Liberal values require that wealthy democratic countries promote democracy in poor countries ruled by dictatorships. This has resulted in bombing countries to prepare the way for democracy, particularly if these dictatorships are located in oil rich regions and have anti-western foreign policies. Such appears to be the logic behind recent wars against Libya and Iraq and the overthrow of their decades old governments. The same effort has been made in Syria but has been inhibited owing to the Russian defense of the Syrian Assad regime.
These wars for democracy have created more instability and terrorism and achieved the opposite of what they intended. Liberal values have resulted in the arising of crude violent factions like ISIS, leading to ongoing civil strife in the Middle East – compared to which the old dictatorships of Sadaam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi seem peaceful and prosperous.
The refugee crisis
Liberal values similarly require that western countries humanely accept refugees fleeing from wars and civil conflicts, particularly when the violence has been fueled by liberal countries and their foreign policies. Yet taking in refugees is expensive, and given the disparities between rich and poor, peaceful and violent nations, can result in an unlimited flow of refugees that is too much to handle.
Europe is undergoing the greatest challenge to its culture and identity since World War II. Germany, the most economically powerful state in Europe, is facing the brunt of this. It has welcomed a million refugees this last year alone, a large number for a country of 80 million. To put it into perspective per capita, this would be like India taking in over fifteen million refugees.
Europe in wake of terrorist attacks in France and threats in Belgium has become a region under a siege mentality. Now public celebrations are met with potential fear and anxiety of new attacks. Western Europe is marked by more and more refugee camps and a growing police presence.
The irony is that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are refusing to take in these refugees, though they share the same Sunni Islamic beliefs, under the stated fear that terrorists will come in with them, an attitude that would be regarded as racist for liberal Europeans.
Liberal feminism compromised
Liberal feminism, which took centuries to develop, may be the first cultural victim of liberal refugee policies. The refugees that Germany welcomed already appear targeting European women, as in the recent Cologne News Year’s celebration in which many women were harassed, assaulted and robbed, with similar cases occurring throughout Europe.
European women, proud of their freedoms, must be careful wearing what they want or moving about freely, particularly at public events. Even high school girls in communities near refugee camps are directed to dress modestly. There are parts of European cities where residents can no longer go and where European women are not safe. Yet to question this growing danger appears intolerant according to present liberal attitudes.
If we look at photographs from several decades ago, women had greater freedom in dress and behavior from Egypt to Afghanistan. Now we are told to respect the re-veiling of women in these countries as a cultural choice and freedom of expression, though the women themselves do not have the freedom to dress otherwise.
Catering to fundamentalists under the guise of liberalism
We ignore moderates and reformists in Islam and ascribe the voice of religious authority in Islam to fundamentalists only. Even the US, the paradigm of western liberalism and democracy, continues to support Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in spite of their violence and intolerance.
The same dangers exist for India. Liberal values are used to excuse terrorism and stretch the tolerance of the majority culture. Hindus are asked not to defend themselves in order not to offend other groups, even when these others intentionally malign Hindu sacred traditions.
Liberal policies have resulted in turning the Middle East into a haven for terrorists, and bringing fear and loss of freedom into Europe. If it continues, liberal culture may end up self-destructing, replaced by chaos or a police state.
Liberal European culture may soon become a thing of the past, without the loss of any battle, but from the triumph of a liberal media and a liberal foreign policy itself.
Such supposed liberal policies need to be radically rethought, if not replaced. They may not be so liberal after all. A dangerous future looms ahead and bold new policies are required. Freedom that is not protected can be easily and irretrievably lost.