Let’s start with a simple thought experiment. You invite a guest into your house, give him a room, and make all your facilities available to him. You find him a job — it might be one that needs to be done, it might not — but if he runs into difficulties or loses his job you provide him with the wherewithal he requires. Eventually he brings his family over for an extended visit which turns out to be permanent and before you know it an entire part of your house has been sealed off or, as in some instances, has become a domestic no-go zone.
Your new guests refuse to participate in your home life. They deplete your budget, may not even learn your language, install a V-chip in your computer to prevent the normal range of your communications, and in the course of time begin agitating to introduce a new set of house rules which you, the proprietor, are expected to abide by. It is quite possible that you return one evening to discover that your kids have been traumatized and the house is in shambles. It may happen as you set off for work in the morning, you find your car has been torched.
Clearly, the allegory may not be exact in all its particulars, though it is on the whole a valid, if somewhat lurid, picture of what goes by the name of multiculturalism. What we call “multiculturalism” is not to be construed as identical to “diversity.” The former allows the ethnocratic retention of the in-group’s language, justice system, customs, and politics in semi-autonomous enclaves, as, for example, the 751 zones urbaines sensibles in France, Tower Hamlets in London and Bury Park in Luton, so-called “no drive areas” like Kreuzberg in Berlin, off-limit areas in Brussels, Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district, the Rosengard quarter in Malmo, and many other high-risk neighborhoods in cities across the face of Europe, most virtual Islamic republics and many prone to communal violence; the latter assumes the orderly and beneficial mingling of different peoples in the public agora, which is the case with most immigrant communities. When we say “multiculturalism,” we mean primarily a social project which approves of the voluntary segregation of many Muslim communities to pursue a life apart from, and all too often hostile to or in actual conflict with, the heritage lifestyle that has welcomed them.
The original theory was that something like a social paradise could be created by good will and horticultural sentiment alone. The garden metaphor became extremely popular. Liberals were convinced that their vision of society as a sort of trellised garden, sheltering a great variety of exotic plants all jumbled together and left uncultivated, would enable its inhabitants to flourish without root competition. But this was a merely emotional construct that would lead in practice to rampant parasitism and the degradation of the spirit of cultural autonomy and integrity. It is as if we were moving down the phylogenetic scale toward a condition of simplistic psychic organization, resembling James Cameron’s Navi worshipping their holy tree in a fictional Pandora. Indeed, what the Swiss legionnaire poet Arthur Nicolet wrote of his country soon applied to the West in general.
L’Helvetie est un paradis
Ou l’esprit marche à quattre pattes.
(Switzerland is a paradise
Where the spirit walks on four feet.)
In any event, one of the most bizarre aspects of multiculti is that so preposterous a situation was long regarded as acceptable, morally justifiable, and even inevitable. Such behavior on the part of the proprietor, gradually surrendering deed and title to an interloper with no lien whatsoever on the property, furnishes a practical illustration of mental deterioration, if not a working definition of galloping obtuseness. And that it took more than a generation before the owner of the house, or his inheritors, began even to consider the prospect of self-restitution, of reclaiming one’s property from a guest who was on his way to taking possession of the premises, may offer a sliver of hope but, given what looks like an approaching fait accompli, not much consolation.
Still, better late than never, as one says, though better early than late would have been preferable. Anyone with a single grey cell in his head would have realized at the outset that the multicultural experiment, as originally conceived, was a social cul-de-sac, a license freely given for the seizure of natural rights and eviction of the host from a portion of his dwelling — perhaps, ultimately, to become a paying, second-class occupant in what was once his own house.
The issue is compounded, however, by a powerful liberal-left orthodoxy that has invested its self-importance, ideological convictions, and intellectual life, if not its very survival, in maintaining the multicultural burlesque. This is especially the case with the European Union which, as Andrew Bostom writes, “is a corrupt and undemocratic superstate with totalitarian aspirations” that needs millions of Muslim immigrants “to secure the power base for the unaccountable bureaucrats who now oversee what passes for European governance.” In America as well, dissent is being quashed “in schools and on college campuses, and politically incorrect expression is cause for dismissal from both public and private employment” (email communication). A restraining order recently issued by a U.S. district court against Oklahoma’s anti-shari’a law is another case in point. In effect, challenging the multicultural paradigm is a good way of tempting professional suicide or official retribution.
Thus, the hysterical reaction among the denizens of the left to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s tardy but clear-headed and realistic assessment that multikulti “has failed, utterly failed.” She was, of course, alluding to Germany’s restive Muslim/Turkish immigrant population. Thilo Sarrazin, anti-Islamic author of the recently published Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Does Away with Itself), was unceremoniously fired from his executive post at the Deutsche Bundesbank, despite the polls that indicate he has the popular will on his side. Austrian “whistleblower” Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Woolf is currently being prosecuted by the Austrian government for conducting public seminars on the menace of Islam. Of course, the trial and trials of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wishes to restore his country to a semblance of sanity, to take back the house, as it were, has become an international flashpoint. “Europe is running adrift,” remarked Oskar Freysinger, leader of the Swiss People’s Party, in a recent lecture to the Flemish Parliament, “not because of fanatics who occupy the land, but because of cowards who let them do it.” They have permitted “beachheads of Islam” in what Muslims designate as the territory of the infidel, in other words, the countries to which they have emigrated. There can be little doubt that Muslim “emigration” (or “immigration”) is a politically correct euphemism for “infiltration.”
We are now on very delicate ground as we try to address the central question, which is: what to do? We are a liberal democracy and are bound to uphold the axial principles that sustain it: freedom of speech and of the press, freedom of assembly, the dispensation of impartial justice, habeas corpus, the right to civil and legal protections. These are codes and scruples that cannot be easily bent or violated in endeavoring to deal with the problem. Additionally, we have a degenerate and poorly educated political echelon and a cynical left-wing media apparatus that have together risen to the defense of the same Muslim groups who have exacerbated the dilemma from which we suffer. Multiculturalism is, for them, a sacred cow that must be worshipped, fed, and given dung-freedom in our thoroughfares.
We can see how this unholy confederacy works. We are presumably dowered with the principle of freedom of speech. Yet our courts (as in Holland and Austria) and our Human Rights Commissions (as in Canada) are gradually rendering this supreme value, on which all others depend and which honorable people dutifully respect, null and void. Woe betide anyone who speaks out candidly against Islam or Islamic terrorism (aka “man-made disasters”), who attempts to exercise his constitutional right to burn a “holy book” (as did the unfortunate pastor Terry Jones), or who objects to the plan to erect a mosque at Ground Zero by a consortium of shari’a proponents and in defiance of common decency. The United Nations at the behest of the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) is debating the motion to criminalize defamation of religion (read: Islam). This is being done under the banner of silencing “hate speech,” but obviously the shadowy intent is to silence any speech the authorities find offensive.
And we are only skimming the surface. Freedom as we have traditionally understood it is on the verge of becoming a punishable offense. A civilization is inexorably coming apart — for that is manifestly what is happening — and yet we are expected to embrace the enemy and submissively shuffle off the stage of history. The house of Western culture is being invaded by a twenty-first century volkswanderung and we are, apparently, supposed to sue for clemency or simply move out. How dim can a dhimmi get? How servile and craven?
But there is more to it. Failing to act in a meaningful way will produce intermediate results we would have preferred to evade, namely the irruption of civil discord and possibly flat-out violence, as far right political parties shed their fringe status and capitalize on growing citizen discontent to acquire parliamentary and legislative sway. The theories which animate these parties are clearly historical clunkers, but they are subject to a kind of Cubanization, older intellectual vehicles that are constantly rebuilt to substitute for the lack of new and better ideas. It is important to note that I am not referring to the reasonable right that seeks to instill a degree of prudence and common sense into governance and to curtail or monitor unchecked Muslim immigration — parties such as Ruth Evensen’s Danish Freedom Party, Geert Wilders’ Party of Freedom in the Netherlands, Oskar Freysinger’s Swiss People’s Party, Jimmie Akesson’s Sweden Democrats which has purged itself of extremist elements and sent twenty members to the Swedish parliament, and now René Stadtkewitz’s long overdue Die Freiheit (The Freedom) Party in Germany.
I am referring rather to xenophobic and reactionary groups that are essentially vigilante militias in business suits, such as the Freedom Party in Austria, Jobbik in Hungary, the National Alliance in the U.S., the Front National in France, and the British National Party. These frankly racist organizations, in an intensifying effort to assume the reins of power, profit from the Islamophilia and pandering myopia of our governing and media patricians and tap into the smoldering anger of ordinary citizens at the betrayal of their rulers. As Stadtkewitz explains, “The established parties, unfortunately, are not ready to take a clear stand but instead abandon the people to their concerns.”
I am not envisioning the second coming of the Third Reich but I am suggesting that alarmingly regressive ideas of racial purity, the revival of obscurantist doctrine, and the imminence of reactionary violence are factors to be considered. Whether the parties of the far right would manage to contain the Islamic threat is another question entirely. The cure is certainly no better than the disease and both are to be avoided. But there is no doubt that these newly resurgent atavisms are the direct beneficiaries of a befuddled “activist” judiciary, the compliant media, and liberal-left Western administrations that have succumbed to their own ultraistic liberal pieties, sentimental chestnuts, and electoral avarice with regard to the perceived advantages afforded by aggressive but exploitable ethnicities.
We should not need to be reminded that diversity is a staple of Western life; indeed, it is a source of extraordinary vigor and richness. But immigrant collectives that set themselves apart, that refuse to integrate into the norms and usages of their host population, that reject and denounce the culture that has received them, and that even strive to subvert or destroy the social and political armature in which they are embedded should not be so readily tolerated. As Thomas Sowell warns, the “multicultural dogma … that we are to ‘celebrate’ all cultures, not change them,” and that “any attempt to get them to behave according to the cultural norms of the larger society” must be censured as a form of cultural imperialism,” will see to our eventual disintegration as a coherent and largely peaceable society. The eminent National Post columnist George Jonas concurs: “Multiculturalism’s motto, if it had one, would be ‘from one, many.’” This is plainly not what is meant by “pluralism”; it is more like political promiscuity and social anarchy.
The only viable solution to our predicament resides not in waiting for the left to see the light and jettison its social, cultural, political, and economic programs, since this is not going to happen anytime soon. Ideological doctrine and ballot calculations are powerful blinders. To quote Nathaniel Hawthorne from The Blithedale Romance, liberal minds do not “recognize the process” by which their putative benevolence “has been debased into all-devouring egotism,” nor can they see how their supposed philanthropy is “a false deity” with “iron features.” On the contrary, the solution depends upon the emergence of the parties of the moderate right that are willing to address the multicultural fragmentation of national unity and revise immigration policies currently in place to render them more appropriate to national requirements. This is the only way to disarm the twin peril of the Islamic advance on the one hand and a nascent fascism on the other.
Daniel Pipes is famous for suggesting that the antidote to radical Islam is moderate Islam, a mantra that has not borne much fruit. It might be more accurate in our duple context to say that the antidote to the extreme right is the moderate right, that is, the remedy for fascism is not leftism but conservatism, just as conservatism is the only conceivable pharmacon for mending a febrile society and restoring it to approximate health. Coming to rational terms with an increasingly intrusive Islamic fact would not only deprive the far right of its populist fuel but would also help renew the pneuma, the spiritual integrity and mores of the heritage culture. The alternative is the ongoing dismantling of the social infrastructure, escalating friction and strife, and potential dispossession.
Ottoman thinker Said Nursi predicted in his Damascus Sermon that “Europe and America are pregnant with Islam. One day they will give birth to an Islamic state.” His modern doppelgänger, imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, instigator of the Cordoba Mosque project in New York City, is of the same mind, urging in his 2004 book, What’s Right with Islam, the “incorporation of [shari’a] tenets in the basic constitution of the country.” One recalls, too, the Muslim Brotherhood’s 1991 document, An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, which proposed a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” and stated that Muslims “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.” The insinuation of shari’a, along with the practice of lawfare, instruments of social and political intimidation, and the tactical fallback on bloodshed and tumult, are the weapons of choice.
This is how the guest expropriates the house and makes it his own. It is his version of eminent domain and Western civilization’s subprime housing bubble. If we do not reawaken and re-assert our proprietary rights, we might as well start searching for a quonset exile somewhere in the jungle. Or maybe, if we get lucky, we can rent a tent from Muammar Gaddafi.