Wednesday, September 7, 2011

David Solway Reviews Salim Mansur's "Delectable Lie"

An amuse bouche to whet your appetitie; read the whole review here:
Mansur writes with authority both as a professor of political science imbrued in his discipline and as a Muslim who understands how the more extreme elements in his community pose a serious threat to the durability of the society in which they have refused to integrate. These Islamic elements—along with certain disruptive and sectarian portions of the South Asian shame-honor demographic—braid the rope with which we will hang ourselves. Mansur clearly reveals how multiculturalism has failed to establish a viable and harmonious pluralism and has instead created an anarchic and retrograde situation in which old-world identities take precedence over modern, secular and liberal values. He shows how the Western political elites have collaborated in their own eventual dissolution by refusing to control or monitor the flow of tribally oriented immigrants who bring the hatreds, conflicts, social patterns, ancestral traditions and cultural practices of Third World communities into their new home, sowing inevitable discord as a consequence.
At the same time, the patrician class does everything it can to avoid confrontation and, in an access of misplaced solicitude, even strives to facilitate what is nothing less than a “hostile takeover” by stifling opposition to such destructive policies and pandering to the grievance networks set up by these foreign implants. In so doing, our “progressive” beau monde empowers radical immigrant organizations in their quest to impose upon their hosts the standards, customs, rituals and codes of the “old country.” What we are observing is a kind of cultural pleaching, the creation of new structures by interlacing the existing features of the social and political landscape with alternate modes and configurations. The terrain we have long taken for granted slowly becomes unrecognizable.
The casualties of the multicultural delirium are readily discernible to anyone who cares to pay attention. Freedom of speech, the bedrock principle of Western liberalism, has been legislatively curtailed. Freedom of assembly is under threat as well—what we might designate as the Malmo syndrome. The notion of citizenship, as Mansur warns, that “brings people together in liberal democracy and binds them in a relationship of mutual obligation” has also been crucially weakened. “The problem arises,” he continues, “when multiculturalism demands that liberal democracy recognize in law cultural practices that are not merely different, but contrary…to its core values of citizenship rights and responsibilities.”

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