The United States itself, so marvelously imbued with the spirit of freedom and personal independence, is becoming a battleground for this clash of cultures. And very sadly, one side, the side of respect for self-determination, is losing.
Picture an American girl, a typical California teenager in jeans who lives on Facebook and likes sports. She loves her family, but feels pressure from them to resist peer influence. A typical family dynamic? So far.
Out of respect for father and family, this girl agrees to visit her parents’ home country, the old world where her grandmother is aging and would love to see her granddaughter one more time.
Her Muslim father and Muslim family and Muslim home country.
On this visit, this gesture of affection and respect, this American girl is overpowered and confined, stripped of her passport, cut off from outside contact, watched every second, and prepared for marriage to a much older man whom she’s never met.
A much older Muslim man.
This story is true, and I assure you it is not an aberration. Robbing a girl of her freedom and identity is becoming more and more common in the United States. Such crimes are committed not for money or personal obsession, but in the name of traditional religion and culture.
Forced marriage is linked to other acts committed in the name of religion and culture, so-called honor killings (perversely named!), and linked to the barbaric act of female genital mutilation—all three crimes commonly committed in the name of protecting honor and sanctioned by religion.
What worries me is that, within the American value system, there are two clashing strains—individual rights clashing with tolerance of others. I fear that, in the new battleground I’ve identified, individual rights of women are losing out to tolerance of oppressive customs.
On one hand, Americans fiercely defend individual rights. They enjoy the secret ballot, a sound judicial system, and protection of free speech.
All things Americans used to enjoy. Now only extremists fiercely defend such things.
Beyond that, Americans respect the right of all men and women to launch their own odysseys and be the human being that ability and fortune might allow.
But another wonderful quality of American culture is tolerance of others. Americans have always welcomed people of all backgrounds, religions, and races. It’s a spirit of tolerance, now energized and amplified by the cult of multiculturalism.
I see these two strains in conflict: individual rights and tolerance of religious abuse.
In Holland I have seen well-meaning, principled people blinded by multiculturalism, overwhelmed by the imperative to be sensitive and respectful of immigrant culture, while ignoring criminal abuse of women and girls.
When I said the position of Muslim women had to change now, people were always telling me to wait, or calling me “right-wing.” Was that what they told the mineworkers in the 19th century when they fought for workers’ rights?
In the United States I see a similar, very worrying reluctance to ignore judging immigrants who oppress their women and mutilate their girls in the name of their own religion and culture.
Worse, many not only ignore the oppression but they support open borders and importation of millions more sharia-adhering people. Like they did in the UK and now realize was a mistake, Mistake of multiculturalism aided extremists says PM.
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