Salman Rushdie says it best...
A nice piece examining the will of the west to win against islamic fascism...
There’s also the colossal mistake of cultural relativism, which is, you know, the bastard child of multiculturalism. I mean multiculturalism it seems to me is a completely defensible idea because we do all live in a multicultural society. There is no way that you can walk around the streets of New York City and argue with that fact. It simply is the case and what’s more it’s not going to stop being the case. In the same way as whether you like globalization or not, you cannot deglobalize the planet, in the same way you cannot demulticulturalize the planet. This is the world in which we now live. We all live jumbled up with each other and that’s just how it is and we have to deal with it.
That’s one thing. You say that, and you look at its consequences, good and bad, and that’s so. But there has been, entirely on the left I have to say, a mistake and extension of that, to say —there’s a British politician who said this recently— -that in order to be fair you have to treat people differently according to their cultural background. That’s to say things are OK if they’re your culture. If your culture happens to include stoning adulteresses to death, then hey, it’s your culture. If it includes female circumcision, which of us can argue with that, you know?
You see, the moment you begin to look at it, it doesn’t stand up, cultural relativism, because what it does is it absolves us as individuals and as groups from making any kind of moral choices. And you live in a world, therefore, where there is no such thing as morality; there’s only relative values. There’s only, you know, what’s sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. And at that point you genuinely arrive at what is called decadence, when you lose the ability to decide as individuals and groups, as a society, to agree about and sometimes agree about what is right and what is wrong. When you lose that ability, you’re in deep trouble, deep trouble..
And that is the trouble that cultural relativism has led us into. And only now you find people beginning to notice that it’s not all right for people to live in ghettos in which they reject everything else about the society. This is a classic mistake and the left has made this mistake beforebecause the worst extension of this mistake is when it looks at movements, radical militant movements which are, in fact, intrinsically fascistic and intrinsically oppressive, but use a rhetoric of claiming to speak for the world’s oppressed peoples. This is the mistake the left fell into with Soviet Communism, with Stalinism. Here was a fascist movement claiming to be a revolutionary libertarian movement: we’ll have more of that, please.
And it seems to me that the fellow traveling of a great section of the left with Islamic radicalism is of exactly the same nature. The desire to oppose the many abuses that America and American power has committed in the world leads people to believe that these others, the people who claim rhetorically to be against that, are actually in some way allies. But actually the truth is that Islamic radicalism, whether it’s Al Qaeda, whether it’s Wahhabism, by whatever name you call it, is not interested in creating a world of greater social justice. It’s not interested in liberating women. It’s not interested in tolerance for minorities and sexual dissidents. It’s not interested in democracy. It’s not interested in having more of the community having a larger share of the pie. It’s not interested in economic redistribution. It’s not interested in any of the things that you would call social justice.
It’s interested in what the Taliban is interested in. It’s interested in creating a new religious, fascist rule over the planet, you know, the Caliphate, the Talibanization of the earth. For the left to refuse to understand the nature of the people that they’re refusing to criticize is a historical mistake as great as those who were the fellow travelers of Stalinist Communism in an earlier age. And I’m not alone in this.There’s at least another 12 people saying this. But there needs to be more than that.