Posted by: secretperson | February 12, 2008

how do you solve a problem like Sharia?

All credit for the title to Johann Hari in the independent. I am sure someone else must have used this pun – but I appreciate a bit of headline humour and wanted to spread it around.

Also not a bad article, good argument for individualism (which I tend to support) although he does say this

Yet many people feel instinctively uncomfortable when we talk about ditching multiculturalism – for a good reason. The only alternative they are aware of is the old whiter-than-white monoculturalism. This view, voiced most clearly by Enoch Powell and Norman Tebbit, believes that if people are going to live together, they need to look and feel similar, and have a tightly prescribed shared identity. They argue that the number of newcomers should be small, and need to be pressured to assimilate to the 1950s norm of a suburban white family, fast.

Although everyone should be treated as an individual with individual rights, denying that a shared identity is a positive for integration is also wrong. We shouldn’t force an identity on anyone, but multiculturalism is not just a political position – it arises naturally from large numbers of immigrants arriving with their own cultures. Mass immigration presents us with these dilemmas, for little obvious reward. By all means promote individualism but try not to be too scared of being lumped in with Tebbit, assimilation is a positive.


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