Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Hijab and Integration — Compatible?

Last week I posted a translation by ESW of an Austrian newspaper article about inclusiveness and Multiculturalism in schools. The piece was part of a series, and ESW explains what the series is about:

Since 2007, the Austrian newspaper Die Presse has offered one school class the possibility of designing its “own” newspaper consisting of ten pages. More than eighty classes participated, having been asked to write, comment on, and produce graphs on the subject of “Bullying, Muslims, and participation”. This project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Education. The minister, a socialist, approves of the issues raised, saying, “It is important for young people to be aware of the current social questions.”

But, as I pointed out last week, young people are only allowed to be aware of current social questions in certain ways, and to draw only certain conclusions. I’ll recapitulate here the basic characteristics of High Multiculturalism as featured in these articles and as practiced throughout the entire West:

  • Its mandatory nature. Cultures have to mix; there is no choice. The civilizational damage that may result from such a policy is unimportant. What counts is the realization of the ideological goal.
  • Unquestioned assumptions. The mixing of races, religions, and cultures is always a good thing. Resisting that mixing is racist and bad, an atavistic attitude which must be crushed. There is no possibility of doubting these principles: they are the defining postulates of the entire system.
  • One-way assimilation. The indigenous population is required to adapt itself to the Muslim immigrants, but the immigrants do not have to reciprocate. Assimilation is held up as a goal, but somehow the newcomers never manage to assimilate, and that’s OK. Expecting them to do so is racist.
  • The failure to condemn barbaric behavior. Muslims are permitted to behave in ways that the indigenous population would never be allowed to do. Of particular note is the way the immigrants are permitted to treat women.

With these characteristics in mind, read ESW’s translation of another politically correct Multicultural article from Die Presse:

The Hijab and Integration — Compatible?

On being a Muslim girl in Innsbruck — and the effort to gain acceptance.


Muslima in an Austrian schoolNo one wants to believe it, yet it still happens every day: Muslim girls who are bullied and disregarded. There are even dramatic assaults. Two girls were attacked by a group of older girls at a bus stop in Innsbruck, assaulted with a knife and called “anti-social”. Luckily, they escaped unharmed. This happens quite frequently. Oftentimes a different appearance and culture can cause intolerance and aggression.

It is not that bad in our school. Most Muslim girls are considered “Austrian”. Many have lived here since birth and want to spend the rest of their lives here. They can build a future here, one that does not necessarily include a husband. They can also choose their profession. But most importantly, these girls see the advantage of living in peace and harmony in Austria with economic opportunities. Yet they do not want to sever all contact with their home countries. A Muslim girl holds her family in high esteem; her family sticks together much more than our families do.

It is very important to the family that a girl does not ruin her or her family’s reputation. They are not allowed to be seen in public too often, especially not with men. They must wear inconspicuous clothes and often a headscarf.
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But there are also parents who raise their children without strict religious constraints and thus make it possible for these children to live a life of their own. However, there are girls who deliberately and consciously decide on wearing the headscarf. The reason lies in their pride in their home country and pride in Islam.

Yet it is precisely this [pride] that makes integration so difficult for them. Many times they are regarded as “foreign” because of their appearance. Another drawback of hijab lies in its obstruction during certain activities such as physical education, and the girls are thus unable to take part in these activities.

What we care most about in school is that Muslim girls are respected. What counts is the person, not the appearance. Their culture has so much to offer for men, women and family that is worth thinking about.

[The quotes below are not found in the online HTML version of this article, but are included in the full PDF file.]

“My [female] friend and I were inseparable, but a year ago she had to start wearing a headscarf. Now she can no longer go out to play, she is no longer allowed to attend Tae Kwon Do classes. I find this appalling, because she doesn’t have any friends, and I am very sad that we can’t play together anymore.”
— Berfin [not an Austrian name], 10 years old

“In school, I sit next to a Muslim boy and I like him very much. He is my friend. He is not different from everyone else.”
— Martin, 11 years old

“Many people think that Muslim children are from Turkey. But, like me, some are born and raised here in Austria. My father is Muslim, my mother is Christian. I think that’s great!”
— Kemal, 11 years old

4 comments:

randian said...

Their culture has so much to offer for men, women and family that is worth thinking about.

Try as I might, I can't think what that might be.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Oh, it has plenty to offer. It's just that none of it is positive.

Ernest said...

Its mandatory nature. Cultures have to mix; there is no choice. The civilizational damage that may result from such a policy is unimportant. What counts is the realization of the ideological goal.

Unquestioned assumptions. The mixing of races, religions, and cultures is always a good thing. Resisting that mixing is racist and bad, an atavistic attitude which must be crushed. There is no possibility of doubting these principles: they are the defining postulates of the entire system.

One-way assimilation. The indigenous population is required to adapt itself to the Muslim immigrants, but the immigrants do not have to reciprocate. Assimilation is held up as a goal, but somehow the newcomers never manage to assimilate, and that’s OK. Expecting them to do so is racist.

The failure to condemn barbaric behavior. Muslims are permitted to behave in ways that the indigenous population would never be allowed to do. Of particular note is the way the immigrants are permitted to treat women.



If the above was all you had to go on it would be hard to know which country this is talking about. This could just as well be the US or Canada or Australia or anywhere in Europe.

Baron Bodissey said...

Ernest --

Yes, that's my whole point about PC Multiculturalism: "throughout the entire Western world."