Term coined and used by Norwegian
comedienne Shabana Rehman
to deride progressive indigenous European
s who unconditionally embrace multiculturalism
, while ignoring or rationalising beliefs or behaviour that would contravene social
norms or even their own liberal values. As she suggested in one performance: if an Asian country dropped a nuclear bomb on Norway, these people would run to the nearest book store to buy a book about oriental culture
. For Asian read Islamic
, as like many Western European countries in Norway
a common theme is the rising population of Muslims who are alienated (or choose to alienate themselves) from the social life of their landed countries.
She first earnt the ire of progressive Norwegians when she made light of Islam's treatment of women in her comedy routines in the early 2000s. One of her first jokes concerned how hymen reconstruction surgery allowed Muslim women to have both a pre-marital sex life and the false claim of chastity to their future husbands. The punch-line was that these girls were not cheating, but rather it was society, being both puritanical and promiscuous, that was devious. This and other skits led to Rehman receiving complaints and death threats from young Islamic hardliners, but a surprising rebuke came from progressive Norwegians who criticised her insensitivity towards Muslim attitudes.
Halal hippies are affluent enough to live away from the ghettos and educated enough to work in secure jobs, and so can afford to tut-tut on the white trash who vote for the extreme right. The well-intentioned progressives choose to support multiculturalism because of lingering, innate and European beliefs of the universality of mankind, a fear of a resurgence of Nazi-era nationalism, a liking for the synergy generated when many different cultures meet, or just simply a wider choice of take-away restaurants, home furnishings and friends. The sting that Rehman as a young female Muslim felt from the standpoint of these halal hippies was that they themselves were in a comfortable enough position in Norwegian society to commentate on these social issues and enjoy the fruits of multiculturalism without having to deal with forced marriages, domestic violence or anti-gay attitudes in their own lives, let alone living the life of a dissident.
Christopher Hitchens and others traditionally associated with liberal causes have also made criticism of what they perceive as intellectual cowardice by cultural relativist apologists in failing to condemn authoritarian attitudes in non-Western societies, such as when Salman Rushdie was issued with a fatwa, or when James Joyce publically lavished Stalin with praise while the Ukrainian terror famine was in full swing.
See also useful idiot.