He doesn't exactly come across like an oppressed outsider being held down by society. Far from being excluded he married the daughter of an Anglo-American family; she converted to Islam for him and had his child; and he lived with the Anglo family in a pleasant looking house here:
It was a case of American society giving things up and bending to him. But he clearly didn't like the kind of society America was, despite the willingness of this society to erase its own particularity for his benefit.
My regret is that Americans didn't (or weren't allowed to) regard themselves as one of the distinct peoples of the world with a unique existence of their own to uphold. If this path had been followed, then Americans could have continued to define themselves on their own terms and limited citizenship to those who would not transform or disrupt this identity.
The current policy is disempowering. There is no way to limit the vulnerability of society to such attacks, apart from increasingly stringent security measures. But even these, according to the Swedish PM, are unnacceptable in an "open" society:
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt commented on the Boston Marathon bombings for the first time on Wednesday, admitting it is "impossible" to completely prevent such attacks, either in Sweden or the United States.
"One should be aware that increasingly stringent controls come at the expense of people's freedom," Reinfeldt said during a visit to a company in Gävle in eastern Sweden, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper. "This is perhaps the highest price we pay for the open society that gives us freedom and mobility that I think people take for granted and feel is too valuable to forego."
For Reinfeldt an open society means open borders:
"I believe in a Europe that should be open, where we have free movement, and where we instead ask ourselves how people who come here can get work more easily," he said.Reinfeldt provides no solution at all. He argues that an open society requires open borders, which then brings in individuals who will commit future acts of violence, but he adds that in an open society stringent security controls are also unacceptable. He is honest enough to conclude that preventing future attacks is therefore impossible. He sees such attacks as a price you have to pay to live in a liberal society.
Speaking to Sveriges Radio (SR), Reinfeldt also pointed out that Sweden, when it opened its borders to greater immigration from Bulgaria and Romania, saw no major influx of people seeking to abuse the country's generous welfare system and benefits.
So what are we supposed to do? Feel nervous each time we attend a significant event? Hope that the next time it won't be us or someone we know? As I wrote earlier, liberals talk often of empowering people, but in this case liberal policy is clearly disempowering.
Here's a thought: perhaps the most open kind of society will be the one which upholds a stable and unified existence; i.e. one which has been able over time to settle into shared understandings of community life and in which people feel a loyalty to each other and to the larger community through natural ties of a common history and heritage.