In such a regime, would you have a choice? If you elected the neurosurgery, you might be accused of wounding the feelings of the shaman, or of denying him employment, of not respecting his cultural traditions. To save you the worry of offending the shaman with your possible insensitivity, a law would compel the surgeon and the shaman to draw straws for the right to cure you of the aneurysm.
But suppose, thanks to a government-mandated, government-funded “fair and balanced” information program, which taught the history of medicine, treating advances in Western science as no better than shamanism, you believed that the shaman might cure you. After all, his ancestors had been performing the ritual for centuries, without even knowing what an aneurysm was. They and their patients must have believed his chanting and dancing worked. If they hadn’t, wouldn’t they have, well, discovered medical science? Statistics on the success of shamanism are scant, but who were you to judge? You are not a doctor, and so cannot be a judge of what works and what will not work. And there just might be evil spirits inhabiting your brain, and a neurosurgeon wouldn’t know how to coax them out.
So, you choose the shaman. He spent hours making noise and bathing you in his odiferous aroma. He failed. You are now near an excruciatingly painful death. The hospital tells you that it’s not too late, the surgeon can still attempt to perform the necessary operation. You feel guilty about the shaman’s failure to remove the aneurysm – and apologize to him profusely – but ask to be taken the operating room post-haste.
When you recover, you hear noises outside your hospital room window. It is a demonstration of shamans protesting your not respecting their cultural traditions, of discriminating against them. You learn that the surgeon who saved your life has been beaten up, and your own car in the hospital garage has been fire-bombed. A family pulling into the empty space next to your car was killed.
An “extremist” group called “Shamans for a Blended Society” claims responsibility. A “moderate” shaman spokesman assures the public that most shamans do not believe in such violence and that “peaceful” shamans shouldn’t be linked with violent ones. “Our silence about the actions of our brothers should not be construed as sanction.”
More frightening, you read in a newspaper that the shamans also want to take over the hospital and integrate their brand of medical treatment, eventually as the only one available. They demand that medical schools adopt a curriculum of shamanist medical beliefs, and that non-shaman doctors be required to undergo reeducation. Those who refuse or fail “peer review” will not be allowed to practice any kind of medicine. The “moderate” shaman spokesman asserts that “such people are criminally intolerant and obviously bigoted against diversity in medicine.”
On a national level, covering the cultures of whole nations, including politics and the arts, this is what has been occurring in the West for decades with the invasion of Islam. What preceded the invasion, however, and helped to make that invasion possible, was a general disintegration fomented by subjectivism, relativism, and nihilism (e.g., the “sculpture” of Duchamp, the “paintings” of Picasso, Pollock, and Warhol, the “music” of Schonberg and Cage). Europeans are slowly, ever so cautiously, taking the first timid steps to recognizing the peril that is Islam, and that the peril was sired, fostered and sanctioned by the policy of multiculturalism, enforced by government. “Islam” means submission, and they are now acknowledging that violently, or incrementally in the guise of “tolerance” and “diversity,” it means to conquer Europe, and then the world.
But the steps they are proposing are fraught with a peril as pernicious as that posed by Islam. Angela Merkel of Germany, Nicolas Sarkozy of France, and now David Cameron of Britain have opened their eyes to the peril, but are otherwise rudderless in their desire to “salvage” Western civilization. They have uniformly advocated using state power to treat the symptoms of Islamism without closely examining the ideology, which they simply regard as a “religion.” Their first, ideologically congenital response to multiculturalism is state action.
Soon after it was revealed that Britain’s MI6 warned of a campaign of domestic and foreign Islamic terrorism in Britain and abroad, British Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the Munich Security Conference on February 5th. His speech points up the West’s flawed perception of Islam. It repeats the fallacies uttered by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11, when he said that Islam had been “hijacked” by terrorists and that Islam, at root, was a “peaceful” religion. Cameron also prescribes a series of government actions to combat Islamic “extremists.”
The reaction of the left to Cameron’s speech was predictable, exhibiting its selective amnesia about the English Defense League that advocated being “hard-nosed” about Muslim immigration (long before Cameron discovered that he had a nose), and also about British Muslims calling for Britain to become Sharia-ized from top to bottom. Preceding Cameron’s wall-flowerish approach to combating terrorism were Tony Blair (see a précis of his Foreign Affairs, "A Battle for Global Values,” on diversity vis-a-vis Islam here), and Gordon Brown's order to members of the government (at the bidding of the European Union) to refrain from publically linking Muslims and terrorism.
Cameron’s speech focused on multiculturalism and its failure. What is multiculturalism? What do its advocates mean by it? Does it mean attending an Italian or Polish street fair to sample the national cuisine? Does it mean enjoying the music of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Puccini, Grieg, or Lully? Does it mean appreciating the literature of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy? Does it mean acknowledging and benefiting from the scientific and medical achievements of men and women of various countries? No.
You will not find a clear definition of multiculturalism in the usual places, such as in The Oxford Dictionary and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. What you will find is a consistent but unarticulated suggestion that it is a policy of thought and/or behavior control, instituted and imposed by government at the behest of groups who claim to be “disadvantaged” or “victimized” or treated as “second class” by the norms of a secular, non-tribalist society, or who claim that their “culture” is too unique or special for its adherents to allow it to be submerged or dissipated in a general secular culture.
The Stanford discussion of multiculturalism notes:
Multiculturalism is a body of thought in political philosophy about the proper way to respond to cultural and religious diversity. Mere toleration of group differences is said to fall short of treating members of minority groups as equal citizens; recognition and positive accommodation of group differences are required through “group-differentiated rights”….
While multiculturalism has been used as an umbrella term to characterize the moral and political claims of a wide range of disadvantaged groups, including African Americans, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, most theorists of multiculturalism tend to focus their arguments on immigrants who are ethnic and religious minorities (e.g. Latinos in the U.S., Muslims in Western Europe), minority nations (e.g. Catalans, Basque, Welsh, Québécois), and indigenous peoples (e.g. Native peoples in North America, Maori in New Zealand).
The Oxford discussion notes, after its definition of the term as “the practice of giving importance to all cultures in a society” (leaving open the question of who or what bestows that importance):
The term ‘multiculturalism’ emerged in the 1960s in Anglophone countries in relation to the cultural needs of non-European migrants. It now means the political accommodation by the state and/or a dominant group of all minority cultures defined first and foremost by reference to race or ethnicity; and more controversially, by reference to nationality, aboriginality, or religion, the latter being groups that tend to make larger claims and so tend to resist having their claims reduced to those of immigrants. The ethnic assertiveness associated with multiculturalism has been part of a wider current of ‘identity’ politics….
To implement multiculturalism, it must have a point of reference, or something against which to measure or compare other cultures, and then it must seem to level or diminish a superior value by elevating a lesser or inferior value. To multiculturalists, comparing Patagonian culture to Eskimo or Congolese culture would be pointless, because they are all primitive, though the multiculturalists would never say that. Instead, they would compare a primitive, stagnant culture with Western culture and claim that they are all the same, that they are all unique and that none is superior to any of the others, especially not Western culture. In fact, the multiculturalists have not elevated anything, but rather demoted Western culture by juxtaposing it with the lowest common denominator.
This is removing the Nike of Samothrace from its pedestal and placing it next to a mechanical carnival fat lady and a woman in a burka, which you originally thought was the charred stump of a burnt redwood. The docents of diversity, if they have done a good job of indoctrinating you, will expect you to concede that the Nike isn’t any more attractive than the fat lady or the burka. In fact, you say, like a good dhimmi, that it shames the other examples, and so should be splattered with paint to equalize things.
Islam has no culture to speak of, unless one includes its reputation for barbarity, cruelty, intolerance, slavery, nihilism, and an unquenched malice for any culture that is measurably superior to it, for any culture that is pro-living on earth, pro-freedom, pro-reason. That culture happens to be Western culture.
After some prefatory remarks about the necessity for military and other security measures to combat terrorism, Cameron proceeded to endorse multiculturalism while at the same time agreeing with Angela Merkel that the policy has failed. In particular, he repeatedly emphasized the notion that Islam must be distinguished from its “extremists.” To wit:
But the biggest threat that we face comes from terrorist attacks, some of which are, sadly, carried out by our own citizens. It is important to stress that terrorism is not linked exclusively to any one religion or ethnic group. My country…still faces threats from dissident republicans in Northern Ireland.
“Dissident republicans”? What a delicate euphemism for the Irish Republic Army, a band of indiscriminate killers, as indiscriminate as Al Quada, whose planners and “soldiers” very likely learned a few things from the IRA’s murderous techniques.
We will not defeat terrorism simply by the action we take outside our borders. Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries. Of course, that means strengthening, as Angela has said, the security aspects of our response, on tracing plots, on stopping them, on counter-surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Which means: not eliminating states that sponsor terrorism, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, but bolstering and expanding the police-state capabilities in the so-called Western “democracies.” But Cameron went out of his way throughout his speech to hold Islam blameless for 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Bali, and all the other successful and attempted attacks on the West and on Westerners around the world.
• Nevertheless, we should acknowledge that this threat comes in Europe overwhelmingly from young men who follow a completely perverse, warped interpretation of Islam, and who are prepared to blow themselves up and kill their fellow citizens….
• We have got to get to the root of the problem, and we need to be absolutely clear on where the origins of where these terrorist attacks lie. That is the existence of an ideology, Islamist extremism. We should be equally clear what we mean by this term, and we must distinguish it from Islam. Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a political ideology supported by a minority….
• At the furthest end are those who back terrorism to promote their ultimate goal: an entire Islamist realm, governed by an interpretation of Sharia….
• It is vital that we make this distinction between religion on the one hand, and political ideology on the other. Time and again, people equate the two….
• Someone can be a devout Muslim and not be an extremist. We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing.
• There is so much muddled thinking about this whole issue.
What an understatement. The muddled thinking is all Cameron’s. He affects to prune a few weeds, but ignores the roots of the Islamic kudzu that is smothering the Western values he proposes to defend. He does not advocate combating an ideology with an ideology. But, here are some counterpoints:
Islam cannot be “perverted” or “warped.” It is already absurdly irrational and nihilistic. Islamic “extremism” is an ideology and is Islam in its purest, most fundamental manifestation; terrorists practice what Mohammed preached. Islam is certainly observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people,” who silently, and so complicitly, sanction the political ideology and actions of the “extremist minority.” Those “billion people” hardly constitute a minority.
Yes, someone can be a devout Muslim and not be an “extremist.” What a devout Muslim is, is a dehumanized manqué who has surrendered his mind and his identity to the diktats of a violent, proselytizing bandit who heard voices, and is disinclined to question his creed either from mental inertia or for fear of angering the hive.
Cameron went on to smear anyone who objects to the Islamification of Britain and any other Western nation:
On the one hand, those on the hard right ignore this distinction between Islam and Islamist extremism, and just say that Islam and the West are irreconcilable – that there is a clash of civilizations…These people fuel Islamophobia, and I completely reject their argument.
There is that old allegation again, that anyone on the “right” is naturally fascist. Anyone who recognizes that Islam and the West are irreconcilable is a bigoted racist. On one hand, Islamic “extremists”; on the other, fascist “extremists” and Islamophobes. In the middle, the great big zero of a billion devout Muslims who wish not or dare not condemn their more activist, missionary brothers. Not much logic is present in that scenario.
If they want an example of how Western values and Islam can be entirely compatible, they should look at what’s happened in the past few weeks on the streets of Tunis and Cairo: hundreds of thousands of people demanding the universal right to free elections and democracy.
Yes, look to what has happened in Tunis and Cairo, the taking over of blind revolts against one form of tyranny in favor of an Islamic one by the Muslim Brotherhood and other “extremist” organizations. What those hundreds of thousands of people will get – those people who haven’t a clue to what rights are – is an Iranian-style “democracy” with “free elections” rigged to perpetuate an Islamic regime.
After some confusing rhetoric about leftists, “moderate” and “extremist” Muslims, Cameron stresses again:
We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing….The point is this: the ideology of extremism is the problem; Islam emphatically is not. Picking a fight with the latter will do nothing to help us to confront the former.
Here is an apt analogy: Neville Chamberlain did not wish to think that Nazi “extremism” and Nazism were the same thing. He believed that Nazi ideology was the problem, not Nazism itself (perhaps he thought it was just a peculiar German predilection for authoritarianism and no threat to Britain). He did not wish to pick a fight with the Nazis. He, too, spoke in Munich. What he got was a war with a totalitarian regime bent on conquest. It is a very familiar scenario.
We need to argue that prophecies of a global war of religion pitting Muslims against the rest of the world are nonsense.
Are they nonsense? Then why have Islamists declared war on the West? Which religion has pitted itself against the rest of the world?
The extremism we face is a distortion of Islam, so these arguments, in part, must be made by those within Islam. So let us give voice to those followers of Islam in our own countries – the vast, often unheard majority – who despise the extremists and their worldview.
Islam is a political/theocratic ideology, and cannot be “distorted.” And how can Cameron or anyone else give the “vast, often unheard majority” voice, when they choose not to speak, which would explain why they are “unheard”?
After all that, Cameron finally alights on the failure of state-sponsored multiculturalism, and proposes more of it. He speaks of a “muscular liberalism,” which means more state involvement in the private lives of citizens. He announces a National Citizen Service, a two-month program for sixteen-year-olds from different backgrounds to live and work together.” It sounds like a multiculturalist Hitler Youth, or an Obama Corps.
I also believe we should encourage meaningful and active participation in society, by shifting the balance of power away from the state and towards the people.
After all, the Party can’t do everything. It is relying on all conscientious and patriotic Germans – excuse me, Britons – to put their shoulders behind the effort and pitch in and help to achieve “true cohesion.”
Earlier in his speech, Cameron bemoaned the plight of young Muslim immigrants to Britain who are left “rootless” without an “identity,” and blamed “passive tolerance” for their and the country’s troubles, and too often turn to violent jihad.
Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.
This is one of Cameron’s clearer statements. Elsewhere in his speech, he proposes a kind of state defunding and spurning of Muslim organizations that preach jihad and universal Sharia. Fine. Follow that up with ending welfare payments to Muslims with multiple wives, ending Sharia courts that bypass civil courts, deporting any and all immigrant Muslims who breathe a word of treason and overthrow, and discarding the politically correct lexicon of euphemistic terms (e.g., “Asian” for “Muslim”).
That would be the beginning of true “liberalism,” that is, of a limited government whose business it would be to protect individual rights, remove itself from the economy, and which recognized that providing “a vision of society” was not one of its proper functions. But the implementation of any one of Cameron’s proposals would provoke angry demonstrations of “moderate” Muslims calling for his resignation and his head and for death to all “Islamophobes.” No sooner had his speech been publicized than he was attacked by “moderate” Muslims for encouraging Islamophobia.
On the whole, what Cameron had to say about his solutions to the problem was an encomium of fascism.
In its fundamental errors and fallacies, David Cameron’s Munich speech echoes the same decades-old mindset of U.S. policy towards Islam and Muslims, which is an accommodationist one that seeks to “integrate” the unintegratable, grant Muslims a “respect” that is never reciprocated (and can never be, if Islam is to remain Islam), and reconcile a totalitarianism ideology with the Constitution.
Representative Peter King, erstwhile friend of the IRA and more recently a friend of Long Island Muslims, is under attack by Muslims for wanting to hold hearings in the House on the radicalization of American Muslims. This is despite his apparent desire to load the testimony in favor of “moderate” Muslims with axes to grind and his not having invited experts on Islamic jihad to testify, such as Robert Spencer and Steve Emerson, both hated by CAIR, the ISNA, and the MPAC.
President Obama has appointed Muslims to guide Middle East policy, and has been flirting with the Muslim Brotherhood, the progenitor of many terrorist organizations whose goals are to eradicate Israel and rot the legal and cultural innards of the U.S. in preparation of converting it into an Islamic “republic.” He wishes it to have a role in establishing a new government in Egypt. This is in demonstrated conformance to the deference he pays to tyrants and authoritarians.
The Grand Dhimmis of Europe are awakening and conceding that multiculturalism has been a prescription for cultural and political suicide. Unfortunately, they are acting under the influence of the political double aneurysm of collectivism and statism.