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July 14, 2008

Too Muslim for France

I forgot to mention this over the weekend as an immigration criterion I liked the sound of. A Moroccan woman in France, her name truncated to "Faisa M" in reports, has been denied citizenship because she is insufficiently assimilated.

The report [to France's highest administrative body] said: "She has no idea about the secular state or the right to vote. She lives in total submission to her male relatives. She seems to find this normal and the idea of challenging it has never crossed her mind."

The woman had said she was not veiled when she lived in Morocco and had worn the burqa since arriving in France at the request of her husband. She said she wore it more from habit than conviction.

Daniele Lochak, a law professor not involved in the case, said it was bizarre to consider that excessive submission to men was a reason not to grant citizenship. "If you follow that to its logical conclusion, it means that women whose partners beat them are also not worthy of being French," he told Le Monde.

The law professor misses the point entirely (que surpris!). Submission by itself is not the problem. The problem is that Faisa M's submission keeps her from understanding and participating in French society. She has carved out a space for herself in which the values and beliefs of an anti-Western culture exist; it's the faux-Caliphate underneath her burqa. Thus, France has no obligation to admit her into its society.

It's too early to tell if Faisa M's case is part of a new trend or an isolated incident. President Sarkozy has been turning up the pressure on immigrants, requiring that they take an exam on French language and values before they even leave their home countries. I keep expecting this summer's riots and, in fact, thought that this case might be the spark that inaugurated another attack of the YOUEEs. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be happening.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:23 PM

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