Tuesday, May 16, 2006

George Weigel on two cultures in Europe

George Weigel writing in Commentary on the two cultures in Europe - moral relativism meets religious absolutism.

My take? Guess who wins? Victory goes to the most fanatic, because, if nothing else, they have the courage of their convictions. Demography helps - if you have no children of your own, and the children of immigrants are not sufficiently assimilated either in your mind or theirs to count as yours within your political community, then all you are really looking for is a quiet life until your generation dies out. After that, who cares? So go ahead and hound Ayaan Hirsi Ali from your midst as a disturbance to your peace and undercut the genuinely moderate Muslims whose numbers diminish as they realize that your 'neutral' rule of law will not protect them from communal violence whose terms are defined by the group identities of multicultalism rather than the individual identities of liberalism. God, the Dutch turn out to be such cowards! Go on, tell yourself that all your multicultural surrenders aren't really surrenders, they are just expressions of your higher multi-culti morality and compassionate respect for all religions - well, not Catholicism, of course, or Christianity, but religions whose adherents have a nasty tendency to express themselves by riot and violence when they don't like something, calling to behead those whose views they disagree with while intoning that theirs is a religion of peace. Peace? On what evidence, pray tell? Don't worry, dear Europe, it's surely not a form of submission. No, it must be an expression of your higher moral character. Well, enjoy your dhimmitude. Last elderly nude sunbather on the beaches of southern Spain as the burkas blossom, be sure to turn out the lights. Allah Akbar? As Christopher Hitchens puts it, no, God is not great.

(Here is the play for contemporary Western Europe - Max Frisch, Biedermann und die Brandstifter.)

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