Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2012 / 1 Tamuz, 5772

The Trouble with Multiculturalism

By Clifford D. May






It undermines freedom


JewishWorldReview.com | Back in the day, when I was a newspaper columnist in Denver, representatives of the local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League paid a visit. Over coffee, they told the opinion editor and me that they had a program, “A World of Difference,” that “celebrates America’s diversity.” They asked for our editorial support. The editor and I had the same reaction: Would it not be better to celebrate all the things we have in common, all the things that unite Americans of whatever ethnic or religious backgrounds? Our friends left the meeting mightily miffed.

At the time, I viewed such initiatives (the ADL was hardly alone) as well-intentioned if somewhat ham-handed efforts to combat prejudice. I later realized this was part of a larger campaign to promote multiculturalism, which seemed like a fairly harmless attempt to encourage appreciation of varying styles of art, dress, and cuisine by pretending that all have equal merit. (But is there anyone who seriously believes that German cuisine is on a par with Chinese, French, or Indian?) Only years later did I come to realize: Multiculturalism is an ideology with far-reaching — and damaging — consequences.

This was forcefully driven home to me by a book probably not featured at your local book store: Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism, by Salim Mansur, a professor of political science at the University of Ontario. (Buy it at a discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition for $9.95 by clicking here)

Mansur recounts that back in the 1970s, Canada became the first Western nation to embrace multiculturalism on an official level, “sponsored by the state, supported by taxpayers, and monitored and enforced by thought-police (human rights commissions).” He makes a compelling case that adoption of this ideology has damaged Canada, and not only Canada: Multiculturalism, he writes, has been “destructive of the West’s liberal democratic heritage, tradition, and values based on individual rights and freedoms.”

Mansur observes that “freedom is the distinguishing feature of the West,” a core value that came under ferocious attack in the 20th century from fascism and Communism. In the current era, “the West is confronted with a new, or third, challenge of totalitarianism in the form of Islamism and its asymmetrical assault on liberal democracy, increasingly since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, against the United States.”

Multiculturalism insists that all cultures are equal and equally deserving of respect and celebration. It ignores the fact that freedom emerged and flowered in the West because of, Mansur writes, the “unique transmutation of Western culture and civilization brought about by the Enlightenment and the new scientific method pioneered by Galileo.” These influences “subjected religion to the scrutiny of reason.”

In the lands of Islam, it is generally the other way around: Reason is subject to the scrutiny of faith. Multiculturalism makes believe that the conflict between these two schools of thought is inconsequential. Worse, by emphasizing collective identities and group rights, and by pushing for equality of results rather than equality of opportunity, multiculturalism undermines individual freedom and devalues the Western cultures that have nurtured and defended it.

In Canada, the U.S., and other countries that accept a continuing stream of immigrants from non-Western societies, multiculturalism also inhibits the process of integration and assimilation. Instead, Mansur writes, it empowers new citizens “to demand that their host country adapt” to their cultural requirements while relieving them of any responsibility to weave themselves and their children into the cultural fabric of their adopted homeland. In this and other ways, multiculturalism is a “slippery slope” that “imperils” liberal democracies.

Mansur’s insights stem from experience as well as academic study. Born an Indian Muslim in Calcutta, he is Canadian by choice and conviction. His self-identification as a “dissident Muslim” undergirds his strong defense of Western values. “Faith does not take precedence over my duties . . . to Canada and its constitution, which I embrace freely,” he writes. You may not be surprised to learn that his statements have resulted in two fatwas calling for his execution.

Those whose religious and cultural beliefs lead them to the conclusion that Mansur deserves death also want to destroy Canada, America, Israel, and other “infidel” nations. That represents diversity — but should we really celebrate it?

Unable to answer that question, multiculturalists instead maintain the fiction that those who declare themselves enemies of the West are merely addressing “grievances” over such historical “crimes” as colonialism and imperialism, ignoring the fact that Islamists promote Islamic colonialism and seek to revive Islamic imperialism. Multiculturalists also decry the inequities of the global economic system, although their funds are derived from wealth created by Western agriculture and industry, and exchanged for Middle Eastern oil.

Mansur makes clear that Islamists are motivated by a fierce will to power and a deep antipathy for the West’s “civic culture, its freedom and democracy.” And Islamists, he adds, “find that multiculturalism increasingly in the post-9/11 world works in tandem with their interests to weaken the West politically and culturally from the inside.”

Most of those who advocate multiculturalism no doubt mean well. But their intellectual myopia is striking. The truth is, some cultures value freedom of religion; others see no virtue in granting free rein to what they regard as false religions. Some cultures prize free speech; others believe it is dangerous to permit open discourse and opt instead to censor many ideas. Some cultures believe that women and minorities should have the same rights as the majority; others consider that a blasphemous notion. Some cultures are willing to compromise to achieve peace; others are willing to fight and die for conquest and victory.

But the big trap of multiculturalism is simply this: If all cultures are equal, why defend your own? The culture that replaces it will be just as good, won’t it?

— Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

Comment by clicking here.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.




Previously:


06/07/12: The Battle of Syria
05/31/12: Whose Middle East Policy Is It, Anyway?
05/24/12: What Iran's Rulers Want
05/17/12: Missile Defense Is for Wimps
05/10/12: The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem
05/03/12: The Foggiest War
04/19/12: Law Games
04/19/12: Liberate 'Zones of Electronic Repression'!
04/12/12: Dare we actually listen to the Islamists?
04/05/12: Lone-wolf terrorists are a growing threat. Moderate Muslims are among those in the crosshairs
03/29/12: The Diplomats' Dilemma
03/22/12: 'Destroy All the Churches'
03/15/12: A Guide for the Perplexed Fareed Zakaria
03/08/12: How to Stop Putting Gas in the Islamist Tank
03/01/12: (War) Crimes and Punishment
02/24/12: Al-Qaeda's Big Fat Iranian Wedding
02/16/12: Listening to the Syrian Resistance
02/09/12: Are Sanctions Working? If the purpose is to penalize Iran's rulers for their crimes and discourage civilized people from buying blood oil, yes
01/26/12: If Pakistan fails it, there must be consequences
01/19/12: How terrorists lose their stigma
01/12/12: Muslims Attacked! But they are the wrong types of Muslims, so who cares?
01/06/12: The Historian, the Diplomat, and the Spy
12/29/11: Iran and Al-Qaeda: Together again for the first time
12/22/11: The Case for Palestinian Nationalism
12/15/11: What's Islam Got to Do with It?
12/09/11: Buried Treasure
11/24/11: What Would the Gipper Do?
11/17/11: Appease, temporize, posture and gesture?
11/11/11: Brave New Transnational Progressive World
11/03/11: What's Wrong with Economic Justice?
10/27/11: Autocracies United
10/20/11: The most critical threat confronting America
10/13/11: We've Been Warned
10/06/11: Anwar Al-Awlaki's American Journey
09/22/11: Cheney Got It Right on Syrian Nukes
09/15/11: The European Caliphate
09/08/11: Disoriented: The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01
09/01/11: Palestinian Leaders to Seek the UN's Blessing . . . for a two-state solution. For a two-stage execution
08/25/11: Better understanding of Islamist experience needed
08/18/11: The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
08/11/11: Borrowing from Communists to pay Jihadis?
07/28/11: Who's to Blame for Terrorism?
07/28/11: Do Somali pirates have legitimate gripe?
07/21/11: Why Bashar al-Assad matters to the West--- and what the Obama administration still doesn't grasp
07/07/11: MAD in the 21st Century





© 2011, Scripps Howard News Service