Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"The lamps are going out all over Europe"

This are the words of British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. Today, the lights are going out on liberty all over the Western world, but in more subtle and profound way.

Much of the West is far too comfortable with state regulation of speech and expression, which puts freedom itself at risk. The response over the the Danish cartoons that sparked Muslim violence was to propose that newspapers exercise "prudence" on certain controversial subjects involving religions beginning with the letter "I". The Italian writer O. Fallaci, after writing of the contradiction between Islam and the Western tradition of liberty, was being sued in France, Italy, Switzerland. In Canada, the Canadian Islamic Congress said: "America will be an Islamic Republic by 2040. There will be a break for Muslim prayers during the Super Bowl. There will be a religious police enforcing Islamic norms. The USS Ronald Reagan will be named after Osama bin Laden."

These are small parts of a very big picture. After the London Tube bombings and the French riots a few years back, commentators lined up behind the idea that Western Muslims are insufficiently assimilated. But in their mastery of legalisms and the language of victimology, they're superbly assimilated. Since these are the principal means of discourse in multicultural societies, they've mastered all they need to know. Every day of the week, somewhere in the West, a Muslim lobbying group is engaging in an action similar to that in Canada. Meanwhile, in London, masked men marched through the streets with signs reading "Behead the Enemies of Islam" and promising another 9/11 and another Holocaust, all while being protected by a phalanx of London policemen.

Thus we see that today's multicultural societies tolerate the explicitly intolerant and avowedly unicultural, while refusing to tolerate anyone pointing out that intolerance.

.(Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.)

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