion with them, worked hard, and stayed.

Ah, like the Huguenots and the Jews, the Irish are the mythical mass migrants of yesteryear. French Protestants, at their peak, constituted 0.25 per cent of the population, the Jews 0.7 per cent, but even the Irish, at their height between 1861-1871, amounted to only 3.5 per cent of the British population, and even after you reach a total Irish population by including people of Irish ancestry, the figure reaches nowhere near the projected Muslim population of the next decade. And this statistic ignores the two elephants in the room – that not only were the Irish not a visible ethnic minority, a factor in integration, but perhaps more importantly, their religion was not utterly alien to this country, and not a threat (although disliked). As much as Irish Catholics and English Protestants might fight, they had a common pan-European cultural and religious heritage that Catholics and Muslims simply do not share. continues here

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