“You have to congratulate me,” beamed my smiling Jordanian friend as we shook hands for the first time that day at our workplace in Saudi Arabia.
Why, I asked?
“Because I am getting married” replied Mohammad.
And the lucky girl?
“I don’t know,” he replied, “my mother has not yet found a candidate”.
Like most Australians, I had been fully indoctrinated by the ABC and other leftist “education” agencies to believe that multiculturalism is the only fair and reasonable way to go – anything else must be “racist”, even when race is not the issue. Nevertheless, putting myself in Mohammad’s shoes, I still could not accept the idea of my mother finding a stranger for me to marry. But it got worse, with Mohammad explaining that matchmaking mum planned to seek his spouse from her circle of female friends with daughters of about the right age. Because of restrictions on independent travel, and the need to avoid males, her circle of friends extended all the way to second cousins.
I never mentioned my concerns about his situation to Mohammad, and I had a lot of difficulty in sharing his enthusiasm for the impending nuptials. A few weeks later, however, I had a chance meeting with Ozzie Mohammad, my Australian-Jordanian friend, one of groom-to-be Mohammad’s uncles. Ozzie Mohammad had spent over 20 years in Melbourne, where he raised a family, and was in Saudi Arabia to earn some quick money for a bigger house.
I greeted him: “Hi, Mohammad, have you heard Mohammad’s big news?”
Before I could launch into a troubled rant about archaic, barbaric cultural practices and the abuse of women’s rights, Ozzie Mohammad replied, “Yes, it is great! I have just finished arranging with my wife the marriage of my eldest daughter”.
I was gobsmacked: twenty years in Australia, a man with whom I had had many interesting and intelligent conversations, a 16-year-old girl who knows only Melbourne — none of it made any difference. I did not know what to say, particularly when Ozzie Mohammad conceded that his daughter was not happy. He was confident, however, that “she will find love will grow”.
This was the moment when I first started questioning multiculturalism. Some can accommodate massive contradictions, especially leftists, but I never could. It took no time at all to realise that multiculturalism’s massive contradictions — the tolerance of everything, including intolerance — make it a flawed and completely dangerous concept.
The suppression of women is just the tip of the iceberg, as Islam has many other features that are fundamentally incompatible with the modern West. This includes modern Western socialist societies, but we just have not yet seen the end results.
Unlike most other great religions, Islam does not have a worldwide structure. If Catholic extremists were to start killing non-Catholics and kidnapping hundreds of young girls, we can be sure the Pope would speak against them in an instant. The world would be left in no doubt that the militants did not represent mainstream Catholic views, and we could be just as sure that real Catholics would put themselves on the frontlines, denouncing the radicals and battling to defeat them. I don’t think I am extending the benefit of the doubt in being equally certain that all the other main religions would react in much the same manner. Muslims, however, don’t have a pope or equivalent. We hear much of grand muftis, but their views and edicts are theirs and their supporters alone. With different countries and different muftis of different persuasions subscribing to no officially structured and universally recognised doctrine, Islam is whatever its adherents want it to be — the religion of peace to some, the religion of blow-’em-to-pieces on the other.
This is why, when Boko Haram kidnapped 300 schoolgirls we heard no strong and authoritative Islamic voice condemning the abductions. By contrast, Christianity has been able to knock the rough edges off its Bible (much now regarded as metaphorical), while 1400 years have allowed the Koran to remain as nasty as the mind of its reader. This is why the admonition that “women must be protected” can be taken with equal validity to mean anything from providing a safe and comfortable environment to removing the clitoris with a shard of glass. This is why kaffirs (non-believers) can be treated by the faithful with anything from suspicion, at one end of the scale, to a videotaped head-lopping at the other.
The most recent and stark reminder of multiculturalism’s dangerous stupidity was bared recently in the Rotherham child-rape scandal. Two cultures coincided peacefully in that English town. The first professed to believe that children should not be systematically raped, bought and sold like second-hand soccer balls, turned into zombie sex slaves. The other culture disagreed. Thus was peace maintained by numerous useful idiots, almost all on the public payroll, who thought the term “racist” so dreadful that objecting to the latter culture’s mores, let alone attempting to stop its depredations, was deemed a manifestation of shocking bigotry. For police and local officials it was much easier to mouth multi-culti platitudes and look the other way as more than a thousand girls were raped over the course of a decade. Remember Rotherham the next time you hear some advocate of “tolerance” proclaim that all cultures are equal and deserving of respect.
It is interesting that the same leftist sisterhood which cheered Julia Gillard’s spittle-flecked assault on “misogyny” has barely whimpered about Rotherham’s genuine atrocity. Perhaps they have been too busy attacking the West’s “rape culture” to notice what an actual rape culture looks like. That leftists can’t see this as fundamentally incompatible with their views, astounds me. That non-leftists have gone along with this dangerous nonsense is, well, dangerous – no one else will do anything about it.
Societies composed of many religions and ethnicities can live in peace if everyone is tolerant and willing to learn from, and influence, each other. To invoke a pet-shop metaphor, a fish tank full of guppies and catfish develop a relationship that benefits both: the guppies eat food as it falls to the tank floor while catfish feed from the tank’s floor, processing material that might otherwise putrefy and endanger all the tank’s inhabitants. Similarly, Australia has realised the benefits of Italian, Greek, Chinese, Christian, Hindu, etc., immigration and integration. The culture that existed 100 years ago was influenced and refined by new arrivals and their ways, and one mainstream culture emerged as a result. Now add some fast-breeding Siamese fighting fish to the tank and watch what happens. There will be early tensions, but peace will prevail when the guppies and catfish are gone.
How many third-generation Italian Australians look back and would claim that the culture their grandparents brought to Australia was better than the one in which they were raised? How many Lebanese Christians would agree? But Muslims of any race? Because of the nature of the Koran and the structure (or lack thereof) of the religion, Islam is very hard to modernise, to make compatible with the Western mainstream.
To finish on a happy note, you will be pleased to learn that concerns about Boko Haram’s methods of promoting its take on Islam are best ignored or, better still, dismissed as the product of a giant right-wing beat-up (probably instigated by Tony Abbott to distract voters from his failings as a leader and human). Yes, Boko Haram has butchered quite a few people, but the young girls who survived their abductions saw the error of their ways, converted to Islam, and are now married. Perhaps they too will find that love can grow.
Mahammad Kalifa Al-Kalifa More-Kalifas is still not an Islamic scholar and has no desire to be so qualified. Having observed that violence is the response of some Muslims — quite a few, actually — to an invitation to engage in theological debate, hel lacks the courage to publish this article under his real name