Multiculturalism a vague concept for West

Published: Friday 15 September 2006

-- holocaust-denial laws are the ultimate bunkum. Just think about it. The state of Israel has used the history of the Nazis to perpetrate untold miseries on the Arab world. This is not a rant. Think about recent history. The Western powers divided west Asia, creating Israel, a Jewish oasis in an Arab world -- the implicit logic goes back to really ancient history. The Arabs were not consulted, nor, to be fair, were the Jews. What diplomats took recourse to, in the fallout of the war, was millenarian theories of what constituted the geopolitics of west Asia. Unfortunately, like most colonial powers they got it completely wrong. As they did in the Balkans.

Today, unfortunately, we live in a unipolar world. Even more unfortunate is the fact that this world is ruled by a cretin called George W Bush. Dubya is notorious for his 'witticisms', which are conspicuous by being devoid of any wit, as most people understand it.That does not include Margaret Thatcher's spiritual heir, Tony Blair. When the Lebanon affair took over, we were told two Israeli soldiers were abducted. This invited a barrage of monumental proportions, in which thousands of Lebanese were killed, after the Hizbullah had disposed Israeli troops from Lebanon. Beirut, the Paris of the east, the most cosmopolitan city in the region, has once again been razed. Who is to blame? Hizbullah or Israeli hawks?

As far as we can see, the answer is clear. Israel took the level of hostilities to an unacceptable level. It also blocked the clearing of an oil slick for days. People died, the environment was badly affected -- an oil slick, for instance, could not be cleaned up because Israel continued its bombardment of Lebanon. Who allowed this to happen? The us and its allies, mainly the uk. Both countries have vilified a community, British and American Muslims, in the name of the war on terror, without taking heed of larger ideas of multicultural assimilation. The point is, for instance, in countries like the us and the uk, both countries that have implicit theocratic structures, assimilation means minorities having to kowtow to the dominant ethos. That is not how multicultural societies work. Or for that matter how the global order should function. As long as the us and Israel's unilateral 'initiative' continues unchecked, the 'war on terror' will continue to be a meaningless shibboleth.

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