Sunday, November 06, 2005

Accommodating Islam

Jeff Jacoby has a column today that gives some examples of the West's absurd attempts to accommodate Muslims. Here's part of it:

Of course, it goes without saying that most Muslims are not terrorists. Of course many people professing Islam are compassionate and generous. Of course Islam should not be gratuitously insulted. But neither should it be sugar-coated or kowtowed to. Yet too many Western elites are unwilling to speak plainly about the problems within Islam itself, or to hold Muslim culture to what should be universal standards of decency and justice. Far from being ''too confrontational" in their attitude toward Islam, they have been too indulgent and deferential, careful never to say anything that might be deemed insensitive. One result has been an increase in extremist behavior: Witness the ''Eurofada" raging in the streets of Paris.

We do Muslims no favors by excusing attitudes or practices that ought always to be deemed inexcusable. In Australia's Victoria state, the Herald Sun reported recently, police have been issued a ''religious diversity handbook" that advises them "to treat Muslim domestic violence cases differently out of respect for Islamic traditions and habits." The Australian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau's handbook provides guidelines for modifying police procedures to accommodate minority sensibilities.

Sikhs, for example, ''should not be disturbed" when reading their holy scriptures, a practice that normally takes 50 hours. Photographing Aborigines is discouraged, since it might raise fears of ''sorcery and spiritual mischief." And Muslim wife-beaters should be treated with kid gloves, in deference to Islamic norms. ''In incidents such as domestic violence," the handbook instructs, ''police need to have an understanding of the traditions, ways of life, and habits of Muslims." Could anything more perfectly capture the moral bankruptcy of multicultural relativism? The Koran may tolerate wife-beating (Sura 4:34: ''As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to bed apart and beat them"), but why on earth should Australia?