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Delectable Lie, Salim Mansur

“TORONTO — Salim Mansur is an immigrant who questions open immigration; a member of a visible minority who’s a fierce critic of multiculturalism, and a Muslim who’s pained by criticism of his prophet but who would never contemplate penalizing someone for their words.

Last week, the native of India delivered an impassioned defence of individual rights and Enlightenment values while denouncing multiculturalism’s collectivist mindset that would put group rights ahead of the individual.

Canada should rid itself of the policy of multiculturalism, which “is based on the fatuous assertion that all cultures are equal,” he told about 50 people at a lunchtime address sponsored by Advocates for Civil Liberties and the Canadian Jewish Civil Rights Association.

Mansur, a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario and a newspaper columnist, recently published Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism.

The principle of multiculturalism was from its inception, “based on flawed logic and bad faith,” he said. Canadian values derive from the Enlightenment’s stress on individual rights. “Multiculturalism comes in and is the acid that eats into it.”

Bringing an academic’s analytical tools to bear on the issue, Mansur said the idea of multiculturalism arose during the 1960s – a troubled decade in which the Cold War was heating up, race relations were hostile, cities were burning, political leaders were being assassinated and students led a revolt in Paris. Following two world wars and anti-colonial struggles, western intellectuals and political leaders “lost their sense of conviction about their own history.”

Responding to this “crisis of the spirit” they promoted the idea that all cultures were equal.

It was a view that was barely questioned – in certain circles. “To be progressive at the time, the idea was to trash your own culture and civilization,” Mansur stated.

Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau introduced the concept into Canadian law in 1971, and support for multiculturalism spread to other western democracies. But in the last year, the leaders of France, Germany, Britain and Holland have all questioned its merits, and the Canadian public has never been as enthusiastic for it as have the country’s political and media elite, Mansur said.

“Forty years later, you can see how utterly weak those arguments were… How is the culture of the Taliban equal, when you consider how they discriminate against women and other religions?”

If support for multiculturalism continues unabated, Mansur predicted a vastly different Canada. “Fifty years from now, if all cultures are equal why not have sharia (Islamic) law in Canada” or Sikh or Hindu law for people of those backgrounds, he asked.

Today, “judges are confused,” human right commissions try to stifle free speech and students feel stifled on university campuses, he said.

The antidote to multiculturalism is promoting Canada’s own intellectual heritage. “Liberal democracy itself is a culture. It’s not some fuzzy idea. It is a culture that emanates through five centuries of historical struggle.” It places “man as the measure of all things” and the liberal struggle is the struggle for individual freedom, he said.

Adding to the “bad logic” that substituted group rights for individual ones was the “bad faith” approach by politicians who saw multiculturalism as a means to gain favour with hyphenated Canadians, Mansur said.

He called for repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which regulates online hate speech.

And he urged the audience to “respect and engage each other as individuals” and to advance traditional Canadian values of individual rights in their own corner of the world.”

Paul Lungen, Staff Reporter The Canadian Jewish News, Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paul Lungen, Staff Reporter, Canadian Jewish News

A brilliant academic and thought-provoking journalist, Salim Mansur explains what liberal democracy really means, and why the protection of individual rights that lies at its heart is under constant assault from the ‘group think’ mentality of state-imposed multiculturalism.

Lorrie Goldstein, Senior Associate Editor, Toronto Sun

Clear thinkers are rare, and so are powerful polemicists. Courageous human beings are rarer still, but the rarest of all is to find the three combined in one person. Meet Salim Mansur.”

George Jonas

“Professor Salim Mansur is a man of exceptional courage, powerful insight, and possessed of both a delightful and energetic prose style.”

Rex Murphy, CBC Commentator

“In an age of ideological conformity such as ours, it takes courage to speak against the prevailing orthodoxy. This is a courageous book. Professor Mansur exposes how multiculturalism corrodes the values and traditions that sustain Canada as a liberal democratic order. The result is a book to galvanize Canadians against the apostles of extremist progressivism.”

Robert Sibley, Ottawa Citizen and adjunct professor in political science at Carleton University

“Salim Mansur has the courage to state clearly and openly what many have chosen to ignore: that the multiculturalism project is flawed at its very core. We would all benefit in reading him carefully.

Richard Bastien, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Observer

“Canada led the Western world into the multicultural mire in 1988, ironically under a Conservative government. Salim Mansur’s deep and scintillating analysis should help the country out of this illiberal and unfortunate policy.”

Daniel Pipes, PhD, Director of the Middle East Forum, Editor of Middle East Quarterly

“Don’t wait for the movie. All the elements needed to entertain and instruct are already present in Mansur’s book: incisive rendering, a great 'plot,' a host of interesting 'characters,' sharp ideas and important revelations. Only the book can do justice to itself. Salim Mansur is one of the few, reliable go-to Muslim scholars in the field of Islamic studies.”

David Solway, Essayist and Author of 20 books

“As a Muslim exponent of freedom and democracy who emigrated to Canada from war-torn South Asia in 1974, Prof. Salim Mansur is uniquely well qualified to evaluate multiculturalism. Western policy makers would do well to heed his timely warning that this misguided policy could lead over time 'to the unravelling of a liberal democracy, such as Canada, and the ultimate meltdown of its own historically evolved identity.”

Rory Leishman, Author of Against Judicial Activism: The Decline of Freedom and Democracy in Canada (McGill-Queen's U Press)

“With this important book, Professor Mansur, himself an immigrant to Canada ("a brown guy" as he puts it), has fired a daring and resounding shot across the bow of the Canadian ship of public opinion by explaining, in crystal clear prose, why multicultural policy has brought discord instead of unity to our once-peaceable kingdom. Public debate over a whole range of official orthodoxies has been increasingly impoverished in recent decades, and we can only hope that this book, so unafraid and stimulating, will plant us firmly on the road back to the open society we once enjoyed.” 

W.D. Gairdner, Author, The Trouble with Canada...Still! (Key Porter Books)

“Salim Mansur presents a devastating critique of multiculturalism that is unusual in two big ways. The first is that he is surprisingly sympathetic with many of the intentions behind it, and charitable even when he cannot be sympathetic. The second is the way he goes beyond the conventions and platitudes of a ‘policy wonk’ survey, with sharp, organizing insights of the kind we might expect from a fine historian, or even novelist. He does not merely analyse. He has lived the implications of ‘multicultural policy,’ and he has looked people who have experienced real dislocation, in the eye. He has thought and felt his way into radically ‘other’ points of view. There is a sincerity and genuineness in his account that holds one's attention, and makes one care.”

David Warren, Ottawa Citizen

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