Belgium: Identity versus integration


In front of what seems to be a conflict between a call for preserving their cultural and/or religious identities on the one hand, and a call for integration on the other, the majority of Muslims have tended towards one pole. Only a tiny few have succeeded in finding the right balance where they preserve their identities while living in conformity with the Belgian environment.

There is no doubt that harmonising the conflict needs a complementary effort from both sides.

An integration policy that denies people their identities is surely not a viable solution. Banning the Muslim headscarf, for instance, as the majority of schools do as part of banning the wear of religious signs, is seen by Muslim girls as a breach into their very identity. It even moves those Muslims who are not practicing their religion. "I have no intention to wear the headscarf," a female restaurant keeper of Moroccan origin once told me, "But as soon as I see someone prevented from wearing it, I want to revolt."

On the other hand, Muslims all too often wrongly believe that their religion interferes with modernity and blocks them from adjusting to the Belgian society. There was recently a time when it became fashion among secondary school students to boycott the biology course under the pretext that it teaches Darwinism, the theory of evolution.

Many Muslims also mistakenly assume that the jobs available in Belgium are illicit sources of income, and, as a consequence, opt for unemployment money, forgetting that Islam honours productive work.

Such a self-imposed 'ghettoisation' is not a solution, and Islam stands far from endorsing it. Rather, the answer is 'participation', as Dr Ataullah Siddiqui of the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, United Kingdom, believes. And that means thinking this way: "I am a Muslim; and I am a Belgian. I have a religious duty to see this whole country as my own — including its pain and suffering; and I want to be proud of it." By believing so, Dr Siddiqui says, one "fulfills a religious duty, as well as a social duty."

And because a people is judged, not by how much they took, but by how much they gave, a "participatory identity" would be the honourable way for Muslims.

Only when reaching this stage of self-respect will this community be able to get its voice heard, with which they can, through peaceful means, defend Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), not least against the offensive cartoons that some European newspapers recently published. That would be the least they could do to demonstrate a serious commitment towards the Prophet whom they love most.

Source: Khaleej Times (English)l

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have never met a Muslim who integrated into a civilized society and remained a practicing Muslim. This article was full of out-and-out lies anyway. First, the nation of immigration is in absolutely no way responsible for the integration of immigrants. Muslims need to learn that they are responsible for their own fates, choices, and actions. Period. This kind of apologist thinking only encourages the Muslim cult of victimization whereby everything is a Jewish or Western conspiracy and nothing is ever their fault. Banning the headscarf is akin to banning the swastika. It's reasonable. Allowing children to choose to be uneducated is unreasonable. They will soon start boycotting kindergarten for teaching that the Earth is round and that it revolves around the sun, not vice versa. And ISLAM HAS NEVER "HONOUR[ED] PRODUCTIVE WORK." It has relegated women to the home and survived through parasitism. It encourages raiding, looting, pillaging, and extortion. "You shall find sustenance under the shade of my sword" is Islam's idea of a "work ethic." WHy do you think every Muslim country is a 3rd-world hellhole, except for a handful with oil, all of whom have to import foreign workers because their best and brightest are incapable of getting even the simplest of jobs done? And, according to Islam, all jobs in Belgium actually are illicit sources of income. Muslims are only to steal money from non-Muslims, not work for it. Both the Koran and the Hadith are very clear about this. Yet another reason why Islam is inherently parasitic. It is pretty much impossible to be a good Muslim and not ghettoize, if one is to never associate with infidels, never do productibe work, never buy from infidels, and never work for them. Raping, enslaving, murdering, plundering, pillaging, extorting, and selling people are to be the extent of a good Muslim's dealing with infidels. 98% of the Sura is dedicated to making this perfectly clear, as is 64% of the Hadith, according to the Center for the Study of Political Islam. And Perv Mo is patently indefensible. Period. I dare anyone to name even one positive quality that sick f--- possessed, as if all his deeds didn't serve to undermine it anyway. Another paper for me to alert to.