Must Liberalism Be Suicidal?

Shadia B. Drury

There is something pathological about the relationship of Western liberal societies to their values. On one hand, they are eager to defend their values around the globe, but on the other hand, they are reluctant to defend their values at home. They are willing to bomb Muslim countries in an effort to liberate their women, educate their children, and bless them with liberal democratic constitutions. But on the home front, liberal societies adopt multiculturalist policies that threaten to undermine their own values. For example, in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, France, Denmark, Belgium, and the rest of the European Union, Muslim immigrants are under the impression that they are free to practice their religion as a way of life that is separate from, if not adversarial to, the liberal culture of the West. In the United States, multiculturalism has triumphed over the American melting pot. Even France, the one country that could be relied on to be staunchly secular, has failed to assimilate millions of Muslim immigrants.

So, here is the paradox: on one hand, liberalism has become a fighting creed, akin to the gruesome religions it was intended to subdue; on the other hand, its conduct at home is nothing short of suicidal. My contention is that this paradox has its source in certain intellectual flaws at the heart of liberalism itself.

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