Category Archives: multicultural society

The multicultural ideal

The lion of Hinduism shall lie down with the lamb of Mohammedanism (for example), and vice versa

Such a world is what people normally have in mind when they use the word ‘multiculturalism’, Dalrymple notes. They think of

  1. a lot of different restaurants
  2. charming exotic customs and tribal loyalties, all perfectly compatible with one another

Wrong prescription for Turkey

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 08.52.59Turn Anatolia into a Western-style social rat’s nest? No thanks

On no subject, writes Dalrymple,

is the Turkish state more sensitive than on the massacre of the Armenians in 1915. Was it one massacre among others, or the 20th century’s first genocide?

The novelist Elif Şafak specialises, Dalrymple points out, in

in inflaming the sore points of Turkish history. She wants a Turkey less ethnically and culturally homogeneous than that of the traditional Kemalist vision, and questions the sanctity of Atatürk and the army that protects his legacy, but expresses sympathy for Kurds and even Greeks.

But, Dalrymple says,

one may doubt whether the realistic alternative to the Kemalist version of Turkey is a multiculturalist paradise, where the Turk lies down with the Greek, rather than a Muslim theocracy.

Unfortunately Şafak subscribes, Dalrymple points out, to the

hackneyed views of the 1960s that have brought much social dislocation to the West, and would be more devastating still in Turkey.

She

reflects upon her own experience as an upper-middle-class intellectual and assumes that it is exemplary for millions.

This attitude is not

a useful prescription for all of Turkish society, or at least for that considerable part of it that does not live in, and was not raised in, cosmopolitan circles. Şafak seems a typical example of the intellectual who uses personal history uncritically to draw conclusions about society as a whole.

All the same, needless to say, such intellectuals, however dangerous they might be,

should not have to go to jail for their views.

Dread of the Muslims

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 07.37.29The West is running scared of the Mohammedans

Muslims know that Europe is running scared of them. They feel no gratitude whatsoever for the tolerance they may encounter in, for example, Britain, says Dalrymple, but rather

contempt for the spinelessness and decadence of a country whose tolerance can so easily be turned against it, and whose liberties might without difficulty be used to propagate and eventually impose tyranny.

Their contempt is not lessened by the knowledge that British society

does not have the will to impose upon them some of its own laws, notably those with regard to the education of their children.

Oppression of women

Dalrymple writes:

I have heard in my medical practice from innumerable young Muslim women that they were removed from school by their parents at an early age, several years before the law allowed, but I have yet to hear of even a single case in which a school or the school inspectors took effective action to return such a child to the school. I concede that the white girls who remain in the schools from which the Muslim parents illegally withdraw their daughters learn little after a certain age except how to be a lumpen slut, of the kind with which this country is so exceedingly well endowed: but the law is the law, and the subsequent fate of so many Muslim daughters is far from enviable.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 07.34.21Needless to say, Muslim men in Europe have it much easier than their womenfolk. A man, Dalrymple points out, can

have an arranged marriage to a woman he would not have selected for himself (but who is nonetheless useful to him as a provider of domestic comfort), and lead a happy life elsewhere; a life that often includes the possession of a concubine or two, more often than not of the lumpen white-slut class. It will not come as a surprise to learn that he treats his concubine or concubines with contempt and often violence, and the fact that they are willing to put up with it confirms him in his opinion of the decadence of the West.

Extraterritorial rights

You might have thought

that the girls who have been subjected to this culture that is now so much at variance with our own would have received loud, consistent and vociferous support from feminists. On the contrary, the feminists are the dog that did not bark, because feminism has appealed to the same kind of mind as multiculturalism has appealed to. And the only way the two isms can be held in the mind simultaneously is to ignore actual real-life evidence of their incompatibility.

Dalrymple explains that the fact that no one has consistently raised a voice in defence of these girls

has played its part in persuading certain Muslims that they are extraterritorial. They know that when the government talks of women’s rights, they — the Muslims — are excluded from its rhetoric, because it would take conviction and guts to include them. They draw the conclusion that our society is running scared of them.

1Multiculturalism is not couscous; it is the stoning of adulterers

Muslims have become all too aware that Western society is, says Dalrymple,

but a rotting fruit waiting to fall from the tree.

Loosing off — from a long way away — a few missiles at, for instance, Syria

will not have changed their impression; rather, it will have confirmed it, and their opinion of the West’s cowardice.

Every multiculturalist, says Dalrymple,

believes — whether he knows it or not — that it is right to force young girls into marriages they don’t want, to deprive them of the schooling and careers that they do want, to regard them as prostitutes if they leave their abusive husbands, and to punish, even to kill, those who cross cultural and religious boundaries. As an Italian commentator once put it, multiculturalism is not couscous; it is the stoning of adulterers.

Mosaics, kaleidoscopes, salad bowls

Pan with hamadryad, from Pompeii, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

No: Pan with hamadryad, from Pompeii. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli

Bring back the melting pot

Doctrinal multiculturalism furnishes, writes Dalrymple,

  • a portion of the intelligentsia with an opportunity to exhibit its virtue and generosity for all the world to see
  • cultural bureaucrats with a minor if lucrative source of employment

He points out that understanding another culture

is a Herculean labour.

What chance

No!

No

is there for people to understand, in any but the most superficial way, the hundreds of extremely diverse cultures from which immigrants come to our shores? To understand Amhara culture in any detail is the work of a lifetime for a highly intelligent person of American or European background who is determined and motivated to do so; for one person to understand Bengali, Somali, Yemeni and Vietnamese cultures as well is impossible.

No!

No

It follows

that is it for immigrants who do us the honour of coming to our country to understand us, not for us to understand them — which is impossible in any case. It is for them to make the mental, intellectual and cultural adjustments, not us.

In special circumstances,

it is well that certain people should try to learn something of the culture of immigrants. But it is humanity that should demand it, not bureaucratic multiculturalism.

Yes: Israel Zangwill's 1908 play

Yes: Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play

For instance, it was very necessary in Dalrymple’s work as a physician in an area with many immigrants that he should understand

the situation of Muslim girls brought up in Britain and forced into unwanted, indeed repellent, marriages to a first cousin in a village in Pakistan.

But

understanding and sympathy cannot be decreed.

The answer to the problems of the multi-ethnic, multilingual society remains

the melting pot.