Dalrymple writes that the burkini affair
leaves me uneasy. There are two current demands in our societies: the right to mark ourselves out from others, and the right not to be discriminated against if we do so. These two rights are not logically incompatible, but if too strongly insisted upon simultaneously will destroy the cohesion of any society.
I cannot help but recall the words of Mr Erdoğan, well before he became as eminent and powerful as he has since become. Democracy is a train (or tram, in some citations) which is useful in getting you to where you want to go, and then you get off.
Could it be, asks Dalrymple,
that the demand for freedom is here a stalking horse for unfreedom, that a demand for freedom for oneself will end in a demand for the abrogation of the freedoms of others? This would not be unprecedented in recent history: the communists demanded full liberal-democratic freedoms in order later to be able to destroy them.