On the occasions this Devil and the family venture over the water to the Big Island, the instant our plane lands the cubs clamor to stop somewhere for pizza. Despite Tasmania’s reputation as a “foodie destination”, pizza is one delicacy Taswegians just don’t seem to have be able to get either of their heads around.
Anyway, alighting from the plane on our last trip Mainland-wards, we were picked up by a friend who insisted on treating us to the current sensation, a “halal snack pack”.
Now, the meal itself was undeniably delicious, and everything you could ask of a late-night takeaway: hot, greasy, loaded with meat and carbs. But, especially with the lecture that accompanied it, it also embodied everything problematic about Multiculturalism.
“Multiculturalism”, insofar as it is defined at all beyond a comforting buzz-word, can be divided into two broad approaches: “small-m” multiculturalism, and “capital-M” Multiculturalism.
The former is a relatively benign philosophy also known as “interculturalism”. It encourages interaction and exchange between cultures. Think of it as “food and dance” multiculturalism. This was the popular image of benign multiculturalism in the post-War era of mass-migration.
Capital-M Multiculturalism is a very different beast. Instead of assimilation, interaction and exchange, Multiculturalism promotes the segregation of minority cultures and the maintenance of introduced cultures. Its practical expression is identity politics. Worse, it enshrines the post-modernist nonsense of absolute cultural relativism: the idea that no culture is in any way better than another, and no culture can be criticised.
Australian Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge describes Multiculturalism as “a separatist model…where people have sometimes brought their entire practices, language and culture and planted them into the new land…[and] live within a language and cultural bubble”. Capital-M Multiculturalism also demeans Western liberal values, “Hence, it takes years for some Western countries to even take a strong position against something as barbaric as female genital mutilation,” Tudge says.
In the cafe that night, knowing my misgivings about the spread of Islam in the West, our friend tried to tell us that the “halal snack-pack” had “helped defuse a lot of tensions in the community”. Disgraced Labor politician Sam Dastyari peddled this delusion when he publicly invited Pauline Hanson to share a halal snack-pack. As if spooning some meat and sauce over chips was going to magically make it that repeated Islamic terror attacks had ever happened.
But this is the con that the cheerleaders of Multiculturalism constantly try to put on. They pretend that Multiculturalism is multiculturalism. That it’s all just about great ethnic restaurants and colourful costumes. But Multiculturalism is far more insidious than multiculturalism. Rather than diversity and inclusion, Multiculturalism promotes mutual hostility and segregation. “Small-m” multiculturalism also gets abused as a Trojan horse for “capital-M” Multiculturalism. In the case of the halal snack-packs, it becomes a tool of Islamic supremacism.
Along with the “halal snack-pack”, the greasy-spoon cafe trade has almost overnight become dominated by “kebab shops”. “Kebab” is an Arabic word. Kebabs are Islamic cuisine: try ordering a pork kebab and see where it gets you. But the Islamic kebab is also identical, so far as I can tell, to the Greek souvlaki.
In fact, souvlakis are far older, both in history, and in their place in Australian culture. For as long as I can remember, the fish and chip shops and cafes of Melbourne sold souvlaki. But suddenly souvlakis have practically vanished, and kebabs are everywhere. Yet Melbourne is still the most Hellenic city in the world outside Greece. So why have Greek souvlakis been so thoroughly displaced by Islamic kebabs?
Certainly there has been remarkable demographic change in the past few decades, but Melbourne’s Greek community is still as big as it ever was, and roughly equal today with the Muslim community. What we are seeing is yet another example of the aggressive assertiveness and relentless drive toward domination of Islamic culture.
Mark Steyn once remarked, on seeing a hijab-clad Muslim woman passing a condom boutique in Montreal, that “in 30 years’ time, either the Arab lady will still be there, or the condom store, but not both”. As he recently reflected, Steyn was an optimist: in only 15 years the condom boutique has vanished, and hijabs are everywhere.
Like the souvlaki and the kebab, the Steyn’s anecdote illustrates the conflict of multiculturalism and Multiculturalism. Small-m multiculturalism might give you all the diversity you can eat, but capital-M Multiculturalism will eat your Western culture away.