Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bruce Bawer: Not all Muslims want to integrate

Our friend Bruce Bawer has a new piece out, this time about the state of Muslim immigrants in Europe (via Andrew Sullivan):
A government report leaked last March depicted an increasingly two-track educational system: More and more Muslim students refuse to sing, dance, participate in sports, sketch a face, or play an instrument. They won't draw a right angle (it looks like part of the Christian cross). They won't read Voltaire and Rousseau (too antireligion), Cyrano de Bergerac (too racy), Madame Bovary (too pro-women), or Chr├ętien de Troyes (too chr├ętien). One school has separate toilets for "Muslims" and "Frenchmen"; another obeyed a Muslim leader's call for separate locker rooms because "the circumcised should not have to undress alongside the impure."
I've heard similar stories from friends in Norway who work in the military or the school system (some Oslo schools have "ghetto-like" immigrant populations). Tales of separate showers, lockers and kitchens (where pots are not stained by pork), and refusal to participate in ordinary school activities. Clearly this can't go on.

I am a Norwegian living in America and I am offended by many things American. But my choices are clear; I either put up, leave, or work to change things in a constructive manner. (This blog is partially an attempt at the latter.) The same should go for Muslims in Europe. Therefore I support Bawer's conclusion:
It's a war authorities can't afford to lose. By accepting separatism, Europe is becoming a house divided against itself. Governments must take a firm, aggressive, integration- oriented line - must, among other things, end separate treatment in schools and turn welfare recipients into workers. Above all, they must stand alongside Muslims who wish to integrate - not those who seek to colonize. And they must hope - and pray - that it isn't already too late.

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