God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, August 15, 2005

No Tolerance Of Intolerance!

Western culture needs to wake up and smell the multi-cultural coffee blend. Because it stinks. Ann Cryer - British MP representing Keighley in West Yorkshire - has an excellent article in the National Post (a Canadian publication). It deals with her efforts to help the South Asian immigrant community that lives in her riding [district], and the backlash from the leftist PC multi-culti crowd who are calling her a racist for doing so. And the far right is on her case as well to further its attacks on migrant communities in general. Both sides are nut jobs.

She raises a very important point. If we do not challenge the cultural practices of immigrants that are the antithesis of western values, where will that lead us? Down a very dark road, to be sure.
If we do not have the courage to stand up and challenge unacceptable cultural practices when we see them, how can we ever expect others to do so? The teaching of a perverse interpretation in some of Britain's Muslim communities -- which fuels hatred, describes non-believers as "infidels" and breeds suicide bombers -- is absolutely unacceptable. Pointing this fact out does not amount to intolerance.

The problem goes beyond the teaching of violence: A patriarchal immigrant society that treats women as mere commodities, tolerates murder in the name of honour and forces children into marriages they do not want is unacceptable in a modern, 21st century society such as Britain's. Indeed, it is hardly surprising -- when women are excluded from the echelons of power and, therefore, decision making -- that macho tendencies develop. This is the fertile ground -- unsoftened by the involvement of women -- where young men learn that they can only forward their cause through bullying and violence.

In the north of England, over-zealous political correctness has, far from protecting the Asian community, fuelled the growth of the right-wing British National Party (the leader of which stood against me at the last general election in May). This vile organization has garnered support by playing on the perception that minority groups are somehow above the law or, as I hear regularly in my own constituency, "there is one law for us and another for them." I do not believe that this is the case. But the fact that the perception has allowed to fester has played into the hands of the far right.

For too long, I have heard the call to celebrate "diversity." How can it be helpful to try to highlight the difference between us? We all know that each of us is different, but it is not what makes us different -- but what we have in common -- that brings us together. Rather than "celebrating diversity," perhaps we need a greater emphasis on celebrating our common interests -- our humanity, social justice and care of others. The cause of integration would develop by leaps and bounds.



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