Thursday, May 3, 2012

10 Theses on Multiculturalism (!)

1) Multiculturalism has not been intellectually defeated. The principle that a liberal state should encourage diversity within the rule of law and embrace pluralism as a good still holds.

2) Religious freedoms including those of expression remain important to defend including the public performance of ritual; religion does have a role in the public square.

3) Our liberal democracies should continue to embrace a pluralist form of liberalism that is tolerant of difference and not illiberal – pluralistic not monistic. 
4) Fundamentalism (of religious faith and practice) should not be confused with political and violent extremism.  

5) Faith is more than introspective belief (or set of propositions about reality held to be true) and includes the performance of ritual as moral agency.

6) The strength of democracies lies in their ability to embrace difference and protect the rights of minorities and those who do not have easy access to power. 

7) Interculturalism is not a serious alternative to multiculturalism
[cf. Tariq Modood].
8) Multiculturalism should not involve a colonial approach to communities and should not assume communities are homogenous but should recognise differences and different priorities within communities.
9) States should engage with citizens at the different levels of identities that they hold and wish to express in the public sphere (again within the rule of law).

10) Multiculturalism is ultimately about cooperation across communities that constitute society to cooperate in pursuit of the common good.

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