Salim Mansur, Toronto Sun, March 8, 2008
Future historians of the phenomenon known as “multiculturalism” that the West bone-headedly adopted towards the end of the second millennium will note the precise time when it was dealt a mortal wound.
It was at 8:46 on Tuesday morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the first of the four commercial airliners hijacked by Islamist terrorists—all of Arab origin—struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City.
Since that time other western cities—Madrid, London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Washington—have been targets of successful or failed attempts by Islamist terrorists determined to spread random death and destruction.
Those involved in the planning and execution of such terror are immigrants or born of immigrant parents belonging to the rapidly growing Muslim population in the West over the past 40 years. I happen to be a part of this wave of immigration to the West.
This western Muslim population, with its ethnic diversity reflecting the vastness of the Arab-Muslim world—stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from central Asia to sub-Saharan Africa—could have given some timely ballast to multiculturalism by unambiguously and unapologetically defending the West against barbarity.
This was the minimum Muslims in the West owed to the civilization where they sought refuge, and where they found security, prosperity, freedom and self-fulfillment of the like denied them in their native lands.
Instead Muslim-based organizations, at first having offered denial, followed with an unending volume of polemics condemning the West for past sins. By exploiting the West’s post-colonial guilt they held it responsible for the conditions in the Arab-Muslim world that breeds the politics of terrorism.
These bald-faced polemics are sheer nonsense, and yet they resonated in much of the West that went limp with the anodyne of wishful multicultural thinking.
The idea that all cultures are equal in merit and deserving respect, an idea devoid of any historical perspective, could be seriously proposed and adopted only in western liberal democracies. And logically such an idea meant only one thing, the diminution of the West and its achievements in comparison to other cultures.
Multiculturalism institutionalized as a policy, run by self-perpetuating bureaucracies and sustained by entrepreneurs of a growing multicultural industry, became an easy ride for its proponents and clients.
Immigrants were not required to embrace the West’s culture and complex history; and the West did not have to strain itself in instructing immigrants on the need or importance of embracing it, warts and all.
Multiculturalism worked so long as the illusion of cultural harmony could be maintained.
But once the sham of equality got exposed by the heat of Islamist violence—once it became undeniable that a culture in which a woman, for instance, can assert her individual freedom without fear is not at par with a culture where a woman’s worth is less than that of a man—multiculturalism as an idea was dead.
Historians will note a period of confusion followed the death of multiculturalism before the West asserted its ideals of freedom and democracy, and moved on.