For John, BLUF: Are there some universal norms. Are we endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights? Nothing to see here; just move along.
This may fall in the area of obscure micro-facts, but a young Pakistani Woman, Malala Yousufzai, is the co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, and is now under attack in Pakistan.
The thing is, the winner, Ms Yousufzai, is being belittled and ridiculed by segments of her native land. Perhaps is is not unexpected, considering that Ms Yousufzai came to public attention when an Pakistani Taliban "soldier" fired three bullets at her on a school bus. She was 15 years old and violating the Taliban ban on girls going to school. One of the bullets hit her in the head. She was in a coma for several days and eventually taken to the United Kingdom for treatment. She is now back in school, in England.
On Columbus Day it is perhaps fitting to ask ourselves what we believe about interfering with other cultures. Should the Taliban (and Boko Harem) be allowed to deny schooling to young women? Should those cultures be allowed to engage in arranged marriages? What right do we have to insert ourselves into such situations? And if someone defines the norms of their own culture, perhaps acts under more "Western" attitudes or sensibilities, should we support that person or reject them?
Most important, if someone brings an alien culture to our shores should we embrace them and their culture or should we tell them they need to adapt?
Hat tip to Ann Althouse.
Regards — Cliff
Indian child advocate Kailash Satyarthi