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Jewish World Review
Oct. 7, 2005
/ 4 Tishrei, 5766
A full nelson for Europe
What does the prospect of Turkey joining the European Union (EU) have to do with plans to erect a statue to Nelson Mandela in London's Trafalgar Square? In multiculti patois, both are "inclusive" acts. This means that they introduce non-Western elements (in Turkey's case, 70-plus million Muslims, in Mandela's case, South Africa's anti-apartheid hero) into historically Western milieus, such as Europe generally, or London specifically. The result is what is currently known as "diversity." Contrary to definition, however, diversity of the multicultural kind actually means that every place becomes like any other. Or, rather, every Western place becomes like any other Western place.
For example, when more than a third of London schoolchildren speak one of 300 languages other than English at home, and 43 percent of New York City schoolchildren speak one of 170 languages other than English at home, both cities have achieved an indistinguishable "diversity." No longer singularly British or singularly American, they are interchangeably global. Grouping Nelson Mandela with Horatio, Lord Nelson and several other British military heroes in Trafalgar Square would have a similar, if symbolic, effect. No longer would Trafalgar Square conjure up the quintessence of British civilization. It would be, as London Mayor Ken Livingstone puts it, a "world square." Meanwhile, the rest of the "world" (the non-Western nations about which the West is so assiduously "inclusive") remains strikingly non-diverse ethnically, religiously and culturally. So when Mr. Livingstone declares that a Mandela statue in Trafalgar Square "would signify the peaceful transition" from British empire as symbolized by Lord Nelson "to a multiracial and multicultural world," what he's really talking about is the British transition to a multiracial and multicultural London.
For confirmation of this cosmo-reality, no statue is necessary, but Mr. Mandela's likeness is probably on its way. Opposition is weak, bickering only over where (not whether) the statue should stand and other aesthetic concerns. It seems as if there are no British cultural or historical imperatives at issue here, because there are no British cultural or historical imperatives, period.
This new Battle of Trafalgar is a fitting backdrop for what appears to be the inevitable inclusion of Turkey into the EU, a political move with more than political consequences. If approved, Turkey, second in EU population only to Germany, would bring its tens of millions of Muslims into largely post-Christian, secular European society; with them comes a weighty Islamic influence on European affairs that would boost the transition, as Mr. Livingstone might say, of Europe to a multicultural, multiracial and more pertinent Islamized continent of Eurabia.
Not that this salient point is ever raised. "Europe can either decide to become a global actor or it can fence itself off as a Christian club," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, flipping the issue on its head before the EU voted to open membership talks with Turkey. In light of the EU's deliberate omission of "God" or "Christianity" in its 439-page constitution, this was a fairly obnoxious comment. Besides, Turkey has long "fenced itself off" into such Islamic "clubs" as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. The latter is an Islamic version of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights; it elevates sharia (Islamic law) over universal human rights, and declares the Muslim community's role is to "guide" humanity. Which is more than just clubby.
But there was another implication to the Turkish leader's words: that Western identity is merely a tribal expression of petty insularity. Free will, free conscience the evolution of individual liberty is the gift of Judeo-Christian civilization, and it is one that Islam has never accepted. Tragically, it is one that Westerners may be throwing away. Britain's foreign minister, Jack Straw, was equally dismissive of Europe's "so-called Christian heritage," while Britain's Lord Patten, a former EU official, pegged opposition to Turkish membership to "relics of Christianity,"a rather nasty way to belittle natural concern over a proposed event one European minister has compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall. "To define Europe today as though it were an introverted, cohesive, medieval Christian community is, I think, terrible," said Lord Patten. Maybe he means that to define Europe as European is terrible. Better to rework it as one, big "world square," an "inclusive" place of "diversity," where no one can tell Nelson from Nelson.
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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.
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