Ayaan Hersi Ali, one of the bravest and most important writers today has an excellent but chilling piece on how multiculturalism is hurting the victims of abuse among European Muslim communities:
The biggest obstacle that hinders Muslim women from leading dignified, free lives is violence–physical, mental, and sexual–committed by their close families. Here is only a sample of some of the violence perpetrated on girls and women from Islamic cultures:
- Four-year-old girls have their genitals mutilated: some of them so badly that they die of infections; others are traumatised for life from the experience and will later suffer recurrent infections of their reproductive and urinary systems.
- Teenage girls are removed from school by force and kept inside the house to stop their schooling, stifle their thinking and suffocate their will.
- Victims of incest and sexual abuse are beaten, deported or killed to prevent them from filing complaints.
- Some pregnant victims of incest or abuse are forced by their fathers, older brothers, or uncles to have abortions in order to keep the family honour from being stained. In this era of DNA testing, the girls could demonstrate that they have been abused. Yet instead of punishing the abusers, the family treats the daughter as if she had dishonoured the family.
- Girls and women who protest their maltreatment are beaten by their parents in order to kill their spirits and reduce them to a lifelong servitude that amounts to slavery.
- Many girls and women who can’t bear to suffer any more take their own lives or develop numerous kinds of psychological ailments, including nervous breakdown and psychosis. They are literally driven mad.
- A Muslim girl in Europe runs more risk than girls of other faiths of being forced into marriage by her parents with a stranger. In such a marriage — which, since it is forced, by definition starts with rape — she conceives child after child. She is an enslaved womb. Many of her children will grow up in a household with parents who are neither bound by love nor interested in the wellbeing of their children. The daughters will go through life as subjugated as their mothers and the sons become — in Europe — dropouts from school, attracted to pastimes that can vary from loitering in the streets to drug abuse to radical Islamic fundamentalism.
Ms. Ali is quite correct in pointing out that if young Muslim women in Europe spend every day being treated as little more than chattel, then the European Union is refusing to uphold their own standards and is betraying the very concept of human rights. Throughout Europe, hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of young female Muslims are being stripped of even the most basic human rights — and the authorities seem to have little interest in interfering with this slavery. Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered in the streets of Amsterdam for daring to expose this system of brutalization and oppression.
If Europe is to live up to its civilized values, if it is to show that it truly cares about human rights, it must not allow these inhuman practices to continue. Islam does not give anyone the ability to abuse the human rights of another. The governments of Europe have shown dangerously little wherewithal in trying to fight those who would live in Europe but not share in the most basic of Europe’s values.
It is one thing to deny one religious expression; but when that religious expression involves harming the innate human rights of another, all claims to freedom of expression end. Yet Europe’s commitment to its values is simply too weak to allow them to speak out.
As Ms. Ali continues:
European policy-makers have not yet understood the huge potential of liberating Muslim women. They are squandering the single best opportunity they have to make Muslim integration a success within one generation. Morally, governments need to eradicate violence against women in Europe. This would make clear to fundamentalists that Europeans take their constitutions seriously. Now, most abusers simply think that Western rhetoric about the equality of men and women is cowardly and hypocritical, since Western governments tolerate the abuse of millions of Muslim women when they’re told it’s in the name of freedom of religion.
Europe has already surrendered much of its territory to a system of values which is incompatible with human rights. If we truly believe that violence against women is always unacceptable, if we believe that young Muslim women deserve a chance to have an education and choose the course of their own lives, then we must join with Ms. Ali’s courageous call. The fact is that if we are not willing to enforce the values of equality and freedom, then we are hypocrites, and those values will surely be eroded away into nothingness.