The British government has a new program in place--a kind of curriculum taught by "forward leaning imams"--that encourages Muslims to become better citizens (subjects?). The curriculum is based on the Koran. In other words, these Muslim teachers in Muslim schools use the Koran to justify British citizenship. Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he means to show "the importance we attach to the dignity of each individual" and "the importance we attach to non-violence." I repeat, the curriculum is based on the Koran. Some Muslims are asking why Muslims should be singled out for civics lessons.
Bill Buckley considers the Muslim issue in Britain, and is concerned about saving "the British way of life." Do note Mr. Buckley’s musings in the last paragraph. He seems surprised that the Brits have this problem and we don’t. He implies that it should be easier for the Brits to handle this problem (after all, they do have an established religion) than it was for us to handle Mormon polygamy when they became "inconvenient" to us, who live in a regime of religious liberty. I suggest that Mr. Buckley glance at the Republican Platform of 1856which denounced the "twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery," and ask himself how the two are connected in principle.
Furthermore, I respectfully suggest that he reflect on the connection between a religion that allows polygamy and a territory (in which that religion predominates) forming itself into a state, and the constitutional provision (Art IV, Sect 4) that calls for each state to have a "Republican Form of Government." This makes for interesting musings (which both Douglas and Lincoln considered in the debates of 1858, of course; Lincoln using the polygamy issue to reveal Douglas’ inconsistency in using popular sovereignty). The Muslims, or the Mormons, or the Catholics, or the Baptists (but you get the point) can become citizens, but not on the same terms as Gordon Brown’s curriculum thinks Muslims may become citizens of Britain. And all that has to do with the American way of life, a much harder nut to crack than the British way of life. It would seem that Mr. Buckley doesn’t see why that is the case. What a shame.