Friday, August 12, 2005

Beirut on Thames

Shocked into action by the recent terrorist attacks on London's Underground, the British Government is finally tossing dozens of militant muslim clerics to the curb. Historically, homeless politicals from Marxists to the Polish Government in exile were welcome to call London home. Civil Rights groups, Muslim Organizations and other wholly unreasonable groups see the Jihadis in the same light, saying West-hating clerics deserve the protections of a culture they are dedicated to destroying. Syrian cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who begins his day teaching jihad to preschoolers, offers introductory classes in wiring car-bombs, and falls to sleep watching replays of the September 11th attacks, is apparently the sort of model citizen our culture should work hardest to protect. Britain should also continue to close off streets in Kensington so militant muslim youth can spend an afternoon cheering on images of bloody terror attacks like Joe-Bluecollar cheers the Stillers on Monday Night Football. Something gotta give.

I am not wholly unsympathetic to the arguments of civil libertarians who are dedicated to keeping our societies open and safe for all diversities of thoughts. Open societies with open discourses are the best at dispelling competitive ideologies through inter-ideological discourse. However, concepts of liberty must always exist within the reasonable thresholds of sanity. And these jerks have to go.

Another libertarian question quickly follows this, in that Britain is currently only booting non-citizens. Treating non-residents with dramatically different rules and regulations, such as expelling them for their ideas or opinions, might be the first step down a slippery slope of limited liberties for citizenry. What happens with the militant cleric, newly minted citizen of Britain, who continues the fiery rhetoric of his deported colleagues in thick Saudi arabic. Britons will doubtless not see him as a citizen of equal standing, yet there he is. This will doubtless be a long legal process.

Either way, today's actions are welcome: The status quo had to change, and Omar's quick departure is a welcome start.

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