Blair's Words Eloquent, But Not Enough

Anyone remember the not very good Billy Joel song, "Shades of Grey"? Unfortunately it popped into my head as I read this Mark Steyn column on the culture that produced the London bombers. Here's a long excerpt to entice you.

It's these insulating circles of grey - the imams, lobby groups, media, bishops, politicians - that bulk up the loser death-cult and make it a potent force. We complain about "unassimilated" Muslim immigrants, but in some respects they've assimilated too well. Witness the suspected Tube bomber who on his arrest last week cried: "I have rights!" He and his colleagues demonstrate an impressive mastery of the salient features of the advanced social democratic state - the legalisms, the ethnic pandering, the bureaucratic inertia.

In Mayor Giuliani's New York, they used to talk of the "broken window" theory of crime - that if outward symptoms of petty crime were on display for months on end (broken windows) it signalled to more serious criminals that the town was open to do-badders; crack down on petty criminals and you create a less favourable climate for the hard cases. Her Majesty's Government might usefully learn from that: right now it's the windows of the kingdom that are broken, and through them climbs pretty much anyone who wants to be here. In 2001, after a Dutch crackdown on benefit fraud, 10,000 Somalis moved from Holland to one East Midlands town - Leicester. Why wouldn't a Somali jihadist fancy his chances in such a country?

On the topic of these "gray circles" in which we assimilated Westerners keep desperately seeking "moderate" Muslims (I'm not saying they don't exist, by the way, but they seem to be intimidated into silence) . . . Have you followed the case of the "fatwa" against terrorism issued several days ago? It struck me as a little um. . . .late, but I suppose positive.
Laura Ingraham interviewed one Steven Emerson, author of American Jihad, this morning, and he utterly eviscerated the significance of the fatwa. He showed the signatories themselves are all associated with terror organizations and in some cases implicated in wrongdoing, that they leave vague what they mean by terrorism and condemn no actual people or actions, and let slide the fact that no Jew, by Wahabist definition, can be innocent. In other words, he made it pretty plain that by his own lights, Osama bin Laden could probably sign off on that fatwa.
Ingraham asked, well if you won't accept this, what are Muslims supposed to do to convince us that they're anti-Islamocist? His answer: ask any of these men which specific acts of terror in the past five years they condemn? Which American prosecution or deportation do they support --get them to name one.
Recalling that Yasser Arafat was infamous for saying pleasant things in English, and then turning right around to say in Arabic, don't worry, we're still going to drive the Jews into the sea, I think my own simple question would be, have you issued this fatwa in Arabic and publicized it in your mosques? Or has this been just for the benefit of the MSM? Which brings us full-circle back to Steyn's point about there being, in fact, a good deal of "assimilation" of Western attitudes on the part of some of our dearest enemies.