Sooner or later multiculturalism — like all utopian ideas—was bound to get tossed into Trotsky’s dustbin of history. Now, 36 years after the commonwealth of Canada became the first nation to adopt the policy as a way to appease French Quebec separatists, we have arrived full circle with more and more Western countries favoring monoculturalism and limited immigration as a way to protect their culture, heritage, language and majority status.
Behind multiculturalism was the conceit that various tribes, races, and sects embracing radically different or opposing values — indeed encouraged to embrace different values — might live together in peace and harmony. What’s more, one and all would be richer for the association. And since we are all reasonable modern people ancient grudges and historical injustices would be as forgotten as, say, Walter Mondale’s running mate.* Under multiculturalism the Earth would be a peaceable kingdom once more, an Eden before the fall.
Only it didn’t quite work out that way. It seems tribes, races, and sects do hold grudges. Sometimes for a thousand years. And as for sharing different values, many Muslim immigrants and their Saudi and Egyptian spiritual advisors were not as big on multiculturalism as were the West’s intellectuals and politicos. The former’s secular European neighbors were not regarded as distinct cultural groups with equal cultural and political status, but godless infidels and Zionist apes and swine.
When the geniuses behind multiculturalism finally bothered to venture into Europe’s Islamic ghettos they were aghast at the intolerance, misogyny, honor killings, fatwas, female circumcision, forced marriages, allegiance to pan-Islam, and the constant calls for curbs on speech under the guise of banning defamation of religious sentiments.
So if multiculturalism is passe and monoculturalism is ethnocentric, what then is to be done?
The Anglo-Dutch writer Ian Buruma suggests it is pointless to try to assimilate Muslims. Most are simply not interested. Nor are they likely to trade their religion and customs for what they have been told are immoral Western values. Therefore the West must reconcile itself and embrace a group whose leaders would like to do away with modern liberal democracy. It is the West that must adapt to Islam, not the other way round. Not by converting, but in a hundred small ways: curbs on free speech, the press and granting Muslims their own religious-based laws and justice system where the Koran and not the rule of law is the final arbiter. And anyone who resists, anyone who fights to protect Enlightenment values versus fundamentalist Islam will be put down as a “nationalist” and an Islamophobe. Just as in the Cold War anyone who resisted the lure of Communism was a John Bircher and a McCarthyite.
Read Buruma and you will find a first-rate example of one of Europe’s prominent intellectual’s twisted reasoning in all its perplexity: “Many [Muslims] will not abandon their religion, so Europeans must learn to live with them and with Islam,” writes Buruma, then, a few paragraphs later contradicts himself in his conclusion: “We must do everything to encourage Europe’s Muslim to become assimilated in European societies. It is our only hope.” In other words, our only hope is hopeless.
Not to worry, though, because “Liberal democracy and Islam are reconcilable,” Buruma assures us. “Indonesia’s current political transition from dictatorship to democracy, although no unqualified success, shows that this is achievable.”p>One small problem. It is not Indonesians that are immigrating to the West. Rather it is the extraordinarily fecund Arab, Pakistani, North African and Turkish Muslims that have converted England’s capital into Londinstan and will soon compose the majority population of Amsterdam. As for Indonesia, I count no fewer than four al Qaeda-affiliated terror groups (Jemaah Islamiah, Islamic Defenders’ Front, Darul Islam and Laskar Jihad) dying to establish an Islamic state throughout Southeast Asia, mostly by blowing up and beheading Western tourists and missionaries. Mr. Buruma would do well to skim a 2005 report from the BBC’s Indonesian correspondent that contains this account: br> /p>
Central Sulawesi and Poso in particular was the scene of bitter fighting between Muslims and Christians in 2001 and 2002. More than 1,000 people were killed before a government-brokered truce. Although the violence has been subdued, it has never gone away completely.br> As in Turkey — another so-called Democratic Muslim success story — Indonesia’s government keeps the lid on its jihadists only by waging constant battle against them and forgoing little things like human rights.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?