Friday, November 25, 2016

"Multiculturalism": A "Two-Way Street" or a Cul-de-Sac?

Toronto Sun columnist Farzana Hassan criticizes the one-sidedness of Canadian multiculturalism--the way Canadians embrace many cultures but certain cultures--well, actually, members of one culture in particular--feel no need to be similarly "tolerant" of others. "Multiculturalism," she writes, "must be a two-way street":
It is time spokespeople from some immigrant communities take a hard look at likely repercussions of their own actions. When Canadians have to endure this housing proposal and the upcoming “Reviving the Islamic Spirit” conference - a gathering to promote orthodox belief - it is hardly surprising that political leaders like Kellie Leitch call for a Canadian values test for immigrants. 
Tolerance of “the other”, even in an avowedly multicultural society like Canada, must be limited. 
As surely as we cannot possibly tolerate polygamy or the mistreatment of women, we cannot approve of discriminatory housing. Such actions cause rancor with host societies and ultimately make victims of immigrants themselves. 
While most Canadian Muslims are well integrated into Canadian society and are happy to interact with other Canadians, fundamentalists and Islamists continue to draw justified negative press through their outrageous demands for faith accommodations. 
They withdraw from the multicultural process by locking themselves up from the outside world. Whether it is exemptions from music class for their children, or creating their own sharia-compliant silos, these fundamentalists insist on imposing their inflexible mores on others. 
Fundamentalists asserting these rights on the basis of Charter freedoms must assert whatever cultural identities they have within a common context and participate in the multicultural experience without reservation. 
To be candid, this is an Islamist issue. I see no devout Hindus, Sikhs, Jews or Christians seeking such far-reaching faith accommodations.
I'm sure there are a few non-Islamists among the kvetchers, but, in the main, she's no doubt correct. The problem, however, is with the social doctrine of multiculturalism itself, an ethos/mythology borne of leftist guilt which downgrades the mainstream culture even as it venerates other cultures and sees them as being the mainstream's superior. There is thus no reason for "fundamentalists and Islamists" (same difference, no?) to change so long as "multiculturalism" remains in effect.

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