Sunday, August 07, 2005

Western Civilization Is Slowly Waking Up

From the British paper Scotland on Sunday, via Dhimmi Watch:

EVERY youngster in the UK will be required to take part in citizenship ceremonies under a radical government plan to boost "Britishness" and combat extremism, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

Ministers are considering the controversial move following the bomb attacks in London by UK-born Muslims, which have placed unprecedented focus on the question of British identity.

Experts have warned that the bombers are the product of Britain's ghettoised urban culture, which has failed to provide national symbols around which to unite.

Scotland on Sunday can reveal that Britain's first 'Citizenship Day' has been pencilled in for this October, to celebrate the value of community and volunteer work.

Ministers are also consulting on plans to copy citizenship ceremonies in Australia and Canada, where citizens are encouraged to take part in ceremonies pledging their allegiance to their country.

Among the plans under consideration is a "rite of passage" plan in which all 18-year-olds would be forced to take part in a ceremony marking the fact that they are able to vote.

But the ceremonies are likely to be resisted by some young Britons, who are naturally wary of what they regard as flag-waving patriotism.

Even so, the bombings have led to a reassessment of how to create a new sense of Britishness which it is hoped may help to prevent future attacks.

One government-backed study, the Life in the UK Advisory Group, has even attempted to define Britishness.

"To be British seems to us to mean that we respect the laws, the democratic political structures, and give our allegiance to the state in return for its protection," the group declared.

"To be British is to respect those overarching specific institutions, values and beliefs that bind us all, the different nations and cultures together in peace and in legal order.

"To be British does not mean assimilation into a common culture so that original identities are lost."

The drive to create a clearer national identity is also backed by religious leaders who are likewise concerned about the Balkanisation of the country.

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs has spoken of how synagogues sing the National Anthem at services.
Mario Conti, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, added: "As a nation we do need to have a clear identity, not one that seeks to cancel out or homogenize the cultures and traditions of individual communities, but one that is recognisable and unifying.

"There has been a tendency in recent years to see any assertion of national identity as somehow jingoistic or not politically correct. The truth is that a clear national identity fosters the integration of ethnic and religious groups and gives them the opportunity to flourish and make their own significant contribution to society."

Many believe more needs to be done "Everyone who lives here should have to learn the language," declares Leonard.

The call is put into context by figures showing that there are more than 300 languages spoken in London alone. "There also has to be citizenship classes so that people can be properly integrated," he adds.

But those citizenship lessons should not be simply limited to immigrants. A Home Office consultation document, Strength in Diversity, reveals that the government is also looking to inculcate values in British-born citizens.

Cantle declared: "Everything is now back on the agenda. We were concerned that the citizenship ceremonies were only being targeted on newcomers but there are a lot of people who might be more involved in citizenship.

"This is a rite of passage for someone who is now able to vote to go through a citizenship course and a citizenship ceremony."

He added: "The trouble is that we are embarrassed by it. It is not what we do.

"We get very apologetic about our culture. We need common values and we need things that pull us together.

"At the moment, we are nowhere near that position. We have spent so long explaining differences that we have forgotten that we also have to deal with commonalities."

Well, well, well. Deportations of preachers of Jihad, treason charges for those who support suicide attacks. Citizenship Ceremonies for all. Yes, it sounds like Britain, at least, is beginning to wake up.

I just hope we all wake up in time.