It’s a cultural battle we in the U.S. so far have little experience with: How does a country assimilate immigrants who refuse to embrace the progressive values and secular tolerance of their adopted country?
It’s been a constant source of frustration within Europe, where traditionalist Islamic viewpoints that are misogynistic, anti-Semitic and undemocratic often come into conflict with a Western and socialist culture.
The Netherlands, which are voting Wednesday for parliament’s lower house, have found its welfare state, combined with liberal immigration policies, have made for an uneasy mix, wrote Leon de Winter, a political commentator for De Telegraaf, the largest Dutch daily newspaper.
Speaking of the rise of the right-wing Freedom Party, he wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday: “Did the Dutch really turn into xenophobes and racists? No, they are as open-minded as ever. But they have started to demand what most of their politicians until recently didn’t want to mention because it was politically incorrect: that immigrants practice tolerance, work and study hard, and teach their children to be proud contributing members of this society. That is the least you can ask when the fruits of your labor are taxed at 50 percent.”
He added: “Significant numbers of [Muslim immigrants] refuse to embrace the radical, secular tolerance of their new home.”
In particular, women in Islam are treated as second-class citizens forced to wear hijabs and burkas which are meant to isolate them from the outside world. Women are looked upon as property of the male, a status that’s enshrined in Islamic text and enforced by Sharia law.