Theodore Dalrymple: Muslim culture antithetical to Europe's
My (decidedly opposing) stance has been that Muslim culture (to follow him in using this overly broad abstraction) has every right to exist anywhere Muslims are, Europe or elsewhere, and that there's no reason that it should pose a "threat" to Europe. I am, in a sense, arguing for multiculturalism.
Just to make clear that I wasn't misstating Dalrymple's views, I offer this from his latest post on Cato Unbound:
I cannot agree that multiculturalism, embraced in fact as well as spirit (or theory) is part of the solution to our problems posed by Moslem immigrants. This sees to me preposterous. The idea that the French riots took place because the inhabitants of the banlieues did not speak sufficient French is absurd: they all spoke French. And I fail to see how embracing multiculturalism will do anything to inhibit Muslim extremists. As one Italian put it, multiculturalism is not couscous: it is the stoning of adulterers—and, as we have recently discovered, far worse than that. The United States has an advantage because it has a compelling foundation myth, which Europe does not have, and this helps to integrate new arrivals.I do not doubt Dalrymple's credentials as an economist or a historian. And were he right that "Muslim culture" necessarily implies "stoning adulterers," I'd say he's on to something.
But he's not right. Europeans aren't xenophobes when they deny Muslims' rights to beat their women. They're xenophobes if they deny Muslim girls' rights to wear a head scarf in a French school, or pray at Salat.
As to multiculturalism not stopping extremists, even if he were right on this point (a notion I'd debate - chances are that there would be less extremism in a Europe with greater religious tolerance), stopping extremism isn't exactly one of the stated goals of multiculturalism. Respecting another man's right to live life and serve God as his own conscience dictates, on the other hand, is.