Cultural Differences, Assimilation and Immigration Policy

Two stories currently in the news are, I think, illuminating. The first comes from Paris:

The incident took place when a veiled woman was spotted on the front row of a performance of La Traviata at the Opera Bastille….

France brought in a law in 2011 banning anyone from wearing clothing that conceals the face in a public space, or face a 150 euro ($190) fine.

The woman was sitting just behind the conductor, visible to monitors, wearing a scarf covering her hair and a veil over her mouth and nose during the performance on October 3.

“I was alerted in the second act,” said Thiellay, adding that “some performers said they did not want to sing” if something was not done. …

The spectator and her companion — tourists from the Gulf, according to MetroNews — were asked to leave by an inspector during the interval.

“He told her that in France there is a ban of this nature, asked her to either uncover her face or leave the room. The man asked the woman to get up, they left,” Thiellay said.

This is not the American way. Personally, I don’t like to see veiled women. It makes me uncomfortable. But my comfort is neither here nor there; it is her face and she can cover it if she wants to. (I am not speaking, obviously, about driver’s license photographs and the like.) Still, we Americans have a right to ask: do we want to have a lot of veiled women going about in public places?

The second story comes from New York City, via Pamela Geller:

A Manhattan man was charged with circumcising his much-younger wife after she refused to have sex, authorities said Tuesday.

Moussa Diarra, 48, wanted to have anal intercourse with the 24-year-old victim and when she said no, he forced himself on her, police said. He sodomized her before performing the horrific circumcision around 9 p.m. Sept. 14, the woman told cops.

The female “circumcision” referred to here means that he cut out her clitoris with a kitchen knife or some such tool. The operation is common in most Muslim countries; more than 96% of the women in Egypt have had their clitorises removed. The perpetrator in this case is being criminally prosecuted, as of course he should be.

When we import Islamic immigrants, we are importing a wide range of mores. The veil is acceptable, but to many, troubling. You might think that clitoridectomy is obviously beyond the pale, but no:

The American Academy of Pediatrics proposed a resolution to begin to practice this barbaric mutilation in a multicultural, dhimmi effort — a “nick,” as it were. Whatever their twisted multi-culti, dhimmi intention, this would have given clitoridectomy the seal of approval by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

There was uniform protest by counter-jihadists and other human rights groups to withdraw the American Pediatric Academy’s FGM resolution. And it withdrew the resolution.

Veils and clitoridectomies are both characteristically Islamic–both mandated, I take it, by Islamic law–but there is a wide gulf between them. The first we can tolerate, the second we cannot. (Beheading, too, falls into the second category.) But given the brain-dead multiculturalism of America’s establishment, we can have no confidence that even the most abhorrent practices of immigrant groups will be stamped out.

Further, Islam is problematic from the standpoint of immigration because it is as much a political movement as a religion. Sharia is intrinsic to Islam. America’s Constitution and traditions recognize a distinction between government and religion; Islam, in most if not all of its manifestations, does not. It seems, therefore, that the most prudent course would be to end immigration from predominantly Muslim countries, with exceptions for adherents of other faiths–Christians, Hindus, and so on–who are fleeing persecution. But, as is true with so many other issues, it is hard to imagine our paralyzed political institutions doing any such thing. So we can expect to ponder news reports of beheadings and amateur clitoridectomies for years to come.

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