sexta-feira, 4 de maio de 2007

The trap

An ideology which holds that people from different cultures must live in separate communities within a country, should not take an interest in each other and must not criticise each other is both wrong and unworkable. Of course, multiculturalism’s more thoughtful advocates never imagined that a cultural community could or should substitute for a political community. They believed that so long as everyone abided by the law, it was not necessary for citizens to have a single hierarchy of values.

The ideal of multiculturalism at home was echoed with an ideology of cultural relativism abroad, especially in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This evolved stealthily into a form of moral racism which held that white Europeans deserved liberal democracy but that people of different cultures had to wait for it. African dictators might do dreadful things but somehow they did not meet with condemnation from many European intellectuals, for criticism implied cultural arrogance.

(...)Whether Europeans like it or not, Muslims are part of Europe. Many will not abandon their religion, so Europeans must learn to live with them and with Islam. Of course, this will be easier if Muslims come to believe that the system also works to their benefit. Liberal democracy and Islam are reconcilable. Indonesia’s current political transition from dictatorship to democracy, although no unqualified success, shows that this is achievable.

Even if all of Europe’s Muslims were Islamists – which is a far cry from reality – they could not threaten the Continent’s sovereignty and, by the same token, its laws and Enlightenment values. Of course, there are groups to which Islamism appeals. The children of immigrants, born in Europe, sense they are not fully accepted in the country where they grew up, but neither do they feel a special bond with their parent’s native country. Islamism, besides offering them an answer to the question why they do not feel happy with the way they live, gives them a sense of their self-worth and a great cause to die for.

In the end, the only thing that can truly damage European values is Europe’s response to its non-Muslim majority. Fear of Islam and of immigrants could lead to the adoption of non-liberal laws. By defending Enlightenment values in a dogmatic way Europeans will be the ones who undermine them.

Our laws prohibiting incitement to violence and insulting people for reasons of their religion are sufficient. Further constraints on freedom of speech – such as anti-blasphemy laws or, indeed, those laws that make Holocaust denial punishable – go too far.

But this doesn’t mean that we should not weigh our words with care. We should distinguish carefully between different kinds of Islam, and not confuse violent revolutionary movements with mere religious orthodoxy. Insulting Muslims simply on the basis of their faith is foolish and counterproductive, as is the increasingly popular notion that we must make sweeping pronouncements as to the superiority of “our culture.” For such dogmatism undermines scepticism, the questioning of all views, including one’s own, which was and is the fundamental feature of the Enlightenment.

The trouble today is that Enlightenment values are sometimes used in a very dogmatic way against Muslims. They have become in fact a form of nationalism – “our values” have been set against “their values”. The reason for defending Enlightenment values is that they are based on good ideas, and not because they are “our culture.” To confuse culture and politics in this way is to fall into the same trap as the multiculturalists.

And it has serious consequences. If we antagonize Europe’s Muslims enough we will push more people into joining the Islamist revolution. We must do everything to encourage Europe’s Muslim to become assimilated in European societies. It is our only hope.

Ian Buruma, "The Strange Death of Multiculturalism" (sublinhado nosso)

3 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

No mundo há muitas armadilhas

No mundo há muitas armadilhas
e o que é armadilha pode ser refúgio
e o que é refúgio pode ser armadilha

Tua janela por exemplo
aberta para o céu
e uma estrela a te dizer que o homem é nada
ou a manhã espumando na praia
a bater antes de Cabral, antes de Tróia
(há quatro séculos Tomás Bequimão
tomou a cidade, criou uma milícia popular
e depois foi traído, preso, enforcado)

No mundo há muitas armadilhas
e muitas bocas a te dizer
que a vida é pouca
que a vida é louca
E por que não a Bomba? te perguntam.
Por que não a Bomba para acabar com tudo, já
que a vida é louca?

Contudo, olhas o teu filho, o bichinho
que não sabe
que afoito se entranha à vida e quer
a vida
e busca o sol, a bola, fascinado vê
o avião e indaga e indaga

A vida é pouca
a vida é louca
mas não há senão ela.
E não te mataste, essa é a verdade.

Estás preso à vida como numa jaula.
Estamos todos presos
nesta jaula que Gagárin foi o primeiro a ver
de fora e nos dizer: é azul.
E já o sabíamos, tanto
que não te mataste e não vais
te matar
e agüentarás até o fim.

O certo é que nesta jaula há os que têm
e os que não têm
há os que têm tanto que sozinhos poderiam
alimentar a cidade
e os que não têm nem para o almoço de hoje

A estrela mente
o mar sofisma. De fato,
o homem está preso à vida e precisa viver
o homem tem fome
e precisa comer
o homem tem filhos
e precisa criá-los
Há muitas armadilhas no mundo e é preciso quebrá-las.

Ferreira Gullar

Anónimo disse...

'...]" Je crois qu'une des tâches de la philosophie - aussi bien que les partisans de la non violence, de l'internationalisme, et de la responsabilisation des médias- consistirait à s'engager dans un processus sérieux de traduciton culturelle, afin que nous puissions avoir une conception plus large de la manière dont les êtres humains produisent du sens dans leur vie, et de ce qui donne un sens à leur vie. Je crains que nous ne vivions aujourd'hui à une époque où nous nous imposons des idées sur ce qui rend une vie humaine digne d'être vécu, au même moment où nous subissons, de façon plus générale, une désensibilisation à ce problème..."

Judith Butler, "Humain, Inhumain , le travail critique des normes"

Anónimo disse...

Aguardamos actualização. Bom trabalho!