By Shane Flanagan
Racism is one of the more prevalent fears in modern society, but it’s not just to be on the receiving end of racism that is greatly feared. People are even more afraid of being found to be somehow racist. Because to be racist would make one a modern Pariah. Yet, when the accusation of racism extends from the personal to the very notion of questioning the culture we live in, and the government’s actions to uphold and modify that culture for good or ill then we have a problem. Has this fear handicapped the debate about immigration into Ireland?
Quite obviously to be racist is irrational and obviously unhealthy both personally and societally. Yet, as I have said for a long time now, to be culturally prejudicial seems to me to be a reasonable philosophical outlook, and yet to admit to being so is seen as being tantamount to being somehow racist. This is because it is the fallacy of the modern “salad bowl” society that all cultures are equal and should be respected as so. That sounds nice but is quite obviously stupid when put to practice, all cultures are not equal, and some cultural habits are very bad despite their traditional heritage. Needless to say, I include indigenous Irish culture in this assessment too. Yet, the idea of Globalization ignores this reality. This is, of course, foolhardy. All societies that strive to endure must surely stand to mean something other than being a collective of individuals pertinent to a geographical location. Otherwise, the idea of a nation or a society is a delusive one. And I have no doubt that those who have enforced globalization upon us rigorously believe that this is the case whilst they so often drape themselves in the flags of the nations of Europe.
The first casualty of any society under the threat of dogma is that of the truth. After that comes the civilian casualties. This is the horrible reality of the Europe we now face into, a Europe decimated by the financial and Eurozone crisis’s. A Europe in which Britain stands on the verge of exit as Greece itself just did merely half a year ago. Critics have been quick to point to the erosion of Europe’s borders as being a part of the reason for the troubles that are slowly developing this week, yet we must also point to the disappearance of the concept of Europe itself. A culture formed though a largely shared Christianity that was on the course to secularism in a union that was forged through the shared horrors of two world wars. But now Europe is in an identity crisis.
It might seem churlish to note but the fact that the terrorist attacks took place in France will be illuminating in that France, among all the nations of Europe is a country in which many look to as being a land actually symbolic of the notion of freedom itself. Yet freedom, like truth, is something that may mean many different things to many different peoples. The French have had to try and deal with this, the issue of the French banning the Burqa is an excellent illustration of this argument. Many saw this as a victory for female equality, yet is placing restrictions on clothing really an act of freedom? I do not like the Burqa, nor do I like its increasingly prevalent presence in Irish society. Yet the religious reasoning for the Burqa has a value and function that is cherished in Islam so that women will be appreciated not just their surface beauty but for their many qualities as people. Now, am I saying that is why the Burqa is widely worn today by Muslim women? No, but I am suggesting that there is a cultural and religious reason for its place in Islam. Prohibiting the wearing of such an item is not exactly conducive to the ideal of freedom.
These are some of the many things that globalised societies must navigate, the idea that a society will not be changed with the influx of mass immigration is nonsense. Yet so much of what we hear from our leaders today is mired in obscure language or downright lies. An example of that was that of Jean Claude Juncker who tried to tell us that even if one of the terrorist attackers came to Europe under the guise of being a refugee than it merely meant that he was not a refugee. So even though this man may have been recorded as being a refugee when he arrived in an island off of Greece this status became obsolete in the process of him becoming a mass murderer in Paris. This was an Orwellian doublethink. People have sensible apprehensions about such large influxes of refugees, but they are generally and sensibly terrified of mass murdering terrorists. That’s not an irrational fear and shouldn’t be treated like one either. For those that would leap to attack me because people’s beliefs don’t matter and that we shouldn’t enquire about such things then I can merely say that unless they are nihilists and give no credence any belief system than such an objection is inane. I myself in an interview for a position of teaching religion recently was quietly told to be aware of trying to teach too much about Christianity as that many of the students were Muslim and feared being Proselytised. This was a Catholic school by the way.
As we know to not think as individuals can lead us into dangerous situations as exemplified by the dark history of Europe. To not think societally is just as bad. I don’t trust the left wing parties that favour mass immigration because they seem to only do so on the superficial level of it being morally fashionable, besides the immigration population serves them in their restaurants and as Nannies in their homes and so on. Yet, it’s baffling how citizens do not take them to task for their actions. For instance the idiotic Sinn Fein party’s slavish devotion to its fantasy of a unified Ireland whilst being simultaneously enthralled by the ever closer unionizing of the EU, the same for the Scottish SNP. At least the mainstream parties are largely covert about their adulation to Europe’s governing body.
There is no doubt that a diverse population has its advantages. Most immigrants that come to Ireland are incredibly hard working people, and the cultural variety brought by them has been invaluable to us. But I deeply question our continuance of being an “open invitation” country. The only way in which such a cross pollination of populations could conceivably work is in some kind of socialist utopia, and personally I don’t believe in utopia’s much less socialist one’s, nor does this society or anywhere else for that matter look like they are heading that way either. And this is why immigration populations are often ghettoised and shamefully neglected by governments. This has been the case in France to a large extent and it has to be noted no matter how horrific the attacks were. Some have looked towards the guilt of France’s colonial past as part of the reasoning towards current events, yet, however, amoral colonialism was it does not mitigate the open borders philosophy of today. It must also be said that any nation that is in the midst of a terrorist war like Britain and France are should rethink its policy of dabbling in the arms trade.
I find it ironic that the modern secularists of today who point the finger at religion for terrorism (never at Islam directly of course) often neglect to bring up the underlying reality for many migrants of today in most urban cities. A specific economic reality usually underpins the context of most of the dimwitted recruits of terrorism. And they’re from the 99%, not the 1. The war is here now, it will wage on, and it’s reasonable to assume many more will die. According to our government were not under much threat although those in the security forces seem to differ. I think they missed a trick there to be honest, an existential threat that may or may not exist would be the perfect distraction for our government to take away from the other existential but actually real threat of crime in rural Ireland in which the police services have been shamefully rolled back.
There has been much talk about the French’s Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite. This has led me to think about our own culture and the colours of our Tri colour representing the void between Catholicism and Protestantism and the hope for peace between them. The horror of the North was also underpinned by a poor economic standard. We should be careful hysteric religious sentiment whipped up by nefarious men is not used to cause havoc in our country. Could it happen? Well, it happened before.