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Cultural relativism

Reader comment on item: More on Those Alcohol-shy Taxi Drivers
in response to reader comment: Multiculturalism?

Submitted by Octavio Johanson (Italy), Oct 31, 2006 at 18:26

I am not American, but this is scary material, Mr. Shafaz. Indeed, multiculturalism is a good system for two reasons: 1) it prevents civil war within a country and 2) there is no alternative.

However, you are going too far with your analysis. What you are saying is that everything is relative to a certain cultural or religious group. Since there are different religions and cultures in America, then every religion and culture has got a right to live according to its mores. From your view-point, Sharia Law is just one of the religious traditions that exist within your country (I could apply that same example to my own country too). This is relativism. You are talking about religious and cultural traditions as if they were all the same. You put the Judeo-Christian tradition at the same level with all the others.

You talk about Sharia Law as if it was just another tradition within multiculturalism. I am not from America, but, maybe, Americans don't want to become like any of the countries you have mentioned. Then, of course, it is wrong to associate Muslims with Al-Quaeda. But, I can uderstand that people would be afraid of SOME Muslims. The international situation justifies such fear.

I am very surprised at your relativism. You cannot confuse multiculturalism and tolerance with complete relativism. If someone wants to execute homosexuals and adulterers, should that be viewed as part of his religion or culture? You can see for yourself that these views are unacceptable, even in the most open-minded of all countries. Western countries are based on the Ten Commandaments. This is a historical fact. All people are welcome and they can bring over their own religion. But there is a pre-existing religious traditon, upon which the rules are based. That is what makes the western world what it is.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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