Bruce Bawer writes in the Christian Science Monitor, with thanks to Looney Tunes.
OSLO — The recent rioting in Paris suburbs and elsewhere in Europe should not have surprised anyone. Europe’s Muslim communities are powder kegs, brimming with an alienation born of both an assiduously inculcated antagonism toward infidel society and an infidel society whose integration policies – which should actually be called segregation policies – have perversely encouraged this ire.
I first noticed the problem when I lived in Amsterdam in 1999. A visitor to that city might imagine that not one Muslim lived there. But to venture just a few blocks beyond the tourist-crowded streets was to learn otherwise. In my neighborhood, the sidewalks were crowded with hijab-clad women pushing baby carriages. There were as many signs in Arabic as in Dutch. Outside the “neighborhood center” waved a large Turkish flag.
Such districts, I learned, could be found across Europe. Muslims were a huge, rapidly growing – and highly segregated – minority. In city after city, downtown areas were almost 100 percent European, the outskirts increasingly Muslim.
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 ChrÃ©tien de Troyes (too chrÃ©tien). 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.”…
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