Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A law unto themselves

You've probably been aware that one of the themes running through the French riots is that the religious leaders want "France out of the suburbs" (that's my very weak reference to a US-style "US out of Iraq" bumper sticker). You also probably remember how Canada decided that allowing sharia law to function within its domain, when that law ran counter to Canadian law, probably wasn't a good thing. Well, Denmark is also facing problems with Islamic religious leaders who simply feel disconnected (and superior) to the political process in their chosen country:

An Iraqi-born imam was sentenced to prison in a Copenhagen court on Wednesday for attempting to persuade a mother not to report her husband for sexually abusing their son. The Eastern High Court found that the imam had pressed and threatened the woman to try to get her to withdraw her report of her husband and one of his friends for sexually abusing her seven-year-old son. 'If he swears by the Koran that he didn't do it, you must go to the police and tell them that you're not going ahead with the case,' the imam reportedly told the mother in one of his phone calls. 'Remember that we are Muslims, and if you haven't seen anything, he hasn't done anything.'
The woman testified anyway, the husband and the imam were sentence to prison, and the woman is now in hiding. Suborning perjury happens all the time, in all Courts in the world, so that's not big news. It's just unnerving to have a religious leader encourage his parishioners to lie in Court solely on the ground that "we are Muslims." To me, the imam's stated reason for lying is different from the usual situation in which someone lies (or is advised to lie) to obtain a specific end. In most circumstances, people know they're going against social mores, but believe lying will give them an advantage, such as money or freedom from imprisonment. The imam's statement, however, is a profound commentary on many Islamists' perception about their place in Western society: Despite living within a Western country's borders, and despite obtaining whatever benefits that country provides (whether its clean streets, welfare, free housing, paternity leave, whatever), Muslims have no obligation to comply with that nation's laws. I don't think it's too much to say that this attitude, which comes from the Muslim leadership, not from the toughs on the street corners, reflects a profound assimilation failure tantamount to a societal breakdown (can anyone say "L'Intifadah"?). Given all this, maybe it's less surprising than I originally thought that the Danish police found a sizable terror cell with plans to attack the White House, or that a Danish newspaper that did political cartoons offensive to Islam finds it staff besieged with death threats.