The current European immigration and integration policy is profoundly disrespectful of both Muslims and Islam, because it is built on the tacit assumption that the Muslims will become like us. One claims to have respect for Islam and for Muslims, but one also expects Muslims to give up their orthodox faith when they come here. At the same time one is assuming that Islam will be reformed and modernized as soon as the Muslims become integrated and understand and appreciate how superior our Western culture is compared to their own. This is cultural shauvinism and arrogance indeed! The unspoken premise for this scenario is that Western socities are superior to Islam.
In the summer of 2004 there was an incident in Norway that illustrated this arrogance quite nicely. During a debate in Oslo a famous Norwegian-Pakistani female artist, Shabana Rehman, walked over to her Muslim opponent, Mullah Krekar, bowed down and grabbed him by his bottom, and lifted him from the floor. Mullah Krekar immediately protested to this disrespectful treatment, but many in the audience were laughing.
This incident was televised on the national TV networks over and over again during the next several weeks, and well-known newspaper columnists and other representatives of the politically correct elite in Norway were greatly amused because this young, anti-Islamic woman had so elegantly humiliated this fundamentalist Muslim.
On 24 June 2004 one of the editors of HonestThinking.org commented on this incident in a short article in the Norwegian daily Vart Land. The following are some translated excerpts:
One of the great paradoxes in this context is that those who in practice has shown disrespect for Muslims over a long period of time are the very people who keep defending the multicultural ideology. Many of them have obviously believed that Muslims would more or less automatically become westernized once they came here and could see for themselves how superior our culture is compared to their own. These people have not only been profoundly wrong, they have also displayed a significant amount of hubris.
This lack of respect for Muslims has for example resulted in a patronizing and arrogant treatment of Mullah Krekar lately. The readers are encouraged to think for a moment about the scorn and ridicule that Krekar has suffered after the infamous Mullah-lifting event. We find this very revealing when it comes to the true attitudes that are actually harbored by many of those who for years have been talking enthusiastically about the multicultural society. What these people are really saying is “come as you are, but become like us”. Hardly a good starting point for building [Europe’s] future.
Whether or not Mullah Krekar should be allowed to remain in Norway (currently a hot political issue) is a separate question. Our point is that many multiculturalists have revealed their utter lack of respect for Mullah Krekar’s religious and cultural background.
Readers may want to compare this with what author and columnist Jahn Otto Johansen wrote in wrote in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten on 1 December 2004 (shortly after the killing of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam), under the heading “Is there any hope for multi-culti?”. The following are some excerpts (translation from Norwegian by HonestThinking.org):
Many of my Dutch friends are now asking in sorrow whether their dream of a multicultural and tolerant society has come to an end. They hesitate to accept New York Times columnist William Pfaff’s claim that the whole thing was built on an illusion and a certain kind of hypocrisy, because the majority of the Dutch really felt that their society and their culture was superior to that of the immigrants.
If we want to see a Europe consisting of multicultural societies that help promote democracy and human rights throughout the entire world, during this as well as coming centuries, then we need a different immigration policy. Today’s policy is both short-sighted and naïve.
We find it encouraging that more and more people are beginning to realize that something is profoundly wrong. We predict that the day is not too far away when people will be ashamed to admit that they used to hold what is today considered to be the politically correct views on these issues.
Originally written in 2005. Last updated 10.02.2009.