Well, can it? Before you answer, take a look at the short video, available on YouTube, that the journalist Dale Hurd posted on CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network, a few days ago.
Don’t let the word “Christian” frighten you: this is not a proselytizing documentary but rather an educational one. Hurd begins with the by-now-familiar news that Britains’s top judge and the Archbishop of Canterbury have both publicly declared themselves in favor of instituting some elements of Islamic sharia law in Britain. Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips recently decided that “Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance,” while the Primate of All England called for a “constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law.” He also notes that British authorities have been bending over backwards to cater to Muslim sensitivities. You might think of Fido as Man’s Best Friend, but Muslims think dogs are unclean. Hence the recent flap in Dundee, Scotland, over a police advertisement which portrayed a cuddly puppy called Rebel. “Islamic leaders” declared the advertisement “offensive” and police officials fell over themselves apologizing for their insensitivity. Mr. Hurd points out that Islamic kunophobia is so severe that police dogs in Britain “might have to wear booties when they search Muslim homes.”
He also notes how unevenly the enforcement of so-called “hate speech” legislation has been. When a Danish newspaper published some cartoons of a 7th-century religious figure, Muslims living in Britain took to the street and demanded blood: “Slay those who insult Islam” read one placard. “We want Danish blood,” shouted some protesters. But when a British news program on channel four exposed the violent rhetoric that is a staple at many British mosques, the police did not charge the Imams who preached violence. No, that might offend Muslims. Instead, they charged the news program for fomenting “racial hatred.” And then there was a blogger called Paul Ray who had the temerity to describe the Muslim drug gangs in his home town as “savages” and was promptly arrested on suspicion of a hate crime. According to Hurd, Mr. Ray fled Britain after the providing CBN with interview because of threats against his life.
The rhetorical apex of Britain’s accommodationist spirit was achieved when Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, announced that henceforth that Islamic terrorism–that is, terrorism carried out by Muslims–would be rebranded “anti-Islamic activity” in order to “woo” Muslims. Would that George Orwell were around to update his disquisition on Newspeak: War is Peace, Hate is Love, and when Muslims blow up a bus in central London that is an example of anti-Islamic activity.
But let’s return to the Lord Chief Justice and his call for the application of “Islamic legal principles” in the case of “family and marital arguments.” What do you suppose that might mean? If you listen to some well-meaning folks–the people who tell you that, really, “jihad” is not about blowing up stuff and murdering people but is rather about the “inner struggle” to be a better person–then you might think that what the Lord Chief Justice recommends is something out of Court TV. Mr. Hurd’s documentary reminds us that this is not the case. (Andrew McCarthy, in his book Willful Blindness puts paid to all these euphemisms about the meaning of jihad by quoting Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. “Jihad,” quoth Rahman, “means fighting the enemies.” He explained what he meant: “There is no such thing as commerce, industry and science in jihad. This is calling things . . . other than by [their] own name. If God . . . says, ‘Do jihad,’ it means do jihad with the sword, with the cannon, with the grenades and with the missile. This is jihad. Jihad against God’s enemies for God’s cause and his word.” Thus the Sheikh.)
But I digress. Back to family matters. Mr. Hurd interviews a woman called Gina Kahn, who left an arranged marriage and now lives in hiding for fear of her life. As Ms Kahn notes, whenever radical Islam gets the upper hand in a neighborhood one sees more polygamy, more domestic violence, more forced marriages, and more honor killings. Memo to the Lord Chief Justice: this is what the application of “Islamic legal principles” to family arguments means: more dead women.
As it happens, Gina Kahn is (so far) among the more fortunate victims of Islamic legal principles. Not so lucky was another women portrayed in “Can Britain Survive multiculturalism?” Mr. Hurd shows a clip of the woman speaking from her hospital bed after the first time her father and uncle tried to kill her for refusing an arranged marriage. She went to the British police and begged for their help. “They ignored her,” Mr. Hurd notes, “because the police thought they should respect ethnic diversity and not get involved.” Well, the police do not have to worry about that particular troublemaker any longer. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again: that was her father and uncle’s motto, and eventually they succeeded in murdering her, stuffing her body into a suitcase and burying it in the back yard.
“Can Britain Survive Multiculturalism?” I’d say the answer is No. But that doesn’t mean it can’t fight, and fight successfully, against multiculturalism and the ruinous cultural relativism it has insinuated into the sinews of British society. If it is to be successful, though, that struggle will have to encompass not only the negative fight against the Islamic enemies of Western civilization. It will also have to involve the reanimation of the central principles of Western civilization: virtues like patriotism, public affirmation of the rule of law, and an outspoken allegiance to the formative values of Western democratic society: values like freedom of religion, respect for individual initiative, and equality before the law. In his peroration, Dale Hurd goes to the heart of the matter: “It’s clear,” he says, “that multiculturalism and political correctness have backfired badly. The hard-core Islamists have not been assimilated into society. But Britain’s confidence in democracy and Christian civilization have been seriously weakened.”
What happens next is anyone’s guess.