Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to Support Multiculturalism in Developing Countries

The answer, apparently, is you don't, or can't.

Dudes in Pakistan: Our allies in the war on terrorism? Maybe not these guys.

Michael Tomasky of the Daily Beast gets the right message from the Ben Affleck-Bill Maher face-off on Real Time. Can we in the developed world, where there is an infrastructure for multicultural acceptance and tolerance, support the view that other cultures have a right to their particular cultural views? Theoretically, but, er...

Affleck might think that we need to respect Islam as a world religion in order to be "liberal," but when Islam is used to suppress freedoms the West takes for granted, how "liberal" is he being? Whose human rights are we furthering when we grant developing nations the right to be seriously fucked up in the name of multiculturalism?

Interesting stuff. Foundational, even.

Note. Humanists like me have serious trouble with Christians who distort Christ's message. Sure, in Christ's day, women had extremely limited rights, but a reading of the Sermon on the Mount, for example, as well as other passages in the New Testament make it clear Christ was departing from the views of the Palestine in which he was formed. Now, American Christians hold "Christian" views that suppress women, oppress them, actually. How are these Christians superior to Muslims in much of the developing world?

Supporting multiculturalism doesn't excuse oppressive Christians in the West, nor does it offer shelter for Muslims whose treatment of women should be roundly condemned.

In other words, saying respect for diversity means they get to treat their women badly. No, it doesn't!

Note 2. My first note should not be construed to mean I focus on fundamentalist religionists' treatment of women. It's only an example. There is much to condemn whenever and wherever violence and repression exist in the world. Religions, however, do cause much of the world's problems. Then, of course, there's wealth and money.

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