Thursday, November 17, 2005

Separate but Arrogant

Bruce Bawer, a native New Yorker now living in Europe (Oslo) notes that Not all Muslims want to integrate.

Americans know about ghettos. For many of our families, they've been a stage in the transition from immigrant to native. Many ghetto residents are still, essentially, foreigners; integration takes place largely in the next generation, as the children of immigrants go to school, find jobs, and leave the ghetto behind.

Not in Europe. Officially, to be sure, France is less multicultural than most European countries - witness its rejection of religious labels in public documents and its ban on hijabs in schools. But enduring segregation is a fact of life in France as it is elsewhere on the continent. Millions of "French Muslims" don't consider themselves French. 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 Chrétien de Troyes (too chrétien). 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'm not being snarky; it's a good piece.

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