In his recent journey through America, calling for the elimination of Israel, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made a bold and important statement. Along with the 9/11/12 assaults on our embassies, and the subsequent rioting across the Muslim world, this speech has served as a clarion call to all who would think. The West needs leaders who share Ahmadinejad’s geo-political philosophy.
While we take a globalist position, President Ahmadinejad and the leaders of the Arab Spring take a culturist position: they know they have a side and they stand up for it. In his response to Ahmadinejad, President Barak Obama, by contrast, denounced politics that pit, “East against West; South against North; Muslim against Christian, Hindu, and Jew”[i] Obama is a globalist in that he takes no side in any international battles, he claims to speak for all of humanity. We must rebuke this cultural blindness and realize, as Ahmadinejad, declares, that the West has a side in international affairs.
You must admire the extremes to which Ahmadinejad and him Muslim bretheren take their culturist stance. While in America, Iran’s President told CBS that Israel has no roots in the Middle East and must be “eliminated.”[ii] The twenty – one Arab countries surrounding Israel have a land mass of 8,368,272 square miles. By contrast Israel covers 12,877 square miles. In the whole Middle East a small sliver smaller than New Jersey is non-Islamic and the culturist Muslim world will not stand for it.[iii] They back what has become the traditional majority culture in the Middle East - Islam. Ahmadinejad and the Muslim world’s refusal to give up any of their territory should inspire us.
Instead, the West fought for the establishment of the Islamic state of Kosovo in Southeastern Europe. We did so in the name of “human rights.” Ahmadinejad’s philosophy is better. Outside of necessary trade, Iran does not give Israel any money. They know that non-Muslim nations are their competitors in a global battle for survival. We, by contrast, give Palestinians money because we wish to avoid, by whatever means necessary, the impression that we are taking sides. In his United Nations reply to Iran’s President, Obama declared that he supports Israelis and Palestinians alike. Like Ahmadinejad, we must acknowledge that we have enemies and not support them.
Obama also champions the culture blind philosophy of multiculturalism. As if channeling all other western politicians, in his United Nations response to Ahmadinejad, Obama declared, “we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values – they are universal values.”[iv] As all multiculturalists and neo-cons, he boldly proclaims that cultural diversity does not exist, has no impact on politics, and has no place in our policy decisions. This culture-blind logic, of course, underpins our continued efforts to turn Afghanistan into democracies and pumping of billions of our dollars into enemy regimes in the Middle East, as well as our culturally neutral border policies.
Ahmadinejad, by way of contrast, has been telling us that cultural diversity exists. During his visit to the United States he supported a move by an Iranian religious foundation to increase the reward for killing Salman Rushdie for blasphemy. He calls homosexuality a western disease.[v] As such he proudly attempts to inform us that Islam is a different culture with different and opposing values to ours. Yet, our politicians deny cultural diversity exists, even while murderous riots denouncing free speech have spread across the Muslim world. We must reject multicultural blindness for the culturist position, by beginning to notice the extent of cultural diversity and taking it seriously.
President Ahmadinejad and the Muslims rioting across the Muslim world are trying to disabuse us of globalist and multicultural illusions. We need to listen to them. It is time to renounce the globalist vision that claims no international struggles for dominance exist. We need to clear our palates of the multicultural lie that cultural diversity does not really exist or have any place in our policy decisions. What our leaders call ‘universal values’ are not universal, they are western.[vi] We must take a culturist position. We must heed Ahmadinejad’s culturist declarations that the West has a particular culture and Islam is against it, and adjust our policies accordingly.
Dr. Press is the author of the book Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future. He is also the inspiration behind the British political party the National Culturists.
[i] National Journal Staff, “Full Text: President Obama's Speech at the United Nations General Assembly,” http://news.yahoo.com/full-text-president-obamas-speech-united-nations-general-102500744--politics.html, Sept, 25th, 2012
[ii] Charbonneau, Louis, Reuters, “Update 6 – In New York, defiant Ahmadinejad says Israel will be ‘eliminated,’” http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/24/un-assembly-ahmadinejad-idUSL1E8KO5BL20120924, Sept. 24th 2012.
[iii] The Israel Project, “Israel by the Numbers on the Eve of its 58th Year of Independence,” http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/apps/nl/content2.asp?c=hsJPK0PIJpH&b=883997&ct=2356049, May 1st, 2006
[iv] National Journal Staff, “Full Text: President Obama's Speech at the United Nations General Assembly,” http://news.yahoo.com/full-text-president-obamas-speech-united-nations-general-102500744--politics.html, Sept, 25th, 2012
[v] “Iran’s President Ranges Far in Interview, Talks Israel, Slams Homosexuality, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/24/world/meast/iran-ahmadinejad-interview/index.html, Sept., 25th, 2012
[vi] Charbonneau, Louis, Reuters, “Update 6 – In New York, defiant Ahmadinejad says Israel will be ‘eliminated,’” http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/24/un-assembly-ahmadinejad-idUSL1E8KO5BL20120924, Sept. 24th 2012.