Multi Culture, Mono Narrative

After the cold blooded killing of Curtis Cheng, Tim Soutphommasane, gives us an interesting perspective on why we shouldn’t undermine multiculturalism and how we can respond to “extremism from a position of strength”.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/13/fringe-radicals-cant-undermine-australias-love-of-multiculturalism-unless-we-let-them

The take home message of the article being “It’s time for all good citizens to say that we choose tolerance and unity over bigotry and division.”

This is quite an argument to make, given that a family lost a father, randomly shot by an indoctrinated young man. It may very well be the time for tolerance and unity. But what reasons are we given to be tolerant?

Positives such as “The children of migrants aren’t shut out from opportunity, but on average outperform the children of native-born Australians.”

Is this really a position of strength? Inequalities are frequently cited by leftists as the source of pain and anguish in society. Take for example, the Indigenous. They’ve been fighting for educational equality for some time and it’s no laughing matter. A sizeable portion of their communities aren’t just getting bad marks, they’re illiterate.

So if we’re not convinced by migrants getting good marks, we’re also displayed figures from the centre of multicultural excellence, the Scanlon Foundation. Scanlon tell us that “85% of respondents agreed that multiculturalism is good for the country”.

Assuming that the research coming out of a multicultural foundation for multiculturalism is objective and doesn’t have an agenda, we can’t appeal to the majority for truth. It’s not just wrong. It’s a logical fallacy!

And it certainly doesn’t work the other way, when we’re told “There is a small minority of people who use the Islamic faith to justify acts of terrorism. The vast majority of Muslims in Australia find such a proposition abhorrent.”

The majority is, again, irrelevant. I’m uninterested in people that don’t want to commit acts of terrorism. I’m interested in those that do. So stop muddying the waters.

It’s a strange position to take. The tone of the article is calling for strength and unity in the wake of “fringe groups”. So given Tim’s logic, we’ll happily write off Curtis Cheng’s death as a “challenge” but the minute “fringe groups” speak their mind about Islamic violence this is cause for concern. This is further compounded because Tim exclusively leads into the article with “Thankfully, anti-Muslim protests have not led to any major or serious violence.”

Perplexing. So how exactly does this train of thought come about? Well it seems like you have to believe that free speech constitutes placing restrictions for certain aspects you don’t like. “We value freedom of speech but we also value freedom from discrimination.”

Unfortunately placing any restriction on speech, regardless of whether you feel it to be the right thing to do, invalidates its claim to be free. So no Tim, Australian’s do not value freedom of speech.

Is community harmony more important than ever? And are you sure it’s not time to allow those of us who want to have a frank discussion on multiculturalism? When will the opposing view be heard, without being subjected to accusations based on what might happen, and prejudging the “consequences of what they say”?

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