Cliff May

In the lands of Islam, it is generally the other way around: Reason is subject to the scrutiny of faith. Multiculturalism makes believe the conflict between these two schools of thought is inconsequential. Worse, by emphasizing collective identities and group rights, and by pushing for equality of results rather than equality of opportunity, multiculturalism undermines individual freedom and devalues the Western cultures that have nurtured and defended it.

In Canada, the U.S. and other countries that accept a continuing stream of immigrants from non-Western societies, multiculturalism also inhibits the process of integration and assimilation. Instead, Mansur writes, it empowers new citizens “to demand that their host country adapt” to their cultural requirements while relieving them of any responsibility to weave themselves and their children into the cultural fabric of their adopted homeland. In this and other ways, multiculturalism is a “slippery slope” that “imperils” liberal democracies.

Mansur’s insights stem from experience as well as academic study. Born an Indian Muslim in Calcutta, he is Canadian by choice and conviction. You may not be surprised to learn that his defense of Western values, his self-identification as a “dissident Muslim” whose his “faith does not take precedence over my duties … to Canada and its constitution, which I embrace freely,” has resulted in two fatwas calling for his execution.

Those whose religious/cultural beliefs lead them to the conclusion Mansur deserves death also want to destroy Canada, America, Israel and other “infidel” nations. That represents diversity – but should we really celebrate it?

Unable to answer that question, multiculturalists instead maintain the fiction that those who declare themselves enemies of the West are merely addressing “grievances” over such historical “crimes” as colonialism and imperialism (ignoring the fact that Islamists promote Islamic colonialism and seek to revive Islamic imperialism), and the inequities of the global economic system (though their funds are derived from wealth created by Western agriculture and industry, and exchanged for Middle Eastern oil).

Mansur makes clear that Islamists are motivated by a fierce will to power, and a deep antipathy for the West’s “civic culture, its freedom and democracy.” And Islamists, he adds, “find that multiculturalism increasingly in the post-9/11 world works in tandem with their interests to weaken the West politically and culturally from the inside.”

Most of those who advocate multiculturalism no doubt mean well. But their intellectual myopia is striking. The truth is some cultures value freedom of religion; others see no virtue in granting free rein to what they regard as false religions. Some cultures prize free speech; others believe many ideas too dangerous to permit. Some cultures believe that women and minorities should have the same rights as the majority; others consider that a blasphemous notion. Some cultures are willing to compromise to achieve peace; others are willing to fight and die for conquest and victory.

But the big trap of multiculturalism is simply this: If all cultures are equal, why defend your own? The culture that replaces it will be just as good, won’t it?


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.