Saturday, September 02, 2006

"The Limits of Boutique Multiculturalism"

Jeff Goldstein has a thought-provoking piece at Protein Wisdom-
Hina was found buried, with her throat slit, in the garden of her family home in Brescia, Italy. The “honor” killing has rocked Italy. (news report)
Societies that have accepted and embraced the tenets of multiculturalism—a noble-sounding social philosophy based around an idea of deference and tolerance that is at bottom dangerously superficial—are those societies that will have the most difficulty reconciling their disapproval of acts like “honor killings” logically with their self-satisfied and “enlightened” multicultural ideals. And the reason is simple: it is precisely at the point of something like “honor killings” where multiculturalism takes its force, because it is the belief in the validity of such practices—far more so than the exotic Otherness of burkas or stone-baked breads with chick pea toppings—that is what separates cultures on the level of fundamental ideas about human agency, freedom, autonomy, and man’s place within a given social and philosophical worldview.

Read it all, and the comments for a good defense of the defense of the West. Odd that we're reduced to defending our right to defend ourselves, isn't it?

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