Multiculturalism and Islam

Recently, the Hindustan Times ran an article noting that the Nalanda University has reopened after being destroyed 800 years ago. “… the new university took off with only two schools -- the school of ecology & environmental studies and the school of historical studies, seven faculty members and 15 students.”

We learn later in the article that Nalanda University was dealt its final blow in 1193 AD. Bakhtiar Khilji, a Muslim general of Qutbuddin Aibak, set out to uproot Buddhism in Northern India. “The Turkish invaders set ablaze and destroyed the huge library of the university, said to rival one at Luxor in Egypt.”

Muslims destroying a university may come as a shock to many professors in the West today, for it flies in the face of the multiculturalism they profess. It is too ironic to imagine multiculturalists supporting the very culture that would destroy them.

Can Muslims be multiculturalists? At its core, Islam does not allow for freedom of religion, yet this freedom would be considered one of the core principles of the multiculturalism we hear professed.

At the center of Islam is Mecca in Saudi Arabia. There are no Christian churches or Jewish synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The only religion allowed in Saudi Arabia is Islam. Christian activities, practices, books, and symbols are forbidden. This restriction is enforced by the religious police, the mutawa’een.

You’d think that in a multicultural world, nations should at least expect parity. If Saudi Arabia can fund and build a mosque in Chicago, then Catholics ought to be able to fund and build a church in Mecca.

What we find instead, is that if a Chicago Catholic wants to attend Mass in Saudi Arabia, then she has to do so in secret, usually in a private home. In Chicago, a Muslim can worship in public, and even openly preach against the society that welcomes him.

The logic of multiculturalism may demand parity, but you’ll be waiting ’til hell freezes over for Muslims in Mecca to be logical about multiculturalism.

Fortunately, unlike 800 years ago, students in the United States don’t have to worry about Muslims destroying our universities, at least for now. There is another logic at work. The universities are destroying themselves by allowing the ideology of multiculturalism over the values of patriotism.

Consider the interview of Professor Colleen Ward conducted by Mervin Singhas at Victoria University in New Zealand. Her views on multiculturalism are not too different from most university professors in the United States.

Professor Ward claims, “My thinking… is influenced by Professor John Berry from Queens University in Canada… I am in total agreement with him when he talks about a multicultural society being one that has three primary features… it is culturally diverse but that diversity is appreciated and positively valued.”

“Secondly, that all cultures, all ethnic or ethno-cultural groups in a society are able to a very large extent maintain their traditional cultural heritage and language… And thirdly, all of the ethno-cultural groups within a nation are able to participate in a fair and equitable way in that society.”

Then we learn a most startling fact from the professor. “Here’s where I would… say multiculturalism hasn’t failed in France, Germany and the UK. They’ve never had it. It’s never been tested.”

Never been tested? Has multiculturalism ever been tested in Saudi Arabia? The Saudis haven’t had multiculturalism, either, yet Professor Ward is blind to that cultural insight.

It is not only in the universities teaching about multiculturalism that we are blind. The blindness runs through many Western governments.

Writing in academia.edu, Ghassan Hage, of the University of Melbourne claims,  “I want to concentrate on the case of Australia’s cultural policy toward immigrants to argue that Muslim immigrants in the West have become ‘the ungovernable’ of the multicultural governmental apparatus.”

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel challenged the professors of multiculturalism and their supporters in the governmental apparatus. Chancellor Merkel told the young conservatives of her Christian Democratic Union that Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society where people “live side by side and enjoy each other,” has “failed, utterly failed.”

Could it be that multiculturalism has failed because multiculturalism isn’t practical? The downfall of the multiculturalist is like the downfall of the glutton: someday he will eat a poison he cannot digest.

It may be too late to be practical and turn our cultural gluttony around. The bill for multiculturalism’s banquet is coming due.

Pat Buchanan realizes that soon there will be none left to pay what we owe. “Old Europe is dying,” Buchanan writes, (the United States, too?) “and the populist and nationalist parties, in the poet’s phrase, are simply raging “against the dying of the light.”

What many university professors refuse to see is that relativism is an intellectual exercise, not a way of life. No multicultural society in human history has ever survived. Multicultural societies have always been dominated by societies with a singularity of belief and purpose.

Many who profess multiculturalism also defend their ideas by making others feel guilty. “See, they argue, “We are better persons by being all-inclusive.” But the truth is multiculturalism does not make us better. It makes us weaker.

The next time you see the black flag of ISIS held high in the desert, think of Professor Colleen Ward and her lectures on multiculturalism. The warriors of ISIS may not have heard professor Wards’s lectures. If they have taken her course, then they’ve failed the exam. Or maybe the warriors of ISIS know it’s all nonsense.

The warriors of Islam know the enemy can be vanquished because the enemy is weak. The enemy is weak because of their belief in multiculturalism. The belief of ISIS is one and simple. “Allahu Ackbar!”

Robert Klein Engler lives in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School. His book,  A Winter of Words, about the turmoil at Daley College, is available from amazon.com.

Recently, the Hindustan Times ran an article noting that the Nalanda University has reopened after being destroyed 800 years ago. “… the new university took off with only two schools -- the school of ecology & environmental studies and the school of historical studies, seven faculty members and 15 students.”

We learn later in the article that Nalanda University was dealt its final blow in 1193 AD. Bakhtiar Khilji, a Muslim general of Qutbuddin Aibak, set out to uproot Buddhism in Northern India. “The Turkish invaders set ablaze and destroyed the huge library of the university, said to rival one at Luxor in Egypt.”

Muslims destroying a university may come as a shock to many professors in the West today, for it flies in the face of the multiculturalism they profess. It is too ironic to imagine multiculturalists supporting the very culture that would destroy them.

Can Muslims be multiculturalists? At its core, Islam does not allow for freedom of religion, yet this freedom would be considered one of the core principles of the multiculturalism we hear professed.

At the center of Islam is Mecca in Saudi Arabia. There are no Christian churches or Jewish synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The only religion allowed in Saudi Arabia is Islam. Christian activities, practices, books, and symbols are forbidden. This restriction is enforced by the religious police, the mutawa’een.

You’d think that in a multicultural world, nations should at least expect parity. If Saudi Arabia can fund and build a mosque in Chicago, then Catholics ought to be able to fund and build a church in Mecca.

What we find instead, is that if a Chicago Catholic wants to attend Mass in Saudi Arabia, then she has to do so in secret, usually in a private home. In Chicago, a Muslim can worship in public, and even openly preach against the society that welcomes him.

The logic of multiculturalism may demand parity, but you’ll be waiting ’til hell freezes over for Muslims in Mecca to be logical about multiculturalism.

Fortunately, unlike 800 years ago, students in the United States don’t have to worry about Muslims destroying our universities, at least for now. There is another logic at work. The universities are destroying themselves by allowing the ideology of multiculturalism over the values of patriotism.

Consider the interview of Professor Colleen Ward conducted by Mervin Singhas at Victoria University in New Zealand. Her views on multiculturalism are not too different from most university professors in the United States.

Professor Ward claims, “My thinking… is influenced by Professor John Berry from Queens University in Canada… I am in total agreement with him when he talks about a multicultural society being one that has three primary features… it is culturally diverse but that diversity is appreciated and positively valued.”

“Secondly, that all cultures, all ethnic or ethno-cultural groups in a society are able to a very large extent maintain their traditional cultural heritage and language… And thirdly, all of the ethno-cultural groups within a nation are able to participate in a fair and equitable way in that society.”

Then we learn a most startling fact from the professor. “Here’s where I would… say multiculturalism hasn’t failed in France, Germany and the UK. They’ve never had it. It’s never been tested.”

Never been tested? Has multiculturalism ever been tested in Saudi Arabia? The Saudis haven’t had multiculturalism, either, yet Professor Ward is blind to that cultural insight.

It is not only in the universities teaching about multiculturalism that we are blind. The blindness runs through many Western governments.

Writing in academia.edu, Ghassan Hage, of the University of Melbourne claims,  “I want to concentrate on the case of Australia’s cultural policy toward immigrants to argue that Muslim immigrants in the West have become ‘the ungovernable’ of the multicultural governmental apparatus.”

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel challenged the professors of multiculturalism and their supporters in the governmental apparatus. Chancellor Merkel told the young conservatives of her Christian Democratic Union that Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society where people “live side by side and enjoy each other,” has “failed, utterly failed.”

Could it be that multiculturalism has failed because multiculturalism isn’t practical? The downfall of the multiculturalist is like the downfall of the glutton: someday he will eat a poison he cannot digest.

It may be too late to be practical and turn our cultural gluttony around. The bill for multiculturalism’s banquet is coming due.

Pat Buchanan realizes that soon there will be none left to pay what we owe. “Old Europe is dying,” Buchanan writes, (the United States, too?) “and the populist and nationalist parties, in the poet’s phrase, are simply raging “against the dying of the light.”

What many university professors refuse to see is that relativism is an intellectual exercise, not a way of life. No multicultural society in human history has ever survived. Multicultural societies have always been dominated by societies with a singularity of belief and purpose.

Many who profess multiculturalism also defend their ideas by making others feel guilty. “See, they argue, “We are better persons by being all-inclusive.” But the truth is multiculturalism does not make us better. It makes us weaker.

The next time you see the black flag of ISIS held high in the desert, think of Professor Colleen Ward and her lectures on multiculturalism. The warriors of ISIS may not have heard professor Wards’s lectures. If they have taken her course, then they’ve failed the exam. Or maybe the warriors of ISIS know it’s all nonsense.

The warriors of Islam know the enemy can be vanquished because the enemy is weak. The enemy is weak because of their belief in multiculturalism. The belief of ISIS is one and simple. “Allahu Ackbar!”

Robert Klein Engler lives in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School. His book,  A Winter of Words, about the turmoil at Daley College, is available from amazon.com.