I'm always suspicious and skeptical when I see an otherwise obscure point of view criticized or condemned in general terms without specific examples. It's one thing to criticize some specific instance of stupidity or criticize something like "religion" in general—it's not like this whole religion business is new to the intellectual arena—but I suspect hysteria and a hidden agenda when some new intellectual fad is taken to Threaten The Very Soul Of Western Civilization.
A particularly disappointing instance of this sort of irresponsible hysteria can be found at anticant's arena. Ignoring that the post is hearsay, anticant's non-Muslim correspondent describes a violent, criminal assault against first his Muslim girlfriend and then himself.
"Yes, that´s ‘multiculturalism’," says anticant.
I call bullshit.
Who, other than anticant (who appears to hate nothing more than a word) excuses or condones this sort of action? anticant does not offer us any description of multiculturalism by a proponent, only characterizations offered by opponents: Gates of Vienna and Melanie Phillips.
There are, most probably, a few moronic academics and Islamic apologists who would excuse such criminality. This is the way of academics: They are pretty much free to write whatever they please, exposing their thoughts to critical scrutiny and sometimes public ridicule. Any specific person who would excuse or condone such behavior would definitely earn my own condemnation. But I see no evidence of an intellectual movement, a "school of thought", a political organization which would warrant such blanket criticism.
Even given the most uncharitable assumptions about multiculturalism, that "cultural acceptance" does objectively excuse anything, anticant's evaluation is still fallacious. Even if Islamic culture accepts violence to prevent miscegenation, Swedish culture accepts imprisonment to prevent violent assault; both activities are at least on "equal" grounds.
Insofar as meta-ethical subjective relativism is concerned, anticant's inference would be completely unwarranted. Meta-ethical subjective relativism denies that any ethical belief—including the belief that "cultural acceptance" excuses anything—can be objectively justified, that is, justified without reference to anyone's actual subjective belief. At worst, meta-ethical subjective relativism entails that the issue anticant mentions is, in an objective sense, a conflict between values held by two competing societies: The citizenry of Sweden and a sub-subculture of its Islamic immigrant subculture.
But the whole point of meta-ethical subjective relativism is that our subjective ethical beliefs do not follow from an objective evaluation of the situation. An objective evaluation just tells us what is happening or what can happen. An objective evaluation is utterly silent on what should happen; it does not establish any sort of normative belief, it does not tell us if we should approve or disapprove of an activity. There are only facts about what we do approve and disapprove of.
If anticant had substituted a single word, and said, "Yes, that´s Islam. Phew!" I would have agreed without reservation. Islam is a violent and misogynist culture, and I thoroughly disapprove of their violence and misogyny. They also believe—and this is why Islamic culture is especially virulent and dangerous—that their violence and misogyny is commanded by God. There can be no reasoning, no negotiation with someone who believes that his ethics are commanded by God.
Neither anticant himself nor the linked articles offer the slightest bit of evidence that multiculturalism is anything more than "showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faiths." The construction of multiculturalism as
[A]ll minority values must have equal status to those of the majority. Any attempt to uphold majority values over minorities is a form of prejudice. [Phillips]is an obvious straw man. Why shift the blame from Islam, where it is uncontroversially deserved?
Any time someone shifts a sound argument to a fallacious argument, alarm bells should go off. They are attempting to trade on the soundness of the underlying argument to make point otherwise insupportable. This transference technique is so time-honored that every sensible person should be sensitive to its use. What is the insupportable position being argued? A confident answer must rely on a detailed analysis of Phillips and Baron Bodissey's essays, but a superficial reading does nothing to eliminate the usual suspects of authoritarian nationalism, Christianism and outright racism.
I am a critic of Islamic culture just as these sorts of assholes [update: I am referring to only Phillips and Bodissey] (although I don't at all support slaughtering all the brown people who pray in funny ways). But the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.