Witness multiculturalism, or the fantasy that different visions of the public good can coexist in the same space, at work in New Jersey. This is not just about what holidays to observe. It’s about the school district’s identity. Is it Christian, Muslim, all of the above, or none?
The Jersey City Board of Education voted last week not to close schools for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays for Muslims.
School board members in New Jersey made their decision Thursday despite appeals from Muslim attendees who showed up to advocate that the board change the school schedule.
At one point, things became so heated that an official urged security to “take charge” of the situation. At least one person was seen on video being escorted from the meeting.
“We feel alienated from the Board of Education, we feel alienated from this system,” Omar Abouelkhair told WNBC-TV.
“We’re going to be the majority soon,” another said.
The Islamic system they’re demanding is the same one they came to America’s shores to escape, steeped in an ideology of hate and easily swayed by distrust, corrosive to civility, safety, and productivity. Nevertheless, they want it. (Or maybe what brought them here was the commandment to overtake the infidels by mass immigration, hijra.)
The majority imposing what they believe to be right, whether or not it is truly right, is more reasonable than the cognitive dissonance multiculturalism requires, the pretense that the differences in people don’t matter, that we’ll get along if we just mind our private affairs and don’t butt into each other. We are not islands of rational autonomy, able to compartmentalize our private affairs and public personas. We are social beings, destined to cooperate with others. People organize themselves on the basis of mutual interest all the time, from work to politics to clubs. The “cooperation” of opposing interests subtracts from the social peace. To what end this factionalism, if not civil breakdown and war?
The secular, liberal model does not work because men are not monads. You can’t invite people to participate in society and expect them to not bring their inmost beliefs. In the public sphere, something will prevail over nothing. It’s all a matter of what that something is. The key to civility is not an absence of public passion, but a combination of correct passions prevailing over incorrect passions. Those passions develop in the soul, trained to stay in the likeness of God, and extend through the flesh out into the community.