September 8, 2006
On Refusal To Assimilate - 'Female Muslim Teacher In Netherlands Dismissed For RefusIng To Shake Hands With Men'
Take home message - Isn't it time to ask ourselves why it is that many Muslims in fact DO ASSIMILATE quite well into Western society and culture, as have Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and agnostics, while others - uniquely certain Muslims - choose to place the ummah before the nation of which they supposedly have become a citizen - and instead of assimilating and taking their rightful place within the society they supposedly are a member of - make the conscious and purposeful decision to refuse to assimilate because they follow a strict interpretation of an Islamist ideology and an "Islamic" identity? More importantly, why is such refusal to assimilate tolerated by Muslims and non-Muslims alike?
A female Muslim teacher has been suspended by a school in Utrecht for refusing to shake hands with men. The school administration believes her action to be discriminatory against men and a poor example of students being prepared for the job market:
Newspaper 'AD' broke the story on Friday that the woman, who is not native Dutch, has been asked to stay at home after she decided on religious grounds not to shake hands with men ever again. The school feels this is unacceptableRead more...
... "If she doesn't want to shake hands at home, fine. But everyone is welcome at this school. Discussion is great, but religious and political flag-waving must stay at home," Engbers said.
... "We are preparing our boys and girls for the labour market. We all know how fragile the situation is for allochtone (non native Dutch) young people. Therefore it is good that they shake hands during a job interview. We believe that is important."
The teacher's refusal to shake hands speaks volumes about many of the problems that relate to Islamic communities in Europe today - a refusal to assimilate and adopt the customs of the nation that has accepted them into their fold in good faith. The story comes on the same day of a related story in the WaPo titled, "Don't Ignore Western Europe, Terrorism Expert Warns U.S." that warns that many Muslims are alienated by the multicultural continent's "inability to assimilate them." As we've come to expect from the WaPo - it's always the fault of the West - it's the West's failure to assimilate the Muslims, not the Muslim's failure to assimilate into the West. Unfortunately, this is the view of many so-called intellectual elite - those who walk around without both feet on the ground. Why so?
The longer we blame ourselves for the failure of others, the longer we delay solving the problem, and ignorance of the jihad ideology among European officials and media such as the WaPo has allowed that ideology to spread in Muslim enclaves, and remain unchecked until relatively recently.
A November 2005 piece by Robert Spencer, written during the Paris riots, points to the underlying basis of the Muslim failure to assimilate into European culture and society:
... Consequently, among a generation of Muslims born in Europe, significant numbers have nothing but contempt and disdain for their native lands, and allegiance only to the Muslim umma and the lands of their parents' birth. Those who continue to arrive in Europe from Muslim countries are encouraged by the isolation, self-imposed and other-abetted, of the Islamic communities in Europe to hold to the same attitudes. The Arab European League, a Muslim advocacy group operating in Belgium and the Netherlands, states as part of its "vision and philosophy" that "we believe in a multicultural society as a social and political model where different cultures coexist with equal rights under the law." It strongly rejects for Muslims any idea of assimilation or integration into European societies: "We do not want to assimilate and we do not want to be stuck somewhere in the middle. We want to foster our own identity and culture while being law abiding and worthy citizens of the countries where we live. In order to achieve that it is imperative for us to teach our children the Arabic language and history and the Islamic faith. We will resist any attempt to strip us of our right to our own cultural and religious identity, as we believe it is one of the most fundamental human rights." AEL founder Dyab Abou Jahjah, who was himself arrested in November 2002 and charged with inciting Muslims in Antwerp to riot (Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said that the AEL was "trying to terrorize the city"), has declared: "Assimilation is cultural rape. It means renouncing your identity, becoming like the others." He implied that European Muslims had a right to bring the ideology of jihad and Sharia to Europe, complaining that in Europe "I could still eat certain dishes from the Middle East, but I cannot have certain thoughts that are based on ideologies and ideas from the Middle East."So once again, let's ask ourselves:
What kind of ideologies? Perhaps Hani Ramadan, grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasan Al-Banna and brother of the famed self-proclaimed moderate Muslim spokesman Tariq Ramadan, gave a hint when he defended the traditional Islamic Sharia punishment of stoning for adultery in the Paris journal Le Monde. In Denmark, politician Fatima Shah echoed the same sentiments in November 2004. That same month, filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who had made a film, Submission, about the oppression of women by Islamic law, was murdered in Holland by a Muslim, Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyeri later declared in court: "I did what I did purely out my beliefs. I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan and felt insulted." In other words, his problem was religious, not racial: Van Gogh had blasphemed Islam, and so according to Islamic law he had to die. Significantly, Bouyeri maintained during his trial that he did not recognize the authority of the Dutch court, but only of the law of Islam.
How many European Muslims share the sentiments of Mohammed Bouyeri?
Isn't it time to ask ourselves why it is that many Muslims in fact DO ASSIMILATE quite well into Western society and culture, as have Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and agnostics, while others - uniquely certain Muslims - choose to place the ummah before the nation of which they supposedly have become a citizen - and instead of assimilating and taking their rightful place within the society they supposedly are a member of - make the conscious and purposeful decision to refuse to assimilate because they follow a strict interpretation of an Islamist ideology and an "Islamic" identity? More importantly, why is such refusal to assimilate tolerated by Muslims and non-Muslims alike?
A problem with Muslim enclaves
Hat tip - Harry Owens
Cross posted from Hyscience
Posted by Richard at September 8, 2006 12:29 PM