Friday, July 22, 2005

Muslims, Pluralism and Multiculturalism; And Tom Friedman Gets One Right-- Really Right

Refusing to Tolerate Intolerance

Perry de Havilland posts very provocatively (and correctly, I think) about the difference between pluralism (a desirable Western principle and a particularly American one, although de Havilland is apparently British) and multiculturalism (a misguided notion at best). Excerpt:

If what we are trying to defend is a pluralistic tolerant society, then we have to make sure that the message is not just "throw the wogs out!" but rather
"You are welcome here if you are willing to assimilate to a sufficient degree."

But how does one define what that 'degree' is exactly? I am not talking a Norman Tebbit style "cricket test" but rather a willingness to tolerate 'otherness'. We do not need Muslims to approve of alcohol or women in short skirts or figurative art or bells or pork or pornography or homosexuality or (particularly) apostasy. We have no right to demand that at all and obviously not all Anglicans approve of some of those things, so why require that Muslims must? No, what we do have the right to demand (and that is not too strong a word) is that they tolerate those things, which is to say they will not countenance the use of force to oppose those things even though they disapprove of them. In fact it is not just Muslims from whom we must demand such tolerance.

If we can get them to agree to tolerate those things, then it does not matter if Muslim women wear burquas because as long as they are not subject to force, a woman may elect to say "Sod this for a game of soldiers!" and cast off that symbol of misogynistic repression... and if she does not do so, well that is her choice then ... but she must have a choice. They do not have to look like us (I do not hear calls for Chinatown to be razed to the ground), they do not have to share our religion(s), or lack thereof, but they do have to tolerate our varied ways and if by their actions or words they show they do not, we have every right to regard them as our enemies and take action to defend ourselves.

Bravo! Read the whole thing.

Tom Friedman Gets One Right

I agree with Friedman about half the time. In this column I think he hits a home run. Excerpts:

[We need to do more] than just put up walls. We need to shine a spotlight on hate speech wherever it appears. The State Department produces an annual human rights report. Henceforth, it should also produce a quarterly War of Ideas Report, which would focus on those religious leaders and writers who are inciting violence against others. . . .

We also need to spotlight the "excuse makers," the former State Department spokesman James Rubin said. After every major terrorist incident, the excuse makers come out to tell us why imperialism, Zionism, colonialism or Iraq explains why the terrorists acted. These excuse makers are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and also deserve to be exposed. When you live in an open society like London, where anyone with a grievance can publish an article, run for office or start a political movement, the notion that blowing up a busload of innocent civilians in response to Iraq is somehow "understandable" is outrageous. "It erases the distinction between legitimate dissent and terrorism," Mr. Rubin said, "and an open society needs to maintain a clear wall between them."

There is no political justification for 9/11, 7/7 or 7/21. As the Middle East expert Stephen P. Cohen put it: "These terrorists are what they do." And what they do is murder.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

All too often, the excuse makers include the media.

Muslim services in foreign languages should be taped, and translated, and publically available. The demand that immigrants be tolerant of the socially allowed and legal behavior is sound.

Tolerance of localized intolerance is the problem. Also globally, where there is no World Cop like my proposed Human Rights Enforcement Group to stop the intolerance of dictators. 

Posted by Tom Grey - Liberty Dad

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these “homegrown” Terrorists come precisely from the community that Lord Tebbit was so concerned about when he made his “cricket test” comments in 1990.

Lord Tebbit said the ‘cricket test’ was a means of gauging whether a community had integrated.

“If a community was looking back at where it had come from instead of looking forward with the people to whom they had come to, then there is going to be a problem sooner or later.”

Well, today it’s Sooner. But Lord Tebbit has been warning England that this was coming for 16 years.

And, what he said in 1990 is still the case today with the Pakistani community in England.

'Traitor' Sajid battles against the crowd
By Staff Sports Reporter

BOLTON-born Sajid Mahmood won his battle with a section of the Headingley crowd to play a key role in England's emphatic third npower Test victory over Pakistan.

The Lancashire seamer became a target for a particular corner of the ground, who labelled him a traitor because his parents were both born in Pakistan before emigrating to England in the 1970s.


During England's Test victory over Pakistan on Tuesday he was targeted by some fans who accused him of betraying his Pakistani heritage.


The British Pakistani community may live within England, but they don't consider themselves of England.

Sajid Mahmood WAS BORN IN ENGLAND so it is right and proper for him to play for England. So the real traitors were those who were calling him traitor.

16 years later Lord Norman Tebbit is still Right!


Posted by Anonymous

Friday, August 11, 2006 7:57:00 AM  

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