Iain Dale has done a list of things he learned after going to Rwanda. One of them was that "We should not try to impose our way of life on others", which, another Tory blogger, Benedict White agreed with in the comments saying "yes we should not impose our way of life on other countries, they do things differently there and why not". In fairness to Iain he says we shouldn't "try" to do it, rather than that we must do it under any cost, but I must say I'm surprised with Benedict White's more forceful expression of cultural relativism.
This view that we should not impose our values on other countries and simply accept their they're just "different" is worrying. It means, consequentially that we should just turn a blind eye if a country wants to carry out forced female genital mutilation on 10 year old girls. It states, "why, that's their culture and they're entitled to do things differently!" Sorry, but they're not and we should impose our values in such circumstances.
Alternatively, in somewhere like Afghanistan where the Taliban outlawed music; forced women to wear burkhas; stoned women to death for being raped. Why bloody shouldn't we think our way of life is better than that? Our values of equity, liberty, freedom and justice are superior to that medievalism. It may sound lofty to say "we shouldn't impose our way on life on other countries" but it leads to accepting some pretty horrible things if you stick to it.
This doesn't mean you have to support imposition by the barrel of the gun, but if a country has values that are the anti-thesis to ours then why shouldn't we use other methods to impose our values on them? Especially if they want money from us? I for one don't like the idea of paying money to a country that, for example, carries out forced female circumcision on ten year olds.
So yes, we shouldn't go out and seek to impose our way of life around the world actively. However, when things are happening that run contrary to our Enlightenment values we shouldn't sit and accept it on the basis of playing equivalence. That way lies folly. Firstly, it suggests that we don't even believe in our own values (which is what Islamists quite successfully exploit already) and secondly it leads us into accepting some of the most oppressive and disgusting practices on the grounds that "oh well that's their culture".