All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not. A culture that celebrates femininity and considers women to be the masters of their own lives is better than a culture that mutilates girls’ genitals and confines them behind walls and veils or flogs or stones them for falling in love. A culture that protects women’s rights by law is better than a culture in which a man can awfully have four wives at once and women are denied alimony and half their inheritance. A culture that appoints women to its supreme court is better than a culture that declares that the testimony of a woman is worth half that of a man. It is part of Muslim culture to oppress women and part of all tribal cultures to institutionalize patronage, nepotism, and corruption. The culture of the Western Enlightenment is better.
In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn’t translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali - from NOMAD - hardcover edition, pages 212 - 213
Tariq Ramadan, the epitome of the modern moderate Muslim thinker, explained that Mohammed Merah was only a bit confused and “soft-hearted”. Ramadan does have a point. When Mohammed Merah grabbed a little girl, put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger, he was being soft-hearted by the standards of the Muslim Jihadis back in Afghanistan or Iraq. After all he didn’t torture or rape her first. By Islamic mores that is soft-hearted.
As the debate has shifted to Muslim integration, Muslim happiness and how Muslims see the killings, the actual victims of the attack have receded into the distance, over that far horizon where dead Jews go until they are wanted by the champions of progress and enlightenment to make a point about tolerance. That is where the six million sleep, wakened to occasionally stir from the tomb and appear at a Holocaust museum or at a film showing whose message is that we must learn to be more tolerant. But somehow the only people we need to learn to be tolerant of are the people killing us.
Jewish suffering has been universalized into multicultural pablum that has nothing to do with Jews anymore. The hijacking of Jewish history has been so comprehensive that Jews have become the new Nazis in the mythology of multiculturalism. They wear uniforms, don’t they. They have a state that they’re proud of. And they’re fighting against all the Mohammed Merahs who only kill because they haven’t gotten their fill of tolerance. Clearly Jews are the new Nazis.
No other ethno-religious group has been subject to the same vile mockery from the left, the complete disregard for their history and civil rights as the Jews. To mention the Holocaust in the context of a potential Jewish genocide is an invitation to being ridiculed or accused of exploiting history, by the same people who shamelessly exploit it when they want to bomb Yugoslavia or protest against budget cuts for minority studies programs.
The liberal Jewish eunuch may have tried to forget who he is, but the Muslim has not forgotten him. That is the true meaning of Antisemitism, even when Jews forget who they are, the people who hate them still remember. The blood spilled by that knife is accounted by the modernists as part of the sacrifice of multiculturalism. But as the blood spills, even the liberal eunuchs remember that they are not being killed because someone hates multiculturalism, but because someone hates Jews.
When the topic of human sacrifice was broached in the classroom, my son reported that not one of his classmates was comfortable condemning the practice as immoral. “It was their culture,” his classmates said. And it’s wrong to impose your values on someone else’s culture.
This is not a fluke. In “Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood,” Christian Smith and his co-authors recount the results of their decade-long study of a representative sample of Americans aged 18-23. Through in-depth interviews, they examined their subjects’ lives and concluded that an alarming percentage of young people are highly materialistic, commitment averse, disengaged from political and civic life, sexually irresponsible, often heavily intoxicated and morally confused. In fact, the authors contend, they lack even the vocabulary to think in moral terms.
Those who resist the self-flagellation that travels under the name multiculturalism are accused of chauvinism. But the withdrawal from any kind of judgment is yielding a generation of moral cripples.
Obama is not a classical liberal, but rather an illiberal multicultural relativist. In his way of thinking, all cultures are equal, and so are not to be judged by transcendent, timeless abstract values like freedom and liberty. These proclamations instead are “constructed” narratives offered up by Western chauvinists and do not take into consideration past imperialism, colonialism, and racism. Instead, equality of result — an enforced egalitarianism in the Marxist sense — is the multiculturalist creed. In such a warped world view, a Chavez or Castro who stifles freedom is not per se anti-democratic, because he does so to redistribute income, his beneficiaries being the “people,” his prey “them.”
The result is that we judge ourselves and our allies by standards that we simply do not apply to others (a million Arabs [many not natives] living in Israel is fine; a quarter-million Jews who buy land on the West Bank are rank cultural imperialists). To Obama, there is no unique West, exceptional in its consensual government, its singular constitutional history, the respect for free markets and private property, its adherence to an independent judiciary, human rights, and freedom of expression. (Of course, he loves in the concrete the dividends of such values when he goes to Martha’s Vineyard or Michelle sojourns at Costa del Sol). Western values are rarely connected to our material success and singular freedom; and if they are, they are declared (cf. the Cairo speech) derivative from non-Western precedents.
Worse still, the multiculturalist sees anti-Americanism and loud nationalism as “genuine” and “authentic.” Ahmadinejad represents the true Iranian patriot, who surely must be anti-American, not the dissidents in the street who share our love of freedom and are therefore somehow less authentically Iranian.