Last Sunday, the media were reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood was sitting down with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, in a completely unrelated story, the BBC reported that British Prime Minster David Cameron announced that "State multiculturalism has failed": "David Cameron has criticized 'state multiculturalism' in his first speech as prime minister on radicalization and the causes of terrorism.
"At a security conference in Munich, he argued the UK needed a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to all kinds of extremism. He also signaled a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.
"... As Mr. Cameron outlined his vision, he suggested there would be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups which get public money but do little to tackle extremism. "
"Ministers should refuse to share platforms or engage with such groups, which should be denied access to public funds and barred from spreading their message in universities and prisons, he argued.
"'Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,' the prime minister said."
For those of us who have been calling for years for the U.K. and Europe to become "intolerant" of the radical Islamist threat to our culture, this is a thrilling and gratifying moment. (See my book "The West's Last Chance," Regnery Publishing, 2005 -- particularly Chapter 7.) It is the obligation of both citizen and statesman to avoid both illusion and self-delusion when considering national threats.
And so it is ironic that on the same weekend that the British government finally removes the scales from its eyes and looks straight on at the mortal threat that aggressively asserted Islamist values pose to our civilization -- in Egypt, at the constant hectoring of Washington, D.C., voices, the remnants of the Mubarak government begin its halting, perhaps inevitable march toward the illusion of Egyptian democracy.
Regarding Egyptian democracy, I agree with the tone of Gandhi's answer in London in 1931 to the question of what he thought of Western Civilization: "I think it would be a very good idea." I, too, hope for but doubt the plausibility of Arab Islamic democracy.
The sad, failed history of reform toward Western democratic values of Arab (and particularly Egyptian) culture and governance is superbly presented in Lee Smith's 2010 book, "The Strong Horse: Power, Politics and the Clash of Arab Civilizations," Doubleday -- particularly Chapter 4.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.