Here in the US we are extremely (some would say overly) conscious of various groupings of the population into what are popularly termed “minorities.” This type of thinking is, of a certainty, not restricted to the US. As Mark Steyn notes, however, other countries in Europe are addressing their minority concerns from a markedly different perspective:
When Western governments are as reluctant as King Abdullah to fly the Star of David, those among the citizenry who choose to do so have a hard time. In Britain in January, while “pro-Palestinian” demonstrators were permitted to dress up as hook-nosed Jews drinking the blood of Arab babies, the police ordered counter-protesters to put away their Israeli flags. In Alberta, in the heart of Calgary’s Jewish neighborhood, the flag of Hizballah (supposedly a proscribed terrorist organization) was proudly waved by demonstrators, but one solitary Israeli flag was deemed a threat to the Queen’s peace and officers told the brave fellow holding it to put it away or be arrested for “inciting public disorder.” In Germany, a student in Duisburg put the Star of David in the window of an upstairs apartment on the day of a march by the Islamist group Milli Görüs, only to have the cops smash his door down and remove the flag. He’s now trying to get the police to pay for a new door. Ah, those Jews. It’s always about money, isn’t it?
Peter, the student in Duisberg, says he likes to display the Israeli flag because anti-Semitism in Europe is worse than at any other time since the Second World War. Which is true. But, if you look at it from the authorities’ point of view, it’s not about Jew-hatred; it’s a simple numbers game. If a statistically insignificant Jewish population gets upset, big deal. If the far larger Muslim population—and, in some French cities, the youth population (i.e., the demographic that riots) is already pushing 50 percent—you have a serious public-order threat on your hands. We’re beyond the anti-Semitic and into the ad hoc utilitarian: The King Abdullah approach will seem like the sensible way to avoid trouble. To modify the UN joke: Whom won’t we play? Israel, of course. Not in public.
Of course, this approach (simply because it is pragmatic) parallels that of many citizens around the world who simply choose to ignore the squeaking wheel rather than fixing it. When it comes to the subject of Muslims smothering dissent against their beliefs in communities which heretofore have been peopled by those of many cultures and religions, the very people who are losing their voices to disagree are calling for more sacrifices on the altar of multiculturalism.
Believing in something which is not so (such as the ultimate triumph of human goodness, if only the environment and stimuli can be set up correctly) cannot make it become true. Unfortunately, many of us do want to live in the fairy tale–if only because real life as viewed in purely human terms is unbearably hard.