Ironically, tolerance between faiths was best ensured in societies where the dominant culture insisted on sects living in civic peace. Real multiculturalism was only possible under the framework of a kind of monocultural tolerance. Some such societies briefly flourished at the end of the 20th century. Some such nations, like Britain or the United States, had a predominantly Christian value base. But that did not matter for so long as the consensus reflected ideas roughly consistentw with the spirit of the First Amendment.
But such "dead white men's cultures" were deemed evil. And they have since been under continuous internal demolition, in favor of "multiculturalism" which has set everyone at each other's throats. One of the side-effects of the Left's attempts to fragment society into victim groups has been the destruction of the consensus culture which made tolerance possible and its replacement by all kinds of extremist groups, each posing as victims, whose goal is not to live within the decaying consensus but to establish a diktat of their own. The consensus today is that we should tolerate intolerance. It is both a measure of decay and replacement that Western governments can hardly bring themselves to pressure their "allies" into observing the basic standard of what would be called "human rights."
One can hardly blame the enlightened Left for not knowing up from down. Jay Schalin describes the president's new appointee to the National Council of the Humanities. Cathy Davidson described the kind of activities she'd like to support in a speech to the American Studies Association.
Turkish pants and Tiffany hoods; Japanese Elvis impersonators; Shamu the Whale; the lesbian subject in Arab culture; … the “white” problem in American studies; Pueblo figurative ceramics; low-rider cars in northern New Mexico; Haitian Rara celebrations; American Orisa worship; Spiderwoman Theatre; … “The Boyz in the Hoods: Academy Bashing as a ‘Popular’ Culture” and another on “Discourse and Dat Course: Postcoloniality and Afrocentricity.”
Pehaps she believes that if that entire menagerie were set to dancing in the streets they would live in Peace and Harmony for as long as the "married, white, heterosexual males" who are the source of all malice were suppressed. The reality is that all those colorful cultures would probably be at daggers drawn if they didn't all live under the Constitution. Shamu the Whale would simply be the Japanese Elvis impersonator's next meal. But logic has never been the strong suit of those who have difficulty distinguishing between vision and hallucination.
"Those who the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad." And the craziness is now manifest. People who call themselves "liberals" are now in the odious position of apologizing for the murderous persecution of minorities, be they Jew, Christian, Druze, or Baha'i. Do you want to be "cool"? Attack Israel. Would you like to be tagged a bigot? March or speak out in support of the Copts. Never bring up the question of the Filipina maid chained to the sink in polite Leftist circles. It can't be made into America's fault.
The degree to which the Western left has been ideologically disarmed is reflected in its twisted support for the establishment of a trophy mosque near the site of the World Trade Center attacks. They are so afraid of being labeled "intolerant" that they will go to any extent of bigotry to prove it.
Recently the Australian reported that Saudi Arabia, another American ally, had arrested a vulture for spying for Israel. According to the Toronto Sun, "officials are accusing Israel of sending a specially trained vulture into their airspace near the city of Hayel." Why of course, why didn't everyone see it coming?
First there was the killer shark that Egypt said Mossad had dropped in its coastal waters to scare off tourists from its Red Sea resorts. Now Saudi Arabia has "arrested" a vulture on suspicion of spying for the Israeli intelligence agency. The offending bird, which had apparently been tagged by researchers from Tel Aviv University studying migration patterns, was captured in a rural area of the Saudi kingdom, which is officially still at war with the Jewish state.
Liberals should worry. Not simply because they may be next after the Christians, the sharks and now the vultures (here shown training for the spy mission in Little Italy). They should also worry because without quite realizing it, they've turned out the lights; and now they should rightly fear what lurks in the shadow.
Link to Wretchard's novel "No Way In" print edition