Prime Minister David Cameronon Monday attacked what he called "passive tolerance" of some people in Britain's Muslim communities who support segregation and discrimination against women, and said his government would make it harder for migrants to remain in the country if they did not learn English.
"Where in the world do you think the following things are happening?
School governors’ meetings where male governors sit in the meeting room and the women have to sit out of sight in the corridor. Young women only allowed to leave their house in the company of a male relative. Religious councils that openly discriminate against women and prevent them from leaving abusive marriages. The answer, I’m sorry to say, is Britain," Cameron said in an opinion piece for the (London) Times.
The British leader wrote the column as part of a drive to counter what he said was, for many British Muslim women, "an alarming picture of forced gender segregation, discrimination and social isolation from mainstream British life." He said that this failure to integrate helped foster extremism.Pretty strong words, no? Too bad Cameron then chose to walk it back some:
"I am not saying separate development or conservative religious practices directly cause extremism. That would be insulting to many who are devout and peace-loving. But they can help a young person’s slide towards radicalization," the prime minister said. He said he was ordering a review of the impact of religious councils, includingI'm afraid it's too late for that, Dave. The gender apartheid/Sharia council genie is out of the teapot, and it's going to be next impossible to coax it back inside.
Shariacouncils, on those receiving British education. "I want every young boy and girl growing up here to feel proud of our country and properly connected to it," he said...
Update: UK policy-makers apparently believe that teaching Muslim chicks to speak the Queen's English will be an effective mechanism for integration. Unless you address the gender apartheid inherent in their culture/creed/religious teachings, though, it's hard to see how that will effect the desired change.