Not in Europe. Officially, to be sure, France is less multicultural than most European countries – witness its rejection of religious labels in public documents and its ban on hijabs in schools. But enduring segregation is a fact of life in France as it is elsewhere on the continent. Millions of “French Muslims” don’t consider themselves French. A government report leaked last March depicted an increasingly two-track educational system: More and more Muslim students refuse to sing, dance, participate in sports, sketch a face, or play an instrument. They won’t draw a right angle (it looks like part of the Christian cross). They won’t read Voltaire and Rousseau (too antireligion), Cyrano de Bergerac (too racy), Madame Bovary (too pro-women), or Chrétien de Troyes (too chrétien). One school has separate toilets for “Muslims” and “Frenchmen”; another obeyed a Muslim leader’s call for separate locker rooms because “the circumcised should not have to undress alongside the impure.”

Many Muslims, wanting to enjoy Western prosperity but repelled by Western ways, travel regularly back to their homelands. From Oslo, where I live, there are more direct flights every week to Islamabad than to the US. A recent Norwegian report noted that among young Norwegians of Pakistani descent, family honor depends largely on “not being perceived as Norwegian – as integrated.” ~Bruce Bawer, The Christian Science Monitor

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.

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