Sunday, February 06, 2011

UK PM Cameron: 'Multiculturalism Has Failed..'

British PM David Cameron made an interesting and surprising speech at the Munich Security Conference yesterday. Here are some key bits:

We will not defeat terrorism simply by the action we take outside our borders. Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries. Of course, that means strengthening, as Angela has said, the security aspects of our response, on tracing plots, on stopping them, on counter-surveillance and intelligence gathering.

But this is just part of the answer. We have got to get to the root of the problem, and we need to be absolutely clear on where the origins of where these terrorist attacks lie. That is the existence of an ideology, Islamist extremism. We should be equally clear what we mean by this term, and we must distinguish it from Islam.

Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a political ideology supported by a minority. At the furthest end are those who back terrorism to promote their ultimate goal: an entire Islamist realm, governed by an interpretation of Sharia. Move along the spectrum, and you find people who may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist worldview, including real hostility towards Western democracy and liberal values. It is vital that we make this distinction between religion on the one hand, and political ideology on the other. Time and again, people equate the two. They think whether someone is an extremist is dependent on how much they observe their religion. So, they talk about moderate Muslims as if all devout Muslims must be extremist. This is profoundly wrong. Someone can be a devout Muslim and not be an extremist. We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing.

What I am about to say is drawn from the British experience, but I believe there are general lessons for us all. In the UK , some young men find it hard to identify with the traditional Islam practiced at home by their parents, whose customs can seem staid when transplanted to modern Western countries. But these young men also find it hard to identify with Britain too, because we have allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.

So, when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious frankly – frankly, even fearful – to stand up to them. The failure, for instance, of some to confront the horrors of forced marriage, the practice where some young girls are bullied and sometimes taken abroad to marry someone when they don’t want to, is a case in point. This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared. And this all leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist ideology. Now for sure, they don’t turn into terrorists overnight, but what we see – and what we see in so many European countries – is a process of radicalisation.

I find this fascinating. Cameron actually sees the threat, but persists in the usual PC blather to obscure it - almost to the point where he's actually telling Muslims what Islam is!

Cameron is saying that the religion and the political/legal structure are distinct, something I think a majority of Muslims would dispute, as would I. I'm curious as to where he draws the line.

If Muslims are following the Qu'ran and the example of Mohammed as given in the Hadiths,are they good Muslims? And if instead many of them are cherry picking various parts of their religion to choose to follow,(something most of us do by the way, Muslim or not, although with Islam the process needs to be a lot more extreme for obvious reasons)does that mean that government is now going to decide what a good Muslim is or is not? And what happens if a significant number of Muslims decide they don't like where government has drawn the line?

The problem is that unlike other religions, Islam was set up from the jump as a religious/political/legal structure, and one that is intolerant of other beliefs at that.

Islam is Islam and the pieces are not easily separated - they were designed to go together.

It's good that the frog is starting to realize that the water is getting uncomfortably warm. The next, more important step is that he's going to have to figure out what to do about it.

please helps me write more gooder!

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