The astonishing variety and creativity of Paris, Rome, London, and New York are largely the result of freedom and respect for the individual. So too are the West’s scientific achievements. Our freedoms and the cultural riches they have provided ought to be cherished and defended. But many academics, intellectuals, artists, writers and philosophers (many of whom either teach or were taught in the universities I spoke of previously) busily condemn any celebration of such freedoms and cultural riches as racist or shamefully Eurocentric.
Is it not apparent to them that their own freedoms are in danger? The political correctness that inhibits cultural comparisons may be as grave a danger as a secret police in the long run, effectively silencing any defence of the West. Multiculturalism and relativism constitute an ongoing assault on our civilisation, and this from within.*
Cameron, Merkel, and Sarkozy have all recently acknowledged that the multiculturalist agenda imposed on Europe over the past thirty years has failed. And why do they say this? Because multiculturalism does not sustain the values of liberty and equality.(1) It is based on fundamental misconceptions about cultural and ethnic groups. Multiculturalists tend to regard ethnic groups as if they were homogenous, with clear boundaries and mutually exclusive with ‘specific determinate interests.’ They also tend to hold a sentimental belief that deep down all cultures have the same values, or that their different values are all worthy of equal respect. Multiculturalism, being the child of relativism, does not permit cross-cultural value judgements or criticism.
Thus, multiculturalism ends up providing cover for the most reactionary beliefs and practices in other cultures rather than encouraging more liberal strands to develop and assimilation to take place. Within these groups the multiculturalists give most attention to community leaders, the elders and traditionalists, often the least educated and determined to preserve their own power in the status quo. Essentially we (or rather our liberal-left intelligentsia) essentially defend the most oppressive beliefs and practices of a minority culture, ignoring the denial of rights to its women and children. In Britain the rate of suicide among Muslim women is greatly in excess of the national average because they are denied autonomy; those tight-knit families, regarded as models of stability compared to indigenous white families, are in fact suffocating them.(2)
The anti-racism struggles of the Sixties were about equality; multiculturalism demands separate rights, exemptions and special provisions for various groups. A politics of difference that undermines universal principles of justice and human rights. After thirty years of multiculturalism in certain Western and Central European cities the result is ‘segregation, ghettoisation, resentment, alienation and community stress.’(3) Multiculturalism pushes individuals back into a cultural ghetto that earlier generations tried to escape. It offers the promise of group equality at the price of individual bondage.
For those thirty years there has been a procession of appeasement and giving in to the demands for special accommodations for Muslims. Today it is evident that many, perhaps most of them have no intention of assimilating into the host society. Instead they insist that the host society must change in line with their beliefs, or grant them separate rights and privileges. It is imperative that we the host society exercise more vigilance lest our precious freedoms be squandered in what is becoming an orgy of multicultural appeasement and surrender.
In February 2008 Archbishop Rowan Williams said, and I’m sure you remember this, that ‘the application of Sharia in certain circumstances’ in the United Kingdom was ‘unavoidable.’ And he was not troubled by the prospect. In later interviews he asserted a belief in ‘one law for all’ was dangerous – one of the cornerstones of Western civilisation was dangerous! Later that summer the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, opined that sharia principles should be the basis for mediation
and that national courts should recognise these decisions!
Today there are eighty-five sharia courts operating in Great Britain. Many of them working out of mosques, applying Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital, and business disputes. These courts are intrinsically divisive. This results in some Muslims being placed above the law that the rest of the community, you and I, has to obey, while denying certain rights to other Muslims, particularly women. And we know what those are, including unequal inheritance, the female witness counting for less than the male, and more. The very existence of sharia courts threatens the the system of British laws passed by our elected representatives, in Parliament.
Remember when we were assured by government officials that these laws would not contradict the laws of the land? I know I do. And it was not that long ago. Already some decisions by Islamic tribunals have become legally binding and enforceable in civil courts in England and Wales. A report by Civitas revealed that the rulings handed down by sharia tribunals have included some that went against the human rights standards applied in British courts.(4)
Just how far does this erosion of our liberties have to go before the British nation realises what has been happening to it?
(1) Brian Barry: Culture and Equality: an Egalitarian Critique of Multiculturalism ISBN-10: 0745622283
(2) Rumy Hasan: Multiculturalism: Some Inconvenient Truths ISBN-10: 1842752375
(4) Denis MacEoin, Civitas Report, cited by Steve Doughty, ‘Britain has 85 sharia courts: the astonishing spread of the Islamic justice behind closed doors.’ Daily Mail June 29, 2009.
* A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor—he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation—he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city—he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared…’ – Cicero, 42 B.C.