Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Feeding the Two Far Rights: How Western Leaders Betray Liberal Values

This article also appeared here in Areo Magazine

The President of the United States and leader of the free world, Barack Obama, won't even use the words 'Islamic terrorism' to talk about terrorism that is inspired by a particular version of Islam. Despite warnings from ISIS that it would flood the west with Jihadists, throughout 2015 Angela Merkel along with her Swedish counterparts operated a complete open door policy to people from across the Muslim world to come to the European Union without any effective screening about who we were letting in. This shows a complete lack of concern for the security and well being of European citizens and those deserving refugees and immigrants that most of us welcome to the west.

In 2015 Canada elected as their leader an imbecile who objected to so called honour killings being described as 'barbaric'. Note, it wasn't the act of families killing their daughters to which he chose to focus his objection, but the manner in which it was described. His concern was not to alienate or offend someone from a community where some members believe there are certain conditions when it is justifiable to murder their daughters . As a self declared liberal the focus of his concern should have been the rights of women who are murdered by their families for wanting to exercise their free will.

As a liberal, it angers me that a so called liberal party would elect such a leader like Trudeau, but then again many supposed liberals are nothing more than cultural relativists who in effect believe that liberal values and individual rights should only apply to middle class people of European origin. Persecuted individuals or minorities within minority communities just have to endure barbarity because it's their culture. Well, as an opponent of racism, I don't believe that individuals from non-western and non-European ethnic backgrounds should have less rights than someone from a western, European ethnic background.

As I've said before, I am an anti-racist opponent of ethnic nationalism and a pro-immigration liberal who enjoys living in a multi ethnic society. I agree with taking in quite a few refugees and asylum seekers from both the Islamic world and other parts of the globe, but I believe we should only be allowing in secular Muslims, ex-Muslims, Christians and non-believers all of whom can become active and valuable citizens of our countries. Whilst most Muslims and refugees oppose violent groups like ISIS this doesn't mean that there aren't extremists among the remaining Muslims who oppose ISIS. It comes down to how you define extremism. The alarmingly high rate of support in the Muslim world for the killing of people who wish to leave Islam, as well as for so called honour killings of women, not too mention the support for persecuting those who question or mock religious beliefs is indicative of extremist views being common throughout the Muslim world.

As a liberal and secularist I fully support people's rights to hold socially conservative views. However, we have to distinguish between those socially conservative views that do not affect the rights of other individuals and those socially conservative views that threaten or harm the rights of others. No one who could consistently call themselves a liberal can tolerate socially conservative views that threaten or harm other individuals which is why we need a highly regulated immigration process for people coming from societies where illiberal views are commonly held.

A highly regulated immigration system from the Islamic world is good not just for the citizens of western countries, but also for the immigrants themselves, who in time will become citizens of their newly adopted countries. A regulated immigration system ensures that the immigrants arriving can integrate and assimilate and thus acts as an antidote to anti-immigrant hostility as people can see that the newcomers do not oppose the values of the societies to which they have come .By not thoroughly screening people before we allow them to enter our societies western leaders are playing in to the hands of the indigenous far right who oppose all immigration.

In order to preserve the values of liberal democracies that cherish individual freedoms, we must ensure that the people we allow to come and live among us fully subscribe to the liberal values of freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and the rights of the individual. After all, it took us centuries to wrestle these freedoms from the Christian churches in Europe so why would we import people with extremist socially conservative views who are opposed to those very hard won freedoms?

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