A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Nobody Is Pleased With The Riots In France

But this is the sort of "inflamatory Radical Muslim rhetoric" that has most of the Conservative blogosphere's knickers in a knot:

The Arab European League, a Muslim advocacy group operating in Belgium and the Netherlands, states as part of its ‘vision and philosophy’ that ‘we believe in a multicultural society as a social and political model where different cultures coexist with equal rights under the law....We do not want to assimilate and we do not want to be stuck somewhere in the middle. We want to foster our own identity and culture while being law abiding and worthy citizens of the countries where we live.'

The demand for “assimilation” is a demand to abandon Islam as the price for particiapation in European “culture”. That is self-evidently not going to happen. Nobody with a real religion gives up their religion merely on such a whim.

We want to foster our own identity and culture while being law abiding and worthy citizens of the countries where we live.

America, at least, asks no more of any immigrant than that. And, by this standard, European immigrant is no different than the American one, the European native simply makes impossible demands on him as a price for a place at the table. “Multiculturalism” and “diversity” are not choices. They are facts.

For what it’s worth, my town, Columbus, Ohio, now has a large and growing Muslim population, mostly Somali, with a few African-American converts. They keep themselves to themselves and are careful to make no waves whatsoever. These days, who can blame them?

Because I have largely ceased to care what anyone thinks of my religion or my culture, I frequently chant Buddhist mantras silently in places like building lobbies using my mala of beads to count them with.

Only two sorts of people have the nerve to ask me about my beads. One is the cops, who are obviously on the lookout for “terrorists” when they talk to me.

The other is the Muslims, who recognize what I’m doing immediately (they call mantras “dikr”) and are intrigued that any American has the calmness and confidence to practice religion when strangers are looking.


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