Europe’s Angry Muslims is mostly a good read but there are parts where the author falls into precisely the kind of rhetoric that caused all the problems with Europe’s Muslim immigrants to begin with:
Migration, cousin marriage, seclusion of women, the return of remains … these practices occur not in isolation but as part of a way of life, a culture.
It is really annoying when vicious, nasty abuse of women is referred to as “culture.” This is a way of granting legitimacy to an inexcusable practice which, in reality, knows no cultural boundaries. In Russia, for instance, “seclusion of women” (aka treating women as cattle) existed for centuries. In certain social classes (like merchants, for instance), it remained in place until the revolution of 1917.
Let’s stop excusing horrifying mistreatment of women by covering it up with the empty label of “culture.” It’s 2015, for Pete’s sake. Isn’t it time to say that this is not OK? Enough already with going weak in the knees whenever barbarity is defended as cute little cultural differences. Especially when they are not really that different from anything.