London bombings: Multiculturalism is to blame - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-04-2005, 10:04 AM
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A while back I was reading an interview with this guy Kenan Malik (independent writer, author of two books, lecturer, broadcaster etc). Anyway, his hypothesis in the interview seems to be that multiculturalism is not a good idea as a political ideology (although its perfectly fine as a lifestyle).



When all kinds of customs and practices become acceptable and equally good, Malik thinks this is a threat to society. (Just to mention a few things that I personally think could potentially be problematic: the halal kill, circumcision, hijabs, burkas, separate boys' and girls' classes, religious schools, arranged marriages, patriarchism, weird ideas about honour and so on. Of course there are problematic features of many western societies as well: half-pornographic images on giant billboards in the name of commercialism, a corporate and consumer culture that threatens to destroy the environment, the cruel practices of factory farming, etc.)



Malik thinks it's crucial for a society to have some common values and identity, and he actually goes as far as blaming the "over-accepting" attitude of multiculturalism for the London bombings.



I can't seem to find the interview online, but here's an essay he wrote on the same topic just days after the bombings:

multiculturalism fans the flames of islamic extremism



But whether or not multiculturalism is actually to blame for the bombings, do you at all see it as problematic that multiculturalism is an accepted and valued idea for our societies in this day and age?



Let's discuss

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#2 Old 12-04-2005, 10:07 AM
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The US is very culturally diverse, and we don't have very many bombings. I think there must be some other factor.
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#3 Old 12-04-2005, 10:48 AM
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I don't think it is the multiculturalism that is a problem ... it seems to be the lack of tolerance and acceptance that different people have different cultures.
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#4 Old 12-04-2005, 10:56 AM
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Nah, there are many factors, but the bombers are to blame.
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#5 Old 12-04-2005, 11:48 AM
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1. We can point to other factors as relevant in breeding terrorism, specifically foreign policy.

2. Whose values should be adopted and enforced?



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#6 Old 12-04-2005, 12:16 PM
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Well let's put it this way, it sometimes seems to me like people justify normative relativism (and I guess thus multiculturalism) with "metaethical" relativism, but I don't feel compelled to make that move.

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made of weak and useless men"

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#7 Old 12-04-2005, 12:24 PM
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Can you expand on that Sevenseas?
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#8 Old 12-04-2005, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Malik thinks it's crucial for a society to have some common values and identity, and he actually goes as far as blaming the "over-accepting" attitude of multiculturalism for the London bombings.



The problem with this argument is that tolerance and acceptance could be values that an accepting society could use for its identity.



Another possible reason that there was a bombing in London was the Tony Blair went along for the ride on an oil grab decorated as pro-democracy invasion. Sounds like some conservative sociologist wants to make a name for himself promoting the right's agenda.
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#9 Old 12-04-2005, 02:18 PM
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The US is very culturally diverse, and we don't have very many bombings. I think there must be some other factor.

Yes, both the UK and the US are culturally diverse, and neither has many bombings. There are some differences, though. In the US the kids and teachers have to recite the pledge of allegiance in school - every day. This can be seen as an attempt to encourage a common identity.

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#10 Old 12-04-2005, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by marleah View Post

I don't think it is the multiculturalism that is a problem ... it seems to be the lack of tolerance and acceptance that different people have different cultures.

Should we really accept and respect every facet of every culture? Or could it be that there are some things that we shouldn't accept?

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#11 Old 12-04-2005, 02:25 PM
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Nah, there are many factors, but the bombers are to blame.

Agreed, there are many factors, but could the ideology of multiculturalism be one of them?

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#12 Old 12-04-2005, 02:26 PM
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In the US the kids and teachers have to recite the pledge of allegiance in school - every day.



I don't believe that's true anymore.
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#13 Old 12-04-2005, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnome Chomsky View Post

1. We can point to other factors as relevant in breeding terrorism, specifically foreign policy.

Yes, that is true. Of course, the UK having a rotten foreign policy is nothing new, though.

Quote:
2. Whose values should be adopted and enforced?

According to Mailk, the ideology of multiculturalism is obstructing an open debate because everything is by definition equally good and acceptable. Common values should be reached through public debate. He himself thinks that such values could be e.g. things like equal opportunities (between sexes), secularism, democracy, no government funding of faith-based schools, abolishing the monarchy and the house of lords.

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#14 Old 12-04-2005, 02:43 PM
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The London bombings are a direct result of Mr Blair and his troops in Iraq.

However;

I wouldn't even describe Britain as multicultural, there is in fact, in some parts (Bradford) a MASSIVE divide. And we don't embrace culture, we expect them to adhere to our rules (i.e Ban the Burka campaigns), which makes minorities resent us even more.
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#15 Old 12-04-2005, 02:43 PM
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In the US our multiculturalism doesn't seem to instill the idea that everything is equally good. For instance, cutting off peoples' hands as punishment isn't acceptable, though some folks come from cultures which do things like that.



So, from my experience living in multicultural parts of the country (Texas and Los Angeles), I'm not seeing how multiculturalism leads to the idea that everything is equally acceptable. Maybe I don't understand this use of the word "multiculturalism."
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#16 Old 12-04-2005, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

I don't believe that's true anymore.

Oh sorry, I'm not totally up-to-date on these things. Wikipedia says it's still going on though:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_allegiance

Quote:
It is commonly recited in unison at public events, and especially in public school classrooms, where the Pledge is often a morning ritual.


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#17 Old 12-04-2005, 02:49 PM
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I've never been to a public event where the pledge was recited.
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#18 Old 12-04-2005, 02:56 PM
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As we appear to be discussing Mailk’s views on multiculturalism what is his definition of this?
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#19 Old 12-04-2005, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

In the US our multiculturalism doesn't seem to instill the idea that everything is equally good. For instance, cutting off peoples' hands as punishment isn't acceptable, though some folks come from cultures which do things like that.



So, from my experience living in multicultural parts of the country (Texas and Los Angeles), I'm not seeing how multiculturalism leads to the idea that everything is equally acceptable. Maybe I don't understand this use of the word "multiculturalism."

Malik is not saying there's necessarily anything wrong with a multicultural society. The problem is having multiculturalism as an ideology and government policy. The US has the melting pot model, whereas the UK and some other countries take the multiculturalism apporach. In the melting pot cultures are mixed. In the multiculturalism approach, the immigrants preserve their cultures.

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#20 Old 12-04-2005, 03:03 PM
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This has kind of been the question of the day, and since the Paris riots, France, one of the biggest advocates of wider diversity has been made to look quite foolish.



Overall I think Europeans and Americans have very different attitudes about this. Europeans I've talked to do feel that nation-states should be based loosely on ethnic homogeny, while Americans feel it's largely not necessary.



I can understand European pessimism about multi-culturalism. You guys have a a long history of ethnically fuelled wars, and not much experience with proper integration with immigration to have much faith in it.



The U.S. is a little different. (I didn't say better. ...Just different.) We have a history of slavery, but then a legacy of rehabilitating the abyssmal racial relations it caused for so long. We have a long history of immigration, and a pretty universal integration into the American population as a whole, within a generation or two. And most ethnicities drop their gripes with each other once they reach here. Turks and Armenians get along, Scotch-Irish and Catholic Irish have no problems, and Germans and German-Jews get along and even frequently marry. ...So maybe you can understand why we're a little more optomistic.



Also, there's a difference between multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural. Multi-ethnicity is fine. Multi-culturalism is ok to a certain extent. It's ok as long as everyone speaks the same common language, and has similar economic opportunities. Our National and now Multi-National corporations, and mass media have provided enough of a common American experience and culture in most parts of the country. Even though it's very large, culturally it is somewhat like the Borg. Even geographical accents have largely disappeared because of popular television. Anything that's too different is an instant subject of a hollywood movie poking fun, scrutinizing, and celebrating all at the same time. (Like Raising Arizona made fun of the South West, and Fargo made fun of the Northern midwest.) ...So we're not multi-cultural, as much as we are multi-ethnic.



Europeans are largely inexperienced with immigration, and as a result have accepted large groups of immigrants from one culture or location, which has created an underclass. ...And in Europe the result has been a large Muslim/North African/Turkish class of people who can't get decent jobs, and have more in common with each other, than their new countries of residence. ...The United States has usually been a lot better at accepting immigrants from all over with the American English speaking culture being a common core that they all fold into. Europe has yet to learn how to do this, and some of the smaller countries will have a harder time doing it, since the trend is to want to speak a global language like English, Spanish, Chinese, or Russian. (...And not Finlandian.)



Also, Europeans have forgotten how to make babies. So you guys have a looming demographic crises. We do a better job of that, and have more inter-racial marriage. I have a family member married to an African-American, and another to a Chinese-American. Do you have any relatives married to any of the new immigrant groups? I've dated seriously outside my own ethnicity. ...Have you?



Europe is going to have a lot of problems no matter what they do, until they truly accept these new immigrants, and have more honest social mobility. Countries like England will be fine, as they are diversifying their immigration and accepting Brasilians, and Carribean immigrants. Countries like France are going to have a harder time, because they have failed to diversify soon enough.



Whew!! ...Long winded post Indian Summer, but hope that answers what some of my thoughts are on it.
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#21 Old 12-04-2005, 03:05 PM
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Agreed, there are many factors, but could the ideology of multiculturalism be one of them?



I honestly don't know. I know that there are some well educated, seemingly integrated young people in Europe, who somehow suddenly get very deep into radical islamitic groups and become willing to perform such acts. I don't know if multiculturalism had something to do with this process. It might. It's popular in the Netherlands for politicians to scream that 'multiculturalism has failed'. What to do about it, ofcourse, they aren't so loud about.
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#22 Old 12-04-2005, 03:08 PM
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Hmm, I'm not really seeing the difference between ethnicity and culture, as it's used here. They seem the same to me. Our culture as civilized people is pretty damn borg-like the world over.



In my area (Central Texas) there are still regional and ethnic accents.
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#23 Old 12-04-2005, 03:11 PM
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I think that the major problem is violent fundamentalism.



When a creed advocates violence against non-believers, that creed cannot exist peacefully in this world.
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#24 Old 12-04-2005, 03:14 PM
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Also, Europeans have forgotten how to make babies. So you guys have a looming demographic crises. We do a better job of that, and have more inter-racial marriage. I have a family member married to an African-American, and another to a Chinese-American. Do you have any relatives married to any of the new immigrant groups? I've dated seriously outside my own ethnicity. ...Have you?



Europe is going to have a lot of problems no matter what they do, until they truly accept these new immigrants, and have more honest social mobility. Countries like England will be fine, as they are diversifying their immigration and accepting Brasilians, and Carribean immigrants. Countries like France are going to have a harder time, because they have failed to diversify soon enough.



Whew!! ...Long winded post Indian Summer, but hope that answers what some of my thoughts are on it.



I agree with a lot of what you sayHowever, a large 'problem'(problem is not a good word, maybe issue?) here is, that a lot of people from Maroc and Turkey want to marry some-one from their home-country, a lot of the time some cousin or something. So a lot of people, especcialy brides, are immigrating to our country. This doesn't help much, I think.
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#25 Old 12-04-2005, 03:25 PM
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I agree with a lot of what you sayHowever, a large 'problem'(problem is not a good word, maybe issue?) here is, that a lot of people from Maroc and Turkey want to marry some-one from their home-country, a lot of the time some cousin or something. So a lot of people, especcialy brides, are immigrating to our country. This doesn't help much, I think.





...Actually, this is even better, for you then, because it will probably leave a disproportionate amount of women in your country.



I'm not a big fan of arranged marriages. Statues against it could be pretty easily made. ...But more than that, equal social mobility will make immigrant children want to grow into their new culture, instead of clinging to their old one.
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#26 Old 12-04-2005, 03:27 PM
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VeganForHealth, that was a rgeat post. Thanks!

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[...]Also, Europeans have forgotten how to make babies. So you guys have a looming demographic crises. We do a better job of that, and have more inter-racial marriage. I have a family member married to an African-American, and another to a Chinese-American. Do you have any relatives married to any of the new immigrant groups? I've dated seriously outside my own ethnicity. ...Have you?

[...]

Well, one of my best friends is married to a woman from Brazil. As for me, while in highschool I was once invited home to a girl of korean ethnicity to help out with some physics homework (However, she was adopted so I guess she wouldn't really count as foreign-cultural, but still.)

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#27 Old 12-04-2005, 03:36 PM
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...Actually, this is even better, for you then, because it will probably leave a disproportionate amount of women in your country.



I'm not a big fan of arranged marriages. Statues against it could be pretty easily made. ...But more than that, equal social mobility will make immigrant children want to grow into their new culture, instead of clinging to their old one.



nah, I'm a female....
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#28 Old 12-04-2005, 03:37 PM
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nah, I'm a female....



That sucks. ...Too bad for you.



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#29 Old 12-04-2005, 03:45 PM
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VeganForHealth, that was a rgeat post. Thanks!



...Glad to please!



Quote:
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Well, one of my best friends is married to a woman from Brazil. As for me, while in highschool I was once invited home to a girl of korean ethnicity to help out with some physics homework (However, she was adopted so I guess she wouldn't really count as foreign-cultural, but still.)



Korean-Americans have one of the highest rates of inter-marriage in the U.S. (I think they're first or second.) ...You should have gone for it.



...Yeah, the important thing to keep in mind is never to allow race to become a taboo subject like the French have. It should be scrutinized along with everything else. You don't have to prove you're not racist, or play "who's the least racist". Remember that everyone is racist to some extent, and that it's not some permanent irreversible condition.



I'm pretty liberal, but I greatly prefer Conservative Politics when it comes to matters of race. Because they are more honest and critical. Some of the multi-culturalists are actually quite racist in their refusal to be equally critical of varying ethnic groups. (Harboring lower expectations...)



I think this publication has some interesting things to say... ....It's not afraid to question. ...Sounds like you aren't either.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/index.php
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#30 Old 12-04-2005, 03:46 PM
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(Wanna be my mail order bride?)



Isn't that more for the relationship board
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