Gay “special treatment” and Muslim “special treatment”

Came across an interesting statement in an excerpt of an interview from a Danish newspaper on the threat to all that is holy posed by Europe’s increasing multiculturalism that should give homophobic Muslims pause.   [Reluctant HT:  Danske øjne på svenske forhold]

The excerpt from the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, inexplicably translated into Swedish, is garden-variety alarmism over immigration and true multiculturalism (as opposed to the fake multiculturalism held up as a model by nationalists where immigrants know their "place" and leave their own cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs on the boat), but the language is striking in how it employs the tropes of American gay rights opponents regarding Muslims:

Danmark har inte lika stora problem med integrationen som Storbritannien. Vi har varit bättre på att styra invandringens omfattning och på att säkerställa samhällets grundvärden som en gemensam utgångspunkt, till gagn för såväl danskar som invandrare. Men det finns fortfarande en stor risk för att uppsplittringen blir djupare och parallellsamhällena griper kring sig. Därför ska vi inte heller begå samma misstag som Storbritannien och böja oss för muslimska särkrav på samhällets inrättning.
Denmark’s integration problems are not as serious as those of Great Britain.  We’ve been better at managing the scope of immigration and at making society’s values the point of departure, which has benefitted Danes and immigrants alike.  But there an increasing risk of the divide becoming deeper and a parallel society forming.  Therefore, we must not make the same mistake as Great Britain by yielding to Muslims’ demands for special treatment in society.

Tvärtom ska vi lyssna till de ganska barska varningar som nu hörs från människor som Wolf och Rieff – inte bara till Storbritannien men till hela Europa. Wolf talar om att samhällen som inte bygger på en gemensam förståelse för demokratiska grundvärden blir förtryckande eller kommer att stå på randen till inbördeskrig. Rieff skriver att den stora utmaning som Europa står inför är att undvika att multikulturalismen utvecklas till allas kamp mot alla. Denna uppgift får alla Europas andra problem att verka triviala, anser han och konkluderar: ”Drömmen om det multikulturella samhället är över”.

[It then continutes with guff about the risk of multiculturalism leading Europe towards oppression or even civil war, concluding that the dream of a multicultural society is over.]

Muslims aren’t asking for respect and equality, goes the thinking. They’re obnoxiously demanding "special treatment" from the already beleaguered mainstream. 

The similiarity of this special-treatment rhetoric, with all its unspoken assumptions of  the mainstream being bullied by a powerful and dangerous minority, to that of the American Right when opposing gay rights is quite striking and eye-opening, I think.   

These is the kind of emotional argument made in American politics that many Muslims instinctively support when the question of homosexuality comes up.

It’s inevitable that Muslims and gays will disagree on some important matters, but if they are to be just (not to mention consistent) Muslims must remember the difference between legitimate demands for equality and respect by fellow citizens and demands for "special treatment" that impose a minority’s values on others. 

Muslims must should also remember their own treatment at the hands of xenophobes and modernday Procrustuses of cultural purity before instinctively dismissing the grievances of other groups that make them feel uncomfortable.


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