The Muslim reader who blogs under the name “Jones” had a good question at the end of the Decadence-and-Duck-Confit post discussion:
I do think the question some Westerners should ask–not because it will help us fight terrorism, but because it is a good question anyway–when you ask Muslim immigrants to integrate, what do you mean? Integrate into what?
That is not only a good question, it’s an excellent one. I’m not sure how I would answer it. I’ve never thought about it before, and am embarrassed to realize that.
I wrote several paragraphs here trying to explore how I would answer the question, and wasn’t happy with them, so I deleted them. I think when Europe asks them to integrate, it’s asking them pretty much to quit being Muslim. When America does, I think it’s more or less asking them, “Will you please not act in ways that make us feel afraid?” Big difference.
Still thinking about this, especially given that Jones and I probably look with equally jaundiced eyes at the broader society. What’s your answer?