Now the European leaders are giving this sort of tolerance of intolerance a second look. Prime Minister Cameron has called for a "more active, muscular liberalism," one that requires the active promotion of democratic values, the rule of law, freedom of speech and equal rights. In a recent speech in Munich, he argued that "under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream." The result is alienation and occasionally jihadism.
So how did the Europeans end up with multiculturalism, a multiculturalism that seems to favor Islamic culture over other cultures? The Germans have outlawed Nazi culture. The Italians are not particularly hospitable to fascism, and as I already have pointed out, the French are appalled at cannibalism and do not even have a good word for McDonald's or KFC. I think it started with the way they teach their history. Militarism, colonialism and racism are all prominent ingredients of European history books, particularly British history. For that matter, American history stresses these ingredients also. I have been reading American college history texts, and they present an alarmingly ugly view of the Western past.
By presenting the West as repugnant and the other civilizations as our prey, particularly during colonial days but also in modern times, we encourage such social pathologies as jihadism. President Sarkozy says he is not going to tolerate the kind of fundamentalism in France that leads ultimately to jihadism. How is he going to achieve this without calling for a fundamental reform in how French history is taught?
Then there is another matter. All the aforementioned statesmen are democrats and espouse democratic values, but there are fashions of thought in the West that do not like democratic values. For want of a better term, they are fashions of thought that follow political correctness. The politically correct do not like free speech. For that matter, the adherents to political correctness do not like many of the values of the West. What are Sarkozy and Cameron going to do about them? They are going to be even trickier to deal with than the practitioners of jihad.