A man of the right, Steyn has been darkly predicting the end of Europe as we know it, locked as it is, he argues, into demographic decline and painting itself into the corner of multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism is tough to define, but for Steyn’s analysis, perhaps we could think of it as a melange of moral relativism, Statist top-down rationalism and its remnants, as well as a dominant liberal ideology of conformity. Some people are viewed as victims before they even arrive, to be pitied and included into civil society mainly through questionable lawmaking by way of political activism.
More broadly, it can lead to the kind of technocratic governance which appears currently unable to acknowledge many cultural, economic, and demographic problems in Europe. Muslim immigration, multiculturalists, and free speech are the main players in the Hedegaard case.
Europe wanted cheap labor and they got it with Muslims. A few generations onward, as Europe’s Muslim populations quietly grow in cities such as Malmo, London, and Brussels, there are broader consequences. For Steyn, Muslims are naturally following an Islam at odds with much of European culture, an Islam which doesn’t recognize separation of Mosque and State, and will occasionally kill people who insult the prophet. Point this out, or the folly of having Sharia law in shadow courts operating alongside at least 800 years of English jurisprudence, and someone may well try and kill you. The sensitivities of the marginalized Muslim and the sensitivities of the multicultural Leftist consensus dovetail nicely.
***To be fair, I’d add and Steyn might agree, that many European Muslims are naturally responding to the incentives that European societies have created for them, including multicultural policies which blame Europe or America first. Immigration isn’t easy, with or without Islam. They are often viewed with suspicion and distrust. It’s tougher to get a job in Europe, and it’s tough to be accepted where racial and national identity are more closely aligned. Steyn may not agree, and I may, that the moral absolutism of Islam does not need to be met with the absolutism of some free-speech advocates each and every time, but it ought to be supported more than it is now.
Here’s Steyn on what’s become an unholy alliance:
“Why then are the Euroleft prostrate before Islam? Simple arithmetic, says Lars: “They are now increasingly dependent on the Muslim vote, which they hope will guarantee them a perpetual foothold at least in the major population centers.”
Here he is in his own words describing what he thinks are the failures of multicultural policies (addition: and why Islam is different):
Now, he’s become the target of actual violence and an assassination attempt. His tale here:
“The assassin came to his home dressed as a postman. When the historian and journalist Lars Hedegaard opened his front door, the man — whom Lars describes as ‘looking like a typical Muslim immigrant’ in his mid-twenties — fired straight at his head. Though Hedegaard was a yard away, the bullet narrowly missed.’
Is he right about everything? Probably not. But few people are willing to endure the financial damage of political activism, legal persecution, and violence and threats of violence, just to speak up and join public discourse. Hedegaard joins a growing list, in fact. He’s taking his life into his own hands just to do so, and that’s where the line should be drawn.
European free-speech advocates can easily find themselves operating in a vacuum, working against public opinion, often alone and outnumbered. It’d be nice to think even the establishment would come to his aid with public support against, you know, attempted murder. Sadly, this is unlikely at the moment, as it takes both personal courage and the political will to butt heads against the dominant ideology and worldview of many European institutions. The Eurocracy drifts forward, flaws and all.
Addition: Should Hedegaard be reading, I hope he’s faring well, and that after reading his work, I’ve found him very reasonable.
And if you think it can’t happen over here: Mark Steyn discusses complaints brought against Macleans, Canada’s largest publication, by the President of the Canadian Islamic Congress (who sent three representatives) to TVOntario. They were upset at the pieces Steyn had published there. The complaints went through the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for alleged “Islamophobia” and “promoting hate:”
The connection here is what happens in Canadian society beneath the umbrella of more Left liberal ideas:
Libertarians stand firm on this issue: Repost-A Canadian Libertarian Making Noise: Ezra Levant
***A friend asks me to note that the current progressive, Obama administration shares many of the same hallmarks as the EuroLeft Steyn describes: More malleable on free speech, vaguely tolerant of American nationalism, conveniently religious but more animated by Enlightenment rationalism and Statism. Political activism for social justice is a legitimate path to power and to reward minority groups (remember getting Muslims to NASA). No wonder the Europeans love Obama, he’s so familiar.
The simplest and plainest example: It takes a special kind of ideological commitment to call the Ft. Hood shooting an example of ‘workplace violence.’
Related On This Site: Tariq Ramadan speaks both multiculturalese and the language of Muslim Brotherhood, and ironically it’s the 68er and socialist who stands for neither religious belief nor multiculturalism confronts him
When you add it all up, it’s a lot From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’… ‘Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Headbutted‘During Lecture’……From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’…From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’… More From Spiegel Online After The Westergaard Attacks Via A & L Daily: ‘The West Is Choked By Fear’
See Also: If you thought the cartoons were bad, more on the Fitna movie here. Via The A & L Daily-Interview With Christopher Caldwell At Spiegel Online Ayan Hirsi Ali is a Muslim immigrant to Europe, who seems quite populist and anti-Islam…is this a potential track for immigrants if they are integrated better?: Ayan Hirsi Ali At The CSM: ‘Swiss Ban On Minarets Was A Vote For Tolerance And Inclusion’