The benefits of a multi-culti society are dogma to progressives. When they see their goal of a world community under assault, they respond by claiming victim status, oppression, and intolerance. The occasional strawman argument also makes an appearance. Making today's argument in the IHT: James A. Goldston, the Director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.
[...] The notion that excessive tolerance toward ethnic minorities and immigrants has sown the seeds of terrorist violence would be laughable were it not so wrong. To be sure, a policy of "live and let live" may feed alienation when some communities enjoy markedly inferior opportunities for quality education and employment. Fostering enhanced integration of marginalized groups into British society should be a priority. But ending Britain's historic openness to others would be a grave mistake, and would do nothing to address the threat of terrorism.
First off, no one in a position of responsibility suggests that excessive tolerance led to the July terror bombings. Rather, it was the lack of integration (in many cases willful on the part of the bombers), combined with--admit it--Islam's own intolerance that led to the bombings. The author is correct that integration is part of the answer, but by integrating, these groups must necessarily give up some of their traditions and adopt some of Britain's' traditions.
Furthermore, no one is calling for the end of "Britain's historic openness to others". The demand is that the immigrant communities increase their efforts to be more British. One of the British values noticeably missing from these Islamo-terrorists is acceptance of other cultures.
The author also brings up the poverty as root cause theme. Most of the identified terrorists came from respectable households, not out of grinding poverty. Enough said.
Terrorism is not confined to countries that promote ethnic diversity; on the contrary, terrorists flourish in societies that suppress legitimate dissent and lack basic institutions of good governance. Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, for example, have witnessed terrorist violence on their soil in recent years.
True, but this misses the point. Terrorism in Western societies is our concern, and by encouraging the adoption of Western mores
, we seek to lower the likelihood of immigrants becoming terrorists. It's a pity he doesn't look at one the factors the nations he chose to populate his list with have in common. Large numbers of adherents of radical Islamic beliefs.
If the impoverishment and alienation of immigrant youth constitute a security risk (as well as a humanitarian concern), this may reflect not too much multiculturalism, but rather not enough antidiscrimination measures. [...]
Right. The British, by not being nicer to those who wish them harm, are to blame. If the immigrant communities would take it on themselves to mesh with the larger society, maybe there would be less discrimination. This is not to dismiss racism or discrimination, but other countries, notably France, have very high levels of both; this is not limited to the UK. Moreover, discrimination didn't produce these terrorists, the perverters of Islam did.
For more than three decades, Britain has led Europe in the adoption of antidiscrimination legislation - and to good effect. Persons of color have gained significant status, representation and recognition in journalism, business and the halls of government. But the persistent ghettoization of minority communities is evidence that more concerted efforts are required to combat prejudice, improve cross-cultural education, provide skills-based employment training and foster genuine economic promise. Loyalty to an adopted nation is instilled more effectively by equal opportunity than by citizenship oaths.
Improve cross-cultural education? What on earth is he talking about? What's wrong with immigrants learning how to be good citizens of their adoptive country. Expecting some movement on this question does not equate to discrimination.
But racial tolerance is not a policy preference exclusive to Britain. A European Union directive mandates that all EU members prohibit and effectively redress discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin. And since 2000, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has been vigorously overseeing the transposition into national law of this equal treatment principle in all areas of economic and social life.
Gotta like his appeal to an extra-national governing body as the solution. Way to follow the stereotype.
It would be a shame - for Britain and others - were this long-standing tradition [rule of law, acceptance of minorities, etc.] to become yet another casualty of the misguided "war on terror."
In addition to his final parade of horrors if Britain changes point, many progressive arguments (read apologia) are deployed in this opinion piece. He even drags in the higher governmental body benefiting society theme. But no mention of the immigrants' responsibilities are seen, and no discussion of whether they are being met. Nor do we see a connection between Islam and terror made.
Britain's traditional tolerance allows pissants to preach and plot the destruction of Britain. The steps taken by the government to date are minor and perfectly correct. However, the author sees this all as an attack on the iconic status of multiculturalism.
His view: Requiring tolerance from the intolerant is intolerant. Irony level: off the scale.
Linked at Jawa Report, who is issuing fatwas as I type.