So what do you think about this? (Hat tip RedState)
More at the WSJ on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book.
This is the trap of multiculturalism. David Warren, RCP:
Just because one rejects tribalism, doesn't mean tribalism goes away. For whether or not it is written into any holy book, it is written into human nature. The West's own struggle against tribalism continues to the present day, and verily, we are currently losing it through the triumphant emergence of "multiculturalism" -- which is just tribalism, by another (postmodern) name.
Now, this is just where what I have to say gets very tough to digest, for any mind that has embraced "multiculturalism" as a motherhood issue. Democracy itself, with all the word implies of constitutional order and separations of powers, is an unambiguously Western invention. The Islamists are right when they identify it as such. It could itself appear only in a culture that had explicitly rejected tribalism, and such notions as "one man one vote", or "equal before the law", or even "separation of church and state", are themselves absolutely anti-tribal.
Christopher Hitchens, in his CityJournal review of Mark Steyn's book, argues that we in the West must demand:
An end to one-way multiculturalism and to the cultural masochism that goes with it. The Koran does not mandate the wearing of veils or genital mutilation, and until recently only those who apostasized from Islam faced the threat of punishment by death. Now, though, all manner of antisocial practices find themselves validated in the name of religion, and mullahs have begun to issue threats even against non-Muslims for criticism of Islam. This creeping Islamism must cease at once, and those responsible must feel the full weight of the law.And yes, we may have to jail people or deport them. Hitchens goes on to urge America to make common cause with other countries under siege--multiethnic and democratic India for one, and the oil rich countries of West Africa, as well as keeping faith in Iraq and Afghanistan as best we can.
Hirsi Ali herself, though, believes the enslavement of women is at the heart of fanatical interpretations of Islam. (I would just underline the point, aside from the harsh cruelty that is practiced on women in some parts of the Muslim world, in the Arab world HALF the women can not even read or write! And the level of schooling is abominable. According to an amazingly honest 2002 Arab Human Development Report "The entire Arab world translates about 330 books annually, one fifth the number that Greece translates... in the thousand years since the reign of Caliph al Ma'mun, the Arabs have translated as many books as Spain does in just one year.") Washington Post:
Ultimately, it led to her most controversial conclusion too: that Islam is in a period of transition, that the religion as it is currently practiced is often incompatible with modernity and democracy and must radically transform itself in order to become so. "We in the West," she writes, "would be wrong to prolong the pain of that transition unnecessarily, by elevating cultures full of bigotry and hatred toward women to the stature of respectable alternative ways of life."Having fled The Netherlands after Van Gogh's killing, even in America she requires permanent bodyguards. So feminists and liberals---you may think America needs to be non-judgemental about other cultures. You may think you can safely stay on the sidelines of this great struggle. You may think religion and traditional morality are unimportant in the grand scheme of things, only adhered to by the ignorant. But unless you start appreciating and defending the very American democracy and Judeo-Christian principles of Western civilization that defend and celebrate individual freedom, you may not be able to make any independent judgements at all, you may be judged and found lacking by a triumphant Islamofascist culture that is truly and cruelly intolerant. You may be trapped and have nowhere to go.
And who will be left to defend you?
Via LGF here are final thoughts from Britain, looking into the maw, Sleepwalking with the Enemy. Via RCP Henry Porter of the leftist Guardian on the outrage of tolerating intolerance. As you may recall they were fortunate there to have recently thwarted a beheading.
Previous posts: Ultimate Irony, They Call Me Infidel, This is Sharia, Beat Them Lightly, In Search of Moderate Muslims, Multiculti Meets its Limits
UPDATE: Good column today by Mary Laney, Sun Times. And a brave few in the Middle East speak up for human rights in a petition to the Saudi King. At Bill Baar.