Sam Vaknin — The article multiculturalism, authority, and tolerance by Dave Scotese takes a critical look at the relation between law enforcement and authority to that of freedom of cultural practices in the west. What I want to explain here is the difference between banning cultures and cultural practices in the west and what should be we ban in the context of values prevailing in the west with cultural diversity.
Diversity is a concept that is subject to a calculus of rights and their commensurate obligations within an overarching value system. In other words, individuals and groups have the right to pronounce their differentness and uniqueness; to practice their religion; to espouse and preach their beliefs; and to make rules and enforce them only when they conform fully to the dominant values of the societies they live in (liberal democracy in the case of the West.) This is why we ban Nazism, racism, all forms of hate speech, sexism, and so on. Similarly, we should ban the practice of militant, fundamentalist, salafist, Wahabbist Islam. Historically, these are mutations of Islam that were reactions to colonialism and imperialism. Most Muslims abhor them as well.
On the point that Muslim minority wants to live by sharia law in United Kingdom instead of the state or country law, I dispute the statement that Muslims want to adhere to sharia law. There is no systematic proof of this claim and a lot of anecdotal evidence against it. No need to complicate the issue: all practices and speech acts – religious, cultural, and political – that run against the values of the West should be banned in the West. And I speak of practices here. No culture, religion, belief, or value system should ever be banned in the West. Only practices and speech acts – religious, cultural, and political – that run against the values of the West should be banned in the West. Law enforcement agencies should prosecute people and organizations whose practices and speech acts – religious, cultural, and political – run against the values of the West.
Banning all cultures but one will lead to monoculturalism. Monoculturalism is dull, counterproductive, and detrimental to the long-term evolution of the species. It does not bring harmony, but dissent and unrest. People care about their cultural-religious identities: it is the only way they can differentiate themselves in a hostile, anonymous world. They rebel against any attempt to foist a homogeneous cultural space where actual diversity prevails. But the rule is “live – and let live.” Practices and speech acts – religious, cultural, and political – which break this rule run against the values of the West and should be banned and prosecuted in the West.
About the Author
Sam Vaknin (http://samvak.tripod.com) is the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain – How the West Lost the East, as well as many other books and ebooks about topics in psychology, relationships, philosophy, economics, and international affairs. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Global Politician and served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, eBookWeb, and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. Visit Sam’s Web site at http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com.