Why liberals believe that Muslims and Western homosexuals can get along
A Youtube video purports to show a Muslim in a Muslim area of London harassing an apparently gay man.
I am deeply troubled by this development. We can start from the premise that multiculturalism is an unqualified good. Based on this assumption, we add two of the “multis”—adherents of Islam and openly homosexual men. The result is not, as one would expect, mutual enrichment through exposure to an alien culture. Instead we have conflict, and unbelievably, intolerance. In the modern, secular age, how do we resolve this conflict, which in reality must be an illusion because it undercuts the only truth—multiculturalism, a.k.a. diversity?
If you’ve been listening to the news lately, the answer is apparent:
We need to have a CONVERSATION. We need a CONVERSATION about homosexuality and Islam. Through this sacred procedural process of modern secularism—THE CONVERSATION—the illusory conflict between Islam and homosexuality will disappear.
Seriously, though, isn’t it weird that everywhere we are told that we must have a “conversation”—about guns, government spending, or whatever?
The reason for the belief in conversation as the all-purpose solution is the same as the reason for believing that Muslims can assimilate into Western or liberal civilization. It is the assumption that all people are reasonable, all people want what is good, in short, all people are potentially liberals. They just need to be allowed a chance to grow into their “true” liberalism. And the way they will grow into liberalism is through conversation.
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In saying the above, I was drawing from memory on a Jim Kalb comment at VFR in which he said in his uniquely Kalbian way:
[Liberals believe that] contemporary liberalism, which is the view that motivates and justifies the dominant tendencies in present-day government and intellectual life, fully realizes what’s right and just and fulfilling. That makes it the natural way to look at things. It’s not that hard a problem, so on general everybody’s going to settle into it as the way to go. Anything else would be weird, and you shouldn’t assume weirdness, so events should be interpreted as part of that process.
Views like Islam are also attempts to realize what’s right and just and fulfilling. It follows that Islam’s most intelligent, insightful, disinterested, and committed adherents are going to realize that their tradition is really just a particular way of approximating contemporary liberalism, so there’s no conflict. Ditto for the masses of Muslims. They can’t have a special ideological ax to grind, because they’re the masses and ideology is something for special interests, so they’re just trying to pursue in their own way the normal human goals fully realized in liberalism. There’s no way to keep the fundamental identity between Islam and liberalism a secret, since we have TV, Internet, etc. Now, so in the coming years people are going to realize it more and more.
Responsible journalists should do what they can to forward the process. They should encourage change, since change is generally for the better, be open to Muslims and Muslim views, since at bottom we all end up in the same place and openness makes the progression easier, and above all fight prejudice and misunderstanding, the view that the Other is other in the extraordinarily radical sense that he’s not at bottom a contemporary liberal. Because if that were so he wouldn’t be a human being at all, since contemporary liberalism is the true and perfect and obvious expression of humanity. That would be crazy and irrational. It’s the sort of thing Republicans and conservative Christians think. It would mean that Auschwitz or something like it is a good idea.
I would submit that the belief in the unlimited reconciling power of “having a conversation,” even between open homosexuals and aggressive, devout Muslims, is merely an element of a much broader phenomenon. Other elements include the Progressive blind faith in the potential of diplomacy and that nations need never resort to violence to defend themselves. War is always a failure of diplomatic skill and not ever an indication on the limits of diplomacy per se. A similar logic has now been individualized in the case of self-defense and the attempt to prohibit the private ownership of firearms.
Progressives also believe that incarceration (let alone physical or capital punishment) is a kind of analogous barbaric failure to apply superior, enlightened forms of counseling and rehabilitation. Negative consequences for anti-social behavior are replaced by a regime of disorder diagnosis, therapy, and awareness education. Children need never be spanked or scolded, but only receive gentle explanations. The global institutions will negotiate away all international tensions. Profound questions of law, politics, and philosophy can be removed from the “force-lite” of Democratic counting of heads and transferred to the courtroom. Reason and talking can cure every human ill and settle every dispute, and the corollary that every resort to anything but pure reason and talking is always an ignorant or evil incompetence.
Of course, these are the core utopian hopes of the Progressive religion, over a century old, whose tenets never seem to die no matter how much evidence is brought to bear against their accuracy. It’s not just that the idea that Progressivism is objectively true, and that all reasonable, logical people of good faith would naturally arrive at the same core, common truths—like a bunch of Unitarian Universalists. It’s the deep rejection of the animal component of human nature and the wishful thinking that we can do away with harm and pain and discomfort altogether among the incentives that guide human action.
Henry McCulloch writes:
Concerning the Moslem “Londoner” spotted harassing a homosexual: This episode highlights once again a problem facing the diversity/multiculturalism cult that is the dominant mode of liberalism today. (For the purpose of this comment, I assume the harassed homosexual is an actual Englishman; i.e., a white man. Sadly, there is plenty of precedent for that assumption.)
Here we have a conflict between representatives of two preferred groups. Moslem v. homosexual. Whom to accord preference in this ticklish situation? One might think that the preference should be accorded to the aggrieved preferred-person who is native to the country in question. If there were any concern for the integrity of that country,—there isn’t, I know, but bear with me—that would be the logical choice. But in the modern West (that is to say, all white-majority nations except Russia and perhaps a few other Eastern European countries) the first question to be asked is whether one of the aggrieved preferred-people in question is in fact white. As another of liberalism’s sacraments is adoration of the Other, in any conflict between white and non-white diversity demands the white must lose. So in this case—again, assuming our aggrieved homosexual is an Englishman—the non-white Moslem’s “right” verbally—and perhaps physically—to assail a homosexual will trump said white homosexual’s right not to be assailed by a hostile alien.
In recent memory the most obvious example is what happened to Hillary Clinton in the 2008 campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. At the beginning of 2008, Hillary was the Democrats’ anointed heiress, poised to become America’s First Female President, a stunning Breakthrough For Equality! But then out of nowhere came Barack Hussein Obama, and liberals had to choose whether it was more important to have The First Female President (but in the person of a white woman) or The First President Of Color. Hillary was instantly history as a presidential candidate. Race—meaning in practice whites’ yielding to non-whites—trumps everything else.
If the second term of Barack Hussein Obama wakes up white Americans to this no longer so new dispensation, and angers enough of them to do something meaningful about it, perhaps having to endure two terms of what Peter Brimelow calls a minority occupation government will have yielded some benefit in spite of all its harms.
Ken Hechtman writes:
Jim Kalb isn’t far wrong. Philosophically, his explanation is more or less how liberals would explain it too. If we had to explain it philosophically, which I for one am not inclined to do. But it’s also off the point. The main reason I believe Muslims and homosexuals can get along is because I’ve seen it done over ten years in the anti-war scene and the NDP after that.
And I’ll note for the record that the outcome of any of those “conversations” was never that the gays stopped being gay. It was always that the Muslims learned to live with it. So it wasn’t just a win for diversity. It was always a win for diversity on liberal terms.
I’ve told this story on VFR before but I’ll summarize it again. The same-sex marriage debate in Canada happened in two installments, once before Parliament was prorogued in 2005 and once again after. The first time, the NDP made it a party-discipline issue and the Muslims in the NDP bolted the party and went off and lobbied the swing Liberal MPs to vote against it. But they let us know they’re going to go do this thing and then win or lose they’re going to come back to the fold. How’d they let us know? In a conversation. How else?
And then the second time around, one of the most conservative Muslim leaders in the country, Abdul Salam Elminyawi, an old Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood guy, he saved us. He pre-empted the whole debate by announcing that while he would have preferred some kind of civil union arrangement, he could live with the same-sex marriage bill as it stood. That threw a bucket of cold water on the debate. There’s not a serious Muslim player in the country who wants to position himself to the right of Elminyawi. If he can live with same-sex marriage, everybody can live with it.
I suspect but I can’t prove that there was a deal made. When it’s his turn, when polygamy comes to a vote, the major feminist organizations will stand aside and announce that they can live with any domestic arrangement that’s agreed to by consenting adults. I’ve already seen the National Advisory Council and the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund lay down what can only be described as good-faith markers during the Bountiful case. How would such a deal get made? By mental telepathy? No, in a conversation. How else?
Something else about “conversation”. What have you and I been doing for the last ten years if not “having a conversation”? In all that time, did you ever tell me anything I didn’t know that gave me a reason to be less angry and afraid? I’d say you did. Did I ever do the same for you? If the answer to either question is yes, the exercise was worth doing.
I made you less afraid of conservatism because you saw from VFR that traditionalist conservatives are not the irrational demons of liberal fantasy. You did not make me less afraid of liberalism because, over and over, you confirmed that liberals do believe in and seek what traditionalists have always thought they believed in and sought.
James M. writes:
A couple of questions for Ken Hechtman:
In the decade or so that you have been reading VFR, what reason have you ever had to be angry or afraid? Your side has been the establishment for much longer than that. What battles have you lost, or what advances have we made, that made you uneasy?
Do you expect the Muslims, once they have surpassed a certain critical mass in numbers and power, to continue to make nice with the homosexuals? You’ve said that you’d like Muslims “to have a seat at the national table,” but I believe they intend to tell everyone else where to sit.
Julien B. writes:
I was really glad to hear the news about your health. I don’t know how you can keep up this pace of high quality writing and thinking under the circumstances, but I’m grateful for it. [LA replies: There was an improvement for 11 hours, on Friday night and Saturday morning. It was a wonderful break. But yesterday there was a return of discomfort, and all day today I’m back where I was—in continual pain.]
About Ken Hechtman’s recent post on “conversation,” Muslims and gays:
Given the context, I assume Ken is defending the liberal faith in “conversation.” But what he is describing here has nothing to do with the subject of the thread, the liberal belief that criminal savagery and war and religious conflict can always be resolved by “conversation” in the sense of honest, public discussion of the different points of view and interests of different people and groups. (Or that such discussion will make everyone a liberal in the long run.)
This is what we conservatives find preposterous and dangerous. But Ken is not giving an example of any kind of open, public discussion of how homosexual liberation and Islamic immigration fit together. On the contrary, he is describing a conspiracy between liberals and their pet anti-traditional factions. Of course, in conspiring, there is “conversation” between conspirators. On that basis, Muslims agree to pretend that they have no deep objection to homosexuality, for purely tactical reasons, feminists agree to pretend that they have no objection to Islamic views about women and sexual equality, and so on. How could the fact that liberals and their allies conspire to fool and outflank the rest of us be any reason to accept the liberal belief that was the subject of the thread? Ken’s “conversations” are the exact opposite of the kind of honest public discussion that, according to liberalism, dissolves all conflicts. His “conversations” serve to deceive the public, to prevent real public discussion of the terrible problems generated by liberalism. (Hey, we all know that even fundamentalist Muslims are okay with homosexual marriage. So there’s nothing to talk about.) The argument is flatly equivocal.
It can’t be both ways. If the “philosophical” account of the liberal position articulated by Jim Kalb is right, as Ken thinks it is, there is an obvious contradiction between that account and Ken’s description of the actual political process that leads to Canada’s deeply unhealthy modus vivendi. And if the only way to get gays and Muslims to get along is by this nakedly amoral and unprincipled tit for tat scheme, that alone is reason to doubt the “philosophical” position that Ken takes it to illustrate.
Thank you for this very insightful comment. And welcome back to VFR after a long absence. You also have been commenting for many years, but far too infrequently.
In case readers miss it, in the short entry pointing to Mr. Hechtman’s comment, I summarize and interpret as follows his statement that Muslims and Western homosexuals are capable of engaging in “conversation”:
In the entry, “Why liberals believe that Muslims and Western homosexuals can get along,” our Canadian leftist reader Ken Hechtman explains that liberals believe it because it is demonstrably true. Some years ago, Canada’s most orthodox Muslim leader came out in support of the homosexual “marriage” bill, and one of the reasons was that he and other Muslims figured that when the legalization of polygamy, backed by Muslims, was proposed, Canada’s liberals would, in a tit for tat, support it.
In short, homosexualists and Muslims cooperate in their common aim, which is to destroy what remains of Western Civilization. Or, more precisely, their common aim is to destroy Western Civilization 1.0 and replace it by Western Civilization 2.0.
Alex B. writes:
Muslim settlers in a Western country support any initiatives that weaken the remaining traditional elements of the society, which are the only elements that still give the country any remnants of its strength. A weakened country is easier for them to take over, and then the old regime’s funny laws will mean nothing.
Homomarriage legalization is a major blow to a country’s traditional foundations. That’s why the recent huge demonstration against homomarriage in France, despite Islam’s hard line against homosexualism, did not consist of a raging Muslim mob but “essentially white Catholic France in the street,” in the words of a Hollande adviser, even though some Muslims joined it.
Of course “one of the most conservative Muslim leaders in [Canada], Abdul Salam Elminyawi, an old Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood guy,” was all for homomarriage. “Conservative Muslim leaders”—i.e. hard-line Islamists, regardless of how they present themselves to those who want to believe they are moderates, such as Ken Hechtman—are the leaders of the invasion. Why would they oppose it when the host society wants to weaken itself?
Name a single liberal advance in a Western country which the country’s Muslims’ leaders have opposed. Muslims and liberals, including homosexuals, have a common enemy, and that’s why they are allied. As soon as the alliance wins power, the stronger, more ruthless member of the alliance will eliminate the weaker, idealistic one, also known as a bunch of useful idiots. This scenario has played out countless times in history, e.g. in Russia in 1917. [LA replies: don’t leave out a much more recent and more relevant precedent: Egypt, where hardline Muslims and liberal democrats cooperated in overthrowing the Mubarak regime, then the Muslims took complete power and shafted the liberals.]
But of course your leftist reader from my country will never say that. He’ll think up anything that lets him close his eyes to the obvious but unpleasant reality.
Ken Hechtman replies to James M.:
OK, I came in to VFR more like a full decade ago. So two wars had just started. A couple of years later two attempts to legislate an amnesty got turned back by a powerful and confident anti-immigration movement. [LA replies: It was not an anti-immigration movement; it never challenged the current immigration policy which is steadily turning America into a non-European country but full-out supported it; it only opposed the legalization of illegal aliens.] Obama’s eventual victory in 2008 might have been on Aaron Sorkin’s radar in 2003 but it certainly wasn’t on mine. Things are going my way now and don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it, but it didn’t look like that ten years ago.
I expect Muslims to react much like Christians and Jews did in the last decade once they understand that “the homosexuals” include their own family and friends. There’s what’s written in your holy books and then there’s your own family. Looking ahead to the next decade, it’s the gay Muslim groups like Helem and IGLT in Palestine and the Saudi Arabian Green Party that are doing the most important work there is.
Does it ever occur to you in your private thoughts that you are being somewhat naive and pie in the sky about Islam? That you’re projecting onto Islam various phenomena in recent Western political experience that may not in fact apply to Islam at all? That Islam will not develop according to the dynamic you would like, but according to its own internal, divinely commanded, 1,400-year-old dynamic, which you systematically ignore?
Alex B. writes:
Ken Hechtman writes:
I expect Muslims to react much like Christians and Jews did in the last decade once they understand that “the homosexuals” include their own family and friends. There’s what’s written in your holy books and then there’s your own family.Ken Hechtman is not aware of what wins in any conflict between the Koran and Muslims’ own families? He’s never heard of honor killings? He should look them up; they are quickly becoming an honored Canadian tradition.
Really, this is not even naivete. It’s seeing only the things that one’s ideology allows one to see, and pretending reality does not exist. It’s willful, happy self-delusion. Which, of course, is necessary if a man is to believe in the things a liberal believes in.
Yes, and ironically Mr. Hechtman prides himself on being a hardbitten realist about politics, a man who based on his political experience and knowledge—particularly of his fellow leftists’ illusions, some of which he criticizes—sees reality as it is.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 22, 2013 04:24 PM | Send