By Gina Liggett
For years Islamic thugs have threatened, intimidated or killed those who exercise the fundamental free speech rights that exist in Western culture. Witness Salman Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, and most recently the creators of the spare-nobody satirical cartoon, "South Park," whose program was recently censored by a trembling network over an innocuous depiction of the prophet, Mohammed.
Islamists have gotten away with bullying the West not only by their own methods of persecution and murder, but by using a tool delivered on a silver platter by the West whom they long to destroy: the idea of multiculturalism.
What is multiculturalism? A dictionary definition is: "the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation."
As a case in point, Australian Supreme Court Justice Spigelman is in a conflicted twist because there are no laws in Australia to address the very-Islamic practices of forced marriage (in which child brides are forced to marry older men) and honor killings (of women and girls for "crimes" like being raped or seeking a divorce).
Justice Spigelman said, "There is a fundamental conflict between a human rights approach to these matters, on the one hand, and the tolerance of cultural traditions, based on the assumption of an equality between cultures on the other hand...There is no way of avoiding the dilemma arising from this conflict of values."
The hell there isn't! Britain outlawed forced marriage in 2005. Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (which lobbied for the law), said "Multiculturalism does not mean accepting the unacceptable." Voila! Conflict gone!
If Justice Spigelman still can't give up the notion of "equality between cultures," let's put into concrete terms what the "tolerance of cultural traditions" might mean if forced marriage were permitted in a Western country. Take an example from Yemen. That tribal, Islamic country's most influential Muslim cleric called for massive protests against a proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage to 17. The proposed law was drafted in response to the brutally forcible sex by a 23-year-old husband with his 13-year-old bride, who consequently bled to death.
The sheik Adbul-Majid al-Zindani said a ban on child brides "threatens our culture and society and spreads immorality."
Is this the kind of "equality between cultures" that Spigelman has in mind? According to some theories of the value of multiculturalism, the enslavement and rape of girls codified in a barbaric version of "marriage" would necessarily be permitted.
How about if "honor killings" were legalized in Australia out of respect for "cultural tradition"? Maybe there would be cases like a recent one in Turkey, where a two-day-old infant girl was murdered because her mother gave birth out of wedlock, considered a dishonor to the family. Even though predominantly-Muslim Turkey has been under pressure to curb honor-killings in its quest to join the European Union, it is a tradition still widely practiced, particularly in rural and poor areas.
Spigelman's "fundamental conflict" is this: he and other multiculturalists are unwilling to declare there are cultures objectively more conducive to human life than others. A secular Western society that protects the fundamental individual rights of its citizens is more human-life-enhancing than an atavistic, savage culture that represses, tortures and kills in the name of a religion.
The West has groveled to Islamic bullying over freedom of speech and other fundamental rights long enough. Just because Islam is the one religion that considers itself far above criticism or debate of any kind, doesn't mean that Western society should keep cowering in fear, as we have done since the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979.
In the words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, interviewed by CNN about the "South Park" issue: "as a society we have to take them on."
In addition to such bold freedom-of-speech challenges like "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day," we must also draw a permanent line in the sand: Western society will simply not allow violations of individual rights in the name of Islam or any other religion! Period!
The Islamist bully can just take his silver stick to the corner of the playground and "stick it"!