Monday, December 18, 2006

Wikan festival

Unni Wikan has had an unusually high level of traffic today on his profile page at the Oslo University website. Mr Wikan, a professor of social anthropology, has the distinction of being the person who, in 2001, reportedly said:

“Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”
He was speaking in response to reports of rising levels of rape in Oslo in that same year when:
... two out of Norway's three largest newspapers, Aftenposten and Dagbladet, reported that most of these rape charges involve an immigrant perp, which again mostly means Muslims. Both newspapers have since then conveniently “forgotten” about this, and have never connected the issue to Muslim immigration although the number of rape charges has continued to rise to historic levels. They are thus at best guilty of extreme incompetence, since their former articles about this issue are still available online.
From the same Brussels Journal post I've linked to twice above, and which, via Tim Blair, has led to the rise in Wikan traffic:
The number of rapes in the Norwegian capital Oslo is six times as high as in New York City. I’ve written about the issue of rape and Muslim immigration so many times that I am, quite frankly, a bit tired of the subject. But as we all know, problems don’t disappear just because you are tired of talking about them, so here goes.

There has been an explosive increase in the number of rape charges in the city of Oslo, but both the media and the authorities consistently refuse to tell us why.
Tim Blair compares the prof's words with some of Kofi Annan's:
The offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were first published in a European country which has recently acquired a significant Muslim population, and is not yet sure how to adjust to it.
I'm old enough to remember the "Reclaim the Streets" demonstrations of the 1970s, a cause celebre of the left, in which feminist marchers demonstrated against attacks on women. Street lighting was extended as a consequence and, in a case of an excellent campaign championed by the left succeeding, women did indeed become safer in the streets. I haven't been able to find any good links about the Reclaim the Streets marches, I tried when I wrote about the mass sexual assault in Cairo this October.

Interesting, isn't it, that this has now become a cause of the right?

There are several things here to unpick.

Firstly, the idea that women can provoke rape by dressing immodestly. If a woman walks through the streets naked she is perhaps misguided, possibly reprehensible, but never a legitimate target for rape. No woman, or man, is ever under any circumstances a legitimate target for rape. I can hardly believe I have to type that sentence in the year 2006. But, in the light of the reported Wikan belief system, I do.

On to the more complicated part of this. Why has the left abandoned, and the right adopted, this cause? In a word, immigration. Immigration has galvanised the right, and paralysed the left. If nothing else, this shows the system of comparative values: for the left, issues entangled with migration outweigh the disgust with sexual violence; for the right, they outweigh a puritanical disgust at immodest dressing on the part of young women today.

That is of course enough of a simplification to be untrue. Simplifications are like that. I'm on the right, apparently, but I don't have a problem with women dressing immodestly, in fact I often approve... I'm not a conservative. I think we should have gay marriage, not civil partnerships; I think we should legalise drugs, all drugs; I think we should have legal, licensed brothels. Not a manifesto to get Melanie Phillips rushing to a barricade. Strangely enough, I think it is a conservative manifesto, in an ideal world. Gay marriage? Gay adoption? Gay priests? To paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke: getting married, bringing up kids, going to church... next thing you know, they'll be voting conservative. Smaller state, individual responsibility, responsibility for ones actions, your home is your castle... legalise drugs. This type of argument can be made for every Liberal (as opposed to liberal) cause.

The problem comes if you hate poofs. Or sex outside marriage - commercial sex at that. Or bohemian, sensualist lifestyles. Or, in the present context, people with more permanent suntans than ones own. While conservatives never approved of rape, they didn't feature noticably in the Reclaim the Street marches. Now there is a clear problem with immigrant crime (which is under-reported as matter of public policy), including rape, they seem more galvanised.

It's hard to be as charitable about the left, or at least, the hard left. It would be easy to mock the self-proclaimed Decent Left if it weren't for the fact that they are conspicuously decent. But the hard left seeks to interpret worries about immigrant crime as some kind of phobia, because they are trapped within a Marxist dialectic of wealth and poverty, power and powerlessness, that has absolutely no relevance to contemporary problems.

It is axiomatic for Kofi Annan, Professor Wikan and Channel 4 that a host community must adapt to immigrants, even when it comes to being raped or allowing hard won freedom of expression to be eroded by a supremacist, atavistic minority.

But what does assimilation mean? No noodles for the Chinese? No Balti or Tiger beer for Indians? No pizza for Italians in America? Assimilation is, and always has been, a melting pot. Balti was invented in England. Tiger beer is the brainchild of an English entrepreneur, of Indian stock. Take away pizza is an American invention. Assimilation is a melding, the cherry-picking of the best of all worlds, and of all the world. It does not mean that women need to wear a sack developed in Arabia as a shield against sandstorms if they are to be free of the threat of rape.

This problem is not purely a Muslim one. Sikh fanatics closed a play in Birmingham a year or so ago. Hindus are guilty of forced marriages and honour violence. African migrants to Europe commit more than their fair share of rapes, if that isn't too contradictory a phrase. Cypriot armed robbers were a problem people of a certain age can remember in London. Carribean migrants shoot guns a disproportionate amount of the time, and there is an entirely unreported phenomenon of muggings of white pensioners in north London by Carribean migrant descendants that is entirely racist. When you have migration, you get the whole migrant, warts and all, and racism is a disease that crosses every boundary.

But this problem is overwhelmingly a Muslim one. And that is absolutely not the fault of the majority of Muslims. Equally emphatically, it is the fault of a minority of them. Unfortunately, they are the people the governments of Britain, America and other countries have chosen to shower with public money, and allow to represent themselves as "Muslim" spokesmen (and they are almost all men).

And it is the fault of the Marxist left, who are unable to fault, in any way, a minority they see as powerless.

Muslims are not powerless. They are, in fact, uniquely privileged in western society. Police raiding a house in parts of England will, if it is a Muslim household, remove their shoes, not use dogs, and not touch any holy books. Before a raid is undertaked, community leaders will be consulted. Community leaders? I don't have a community leader, and many Muslims are sick of the bearded old loons who appoint themselves to these roles, but it still happens. No analagous privilges are extended to any other section of the community. No racist could tell the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim, yet Hindus outperform the host community and Muslims underperform. The fault lies with the Muslims, or more accurately, with their culture.

But even if they were powerless, this would not stop them developing a hateful fascistic ideology. Such ideologies are almost a signature of the powerless. Look at White Aryan Resistance in the USA, or the BNP here in Britain. They are not organisations of suave, accomplished, successful people.

Circumstances such as power, powerlessness, wealth or poverty have no bearing on the ideologies that develop in sections of the community. That we have home-grown apologists for rape is a scandal. That this isn't front page news is a scandal. That we don't welcome people here, but maintain our standards of decency is a scandal.

Kofi Annan is a handsome, dignified scumbag who has presided over one of the worst episodes in the history of the U.N. but this isn't an excuse, it's just context. Values are absolute. Adjustment should be towards what is right - liberty, democracy, freedom of expression and the safety and integrity of the person.

UPDATE - Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher points out that Wikan is female and might have more complicated views than would appear from the above.


Super-Electro-Magnetic Midget Launcher said...

Wikan appears to be female. Also, it may be that there are two of them, or that some of her views have been poorly translated, or something, or maybe what seems consistent to her doesn't seem consistent to others. Dunno (obviously).

dmatr said...

For another example of the host community must adapt idea see Brian Walden's BBC News comment, What does multiculturalism mean?:

"This is not a problem incapable of accommodation, but Muslims will have to be allowed to proclaim convictions opposite to those of the majority. That will call for goodwill on all sides."

He doesn't even consider whether Muslims will have to adapt their beliefs to fit the host country - like everybody else has to. But requiring everyone else to change to accommodate Islam will apparently require "goodwill on both sides"...

Anonymous said...

I quite enjoy most of your posts and happen to agree with much of what you say. I do part company with you on your constant sniping at the BNP and your portrayal of them as 'hateful, fascistic and violent'. Equating the BNP with the White Aryan Resistance is really a bit much. Having read all the material on their site I've yet to find anything violent or fascistic and the only hatred to be found is reserved for the Marxist left who have got us into this sorry mess.

I'm also far from convinced by the veiled and covered woman as erotic and immodest argument. All I can say it doesn't have anywhere near that effect on me.

Peter Risdon said...

I wasn't equating the BNP with WAR in that sense, just saying they have both draw their members from the ranks of the powerless. You're right, the BNP are nowhere near as bad as WAR. They're not as bad as the Islamists, and they're not as bad as most of the state-funded Muslim groups who bay for their prosecution or banning.

Beneath the window dressing of their website, though, are people with long histories of political and other violence, and those with the strange habit of dressing up in brown uniforms in private. Sorry, I don't like them at all.

Few veiled women have anything erotic about them, it's true. Equally, some do.