Sunday, November 15, 2009

Steyn D'Jour

The Great Steyn returns to an important point:
"Diversity" is one of those words designed to absolve you of the need to think. Likewise, a belief in "multiculturalism" doesn't require you to know anything at all about other cultures, just to feel generally warm and fluffy about them. Heading out from my hotel room the other day, I caught a glimpse of that 7-Eleven video showing Major Hasan wearing "Muslim" garb to buy a coffee on the morning of his murderous rampage. And it wasn't until I was in the taxi cab that something odd struck me: He is an American of Arab descent. But he was wearing Pakistani dress – that's to say, a "Punjabi suit," as they call it in Britain, or the "shalwar kameez," to give it its South Asian name. For all the hundreds of talking heads droning on about "diversity" across the TV networks, it was only Tarek Fatah, writing in The Ottawa Citizen, who pointed out that no Arab males wear this get-up – with one exception: Those Arab men who got the jihad fever and went to Afghanistan to sign on with the Taliban and al-Qaida. In other words, Maj. Hasan's outfit symbolized the embrace of an explicit political identity entirely unconnected with his ethnic heritage.
Actually, I'd go further: multiculturalism actively requires ignorance of other cultures. In so far as liberals blindly assume that Islamofascists are basically Guardian readers with a penchant for florid rhetoric, it's the left that is truly ethnocentric.

Liberals are incapable of seeing the rest of the world as anything other than the West's culture wars writ large. Consider Senator Patty Murray's claim that Bin Laden helped to build day care centres in Afghanistan, presumably to help out all those working mothers juggling work and career under the Taliban. To the point: Senator Murray's claim is so self-evidently ludicrous that it speaks to a profound ignorance about the nature of Islam.

All of which is by way of saying that, as ever, the supposedly enlightened liberal position only stands up providing you don't know anything the subject concerned. Hence why liberals are obsessed with the idea of suppressing 'hate speech' and the like: liberal ideas don't stand up well when people are allowed to discuss them.

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