Thursday, December 6, 2007

Lessons from a culturist Teddy bear in Sudan

Culturism's definition includes majority cultures having a right to define, protect, and promote themselves. This means Sudan and Britain both do. (Genocide is not part of Sudanese traditional culture - but that argument is not so relevant here). This blog concerns the British teacher who was nearly whipped for naming a Teddy Bear "Muhammed" in Sudan.

Why was this Western teacher in Sudan? Was she trying to win hearts and minds? If so, she was following the multiculturalists refusal to acknowledge diversity. Deep down, multiculturalists say that we are all the same; if she explains the merits of our nuance and they explain the merits of theirs, we can all agree. But because cultural diversity really exists, her attempt to reach common ground did not work. Multiculturalists think diversity is epiphenomenal. Culturism takes diversity seriously.

Sudan is an Islamic nation. Islam has no separation of church and state. It is, as Forest Gump said of Vietnam, this whole other culture. Even if she is just teaching supposedly neutral language skills, does she not realize that literacy in Islamic countries is taught out of the Koran? The purposes and understanding of language are different? Naming a bear Muhammad is not just neutral and cute to them. Cultural differences are real. She should know what side she belongs on. She had no business teaching Muslim children in Sudan.

The Western world has a distinct core culture and tradition. Hopefully you are aware that the Greeks fought the theocratic Persians to safeguard their individualist orientation. Rome spread this vision. Jesus promoted individual salvation. There were the Dark Ages. Christianity helped make the individual conscience sacrosanct. We thus followed Jesus’ “rendering unto Caesar” line to have separation of Church and State. We instituted liberal democracies based on the cultural ideal of the reasoning, conscientious individual. This is not humanity’s historical lineage. It is not the Islamic or Asian vision. It is the Western vision. If you don't believe me click this post's title and think about asking the thousands of Muslims who now want the Teddy teacher killed.

Just as Sudan protects their culture, we need to protect ours. Protecting ours must be done in a way that does not undermine ours. We cannot start killing unbelievers or whipping them as Sudan does; that would destroy our traditions not save them. But not allowing more Muslim immigrants in, as they represent this whole other culture, would not undermine our culture. Muslim countries don’t let us bring in our people or ways. Non-Japanese cannot become Japanese citizens. Other countries use culturist principles to protect their cultural traditions and identity. We also have a right to protect ours. Letting in those who want the Teddy teacher killed may not be a good idea.

Multiculturalists will tell us that the West has no core culture. Britain is a multicultural state with no particular history. While Britain did not fight Muslims as long as the Spanish, they must be aware that Europe and Islam have been combatants for 1400 years. Certainly Britain has some diversity, but it is a Western country. It is not an Islamic nation.

The next time this teacher wants to teach children about Western culture and visions concerning the function of literacy, she should get a job in a Western nation. It will not upset an Islamic nation. It will not blur the lines of sovereignty. Her teaching will be culturally appropriate. She will be investing in the perpetuation of her own culture. And, if she stays out of Sudan, peaceful co-existence will not have to give way to strained international relations.
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