Euro-Arabian project aims to eliminate all collective identities in the name of equality

Fjordman writes:

I am still discovering new and shocking documents showing the magnitude, the insanity, and the betrayal of the Euro-Arab Cooperation. This is just one of probably countless similar ones, but it is symptomatic of the whole project. This pdf from 2005 is written by Traugott Schoefthaler, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, one of the major Eurabian instruments for cultural cooperation, with full backing of the European Union.

Here are excerpts from the document Fjordman sent:

Amin Maalouf, in his analysis of ‘deadly identities’ (“Les identités meurtrières”, 1998) provides us with Mediterranean experience in this regard. It is always the same mechanism of drawing dividing lines between human beings through assuming and imposing collective identities rather than respecting the human rights principles of equality and non-discrimination. Theodor W. Adorno and Alfred Horkheimer, in their studies on ‘The Authoritarian Personality’ published shortly after 1945 as a first analysis of the cult of power and violence in Nazi Germany, went deep into psychological terminology of ego- and ethnocentrism. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Amin Maalouf come to similar conclusions: Cultural policies need to avoid schematic concepts such as the popular distinction between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’. They even warn against further using the term of ‘The Other’ which is standard in almost all intercultural education concepts, since it opens the gate for imposing collective identities on the individual. There is no viable alternative to their proposal of adopting a rights-based approach in dealing with cultural diversity.

The Barcelona Declaration states the need to guarantee cultural and religious diversity. Ten years after, on 14 March 2005 in Cairo, the first Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the Anna Lindh Euro- Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, established on 30 November 2004 by the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference in The Hague, as “the first common institution of the Barcelona Process that is based in a Southern Mediterranean Partner and co-financed by all members of the Partnership”

Since it was decided to establish the Foundation as a network of networks, I am optimistic that, in close partnership with the Heads of the 35 national networks and the co-ordinators of the existing EuroMed regional networks, it is possible to make it a key instrument for bringing peoples and people closer in a common Euro-Mediterranean space.

The objective of learning to live together was outlined by the World Commission on Education for the 21st Century chaired by the former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors. Formal education systems are to be geared towards learning environments, teachers from instructors to organisers of learning, schools to centres for daily practice of tolerance by giving way to others’ points of view.

In line with the Delors report, “values… cannot be taught in the strict sense: the desire to impose from the outside predetermined values comes down in the end to negating them”.

This is one of the purest expressions of what I’ve always said liberalism is about: the elimination of everything beyond the self—of all collective identities, cultures, nations, religions—in order to assure equality and non-discrimination between all selves. And notice that this ultra-radical project cannot be called multiculturalism, because it views any culture as an imposition on the individual. This ultra-liberalism is the true communism of our time, and very few conservatives are aware of its existence, and, if they did, they would not see that their own non-discriminatory, individual-rights liberalism is on a continuum with this radical vision, or at least has no explicit principle by which to oppose it.

The human impossibility of this program is seen in the idea of training young people in “the daily practice of tolerance by giving way to others’ points of view.” Who are these “others” to whose point of view we must give way? Aren’t those others also under the obligation to give way to our point of view? How can anyone have a point of view, if everyone is supposed to yield his own point of view to others? It’s right out of Ayn Rand’s nightmare of altruism.

But of course the Euro-Arab cooperation doesn’t really intend the equal elimination of all points of view. “The practice of tolerance by giving way to others” is something that is to be done by Europeans, for the sake of Muslims. Europeans give up their point of view, enabling the Muslim point of view to take over.


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Ken Hechtman writes:

I’m not convinced that the EuroMed idea of tolerance is exclusively one-way. If you look at the hands-on activities that the Anna Lindh Foundation runs and where it runs them, you’ll see at least token attempts to push tolerance of European culture and values on Arabs and Turks. In the last year, they held a “gender equality” conference in Istanbul, a “religious diversity in the classroom” teacher training workshop in Cairo, a “settlement of conflict through cultural co-operation” youth workshop in Alexandria, and something involving “dialogue between cultures and mutual respect/multi- perceptivity” (whatever that is) for young documentary filmmakers in Tunisia.

Some of this stuff is cringe-inducing psycho-babble but some of it—I’m thinking of the “religious diversity in the classroom” training—is a big deal that addresses a real problem. Just five years ago, the official position of the Egyptian government, including the Ministry of Education, was that there are only two religions in Egypt: Muslims and Copts, with the less said about the Copts the better. Muslims and Copts had separate classes on their own religions only, Muslim students weren’t taught anything about Christianity or vice-versa. Bahai and non-Coptic Christian students were pretty much taught that they didn’t exist.

LA replies:

I didn’t intend to suggest that liberals would not make an effort to impose liberalism on non-Europeans as well as Europeans, especially in the case where there is a formal effort designated to do just that. But my view is that collective-identity-destroying liberalism is a creation of the West and is aimed at the West, and that after it has destroyed the West, the liberal project itself will go out of existence, leaving the non-European cultures intact. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the liberalism will keep existing independently of the West once it has destroyed the West and so continue to destroy non-Western cultures as well. To me that seems unlikely, however.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 23, 2007 12:48 AM | Send

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