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Britain's Strength/Weakness

Reader comment on item: Weak Brits, Tough French

Submitted by ko (China), Jul 23, 2005 at 10:04

Given the fact that France has a history of Muslim extremist terrorism and Britain does not, is it any surprise that France has a more strict policy? Britain's open, multi-cultural society offers more freedom and opportunity to immigrants than the comparatively closed society of France that marginalizes them.

Now Britain must come to terms with the fact that it's involvement in the Iraq war has demonized it in the eyes of Muslim extremists; it must face the fact that the safe harbor it offers has become a working platform for an extremist minority, and it will sacrifice some freedom because of that. That is the price of Blair's error.

Does this mean Britain should reverse direction and follow France? I don't think so. On balance, Britain has benefited greatly from multiculturalism becoming a dynamic and robust society while France grows stagnant and brittle. Britain would be wise to cooperate more with international intelligence organizations, to act more decisively on known internal threats and implement more rigorous screening of immigrants. While I respect and enjoy the finer points of French culture, I recognize it is a smaller island than Britain, and one with a crumbling sea wall.

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