Jewish World Review August 23, 2002/ 15 Elul, 5762
But, inevitably, it's the heavy sentence that's "controversial." After September 11th, Americans were advised to ask themselves, "Why do they hate us?" Now Australians need to ask themselves, "Why do they rape us?" As Monroe Reimers put it on the letters page of The Sydney Morning Herald:
"As terrible as the crime was, we must not confuse justice with revenge. We need answers. Where has this hatred come from? How have we contributed to it? Perhaps it's time to take a good hard look at the racism by exclusion practiced with such a vengeance by our community and cultural institutions."
Indeed. Many's the time, laboring under the burden of some or other ghastly Ottawa policy, I've thought of pinning some gal down and sodomizing her while 14 of my pals look on and await their turn. But I fear in my case the Monroe Reimers of the world would be rather less eager to search for "root causes." Gang rape as a legitimate expression of the campaign for social justice is a privilege reserved only unto a few.
Mr. Reimers, though, will be happy to know his view is echoed across the hemispheres. Five days before 9/11, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that 65% of the country's rapes were committed by "non-Western" immigrants -- a category which, in Norway, is almost wholly Muslim. A professor at the University of Oslo explained that one reason for the disproportionate Muslim share of the rape market was that in their native lands "rape is scarcely punished" because it is generally believed that "it is women who are responsible for rape."
So Muslim immigrants to Norway should be made aware that things are a little different in Scandinavia? Not at all! Rather, the professor insisted, "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because their manner of dress would be regarded by Muslim men as inappropriate. "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it." Or to modify Queen Victoria's wedding-night advice to her daughter: Lie back and think of Yemen.
France? Well, I can't bring you any ethnic rape statistics from the Fifth Republic because the authorities go to great lengths not to keep any. But, even though the phenomenon of immigrant gang rape does not exist, there's already a word for it: the "tournante" -- or "take your turn." Last year, 11 Muslim men were arrested for enjoying a grand old tournante with a 14-year old girl in a cellar.
Denmark? "Three quarters of rapes are carried out by non-Danes," says Peter Skaarup, chairman of the People's Party, a member of the governing coalition.
Well, you get the idea. Whether or not Muslim cultures are more prone to rape is a question we shall explore another day. What's interesting is how easily even this most extreme manifestation of multiculturalism is subsumed within the usual pieties. Norwegian women must learn to be, in a very real sense, less "exclusionary." Lebanese male immigrants, fleeing a war-torn wasteland and finding refuge in a land of peace, freedom and opportunity, are inevitably transformed into gang rapists by Australian racism.
After September 11th, a friend in London said to me she couldn't stand all the America-needs-to-ask-itself stuff because she used to work at a rape crisis centre and she'd heard this blame-the-victim routine a thousand times before. America was asking for it: like those Norwegian women, it was being "provocative." My friend thought the multiculti apologists were treating America as a metaphorical rape victim. But, even so, it comes as a surprise to realize they do exactly the same to actual rape victims. After the O.J. verdict, it was noted by some feminists that "race trumped gender." What we've seen since September 11th is that multiculturalism trumps everything. Its grip on the imagination of the Western elites is unshakeable. Even President Bush, in the month after September 11th, felt obliged to line up a series of photo-ops so he could declare that "Islam is peace" while surrounded by representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization which objected, on the grounds of "ethnic and religious stereotyping," to the prosecution of two men in Chicago for the "honour killing" of their female cousin.
On this "Islam is peace" business, Bassam Tibi, a Muslim professor at Goettingen University in Germany, gave a helpful speech a few months back: "Both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms these mean different things to each of them," he said. "The word 'peace,' for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or 'House of Islam' -- to the entire world. This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought." Only when the entire world is a Dar al-Islam will it be a Dar a-Salam, or "House of Peace."
On the face of it, that sounds ridiculous. The "Muslim world" -- the arc stretching from North Africa through South Asia -- is economically, militarily, scientifically and artistically irrelevant. But, looked at through the prism of Norwegian rape or French crime, the idea of a Dar al-Islam doesn't sound so ridiculous. The "code of silence" that surrounds rape in tightly knit Muslim families is, so to speak, amplified by the broader "code of silence" surrounding multicultural issues in the West. If all cultures are of equal value, how do you point out any defects?
As I understand it, the benefits of multiculturalism are that the sterile white-bread cultures of Australia, Canada and Britain get some great ethnic restaurants and a Commonwealth Games opening ceremony that lasts until two in the morning. But, in the case of those Muslim ghettoes in Sydney, in Oslo, in Paris, in Copenhagen and in Manchester, multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture -- the subjugation of women -- combine with the worst attributes of Western culture -- licence and self-gratification. Tattoed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of Northern England are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the vice-regal escort at Rideau Hall. Yet even in the face of the crudest assaults on its most cherished causes -- women's rights, gay rights -- the political class turns squeamishly away.
Once upon a time we knew what to do. A British district officer, coming upon a scene of suttee, was told by the locals that in Hindu culture it was the custom to cremate a widow on her husband's funeral pyre. He replied that in British culture it was the custom to hang chaps who did that sort of thing. There are many great things about India -- curry, pyjamas, sitars, software engineers -- but suttee was not one of them. What a pity we're no longer capable of being "judgmental" and "discriminating." We're told the old-school imperialists were racists, that they thought of the wogs as inferior. But, if so, they at least considered them capable of improvement. The multiculturalists are just as racist. The only difference is that they think the wogs can never reform: Good heavens, you can't expect a Muslim in Norway not to go about raping the womenfolk! Much better just to get used to it.
As one is always obliged to explain when tiptoeing around this territory, I'm not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture -- rule of law, universal suffrage, etc. -- is preferable to Arab culture: that's why there are millions of Muslims in Scandinavia, and four Scandinavians in Syria. Follow the traffic. I support immigration, but with assimilation. Without it, like a Hindu widow, we're slowly climbing on the funeral pyre of our lost empires. You see it in European foreign policy already: they're scared of their mysterious, swelling, unstoppable Muslim populations.
Islam For All reported the other day that, at present demographic rates, in 20 years' time the majority of Holland's children (the population under 18) will be Muslim. It will be the first Islamic country in western Europe since the loss of Spain. Europe is the colony now.
Or as Charles Johnson, whose excellent "Little Green Footballs" Web site turns up dozens of fascinating Islamic tidbits every day, suggested: "Maybe we should start a betting pool: Which European country will be the first to institute shari'a?"
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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is Senior Contributing Editor of The National Post. Comment by clicking here.
08/09/02: Friends in low places