For readers familiar with one of the central arguments in Mark Steyn’s America Alone, there was a certain inevitability in the recent story of a judge in Germany who applied Islamic law and the Koran to a case in which she declined to procesute a man was charged with assaulting his wife.
Besides the obvious gloss that the lens of multiculturalism has finally become so clouded by the cataract known as liberalism, Muslim organizations expressed their disapproval by arguing that the judge’s unthoughtful interpretation of the Koran was a major setback to forward thinking Muslims who wish to relegate archaic interpretations to the dustbin of history.
Not unlike Christianity, which has evolved with the times and meticulously reinterpreted many scriptural passages in light of advancement of civil liberties, Muslims on the cutting edge of the movement to disabuse the world that theirs is a religion of hatred and violence should be taken seriously. The judge’s actions, the product of the left’s insipid insistence that we scrupulously adhere to a code that views all religions and cultures as equals, foreshadows the slow but, we can only pray, steady demise of the modern liberal sensibility.
Were Shakespeare writing today, he might be inclined to pen a social comedy that featured a retooling of his famous line from Hamlet: “To judge or not to judge, that is the question,” because therein lies the core of the left’s seamlessly stupid ban on criticizing cultures and religions whose beliefs are fundamentally hostile to the civic advancements of Western civilization.
Indeed, it’s as though in the course of one brief generation nearly every heretofore unquestioned societal construct–unquestioned because they have been so thoroughly tested over centuries in our cultural crucible–has been tarnished, dismissed, or outright abrogated.
The result is that the Western world is fumbling along the path of life sans the civic guideposts and prefabricated cultural contours that lighted the way for numerous generations. However, the judge in Germany may have inadvertently provided just enough cultural kindling to spark a revelation in the collective conscience of our liberal brethren worldwide, demonstrating that there are obvious and irrefutable differences in the world’s cultures and systems of government.
In particular that Western civilization, whose flaws and foibles are many, is yet the best guarantor of individual freedoms and the rule of law, and that succumbing to the temptation to bring a forced parity to all cultures does a profound disservice to the cause of civic progress by obtusely supporting the ill-informed supposition that the theocracies of the Middle East are on a par with the advanced nations of the West.
It also abets the already pronounced tendency of those in the West to look to itself and, most crucially, to America, as the source of ill in the world, when the exact opposite is true.