Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Universal Human Rights vs. multiculturalism

Here's an exposition on a comment I left at Malkin today, on a post about the murder of Aqsa Parvez, a teenager in Canada (CANADA!?!?!) who was killed by her father because she didn't want to cover her hair.

I e-mailed a link to the news article to a liberal friend who has one of those insipid COEXIST bumper stickers, and asked her why she wants to coexist peaceably with a culture that approves of killing women who don't want to be treated like livestock or furniture.

The answer I got was that she can't criticize Islamic religion/culture because she doesn't like people telling her she should follow Christ instead of Mother Gaia. I wouldn't like that, either, but...

Here I note that I have participated respectfully in her Solstice and Yule ceremonies the same way I have participated respectfully in Passover dinners and Catholic masses when invited. I occasionally mock the Goracle-inspired AGW components of her beliefs because they lead to totalitarian restrictions on those of use who do not believe, but for the most part I'm pretty laissez-faire about religions that don't violate basic human rights and individual beliefs thereof. There would be nothing wrong with submitting oneself to Allah if a) people were submitting of their free will and not societal mandate and b) Allah wasn't a misogynist bastard who exhorted his followers to kill unbelievers, subjugate women, and rule the world under a seventh-century justice system.

So. She won't judge them because that would be hypocritical; moreover I have no right to judge their religion/culture (nevermind that they judge my culture daily) because I'm not one of their religion/culture. As a member of an entirely different culture (thank God) I have no right to an opinion, much less a right to interfere.

I don't see "honor" killing (I prefer the term "shame killing", as the murder is meant to abrogate feelings of shame, but it hasn't caught on) as a valid religious or cultural choice. The right to walk freely, regardless of hair covering, and not be murdered is a universal humanright. It transcends cultures; it's not limited by religion, skin color, or national origin. I'd be just as vehement about a splinter white Midwestern "Christian" group who killed their daughters for leaving the house with their hair uncovered.

No, she says it's a religous/cultural issue and we have no right to comment or interfere because we're not of that culture.

Logically, if culture takes precedence over universal human rights, it was wrong for the abolitionists to judge/interfere with antebellum Southern culture. They weren't of the culture, the universal right to befree did not apply because it was abrograted by the c ulture, the
abolitionists had no right to interfere.

I thought this was a great counter-example, until I realized that the abolitionists were interfering with white nominally Christian culture. Next time I'll lean on the "throughout the British Empire" and hit slavery in India, Africa, and other colonies. But this friend gets distressed when people use the Stars and Bars as a racist symbol, so I thought I'd lead with it.

Rather than admit that human beings have universal rights regardless of culture, that cultures that suppress universal rights SHOULD be criticized, or that it's OK for outsiders to pressure cultures to change if they treat a class of people (blacks, women) as livestock, she stopped talking to me for the day. Heh.

Multi-cultural liberals. This is how they work. It makes her feel warm and fuzzy and happy to believe that all people are kind and well-meaning and all cultures are wonderful with the exceptions of certain aspects of American culture; even the THOUGHT that this is universal truth so makes her sad and depressed to the point the discussion must end. I'm sure she's at the beach asking The Goddess for solace (it was 80 in South Carolina today).

(I doubt she'll feel warm and fuzzy when she's being stoned for her Pagan faith under Sharia law, but I'm still optmistic that the U.S. won't devolve that far.)

This is a pattern; she'll be back tomorrow complaining about F-Pats fans at her office being belligerant assholes (redundant, I know). Heh.

Anyway, back to poor Aqsa.

The OPP has arrested Aqsa's father for murder, which is good, but it's Canada. It's entirely possible their "Human Rights[sic] Commission" will feel the same as my friend, that Canadian government has no business interfering with an acceptable act of religion/culture, even as they insist that clergy have no right to decline to officiate same-sex marriage.

America really does seem to be alone over here.


Amy said...

It's entirely possible their "Human Rights[sic] Commission" will feel the same as my friend, that Canadian government has no business interfering with an acceptable act of religion/culture, even as they insist that clergy have no right to decline to officiate same-sex marriage.

So...Muslims have the "right" to murder their daughters, because it's their religion...

But clergy cannot decline to perform same-sex ceremonies even though doing so is *their* religious belief.

Gotta love the hypocrisy.

By the way - thanks for the "offspring offsets"...I'm sure that'll get anon's undies in a wad. ;)

HeatherRadish said...

The interesting part in the same-sex marriage thingy that the Canadian HRC ruled on was the the clergy referred them to someone who was willing to perform the marriage--they got what they set out to get, and they still filed a gov't complaint. It wasn't enough to have it available at a different location, as it were--it has to be available everywhere on demand.

Reminded me a little bit of the Plan B controversies here--it's not sufficient to have three of four pharmacies in town stock it, EVERY pharmacy has to stock it, because having to make two phone calls somehow violates "rights". Even though most pharmacies don't have EVERY prescription drug continually in stock; rarer drugs are ordered as needed, some very expensive drugs with low demand may never be stocked...

Amy said...

Well, Heather, one of the reasons I voted for the marriage amendment in November was for that very reason.

If I would know that my parish, and all other churches who do not want to perform or recognize same-sex marriage, would be exempt and free from harrassment, lawsuits, or unjust laws then I *might* not have as big an issue with it.

But it's explicitly clear that such issues are designed to trump the rights of others. As with your example, or with Catholic Charities in MA that shut down its adoption program rather than violate moral teaching, it's not enough that *some* cater to the needs of certain groups. *ALL* have to, or face the wrath of the politically correct crowd.