Multiculturalism has failed because it has become a real ideologues
Last night, the Sheraton Hotel in Bari, the deputy of the PDL Souad Sbai presented his latest book “Deception – Victims of multiculturalism” (Cantagalli 2010, pp. 245).The Sbai identifies the condition of Muslim women living in the West, the sign of the failure of the “multicultural society”, based on the rhetoric of political correctness and cultural relativism that, in some cases even leads to justify the exceptions to the freedoms and rights basis of our Western democracy. We discussed with the author of the book, trying to understand the characteristics of this phenomenon and the way in which to depart in the process of integration between different cultures.
We start with the title of his book. What is the deception and who are the victims of multiculturalism?
The deception lies in the blind, nihilistic relativism that has taken hold in Europe, the one under which the burqas and infibulation are considered vital to respect cultural and mosques can be built regardless of the regulations and standards of our country.This is because it is rooted in the idea that all cultures are accepted a priori, without any assessment of the principles and, above all, irrespective of whether these principles can be reconciled with those in Europe and the West. To make the cost of this relativist multiculturalism are especially Muslim women, the first victims of the advance extremist that we, with our laziness and our acquiescence, we are not holding back but complying.
Why multiculturalism has failed?
He failed because the word multiculturalism, initially used to indicate the existence of a multiplicity of cultures, has become synonymous with a true ideology of relativism, as if each cultural dimension, every lifestyle, every value can be considered and placed on same plane. It is true that all cultures are equally valid. There are some where the equality between men and women and the dignity of the individual, just to name a few, are universally recognized principles and practical values. And there are, however, others where these foundations of civilization are not even covered.
What, then, the model of cultural integration and social practice?
A clear model, which focuses on compliance with the rules and traditions of our country. Those arriving in Italy to learn the language, know the rights and duties under our legal system, begin to respect our reality. Not to us to change our culture, it is those who decide to come and live in Italy that must adapt to our model. Integration is possible only through assimilation to the values and principles of respect and protection of human dignity, which are the cornerstones of Western culture.
In what terms can one speak of a “right to cultural identity?
This right exists for all, but the problem is the Italian and European cultural nell’insensato justificationism that led us to adapt to other cultures and not vice versa.An example: a Tuscan court decided to vote positively favoring the fact that a North African girl put the headphones in class during the hour of music education, because in that culture it is forbidden to listen to the music of “infidels.” Not to mention all those judgments which, through the so-called “mitigating cultural” come to justify even violence against women. In short, the right to cultural identity exists for everyone, but can not imply a change in the principles that underpin our culture.
We go to the heart of the issue that is closest to his heart: the status of women. In his book, at one point says that “women seem to embody Islam suffered dialogue between tradition and modernity.” Could you explain better what you mean …
Islamic women arrive in the West with great hope, looking for a modern natural integration and self-determination today, however, are prevented from fundamentalism and extremism spread throughout Europe. Paradoxically, while becoming part of a society of rights and freedoms, these women are prisoners of ignorance and the strict precepts of the tradition, often more than they do to those which remain in their country of origin. For example, in Morocco, women have been forced to live an integration process and literacy, that there has been in recent years for fear of extremism, while those who have emigrated from us have not seen any improvement in their situation. Do you think that here in Italy, I met women in Islamic tradition, which did not even know the address where they lived. They live in modern times, and yet are forced to live like veiled ghosts, abused and disenfranchised.
Who is responsible for all this?
I think the responsibility is all of us, but the company policy, which must be present at the regulatory level to ensure the total isolation of Muslim women and allow them to live as human beings. So far, the goodism el’accondiscendenza which has been addressing the issue have done nothing but worsen the plight of these women.
What can be done in practice to remove them from the terrible situation in which they find themselves?
We must determine, first of all, clear rules, such as that in our country can not be segregated and mistreated women, which should guarantee them the right to learn the language and participate in social, economic and cultural life of the country. A woman with a burqa, which has the possibility to integrate into society and to have their own working lives? None. And that’s exactly what the extremists want: completely isolate the woman, block his emancipation. We must stop this and to do so, subject to the protection of cultural identity, but you need to clearly reaffirm the rules and principles of our culture, to which the other traditions have to adapt.
Parliamentary by such initiatives is continuing in this direction?
I’m working hard on the issue of citizenship, which I think is really important because it concerns the second generation of immigrants and therefore the future of our country.In this way, I did a draft law on citizenship, as opposed to those who propose criteria for acquisition by birth, but I think more kids should attend school at least the mandatory 16-18 years and then can begin the path to become Italian . We have every interest in integrating these people, make them feel Italian to prevent the occurrence of phenomena of ill health as those that occurred in France in banlieux.
In your opinion, Islam is compatible with our model of Western democracy?
The only phenomenon that is not compatible with our model or with any other culture and civilization is extremism. Moderate Islam, which has nothing to do with the radical Taliban, is a religion like any other, which could be viewed as a private affair without affecting the political and social life of our country. The question is not related to Islam itself, but rather to the differences between moderate and fundamentalist approach.Moreover, the fact that Europe has lost its cultural and religious roots has facilitated the advance of Islamic extremism, acquiring force within our society.
How contrary, then, deception multiculturalist?
Through a total firmness, putting aside the false gooders and justification. Religious freedom and the right to cultural identity must be protected, but the conditions though.And these conditions, we must ask ourselves, not the extremists. We should not be afraid and we need to understand the second generation of immigrants that integration is achieved through respect for the culture of the country where you live.
21 January 2011
Multiculturalism has failed
Op-ed: European leaders finally starting to understand dangers of Muslim immigration
Multiculturalism is an utter failure, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted over the weekend, even if she made sure to balance the painful truth with the required lip service to the master of European liberalism – political correctness – saying that Islam today is part of the Modern Germany.
It’s not quite clear how the chancellor’s logic corresponds to her claim regarding the utter failure of multiculturalism, when everyone knows that her words were almost exclusively directed at the Muslim community and its overwhelming commitment to the spirit of Islam.
In her statement regarding Islam’s attachment to Europe, Merkel exposed her confusion and embarrassment (as well as that of many of her European colleagues) at this time, when the sword of Islam threatens the continent’s longtime cultural and demographic character.
Meanwhile, the leader of Germany’s Christian Social Union, Horst Seehofer, chose to adopt a more Lieberman-like and less Merkel-like rhetoric. He recently declared that the country does not need more immigrants from foreign cultures (meaning, of course, Muslims.) By uttering these works, Seehofer angered quite a few local politicians, who are having trouble (openly at least) accepting the grave news of multiculturalism’s premature demise.
Similarly to more and more European politicians and residents, Seehofer too is finding the foolish multicultural notion as increasingly less appealing. This of course guarantees that he and his colleagues will be facing the harsh resistance of “progressive forces.”
These forces, which largely dominate the media, cultural, and academic spheres in the Western world, manage to convince many that a humane, enlightened person should accept cultural divergence, especially in light of Western colonialism’s effect on oriental nations. Indeed, European “fans of progress” feel this divergence must be lauded, regardless of whether Muslim immigrants view their very presence in Europe as a means to reinforce their isolationism, while shaping their new abode in the spirit of their own religion and culture.
Of course, not every European Muslim strictly adheres to the decrees of Islam and Jihad, yet when the options one faces are Europe and its culture on the one hand, and Mohammad’s religion on the other, the overwhelming majority of Muslims prefer the values they grew up with at home over the ones promoted by their new European home.
European authorities are of course aware of it, yet this does not prevent them from turning a blind eye to it, in the same way they ignore the methodical repression of women, violation of human rights, and wide-ranging incitement by imams at European Muslim communities (as confirmed by several unbiased European and international human rights groups.) Meanwhile, these governmental cover-up experts enjoy the support of liberal forces, which as we know raise a hue and cry every time a slight suspicion emerges in respect to Israeli human rights violations.
And if that’s the case, is it any wonder that Professor Robert Redeker from France had to run for his life, while quitting his place of work, only because he dared criticize the Islamic belligerence in Europe, while the abovementioned “progressive forces” remained silent? This was not much different than the “liberal support” accorded to Iranian artist Sooreh Hera, who was also forced to flee after seeking to present Mohammad and his partner as a homosexual couple at a Dutch museum.
Meanwhile, Geert Wilders continues to face various threats on his life following his film, “Fitna,” while cartoonist Kurt Westergaard barely survived an assassination attempt after drawing a Mohammad cartoon.
Indeed, the commitment of enlightened Europeans to glorious multiculturalism was maintained after the terror attacks in Madrid in 2004, the murder of Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam in 2004, the terror attacks in London in 2005, the publication of the Mohammad cartoons in Denmark in 2005 (which led to more than 1,000 deaths worldwide,) the attempt to blow up seven European plans above the Atlantic in 2006, and the recent plot to carry out terror attacks at several European states (by “loyal” Muslim residents of Europe.)
However, the incredibly effective ideological steamroller utilized by “progressive forces” in Europe for so long cannot face the pressure, and the rotten multicultural fruit are prompting many Europeans to wonder whether the time has come to put an end to this. And so, with almost no exception, the overwhelming majority of initiatives presented in recent years in a bid to start disengaging from the multicultural mirage and from the threatening Islamization are granted wide-ranging popular support.
Europe’s leadership is still far from crossing the ideological Rubicon, even if a leading figure like Chancellor Merkel may end up being the first great harbinger of the termination of Europe’s multicultural spring.
Dr. Shaul Rosenfeld is a philosophy lecturer