Could this be National Review’s last article critical of the creeping Islamization of Europe? “Wrong from Head to Toe: A ridiculous and ominous decision in Britain,” by Theodore Dalrymple in the March 28 issue of NR, via The Manhattan Institute, with thanks to EPG:
In the long annals of judicial stupidity, there can rarely have been a more idiotic judgment than that recently given by Lord Justice Brooke of the British Court of Appeal. It reads like the suicide note not of a country alone, but of an entire civilization.
A young Muslim girl, Shabina Begum, who attended a state school in Luton, England, four-fifths of whose pupils were Muslim, started a legal battle when she was 13 to be allowed the jilbab, a form of dress that leaves only her face and hands exposed. She was almost certainly put up to this by her older brother, a supporter of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a Muslim party that seeks to establish a Muslim world state, that believes democracy is blasphemy, and that denies that the Western citizenship of Muslims is real or meaningful, or confers any privileges or imposes any duties.
The school in question had, in fact, worked out a dress code for Muslim girls that satisfied almost everyone. It was extremely accommodating: Various forms of modest dress were allowed, including certain types of scarf. But, after two years of accepting the dress code, Shabina Begum suddenly started to appear in her jilbab. The school demanded that she go home and change into a costume that accorded with the dress code, but she refused. Eventually she brought a case, supported and possibly funded by the Hizb ut-Tahrir, under the U.K.’s Human Rights Act. She claimed that the school was denying her right to an education.
She lost the case, and also an appeal, but won at the last hurdle. The Guardian reported that after her victory, she said she “could scream with happiness.”
When they heard of her victory, many Muslim women around the country must have wanted to scream with quite different emotions, despair and rage prominent among them. For Lord Justice Brooke’s ruling, that Shabina Begum’s human rights had been denied, and that she had been discriminated against illegally on religious grounds, displayed a complete and invincible ignorance of the social context of the case. Lord Justice Brooke saw no evil, heard no evil, and felt no evil. In effect, therefore, he was giving succor to those Muslim men who still abuse women in a medieval fashion.
Regardless of whether Shabina Begum acted in this case without duress and of her own free will, which seems to me highly unlikely given that the traditional place of Muslim women is not the public spotlight, the fact is that substantial numbers of young Muslim women are virtually enslaved in Britain; they grow up in what can only be called a totalitarian environment. I know this from what my patients have told me. They are not allowed out of the house except under escort, and sometimes not even then; they are allowed no mail or use of the telephone; they are not allowed to contradict a male member of the household, and are automatically subject to his wishes; it is regarded as quite legitimate to beat them if they disobey in the slightest. Their brothers are often quite willing to attack anyone who speaks to the women in any informal context. They are forced to wear modes of dress that they do not wish to wear. Their schooling is quite often deliberately interrupted, so that they are not infected by Western ideas of personal liberty; ambitious for a career, they are kept at home as prisoners and domestic slaves.
Worst of all are the forced marriages to which they are subjected. They are taken by their parents, often at a young age, “back” to Pakistan, where they are told that they are getting married, often to a first cousin. Their fathers regard their British passports with all the respect Hitler accorded to treaties. The young women have possession of their passports only fleetingly, as they pass through immigration. Thereafter, they are confiscated by the father and held as ransom against their good behavior, which in this, as in every other, instance means doing as they are told.
If by any chance they should object to their marriage, they are mercilessly beaten and in some cases killed. All the young women who are taken to Pakistan are aware of such cases: Like the shooting of Admiral Byng, such cases are committed pour encourager les autres. Very occasionally, the parents do not even transport the recalcitrant girls to Pakistan to kill them: They do it in England. Recently in the prison in which I work, I met a young man of Pakistani origin who was afraid of the other young men of Pakistani origin in the prison. Why? Because he had previously given important evidence in court in a case in which a girl who had refused to marry the husband selected for her by her parents was murdered by her father and brothers. The other young men of Pakistani origin thought the man who had testified was a traitor to their religion and culture; for in fact it is a religion and culture very convenient to the young men, whom it supplies with a domestic slave and mother of children while they can entertain themselves elsewhere. The whole evil system would break down if any of the young women were allowed their freedom, which is why the men must stick together. Like any form of totalitarianism, it is strong but brittle.
I have spoken to Muslims about this, and they tell me that what I am
describing is customary or cultural practice, not a religious requirement. I am not scholar enough to know whether they are right, but it is certainly customary practice over a large area of the earth’s surface. And so long as this practice, be it religious or customary, is widespread, the word of no Muslim girl who claims to want to wear increasingly “modest” dress can be taken at her word, any more than a public figure in the USSR could have been taken as expressing his own personal opinion. If the judge was aware of this, he took no notice of it….
Read it all.