I’ve written before about the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York and the bigotry and Islamophobia practiced by an increasing number of people in America and Europe. I came across two pieces of news recently that made an interesting thought flash in my mind…
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed". Merkel is simply riding the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that has been sweeping across Europe of late. By no means should this statement be taken lightly, this statement represents the spark of a “Big Bang” of anti-immigrant laws and rules and regulations that will sweep across Europe in the not so far future and its ripples will have long term and perhaps devastating repercussions for the very fabric of what is today called The West.
The other news item I came across was about a Rabbi who apparently is associated with the Tea Party in the United States. “Multiculturalists have brought us to the brink, insisting on degrading our own cultures while pandering to forces of darkness that threaten to completely transform our societal foundations.”, Rabbi Nachum Shifren said in a joint-rally with The English Defense League in the UK, a league that violently opposes the presence of Muslims in particular and immigrants in general in the UK.
One of the most notable reasons of the Islamic Empire’s expansion, power and success was due to its embrace of different peoples and cultures. Islamic scholars traveled far and wide, learning from different cultures and nations and fusing their advanced sciences with other nations' achievements, a process which lies at the heart of the Islamic scientific supremacy of that age. Peoples of other cultures also flocked toward the Empire to learn, study and sometimes settle. Until the Muslims got greedy and cocky, that’s when it all started going downhill.
History has shown us time and time again that no empire thrives unless it embraces other cultures and the peoples of these cultures. If an empire’s expansion is based on intimidation, terror, extermination and subordination, this empire will not see the light for very long. If the empire is based on openness, multiculturalism, science, the truth, justice and the preservation of human values and rights it will thrive and grow and people will embrace it left and right.
Out of the 6 billion people in this world, 1.6 billion are Muslims. Europeans fought much of the world, including each other in their attempts of occupation and expansion and failed. Their Union isn’t doing so good either. They “tried” opening up for different cultures and now it seems they’re failing as well. They’re seeing other cultures, such as that of 1.6 billion Muslims, as a threat to their identity instead of being a valuable addition. The United States is a melting pot of different cultures, yet white supremacy and rightist Christianity still makes much of today’s rules.
If Europe and the US want to close up their borders, impose their local cultures on everyone who live in those lands, that is their right…but I will never expect them to expand and become powerful this way. And I certainly will not refer to them in a block reference as “The West”. The West had the potential of becoming an Empire of its own, spreading its own sciences and knowledge and research…sharing its history and wisdom, spearheading the world into millennia to come. Instead, it chose to vilify and reject the other and close up to what it doesn’t understand.
The United States use of force and intimidation to expand and protect its interests in the world will never work out well for it on the long run. It is destined to fail. Europe’s refusal to infuse its cultures with those of others will also not allow it to expand and become wealthy and powerful. At the end of the day, such blocks really have 3 options:
1. Use force, intimidation, and occupation, achieve short term results, then ultimately fail and demise.
2. Close up and sit idle and be swept away with whatever tide that happens to be taken the world.
3. Open up and embrace other cultures through values of equality, truth, multiculturalism, science, justice and human rights… and win the hearts and minds of the masses who ultimately will become part of and the building blocks of your empire.
“The West” of today has been choosing 1 and 2, ultimately, not very wise choices I believe.