Salman Rushdie Cuts to Chase

Monday, August 29, 2005

Salman Rushdie identified the essence of multiculturalism in an exchange with British MP George Galloway today.

[Galloway] said: "You have to be aware if you do [offend people's beliefs] you will get blowback. You should do it very carefully, especially if you are a public service broadcaster."

"Is that a threat?" asked Rushdie during the debate at the Media Guardian Edinburgh international television festival.

Describing Mr Galloway's argument as "craven", the author said: "The simple fact is that any system of ideas that decides you have to ringfence it, that you cannot discuss it in fundamental terms, that you can't say that this bit of it is junk, or that bit is oppressive ... we are supposed to respect that?"

Perfect! Multiculturalism is the attempt to stifle debate by intimidation sanctimoniously posing as moral virtue.

Ayn Rand, in the Virtue of Selfishness, once identified the argument from intimidation as follows.

[It] consists of threatening to impeach an opponent's character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: "Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X's argument is false."
I think it useful to consider multiculturalism in general as a systematic application of the argument from intimidation against the better elements of Western thought.

Furthermore, Rushdie himself, as a man whose very life has been threatened due to his words, shows us how multiculturalism encourages terrorism. First, it makes some Westerners morally uncertain about condemning terrorism, and so more prone to appease terrorists. Second, multiculturalism impugns the character of those of us who remain unbowed, giving terrorists an excuse to attack us. After all, only an enemy of Islam deserving of death would dare question the divine authority of the Koran.

-- CAV

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