The recent thwarted terrorist plot in England that aimed to blow up commercial airlines between Britain and the United States serves as another chilling reminder of the horror that multiculturalism has wreaked in Western Europe. A nightmarish fact: most of the terrorist suspects who aimed to engage in the mass murder of innocent civilians were home-grown -- they were born and raised in Britain. In other words, Britain has welcomed immigrants whose children hate British and Western society and seek to destroy it. So what sense, then, is there to invite and to be tolerant toward the intolerant? Many Western European countries have been agonizing over this precise question and have clearly made certain conclusions about it -- which explains why they are now in the process of overturning the policies of multiculturalism.
Today we have assembled a panel of experts to discuss several questions connected to this phenomenon. First: what exactly have been the consequences of Muslim immigration to Western Europe? Second: has the official policy of multiculturalism in Western Europe suffered a death? If so, is it too little too late?
Our guests are:
Bat Ye’or, the world's foremost authority on dhimmitude. She is the author of Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide. Her latest book is Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.
Claire Berlinski, the author of the new book Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis Is America's, Too.
Bruce Bawer, a New York writer who has lived in Europe since 1998. He is a literary critic, translator, poet, and the author of books about being gay in America and fundamentalist Christianity. His most recent book is While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within.
Leon de Winter, a Dutch bestselling novelist and political commentator. He writes a weekly column for Holland's largest political magazine, Elsevier, and contributes to Holland's and Germany's most prominent dailies and weeklies. He is an adjunct-fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC. This year he was awarded the prestigious Buber-Rosenzweig Medal for Jewish-Christian relations in Germany. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Die Welt Literature Prize. He lives with his wife, bestselling novelist Jessica Durlacher, and their two children in a village close to the Dutch beaches. Every year they live a couple of months in California.
Fjordman, a Norwegian blogger who writes about issues related to Islam and Western cultural weakness, with particular emphasis on Europe. His own blog has been closed since 2005, but he continues to write essays at other websites, including Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch and the Gates of Vienna blog.
Hege Storhaug, a journalist and author, and Information Director in the Norwegian political think-tank on integration issues, Human Rights Service (HRS) (www.rights.no). The last 14 years, Storhaug has been working on issues such as forced marriages, “honor” killing, female genital mutilation, and oppression of European Muslim girls and women in general. She has spent more than two years in Pakistan, exploring cultural and religious abuse of females. Storhaug strongly opposes multiculturalism, and is hence also a critic of how Islamism is affecting Europe. This is the main topic of her coming book this autumn.
Lars Hedegaard, The President of Denmark’s Free Press Society, an organization devoted to the protection of free speech (www.trykkefrihed.dk) and a member of its online journal “Sappho”s editorial board (www.sappho.dk). He holds degrees in history and English from the Universities of Aarhus and Copenhagen. He is a journalist, author and political commentator and a daily contributor to a satirical column in the conservative national daily Berlingske Tidende (www.berlingske.dk). Over the past few years he has increasingly specialised in studying the impact of Islam’s growing presence in Europe. His most recent book (coauthored with Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen) is In the House of War: Islam’s Colonization of the West (Danish title; “I krigens hus: Islams kolonisering af Vesten”), 2003, which became the focus of an animated national debate. He’s currently working on a book on the ideological metamorphosis of the Danish left-wing from a pro-socialist to a multiculturalist position.
FP: Bat Ye’or, Claire Berlinski, Leon de Winter, Bruce Bawer, Fjordman, Hege Storhaug and Lars Hedegaard, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
We begin with our first section: Beginnings of Multiculturalism.
Beginnings of Multiculturalism
FP: Ladies and gentlemen, our discussion will have two parts today: the first being about the beginnings of multiculturalism and the second being the possible solutions to the havoc it has wreaked within the societies that have practised it.
So before we get to some of the effective ways Western Europe can face the threat it now faces, let’s first begin with what multiculturalism is in the first place, where the concept first came from and how it was implemented.
Who thought this up and why was it put into practise?
Now these questions are not suggesting, obviously, that societies were not supposed to accept immigrants or to accept other cultures. We are clearly referring to the multiculturalist policy based on cultural relativism that is founded on the premise that anyone and everyone should be allowed to come into a host society without any serious scrutiny. This is a policy based on the belief-system that the host society has no right to expect of its new citizens a respect for the ways of life of the host society.
Now perhaps to provoke the discussion a bit, let me begin with the argument that it is disingenuous to suggest, as many do, that well-intentioned people came up with these ideas and that they did not know what terrible realities they would engender. Is it not basic common sense that this was a calculated and malicious plan from the very beginning? Was it not a weapon with which the Left knew it could effectively wage war on its own society and help break it down?
Lars Hedegaard, let’s begin with you. What would you say about the beginnings of multiculturalism?
Hedegaard: The concept has been around for a while. It is an idea that was produced in the New World and from there imported to the old one. In his classic The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society Arthur Schlesinger traces it back to the German-born Jewish-American philosopher Horace Kallen. In an article in The Nation from 1915 he advocated a policy of "cultural pluralism" as opposed to the idea of assimilation and the slogan of the "melting pot" whose goal was to create a new race of Americans. At first this new concept didn't gather many adherents outside narrow academic circles, but the Civil Rights movement after the Second World War gave rise to new expressions of ethnic identity that tended to reinvigorate the idea of multiculturalism.
Not all of this was bad in a country where racism was deeply ingrained in the national character, as Tocqueville had clearly noticed. It was perfectly proper and fitting to acknowledge the contributions to American history of minorities such as Blacks. American Indians, Asians etc. -- and in Canada to acknowledge the contributions of the French speakers. In fact the term "multiculturalism" appears to have been coined in Canada in the 1960s. I don't think the framers of the multiculturalist credo could necessarily predict its disastrous consequences.
By the early 1980s -- when the term began to be widely used even in Europe -- it had turned into an ideological platform on which the left could base its claim to power -- now that socialism was no longer a goal that anyone could take seriously. In today's western world, multiculturalism and its concomitant celebration of "ethnicity" (which has by now degenerated into tribalism) should be understood as a post-political ersatz-ideology now that the social transformation of society and the abolition of capitalism are no longer on the agenda. And of that I'm sure that the self-declared leftists are perfectly aware.
FP: It is complete news to me that the transformation and the abolition of capitalism are no longer on the Left’s agenda. Hege Storhaug go ahead.
Storhaug: I totally agree with Hedegaard that the abolition of capitalism is not a topic for the leftists in general in the public debate anymore. It seems that the leftist have understood for quite some years that pure socialism is a lost case. But in many ways, the Left has just transformed the idea concerning economical equality, into cultural equality.
From here on, the leftists have taken the idea even further; if you are not white, you are per definition a victim of discrimination. And the new perspective is that if you are a Muslim in Europe, you are per definition also a victim of irrational hatred from the majority society.
The Left in Norway has now even constructed a new term; "new racism". “The new racist” is a person who is critical to political Islam. This false construction, combined with also labelling those who are critical to political Islam as “Islamophobes”, has its obvious parallels to techniques used by the followers of Stalin. The new totalitarianism is, in this respect, to try to strangle a debate about the obvious problematic sides of multiculturalism and politicized religion. It is a new ideological war where the “good” leftist sees a useful weapon against the “evil” establishment. And this is where the leftists seem to believe they will fight a noble fight for the poor and suppressed all over the world.
To bring in hard facts in the debate, is extremely difficult. The heart of the debate is almost totally based on emotions, a kind of competition between “the good and the bad guy”. The “good” is the one who without reservations and documentation wants open borders in the name of so-called humanity. The “bad” is the one who says that the politics of open borders, and hence splitting up a nation into parallel societies, is the road to destruction of both the economy and the basis values in a democratic society. Everybody in the end turn out as losers. To sum up; the Left sees multiculturalism as the possibility to regain lost ideological power in our new historic era.
FP: The both of you are of course right: multiculturalism is the Left’s new weapon to wage war on its own society. But that war is founded on the desire to transform society, to wipe the slate clean, and this involves destroying capitalism. That some leftists may camouflage their desire to build socialism does not mean it does not remain their objective and dream. If the Left didn’t want to transform its own society and destroy capitalism, it would find no need for multiculturalism; it feeds multicultural policies precisely because of its long-term objective of destruction.
Fjordman go ahead.
Fjordman: I agree with most of what Hedegaard and Storhaug said above. A Norwegian newspaper exposed the fact that the largest "anti-racist" organization in the country, SOS Rasisme, was heavily infiltrated by Communists and extreme Leftists in the late 1980s and early '90s, in other words, during the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe. They went directly from Communism to Multiculturalism, which should indicate that at least some of them viewed Multiculturalism as the continuation of Communism by other means. French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut has stated that anti-racism will be for the 21st century what Communism was for the 20th century: A source of violence. I think
Besides, Muslim immigrants vote overwhelmingly for Leftist parties. In Norway, I believe about 85% of them voted for left-leaning parties during our recent national elections. This trend is remarkably similar throughout Western Europe. At the beginning of the 21st century, Leftist parties in Europe are electing a new people. Perhaps their greatest idea after the Cold War was to re-invent themselves as Multicultural immigration parties and start importing voters from abroad. In addition to this, they have managed to denounce the opposition as racists, bigots and extremists. In Europe, Muslim immigration could turn democracy into a self-defeating system that will eventually break down because native Europeans no longer feel that it serves their interests.
Leftists and Muslims have a mutual short-term interest in keeping the Leftist parties in power, and a mutual long-term interest in weakening the traditional culture of Europe. During this third Islamic Jihad, the third Islamic attempt to conquer and subdue the West, Leftists all over Europe seem to be opening the gates of Europe from within. "You want to conquer Europe? That's ok. Just vote for us and help us get rid of capitalism and eradicate the Christian heritage of Europe, and we'll let you in. In the meantime, you can enjoy some welfare goodies, and we will ban opposition to this undertaking as racism and hate speech."
Still, as much as I dislike Leftists, it is wrong to think that they are the alone in this madness. The Project - for it is a deliberate, organized project which I'm sure Bat Ye'or will talk more about – to dissolve the nation states of Europe is a coalition of several groups: Leftists, who hate the West in general and are suspicious of the nation state.
However, there are also centrist and even so-called conservative groups participating in this. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the author of the awful EU Constitution, is considered a conservative politician, who however has an enormous contempt for ordinary people.
You have another group who are convinced that the nation state is the cause only of wars and trouble. I suspect former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, for instance, belongs to this group. And finally, we have perhaps the largest group: Opportunists who follow the lead of the three other groups. They have good jobs on an international basis and no longer feel any close attachment to the nation states they are supposed to represent, anyway.
I call them The New Marie Antoinettes. The old Marie Antoinette was famous for the quote ""If they have no bread, then let them eat cake." In Eurabia today, the New Marie Antoinettes would probably have said "Let them eat kebab." They think cries for national sovereignty is an old superstition among the common people, and are actively dismantling their own societies through massive immigration, Multiculturalism and supranational institutions, primarily the EU. One blogger suggested naming this project The Great Deconstruction, a name I like. Earlier generation lived in the Age of Reason, we live in the Age of Deconstruction. Maybe this Project could also be called The Great Leap Forward, but I heard rumors that this name was already taken.
De Winter: Many of the things that have been said by the distinguished panellists is true, but at the same time I am a bit hesitant to grant so much power to groups of revolutionary Leftists bent on the demise of the West. This is way too much honor for them, and as far as I can judge, at least in my home village in Holland, they did not succeed, despite all these things you can read in your morning paper.
As far as I can see we are talking here about unforeseen effects of the cultural revolution in Western Europe in the Sixties. This period marks the revolt of the Adolescent, who not only got a strong economical position but who also became a political voice. Young people were not on their way to adulthood anymore, this part of life became a goal in itself.
The youthful and painful awareness that the world was ugly became a tool in the hands of neo-Marxists and recliner-revolutionaries. In my home country, something very peculiar happened in the Sixties: a kind of 'contract social' emerged. The public arena was left to the rhetoric of the Left, and at the same time the majority of the population was allowed to continue to keep its traditional lifestyle. Basically, the media were handed over to all kinds of progressives with their own agendas, and the majority got used to its own silence.
In this public arena certain values were cherished: anti-fascism, feminism, secularism, pacifism, anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, et cetera. It is here where the ideas of multiculturalism first showed up. It started with the so-called 'sub-cultures' of pseudo-bohemian artists, academic Marxists, all pretending that the existing values of Western civilization were overdue. They started to develop a cultural relativism.
At the same time, they were making a living because of these values: every month they cashed their paychecks - written out by decent civil servants who collected tax revenues handed over by a decent civil society. As long as the system was 'closed', the welfare state functioned and the various groups knew how to behave.
For some time it is fun to be a revolutionary, but after a couple of years most young welfare revolutionaries got bored and moved on - see what happened to the famous 'krakers'in Holland in the Seventies and Eighties; they are now fathers, teachers, businessmen.
But the public arena was annexed by the Leftist media, and this did not change. It was impossible to discuss the problems of immigration when the first signs showed up.
Still, Europe tried to cope with the consequences of the Second World War, and anti-racism was one of the essential values of the post-Sixties establishment. Criticizing a newly arrived ethnic group was simply 'not done'.
The rules of post-Holocaust Europe and the post-Sixties cultural relativism were clear: approach the problems of immigration purely within their socio-economical context and avoid discussing cultural or religious aspects. Was this a conscious 'Project' to mislead the general public about the intentions of Marxists and multiculturalists? I don't think so, at least not so in Holland. The overwhelmingly leftist media played a crucial role in the selection of the root causes of immigration problems, and after the direction was set it became virtually impossible to change course. In Holland, it took decades before someone was able to break the taboos of the media. The man who did this was called Pim Fortuyn, and he was killed because of it.
So, there is a direct line from the Second World War to the Cultural Revolution of the Sixties, and from the Sixties to phenomena such as cultural relativism and multiculturalism. I don't exclude the idea that from a certain point these trends became a policy in the hands of people who turned it into a 'Project'. But reality is way too complex to organize such a Project over such a long period of time in so many countries. Yes, we do have problems with large groups of Muslim immigrants in most Western European countries, and ,yes, it is still hard to discuss these issues openly. But at the same time it is clear that the 'contract social' is showing its first fault lines. The majority is about to give up the limitations imposed upon them by the political and media establishment.
So, what we basically witness are optical illusions created by the media. Multiculturalism never took over in Western Europe. Holland still is to a large degree a traditional Calvinist country, which does not recognize itself in Holland as described in the media.
I think the media are their hold: the majority is fed up with the limitations created by the media. In Holland, the majority woke up Pim Fortuyn. The country is still confused, but the time that the PC-crowd could silence anyone, is gone.
Also interesting are the developments in Belgium. Despite the vast coalition against the rightist party Het Vlaams Belang, it is gaining strength. I am not sure yet if Vlaams Belang became a decent conservative movement, but it is clear that the media cannot control the population anymore.
Yes, I am worried, but I still believe in the power and sense of sanity of decent Europeans.
Bawer: It’s true: the same hatred for American capitalism that once drove members of Europe’s political and media establishment to play down the horrors of Communism, or even actively celebrate it, has since turned them into multiculturalists with a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil approach to Islam. For such people, any ideology – however problematic– is preferable to the ultimate evil of American capitalism.
Multiculturalism has become official dogma in much of Western Europe, and the word is routinely used as if it were a synonym for equal rights or ethnic pluralism or colorblind democracy. Of course, it isn’t. It’s a grotesque expression of cultural self-contempt and self-destructiveness. Multiculturalism compels self-declared anti-fascists to blind themselves to the most chillingly fascist phenomena of our time. It compels feminists to accept the subjugation and abuse of women by men who believe they have the right to rape, beat, and murder them. It compels gay activists to embrace as allies people who, given the chance, would drop a wall on them.
Multiculturalism is deeply, perversely irrational. If you’re a multiculturalist, it’s verboten even to notice, acknowledge, and express concern about murderous hatred directed against you and yours by the officially oppressed. For a multiculturalist, any act or statement by a member of an officially oppressed group, however morally reprehensible, is to be understood either as a legitimate reaction against “our” prejudice (or our forebears’ colonialism) or as a legitimate aspect of an alien culture that we, in our pitiful narrowness, have failed to understand and respect – which is, of course, our obligation.
Many Europeans recognize that multiculturalism is leading their societies to disaster. If you can get them to loosen up and trust you, they may venture an awkward, uneasy critical word or two about the proliferation in their midst of people who long for sharia law and about the refusal of multicultural-minded political leaders to address this growing crisis responsibly. But many such Europeans hardly know how to express their concerns, because they’ve almost never heard such concerns openly, intelligently, and responsibly articulated. All they’ve heard all their lives from officially approved authorities – teachers, professors, the media, politicians, government agency workers, talking heads on TV, the representatives of state-funded “independent” organizations like SOS Racism – is that any concern about multiculturalism and its consequences is tantamount to racism.
Yes, there are so-called “populist” parties that oppose multiculturalism, but they are profoundly stigmatized, and many people who silently agree with them feel nonetheless compelled to join in the routine public mockery of them. Some of these parties, moreover, are in fact racist, so that on the rare occasions when one does hear open criticism of multiculturalism in Europe, it often comes from people who only confirm the establishment assertion that to oppose multiculturalism is, indeed, to be racist.
While many ordinary Europeans do oppose multiculturalism, then, most of them tend to keep quiet about it, or to articulate their opposition only very carefully and selectively – or, alternately, to express it in occasional (often drunken) outbursts of indignation and frustration. Few of them, certainly, have any expectation that their views might ever affect official policy. There’s a widespread resignation to the fact that multiculturalists control the media, academy, state agencies, and so on. Besides, they know what happens to those few people who do openly dissent from multicultural dogma – they’re demonized as bigots and racists. They know very well that if you want to get ahead in European society, you don’t take on multicultural orthodoxy.
Granted, this has been changing – kind of – at least in some countries, and in some places more than others. As Leon de Winter notes, Pim Fortuyn tore down the wall of silence in the Netherlands regarding the dangers of multiculturalism and massive Islamic immigration. Similarly, Denmark’s Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has stood up bravely against the multicultural establishment in the name of free speech.
In Norway, Hege Storhaug has single-handedly had an explosive effect just by going on TV and radio and criticizing mindless institutional multiculturalism in a way that is bold, intelligent, moral, reasonable, and uncompromising. All this is progress.
Yet on an everyday level, among ordinary citizens in these and other countries, it can still often appear that the old inhibitions remain firmly in place. The political establishment seems solidly planted, unmovable, unchangeable. There may be a widespread rage, in short, but it’s largely an impotent rage. Europeans today have been bred to be passive, to leave things to their leaders, whose wisdom they’ve been taught all their lives to take for granted. Even Europeans who are highly uneasy about multiculturalism, then, tend to be incapable of effective action or organization. They look around for somebody else to do something, or at least to say things that might help clarify the situation, help bring their own often muddled views into focus, and help make them feel justified in their vague but increasingly intense sense of alarm.
Part of the problem is that many Europeans today have been taught to think of their own societies, in large part, as value-neutral spaces. The fact that freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equal rights are not natural givens, but are rather a precious heritage that had to be fought for and that are now under attack and must be defended without hesitation or apology, is something that needs to be driven home to many of them. They were brought up to believe that their societies’ one great overriding virtue, other than the bottomless generosity of the welfare state, is an unbounded multicultural tolerance –a limitless openness to and “understanding” of even of the most brutally intolerant foreign cultures.
To shake off a lifetime of this kind of indoctrination is not easy: it’s hard to quit yourself entirely of the deeply instilled notion – perverse though it is – that the ultimate act of goodness is to pour endless amounts of your own hard-earned tax money into the pockets of immigrants who hate you, hate your country, hate your form of government, and will gladly destroy it all when they’ve gained enough power to do so. The feelings of guilt and insecurity on the part of many of those who dare to reject this orthodoxy should not be underestimated.
Berlinski: Actually, I believe the idea of multiculturalism antedates Horace Kallen and in fact has its origins in the Swiss constitution of 1848, which, it is only fair to note, seems to have served the Swiss rather well.
The idea that multiculturalism is the product of a calculated, malicious Leftist plot strikes me as a stretch. For one thing, it’s completely incompatible with doctrinaire Marxism; for another, I’ve seen no historical evidence for the claim. Many leftists did indeed end up as multiculturalists after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but I agree with Hege and Lars—multiculturalism is functioning here as a substitute for anti-capitalism (in turn a substitute for something else), and not as its natural extension.
There are some similarities between modern European multiculturalism and Soviet nationalities policy as implemented between 1923 and 1933, I suppose, but the goal of the Soviet policy was to encourage the cohesion of the state, whereas contemporary European multiculturalists generally hold multiculturalism itself to be the goal—a good unto itself, no matter what the consequences for the state.
Both Marxism and multiculturalism are Utopian ideologies that have proven attractive both to morons and those of a totalitarian temperament; beyond that—not much in common, really, if you take what they profess to believe seriously. By contrast, the anti-globalization activists are the Left’s more direct ideological heirs, although they’re still engaged in abject deviationism.
But Jamie, you’ve spent more time than I have poking around those Soviet archives—have you found some evidence to suggest that multiculturalism originated in a Left-wing plot? Or is that just your gut feeling? I agree that the Left’s malice and calculation should never be underestimated, but sometimes putting Fluoride in the water is just some poor bozo’s idea of a sound public hygiene measure.
Whatever its origins, if we’re trying to figure out what’s gone wrong with Europe—and I presume that is why we’re all gathered here today—I’d be wary of ascribing complete explanatory power to the ascent of multiculturalism as a doctrine. It’s a dopey idea, to be sure, but is it really the primary reason Western Europe now finds itself unable to integrate its large, hostile Muslim minorities?
France, despite categorically rejecting official multiculturalism, despite having always rejected it, is having precisely the same problems with its Muslim immigrant population as the rest of Europe. Jamie, you correctly point out that Europe’s postwar immigration policy was not sufficiently discriminating, but this had less to do with ideological multiculturalism than it did with filling industrial labor shortages, making good on moral commitments to the former colonies, and simple shortsightedness. (On the other hand, the fact that a disturbingly high proportion of these immigrants have not been obliged to learn the languages, abide by the laws, or respect the core values of their adoptive countries has a great deal to do with multiculturalism.)
Anyway, I’d be inclined to view multiculturalism as the symptom, not the disease, the real disease being the utter, collective demoralization of Europe in the wake of the collapse of Christianity and the two World Wars. If Europe is suffering now from an excess of indiscriminate tolerance, I'd look to the Holocaust as the source: How do you convince people to stand up for European values if that is where they lead? I'm not saying they shouldn't stand up for those values, by the way, far from it; I'm just pointing out the key psychological problem.
FP: Thank you. We’re not really much in disagreement my friend. My main point is simply that multiculturalism serves as a weapon with which the Left can work its destructive agenda.
Bat Ye’or go ahead.
Bat Ye’or: Thank you Jamie. As the previous commentators rightly remarked, the concept of multiculturalism is implicit in the idea of “Europe des Nations,” going back to the early 19th century, and in the drive toward European unification promoted by various politicians, historians and intellectuals, including Michelet (France 1830), Berchet and especially Mazzini (Italy ), and Hegel (Germany).
Both the Socialist and the Romantic movements advocated the establishment of a United States of Europe or European Federation. With the development of the railroads that shortened distances and facilitated travel and contacts, Europeans became aware of a cultural unity above and beyond the diversity of languages, arts, and literature. The value of multiculturalism was reinforced in the context of a broad movement of European unification to counter the dangers of belligerent nationalistic rivalries and block the threat of further inter-European wars, especially after the major wars of the 20th century.
After WW II, Gaullist France thought to compensate the loss of its Arab colonies by forming a vast Euro-Arab Mediterranean ensemble that would form a strategic, political, cultural and social entity. The French and the Arabs wanted to build a strategic Euro-Arab alliance that would stand as a powerful block against America. French diplomats developed contacts with Arab counterparts, particularly the Libyans, and managed to integrate this alliance into a common European policy on oil and security.
The policy was established at the highest levels of the European Commission and within European Community organizations. Not all European States immediately agreed to the project. But Palestinian terrorism in the late 1960s and 1970s, combined with the oil boycott imposed after Arab hopes of militarily destroying Israel were dashed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, persuaded the recalcitrant nations, including Holland, to participate in the project.
This was the creation of Eurabia. Eurabian ideology envisaged a united Mediterranean culture based on a symbiosis between the Northern and the Southern shores through multiculturalism and a unifying process similar to Europe’s integrative dynamics. The hope was to achieve a common Euro-Arab empire with free circulation of goods and people, a common diplomacy and culture, a common Euro-Arab Parliament, a Euro-Arab university (here and here)and a common financing organism.
Multiculturalism is in fact a crucial dimension of the Euro-Arab strategic alliance. Since 1975, agreements connecting Europe to the Arab world are frequently mentioned in texts of Euro-Arab meetings and of the European Union. The terms of Arab-Muslim immigration to Europe are outlined in these documents: immigrants should be encouraged to maintain ties with their countries of origin and integration into European culture was not essential. The texts call for the establishment of Muslim cultural and political centres in European cities, and set forth guidelines for education, publishing, and the media. Details on the most recent period can be found in the report of the European Commission for Culture, Science and Education presented to the European Parliamentary Assembly by José Maria de Puig from the Spanish Socialist group (November 2002).
The multiculturalist policy to which you refer, Jamie, is connected in Europe to the absorption of Muslim culture into the Mediterranean entity. As Laars pointed out, by the 1980s the Left had strengthened its Third-Worldism and alliance with Arab states. It supported mass immigration from Africa and Asia as natural allies against established Western cultural bastions. The spiritual father of the deconstruction of Western culture was the late Edward Said, who devoted much work in order to replace it by the Arab-Muslim perception of history.
I agree with Storhaug and Berlinski on the Stalinist methods used to silence disagreement by labeling people “Islamophobes.” We can expect a reinforcement of this policy as a consequence of a resolution passed at the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit conference in Mecca on December 7-8, 2005: “Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.” This is now being initiated at the new UN Human Rights Council. The problem is: how to define “Islamophobia” according to Western criteria that do not recognize blasphemy.
I agree with Fjordman’s analysis of the alliance between the Left and Muslim immigrants as an interactive dependency. The Left shares a visceral anti-Americanism and a totalitarian propensity with the general Arab population. The dissatisfied and often unemployed immigrant masses seem like an opportunity to fill the European proletarian vacuum. But above all, the Left uses these immigrants to help destroy the traditional Judeo-Christian values of a vacillating, demographically impoverished Europe plagued by antisemitism. Those forces are endeavoring to bring to birth the world of the future: an Alliance of Civilizations, fraternization of peoples, reconciliation of Islam and Christianity through immigration and multiculturalism. They both reject Judeo-Christianism, although for different reasons.
The Project mentioned by Fjordman is in fact a strategy described in a plethora of EU documents, approved by the major parties represented at the European Parliament, and coordinated by the European Commission. It was pursued with particular enthusiasm under Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission from 1999 to 2005.
The cultural relativism of which de Winter speaks is related to the immigration policy and the integration of its values. Fear of awakening opposition to the Common Strategy of the European Council that established EU policy toward the Arab Mediterranean countries led to the repression of all discussion of the economic problems and difficulties of integration caused by massive immigration. The immigration issue was falsely connected to the Holocaust and thereby protected by the rules and taboos of post-Holocaust Europe. European Jews had no homeland at that time; they were trying to flee a genocidal policy that condemned a whole people to extermination.
Today’s immigrants are not in this type of situation, and certainly not the Muslims who have 56 countries within the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Of course, certain individuals who are threatened by totalitarian dictatorship must be helped, but this is very different from the Jewish situation. Moreover, this shameful manipulation of Holocaust history and European guilt feelings is used to cover an antisemitic Mediterranean policy that is pointedly anti-Israeli and anti-American, while Palestinianism supported by the EU promotes the destruction of Israel, thereby pursuing the European extermination policy implemented during WW2. For pointing out these elementary truths I was accused of being a racist.
On the other hand I do not agree with de Winter on multiculturalism. I think it is very well implemented in Europe. Multiculturalism is the foundation of Europe’s generalized anti-Semitism, anti-American racism, and Palestinianist subculture with its fanatical support for Arafat and Saddam Hussein, moral relativism, and loss of identity. Multiculturalism is manifest in schools: insecurity, violence, pressure for curriculum changes (for France see the Obin Report); in universities, where students and professors conduct a cultural jihad against Western values; in some museums and in all expressions of culture and public and political life.
My position is very close to that of Bawer. I think that he perfectly grasped the European situation in all its complexity. I agree totally with his analysis, especially concerning the totalitarian web cohesion of “teachers, professors, the media, politicians, government agency workers, talking heads on TV, the representatives of state-funded ‘independent’ organizations like SOS Racism” to indoctrinate the politically correct. This perfectly expresses the political directives given by the European Commission to coordinate and control in all EU member-states the political, intellectual, religious, media, teaching and publishing apparatus since the 1970s so as to harmonize with its Mediterranean strategy based on multiculturalism. Bawer is perfectly right when he alludes to the professional harassment, boycott and defamation that punish those who openly reject the politically correct discourse. This leads to the development of a type of “resistance press” as if Europe were under the “Occupation” of its own elected governments. This free press on the internet and in blogs brought some changes, including the rejection of the European Constitution because people are fed up with the supra-national authoritarian policies of Brussels that have made such a mess.
I also agree with Bawer on the divide between the people and the political establishment, on the paralysis of the latter and the impotent passivity of Europeans, which might explode in ugly xenophobic crimes, and especially that immigrants are only pawns in a Euro-Arab strategy that turned Europe into “value-neutral spaces.” For having spoken and written on Europe’s Judeo-Christian spiritual values I was attacked verbally and in texts as an Islamophobe.
Unlike Berlinski, I do not see any political shortsightedness in the integration policy, because integration was never in the cards. From the 1970s when immigration policy was being elaborated between the countries of the European Communities and those of the Southern Mediterranean under the auspices of the Arab League, no European texts or agreements mentioned the need for integration but only the need to educate Europeans to host immigrants and be tolerant. The source of Europe’s “excess of tolerance” is not the Holocaust but its political exploitation that covers current policies, while Europe shows extreme intolerance toward Israel in the apartheid mechanisms of some of its universities, its economic boycotts and divestment policies, as well as the Marcionism and replacement theology professed by some of its Churches, and the constant condemnation of Israeli policies.
Multiculturalism is a wide all-embracing doctrine whose components are not all negative. It encompasses the struggle against fanaticism, prejudice, and chauvinism; it is open to humanity in its diversity; but it has been perverted by a hidden political agenda. Multiculturalism sustains many aspects of European policy. Walter Schwimmer, the Austrian diplomat and Secretary General of the Council of Europe from 1999 to 2004, told foreign ministers at the Islamic conference in Istanbul (June15th 2004) that the Islamic component is an integral part of Europe’s diversity. He reaffirmed the commitment of the Council of Europe to work against Islamophobia, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance, and proposed the launch of a series of joint projects on the teaching of history and religious diversity. The report recommends that these projects be extended to the whole of the Mediterranean basin, ''as a contribution to our intercultural and inter-religious dialogue''.
According to the European Council report, the Council was also actively involved in the co-organisation of a Conference on the Image of Arab-Islamic culture in European history textbooks, which took place in Cairo from 12 to 14 December 2004. The event, which was held within the framework of the Euro-Arab Dialogue ''Learning to Live together;'' was jointly organized by UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The aim of this conference was to examine negative stereotyping in the image of Arab-Islamic culture presented in existing history textbooks, and to discuss ways to overcome this stereotyping.
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