Implications of a Multicultural Mindset

Is Political Correctness stopping us from asking the right questions?

For several decades, the Western world has been preoccupied with righting the wrongs of its past and eliminating racism in its present. Canada adopted a policy of multiculturalism in 1971, and many other Western countries followed. For about 30 years, social studies curricula have presented the need to “accept and respect” other cultures as a moral imperative. Media organizations take fastidious care in how they portray visible minorities in news stories. Police services, in response to accusations of “systemic racism,” train officers to be “culturally sensitive.”

There is now overwhelming evidence that these policies have disarmed Western countries against threats to public safety and social cohesion. This is most evident in Europe, where there is a demonstrable pattern of police, politicians and media ignoring, and in some cases abetting, horrendous crimes carried out on a large scale by perpetrators from Muslim immigrant communities against ethnic Europeans.

In one of the most publicized examples, local police and national media attempted to cover up the New Year’s Eve sex attacks in Cologne, Germany – carried out by some 1,000 male asylum seekers against hundreds of German women – evidently out of fear that the incident would turn the public against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open the door to 1.1 million Muslim migrants last year alone.

Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) take part in demonstration rally, in reaction to mass assaults on women on New Year’s Eve, in Cologne, Germany, on 9 January 2016.

Revelations of similar incidents being covered up in other European cities, on New Year’s Eve and in the preceding months, came to light after the Cologne story broke. Cologne residents learned that in November, a “Refugees Welcome” event in Bonn, just 30 minutes away, had degenerated into a groping session. “Young women had to flee the event in terror after being groped by gangs of migrant men, even though organizers repeatedly interrupted the music with messages in Arabic urging them to stop their harassment,” according to the UK Express. A council official responsible for the integration of migrants had helped organize the event and was aware of what had happened, but she did not report it to police.

But the most thoroughly documented example of the danger of institutionalized political correctness is to be found in the English town of Rotherham. A report commissioned by the city council found that officials had turned a blind eye to the horrific sexual abuse of at least 1,400 adolescent girls. Released in 2014, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997-2013 documents the otherwise unimaginable: “In just over a third of cases, children affected by sexual exploitation were previously known to services because of child protection and neglect. It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators. […] This abuse is not confined to the past but continues to this day.” The Executive Summary noted that even though the majority of perpetrators were identified as being from the Pakistani community, “staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”

Senior police, social workers and council officials ignored three previous reports presenting “stark evidence” of what was happening. The first, submitted in 2002, “was effectively suppressed because some senior officers disbelieved the data it contained,” wrote Professor Alexis Jay, who headed the inquiry. The UK Home Office researcher who conducted the 2002 study appeared on the BBC program Panorama after the inquiry was released. She said she’d been “subjected to the most intense personal hostility” from officials when she presented her findings after interviewing 270 abused girls. She said one council official told her: “You must never refer to that again; you must never refer to Asian men,” and sent her on a two-day ethnicity and diversity awareness course. She also asserted that someone entered her office and stole her data.

According to Jay’s report, Police gave “no priority” to child sexual abuse cases and often blamed the girls while taking no action against the perpetrators. In some cases, when fathers tried to remove their daughters from the houses where they were being abused, police arrested the fathers. Councillors said they did not approach the Pakistani community about the issue because they worried it would negatively affect community relations and “give oxygen” to racism.

A former Rotherham MP admitted to the BBC that he had been concerned about the oppression of women and girls within the Muslim community but, as a “liberal leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.” He added: “I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that.”

Rotherham is not an isolated case. “Grooming gangs” targeting adolescent white girls have been exposed in towns across England and Wales. In 2013, the BBC quoted former Attorney General Lord Morris of Aberavon as saying in the House of Lords that at least 27 police forces were investigating 54 alleged child grooming gangs. “Why has investigating and prosecuting in so many different parts of the country taken so much time?” he asked, suggesting delays could be due to “the fear of racialism.”

Shortly after those comments, a report from the Home Affairs Select Committee urged authorities to acknowledge the pattern across the country. “Evidence presented to us suggests that there is a model of localised grooming of Pakistani-heritage men targeting young white girls,” it said, adding: “It is important that police, social workers and others be able to raise their concerns freely, without fear of being labelled racist.” The report also noted Ann Cryer, a former Labour MP for Keighley, in West Yorkshire, who became aware in 2002 that Pakistani men were grooming adolescent white girls in her constituency. When she brought the issue forward, she was accused of demonizing all Muslims and was shunned by police, social services, imams and much of her own party.

Following the Rotherham inquiry, Cryer told The Guardian that she believed MPs all over the country must have known what was happening in their constituencies, but they were “terrified” of being labelled racist.

It is crucial to note that the grooming gangs themselves are motivated by racial and religious bigotry, as well as misogyny. In sentencing members of a child sex gang in Rochdale – eight of them Pakistani and one an Afghan – a judge told the offenders they had treated their victims “as though they were worthless and beyond respect,” according to a BBC report. “One of the factors leading to that was the fact that [the victims] were not part of your community or religion,” the judge said.

Dr. Taj Hargey, an imam in Oxford, where members of yet another Muslim grooming gang were prosecuted, wrote in the Daily Mail that the prevailing orthodoxy in UK mosques teaches that women are essentially chattel. Further, some Islamic preachers portray white women as being “habitually promiscuous, decadent and sleazy – sins which are made all the worse by the fact that they are kaffurs or non-believers […] these white women deserve to be punished for their behaviour by being exploited and degraded.”

The irony of Rotherham is that it was the authorities’ devotion to “anti-racism” and “diversity” that allowed large numbers of men to sexually enslave the children of people they considered inferior. Further, the fact that England’s grooming gangs come from immigrant communities and their victims are native Britons, speaks to a fundamental failure at both the national and local levels; the national government allowed into the country significant numbers of people who harboured ill will towards the host population, and then local authorities allowed them to act on their malice.

The Rotherham inquiry sheds light on the motivations behind the local authorities’ behaviour. Some feared being accused of racism; others seemed unable or unwilling to believe that white people could be victimized by members of a non-white immigrant community; and some apparently thought that allowing the Pakistani community’s reputation to be tarnished would be a worse evil than allowing the abuse to continue. All of this is the product of an organizational culture that revolves around concepts like “cultural sensitivity,” “bias-free policing” and “systemic racism.”

To make this more clear, it is instructive to look at the academic underpinnings of politically correct policy. In “Engaging Diversity: Multiculturalism in Canada, a university textbook about multiculturalism policy, authors Augie Fleras and Jean Leonard Elliott explain the multiculturalist approach to training public service providers. They contrast it with the older “colour-blind” approach: “Traditionally, service providers were trained to work with different people by not taking their differences into account,” they write. “The mistaken belief was that it was fair and just to treat everyone the same.” Instead, they recommend that service providers (and white people in general) cultivate the “multicultural mindset.” To achieve this state of mind, you put aside your own cultural biases and “learn to accept, without prejudgment, other cultures’ values.” The multicultural mindset is a one-way street; if a white police officer comes up against a cultural barrier in dealing with a minority, the problem lies entirely with the officer, and it is his responsibility alone to deconstruct his own cultural norms.

The underlying assumption is that Western society, and white people, are somehow morally bad and blameworthy. According to the authors, diversity training helps service providers “understand themselves as bearers of a culture whose ethnocentric and Eurocentric biases may put others at risk.” It also “draws attention to the privileges and powers associated with whiteness.” Flerras and Elliott also expand the definition of racism to include all criticism of, and even “doubts” about, non-Western cultures.

Consider the implications of the “multicultural mindset.” A person who adopted it would be pliant and deferential towards anyone of a non-Western immigrant background, and would have no option but to assent to every demand for accommodation. If an entire nation were to adopt the multicultural mindset, the population would be rendered incapable of defending itself against foreign aggression or intrigue – it would be Rotherham writ large.

If subjecting authorities to diversity training is dangerous for a host population, it also does no favours for vulnerable people within immigrant communities. “It stops [authorities] from asking the right questions,” says Raheel Raza, a Toronto-based activist against Islamic fundamentalism and founder of Muslims facing Tomorrow.

Raza points to a Canadian example of authorities turning a blind eye out of cultural sensitivity: the Shafia “honour” killings. Sisters Zainab (19), Sahar (17), and Geeti (13), had repeatedly told teachers, police and social workers they were afraid of their father and brother. Authorities knew there was a clash between the girls, who wanted freedom, and the father and brother, who were violently controlling. Yet they failed to foresee how it would end – despite the fact that the family was originally from Afghanistan, where “honour” violence against women is entrenched in custom and tradition.

“Nobody dared raise a question,” said Raza, adding: “God forbid that they should be looked upon as being racist.”

She endorses the opposite approach to political correctness: “If I had to train the RCMP, I would teach them how to gently critique those cultural practices that are not in sync with Canadian values and ask key questions about the people they’re dealing with.”

Playing on White Guilt
The pervasiveness and momentum of Islamism makes it especially dangerous for the West to be blindfolded by political correctness, Raza argues. In a recent short film she made with The Clarion Project, a counter-extremism think tank, she explains that groups like Islamic State are merely the militant core of a broad, sophisticated movement for global Islamic supremacy. The West, Raza says, is absent from the most important front in this war, the ideological one. In contrast, Islamists have carefully studied political correctness and what Raza calls “white guilt” and become expert at manipulating it to their advantage.

“[They] are not sitting in a cave in Tora Bora, as imagined by the West, but have been studying the West for far longer than the West has understood them. They know what the weaknesses are, they know what the strengths are, they know what buttons to push.”

Leveraging the censorius influence of political correctness, Islamists have “brainwashed” many influential people into believing it is “Islamophobic” to criticize Islam, she added. Muslim activists with a supremacist ideology, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] in the U.S., position themselves as moderate lobbyists and use the language of diversity and human rights to further an Islamist agenda.

Tarek Fatah, secular activist and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, notes the RCMP’s history of inadvertently soliciting advice from Islamist types. “[The RCMP] go straight for Muslims who are visibly depicting their loyalty or association with Muslim Brotherhood-prescribed attire or appearance, or organizations that have this tribal notion of a Muslim community,” he says.

Shahina Siddiqui and the NCCM produced the 2014 “United Against Terrorism” handbook.

One figure who has been consulted by the RCMP and CSIS is Saed Rageah, a Toronto-based imam who is on video (it can be seen online) saying that blasphemers can be killed as punishment under Islam. Another surprising choice for a consultant is Shahina Siddiqui, board member of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). Formerly called CAIR-CAN, the group has since attempted to distance itself from CAIR. The U.S. group was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in a 2008 trial that resulted in the conviction of Hamas fundraisers.

An RCMP media liaison confirmed that Siddiqui is on the RCMP Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Visible Minorities. She is also a member of the Commanding Officer’s Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee for D-Division in Manitoba.

According to a website called Understanding Islam Academy, Siddiqui has completed a “public education project” funded in part by the Department of Canadian Heritage. “This has produced handbooks for journalist [sic], educators, police officers, health care providers, social service providers on Muslim’s [sic] culture and faith, and a booklet on dispelling myths about Islam.”

Siddiqui and the NCCM produced the 2014 United Against Terrorism handbook, with initial support and help of the RCMP. The handbook is an obvious propaganda piece. The research website Point de Bascule notes that it endorses radical Islamic scholars, including Siraj Wahhaj, who advocated converting disaffected youth and eventually arming them with machine guns to wage jihad in U.S. streets. Alarmingly, the handbook also seems to underhandedly approve of jihad against the West. It says jihad is not “the same as terrorism,” but adds: “Islam allows for Jihad in the form of a military action in self defense only.” This comes after a section entitled “How do we deal with the aggression that is going on right now against Muslims around the world?” Under that section, the author correctly notes that Al-Qaeda and similar groups employ “the narrative of the victimization of the Muslim Ummah (Muslim community) by Western powers.” However, far from refuting this narrative, the text reaffirms it: “They play upon our anguish over the suffering of our co-religionists and offer an oversimplified worldview of good and evil,” it says, before asking “How did this situation come to be?” referring to the alleged oppression of the Ummah by the West. The book also says intelligence and law enforcement officials should never publicly use the terms “Islamist terrorism,” “Islamicism” and “Islamic extremism,” and that terrorists should not be referred to as “jihadis.”

The RCMP abruptly pulled their support for the book just as it was being released, though the chapter they wrote remains in the book. According to Fatah, the reason the RCMP clued in to the insidious nature of the handbook was because of the outraged reaction from Muslims who reject the jihad imperative. The incident reveals a worrying gullibility and naïveté on the part of the RCMP.

To conclude, it may be observed that “sensitivity training” and other multiculturalist policies were intended to eradicate prejudice (albeit only in Western countries) against foreigners. Whether or not this was a noble aim, these policies have created a new problem: authorities so obsessed with not being accused of racism that they fail to act in the national interest and keep the public safe.

Police forces, security organizations and governments must end this self-destructive experiment before it is too late.  

Kevin Hampson, a journalist and freelance writer based in Grande Prairie, Alberta, earned a BA in history and political science from McGill University.