(An address to the Preserving Western Civilization conference held in Baltimore, February 6-8 2009)
We are talking here about Western Civilization, and one of the hallmarks of our heritage starting in ancient Greece is Progress—we place a high value upon improvement in science, government and human welfare.
By contrast, another culture in the Clash of Civilizations—Islam—believes that its founder Mohammed was the perfect man who transcribed the word of God with no mistakes, so progress is not needed because nothing needs fixing. Any problems can be solved by being more like Mohammed—which explains Muslims' devotion to customs like child marriage. Mohammed married Aisha when she was six and had sex with her when she was nine. So the behavior persists throughout the Islamic world because they think nothing is wrong with it.
Now that Western Civilization is under attack by immigration and the corollary ideology multiculturalism, it would be wise to investigate the symptoms throughout society.
The status of women should be understood as the canary in the coal mine of Western Civilization, as the leading indicator of fairness, social equality and general progress. If you want to measure the invasion of the false ideology of multiculturalism in a western society, look at women's rights and safety.
Of course there are bad effects in the lives of real women which should not be forgotten either, and the loss of freedoms has begun in parts of Europe and in America too.
The last decades have brought historically unprecedented progress in America and Europe for women. In America, the long slog from 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for voting rights culminated in the 19th Amendment in 1920. Since then, women have made remarkable strides toward normal opportunities in society, from being accepted as rock musicians to being allowed to participate in competitive athletics like marathons.
Back in Victorian times it was believed that women were delicate creatures incapable of physical exertion. My favorite great athlete no one has ever heard of is Pam Reed, an AZ housewife who twice won the Badwater ultramarathon, a 135-mile race starting in Death Valley below sea level and finishing on Mt Whitney at over 8,000 feet..
Sadly, what we see is the rolling back of progress made by women in a bad trade for "diversity". The reason for that is that new immigrants and illegal aliens come from anti-woman cultures, from Mexico to China, India and the Middle East. Almost none of the newcomers are European or Anglophone.
It's foolish to believe that progress only moves forward—ground can be lost, and has. We can see that by what has happened in Europe, where European women are told by elites to dress modestly in order not to arouse the Muslim immigrants. When European women are savaged by Muslim rape gangs, the victim is often blamed.
Here in the United States, there's little public concern that women's rights and safety could be eroded. Under ordinary conditions, women's social position as equal members of society appears assured after a century and a half of struggle.
But these are not normal times. Nearly all of the millions of post-1965 legal immigrants and illegal aliens come from cultures where women are by no means equal, either under the law or within society.
Are women in America already on a downward arc because of misogynous immigration and multiculturalism? It's quite possible. But there's no recognition of the problem, much less help in the offing, either from Washington or from Establishment liberal feminists, who remain strangely attached to multiculturalism in spite of the ideology's innate conflict with women's rights. How could anyone look at women's lives around the world and believe all cultures are morally equal?
The worst places in the misogynous Third World revel in cruelty and discrimination.
In 2002, 15 schoolgirls in Saudi Arabia died in a burning building when religious police prevented their escape because they were not properly veiled according to Islamic standards. Police from the Commission for the Prevention of Vice were seen beating girls trying to escape the flames.
More recently, fundamentalist Muslims in Basra used increased freedom in a campaign of terror against women. More than a hundred women were murdered in 2007, 79 for violations of Islam and 47 in honor killings, according to a UN humanitarian group.
Not only is immigration the new way of war, it is also the spearpoint of the attack on Western civilization's tradition of liberty and individual freedom.
As Bernard Lewis noted in a 2007 speech:
"In the eyes of a fanatical and resolute minority of Muslims, the third wave of attack on Europe has clearly begun. We should not delude ourselves as to what it is and what it means. This time it is taking different forms and two in particular: terror and migration. [...]
In earlier times, it was inconceivable that a Muslim would voluntarily move to a non-Muslim country."
Of course the reason many are coming is to be colonists for Allah and build the worldwide caliphate, not as immigrants to join the communities of Britain or France or America.
One of the most worrying trends is how quickly women's rights are discarded by host First World societies in the name of multiculturalism. A controversy blew up in Britain in Feb 2008 when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, urged implementation of Islamic sharia law in order to "maintain social cohesion" in Britain's rapidly diversifying society. It was a sad example of the willingness of Establishment elites to eliminate western legal protections for women in order to appease Muslim immigrants.
For all the weakness in Britain's cultural resolve in recent years, however, the negative reaction to the Archbishop was intense and widespread. Willams' predecessor Lord George Carey said it would be a disaster for Britain to accept sharia, and there were calls for the Archbishop to resign, although of course he didn't. Perhaps the slumbering British people have finally awakened to the threat within.
We can hope.
In Scandinavia over the past decade or so, rapes against European women have exploded. In 2001, Oslo professor Unni Wikan lectured her fellow Norwegian women that the "Muslim rape wave" against them was their fault. She said that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes". The professor did not call for violent criminal aliens to shape up. Instead, she said that "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it".
Now about the burqa. It is characterized by Muslims as a garment designed to preserve women's modesty and to prevent undue excitement in random males. It is clearly not that. If modesty were truly the object, then it would not be necessary for burqas to be identical. Families or clans could have their own unique designs, as villages do in Ireland with traditional sweaters. But burqas are a fabric prison made to squash individual identity—as befits a culture that embraces polygamy, in which women are easily replaceable parts. In addition, burqas do not have a mouth hole, so women are expected to neither eat nor speak.
Under Islam, a woman is a lesser being by law and custom. A woman's testimony in court is worth half of a man's. Women are entitled to only half the inheritance that men receive. If a woman accuses a man of rape, she must have 4 witnesses on her side to be considered.
Muslim men may have up to four wives, but Muslim women can't have four husbands. Women are property and are treated as such. A man can divorce a wife merely by saying "I divorce you" three times—an invocation called "talaq"—and the new technology makes it even easier because he can text those words to his wife, and doesn't even need to face her. I'm happy to report that last May, a Maryland Court of Appeals unanimously disallowed the practice as contrary to the state constitution in which men and women have equal rights.
However for women, divorce is very difficult, complicated and expensive to obtain.
Women's behavior in Islamic society is highly controlled. Even the suggestion of sexual misbehavior often results in a so-called honor killing to cleanse the family reputation. If a man has a dream that a woman in his family is acting in an unacceptable way, that too is an excuse for honor killing.
The basis of multiculturalism is the idea that every culture is equally worthy of our respect. But the briefest examination of women's lives around the world shows that idea to be a complete lie. What American father would want his daughter to marry a Saudi or Pakistani man and live in that culture?
A British study was released in 2008 that opens a window on the stunning extent of Islamic violence against women in the west.
It warned that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the "honor" of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest. The British police estimate 17,000 women are victims every year.
Another problem is the prevalence of cousin marriage. The Daily Mail profiled one young woman who wants to lead an ordinary life as an individual of the West, Britain-born Khadeda Begum who was forced to marry her cousin.
She said: "Virtually every Asian girl I have ever met has an arranged marriage and the vast majority of them are to their cousins."—even though "It is well known within the community that such marriages do produce deformed babies."
Islam and Western civilization do indeed clash, because of the many irreconcilable cultural differences. The truth is that spineless Western leaders fear violence from perpetually offended sons of Allah, like the worldwide swath of rioting that killed over 100 during the infamous Danish cartoon jihad. If Muslims become so angered at a few drawings, imagine the results if they couldn't batter their wives.
And Islamic scripture approves of abusing women. As JihadWatch's Robert Spencer observed online, "Wife-beating exists in all cultures, but only in Islam does it enjoy divine sanction."
Is this the kind of diversity we should welcome?
Whenever sharia law pops up, as it increasingly does where there are Muslim immigrants, Muslim women are often the ones who beat it back because they have the most to lose. In 2003, Muslim men in Ontario tried to get sharia law into arbitration courts, in an incremental stealth strategy. At first, the liberal tolerance police thought incorporating other legal systems would be a fine idea. But women and others organized and were successful in defeating the proposal—after a struggle lasting a couple of years.
Britain has been a poster child for the unwise choice of immigrants, and then coddling them rather than making them behave. But America is not far behind, though we are somewhat luckier in geography—if being the neighbor of Mexico can ever be called fortunate.
The same crimes and social pathology are beginning to appear here as in Eurabia, because Muslim immigration is on the upswing:
• Two bright high school girls were murdered in Texas in December 2007 by their Egyptian father in an apparent honor killing.
• In New York City, an estimated 80 percent of Pakistani marriages are determined by parents, with young girls "violently forced to return to their homeland for arranged marriages".
• An Ethiopian man residing in Georgia, Khalid Adem, was found guilty in 2006 of committing FGM on his baby daughter. He was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 15 years in prison.
Is this the future we want for America—Londonistan-style gender segregation, violence and murder? A "Muslim rape wave" like Scandinavia?
It's like shooting fish in a barrel to say Islam is horrible to women. They are the undisputed champs.
However, some of the more "desirable" immigrants on the pro-progress scale are misogynous. Chinese immigrants are widely seen as a "model minority." Of course, unpleasant facts about Chinese (or any of our government-imported diverse cultures) don't advance the multicultural agenda of the elite MSM, so they get little attention. Instead we only hear cheerful achievement stories.
And in many ways the Chinese are indeed exemplary. As a group, they are hard working, academically accomplished and materially prosperous.
Indeed, their success shows how important culture is among immigrants. Asian youngsters can come knowing little English, but graduate from high school and go on to college. Forty-eight percent of Chinese living in America hold a bachelor's degree or better.
The campus of UC Berkeley now looks a lot like Chinatown due to the increased number of studious Asian immigrants to California: the New York Times called the campus "overwhelmingly Asian."
At the other end of cultural scale for educational achievement are Mexican immigrants—half of whom do not graduate from high school. Chinese students' success proves that Mexican failure is not the fault of American schools.
Furthermore, global IQ testing shows Chinese to be among the smartest people on earth.
So what's not to like about Chinese?
Maybe their culture is not entirely admirable. And seven out of 10 Chinese counted in the 2000 U.S. Census were foreign born, so it's not surprising that their China customs hold strong.
Despite many areas of agreement, the meeting of China and the West is not a perfect fit by any means. As usual, diversity promises more than it delivers.
Arguably one of China's worst affronts to human rights is its treatment of women and girls. Its one-child policy, a massive social engineering project meant to prevent another famine by curbing population growth, amounts to state-sanctioned infanticide. If a couple can only have one offspring, Chinese culture dictates that valued males should be kept and despised females should be aborted or killed at birth.
This program has eliminated tens of millions of girls. Had those fetuses turned out to be boys, they would have been allowed to live.
In 2001, the BBC reported on a Beijing woman who had rescued five infant girls out of trash containers. The babies had been thrown away alive by parents who were disappointed that their newborn was not a boy.
In 2006, CBS' Sixty Minutes reported on the social implications of the one-child policy. With more than a billion people, China has too many men. According to the latest census, an average of 120 boys are born for every 100 girls, the greatest imbalance in the world. As correspondent Lesley Stahl reported, the root of the problem is a traditional preference for sons: in China, as in other Asian countries, it is sons, not daughters, who usually take care of their parents in old age.
As a result, number crunchers forecast a near future in which 15 percent of Chinese males will be bachelors.
Another eye-opening number: "As many as 40 million men will be permanent bachelors" within 15 years, according to the Chinese government. Other researchers believe that demographic trend—known as "bare branches"—has "played a role in aggravating societal instability, violent crime and gang formation."
Perversely, the scarcity of females adds to their value but only in a financial sense. Reflecting the much-touted Chinese gift for entrepreneurship, the kidnapping and sale of women as brides has blossomed. In the countryside, arranged marriages are still common. Women are essentially bought by the groom's family, and consequently are often treated as property. Certainly Chinese women are not feeling the love, as measured by the high suicide rate: according to the BBC, a Chinese woman kills herself every four minutes and ten times that number attempt suicide every year.
Chinese use sex selection techniques in the United States, even though they can have as many children as they want. What they don't want is girls. In 2001 the New York Times reported on a gender-selection clinic right in Manhattan's Chinatown that catered to Chinese and Indian immigrants who want male children.
More recently, researchers have examined birth records in places in Santa Clara County in California showing that Asian mothers are more likely to give birth to sons than white or Latino mothers are. An upcoming analysis of the data by a University of Texas economist estimates there were 2,000 "missing girls" between 1991 and 2004 among immigrant families from China and India living in the U.S.—children never born because their parents chose to have sons instead.
"Missing girls" in America—another symptom of diverse immigration!
At least the practice of foot-binding little girls' feet to cripple them has died out for good. Hopefully.
When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western Civilization, he famously answered, "I think it would be a good idea."
Gandhi assumed India's moral superiority over the West despite his nation's wide array of cruel social norms, from bride burning to the still-existing caste system, a racial social stratification in which those on the bottom are sometimes called "untouchables" (aka "dalits"). But Gandhi and many after him apparently believed that India's supposed spiritual heritage outweighs this rather serious deficit on the side of social justice, particularly regarding women's rights.
The internet may be widely available for the middle class in today's India. But cows and untouchables remain, along with the usual assortment of Third World dysfunctions, from the subjugation of women to the high incidence of child labor, continuing religious violence and widespread poverty.
Here in the United States, Indian immigrants have a reputation as being a model minority who have above-average incomes and education. Some among them say openly that this will be the Indian century. And with greater wealth due to the outsourcing of American technology has come the desire to erase the tacky images of bovine creatures roaming city streets.
In 2005, the Washington Post reported an Indian immigrant mom who objected to U.S. school materials: "American children will think India is some Third World country with pagan beliefs and backward thinking, not a forward-thinking country," Sandhya Kumar complained.
Frankly, it's hard to regard a country as "forward thinking"—or uniquely spiritual, in the Gandhian view—when it has engaged in an ongoing genocide of females. As in China, males are valued, and females have been killed off through sex-selection abortion and infanticide. The number of "missing" Indian women and girls is estimated to be 50 million by Oxfam. Nobel-Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen estimated in 1990 that the missing females of Asia numbered 100 million.
Modern technology has made sex selection easy. Many small Indian villages have an ultrasound machine so unwanted female fetuses can be easily detected and discarded. Legal prohibitions against using sex-selection technology are widely ignored and rarely enforced.
India's gender disparity has been rising as a result.
There is some understanding in the public mind that if no one has any girl children then many little boys will grow up to be bachelors. But the old preferences persist, outweighing any rumblings of individual responsibility, so many Indians want someone else to bother with girls, who are seen as more expensive and troublesome. Let Sanjit do it.
The case of Lakireddy Bali Reddy shocked liberal Berkeley a few years ago. Successful immigrant property owner Reddy procured two teenaged sisters from a poor Pratipati family in his hometown, Velvadam India. The two were brought to America through a fraudulent H-1B visa scheme, and one of the girls later died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a malfunctioning heater in one of Reddy's apartments. When the Pratipati sisters were not providing sexual services for the wealthy landlord they were working on Reddy's rental properties. The autopsy of the dead girl, who was believed to be 16 or 17, revealed she was pregnant.
At trial, a cultural defense was employed—that the virtual slavery that the sisters endured at the hands of a powerful man was a social norm of India. But the Alameda County jury nonetheless found Reddy guilty of smuggling illegal immigrants into the country for sexual purposes. The judge sentenced him to eight years in prison, a longer term than the one requested by the prosecutor.
But the caste aspect of the Reddy case was little discussed. Reddy was born into a respected landowner clan—in fact the family name Reddy is a caste—and Pratipati sisters were dalits. So it was perfectly normal for the parents to hand over the girls to him to do with as he pleased. In India, members of the landlord class get to do what they want with their social inferiors and no one complains. "He's god in my village," the mother said about Reddy after the death of her daughter.
Another Reddy victim, a 20-year-old who shared the fateful apartment with the Pratipati sisters, told federal investigators her father had sold her to Reddy because of economic hardship when she was 14. Some reports allege the Pratipati sisters were purchased by Reddy.
Other forms of slavery, including indentured servitude of children and adults, are also accepted as normal in India. The World Bank estimates 44 million children, aged 5-14, work in India.
Such attitudes are part of traditional Hindu culture that believes that you are born into the appropriate social class because of your karma, resulting in punishment or reward for actions in previous lifetimes. Dalits are regarded as deserving their sorry state. While dalits as a whole have bettered their social standing in the last few decades—there was even a dalit president, KR Narayanan, from 1997 to 2002—the old prejudices are hard to eradicate, particularly in the countryside. In tech-hip Bangalore, dalits do the jobs higher-caste Indians don't want to do, e.g. the nightly cleaning of toilet pits, until 2003 when machinery was introduced. Of course, a female dalit is lower than low, so it's not surprising that "Gang rapes are mostly of Dalit women" according to Human Rights Watch.
One might think that India's increasing modernization would improve the status of women. But in one way at least economic improvement has contributed to more murders. While some retro customs are dying out in the cities, the new consumerist urge reportedly fuels the increasing number of "dowry murders" occurring in well-to-do families as well as among lower classes. It is a speedy way for a young man's family to acquire cash and desired consumer goods. Woe to the young woman whose family doesn't cough up.
"Ranjana Kumari, who runs seven domestic violence refuge centers for women in Delhi, believes up to 70 cases a month are linked to rows over dowry. 'Sometimes women are tortured to squeeze more money out of their families and in extreme cases they're killed. Then the husband is free to remarry and get another dowry', she told the BBC. " [India's dowry deaths, BBC, July 16, 2003].
Many Americans learned about India's increasingly extortionist dowry customs when Sixty Minutes featured the story of a young Indian woman, Nisha Sharma, in 2003. After her family had put itself into serious debt for the dowry prior to marriage, Nisha stopped the wedding when her future mother-in-law demanded an additional $25,000 as the ceremony was about to begin. A shoving match between the families ensued and Nisha called the police to prevent more havoc.
But instead of being condemned, Nisha has received kudos from women's groups, offers of marriage and an appearance on Oprah. Indians' positive reaction to Nisha's repudiation of dowry is one small sign of genuine progress beyond the much celebrated increase of information technology.
Women face accusations of witchcraft in rural India where they may be tied to a tree and beaten up. The old superstitions live on in the countryside: the weather or someone's bad luck may be blamed on a woman of low status.
The odd and objectionable cultural practices of Indians may not seem important when millions of Mexicans are turning the Southwest into a colony of their homeland. But the 2005 Census count of India-born immigrants was 2,319,222—a not-insubstantial number.
India has gotten a free ride from cultural critics. While Islamic societies are rightly condemned for their brutality toward women, India has been given a pass even though its misogyny is in some ways even worse. Even the demonstration by Nobel-prize-winning economist Amartya Sen that tens of millions of women and girls are missing from India has found little attention among those who claim to value human rights.
Unfortunately the biggest immigrant contributor to America is Mexico. Not only is Mexico wildly corrupt, torn by violent crime and has a bias against education, the customs around women and girls are retro, to say the least.
Mexican men have a reputation for leering and worse at little girls, which shouldn't surprise us, since sex with children is socially acceptable in Mexico. In many locales, the legal age of consent is 12.
Fifteen-year-old girls have a ceremony called a quinceañera which announces their availability to become wives, mothers and girlfriends. In America, children of that age are expected to complete three more years of high school, to be followed hopefully by a college education. But in Mexico, young girls are considered available, according to law and custom.
One Mexican, Diego Lopez-Mendez, pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl in West Virginia, with a not-uncommon excuse that child sex is normal among his people.
"In the pueblo where I grew up girls are usually married by 13 years old....I was unaware of the nature of the offense or that it was a bad crime", said Lopez through the translator.
In Greenfield CA—80 miles south of San Jose—a Mexican man recently sold his 14-year-old daughter to a neighbor in exchange for $16,000 and 160 cases of beer plus other beverages. Both men were of the Triqui tribe of Oaxaca, where accepted customs include the paying of a of Bride Price, and another called "me la robo" which consists of kidnapping the desired female, raping her and then negotiating with her parents about marriage. In addition, some Triqui men practice polygamy and have up to SEVEN wives, which makes Mohammed look like a piker.
These aspects of Mexican cultural diversity should make us think twice about welcoming virtually unlimited numbers of Mexicans into our society. It does not benefit us. It certainly does not benefit the safety and social standing of women.
When I hear that the West, particularly Europe, has "lost its confidence" I'd like to remind them what the alternative is. People need to vacation in Saudi Arabia and immerse themselves in Islamic diversity for a little review and Snap Out Of It.
Certainly there is whole lot wrong in the West at the present time, with the economy being looted by powerful elites at will. We are in danger of becoming a feudalist planet, run by powerful corporations and fawning liberal globalists who are willing to bend with the wind.
France was rescued from German fascism 60 years ago, only to welcome a more stealthy enemy after the war—Muslim immigrants. Of course, no one in Europe voted to welcome millions of hostile Sons of Allah—the elites did that, for the old cheap-labor dodge.
In 2005 there was a report about France after the weeks-long nightly riots by Muslim "youth" that described elderly French ladies in Normandy (who likely lived through D-Day) fear Muslim boys from the local school.
"EVREUX, France—Three white-haired women stood before the burnt wreckage of their beauty salon, reminiscing about the days when they still felt safe walking the streets of this Normandy town after dark.
" 'We were happy here,' said one of them, an 80-year-old. 'Now we're afraid.'
"Another looked at her watch and reported it was almost 4:30 p.m. the time that school lets out and when this group of older ladies makes sure they're at home, behind locked doors". [Riots Change Way of Life in Normandy Town, By Jocelyn Gecker, Washington Post, November 9, 2005]
That scene makes the "Fortress America" so derided by internationalists look better all the time.
We Americans share specific values like free speech, individual liberty, personal responsibility, environmental stewardship and gender equality, and do not comprise a "universal" nation as envisioned by Ben Wattenberg and such. Americans gave their lives in war so that we citizens could live in freedom in our sovereign nation, not so Juan and Ahmed could enter at will for easy money or the advance of jihad.
Geography is a lovely antidote to diversity. If members of backward and hostile cultures would stay put we would all be better off, but they don't, and Washington continues to act against the future of the country.
The worst of the worst are headed this way due to the multicultural ideology underpinning US immigration policy, as well as the Refugee Industrial Complex keeping itself employed.
In fact, diversity is so extreme that Washington doesn't even bar criminal cultures like that of Somalia, where 98 percent of residents practice a form of child torture which is a crime in this country—female genital mutilation (FGM). However, the government does deny access to individual criminals, like Kelbessa Negewo, the convicted Ethiopian Army torturer who was eventually deported.
The State Department works to keep out individual criminal refugees, but entire societies that universally brutalize children are welcomed. Go figure.
Diversity and its political twin multiculturalism are the latest in history's march of wrong and stupid ideologies, following Fascism and Communism in the last century.
Human nature is deeply tribal, and the idea that we can all join hands in peace to live in utopian bliss is foolishness. The idea that just getting to know other cultures should make us more tolerant is a ridiculous supposition. The more I learn about Saudi Arabia, the less I like.
In conclusion, we can have multiculturalism or we can have women's rights and safety—not both.
We should insist upon immigrant assimilation, as we once did.
What we have in the West is worth defending, and we must. A future where traditional freedoms are destroyed is too awful to contemplate.
Brenda Walker (email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two websites, LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She notes the recent birthday (Feb 15, 1820) of voting rights activist Susan B. Anthony. Brenda is quite sure that Anthony would have been horrified by the sight of burqa-imprisoned women walking the streets of America in the 21st century!