Sunday, April 22, 2007

Have your cake or Eat it

NRO: What Do Muslims Want? Priority problems, by Raymond Ibrahim

Muslim cab drivers have long discriminated against customers carrying or suspected of carrying alcohol. Officials at the St. Paul International Airport estimate that, on average, alcohol-bearing customers seeking cab rides are denied 77 times per month. Some blind customers have also been turned down on account of their seeing-eye dogs.

Muslims in Seattle have requested (and been granted) regularly scheduled hours for their exclusive use of public pools; an all-Muslim-girls basketball team at Chicago university demanded that men be barred from attending their matches; some 200 Muslim women signed a petition at a Michigan fitness center demanding separate workout times for men and women, or at least the erection of a screen divider between the men’s and women’s section (which was granted).

Ibrahim goes on to say:

“Straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel” has long been a sure sign of hypocrisy. All Muslims who freely migrate to the West must understand that they can’t have it both ways — that they can’t have their cake and eat it, too. They must choose between either strictly upholding the laws and customs of 7th-century Arabia (in which case they should remain in their “sharia friendly” countries of origin) or, if prosperity and comfort is their first choice, let them relocate to the West, but prepare to assimilate — that is, compromise — to some degree. It’s a simple question of priorities.

I think these are all valid points. Muslims in the United States, indeed, Muslims living in the West, should be conscious of the societies they are entering, societies greatly different than what they have left behind. Economically and socially, their adopted homeland offers them opportunities, and perhaps temptations, that were previously taboo. Let them take a lesson from the Chinese, Italians, Irish, Koreans and Indians before them. Bring with you the best of what your country has to offer; knowledge, hard work, and an eagerness to learn. But leave behind that which has held back your countrymen; racism and intolerance.

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