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Opinion

Rotherham: The perils of tolerating intolerance

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Crime,Michael Barone,United Kingdom,Race and Diversity

Sickening. That’s the word that comes to mind when I contemplate the story from Britain of how local authorities in Rotherham failed to protect 1,400 young girls were raped, abused and consigned to prostitution by Pakistani and Kashmiri — Muslim — men. The reason: their goal was to promote “community cohesion” — multiculturalism — and so they systematically ignored abundant evidence of multiple vicious crimes. I won’t describe all the horrifying details: For the full horror, check out on the Telegraph website Allison Pearson’s account, and commentary by Conservative member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan and Labour supporter (and son of Labour MP Glenda Jackson) Dan Hodges. At Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos has another excellent article.

The central problem faced by tolerant societies is how far to tolerate intolerance. Intolerance particularly in the form of criminal jihadism and criminal misogyny by Muslim immigrants and their offspring. Not all Muslims, of course, but an uncomfortably large percentage of them. Fans of multiculturalism and “community cohesion” desperately want to avoid facing the problem. They tend to see their own societies as bigoted and intolerant, when in fact the level of bigotry and intolerance in nations like the United States and the United Kingdom is very low indeed, enormously low when seen fairly in historic perspective. And they tend to believe that our societies have oppressed others — people of color, those from the Third World — and that they have the moral high ground. So you have the absurd spectacle of the supporters of feminism and gay rights looking with sympathy on those Muslims who believe it is right or at least acceptable to rape women and kill gays.

Rotherham exposes this foolishness. How far should a tolerant society tolerate intolerance? That can be a difficult question in close cases. As a general rule, the state should not interfere with purely personal behavior that may be repugnant but not criminal. But Rotherham is not a close case. Local officials tolerated violent crimes because they feared that exposing them would somehow give credence to racism.

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