Many readers on this site are probably aware that I am not a fan of Donald Trump. On the other hand, I think I can say with certainty that if thousands of religious fanatics were planning, funding, or sympathizing with murderous attacks against my fellow citizens, my gut response would not be to recommend an immediate travel ban against the president of the United States.
The one area in which I have been most understanding of Trump's appeal from the get-go is his blunt rhetoric about Muslim extremism. Though the issue is complicated, I have even expressed sympathy with his campaign position of a moratorium on all travel to the U.S. from Muslim nations. Whether practical or not, the idea has an undeniable emotional resonance for anyone who is not burying his head in the sand with regard to the nature and goals of Islamic fanaticism.
The logic of a ban on Muslim immigration and travel was spelled out in a syllogism of blood yet again on June 3, as England was hit with its second major terrorist attack in two weeks. And yet part of that nation's tough-talking capitulation to the global caliphate in the face of the latest attack consisted of the mayor of London demanding that a travel ban be issued -- no, not against people with ties to Islamic radicals, but against Donald Trump.
"I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for," said Sunni Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan, in a statement that left some ambiguity about whom he meant by "we." Was he speaking primarily as mayor of London, or as a prominent British Muslim? The last time I checked, Great Britain did not (yet) officially "stand for" the Islamic radicalization of its youth, the precipitous alteration of its demography in favor of Islam as the majority religious practice, or the passive acceptance of semi-regular religious-motivated mass killings in the names of "diversity" and "tolerance."
For what it's worth, genuine tolerance is indeed a modern pluralistic political virtue, and a necessary one. But when Milton and Locke were making their cases for religious tolerance, their precise intention was to quell or moderate religious fanaticism, not to aggrandize and protect it. Tolerance, as a social good, means specifically the refusal to accept violent hatred spewed in the name of faith, within the context of a modern political community.
England's government, and by implication the majority of its voting public, has shifted to a very different, almost diametrically opposed, understanding of tolerance, according to which tolerance means "learning to live with" a certain amount of violent religious fanaticism in one's midst, in the names of progressivism, multiculturalism, and kumbaya.
And so, even after his own city has been assailed by sincere and fanatical representatives of his own faith, Mayor Khan's instinct is not to condemn the fanatical strain of his faith, or to express shame on behalf of the moderate practitioners of his faith, but rather to demand that the American president be officially branded intolerant for his condemnation of the killers and their religious ilk.
In the face of yet another reminder of the suicidal results of his city's and nation's distorted tolerance of, and apologies for, fanaticism in their mosques, their neighborhoods, and their popular "culture," the mayor does not call for harsh action against radicalizing imams who sell their intolerant, anti-Western root rot in London on a daily basis, but rather wishes to ban a popular critic of such radicalism from setting foot in his country.
The sinking of a once very noble ship of state continues with no sign of rescue in sight.