It can be very challenging to examine the reality of the threat of Islamic extremism and the philosophy behind its existence, along with what motivates a mother to send her young children to a Church or Synagogue to blow themselves up in a suicide attack. Muslims like myself and Non-Muslims alike have sought to understand the reality behind this continuous hate and threat which is directed towards all of us.
The Doctrine of Multiculturalism
In a world of clashing political ideologies, certain doctrines have been entrenched as articles of faith. Among these is the doctrine of multiculturalism. In itself, multiculturalism is a practical and humane policy, for any decent society to embrace. I have stated in recent times, during my speeches and appearances on National Media, that the West does not need to prove to the rest of the world that it is supportive of multiculturalism. Our strong nations have been built upon diversity.
However, the question here is, is it healthy to pursue an approach of “multiculturalism at all costs”?
The tolerant majorities of the West have been very accepting of successive waves of immigrants from a wide range of ethnic and religious backgrounds. And almost exclusively within a single generation the newcomers have integrated into the mainstream. While large numbers of Muslims have made this successful adjustment, a large minority have not.
As decades have now passed since large scale Muslim immigration to the West began, one must ask, what is different about this particular community from all the previous waves of immigrants? I can speak with some authority on this matter.
Why are the “multiculturalism at all costs” supporters silent on the risks to our society? In light of the shocking events of recent times, their silence is perplexing to me. With hundreds of Australians, Americans and Europeans known to be fighting with extremist groups in the Middle East, one must ask how they can pretend that there is not “an elephant in the room” in the form of a domestic base for radical Islamic extremism?
I have heard a number of explanations for this phenomena of silence. One that seems to have support, is that based on the notion that any criticism of Islamic communities is a threat to the whole doctrine of multiculturalism, this reasoning has led to otherwise sensible people putting forward quite strange arguments. I will give a recent example, of how this reasoning, can lead to quite bizarre attempts to justify support for outdated concepts still alive in the Muslim community. An Australian media organisation actually aired a Muslim woman, waxing eloquently on how according to her faith, Islam was “the most feminist religion”. I can assure you that in the present structure of the majority of Islam’s denominations, that is an argument that is extremely hard to sell.
If there is a belief that intolerance for Islamic extremism is a threat to multiculturalism itself, one must wonder why there are no loud protests coming from the multitude of other communities. It is obvious that if the protests are not there, it is because no other community has brought to this country a small hard core who wish to destroy it.
Indeed, it is an uncritical tolerance of attitudes and practices within the Muslim community, which might pose a longer-term threat to an otherwise successful multicultural policy.
Integration is vital to maintaining a cohesive society. This cohesion is threatened by the concept of the “hyphenated Westerners”. I myself am a proud Australian Muslim, not a Muslim Australian.
The doctrine of multiculturalism in the West is in need of review. It was once based on a premise of respect and integration. In more recent times it has become obvious that we have allowed cultures to enter our countries which show no respect for the host culture and far from assimilating wish only to ghettoise and create a parallel non-integrated community. In my view, blending in is hypocrisy. Muslims should not blend in, they should integrate and assimilate. This of course depends on their original intention when migrating to the West, and whether they wanted to be part of the West, or just live as strangers amongst us. This doctrine now must be rethought from the base up.
Only a Minority of Moderate Muslims Condemn Extremism
We see lack of condemnation of radicals by Islamic scholars and community leaders, which raises many questions, as to why all moderate Muslim leaders are not speaking against the corruption of each other.
I must say, that the mentality of a Muslim living within the west, and among those who their traditions have taught to be infidels, makes it difficult to rise against his/her own brother in faith fearing that it could strengthen the cause of the infidel.
The terrible trap which these people have fallen into as a result of this attitude has meant that the small minority of violent extremists can operate with minimal criticism; while knowing that there are misguided politicians fighting for their radical agenda to have a platform under the law of freedom of speech of a democratic society; this thinking by politicians is fatally flawed because the radical doesn’t believe in democracy.
On the other side of the lake, the mind-set of the radical Muslim focuses on what he/she believes is God’s expectation from them. Radical Muslims believe their main land is Islamic land, and that their presence in the Non-Islamic land of disbelief, is merely a test from God, and confers a greater responsibility upon their shoulders to spread their faith and ideology. This agenda justifies their long presence within the land of the “infidels”. This understanding is of course only a result of wrong teachings such as: Children that are born in Non-Islamic lands are not blessed, or that they would grow to be deviants.
A true follower of God would know that the land, all of it, belongs to God and geographic borders do not make one nation worse or better than the other as human beings.
The total rejection of Western democracy and people of the West is taught to Muslim radicals from a very young age, they are taught that “we are not like them”. As a man of religion, I do not support their position.
Multi-Ethnic NOT Multicultural
Western Governments need to pursue a healthier policy. One that maintains the lives and safety of their nations. Coming from various backgrounds and origins, we can all live in the West. However, we must all assimilate to one culture governed by democracy. It’s that simple.