I think this hits the nail on the head. My impression too, is that the whole doctrine of multi-culturalism emerged in the 1990s, and that the pivotal event was the Rushdie Affair, and how a liberal society was to react to that. We see that the reaction was appeasement, appeasement which has continued for a generation.
For some time I've wondered how the UK's tolerant, inclusivity loving, diversity embracing, multiculturally aware, sexually outreaching and intolerant of intolerance establishment would deal with the inextricable march of Islamic fundamentalism and all that comes with it? Would our new enlightened leaders finally stand up to Islam's inherent homophobia or challenge its attitude to women's rights, or even, occasionally speak out against its treatment of animals, arranged marriages, female circumcision or criticise this politicised religion in anyway?
The answer of course is not just no, but is, in fact, a much more sinister form of creeping cultural appeasement in which our establishment, (by establishment I mean everyone from politicians, to the police, councils and councillors, the Civil Service, educators at schools and universities, the mainstream media and those whose powers, when combined, effectively control what we say, read, and ultimately think), is nolonger just accommodating fundamentalist Islam, but is slowly being absorbed into it. This is the same way a hostage comes to care for, and eventually ally themselves with their captors; a paradoxical psychological process or phenomenon known as the Stockholm Syndrome.
This process of cultural, spiritual and political acquiescence has been slowly evolving over the last twenty five years and I think probably began, not with the Iranian Revolution in 1979, but with the fatwa issued against the UK authorSalman Rushdie in 1989 by Iran's Revolutionary leader, the charismatic and media-savvy, Ayatollah Khomeini. For while the sight of Muslim demonstrators in London, Bradford and other English cities burning copies of Rushdie's book, theSatanic Verses, shocked and upset many on the soft left of the UK's then establishment, there were also many, even then, who for political expediency refused to directly condemn either the fatwa or the book burnings. Indeed some of the most notable deniers of all were the then Deputy Leader of the Labour Party,Roy Hattersley and, Labour's then Shadow Foreign Secretary, Gerald Kaufman who are typical of those who have been championing multiculturalism since its inception.
Hattersley, a rather pompous man who has ironically re-invented himself as a man of letters and all-round bon viveur since leaving politics in 1992, though unfortunately having neither the intelligence or wit necessary to pull this off, tried to court the Muslims and find favour with Rushdie and his supporters at the same time. Firstly in a sop to his mainly Muslim constituents he called on Rushdie to cancel the paperback edition of the Satanic Verses as this would 'signify his regret for the offence, and assuage Muslim anger'. To make sure he won the most votes in the next election Hattersley further stated that "we might even have to support Islam's right to declare a fatwa against offending infidels".
Secondly, remembering that he was also in the process of being reborn as an literary intellectual Hattersley added that a "free society does not ban books and nor does in allow writers and publishers to be blackmailed and intimidated" before going on to demonstrate that he was both intimidated and prepared to ban the paperback edition.
The singularly unpleasant and caustic Gerald Kaufman was even more direct in his defence of the protesting Muslims as he immediately linked criticism of their protests as an attack on the emerging holy of holies, multiculturalism. By doing so,Kaufman demonstrated how in future, criticism of racially, sexually or religiously sensitive topics could be deflected or nullified by terming any such attacks 'racist', 'sexist', 'homophobic' or Islamophobic and if those terms didn't apply then in an emergency criticism could simply be branded as hate speech or incitement or extremism.
However, in 1989 this form of cultural censorship and politically correct trickery was in its infancy which makes Kaufman's early use of deflective guilt-speech all the more impressive:
"Britain has to decide if the freedom that we so value is consistent with attempts to suppress the religious practices of the county's fastest-growing faith. The fact that most of us do not share their beliefs (and some of us have no beliefs at all) is irrelevant. Only primitive people want to destroy everything they do not like or understand. The civilised, and sensible, approach is to welcome diversity as a stimulus to renewed vitality'.
Gerald Kaufman then went on to chastise and belittle English culture, its religion, education and values, which he saw, and still sees, as a threat to the greater good of multicultural and religious diversity. For Kaufman and other champions of multiculturalism, the immigrant is an almost revolutionary force that will firstly weaken, and then utterly transform the host nation. For Kaufman's defence of Islam and diversification is seething with class hatred and a barely concealed yearning to radically alter the then middle-class and Christian based society in which he was writing into an envisaged multicultural nirvana:
"the attack on multiculturalism is no more than a refined, middle-class version of "Paki-bashing". Yet people who ought to know better have joined in the chorus of intolerance. To demand that Muslims abandon their way of life - what they eat, how they dress, which way they choose their husbands and wives - is to make a frontal assault upon their faith. Islam is a total religion. People who go to church on Christmas Eve and think that makes them Christians may not realise that devout Muslims believe that the Qur'an should inform their whole lives. Britain has to decide if the freedom that we so value is consistent with attempts to suppress the religious practices of the country's fastest-growing faith."
Since then the Establishments cultural appeasement has continued unabated and witnessed everything from checkout girls refusing to handle wine purchases because it 'offends their religion', to, most recently, the London Metropolitan University deciding that in order to be more 'culturally sensitive' to Muslim students that it should ban alcohol. But beyond these ridiculous and almost daily examples of non Muslims self-abasing themselves before our would be conquerors, we are also beginning to see the slow realignment of the left's traditional political values when those values potentially clash with Islam.
Ken Livingstone, once the darling of the radical left and a champion of gay rights, has noticeably changed tact during his recent Lord Mayoral campaigning where Muslim votes now carry far more clout that the pink block. The Conservative Party,Livingstone declared in language more suited to the page of Julius Streicher's Der Stürmer, was 'riddled with people indulging in homosexuality' and further, that some Labour MPs only got their jobs because they were gay.
Then, to further emphasise that he knows which side his bread is now buttered, at a speech delivered at the hardline North Central Mosque, Livingstone stated that he would make London 'A beacon of Islam', saying that if elected Mayor he would:
"…educate the mass of Londoners about Islam….I want to spend the next four years making sure that every non-Muslim in London knows and understands Islam's words and message. That will help to cement our city as a beacon that demonstrates the meaning of the words of the Prophet."
Not to be outdone, George Galloway, the milk-lapping, ex-Labour MP and founder of new political party Respect, who successfully campaigned and won the Bradford West by-election with Muslim support, is not only aggressively pro-Islam, but aggressively boasted of his teetotalism. He was also uncharacteristically quiet on where he stands on gay rights when challenged by activists.
This is a new phase in our slow subjection to Islam and one that could finally wake up the mass of people to the threat posed by it to their cherished liberal democracy. However, for most people criticism of Islam is, as Gerald Kaufman so effectively said twenty years ago, a form of Paki-bashing and as such is still an anathema. Also people generally opt for a quite life and are more likely to begin accommodating their lifestyles with the changes creeping Islamification brings in its wake rather than manning the barricades or going on EDL marches.
We can expect to see more politicians becoming apologists and converts to Islam, more shops and public meeting places becoming Islam-lite as they seek, not just the Islamic pound, but more importantly, Islamic approval. Equally interesting will be the shift of alignment as gay issues begin to lose their political kudos and the language of women's rights changes, as it already is. Recently the hijab has been described as 'liberating' and 'empowering' by female journalists trying to understand its growing use by female converts, further some Western commentators have said that arranged marriages work and that genital mutilation should not only be referred to as genital augmentation to avoid giving offence, but that clitoridectomies should be performed on the NHS as they would be done anyway.
Apologism will be the new radicalism and, as demonstrated by the words of the Marxist activist and multicultural champion Tariq Ali which he wrote in the days immediately following the London tube bombings, fighting these views will soon be akin to heresy and probably just as dangerous. The alternative is, as withStockholm Syndrome, that we come to love our oppressors...
'In the face of terror attacks Anglo-Saxon politicians mouth the same rhetoric. One sentence in particular--shrouded in layers of untruth--is constantly repeated: 'We shall not permit these attacks to change our way of life.' It is a multi-purpose mantra. The first aim is to convince the public that the terrorists are crazed Muslims who are bombing modernity/democracy/freedom/ 'our values', etc. This is the first lie…'
Tariq Ali, after the London tube bombings in which 48 innocent Londoners were murdered and dozens more maimed and injured.