The carnival of culture
From a piece by Hanif Kureishi:
If the idea of multiculturalism makes some people vertiginous, monoculturalism - of whatever sort - is much worse. Political and social systems have to define themselves in terms of what they exclude, and conservative Islam is leaving out a lot.
You can't ask people to give up their religion; that would be absurd. Religions may be illusions, but these are important and profound illusions. And they will modify as they come into contact with other ideas. This is what an effective multiculturalism is: not a superficial exchange of festivals and food, but a robust and committed exchange of ideas - a conflict that is worth enduring, rather than a war.
When it comes to teaching the young, we have the human duty to inform them that there is more than one book in the world, and more than one voice, and that if they wish to have their voices heard by others, everyone else is entitled to the same thing. These children deserve better than an education that comes from liberal guilt.