Guest post

The curtain falls

A stunning – and stunningly disturbing – event took place this past weekend.  But unless you were scouring the news very carefully, chances are you didn’t even hear of it.

The annual Bravalla Festival, one of the most popular summer music concerts in Sweden, was abruptly canceled.  There will be no festival next year.

Or ever.

Given that tens of thousands of tickets were sold, the problem was not attendance.  Nor was there any difficulty booking big-name rap and rock stars.  No, this festival was canceled because of something far more ominous – Bravalla has become synonymous with rape and sexual assault.

Festival officials, as they announced the end of Bravalla, complained that “certain men” don’t know how to behave.  You might wonder if those “certain men” are strapping blonde Swedes with names like Erik, Viktor, and Gustav.

But in fact, the assailants are allegedly immigrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and other predominantly Muslim areas of the world.

One year ago the Bravalla Festival gained a measure of infamy when police reported five rapes and a dozen cases of molestation.  The story got minor coverage in some media outlets, including the New York Times, which described the assailants as “foreigners” and “refugees.”

Predictably, the Times also warned of a “far-right” backlash.

This year the situation was even more sickening, with four reported rapes and 23 instances of sexual assault.  And the Times?  The “paper of record” chose to run a brief Associated Press dispatch noting that the festival has been shut down.

Nowhere was there any mention that Muslim immigrants were the likely perps.

Sweden, like many European socialist paradises, has been in a state of deep denial about its refugee crisis.  If you believe authorities and tourism officials, immigrants are fitting in quite nicely in the world’s most liberal nation.

But what about those rumors of “no-go zones,” where crime is rampant and where police fear to tread?  Well, we’re assured that’s just “fake news” perpetrated by anti-immigrant groups.

But earlier this year a courageous British reporter named Katie Hopkins decided to take a look for herself.  She ventured into some of Sweden’s imaginary “no-go zones” and spoke with women who are absolutely terrified of going out alone, day or night.

They know that crossing onto the wrong street in some cities is an invitation to harassment, assault, even rape.

These women are also afraid of feminists and liberals, who accuse them of being racists if they speak the truth.  Hopkins wrote this about one woman she met in Stockholm:  “The migrant men scare her.  But it is the Swedish women who have silenced her.”

Bravalla is not the only music festival where women are in jeopardy.  There were dozens of rapes and assaults at another concert a few years ago, allegedly committed by young Afghan men who had been embraced by Sweden’s outstretched arms.

And of course it’s not just Sweden.  In Germany, New Year’s Eve of 2016 was marred by sexual assaults and rapes in many cities.  Police reported that more than 1,000 women were victimized by hordes of young men.

Again, the perps weren’t Wolfgang, Hans, und Dieter.  They were described by the women as men of “Arab or North African appearance.”

Governments in Europe and a compliant media do their best to ignore the unending and escalating threat of violence.  It simply does not fit the liberal narrative, which dictates that all cultures and all religions are pretty much the same.  But reality has a very harsh way of prevailing over fantasy.

Sweden has the highest rate of immigration in Europe, having taken in tens of thousands of refugees from Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere.  So you can think of the country as the canary in the coal mine.  That proverbial canary is now gasping for air as European bureaucrats turn a blind eye.

Most Swedes still embrace their reputation for tolerance and liberalism.  Many even seem quite willing to sacrifice a music festival or two if that’s what it takes to display their virtue.

And they willingly pay exorbitant taxes to subsidize refugees who despise Sweden’s libertine culture and sexual permissiveness.

Let’s put it this way:  The world’s most tolerant people are inviting the world’s most intolerant people into their nation and their cities.  The Swedes believe it’s a noble experiment.  But whether noble or foolish, it is an experiment doomed to fail.

The Bravalla Music Festival was just one casualty.  There will be many more.  Ironically, the festival urged fans to “choke hatred and violence and let the music win.”  Well, hatred and violence won and the music lost.

In the process, another small part of Europe has vanished, thanks to cowardly ideologues who so desperately cling to their open-border, one-world fantasies.  A once-great continent and its cultures are slowly dying.  To be more accurate, they are committing suicide.

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(The above was written by former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly. His excellent website is here.)

Guest post

‘Unbridled nonsense’

(The adulation of “diversity” and multiculturalism is a given in high-end Western society. Schools, corporations, clubs, you name it, all bow daily to the Goddess of Diversity. This Goddess also goes by the name of Multiculturalism.

(For years I have pointed out that multiculturalism is a problem to be confronted in the kindest way possible. It is not something to be pushed and promoted. A multicultural society is a troubled, often violent, society. This is patently obvious today in the United States and Western Europe.

(In spite of my frequent mentions of this, I don’t recall even one person passing by here who touched on the subject negatively or positively. It is a no-go zone enforced by fear. To question the glories of multiculturalism is to risk banishment from polite society and your gainful employment too.

(A recent example was Diversity’s Paradox. There were 27 comments and not one soul touched on the topic at hand in spite of my mentioning that no one was addressing the topic.

(The mailed fist of the Left enforces this stance with the same ferocity that Adolf Hitler compelled hatred of Jews.

(No matter. It is nonsense. Here is a guest post by Walter E. Williams, who is black so he gets a small, temporary, pass from Polite Society for his horrendous opinions.)

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williams
Williams

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that multiculturalism has “utterly failed,” adding that it was an illusion to think Germans and foreign workers could “live happily side by side.”

The failure of multiculturalism is also seen in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and other European countries. Immigrants coming from Africa and the Middle East refuse to assimilate and instead seek to import the failed cultures they fled.

Leftist diversity advocates and multiculturalists are right to argue that people of all races, religions and cultures should be equal in the eyes of the law. But their argument borders on idiocy when they argue that one culture cannot be judged superior to another and that to do so is Eurocentrism.

That’s unbridled nonsense. Ask a diversity/multiculturalism advocate: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value?

Slavery is practiced in northern Sudan.

In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits placed on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves are punished by having their hand severed.

In some African and Middle Eastern countries, homosexuality is a crime, in some cases punishable by death. Are all these cultural values morally equivalent to those of the West?

The vital achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights, which saw its birth with the Magna Carta in 1215. The idea emerged that individuals have certain inalienable rights. Individuals do not exist to serve government; governments exist to protect their rights.

But it was not until the 19th century that ideas of liberty received broad recognition. In the West, it was mostly through the works of British philosophers, such as John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.

Personal liberty implies toleration of differences among people, whether those differences are racial, sexual, ideological or political. Liberty also implies a willingness to permit others who disagree with you to go their separate ways.

This is not the vision of the new immigrants.

In some parts of Britain, Christians are threatened with violence for merely handing out Bibles. Trying to convert Muslims to Christianity is seen as a hate crime. Women are accosted by Muslim men for “improper” dress.

Many women are sexually assaulted. In many European countries, no-go zones where civil authorities will not enter, in which Sharia is practiced, have been established.

According to the Express, “London, Paris, Stockholm and Berlin are among the major European cities that feature on a bombshell list of 900 lawless zones with large immigrant populations.”

Both in Europe and in the U.S., multiculturalism is a leftist elitist vision with its roots in academia. The intellectual elite, courts and government agencies push an agenda that is anything but a defense of individual rights, freedom from conformity and a live-and-let-live philosophy.

Instead, multiculturalism/diversity is an agenda for all kinds of conformity — conformity in ideas, actions and speech. It calls for re-education programs where diversity managers indoctrinate students, faculty members, employees, managers and executives on what’s politically correct thinking.

Part of that lesson is non-judgmentalism, where one is taught that one lifestyle is just as worthy as another and all cultures and their values are morally equivalent.

Western values are superior to all others. But one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. A person can be Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, African or Arab and hold Western values.

By the way, it is no accident that Western values of reason and individual rights have produced unprecedented health, life expectancy, wealth and comfort for the ordinary person.

There’s an indisputable positive relationship between liberty and standards of living.

There is also indisputable evidence that we in the West are unwilling to defend ourselves from barbarians. Just look at our response to the recent Orlando massacre, in which we’ve focused our energies on guns rather than on terrorists.

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Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.