Sunday, August 11, 2002

About Western Europe's courting of fundementalist Islam
The current issue of the Partisan Review has an informative essay about Tolerating Intolerance: The Challenge of Fundamentalist Islam in Western Europe” by Bruce Bawer.

Some “amusing” passages:
“In 1999, for example, the Guardian described a student conference on "Islamophobia" at King’s College, London, at which a speaker began by announcing politely, "I am a gay Muslim." That effectively ended his presentation: "For members of the majority Muslim audience, the expression was enough to ignite the most passionate opposition. Some people began to shout, while others came raging down to confront the speaker. Security was called and the conference came to a premature end."


Then, in October 1999, the Shari’ah Court of the U.K. declared a fatwa against Terence McNally, who in his play Corpus Christi had depicted Jesus Christ as gay. (In Islam, Jesus is counted among the prophets.) Signing the death order, judge Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammed emphasized the concept of honor, charging that the Church of England, by failing to take action against McNally, had "neglected the honour of the Virgin Mary and Jesus." The Daily Telegraph reported that according to the sheikh, "Islamic law states that Mr. McNally can only escape the fatwa by becoming a Muslim. . . . If he simply repents he would still be executed, but his family would be cared for by the Islamic state carrying out the sentence and he could be buried in a Muslim graveyard."


Among Muslims in Europe, it’s quite common for young people to be compelled by their parents to accept spouses they don’t want. Some women manage to escape these situations and seek protection in women’s shelters. In 1999 the Guardian published an article by Faisal Bodi, a British Muslim who complained about these shelters … "Refuges tear apart our families. Once a girl has walked in through their door, they do their best to stop her ever returning home. That is at odds with the Islamic impulse to maintain the integrity of the family."


Then, in September 2001 (only five days, in fact, before the destruction of the World Trade Center), the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that 65 percent of rapes of Norwegian women were performed by "non-Western" immigrants–a category that, in Norway, consists mostly of Muslims. The article quoted a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo (who was described as having "lived for many years in Muslim countries") as saying that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. One reason for the high number of rapes by Muslims, explained the professor, was that in their native countries "rape is scarcely punished," since Muslims "believe that it is women who are responsible for rape." The professor’s conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it."”

Fred Lapides noticed this one too. Doesn't the girl read anything by herself?


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