Friday, June 09, 2006

Ok, I'll explain further

After the arrest of the 17 terrorist suspects in Canada last week, there was a surprising amount of static in the airwaves and over the net blaming multiculturalism at least in part for the terrorist threat that we now seem to face. This prompted me to express my thoughts on the matter in this post, which received one rebuke which I felt deserved a reply.

What a terrible article. You made the hypothesis that multiculturism is not the problem. Instead, you suppose that ignorance is the problem, but you never proved that.

Fair enough; you're entitled to your opinion. I'll concede that I didn't explain in detail how ignorance manifests itself in terrorist activity, or any of the other ills that I claim are similarly resulting from ignorance. For that matter, using the term ignorance is somewhat vague, so in an effort to explain further, I should probably start by defining what I mean by 'ignorance':

ignorance n : the lack of knowledge or education.
Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University (from

To be honest, when I'm referring to ignorance, I'm talking about a broader concept that just this definition would imply. Maybe Charles Dickens would have believed in his time that given enough knowledge or education, then ignorance would cease to be a problem or could be erased from the human brow; unfortunately, in this day and age that doesn't appear to be the case.

The problem isn't so much ignorance itself, but rather the ignorance that results in a callous or malicious disregard and/or disrespect for the dignity, rights and/or physical safety of others.

At this point, I could start writing tomes how this definition of ignorance applies to religious extremism, racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. I might have to come back to this in another post...

My problem with multiculturism is how intolerant it is. Gone is Merry Christmas which has been replaced with Season's Greetings. Gone is the Christmas tree which has been replaced with the holiday tree. There are many more examples of how intolerant others have been toward the dominant Christianity in the name of multi culturism. How does that generate peace and harmony?

What is causing you this grief isn't multiculturalism, but rather political correctness. The two are sometimes considered connected, but if you read the two links, you'll have a better understanding of the difference between them. I'm not totally keen on political correctness myself, but I still try to be respectful towards others in my choice of words and use of language. Suffice to say, in my house it's still a Christmas tree, and nobody has demanded that I call it otherwise.

I would like to read your opinion on the issue of what the true problem is that is facing liberal democracies. I would also like to see some examples to back that up.

Well, the problem de jour which has precipitated this exchange is terrorism. Did you need an example of terrorism, or how it's related to ignorance? I honestly feel both are self evident, but here goes:

Terrorism n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

The definition of terrorism pretty much says it. In a society that guarantees the rights and freedoms of all, the use of terrorism over open disscussion or debate is unnaceptable. Ok?

On another note, taking one of your examples, I would like to know how feminists insulting the work of stay-at-home moms did not contribute to misogyny.

You've misquoted my example, but instead of "equal rights" you've substituted "feminists insulting the work of stay-at-home moms." It boggles the mind sometimes. I'd like to leave it to the links for explaining women's rights in society. Your question is more related to the different perspectives of the role of women in society (with the use of the word 'insulting' giving a slight clue as to your point of view).

Without know exactly what you mean by the use of the term 'insulting' I can't really answer your question properly; did you mean to imply that the feminist movement's insistance on equal rights is an insult to the work of stay at home moms, or are you referring to a specific incident or insult that I am not aware of?

Your question reminds me of another similiar type of arguement, which is equally fallacious: "attractively dressed women provoke sexual assault." The point is, whether demanding fair treatment or dressing in an attractive manner, there is no justification for hatred or violence against women. In these cases, hatred and violence are choices made by people, who should know better.

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