The Culture of Accomodation is a one-way street Posted by: McQ
on Monday, April 28, 2008
The best way to introduce Bruce Bawer's piece in City Journal about the seeming surrender of Western values such as freedom of speech to what he calls the 'cultural jihadists' of Islam, bent on seeing our ways transition to their ways, is to begin with his conclusion:
We need to recognize that the cultural jihadists hate our freedoms because those freedoms defy sharia, which they’re determined to impose on us. So far, they have been far less successful at rolling back freedom of speech and other liberties in the U.S. than in Europe, thanks in no small part to the First Amendment. Yet America is proving increasingly susceptible to their pressures.
The key question for Westerners is: Do we love our freedoms as much as they hate them? Many free people, alas, have become so accustomed to freedom, and to the comfortable position of not having to stand up for it, that they’re incapable of defending it when it’s imperiled—or even, in many cases, of recognizing that it is imperiled. As for Muslims living in the West, surveys suggest that many of them, though not actively involved in jihad, are prepared to look on passively—and some, approvingly—while their coreligionists drag the Western world into the House of Submission.
But we certainly can’t expect them to take a stand for liberty if we don’t stand up for it ourselves.
Prior to that he spends an enormous number of words relating incident after incident which support his conclusion. Many of them you've no doubt heard of. When combined with others you've probably not heard of, it creates a large and damning list of unwarranted accommodation and capitulation by many of the more important institutions of the West.
It is as if giving offense to another culture is a mortal sin, the avoidance of which is far more important than protecting our values, freedoms and traditions. It is another example of the absurd premises which underpin the bankrupt group-hug theory of multiculturalism and its cousin, political correctness and and provides a small insight into the ravages they've wrought.
Bawers tells a tale which leaves anyone who cherishes their Western values and freedoms wondering how these incidents could have happened as they did. And, as you'll see, in many cases the reaction among Westerners (and Western authorities) is so disgustingly cowardly that you have to assume they've decided that our freedoms are no longer worth defending - thus his figurative call to arms.
He makes an argument I’ve been making for a long time now.
Oddly, he makes an argument, too, that President Bush made back in the day... "They hate us for our freedoms’. remember the left scoffing at this? (Cue MK, Erb and so on) Granted that Bush didn’t say it as well as Bawer. But the idea, I think is the same.
More; the arguments he makes leave us with but one conclusion...our freedoms are culturally based, and once the culture is over-run, so too do the rights and freedoms attached to it.
There, again, I got scoffed at a few years ago for daring to say it.
An interesting parallel; Mark Steyn notes the passing of the Australian columnist Pamela Bone died of cancer this weekend. Bone worked for The Age. Steyn writes
She was a feminist, an atheist and most of the other -ists you might expect from a western woman of her general disposition (she was a recipient, among many other awards, of something called the “UN media peace prize”). But in her final years she came to see that the Islamization of the west represented a profound challenge to everything she believed in.
It’s an interesting article, to be found here. The reason I link Styen’s note to this post of Bruce’s should be fairly clear; People from both ends of the political spectrum... in this case Bone and Bawer, are starting to understand how crucial the culture is to our rights why Multi-culturalism is the death of our culture and thereby of our rights.
It’s encoruaging to see so many coming to the conclusion so quickly, but I wonder if the damage is not already done.
And Bruce, I’m sorry if I stole any of your fire here, man... you know this is an issue I’ve been harping on for a decade and longer.... and it all meshed...
Do we love our freedoms as much as they hate them? Many free people, alas, have become so accustomed to freedom, and to the comfortable position of not having to stand up for it, that they’re incapable of defending it when it’s imperiled—or even, in many cases, of recognizing that it is imperiled.
Of course, many of the people who most loudly insist that we must defend "traditional Western values" against radical Sharia are the same people who also most loudly insist that we must defend "traditional Western values" against gays — gays such as Bruce Bawer.
I’m not saying this invalidates Bawer’s thesis — it doesn’t. I’m merely pointing out the oft-demonstrated fact that a foolish inconsistency is often the hobgoblin of neoconservative minds.