Tuesday, 10 May 2016

"Clash of values a thorny issue in immigration", May 9

LATER: published in SCMP, on 14 May, here

Mike Rowse is spot on, when he points out that Europe's concerns about immigration are not simply about numbers, but specifically that the immigrants are overwhelmingly Muslim. "No use beating about the bush", he says.  Quite. (Clash of values a thorny issue in immigration, May 9).

The reason that so many parties of the right are rising in Europe now is that mainstream political parties have failed to address their publics' concerns about this awkward reality.  Instead they have studiously avoided grappling with the immigrating cultures, with values often inimical to open, tolerant, democratic societies.  And they have done this in the name of multiculturalism, an implicit belief that all cultures are equal.

If the rise of the far-right is to be halted, then mainstream parties need to take a much more robust approach to the beliefs and practices of those Muslim immigrants who try to reverse hard-won gains of western societies.  They need to staunchly defend freedom of speech (even if it offends), freedom of conscience, and the equal treatment of women and minorities.

This in turn requires belief in the basic decency of western values, not kowtowing to bogus cultural equivalence: "all cultures are the same".  No they are not.

Well said, Mike.

Peter F etc....