Friday, August 9, 2013
Syrian Refugees, Compassion or Folly
Tolerance and Respect.
Two interesting words: Tolerance indicates fairness towards those people with whom we do not agree while respect indicates deference. As individuals we can agree to practice the former without having any enthusiasm for the latter, but Society is built around the latter and only afterwards reluctantly offers us the former.
In a perfect world, Society would practice both in equal measure. When do conflicts occur? When the laws of society to which we all defer are disconnected from, and the object of alienation for groups, to whom our laws are an unwanted and unwarranted imposition on their beliefs. A multicultural society must be predicated on an assumption of adherence to basic laws; everything else is open to negotiation. For instance, female circumcision, forced and child marriage – are against the core beliefs of our society.
It is not easy living in the twenty-first century. I can be tolerant of Muslims but not of their Israel-centric revanchism. I am uncomfortable with Islam’s institutionalized inequality, its militant imperialism and its insistence that my way of life is inferior. But then, my relationship with patriarchal and hegemonic ultra-orthodox Judaism is also problematic at best. And progressive, pro-Palestinian Christians? They disgust me with their theological and historical revisionism, their antisemitism masked as anti-Zionism.
Our society encourages bigotry. In an interview with al-Jazeerah, the popular Arab television network, the celebrated atheist Professor Richard Dawkins damned the Jewish “god” but when asked by the interviewer about the Islamic “god” refused to be drawn into making a statement. Selective tolerance that demonizes one group while declining to comment on another creates a dynamic between the two groups, in effect, legitimizing violence against followers of the “Jewish God” (which he described as hideous, a monster and ‘the most unpleasant character in fiction’). Professor Dawkins is world renowned; his crime against humanity is therefore all the greater for his cowardice and selective bigotry. His unique incitement against the “Jewish god” makes his crime also, one of antisemitism. But then, selectivity in narrow-mindedness is usually, financially, very profitable, but also prudent in a world that murders Islam’s critics.
Sadly, there is nothing unique about Professor Dawkins lack of moral courage. Those that question the historical basis for the existence of the State of Israel never question the legality of any other state created in the twentieth century. Communists and Socialists fail to acknowledge Israel’s right to exercise a Law of Return even though they are silent on the other twenty six countries that practice the same law. They are silent about the racism inherent within the greater Arab colonial project and shy away from referring to the ethnic cleansing that has always been committed in the name of the Islam.
Israel, it seems, is truly isolated, even without a boycott. With calls to open up the Western world’s borders to Syrian refugees the one issue of which I am truly concerned, is Arab-Muslim intolerance and disrespect. We have enough of it here already and it existed before the Arab-Muslim migration to the West.
Am I being unfair to Syria’s refugees? Britain has been remarkably tolerant of racism and religious bigotry when it was the Jews that were targeted. I cannot trust that my government will look after me. Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada was first arrested in the UK over alleged terror connections in 2001 and he successfully fought deportation from 2005 until 2013. During that time how many minds did this vile creature pollute?
Britain happily excludes those people who might offend Muslims and in recent times has excluded a Dutch member of parliament and two prominent American critics. But Islam’s hatred of “the other” i.e. anyone not blessed with the same beliefs they share, is theological and therefore not subject to change through reasoned debate or palliative legislation.
Europe has no problem recognizing the threat from the right but has been overwhelmingly silent on the horrors committed by the Left and by the terrors perpetrated in the name of Allah. The Left will often react with violence to any attempt at discussing the crimes committed outside of Western Europe, unless, that is, they are the alleged crimes of Israel or the USA. A sinister aspect of this conspiracy is that in order to demonise it, Israel is considered to be a ‘white’ nation. This makes it much less complicated for the hypocrite to damn.
Compassion without fidelity to the law of the land, and passion without respect leads to nihilism. Are we that far off from the experience of France – a country which has not even seriously attempted to crush the malevolent pride of those who celebrate the evil child murderer Mohamed Merah?
Expediency is our enemy. Our borders should be closed for the simple reason that the nation and the continent do not need to import more hate.