Wednesday, November 18, 2015

On the ineffective and immoral proposal of David Frum

A recent post by Shakezula at Lawyers, Guns and Money Canadian-born American political commentator David Frum posted to his Twitter account a proposal to deal with terrorism in Europe.

Alas, subsequent posts on his Twitter feed make it unlikely that this was a proposal he was offering forth in the noble tradition of Jonathan Swift.

There are many things that can be said about this proposal. Perhaps the most important, at least from the perspective of practicality, is that it wouldn't work. Most of the perpetrators were in Europe more than two years ago, many seem in fact to have been native-born citizens of one European country or another (France and Belgium). Are we to broaden the scope of this mass deportation--what some, perhaps unfavourable to this cause, might call an ethnic cleansing? How far back shall we go? Who shall determine who gets to stay? Do people of Muslim ancestry in Europe itself, like Bosniaks and Albanians, get to stay? Shall we also include converts? What legal mechanisms will be established to enable mass deportations of sufficient scope, whatever sufficient is?

Moving on from issues of practicality, Frum's proposal is inhumane, and this inhumanity would make things worse. It's difficult to see how any effort at a mass deportation of European residents, including European citizens, based on their religion would not end catastrophically for everyone involved, not least by legitimating the Daesh's rhetoric of an inevitable clash between Christians and Muslims worldwide.

Pew Research Centre's statistical overview of European Muslim populations is worth noting, if you want some quick statistics. What better place to start than with actual data?

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