Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another day, another apologist column on the Guardian.

UK: Soumaya Ghannoushi is part of the comment Guardian extremists apology party talking about attacks on Multicult is so wrong. But its the definition of Multiculturalism that reveals the problem.

We seem to be caught up in an increasingly polarised debate where the defenders do not quite know what it is they're defending; their opponents what exactly they're attacking. The key terms are shrouded in ambiguity and confusion. Before embarking on a eulogy or diatribe of multiculturalism and integration you would do well to explain what it is precisely you understand by these terms in the first place. Only then can your views be of any value to those at the receiving end.
Oh good, a teaching lesson.
Personally, when I use the term "multiculturalism" I refer to the right to difference, the right to determine your life preferences, individual taste, lifestyle, world view and conception of happiness. Multiculturalism denotes a plurality of cultures, and ways of life, which is the antithesis of cultural uniformity and absolutism. National identity is the sum of this colourful mosaic, non pre-determined, open, rich and ever changing. Exposure to different cultures and perspectives is a factor of dynamism and enrichment, neither an evil nor a curse. The acquisition of languages other than that spoken by the majority is to be encouraged. It equips individuals with greater skills, a less provincial outlook, and a broader horizon. That I speak fluent Arabic and French does not make me any less able to express myself in English.
There lies the problem with Multicult, its gives every culture,sub-culture and ways of life equal standing in one area unlike assimilation in America where you still have you culture means and ways but built on a common foundation of values. Multicult works itself out to be a bunch of tribes living next to each other demanding everyone gives each equal weight. The problem starts when a group decides to really assert its values on everyone else, demanding that its belongs like asking for Sharia law or demanding everyone acknowledge and practice their own ways as showing "sensitivity." Then the everyone be nice gives way to a ruckus. To have a national identity means a common foundation is common thru every group. Multicult gets in the way of that happening peacefully.

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