Rosy Fingered Dawn

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Truepeers, this one's for you: Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, writing for the Telegraph, Multiculturalism is to blame for perverting young Muslims.

Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement, and new demands will continue to be made. It is clear, therefore, that the multiculturalism beloved of our political and civic bureaucracies has not only failed to deliver peace, but is the partial cause of the present alienation of so many Muslim young people from the society in which they were born, where they have been educated and where they have lived most of their lives. The Cantle Report, in the wake of disturbances in Bradford, pointed out that housing and schools policies that favoured segregation, in the name of cultural integrity and cohesion, have had the unforeseen consequence of alienating the different religious, racial and cultural groups from one another.


Values, however, are not free-standing; they are deeply rooted in a vision of society. Whether we like it or not, characteristic British values arise out of the Christian faith and its vision of personal and common good. These were clarified by the Enlightenment and became the bed-rock of our modern political arrangements. The Enlightenment, however, by consigning Christianity to the private sphere, also removed the basis and justification for these values in the public sphere.

It is this basis and justification that needs to be recovered if our values are to be secure, and if they are to help inculcate the virtues of generosity, loyalty, moderation and love that lead to personal fulfilment and social wellbeing.

h/t Brussels Journal


truepeers said...

Yeah, i can relate! It's interesting how some of the strong voices in England today in defense of western culture are coming from church men (I'm thinking also of the Archbishop of York) whose family backgrounds are not British.

Anyway, to make my position on "multiculturalism" clear: I reject it because I see it largely as a fantasy ideology at odds with reality. I don't actually think England (or anywhere else) is actually multicultural: yes it has people who are residentially and economically segregated by race or religion - though the English immigrants are not as ghettoized as on the continent - and it has people of immigrant backgrounds who are now well assimilated; but whatever these local realities, they are not in themselves "multicultural" and they do not all add up to anything much that we can call "multicultural", because no one or no institution can truly represent or integrate, in some all-inclusive way, many cultures. Sure, we can choose between different restaurants on a street full of flavours, but we can't develop a serious humanistic discipline cafeteria style.

In reality, you cannot be all things to all people; you have to be something, or you are probably lost and close to nothing. Now, I want my something to be something with many freedoms and possiblities for people. Still, it has to be a something; it has to be one way of understanding and defending universal values like freedom and equality, and not another way. While we can and certainly should learn from many traditions, when we represent ethical values, individually or in institutions, we make a choice to represent them in terms of one scenic tradition, or another. We should encourage knowledge of many traditions of representation in education, etc., but at the end of the day institutions and persons have to choose to find themselves in this, or that scene. So a "multicultural" education should only be seriously encouraged once one has developed well one's core cultural education.

When we forget this respect for specific traditions out of some political imperative to become "multicultural", we risk becoming humourless ideologues who will go about policing all forms of public representation that might be seen to exclude someone. But what meaningful form of representation doesn't work by making differentiations and thus excluding certain possibilities? The multicultural policeman thus ends up working to reduce the range of public representations to fit the terms of some narrow ideology, and there's nothing liberating or culturally rich about that.

David Thomson said...

Sometime during George Orwell’s era the British lost faith in their traditions. The leftists persuaded them that they were racist and despicable people. England did not substantially advance the cause of freedom in the world, but instead oppressed it. How could Great Britain pretend to possess advanced values? Who is to say that the principles of the Magna Carta are better than those of the Muslims? This relativist attitude dominates the mindset of the intellectually elite. Only the so-called common folks can save the nation.

Peter UK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter UK said...

"Sometime during George Orwell’s era the British lost faith in their traditions. The leftists persuaded them that they were racist and despicable people."

No this was a phenomenon post sixties and far more complex.

Peter UK said...

ity nobody gives a toss what the Curch of England thinks.The CoE,long the Conservative party at Prayer, lost the Tories to Mammon long ago,the traditionalists driven out by Kumbaya and vicars in lederhosen and nipple clamps.The socialist Celtic Fringe tends to be Non-conformist or Catholic,the Evangelicals regard the High Church CoE as medaeival idolaters,institutions like the BBC look on all religions as some kind of quaint miguided anachronism,irrelevent to progressive life,merely a subject of mockery.
So the Gramscian burrowing of one of the former pillars of society has rendered it inconsequential.....but we all knew that when the Bishop of York declared the resurrection a "conjuring trick with bones",subsequently York Minster was struck by lightning and the tower burnt to the ground.

nomdeblog said...

The paradox of multiculture is that it ghettoizes people. Because it treats all cultures as equal. That’s a myth because cultures aren’t equal.

I think the confusion arises here in Canada when people advocate multicultural I think many actually intend to be saying that they champion diversity – diversity of ethnic groups and especially diversity of ideas.

Tolerance of diversity (as long as those we tolerate, also tolerate us) makes good commercial sense. As a businessperson I want a focus group of clients and a management group that listens to them that are all diverse. The best ideas will win the day. Ditto, the best cultures will win the day, the weak cultures will die out. Darwin must be allowed to do his work.

The problem gets more complicated because we elect Kumbaya utopians who don’t want diversity of ideas. Utopians favour the collective over the individual. Government patronage and corruption can be used to prolong the lives of multicultures in a society that would otherwise evolve with the survival of the fittest.

Morgan said...

Cultures are not random assemblages of values, technologies, behaviors, and institutions. The elements of a culture work together to allow the members of that culture to adapt more or less successfully.

In some cases there are clear trade-offs. Freedom from strict observation of and socially imposed sanction for most actions must be coupled with a counteracting value placed on self-restraint, or the result is chaos. Capitalism must be coupled with the assurance of property rights, or it will die.

I'm convinced, however, that cultures evolve over time, and that the shapes of institutions, commonly held and propogated values (religious and otherwise), accepted technologies, and typical behaviors are always seeking a kind of optimal balance within the environment.

Multiculturalism, in attempting to fit these elements together in "unnatural" ways, acts like a catastrophic mutation - six legs adapted to different functions but unable to work together, two heads, one of which has teeth that can't chew anything the twelve-chambered stomach can digest, and 19 tongues on a very unhappy cow.

Peter UK said...

The voice of multiculturalism

Mollie said...

Most people who support "multiculturalism" mention - as their FIRST argument - that life is so much more interesting with all those unusual restaurants to go to at lunchtime. Truly, that is the depth of most of our elite's 'thought.'

I remember, years ago in Toronto, having just such a conversation. My friend was thrilled that Toronto was so much more colourful and interesting now that all those ethnics were piling in. This was when an Albanian Muslim had committed an 'honor' killing of his own daughter. But to my friend, this was not relevant. The colourful feel of Downtown was - and is - all that matters. Certainly, 'honor killings' were none of her busines, except as interesting foreign artifacts...

Morgan said...


I'm pretty sure we can have the restaurants without the honor killings. Maybe if we made this point and pitched the idea that people can retain some aspects of their culture while accepting the findamental tenets of the culture of their new home, and (of course) gave it a gooey-sweet name like "meldoculturalism", people like your friend would sign on.

gumshoe1 said...

"Sometime during George Orwell’s era the British lost faith in their traditions. The leftists persuaded them that they were racist and despicable people."

'No this was a phenomenon post sixties and far more complex.'

David T & Peter UK...


i keep posting this
on various blogs,hoping
more people will read it:

...this article by Eric S Raymond,

"Gramscian Damage":


"..some of the Soviet Union's most potent memetic weapons:

+There is no truth, only competing agendas.

+All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.

+There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.

+The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.

+Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.

+The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)

+For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.

+When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions."

it's a great essay.

the jihadis are riding the momentum and coat-tails of the "war of each against all"
provided courtesy of the Soviets.

some of the West (the 9/10 portion)
are still eagerly waiting the
"End of History",and the
Western Left is trying to bring it on more quickly.

Peter UK said...

I don't know what the ratio of restaurants to honour killings is but it is fairly obvious ,the more restaurants,the more likely one will employ someone whose culture demands it.

truepeers said...

Heather, here is a little story from my friend Charles, about an immigrant in Canada who apparently lives in fear for his life because he is a "Muslim" who doesn't really believe like the rest of the Muslims. When I read it it became clear that "multiculturalism" means never paying attention to what the brown guy on the bus is actually thinking or going through, but just smiling in a self-righteous sense of superiority that you ride the bus with brown, blue and green people. The fact that many Canadians happily allow their fellows to live in a totalitarian demi-monde, talking and doing nothing about it, in order to feel morally superior about their "multiculturalism" and "freedom", suggests to me that many Canadians are moral fools.