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Left doesn't own the fight against racism

  • 15 November 2016


Nations like the US, UK and Australia have for decades been characterised by high immigration. Multiculturalism and cultural diversity aren't mere bureaucratic buzzwords. They represent the status quo to be preserved in the absence of compelling reasons.

Cultures of both the majority hosts and minorities inevitably adapt to each other by a process of gradual osmosis.

But many western conservatives are abandoning their traditional embrace of diversity in favour of populist monoculture. In the US, the Trump government includes members of the 'alt right' who embrace notions of white 'identity' and white 'civilisation'.

Members of the alt right reject multiculturalism and other forms of 'political correctness', often using provocative, racist, anti-Semitic, violent and misogynistic language that make Trump's own campaign pronouncements look tame.

Alt right thinking and its Hansonist/Reclaim Australia equivalents go beyond emphasising economic sovereignty and rejecting free trade and globalisation. This may be an extension of the Huntington 'Clash of Civilisations' thesis, the idea that the 21st century will be characterised by a clash between western civilisation on the one hand and Islamic and/or Confucion civilisation on the other.

American jurist Matha Nussbaum, in her book The Clash Within, argues that 'the real clash is not a civilisational one between "Islam" and "the West", but instead a clash within virtually all modern nations — between people who are prepared to live with others who are different, on terms of equal respect, and those who seek the protection of homogeneity, achieved through the domination of a single religious and ethnic tradition'.

So how do we collectively fight the scourge of cultural totalitarianism? Perhaps if I may, I will share something from my ancestral tradition.

Before claiming prophethood at age 40, Muhammad was a humble illiterate merchant in Mecca, a large city in the Arabian desert whose main sources of income were pagan pilgrimage and the trade it generated. Arabian society was organised into clans and tribes who often settled disputes using war. There was no royal family, no king, no independent courts or judiciary. The only source of justice was revenge by your own tribe or one which adopted you.


"If those who would embrace the campaign rhetoric of Trump and Hanson wish to threaten our diversity, it would only be through building broad alliances that the threat can be met."


In his biography Muhammad: His Life Based On The Earliest Sources, English writer and scholar Martin Lings writes that 'in Arabia there was no comparable system of